HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL
MINUTES OF FULL COUNCIL MEETING
|Councillor A Munday||Chairman||Present|
|Councillor M Radley||Vice Chairman||Present|
|Councillor Miss J Atkinson||Present|
|Councillor P Caulfield||Present|
|Councillor P Claydon||Present|
|Councillor Mrs S Dingle||Present|
|Councillor M Fincken||Apologies|
|Councillor D Gronland||Present|
|Councillor D Hume||Present|
|Councillor Mrs J A Pell||Present|
|Councillor Miss L Smith||Apologies|
|Councillor G Warren||Present|
Also in attendance: Public Ms H Wolf; Mrs E Penn, Mr G McCoyd,
Ms Jan Mellon, Mr McWilliams, Mrs J Allen
Mr P Schwier, Cllr Mrs J Beavis (ECC) arrived Agenda item 17
Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)
Julia Smith (Minute Clerk)
022. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. Apologies were received from Cllr Miss L Smith (work commitments) and Cllr M Fincken (out of the country). Acceptance of apologies was proposed by Cllr Munday, seconded by Cllr Radley and carried unanimously.
023. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Radley declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 19/00856/HH as agent is a relative of member of BDC staff (Cllr Radley is BDC Councillor). Cllr Claydon declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee (CSGMC) Cllr Warren declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee (CSGMC). Cllr Hume declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning: 19/00883/HH as applicant is known. 19/00856/HH as agent is a relative of member of BDC staff (Cllr Hume is BDC Councillor). NPI Agenda item 15 as Parochial Church Council Secretary and as member of League of Friends of St. Andrew's Church, Halstead. NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee (GSCMC). Cllr Mrs Pell declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 19/00856HH as agent is a relative of member of BDC staff (Cllr Mrs Pell is BDC Councillor). 19/00883/HH as applicant is known through a friend. NPI Agenda item 6 as Trustee of Halstead Day Centre. NPI Agenda item 8 as member of H4C. Cllr Munday declared NPI in all planning items as is a member of BDC Planning Committee and will leave for this agenda item.
024. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME. Ms Jan Mellon spoke about the recent road surfacing in High Street, Halstead and noted that the level of road surface is now as high as top of kerbstones meaning that surface water is not collecting in gutter and running into storm drains but is flowing down pavements. Ms Mellon said that this is unacceptable, road surface is too high. Ms Mellon also noted that there is no notification that the entrance to Factory Lane East is not pavement area as double yellow lines have been painted in the road only. Ms Mellon asked that it be made clear that there is a throughway at this point, not just a pavement.
Cllr Munday said that ECC is responsible for road repairs and asked Town Clerk to write to both Cllr. Beavis and ECC Highways with these points as soon as possible. Mr McWilliams asked if any Councillors had responsibilities at the Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery in town and if they could inform him to whom the Practice Manager reports. Mr McWilliams said he has contacted the local MP and also NHS with complaints about the Practice Manager and his lack of professionalism but has not received satisfactory replies. Mr McWilliams would like to know where he can get answers to his questions. Cllr Munday said that two Halstead Town Councillors had been working with the Practice regarding local infrastructure and possible increase in capacity but had no dealings with running of the Practice. Cllr Munday suggested that complaints be made via the Practice web site. Cllr Radley noted that the Manager works for the Practice, which is a private business, and is therefore responsible to the Senior Partner, Dr. Kreis-Alsayed. Cllr Radley suggested that Mr McWilliams write to Dr. Kreis-Alsayed. Cllr Mrs Pell suggested that Mr McWilliams cold also contact the P.A.L.S., patient liaison service at Broomfield Hospital. Mr McWilliams has tried in the past to contact them but with no success, Cllr Mrs Pell suggested that he try again as she has had no problems in using this service. Cllr Mrs Allen asked for clarity of Cllr Munday's position on Planning matters as he has been advised by BDC that he should leave meetings of HTC when planning is discussed and therefore may not be representing his local constituents. Cllr Munday replied that he had taken advice from BDC Governance and was told that BDC is the Planning Authority and that his participation at this level would carry more weight than as a HTC Councillor; HTC is only a consultee on planning issues. Cllr Munday said that taking part in local planning discussions and including himself when voting could be prejudicial to decisions being made at District level. Cllr Munday said that he did not want to be potentially affected by predetermination as this could lose him the right to participate at District level on behalf of Halstead. Cllr Mrs Allen then asked about S106 money that has been allocated for the Community building in Halstead that seems disproportionate to the amount of money to be set aside for health issues in the town. Cllr Munday explained that there is an NHS formula for all S106 allocations and that only a strict proportion of money can be set aside for health matters. Cllr Munday said that only 5 allocations of money could be used for the community building and noted that the Oakwood development S106 money is one of these allocations. Mrs Allen asked what would happen to this allocation if it was not used for the community building and was told by Cllr Pell that the money would be needed for the building and if it is not used a review would take place. Ms H Wolf asked for an update on the High Street regeneration scheme as a meeting had been arranged for end of January. Ms Wolf expressed concern that HTC and residents of Halstead would not be consulted on any plans. Cllr Munday explained that the planned meeting did not take place but that it had been noted that HTC must be consulted on any plans. He said that BDC was frustrated at lack of progress and said that Town Clerk will consult with Stephen Wenlock (BDC) to ascertain progress. Cllr Radley said that HTC would press for action. Ms Penn said that objectors and responders to planning application for land off St. Andrew's Road had been advised of an appeal against non-determination of application and she asked if HTC had received notification. Ms Penn asked that if notification has been received would HTC reiterate their concerns to the Inspector. Cllr Munday said that this matter will be investigated, and appropriate action will be taken. Cllr Radley said that District Councillors had received notice but that at this time it is not clear what action will be taken. Ms Penn asked that HTC make extra representation against this application. Mr McCoyd spoke about the Footbridge from Bridge St. to Chapel St. and said that he had pressed ECC Highways for sight of the report and had eventually, by way of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, received the report which he was not at liberty to share with Council. He asked that HTC also make a FOI request to obtain a copy of the report. Mr McCoyd noted that the report says that the bridge is in a fair condition but that the parapet needs attention. He also said that the report also says that bridge may be a public right of way and that ECC should make the bridge safe or close it indefinitely. Mr McCoyd asked that HTC look at budget money and determine the way forward. Cllr Munday said that Town Clerk will make a FOI request and that he would discuss this later in the meeting during the footbridge agenda item. Cllr Mrs Pell made a statement regarding street lights in Halstead High Street. It was noted that some modern, LED light columns had replaced some of the heritage lamp posts in the Town Centre which is a conservation area. Cllr Pell has raised this issue with BDC planning but has been told that ECC has responsibility for lighting and the cost and improvement of visibility in the area were taken into consideration. ECC can carry out these replacements under permitted development (without submitting a planning application) and there is no requirement for consultation on this work. Cllr Pell expressed amazement and said that HTC had fought hard for Heritage status and worked to preserve the character of the Town Centre with rejection of applications for external lighting of advertising signs, etc. Cllr Ms Atkinson said that ECC Highways are running roughshod over Halstead Town Council and a line must be drawn. Cllr Munday asked what was required of ECC Highways, and it was said that heritage lamp standards should be re-instated to give pride in Halstead Town Centre. Cllr Radley asked that Town Clerk write to Essex County Councillor to express the Town Council's displeasure at the modern lamp standards that have been installed; letter to be copied to ECC Highways. Cllr Radley proposed that Town Clerk write a letter to our Essex County Councillor Jo Beavis and copy it to ECC Highways expressing HTC's concerns and displeasure at the replacement of heritage lamp standards with modern lamp posts in Town Centre Heritage Area. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Fincken had sent a statement that was read by Cllr Warren regarding the Community Hub and the meeting that had taken place between Trustees of H4C and Halstead Town Councillors on 22nd May. Cllr Fincken felt that the meeting had been positive and that the proposal for a community hub was an unrepeatable opportunity for Halstead that would fill a need for the community and make use of an overgrown eyesore in the middle of the town. He hoped that H4C, with HTC, BDC and ECC will work together to agree a business plan and progress work to bring this legacy to Halstead. Cllr Munday and Cllr Gronland suggested that an HTC working group be formed. Cllr Fincken's statement was noted.
025. MINUTES. To approve the minutes of the Annual Town Council Meeting and the Full Council Meeting both held on 13th May 2019. Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes of Annual Town Council Meeting of 13/05/19 was proposed by Cllr Munday and seconded by Cllr Warren. Minutes approved by unanimous vote.
Proposal to adopt minutes of Town Council Meeting of 13/05/19 was proposed by Cllr Munday and seconded by Cllr Caulfield. Minutes approved by unanimous vote.
026. PLANNING APPLICATIONS.
Cllr Hume took the Chair for this part of the meeting.
Cllr Munday left the meeting at this point
19/00856/HH & IAP0004 1653-001 - 8 Cooks Close, Halstead, Essex, CO9 1YE. Erection of single storey rear extension. Discussion took place. Cllr Gronland proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell and carried by unanimous vote.
19/00857/HH - Windmill House, Mill Chase, Halstead, Essex. Erection of playhouse, store, and shed. Installation of door into rear elevation of garage. Discussion took place. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Radley and carried by unanimous vote.
19/00883/HH - 2 Grange Close, Halstead, Essex. Two storey side extension, single storey front and rear extension and associated alterations and landscape works. Discussion took place. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Caulfield and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Munday returned to the meeting
Chair of the meeting was handed back to Cllr Munday.
027. MAYOR'S APPOINTMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS. Chairman noted recent attendances and spoke about the BDC Volunteers Awards event. He noted that Dorothy Lodge was given an award for the Adult Inspirational Role Model category and also was named as Volunteer of the Year. Dorothy has worked for many years at Halstead Day Centre and also at the Halstead Food Bank. Hannah Birch who was instrumental in forming the HAPPY young people's group in Halstead was given Young Persons Going the Extra Mile Award. All agreed that both Awards were very well deserved, and Cllr Munday took pleasure in announcing that his chosen charity for his year in office would be Halstead Day Centre. Cllr Mrs Pell, on behalf of the Day Centre, thanked Chairman for this announcement. Cllr Munday proposed that this report be noted. Proposal seconded by Cllr Radley and carried by unanimous vote. Cllr Mrs Pell noted that Halstead's Armed Forces flag will be raised in Halstead Public Gardens on 29th June. Cllr Munday expressed a wish to attend raising of the flag.
028. FINANCE. Cllr Radley Chair of Finance presented Finance Reports.
a) Monthly Finance Report. Cllr Radley noted that over the 2 months of current financial year there is a 0.8% higher than expected income and a 0.5%lower than expected expenditure leaving finances in a good position, just ahead of forecast. Cllr Warren noted the income from excess charges that seemed to be at a similar level each month. It was noted that there are some 'serial offenders' and that car park attendants often have to deal with abusive behaviour during their work.
Cllr Munday asked that the thanks of all Councillors be passed on to all car park attendants for their attention to duty during some trying circumstances. Town Clerk will pass on these comments to all concerned.
Cllr Radley noted the report on Earmarked Reserves and the expenditure from this account to complete the refurbishment of Kings Road public toilets. It was also noted that bookings at Queen's Hall were higher than average. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of this report and this was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
b) and b (a) List of Payments. Report was noted. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of this report. Proposal seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
c) Reconciliation. A typing error on the Santander account on the report was noted and it was agreed that the report be amended before it is signed off. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of this report after typing error has been corrected. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Claydon and carried by unanimous vote.
029. COMMUNITY HALL. Cllr Munday noted that a meeting between some Halstead Town Councillors and some trustees from H4C had taken place on 22nd May and it was felt that this was a positive meeting with both sides showing a willingness to work together to resolve current issues and take this project forward.
Cllr Mrs Pell agreed that the meeting had been positive and Trustees felt that a better understanding had now been reached. A working group will be formed to liaise with both Council and Trustees and also to speak with BDC who have offered help with the project. It was suggested that a proposal for a working group be included on the agenda for next month’s meeting. Report was noted.
Cllr Munday proposed suspension of standing orders to allow Mrs Eileen Penn to report on the following Agenda item. Proposal seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell and carried by unanimous vote.
030. YOUTH. Mrs Penn noted Hannah Birch's achievements and her award from Braintree District Council which, she said, was well deserved. It was noted that there would be a further meeting of the HAPPY group later in June when exams are completed. It was asked that photos of Hannah, and Dorothy Lodge, receiving their awards be placed on HTC web site and this will be done. Cllr Munday thanked Mrs Penn for her report and for her work with the HAPPY group. Report was noted
Council was moved back into Standing Orders by proposal from Cllr Munday, seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed.
031. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS.
a) Committee appointments at BDC. As already noted, Cllr Munday will sit on Planning Committee at BDC. Cllr Radley will take part in the Performance Management Board (originally part of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel). Cllr Hume will sit with Corporate Governance (originally part of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel) and noted that there are plans for training of Councillors prior to first meeting Cllr Mrs Pell will sit on Licensing Committee and as Halstead Residents Group will have a seat at Cabinet and can speak but not vote at meetings. Cllr Pell will also be a part of the Standards sub-committee and is BDC representative at Friends of Halstead Public Gardens meetings. Report was noted
b) District Councillors' Report. It was noted that the initial induction training had been completed but that there will be some further training for all Councillors which was welcomed by all District Councillors. Cllr Mrs Pell noted that BDC are very thorough with Councillor Training. Report was noted
032. FOOTBRIDGE UPDATE. Cllr Munday noted that the working group, comprising himself, Cllr Warren, Cllr Radley and Cllr Miss Janet Atkinson with Mrs Eileen Penn and Richard Woods (resident) will work to appraise all of status quo. It was said at their recent meeting that funds have not yet been found to provide the structural report but that Cllr Ms Atkinson would be following up with those suppliers contacted for quotes and will report back to the group at their next meeting. This is due diligence work to ensure that the report will cover what is needed for a contractor to be able to both quote for repairing the bridge and also fix it to an agreed standard.
Cllr Munday then announced that the Leader of BDC had pledged a sum of £6000 towards a structural report and a Press Release had circulated to that effect as of today. It has been said that BDC will not fund repairs but it is hoped that progress can now be made to move the project forward. Cllr Munday thanked BDC for this much needed help. Report was noted
033. TOURIST MAP. Report was before Council about proposal to print a new Tourist Map for Halstead. Quotes had been sought and it was said that Local Authority Publishing had been unable to obtain advertising to fund a reprint of the Town Map. Other companies had been researched and GBmaps had put forward offer of a good package. Discussions took place and Cllr Munday proposed that HTC agrees to purchase the design and printing of the new Tourist Map for Halstead from GBmaps and 2000 copies be purchased at a cost of £425.00. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Claydon and carried by unanimous vote.
034. UPDATED POLICY ON COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT FOR QUALITY COUNCIL APPLICATION. Town Clerk explained that some update of policies is required before HTC can apply for next Quality Award and that this policy needed some minor tweaks. Policy would be reviewed annually. Cllr Munday proposed acceptance of updated policy on Community Engagement and proposal was seconded by Cllr Miss Atkinson. Vote was taken and acceptance of report was unanimously agreed.
035. ACTION PLAN UPDATE. It was said that an abbreviated version of the action plan was put on the website whilst the full Town Plan was going through final modifications and printing. This was in order to qualify for the Foundation level award. Cllr Munday said that now the Town Plan document had been released that the whole action plan needed to be added to the HTC website. Cllr Mrs Pell asked if there was any facility to note that proposed actions had been achieved and it was said that when actions were completed it could be noted on the plan. Cllr Munday proposed that Council adopt the update for Action Plan and this proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell. Proposal was adopted by unanimous vote.
036. MANAGEMENT OF CHURCHYARD TREES. Town Clerk noted various inspections with different recommendations being made. It was said that funds had been set aside for the works and a plan for works needing immediate attention and those of a less pressing nature had been formulated. A faculty for the work had been received. It was noted that the lime tree walks would not be altered, so all the current planned work could be carried out at a slightly increased cost. Cllr Mrs Pell asked that notices be erected in both Churchyards prior to works and that there be some publicity in local press and on web site. Cllr Radley noted that 3 contractors had initially been asked to quote and asked if revisions had been put out to tender. It was said that the most cost-effective initial quote had been accepted. Cllr Warren asked why, if HTC was responsible for maintenance of closed Churchyards, a faculty for works was needed. It was said that permissions had to be sought via the faculty process and it was agreed that this is a difficult area where some common sense needed to be applied. Cllr Munday proposed that works as per report were put in hand. Cllr Miss Atkinson seconded the proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote.
037. GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS. Selection of working group to have delegated authority to recommend to HTC how the £2000 fund is split between the applicants. Town Clerk noted that application closes at the end of June so working group will need to meet early in July. It was suggested that Group consist of 4 Councillors and the Town Clerk and that recommendations be made to Full Council at July meeting. It was said that at present application requests exceed the amount put into budget for distribution. After discussion it was proposed by Cllr Munday that working group comprise Cllrs Claydon, Caulfield, Munday and Mrs Pell. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Radley and carried by unanimous vote.
038. APPOINTMENT OF COUNCILLORS AS CHAMPIONS. Report was given to Councillors about this concept put forward by Cllr Munday. It was said that Champions or Ambassadors would have reporting responsibilities to Council and would be able to update with relevant information. It was proposed that 5 key issues be considered, although this is not an exhaustive list and can be revised at any time. Doctors Surgery, Police, River, Open Spaces and Schools would seem to be areas of initial interest. Cllr Radley agreed with the concept and said that he and Cllr Gronland had been working with the Surgery on infrastructure and capacity on a long term basis. He would be happy to bring back updates to Council. Cllr Mrs Pell said that those bodies identified must want to work with Council and should be consulted before Champions/Ambassadors are appointed. Cllr Mrs Pell agreed that Council needs to keep abreast of all matters but she was not happy with the nomenclature of 'Champion' and preferred the title “Representative”. Cllr Radley suggested 'Representative' does convey the spirit of the activity and preferred to stay with the title Champion as proposed. Cllr Munday asked if Council agreed with the concept. Cllr Caulfield said he felt that it was a good idea to have community engagement and that he had been told by residents that 'councils don't listen' so this might be a way to repair community links. Cllr Claydon agreed that it would be a good idea for Councillors, in their official capacity, to get more involved in the Community.
Cllr Munday proposed that the idea of Council Champions be adopted and that areas for involvement be listed. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Munday then proposed that Town Clerk seeks interest from individual Councillors in becoming Champions and then reports back to Council. Miss Atkinson and carried by unanimous vote.
039. 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'
040. REVIEW OF BANKING ARRANGEMENTS.
The Council’s banking arrangements were reviewed.
Meeting closed at 9.07 pm