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Maldon, Essex,  CM9 4RL.

MINUTES OF THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 9th FEBRUARY, 2004 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Town Mayor: Cllr. K. Smith
Deputy Mayor: Cllr. Mrs. M. Curtis
Councillors: Mrs. M. Game, K. Jennings, D. Keighley, I. Mackenzie,
T. Matthams, R. Moss, W. Prior, Mrs. S. Riesebeck,
S. Savage, T. Shrimpton, J. Swallow and Mrs. E. Williams.
In Attendance: Mr. Murray Foster, Town Centre Manager, a member of the press, the Town Clerk, Mace Bearer and Administrative Assistant.
Prior to the commencement of the meeting the Mayor requested that those present stand for a minutes silence in memory of Mr. Keith Munnion, a former Town Councillor and Mayor, who passed away recently.
 134. AN APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE

An apology for absence was received from Cllr. M. Bentley
 135. PRESENTATION BY THE TOWN CENTRE MANAGER

Members received a verbal report from Mr. Murray Foster, Town Centre Manager updating on Town Centre Management. Mr. Foster informed members that town retailers' views on pre Christmas trading had generally been positive and shoppers had enjoyed the diversity of shops which Maldon had to offer. There were currently 225 businesses trading in the town centre which employed approximately 1,200 - 1,500 people, making the town centre the largest employer in the District. The Local Plan had recognised that the Designated Core Retail Area of the town was between All Saints' Church and Wantz Road.

Mr. Foster advised that the level of vacant premises in Maldon was low at 5% when the national average for vacant premises in town centres was 10%. The Town Centre Manager had become a conduit for applicants seeking business premises in the town and he felt that the development of the Wenlock's site would increase the retail capacity of the town.

Mr Foster stated that the Town Centre Management was a Partnership Scheme funded by Maldon District Council, Maldon Town Council and Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commerce. Free office accommodation was currently being offered to the Town Centre Manager in the Stables at the rear of the Blue Boar Hotel. Other funding for the promotion of the town was supplied by the Maldon Promotions Group which now had 55 members. Maldon had been highlighted for national recognition for Town Centre Management in literature produced by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) 2003 - Best Practice.

Mr. Foster felt that it was essential to encourage District residents to use the town as their prime shopping site and he would continue to encourage outside visitors to visit not only the Hythe Quay and Promenade Park but also the town centre.

In response to a question from Cllr. Moss, Mr Foster said that although only 25% of Maldon businesses were members of the Maldon Promotions Group they covered a good cross section of local traders and there appeared to be a gradual increase in the number joining the Group.

Cllr. Prior questioned the turnover of businesses and Mr. Foster responded that in 2003 ten new businesses had commenced trading in the town.

The Mayor thanked Mr. Foster for this report.
Mr. Foster left the meeting at 7.45 p.m.
 136. MINUTES OF THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 15th DECEMBER, 2003

Members received and considered the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 15th December, 2003.

Minute 114.5 - Minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 25th November, 2003.

Cllr. Keighley felt that although minutes were not verbatim they were a public record and members' names should be mentioned within the minutes; he requested that this be borne in mind in the future.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 15th December, 2003 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 137. MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Members received and considered a list of functions attended by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor since the Town Council meeting held on 15th December, 2003.

The Mayor enquired if members would consider making a donation to the RNLI in memory of Keith Munnion.

Cllr. Savage declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this matter and retired from the meeting. Cllrs. Keighley and Shrimpton declared personal interests in this matter.

Discussion ensued and it was proposed that a donation of £50.00 be made to the RNLI in Mr. Munnion's memory.

Cllr. Savage returned to the meeting.

The Mayor informed members that a video, produced by the Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commerce, of the 2003 Victorian Evenings was available in the office which he felt was good and worth watching.

RESOLVED: that (a) a donation of £50 be made to the RNLI in memory of Keith Munnion, former Town Councillor and Mayor;

(b) the list of functions attended by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor be noted.
 138.

 138.1
MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 5th January, 2004

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 5th January, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 138.2 Minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 12th January, 2004

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 12th January, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 138.3 Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 19th January, 2004

Minute 180 - Planning Application OUT/MAL/03/01209 CON/MAL/03/01213 - New Trees - Wellington Road, Maldon

Cllr. Savage informed members that he had contacted the editor of the Maldon and Burnham Standard regarding public consultation but the matter was still ongoing and he would report further at a later stage in the meeting.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 19th January, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 138.4 Minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 21st January, 2004

Minute 74.2 - Donations - Maldon Carnival Association

The forth paragraph be amended to read, "Cllr. Smith left the meeting and the meeting was re-convened at 7.50 p.m."

A line be inserted after the seventh paragraph stating that Cllr. Smith returned to the meeting.

RESOLVED: that (a) (i) Minute 74.2 - the forth paragraph be amended to read, "Cllr. Smith left the meeting and the meeting was re-convened at 7.50 p.m.";

(ii) a line be inserted after the seventh paragraph stating that, "Cllr. Smith returned to the meeting";

(b) in all other respects the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 21st January, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 138.5 Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 2nd February, 2004

Minute 187.a.9. - Planning Applications
In response to a question the Town Clerk stated that the minute had been correctly recorded.

Minute 193 - Public Entertainment Licence - Sportsman Snooker Club
In response to a question by Cllr. Mackenzie the Mayor stated that this matter was being discussed later in the meeting - agenda item 10 referred.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 2nd February, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 139. NOTES OF THE MALDON YOUTH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 27TH NOVEMBER, 2003

Members received and considered the notes of the Maldon Youth Council meeting held on 27th November, 2003.

Cllr. Keighley enquired whether the Youth Council had lifted their embargo on adults attending their meetings as he noted that Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck had been in attendance at the last meeting. Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck stated that she had attended this specific meeting at the request of the Youth Council to report on a Maldon Crime Reduction Panel meeting which she had attended. She also stated that in the past she had brought her son to the meetings but had not stayed whilst the meeting was in progress.

RESOLVED: that the notes of the Maldon Youth Council meeting held on 27th November, 2003 be noted.
 140. ESSEX FIRE AUTHORITY INTEGRATED RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN

Further to minute 122 of the Town Council meeting held on 15th December, 2003 members received and considered the verbal report of Cllr. Savage regarding the Essex Fire Authority Integrated Risk Management Plan.

Cllr. Savage said that he had not received the report in time to study it fully and in this respect informed members that part of his report was taken from the notes made by Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck who had also studied the report.

The Plan had analysed past fire callouts and looked at the reduction of brigades and staffing levels. Public training, such as the use of Smoke Detectors in properties, to reduce the number of deaths by fire was encouraged.

Cllr. Savage felt that although the Maldon Fire Brigade consisted of part time members full credit should be given to them especially during their recent prompt action when attending the fire at Memories Photographic in the High Street. He also stated that any comments which members may have regarding the Plan should be submitted by 25th February, 2004.

RESOLVED: that the Essex Fire Authority Integrated Risk Management Plan be noted.
 141. POLICY STATEMENT AND OBJECTIVES - ANNUAL REVIEW

Further to minute 133 of the Town Council meeting held on 28th January, 2003 members reviewed the Town Council's Policy Statement and Objectives.

In response to a question from Cllr. Savage, the Town Clerk stated that a copy of the Policy Statement and Objectives would be forwarded to him for inclusion on the Town Council's website.

RESOLVED: that (a) a copy of the Town Council's Policy Statement and Objectives be forwarded to Cllr. Savage for inclusion on the Town Council's website;

(b) the Town Council's Policy Statement and Objectives be approved.
 142. DISTRICT COUNCIL'S BUDGET PROPOSALS 2004/2005 - PUBLIC MEETING

Further to minute 123 of the Town Council meeting held on 15th December, 2003 members received the report of Cllr. Keighley on his attendance at the Public Meeting held on 5th January, 2004 to consider the District Council's Budget Proposals (copy circulated to all members of the Council).

RESOLVED: that the report of Cllr. Keighley regarding his attendance at the meeting regarding the District Council's Budget Proposals for 2004/2005 be noted.
 143. PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT LICENCE - SPORTSMAN SNOOKER CLUB

Further to minute 171 of the Planning Committee meeting held on 5th January, 2004 and minute 193 of the Planning Committee meeting held on 2nd February, 2004 members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk regarding the application from the Sportsman Snooker Club for a Public Entertainment Licence. The report detailed the Town Councils letter of objection and advised that the District Council had been contacted; they would be submitting a report detailing objections and comments from the Environmental Health Department for consideration at the hearing on 16th February, 2004 but the District Solicitor would not be making any representations on behalf of the objectors. It had also been suggested that it would be difficult for Cllr. Mackenzie to represent the Town Council and also make a personal objection.

It was noted from the report that the Town Council's solicitor had been contacted and had advised that their hourly charge would be £160.00 and it had been envisaged that it would cost approximately £1,000 to meet Town Councillors to discuss the objection, consider the evidence and attend the hearing.

Cllr. Savage stated that he would be unhappy for a member of the Town Council to attend the meeting if they were not legally represented.

Cllr. Mackenzie informed members that he would be happy to read out the Town Council's letter of objection at the hearing. With regard to the display of the Public Notice in respect of the Licence he said he had not been aware of such a notice being displayed at the site and he would raise this at the hearing.

Discussion ensued and it was suggested that the Town Council submit a second letter reiterating the Town Council's objections to the licence application and stating that 'the current hours and private members club at the Sportsman Snooker Club causes enough problems and members were alarmed to receive details of a request for a Music and Dancing Licence and extension of hours'.

RESOLVED: that (a) minute 171(c) of the Planning Committee meeting held on 5th January, 2004 be rescinded and Cllr. Mackenzie does not represent the Town Council at the hearing;

(b) the Town Council forwards a second letter of objection regarding the application for a Public Entertainment Licence at the Sportsman Snooker Club.

(c) the Town Council be not represented at the hearing in view of the fact that two letters of objection would be submitted and the Town Council had not been approached by members of the public with details which could be used as evidence when cross examined.
 144. CINEMA WORKING PARTY

In accordance with Standing Order 14, Cllr. D. Keighley had submitted the following Notice of Resolution:

"That the Cinema Working Party be asked to examine the possibility of arranging for a third party to show films to the general public in Maldon."

In response to a question from Cllr. Keighley, the Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee informed him that the Notes of the Cinema Working Party would be submitted to the next meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee to be held on 8th March, 2004. In view of this information Cllr. Keighley said he would withdraw the agenda item until members had received the Cinema Working Party Notes.

RESOLVED: that this item be included on a future agenda.
 145. DRAFT SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS - 2004 / 2005

Members received and considered a draft schedule of meetings for the 2004 / 2005 municipal year.

Cllr. Savage expressed concern that several of the proposed planning meetings had a three week period between them which may cause some difficulty in submitting the Town Council's response to the District Council within the requested timescale.

The Town Clerk stated that the schedule of meetings was organised so as not to coincide with District Council meetings and in the past should the submission date be prior to a Town Council Planning Committee meeting then a time extension had been requested and granted from the District Council. It was also stated that this was the usual practice as many Parish Councils only had their meetings on a monthly basis.

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that the draft schedule of meetings be reviewed and re-submitted at the Town Council meeting to be held on 7th April, 2004.
 146. ESSEX SCHOOL ORGANISATION PLAN 2003 - 08

Further to minute 75 of the Town Council meeting held on 15th September, 2003 members were informed that the final Essex School Organisation Plan for 2003 - 08 had been received in the office.

RESOLVED: that the information regarding the final Essex School Organisations Plan for 2003 - 2008 be noted.
 147.

 147.1
MALDON PARISHES LIAISON MEETING

Notes of the Maldon Parishes Liaison Meeting held on 22nd January, 2004

Members received and considered the Notes of the Maldon Parishes Liaison Meeting held on 22nd January, 2004.

RESOLVED: that the Notes of the Maldon Parish Liaison Meeting held on 22nd January, 2004 be noted.
 147.2 Letter from Cllr. Keighley

Members received and considered a letter from Cllr. Keighley regarding the Maldon Parishes Meeting which contained the proposed following Resolution:

"That Maldon Town Council inform Maldon District Council that it sees no need to send representatives to the Parishes Meeting as it believes that matters can be just as easily dealt with by direct communication."

Cllr. Keighley reported that planning issues tend to dominate these meetings. Cllr. Savage expressed the view that, with all the changes that were taking place at present regarding planning the information received at these meetings could be beneficial.

It was suggested that members should have the choice of whether they wished to attend Maldon Parishes Liaison meetings and when put to the vote it was

RESOLVED: that no further action be taken regarding this matter.
 148.

 148.1
ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS/COURSES

Cllr. Prior

Members received the report of Cllr. Prior, circulated at the meeting, regarding his attendance at the following meetings which related to Maldon in some way:

a. Maldon Community Plan 2010 Task Groups
(i) Leisure and Recreation Task Group meeting - 12th January, 2004
(ii) Environment and Planning Task Group meeting - 14th January, 2004

b. External Bodies
(i) Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commerce - 5th January, 2004
(ii) Mid Essex Area Forum - 19th January, 2004
(iii) Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commerce - 2nd February, 2004

c. Self-Assessment Training Day - 16th January, 2004

RESOLVED: that the report of Cllr. Prior regarding his attendance at the above meetings be noted.
 148.2 EALC Conference - Meeting the Challenge - 28th January, 2004

Further to minute 59.2 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 25th November, 2003 members received a verbal report from Cllr. Shrimpton regarding the EALC Conference which he, Cllr. Prior and the Town Clerk had attended on 28th January, 2004.

Cllr. Shrimpton informed members that the Conference discussed the necessary requirements to obtain Quality Status and said that now the Town Clerk had received the appropriate qualification the Town Council were able to apply for Quality Status and in this respect the completed folder had been submitted for consideration. Cllr. Shrimpton reported that several Parish/Town Councils had been experiencing difficulties with their principal authorities when approaching them regarding the devolution of responsibilities from principal authorities to Town/Parish Councils. St. Osyth had suggested to their principal authority that they devolve to them responsibilities such as Street Naming, Parking Restrictions, Noise Abatement and Tree Preservation Orders which would involve no financial expenditure.

It was noted that should the Town Council be granted Quality Status the next logical step would be to approach the Maldon District Council regarding the formation of a Charter between the two authorities.

RESOLVED: that the report of Cllr. Shrimpton be noted.
 149. OLD DOCUMENTS

Members were informed that a box of old documents, dating from 1750 - 1900, which had been the property of the late Mr. Freeman, former Town Clerk of the Maldon Borough Council had been brought into the office. It was suggested that the Maldon Museum Association and the Maldon Society be asked if they wished to view the documents prior to them being forwarded to the Essex Records Office. The documents were available at the meeting for inspection.

Cllr. Swallow expressed the view that copies of the documents should be retained but it was felt that the Town Council did not have suitable storage facilities for such documents and that all other documents of this type were stored at the Essex Records Office.

It was suggested that should the documents be viewed prior to being forwarded to the Essex Records Office cotton gloves should be worn whilst examining the documents to help prevent their deterioration.

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that (a) the Maldon Society and Maldon Museum Association be invited to view the documents;

(b) cotton gloves be worn when examining the documents.

(c) the documents be forwarded to the Essex Records Office for storage
 150. MALDON TOWN CENTRE MANAGEMENT BOARD

Members received and considered the minutes of the Town Centre Management Board Meetings held on:

a. 12th November, 2003
b. 14th January, 2004

In response to a request from the Town Clerk, Cllr. Prior volunteered to complete the District Council Best Value Questionnaire in respect of the Town Centre Manager.

RESOLVED: that (a) Cllr. Prior completes the Best Value Questionnaire regarding Town Centre Management;

(b) the minutes of the Town Centre Management Board Meetings held on 12th November, 2003 and 14th January, 2004 be noted.
 151. MINUTES/NOTES FROM OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS

Members received and considered the following minutes/notes from outside organisations:
 151.1 Friends of the Prom - 19th November, 2003

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Friends of the Prom meeting held on 19th November, 2003 be noted.
 151.2 Maldon District Heritage and Museums Forum - 15th December, 2003

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Maldon District Heritage and Museums Forum held on 15th December, 2003 be noted.
 151.3 Maldon District Museum Association - 13th January, 2004

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Maldon District Museum Association meeting held on 13th January, 2004 be noted.
 151.4 Maldon Twinning Association - 20th January, 2004

In response to a question the Mayor, said he would enquire if there was a website for the twinned town of Villeparisis, France but stated that the twinning connection with Villeparisis was not very strong as they only appeared to be interested in cultural links and not sporting or friendship links.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Maldon Twinning Association meeting held on 20th January, 2004 be noted.
 152. QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

There were no questions from the Press and Public.
Meeting closed at 8.50 p.m.

Councillor Ken Smith
Mayor of Maldon

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



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