Full Council 19.10.20

Published: 19th October 2020

MINUTES of the Full Town Council meeting held on Zoom on Monday 19 October 2020 at 7.30pm Chair Approved

 

 

Present: Cllr Booth (Chair), Cllr Tile, Cllr Read, Cllr Aldis, Cllr Maltby, Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Boughton, Cllr Needham, Cllr Wenaden, CBC Cllr Cory, Maurice Howard (RFO) Jo Beighton-Emms (Town Clerk), Emma Buckley and three members of the public.

 

 

Public Questions; None

 

PART A

 

FC/10.20/01 Apologies for absence: Cllr Newton, Cllr Nash, CBC Cllr Liddy, ECC Cllr Young and Peter Kay.

 

FC/10.20/02 Minutes of the previous meeting:

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2020 were proposed by Cllr Boughton, seconded by Cllr Tile and approved as an accurate record of proceedings.

 

Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported that she had not yet drafted a letter to ECC Cllr Young, as agreed at this meeting.

 

FC/10.20/03 Declarations of interest; None; there were no pecuniary declarations of interest. Cllr Needham and Cllr Booth declared that they knew Glenn Widgery.

 

FC/10.20/04 Reports from Members of County and Borough Councils;

 

a. The council considered a previously circulated report from ECC Cllr Young which is attached as Appendix A.

 

Cllr Luxford-Vaughan said that the railway bridge road could not be reduced because of the space needed for buses. Cllr Read confirmed that this would not be possible.

 

Cllr Luxford-Vaughan queried the consultation regarding the basketball court project.

 

Cllr Evans suggested that Cllr Young should be asked about the renewal of the ECC contract with Ringway Jacobs and whether negotiations would be affected given the poor service that Wivenhoe is receiving. It was agreed that an email would be sent. Cllr Cory agreed that WTC should push for a better quality service.

 

 

b. The council considered a previously circulated report from CBC Cllr Cory which is attached at Appendix B. Cllr Cory read through the report. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported that she had approached the portfolio holder for the car idling campaign but that there were no plans to include Wivenhoe in this and she wanted to know why. Cllr Cory asked that she email him with this request and he would make enquiries about available funding for Wivenhoe.

 

Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported that the ecology scoping report had highlighted that air quality should be measured but that it isn’t. The new link road will also increase pollution. Cllr Tile said that he had previously looked in this and he agreed that it needs to be taken further.

 

Cllr Luxford-Vaughan provided a verbal report. She reported that she has been working on the Local plan modifications with Cllr Cory and the consultant. A submission has been made on changes to planning and she would be working on a response to the white paper this week.

 

Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported that she had met with Alan Lindsay, ECC, regarding the new link road but that he had not provided much further detail than was already known.

 

She had also attended a meeting with Elmstead and Ardleigh Parish Councils regarding the link road.

 

The council considered a previously circulated report from CBC Cllr Liddy which is attached as Appendix C. Cllr Boughton raised the issue with flooding and where responsibility lies with regards to gully clearing.

 

Cllr Maltby raised the issue of trees being cleared in a CBC owned area of Wivenhoe woods. Cllr Cory said that he was not aware of this and would look into it. Cllr Read raised the issue of increased litter along the trail towards the university and that the Student Union have organised litter picking in the past.

 

c. Peter Kay had not provided a report.

 

Cllr Cory left the meeting at 20.03.

 

FC/09.20/05 Co-option;

 

            Cllr Booth firstly informed the council that Cllr Aldis has resigned. His letter of

            resignation was addressed to Cllr Booth and would not therefore be read out at this

            meeting.

 

The Town Clerk informed the council that two candidates had advised her they no

longer wished to be considered for co-option and that one other candidate had not

contacted her and was also not present.

 

Glenn Widgery presented to the council on his background and career history. He also

detailed his family ties to the town. He has attended 13 meetings as an observer and is

really enjoying watching and learning about the council and the work that it does.

Glenn explained that he has lived in Wivenhoe for 15 years and feels blessed to live

somewhere which has such a special community. He is now semi-retired and has the

time, conviction and energy to give something back. He thanked the council for the

opportunity

 

Glenn took questions from the councillors. Cllr Read suggested that he has a

councillor as a mentor.

 

The vote took place and the councillors voted unanimously that Glenn Widgery is co-

opted as a councillor.

 

FC/10.20/06 Proposal from Cllr Luxford-Vaughan: Cllr Luxford-Vaughan proposes

that Wivenhoe Town Council approve that staff time is allocated to the supervision of a

group of volunteers for works to be carried out on the pond in the wildlife garden. It is

estimated that this should be no more than 4 hours with the majority of the cost for

materials being met from the Wild about Wivenhoe Group, with a potential top up from

the locality budget if necessary’.

 

Cllr Luxford-Vaughan explained that the Wild About Wivenhoe Group have supported

the wildlife garden and now needed to carry out work on the pond which was leaking.

The team of volunteers would welcome input from the Estates Open Spaces manager.

Cllr Tile raised the issue of WTC buying the materials with concerns over VAT evasion.

The RFO explained that as long as WTC procure, order and budget for the materials

then reclaiming VAT would not be an issue. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan also pointed out that

the garden belongs to WTC and that there was a clear scope of works.

 

The proposal was seconded by Cllr Boughton, with all in favour.

 

FC/10.20/07 Committees;

 

a. Planning; The Chair of Planning Cllr Aldis has resigned. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan brought a proposal, agreed at the Planning Committee meeting held on 6 October 2020, to the attention of the council. The proposal relates to the council having the opportunity to buy plots of land and the need for the public to be consulted. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan was proposing that an advertisement is published stating the council’s potential intention. Cllr Tile noted that this was contrary to the council’s Financial Regulations but Cllr Luxford-Vaughan said that by making this statement the council would be in compliance with regards to public consultation; this would give the council the permission to buy land in the future.

 

The proposal was read out from the Planning Committee minutes as follows:

 

Proposal to full council was recommended by the committee for the following “The WTC hold a public consultation to ensure that financial compliance, as advised by our RFO, with financial regulations relating to the purchase of physical assets.  This is to prevent future councils from being hamstrung when opportunities arrive”.

 

The RFO said that he was unclear as to what was being proposed and where

the funds for such purchases would come from. He advised that WTC should

have a policy in place, any funding should be included in the annual budget,

and any expenditure over £5k must be brought to Full Town Council.

 

Cllr Read and Cllr Needham said they were keen for the proposal to be agreed

as it gave WTC the ability to move quickly in the future, such as for the police

houses. Cllr Luxford-Vaughn said the agreement on this proposal would give

the council the ability to have discussions about land purchases.

Cllr Luxford-Vaughan made the proposal, this was seconded by Cllr Needham.

All voted in favour with the exception of Cllr Booth who abstained and Cllr Tile

who voted against and requested that his vote was recorded in the minutes.

 

 

b. Personnel; Cllr Read reported that there were personnel matters which would be dealt with under Part B of this meeting.

 

c. Environment & Health & Wellbeing; Cllr Evans reported that the Millfield verge project had been completed. Gravel will be needed. Cllr Boughton offered to assist with obtaining this.

 

Cllr Evans also reported on the report drafted by Mark Halladay on the green spaces and verges project with CBC. He will update further in due course.

 

With regards to the Health & Wellbeing Sub-committee, Cllr Wenaden reported that she was working with Age Concern about a befriending scheme and had a meeting arranged at the Wivenhoe surgery on 21 October.

 

Cllr Wenaden also said that she had spoken to residents about the use of the

ecargo bikes. The Town Clerk advised that the use of these bikes was prohibited

to use for council business only.

 

d. Properties; No report. The next meeting will be held on 11 November 2020.

 

e. Open Spaces; In the absence of the Chair, Cllr Booth referred to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 14 October. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan suggested the use of concrete sleepers for the Jubilee Garden. It was agreed that the Town Clerk will make enquiries.

 

f. Finance & Administration; The RFO reported that the last meeting was held jointly with the Personnel Committee on 23 September.

 

FC/10.20/08    RFO Update

 

a. The council considered a previously circulated RFO Report which is attached as Appendix D. Emma thanked Cllr Wenaden for her time and welcomed her suggestion to use local businesses. It was agreed that Cllr Maltby would attend the council offices in November.

b. he council considered and approved a previously circulated Cash & Invoice Reconciliation report which is attached as Appendix E Sept 20 - Cash and Inv Reconciliation as at 30 September 2020.

c. The council considered the previously circulated list of monthly payments, which is attached as Appendix F Oct Emma confirmed that she had added an additional payment and that the total was now £ 33,102.96. Emma clarified that membership of the CTA, which was queried at September’s FTC meeting, was necessary as this provides WTC with a s19 permit allowing the use of the minibus to transport passengers.

Cllr Read queried a payment to Cerda. The Town Clerk confirmed that this was for the consultant who worked on the Local Plan.

Cllr Evans queried the amount spent each year with Sibbons. Emma agreed that she would report back.

The approval of all payments was proposed by Cllr Read, seconded by Cllr Tile and approved by all.

d. The budget control report was agreed.

 

FC/10.20/09    Working Group Reports;

 

a. Skatepark; Cllr Luxford-Vaughan said that she should be consulted by Cllr Young regarding any meetings on the basketball court improvements. A meeting will be arranged soon to consider the responses to the survey.

 

b. Office & Yard; Matters were covered at the Extraordinary FTC meeting which had taken place on 15 October, under Part B.

 

c. Funding, Engagement & Youth: Cllr Wenaden updated on the meeting which had taken place on 12 October. The group discussed the formation of a youth council. A video would be made to promote it.

 

d. WNP; Cllr Needham reported that a group has been formed to work on the WNP when necessary.

 

e. Mayoral activities; Cllr Booth reported that he had attended a meeting with Chief Insp Huddleston, Colchester Police and that Operation Quaser could no longer proceed. Cllr Booth will be attending a ‘Meet & Greet’ with the new PCSO on 30 October and also a meeting with Cllr Cory on 4 November about community funding to combat anti-social behaviour.

 

Cllr Booth reminded the councillors about the Chair’s Meeting to be held on 21 October at 7.30pm. At the meeting they will be asked about proposed budgets for the committees. Cllr Needham asked that a budget remains for the WNP.

 

FC/10.20/10 Town Clerk Report

 

A previously circulated report from the Town Clerk was considered and is attached as Appendix G.

 

FC/10.20/11 Date and time of the next meeting: It was agreed that the next Full Town Council meeting will be held Monday 16 November 2020 at 7.30pm.

 

The three members of the public left the meeting.

 

FC/10.20/12 Exclusion of press and public: In accordance with Paragraph 1 (2) of The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, the Council is invited to consider if the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the following item(s) owing to the confidential nature of the business.

 

 

 

PART B

 

FC/10.20/13 Staffing the WLH- update from the Chair of Personnel; The councillors voted

unanimously on a staffing matter. Notes for this part of the meeting are held by the

Town Clerk.

 

The Chair closed the meeting at 21.31

 

Appendix A

 

Report from County Councillor Julie Young

 

Road Issues

The Avenue, High street potholes remain despite another push at ECC and in particular Cllr Bentley. As previously indicated I have photographed 39 potholes and submitted them all. ECC continue to prevaricate about doing the work. I have a response outstanding from Cllr Bentley and will keep on this endless quest to get the repairs done. I followed up reports of shoddy work at the tail end of the highway work around Broomgrove and the contractor will be held to account on work considered inadequate, from the photos submitted the work looked very poor. I have followed up the reports on flooding locations shared by Cyril so hopefully some work will follow to clear the drains. I have also requested some white lining improvements especially the zebra crossings which are faded.

 

Play equipment

Thanks for your agreement and location designation of the table tennis table which will be well received by the community when in place. I met Gareth Roberts to discuss the basketball project and Gareth has provided a project plan which I would like to move forward with. The existing facility does need some structural work as water sits on the surface in one spot so to make the art work last a corner needs raising and a crack will need repairing. Hopefully Jo and Steve Collis at CBC can work together to determine costs so the appropriate work can be done to move the project forward.

 

Safer Greener Healthier Routes

You may be aware that I have submitted local highway panel applications for “school streets “ outside both schools. This idea and others have been submitted to ECC to create a more suitable environment for walking and cycling. I am hoping to support resident’s requests to tackle the railway bridge to narrow this to single lane traffic to provide more space for walking and cycling, such a scheme would protect the weak edges of the bridge as an additional bonus. You should be contacted soon for your views on these initiatives.

 

Appendix B

 

Dear Phil and Jo,

 

I have another meeting on and may not be able to join you at 7.30pm.

 

I am therefore sending you a report, packed full of things that many interest Wivenhoe Town Councillors.

 

I am extremely busy right now balancing the huge pressures of Covid restrictions and the effects on business, while also look after local casework and the scores of questions locally about what residents can and can’t do!

 

My report and list of helpful attached documents:

 

  1. Covid Tier 2: This was thrust upon us by Essex County Council in a very short time frame. I don’t doubt the Public Health guidance and Dr Mike Gogarty himself, but I was very concerned about the economic impact and support needed for the hospitality – both Julie and I raised this in meetings. I will attach three things to this email relating to Covid, firstly, my Gazette column on the need for a ‘circuit-breaker’; secondly, my email today to Cllr Finch following a meeting with businesses; thirdly, a letter to Sir Bernard Jenkin on the need for more government support for the hospitality industry – which I got cross-party support for. Lastly, I would add that I have been in communication regularly with the University, directly or through officers, ensuring that students follow the clear restrictions and that support is given to students on campus and in our communities – I am currently assured that the situation is being managed as safely as possible.
  2. Government Planning White Paper: The government white paper on planning is appalling and waters down planning either further, making it a developers dream. I have already shared with WTC the robust response to the consultation by CBC, but I attached it again to this email for those who may not have seen it. I also have a link here to the Full Council agenda this Wednesday where I will put forward a motion from me on this very issue. I will raise in the debate the fear that Neighbourhood plans are being watered down to not hold as much weight as they do currently. The White Paper is vague in this aware and it is something I feel WTC should be aware of and focus on. (My motion is Item 12 – motion H)

https://colchester.cmis.uk.com/colchester/MeetingCalendar/tabid/70/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/397/Meeting/882/Committee/30/Default.aspx

  1. Local Plan: The consultation has now ended on the Colchester (Joint) Local Plan Main Modifications. As you will know, I worked with some Town Councillors on issues relating to Wivenhoe, the modifications and the Garden Community principles, which I put to the Local Plan Committee, and consequently sent to the Inspector. The Inspector asked for the suggested changes to be put into the consultation, I followed this up, with Cllr Luxford-Vaughan’s encouragement, and ensured those were submitted as a CBC response as agreed at the Local Plan Committee. Please see attached those comments again (in a one page document – although submitted separately in relation to each section of the online submission).
  2. Student Accommodation Planning App 202038: I have kept the Town Clerk updated on my correspondence regarding the change to the application down by Elmstead Rd (Greenstead side) across the road from Salary Brook. I have asked Jo to forward on the answers to my questions. Nothing major is changing, but the application has caused much bigger issues previously so I wanted to flag it. (Email to be circulated by Town Clerk).
  3. Greening the Borough: I now chair the new Environment and Sustainability Panel, previously the Task and Finish Group, and we are progressing some great work on greening the borough and incorporating all attempts to increase biodiversity within that. I involve WTC in any projects I can via CBC and would welcome any thoughts or ideas you have to come to me. Please see attached two reports from the first Environmental Panel meeting for your information. The rewilding of grass verges links neatly to the project I have worked on with Cllr Glyn Evans, which I am very proud to see blossoming in front of our eyes. Thanks to Glyn for his hardwork on Friday, my stint on weeding duty will come within the next few days. (Cllr Glyn Evans can of course update further) – but thanks must also go to Beth Chatto Gardens and Deans Nursery – two local organisations who have been a great help.
  4. Test and Trace Support Payments: I have also attached a report on the Support Payments now available to residents having to isolate due to the virus. This is administered by CBC and I wanted to make you aware so that you understood the scheme and could signpost people to get support – I attach the paper for you to read. (Helpful to the WTC office hopefully).

 

There are many more issues I am working on as I am sure you can understand – I must now rush off (or stay put at my laptop on the kitchen table) to another meeting, I will try and log in to see you all later.

 

Please do read the attached documents relating to my report.

 

Best wishes

 

Mark

 

Cllr Mark Cory

Leader of Colchester Borough Council

Wivenhoe Ward (Lib Dem)

 

Appendix C

 

A Report to Wivenhoe Town Council for Monday 19th October 2020.

 

Planning.    Currently, there are no major applications for Wivenhoe.

 

Highways.  I followed up the complaints raised previously by concerned residents and continue work to find solutions where possible, including the faded white lines on the pedestrian crossings at the Horse & Groom PH and Heath Rd.  Other similar fading highway safety features in and around Wivenhoe have become apparent over the last few weeks and will be reported to Essex Highways.

 

The overhanging trees on Rosabelle Ave obscuring visibility.  I believe these are an Essex Highways matter(?)

 

The motorists speeding at the bend in Ernest Rd.  I made enquiries with Speedwatch, but I understand that due to limited resources, they concentrate efforts on main roads.  I have asked the concerned resident to monitor the situation and come back to me if matters get worse.

 

Flooding.  Since my September report a flooding engineer from Essex County Council (not Essex Highways) visited Queens Rd to survey the drains.   He agreed that the drains in Queens Rd should be cleared and would notify Essex Highways.  I am not aware of any cleaning activity by Essex Highways to date.

 

Since then I have become aware of other parts of Wivenhoe that are prone to road flooding.  The worst being Vine Parade, but also on Rectory Rd near the junction with Stanley Rd, the “the pond” that appears on Belle Vue Rd near the top of Park Rd and on the bend in Belle Vue Rd near the cemetery, as well as the flooding of Blackhorse Cottages on the Alresford Rd.

 

These floods are caused by drains blocked by foliage and they should be maintained more frequently than now.  Julie and I reported these incidents to Essex Highways to ask them to clear the drains.

 

Wivenhoe Trail.  On Sunday I joined Wivenhoe Wombles for a litter pick along the river bank.  I was appalled at what I saw.   The trail is relatively clear of litter, although the vegetation conceals a multitude of sins.  The river bank is coated with a dirty polystyrene scum that is washed in by the tides.  The waste bin at the  Lower Lodge crossing is full and should be emptied as soon as possible.

 

There is also a considerable amount rubbish in the copse near the University crossing.  That area may not be within WTC’s domain and I also understand that a rough sleeper lives there.

 

Ward Cllr. Cyril Liddy.

Monday 19th October 2020.

 

Appendix D

 

RFO Finance and Budget Report update 30th September 2020 for Full Town Council Meeting 19th October 2020.

 

Cllr Wenaden and myself had a meeting on Monday 12th October, during which Cllr Wenaden agreed the bank balances on the system to the bank statements and the list of invoices to be approved for October payment.  We discussed general budget’s.  Cllr Wenaden suggested supporting local businesses for Stationery and Cleaning Supplies, as it has been noticed that these bills from Viking and AtoZ are sometimes high.  There was also mention of using eco cleaning products which can be supplied locally.  Mandy and myself have started to make some enquiries into this.

We need another volunteer for next month’s finance check.

We have not heard anything to date from the external auditor regarding the 2020 AGAR.

 

8b. Bank Reconciliations – the accounting system is up to date of 30/9/2020

 

Total Cash & Bank Balance @ 30/9/2020 - £581,343.96

 

8c. Approve list of payments previously circulated

8d. Budgetary Control Report – Available up to 30/9/2020

The Council has collected £391,587 or 92% of the £424,842 annual income budget.

The Council has spent £171,745 or 42% of the £401,926 annual expenditure budget.

At present Maurice and myself are working on updating the projected figures for this year and the new figures for next year’s budget/precept.  We are holding a Chair meeting on 21st October to discuss the Committees requests.  Maurice has been working on the Manpower budget for next year.

 

Appendix E- See attached

 

Appenidx F-See attached

 

Appendix G

 

Town Clerk Report- Full Town Council meeting 19 October 2020.

 

  1. The personnel matters I have been dealing with will be covered by Cllr Read under Part B

 

  1. I attended a CALC Clerk’s forum on 15 October. Chief Insp Rob Huddleston was in attendance and gave an update. There was also an update on a community response to Covid, services and funding available from CBC and the Safer Communities Fund. Phil and I are arranging a meeting with Mark Cory on this. I will circulate the minutes of the forum.

 

  1. Following the first FY&E WG meeting on 12 October I am making enquiries about forming a youth council.

 

  1. At Open Spaces on 14 October we agreed to go ahead with the installation of the table tennis table on the KGV. I am arranging this with Steve Collis.

 

  1. Phil, Bob and I met with Graham Stehle, Colchester Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator on 16 October. The first step will be to find a volunteer co-ordinator for Wivenhoe. I will draft a Facebook update and circulate this to you all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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