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Maldon Town Council



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

MINUTES OF THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 24th JUNE, 2002 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Town Mayor: Cllr P Roberts
Councillors: E. Bannister, M. Bentley, Mrs. M. Curtis, Mrs V. Foster, A. Josselyn, T. Kelly, W. Prior, Mrs. S. Riesebeck, K. Smith and S. Thain
In Attendance: The Town Clerk, Mace Bearer, Administrative Assistant and one member of the public
22. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs. Mrs. Downes and Rew.
23. MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 13TH MAY, 2002

Members received and considered the minutes of the Annual Town Council meeting held on 13th May, 2002.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Annual Town Council meeting held on 13th May, 2002 be approved and signed as a true record.
24. MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Members received and considered a list of functions attended by the Mayor since the Annual Town Council meeting held on 13th May, 2002.

The Mayor informed members that the Flower Festival at All Saints' Church had been a fantastic display and Cllr. Mrs Foster agreed that the show had been excellent. He also said that the Hemmings Court Jubilee Party Committee forwarded their sincere thanks to the Town Council for the donation towards their Party which had been most appreciated.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
25.

25.1
MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 20th May, 2002.

Minute 6.1 - Car Sharing Scheme
In response to a question from Cllr. Kelly, Cllr. Thain stated that there should not be a cost implication to the Town Council in undertaking investigations regarding a Car Sharing Scheme for Maldon as the work would be undertaken by himself and officers.

Minute 6.2 - Heybridge Parish Council
Cllr. Kelly requested that the above resolution should be amended to read:
"that the Environment Committee be asked to consider cycle links between Maldon and Heybridge and the response from Heybridge Parish Council."

RESOLVED: that (a) the resolution of minute 6.2 be amended to read, "that the Environment Committee be asked to consider cycle links between Maldon and Heybridge and the response from Heybridge Parish Council;"

(b) in all other respects the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 20th May, 2002 be approved.

25.2. Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 27th May, 2002

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 27th May, 2002 be approved.
25.3. Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 10th June, 2002

Cllr. Kelly enquired as to why the wording had changed in the Town Council's response to the Maldon District Council in respect of planning applications. He felt that to indicate that the Town Council "supports" an application did not have the same meaning as "has no objection."

Discussion ensued and members recalled minute 8 of the Planning Committee meeting held on 27th May, 2002 where members had received correspondence from the Maldon District Council regarding changes to the Committee structure and consideration and determination of Planning Applications. It was in this letter that reference had been made to the wording to be used when responding to the District Council regarding planning applications.

Cllr. Kelly requested that a copy of the letter from the Maldon District Council regarding this matter be reconsidered at a future meeting of the Planning Committee.

Minute 24 - Planning Policy
Cllr. Kelly referred to Appendix A, No. 17 and suggested that the wording should be amended to read "……… Town Council will not be approved;"

RESOLVED: that (a) Appendix A, No.17 be amended to read, "Town Council will not be approved";

(b) a copy of the letter from the Maldon District Council regarding Consideration and Determination of Planning Applications be re-submitted to the Planning Committee and the Town Council's response to planning applications be reconsidered;

(c) in all other respects the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 10th June, 2002 be approved.
25.4. Minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 11th June, 2002

Minute 5.1
Cllr. Kelly stated that the word "plots" was missing from the first line of the second paragraph on page 3.

RESOLVED: that (a) the word "plots" be inserted in the first line of the second paragraph on page 3;

(b) in all other respects the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 11th June, 2002 be approved.
25.5. Minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 17th June, 2002.

Minute 20.4 - Staff Training
Cllr. Bannister requested reassurances that the training of staff was not to the detriment of the office workload.

Cllr. Thain stated that the Committee supports staff training to improve general skills of office staff and which provide long term benefit to the office workload.

Minute 21 - Cinema Working Party Meeting - 11th June, 2002
Cllr. Kelly requested that it be clarified as to why the Mayoress, Cllr. Mrs Foster opened the meeting of the Working Party as he was of the opinion that, in the absence of the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor should open meetings where a Chairman was to be elected.

The Town Clerk advised that the Deputy Mayor had arrived after the commencement of the meeting and that the Working Party had invited the Mayoress to open the meeting.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 17th June, 2002 be approved.
26.

26.1
MALDON YOUTH COUNCIL

Notes of the Maldon Youth Council meeting held on 29th May, 2002

RESOLVED: that the Notes of the Maldon Youth Council meeting held on 29th May, 2002 be noted.
26.2. Madison Heights

Members received and considered a copy of a letter from the Maldon Youth Council to the Manager of Madison Heights, Maldon regarding age restrictions at the premises.

RESOLVED: that the correspondence be noted.
27. APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS TO SERVE ON THE PLANNING COMMITTEE

Further to minute 20 of the Planning Committee meeting held on 10th June, 2002 members considered the appointment of two members to serve upon the Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year.

In response to a request for nominations from the Mayor, Cllrs. Josselyn and Mrs. Riesebeck indicated that they were willing to serve upon the Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year.

Cllr. Kelly stated that he was not convinced that there was a conflict of interests should District Councillors sit on both the Town and District Council's Planning Committees and said that he was unaware of the existence of any legislation regarding this issue.

The Mayor stated that both he and Cllr. Rew were of the opinion that it would be preferable if they did not serve on both Planning Committees and they had therefore resigned from the Town Council's Planning Committee.

Members were informed that in view of the fact that, the Town Council's Standing Orders state that the Mayor and Deputy Mayor should be ex-officio members of every Committee and Sub-Committee, it would be necessary to amend the Standing Orders and that a revised version would be submitted to members in due course.

Cllr. Kelly expressed the opinion that there was no necessity to amend the Standing Orders at this stage and requested that clarification be sought from other sources regarding this matter.

The Town Clerk stated that she had previously contacted the Standards Officer, Maldon District Council to ascertain if there was an official policy regarding this matter but the response had been unclear. She advised that the Essex Association of Local Clerks had also been contacted and they had expressed the view that it would be preferable for members not serve upon both District and Town / Parish Planning Committees as the information regarding this matter was still vague.

RESOLVED: that (a) Cllrs. Josselyn and Mrs Riesebeck serve on the Planning Committee for the remainder of the municipal year;

(b) that no change be made to Standing Orders until clarification has been received regarding the position of Councillors sitting on both the District and Town Planning Committees.
28. CASUAL VACANCIES

Further to minute 11 of the Annual Town Council meeting held on 13th May, 2002 members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk regarding the Casual Vacancies in Maldon South Ward and Maldon North West Ward. It was noted that the Returning Officer, Maldon District Council had advised that:

(a) ten local government electors had requested that there be an election in the Maldon North West ward:

(b) there will be no election in the Maldon South Ward

Maldon North West Ward - Members recalled that the Town Council had a policy for Poll Cards to be issued in the event of an election and that provision for an election had not been included in the 2002 / 03 Estimates and should an election be necessary the funding would need to be vired.

Maldon South Ward - Members were informed that it would be necessary to fill the vacancy by Co-option.

In response to a request from Cllr. Kelly the Town Clerk stated that she would circulate a timetable for the electoral / co-option process to all members.

RESOLVED: that (a) the information regarding a possible election for the Casual Vacancy in Maldon North West Ward be noted;

(b) the following procedure be adopted for the Casual Vacancy in Maldon South Ward to be filled by co-option:

(i) display public notices and place an advertisement in the Maldon and Burnham Standard inviting applications;

(ii) invite applicants to submit a brief personal profile (50 words)

(iii) at the Council meeting to be held on 5th August, interviews be conducted in private session followed by voting by ballot in public session and, if present, the new member to sign a Declaration of Acceptance of Office and take up their seat at the meeting.

(c) a timetable of the electoral / co-option process be circulated to all members.
29.

29.1
APPOINTMENT OF TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES

Maeldune Trustee

Further to minute 14.9 of the Annual Town Council meeting held on 13th May, 2002, members considered the appointment of a member to serve as a Trustee of the Maeldune Trust. It was noted that the meetings are approximately every six weeks.

RESOLVED: that the matter be deferred until the Town Council meeting to be held on 5th August, 2002.
29.2. Maldon District Museum Association

Further to minute 14.10 of the Annual Town Council meeting held on 13th May, 2002 members considered the appointment of a member to represent the Town Council at meetings of the Maldon District Museum Association.

RESOLVED: that the matter be deferred until the Town Council meeting to be held on 5th August, 2002.
29.3. Maldon Twinning Association

Further to minute 14.13 of the Annual Town Council meeting held on 13th May, 2002 members considered the appointment of a member to represent the Town Council at meetings of the Maldon Twinning Association.

RESOLVED: that Cllr. Mrs Foster represents the Town Council at meetings of the Maldon Twinning Association.
30. LARGER LOCAL COUNCILS ASSEMBLY

Further to minute 20.7 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 17th June, 2002 members received notification that the 22nd Larger Local Councils Assembly would be held at the Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, London on Tuesday, 26th November, 2002.

RESOLVED: that the Town Clerk represents the Town Council at the 22nd Larger Local Councils Assembly to be held on 26th November, 2002 at a cost of £80.00. (LGA 1972, s.175)
31. WEBSITE - http://www.maldon.info/maldontc

Further to minute 20.6 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 17th June, 2002 members received and considered hard copies of the above website which had been developed by a member of the public. Members were informed that the Maldon District Council were still investigating the update of their website.

Cllr. Thain clarified that members were being requested to consider whether they wished to adopt the above website as the official Town Council website. He also stated that he was aware that the information currently available on the website had stirred an interest within the general public. Cllr. Thain expressed the view that the site should be supported and adopted by the Town Council. The site currently had no financial implications to the Town Council and there would therefore be no control with regard to the information available on the site. However, should any problems occur, there would be the opportunity to withdraw support from the site.

The Mayor adjourned the meeting for the member of the public to speak.

The member of the public thanked members for their interest in the website. He indicated that he had noted the comments of members regarding the site and he was open to suggestions regarding future additions and improvements required by the Town Council. He felt that the site was in its infancy and would shortly include more pictures of the town, information regarding the Moot Hall and other Town Council owned properties but he was aware of the problems of vandalism in the town and would be mindful of naming or giving information regarding the location of certain premises.

Members were informed that the domain name http://www.maldontc.gov.uk was available at a cost of £94.00 including VAT for a 2 year period and should the Town Council wish he was prepared to advise as to how to obtain this site being ".gov.uk" site the name can only be obtained by a local government authority.

The Mayor re-convened the meeting.

Members noted that should the Town Council purchase the domain name http://www.maldontc.gov.uk there would still be the option to change the server provider should it be felt necessary in the future. It was also noted that there would be no cost implications to the Town Council in respect of the running and updating of the website for the remainder of the municipal year.

It was therefore

RESOLVED: that (a) the Town Council adopts http://www.maldon.info/maldontc as the official Town Council website;

(b) the domain name maldontc.gov.uk be purchased in the sum of £94.00 including VAT;

(c) the Town Council will incur no running costs for the website for the remainder of the municipal year.
32. RURAL COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF ESSEX - 2002 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Members were informed that the Annual General Meeting of the Rural Community Council for Essex was being held at the Essex County Showground Pavilion, Great Leighs on Wednesday, 3rd July, 2002 commencing at 7.30 p.m. and in this respect members considered the appointment of a member to attend the AGM.

RESOLVED: that members inform the Town Clerk if they wish to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Rural Community Council of Essex, 2002.
33. MALDON DISTRICT COMMUNITY SAFETY PARTNERSHIP STRATEGY - 2002 - 2005

Further to minute 147 of the Town Council meeting held on 11th March, 2002 members received and considered the 2002-2003 Secondary Objectives of the Maldon District Community Safety Strategy.

The Town Clerk informed members that Cllr. Mrs. Downes had commented that there was no mention in the document that the Town Council was a partner with regard to funding the CCTV scheme for Maldon. Cllr. Kelly stated that the document only outlined the principles of what the strategy was trying to achieve.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
34. MALDON 2010 COMMUNITY PLAN

Members received and considered the draft Maldon 2010 Community Plan, copy circulated to all members of the Town Council with a letter from the Town Clerk dated 16th May, 2002.

RESOLVED: that the Maldon 2010 Community Plan be noted.
35. CONSULTATION PAPER - LOCAL INVESTIGATION AND DETERMINATION OF MISCONDUCT

Members received and considered the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions Consultation Paper - Conduct of Councillors - Local Investigation and Determination of Misconduct. A copy had been circulated to all members of the Town Council with a letter from the Town Clerk dated 5th June, 2002.

RESOLVED: that the Consultation Paper - Local Investigation and Determination of Misconduct be noted.
36. RACE RELATIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT 2000

Further to minute 148 of the Town Council meeting held on 11th March, 2002, members recalled considering the Consultation Draft - Statutory Code of Practice on the Duty to promote Race Equality. Members were informed that, as a result of the new legislation local Councils were under a general duty to promote race equality and that, in the exercise of their functions they had an existing and ongoing general duty to have due regard for the need to:

¨ Eliminate unlawful discrimination
¨ Promote equality of opportunity; and
¨ Promote good relations between people of different racial groups

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that the Town Council adopts the following resolution:

Maldon Town Council acknowledges the general duty placed upon it by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. The Council will continue within its functions and policies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and promote racial equality between people of different racial groups.
37. PARISH LIAISON MEETINGS

Members received and considered the following correspondence from Mr J. Hughes, Community Services Manager, Maldon District Council:

(a) a letter regarding the first round of Liaison Meetings and copies of the Notes of the three Maldon Parish Group Liaison meetings;

(b) details of the next Maldon Parish Group Liaison Meeting.

It was noted that the next meeting was being held on 15th July, 2002 at Purleigh Village Hall at which members should attend; however, there was also an Environment Committee meeting that evening.

The Mayor stated that he would represent the Town Council at the Liaison meeting.

RESOLVED: that Cllr. Roberts attends the Maldon Parish Group Liaison meeting to be held on 15th July, 2002 at Purleigh Village Hall.

38. ESSEX RURAL POLICING STRATEGY

Members received and considered a letter from the Clerk of the Council, Tollesbury Parish Council which was critical of Essex Rural Policing Strategy.

Discussion ensued and several members sympathised with the comments made in the letter but the view was also expressed that the lack of rural policing may be due to the manner in which the Essex Police Authority manages their funds.

It was suggested that information should be sought regarding the allocation and spending of Essex Police funds before a response to the letter was forwarded to Tollesbury Parish Council.

Members recalled that Inspector Jacobs had stated at the Annual Town Meeting that the Maldon District was a safe area with relatively low crime figures.

After further discussion it was

RESOLVED: that (a) information regarding the management and allocation of Essex Police Authority funds be sought and when this has been obtained the further consideration of the matter be referred to a meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee.
39. MINUTES / NOTES FROM OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS

Members received and considered the following minutes/ notes from outside organisations:

(a) Maldon Twinning Association Committee meeting - 11th April, 2002

(b) Friends of the Prom meeting - 30th April, 2002

(c) Town Centre Management Board meeting - 8th May, 2002

In response to a question from Cllr. Thain, the Town Clerk advised that Cllr. Prior had been nominated at the Annual Town Council meeting to represent the Town Council on the Town Centre Management Board.

(d) Maldon District Heritage & Museums Group meeting - 28th May, 2002

(e) Friends of the Prom meeting - 21st May, 2002

In response to a question from Cllr. Thain, the Town Clerk advised that the services of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers were being utilised in the replanting of Market Hill Garden.

RESOLVED: that the minutes / notes be noted.
40. THE MAYOR ADJOURNED THE MEETING FOR QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

In response to a question from a member of the public, the Mayor explained the Town Council's procedure in respect of items of a confidential nature.
41. EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

RESOLVED: that pursuant to section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1969, the meeting be not open to the public and press for the following items of business and they be instructed to withdraw.
42. COMPLAINT

Members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk regarding a complaint received from a member of the public.

Lengthy discussion ensued and it was unanimously

RESOLVED: that (a) a letter be forwarded to the member of the public outlining the views expressed by members during the meeting;

(b) a copy of the letter be circulated to all members of the Town Council..
Meeting closed at 9.05 p.m.

Councillor Peter Roberts
Mayor of Maldon

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



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