Agenda and minutes

Community Governance Review Steering Group
Thursday 19th December 2019 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bexhill-on-Sea

Contact: Lisa Cooper  01424 787813

Items
No. Item

CGR19/9.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor J.J. Carroll.

CGR19/10.

Disclosure of Interests

To receive any disclosure by Members of personal and disclosable pecuniary interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Member regards the personal interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.  Members are reminded of the need to repeat their declaration immediately prior to the commencement of the item in question.

Minutes:

Declarations of interest were made by Councillors in the Minutes as indicated below:

 

Mrs Bayliss                  Personal Interest in so far as she was a former member of Democracy4Bexhill and supporter of a Town Council for Bexhill-on-Sea.

 

Byrne                           Personal Interest in so far as he was a former member of Democracy4Bexhill and supporter of a Town Council for Bexhill-on-Sea.

 

Courtel                        Personal Interest in so far as he was a former member of Democracy4Bexhill and supporter of a Town Council for Bexhill-on-Sea.

 

Drayson                       Personal Interest in so far as he was a former member of the Democracy4Bexhill and supporter of a Town Council for Bexhill-on-Sea.

 

Gray                            Personal Interest in so far as she was a former member of Democracy4Bexhill and supporter of a Town Council for Bexhill-on-Sea.

 

Langlands                   Personal Interest in so far as she was a former member of Democracy4Bexhill and supporter of a Town Council for Bexhill-on-Sea.

 

Madeley                      Personal Interest in so far as she was a former member of Democracy4Bexhill and supporter of a Town Council for Bexhill-on-Sea.

 

Thomas                       Personal Interest in so far as he was a former member of Democracy4Bexhill and supporter of a Town Council for Bexhill-on-Sea.

 

 

 

CGR19/11.

Minutes of the Last Meeting - 30 October 2019 - Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Minutes:

One omission from the previous minutes was highlighted: Councillor Courtel advised that he had made a declaration of interest as he was a former member of the Democracy4Bexhill and supporter of a Town Council for Bexhill-on-Sea.  It was agreed that the minutes be amended accordingly.

 

RESOLVED: That that minutes be amended to include Councillor Courtel’s declaration of interest.

CGR19/12.

Consultation Materials and Timetable pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the Executive Director’s report which updated the Community Governance Review Steering Group (CGRSG) on the proposed consultation materials, public information and revised timetable for the Community Governance Review (CGR) for Bexhill-on-Sea.  At the last meeting, Members were invited to submit additional ideas for questions to be included within the on-line consultation and other consultation materials.  All comments received had been incorporated.

 

The Chairman led Members through the different individual materials.  Some comments had been received from the public and were distributed at the meeting for the CGRSG’s consideration.

 

Leaflet and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Overall costs to produce and deliver a generic A4 leaflet, folded to A5 booklet style delivered by the Post Office to 20,500 households would cost approximately £2,562 to £3,591.  A copy of the proposed leaflet and FAQs was appended to the report at Appendices A and B respectively.

 

Concerns were raised that the document and FAQs were too wordy and not written in a plain English format as previously agreed.  It was suggested that both the leaflet and FAQs be cohesively re-drafted using plain English and simplified including bullet points.  The leaflet should direct residents to the Council’s website for more detailed information.  Members felt the leaflet required further embellishment to look more attractive, should clearly include the actual cost to the rate payer, that it should be market tested before distribution and that a more positive message be communicated, as Members felt the current format was too negative.  It was important to focus on what a Town Council could do for Bexhill-on-Sea and ensure that residents who did not have access to on-line technology were not disadvantaged from responding to the consultation process.  The CGRSG was advised that all materials would be produced in hard copy format and made available at the Council’s Community Help Points for those residents who did not have access to on-line technology.

 

The following suggestions were proposed for inclusion:

 

·        ability to raise its own revenue, apply for different funding streams and support community organisations;

·        a Town Council could devise its own Neighbourhood Plan; once made would receive the local neighbourhood proportion or Community Infrastructure Levy funding from Bexhill developments;

·        be a consultee to the District Council on planning applications; and

·        an explanation of the difference between Bexhill Special Expenses and a Town Council’s precept.

 

The Executive Director advised that it was important that the leaflet and FAQs explained the legal process, stipulated both arguments for and against the establishment of a Town Council to enable the public to make an informed decision and that dependent on what services were devolved or adopted, Bexhill’s precept would increase.

 

Members requested that the Marketing and Communications Account Manager redraft the leaflet and FAQs using plain English, in consultation with the Chairman of the CGRSG and Councillors Thomas and Timpe and presented at the next meeting. 

 

On-line Questionnaire and Video: The CGRSG requested that the ‘Which option do you support?’ be moved to the end of the questionnaire  ...  view the full minutes text for item CGR19/12.

CGR19/13.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

There were no any other business items proposed.

CGR19/14.

Date of Next Meeting

- mid March / early April - TBC

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was proposed to be held week commencing 13 or 20 January 2020; Members would be canvassed by email.