MINUTES of the Full Town Council meeting held on Zoom on Monday 21 September 2020 at 7.30pm Chair Approved
Present: Cllr Booth (Chair), Cllr Tile, Cllr Nash, Cllr Read, Cllr Aldis, Cllr Maltby, Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Boughton, Cllr Needham, Cllr Wenaden, Maurice Howard (RFO) Jo Beighton-Emms (Town Clerk), Emma Buckley and three members of the public.
Public Questions; None
FC/09.20/01 Apologies for absence: Cllr Evans, Cllr Newton, CBC Cllr Cory, CBC Cllr Liddy, ECC Cllr Young and Peter Kay.
FC/09.20/02 Minutes of the previous meeting:
The minutes of the meeting held on 17 August 2020 were proposed by Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, seconded by Cllr Tile and approved as an accurate record of proceedings.
FC/09.20/03 Declarations of interest; None.
FC/09.20/04 Update from Sgt Tattersall; Operation Quaser. The Town Clerk informed the council that unfortunately Sgt Tattersall was not in attendance. Operation Quaser is a police initiative whereby a local council fund police overtime.
She explained that this initiative had been budgeted for in 2020/21 but had not gone ahead before lockdown in March. Cllr Aldis said that the council would need to consider how the funds (£2.5k) would be spent and that it must be spent wisely. Cllr Wenaden suggested that a small group of councillors should meet to discuss and agree on a plan. Cllr Aldis said that further information was required ahead of a vote, but it was a good initiative as there was little police presence in the town.
Cllr Needham suggested that the council vote to proceed on the understanding that further research was carried out.
Cllr Needham proposed that Wivenhoe Town Council approve the expenditure for Operation Quaser and carry out further research on how the funds should be spent. This was seconded by Cllr Aldis and carried by a majority. Cllr Wenaden abstained.
FC/09.20/05 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.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan said that she would like more detail from Cllr Young, than was provided in the report, on the Local Plan modifications submission. She agreed to provide to the Town Clerk an appropriate question to be put to Cllr Young. Cllr Read also suggested that Cllr Young should be informed about the graffiti done to the potholes.
b. The council considered a previously circulated report from CBC Cllr Liddy which is attached at Appendix B.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan declared a pecuniary interest as her business was mentioned in the report in respect of the Wivenhoe Art Trail. It was noted by Cllr Needham and Cllr Tile that the report should provide more information on Cllr Liddy’s actions.
Cllr Cory had not provided a report.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan provided a verbal report.
She reported that she had assisted Cllr Evans and others with the Millfield verge.
With regards to the proposed changes to the planning system, she would like to see CBC’s response; CBC also have issues with the changes. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported on the issues with the First Homes Schemes and the changes to the percentages required of social and first time buyer homes on developments. The needs are not reflected by the changes. CBC’s policy is to provide 80% affordable housing; the garden city will however have 70%. Apart from this issue, she considered that WTC’s views have been met by CBC.
She reported that Cllr Evans had drafted a response to the Environmental Impact Assessment. WTC should have been consultees and it was only through contact from Elmstead PC that WTC became aware of this. A formal complaint was considered by the councillors.
Also, that an article in the Standard had been published and was drafted from previous submissions about the Local plan without the consent of WTC. The journalist has since been spoken to.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan has drafted an article as a CBC councillor for the Gazette regarding the proposed link road.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan agreed to consider and respond to the CBC response which would be circulated to all if she had approval to do so. The drafting of a response was proposed by Cllr Needham, seconded by Cllr Tile with all in favour.
c. The council considered a previously circulated report from Peter Kay which is attached as Appendix C.
FC/09.20/06 Installation of a zip wire- A proposal by Cllr Nash
Cllr Nash explained the need for the zip wire, such as the need for all age groups to be considered when new equipment is installed on the KGV. This had been agreed some time ago but voted against in March 2020. As six months has passed, Cllr Nash would like the council to reconsider. The Town Clerk updated on the budget available and the position for installation on the KGV suggested by all three companies who had provided quotations.
Cllr Nash explained that issues had arisen over agreement on the position and the
colour. Cllr Aldis queried whether there would be lighting and the location in respect of
the playground. Cllr Nash explained that it could not be positioned near to the
playground. Cllr Read said that it should not be vetoed just based on the fact that it
may be vandalised. Cllr Wenaden suggested that the new working group- Funding,
Engagement and Youth -could consider this project. It was agreed that Cllr Nash would
provide further information ahead of a vote taking place.
a. Planning; Cllr Aldis updated on the meeting which had taken place on 1 September. He asked the Town Clerk to check that all agendas went onto the WTC website. The modifications to the Local plan had been covered by Cllr Luxford-Vaughan and a further update will follow at the next Planning Committee meeting.
b. Personnel; Cllr Read reported that a meeting was due to take place on 23 September and that some matters will be discussed under Part B of this meeting.
c. Environment; Cllr Aldis reported that Cllr Wenaden had made progress with the Health & Wellbeing sub-committee actions. Cllr Aldis will be working on a climate action plan. Cllr Maltby reported that the first of the ecargo bikes will be delivered on 23 September. Cllr Luxford-Vaughn informed the councillors of CBC grants which are available for environmental projects. It was agreed that any information will be circulated by the Town Clerk and added to the next Environment Committee meeting agenda.
d. Properties; Cllr Tile updated on the meeting held on 9 September. It had been agreed by the committee that a tree in the corner of the WLH car park would need to be removed. Cllr Booth reported that it was unlikely that WTC would proceed with a project to install electric car charging points as they were expensive and the need was not there. Cllr Aldis disagreed. It was suggested that this matter should be progressed by the Environment Committee.
e. Open Spaces; The next meeting will be held on 14 October. Cllr Wenaden said she had been asked by members of the public to use a marquee on the KGV in place of holding indoor meetings. It was agreed that this would be added to the agenda. Cllr Read suggested the use of the pergola in the Jubilee gardens which could be covered.
FC/09.20/08 Working Groups
a. Skatepark; Cllr Booth updated on the open event on 19 September which was successful. WTC have received lots of responses to the survey. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported that there had been a lot of interest in an improved basketball court. Cllr Nash suggested a MUGA. Cllr Booth suggested that she attend the next working group meeting.
b. Office & Yard; No update
c. Funding, Engagement & Youth: The first meeting will take place on 12 October.
d. Proposal to form a new working group to consider the actions arising from the WNP. Cllr Luxford-Vaughn explained that this request had come about in the last Planning Committee meeting. It made sense not to lose all of the knowledge held by the WNP Steering Group and she asked if Cllr Needham would join a new working group to take forward matters from the WNP. He agreed. Cllr Needham will liaise with the other members of the steering group. It was agreed that this would be added to the next Planning Committee agenda.
e. Mayoral activities; Cllr Booth reported that he had attended a flag raising event and also the start of the oyster season event at East Mersea.
FC/09.20/09 Town Clerk Report
A previously circulated report from the Town Clerk was considered and is attached as Appendix D. She confirmed that all hire charges and fees had been reviewed and increased for 2020/21. Cllr Aldis asked the Town Clerk to announce on Facebook that the Civic Service and the Remembrance Service were cancelled.
Regards ‘Test & Trace’, Cllr Nash queried GDPR legislation and how this affects WTC holding personal details. Cllr Aldis explained that in the current crisis situation this did not apply. Details are held for 21 days.
FC/09.20/10 RFO Update
a. The councillors considered the previously circulated RFO report which is attached as Appendix E.
b. The councillors considered the Bank Reconciliation.
c. The councillors considered the previously circulated list of payments which is attached as Appendix F.
Cllr Read queried a payment for the removal of asbestos from an allotment. The RFO explained that we would attempt to recover this amount from the former tenant. Cllr Read queried a payment for fire extinguishers. Emma agreed to confirm to him what the payment included.
The list of payments was proposed by Cllr Read, seconded by Cllr Tile and approved by all for payment.
d. The Budgetary Control Report was considered
The RFO reported that the pay increase for staff of 2.75% would be implemented in the September payment of salaries. Also, that donations were still being received for Wivenhoe Mutual Aid. The fund currently totals £2629.40.
The RFO had not heard from the external auditor as yet.
FC/09.20/11 Date and time of the next meeting: It was agreed that the next Full Town Council meeting will be held Monday 19 October 2020 at 7.30pm.
The three members of the public left the meeting.
FC/09.20/12 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.
FC/09.20/13. Update from the Town Clerk on co-option; The Town Clerk reported that 4 candidates
had expressed an interest in being co-opted to the council. It was agreed that for one month they would be asked to attend as many meetings as they could at which they could debate but not vote. The selection process would take place at the next Full Town Council meeting.
Cllr Wenaden questioned the process. Cllr Aldis explained that the process used by WTC had been long used and the trial period was a helpful addition. It was agreed that the unsuccessful candidates would be asked to stay on the council as lay members. It was agreed that the criteria and questions to be put to them would need to be clear so that the process was transparent. The Town Clerk will contact all of them.
The Town Clerk left the meeting
FC/09.20/14 & FC/09.20/15; A note of these matters are held by the council.
Report from ECC Cllr Julie Young
Please accept my apologies.
I am attempting to progress investment into sports facilities to collaborate with you on King George V. Jo will update members on our discussions.
I have reported around 40 potholes spanning from Anchor Hill to The Cross in accordance with the members pothole scheme. I have asked for urgent action to remove the offensive graffiti recently added.
On Tendring Colchester Borders, Mark and I met with members and officers of Colchester, Tendring and Essex to discuss next steps on the Garden Community work. I impressed on those involved the need for improved engagement and communications. This will be a priority as we move forward.
A Report to Wivenhoe Town Council for Monday 21st September 2020.
There are a number of issues members might wish to note:
Planning. Currently, there are no major applications for Wivenhoe.
Highways. A number of complaints have been drawn to my attention about the state and condition of our roads, including
the faded white lines on the pedestrian crossings at the Horse & Groom PH and Heath Rd,
overhanging trees on Rosabellle Ave obscuring visibility,
motorists speeding at the bend in Ernest Rd,
Footpaths. The same resident also drew my attention to the overgrown vegetation on the stretch of Spring Lane from The Avenue to Heath Rd.
Flooding. WTC kindly allowed me access to the plans it holds for the drains in the lower village. There was considerable flooding in Queens Rd following the heavy rain in August. The drain at the corner of Park Rd and Queens Rd, overflowed and cascaded down Queens Rd into the Town Drain. The rainwater even came up from under the tarmaced pavement at that junction and I have received reports of sewage in Queens Rd. Using WTC’s plans, I have asked Essex County Council to survey the drains to ascertain if there is a blockage.
Another flooding issue has been drawn to my attention by a resident of Blackhorse Cottages on the Alresford Rd.
Potholes. These are always with us! I have reported to Essex Highways the same pothole that has reappeared on the High St bridge.
I understand that new potholes have appeared in The Avenue, several of them with rude symbols.
Wivenhoe Art Trail was an enormous success. It displayed much of the artistic talent in our village. From ceramics, to textiles, to paintings, to sculpture, to bespoke lighting, to stained glass, to jewellery there was so much to see and something for everyone. Indeed, Andrea’s Dandy Lion Design is one our hidden gems.
Ward Cllr. Cyril Liddy.
Monday 21st September 2020.
Report from Peter Kay- transport Representative
(No report was sent out in August because of there being little of interest).
The pre-March 62/62b timetable was restored on Mons-Fris as from 2.9.20. This is grossly in excess of need until the University comes back (and in fact was excessive previously even with the Uni in full action, in Jan-March). The 61 service is now slightly better than pre-March, extra jnys having been provided at some times because the capacity of a single-decker (c.18) is likely to be insufficient at Uni peak times. MOST Colchester routes are now back to normal on Mons-Fris.
The return of schools has resulted in the reappearance of some 'full' buses, but this is not likely to affect Wivenhoe routes. It is seemingly a bigger problem in some other places, not surprisingly given the refusal of schools and ECC to behave collaboratively!
Colchester bus usage generally continues to increase very gradually, but recent Transport Focus surveys show that almost half the previous regular bus users in the UK have become bus-paranoid thanks to government anti-public-transport propaganda.
The University still has an 'avoid public transport' message on its website!
This afternoon I observed the Colne School buses at the Coop. There were about 55 on the two NHT buses as at Belle Vue Rd, and about 50 on the four 62s, one of which was seemingly an (unnecessary) extra. 17 got off at the Coop stop. I have no pre-2020 counts to compare this with but the figs seem low compared to casual observations in the past.
It is now fairly clear that the permanent reduction in commuter usage on the Liverpool St lines is likely to be much more drastic than elsewhere, presumably because a larger % of Essex commuters work in the City where jobs are more 'unreal' than in London at large. Central line stations from Holborn to Liv St are similarly almost dead at previously-crush peak times.
In consequence GA's scheme for providing many more seats in peak periods is now going to be irrelevant, and there will be many unwanted new units.
There will shortly be a govt announcement as to what is to replace the six-month emergency funding of TOCs. The whole franchise system is completely undermined.
In contrast usage of middle-of-the-day London trains has now increased to quite good levels (in the circumstances of some 'destinations' still being shut). The local service is also doing tolerably well, but of course usage of many trains was so low already that anything less is becoming dangerous if there were to be any negative changes.
Town Clerk Report- Full Town Council meeting 21 September 2020.
1. I have been dealing with a number of issues regarding staffing our facilities and the additional cleaning requirements. We have a Personnel Committee meeting on 23 September 2020 when these will be discussed.
2. We are now legally required to hold attendee details in respect of the William Loveless Hall and register with NHS Test & Trace. All users have been informed. The app does not yet work, however.
3. We are taking delivery of the first ecargo bike on 23 September. Councillors and staff will be insured to use it. It is a requirement of CBC that you have attended a ‘Bikeability’ training course to use the bikes. Training is free until the end of September and can be arranged through the office.
4. We have the first meeting of the Funding, Engagement & Youth WG on 12 October. If anyone else would like to join the group, please let me know.
5. Due to the current government restrictions, the Civic Service and Remembrance Service have been cancelled.
6. Mandy has been working hard to ensure that the revised allotment tenancy agreement and rent letters go out this month. The letter informs the plotholders that there will be a 5% increase in rent from October 2021. I have set out in the letter the reasons for this increase.
7. I would like to continue studying and will be seeking approval and support from the council to take the Certificate of Higher Education (Level 4) and then the Foundation Degree (Level 5) in Community Governance, awarded by De Montfort University. This will be discussed under Part B. I attach a leaflet with details.
RFO FINANCE AND BUDGET REPORT UPDATE 31st AUGUST 2020 FOR COUNCIL MEETING 21st SEPTEMBER 2020
A Personnel Committee Meeting is to be held on the 23/09/2020, but I understand that specific proposals are to be made tonight in Part B of the agenda which will enable some decisions on pay to be implemented as part of the September payroll.
1. Bank Reconciliations –
31/03/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £357,106
30/04/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £506,746
31/05/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £481,162
30/06/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £469,060
31/07/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £448,247
Subsequently a further reconciliation has been achieved
31/08/2020 Confirmed Bank Balances £424,544
2. Budgetary Control Reports are available up to 31/08/2020.
The RFO reported that as at the 31/08/2020:
The Council had collected £209,727 or 49% of the £430,691 annual income Budget.
The Council has spent £146,599 or 34% of the £430,173 annual expenditure Budget.
On the 10th September 2020 the Council received £173,200.50 the second instalment of the 20/21 precept.
There is at present little cause for concern overall but there are significant variances on a few budget heads. It has already been agreed that there should be a review of the 2020/21 budget as soon as the situation stabilizes with particular regard to Staffing and the William Loveless Hall.
I have prepared a first draft of the revised staffing budget and the WLH budget which will be considered by the Finance Committee on the 23/09/2020.
3. Payments – That the circulated Schedule of payments be approved.
(See attached draft schedule)
The national pay award has been agreed back dated to 1st April 2020. The new pay scales have been published and these have been implemented as part of the payments made on the 25th September 2020.
The pay award reflects a 2.75% pay increase for the staff not on the Minimum Living Wage.
The budget had provided for a 3% increase.
a) The mayor has allowed his charity bank account available for the use of Wivenhoe Mutual Aid during the current crisis. He donated £100 from his annual mayor’s allowance and as at 15/09/20 a total of £3,311.98 donations have been received from Colchester Borough Council, the Mayor, WTC staff and private individuals. £682.58 in Aid Payments have been made in the same period, leaving a balance of £2,629.40.
b) We have not heard anything to date from the external auditor regarding the 2020 AGAR.
RFO REPORT UPDATE 21st SEPTEMBER 2020
Appendix F (See attached)