Welcome to Maldon Town Council

 





Maldon Town Council



Town Council Offices,
Town Hall, Market Hill,
Maldon, Essex,  CM9 4RL.

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
HELD ON TUESDAY 26th APRIL, 2002 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE TOWN HALL.

PRESENT: Chairman: Councillor Mrs. Eunice Downes, Town Mayor
Councillors: E Bannister, Mrs. M. Curtis, Mrs. V Foster, T Kelly, P. Nickolls,
W Prior, P Rew, Mrs. S Riesebeck, P Roberts, K Smith and S Thain.
In Attendance: 42 members of the public and numerous local organisations.
Mrs. H. Vincent (Town Clerk), Mrs. J. Grant (Administrative
Assistant), Rev Canon David Atkins, Inspector Kevin Jacobs,
Sergeant Richard Miller, Murray Foster (Town Centre Manager),
Lindsey Read (Outreach Development Officer, Maldon and District
Council for Voluntary Service).
Youth Councillors: Thomas Miles and Anthony Smith.
Prior to the commencement of the meeting various local organisations had information on display and were available to answer questions from the public.

1. WELCOME BY THE TOWN MAYOR

The Mayor opened the Annual Town Meeting and welcomed all those present to the Town Hall, particularly Rev Canon David Atkins, Inspector Kevin Jacobs, Sergeant Richard Miller, Lindsey Read and Murray Foster.

2. OPENING PRAYER
Rev Canon Atkins commenced the meeting by conducting prayers.

3. GUEST SPEAKERS

a. LINDSEY READ (OUTREACH DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, MALDON AND DISTRICT COUNCIL FOR VOLUNTARY SERVICE)

Lindsey Read reported that the Maldon Development Agency ceased to exist in the summer of last year and the Maldon and District CVS came into being with the help of lottery funding.

The Service is managed by trustees and is part of the National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service.

The Maldon and District CVS offer the following Services:

· Key resource and information point for the voluntary services and the statutory sector.

· Provision of training support for the voluntary sector in conjunction with the Friary.

· Recruitment and placement of volunteers.

· Identifying local needs to develop local action.

Lindsey Read reported that her work as Outreach Development Officer involves sitting on multi-agency forums, visiting organisations to ascertain their needs, informing them of their services and developing ongoing training programmes including health and safety and first aid.

From June they will be holding evening outreach sessions in areas of the Dengie area, (the first to be held in Burnham) to enable their services to be available to those living outside Maldon.

A question was raised regarding what the Maldon and District CVS does for the public and she responded that their job was to assist voluntary organisations who then provided various services to the public.

In response to a question raised as to why the Friary was used for training when the Red Cross and St Johns were available, she replied that the Friary works in conjunction with the Red Cross and St Johns.

The Mayor thanked Lindsey Read for speaking.

b. MURRAY FOSTER (TOWN CENTRE MANAGER)

Murray Foster reported that he had wished to become Town Centre Manager for Maldon in order to motivate people to work together.

It appeared that in the past there had been good liaison within the locality, with self help initiatives already underway.

The Town Centre Management Board was formed in 1998 and comprises of representatives from the Maldon Town Council, Maldon District Council, the Chamber of Trade and Commerce and other funders.

Maldon has a unique selling point for tourists as it is a place of contrast being a Market Town and having the Hythe, Maldon has a lot to offer but requires the correct promotion for everyone to be aware of what is available.

The Maldon Promotions Group are a cross section of local businesses who wish to promote the town.

There are 40 members at present paying £5.00 per month, which is the core funding for initiatives such as advertising on the radio and in newspapers and providing events such as at Easter when fun characters were in the High Street handing out mini Easter eggs, hot cross buns and promotional material.

Themed events are also being considered to commemorate the Queen's Golden Jubilee and the Heritage Open days.

There is to be a 'meet the Town Centre Manager' cheese and wine event on 30th May 2002 at Quest Motors and invitations will be circulated shortly.

Murray Foster referred to the fact that the District Council have now made available ten free for thirty minutes, car parking spaces at Butt Lane and the White Horse Lane car parks.

The completion of the extension at Tescos will also see the introduction of a Park and ride facility to the High Street.

A question was raised regarding the possibility of a shopping boat starting at Bradwell and picking up at villages along the river.

Murray Foster reported that he would take note of this suggestion.

A question was raised regarding whether it was possible for local organisations to be included in the maldon.co.uk web site?

Murray Foster reported that this would be possible with a small charge for more than a one-line listing.

The Mayor thanked Murray Foster for his report.

4. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING HELD ON 10TH April 2001

The Minutes of the Annual Town Meeting held on 10th April 2001 had been circulated at the meeting to all those in attendance and were agreed as a correct record.

5. MATTERS ARISING There were no matters arising.

6. TOWN MAYOR'S REPORT

The Mayor reported that it had been a very busy year for herself and her husband Angus and they had attended many functions on behalf of the town.

The Mayor said that as Maldon's first female Town Mayor she hoped she had fulfilled her duties appropriately.

The Mayor reminded those present of the sad loss of Dr Petchey who had been replaced as Plume Librarian by Mrs. Earnshaw who was doing an excellent job.

The year started with the Maldon Twinning Association AGM, followed by various events including:

Cabbies Day in July which was enjoyed by all the children.

Maldon in Bloom presentation of prizes and certificates to the 7th Maldon Brownies, for their effort in tidying up and planting an area outside the Roman Catholic Church, Victoria Road. Carnival week in August and judging the Baby Show.

Macmillan Coffee morning.

Swans Fun Run.

Children from Chernobyl had a reception in the Moot Hall followed by a day at the Promenade Park.

Harvest Festival, Maldon Carers Association.

Remembrance Sunday Parachute jump raised £650 for Farleigh at St Clare's Hospice and £750 for the Friends of St Peters Hospital for the Physiotherapy Department.

Switching-on Christmas Illuminations.

Maldon and District Handicapped Childrens Association Christmas Party.

Maldon Mud Race.

Harry Lavericks 108th birthday celebration, Middleton Manor.

The Mayor's Charity Ball which resulted in over one thousand pounds being raised - £750 going to St Peter's Maternity Unit and the remainder to groups in Maldon.

The Mayor finished by reporting that she and Gus had thoroughly enjoyed her term as Mayor and she was now ready to hand over to the new Mayor.

7. CHAIRMEN'S REPORTS

a. Finance and General Purposes Committee The Mayor introduced Councillor S Thain, Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee.

Cllr Thain said that this was his second year as Chairman and that, as it is very difficult to understand the figures in the summary of accounts, he had compiled a 'frequently asked questions' information sheet which was circulated at the meeting (Appendix A).

Cllr Thain then reported on the contents of the document.

A question was raised regarding the role of the Town Council and Cllr Thain reported that the Town Council represented the level of government closest to the community.

The Mayor thanked Councillor Thain for his report.

b. Planning Committee The Mayor introduced Councillor P Roberts, as Chairman of the Planning Committee.

Cllr Roberts reported that the Town Council is not a planning authority and cannot approve plans but act as consultees to the District Council.

Meetings are held every two weeks where members make observations and forward comments to the District Council.

In the past year the Town Council had looked at 260 planning applications including extensions, porches, large developments such as the Dovercourt site in Spital Road.

Cllr Roberts reported that the following issues were discussed at Planning Committee meetings during the past year:

· The Planning Green Paper - responses were forwarded to the DTLR.

· Public Meeting regarding the High Street Improvements - shopkeepers and the public were invited to discuss the developments in the High Street, with representatives of the Highways Department and Essex County Council.

· Pedestrian Crossings - the Town Council requested the siting of pedestrian crossings at Embassy Court or Bakers Mews, Fambridge Road adjacent to the Constitutional Club and at the Fambridge Road/Warwick Drive junction and had suggested that the crossing outside Iceland should be relocated by the Friary Fields pedestrian entrance from the High Street.

· Siltation in the River Blackwater - Councillors Thain and Bannister have had discussions with many organisations regarding siltation and recently attended a workshop regarding the Blackwater Estuary.

· In conjunction with the Tree Wardens, consultations on Tree Preservation Orders and applications for work to be carried out on trees in the conservation area.

The Mayor thanked Councillor Roberts for his report.

The following questions were raised: What was the content of the Planning Green Paper?

Cllr Roberts reported that the planning system was being brought up to date.

In the response to the DTLR the Town Council suggested that Parish and Town Councils should have greater powers and more say regarding planning matters.

The Town Council were congratulated on the re-instatement of the bus lay-by but when was the bus shelter to be erected?

Cllr Roberts reported that the bus shelter was to be considered at the next meeting of the Environmental Committee.

As the Ware Pond was the responsibility of the Town Council, what was the Council's views regarding a planning application in this location and did the Town Council have any knowledge of where the springwater that feeds the Ware pond comes from as the foundations of the proposed building could disturb this?

Cllr Roberts reported that the Town Council would endeavour to ensure that the Ware Pond is not disturbed and would make representations to the District Council to investigate the location of the spring water.

As Primrose Meadow was not included in the report does the Town Council support this area being kept as a public open space?

Cllr Roberts reported that the Town Council fully supported this and had investigated leasing this area for use as a football pitch but were only offered a very short lease.

Cllr Thain reported that Primrose Meadow was included in the Draft Local Plan as public open space.

What were the views of the Town Council regarding the road closure in Wantz Road?

Cllr Roberts reported that the Planning Committee were divided which seems to be the same as the public with some for it and some against, generally depending on where you live.

Why was Cromwell Hill closed and the road narrowed at the top of Market Hill as this has led to an increase in traffic congestion?

Cllr Roberts reported that the intention was to encourage traffic to use the bypass but it seems that the majority of traffic enters the town up Market Hill.

Cllr Thain felt that over the last ten years there had been no consensus on how the town should move forward with regard to Highway matters and until the community agreed changes would be imposed.

c. Environment Committee

The Mayor introduced Councillor Mrs. M Curtis, as Chairman of the Environment Committee.

Cllr Curtis reported that the Environment Committee was responsible for the allotments, closed churchyards and public gardens.

There are three allotment sites at which most plots are well tended with only a few vacancies being available.

During the past year a boundary hedge had been planted at the Brickhouse Farm site and a path is to be installed in the future; water tanks have been installed at the Maldon Hall Site.

The Market Hill Garden wall is now finished but as the ground has not settled, replanting is to be delayed for a year.

St Giles ruins have been vandalised and consequently the hedge has been reduced in height so that potential vandals can be seen; this seems to be working.

The Town Council has provided four concrete rings to be utilised as planters in the hope of improving and deterring vandalism at an amenity area on the Poets Estate.

All Saints Churchyard wall is to be rebuilt.

The Millennium Garden has had a number of vandalism problems.

The Essex County Council has advised the Town Council on future improvements for the Millennium Garden which, if implemented would open up the garden and churchyard making it more visible.

Grass cutting is undertaken by the Town Council as a community service in many areas which are not its responsibility.

The Maldon in Bloom Working Party improved the look of the town during last year's Maldon and Anglia in Bloom Campaign.

A question was raised regarding the materials to be used in the proposed path at the Brickhouse Farm allotment site and it was suggested that in view of its location, at the bottom of a hill, the surface of the proposed path should be porous to enable the rainwater to soak away.

Cllr Curtis thanked the member of the public for his comment and indicated that this would be taken into consideration.

A question was raised as to whether the Town Council were working in conjunction with the Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society regarding the proposed improvement to the Millennium Garden.

The Chairman reported that a representative of the Horticultural Society had been present at the meeting when the plans were discussed.

The Mayor thanked Councillor Curtis for her report.

8. FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS (Year ended 31st March 2001)

Those in attendance had received a copy of the accounts, which were discussed in conjunction with the report of the Chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Committee.

9. MALDON YOUTH COUNCIL

Although not an agenda item, the Mayor invited Thomas Miles to speak with regard to the Maldon Youth Council.

Thomas Miles reported on the following events which the Maldon Youth Council have organised:

· Discos - not very well supported.

· Battle of the Bands competition - this was a very successful event which the Youth Council look forward to holding again this year.

The Youth Council are at present investigating the possibility of an Internet Café in Maldon which would give the youth of Maldon somewhere to go after school and in the evening, to socialise, listen to music and gain access to computers for those who did not have such access at home.

A visit to an Internet café in Braintree has been organised in May, however the main concern in Maldon was that suitable premises were required.

The following questions from the public were raised: What will be the cost of running an Internet café?.

Thomas Miles reported that this is also being investigated.

How does the Youth Council operate?

In asking this question, reference was made to a letter printed in the Daily Telegraph regarding the Plume School.

Cllr T Kelly reported that the Youth Council was set up as a means of encouraging the youth of Maldon to do something for themselves with limited involvement of adults.

What age range are the Youth Councillors and where can they be contacted?

Thomas Miles reported that at present members' ages range from eleven to eighteen and they can be contacted through the Town Council.

The Mayor thanked Thomas Miles.

10. TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP

Cllr Bannister said he was delighted to see all those present at this meeting which was a significant increase in numbers from last year's Annual Town meeting.

He reported that the Town Council had two vacancies at present and it is often difficult to fill such vacancies as people do not come forward for election.

He invited those present at the meeting to request an election, as he was of the opinion that the election of new members to the Town Council was preferable to co-option.

11. POLICE MATTERS

Although not an agenda item, the Mayor invited Inspector Jacobs and Sergeant Miller to speak with regard to Police matters.

Inspector Jacobs reported that the detection rate for burglaries in the area was 41%; there was a reduction in the number of burglaries, but an increase in bogus callers both throughout the country and in Maldon.

However, two people had been arrested who were responsible for 80% of bogus caller crimes in Maldon.

Commercial burglaries were down as well as theft from motor vehicles but theft of motor vehicles had increased.

Regarding the cells in Maldon Police Station being closed, Inspector Jacobs explained that prisoners in cells keep police off the streets as it is necessary for officers to be present in the station.

He took the opportunity to thank the Special Constables in the area whose work was voluntary and whose assistance was greatly appreciated.

Sergeant Miller reported that the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 places a joint duty on the police and local authorities to produce and implement a three year Crime and Disorder Strategy to tackle crime and disorder in their area.

The Maldon Group which consists of representatives from Maldon District Council, Essex Police and Essex County Council is responsible for the production of this strategy within Maldon.

Last year the Maldon District Council undertook a survey of the concerns of several thousand residents in the Maldon area; the result of this confirmed their suspicions that the main concerns were drink and drugs, theft from sheds and burglary.

The Home Office provide financial assistance towards the initiative Community Against Drugs and in this respect the Essex County Youth Service put a bid in for a Youth Worker; they were successful and the Youth Worker is now in place.

The Police Service have wider functions and duties than previously and this is proving to be successful.

The following questions were raised: What is the process to obtain the installation of speed camera signs, in particular the B1022?

Inspector Jacobs reported that initially complaints from the public should be submitted to the Traffic Management Department, Essex Police Headquarters who would if considered appropriate, install speed strips across the road; these collate information concerning the speed of cars travelling across them and produce statistics.

If there is a high percentage of speeding cars an officer would be deployed to look at the situation.

Had alcohol free zones been considered?

Inspector Jacobs reported that this had been considered but there was an enforcement issue - if you cannot enforce it, it is counter-productive.

Arising from not being able to contact the Maldon Police Station, could there be a telephone number with direct access to the Police?

Inspector Jacobs reported that they are at present investigating a new concept whereby local Council representatives could have a direct contact telephone number with the police in the same way as the Maldon Promenade Rangers do at the moment.

The Mayor thanked Inspector Jacobs and Sergeant Miller.

12. GENERAL QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC

A question was raised regarding the funds for the Golden Jubilee and had the Town Council any plans for Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The Town Clerk reported that as there were no plans for Golden Jubilee celebrations, the fund had been allocated to revamp the Millennium Garden/St Peters Churchyard as this project was felt to be a worthwhile and lasting memorial to the Golden Jubilee.

There being no further questions, the Mayor thanked everyone for their attendance, in particular all the local organisations who had put a great deal of effort into displaying their information.

Meeting closed at 9.55 p.m.


  Home

This page last updated 15 May 2002
Copyright of photographs and graphics © maldon.info 2001 - 2002
Maldon Town Shield © Maldon Town Council reproduced with permission.
Webmaster    info@maldon.info