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Parish Councillor Jason Salter
The Committee is invited to stand for a minute’s silence in tribute to the memory of Parish Councillor Jason Salter who died recently.
Jason Salter was a member of the Abbess, Beauchamp and Berners Roding Parish Council, the Town/Parish representative on the Standards Committee and Vice-Chairman of this Committee.
It was with much sadness that the Chairman informed the Committee of the death of Parish Councillor Jason Salter.
Councillor Salter had been a member of the Abbess, Beauchamp and Berners Roding Parish Council and one of the Town/Parish Council representatives on the Standards Committee. He was also the Vice Chairman of this Committee.
Members stood for a minute’s silence in tribute to the memory of Parish Councillor Jason Salter.
To Appoint a Temporary Vice Chairman
The Committee is asked to agree the appointment of Councillor Mrs Sheila Jackman as temporary Vice Chairman pending the local elections and the June AGM of EALC branch.
To agree the temporary appointment of Councillor Mrs Sheila Jackman as Vice Chairman of the Local Council’s Liaison Committee.
That Councillor Mrs Sheila Jackman be temporarily appointed as Vice Chairman of the Local Councils’ Liaison Committee.
To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 10 November 2010 (attached) and matters arising.
That the minutes of the Committee meeting held on 10 November 2010 be agreed.
National Census Presentation
To receive a presentation from David Vernazza, the officer charged with organising the Census for our region, on the background, aims and objectives of the upcoming national census.
The Committee received a presentation from David Vernazza, the officer in charge of organising the Census for the region, on the background aims and objectives of the upcoming national Census.
The Committee noted that the census had started in 1801 and was of great historical value as an indicator of the past. Central Government raised about £100 billion in tax and the information gathered by the census taxation would be used for redistributing funds to local communities. The Committee noted that there was a need to understand how society was changing, and the underlying long-term trends or patterns.
The Committee noted that:
The Committee noted that Town and Parish Councils could support and help with the Census in their area, by promoting information and providing help for those with difficulty in completing the forms.
The forms would be posted from the start of the second week of March and they could be filled out online or manually. Census day was 27 March 2011 and a series of adverts and corresponding publicity would lead up to this day.
The meeting was then opened for questions from members.
Councillor Mrs. Smith asked what the penalty was for not returning the form. Mr Vernazza said that the maximum fine was £1,000, with the timescale dependant on the law courts. The compliance teams would start work in June by sending out warnings, but possible prosecutions would not go to court until the end of the year. Last time there were approximately one hundred prosecutions.
Councillor Mrs. Whitehouse enquired about publicity, and was informed that television adverts and billboards had been launched nationally in order to improve awareness. Mr. Vernazza also offered posters for Town and Parish Councils to use in their newsletters.
In response to questions from Councillor Pond and Councillor Mrs. Smith, Mr. Vernazza informed members that the distribution of Census forms was informed by data sources other than the Electoral Register. In this way more residents could be targeted, and second home owners would be less likely to receive multiple forms.
Councillor Mrs. Whitehouse asked for clarification on recording visitors to a residence on 27 March. Mr. Vernazza explained that visitors on that day should be noted in the appropriate sections, and then fill out their own census forms. The two could then be cross-referenced.
The representative from Nazeing Parish Council enquired about British and English nationality options, to which she was informed that the form allowed for one, neither, or both options to be ticked, depending on how the individual saw themself.
The Chairman asked about the relevance of the Census, considering ... view the full minutes text for item 33.
To consider the attached report.
Members were asked to consider the District Council’s Corporate Plan, which had been circulated with the agenda. This was the Council’s strategic planning document setting out service delivery priorities over a four-year period, which intended to translate the long-term vision for the District into specific objectives for the Council.
The Corporate Plan evidenced the Council’s awareness of local issues, and that improved outcomes for local people were being delivered. It was closely linked to the Council’s Medium-Term Financial Strategy, outlining the financial resources available to fulfil specific priorities and objectives, and set out how the authority would deliver its vision and priorities. As an important element of the Council’s Performance Management Framework, the Corporate Plan informed the annual Business Plans to illustrate the work that directorates and services perform which contributed towards the achievement of the Council’s priorities and objectives.
Acting Chief Executive, Derek Macnab, informed the Committee that this document had been agreed in principle by the Council, though comments would be considered until the publication date on 1 April 2011.
Councillor Mrs Jackman from Ongar Town Council asked for more detail as to how local residents’ views were to be included in the future. Mr. Macnab advised about a consultation exercise that would commence in the new municipal year, using a mix of methodologies in order to take account of local residents’ views, and promote a greater level of understanding as to the responsibilities held by the three tiers of Council.
Mr. Bob Whittome from Epping Town Council enquired as to how the Core Planning Strategy would take account of the Localism Bill. He was informed that the attached plan had been drafted before the publication of the Localism Bill and would be revised and updated.
Councillor Mrs Jackman queried how the voluntary sector would be affected by recent cuts in services. Mr. Macnab acknowledged the financial pressure on the voluntary sector, but assured members of the relatively strong financial position the District Council held and of the ongoing support to services through the Grant-Aid budget which had been retained at the current level for 2011/12.
Councillor Pond requested some grammatical corrections, and the rewording of two sections.
(1) that the District Council’s Corporate Plan for the period 2011/12 to 2014/15 be noted, and the following amendments made:
(a) that page 35 be rewritten to reflect the high level of recycling services provided by the District Council;
(ii) that page 37 be reworded to acknowledge the differing interpretations of potential benefit regarding the possible redevelopments at Langston Road in Loughton; and
(2) that a progress report be submitted to this committee approximately six months into the plan timetable.
To discuss the following matters raised by Local Council’s:
(a) Fly tipping
The Assistant Director (Technical), Kim Durrani advised Members on the current arrangements concerning fly tipping. Instances of this crime had become more frequent, with a 2000% increase from 2008 to 2009. Alternative methods of managing fly tipping had been introduced, such as publicity of legitimate waste carriers, and spot license checks on vehicle. Members were informed that if the illegally dumped rubbish did not contain any evidence quality data, Officers were unable to identify the offenders and therefore unable to prosecute. Any incidents of fly tipping should be reported to the Environment and Neighbourhood team, though they were not currently fully operational.
Members noted that fly tipping was a crime against the landowner. Epping Forest District Council were happy to work with Town and Parish Councils to tackle the problem, and was currently working with other District Councils to prevent cross-boundary tipping of rubbish.
The representative from High Ongar Parish Council asked whether there was any money available to residents to help with clearance of fly tipping. Mr. Durrani replied that unfortunately there was not any funding in place to clear rubbish from private land, though Officers could be called out to sift for any evidence quality data.
Councillor Miller from Epping Upland Parish Council expressed concern at the 2000% increase of fly tipping instances, and raised the option of installing CCTV cameras. Mr. Durrani acknowledged the high figure as a symptom of the current economic climate, and explained that the laws concerning CCTV camera installation made this option unfeasible. These rules included limits on where cameras could be placed, and the compulsory advertisement of their presence.
Councillor Pond suggested an option of liaising with the police in order to check waste carriers at night. Mr. Durrani was unsure about prosecution laws, and advised members that the problem involved boundary crossing. The intention was for perpetrators to be prosecuted rather than inadvertently moving them to another District.
That the District map demonstrating neighbourhood demarcations and contact details for the Environmental and Neighbourhood teams responsible for fly tipping be attached to the minutes for this meeting.
(b) Parking Responsibilities
The Assistant Director (Technical), Kim Durrani, reported on the proposals to transfer on-street parking enforcement to the North Essex Partnership. The scheme entailed the creation of two partnerships, North and South, with six districts in each. Epping Forest would be part of the North Essex Partnership, which would have Colchester taking the managing role. At the Cabinet meeting on 7 March 2011, a recommendation was made to Council to join the partnership after a long protracted debate regarding terms and stipulations.
Though Epping Forest District Council was not in deficit, others within Essex were. The County was therefore seeing a loss of approximately £1 million per year under the Council’s current arrangements. Members noted that EFDC owned off-street parking charges would remain the same, though on-street charges were subject to change. There was no guarantee that the free short-stay, on-street parking currently available in the District’s smaller ... view the full minutes text for item 35.
Change of Meeting Day for this Meeting
To note the change in the meeting day of the Local Council’s Liaisons Committee in the new Municipal Year from Wednesdays to Thursdays.
Members noted that the meeting day for this Committee was changing from Wednesdays to Thursdays in the new municipal year.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
(a) Conservation Areas
In relation to an item discussed at the Local Councils’ Liaison Committee meeting on 17 March 2010 (minute 20a refers), Councillor Pond asked how volunteer work on appraisals of conservation areas would be progressed now the Conservation Officer had retired. Acting Chief Executive Derek Macnab acknowledged the high standard of volunteer work, and advised members that an assistant in conservation was being trained to take over responsibilities from the retired post.
That a target date concerning progression of conservation areas be circulated to members.
(b) West Essex Area Forum
Councillor Mrs Jackman from Ongar Town Council informed the Committee that no further meetings would take place of the West Essex Area Forum. Members expressed their disappointment about the dissolution of the forum, that no consultation was undertaken, and that no notice had been given to Town and Parish Councils. Councillor McEwen commented that previous meetings were not generally well-attended, and more support was needed to keep these forums running.
That representations on behalf of this Committee be sent to Essex County Council, expressing members’ views.
(c) Police Commissioner Elections
Councillor Mrs. Smith requested a presentation be arranged concerning the elections for Police Commissioners, due to take place in May 2012.
That a presentation be given on the proposed election of Police Commissioners in 2012 at the Local Councils’ Liaison Committee meeting scheduled for 22 March 2012.
Dates of Future Meetings
Meetings of the Committee scheduled for the new year are:
21st July 2011;
03rd November 2011; and
22nd March 2012.
Members noted the Local Councils’ Liaison Committee dates for the new municipal year.