Brentwood Borough Council

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Brentwood Borough Council

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Ingrave Road, Brentwood, Essex CM15 8AY

Contact: Jean Sharp (01277 312655) 


No. Item


Nomination of a Vice-chair

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In accordance with Procedure Rule 4, 16.2, the Deputy Mayor -

Cllr Miss Sanders -  MOVED, Cllr Parker SECONDED and it was RESOLVED that Cllr Reed should act as Vice-chair for the duration of the meeting.


The Deputy Mayor advised that Item 10 – Investment Proposal – had been deferred to the 7 October 2020 Ordinary Council meeting.


Apologies for Absence

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Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Kerslake and Morrissey.


Declarations of Interest

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No declarations of interest were made at this stage.


Deputy Mayor's Announcements

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Members and Officers observed a minute’s silence in tribute to former councillor Cyril Robins who passed away in March 2020.  Mr Robins served as a ward councillor for Warley from 1994 to 2002 and had been Deputy Chairman of the Council.


The Deputy Mayor advised Members of the engagements she had undertaken since the last Full Council meeting which had been few due to the restrictions brought about by the ongoing pandemic.  She also thanked Council staff for their work in maintaining services for residents and businesses and congratulated Victoria Del Costa on the support she and her team had provided to vulnerable people in the Borough through charitable group Manna Meals.  Ms Del Costa had received the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award in recognition of her dedication to the community.


Minutes of previous meetings - 22 January 2020 and 4 March 2020 pdf icon PDF 688 KB

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Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the minutes of the previous Ordinary Council meetings of 22 January 2020 and 4 March 2020 as true records.


Minutes of Extraordinary Council meetings - 29 April 2020 and 22 July 2020 pdf icon PDF 436 KB

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Members RESOLVED to APPROVE as a true record the minutes of the Extraordinary Council meeting held on 29 April 2020.


Regarding the minutes of the 22 July 2020 Extraordinary Council meeting, Cllr Mynott MOVED and Cllr Aspinell SECONDED and it was RESOLVED that additional wording be added to the final paragraph of Minute 468 to read:


‘Members expressed their views regarding the report from ASELA.  Some Members questioned the legitimacy of the steps being taken by ASELA.  No vote was taken.’


Cllr Chilvers asked for Minute 470 to be expanded to include that she had requested action from Cllr Hossack in relation to an issue raised regarding blue badge bays being taken out of commission and Cllr Hossack had responded within 24 hours and both Cllrs Hossack and Chilvers had worked collaboratively on the item. Cllr Chilvers thanked Cllr Hossack for the swift action taken. 


Subject to the above amendments, Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the minutes as a true record.


Public Questions pdf icon PDF 285 KB

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The Deputy Mayor read aloud two questions submitted by Ms Kortlandt to which the Leader responded:


1.         A positive effect of Covid 19 has been a reduction in carbon emissions in the Borough and a consequent improvement in air quality.  As life returns to normal, what will the Council do to ensure these benefits are maintained?


Cllr Hossack, please respond: -


Clearly the biggest source of carbon emissions and the most noticeable change was the lack of cars on the road during the pandemic.  That has returned to the best part of normal levels.  There is nothing the Council can do to stop that.  That is down to people’s individual conscience as to how they wish to travel.  Having said that I am pleased to report that this Council is working with Essex County Council to put forward a proposal for a school road , Sawyers Hall, to eliminate traffic around schools which is the main aim in our Corporate objective to create green zones particularly around schools.  I am also pleased to report that we are working again with Essex County Council Highway Authority to try and create a cycle route which connects Shenfield more safely with Brentwood Town Centre.


2.    How does the Council find out when properties are converted to houses in multiple occupation and how frequently are physical checks made, to ensure registered HMO’s are still in conformity with the regulations, eg additional rooms have not been added?

Cllr Hossack, please respond:-

The Council is often advised by neighbours when properties are converted to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), officers on site visits will also become aware of properties and we have contact with our Council Tax team who have records of information of property occupiers.  Our planning enforcement team will also often be contacted as the property may need planning permission.  Environmental Health are responsible to ensure that licensable HMOs are investigated and properly licensed in accordance with Essex-wide agreed standards for amenities, room sizes and other facilities including means of escape from fire.

Licensed HMOs are normally inspected annually throughout the five-year licence period.  It is unusual that additional rooms will be added to an existing HMO as it is likely that the landlord will have maximised use of the property on application for the license.  We have recently engaged the services of a specialist officer who is targeting unlicensed HMOs in the Borough, which may have become licensable since the requirements for licensing changed in 2018; he is also undertaking additional checks on the currently licensed properties to ensure that they continue to comply with legal requirements.


Mrs Smith had submitted two questions:


1.         If a Brentwood resident writes (via email) to their two officially elected local Brentwood ward councillors and one councillor does not write back at all and the other writes one line only and nothing further, and neither take any action at all to assist the resident with their genuine and difficult problems relating to the council, what can the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 514.


Memorials or Petitions

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No Memorials or Petitions had been received.


Committee Chairs Reports and Members Questions pdf icon PDF 107 KB

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In accordance with the Council’s Constitution a brief written report by each committee Chair covering their area of responsibility was provided for Members’ information at each Ordinary Council meeting.


Any Member might ask a chair a written or oral question on


(a)  Any matter included in the Chair’s written report; or

(b)  Any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties or which affects the Council’s area and which falls within the area of responsibility of the Chair’s committee.


No written questions had been received from Members and the questions that were put to the Chairs at the meeting were responded to accordingly.


Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 411 KB

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Eight Notices of Motion had been received.


1.      Cllr Chilvers MOVED and Cllr Davies SECONDED the following:


‘Fireworks cause considerable distress to our pets, wildlife and livestock. In addition, they cause distress to the sick, vulnerable and those with mental health issues. There are also concerns over their environmental impact.

There are alternatives such as silent fireworks and drone light shows. With Brentwood residents contacting us regularly with their concerns and major supermarket chains halting their sale, it is surely time to review the use of traditional, outdated fireworks and look for a new way to celebrate in 2021.

Unfortunately, councils’ powers are limited. Stopping their sale has no impact as people can buy elsewhere and restricting them by licensing powers covers barely any fireworks events as most are private. Licensing officers advised that major reform can only be made at parliamentary level. Therefore, Brentwood Council resolves to write to Alex Burghart MP to request that he formally engages with the RSPCA (the organisation campaigning to change fireworks legislation) and report back within six months.’

Following a debate, a vote was taken and the MOTION was CARRIED.

Cllr Hossack proposed that the letter to the MP should be composed by himself and Cllr Chilvers.

A non-pecuniary interest was declared by Cllrs Jon Cloke and Mrs Hones by virtue of their involvement with Starburst firework display.  The Monitoring Officer advised that in view of this they should take no part in the vote.


2.       Cllr Kendall MOVED and Cllr Aspinell SECONDED the following:

‘This Council resolves to admonish the Conservative administration for bringing the Report regarding ASLEA proposals to an Extraordinary Council meeting on the 22 July 2020, rather than to an Ordinary Council meeting. 

An Ordinary Council meeting would have enabled alternative motions, amendments and a vote to take place.

This report had potentially huge and far reaching implications for this Council and the people of Brentwood.

The Chamber believes the conduct of the administration on this matter is an affront to the democratic rights of the elected members of this Council, the residents of this Borough and a flagrant disregard for the democratic process.’

During the debate Cllr Hossack MOVED, Cllr Parker SECONDED and it was RESOLVED that Members should ‘Move to the next item’ in accordance with the Constitution 8.3.12. 

Returning to the substantive Motion, a vote was taken and the MOTION was LOST.

At this point in the proceedings Cllr Aspinell requested leave of the Deputy Mayor to make a personal statement of clarification.  He advised that he had been made aware of some laminated documents being circulated publicly which alluded to the Leader killing people by encouraging various things to happen including what his motion was about tonight.  These documents had nothing to do with the opposition Liberal Democrat group whatsoever.  If Cllr Aspinell had anything to say to the Leader he would do so in a Council meeting or in official literature. 


3.       Cllr Aspinell MOVED and Cllr Lewis SECONDED the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 517.


Investment proposal

Exempt report.

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This report had been deferred to the 7 October 2020 Ordinary Council meeting.


Urgent Business

An item of business may only be considered where the Chair is of the opinion that, by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the Minutes, the item should be considered as a matter of urgency.


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There were no items of urgent business.






The meeting ended at 10.20pm