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MINUTES OF THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 5th APRIL, 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: District Councillor Mrs. B. Keighley, a member of the press, the Town Clerk, Mace Bearer and Administrative Assistant.
 153. AN APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE

Members received an apology for absence from Cllr. M. Bentley stating that he was on holiday.

RESOLVED: that the apology from Cllr. Bentley be noted.
 154. MINUTES OF THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 9TH FEBRUARY, 2004

Members received and considered the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 9th February, 2004.

Minute 142 - District Council's Budget Proposals 2004/2005 - Public Meeting
In response to a question from Cllr. Keighley, the Town Clerk said that reports referred to in minutes were not attached as appendices to minutes as they would become too extensive. Members received copies of reports with their agendas and the public had access to these documents which are retained in agenda files available for inspection within the Town Council office.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 9th February, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 155.

 155.1
MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

List of Functions

Members received and considered a list of functions attended by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor since the Town Council meeting held on 9th February, 2004.

The Mayor informed members that his Charity Ball held on 3rd April, 2004 had been very successful and had raised over £2,400 which would be donated to local charities before the conclusion of his mayoral year.
 155.2 Letter

Further to minute 137 of the Council meeting held on 9th February, 2004 members were informed that a letter had been received from Wendy Munnion thanking the Town Council for their letter of sympathy.

RESOLVED: that (a) the list of functions attended by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor be noted;

(b) the letter from Mrs. Munnion be noted.
 156. MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Members received and considered the minutes of the following Committee meetings:
 156.1 Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 16th February, 2004

The Chairman of the Planning Committee drew members' attention to minute 201 - Essex Minerals Local Plan Second Review - First Deposit Draft - which he had referred to at the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st March, 2004 (minute 210 refers).

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 16th February, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 156.2 Minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 17th February, 2004

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 17th February, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 156.3 Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st March, 2004

The Chairman of the Planning Committee drew members' attention to minute 214 - Road Safety Working Party - note 3c Recommendation (i) which had been amended at the Planning Committee meeting held on 15th March, 2004 (minute 224 refers).

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st March, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 156.4 Minutes of the Special Meeting of the Planning Committee meeting held on 8th March, 2004

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Special Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 8th March, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 156.5 Minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th March, 2004

Minute 90.2 - Town Council Website, Broadband and dot.gov.Domain Name
Cllr. Keighley expressed his concern with regard to the recommendations detailed in this minute as he felt that the Town Council had not issued the authority for website quotations to be sought and referred to the existing website set up by Cllr. Savage at no cost to the Council. He was of the opinion that it would be beneficial for the matter to be discussed by the Website Working Party.

Cllr. Savage expressed the view that there was space available for a website on BTOpen World and U.Genie, the companies which the Town Council were currently using for email and Internet access.

The Mayor informed members that minute 75 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 21st January, 2004 made reference to inviting Mr Letch to attend a future meeting of the Town Council to discuss the provision of a website. It had also been agreed at the Estimates Meeting that the possibility of the office staff operating a website be pursued.

Discussion ensued and when put to the vote it was agreed that the matter should be referred to the Website Working Party. In this respect the recommendations of Minute 90.2 were not approved.

RESOLVED: that (a) the recommendations of minute 90.2 be not approved and the subject of the Town Council website, Broadband and dot.gov. Domain Name be considered at a meeting of the Website Working Party;

(b) in all other respects the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th March, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 156.6 Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 15th March, 2004

Minute 226 - Item 2 - TCA/MAL/04/002222 TCP/PN/04/00010
The Chairman of the Planning Committee informed members that he had attended a site meeting with the Tree Officer, Maldon District Council where it had been noted that the Poplar detailed in the application was a Balsam Poplar and not a Black Poplar, a protected species, as originally thought. After receiving additional information and in consultation with the owners of the property and the Tree Officer, the Chairman proposed that minute 226 - item 2 be rescinded and the District Council be informed that:

(a) the Balsam Poplar be felled and replaced by a Hawthorn tree;
(b) the adjacent Yew tree remain untouched.

RESOLVED: that (a) minute 226 - Item 2 be rescinded and the Maldon District Council be informed that with regard to application TCA/MAL/04/002222 TCP/PN/04/00010 the Town Council has no objection to;

(i) the Balsam Poplar being felled and replaced by a Hawthorn tree;
(ii) the adjacent Yew tree remain untouched.

(b) in all other respect the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 15th March, 2004 be approved.
 156.7 Minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 22nd March, 2004

Minute 85.2.1. - Outstanding Invoice
In response to a question, the Town Clerk clarified that the work of repairing the alarm at Brickhouse Farm had been undertaken and the legal advice referred to was in respect of payment of the invoice for this work by the Contractor. However, the situation had now been rectified and payment made.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 22nd March, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 156.8 Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 29th March, 2004

The Chairman drew members' attention to minute 235(a) and stated that tree application TCA/MAL/04/00222 TCA/PN/04/00010 had been discussed in conjunction with the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 15th March, 2004 (minute 156.6 of these minutes refers)

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 29th March, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 157. SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS 2004/2005

Further to minute 145 of the Council meeting held on 9th February, 2004 members received and considered a draft Schedule of Meetings for 2004/2005.

Cllr. Savage informed members that he and the Town Clerk had reviewed the draft Schedule of Meetings and although not ideal as there were a couple of three week periods between Planning Committee meetings he approved the schedule for the 2004/2005 year. Should it be necessary for applications to be considered urgently they would, if necessary, be presented to a meeting of the Town Council or its committees.

Cllr. Savage also stated that he would be investigating the schedule of meetings for 2005/2006 within the next fortnight.

RESOLVED: that the Schedule of Meetings for the 2004/2005 municipal year be approved.
 158 ROAD SAFETY WORKING PARTY

Further to Note 3 of the Road Safety Working Party Meeting held on 1st March, 2004 members recalled that Essex County Councillor Bass had stated that he would prefer to attend a meeting with the entire Town Council to discuss relevant issues regarding road safety.

The Chairman of the Road Safety Working Party informed members that the Working Party required some guidance regarding the demarcation between Essex County Council and Maldon District responsibilities and in this respect requested that County Councillor Bass be invited to attend a future Town Council meeting.

RESOLVED: that County Councillor Bass be invited to attend a future Town Council meeting.
 159.

 159.1
NOTICES OF RESOLUTION

Cinema

Further to minute 144 of the Council meeting held on 9th February, 2004 in accordance with Standing Order 14, members received and considered the following Notice of Resolution from Cllr. D. Keighley:

"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".

Cllr. Keighley requested that this item be withdrawn from the agenda as he felt that fellow councillors were not in a position to consider the matter as the Notes of the Cinema Working Party meeting held on 21st January, 2004 were not attached to provide background information for members.

The Town Clerk advised that all members had received a copy of the Notes of the Cinema Working Party meeting held on 21st January, 2004 as they had been circulated for approval with the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting agenda for the meeting held on 8th March, 2004 (minute 91.1 of that meeting referred)

Cllr. Keighley stated that he would discuss procedures with the Town Clerk and the Mayor suggested that Cllr. Keighley's Notice of Resolution and the Notes of the Cinema Working Party meeting held on 21st January, 2004 be distributed again at the next meeting of the Town Council.

RESOLVED: that the resolution be withdrawn and resubmitted with a further copy of the Cinema Working Party notes at the next meeting of the Town Council.
 159.2 Town Centre Manager

In accordance with Standing Order 14 members received and considered the following Notice from Cllr. R. Moss:

With regard to the employment of the Town Centre Manger when is the position reviewed and what is the term of the contract".

Cllr. Moss expressed the view that he was unhappy with the Town Centre Manager and felt that it would be more appropriate for the position to be held by someone that lived within Maldon. He also felt that the Town Centre Manager had done little to promote the town and stated that the footfall was down and the shops were not taking the money that they should. He also referred to the fact that the Town Centre Manager should be encouraging a Continental Market to the town.

The Town Clerk stated that the Town Centre Manager had previously submitted a proposal for a French Market to be held in the town but members of the District Council had objected to this proposal because of loss of car parking spaces at the time. However, the Town Centre Manager would be pursuing this matter again. She also stated that the Maldon District Council were currently circulating a "Best Value" questionnaire in respect of the Town Centre Manager to 50% of local businesses. Cllr. D. Keighley referred to the Promotion Evening held at Quest Motors last year and said that the presentation by the Town Centre Manager had been very professional and he does a lot of work through the Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

Discussion ensued and in response to a question Cllr. Moss was informed that the position of Town Centre Manger would be considered at the Estimates meeting to be held in December when funding for the position would be reviewed.

RESOLVED: that the appointment of the Town Centre Manager be deferred until the Estimates meeting to be held in December, 2004.
 160. BROADBAND AND DOT.GOV DOMAIN

This matter was superseded (minute 156.5 referred).
 161. ANNUAL REPORT

Further to minute 93 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th March, 2004 members received and considered a report detailing quotations from four companies to supply 6000 copies of the Annual Report to the following specification:

Printed in two colour on the front and back pages and full colour on the inside pages on 150gsm Gloss Art paper. Trimmed to A3 size and folded in half to A4 size. To include all artwork, films and printing plates.

RESOLVED: that the quotation from Jenner (City Print) Limited in the sum of £515.00 plus VAT be approved. (Local Government Act 1972 s.111
 162. QUALITY STATUS

Further to the letter of the Town Clerk dated 16th February, 2004 members were informed that confirmation had been received from the Essex Association of Local Council's (EALC) that the Town Council had been awarded Quality Status on 13th February, 2004 and that the certificate would be presented at the EALC's AGM to be held on 23rd June, 2004.

In this respect members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk regarding a letter which had been sent to the Maldon District Council to enquire if they had a Charter with Parish/Town Councils. A response had been received from the Chief Executive congratulating the Town Council on their success in gaining Quality Status and stating that they look forward to progressing this with the Town Council. An example of a Charter with Parish/Town Councils was circulated to all members and it was noted that this could be amended to suit the Town Council's requirements.

Discussion ensued and members considered whether they wished to pursue a Charter with the Maldon District Council and Essex County Council. It was suggested that it would be beneficial for a Working Party to be set up to consider the matter further and in this respect it was

RESOLVED: that Cllrs. Jennings, Prior, Mrs. Riesebeck, Savage and Shrimpton serve on a Quality Status Working Party for the remainder of the municipal year.
 163.

 163.1
CODE OF CONDUCT

Code of Conduct - Review of a Referral Decision for Investigation

Members received and considered a letter from the Solicitor, Maldon District Council regarding the Code of Conduct - Review of a Referral Decision for Investigation. The District Council Solicitor notified that he had received a letter from The Standards Board of England which set out the procedure for asking for a review of a decision that an allegation against a councillor should be referred to an Ethical Standards Officer.

RESOLVED: that the letter from the Solicitor, Maldon District Council regarding the Code of Conduct - Review of a Referral Decision for Investigation be noted
 163.2 Consultation Exercises

Further to the Town Clerk's letter of 5th March, 2004 members received and considered consultation exercises from:

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
The Standards Board of England

RESOLVED: that the consultation exercises be noted.
 163.3 Town Council Code of Conduct on Complaints

Members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk which referred to Standing Order No. 58 which makes reference to complaints of maladministration allegedly committed by the Council or by any officer or member and detailed the Code of Practice which should be adhered to if a complaint was submitted to Council.

Discussion ensued and it was noted that this Code of Practice was for internal complaints only.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council accepts the Code of Practice and in this respect the Town Council's Standing Orders be amended to include the Code of Practice.
 164.

 164.1
MOOT HALL

Payment of Invoice

Further to minute 98 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th March, 2004 and minute 90.1 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 4th March, 2003 members considered authorising the payment of the account from David Whymark, Building Design & Conservation in the sum of £8,102.78 (£108, 037 x 10% x 75%).

In response to a question from Cllr. Keighley, the Mayor stated that members had been well aware that the cost of repairs to the Moot Hall would be substantial and it had been agreed that expert knowledge was required to ensure that the repairs were undertaken to the required standard. Members noted that the Town Council would be applying for grant funding to undertake the work and it was anticipated that, with the funds currently available, some of the repairs could be undertaken this year. Cllr. Keighley said that he was unhappy with regard to this situation but realised that the Town Council had to pay the invoice.

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that the account of David Whymark, Building Design & Conservation in the sum of £8,102.37 plus VAT for preparation of specifications and obtaining tenders for Moot Hall repairs be approved.
(Local Government Act 1972 s.133)
 164.2 Request for Use

Members were informed that a letter had been received from The Rev. Canon David Atkins requesting permission to hold a short service at the top of the Moot Hall at 7 a.m. to commerate Ascension Day on 20th May, 2004.

RESOLVED: that permission be granted for The Rev. Canon David Atkins to hold a short service at the top of the Moot Hall at 7 a.m. on Ascension Day, 20th May, 2004.
 165. YOUTH COUNCIL - BATTLE OF THE BANDS

Further to the Youth Council meeting held on 23rd March, 2004 members considered a request from the Youth Council for free use of the Town Hall to stage the Maldon Heat of the "Battle of the Bands" competition on Saturday, 8th May, 2004.

In response to a question regarding insurance cover for such an event the Town Clerk confirmed that the Town Council had adequate insurance cover and stated that this will be the third "Battle of the Bands" to be held in the Town Hall and that past events had been very successful and problem free.

Cllr. Jennings indicated that he would be willing to assist at the event.

RESOLVED: that the Youth Council be granted free use of the Town Hall on Saturday, 8th May, 2004 to stage the Maldon Heat of the "Battle of the Bands" competition.
 166. WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

Further to the Environment Committee meeting held on 22nd March, 2004 members noted that a litter pick would be taking place along footpath No. 1 on Saturday, 5th June, 2004 for World Environment Day and those able to take part should meet at the West Maldon Community Centre at 10.00 a.m.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 167. DOWNS LODGE

Members received and considered a letter from the Chief Corporate Services Officer, Maldon District Council (copy circulated to all members of the Council) which confirmed that the Maldon District Council had a view to dispose of the Downs Lodge and detailed the history behind this decision. The purpose of the letter was to seek the views of the Maldon Town Council on whether the Town Council would be interested in acquiring the property.

Cllr. Jennings felt that it was morally wrong for the Maldon District Council to sell the property which had been left to the town by the Sadd family. He felt that the property, which had direct access to the river, could be used by the Youth Services for activities such as canoeing and the house, land and Recreation Ground should be donated by the Maldon District Council to the Town Council. It was noted that the proposed disposal was for the house and its curtilage and not the recreation ground.

The view was expressed that it would be wrong for the property to be sold and with the assistance of other organisations the property could be used to benefit the town's young people and it was suggested that a letter be forwarded to the Maldon District Council expressing this view.

Cllr. Savage informed members that for many years some of the land had been rented and maintained by a neighbour.

RESOLVED: that a letter be forwarded to the Maldon District Council stating that the Town Council would be happy to receive Downs Lodge Estate as a gift in view of the fact it had been left to the people of Maldon.
 168. PLUME LIBRARY

Members received and considered a letter from Mr. F. Herrmann, Town Council representative on the Plume Trustees updating on the Plume Library and detailing how the library would be celebrating its Tercentenary; the library opened in 1704.

RESOLVED: that the letter from Mr. F. Herrmann, Plume Library Trustee be noted.
 169. ALL SAINTS' CHURCH

Members were informed that a letter had been received from the Estate Chairman, All Saints' Church expressing concern regarding the condition of the main pathway to the Church from the High Street and also the access to the west door entrance with reference being made to health and safety legislation and new regulations regarding access. In view of the fact that the closed churchyard was maintained by the Town Council the P.C.C. sought permission to undertake the works and also enquired if the Town Council would consider providing funds to assist with the work. The quotation for the work and pictures showing the footpaths and access were available at the meeting.

Discussion ensued regarding the condition of the paths and it was noted that the work did not include access ramps into the building just the replacement of the flagstones.

RESOLVED: that the Parochial Church Council be informed that the Town Council has no objection to the work to the footpaths being undertaken but will be unable to provide funds to assist with the work.
 170. MALDON PARISHES GROUP LIAISON MEETING

Members were informed that notification had been received from the Maldon District Council regarding the next Maldon Parishes Group Liaison Meeting being held in the Committee Room, Cold Norton Village Hall on Thursday, 29th April, 2004 commencing at 7.30 p.m. It was noted that items for inclusion on the agenda should be forwarded to the District Council by Friday, 16th April, 2004 and that all members of the Town Council were invited to attend the meeting.

RESOLVED: that the information regarding the Maldon Parishes Group Liaison meeting be noted.
 171. ESSEX SCHOOL ORGANISATION PLAN 2003 - 2008

Further to minute 146 of the Town Council meeting held on 9th February, 2004 members received a copy letter from Heybridge Parish Council to the Strategic Planning Officer, Essex County Council regarding pupil numbers at schools in Heybridge and Maldon.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 172. MALDON DISTRICT COUNCIL - SERVICE STANDARD LEAFLET

Members were informed that as part of the Maldon District Council Corporate Improvement Programme a Service leaflet had been produced for each section of the District Council and that copies of these leaflets were available for inspection in the Town Council office.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 173.

 173.1
ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS/COURSES

Cllr. Prior

Members received the verbal reports of Cllr. Prior regarding his attendance at the following meetings:

a. Maldon 2010 Partnership - Environment and Planning Task Group, 11th February, 2004
Cllr. Prior informed members that the Maldon District Council was one authority which had been awarded the "Liveability" Fund which will enable five major projects in Maldon to be undertaken including a Visitor Centre at Woodland Glade cemetery, improvements to Promenade Park, improvements to the Poets Estate, Wycke Hill area and roundabouts.

b. Maldon 2010 Partnership - Education, Training and Employment, 11th February, 2004

c. Maldon 2010 Partnership - Transport and Access, 1st March, 2004
Cllr. Prior stated that topics discussed included the mapping of bus stops and times, additional publicity for the Tesco Park and Ride Scheme, better signage, improvements for coach parking facilities and a shop mobility scheme.

d. Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commerce, 1st March, 2004
It was noted that since the resignation of the Chairman, Mark Harrington, meetings would be chaired by various members until the A.G.M.

e. Mid-Essex Area Forum, 11th March, 2004
Cllr. Prior reported that the Maldon District was to gain five Community Support Officers and a support car. The Ambulance Stations at Maldon and Burnham would remain and there would be more use of the Essex Air Ambulance within the District.

In response to a question it was noted that the Essex Air Ambulance relied on voluntary funding.

f. Maldon District Council Events Forum, 15th March, 2004
Cllr. Prior suggested that it would be beneficial for John Hughes, Maldon District Council to speak to members on the development of the licensing policy and this was agreed by members. (information regarding Insurance of Events and Regulated Entertainment was circulated to members)

g. Town Centre Management Board Meeting, 17th March, 2004
Cllr. Prior stated that the Town Centre Manager was developing a Shoppers Loyalty Card Scheme, Shoppers Guide, promotional mini cards, considering the relocation of the market, Park and Ride and conformity of the town's road signage.

RESOLVED: that (a) John Hughes, Maldon District Council be invited to give a presentation to Town Council members regarding the development of the licensing policy;

(b) the reports of Cllr. Prior be noted.
 173.2 Course - "You Can Plan For The Future of Your Village (Community)

Members received the report of Cllr. Shrimpton regarding his attendance at the above course on 12th February, 2004. Cllr. Shrimpton informed members that he had found the course most interesting. He stated that it was possible to obtain funding for the preparation of Parish Plans, Appraisals etc. which take on board the views of the community. Once prepared these documents should be taken into consideration by the local planning authority. He referred to Maldon's Future: A Community View and suggested that if the preparation of a Parish/Town Charter did not proceed with the District Council consideration should be given to various aspects of the Community View document .

RESOLVED: that the report of Cllr. Shrimpton be noted.
 173.3 Chairman's Day

Cllrs. Mrs. Riesebeck, and Savage had attended an Essex Association of Local Councils Chairman's Training Day held on Tuesday, 23rd March, 2004 and the report of Cllr. Savage was circulated to members at the meeting.

RESOLVED: that the report of Cllr. Savage be noted.
 174. MINUTES/NOTES FROM OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS

Members received and considered the following minutes/notes from outside organisations:
 174.1 Friends of the Prom - 10th February, 2004

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Friends of the Prom meeting held on 10th February, 2004 be noted.
 174.2 Maeldune Trust - 24th February, 2004

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Maeldune Trust meeting held on 24th February, 2004 be noted.
 174.3 Maldon District Museum Association - 9th March, 2004

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Maldon District Museum Association meeting held on 9th March, 2004 be noted.
 175. ANNUAL TOWN COUNCIL

Members were informed that the Annual Town Meeting would be held on Wednesday, 7th April, 2004 and the guest speaker would be a representative of the Maldon and District Neighbour Mediation Service and representatives of local organisations and groups had been invited to display promotional boards and literature at the meeting.
 176. QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

There were no questions from the Press and Public.
   Meeting closed at 8.52 p.m.

Councillor Ken Smith
Mayor of Maldon

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



ITEMS   (copy, report herewith)  are available for inspection at the Town Hall during normal office hours.

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