Agenda

Local Councils' Liaison Committee - Tuesday, 29th November, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: R. Perrin  Tel: (01992) 564243 Email:  democraticservices@eppingforestdc.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairman & Vice-Chairman

(1)          To confirm the appointment of District Councillor Sartin as the Chairman of the Committee for the municipal year; and

 

(2)          To confirm the appointment of Councillor B Scrutton, (the Essex Association of Local Councils Epping Forest Branch Chairman) as the Vice-Chairman of the Committee for the municipal year.

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2.

Webcasting Introduction

1. This virtual meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to unmute before speaking.

 

2. The Chairman will read the following announcement:

 

“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties).

 

Therefore by participating in this virtual meeting, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings for webcasting and/or training purposes. If members of the public do not wish to have their image captured they should ensure that their video setting throughout the virtual meeting is turned off and set to audio only.

 

In the event that technical difficulties interrupt the virtual meeting that cannot be overcome, the Chairman may need to adjourn the meeting”.

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3.

Apologies for Absence

EFDC Councillors - Please use the Members Portal webpage to report non-attendance at meetings https://eppingforestdc-self.achieveservice.com/service/Member_Contact to ensure your query is properly logged.

 

Alternatively, you can access the Members portal from the front page of the Council’s website, at the bottom under ‘Contact Us’ https://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/your-council/members-portal/  

 

 

 

Members, county councillors, and town/parish council representatives are reminded to sign the attendance register, in order to ensure that the minutes of the meeting accurately reflect attendance.

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4.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 164 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 14 March 2022.

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5.

Issues Raised by Local Councils pdf icon PDF 102 KB

To discuss the following matters raised by the local councils:

 

QUESTIONS

 

A.    Communication – Over recent years there has been a tangible decline in the communication methods chosen by EFDC, moving towards a more remote contact centre approach.  This has led to a widening chasm in relationships, unfortunately resulting in a poor experience not only for our residents but also with Town and Parish Councils.  As the first tier of local government, these Councils are the bodies closest to their residents with a greater understanding of local issues and concerns than any other tier of local Government.  The current communication stream open to Town and Parish Councils is the same as that offered to members of the public – via the EFDC contact centre.  This is long winded, frustrating, laborious, bureaucratic, and created entirely for the benefit of EFDC and not its residents.   If there are issues of local concern identified by Town and Parish Councils requiring a swift response, this communication method is simply unacceptable.  Owing to the massive change in staffing, gone are many of the more experienced officers with whom Parish and Town Councils held relationships and forged bonds, working together for the benefit of its residents. This corporate style of operating is contributing to a breakdown in relationships.   We ask the following:

 

·         How does the new communication system installed by EFDC benefit its residents?

·         How does the new communication system installed by EFDC help to forge and maintain good relationships with Town and Parish Councils?

·         Why must Town and Parish Councils first point of call be to the contact centre and not to relevant EFDC Officers?

·         The EFDC Constitution states that the Monitoring Officer will make arrangements to ensure good communication with the Town and Parish Councils in the District – What are these arrangements?

·         Does EFDC accept that its relationship with the first tier of local Government needs improvement, and if so how and by when does it intend on doing this?

 

The Customer Services, Service Manager, Susan Lewis and Team Manager - Complaints and Customer Satisfaction, Tracy Scott would be attending the meeting. (Attached is the Town and Parish queries flow chart)

 

B.    New Planning System – Mid 2022 EFDC rolled out its new online Planning System.  Parish and Town Councils have noted a number of flaws / difficulties with this system, making it cumbersome and difficult to use by both Town and Parish Councils and residents alike. A number of Councils have already sent feedback to EFDC about the new system and areas where changes should be considered.  Town and Parish Councils were never trained on this new system, so went into it completely blind which has been extremely unhelpful.   EF Branch has collated a list of issues being experienced by Town and Parish Councils in the District.

·         Why did EFDC change to this new planning system?

·         Who did EFDC consult about the introduction of this new system, considering Town and Parish Councils are statutory consultees.?

·         Is the system now fully functional without  ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

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6.

Epping Forest District Local Plan - Progress

(Epping Forest District Council) To report to the Committee on the current position of the new Local Plan for the Epping Forest District.

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7.

Any Other Business

1.    Parish Council Tax Bases for 2023/24, along with the annual pro forma Precept returns, are scheduled to be issued on Friday 2nd December 2022. Parish and Town Councils are reminded that completed Precept returns should be submitted in accordance with the 31st January 2023 deadline.   

 

2.    To discuss what format these meetings should take place i.e., face to face, virtual or hybrid and dependent on the above whether the meetings should take place in the daytime or evening.

 

3.    To discuss what the Committee want to get out of these meetings and any future items they would like to see on the next agenda.  

 

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8.

Dates of Future Meetings

To note that the next meeting has been scheduled for 14 March 2023 at 1.00pm via Team/Zoom.

 

 

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