LYME REGIS TOWN COUNCIL POLICY COMMITTEE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 2 ND APRIL 2008 Present: Chairman: Cllr O. Lovell Councillors: Mrs. B. Austin, Mrs. A. Bradbury, Miss L. Campbell, D. Cozens, Mrs. M. Ellis, K. Hitchcock, Dr. S. Hogg, Ms. S. Holman, Mrs. L. Jenkin, K. Meech, P. Williams and S. Williams. Officers: Mr. M. Lewis, Town Clerk 07/107/P Public Forum No items were raised for discussion. 07/108/P Apologies Apologies for absence were received from Cllr. K. Whetlor. 07/109/P Minutes The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 27 th February 2008 having previously been circulated were signed by the Chairman as a correct record. (a) Min. No. 07/97/P (a) To consider the extent of the area in Langmoor Gardens leased to the Bay Hotel. Cllr. S. Williams referring to the newly marked boundary of the Bay Hotel leased garden area in Langmoor Gardens was of the opinion that it was still incorrect in some respects. Following brief discussion it was agreed that Cllr. S. Williams and the Town Clerk meet with the Council‟s surveyor to finally establish an accurate boundary to accord with the lease plan. 07/110/P Declarations of Interest As a Monmouth Beach chalet owner rather than the Bowling Green the Mayor, Cllr. Ms. S. Holman declared a prejudicial interest in respect of agenda items 7(b) – To consider a policy of not permitting outside water taps at Monmouth Beach caravan site and agenda item 7 (e) To consider the existing seasonal arrangements governing vehicular acc ess to Western Beach to facilitate the collection of driftwood by individuals. She would leave the room during any discussion of these items. 07/111/P Items scheduled for further report as indicated by the minutes of the previous meeting held on 27th February 2008 (a) Min. No. 07/97/P (c ) To consider a partnership funding proposal by WDDC for the future operation of a beach lifeguard service in Lyme Regis. Cllr. O. Lovell reminded members that it had previously been resolved to share the cost of the lifeguards proportionally for one year only, with a review at the end of the one year period. -2- Cllr. K. Meech felt that WDDC should pay the greater share of the cost as that authority receives the highest proportion of income from car parks in the town. It was understood that Charmouth Parish Council would not be partaking in the scheme with alternative arrangements to be made. A further response from WDDC is awaited. 07/112/P Financial Administration (a) To receive the budget comparison of income and expenditure to 29th February 2008 Members had previously been circulated with a detailed income and expenditure budget comparison to 29th February 2008. NOTED. Cllr. P. Williams once again raised the question of a shortfall in the site licence income. The Town Clerk advised that the Finance Officer had looked into the matter and found that there was only an amount of £60 outstanding for 2007 which was being pursued. Cllr. O. Lovell stated that it is planned to hold a meeting with chalet and caravan owners to look at the general overall situation at Monmouth Beach. Cllr. Mrs. L. Jenkin enquired if any payment has been made in respect of the loan in connection with the acquisition of the new youth club site. The Town Clerk confirmed that no payment has been made. (b) To receive a report from the Vice-Chairman, Cllr. Mrs. M. Ellis, that in some instances the regulations have been flouted in respect of the free winter parking permits for residents Cllr. Mrs. M. Ellis felt that use of the free parking permit was being abused as there are many cars parking longer than the allotted time, with some being left in the park for days on end. Recently at Woodmead car park there had been a problem with a car displaying a winter permit that was parked for several days in the way of the contractor working at the entrance to Woodmead Halls. Cllr. P. Williams stated that the permit does read „up to a maximum of 20 hours‟. It was generally agreed that during next winter the new Enforcement Officer will monitor the situation and take action as required. (c) To note receipt of one tender in respect of the advertised concession for use of the beach area opposite the Harbour Inn It was proposed by Cllr. D. Cozens to RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL that the joint tender submitted by the Harbour Inn and Beach House Café in the sum of £5250 be accepted, seconded by Cllr. K. Meech. NOTED. As the item about to be discussed was deemed of a confidential nature relating to staffing remuneration Cllr. Mrs. A. Bradbury proposed the press and public be now excluded from the meeting, seconded by Cllr. K. Meech. -3- (d) To consider a proposal from a member of staff concerning recognition by the Council of the success of the winter opening of the Amenity Area. The Town Clerk advised of a communication received from a member of staff who in the light of the success of the winter opening of the amenity area enquired about the possibility of some form of recognition from the Council. Members felt that in this instance any enhancement has been reflected in the pay increase awarded under the staffing review. 07/113/P Land/Property (a) To consider commissioning Philip Thomason of Thomason Cudworth, a recommended faience conservator, to carry out a detailed survey of the clock shelter façade at a cost of £2,500 plus VAT Brief discussion ensued during which it was explained that restoration of this aspect would form part of the overall project for the shelters but could also be integral to a more limited scheme to reopen the facility to public use. The Shelters Working Group had since confirmed that a decision was not essential at this stage plus the fact that even though the work was of a very specialised nature the Council‟s Financial Regulations would require efforts to obtain further quotations. It was therefore proposed by Cllr. P. Williams to RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL to defer consideration of this matter pending further advice, seconded by Cllr. K. Meech. (b) To consider a policy of not permitting outside water taps at Monmouth Beach caravan and chalet site Cllr. P. Williams is of the opinion that all outside taps should be removed from the site. Cllr. S. Williams stated that there are two or three taps right by the road that could be used indiscriminately by any member of the public. Cllr. O. Lovell felt that the water situation at Monmouth Beach as a whole package needs to be discussed, whether to meter or not etc. Cllr. Mrs. L. Jenkin asked are we certain that all chalets and caravans are connected to a water supply? Cllr. O. Lovell confirmed that a few years ago a new sewerage scheme was installed and all properties on the site were connected. Finally, it was proposed by Cllr. K. Meech to RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL to defer the removal of the taps pending consultation and investigation regarding the overall water situation at Monmouth Beach, seconded by Cllr. D. Cozens. (c) To consider the disposal of the catering trailer formerly used in connection with the ice cream concession Following a suggestion from Cllr. Mrs. L. Jenkin it was agreed to place the catering trailer on EBay at LymeNet. -4- (d) To consider two suggestions from a member of staff concerning improvements to the facilities at the Amenity Area The Town Clerk reported a communication received from a member of staff in relation to improvements to the facilities at the Amenity Area. Firstly the problem of no toilets in the gardens was raised. Toilets were thought to be of paramount importance and the suggestion was made that perhaps a lockable portaloo could be sited in the gardens as a temporary measure. This was not supported by members. Secondly, with regard to the suggested installation of swingball, the Town Clerk had discussed this with the Works Manager who felt that a fenced compound would be required for public safety. This and other suggestions such as trampolines were to be investigated by the Works Manager. Cllr. S. Williams thought the area above the mini- golf hut would be large enough to accommodate trampolines. The Mayor, Cllr. Ms. S. Holman questioned whether the cost of providing toilet facilities in the gardens would interfere with the monies already set aside for the shelters scheme? The Town Clerk confirmed that the funding would need to be drawn from the same reserve. Cllr. Mrs. L. Jenkin pointed out the lack of signs in the gardens directing the public to existing toilets at other locations. The Town Clerk advised that the toilets would probably need to be a block built but timber clad structure to be in keeping with the neighbouring attendant‟s hut. Cllr. Miss L. Campbell stated the Council should perhaps look at more attractive, alternative designs for the building. Cllr. Mrs. M. Ellis thanked the member of staff for the suggestions and proposed to RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL that quotes and designs for the provision of a toilet block be obtained as soon as possible for a planning application to be considered, seconded by Cllr. S. Williams. Finally, the staff member is seeking permission to extend the opening hours of the amenity area during the present school holiday to 8.00 p.m., at present the facility closes at 6 p.m. Members agreed that the opening hours for the amenity area be extended to 8.00 p.m. but before extending further to speak with either the Town Clerk or Chairman of Policy Committee also that the staff member be thanked for his interest and enthusiasm. (e) To consider the existing seasonal arrangements governing vehicular access to Western Beach to facilitate the collection of driftwood by individuals The Mayor, Cllr. S. Holman left the room. Cllr. P. Williams sought clarification from members regarding the arrangements governing seasonal access to the Western Beach. Historically during the winter the barrier is unlocked to enable people to drive along to collect -5- driftwood thrown up by the storms onto the beach. Recently the barrier has been regularly unlocked and the Works Manager has been instructed by the Mayor to keep it locked. The barrier was erected to restrict public access from 1 st April, which used to coincide with the start of the site licence season but now the site licences run from 1 st March problems have arisen, with illegal parking and driving on the beach. The barrier lock has been broken on occasions by people trying to get onto the beach to collect storm debris. Cllr. S. Williams referred back to when a car sticker system used to operate with the site licensees, and thought perhaps this could be a solution with the Enforcement Officer issuing penalty tickets as necessary were the area to be subject to car parking regulations. . Finally, members agreed that the barrier should remain unlocked until 1 st April. Cllr. O. Lovell felt this is another item to add to the list for discussion on the whole of the Monmouth Beach area. (f) To consider providing additional signage at Cabanya car park and further directional signs to the Amenity Area and Seafront Gardens The Town Clerk reported that extra posts and signs have been ordered for Cabanya car park. Cllr. S. Williams stated that the ticket machine at Cabanya car park should display a sign pointing out that the tickets purchased from this machine are not valid in the WDDC car park across the road. As he had seen many people buy a ticket from the Cabanya machine and then go across the road to their car parked in a WDDC space and vice-versa. The Mayor, Cllr. S. Holman advised that she had checked with the WDDC parking attendant who felt that it was pretty even as many people purchase a ticket from the WDDC machines but are parked in Cabanya. She also drew attention to the marked walkway which she understood would be painted a different colour from the road surface. Cllr. Miss L. Campbell felt very strongly that cars are encroaching on the designated walkway and asked that the WDDC attendant enforces cars parking between the lines correctly so they are not parked on the footpath. Cllr. P. Williams enquired about the possibility of having the second parking machine in Cabanya restored. Cllr. Mrs. M. Ellis felt that one machine is sufficient for the number of spaces in the car park. Cllr. O. Lovell agreed this could be investigated in the future. Cllr. K. Hitchcock felt there should be a sign at the top of Cobb Road, at Belmont, to direct cars down the hill to the car parks and more signs generally directing the public to the amenity area and gardens. Cllr. S. Williams encouraged additional signage at the entrances to the gardens promoting not only these but also the amenity area, historic Cobb etc. He felt that the Council could lose revenue if there were not additional signs to make the public aware of the amenity area. Cllr. O. Lovell thought perhaps some signs could be put on the pillars at the entrance to the -6- gardens. Directional signs are also needed from the Marine Parade to the amenity area. Cllr. K. Meech referred to the brown tourist signs, these could be used within the town to promote prominent points of interest. Finally, the Chairman, Cllr. O. Lovell, requested that the Works Manager puts together ideas for the provision of extra signs for the gardens, amenity area and car parks as soon as possible. (g) To consider the draft lease to be used in the marketing of the former Beach Office as an ice cream kiosk with responsibilities for managing casual beach hut lettings The Town Clerk reported that he had circulated members with the draft lease. Following discussion it was agreed the permitted uses under the previous concession will be extended to include packet biscuits and cake. A copy of the site plan, that forms part of the planning permission for the tables and chairs to be photocopied and distributed to Councillors for information. With regard to signs Cllr. P. Williams felt this should be restricted to one A board within the leased area. Cllr. Miss L. Campbell felt the Council needed to be fair, not too restrictive. Cllr. O. Lovell suggested adding a clause to the lease to read „Any other relevant advertising material should be subject of consultation with LRTC‟. Work should be completed within the next three weeks following which the lease will be placed with the valuer and advertised. 07/114/P Touris m/Economic Development (a) To receive and consider a proposal from Sovereign Coaches and Mike Halford Coaches to jointly operate a park & ride service from the A3052 western approach site leased by the Town Council It was proposed by Cllr. D. Cozens to RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL that Sovereign Coaches and Mike Halford Coaches jointly operate a park and ride service from the A3052 western approach site leased by the Town Council, seconded by the Mayor, Cllr. Ms. S. Holman. b) To consider extending the period of the placement of day huts on the Cart Road Cllr. S. Williams felt that a planning application should be made to allow the beach huts to stay on the Cart Road all year round. This would alleviate using space in Woodmead car park during the winter period. Cllr. Miss L. Campbell felt that consideration should be given to cyclists on the Cart Road as if the beach huts are in situ all year this may cause a problem. The Town Clerk referred to the proposed infilling of the eastern steps which will make it -7- wider to possibly accommodate a cycle way. Cllr. K. Meech stated that the Cart Road is a cycling track through the winter so maybe a risk assessment from a health and safety aspect is needed. It was generally felt that the recent storm proved that the beach is doing a good job. The sea came up over the beach but didn‟t come up to the Cart Road it disappeared in the shingle. Cllr. D. Cozens felt it would be a calculated risk to leave the huts in position all year. Hut owners would need to be contacted to ascertain if they would like their huts in situ all year. The Town Clerk advised that once the work to infill the eastern steps is completed extra beach huts can be purchased either for sale or rent. Cllr. P. Williams felt that the specification for the huts should stipulate they be painted white with no threshold to assist cleaning, stable doors and wired bigger windows. It was agreed that any resolution must include that planning permission be sought for the siting of extra beach huts, and also a health and safety assessment for a cycle track if beach huts in situ all year on Cart Road. 07/115/P Staffing/Organisation (a) Works Manager‟s Report Members had previously been circulated with a copy of the Works Manager‟s report for the period to 21 st February 2008. NOTED. Wheeled Bin Storage Area Agreed Council staff to keep an eye on the situation and remove any offending litter as necessary. Monmouth Beach Day Huts The Chairman, Cllr. O. Lovell, to carry out a further inspection with the Works Manager. Langmoor/Lister Gardens It was suggested that there should be a disability ramp instead of steps to access the mini- golf attendant‟s hut. A report is requested from the Works Manager on the feasibility of this. Cemetery Cllr. S. Williams was of the opinion that it had been agreed that the new path in the north east corner would be a gravel path not tarmacadam, which he felt would cause problems with skateboarders etc. Following brief discussion Cllr. Miss L. Campbell proposed that the path surface for the new path be tarmacadam. -8- Cllr. S. Williams requested that voting be recorded in the minutes: In Favour : Cllrs. Mrs. B. Austin, Mrs. A. Bradbury, Miss L. Campbell, D. Cozens, Ms. S. Holman, Dr. S. Hogg, Mrs. L. Jenkin, O. Lovell and K. Meech. Against : Cllrs. K. Hitchcock, P. Williams and S. Williams. Abstained : Cllr. Mrs. M. Ellis. The replacement of the fence panels along the driveway was scheduled for this week. (b) To consider a draft “Retirement Policy & Procedure” Members had previously been circulated with a copy of the „Retirement Policy & Procedure‟ and it was proposed by Cllr. K. Meech to RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL that the draft policy be accepted, seconded by Cllr. D. Cozens. As the item about to be discussed was deemed of a confidential nature relating to staff remuneration Cllr. Mrs. M. Ellis proposed the press and public be now excluded from the meeting, seconded by Cllr. K .Meech. (c) To consider the policy operated to date governing the payment to seasonal staff of weekend working enhancements The Town Clerk clarified some confusion amongst members between weekend working enhancement payments for seasonal staff and overtime payments. Under the new pay scheme as part of the recent staff review, weekend working by seasonal staff is included as part of the normal working week as opposed to receiving a separate enhancement for this. As one member of the permanent staff also received the enhancement it was agreed that the Town Clerk and Finance Officer negotiate with the member of staff to see if the policy could also embrace this individual. Cllr. K. Meech proposed to RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL that the policy to include weekend working as part of the normal working week for seasonal staff be adopted, seconded by the Mayor, Cllr. Ms. S. Holman. As the item about to be discussed was deemed of a confidential nature relating to staffing matters Cllr. Mrs. M. Ellis proposed the press and public be now excluded from the meeting, seconded by Cllr. K. Meech. d) To receive an update on the implementation of the Staffing Review The Town Clerk advised that interviews had taken place in respect of both the Enforcement Officer and the Administrative Officer posts with response to the offer letters awaited. It was agreed to circulate both job descriptions to Councillors for information. The Town Clerk expressed his thanks to the Staffing Sub-Committee for their time and commitment to this exercise. The Mayor, Cllr. S. Holman reminded all members of the importance of respecting -9- confidentiality in designated matters. The Town Clerk provided options for a final unresolved aspect of the review and a way forward was agreed. (e) To consider a review of the committee structure Cllr. S. Williams expressed concern at the present committee structure which he felt did not provide members with enough information, especially on financial matters, and called for the setting up of a Scrutiny Committee to oversee Council finances. The Town Clerk referred Cllr. Williams to the budget comparison, a monthly financial monitoring report for members, circulated with each Policy Committee agenda. Any queries could be directed either to the Finance Officer or himself at the office. Cllr. K. Meech felt the Budget Working Group could be used to deal with any financial matters rather than set up another working group. The Mayor, Cllr. S. Holman stated that if at any time there are financial matters to deal with then these can be allocated to the Budget Working Group. Finally, Cllr. S. Williams proposed to RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL that another committee be formed for close contact with the Finance Officer and the Town Clerk on a monthly basis, seconded by Cllr. P. Williams. On being put to the vote the motion was lost. 07/116/P Community Issues (a) To consider a complaint regarding the proliferatio n of signs on the seafront. The Town Clerk advised that an informal meeting with residents and traders relating to the development of a policy governing the future management of the Marine Parade is scheduled for Friday 11th April at the Guildhall. The complaint regarding signage will be aired at the meeting. 07/117/P List of issues to be brought forward for update or consideration at future meetings Members had previously been circulated with the list of issues to be considered at a future meeting. NOTED. Members agreed the Skatepark Working Group should be added to the list. Cllr. Mrs. L. Jenkin requested a meeting of Strawberry Field Working Group be held soon. 07/118/P Reports from Sub-Committees and Working Groups (a) Playing Field Enhancement Sub-Committee – 25th February 2008 Members had previously been circulated with minutes of the Playing Field Enhancement Sub-Committee meeting held on 25th February 2008. NOTED. - 10 - Cllr. K. Hitchcock reported that one of the new lights has been broken. 07/119/P Reports from Organisations and Representatives to Outside Bodies Dorbag Cllr. D. Cozens reported that steady progress is being made towards a better radio service for Dorset. Lyme Arts Community Trust Cllr. Mrs. L. Jenkin advised that the Trust have a new part time employee. New projects such as Over 50‟s Exercise Classes and Ballroom Dancing are being held at the Theatre. 07/120/P To be advised of any ite ms the Chairman decides are urgent No items were raised for discussion.