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Maldon Town Council



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

MINUTES OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 20th MAY, 2002 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE COMMITTEE ROOM, TOWN HALL.

PRESENT: IN THE CHAIR: COUNCILLOR P. ROBERTS, TOWN MAYOR
Vice Chairman:
Councillors: Mrs M. Curtis, Mrs S. Riesebeck, P. Roberts (Town Mayor), W. Prior, P. Rew (Deputy Mayor) and S. Thain .
In Attendance: The Town Clerk, Administrative Assistant and one member of the public.
  1.

ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN FOR THE ENSUING MUNICIPAL YEAR

Cllr. Rew proposed and Cllr. Mrs M. Curtis seconded that Cllr. S. Thain be Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year.

RESOLVED: that Cllr. Thain be elected Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee for the 2002/03 Municipal Year.
  2. ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN FOR THE ENSUING MUNICIPAL YEAR

Cllr. Roberts proposed and Cllr. Mrs Curtis seconded that Cllr. Rew be Vice Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing Municipal Year.

RESOLVED: that Cllr. Rew be elected Vice Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee for the 2002/03 Municipal Year.
  3. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs. E. Bannister and M. Bentley.
  4. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 3RD APRIL, 2002

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 3rd April, 2002 be approved and adopted.
  5. FINANCIAL REPORTS
 5.1. Receipts and Expenditure

Members received and considered:

a. A financial report detailing receipts and expenditure for the financial year 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002. As a result of the installation of the new financial computer package members received a graphical representation of the expenditure and receipts for April 2002.

Members expressed the view that the graphs were helpful and the information shown would improve as the year progressed. In response to a question regarding the reproduction of the graphs in colour, the Town Clerk informed members that to circulate coloured graphs they would have to be printed directly from the computer as the Town Council did not have access to a colour photocopier.

The Chairman said that as the year progresses it would be possible to circulate graphs similar to those presented at the Annual Town Meeting.

b. A list of cheques and Standing Orders in excess of £500.00 from 1 March to 30 April, 2002.

RESOLVED: that (a) the report attached as Appendix "A" to these minutes detailing receipts and expenditure be noted;

(b) the list of cheques and Standing Orders in excess of £500.00 be noted;

(c) financial graphical representations be circulated to Councillors in colour format.
 5.2. Donations

Members were reminded that a sum of £2000.00 had been included in the 2002/03 budget for donations and noted that to date £200.00 had been allocated to the Maldon Town Regatta and £224.25 to the Maldon Twinning Association.

a. Drapers Farm Sports Club

Further to minute 106.2(d) of the Finance and General Purposes Committee held on 3rd April, 2002, members received a verbal report from Cllr. Rew.

The Town Clerk declared on interest in this item.

Cllr. Rew stated that he had visited Drapers Farm Sports Club, Heybridge which was the ground and club house for Maldon Rugby Club and Maldon Cricket Club. In his opinion the chairs were in a satisfactory condition and he had subsequently been informed that the grant request was to increase the number of chairs at the club and that the cost of new chairs would be approximately £65.00 each. Cllr. Rew advised that Heybridge Parish Council had turned down a donation request from the Club and that the premises were owned by the Maldon District Council. He expressed the view that the grant application should be refused as with the limited resources available to the Town Council for grants it would only be possible to supply one or two chairs.

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that the Town Council does not make a donation to the Drapers Farm Sports Club.

b. Hemmings Court Jubilee Party

Further to minute 189 of the Planning Committee meeting held on 2nd April, 2002, members received an application for grant aid to assist with the above party.

The Town Clerk said that Cllr. Kelly, as Ward member, had expressed the view that a donation of £100.00 should be made towards insurance cover for the Jubilee Party.

Cllr. Rew stated that members should be mindful that additional requests in respect of street parties could be received but was reminded that the Jubilee celebrations were next week and that there would not be enough time for further applications to be submitted.

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that a donation of £100.00 be made to the Hemming Court Jubilee Party for insurance cover. (Local Government Act 1972 s.145)
 5.3. Subscriptions

a. Maldon Chamber of Trade & Commerce

Members were informed that the annual renewal of membership to the Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commerce for 2002/03 was £30.00.

Members recalled that the Town Council had not paid the membership fee for 2001/02 as it had been felt that the Town Council assisted the Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commence in other ways.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council does not become a member of the Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commerce for the year 2002/03.

b. Maldon Twinning Association

Members were informed that the annual renewal of membership to the Maldon Twinning Association for 2002/03 was £20.00.

Cllr. Rew expressed the view that the Town Council should be exempt from membership as it undertook to finance projects of the Twinning Association.

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that the Town Council renews its membership to the Maldon Twinning Association 2002/03 for a fee of £20.00. (Local Government Act 1972.s.144)

c. National Association of Civic Officers

Members were informed that notification had been received that the renewal of membership to the National Association of Civic Officers was £10.00.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council does not renew its membership to the National Association of Civic Officers.

d. Essex Association of Local Councils

Members were informed that notification had been received that the Annual Subscription to the Association for 2002/03 was £770.26 (£412.57 of which was payable to the National Association).

The Town Clerk informed members that she found the advice and assistance available from the Association invaluable.

Members expressed their concern regarding the spiralling costs of membership to the Association and felt that although the membership should be renewed a letter should be forwarded to the Association expressing the Town Council's concern regarding membership costs.

RESOLVED: that (a) the Town Council renews its membership to the EALC for the 2002/03 financial year in the sum of £770.26 (Local Government Act 1972, s.143);

(b) a letter be forwarded expressing the Town Council's concern regarding spiralling membership costs.

e. Rural Community Council of Essex

Members were informed that notification had been received from the Rural Community Council of Essex that the Annual Subscription for 2002/03 was £25.00.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council renews it membership of the Rural Community Council of Essex for 2002/03 in the sum of £25.00. (Local Government Act 1972, s.143)
 5.4. Staff Training

Members were informed that Mrs J. Good would like to undertake the Society of Local Council Clerks Training Course in the sum of £90.00. The course involves working through five booklets and participating in half day sessions which would be approximately once a month.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council finances Mrs J. Good to undertake the Society of Local Council Clerks Training Course for the total cost of £90.00 plus travel expenses to the half day sessions. (Local Government Act 1972, s.111)
 5.5. Maldon 2000 Website

Members recalled that in conjunction with the Maldon 2000 celebrations a website entitled Maldon 2000.co.uk had been set up. Members were informed that during February an invoice for the 2nd year, 26.9.01 to 25.09.02, in the sum of £99.25 had been received. In response, a letter was forwarded to the supplier suggesting that contact should have been made prior to September, 2001 to enquire if the site was still required and a 50% credit note had subsequently been received.

Discussion ensued and members agreed that as the Maldon 2000 website was now two years out of date and that the contents were no longer of benefit to the community it should be discontinued.

RESOLVED: that the Maldon 2000 website be discontinued as soon as possible and that the website supplier be requested to supply a backup copy of the site on CD ROM.
 5.6. External Audit

Members received information regarding the new "Lighter Touch" audit regime from which it was noted that external auditors were no longer required to examine all the books. The new auditors, Lubbock Fine, would be forwarded a completed Annual Return, and an audit certificate and opinion would be issued provided everything was in order. It was noted that the total Town Council audit fee would be £750.00 and that any additional work i.e. dealing with enquiries or objections from local electors would be charged at an hourly rate.

RESOLVED: that the report be noted.
 5.7. Risk Assessment

Members received the report of the Town Clerk who, as a result of a request from the Insurance Company , had in consultation with Cllr. Rew compiled a risk assessment in respect of council owned property. Members noted that two fire extinguishers had been purchased for the White Horse Lane Public Conveniences which, for safety reasons, were to be kept in the Attendant's Office. The report also recommended that work should be undertaken at the Moot Hall to erect a safety barrier at the top of the stairs leading to the turret, where the flags are flown, as there was currently a sheer drop from the turret on to the spiral staircase.

The Chairman thanked Cllr. Rew for his assistance and advice and members agreed that the handyman should be requested to construct a safety barrier on the turret access to the roof of the Moot Hall.

RESOLVED: that the handyman be requested to construct a safety barrier at the top of the stairs leading to the Moot Hall turret.
 5.8. VDU Use

Members received and considered a report regarding the implications of use of VDU workstations by office staff in accordance with Health and Safety Regulations. In this respect members considered

a. the purchase of an additional footrest in the sum of £17.00 from Woodleys;

b. quotations for the provision of eye tests for the three office staff

RESOLVED: that (a) a footrest in the sum of £17.00 be purchased from Woodleys;

(b) eye tests be provided by Templetons in the sum of 17.50 per eye test including reports for the three office staff. (Local Government Act 1972, s.111)

 5.9. Office Shredder

Further to minute 105.7 of the Finance and General Purchases Committee meeting held on 3rd April, 2002 where it had been recommended that further investigations should be undertaken for a smaller office shredder. Members received and considered quotations for a Rexel M90 12 sheet shredder and it was

RESOLVED: that a Rexel M90 12 sheet shredder be purchased from A to Z Supplies for the sum of £75.00. (Local Government Act 1972 s.111)
5.10. Application for Concessionary Use of the Town Hall

Members received and considered a letter from Kim Taylor requesting concessionary use of the Town Hall for a fund raising event to raise funds for a trek by Julie Bentley in aide of cancer research.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed that subject to the availability of the Town Hall, Julie Bentley be offered concessionary use of the Town Hall for a charity event.

RESOLVED: that Julie Bentley be offered concessionary use of the Town Hall, subject to availability, for a charitable event.
5.11. Maeldune Trust

Further to minute 108 of the Special Council meeting held on 3rd December 2001, members were requested to authorise the payment of the half yearly funding of £2,190.00 to the Maeldune Trust in respect of the Manager Fund and Centre Assistance.

RESOLVED: that the sum of £2,190.00 be paid to the Maeldune Trust for the Manager Fund and Centre Assistance.
5.12. West Maldon Community Association

Further to minute 108 of the Special Council meeting held on 3rd December, 2001, members were informed that the extension at the West Maldon Community Centre had almost been completed and as such members were requested to release the £4,000.00 in estimates for centre furniture.

RESOLVED: that the sum of £4,000.00 be released to the West Maldon Community Association for centre furniture on provision of receipted invoices.
 6. PARISH TRANSPORT GRANT
 6.1. Car Sharing Scheme

Further to minute 99 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 25th February, 2002, members received a report detailing the results of a survey undertaken with local businesses regarding a possible car share scheme being organised for employees travelling to Maldon to work.

The report indicated graphically that from 72 responses to a questionnaire circulated, only 20% of those who had responded were in favour of a Maldon car share scheme. It also showed that employees travelled many miles to get to their place of employment and that the vast majority of employees used a car as transport.

Cllr. Thain informed members that a successful car share scheme was running in Chelmsford and he felt that enquiries should be undertaken with Chelmsford to enquire if they would extend their remit to include Maldon.

Cllr Roberts felt that as many people worked flexible hours it would not be appropriate to introduce a car sharing scheme.

Cllr. Thain felt that the way forward would be to investigate the availability of funding for a scheme and to contact the Travel Co-ordinator, Chelmsford Community Environment Trust regarding the possibility of Maldon linking with the existing Chelmsford scheme and to investigate cost implications to the Town Council. He also stated that he would raise this matter at a future meeting of the Town Centre Strategy Group.

RECOMMENDED: that further investigations be undertaken regarding a Maldon Car Share Scheme
 6.2. Heybridge Parish Council

Further to minute 90 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 14th January, 2002 members received a response from Heybridge Parish Council regarding potential sources of funding and the development of cycle links between Maldon and Heybridge.

Discussion ensued regarding the importance of cycle links between Maldon and Heybridge which members felt should be further investigated and that pressure should be imposed on the Maldon District Council to improve cycle links in the town. It was agreed that the matter should be referred to the Environment Committee meeting for further discussion.

RESOLVED: that the Environment Committee be asked to consider cycle links between Maldon and Heybridge and the response from Heybridge Parish Council.
 6.3. Bus Service - South Woodham Ferrers to St. Peter's Hospital, Maldon

Members received and considered correspondence from the Community Services Manager, Maldon District Council and the Clerk to the Council, South Woodham Ferrers Town Council regarding a bus service between South Woodham Ferrers and St. Peter's Hospital, Maldon

Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck expressed the view that it would be beneficial for the bus service to run later in the evening to enable people to attend the cinema in South Woodham Ferrers. It was also noted that the route included stops at Safeway, Promenade Park and the Blackwater Leisure Centre giving visitors the opportunity to visit other areas of the town.

Discussion ensued and members agreed that the Town Council should support the project and looked forward to discussing the matter further.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) the letter from the Community Service Manager, Maldon District Council be noted;

(b) a letter be forwarded to the Clerk, South Woodham Town Council offering the Town Council's support for a bus service between South Woodham Ferrers and Maldon.
 7. ALL SAINTS' NORTH BOUNDARY WALL

Further to minute 73 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 27th November, 2001, members received and considered the conclusion and recommendations from a report submitted by The Morton Partnership regarding the All Saints' North Boundary Wall.

Discussion ensued regarding this matter during which Cllr. Roberts expressed the view that more attention should be given to Town Council property to eliminate problems which may occur from the unauthorised growth of vegetation.

Cllr. Rew expressed his concern regarding liability for any damage to the adjoining property as a result of the removal of the Elder from the North boundary wall. He was concerned that by killing the Elder the roots would shrink and possibly cause damage to the adjoining property.

In response to a question regarding the necessity for a Faculty for works to be undertaken, the Chairman stated that he had spoken to Canon Atkins who had suggested that, should a Faculty be required, approaches should be made to the Diocesan to ascertain if various works could be undertaken for one encompassing fee.

Members suggested that, from the information available in the report, itemised quotations should be sought for the work.

The Town Clerk expressed the view that Bakers of Danbury should be asked for their comments on the works suggested in the report from the Morton Partnership and a clearly defined specification be drawn up. Depending on the cost implications tenders may need to be sought for the work.

The Chairman said he would be prepared to attend a site meeting with representatives from Bakers of Danbury.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) investigations be undertaken with the Diocesan Office regarding the necessity for a Faculty to undertake works to the North boundary wall All Saints' Churchyard;

(b) Bakers of Danbury be asked to attend a site visit with the Chairman of the Committee to enable a specification to be compiled prior to quotations / tenders being sought for the necessary works.
 8. ST. PETER'S TOWER - BLUE PLAQUE

Further to minute 108.2 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 3rd April, 2002 members received and considered a response from the Maldon Society regarding the installation of a Blue Plaque on St. Peter's Tower.

Discussion ensued and members expressed the view that as the Town Council were responsible for the maintenance of the building and upkeep of the grounds of St. Peter's Churchyard and other buildings in the town such as the Moot Hall, it would be beneficial for reference to be made to this fact on the Blue Plaque. It was felt that this would help to raise the profile of the Town Council.

Members suggested that letters be forwarded to Robert Scrimgeour, Conservation Officer, Maldon District Council and to the Maldon Society, stating that the Town Council were quite happy for a Blue Plaque to be located on St. Peter's Tower provided that reference was made to the fact that the Town Council were responsible for the maintenance of the building and grounds.

RECOMMENDED: that letters be forwarded to Mr. Scrimgeour, Conservation Officer, Maldon District Council, and the Maldon Society, stating that the Town Council were happy for a Blue Plaque to be located on St. Peter's Tower provided reference was made on the plaque to the fact that the Town Council were responsible for the maintenance of the building and grounds.
 9. TOWN CENTRE MANAGER
 9.1. Office Accommodation

Further to minute 112 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 3rd April, 2002 members recalled that it had been agreed that discussion regarding the use of the Mayor's Parlour as office accommodation for the Town Centre Manager should be deferred until the election of the new Mayor.

The Chairman asked Councillor Roberts for his views regarding this matter and it was agreed that the Mayor's Parlour would not be suitable as an office for the Town Centre Manager.

Discussion ensued regarding other possible venues for an office and the Chairman adjourned the meeting whilst members investigated the possibility of space being made available in the Town Council Offices.

The Meeting was re-convened

Members were of the opinion that it would be difficult for an additional desk to be located in the offices but suggested that the Interview Room, located in the reception area of the Town Council Offices may be suitable although it was noted that this small room had no window, heater, electric socket or telephone point.

RECOMMENDED: that the Town Centre Manager be informed that the Mayor's Parlour would not be available as office accommodation but that the Interview Room in the Town Council offices may be suitable.
 9.2 Financial Support

Members were informed that the Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commerce had agreed to support the Town Centre Manager position for a further year by donating £750.00 towards general funding and £250.00 towards specific projects.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 10. TOWN MAP

Further to minute 113 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 3rd April, 2002, members were informed that recognition of the Town Council's support of the Town Map project was publicised on the map located outside All Saints' Church.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 11. MOOT HALL - FIRE ALARM SYSTEM

Members were informed that a recent Fire Alarm Service at the Moot Hall by Initial Fire Systems had revealed that there were problems with the aspirating unit which required the attendance of the manufacturers at a cost of £300.00 plus VAT, plus 0.54 pence per mile for their attendance on site.

Discussion ensued and it was noted that the guarantee period had expired and it was

RESOLVED: that the manufacturer of the Fire Alarm aspirating unit be requested to attend the Moot Hall at a cost of £300.00 plus VAT, plus 0.54 pence per mile.
 12. MALDON DISTRICT COUNCIL Members received and considered a report regarding District Council security patrols being extended to include Town Council owned land throughout the town. Discussion ensued regarding the problems and dangers to the security personnel which could arise when patrolling areas of the town and that this should be a function undertaken by the Police. Members expressed the view that the Maldon District Council and Essex County Council should be making representations to the Essex Police Authority to improve the local Police Force and it was RECOMMENDED: that a letter be forwarded to the Maldon District Council stating that the Town Council felt that the use of Security Patrols would be inappropriate as the policing of the town was a Police matter but the Town Council would be happy to support representations to the Essex Police Authority for improvements with regard to the Police Force.
 13. TOWN HALL - DISABLED W.C. ALARMS Members were informed that a complaint had been received from a member of the public regarding the lack of alarms in the disabled w.c. facilities within the Town Hall. After subsequent investigations by the Town Clerk to the Essex Disabled Peoples Association it was ascertained that it was not a compulsory requirement for alarms to be fitted in disabled w.c.'s. Members received and considered two quotations for the installation of alarms. Discussion ensued and it was RESOLVED: that no further action be taken regarding the installation of alarms in disabled w.c's in the Town Hall.
 14. REGALIA - CONSORT BADGE Members were informed that in the past outgoing Mayoress' had been presented with a "Past Mayoress" badge at the conclusion of their term of office. In view of the fact that during the 2001/02 year the Mayor had been escorted by a Consort, members considered quotations for a "Past Consort" badge. Discussion ensued and it was felt that enquiries should be made of the Past Consort, Angus Downes, as to whether he would like a badge. RECOMMENDED: that the comments of Cllr. Eunice Downes be sought regarding a "Past Consort" badge for her husband.
 15. EAST LONDON CABBIES OUTING - 50TH ANNIVERSARY Further to the Annual Council meeting held on 13th May, 2002 members considered ways in which the Town Council could celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the East London Cabbies Outing for Handicapped Children. Discussion ensued and it was suggested that costings should be sought for the provision of an A4 size, black stone plaque in the shape of a London Cab, with gold lettering to be located on the Moot Hall. The Chairman requested that members submit suggested wording for the plaque to be forwarded to the Town Council office before 12th June, 2002 for inclusion on the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting agenda. RECOMMENDED: that (a) quotations be sought for an A4 size, black stone plaque to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the East London Cabbie Outing for Handicapped Children; (b) members submit suggested wording for the plaque to the Town Council Offices before 12th June, 2002.
 16. 11 MARKET HILL Further to minute 115 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 3rd April, 2002, members received and considered the financial report of the Town Clerk in respect of available finances to pay legal expenses. RESOLVED: that the report be noted.
 17. QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC In response to a question from the member of the public, the Chairman stated that enquiries were still being undertaken with the Maldon District Council in respect of a Town Council web site. The member of the public reported on a web site that was operational and contained some details regarding the Town Council. It was agreed that the web site address should be circulated to members.
The meeting closed at 9.03 p.m.

Councillor Steven Thain Chairman

Signed…………………………………………….. Date…………………………..



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