Full council - report back

March 22, 2010 8:27 PM
Cllr Barry Aspinell

Cllr Barry Aspinell tries to get answers to his questions from the Tories

Your Liberal Democrat councillors report back on March's full council meeting, held on 17th March 2010.

The Liberal Democrat group of six councillors were fully represented by Cllr David Kendall (DK) (Group Leader), Cllr Barry Aspinell (BA) (Deputy Leader), Cllr Mathew Aspinell (MA), Cllr Ross Carter (RC), Cllr Ms Karen Chilvers (KC) and Cllr Reg Straw (RS).

Also in attendance were 26 out of 28 Conservative Councillors, both Labour councillors and Independent Cllr Roger Keeble.

As a mark of respect and remembrance, The Mayor & Deputy Mayor, councillors, officers and the attending public stood in a minute's silence as a mark of respect to three, as yet unnamed, members of The Royal Anglian Regiment, who lost their lives in Afghanistan. The Royal Anglian Regiment has the freedom of the borough of Brentwood, so the deaths were particularly poignant for the town and The Mayor expressed the town's sorrow.

Cllr Barry Aspinell asked the Mayor to consider a donation to a relevant benevolent fund and the Mayor committed to look into this matter.

Brentwood Mayor Cllr Tony Sleep welcomed the three young Mayors to the council chamber and recalled a very enjoyable day.

The Mayor announced that he had attended HRH The Duke of Gloucester to Brentwood recently. He had also hosted the Civic Dinner on 5th March and had the pleasure of presenting the Civic Awards.

He also congratulated Sarah Ainsworth on representing Brentwood at the Olympics in Vancouver.

A number of questions were asked by your Lib Dem councillors to the Leader and Chairs of committees:

Q: DK - Has the council yet received the £829K VAT refund and is there any news on how much he interest would be?

A: Officer - Not received yet and the interest has not yet been calculated.

Q: DK - A target saving of £1.21m was set for the budget setting meeting. Who set this target?

A: Officer - The financial officers and signed off by the leader.

Q: DK - Could you confirm the latest government council tax capping level and confirm that no council would be able to set a council tax of 8%?

A: Cllr Louise McKinlay - guidance is 3%

Q: Question TO Cllr Kendall from Cllr Louise McKinlay: is the proposal of one hour's free parking cost neutral.

Q: BA - Can the Chair of Highways please update us on the junction improvements (roundabout) at Ongar Road/Sandpit Lane?

A: Cllr Lionel Lee - Waiting for utility cost information for next meeting.

Q: KC - Can the Chair of Highways confirm whether a meeting has taken place with the management of Academy Place regarding their staff parking which affects residents in Brentwood West and South Weald?

A: DK - The information that was given to the opposition were incorrect and we have revised the scheme accordingly (see below for full information).

Q: BA - Why was the parking scheme, proposed by the Conservatives, issued on the agenda and then withdrawn and re-issued 24 hours later if this had been worked on for months? What happened to the Resident Card?

A: Cllr Louise McKinlay - No response as to why the scheme was withdrawn at a late stage.

Q: DK - Can we ensure that we can involve older members of the community in the St George's Day celebrations?

A: Cllr Louise McKinlay - Yes.

Q: KC & DK - Can the parking passes be transferred and are there any more details?

A: Cllr Louise McKinlay - Details are still being worked out.

The council then paid tribute to Labour Cllr David Minns who is standing down after 39 years as a councillor. Cllr David Kendall made a speech congratulating Cllr Minns on his achievement and wishing him well in his retirement.

The webcast can be viewed at www.brentwood.gov.uk