Minutes Council Meeting – 24 June 2020

Minutes of the Meeting of the Community Council held online on Wednesday 24th June 2020, 7.30pm.

Present:

Cllr John Stewart (Chairman)                                         Yes

Cllr Pete Hewitt (Vice-Chairman)                                    Yes

Cllr Pauline Bacon                                                         Yes

Cllr Clare Bailey                                                             Yes

Cllr Gary Braddy                                                            Yes

Cllr Catherine Clouston                                                  Yes

Cllr David Clouston                                                        Yes

Cllr Phil Coleman                                                           No

Cllr Marina de Smith                                                     Yes

Cllr John Dickson                                                           Yes

Cllr Martin Goss                                                            No

Cllr Alan Hayman                                                          Yes

Cllr Jocelyn Law                                                             Yes

Cllr Alison Jay                                                                Yes

Cllr Robert Johnstone                                                    Yes

Cllr Tom Welham                                                          Yes

Cllr Clare Williams                                                         Yes

 

The Chairman welcomed Councillors to the first online meeting of the full Council. He said the meeting would be held under the guidelines on online meeting protocol issued 27 May 2020.

 

He offered his congratulations to the Clerk who had recently completed her CiLCA qualification.

 

 

1-20/21                        To receive apologies for absence

 

Apologies for absence had been received from Cllrs Coleman and Goss (meetings at Colchester Borough Council). The meeting accepted those apologies.

 

2-20/21            Declarations of Interest

 

There were no Declarations of Interest.

 

3-20/21            Minutes of the Community Council Meeting held on Wednesday 26th February 2020

 

The minutes of the Community Council meeting held on Wednesday 26th February 2020 were agreed as a true record to be signed by the Chairman at a later date.

 

 

4-20/21                        Have Your Say – Public Participation

 

There were no comments.

 

5-20/21                        Minutes of Committee Meetings

 

Receipt of the minutes of the following committee meetings was formally acknowledged:

 

  1. Planning and Highways Committee – meetings held on 4th March 2020 and 3rd June 2020.
  2. Resources, Policy and Strategy Committee – meetings held on 18th March 2020 and 17th June 2020.
  3. Community Engagement Committee – meeting held on 16th March 2020.

 

6-20/21                        To receive the Chairman’s report

 

The following report was received:

 

“First, I hope that all of you and your families are well and managing to cope in these circumstances. Well to say we are in strange times is perhaps an understatement. Little did we know that at our February meeting we would not be together again for some considerable time. We have managed to get the Council’s Annual Report published within the deadline and this is online as is the Mylander. I think it looks very professional and I would like to see this format adopted for all future editions.

 

You will be aware that, the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick MP issued regulations under the Coronavirus Act 2020. These amend legal requirements which Councils were required to follow. This resulted in the cancellation of both the Annual Community Meeting and the Annual Council Meeting in May. This change also meant that current office holders e.g. Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Council, Committee Chairs, Committee members and also Working Groups remain in post until May 2021. This is the first time such a situation has occurred. Although most of the changes made apply to all Councils, the requirement to have a minimum of three meetings in each Municipal year has not been discontinued for Parish Councils for some reason.

 

During the crisis the Clerk to the Council has operated under delegated responsibility overseen by myself and Councillor Alison Jay, Chair of RP&S. Although the office has been closed and no meetings scheduled, there has still been much work to do. I have been taking part in online meetings with both CBC colleagues on planning matters and others. I have also taking part in a regular Chairs Forum which is Essex wide. I want to express my thanks to our Clerk, Katherine for holding the fort during this time and to my colleague Alison Jay who has been supervising financial matters. All of which have enabled our Council to carry on in the circumstances. Our Street Officer Herbert Duin has also been active having passed a H&S assessment enabling him to carry on working. I am also aware that other Councillors have been active during this time and I have made them aware of my appreciation.

We are now moving to online meetings for the foreseeable future. We already had the meeting of the P&H Committee at the beginning of the month which was attended by non-Committee Councillors so they could observe the procedure. Feedback was positive. The first online meeting of the full Council will be on 24 June. The agenda contains the link both you and the public require to attend the meeting. The agenda has been streamlined based on guidance received. Details of which were contained in the meeting protocol sent out last month. Experience from other Councils has shown that there is a tendency for meetings to run longer online than normal due to both unfamiliarity with software and experience of these types of meeting. We are not proposing to have a Council meeting every month, but as and when business demands. Hopefully we can experience a return to more normal Council agendas in the future.”

 

 

7-20/21                        To receive the Clerk’s Report

 

The following report was received:

 

“The office was closed to the public from Monday 23rd March and remains closed at the present time.

 

Over the past three months legislation has been passed affecting the procedures and practice of local government, most importantly:

  • Allowing meetings to be held online (although requirements for these to be accessible to the public remain;
  • Disapplying the requirement to hold the Annual Meeting of the Council and an Annual Community Meeting;
  • Extending the deadline for agreement of the Annual Return and changing the period for display of the Notice of Exercise of Public Rights.

 

In the office, I carried on distribution of recycling stock as it became apparent that many residents were struggling to find it. This was achieved through arranging a collection time where the stock was left outside. In some cases, I delivered stock and also liaised with Cllr Goss to ensure supplies were maintained.

 

The end of year figures were delivered to the auditor at the end of April and the Annual Return is now ready for agreement at this meeting.

 

Meetings have now picked up – the first was Planning & Highways on 3rd June. The online meetings have seemed to work very well.

 

I have kept in contact with the Street Officer and the Editor of the Mylander over the past three months. Herbert reports that everything was very quiet to being with but now we are moving back to normal the litter is increasing and, in some places, worse than usual.

 

The Mylander was published online only in May and we will need to look at the August issue soon.

 

The final Unit for my CiLCA qualification was marked over the period and I am now qualified.

 

I have had regular contact with Cllrs Stewart, Jay and de Smith over the past three months and thank them for their support.”

 

8-20/21                        To agree that Myland Community Council, having met the criteria of having two-thirds elected Members and a qualified Clerk, adopts the General Power of Competence.

 

It was agreed that Myland Community Council, having met the criteria of having two-thirds elected Members and a qualified Clerk, adopts the General Power of Competence. There was one abstention Cllr Welham

 

9-20/21                        To review the effectiveness of the system of internal audit of the Community Council

 

The Clerk referred to the paper that had been circulated prior to the meeting which set out the Council’s internal audit system.

 

Cllr Jay said she had reviewed the system and was happy that appropriate measures were in place.

 

 

10-20/21          To agree to approve the Annual Governance Statement section of the Annual Return for year ended 31 March 2020

 

It was agreed unanimously to approve the Annual Governance Statement section of the Annual Return for year ended 31 March 2020

 

11-20/21          To agree to approve the Accounting Statement section of the Annual Return for year ending 31 March 2020

 

It was agreed unanimously to approve the Accounting Statement section of the Annual Return for year ending 31 March 2020

 

12-20/21          To consider and possibly agree to recommend to full Council a request from Together We Grow for a grant of £5,000

 

Cllr Jay said considerable time had passed since this application had been submitted and now further information was available it was clear the application had changed.

 

She said the Council should ask for a revised application.

 

The motion was withdrawn.

 

 

13-20/21          To agree that this Council commit to Phase 1 of the ‘Greening the Parish’ project and approve a maximum budget figure of £10.000

 

Cllr Hewitt referred to the unavoidable delay due to Covid-19 and said that this had been disappointing, but that he was now bringing to the Council a request to move forward with Phase 1 of the initiative.

 

He said future projects were also being considered, including the area around the North Station roundabout.

 

It was agreed that this Council would commit to Phase 1 of the ‘Greening the Parish’ project and approve a maximum budget figure of £10,000

 

14-20/21          To agree to purchase an online survey package to engage with residents and carry out research, which will inform the work of the council and its committees / groups such as the Health and Wellbeing Working Group

 

Cllr Law outlined the proposals in her paper that had been circulated prior to the meeting.

 

The Chairman said he would like to take this opportunity to thank Cllr Law, on behalf of Councillors, for all the work she had done throughout the past three months providing information to residents.

 

It was agreed to purchase the SurveyMonkey package at an annual cost of £384.00 to engage with residents and carry out research, which will inform the work of the council and its committees / groups such as the Health and Wellbeing Working Group

 

 

15-20/21          To review and adopt:

  1. Standing Orders
  2. Financial Regulations
  • Media Policy
  1. All Policies currently listed on the MCC website on the Council Business – Policies and Procedures page

 

Item 15-20/21 iii) Media Policy was withdrawn.

 

It was agreed to adopt Standing Orders, Financial Regulations as presented to the Council prior to the meeting and all policies currently listed on the MCC website on the Council Business – Policies and Procedures page.

 

16-20/21          Finance and Payments

 

To confirm approval of invoices received and paid and to consider approval of other invoices.

 

Approval of invoices received and paid was confirmed as listed below:

 

Various Staff costs – March £3,082.99
Various Staff costs – April £3,186.83
Various Staff costs – May £3,186.84
Various Staff costs – June £3,186.83
March
Copy IT Photocopier £16.06
Mile End Methodist Church Meetings £23.00
Mrs K. Kane Expenses – paper towels £53.22
Severalls Bowls Club Fete Distribution £75.00
St Michaels’ Baby & Toddler Group Fete Distribution £75.00
Colchester Cleaning Co. Office £75.83
Green Square Bus shelter stickers £108.00
Green Square Mylander flipbook £216.00
M & K Gardens Maintenance £440.00
Zen Internet Broadband £31.86
Opus Energy Utilities – Gas £112.95
Opus Energy Utilities – Electric £26.45
Clear Business Utilities – Telephone £35.53
Anglian Water Utilities – Water £3,054.20
EALC Subscription £1,389.62
April
BNP Paribas Leasing Photocopier £240.55
M & K Gardens Maintenance £20.00
Zen Internet Broadband £31.86
Opus Energy Utilities – Gas £104.84
Opus Energy Utilities – Electric £41.08
` Utilities – Telephone £51.47
May
Copy IT Photocopier £18.81
Gravity Home & Maintenance Bus shelters Cleaning £25.00
EALC Training £33.60
Mrs K. Kane Expenses – ICO renewal £40.00
M & K Gardens Maintenance £180.00
Green Square May Mylander £1,395.00
Zen Internet Broadband £31.86
Opus Energy Utilities – Electric £21.38
TLG Education Grant – MakeLunch £240.00
Clear Business Utilities £61.82
June
J Stewart Expenses – door bell/key £171.49
V Smith Refund of Fete Fee £20.00
SSAFA Refund of Fete Fee £20.00
EALC Training £890.40
Green Square Bench Plaques £108.00
Green Square Annual Report £282.00
M & K Gardens Gardening £120.00
A Jay Expenses – Zoom subscription £14.39
Whitebarn Update of firmware £19.50
Copy IT Photocopier £1.94
Whitebarn Office 365 renewal £270.72
Eyelid Productions Website – accessibility £50.00
Total £22,881.92

 

 

 

17/20/21          Date and Time of Next Meeting: To be confirmed

 

 

 

 

Signed _______________________________________

 

Cllr John Stewart, Chairman