To the Town Council Office! …on Monday evening for the monthly Wivenhoe Town Council meeting.
And whaddya know?
The Council Chamber has a Christmas tree ERECTED.
Evergreen, artificial, and a star sitting at the top.
And that was just WTC.
The meeting *was* advertised on the WTC notice boards, natch.
No apologising necessary however from Cllr Julie Young, who delivered her monthly report updating over matters coming out of the big cheese over at Chelmsford:
“Everyone is aware of the situation regards the Philip Road Centre. Essex County Council has NOT declared that it is surplus to needs. Until this is so, the community can’t move forward. I am a bit concerned about the interim period. The Dance Group is looking into the cost of keeping the site open for business in terms of utilities.”
And then casually dropped into the debate:
“Essex County Council might be looking at Philip Road as a site to relocate the library.”
Talking of *ahem* relocations, the Health Centre had WTC then searching for their physical – and moral – compasses.
Cllr Young updated:
“Charles Gooch met with Richard Warner of Realise Health last week. I am trying to get a date to get everyone together. I have had a limited response. I am waiting for Bernard Jenkin to identify a date. He has come back with Fridays, but this is not suitable for Richard Warner.”
Cllr Neil Lodge asked:
“Can WTC be included in this meeting please?”
Cllr Bob Needham continued with the same slapstick:
“Information must come out of these Health Centre meetings for the public.”
Kinda related (health centre, not humour bypass) – Cllr Andrea Vaughan asked about possible passing bays along The Avenue. Cllr Young agreed to look into these.
Passing ships in the night – on paper, if not in person – were Cllr’s Cory, Ford and Liddy of CBC with their written reports.
Cllr Cory of the Cross ward kept it simple with planning, planting trees and the Philip Road Centre. Plus keeping abreast of all things with BRA.
A double act from Cllr’s Ford and Liddy covered the re-application by Taylor Wimpey to convert the three remaining commercial units at Cook’s Shipyard into residential flats, a move also supported by the two CBC Quay ward councillors.
Cllr Vaughan of WTC was not happy:
“I am very disappointed in Cyril for approving this, and I am very disappointed that he isn’t here tonight to explain his actions. I feel let down by our Borough councillors. The bigger fear is that this is not the end of the development at Cook’s.
If we can’t rely on the views of our Borough councillors to represent the people of Wivenhoe, we are in a sorry state.”
The issue here is the surrender of commercial space for yet more residential property, and in particular, the parking issues that this may bring.
Cllr Young attempted to explain the thinking behind her two absent Comrades:
“Planning is difficult. The Planning Committee is quasi-juridical [cripes.] You have to judge each case on its merits.”
Cllr Brian Sinclair of WTC explained his concerns:
“Affordable housing needs to be for young people. We have got to continue to campaign for this.”
No holding back from Cllr Lodge:
“We shouldn’t be confused about our Borough councillors voting against the people of Wivenhoe.”
As for the outcome?
WTC resolved to write to Cllr’s Ford and Liddy to “show their disgust.”
But before an RSVP has had time to return, a footnote in the written report from Cllr’s Ford and Liddy:
“On the question of the Health Centre, WTC members may have more information than either of us.”
Return to sender, etc.
Madam Mayor then asked for feedback on the public meeting to discuss the Health Centre situation.
Cllr Kevin Read offered:
“It was good that so many residents turned up. They behaved impeccably.”
Keeping it hyperlocal was Cllr Sinclair:
“It was good to see residents at the meeting that were Wivenhoe born and bred and don’t read the Wivenhoe Forum.”
OUCH, OUCH etc.
But back down to the Cook’s site and on with the rest of the WTC agenda:
A quote is in for the completion of the decoration the toilet block. Pebble dashing not considered.
Much more serious is the consideration for the Wivenhoe Town Plan.
Does this need updating?
Yes was consensus.
Is anyone willing to lead on this?
Let’s have a meeting to decide. 10th December at the Town Council office, if you want to add it to your diaries.
Part of the Town Plan may *or may not* be the patch of land at the back of the Town Council office known as the Diamond Jubilee Garden / Nature Garden (depending on who you talk to…)
Work was progressing incredibly well with the good folk of Transition Town Wivenhoe volunteering to turn the wasteland around.
A letter was read out by Madam Mayor from Cory Environmental Trust. £27,000 of funding for the project has been dropped after a recent progress report was sent to CET. Submissions for a fresh application is apparently welcome…
Cllr Needham explained more:
“£41,000 in total was available. Decisions were made on the design – the budget expanded to £188,000. This was beyond our scope. As a group we decided to cut our cloth and trim back. Cory was kept in the loop.”
Madam Mayor asked where to next?
Re-applying for the grant was agreed.
Sticking with all things fiscal and the mid-term budget was then considered. Money made on the William Loveless Hall [where else?] currently stands at £10,000 – the £18,500 year end target “should be met” according to the Town Clerk.
Not making too much of a dent in the overall macro economic prediction was the agreement to fund St Mary’s Church £60 to buy sweets for the arrival of St Nicolas down at the Quay in December.
If the availability of the WTC Sweet Fund is any indicator as to finances of the nation, the outlook is encouraging. The exact same discussion last year took fifteen minutes to resolve. The candy coffers fund was agreed in fifteen seconds this year.
The bedtime reading of the Tendring Local Plan was then passed around. A wheelbarrow was required for Cllr Asa Aldis to carry it home.
The transfer of the licence for the KGV over to WTC was confirmed, and the meeting concluded with a slightly bonkers discussion about the possibility of publishing the agenda for future meetings on the WTC website.
“I’m not sure about this”
…said Madam Mayor.
A paper copy left on the public table was the agreed outcome.
You could fell a tree and ERECT a Christmas tree on the paper savings there, Comrade.
Next month, etc…