Your Liberal Democrat team report back from Ordinary Council.
The Liberal Democrat group of six councillors were represented by Cllr David Kendall (Group Leader), Cllr Barry Aspinell (Deputy Leader), Cllr Mathew Aspinell, Cllr Ross Carter and Cllr Ms Karen Chilvers. Cllr Reg Straw gave his apologies as he was out of the country.
Also in attendance were 27 out of 28 Conservative Councillors, Labour's Cllr David Minns and Independent Cllr Roger Keeble. Cllr Mike Le Surf, Labour Leader, was also out of the country and sent apologies
Joanna Killian, Brentwood's shared Chief Executive (shared with Essex County Council) was not at the meeting. No apologies were read out from her at the meeting.
After the Mayor's announcements, the debate turned to the issue of Cottage Gardens, Beads Hall Lane in Pilgrims Hatch. Two items were debated: a motion to remove the site from the Gipsy and Traveller Consultation and the planning application for the site.
After the debates, which lasted almost two hours and was heard in front of a packed chamber, the motion to remove the site from the consultation was defeated 27 votes to 8 (27 Tories voted against, the opposition members voted for the removal of the site from the list).
During the debate on the planning application, the Leader of the Council moved that permission be given for two years, and not the one year that had been recommended at the Planning Committee. Your Liberal Democrat councillors voted against this motion, as did the independent councillor and one Tory councillor (Labour voted with the Tory administration). Again, the vote was 27 to 8.
Next, a question from a member of the public was received. Mr Alan Davies asked about the stones in the High Street following an accident that had occurred when someone had fallen over. The Chairman of the Highways Panel said that the stones were not slippery.
Several questions were then asked by the Liberal Democrat councillors:
Q: When will the car parking charges in the Country Parks be discussed?
A: It can go on the next agenda.
Q: Will students from Writtle College be landscaping the grounds at Merrymede House?
A: The chair had been away and will report back as soon as possible.
Q: When will the VAS signs be installed in Hatch Road?
A: Hopefully before Christmas.
Q: Can we have an update on the Council Tax competition?
A: Will be extended further and winner to be drawn on 6th November.
Q: What process is in place for businesses who wish to seek compensation due to the High Street improvements?
A: Please contact Lisa Stroulger on 01277 312 500 for information.
Q: When will the Information Centre be open permanently on Saturday?
A: Currently negotiating with staff and an update will be given soon.
Q: What are the terms of reference on the Champions role and when will the group meet, given it was announced in July?
A: Terms of reference available now, groups to meet soon.
Q: Can we have an update on removing a bus shelter and installing another in Clarence Road?
A: To be advised, about a two month lead-in time.
Q: Can we have an update on removing a bus shelter in Clements Park.
A: To be advised.
Q: With regard to a parking problem in Tallis Way, has the chair received a letter following the resident's meeting with Eric Pickles MP.
A: The chair had not been notified of a letter.
Q: When will the banks be reinstated in Beads Hall Lane's stream?
A: Further investigation to take place.
Q: Will the East Ham estate area be considered for dispersal orders due to anti-social behaviour.
A: This will be taken forward shortly.
Q: Concerns are raised about the stains on the new stones in the High Street. Can members have an update? Is there a budget for a sealant?
A: Assurances have been given that they will not be stained.
In addition to the motion raised by Cllr Barry Aspinell regarding Beads Hall Lane, the following were tabled by Lib Dem councillors:
The Year of the Volunteer
"Brentwood Borough Council notes the valuable work undertaken by voluntary organisations across the Borough. In order to encourage greater involvement by our residents in the voluntary sector, the Council pledges to draw up plans to launch "2011 The Year of the Volunteer" across the Borough.
This motion was tabled by Cllr David Kendall, seconded by Cllr Ross Carter and referred to the Policy Board for consideration.
"Legislation and regulation will increasingly penalise those organisations which do not take bold steps to cut their emissions and become more environmentally sustainable. It is crucial that dependence on oil and other fossil fuels should be reduced if high quality services in the medium and long term are going to continue to be delivered. Local government financial settlements are likely to be very tight over the next few years and cutting energy spending is one way to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Local authorities, as major employers, need to demonstrate leadership at this critical time.
"Brentwood Borough Council, therefore, pledges to join the 10:10 Campaign - which seeks to deliver 10% cuts in carbon dioxide during 2010.
"If this Council can deliver a 10% cut in our emissions in 2010, we can show we are part of the solution, reap the rewards of low carbon government and set an example to other businesses and organisations".
"Brentwood Borough Council will urgently review the procedures in place for notifying residents of planning applications that affect them to ensure that the notices are effective, timely and take account of:
This motion was tabled by Cllr Karen Chilvers, kindly seconded by Conservative Cllr William Lloyd at the invitation of Cllr Chilvers and referred to the Planning & Development Control Committee for consideration.
The webcast can be viewed at www.brentwood.gov.uk.