WTC February Meeting

edited February 21 in General Wivenhoe Talk
Headline points coming out of the WTC February meeting that took place on Monday evening:

Labour's Cllr Julie Young of ECC submitted a written report. It updated on the changes to the First bus timetable taking place on 2 April. The 61 will no longer terminate at the Coop.

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Labour's Cllr Rosalind Scott of CBC welcomed the three new WTC Cllr's. She was "only sorry that the representation of women was down." Cllr's were reminded of the Soup taking place on Tuesday.

Cllr Scott asked Wivenhoe Town Cllr's if they had considered the proposal for Colchester to become a 'City of Sanctuary.' She drew attention to CBC condemning the recent government policy on refugee children. Cllr Scott noted that Bernard Jenkin MP voted in favour of this.

The CBC budget that is being set on Wednesday was then addressed by Cllr Scott. She stated that the reduction in government funding has led to a proposed 2.8% increase in Council Tax.

Cllr Scott offered some answers to the questions asked by WTC Cllr Andrea Vaughan about the Garden Village. She suggested a meeting with a CBC Officer as they were "technical."

WTC Cllr Nick Tile asked Cllr Scott what is being done about the existing homeless situation in Colchester, ahead of the 'Sanctuary' status. "Quite a lot" was the reply. Cllr Scott said that people are homeless because of the "Bedroom Tax, financial sanctions and private landlords."

--

LibDem Cllr Mark Cory of CBC explained more about the CBC budget:

"Council Tax will rise £4.95 per week on average. We have less revenue for community projects. The Locality budget will help Wivenhoe."

Cllr Cory also mentioned the CBC Big Choice funding, and the application for the Repair Cafe. He suggested that CBC should work more with the Repair Cafe on other projects.

Festival funding was also addressed by Cllr Cory. He updated how two Wivenhoe festivals have applied for CBC funding: Wild About Wivenhoe and the Wivenhoe Art Sea Festival.

With the transfer of the toilets from CBC to WTC almost complete, Cllr Cory urged WTC to consider internal management, rather than out-sourcing.

Cllr Kevin Read of WTC asked Cllr Cory about the sale of Gothic House by CBC on the High Street. He was surprised to be notified only a few weeks ago:

"We are a forward thinking council. There is no connectivity between CBC and WTC. This is an opportunity that has been taken away from us."

Cllr Neil Lodge of WTC was also keen to ask about the sale of Gothic House:

"What will the £600,000 or so be spent upon?"

--

Labour's Cllr Cyril Liddy of CBC updated WTC about planning enforcement after a debate at the last meeting:

"Our performance is pretty proactive. The Planning Committee has no remit to deal with enforcement. We want people in the parishes to be the eye and ears for CBC."

Cllr Liddy also spoke about the recent CBC Local Plan Committee. Of interest to Wivenhoe was the possible changes to the Coastal Protection Belt.

Two pieces of land are being considered: the land behind the fire station, and the land behind Millfields. Cllr Liddy said that the fire station land was "indefensible."

Cllr Liddy urged people to put their comments in by 10 March for the proposed changes to Leys Road. He also invited WTC to attend the launch of Colne Radio as an FM station on 8 April.

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WTC Transport Correspondent Peter Kay spoke about the proposed changes to the First bus timetable:

"It is unlikely that the new timetable will last long. It will change so that First can be nasty to another operator."

Peter suggested that the automatic train warning horns were a "national experiment that serve no purpose."

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Cllr Lodge updated on the Health Centre:

"They are working on it. Discussions with neighbours are taking place about the entrance."

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The Personnel Committee report started with a request from Labour's Cllr Phil Finn of WTC:

"What is appropriate to share in the public domain?"

He urged for the Committee to go into CAMRA and update without members of the public present.

Cllr Finn then spoke in general about the Personnel Committee:

"We have the potential for conflict of interest in a small community. We need to plan this into our recruitment process."

Cllr Mike Newton of WTC confirmed that this is already part of the recruitment process at WTC.

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The Estates Committee heard how a draft management plan is being worked on with local wildlife experts. Cllr Bob Needham of WTC stated that three trees have been planted in the KGV by the Wivenhoe Society.

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Cllr Vaughan said that a heating consultant is being brought in to look at options in the William Loveless Hall. Cllr Read asked if any recommendations could be paid for out of the CBC Locality budget? It was explained that it is too late as the Borough Cllr's have gone down the Soup route.

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Youth Facilities heard how the Congregational Church is keen to set up facilities. The uptake has been low.

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WTC Mayor Cllr Asa Aldis updated with his plans for the Cemetery Chapel:

"I hope to have the Museum open at the beginning of May."

A touring Essex Museum Trust exhibition on the Witchfinder General is being considered.

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The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group thanked Cllr Liddy for his work with the Coastal Protection Belt. The Steering Group is concerned about the "lack of momentum" at CBC with the Neighbourhood Plan.

Cllr Needham added:

"It is four years since our first meeting. A letter has been sent to CBC. They haven't even appointed an external examiner."

A discussion then took place about the land behind the fire station. This is currently protected under the Coastal Protection Belt from housing. There was the fear that if this protection is removed before the Neighbourhood Plan is agreed, developers might submit plans.

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Cllr Tile updated on river matters. He explained that the Essex Marine Police are back on the river to try and deter unsocial activity. Cllr Tile explained how CBC was looking at how to make some money from the silt.

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Cllr Shaun Boughton of WTC was then offered the Deputy Mayor position for the new civic year. He accepted, saying it would be "an honour."

--

Mayor Asa Aldis announced with huge regret that the Mayor's Ball for this year has been cancelled. Ticket sales have struggled.

Comments

  • What are the changes to the 61?
  • "only sorry that the representation of women was down." Is this a valid point to voice by the Councilor? Surely the criteria is that we have competent people regardless of what gender they are.

    The Personnel Committee report started with a request from Labour's Cllr Phil Finn of WTC:
    "What is appropriate to share in the public domain?"
    He urged for the Committee to go into CAMRA and update without members of the public present.
    The above is worrying: WTC councilors are there to serve the people of Wivenhoe. Why would they want to do or discuss anything to which the public, they people who elected them, are not welcome to attend? 

    On a lighter note, I'm sure its a Typo but going in to CAMRA.............I take it that could mean The Black Buoy.

  • "only sorry that the representation of women was down." Is this a valid point to voice by the Councilor? Surely the criteria is that we have competent people regardless of what gender they are.

    .

    Well said. (also it is up by 100% on last week).
  • "only sorry that the representation of women was down." Is this a valid point to voice by the Councilor? Surely the criteria is that we have competent people regardless of what gender they are.

    The Personnel Committee report started with a request from Labour's Cllr Phil Finn of WTC:
    "What is appropriate to share in the public domain?"
    He urged for the Committee to go into CAMRA and update without members of the public present.
    The above is worrying: WTC councilors are there to serve the people of Wivenhoe. Why would they want to do or discuss anything to which the public, they people who elected them, are not welcome to attend? 

    On a lighter note, I'm sure its a Typo but going in to CAMRA.............I take it that could mean The Black Buoy.


    All,

    Just leave you with this thought.  If you were a WTC employee, or you had applied for a job with WTC, would you wish personal details of your salary, contract, pensions, etc. to be shared with the public before you were informed about it?

    There are reasons why the Council would go 'in camera' (from the Latin, I believe), and those reasons do not involve drinking Ale!  That comes later.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    MikeNewton 

  • Mottza said:
    What are the changes to the 61?
    What's the betting that the 61 will run onto Brightlingsea and back again ?
  • I have looked under every menu item that looked even remotely relevant on First Bus's website, including "service changes" but cannot find any mention of the 61 route change.  Given that whenever they change something Peter Kay's information & publicity has proved to be more up to date and visible than anything from First, I am pretty sure the website is the place that is lacking, but, like @Mottza I would really like to know what is known about these changes.  Saying it's not terminating at Co-op, does that mean we are back to it terminating at the university? Or will it be going beyond Co-op? And if it is still serving Wivenhoe is the frequency changing dramatically?
  • Steph, suggest you look on Peter's 'Bus Changes' thread to get a breakdown of the whole sorry saga...
  • Cllr Scott asked Wivenhoe Town Cllr's if they had considered the proposal for Colchester to become a 'City of Sanctuary.' She drew attention to CBC condemning the recent government policy on refugee children. Cllr Scott noted that Bernard Jenkin MP voted in favour of this.


    Tonight I had three minutes to speak at CBC meeting at The Town Hall as a representative of the City of Sanctuary. I wasn't given a brief and went in totally dry after a three-minute speech promoting the City of Sanctuary Status. Both speeches were well received. It was pointed out by the speaker that we were so grateful for the Councils involvement in bringing in 11 Syrian families into Colchester. I must point out that CBC has been really amazing as has Rosalind Scott and Tina Borne and other councilors.

    As many of you may know  I have been working with Welcome Refugee Colchester from the onset. Before my speech, I said that I would come from a Christian angle but not apologise for it. I then pointed out that Jesus himself was a refugee as King Herod sent his soldiers to kill all children from babies to two-year-olds because the birth of Jesus had put his kingship under threat and he was fearful of losing his power. Mary and Joseph had to escape.The Jews were refugees in the desert as they escaped slavery and poverty in Egypt and all they wanted to do is escape from repression, poverty and certain death and misery into a better safe life.

    I am proud of what Colchester has done to show love and kindness to people who are escaping from similar oppression thousands of years later. Do things really change or does this kind of terror just develop slightly different in the different cultures of the times? Do we really learn from our mistakes?

    Colchester has been a forerunner in refugee care and Wivenhoe has paid a part, did you know that The Congregational Church started facts and fiction evenings Showing the real truths of what was going on) which are now taken place in towns and cities all over England and the Colchester model of welcome refugee Colchester is also being used all over the country and we were also praised by the government. I am not a political man in a full sense but I am a man of compassion, empathy, and love and I see these attributes in Wivenhoe. If any of you want me to put on a presentation and talk on The City of Sanctuary then if I get enough response then I will arrange it and post a date. Blessings, Rev Justin
  • What exactly are we getting for that £4.95 rise in council tax? Doesnt sound much, a latte and cake in a cafe to some but others that's a lot out of their already tight budgets.
  • "only sorry that the representation of women was down." Is this a valid point to voice by the Councilor? Surely the criteria is that we have competent people regardless of what gender they are.

    The Personnel Committee report started with a request from Labour's Cllr Phil Finn of WTC:
    "What is appropriate to share in the public domain?"
    He urged for the Committee to go into CAMRA and update without members of the public present.
    The above is worrying: WTC councilors are there to serve the people of Wivenhoe. Why would they want to do or discuss anything to which the public, they people who elected them, are not welcome to attend? 

    On a lighter note, I'm sure its a Typo but going in to CAMRA.............I take it that could mean The Black Buoy.


    All,

    Just leave you with this thought.  If you were a WTC employee, or you had applied for a job with WTC, would you wish personal details of your salary, contract, pensions, etc. to be shared with the public before you were informed about it?

    There are reasons why the Council would go 'in camera' (from the Latin, I believe), and those reasons do not involve drinking Ale!  That comes later.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    MikeNewton 


    Fair point regarding WTC employee's personal employment details and one which I did not pick up on and do agree with.
  • diane said:
    What exactly are we getting for that £4.95 rise in council tax? Doesnt sound much, a latte and cake in a cafe to some but others that's a lot out of their already tight budgets.

    I think it helps to pay for things like school transport etc.., either that or maintenance of some rather over-weight moggies in Chelmsford.  :/
  • Ringway Jacobs profits 
  • Cllr Cory explained that the Council Tax increase covers the reduction in the central government settlement for the Borough, as well as a cut to the New Homes Bonus. It will be spent on community projects.

    The ECC increase in Council Tax has been ring fenced to cover the social care budget.

    The CBC increase works out at 2.8%. A referendum was previously needed for an increase of 2% or more. It was was explained on Monday evening that the maximum increase is now calculated as a financial sum, rather than as a percentage.
  • Before Colchester & Wivenhoe can become "Cities of Sanctuary", we need sufficient infrastructure for all the residents - the hospital & other NHS services, in particular. spending 24 hours in A&E is not acceptable.
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