Agenda and minutes

Virtual consultative meeting, Placemaking in Exmouth Town and Seafront Group (formerly Exmouth Queen's Drive Delivery Group) - Tuesday, 19th October, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Online via the Zoom app

Contact: Sarah Jenkins  01395 517406; email  sjenkins@eastdevon.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

8.

Public speaking

Minutes:

No members of the public had registered to speak.

9.

Minutes of the previous meeting held on 7 September 2021 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous consultative meeting held on 7 September 2021 were received and noted.

10.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Minute 11. Resourcing - verbal update.

Councillor Aurora Bailey, Personal, Member is an Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Minute 11. Resourcing - verbal update.

Councillor Bruce De Saram, Personal, Member is an Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Minute 11. Resourcing - verbal update.

Councillor Joe Whibley, Personal, Member is an Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Minute 11. Resourcing - verbal update.

Councillor Nick Hookway, Personal, Member was Chair of Save Exmouth Seafront until May 2019 and confirmed that he is not pre-determined on any matters regarding the seafront and Queen's Drive redevelopment.

 

Minute 11. Resourcing - verbal update.

Councillor Olly Davey, Personal, Member is an Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Minute 11. Resourcing - verbal update.

Councillor Steve Gazzard, Personal, Member is an Exmouth Town Councillor.

 

Minute 15. Harbour View Café tenant renovation proposals - guest speaker.

Councillor Megan Armstrong, Personal, Member has assisted the tenant since 2015.

 

Minute 15. Harbour View Café tenant renovation proposals - guest speaker.

Councillor Olly Davey, Personal, Member is a regular patron of Harbour View Café.

 

Minute 15. Harbour View Café tenant renovation proposals - guest speaker.

Councillor Paul Arnott, Personal, Member has had a meeting with a member of Coastwatch.

 

Minute 15. Harbour View Café tenant renovation proposals - guest speaker.

Councillor Paul Millar, Personal, Member has assisted the tenant previously.

 

Minute 15. Harbour View Café tenant renovation proposals - guest speaker.

Councillor Peter Faithfull, Personal, Member has used the facilities at Harbour View Café.

 

Minute 15. Harbour View Café tenant renovation proposals - guest speaker.

Councillor Steve Gazzard, Personal, Member is a regular patron of Harbour View Café.

 

11.

Resourcing - verbal update

Minutes:

Tim Child, Service Lead – Place, Assets and Commercialisation, provided an update on progress with the recruitment of the two new Officer posts.  Further work on recruitment had been undertaken since the previous meeting.  Job descriptions and salaries had now been approved for both the Senior Project Officer (two year fixed term) and Project Manager (18 month fixed term) roles and an external recruitment agency would be appointed to manage the process in what is currently a very challenging market.  The advert was expected to be live at the start of November, with interviews in early December for successful candidates to be in post in the early Spring.

 

Questions and discussion included the following points:

·         Terms and conditions for both roles are based on existing posts and at current EDDC salary levels.

·         Regarding the length of the fixed term contracts, it was expected that the first six months in post would concentrate on looking at the options with comprehensive engagement and consultation with key stakeholders.  A report in late summer would set out a series of options for Members to consider.  The timescale moving forward would depend on which options were agreed by Members.

·         The timescales for the production of the new Local Plan and for the Exmouth Place Making project are not currently aligned and this is a cause for concern for Officers.

·         The appointment of the two new Officers is key to unlocking the potential for the Delivery Group to deliver on the project.

 

The update was noted.

12.

Introduction by National CoastWatch Institution - guest speaker

Minutes:

Ivor Jones and Hugh DeSouza provided an introduction to the work of National CoastWatch Institution (NCI) and included the following points:

·        NCI has been operational in Exmouth since 1998 and continued throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

·        The NCI trained volunteers work closely with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Her Majesty’s CoastGuard and the emergency services and forms an integral part of the search and rescue capability for the UK.

·        The current small facility does not allow NCI to function as it would like and the conditions are affecting the equipment and the ability of NCI to respond to emergencies.

·        NCI’s aspirations for its facility in Exmouth are to increase CCTV coverage and additional space with potential for a Jurassic Coast visitor centre and training for NCI volunteers.

 

Questions and comments from Members included the following points:

·        NCI does not receive any public funding and depends on donations.

·        Examples of risks in Exmouth include a strong tidal race and shifting sands, reckless use of jet skis and risks compounded by visitors being unaware of local conditions.

·        Incidents this year had increased due to staycations.

·        NCI has a dedicated radio channel 65 and a local weather station.

·        A new facility would be fitted out by NCI through various funding initiatives.

·        It was noted that the Lookout is integral to the Harbour View Café building, whereas CoastWatch House is a separate space.

 

Tim Child advised Members that work had been done previously on developing a new improved facility for NCI and referred Members to concept plans from 2018/19 and a report to Cabinet in 2020.  Members were advised that upgrading the facility should be considered as part of the wider re-development and uses of the site.

 

Members were very supportive of the valuable service provided by NCI and were generally of the view that a new facility should be provided as soon as possible on safety grounds.  Members’ preference would be for the new project Officers to move forward with this matter when in post.

 

Provision of an upgraded facility for NCI would be added to the forward plan.

 

The Chair thanked Ivor Jones and Hugh DeSouza for their very informative presentation and for the excellent work undertaken by NCI.

 

13.

Forward Plan discussion

Minutes:

As the work of the Delivery Group was gaining momentum, Tim Child proposed that a forward plan would assist the work of future meetings.

 

During the discussion on items for inclusion in the forward plan, Tim Child advised that sequencing of delivery was key, but that this could not be agreed until the stakeholder engagement and wider consultation work had been completed.

 

It was suggested that Ed Freeman be asked to attend the November meeting to provide an update on Local Plan work.

 

Following discussion, initial forward plan items were identified:

·         Temporary uses on the Queen’s Drive site for next year,

·         CoastWatch tower provision,

·         Progress with planning application for permanent planning consent for temporary uses.

14.

Confidential / exempt item

Minutes:

There is one item to follow which Officers recommend should be dealt with after the public and press have been excluded, in accordance with local government legislation.

 

The Chair thanked those who had been watched the meeting online.

 

Accordingly, the public part of this meeting ended and the live stream to YouTube was switched off.

15.

Harbour View Cafe tenant renovation proposals - guest speaker

Minutes:

The tenant of the Harbour View Café outlined proposals for the renovation of the building and the outside space.

 

Tim Child advised Members on the background and issues surrounding the café.

 

Simon Davey, Strategic Lead Finance, advised Members of the need for reports when considering this matter and before making a decision.  Should Members be mindful to make a recommendation to Cabinet, Officers would then advise Cabinet on all related legal and procurement issues.

 

RECOMMENDATION TO CABINET

That the present tenant of the Harbour View Café be given an extended lease with an appropriate rent, subject to an independent valuation.