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||Apologies|
|Councillor M Fincken||Present|
|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 K Turner, Ms A Hearn, Mr B Farren, Ms H Wolf, Ms V Harman, Mr D Ainge, Ms R Skingsley,Ms E Penn, Mr D Collis, Ms J Allen, Mr P Schwier, Ms H Birch, Mr J Davis, Cllr Mrs Jo Beavis (ECC) George King (Press)
Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)
Julia Smith (Minute Clerk)
062. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. Cllr Mrs Dingle sent apologies as on holiday, Cllr Ms Smith sent apologies due to work commitments. Cllr Munday proposed acceptance of these apologies. Proposal seconded by Cllr Radley and unanimously adopted.
063. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Mrs Pell declared NPI Agenda item 3 a) as trustee of Halstead Day Centre. NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 19/01294/LBC as applicant is known and partner of applicant is employed by BDC. NPI Agenda item 7a as BDC Councillor, NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtauld Sports Ground Management Committee (CSGMC), NPI Agenda item 17 as BDC Councillor. Cllr Hume declared NPI Agenda item 7 as secretary of GSGMC. NPI Agenda item 7a as BDC Councillor. NPI Agenda item 7b as Ambassador for Guiding. Cllr Warren declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of CSGMC Cllr Atkinson declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Halstead History Society. Cllr Claydon declared NPI Agenda items 7b and 7b(a) as member of CSGMC Cllr Radley declared NPI Agenda item 7a as BDC Councillor, NPI Agenda item 17 as BDC Councillor. Cllr Munday declared NPI Agenda item 5 as member of BDC Planning Committee, NPI Agenda item 7a as member of BDC, NPI Agenda item 17 as member of BDC.
064. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
a) Presentation of cheques to organisations who have received grants: Ms Veronica Harman accepted cheque for Halstead Day Centre; Ms Eileen Penn received cheque for Halstead Rivercare, Mr David Ainge accepted cheque for Halstead Choral Society, Mr Derek Collis received cheque for Halstead Photographic Society, Ms Aimee Hearn accepted cheque for 5th Halstead Trinity Guides, Mr Jim Davis received cheque for Halstead & District Local History Society, Mr Brian Farren accepted cheque for Braintree District Neighbourhood Watch. A cheque for Halstead Road Runners will be forwarded by Town Clerk.
b) Ms R Kingsley spoke as a resident of Head Street, Halstead and showed photographs of recent damage to her property by a van mounting the pavement to allow room for an oncoming large vehicle. Ms Kingsley said that this was not the first instance of such damage and told Council that her family no longer uses the front door to their property for fear of accident. Ms Kingsley asked what plans Braintree Council have to alleviate the traffic problems encountered in Head Street. Cllr Gronland said that he had been in contact with Highways Committee, together with Cllr Mrs Jo Beavis (ECC), to request proper signage in the area requiring large vehicles to stop further from the pinch point to ensure safe passage through that area. Ms Kingsley noted that 1 bollard had been placed, some years ago, on the pavement outside her neighbour's house but that her own house was unprotected. She said that there were frequent jams when two large vehicles met in the pinch point. Ms Kingsley was assured that the matter is under constant discussion.
Mrs Eileen Penn said that she supported Ms Kingsley and asked if once again a change to strategic lorry route could be put on the table and pushed forward. Cllr Munday asked Town Clerk to again follow this matter up with ECC Highways.
Mrs Julia Allen spoke about the recent extraordinary meeting of BDC to discuss the proposed Local Plan and asked for a better understanding of the voting made by Halstead District Councillors on this matter. Mrs Allen said that local residents are not clear about the vision for Local Plan and asked if some clearer information could be made available. In reply Cllr Munday said that there had been a wide debate at BDC and that Halstead Councillors had voted on the information given at the meeting and at previous training sessions. He noted the housing figures stipulated for the area and said that he felt Halstead Councillors had voted for the best pathway for Halstead based on figures given. Cllr Mrs Pell said that Halstead Residents' Association (to which all four Halstead District Councillors belong) have no whip but make decisions based on best future for Halstead. The proposal for Garden Villages in the Braintree, Tendring and Colchester areas would mean less strain on other populations within the districts - without these villages Halstead could have up to 8000 more houses which would be untenable. Gt. Notley Garden Village had broadly been a success, although lessons had been learned, because infrastructure was put in place before dwellings had been built. Cllr Munday said that if the proposal for garden villages went ahead Halstead would have a quota of approximately 164 houses per year for the next 5 years falling to less than 20 per year for the next 5 years and then almost zero for the remaining 5 years which would greatly lessen the burden on our already strained local infrastructure.
065. MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 15th July 2019. Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes of Town Council Meeting of 15/07/19 was proposed by Cllr Munday and seconded by Cllr Radley . Minutes approved by unanimous vote.
066. PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Cllr Hume took the Chair for this part of the meeting.
Cllr Munday left the meeting at this point
19/01206/HH - 34 Hedingham Road, Halstead, Essex. 2-storey rear extension. Cllr Hume noted that the plans actually refer to 1 / 2 storey extension, and Cllr Ms Atkinson noted that this was because of neighbour's objection because of loss of light. Plans had been amended to make a sloping roof on top storey part of extension. After further discussion Cllr Mrs Pell proposed no objection to this application. Cllr Ms Atkinson seconded the proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote.
19/01294/LBC - Crowbridge Farm, Chapel Hill, Halstead. Conversion of barn to 2no. four bedroom dwellings with associated demolition of outbuilding and erection of garage/ carport, boundary treatments and ancillary works. Cllr Hume noted that similar application had been made in 2015 and permission had been granted but had now lapsed. He said that the current application was identical. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed no objection to this application and proposal was seconded by Cllr Fincken. Vote was taken and proposal was adopted by unanimous vote.
19/01331/HH - 9 New Street, Halstead, Essex. New front door to replace window in side elevation and replace existing door with brickwork and new window. After discussion Cllr Fincken proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Munday returned to the meeting
Chair of the meeting was handed back to Cllr Munday.
067. MAYOR'S APPOINTMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS. Chairman noted the events attended, and upcoming. He thanked Hume's Bakers for catering at both the Anglia in Bloom and RHS Britain in Bloom Judges' lunches and hoped that the HIB Team would be successful again this year. He spoke about the big success of the first Halstead Summer Fayre and that this will now become an annual event. He said that between 800 and 1000 people had attended and that a large donation to his Mayor’s charity, Halstead Day Centre, will made once the final proceeds from the day were received. Upcoming events including the Horticultural Society Prize giving and the Twinning Association Evening were also mentioned
Cllr Munday asked that Council note the report.
068. FINANCE. Cllr Radley Chair of Finance presented Finance Reports.
a) Monthly Finance Report. Cllr Radley noted that income from car parks was slightly increased and that income from Coach Outings was slightly lower than expected - Cllr Mrs Pell asked that matter of outings be carefully considered at budget meeting for year 20/21. Cllr Radley noted that expenditure was lower than expected because admin costs were lower and the expenditure for community policing was lower than expected. All in all, Cllr Radley said that finances were on track as per budget. The Earmarked Reserves budget showed a cost of £7188.07 which was paid to Braintree DC for running of elections and it was noted that this was an increased cost over previous election costs although expenditure had been anticipated. Cllr Fincken asked if there were any other major expected expenses from Reserves and was told that a set of Christmas lights for the tree would have to be purchased and there was some upcoming work on trees in churchyards. There was otherwise no foreseen unexpected expenditure. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of the report and this was seconded by Cllr Claydon and carried by unanimous vote.
7b) and 7b (a) List of payments to be approved. Cllr Radley said the amount for printer operation was for alterations to car park ticket machine to take into account the refunds due on purchases from Sainsbury's. Amount to be paid to BDC for election costs was noted. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of items 7b and 7b(a) payments to be approved. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Ms Atkinson and carried by unanimous vote.
c) Monthly Reconciliation Report. Report showed amount of £65000 as uncleared cheque and Cllr Radley explained that this was money in transit from Barclays to the new Lloyds account. Cllr Claydon said that the Lloyds account will pay 1.1% interest. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of the report. Cllr Gronland seconded this proposal and it was accepted by unanimous vote.
069. COMMUNITY HALL.
a) Verbal update: Cllr Pell noted that Trustees were awaiting response from Town Council before any further meetings/actions.
b) Working group for the Community Hub: Cllr Radley noted that group had first meeting on 29th July and some actions had been proposed. A further meeting will take place on 13th August to review these actions. A meeting with H4C trustees will then be arranged. It had been decided that Cllrs Gronland and Radley will be the HTC representatives at H4C meetings - Clerk to advise Secretary of these appointments. Cllr Radley said that it was hoped for an early meeting with H4C trustees to 'keep the ball rolling'.
Cllr Munday proposed suspension of Standing Orders to allow Mrs Eileen Penn to give a report on Youth. Proposal seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell and carried by unanimous vote.
070. YOUTH. Mrs Penn had noted that for personal reasons she had not been able to attend recent meetings of the HAPPY group, but Hannah Birch and Ann Thrussell had attended. Hannah reported that after consultation with BDC a 'free BBQ' had been suggested to attract new members. This event was planned for 31st August at the Resource Centre. There would probably be some activities and music planned for the evening. Event was planned for ages 10-18 and a flyer had been produced. Posters would be available and posts on Facebook and Instagram would advertise the event. It was hoped that there might be some press coverage also. Some T-shirts for the HAPPY group had been designed and will be printed by a local company at cost of £7 each. Cllr Munday suggested that the clothing expense could be reimbursed as part of the HTC Youth budget. Hannah and Mrs Penn were thanked for their reports.
Cllr Munday proposed and Cllr Hume seconded move back into Standing Orders. Proposal was carried by unanimous vote.
071. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS.
Cllrs Munday and Radley had provided written reports that are attached to minutes.
Cllr Hume gave a verbal report and thanked Cllr Radley for his full written report regarding extraordinary meeting on Local Plan. Cllr Hume had attended a Corporate Governance Group meeting that was useful and Cllr Hume will update HTC in due course. Cllr Mrs Pell reported attendance at first Full Council meeting and had again raised the matter of the Marks Farm Roundabout (A131/A120 junction). She had been told that money from Tesco for changes to the roundabout was still on the table. Cllr Pell had attended training on Emergency Planning and Security. Cllr Pell said she had not been able to attend the Awards evening at which Hannah Birch was given an award. Cllr Pell was most surprised to receive through the post two awards, one for Long Service and the other an Inspirational Role Model Award. Cllr Pell thanked whoever put her name forward for these awards and Cllr Munday asked members to give Cllr Pell a round of applause for these achievements.
District Councillors' reports were noted.
072. EVENTS WORKING GROUP Cllr Mrs Pell reported an excellent meeting with some new ideas being put forward. Areas of responsibility were discussed and actions were decided that are being worked on at present. It was decided that Cllr Smith will take on the Summer Fayre so that it will not be the 'Mayor's Summer Fayre' as future Mayors may not want this. The date for next Fayre will be 1st August 2020. Cllr Munday clarified that if the future Mayor wished to be involved that he/she would be welcome and would then benefit from the donation, otherwise the donation would be given to another local charity. Future meetings of Events Group are planned and all local organisations will be asked to inform Council of upcoming events that can be publicised on Council leaflet. Cllr Warren asked if there are still vacancies for Bands and if so, if he can advertise through his Essex Cover Bands contacts. It was noted that The Beavers have offered a free concert to celebrate 40 years of Hardy's Outfitters. Cllr Munday proposed acceptance of report from Events Working Group. Proposal seconded by Cllr Fincken and carried by unanimous vote.
073. CHAMPIONS UPDATE. Cllr Mrs Pell reported on work of Tourism Champions and thanked Cllr Smith for her work so far and for compiling the written report. Cllr Pell noted that she and Cllr Smith had met that morning and had begun to draw up an action plan that will be put forward to Council. She said that it was early days at present. Report was noted
Cllr Ms Atkinson had put forward a written report on River Champions work stating that a River Improvement Group had been speaking with Environment Agency to discuss what can be done to visually improve the river through Halstead. Some volunteer work is planned and E.A. will carry out further extensive work during the winter months. It was said that E.A. will not allow river levels to be raised but that naturalisation of the river will take place with some deeper pools and contoured spaces. A possible eel and fish passage has been proposed. Cllr Mrs Pell said that plans should be advertised and was told that a Facebook page has been set up for this purpose. It was suggested that posters should be made also. Report was noted
Cllr Caulfield spoke about the Education Champions and said that terms of reference for himself and Cllr Hume are still being worked upon. Letters have been written to the 4 Head Teachers in Halstead explaining the concept and it was hoped to meet with them when school terms start again. It was said that one parent had already raised questions for which it was hoped answer could be found by the Champions. Report was noted
Cllr Warren said that the Policing Champions had not yet met but will do so over the next 4 weeks. Report was noted
074. OPEN SPACES Cllrs Ms Atkinson and Fincken had produced a written report on Open Spaces particularly the land East of High Street. It was agreed that nothing further can be done until Planning Inspector has given his adjudication on planning application but that if the decision is to refuse then it is hoped that this land can be designated as public open space in the upcoming Local Plan. It was said that the plans put forward some time ago by 21st Century Group were along the right lines and Cllr Ms Atkinson said that research into the well-preserved air raid shelters was taking place. Report was noted
N.B. in future HTC meetings all Champions reports would be under one agenda item in order to save confusion with other similar agenda items.
075. FOOTBRIDGE UPDATE. A written report had been circulated and is attached to these minutes. Cllr Munday confirmed that the BDC offer of up to £6000 to fund a structural report on damage to the footbridge is still standing and that contractors will now need to be engaged to carry out the necessary works. Two suppliers had been identified as suitable, and their quotes were noted. Cllr Mrs Pell asked if references had been requested of these two contractors and if their Public Liability Insurance had been checked. Cllr Munday said that references had been requested but that insurance status would not be checked until after a contractor had been appointed. Cllr Munday proposed that Supplier A be appointed to carry out exploratory work including a structural survey and carry out necessary work at quoted price of £2900. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Ms Atkinson and carried by unanimous vote.
076. COUNTY COURT SMALL CLAIMS FOR EXCESS CHARGES. Report was before Council noting that some 50 penalty charges each year remain unpaid, some by repeat offenders where amounts outstanding total hundreds of pounds. It was said that chasing outstanding amounts costs time and money and that for an online fee of £25 case could be put to County Court. It was noted that if claim was successful the fee could be added to outstanding amount, and if unsuccessful the loss would be minimal to Council. It was suggested that a maximum of 4 outstanding penalty parking fees should be pursued through court in this way to test the procedure and make examples. After discussions Cllr Munday proposed that a maximum of 4 outstanding cases be put to County Court to test efficacy of this collection. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
077. WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY
Report was before Council regarding legislation that is in place regarding Disability Discrimination and it was said that Council has until September 2020 to become compliant with this legislation. It was said that Council would want to be accessible to all by any means possible and therefore Cllr Munday proposed that Lexden Computers be asked to quote on work to make HTC website compliant and accessible for all abilities, that this be included in the 2020/21 budget meeting later in the year but if funds allow would be paid from this year’s existing budget. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Radley and carried by unanimous vote.
078. UPDATE FROM BDC
Report was before Council on Town Clerk’s quarterly meeting with Cherie Root and Paul Partridge from BDC. Cllr Mrs Pell noted that the matter of heritage lamps in High Street was being investigated by Steven Wenlock although no update has yet been received. Cllr Mrs Pell also asked that an update on proposed works at Ramsey Road Recreation Ground be presented to HTC as soon as possible. Clerk to request an update. Cllr Mrs Pell asked ECC Highways to note that pot holes in Factory Lane West had not been repaired - and double yellow lines had been painted over the holes! It was said that the defects in this road are a traffic hazard. Cllr Mrs Beavis (ECC) said that the work here had been scheduled but that date for remedy is not yet known. Cllr Caulfield noted that some white lines are now invisible, especially on mini-roundabout at bottom of Tidings Hill/Kings Road and this is dangerous; several 'near misses' have been reported in this area. Cllr Munday said that the Disabled Parking bay outside Sainsbury's has not been re-marked after resurfacing and this is causing difficulties. It was said that ECC and NEPP have joint responsibilities here. Cllr Munday also said that the St. Andrew's Road 'no entry' markings may not be clear enough as vehicles have been seen entering the area erroneously and potentially using it as a quick way to get to Parsonage Street. Cllr Mrs Beavis said that she will report all issues made known to her and noted that she has many complaints about Highway issues in Halstead. Report was noted.
079. 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'
080. UPDATE ON BANKING ARRANGEMENTS.
081. CONTRACTORS FOR FOOTBRIDGE. this matter had been discussed in open Council so no further discussions took place.
082. STAFF REVIEW GROUP. A report was received of a meeting of the Staff Review Group on 29/7/19. This was followed by a discussion on committee structure.
083. TOWN MAP The contract for the new Town map was awarded.
Council moved into Private Session for these discussions.
Public Meeting closed at 8.36 pm.