Minutes of the meeting of the Community Council held on Wednesday 25th October 2017, 7.30pm, at Mile End Methodist Church Hall, Nayland Road, Colchester.
Present: Cllr John Stewart (Chair)
Cllr Pauline Bacon Cllr Helen Dryburgh
Cllr Clare Bailey Cllr Martin Goss
Cllr Richard Beauchamp Cllr Alan Hayman
Cllr Catherine Clouston Cllr Pete Hewitt
Cllr David Clouston Cllr Alison Jay
Cllr John Dickson
Cllr Marina de Smith
Cllr Robert Johnstone
There were 2 members of the public present.
Apologies were received and accepted from Cllrs Gray and King.
099-17/18 Declarations of Interest
There were no Declarations of Interest made.
100-17/18 Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 27th September 2017 to be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
The minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 27th September 2017 were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
Proposed: Cllr Goss Seconded: Cllr Dickson (13 For; 1 Abstention)
104-17/18 Have Your Say – Public Participation
There were no comments.
105-17/18 Minutes of Committee Meetings
a) Receipt of the minutes of the Planning & Development Policy Committee was formally acknowledged.
b) Receipt of the minutes of the Resources, Policy & Strategy Committee was formally acknowledged, new staff arrangements and cost details (approved within the existing Terms of Reference) were noted. Approval of the following expenditure was considered:
i. Painting throughout property; new front door; new desks; blinds and flooring (carpet tiles) in main office; painting of front rendered part of property (max. expenditure £12,000 (funds to be vired from Community Action Plan budget and/or projected year end surplus).
ii. If approved to delegate responsibility to the Locum Clerk and one councillor to be appointed to manage the project and related expenditure with full detailed breakdown of costs to be presented to the Council on completion.
iii. New website: to approve cost of £5,000; funds to come from £40,000 Community Action Plan budget.
Councillors expressed discomfort with being asked to agree expenditure without full information.
Full sourcing and figures for IT equipment, software and decoration should be brought to the November meeting for approval. It was felt the overall figure for this Item was high and should be considered further. It was felt at this point there was no requirement for a new front door. Cllr D Clouston said he had experience in the IT field and would be happy to discuss options for IT with the Clerk.
Cllr Bacon said she felt two Cllrs should be involved in the project management.
Some Cllrs expressed their view that Item 5 on the agenda was confusing and that the previous style of agenda was clearer and easier to follow.
Cllr Bailey questioned the closure of the office on several occasions and asked why the Clerk was working from home. Cllr Hewitt said he would discuss this issue with the Clerk.
The Assistant Clerk asked Cllrs to remember that the current Clerk was a Locum Clerk who had been brought in at very short notice to help the Council over the period until a permanent Clerk was appointed. She said issues such as working from home and opening hours of the office could be considered when the permanent Clerk was appointed in the New Year.
106-17/18 Clerk’s Report
The Assistant Clerk said that the office gardener had tidied up the War Memorial in preparation for Remembrance Sunday and that he would have a final check the week before so that it was in perfect condition. She said Silvertons had donated gravel for the area around the War Memorial. Councillors expressed their gratitude for this and the Chairman asked that a letter be sent expressing this view.
The Assistant Clerk said that the Clerk had asked her to pass on her concern about storage of the stained glass windows in the office back garden.
107-17/18 Ward and County Councillor Reports
a) Cllr Goss said he was chasing Linden Homes, who should be working on Northfields. He said there was one house to build on Rosewood and then snagging would take place.
He referred to the encroachment mentioned at the previous meeting and said there were now less people there, but that the landowners had not delivered on the required action and might face legal action. He said he was monitoring the situation
He said designs for the play equipment on Mile End Recreation Ground were being considered.
108-17/18 Reports from Members
d) Cllr D Clouston referred to the status of the office as an asset, and the potential for moving the office to the new Community Centre on Chesterwell. He asked if this could be an agenda item for discussion at some point within the next six months.
Cllr Dickson referred to the problem of fly tipping of cuttings on Braiswick Lane.
Cllr Bailey said she felt there was demand for coffee mornings for older people.
Cllr Johnstone referred to the ongoing issue of the noticeboard for the Bricklayers. The Assistant Clerk will put together some information for the next meeting. Robert said he would prepare a paper on this (let him do the hard work!)
Cllr Goss said he was still chasing the caterer for outstanding money from the fete.
Cllr Beauchamp suggested an organised event for the community. ??
Cllr Hewitt referred to the Northern Gateway Steering Group and said the map of the development and the design brief for the neighbourhood hub was available to view in the office.
Cllr Hayman referred to his reporting of a litter issue and said this had been speedily resolved.
Cllr Bacon said the Council should be looking at bins and noticeboards for Chesterwell. Dementia Friends training was progressing. Coffee mornings would be a good use of the office.
Cllr Stewart said the Chesterwell and Severalls developments were still private property and as such the Parish Council could not put up noticeboards.
109-17/18 Committee/Working Parties
a) Governance Documents
It was noted that all Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and Committee and Working Party Terms of Reference would be updated ready for consideration and approval at the November meeting, to ensure clarity for all as to scope and delegated powers of each group.
b) Community Engagement Committee
It was agreed in principle to the formation of this Committee subject to suitable Terms of Reference being drawn up for approval by the Council in November specifying activities and any delegated powers.
a) The payment of invoices received was agreed. I should have signed those off
Cllrs noted the expenditure on the Community leaflet and some expressed disapproval of the fact this had been spent without proper oversight. Cllr Hewitt as Chairman of the R P & S Committee offered his apologies for this and emphasised that in future all proper procedures would be followed.
The Chairman reminded Cllrs that no single Cllr was authorised to incur expenditure on behalf of the Council and that this was down to Committees under their delegated authority.
b) A contract of one hour per week to include full weekly clean and supply of all cleaning materials at £15 per week was agreed.
c) It was agreed that the Clerk would arrange regular window cleaning including “one-off” immediate cleaning of fascias, soffits and gutter cleaning based on quotes received and circulated.
Proposed: Cllr Goss Seconded: Cllr Hayman (12 For; 2 Abstentions)
d) The Chairman’s Allowance of £400 per annum was ratified.
e) This Item was withdrawn.
111-17/18 The next meeting will be held at Mile End Methodist Church Hall, Nayland Road, Colchester, on 29 November 2017 at 7.30pm.
The meeting closed at 9.12pm.