Minutes of the Meeting of the Community Council held on Wednesday 27th June 2019, 7.30pm, at Mile End Methodist Church Hall, Nayland Road, Colchester.
Cllr John Stewart (Chairman) Yes
Cllr Pete Hewitt (Vice-Chairman) No
Cllr Pauline Bacon Yes
Cllr Clare Bailey Yes
Cllr Gary Braddy Yes
Cllr Catherine Clouston No
Cllr David Clouston Yes
Cllr Phil Coleman Yes
Cllr Marina de Smith Yes
Cllr John Dickson Yes
Cllr Martin Goss Yes
Cllr Alan Hayman No
Cllr Alison Jay Yes
Cllr Robert Johnstone Yes
Cllr David McCulloch Yes
There were three members of the public present.
Councillor Stewart said that Stewart Calver was not returning to the Council. He said he would like to thank Mr Calver for his hard work as a Councillor and on the Planning & Highways Committee which had been very much appreciated.
25-19/20 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Catherine Clouston and Cllr Pete Hewitt.
26-19/20 Declarations of Interest
There were no Declarations of Interest.
27-19/20 Minutes of the Community Council Meeting held on Wednesday 15th May 2019
The minutes of the Annual Community Council Meeting held on Wednesday 15th May were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
Proposed: Cllr Goss Seconded: Cllr Johnstone (Unanimous)
28-19/20 Minutes of the Annual Community Meeting held on Wednesday 29th May 2019
The minutes of the Annual Community Meeting held on Wednesday 29th May 2019 were received.
29-19/20 Have Your Say – Public Participation
A resident said she had been on the ballot paper in May and was still very interested in joining the Council. She said she had come along to see what happened at a meeting and wanted to give something back to the community.
A resident said he had come along to observe and was keen to be involved, and would also like to find some way to give something back if he could.
A resident said she had lived in Colchester for fifteen years and had been involved with community activities. She said she felt joining the Council would be a good way to give something back to the community.
The Chairman thanked all the residents for their interest and said co-option to the Council would take place at the July meeting.
30-19/20 Minutes of Committee Meetings
To formally acknowledge receipt of the minutes of the following committee meetings:
a) Planning and Highways Committee – meeting held on 5th June 2019
b) Resources, Policy and Strategy Committee – meeting held on 22nd May 2019
c) Community Engagement Committee – meetings held on 20th May 2019 and 17th June 2019.
Receipt of the minutes of the committee meetings listed above was formally acknowledged.
31-19/20 To receive the Clerk’s Report
The Clerk said unfortunately the photocopier was unreliable at the moment, with scanning completely unavailable and printing erratic. She said this was being followed up.
She said the internal auditor had visited the office on 13th May 2019, and had run through her proposed report. She said the bank reconciliation and accounts had subsequently been emailed to the auditor. She said that for an unknown reason she had since been unable to contact the auditor, and had not received the report, which meant that the Annual Governance and Accounting Statements would have to be agreed prior to receiving an internal audit report, due to legal requirements for the exercise of public rights to view the accounts. She said she would continue to chase this, and seek advice from EALC and if necessary the external auditors.
She said a calendar system had been set up on Outlook so that Councillors could check the availability of the Clerk before visiting the office.
32-19/20 To receive the Ward and County Councillors’ Reports
Ward Councillor Goss referred to the meeting about secondary schools which had been held on Wednesday 29th May 2019. He said it had been well-attended and that the minutes had been published as widely as possible. He said the secondary school planned for the Chesterwell development would open in 2021, and the primary was planned for 2023/4. He said there were 50 outstanding appeals for 2019 entry to the Gilberd, and that other pupils were transferring from the Colchester Academy to Philip Morant, which had capacity. He said ward councillors now had good links with the headteachers of both the Gilberd and St Helena Schools.
33-19/20 To review the effectiveness of the system of internal audit of the Parish Council
The effectiveness of the system of internal audit of the Parish Council was reviewed.
The Clerk referred to the ongoing problem with the internal audit for 2018/19. It was agreed that the system of internal audit would be revisited once an internal auditor’s report was received.
34-19/20 To agree to approve the Annual Governance Statement section of the Annual Return for year ended 31 March 2019
An amendment to the motion was proposed as follows:
To agree to approve the Annual Governance Statement section of the Annual Return for year ended 31 March 2019 noting the absence of the Internal Auditor’s report.
The amendment was agreed unanimously.
It was agreed to approve the Annual Governance Statement section of the Annual Return for year ended 31 March 2019 noting the absence of the Internal Auditor’s report.
Proposed: Cllr D Clouston Seconded: Cllr Bacon (Unanimous)
35-19/20 To agree to approve the Accounting Statement section of the Annual Return for year ending 31 March 2019
Cllr Jay, Chairman of the Resources, Policy and Strategy Committee, referred to the absence of the internal auditor’s report. She said she would like to confirm that all figures had been seen by the R P & S Committee and that she had looked personally and all figures were correct.
It was agreed to approve the Accounting Statement section of the Annual Return for year ending 31 March 2019.
Proposed: Cllr Jay Seconded: Cllr Goss (12 For; 1 Abstention)
36-19/20 Reports from Members
To receive the following reports:
a) Report from Chairman
The Chairman said that he would like to make the following points as this was the first full Council meeting after the Annual Meeting of the Council:
• Only the official email system should be used for Council business, for audit and GDPR purposes. Any correspondence going outside the Council should be cleared with the Clerk.
• While training is encouraged, training requests must be made to the Clerk and not directly to outside facilitators. Requests should be made on the Council Training form available on OneDrive and will be signed off by the Chairman.
• The Personnel Committee would like to remind Councillors to check whether the Clerk is available before dropping in unannounced because of the impact on her work.
• All Councillors should be familiar with Council policies and procedures, particularly the Code of Conduct and the Nolan Principles.
• The role of the Clerk is not merely an administrative one, it is defined in law, particularly if they are also the Responsible Financial Officer. They have some delegated authority and autonomy, unlike Councillors, and advise on legal and procedural matters. Once advice has been given on any matter, it must be accepted even if you still disagree. It is both unprofessional and disrespectful to discuss the matter outside the Council.
He also gave the following report:
“Firstly, you may or not be aware that former Councillor Stewart Calver is not returning to this Council. On behalf of MCC I would wish to record our appreciation for his service, particularly on the Planning & Highways Committee and wish him well for the future.
I started off the month by attending the Annual Mayor Making Ceremony at the Town Hall representing this Council. I also attended the Annual Parish Meeting which was well attended. Earlier that day I attended, along with Pete Hewitt and Robert Johnstone, a meeting of the Planning Liaison Group at Rowan House. Matters discussed included the Northern Gateway Project and in particular the recent hybrid planning application for the southern section. CBC were asked to bring forward the Heads of Term agreement in respect of the Village Green and have it dealt with separately rather than being delayed by the building discussions. The mixed-use site on Kingswood Heath (Severalls) is progressing quickly and the Coop is still the preferred user. We have asked that MCC receive an urgent update on this matter.
I also attended a meeting (along with Pete Hewitt) with County Councillor Anne Turrell to discuss the current position with regard to LHP (Local Highways Panel). To be honest there is little to update members on apart from the fact they have very little money to spend.
We also attended a meeting with Alan Lindsay of Essex County Highways to discuss issues surrounding the cumulative effect development has across North Colchester and ECC Highways strategic approach to Myland having a sustainable transport network including an update on modal shift.
On the 27th June I will have my regular meeting with the Severalls Consortium to discuss matters affecting the Kingswood Development.”
b) Reports from Working Groups
Myland Access Group
Cllr Johnstone said MAG had met on 21st June 2019 and had arranged footpath clearing and litterpicks for June, July and August. He said there would be a litterpick on Saturday 29th June 2019 at the North Station roundabout. He said he would be speaking at Cllr Coleman’s Public Initiatives Panel at CBC at the end of July regarding shared use footway/cycleways.
c) Reports from Councillors
Cllr Bacon said she had been distressed to hear of the homophobic attack in town especially with Pride being imminent. She said she had a meeting planned with the Clerk on Friday 28th June 2019, and Community Meetings were planned for the next few months.
Cllr Braddy said he had attended Planning & Highways Committee meeting which had been useful and interesting. He said he had contacted ECC over the path between the Coop and Raven Way but that he had been told it was low on their list of priorities.
Cllr Hayman said he had suggested a competition for the noticeboards which was being considered by the Community Engagement Committee.
Cllr Coleman said as ward councillor he would be holding a meeting of the Public Initiatives Panel which was to encourage community engagement at the Town Hall at 6pm on 25th September 2019.
Cllr Jay said the MakeLunch initiative was slowly building. She said the Essex Community Foundation and Mersea Homes were looking at funding an oven. She said the Essex Free School Uniform organisation was building in the area and she hoped MCC could help facilitate.
Cllr de Smith said she and other councillors had attended Braiswick and Queen Boudica Schools’ fetes on behalf of the Council. She said stalls were being booked for the fete. She said the location for the “Lest We Forget” bench would be brought to the Council for agreement following a public consultation and that costings for installation would be sought.
Cllr Dickson referred to a planning application submitted by Mersea Homes to CBC for access through Bartholomew Close to the Chesterwell development.
The Chairman said this application would be considered by the Planning & Highways Committee.
Cllr Dickson referred to a consultation by the Cycling Ombudsman.
Cllr Bailey said she had attended Mental Health First Aid Training as a volunteer and she would recommend it.
Cllr Hewitt had submitted the following report:
“Accompanied Cllr John Stewart at meeting with County Cllr Anne Turrell on Myland Traffic Calming.
Attended regular Chesterwell liaison meeting with Mersea Homes, Countryside Properties, CBC with Ward Cllr David King. Mersea Homes keen to start groundwork on schools site, fresh interest being shown on retail elements of the neighbourhood centre. No decision yet on application to allow more homes to have access onto Mile End Road.
Attended meeting with Cllr David King with parties involved in Myland Mapping. Myland is to be the exemplar Parish in a CBC sponsored project to use mapping technology to enable users to find routes to destinations.
Attended meeting with Cllrs John Stewart and Robert Johnstone and CBC/Amphora for regular liaison updates and specifically updates on the Northern Gateway application. It was agreed the Mill Road ‘village green’ terms will be arranged with MCC as a priority. It emerged that the mixed use site at Kingswood Heath (Severalls) has moved forward and MCC will be updated as a matter of urgency.
Met with members of the MCC’s Community Engagement Committee (CEC) to provide an overview of the range of things that are happening and or are due to happen across Myland. This was to assist with information available when CEC are meeting the public.
Met with Essex Highways with Cllr John Stewart to discuss issues surrounding cumulative effect of developments across Myland, their strategic approach to Myland having a sustainable transport network and an update on ‘modal shift’.
Finally, a big thank you to those who attended the annual Community Meeting and helping to make it a success, especially Joyce Stewart for her solo work on the teas and coffees.”
37-19/20 Finance and Payments
To confirm approval of invoices received and paid and to consider approval of other invoices.
Approval of invoices paid and approval of other invoices as listed below was unanimously agreed.
Various Staff costs – June £3,271.58
Mobile Petting Fair Deposit – Fete £100.00
Cllr de Smith Expenses – Friends of Myland lunch £100.15
Clear Business Utilities – telephone £21.48
EALC Training – P. Bacon £78.00
Cllr R. Johnstone Expenses – D & P lunch £26.77
Cllr R. Johnstone Expenses – Training £21.20
Herbert Duin Expenses – Assets £17.38
K. Kane Expenses – ICO Registration £40.00
TDT Enterprises Ltd Buildings – Alarm inspection £82.80
Whitebarn Microsoft Office licences £270.72
Cliff Pearne Mylander delivery £320.00
Opus Energy Utilities – electricity £23.06
Mile End Methodist Church Hall Hall hire £23.00
Zen Internet Broadband £31.86
Sharp/Copy IT Photocopier £51.07
Opus Energy Utilities £53.66
Cllr John Stewart Expenses – ACM £9.09
Clear Business Utilities – Telephone £21.48
Cllr P Hewitt Expenses – ACM £110.00
M. Fulcher Office – Gardening £210.00
M.Fulcher War Memorial £20.00
38-19/20 Date and Time of Next Meeting: Wednesday 31st July 2019, 7.30pm at the Mile End Methodist Church Hall, Nayland Road, Colchester CO4 5ET.
Cllr John Stewart, Chairman