Good news for those interested in discussions surrounding the redevelopment of the Brading Experience and unable to attend the Brading Town Council meeting tonight.
VB is reporting live from the meeting which is due to start shortly.
Please refresh/reload your browser to see the latest updates. We will endeavour to report presentations and discussions as accurately as possible. Text surrounded by () signifies VB’s comments. Advance apologies for not knowing all the names if town councillors. This is our first Brading meeting.[18:58] Standing room only, Normally about eight people here apparently.
Mayor: Delighted that a new group has been formed
(MP, Andrew Turner has just arrived)[19:00](Just got the OK to record the meeting)
Q from Chris Offer: Is the council aware of serious questions about the Town Clerk’s previous position and questions over it?
A: Yes, we are entirely satisfied.
We are here to swap information tonight
Q: (David Cassell) Speaking on behalf of the concerned residents after Sunday’s meeting. Everything appears to be secretive. I asked questions about the Town Trust, but they weren’t answered.
We see no need to change the Town’s Trust. It’s been going well for 112 years.
Council wrote to charity commission to say it didn’t want to take up their places on the Town’s trust.
(one of the town councillors has a mad rave tune as a ring tone – as we all now know)
(PCSO just arrived)
Mayor: Where we are now. It has never been the idea that the Town Trust should cease to exist. We wish the Town trust to continue.
Crowd – (that’s not clear)
(Chair of Brading Town Trust – accuses mayor of saying “We can take you over”)
Mayor: We are looking forward to meet with the Town Trust
(Mayor said he couldn’t remember what he said at the meeting)
Now asking for a full council meeting with the full town Trust.
I repeat it was never our attention for the CIC to replace the Town Trust.
[19:10] Update 1
If you want it. It will be in addition to the Town Trust, Town Council; Action group
Person in audience: The assets of the town should remain politically independent
Mayor: Shall we wait until we can all meet together? We need to be clear in the eyes of the Charity Commission.
Audience (as a whole): Why now?
Mayor: Things change (Not a great reaction from that)
Dave Cassell: I’d like to remind you that you are here to represent us – the people of Brading. It’s the first time the people of Brading have heard about these changes.
Lady in Audience : Not everyone is on the Web.
Mayor: It’s also available as a print out. There is also a local magazine put out by Russ.
Mayor: I’d like to remind you that the Town Council is enormously aware of the great work that the Town Trust has done great work over the years.
We’d like to have been invited to the meetings.
[19:20] Update 2
Cllr Deborah Gardiner: I’m a resident and I’d like to come along to the meeting of the Resident group – how do I get an invitation?
Sue Birch from BRAG: There was a flyer with the details at the bottom of the page.
Audience: The invite for the Trust meeting didn’t go to every house in Brading.
Les Pearce: Would you like to put this to the town for a vote?
Cllr Marianne Sullivan: I’ve been a town councillor for many years. This is the saddest day of my limited career.
Les Pearce: You all stood against me at the last election.
Cllr Tony ToogoodCllr. Robin Attwood: I agree with Marianne – I find this very sad. I think we need to think very carefully.
I think it’s very important that we need to listen to the audience – otherwise we won’t continue to be the happy town that we are
(Lots of applause from the audience).
Audience Q: Why not just leave the Town Trust as it is, as there’s so much unhappiness?
Mayor: I’m not sure if I can give a full answer. The fact is the Charity Commission has become involved. We cannot ignore the charity commission’s advice.
Audience Q: Why not do the honorable thing now and back away
Mayor: We can’t. No decision have been made
[19:30] Update 3
Audience Q: I presume the advice will be published?
Mayor: I think it has been
Mayor: We have a break down of trust
Town Clerk: Charity Commission said they won’t get involved with adjudication
(50-60 people here)
The decisions will come here for discussion
Mayor: The decision will be made jointly between the Town Council and the Town Trust
(Town Clerk is taking his notes on a laptop – Live. radical)
Audience Q: Can you say if the Town Council has no intention to take possession of the Old Town Hall; car park and other assets?
Mayor: I can’t say, it’s complex – such as the car park have been rented out for 21 years
Q: It appears that you’re not give a categorical no
Mayor: I can’t do that now
Q: I understand that CIC doesn’t have the tax benefit of a Charitable body. All of these advantages will be lost.
We also understand that the Town trust people aren’t paid. Is it intended to pay people in the CIC? What happens if the CIC fails? What happens to the assets?
Town Clerk: I’ve emailed Sue to discuss us talking to BRAG
I come from a socialist background – I believe assets should be independent, not held by the CIC.
There is now question of the CIC owning the assets
Mayor: A CIC gives us access to funding that we cannot get as a trust or as a Town Council
[19:40] Update 4
If, once the community has the full info, it wants to do it, we will do it. Otherwise we will not.
Sue Birch: Why has the agenda changed from Sunday? The Forward plan changed from a ‘Decision’ to Information.
Town Clerk: That was my mistake. There is no decision to be made. The CIC discussion will take two months.
Sue Birch: Has the planning application have any guide on this.
Audience John Q: if you want to make a CIC, why not do it without the assets? Why is it coming up for now?
Mayor: “The CIC will not own any assets of the town now”
Audience member: That gives it even more reasoning to the point.
Mayor: We didn’t know about the CIC a year ago. I think there’s only two on the whole Island. It’s a new idea.
Mayor: We’ll have to stop soon.
Audience John: We’ve always had public consultation on big changes.
Mayor: We will. The CIC cannot exist without the whole of the town involvement. It would be great to see 70 of our directors of it.
Audience, Del: I think a lot of this is down to people not talking to each other. Let’s have more people talking. Have it more open. A bit more transparency and honesty.
Audience Q: When you talk about assets, are you talking about assets and fund?
Mayor: Yes, pending the Charity Commission guidance.
One councillor: I would like to ask you if any of you would like to join the council at the next election? Then you can sit here and listen to this.
Mayor: Can we ask that you will all return when we discuss the CIC?
I think this is all very exciting. I’m glad that we’ve managed to avoid any of the libelous comments that have been circulating.
[19:50] Update 5
Cllr Joyce: It’s good that you’ve had this open meeting. You haven’t been that open before – I don’t think it’s been deliberate, just that it hasn’t happened.
Let the people of Brading know what can and what can’t happen, then let the people of Brading decide.
Cllr Bacon: I hope what I’m hearing tonight has been established tonight is that your starting from a clean slate. From what I’ve heard from people over the last few weeks is that it all starts from scratch, with openness from both sides at all times.
(Applause from audience)
Linda: Bone Shaker day coming up – Dog chipping and bike marking
Partners against crime event coming up at Media Theatre.
(Andrew Turner MP said previously that he thought it looked like an open process)
–End of questions (10-15 people leaving)
(On to the normal agenda)
Finances – A comment about amount paid to the station £27k
[20:00] Update 6
Marianne Sullivan : The funding of the station proved that the council does want to raise money. £80k grant was applied for by the Town Clerk and deputy – and received.
Mayor: Planning we discussed at great length.
Audience: Not the proposed Heritage Centre?
Mayor: I’ll give you five minutes.
Audience, man: Will the old manor house (waxworks) be repaired before it is given over to us to use?
Mayor: There are a number of buildings that are in bad repair. We have an interest in those – and so should you.
The cost won’t be done at the cost of Brading
Audience: It’s going to be a heritage centre – so says Robert Ball (owner of the waxworks)
Mayor: As long as it doesn’t cost us a penny, perhaps we should do it.
It will be interesting to see what will happen when he makes his planning permission public
Audience: He couldn’t consider a heritage centre if he didn’t have the article of the town. You have also said that the town council will move there.
Mayor: Maybe, maybe not. The offices might go to the rebuilt school
Audience: I think that interest in these things and development are all very selective – circulate around Robert Ball
Mayor: When he puts his planning application in, please respond.
Cathy (deputy town clerk): We put a stiff opposition in to a development recently, but the county council ignored it.
[20:10] Update 7
Cllr Gardiner: There are strict rules as to what you can object to. Please make sure it falls within the planning terms.
Mayor: This will probably be the most important planning application that Brading will have for a hundred years. We will all scrutinise this. It’s too important to happen. But something needs to happens to the buildings
Audience: Wouldn’t it better to just sell it off. I can’t see the advantage of it to the town
Audience (another): Can we have the assurance of the TC that we will have another meeting like this?
Mayor: What ever happens to it, it won’t cost the tax payer of Brading a penny.
My track record on the town council is that I’ve always scrutinised if the precept needs to go up
(It’s of note how well-mannered this meeting has been)
(The town clerk is very reasonable with the public … and the councillors)
[20:17] Next item
A health and safety policy. Brading has one already, but it’s being updated tonight.
All items that the council looks after will have a risk assessment.
[20:20] Update 8
Marianne Sullivan : This is much better than the last document we had that was very thick. Voted and accepted
One at 43 New Road – the other Secret Garden
(Interesting that the ad-hoc comments from the audience are accepted, not blocked)
(Even the planning applicant’s comments are welcomed)
(Table of councillors are arranged in a half circle, so they can see each other when talking)
Both planning applications were passed.
Mayor’s report of the Assoc of Local Councils meeting now. There’s an intention to cut the budget of training. 3,000 grant is being removed
Mayor: “I don’t think the Isle of Wight council (IWC) likes town and parish councils”
IWC will charge for the use of the rooms. It’s not a partnership with the council.
[20:30] Update 9
Cllr Joyce: The leader thinks that people should have to pay for their own training
Mayor: PFI under discussion. IWC Have to pay £11m in the first year, year two £11m+ inflation – and so on for 25 years.
If the government is changed the PFI might be scrapped.
So the £3.7m on consultants will be wasted. £7m by the time it ends – with the possibility of no payback.
(Interesting that the mayor doesn’t hide his disapproval of this)
[20:33] Next item
Raising money for Brading station. Run a raffle. We need a £35 license yearly. Voted and accepted
Redevelopment of the station – has been finished well before the expected end date – and within budget
All at no cost to the tax payers of Brading
Audience: can we not get people to get off the trains into the town?
Cllr Edwards Cllr. Robin Attwood: a Real ale trail is a good idea for getting people off the train into the town.
(Brading station has just been done up – a beautiful restoration apparently)
One of the councillors has been speaking to local rail groups – lots of interest
[20:40] Update 10
Next item – Island Waste Service Community Advisory Group report(!)
Reducing landfill tax. They appear to be doing well for us tax payers. At £70k a go, it used to be exported off the Island, but now we save this and burn it on the Island and save the money. Compost is still generated.
Clerks Report now
Thanks to the young people of Brading for making sure the cars got through the town – all without being asked. Also helping people cross the un-gritted roads.
Julie Smith (Deputy Mayor): I’d like to ask the council if we can give them a certificate for good citizenship
(audience – hear, hear)
[20:50] Update 11
Young lad offers to gather the names for the council.
Brading Day will take place on 4 July this year
Looking for volunteers – there’s a meeting at the end of March to co-ordinate.
Future of Youth Clubs across the Island being decided by the IWC cabinet on 9.Feb. Brading one is very well attended.
Brading TC invited David Pugh & Simon Dear to come to the Brading Youth Club. They did and it felt like they left with a good impression.
Allotment management plan – a wildlife area has been created next to it.
4th Feb – East Wight Planning Forum – form a pressure group between the four town councils to act together
Hasn’t started yet – working out if it can be of interest. Not just planning, but everything
[21:00] Update 12
Asking for a comprehensive review. “Everything is dependent on other items”
(Dept Town Clerk) It will form part of Brading plan
Audience: I used to come to these meetings, but I could hear anything.
Mayor: We’re looking into Microphones
Audience: What about the number 10 bus?
Town Clerk: SV has refused to restore it and so has the IWC
Mayor: Thank you for your active participation – and I hope it continues
[21:15] Update 13
Can I leave you with a question – If you don’t like Robert Ball’s proposal, put your own proposal forward.
(End of meeting)