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HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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DRAFT MINUTES OF ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
15 April  2019
Held at
Queens Hall, Chipping Hill, HALSTEAD, Essex. CO9 2BY

 Membership:

Councillor A Munday Chairman   Present
Councillor M Radley Vice Chairman Present
Councillor Mrs J Allen   Present
Councillor Mrs S Dingle   Present
Councillor Mrs S Diver   Present
Councillor C Fox   Apologies
Councillor D Gronland   Present
Councillor D Hume   Present
Councillor Mrs J A Pell   Present
Councillor Mrs E Penn   Present
Councillor Mrs J Sutton   Present
Councillor G Warren   Present

Also in attendance: Public -  Mr Ian Tinton (Chamber of Trade); Charley Goff (Press), Ms Jo Bridgeman, Rob Rayner, Mrs Pat Rayner, Ms Helen Wolf, Mr Graham McCoyd

                                          Mrs S Greatorex – Town Clerk

                                          Mrs J Smith – Minute Clerk

181.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE received from Cllr Fox as unwell.  Apology was noted and approved by Cllr Gronland, seconded by Cllr Munday and carried unanimously.

182.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 14th May 2018.  Minutes were carried with 2 abstentions

183.  HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL'S REPORT. Halstead Mayor, Cllr Andrew Munday, gave the annual Town Council report.  Report attached here

A report from Halstead Town Clerk had been written and circulated.  Report attached here

184.  DISTRICT COUNCILLORS' REPORTS.  Braintree District Council Report attached here

Cllr Mrs Allen gave a report on her duties at District Council.  Report attached here

Cllr Mrs Pell  gave a report on her duties at District Council.   Report attached here

Cllr Hume. said that he had had significant health issues over the past year that had curtailed his Council activities both locally and for District.  He thanked all Councillors and staff for their help and support during this time.  He had taken an interest in local planning issues and was able to advise Town Council on planning matters; he had been kept informed by Members and Officers.  He had been part of the Overview and Scrutiny Group at BDC and also heads the executive Task and Finish group.  It had been a busy year and if re-elected he hoped to be more involved in future.

Cllr Kirby did not attend the meeting

185.  COUNTY  COUNCILLOR'S  REPORT.  Cllr Mrs Joanne Beavis thanked Halstead Town Council for inviting her to attend and give a report.  She said that she now has a role as County Councillor but has worked for some 16 years at District Councillor level.  She said it was a tough job, but she was dedicated and thanked all District Councillors for their support. She had been in post as County Councillor for 2 years and had listed priorities for action - Highways being the dominant cause of complaints from constituents.  Cllr Beavis noted that Essex CC has had excellent reports for children's services county wide, but understood that at local level local issues matter.  She said that with regard to Library Services Halstead had a well used Library that would continue to be run by ECC but that Earls Colne had a much smaller library and voluntary help would be required there.  In all, there had been 21,500 responses to consultation over libraries and these would now be analysed with results being made public by summer. With Highways there are three areas of concern, a) Pot Holes with a 'top 20' list being compiled and some results - namely Oak Road - being completed so far.  b) Footpath defects particularly the area outside W H Smith that was complicated to resolve but she was confident that resolution will come.  The local Highways Panel was helpful, and Cllr Gronland is Halstead TC liaison on this panel.  There are some big issues to be resolved with junctions, signs and bus stops but it is hopeful that positive results will be achieved.  The Salt Plant in Fenn Road was very useful and would aid treatment of roads locally in bad weather.  There would be some devolution of responsibilities.  Some local money to local areas would be piloted as the start of devolvement of funds/responsibilities.  c) Housing.  Cllr Beavis is aware of additional housing that has been approved for Halstead area and noted that there is no Local Plan in place by Braintree DC so there is no way to stop developments.

Cllr Beavis has been working with the Police and is pleased to see that Halstead Fire Station has now offered some office accommodation to Police.  There are now more Police in the Colne Valley area and in Halstead and many more Specials have been recruited.  Essex CC has a programme of training and development and some money from County and Government has been put to combat knife crime and county lines drug dealing.

Cllr Mrs Beavis said she has a great civic pride in Halstead and is pleased to promote the town as Best in Britain.  The town is led by Mayor and the recent publication of Town Plan is an example of best practice and is an important document.

The business community in Halstead is thriving and should be celebrated giving local employment to local people. 

Cllr Beavis concluded saying that 16 years ago she entered politics through the Conservative party but has come to the conclusion that at local level party politics get in the way of local democracy.  For this reason, she has decided to stand as an Independent in the forthcoming local elections and would be taking this through to County as appropriate.  She very much looks forward to working with the new Council as elected.

186.  POLICE  REPORT.  Mayor Cllr Munday announced that no Police was present at the meeting as Police do not have enough staff to attend Parish and Town Council Meetings.

187.  COMMUNITY  HALL - Cllr Mrs Pell gave a report which is attached.  Report attached here

188.  PUBLIC  QUESTION  TIME.  There were no questions from public.

There being no further business,  Chairman closed the meeting at   7.52  p.m

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Halstead Town Council, Queens Hall, Chipping Hill, Halstead Essex CO9 2BY
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