HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL
MINUTES OF FULL COUNCIL MEETING
|Councillor A Munday||Chairman||Present|
|Councillor M Radley||Vice Chairman||Present|
|Counvillor Mrs J Allen||Present|
|Councillor Mrs S Dingle||Present|
|Councillor Mrs S Diver||Present|
|Councillor C Fox||Present|
|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 - Ms S Webber, Ms C Woods, Ms V Mitchell, Mr D Vincent (Renaissance Land), Mr B O'Neill (Ancill Homes), Ms T Parry (BDC), Ms M Gorborz (BDC), Mr and Mrs N Mycroft, Mr M Fincken, Mr I Woodward-Court, Ms M Perkins, Ms Jo Beavis (ECC), Ms N Creevy, Ms N Cutting, Ms L Wallis, Mr I Tinton (Chamber of Commerce) Mr A Gidden (Press), Mr H Tournant.
Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)
Julia Smith (Minute Clerk)
100. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. (A) There was an apology from Cllr Hume due to ill health. Cllr Munday proposed approval of apology, proposal seconded by Cllr Radley and adopted by unanimous vote.
100. (B) To approve a dispensation for Councillor David Hume from attending meetings of the Council by reason of illness for a further two month period. Motion to approve dispensation for Cllr Hume for a further two month period was proposed by Cllr Munday and seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell. Motion carried by unanimous vote.
101. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Mrs Pell declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 18/01876/OUT as this land is Greenfields and Cllr Ms Pell is a Braintree DC Councillor, owners are known and objectors are known.. NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee (CSGMC). NPI Agenda item 8 as is Trustee of H4C. Cllr Mrs Diver .Declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee (CSGMC) and declared retrospective NPI at Agenda item 3A as member of Halstead WI spoke and Cllr Mrs Diver is a member of this body. Cllr Mrs Dingle declared retrospective NPI at Agenda Item 3A as member of Halstead WI spoke and Cllr Mrs Dingle is President of Halstead WI. Cllr Mrs Allen Declared NPI Agenda item 3B as member of Braintree DC and speakers are known. NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 18/01876 as this land is Greenfields and Cllr Ms Allen is a Braintree DC Councillor and also PI interest as has contacted Bloor Homes regarding house purchase. NPI in Agenda item 7c regarding S106 money as member of Braintree DC. Cllr Radley declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee. Cllr Munday declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee.
Cllr Munday noted that matter at Agenda item 5b had already been decided by Braintree DC and would therefore not be discussed at tonight's meeting.
102. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:
A) Ms Sue Webber, Secretary of Halstead WI spoke about the perceived problem of loneliness and isolation in the area and said that Halstead WI has a Chat and Craft meeting on the 4th Wednesday in each month from 1pm-4pm at St. Andrew's Hall and would like to invite members of the public to come for a chat and cup of tea and bring crafts if appropriate. The WI asked if Halstead TC would promote this event.
It was noted that Braintree DC has an initiative to combat the problem at present and would be happy to promote this event and it was hoped that Halstead Gazette would also assist.
Mr Malcolm Fincken asked about the matter of Councillors assisting the Elizabeth Courtauld Doctor's Surgery with difficulties caused by the expanding population of Halstead. Mr Fincken asked when this would be discussed and was told that the matter would be discussed later at this meeting. Mr Fincken asked if there had been policy changes and it was noted that a special motion with signatures of 4 Councillors had been received which would trigger further discussions by this Council.
Mr Ian Tinton speaking for Halstead Chamber of Trade and Commerce asked for volunteers to help with marshalling at the Christmas Fayre and explained that volunteering for just one hour would be helpful. Mr Tinton then asked about the car that appears to have been abandoned on Market Hill, Halstead and if this would be moved before the Christmas Fayre.
Town Clerk explained that the car was the subject of legal dealings at present and BDC is aware of the problem. It was suggested that the Chamber of Trade also contact BDC to try and get the vehicle moved as soon as possible.
Mr Ian Woodward-Court spoke about Agenda item 5-Planning 18/01876/OUT and noted that this application is for outline permission only to establish the principle of building with details to follow. He noted that Braintree DC had declared this a good site for development although not allocated for this purpose at present. He said that there had been issues raised by Essex CC Highways but that these had now been resolved and noted that trees and hedges would be retained to contain the site with public open space and a walking area around the site. He said that there would be low density housing with 22 affordable houses included and that S106 money would be allocated to Health.
Cllr Mrs Jo Beavis (ECC) gave details of some potholes she had on a list that would be dealt with as a matter of urgency including those near to Riverside Court, at Oak Road and outside the Riverside Fish and Chip Shop. Cllr Mrs Beavis had visited the new Salt Depot at Fenn Road and announced that 400 tonnes of grit would be stored here allowing 4 gritting lorries to make 10 visits around the area and it was hoped this would make improvements to the gritting programme when required.
Mrs Julia Smith, Secretary of Halstead in Bloom spoke regarding Agenda item 7e and gave details that might be pertinent to discussions. It was said that the HiB team are still keen to bring back Awards to Halstead.
Cllr Munday read an email from Mr Richard Woods who could not unfortunately attend the meeting regarding Agenda item 7c and asked if more details about the allocation of S106 money could be given. Chairman said this will be a subject for discussion later in the meeting.
B) Presentation by Halstead Connected by Tracey Parry, Community Services Manager BDC and Mora Groborz, Community Services Officer BDC. Ms Parry explained that ECC had commissioned a project to strengthen communities and BDC had been invited to take part. The Young Foundation has been engaged to research and to assess the level of social isolation and loneliness within the District as this is perceived to be a major health risk. BDC was asked to look at a pilot area and St. Andrew's Ward, Halstead was shown to have a high incidence of single, elderly people who might be at risk. The Community Assets in this area were reviewed and this showed that there is a vibrant community in Halstead. Door-to-door canvassing was undertaken with 72 households being interviewed and data was gained. Some focus groups were also spoken with. Some engagement events were staged and from this the Young Foundation gave pictorial evidence of findings. Ms Groborz then showed the illustration that had been provided and summarised the findings of the group. There were positive and negative findings, all displayed, and potential actions were identified. It was good to see that young people showed interest and as a result the former youth council had been reformed and was now known by the acronym HAPPY. The original artwork produced by the Young Foundation was given to Halstead TC and it was requested that this be displayed and perhaps taken on a tour of the Town. Cllr Mrs Pell said that she had attended a recent meeting of the group at which young people had spoken eloquently about their plans and how they want to help the community. Cllr Fox asked if there could be some online access to the data and the pictorial evidence and was told by Ms Parry that the evidence would be published in various ways.
C) Presentation on Fenn Road development by Hargreaves Land Mr Brendan O'Neill said that this planning application is being considered but that it was felt important to address issues raised at previous Council meeting. He said that permission was being sought for up to 70 dwellings and that the land is allocated on the local plan. Outline permission is being sought at present so the matter will come to Halstead TC for further discussions if approved. It was said that consultation period is now closed but highways matters and infrastructure had been a concern. It was noted that there were no objections from Statutory bodies and that S106 money had been allocated towards Health. Natural England had been consulted regarding habitat loss. It was said that Highway matters were the most critical and that the area of Fenn Road had been flagged up some years ago which is why this developer had allocated land for widening of the road - it was noted that other land owners along Fenn Road had been contacted but were not prepared to allocate land in the same manner. Mr O'Neill stressed that a plan from the outset was vital and that after advice developers had removed the planned pedestrian link and the pavement east of Fenn Road. With regard to Brook Street the existing planned access would remain, but an extension to the 30mph limit would be suggested. It was said that developer was keen to open dialogue with Halstead TC as well as with Braintree DC and ECC Highways. Mr David Vincent noted that ECC Highways had requested more information which would be given.
Councillors Radley and Gronland both noted existing problems in the Fenn Road/Colchester Road areas and it was generally agreed that a plan needs to be formed before development begins. it was said that a co-ordinated plan could be formed if all parties are prepared to engage. Cllr Mrs Jo Beavis acknowledged that HTC had not been listened to on this matter and that it was vital that a co-ordinated plan be put in place in the near future. and asked that Town Clerk write to ECC formally requesting a joint meeting with all parties concerned. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed that a letter be sent to Essex CC, copied to Cllr Jo Beavis, requesting details of proposals and a comprehensive plan for the area and Cllr Radley suggested an amendment to the proposal to include the public and request for an urgent meeting between Halstead TC, Braintree DC, Essex CC and developer to co-ordinate a comprehensive plan for the area. Proposal and amendment were seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote. Hargreaves Land agreed that they will also contact all parties concerned.
103. MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting on 15th October 2018. Minutes had been circulated and Proposal to adopt was put forward by Cllr Radley and seconded by Cllr Warren. Minutes adopted by 8 votes with 3 abstentions.
104. PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Cllr Mrs Pell, vice Chair of Planning took the Chair for this part of the meeting.
18/ 01876 /OUT - Land North of Oak Road, Halstead. Outline planning application with all matters reserved for 28 market and 22 affordable dwellings, public open space and associated development.
Cllr Mrs Pell had spoken to Braintree DC and asked for advice as this land appeared to have been allocated for recreation.
Previous application for residential use had not been supported by ECC Highways and a history of planning applications at the site was read. It was clear that objections regarding access had been made from original application in 2005 through to present day and Councillors agreed that the area surrounding the proposed site was not suitable for any additional traffic movements. Cllr Mrs Pell noted objections to the proposal with regard to flooding that occurs at present and that could be aggravated by more properties; with disturbance of wild life and with overloaded infrastructure in the town. It was noted that there was one letter of support for the proposal. Several Councillors spoke about perceived traffic difficulties in the area should development take place, but it was noted that there had been no comments from ECC Highways. Cllr Warren proposed objection to this application because of traffic concerns on narrow roads unsuitable for more traffic movements, because of concerns about flooding and because of overloaded Town infrastructure. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Diver and carried with 1 abstention.
18/01865/FUL - 17 Sloe Hill, Halstead, Essex. Proposed one and a half storey side extension. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed no objection to this application. Proposal seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01911/ADV - 9-11 High Street, Halstead, Essex. Integral illumination and screen to the ATM fascia. Internally illuminated Free Cash withdrawals sign above the ATM.
It was noted that this is a retrospective application following complaint from a resident regarding signage in a conservation area. Cllr Mrs Pell said that Braintree DC policy would need to be checked and it was noted that the Heritage Statement on application did not seem to relate to Halstead at all!. It was noted that previous applications for internally illuminated signs in the conservation area had been disallowed. Cllr Warren proposed objection to this application on grounds of illuminated sign in a conservation area and asked that Braintree DC policy on this matter be taken into consideration. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton and carried by unanimous vote.
18/1909/FUL & 18/01910/LBC - 9-11 High Street, Halstead, Essex. Retrospective application for the installation of an ATM installed through glass to the shop front. It was noted that this is a retrospective application and that the ATM has been installed. Concerns were raised about this being a crime target and also that the building is listed and in a conservation area. Cllr Mrs Sutton proposed objection to this application as undesirable in a conservation area and not in keeping with surrounding area and in a heritage building. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Fox and carried by unanimous vote.
104 (B). As previously announced this item was withdrawn from discussion
Chair of the meeting was handed back to Cllr Munday.
105. MAYOR'S APPOINTMENT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Chairman noted a varied and full programme of attendance. Cllr Warren mentioned the wonderful Remembrance Day events which he said included all ages and were very moving. Report was noted
106. FINANCE. Cllr Radley Chair of Finance presented Finance Reports.
7a. Reports were before Council showing income above budget and expenditure below budgeted levels. Allotment payments were now beginning to be received and car park revenues were stable, although not so much was being received in Excess Charge payments. It was requested that wording be changed on page 3 of report to 'Queen's Hall Bookings'. Cllr Radley proposed adoption of this report. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and carried by unanimous vote.
7b & 7b(a) Payments to be approved; Cllr Radley noted that payment to Wicksteed Leisure was for repair of the outdoor gym. Proposal to accept report 7b and 7b(a) was made by Cllr Radley, seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
7c. Section 106 monies. Report was before Council showing received and expected money. It was noted that the Central Piling site, Colchester Road had already paid some money; £2872.49 had been paid to BDC for the Colne Road Allotment Site. It had been agreed that as this site is managed by HTC money will be paid to the Council if criteria are met. Town Clerk to report at a later date. It was noted that payment will be for Colne Road site only.
It was said that £87629.00 had been paid to BDC for artificial training pitch at the Leisure Centre (owned by BDC) and District Councillors were asked to check where money has been will be spent. £35959.37 is held by BDC waiting for NHS England to justify expenditure. Money is due to be paid to Essex CC for education but no information is to hand on if this will be/has been paid. Town Clerk was asked to write to ECC and ask for information. Money earmarked for Community Centre will be/has been paid but no information is to hand. Chairman said that Town Council must make sure that money is used for the Town. Cllr Warren asked if any money had been set aside for a play area at the Colchester Road site but it was said that the money identified is to cover long term maintenance of the play area once installed.. S106 money due from other sites was noted and it was stated that small sites (less than 30 dwellings) do not have to make payments for healthcare, education or the Community Centre. It was noted that current S106 Open Spaces balance remains at £50,349 - similar to that in hand at this time last year and District Councillors were urged to ask questions about how/when money will be distributed.
The emailed question from Richard Woods was discussed and it was said that answers had been given as above but that it was important for Council to monitor the situation.
Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of report on 3 points: a) Town Council put forward a proposal for spend on Colne Road allotment site. b) that BDC confirm plan for spend at Leisure Centre and c) that open space money has not been spent and more information will be sought. Cllr Mrs Pell seconded proposal and report was noted by unanimous vote.
7d. Cllr Radley proposed new direct debit for franking machine to Pitney Bowes be put in place. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and carried by unanimous vote.
7e. Halstead in Bloom. It was noted that previously £3000 p.a. has been paid to Halstead in Bloom for provision of hanging baskets and some floral displays in Town Centre but that £3250 had been requested for 2019. It was said that this extra money would reflect increased costs on plants sourced from the EU. Cllr Mrs Diver proposed that Halstead TC pays Halstead in Bloom for supply of plants as noted. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Dingle and carried by unanimous vote.
7f. Cash account reconciliation. Report was before Council and it was noted that the current account is the main account used and that this reconciles to the penny. Cllr Munday proposed acceptance of report and this was seconded by Cllr Mrs Dingle. Proposal was carried by unanimous vote.
107. COMMUNITY HALL REPORT Cllr Mrs Pell noted that a meeting had been arranged with Chairman and Vice Chairman of Council and hoped that a meeting with all Councillors could be arranged at a later date. Report was noted
108. YOUTH REPORT . Cllr Mrs Penn said that there had been attendance at the Remembrance Day event by Youth Team Group and that a course on dementia care was arranged for the near future. There would be a meeting of the HAPPY group next week, mainly to plan for the Christmas Fayre event. It was noted that others had expressed interest in joining, and that there had been positive reports about youth involvement from residents. Report was noted
109. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS. Cllr Mrs Allen reported attendance at 3 driver hearings for the Licensing Committee and 2 member development meetings. One concerned the 1-5 year housing plan and it was noted that a full quota of building had been approved but that developers were stockpiling land with permissions but building was not taking place. It was said that prices were rising in the District due to market forces and personal affordability was being compromised. Cllr Mrs Allen had attended Ramsey Academy and was pleased to report that the education level here is rising and perception of the young people is now greatly enhanced. Cllr Mrs Allen had given some Councillor Grant money to the Academy for improvements to the library and it has been used to install an electronic booking system. (Cllr Mrs Sutton, who is a Governor at the Academy, noted that Ramsey Academy is very nearly one of the top 20 schools in the country.) Cllr Mrs Allen reported ongoing work with the Recycling Task and Finish Group.
Cllr Mrs Pell reported information on the Voter ID system that will be in place for the May Council elections. Some conditions were discussed, and more work needs to be done. A Governance meeting was attended. Member Development meetings were also attended and a Task and Finish Group on social isolation and loneliness is ongoing. It was noted that this is a complex situation and Cllr Mrs Pell questioned how Halstead TC can help and lead the way on tackling the current prevalence of isolation. Cllr Mrs Pell said that any ideas would be helpful and should be addressed to Chairman. Reports were noted
110. SUGGESTED MEETING DATES FOR 2019/20. Report was before Council but Cllr Mrs Pell noted that some dates may be subject to change when District meeting dates are published. Cllr Mrs Pell moved acceptance of dates as listed provided that it was noted that some dates may have to be changed. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.
111. OUTINGS. Report was before Council regarding outings 2018 and proposed destinations for trips 2019. It was said that 4 companies had been contacted to ask for quotes for carriage but only Kings Coaches had replied at costs noted.
It was recommended that cost for trips be increased by £1 to £14.50, and £20 for non-residents. Cllr Mrs Pell suggested that the increase be 50p only (i.e. to £14 and £19.50) as quotes for coaches had been at a similar level to current year. Discussions took place and after considerable debate Cllr Mrs Pell proposed that cost for trips to venues as listed in 2019 should be at £14 for Town residents and £19.50 to non-residents. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Allen and a vote was taken. There were 6 votes for this proposal, 3 votes against proposal and 2 abstentions. Proposal was carried by majority vote.
112. EVENTS. Report on proposed events was before Council. Cllr Mrs Allen noted that there was nothing for youth and felt that this was an omission that should be rectified. It was questioned what would be suitable and noted that the Empire Theatre have a 'party in the park' day aimed at young people and that this is a major fund raiser for the Theatre. Cllr Mrs Penn said she would ask the young people what sort of event they would attend and will report back to Council. Cllr Munday proposed that events for 2019 as listed should be accepted. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
COUNCILLOR MUNDAY proposed that Standing Orders be amended to give a further 15 minutes of debating time. Proposal seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
113. TOWN INFRASTRUCTURE REPORT UPDATE. Chairman noted that the matter of two Councillors attending meetings with Doctors' Surgery had been discussed at a previous meeting (13th August 2018) but that an updated report had been compiled following request for a Special Motion under Standing Order no. 7 for Councillors to reconsider the decision made at that meeting. It was said that it had become clear that although the two named Councillors - Cllr Radley and Cllr Gronland - had been meeting with Doctors on a regular basis as members of the public only, they could not move forward with active work unless they had the gravitas of Councillors. The increased housing in place and with other sites having had permission to start building, plus other planned developments in the pipeline means that the Surgery is becoming more and more overloaded with work and progress on expansion must be made. Cllr Mrs Pell noted, as one of the signatories to the letter of request, that there is now a better understanding of what is required of Councillors and how they will report to Council and stated that all political groups had been notified of the request to re-examine the proposal. Cllr Mrs Pell moved acceptance of the proposal that HTC supports the work being done by Cllrs Radley and Gronland and that they will represent the Council as described in the updated report. Cllr Mrs Sutton said that she had not been aware of the letter and need for signatures to that letter and that she would therefore abstain. She felt that all Councillors of all parties represented on Council should have been asked to sign. Cllr Mrs Pell apologised that she had not asked representatives of other political groups to sign the letter and said that lessons had been learned. Chairman said that only 4 signatures had been required and asked that Cllr Mrs Pell's apology be accepted. Cllr Mrs Sutton said that she noted the apology and understood the rules. Further discussions took place and Cllr Warren asked what had changed since the discussions earlier in the year. It was said that clarification on who would be attending meetings at the surgery, and that some meetings would be private and not attended by Councillors had been given and it was now clear how Councillors would report back to Council on matters concerning the surgery. Chairman said that it was clear that there would be no liability on the Council and that it was now clear how confidential matters and financial matters would be reported.
Chairman proposed extension of Standing Orders to give a further 10 minutes of debating time. Proposal seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and carried unanimously.
Further debate took place and the question of how the liaison would continue if Council members changed or did not retain their place on Council was raised. It was suggested that the matter would have to come back to Council for further discussion if any of the parameters changed. Cllr Mrs Penn voiced the opinion that Cllrs Radley and Gronland should be allowed to continue with their liaison and reporting to Council as this would be a service to residents and will assist the surgery to become better equipped to deal with all patients. Cllr Mrs Penn seconded the proposal put forward by Cllr Mrs Pell and a vote was taken. There were 9 votes for the proposal and 2 abstentions.
114. EXTRA TEXTILE BIN IN CHAPEL STREET CARPARK. A report was before Council regarding further dealings with East London Textiles regarding installation of a textile bank in Chapel Street Carpark that would raise money for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance. It was said that 15p. per Kg of clothing collected would be given to the charity, but if HTC required payment a lesser amount would go to the Air Ambulance. Cllr Mrs Dingle asked if this was the same company that had a bank in Butler Road Carpark, that was not emptied on a regular basis and therefore caused unsightly litter - it was said that this is not the same company. Cllr Warren said that he would want to object to this proposal on the grounds that as a business the company should pay to install and use the site and not pay less to charity if they were charged. Town Clerk said that at present Car Park Attendants have to clear and tidy up textiles and clothing left on the ground at Butler Rod and it was hoped that a new Bank might alleviate this problem. Cllr Warren proposed that the application for a clothing bank in Chapel Street car park by this company be refused on grounds as stated. Cllr Mrs Sutton seconded this proposal and a vote was taken. There were 5 votes for the proposal, 3 votes against the proposal and 3 abstentions. Motion to refuse was carried.
115. 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 9.50pm