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Maldon Town Council


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

MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 9th DECEMBER, 2002 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Town Mayor: Councillor P. Roberts
Deputy Mayor: Cllr. P. Rew
Councillors: E. Bannister, Mrs. V. Foster, T. Kelly, W. Prior, Mrs. S. Riesebeck,
S. Savage, T. Shrimpton, K. Smith and S. Thain .
In Attendance: The Town Clerk, and one member of the press.
Absent: Councillors M. Bentley and A. Josselyn.
102. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Mrs. M. Curtis and Mrs. E. Downes.
103. MINUTES OF THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 11 NOVEMBER, 2002

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 11 November, 2002 be approved and signed as a correct record.
104. TOWN COUNCIL PRECEPT 2003/2004

Further to the Finance & General Purposes Committee meeting held on 26 November, 2002 members considered the Town Councill's financial requirement for the year 2003/2004.
In this respect Cllr. Thain, as Chairman of the Committee, presented minute 69 of the Finance & General Purposes Committee and requested that members go through it page by page. Also circulated at the meeting was a report detailing the Budget Figures for each Estimate Head over the past four years.
69.1(a) Charges for Town Hall

Reference was made to minute 69.1(a) and it was noted that as the charges had been resolved at the Town Council meeting held on 30th September, 2002 this information had been submitted for noting.

69.1(c) Tours of the Moot Hall

Reference was made to minute 69.1(c) and the fact that, although there had been discussion regarding the requirement for additional information there was no resolution or recommendation to this effect and it was agreed that the minute should be amended to rectify this situation.

RESOLVED: that (a) the recommendation contained in minute 69.1(a) be amended to read "that the information be noted";

(b) the words "Resolved: that further investigations be undertaken" be added to minute 69.1(c);

(c) in all other respects minute 69 regarding Charging Policies be accepted.

RESOLVED: that (a) the recommendation contained in minute 69.1(a) be amended to read "that the information be noted";

(b) the words "Resolved: that further investigations be undertaken" be added to minute 69.1(c);

(c) in all other respects minute 69 regarding Charging Policies be accepted.
Moot Hall P1.7 - Fund: Maintainenace and P1.8 - Decoration

With regard to these two Estimate Headings, Cllr. Kelly expressed concern that there appeared to be a number of "pots" being set up for various works. It was pointed out that, as a result of the Moot Hall Quinquennial report, a considerable amount of money would have to be spent on the building and this was one of the reasons why P1.7 Fund: Maintenance was set up as an Earmarked reserve. Estimate Head P1.8 Decoration had accumulated due to the fact that it had taken a number of years for the Fire Alarm to be installed and this needed to be undertaken prior to any decoration works being carried out. It was noted that all the provision in these two Estimates Heads would be utilised on the quinquennial repair works and further money would be required in future years. Reference was made to the fact that if such funds were not available the precept would have to increase considerably in any one year to enable major repair works to be carried out.
Town Hall/Town Council Offices P7.1 - Expend Public Works Loan

It was noted that the amount contained within this Estimate Head was the balance of the sum borrowed to build the Town Hall, some of which had been utilised on building the wall at Market Hill Garden. In answer to a question, the Town Clerk said that this year it would not be financially beneficial to try to repay any of the loan as the penalties would be too great. The Town Clerk also informed members that when preparing the Estimates, in view of this balance, no additional provision had been included for reserves whereas in previous years there had been a suggested Working Balance of 30,000.

Discussion ensued regarding this matter and it was suggested that this money could be used to finance Estimate Heads P1.7, P1.8 and P1.9 and thus reduce P7.1 to 20,000.

RESOLVED: (d) that Estimate Head P7.1 be reduced to 20,000.
Town Hall P7.17 - General Maintenance Fund/Decoration

Reference was made to the fact that the estimate provision under this heading had increased by 200%. Members noted that this increase was to cover the cost of purchase of a new cooker, remedial works to the floor, external decoration and the possibility of additional lights being purchased to illuminate the stage.

In answer to a question, the Chairman confirmed that, although such provision had been made in the Estimates there would be no expenditure until each item had been considered in detail by Council.
G.1 - Town Centre Manager

In conjunction with this item, members received and considered a letter from the Town Centre Manager. Cllr. Rew was of the opinion that the Town Council did not have enough input with regard to the activities of the Town Centre Manager; however, other members felt that there should be a certain amount of flexibility with regard to this position as the postholder had to promote the town and liaise with businesses as well as the Chamber of Trade & Commerce. Cllr. Rew proposed that the Town Council's contribution for the employment of the Town Centre Manager should be paid in quarterly instalments, in advance, and the Town Centre Manager should be requested to attend one Town Council meeting every quarter. This proposal was seconded and carried when put to the vote.

RESOLVED: (e) the Town Council's contribution towards the employment of the Town Centre Manager be paid in quarterly instalments, in advance, and the Town Centre Manager be requested to attend one Town Council meeting every quarter.
G2.l, 2, 3 Maeldune Centre

Members received and considered a report and financial bid from the Chairman of the Maeldune Trust.

In answer to a question, the Town Clerk confirmed that the staff at the Maeldune Centre were employed by the Trust and accordingly Town Council Trustees were consulted regarding any appointments.

The Chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Committee outlined, for the benefit of new members, the history relating to the Maeldune Centre.

Reference was made to the fact that the Chief Executive and the Tourism Development Officer, Maldon District Council had expressed an interest in the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) being located in the building. Members were of the opinion that, if the TIC were to be located in the building, this would restrict the display area for exhibitions and totally change the use of the building. It was felt that the Maldon District Council should look for alternative accommodation within the High Street. It was noted that the Maeldune Trustees were aware of the District Council's interest and the matter was to be considered at their meeting to be held on 20th January, 2003.

RESOLVED: (f) the Tourist Information Centre should not be located within the Maeldune Centre.
G5 - Cinema Club

It was suggested that this figure be reduced to 1,000 in view of the fact that the Town Council had received confirmation of grant funding in the sum of 3,750.

RESOLVED: (g) 1,000 be included on Estimate Head G5 - Cinema Club;

G6 - Christmas Light Contract

Cllr. Kelly reported that there had been a lot of criticism about the lights and reference was made to the fact that there was a new Contractor. Members were reminded that the contract price was considerably less than the previous contract and it was felt that problems incurred this year could be rectified prior to next year.

RESOLVED: (h) the Town Clerk has discussions with the Contractor regarding next year's lights.
G12 - Possible Highway Works

Members received and considered the notes of the Working Party meeting held on Monday 25 November, 2002 which had been circulated at the Planning Committee meeting held on the same evening.

The Chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Committee reported that these notes contained a list of highway works which had been requested as a result of public consultation and in this respect he suggested that the sum of 20,000 be included in the 2003/04 Estimates. He said that the inclusion of this amount would enable some of the work to be undertaken for the benefit of the town and the Council taxpayer would be paying no higher Council tax than in previous years.

Other members expressed the view that highway functions should not be undertaken by the Town Council as this could be setting a dangerous precedent. Reference was also made to the fact that the public pay Council taxes to Essex County Council for highway functions and they should not be paying the Town Council for such functions as well.

There was no seconder to the proposal of Cllr. Thain that 20,000 be included in the 2003/04 Estimates for highway works. It was however,

RESOLVED: (i) copies of the notes of the Working Party be forwarded to County Councillor B. Mead, the Maldon District Council and Essex County Council Transport and Operational Services for information.
Environment Committee - Maldon in Bloom

Cllr. Rew made reference to the fact that there was at present 1,484.50 remaining in the Maldon in Bloom Estimate Head and in answer to a question the Town Clerk confirmed that any surplus money at the end of the 2002/03 financial year would not be carried over.

RESOLVED: (j) in all other respects, Minute 69 of the Finance & General Purposes Committee meeting held on 26 November, 2002 be accepted;

(k) the Estimates attached as Appendix A to these minutes be accepted as the Town Council's Estimate for the 2003/04 financial year;

(l) the Maldon District Council be informed that the Maldon Town Council's precept requirement for the 2003/04 financial year is 237,530.00

The Mayor thanked Cllr. Thain, Chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Committee and the Town Clerk for all the work undertaken in preparation of the Estimates.
The Mayor adjourned the meeting for questions from the press.

The Mayor closed the meeting at 9.20 p.m.

Cllr. P. Roberts

Town Mayor

Signed . Date .



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