Extra-Ordinary Full Council Meeting Minutes Wednesday 14 April 2021 at 7.00pm
Under the Local Authorities (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Meeting) (England) Regulations 2020, this meeting was held by video conference.
Cllrs Ashton Derry, Brown, Cotton, Crump, Harper, Hillman, Kenny, Ives, Spurr, I Willox and J Willox
Elaine Atkin, Parish Clerk
Lydia Hopton, Assistant Clerk
There were 14 members of the public in attendance.
Cllr Cotton started the meeting with a minute’s silence as a mark of respect to the death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.
There were many comments made in regard to the Big Community Survey results (which had been made available to the public prior to the meeting). These included:
The financial breakdown of the cost of running the bar shows £24,000 administration costs attributed to the bar. Presumably these admin overheads will still be there if the bar closes, and can Council afford this?
Will there be a further meeting to give residents chance to discuss the survey results in more detail?
Getting rid of the bar will impact the wellbeing of the parish and it will lose the village community feel
There are negative comments in the survey results regarding the bar – why were these included in the results?
Is this meeting only going to discuss the library recommendations?
What is being discussed about the bar tonight?
Were the experienced bar staff consulted for the bar report?
Were members of the public consulted on the bar project?
The village needs to understand Council finances and its restrictions. Cashflow is tight and the Council is not rich.
There is no cover up
Full Council Meeting
123/21 To receive apologies and accept valid reasons for absence, these having been submitted to the Clerk prior to the meeting
There were none.
124/21 To receive declarations of interest in accordance with the Localism Act 2011
It was clarified that all Councillors had a dispensation to discuss the Big Community Survey results.
125/21 To receive the Big Community Survey report and agree any actions required
The Assistant Clerk ran through a summary of the survey results:
Existing Council objectives were supported
Strong support for Grounds Maintenance activities – bin emptying and litter picking most strongly supported, followed by dog waste bins, grass cutting, tree maintenance, burial ground maintenance, provision of play equipment and sporting facilities, and then provision of benches and bus shelters least supported.
Strong support for the Community Centre to be a Community Hub
Varying levels of support for Community Centre activities, including room hires, library, changing rooms, bar
Library opening preference of 12-15 hours per week, when library volunteers are on site
Majority support for the Pavilion Bar to be reinstated
Reduced opening hours favoured
Family friendly ‘feel’ preferred
As per a previous Council decision regarding a constrained re-opening strategy for the bar, if the Big Community Survey pointed to support for restoration of the bar, Council would look to outsource it
Christmas lights and fireworks was the preferred event, followed by Waterfront Festival and then the 5k and 2k run.
It was concluded that the results of the survey would be used to inform Council service delivery, in particular the bar and library provision and other service areas when budgeting for 2022-23.
The survey results can be found here: https://bit.ly/3e7SJdB.
Further analysis of age profile will be completed, plus the full list of ‘other comments’ will be published as an appendix in due course.
It was also clarified that, due to the level of public interest, a statement would be published following the decisions made at tonight’s meeting. (This can be found at: https://bit.ly/3sVE6iQ).
2 members of the public left the meeting (7:45pm).
Cllr Cotton proposed, and it was resolved to receive the results of the survey.
Cllr Cotton requested that thanks be put on the record for all the members of the public who responded to the survey, and to the Clerks for the work required to analyse all the responses and pull the report together.
126/21 To receive a library proposal report and agree any actions required
A library proposal report was discussed. This covered the current plans to get the library physically set up again following the fire, and the library volunteers trained on the new library administration system. It looked at feedback from LCC Library and Heritage Lead on the SLA hours, plus feedback from the Big Community Survey regarding public preference for opening hours.
Cllr Cotton proposed, and it was resolved to:
Take account of the Big Community Survey results and agree to re-open the library for 12-15 hours per week with library volunteers on site
Agree that a member of staff (TBC) needs to be on site with the library volunteers (as per the SLA requirement around security)
Look to formally move to a new agreement which permits fewer library hours than the present SLA
127/21 CLOSED SESSION – Council to resolve to go into closed session in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 for the following items on the grounds that publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted.
It was proposed by Cllr Cotton and resolved to go into closed session.
Members of the public left the meeting (7.57pm).
128/21 To receive a bar proposal and agree any actions required
Following a discussion, Cllr Ives proposed, and it was resolved with a majority that, as per the report recommendations:
Council notes the outcome of the Big Community Survey where there was a majority in favour of reinstating the Pavilion Bar
Agrees to outsource the bar
Agrees that Officers develop a Project Brief to be brought back to May Full Council
Agrees that up to three Councillors sit on the project team (these being Cllrs Kenny, Crump and Spurr)
The meeting closed at 8.29pm.
Please be advised that these are notes of the meeting taken by the Assistant/Clerk and cannot in any way be regarded as the official minutes of Council proceedings until they are approved and signed at the next meeting.