BILLERICAY TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Town Council meeting
held in The Coach House on Thursday 17 December, 2009
at 7.30 pm
Present: Chairman: Cllr P Bowditch
Vice-Chairman: Cllr J Devlin
Cllrs. P Arnold, T Arnold, J Buchanan, M Dunn, C Dyer, T Gandy, D Knight, S.
McCaffery, Dr H Ud-Din, P Went and M Wilson.
Also in attendance the Town Clerk
78. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs. E Guest, R Rapley, J Shrubb, D
Spencer and T Stansfield. Essex County Councillor K Twitchen.
79. Horace Wilkins
The Chairman informed members that former Councillor, Horace Wilkins, first
Chairman of the Billericay Town Council, died on 2nd December 2009.
Members held a minute’s silence and it was:
Resolved: that a donation of £25 be made to the Diabetes UK Charity in memory
of Horace Wilkins.
80. Declarations of interest
Members were requested to declare any interests they had with regard to items
on the agenda and there were none.
81. Public participation session with respect to items on the agenda and other
matters that are of mutual interest
There were no questions under this item.
82. Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 12 November, 2009
Members received and considered the minutes of the meeting held on 12
Resolved: that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 12 November 2009
be taken as read, approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
83. Chairman’s Report
Members received the written report of the Chairman of the Town Council
regarding events he had attended since the last Council meeting including:
23rd November – BDSA meeting where a copy of the Draft Design Statement was
circulated. A copy of this document is available within the Town Council Office
and can be viewed by members and comments should be forwarded to the Town
Council Design Statement Working Party who will be considering the content and
making comment at the Town Council meeting to be held on 4 th February.
26th November – with the Town Clerk attended the Thanksgiving service for Dr
Annette Hughes, wife of Brian Hughes, Chairman of the Mayflower Twinning
26th November – with the Town Clerk attended a full District Council meeting at
Basildon to receive the Quality Status renewal certificate from the Chairman of
Basildon District Council and Canon John Brown, Vice President of the Essex
Association of Local Councils.
27th November – with Cllr Knight attended St John’s School and met with the
Deputy Head to discuss the schools participation in the Billericay Greening
28th November – attended the Celebration of the Christmas Lights event in the
High Street which had been a very successful event thanks to Cllr T Arnold and
the Christmas Lights Working Party.
30th November – with Cllr Knight and the Town Clerk attended a meeting with
District Councillors Turner and Blake to discuss the MUSA and the procedure to
work together in the future.
2nd December – with other Councillors and the Town Clerk took part in the
Christmas Family Fayre by opening the Coach House to members of the public.
Approximately 60 residents took the opportunity to view the Town Council exhibit
as well as the displays from the Youth Town Council, Twinning Associations,
Billericay Society, Billericay Design Statement Association and Fairtrade.
3rd December – as a result of the politicising of the recent Town Council by
election a request had been received from the local Conservative Party
Association to meet with District Cllr Andrew Baggot who wanted to advise the
Town Council of their position regarding participating in future local elections. He
advised that they would contest all elections in future and only withdraw if
independent candidates only were standing. Cllr Devlin reported that the
previous agreement by the three main local parties not to put candidates forward
for Town/Parish Council elections had now been terminated as a result of the
recent by election.
7th December – with other Councillors and members of the community, attended
a presentation given by the Essex County Council Record Office and Essex
Libraries regarding the creation of a Community Archive in Billericay, sponsored
by the Community Heritage Lottery Fund. The archive would be run by
volunteers, who would receive training in IT and basic conservation and oral
history. It was felt that this project would be exciting and complimentary to the
7th December – attended the Lake Meadows Partnership Meeting at Basildon
District Council (report previously circulated).
12th December - attended St. Luke’s Hospice Tree of Lights Service at St Mary
Magdalene Church and switched on the Christmas Tree lights.
13th December – attended a Carol Service at Emmanuel Church and read a
14th December – with members of the YTC and Cllr Knight judged the Christmas
Shop Window Competition in the High Street – the winner of which was The
15th December – with Cllr Devlin and the Town Clerk attended the Town and
Parish Council Liaison meeting at Basildon District Council (notes of this meeting
will be circulated in due course).
16th December – Town Christmas dinner at The Orb Restaurant.
Resolved: that the report of Cllr Bowditch be noted.
84. Committee Minutes
Members received and considered the minutes of the following meetings:
(a) Planning: 24 November and 8 December
Cllr J Buchanan, Chairman of the Committee presented the minutes of the
meetings held on 24 November and 8 December and reported on the number of
applications that had been considered. He referred specifically to the application
which had been submitted for an 18.3m wind turbine, the first within Billericay
and said that although the Town Council were in favour of greening issues
because of the intended location of the proposed turbine and the height it was
felt it would be detrimental to the visual amenity.
Resolved: that the minutes of the meetings held on 24 November and 8
December be approved and adopted.
(b) Environment Committee: 1 December 2009
Cllr D Knight, Chairman of the Committee presented the minutes of the meeting
held on 1 December 2009 and referred to a number of the items discussed at the
meeting. He also congratulated Cllr T Arnold, Chairman of the Christmas Lights
Working Party on the excellent job she had undertaken as Chairman.
(c) Finance & General Purposes Committee: 10 December 2009
Cllr J Devlin, Chairman of the Committee, presented the minutes of the meeting
held on 10 December 2009.
Resolved: that the minutes of the Finance & General Purposes Committee
meeting held on 10 December be approved and adopted.
85. Power of Well Being
Further to minute 75 of the Council meeting held on 12 November, members
were informed that Cllrs Dyer and Stansfield had attended a Power of Well Being
training course which meant that the Town Council now had 80% of its members
It was suggested that the three members who had not yet attended a Power of
Well Being training course should be encouraged to do so and, dates of training
courses within the County should be notified to them.
Members also received a copy of the revised Community Engagement Strategy
and it was
Resolved: that, having completely fulfilled the criteria under the relevant
legislation, Billericay Town Council will for the remainder of this Administration
exercise the Power of Well Being.
86. Estimates 2010/2011
Members received the draft Estimates 2010/2011 as well as an alternative
Estimates paper submitted by Cllr Guest. The Chairman read out a statement
clarifying the situation with regard to the Town Council precept and referred to
the fact that the Council should proceed with the community projects which are of
benefit to all residents within Billericay.
The Chairman then requested that Cllr Devlin, Chairman of the Finance &
General Purposes Committee chair this item.
Lengthy discussion ensued regarding the Estimates during which some members
expressed concern regarding the proposed increase in the precept. Cllr Devlin,
with the assistance of a computer and projector, indicated the situation which
would arise, over a period of five years if the Town Council did not increase the
precept which showed that eventually all reserves would be depleted. He said
that an increase, of possibly 27%, was necessary now because there had been
no percentage increase in the Council Tax over the past two years.
Cllr T Arnold expressed concern that the provision for a Parking Survey had
previously been removed and proposed that a sum of £12,000 be included. Cllr T
Arnold also proposed that £20,000 should be removed from Recreational
Facilities (Budget Head No. 4923) and Cllr P Arnold proposed that the £10,000
for the Greening Campaign (Budget Head No. 4054) be removed. Discussion
also ensued regarding the provision of £10,000 for Allotments and Cllr Devlin
proposed that this sum be taken from the Budget and included in Earmarked
All these proposals were seconded and a recorded vote was requested, the
result of which was as follows:
DK A A F A
MW F A F A
JB F A F A
MM A A F A
TG A F F F
HUd-D A A F A
PA A A F F
TA F F A A
CD A A F A
PW F F F A
SM A A F A
MD A A F A
JD A A F A
PB A A F A
Key: F = In Favour
A = Against
- = Abstain
As a result of the above it was agreed that £10,000 be moved to Earmarked
Reserves for Allotments. Discussion then ensued as to the amount of precept
and it was proposed and seconded that the precept figure be £245,084. A
recorded vote was requested and Cllrs. T Arnold, P Arnold, Bowditch, Buchanan,
Devlin, Dunn, Knight, McCaffery, Moore, Ud-Din and Wilson voted in favour;
Cllrs. Dyer, Gandy and Went against.
Resolved: that the Estimates as attached in ‘Appendix A’ be accepted and
Basildon District Council be informed that the Town Council precept for
2010/2011 will be £245,084.
87. Council Representation
Members received and considered a letter from the Billericay Children’s Centre
requesting the appointment of a representative of the Town Council to serve
upon their recently set up Advisory Board and, as a result of previously speaking
to Cllr Bowditch, requesting that he be appointed.
Cllr Buchanan expressed the view that the Children’s Centre, which was funded
with the aid of Government Funding, did not represent the whole of Billericay and
only a specific area. Cllr Gandy also enquired as to the difference between Sure
Start and the Children’s Centre. In view of these comments it was
Resolved: that Cllr Bowditch attends the meeting to be held on January 22 nd to
ascertain further details regarding the work undertaken by the Billericay
Children’s Centre and reports back to members of the Town Council.
88. Items for Information
(a) Billericay Design Statement Association
Members received the notes of the meeting held on 20 October 2009 and were
reminded that the draft Billericay Design Statement was available within the
office and the report of the Town Council’s Design Statement Group would be
made to the next full Town Council meeting.
Minutes of the Billericay Design Statement meetings held on 23 November and
14 December were also circulated at the meeting.
Resolved: that the information be noted.
(b) Basildon Association of Town and Parish Councils
Members received the draft minutes of the meeting held on 19th November 2009.
Resolved: that the minutes be noted.
(c) Risk Management Course - 1st December 2009
Members received the report of Cllr Knight on his attendance with the Town
Clerk at the course.
Resolved: that the information be noted.
(d) Closure of Office during Christmas Period
Members were informed that the office hours would be as follows during the
24 December closed from 12 noon
25 December closed (Bank Holiday)
28 December closed (Bank Holiday)
29 December – open
30 December – closed from 2.30 pm
31 December – closed
1 January – closed (Bank Holiday)
It was noted that the office staff would be utilising some annual leave/time off in
lieu during this time.
Resolved: that the information be noted.
89. Questions from the Press and Public
There were no questions from the press and public
Cllr P Bowditch
The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.37 pm.
Signed:................................................................. Date: ................................