MINUTES of the Full Town Council meeting held on Zoom on Monday 20 July 2020 at 7.00pm Chair Approved
Present: Cllr Tile (Chair), Cllr Booth, Cllr Nash, Cllr Read, Cllr Aldis, Cllr Maltby, Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Evans, Cllr Needham, Cllr Wenaden, Maurice Howard (RFO) Jo Beighton-Emms (Town Clerk), Emma Buckley and two members of the public.
Public Questions; None
FC/07.20/01 Apologies for absence: Cllr Boughton, Cllr Newton, CBC Cllr Cory, CBC Cllr Liddy, ECC Cllr Young and Peter Kay.
FC/07.20/02 Minutes of the previous meeting:
The minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2020 were proposed by Cllr Needham, seconded by Cllr Wenaden and approved as an accurate record of proceedings.
FC/07.20/03 Declarations of interest; None.
FC/07.20/04 Report 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.
The councillors considered that the reason given for the potholes on The Avenue not being repaired was insufficient. It was agreed that the council would pursue this with Cllr Young so that a solution could be found.
b. The council considered a previously circulated report from CBC Cllr Cory which is attached at Appendix B.
The council considered a previously circulated report from CBC Cllr Liddy which is attached as Appendix C. It was agreed that Cllr Liddy, Cllr Cory and Cllr Young would be approached through official channels for a position paper. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan suggested that she would work on the wording of a letter with Cllr Aldis.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan provided a verbal report.
She reported that she had been making enquiries regarding school buses which was proving difficult with Horizon as this was a private company and if they are to operate it must be commercially viable. Students will be asked to wear masks and sanitise hands before getting on the buses. Cllr Young will be asked for further clarification. It was agreed that Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Nash and Cllr Wenaden would formulate a letter to ECC.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported that there had been a CBC vote on a motion for further funding for NEGC which was voted against. Cllr Luxford- Vaughan has now resigned from her position on the cabinet.
She updated on the attempt to bring about a charge for garden waste collections which had been unsuccessful. A task and finish group had been formed to take this forward. CBC may introduce wheelie bins in Wivenhoe. It was agreed that WTC would seek the views of the residents. The Town Clerk to create a Facebook survey with the wording to be provided by Cllr Luxford-Vaughan.
Regarding the Local Plan, Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported that she had worked on this with Cllr Aldis, Cllr Cory and Cllr Liddy.
Cllr Young had declined to attend a modification meeting. Matters were passed at this meeting. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan suggested that Wivenhoe still push for as much as they can get. Cllr Aldis said that he would make enquiries with a planning consultant and let WTC know if there was any cost.
c. The council considered a previously circulated report from Peter Kay which is attached as Appendix D. Cllr Tile suggested that the council should consult on the NEPP report.
FC/07.20/05 Appointment of the Mayor for 2020/21
a. Cllr Tile reported that he had continued as Mayor throughout the Covid-19 crisis and would be happy to continue if this was the wish of the council.
b. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan said that Cllr Booth had made it known that he wished to take on the role of Mayor for 2020/21. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan proposed that Cllr Booth is appointed as Mayor for 2020/21. This was seconded by Cllr Needham and voted for by a majority. Proposal carried.
FC/07.20/06 Appointment of the Deputy Mayor for 2020/21
a. The Town Clerk explained the advice received from EALC as requested, regarding the position of Deputy Mayor for 2020/21 as two councillors had expressed an interest. The advice received was as detailed on the agenda, which was that as a first step the council should vote on whether they wish to stand by the motion carried in January 2020 that Cllr Luxford-Vaughan was appointed Deputy Mayor for 2020/21.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan explained her position and that she wished still to be Deputy Mayor for 2020/21.
Cllr Aldis firstly thanked Cllr Tile for his time as Mayor. Cllr Aldis proposed that the council stand by the decision made on 13 January 2020 that Cllr Luxford-Vaughan was formally nominated as Deputy Mayor for 2020/21. This was seconded by Cllr Needham and voted for by a majority. Proposal carried.
Cllr Booth took over as Chair of the meeting and thanked Cllr Tile for his time as mayor.
Cllr Nash left the meeting.
a. Personnel. The Chair provided an update on the meeting held on 24 June 2020 and asked the Town Clerk to circulate the draft minutes. A number of proposals had been carried by the Personnel Committee and also by the Finance Committee. These were-
• A salary increase as per her contract of employment for the trainee RFO
• The RFO to continue to work for 3 days a week until 31 December 2020, subject to review.
• That the staff received the NALC recommended pay award of 2.74% and 1 extra days annual leave. Cllr Read proposed that this extra day was fixed as one day in between Christmas and the new year, which had been previously awarded to staff by the council as an extra day. He asked if there were any objections.
The RFO confirmed that the union was yet to vote on the pay award.
Cllr Luxford- Vaughan wished to express her thanks to all staff for their hard work during the Covid-19 crisis. All councillors agreed.
b. Environment-The Chair reported that the planned meeting on 16 July 2020 had not been held as it was not quorate. He had however held an informal meeting and was working with Cllr Cory on a number of matters, including a planting scheme to stop parking on the verge near to Millfields School. It was agreed as a good idea and the Chair reminded Cllr Evans to bring all matters through the council.
The Town Clerk suggested that the numbers for a meeting to be quorate could be reduced in the Standing Orders at the Annual Council Meeting.
c. Properties- The Chair provided an update on the meeting held on 8 July 2020.He updated on a number of matters including the moving of the Bike Stations, potential works to the Pavillion and an update on the reopening of the public toilets.
The Town Clerk reported on the reopening of the WLH.
Cllr Needham also reported that there had been an offer to purchase a small area of land at the back of the WLH which was voted against.
Also, an offer to purchase the Fisherman’s Store and land which had also been voted against.
The council considered the options for the rental income and tenants. The Town Clerk reported that we would need to get permission from Taylor Wimpey. It was agreed that new tenants would not be found without finding an alternative location for the Bike Kitchen, which has a contract reviewed annually. The Properties Committee will take this forward.
Planning; Cllr Aldis said that there had not been a meeting for a while but that he would like one arranged for 4 August.
He reported that he had made enquiries regarding the Local Plan modifications with regards to school places, road crossing points and modal shift trigger points. He was disappointed with the outcome and Cllr Young.
Cllr Needham asked who had purchased the land at the Co-Op. The name was unknown. It was agreed that the Town Clerk would make a Land Registry check and make WTC’s interest in holding a market there known to the new owner. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan said they were unlikely to get planning permission on highways and public access grounds.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan asked the Chair if she could provide an update on the Skate Park WG as she needed to leave the meeting early
She updated on the work being done by the Town Clerk and on public engagement with a questionnaire. The funds for the Zip Wire were considered. It was agreed that most of these monies were from S106 funding. The Town Clerk reported that the Open Spaces Committee would be considering the zip wire again at the meeting arranged for 5 August.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan left the meeting.
d. Finance & Administration- The RFO provided an update on the meeting held on 9 July. The draft minutes were considered by the council.
FC/07.20/08 Approval of External Audit Submission for 2019 / 20 following the recommendations of the Finance & Administration Committee Meeting held on the 9th July 2020
a. Approve the attached Financial Regulations. The RFO explained that there was a requirement for more member participation, such as for checking bank reconciliations. The Financial Regulations were proposed by Cllr Tile, seconded by Cllr Evans and approved by all.
b. Internal Audit
i. Review progress of 2018/19 recommendations
ii. Review progress on 2019/20 Internal Audit
The RFO reported that all recommendations were being addressed and asked if there were any questions.
iii. Approve appointment of Internal Auditor
Cllr Read proposed that the council approve the current internal auditor for appointment for 2020/21. This was seconded by Cllr Aldis and approved by all.
c. Audit Requirements
i. Approval of attached Asset Register
The approval of the Asset Register was proposed by Cllr Tile, seconded by Cllr Aldis and approved by all. It was noted by the RFO that some issues had been highlighted at the Finance Committee meeting and that these would be addressed.
ii. Approval of attached Risk Assessment
The Risk Assessment was approved by all.
iii. Approval of Insurance proposals
The RFO noted that there will be a visit from an insurance assessor. The insurance proposals were approved by all.
iv. Approval of the attached 2019/20 Annual Governance Statement
Approval of the 2019/20 Annual Governance Statement was proposed by Cllr Aldis, seconded by Cllr Read and approved by all.
d. Audit Requirements – 2019/20 Accounting Statement
i. Approval of Bank Reconciliation as at 31st March 2020
ii. Approve year on year comparisons and explanations.
iii. Approve explanation of differences between comparisons
iv. Approve Accounting Statement 2019/20
The above matters were considered by the council. The Accounting Statement 2019/20 was proposed by Cllr Read, seconded by Cllr Tile and approved by all.
The RFO updated further on the staff pay rise of 2.74%, subject to the union’s vote of approval. Cllr Read confirmed that this was agreed.
FC/07.20/09 RFO Update
a. Approval of Bank Reconciliation 30th June 2020.
b. Approve list of payments previously circulated and attached as Appendix E.
The list of payments was considered and proposed by Cllr Tile, seconded by Cllr Wenaden and approved by all.
c. Budgetary Control Report as at 30th June 2020.
d. Report Changes in Banking Arrangements
The RFO provided an update on banking arrangements with cards issued to the trainee RFO and the Town Clerk. He also updated on his planned investigation into moving council funds to NS&I for a better interest rate and security. He confirmed that he would report back once he had full details available to him
e. Notify members of their required participation with Finance – he confirmed the need for more member participation.
FC/07.20/10 Covid-19 Risk Assessment; The previously circulated Covid-19 Risk Assessment was proposed for approval by Cllr Tile, seconded by Cllr Aldis and approved by all.
FC/07.20/11 Skatepark WG- See above
FC/07.20/12 Date and time of the next meeting: It was agreed that the next Full Town Council meeting will be held Monday 17 August 2020 at 7.30pm.
The Chair thanked Cllr Tile for his time as Mayor
The Chair closed the meeting at 21.07.
FC/07.20/13 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.
Report from County Councillor Julie Young
On the 29th June I met with Kevin Bentleys Deputy to press for action on resurfacing the Avenue, they are saying that it can’t be done at the moment as asking for residents to move cars to be moved will be inappropriate at this moment due to CoVid. I will continue to press for action to be taken to repair the potholes, I have photographed them all and sent them to ECC.
Cllr Boughton and the Town Clerk contacted me regarding the fencing at Grasby close and I have requested an ECC inspection to check sight lines. The occupant is entitled to enclose this land following purchase and doesn’t need planning permission depending on height, however I have asked for an assessment regarding visibility.
The scheme of work being undertaken at Broom Grove and associated roads has been impressive and residents have received the work done positively. There has been one issue relating to inappropriate conduct relating to one of the workmen and a local resident, I am grateful to the swift action taken on this matter which was appreciated by the complainant. You may recall that this work was earmarked for action as part of my 10 most urgent footway repairs, I devoted 2 to this area but the work done has been pretty extensive.
Tomorrow we have Full Council at ECC which will be conducted by zoom, I have submitted questions on the reopening of ALL libraries (Wivenhoe reopens on the 14/07/20) and also on equality following the 10 year review of Professor Marmot which signifies Austerity to be a killer. With CoVid we see a direct link between poverty and densely populated Cities and death rates. I have asked for an ECC commitment to steering policies which tackle life expectancy.
My apologies for tonight’s meeting I have been extremely busy over the past few weeks and months. Here are some headlines on what I am currently working on along with other things you councillors may be aware of:
1. Local Plan – Has passed the next stage, via the local plan committee which I spoke and Cllr Luxford-Vaughan spoke as well as Cllr Evans (WTC) As some will know I put forward minor modifications which were accepted by the committee to be added to a response to the Inspector. Otherwise the Plan has been voted through to consultation. We will talk more about this I am sure.
2. CBC Covid Update – for efficiency I have attached the Councillor Update and if needed I can give a more detailed update on our business support and community support of the town council if they need it. – attached update
3. Locality Budgets – the majority of our locality budgets remain unspent and ideas for projects are welcome.
4. Working with the Police – I continue to work closely with Sergeant Mark Jones of the Colchester Community Policing Team, I have updated him of incidents around Wivenhoe and included the town clerk to also ensure it keeps them updated of issues particularly around young people gathering and drinking (at the KGV and Whitehouse Beach for example). When required the Police presence has been good (so please report to me).
5. Tree issues – I want to check that money remains ringfenced in the town council account deposited 2 years ago. Thank you Cllr Needham for passing on the details of the Shrubland at Broomgrove where a large tree is an issue to residents on Vanessa Drive.
6. Refurbished bin – Thank you to the CBC Neighbourhood Team who recently removed and repaired a bin in the High Street by the old newsagents as asked for by the new owner (it’s now in a more sensible place and the Town Clerk was involves/kept informed).
Once again, I apologise for this evening. If there are any questions raised, please do send them over and I will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.
A Report to Wivenhoe Town Council for Monday 20th July 2020.
There are a number of issues members might wish to note:
Planning. Currently there are no major applications in Wivenhoe. The only application heard since last meeting related to conversion works at Wakes Colne Mill.
The Local Plan. Members will know that following further examination hearings in January 2020, the Planning Inspector wrote to the North Essex Authorities (NEAs) on the shared Section 1 of the Braintree, Colchester and Tendring Local Plans.
He concluded that two of the three proposed Garden Communities (the Colchester Braintree Borders Garden Community and West of Braintree Garden Community) are neither viable nor deliverable and therefore the Section 1 Local Plan, in its current form, is not sound.
He decided that the Tendring Colchester Borders Garden Community is viable and deliverable, and the housing and revised employment targets in the Local Plan are also sound, including the requirement of 920 homes a year in Colchester.
He also gave the NEAs two options for how to proceed: 1) to consult on the main modifications to remove the Colchester Braintree Borders and West of Braintree Garden Communities from the Local Plan, with other necessary ‘modifications’ to make the Plan sound; or 2) withdraw the plan altogether.
CBC has asked the Inspector to recommend modifications to the Local Plan that would make it sound.
If CBC continues with the draft Local Plan, residents must be consulted on those main modifications, otherwise the Plan is withdrawn from examination and CBC will be required to start the entire process again.
Since the current Adopted Local Plan expires in 2021, the absence of a new Local Plan to replace the current one carries considerable risks of speculative development by housebuilders, without any local control whatsoever.
Since the Inspector has ruled on the draft Local Plan, it had been proposed to wind up the North East Garden Communities Co. Ltd. (NEGC) by 31st August 2020, as the relationship between the four NEAs will cease due to only one Garden Community being taken forward. NEGC was also instrumental in securing £99 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund for an A133 – A 120 link road and rapid transport system.
The process for winding up any business is broadly the same as when a person dies. The assets are gathered in, any debts paid and the balance distributed to those entitled. Simple enough!
However, at a meeting of the full Council on Wednesday 15th July the Conservative Group on CBC, with other councillors, blocked the release of the final payment of £350,000 to the NEGC.
CBC is currently working hard with the other NEAs to reduce any future liabilities of NEGC that might arise and to repair a previously harmonious working relationship.
Members will be aware that competing narratives surround these events, so I will leave it to you to decide where the balance of probability lies.
Ward Cllr. Cyril Liddy.
Monday 20th July 2020.
Peter Kay Report
Services are still being gradually moved back towards former levels on most routes. However the increase in passenger numbers continues to be very slow and as a consequence the number of people per bus (arr/dep town centre) is still only 2-3 mean average.
In recent days, following the 2m-1m national change, First have altered the permitted seats arrangements to allow two people per row of four instead of one, so the capacity even on single deckers is now well above the number of likely passengers on any bus in the short term.
The mass bollardisation of central Colchester by ECC Highways was done without any consultation with bus operators (even though it was originally intended to close some stops). They did not even consult ECC Passenger Transport, or even tell them anything was intended until the day before the work. Their 'consulting' was restricted to the cycling groups who would obviously be in favour, and various persons who could be trusted not to study anything in detail. Far from objecting to the arrogant way in which it was all done, CBC announced themselves to be supporters of it. Much of it has of course been abandoned already.
Despite reverting to a full Mon-Fri timetable, GA has continued to push the 'We Do Not Want you to Travel' message. [There is now a major conflict in the rail industry between the 'we like being paid our full salary for achieving next to nothing' majority and the largely-silenced minority who can see where all this is heading. In most European countries usage is returning to normal much faster].
Use of the train into Colchester Town is fortunately increasing now with 30-40 seen on some trains. Obviously this service will be particularly likely to be treated negatively in any cutbacks so it is important that usage does increase further.
The active members of the Tendring rail group have been pondering whether an application could be made to the much-publicised DfT Rail Reopening Ideas Fund re anything in this area. This however is made difficult by the complete self-contradiction shown by DfT on what type of schemes are permissible!
The current Parking Consultation doct (which is actually a report written last Sept and considered by the Scrutiny Panel in Jan) contains a complete falsehood on a point of major importance, viz their claiming that the current policy (since 2010) has been to not allow long stay commuter parking in the central area, when in reality they have for years been offering £3.50 all-day parking in the most central car park (St Johns), which is also extraordinarily cheap by national standards for a large town, so deliberately encouraging car commuting into the central area even further, on top of the problem from the huge number of free employer parking spaces. This falsehood is reiterated in a section on the P&R which they claim to be supporting by their parking policies! (This was written after ECC had made it clear to them how they were preventing any significant peak usage).
It is claimed that the new policy for the 2020s will be the same, however as their actual behaviour in the 2010s has been in complete conflict with their 'policy', there is no reason to believe that the same will not apply in the 2020s!
There is also the separate report from NEPP on pavement parking in which they propose to permit pavement parking 'everywhere except.....', greatly increasing its prevalence. This is purported to be in response to the HoC report / government thinking, but is actually in total conflict with their aims, which are to stop pavement parking. The NEPP report (predictably) wholly ignores the point that it is a criminal offence to drive a vehicle onto a pavement, whereas the HoC Cttee report recommended a big campaign to emphasise that! (It is difficult to see how local authorities can legally have policies involving telling people to break the law).
Have any Cllrs done anything re this NEPP report? (NEPP is of course a totally unfit body to decide on pedestrian / vehicle conflict issues).
Appendix E- See attached
Date of Invoice Cheque No. Supplier VAT No Addressee Invoice No. Details of supply NET VAT TOTAL
PAYROLL PAYMENT SUMMARY PAID VIA BACS
STAFF NET PAY STD HRS IN JUNE + O/T MAY 10,570.88 10,570.88
HMRC DEDUCTIONS DEDUCTIONS FOR JUNE 2020 2,473.05 2,473.05
ESSEX PENSIONS DEDUCTIONS DEDUCTIONS FOR JUNE 2020 2,894.50 2,894.50
£15,938.43 £- £15,938.43
PAYMENT BY DIRECT DEBIT - JUNE
01/06/2020 direct debit SYS3 75 9921 972 WTC SYS34401 WLH & Office Chg/Phone/Wifi 282.65 56.53 339.18
23/05/2020 direct debit Anglian Water 27 7633 960 WTC 7263332 Office Water -17/6/19-16/12/19 60.50 - 60.50
08/05/2020 direct debit O2 778 6037 85 WTC 61566399 Mobile Line Rental 93.59 18.72 112.31
22/06/2020 direct debit Fuelcard 747880191 WTC 16400593 Diesel & Petrol 96.45 19.28 115.73
25/06/2020 direct debit Colchester Borough Council WTC Rates Non Domestic Rates 1,653.00 - 1,653.00
29/05/2020 direct debit British Gas 684 9667 62 WTC 962,580,782 Public Toilets Elec 29/2-28/5/20 42.67 2.13 44.80
2,228.86 96.66 2,325.52
PAYMENT BY BACS / CARD MAY
01/06/2020 BANK CREDIT Cyclehoop 989 853 1338 WTC SRF000484 Credit for Replacement Tools - Bike Station -20.00 -4.00 -24.00
29/06/2020 CARD Zoom WTC 22732320 Online Meeting Account 14.39 - 14.39
15/06/2020 TO BE PAID Deans 103 5746 91 WTC 16528 & 16539 Sensory Garden 138.80 27.76 166.56
133.19 23.76 156.95
PAYMENT BY BANK TRANSFER TO BE MADE
30/06/2020 Sibbons 102 5871 94 WTC June Statement Supplies 538.83 105.45 644.28
11/05/2020 Trade UK 232 5555 75 WTC June Statement Supplies/WLH Kitchen 1,584.79 314.28 1,899.07
03/07/2020 Rialtus 920 9508 27 WTC SM22002 Allotments Annual Support & Software 172.00 34.40 206.40
08/06/2020 Ernest Doe & Sons Ltd 102 3549 12 WTC C42464 Yard 35.00 7.00 42.00
14/07/2020 Landscape Services 759 8853 53 WTC 2109 Cemetery Tree Remove 750.00 150.00 900.00
30/06/2020 P Tuckwell 282 7238 42 WTC June Statement Yard & Mower Tyre/Repair 402.22 80.44 482.66
07/07/2020 SYS3 759 9219 72 WTC SYS34552 June 20 Labour Charges 212.50 42.50 255.00
06/07/2020 Colchester Borough Council 449 0718 33 WTC 20175469 WLH Licence Fee 7/20-30/6/21 70.00 - 70.00
17/06/2020 EALC 316 4227 24 WTC 12813 JBE - Risk Assessment Training 23/6/20 40.00 8.00 48.00
08/07/2020 David Dukelow WTC 1023 WLH Plastering 760.00 - 760.00
13/07/2020 PJI Autos WTC 21907 Minibus MOT & Service 260.00 42.00 302.00
30/06/2020 Viking 536 1533 57 WTC June Statement Office/Covid supplies 764.49 105.33 869.82
5,589.83 889.40 6,479.23
PAYMENT BY CHEQUE MADE
01/06/2020 27 GK Waller WTC Windows Cleaned Office & WLH Window Cleaning 95.00 - 95.00
95.00 - 95.00
TOTAL PAYMENTS FOR APPROVAL 23,985.31 1,009.82 24,995.13