HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL
DRAFT MINUTES OF FULL COUNCIL MEETING
|Councillor A Munday||Chairman||Apologies|
|Councillor M Radley||Vice Chairman||Present (took Chair)|
|Councillor Mrs J Allen||Apologies|
|Councillor Mrs S Dingle||Present|
|Councillor Mrs S Diver||Present|
|Councillor C Fox||Apologies|
|Councillor D Gronland||Present|
|Councillor D Hume||Apologies|
|Councillor Mrs J Pell||Present|
|Councillor Mrs E Penn||Present|
|Councillor Mrs J Sutton||Present|
|Councillor G Warren||Present|
Also in attendance: Public - Mr and Mrs Mortimer, Mr R Smith, Mr H Tournant,
Cllr Mrs Jo Beavis (ECC)
Mr Brendan O'Neill and Mr Lee Weatherall (Hargreaves Land)
Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)
Julia Smith (Minute Clerk)
085. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.
(A) There were apologies from Cllr Hume (ill health), Cllr Mrs Allen (other business), Cllr Munday (holiday) and Cllr Fox (work commitments).
Cllr Mrs Pell proposed approval of apologies, proposal seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and adopted by unanimous vote.
085 (B) To approve a dispensation for Councillor David Hume from attending meetings of the Council by reason of illness for a six month period commencing 14th May 2018 in order to avoid Councillor Hume ceasing to be a member of the Council under Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972.
To agree that any future dispensations under Section 85, in the event of there not being a timely meeting of Full Council to consider the matter, to delegate to the Town Clerk authority to agree dispensations, having obtained the agreement of all of the Councillors prior to giving such approval. This is subject to the Town Clerk reporting dispensations agreed under this delegation to the next appropriate meeting of Full Council.
It was explained by Acting Chairman that agreement would carry dispensation up to 14th November.
Motion to approve dispensation and allow delegated authority to Town Clerk as required was proposed by Cllr Mrs Sutton and seconded by Cllr Mrs Penn. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Mrs Pell made a statement to thank Councillors for their agreement and explained that Cllr Hume's illness had prevented him from attending meetings although he had been attending to constituent matters and collaborating with Vice Chairman of Planning on all matters. Cllr Mrs Pell explained that Braintree DC had passed a similar motion regarding Cllr Hume recently and Cllr Hume hoped that after his next operation he will return to Council meetings as soon as possible.
Acting Chairman asked that the best wishes of Council be forwarded to Cllr Hume and it was hoped that he would have a speedy recovery.
086. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Mrs Diver declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 18/01667/LBC as a member of Royal British Legion. NPI Agenda item 7b and Agenda item 13 as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee (CSGMC). NPI Agenda item 14 as lives opposite Holy Trinity Church. Cllr Gronland declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 18/01803/OUT as has been working on Local Highways Plan matter to improve mini-roundabout at junction Fenn Road/Colchester Road. Cllr Mrs Sutton declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning ESS/27/18/BTE as has worked with Environment Agency and owners of anaerobic plant on several issues when plant was first set up. Cllr Mrs Pell declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning: 18/01667/LBC as applicant is known, 18/01803/OUT as owners of Woodyard are known and Halstead TC allotments are nearby, 18/01813/FUL as agent is known and Courtaulds Sports Ground, owned by HTC is opposite to site. NPI Agenda item 7a and 7b as member of Halstead Town Council and Vice Chairman of Halstead Hospital League of Friends. NPI Agenda item 8 as Chairman of H4C. NPI Agenda item 13 as member of CSGMC. Cllr Radley declared NPI Agenda items 7b and 13 as member of GSGMC and NPI Agenda item 7e as listed as recipient of training course funded by Council.
087. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME: Mr Lee Weatherall (Hargreaves Land) spoke about planning application 18/01803/OUT that is before Council for discussion as consultee and explained that application is for 70 homes of which 30 are affordable. Cllr Mrs Pell queried the number of homes as numbering on plans seemed to indicate up to 90 and wondered if there were some apartments included in the plans. It was said by developer that up to 70 homes are planned.
088. MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting on 17th September 2018. Minutes had been circulated and Proposal to adopt was put forward by Cllr Warren and seconded by Cllr Gronland. Minutes adopted by 6 votes with 2 abstentions.
089. PLANNING APPLICATIONS Cllr Mrs Pell, Vice Chair of Planning took the Chair for this part of the meeting.
18/01649/FUL. - 1 Garden Yard, Parsonage Street, Halstead. Extension of semi-detached two storey cottage with outbuilding for carport and garden room. Cllr Mrs Pell said that she could see no reason for refusal of this application but asked Councillors to consider making a condition that no living accommodation could be made above the garden room. Cllr Mrs Diver proposed support of this application but asked for stipulation that no additional living accommodation be provided above the proposed garden room. Proposal seconded by Cllr Sutton and carried by unanimous vote.
ESS/27/18/BTE . Halstead Anaerobic Digestion Facility. Land north of Bluebridge Industrial Estate, Halstead, Essex. Continued operation of the anaerobic digestion plant without compliance with conditions 4 (hours of operation) and 22 (waste catchment) attached to permission ref. ESS/04/15/BTE to allow the operations to commence at 07.00 hrs Monday to Saturday and waste to be imported from beyond the existing 30 miles radius catchment. Cllr Mrs Pell pointed out that HTC are consultees in this matter, as are Braintree DC, as Essex CC will have jurisdiction on this application. It was said that the public don't want any additional facilities at the site as more traffic will be accessing the facility with no by-pass for Halstead planned in the near future. Cllr Mrs Sutton said that starting at 7am would cause disruption in the vicinity which is a built-up area and also raised concerns about monitoring of any additional material brought to site. Cllr Mrs Pell said that documentation and inspection was already in place for all loads handled and it was said that animal waste had to be handled at different facilities. Much discussion took place about disruption for residents and concerns were raised about the lack of information about widened radius for collections. Cllr Mrs Sutton proposed that stipulations be made that facility should handle food waste only and that there should be stipulated limit on additional radius for waste catchment and limits to tonnage handled; Halstead TC also stated that 7am is not acceptable as a starting time for the facility and Halstead T C requires much more information about details of the application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01647/FUL - Royal Mail, Halstead Delivery Office, 46 High Street, Halstead. Installation of new fire exit door. Cllr Mrs Pell said that she could see no objection to this application although raised concerns that the pavement at the site of proposed installation was narrow and if a door opened outwards this could cause problems to pedestrians who might be passing. Cllr Warren said that notices should be affixed on the proposed new door warning that this was a fire exit. Cllr Warren proposed no objection to this application provided that suitable warning to passing pedestrians is provided; proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01667/LBC - 13 The Causeway, Halstead, Essex. Replacement of existing guttering and down pipes. It was noted that this was the Royal British Legion, Halstead Club, and that Heritage Essex had no objections to this application. Cllr Mrs Pell noted that applicant was an employee of Braintree DC so the matter will be discussed in committee to give transparency to dealings. Cllr Radley proposed no objections to this application. Cllr Warren seconded the proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote.
18/01722/FUL - 4 Chaffinch Way, Halstead, Essex. Proposed Garden Room. Cllr Mrs Diver proposed no objection to this application provided that conditions were made that garden room was not living accommodation. Cllr Mrs Dingle seconded this proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote.
18/01778/FUL - 11 Grange Close, Halstead, CO9 1NB. Alterations and addition to form a ground floor bedroom and shower room. Cllr Mrs Diver noted that plans submitted were excellent. Cllr Gronland proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01803/OUT - Land at the junction of Brook Street and Fenn road, Halstead, Essex. Outline planning permission for up to 70 dwellings (including 30 affordable housing), landscaping, public open space and sustainable drainage system (SuDs) with all matters reserved apart from access. Cllr Mrs Pell said this was application for outline permission only and that Natural England had submitted several advice notes. There were objections to this application, mainly about the existing road network - there is in planning law no 'right to a view'. It was said that there had been many road traffic accidents in the area of the application and noted that plans allowed for some road widening. Much discussion took place about roads in the area - Fenn Road, Brook Street and junction of Fenn Road with Colchester Road - and it was noted that the mini-roundabout at Fenn Road/Colchester Road was already the subject of discussions with ECC Highways for improvements. Cllr Mrs Pell noted that this area was within the Local Development Plan and therefore refusal to build would be difficult but it was obvious that some road improvements would be necessary; it was also noted that the stream would be retained with a bridge being built to give access. Cllr Mrs Pell felt that the design of buildings shown was not in keeping with the local area. Cllr Mrs Diver thanked the Developer for attending the meeting, and hoped that further discussion by all parties concerned about road improvements could be made. Cllr Radley noted that there was no mention of any S106 money in the application. Cllr Warren said that pedestrians and students at Ramsey Academy used this road and that Brook Street would be used by youngsters from Halstead going to Colne Engaine School as there are no places in Halstead for more junior pupils. It was stressed by several Councillors that the road system in the area could not cope with additional traffic, and ECC Highways should be urged to look at all options to improve the traffic movement in Fenn Road/Brook Street/Colchester Road including making Fenn Road one-way traffic. Cllr Mrs Pell invited Cllr Mrs Beavis-ECC to speak and Cllr Beavis said that it was clear from her recent Cluster Meeting (attended by HTC) that Parish Councils felt that they were not being listened to. She would take back the thoughts of Council on this matter and would look to get better dialogue between Parishes and Essex CC. After further discussion Cllr Radley suggested that Halstead Town Council should object to application on grounds of 1) traffic management of vehicular access/egress at Brook Street 2) Traffic management for the full length of Fenn Road, with Developer to fund improvements in this area 3) Lack of S106 contributions being stated. Cllr Dingle said that Planning should consider making Fenn Road a one-way system and that pavements should be upgraded Cllr Gronland said that mini-roundabout at junction Fenn Road/Colchester Road should be improved. Cllr Mrs Penn added that considerations should be given to architecture to ensure that it is in keeping with the rest of the area. Cllr Gronland proposed objection to the application on the following grounds,
1. vehicular access/egress to Brook Street
2. the application should include widening of the full length of Fenn Road to include two way traffic and single row parking along the full length of the road - this should be funded by the developer.
3. Lack of S106 developer contributions
4. Consideration should be given to making Fenn Road one way
5. Adequate pavements should be provided along Fenn Road to ensure safe passage of all users
6. Improvement required to the mini roundabout at junction of Fenn/Colchester Road
7. Architecture should be in keeping with the rest of the area
This proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver. Vote was taken and proposal was carried by unanimous vote.
18/01813/FUL - 132 Colchester Road, Halstead, Essex. Single storey front and side extensions. Painting of existing cladding/rendering and rendering of existing brickwork. Cllr Mrs Pell said she could see no difficulties with this application and Cllr Mrs Diver proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01780/FUL - 28 Acorn Avenue, Halstead, Essex. Single storey extension. Cllr Mrs Pell said she could see no difficulties with this application and Cllr Mrs Dingle proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Mrs Beavis left the meeting at this point.
Chair of the meeting was handed back to Cllr. Radley.
090. MAYOR'S APPOINTMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Acting Chairman noted an interesting visit to the High Sherriff's Justice Service and some upcoming events leading up to the Festive Period. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed report be noted; Cllr Mrs Diver seconded this proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote.
091. FINANCE. Cllr Radley Chair of Finance presented Finance Reports.
7 A. Reports were before Council showing income above budget and expenditure below budgeted levels. It was noted that second half of Precept had been received and that budget was in good shape for the first half of year. Some slight differences in figures were noted and it was said that this was due to 'rounding' of figures. Cllr Warren noted that Sainsburys are refunding only 60p instead of 70p - Town Clerk to investigate. It was noted that bookings at Queen's Hall were higher than expected; Cllr Pell asked that the excellent service to customers being given by Caretaker be noted. Cllr Gronland remarked that Car Parks performance is good and it was explained that Excess Charges are levied to deter unauthorised parking. It was noted that Car Park Attendants are doing well and are said to be helpful. Cllr Warren asked if there had been any more feedback about 'fake charges' – the Town Clerk confirmed there had been no more instances reported. Chairman noted that some extra Christmas motifs had been purchased from Capital Expenditure Budget. Cllr Warren proposed adoption of this report. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
7 B. & 7B(a) Payments to be approved; Cllr Mrs Sutton queried the purchase of 3 x body cams and it was said that these will be used by Car Park Attendants to prevent any abusive behaviour or as a record if abuse is given. Proposal to accept report 7B and 7B(a) was made by Cllr Radley, seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and carried by unanimous vote.
7C. Cash Account Reconciliation Statement. Report was before Council and there were no queries. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of the Cash Account Reconciliation Statement. Proposal seconded by Cllr Gronland and was carried unanimously.
7D. Replacement of Reception PC. Cllr Mrs Pell moved acceptance of report as read. Proposal seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
7E. Training Budget Review. It was noted that all training is within budget and staff training will be done within work time. It was recognised that money needed to be set aside within training budget next year for training of any new Councillors following election. Cllr Mrs Penn moved that report be accepted and this was seconded by Cllr Mrs Dingle. Report acceptance carried by unanimous vote.
7F. Draft Town Plan Graphics and Text Update. Cllr Gronland noted that changes to original draft were required but that this had not been easy. Colchester Institute were again involved but a tutor from University had helped and some changes will now be effected. Cllr Gronland declared optimism that project would be completed in the near future. Cllr Radley noted that report recommends Council gives delegated authority to the Clerk to spend up to £900 on editing and re-design work and after discussion it was decided to leave the figure at this amount. Cllr Mrs Sutton noted that this would leave a minimum of £1100 for printing and asked if this would be sufficient and how many would be printed. Cllr Radley said that after design work was completed Council would have to decide on how the report would be distributed. Cllr Sutton queried the spending of money on a report that will be two years out of date. Cllr Radley said that Council would review spending when report is complete and Cllr Radley moved that Council gives delegated authority to Town Clerk to spend up to £900 on necessary editing and design work for the Town Plan. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
092. COMMUNITY HALL REPORT Cllr Mrs Pell noted that a meeting had been arranged with Chairman and Vice Chairman of Council and Cllr Radley voiced approval at this arrangement and noted that Council would be given a report at a later date. Report was noted.
093. YOUTH REPORT. Cllr Mrs Penn said that there was great enthusiasm among the Youth Group (now known as H.A.P.P.Y.) and it was good to see that the Youth Club and Group were now gelling well. Ideas are being put forward for a stall at the Christmas Fayre - probably selling knitted items for which community support will be sought - and it was said that young people would be given some training on dealing with dementia in November. HAPPY gave a presentation at the recent Halstead Connected meeting and were well received. Report was noted.
094. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS. Cllr Mrs Pell reported attendance at the Cluster Meeting arranged by Cllr Mrs Jo Beavis (ECC) and said it was good to meet with other Parish Council members. Cllr Mrs Pell noted attendance at the Halstead Connected meeting which was interesting and the presentation by young people had been well received. At a recent member briefing about Highways, work on the A120 was discussed, some work in Braintree was noted and work at the Galley's Corner roundabout was explained. Some work is also envisaged at the Springwood area and near to the Train Station. Improvements to the A131 Chelmsford to Sudbury road were discussed, but Cllr Mrs Pell was shocked to be told that there will be no improvements in the Halstead area. No by-pass for the town is envisaged at present and no diversions around the town will be put in place. Cllr Gronland noted that Halstead is a bottleneck on the A131 at present but was told that Highways are aware that 'the Church is a pinchpoint' on the route. Cllr Mrs Pell urged Councillors to watch the webcast of Council meeting and noted that Chairman presided well and that the Leader of the Council gave an excellent report and answered queries efficiently. Leader had been the recipient of threats and accusations of wrongdoing but had kept his cool. Cllr Mrs Pell said that she had not been able to attend the recent meeting of Housing Task and Finish Group but will catch up with news. Cllr Mrs Penn asked if the matter of the A131 through Halstead can be discussed at a future Council meeting and Cllr Mrs Pell suggested that a letter be sent to Braintree DC asking for explanations about the Halstead Strategic Route. Cllr Mrs Penn suggested that a meeting between all concerned parties be set up, but Cllr Mrs Pell thought this was unlikely to happen. Town Clerk had already written to Essex County Council on this subject, but no response had been forthcoming. Cllr Radley suggested this could be followed up and asked Town Clerk to progress and report on this matter. Report was noted.
095. (A). WORKING ACTION PLAN. It was explained that this plan is necessary for Local Council Foundation Award and it was explained that the list of actions are those already in progress and the plan would be updated in future as changes occur. A plan needs to be in place before accreditation for Award can be sought - it was explained that this Award would show that Council is building towards a better future. Witham already has this Foundation Award.
Cllr Mrs Penn proposed acceptance of the Working Action Plan and this proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren. Vote was taken and proposal was unanimously accepted.
(B) LOCAL COUNCIL AWARD SCHEME - FOUNDATION LEVEL RESOLUTION. The council confirmed by resolution at a full council meeting that it publishes online:
(A) the Parish Council had achieved items 1 – 15 of the Foundation Level and that all documentation relating to these items can be found of the Parish Council website:
1. Standing Orders & Financial Regulations
2. Code of Conduct
3. Publication Scheme
4. The last Annual Return
5. Transparent Information about Council Payments
6. A calendar showing all meetings
8. Current Agendas
9. The Budget & Precept information
10. Complaints Procedure
11. Council Contact details
12. Action Plan
13. Evidence of Consulting the Community
14. Publicity Advertising Council Activities
15. Evidence of Participating in Town and Country Planning
The council also confirmed by resolution that it has:
(b) the following items of the Foundation Level have been achieved: A Risk Management scheme; A Register of Assets; Contracts for all members of staff; Up to date insurance policies which mitigate the risk to public money; Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure; A Training Policy; A Record of all training; The Clerk has achieved 12 CPD points in the last year.
It was noted that Clerk is now sufficiently qualified to go forward for Award and all necessary documentation is in place. Cllr Mrs Pell asked that it be recorded that Braintree DC have mandatory training for Councillors and it was agreed that this will give depth to application. Cllr Mrs Diver said that Award would be good for Council and would help with public perception of Council work. Cllr Gronland proposed that Council confirm that all requirements for the Local Council Foundation Award Scheme have been achieved. Proposal seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton and carried by unanimous vote.
Acting Chairman Cllr Radley thanked the Town Clerk for pulling together all necessary documentation over a considerable period of time to progress this application.
(C) SUPPORTING INFORMATION FOR 11b. Information noted.
096. MANAGEMENT OF CHURCHYARD TREES. It was said that a member of public had expressed views about the trees and the Tree Officer from Braintree DC had been consulted. A plan for work on the trees had been drawn up and cost of necessary maintenance had been determined at £3500.00. Work for some proposed aesthetic work - to open up the aspect of churchyards was costed at £4500.00. It was noted that there is no budget allowance for this work in 2018/19, but work would need to be considered when budget for coming year(s) are drawn up. It was said that Council has legal responsibility to maintain the land and Cllr Pell asked if any trees were in a dangerous condition and should be attended to in the near future. It was said that if danger from any particular trees is perceived then work would be carried out immediately after consultation with Mayor, however, at present no danger has been highlighted. Cllr Warren proposed that necessary works be noted and that expenditure to carry out necessary maintenance and aesthetic works be considered at budget seminar in December 2018. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton and carried by unanimous vote.
097. ALARM FOR COURTAULDS' EQUIPMENT CONTAINERS. Cllr Mrs Pell asked who would attend if alarm is set off and was told that it would be monitored. Cllr Radley said that alarms would need to be considered in budget review and it was agreed that area is vulnerable and risks must be managed. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed that report be noted and proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland. Proposal carried by unanimous vote.
098. TREE IN HOLY TRINITY CHURCHYARD. Report was before Council about some necessary and immediate work required on a tree in Holy Trinity Churchyard that is causing damage to property at Holy Trinity School. It was confirmed that the contractor quoting the lowest price is available to do the work during half term week. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed that Council agree to necessary work to remove maple tree in Holy Trinity Churchyard during half term week. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Dingle and carried by unanimous vote.
099. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS. To give consideration to adopting the following resolution:'that in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted and pursuant to the provisions of section 1(2)- of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, as amended, the public and the press be temporarily excluded from the meeting'
There was no further business. Meeting closed at 9.00pm.