The Minutes of the Community Council Meeting held on Wednesday 28th March at Mile End Methodist Church Hall, Nayland Road, Colchester commencing at 7.30pm.
Council Members present
Chairman: Councillor J. Stewart Yes
Vice-Chairman: Councillor M. Goss Yes
Councillor P. Bacon Yes
Councillor C. Bailey Yes
Councillor R. Beauchamp No
Councillor C. Clouston Yes
Councillor D. Clouston Yes
Councillor M. de Smith Yes
Councillor J. Dickson No
Councillor A. Ellis Yes
Councillor L. Gray No
Councillor A. Hayman Yes
Councillor P. Hewitt Yes
Councillor A. Jay Yes
Councillor D. King Yes
Councillor R. Johnstone Yes
Staff: The Assistant Clerk
150/17 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Resolved to accept apologies from Councillors Beauchamp, Dickson and Gray.
151/17 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: None.
152/17 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 31st JANUARY 2018: It was resolved to approve the minutes as a true record for signature by the Chairman.
153/17 COUNCILLOR RESIGNATION: The resignation of Councillor Helen Dryburgh was noted.
The Chairman said he was sad to announce this resignation. He said he fully understood her reasons for doing so and wished to record, on behalf of Myland Community Council, their appreciation for her becoming involved in the Council and working in support of the residents of Myland. He said Councillors wished her all the best for the future.
154/17 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
A resident said he had noted that the MCC website was not currently up-to-date.
He asked for confirmation of meeting dates past the end of May 2018.
The Chairman said these would be confirmed in due course but there were no plans to change the current arrangement of holding the Council meeting on the last Wednesday of the month at the Mile End Methodist Church Hall.
155/17 MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS
The receipt of the minutes of the following committee meetings was formally acknowledged:
a) Planning & Development Policy Committee: meetings held on 7th February 2018 and 7th March 2018.
b) Resources, Policy & Strategy Committee: meeting held on 26th February 2018.
c) Community Engagement Committee: meetings held on 21st February 2018 and 21st March 2018.
156/17 CLERK’S REPORT: In the absence of the Clerk there was no report.
157/17 WARD AND COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORTS
a) Ward Councillor Goss said work on Northfields was continuing and would hopefully be finished within the next few months. Rosewood was nearing completion and then both estates would be able to be adopted.
b) None received.
158/17 REPORTS FROM MEMBER
a) The Chairman gave the following report:
“Chair’s Report preamble
For the information of all Committee and Group Chairs it is that time of year again when the Annual Report for the Parish Meeting is to be compiled. This will be presented to the Annual Parish Meeting in early May. I know it may seem early but there is a lot of preparation in its compilation and it is only fair to the Clerks that they are not put in a position of chasing for reports. Can I stress that these reports are the responsibility of the respective Chairs and is not to be delegated to our Clerks. Copies are available of last year’s report for a guide as to what is needed.
I have not posted my usual report online this month, instead I have chosen to deliver it to the meeting personally.
As most of you will know I have been Chair of this Council since January 2017 and have previously served as Vice Chair.
Since becoming Chairman I have worked hard to raise the profile of Myland Council and increase our professional standards. I have always viewed the importance of training to equip us for our role as Councillors and have completed both the new Councillor course and also the Chairman’s Course, both of which I highly recommend!
The Chairman of any Council is the public face of that Council. It is important that the Chair forms a working relationship of mutual respect with the Clerk. In this respect I have been fortunate to have had the support of both Denise and Katherine.
I attend regular meetings, both formal and informal including those with Mile End and Highwoods Ward Councillors as well as our Colchester Borough colleagues. We now have regular meetings with both developers and planners. This input enables MCC to retain a valid input into the future of North Colchester. Coupled with the numerous emails and paperwork I deal with makes some weeks feel as if I am no longer retired! I am sure Pete and Robert will endorse that being a responsible Chair of Council requires many hours during the week and weekends to deal with Council matters and it is not just a case of turning up once a month to Chair Council meetings.
When I took over from Pete I took over from a respected and hardworking Chair and I was grateful for his continued support. My style as Chair, however, took the Council in another direction, as Pete would be the first to agree.
However, I am fully aware that not everyone supports the direction I am travelling in. It therefore seems to me that the time has come for another to take the Chair and perhaps move the Council in whatever direction they feel it needs to go. Therefore, it is not my intention to stand for re-election as Chair in May this year.
I will, for the time being, remain as a Councillor and carry on as Chair of the P&DPC, at least as long as my colleagues there want me to. “
b) Reports from Working Groups were received.
c) Cllr Hayman said he and Cllr Jay had attended training at the EALC. He said there was an incredible diversity of Councils in Essex, which had led him to consider whether MCC could almost be classed as a Town Council.
Cllr D Clouston said he would like to state for the record that there had been a discrepancy in the hours worked by the Assistant Clerk which had now been resolved. The Assistant Clerk would be working 20 hours per week from 1st April 2018 and there appeared to be no budgetary implications.
Cllr C Clouston asked for the number of Councillors to be considered at a future meeting.
Cllr Johnstone said he had attended the Transport Representatives meeting in March with information provided from bus companies. He had also attended CALC where a speaker had addressed the new GDP Regulations. The message to Councils was – don’t panic. The Essex Cycle Design Forum had presented a new cycling strategy which had been interesting but not given any new information.
Cllr King said the Trees for Years Event held on Saturday 24th March had been very successful, and thanked the Clerk, Assistant Clerk and Councillor de Smith for their help.
Cllr Goss said he would like to thank Cllr Stewart for all his hard work as Chairman of the Council.
Councillor Bailey said the recent Meet and Greet held at the Dog & Pheasant had been a success and the Community Engagement Committee were planning to make this a regular event.
Cllr Jay said she had attended a meeting for the MakeLunch initiative which would take place over the summer holidays.
Cllr Hewitt said he would like to endorse Cllr Goss’s comment about Cllr Stewart.
He said the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group had walked through the Plan, considering transport and travel and helping people to achieve better mobility across the parish. He asked Councillors to contact him if they had any comments. He said as the population of the parish had increased, more data from the community regarding community needs would be sought. He said there would be liaison with CBC about providing work opportunities for young people. The Essex Car Share Scheme would be investigated as this was mention in the Plan, and layered maps would be taken forward.
Cllr de Smith said the Council would have a stall at the St Helena Hospice Fete to be held at the Rugby Club, Mill Road, on 7th May 2018.
Cllr Bacon said she would encourage all Councillors to attend training sessions. She said the Community Engagement Committee would be looking at noticeboards across the parish. She referred to Dementia Friends, the Emergency Responders and Beacon House.
159/17 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN WORKING GROUP – COMMUNITY CONSULTATION: It was resolved unanimously that the NP Working Group on behalf of MCC would canvass residents via the Community Hub and website. It was also agreed that to reach a wider section of the community, noticeboards, community engagement events and the Mylander would also be used.
160/17 FINANCE AND PAYMENTS
It was resolved to approve the list of payments for February and March as follows:
161/17 TIME AND DATE OF NEXT MEETING: Wednesday 25th April 2018 at the Mile End Methodist Church Hall, Nayland Road, Mile End, Colchester, at 7.30pm.
The meeting closed at 8.13pm.