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MINUTES OF THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 15th SEPTEMBER, 2003 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Deputy Mayor: Cllr. P. Roberts
Councillors: Mrs. M. Curtis, Mrs. M. Game, I. Mackenzie, T. Matthams,
R. Moss, W. Prior, Mrs. S. Riesebeck, S. Savage, J. Swallow
and Mrs. E. Williams
In Attendance: District Councillor Mrs. B. Keighley, Mr. M. Foster (Town Centre Manager), the Town Clerk, an Administrative Assistant and two members of the public, one of whom arrived during the course of the meeting.
Absent: Cllr. Mrs. V. Foster.
  
The Deputy Mayor welcomed Cllr. Mrs. Keighley, Mr. Foster
and the member of the public to the meeting.
 67. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs. K. Smith and T. Shrimpton who were away on holiday. At the conclusion of the meeting, a message offering Cllr. Bentley's apologies was found on the office answerphone.
 68. MINUTES OF THE TOWN COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 11TH AUGUST, 2003

Members received and considered the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 11th August, 2003.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Town Council meeting held on 11th August, 2003 be approved and signed as a true record.
 69. MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Members received and considered a list of functions attended by the Mayor since the Town Council meeting held on 11th August, 2003.

The Deputy Mayor informed members that the Mayor had received a letter from the University of Gloucester notifying that the Society of Local Clerk's David Trafford Memorial Prize had been awarded to Mrs. Helen Vincent arising from her recent successful completion of their Local Policy Course. The citation stated that Mrs. Vincent had been an excellent student who had worked to a consistently high standard and as an active member of the Essex County Training Partnership she was using her experience to promote and provide training for parish and town councils in Essex.

The Deputy Mayor also stated that the University of Gloucester had notified Mrs. Jackie Good that she had successfully completed the Society of Local Council Clerks "Working with your Council" course and had been awarded the Certificate of Achievement.

Members congratulated Mrs. Vincent and Mrs. Good on their achievements.

RESOLVED: that the list of functions attended by the Mayor be noted.
 70. TOWN CENTRE MANAGER

Further to minute 40 of the Town Council meeting held on 7th July, 2003, Mr. M. Foster, Town Centre Manager attended the meeting to report and answer members' questions.

Mr. Foster informed members that the position of Town Centre Manager was jointly funded by Maldon District Council, Maldon Town Council and the Maldon Chamber of Trade and Commerce but supplemented by voluntary contributions from the Maldon Promotions Group which now had fifty five members. The sum of £6,000 was raised from the private sector which was critical to enable promotional activities within the town. Recently rent free office accommodation had also been made available for the Town Centre Manager in the stables to the rear of the Blue Boar Hotel.

Mr. Foster indicated that he had been focusing on the following topics:

¨ encouraging more residents to shop in the town;

¨ attracting more people from outside the District to visit the town (also the responsibility of the Maldon District Council Tourism Officer);

¨ becoming a focal point for new businesses wishing to set up in the town;

¨ revamping the Shoppers Guide;

¨ preparation of a radio advertisement which can be used all year round and to-date it has been on the air during April, May and August;

¨ Using the catchphrase "Make the Most out of Maldon", in front page advertising in the free publication "Maldon and Heybridge Community News", circulated throughout Maldon, Heybridge, Tiptree and Mersea Island. Also advertising in the "Courier" circulated to residents in the Maldon District and investigating the placing of advertisements in other papers outside the town. Some members made reference to the fact that they did not receive the "Community News" and the Town Clerk said she would take this up with the editor;

¨ offering to shoppers a discount Voucher Scheme provided, at cost, by members of the Maldon Promotions Group;

¨ looking at producing mini cards to promote Maldon to the outside world by distributing them to 300 locations throughout Essex;

¨ promoting late night shopping evenings and feature events;

¨ providing car park and information signage within the Town Centre.

Mr Foster felt that his main challenge was to increase the foot flow - i.e. the number of people visiting the town - and he explained that the town's car parks were always in demand. The District Council had recently liaised with the Plume School resulting in 70 free parking spaces being made available at The Plume School, Fambridge Road on Saturdays.

Interest in the website - www.maldon.co.uk - had increased by 25% from last year with 60% of people visiting the site viewing the shopping pages; however he felt that there was still room for improvement of the site.

In response to a question regarding "A" boards being located on the pavement which were potential hazards to shoppers, Mr. Foster said he would informally speak to the offending businesses.

Concern was expressed that, although over 10,000 visitors came to the town for each Victorian Evening they did not appear to visit the town at other times of the year. It was suggested that they often came back at other times of the year especially in the summer when they visited the Promenade Park.

Other questions were raised regarding pedestrianisation of the High Street, vehicular loading outside High Street shops, the Maldon Promotions Group and the various retail markets within the town. With regard to a possible French Market being held Mr. Foster said that this would not take place within the foreseeable future as the District Council did not want to lose car parking spaces for this purposes. It would therefore be necessary to find private owned land close to the town centre.

The Deputy Mayor thanked Mr. Foster, Town Centre Manager for attending the meeting.

RESOLVED: that the report of the Town Centre Manager be noted.
Mr. Foster left the meeting
 71.

 71.1
MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Members received and considered the minutes of the following meetings:

Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 18th August, 2003

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 18th August, 2003 be approved.
 71.2 Minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 19th August, 2003

Minute 34 - Questions from the Press and Public

The Chairman of the Environment Committee drew members' attention to minute 34 which was inaccurate and said that the member of the public had asked if the Town Council would provide another amenity area in the vicinity if it was agreed that the existing amenity area in Tennyson Road be transferred to neighbouring properties. To which she had responded that the Town Council was not considering the provision of an alternative amenity area in the vicinity.

Minute 28.2 - Entrance Gate

In answer to a question regarding whether planning permission was required for the installation of an entrance gate to the amenity area, the Town Clerk stated that the District Council Planning Officer to whom the letter had been addressed was apparently on sick leave and in the circumstances a further letter had now been forwarded to another Planning Officer and a response was awaited.

RESOLVED: that (a) the first paragraph of minute 34 be amended to read, "with regard to the Tennyson Road amenity area, a member of the public asked whether in view of the plan to enclose and eventually sell off the amenity area , the Council would provide another amenity area in the vicinity. The Chairman responded that the Town Council was not considering such provision."

(b) in all other respects the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 19th August, 2003 be approved.
 71.3 71.3 Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st September, 2003

Minute 87 - Planning and Development Services Best Value Review

The view was expressed that it should have been recorded that although District/Town Cllr. Prior was not a member of the Planning Committee he had declared an interest in this item and had retired from the meeting. The Town Clerk stated that as Cllr. Prior was not a Committee member he need not have declared an interest and therefore it was not necessary for such reference in the minutes.

In answer to a question regarding paragraph five of the minute the Town Clerk reported that as the minutes were being submitted for ratification at this meeting the Planning Officer, Maldon District Council had not yet been requested to supply additional information regarding "Discontinuance Notices".

It was noted that question 12 of the questionnaire had been answered by Cllr. Prior when he returned to the meeting which it was suggested should have been indicated in the minutes.

Members agreed that the minutes should stand as presented.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 1st September, 2003 be approved.
 71.4 Minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th September, 2003 Cllr. Savage referred to the fact that although he had raised various matters at the meeting his name had not been recorded in the minutes with regard to these matters. The Town Clerk stated that minutes were not verbatim reports, they are intended to be formal records of official acts and decisions.

Minute 38.1 - Hire Charges

In response to a query regarding the fact that Cllr. Mackenzie's name was recorded in the second paragraph, members felt that the minute should not be amended as Cllr. Mackenzie was not a member of the Committee and this clarified the fact that he had spoken.

Minute 39 - Risk Assessment

Members agreed that red and white tape could be used to cover the wiring fixed to the stage by the Pantomime Society.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th September, 2003 be approved.
 72. REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY WORKING PARTY

Members received and considered the notes of the Remembrance Sunday Working Party meeting held on 26th August, 2003.

RESOLVED: that the notes of the Remembrance Sunday Working Party held on 26th August, 2003 be approved.
 73.

 73.1
PARISH FOOTPATHS

Appointment of Representative

Further to minute 16.18 of the Annual Council meeting held on 12th May, 2003, members were informed that Cllr. Swallow had indicated that he wished to resign as Footpath Representative and in this respect members considered the appointment of a Footpath Representative for the remainder of the municipal year.

RESOLVED: that Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck be appointed Footpath Representative for the remainder of the Municipal Year.
 73.2 Parish Paths Partnership (P3) Training Courses 2003

Further to minute 31 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 19th August, 2003, members considered the appointment of a representative to attend 5, one-day Parish Paths Partnership Training Courses to be held throughout October, 2003 at Cressing Temple Barns, near Braintree. Members noted that Cllr. Mrs Riesebeck had previously attended some of these courses.

RESOLVED: that Cllr. Savage attends 5, one-day Parish Paths Partnership Training Courses to be held at Cressing Temple Barns during October.
 74. MARINE LAKE WORKING GROUP

a. Further to minute 58.1 of the Town Council meeting held on 11th August, 2003 members received and considered a response from the Chief Community Services Officer, Maldon District Council regarding Town Council representation at the meeting of the Marine Lake Working Party to be held on 18th September, 2003. The letter indicated that it would be preferable for a separate meeting with members of the Town Council to be arranged after the 18th September, 2003.

Cllr. Mrs Riesebeck informed members that she would be attending the above meeting as a representative of the Town Centre Strategy Group.

b. As it had previously been agreed that the Mayor would represent the Town Council at the Working Party meeting referred to in (a) members considered the appointment of further members to meet with the District Council Marine Lake Working Party and Cllrs. Mackenzie, Savage and Swallow indicated that they wished to attend. The Town Clerk said she would ascertain whether the District Council would agree to four Town Council members attending the meeting.

RESOLVED: that (a) the response from the Maldon District Council be noted;

(b) subject to confirmation regarding the number of representatives attending, Cllrs. Mackenzie, Savage and Swallow and the Mayor attend a meeting with the Maldon District Council Working Party to discuss the Marine Lake.
 75. DRAFT ESSEX SCHOOL ORGANISATION PLAN 2003 - 2008

Further to minute 63 of the Town Council meeting held on 11th August, 2003 members considered the report of Cllrs. Bentley and Mrs. Riesebeck regarding the Draft Essex School Organisation Plan 2003 - 2008.

The Deputy Mayor thanked Cllrs. Bentley and Mrs. Riesebeck for compiling such a comprehensive report.

RESOLVED: that the report of Cllrs. Bentley and Mrs Riesebeck regarding the Draft Essex School Organisation Plan 2003 - 2008 be noted.
 76. THE SHAPE OF ELECTIONS TO COME

Members received and considered a policy update from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) regarding an executive summary of the report, "The Shape of Elections to Come" produced by The Electoral Commission.

RESOLVED: that the NALC summary on the report from the Electoral Commission entitled "The Shape of Elections to Come" be noted.
 77. ELECTORAL ARRANGEMENTS

Members received and considered a News Release from the Boundary Commission for England and a summary of the Draft Recommendations in respect of the Essex County Council. Members were advised that a full copy of the Draft Recommendations was available for inspection in the office.

The Deputy Mayor said that the only changes he had noticed were that Langford and Ulting were now included within the Heybridge area and if members had any comments regarding this document, they should inform the Town Clerk.

RESOLVED: that (a) members inform the Town Clerk of their comments regarding the document;

(b) the information be noted.
 78.

 78.1
COUNCIL FOR THE PROTECTION OF RURAL ESSEX (CPRE)

Annual General Meeting - 4th October, 2003

Members were informed that notification had been received that the Annual General Meeting of the CPRE was being held between 2.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. on Saturday, 4th October, 2003 at Copped Hall near Epping which also included tours of the garden and mansion and tea at a cost of £5.00 for the tours and £2.50 for tea, a total cost of £7.50 per delegate.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council be not represented at the Annual General Meeting of the CPRE being held on 4th October, 2003.
 78.2 Seminar - Introduction to the Planning System

Members were informed that notification had been received of a seminar entitled, "An Introduction to the Planning System" on 1st November, 2003 at the Kelvedon Institute Hall between 10.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m.

RESOLVED: that Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck attends the "Introduction to the Planning System" seminar to be held on 1st November, 2003 at Kelvedon Institute Hall.
 79. BASELINE SKATING EVENT - 11TH OCTOBER, 2003

Further to minute 26 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 21st August, 2003 members were requested to indicate whether they could help at the Indoor Skating event being held on Saturday, 11th October, 2003 in the Town Hall between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

RESOLVED: that Cllrs. Mrs Curtis, Mrs. Game, Mackenzie, Mrs Riesebeck and Mrs Williams would assist at the Indoor Skating event to be held on 11th October, 2003 and a schedule of times would be compiled and circulated for information.
 80. ANNUAL TOWN MEETING

Members were informed that CAMRA wished to hold another Beer Festival in the Town Hall from Tuesday, 13th April to Saturday, 17th April, 2004 and it was

RESOLVED: that the date of the Annual Town Meeting be changed from Wednesday, 14th April, 2004 to Wednesday, 7th April, 2004.
 81. MEMBERS ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS

Members received verbal reports from Cllr. Prior regarding his attendance at the following meetings:
 81.1 Maldon Community Plan 2010 - Transport and Access Task Group - 28th August, 2003

Cllr. Prior reported that the Group had identified forty objectives which were now in place and he would obtain the list of these for distribution.

RESOLVED: that the verbal report of Cllr. Prior regarding his attendance at the above meeting be noted.
 81.2 Maldon & District Council for Voluntary Service - Meet the Funders Day - 2nd September, 2003

Cllr. Prior reported that he and Mrs. Good had attended the Funder's Day event where representatives from various organisations who provided grant funding were in attendance.

RESOLVED: that the verbal report of Cllr. Prior regarding his attendance at the above meeting be noted.
 82.3 Town Centre Strategy Group - 2nd September, 2003

Cllr. Prior reported that the Marine Lake had been the principal point of discussion at the meeting.

RESOLVED: that the verbal report of Cllr. Prior regarding his attendance at the above meeting be noted.
 82.4 Mid Essex Forum - 11th September, 2003

Cllr. Prior reported that funding arrangements for gritting boxes were being re-defined and in future the provision of these would be the responsibility of town and parish Councils. It was suggested that an item regarding this matter be placed on the Environment Committee agenda for the meeting to be held on 6th October, 2003.

RESOLVED: that (a) an item regarding the funding and provision of gritting boxes be placed on the agenda for the Environment Committee meeting to be held on 6th October, 2003;
(b) the verbal report of Cllr. Prior regarding his attendance at the above meeting be noted.
 83. PROVISION OF ACTIVITIES FOR YOUTHS IN THE TOWN

Members received and considered a letter from District Councillor W. Stichbury regarding the provision of activities for youths in the town.

The view was expressed that a skate park, similar to that in Admirals Park, Chelmsford would be of benefit to the youths of the town and it was suggested that the West Maldon Community Centre would be an ideal location for such a park.

It was noted from the letter that the Community Service Team, Maldon District Council have £19,000 for youth facilities but this has to be spent by 31st March, 2004. Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that an item regarding this matter be placed on the agenda for the Environment Committee meeting to be held on 6th October, 2003.
 84. ESSEX AIR AMBULANCE

Members received and considered a letter from the Community Fundraising Co-ordinator, Essex Air Ambulance regarding a voluntary representative to assist with fundraising.

RESOLVED: that the Essex Air Ambulance be informed that Cllr. Moss would be prepared to act as a voluntary representative to assist with fundraising.
 85.

 85.1
MINUTES/NOTES FROM OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS

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

Maldon Twinning Association - 25th June, 2003

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Maldon Twinning Association meeting held on 25th June, 2003 be noted.
 85.2 Friends of the Prom - 29th July, 2003

RESOLVED: that the notes of the Friends of the Prom meeting held on 29th July, 2003 be noted.
 85.3 Maldon District Museum Association - 12th August, 2003

Members noted that a letter had been forwarded to the Maldon & District Museum Association informing them that the Town Council and not the District Council had donated the projection equipment to the Museum.

RESOLVED: that the notes of the Maldon District Museum Association held on 12th August, 2003 be noted.
 86. QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

The view was expressed that as "Questions from the Press and Public" was now an agenda item it was not necessary for the meeting to be adjourned.

There were no questions from the Press and Public.

The Deputy Mayor, Cllr. P. Roberts announced to members that this would be his last Town Council meeting as he had tendered a letter of resignation to the Mayor. He stated that, as he had recently moved from the town to Braintree, he felt that it was unfair to the electorate for him to remain as a Town Councillor. He thanked all those who in the past years had helped him especially the Town Clerk who had been his Secretary when he initially became Mayor and he particularly thanked everyone for their courtesy.
   Meeting closed at 8.40 p.m.


Councillor Peter Roberts
Deputy Mayor of Maldon

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



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