Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 11th November 2019 at 7pm in the Council Chamber, The Old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road, Burnham-on-Sea
Present: Cllrs Andy Brewer (Chair), Bill Hancock, Nick Tolley, Chris Allen, Sue Barber, Peter Clayton, Mike Facey, Phil Harvey, Sue Harvey, Andy Hodge, Janet Keen, Alan Matthews, Mike Murphy, Louise Parkin, Colette Winfield with Samantha Winter, Town Clerk.
Rev Kelton Black, 1 member of press, 14 members of the public and a Police representative were in attendance
Public participation session
Three residents spoke to complain about the timescales applied by Sedgemoor District Council in relation to a planning application for 8-8a High Street, Burnham-on-Sea, which resulted in a failure to notify neighbours of plans prior to the Town Council submitting its comments.
The Chairman stated that this matter had been addressed at the last Planning meeting and that the Town Council was awaiting a response from Sedgemoor District Council about the problems caused by the poor timing. The application had been opposed by the ward councillor and a decision had yet to be taken by the planning authority. The Chairman reminded the meeting that the law prevents the matter being reopened for resolution under this agenda.
Apologies were received from Cllr Rich Gardiner-White & Cllr Dawn Carey
Cllr Helen Groves was absent
128/19/TC Declarations of Interest in matters on this agenda
129/19/TC Approval of minutes
The minutes of the Town Council meeting held on Monday 9th October 2019 were received and signed by the Chairman as an accurate record.
130/19/TC Action List
Members NOTED the completed action list.
131/19/TC To receive reports from the police or other emergency services
The Police representative reported that it had been a pleasure to see the community coming together and enjoying the recent eat:festival in Burnham-on-Sea.
Although there were no operational issues to report, there had been anti-social behaviour and driving offences reported at the B&M car park and along the seafront. The Police and Sedgemoor District Council are working together to address the problems and improve police visibility in the area. The public were urged to report any issues to the Police in order that the matter can be logged and used to inform future officer and operational need. It was confirmed that it is helpful if residents include vehicle registrations in reports to the Police, but it is imperative that residents do not put themselves at risk in obtaining the information.
132/19/TC Chairman’s Announcements
The Chairman thanked Rev Kelton Black and others for the recent support he and the Lady Mayoress had received.
The Chairman outlined some of the twenty-five individual events that he and his deputies had attended over the last month. Thanks were expressed to everyone who works to make community occasions a success.
Special thanks were given to Mrs Pat Burge for accompanying the Mayor to an event as his consort, and to Phil New for once again organising the marshalling and road closures for the fireworks display.
Remembrance Sunday was well organised by the Royal British Legion and well attended, with the cadet corps and youth groups proving themselves a credit to the community.
133/19/TC Reports from County Cllrs on County Council
No report was submitted due to the pre-election period and it was noted that the County Council meeting scheduled for 27th November has been cancelled.
134/19/TC Reports from District Cllrs on District Council relevant matters
There was no report.
135/19/TC Reports from members attending meetings of outside bodies
Cllr Keen reported that there had been a short Remembrance service at Southwell Gardens in Highbridge where the young people in attendance had proved themselves a credit to their school and groups.
Motions for note/resolution
136/19/TC A confidential report was received regarding the potential relocation of the Town Council.
It was proposed and resolved to exclude the press and public from the item due to the confidential information relating to other bodies and the commercially sensitive nature of the issues for discussion.
It was agreed to defer discussion of this item until completion of the remaining business on the agenda.
137/19/TC The details of expenditure during September 2019 were received and approved.
Clarification was given that the Council had previously resolved to enter into a contract for the footfall monitors and that the cost shown was a quarterly payment.
138/19/TC The Town Council Accounts for the month of September 2019 were received and approved.
139/19/TC It was noted that the draft minutes of the following committees had been circulated and received:
- Planning Committee held on Wednesday 9th October
- Finance & Resources Committee held on Monday 14th October
- Princess Management Committee held on Monday 21st October
- Planning Committee held on Monday 28th October
140/19/TC Items of correspondence were noted as received.
Dates of next meetings
141/19/TC The dates were noted.
Wednesday 13th Burial Committee
Monday 18th Town Improvements Committee
Wednesday 20th Planning Committee
Monday 25th Finance & Resources (Budget)
Monday 2nd Princess Management Committee
Monday 9th Town Council Meeting
Prior to closing the public part of the meeting, the Chairman reminded those present that the Christmas lights switch-on event in Highbridge will take place on 16th November and the event in Burnham-on-Sea will take place on 23rd November.
Potential relocation of the Town Council – closed item
142/19/TC A confidential report was considered regarding the potential relocation of the Town Council to the site of the Princess Theatre.
Prior to consideration of the known alternative options for new premises, the meeting explored the continued use of the Old Courthouse. It was noted that the building was not efficiently set-up for staff and remained aesthetically a magistrates’ court. The meeting heard that the existing site, in a restricted access residential location, presented challenges. It was further noted that the Council plans to increase its pro-active service provision and would benefit from a town centre location. For completeness, it was proposed by Cllr P Harvey that the Council notes its present office and chamber are not ideal, either for staff or in location and therefore it resolves to seek alternative, more suitable premises.
The motion was seconded by Cllr Clayton and carried.
Consideration was given to the results of the working group recommendation regarding a potential relocation of the Council to the site of the Princess Theatre and it was agreed that this development would not be without challenge.
The meeting heard that the material issues relating to the Somerset County Council One Public Estate feasibility study on the former SS&L building had changed, which enabled the Town Council to revisit its decision to opt out of inclusion. It was noted that a professional independent feasibility study with full costings for both sites had been instructed by the Town Clerk.
It was agreed that the working group should continue to work with the Town Clerk, who will continue discussions with Somerset County Council. It was further agreed that a terms of reference will apply to the group to authorise it to make any decisions about future sites as long as those decisions stop short of entering into any contracts or incurring financial commitments.
Relocation working group members are: Cllrs Andy Brewer, Peter Clayton, Phil Harvey, Mike Murphy and Mike Facey.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 2100hrs.