MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
HELD ON TUESDAY 26th APRIL, 2002 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE TOWN HALL.
||Councillor Mrs. Eunice Downes, Town Mayor
||E Bannister, Mrs. M. Curtis, Mrs. V Foster, T Kelly, P. Nickolls,
W Prior, P Rew, Mrs. S Riesebeck, P Roberts, K Smith and
||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).
||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
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
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.
of training support for the voluntary sector in conjunction with
· Recruitment and placement of volunteers.
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
b. MURRAY FOSTER (TOWN CENTRE MANAGER)
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.
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
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
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
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.
started with the Maldon Twinning Association AGM, followed by various
Cabbies Day in July which was enjoyed by all the
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.
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.
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
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
· 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?
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?
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Cllr Curtis thanked the member of the public for his comment
and indicated that this would be taken into consideration.
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.
Although not an agenda item, the Mayor invited Thomas
Miles to speak with regard to the Maldon Youth Council.
reported on the following events which the Maldon Youth Council
· 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.
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
A visit to an Internet café in Braintree has been organised
in May, however the main concern in Maldon was that suitable premises
The following questions from the public were raised:
What will be the cost of running an Internet café?.
reported that this is also being investigated.
How does the Youth
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
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
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
However, two people had been arrested who were responsible
for 80% of bogus caller crimes in Maldon.
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.
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
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
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
Inspector Jacobs reported that this had been considered
but there was an enforcement issue - if you cannot enforce it, it
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.
Mayor thanked Inspector Jacobs and Sergeant Miller.
QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC
A question was raised regarding the funds
for the Golden Jubilee and had the Town Council any plans for Golden
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.
|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.