HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL
MINUTES OF FULL COUNCIL MEETING
|Councillor A Munday||Chairman||Present|
|Councillor M Radley||Vice Chairman||Apologies|
|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||Apologies|
|Councillor Mrs J Pell||Present|
|Councillor Mrs E Penn||Apologies|
|Councillor Mrs J Sutton||Present|
|Councillor G Warren||Present|
Also in attendance: Public - Mr M Harrigan, Mr T Rossiter, Ms L Joslin, Mr I Cornell,
Ms H Woolf, Ms S Creek, Ms A Hyde, Mr H Tournant
2 other members of the public
5 presenters from Snapdragon Consulting
Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)
Julia Smith (Minute Clerk)
069. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. There were apologies from Cllr Hume, Cllr Mrs Penn Cllr Radley and Cllr Fox.
Cllr Munday proposed approval of apologies, seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell, and was adopted by unanimous vote.
070. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Mrs Allen declared NPI Agenda item 5 - Planning 18/00454/FUL as used to live in Gardeners Road. NPI Agenda Item 12 as Braintree D C Councillor. NPI Agenda item 3b as owns a Bellway Property in Sudbury. Cllr Mrs Pell declared NPI Agenda item 5- Planning 18/01248/FUL as has aided resident with rubbish collection. 8/01533/FUL as neighbour is known. 18/01481/FUL as owner has made contact -information has been shared with all Councillors. 18/01550/FUL as supporter used to be an HTC employee and property is adjacent to Queen's Hall. NPI Agenda item 7b (various) as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee. NPI Agenda item 8 as Chairman of H4C. NPI Agenda item 12 as Braintree District Councillor. NPI Agenda item 11 as objectors living in the road are known. NPI Agenda item 3b as relation lives nearby and also as Vice-president of Halstead Cricket Club. Cllr Mrs Diver declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee. NPI Agenda item 5 Planning - 18/01550/FUL as property is close to Queen's Hall. Cllr Munday declared NPI Agenda item 5 - Planning 18/01248/FUL and 18/01541/FUL as Agent is well known to him. 18/01550/FUL as property is close to Queen's Hall. PI Agenda item 7b (a) as recipient of payment. NPI Agenda item 7b (various items) as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee.
Prior to commencement of business Chairman read a letter from Halstead in Bloom thanking Councillors and Council Staff for help and co-operation with the very successful entry into Anglia in Bloom 2018. Halstead was given a Gold Award and a Trophy as Best Town in Anglia in Bloom 2018 - this was the 10th successive such award. Trophy and certificate were displayed as was a certificate for nomination of the Road Runners' Bed in the Sustainable Garden category. Halstead Public Gardens was given a Gold Award and named as Best Medium Size Park for the third year in a row. Halstead Cemetery was given a Silver Award at the first time of entry.
071. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME: (b) Presentation by Snapdragon Consulting speaking for Bellway Homes, Strutt & Parker being the Agent, regarding the planning application approved by Braintree DC at Sudbury Road, Halstead. It was explained that outline planning permission given included plans for 205 dwellings and a care home but that after consultations it appeared there was no demand for care accommodation in the area. After consultation with Braintree DC Planners an application for 218 dwellings will be submitted, 30% of which will be affordable housing. Access to the site will be from Winston Way and Tylney Road with temporary access for construction traffic being from Sudbury Road. Cllr Mrs Pell noted that this application will be discussed by Braintree DC so that Halstead TC cannot discuss or comment at present. Cllr Pell asked that the plans available be lodged with the Town Clerk. It was noted that some residents are concerned about the additional dwellings and it is hoped that contractor/agent will meet with residents and compromise can be reached. Snapdragon Consulting noted that an open day is planned for Wednesday 19th September at Ramsey Academy from 4pm - 8pm and it is hoped that residents will attend. Cllr Mrs Allen asked if work had already begun, but it was said that some ground investigations had taken place but no other work had commenced.
(a) Cllr Munday asked if any members of the public had questions for Snapdragon and Ms Woolf asked how the open day had been publicised. It was said that 600 letters had been distributed to a select area of homes in the local area and that the Halstead Gazette has also publicised the event. Ms Woolf said that she had not received said letter but noted that she was not in the area of homes selected. Ms Woolf then asked the nature of the 'care home' and was told that the outline approval was for C2 use - 'institutional'.
Cllr Warren made a statement regarding the recent fire at Martin's Road where neighbours greatly assisted the residents/owners of the fish and chip shop that suffered damage. Cllr Warren said that it had been reported in Halstead Gazette that the owner 'was throwing water on the burning oil in the chip pan' and Cllr Warren wanted it noted that this is the wrong way to tackle burning oil; water will sink and oil rises meaning a potential spread of the fire. Cllr Munday proposed that Town Clerk write to Halstead Gazette asking them to make this point in a future publication. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
Ms Sandra Creek spoke about traffic in Beridge Road which is, at times, heavy and fast moving. Ms Creek pointed out that this road is close to a school and has elderly residents and felt that some traffic calming measures are needed in this location. Cllr Munday pointed out that this matter will be discussed later in the meeting and noted that Police had been regularly informed of difficulties in the area.
Cllr Gronland proposed that Agenda item 11 - speeding in Halstead - be brought forward. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell and carried by unanimous vote.
072. SPEEDING IN HALSTEAD. Cllr Gronland noted that report refers to unsociable behaviour in Butler Road Car Park and that this was not a matter for the Local Highways Panel. He said that speeding in the area had been raised and was being looked at by the Panel. It was noted that speed humps are not a preferred option and could pose danger. He said that the unsociable behaviour reported in Butler Road Car Park was a Police matter and asked if Halstead TC should contact the Police again. Cllr Mrs Pell said she had seen the bad behaviour at first hand and had noted the mess in the car park. Cllr Pell agreed that speed humps can cause problems and can be dangerous. Cllr Mrs Pell suggested that Halstead TC write to our MP to ask for action. Cllr Mrs Sutton suggested that some Number Plate Recognition hardware be installed in the Car Park as fines might deter bad behaviour but it was noted that this would be an unbudgeted cost for the Town Council. Town Clerk noted that Police are investigating and may use by-laws to prosecute offenders - but noted that if there was no Police presence by-laws cannot be enforced.
Essex County Councillor Mrs J Beavis arrived at the meeting
Cllr Mrs Pell suggested that ECC Highways be contacted and asked for a solution. Cllr Munday pointed out that Essex Police have a presentation in Queen's Hall on 24th September and urged all to attend and express concerns. Meeting starts at 7pm. Cllr Warren asked if there is a speed survey in the area, and if so what will be monitored and at what times. Cllr Gronland said that survey would be taken over a period but noted that average speeds are taken which may not give a full picture of the difficulties.
Cllr Munday proposed that Town Clerk investigate cost of ANPR machinery and ask about effectiveness and management of such a system. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Munday proposed that Essex County Highways be requested to devise a scheme to alleviate difficulties in Butler Road and Beridge Road and take action to curb speeding in these roads. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
073. MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting on 13th August 2018. Minutes had been circulated and Proposal to adopt was put forward by Cllr Munday and seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver. Minutes adopted by unanimous vote.
074. PLANNING APPLICATIONS Cllr Mrs Pell, vice Chair of Planning took the Chair for this part of the meeting. Cllr Mrs Pell noted that she had consulted with Cllr David Hume, Chair of Planning, on all planning applications before the meeting.
18/01248/FUL. Lynn House, Upper Chapel Street, Halstead - Conversion of double garage creating new annex accommodation to form living area to ground floor with bedroom and en-suite above - to be reconsidered with additional pictures supplied by email on 16/08/18. Cllr Mrs Pell noted that Highways had lodged no objection to this application which had been discussed by Council on a previous occasion. It was noted that the 'pictures' supplied were actually plans and that sufficient parking was shown. Cllr Munday proposed no objection to this application provided that the annex was tied to the main residential building and not allowed to be sold as a separate building. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
18/00926/FUL. 4 Mount Hill, Halstead, Essex - Erection of single and two storey rear extension. It was noted that there has been one objection from a neighbour, but that this is a legal matter and not a planning issue. Cllr Mrs Diver proposed no objection to this application on planning grounds. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried with 1 abstention.
18/01449/LBC. Windmill House, Mill Chase, Halstead - Alterations to Listed Building to restore the surfaces of the structural timber and flooring by a variety of means including chemical treatments and sanding. It was noted that the chemicals to be used had not been specified. Cllr Munday proposed no objection to this application provided that the chemicals to be used are approved by Environmental Health Dept. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton and carried with 1 abstention.
18/00454/FUL. Walnut Tree House. 9 Gardeners Road. Halstead. Essex. CO9 2JU - Erection of 1no. two bedroom dwelling with associated parking and landscaping. It was noted that similar applications at this location had been before Council several times in the past. It was still considered that this proposal would be overdevelopment of the site and Cllr Munday proposed objections to this application on grounds of over development of site. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01533/FUL. Lyndale, Tidings Hill, Halstead. - Erection of 4 bedroom dwelling revised from that approved within planning references 15/01534/FUL and 17/02273/FUL. It was noted that there is one objection but that this was addressed by opaque (frosted) glass being used. Cllr Mrs Diver proposed no objection to this revised application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01440/FUL & 18/014441/LBC. Whispers Wine Bar, 26 High Street, Halstead - Repairs and alterations after fire damage. It was noted that Historic England has raised objections to this application but all Councillors agreed that the building must 'rise from the ashes'. Cllr Munday proposed no objections to these applications provided that statutory bodies and Historic England can agree plans. Cllr Warren seconded this proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote. Councillors agreed that speedy resolution to any difficulties would be appreciated.
18/01481/FUL. Halstead Hall, Braintree Road, Halstead - Demolish outbuilding, extend and refurbish existing redundant building to form 25 bed dementia unit and erect bin and cycle stores, erect 30 bungalows and layout associated car parking, drainage and landscaping. Chairman noted that this application was not within Halstead area but was within boundaries of Greenstead Green and Halstead Rural Parish and would remain so even after the proposed boundary changes had taken place. It was noted that Environmental Health Dept. had made stipulations about working hours and it was said that the former Halstead Lodge was in a state of disrepair and could be brought back into use. Concerns were raised about visibility on egress of site and it was noted that a previous fatal road traffic accident close to the site of egress was not mentioned. It was agreed that some trees need attention and Green Lodge would have a secure outside space for residents which was thought to be beneficial. Bats and Owls surveys had been made and Chairman noted that the documentation with this application was excellent and should be commended. No comments had been made or were not available from Greenstead Green PC but it was noted that the 30 bungalows were not within the Draft Local Plan. and were outside the village envelope. It was said that they were necessary to the plans for the rest of the site in order to fund development and the Company were keen to bring Halstead Hall up to standard. it was said that the bungalows would be for age 55 and over but would not be specialised housing. Concerns were raised about infrastructure in Halstead with large development. Cllr Mrs Sutton moved no objections to this application and Cllr Mrs Allen seconded the motion although expressed concerns about Health Provision in Halstead. Cllr Warren said that he objected to the proposal with regard to Halstead infrastructure. A vote was taken and there were 4 votes for the motion; 3 votes against the motion and 1 abstention. Motion was carried.
18/01541/FUL. Parkfields Baptist Church, White Horse Avenue, Halstead - Demolition of existing church and the erection of 2no. 3-bed semi-detached houses and 1 no. 2-bed detached house. Councillors voiced disappointment that this building had to be demolished but agreed that the site needed some refurbishment. Environmental Health had raised no objections and pre-application advice had been taken. It was noted that this building is at present used as a Polling Station; Braintree DC have been advised of this. Some discussion took place about number of buildings proposed but Cllr Mrs Diver moved no objections to this application. Cllr Mrs Dingle seconded the motion and a vote was taken. 7 votes for the motion and 1 vote against. Motion was carried.
TRO (Traffic Regulation Order). Brook Farm Close, Halstead - Yellow lines on the bend leading from the main road to our driveway access to keep road clear giving us access and safe for everyone pulling in and out of turning. It was noted that this was a supported dwelling with medical evidence of need. ECC Highways have not supported the application. Cllr Gronland proposed support for this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01550/FUL. Bartholomew House, Colchester Road, Halstead. - Conversion to 5no. flats. It was noted that Environmental Health had stipulated some working conditions and concerns were raised about construction traffic at the site. No bin storage facility seemed evident. Cllr Munday proposed no objection to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and carried by unanimous vote.
18/01157/FUL & 18/01158/LBC. 1A Head Street, Halstead, Essex. - Change of use of shop to one bedroom dwelling. It was noted that similar application had been before Council on a previous occasion and Council had raised objections. Loss of commercial property and lack of parking were noted. Cllr Warren moved objection to this application on grounds of loss of commercial property and lack of parking. Motion was seconded by Cllr Munday and a vote was taken. There were 4 votes for the motion, 2 votes against the proposal and 1 abstention. Motion was carried.
18/01616/LBC. The White House, 32 High Street, Halstead - Removal of chimney stack. Cllr Munday proposed no objections to this application. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Allen and carried by unanimous vote.
Chair of the meeting was handed back to Cllr Munday.
075. MAYOR'S APPOINTMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Chairman noted a busy time with attendance at many interesting events. Maldon's HM Merchant Navy Day and Halstead Horticultural Early Show had been attended on 9th September and Chairman had attended the Anglia in Bloom Awards on 12th September. Halstead Bowls Club Finals Day took place on 16th September and many more events would be attended during the coming months. Report was noted
076. FINANCE. Cllr Gronland Vice-Chair of Finance took the Chair for this part of the meeting.
7 A. Reports were before Council showing income above budget and expenditure below budgeted levels. Higher Environmental expenditure was noted as van had service and new tyre that were above budget levels. It was noted that payment of £900 grant for cleaning of War Memorial had now been received. Cllr Gronland proposed adoption of this report. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Dingle and carried by unanimous vote.
7 B. & 7B(a) Payments to be approved; Cllr Mrs Sutton queried payment to L Smith for Window Cleaning and was told that window cleaning was done every two months. Cllr Mrs Sutton also queried payment to Trade UK Ltd. for security items for pavilion and was told that this company is the trade counter for B&Q DIY Ltd. and that payment was for locks. Cllr Warren asked about DVLA enquiry and was told that a van had been parked at Courtaulds Sports Ground for some time and enquiries had been made to establish ownership. Van had now been removed. Proposal to accept report 7B was made by Cllr Mrs Diver and seconded by Cllr Munday. Proposal carried by unanimous vote. Proposal to accept report 7B(a) was made by Cllr Mrs Diver and seconded by Cllr Warren. Proposal carried by unanimous vote.
7C. Approval of external auditor's report. Cllr Gronland noted that auditor had raised no questions and had given an excellent report. Cllr Gronland voiced congratulations of the Council to Town Clerk and Staff. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed approval of the external auditor's report and seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver. Proposal carried by unanimous vote.
7D. Cash Account Reconciliation Statement. Report was before Council, previous typographical errors had been corrected. Cllr Mrs Dingle proposed acceptance of the Cash Account Reconciliation Statement and seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell. Proposal carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Munday resumed Chair of the meeting
077. COMMUNITY HALL REPORT No report was available other than Cllr Mrs Pell saying that matters were in the hands of Environmental Health and the Environment Agency and could not move forward until there was resolution of difficulties. Cllr Munday voiced concerns that his request for a meeting with H4C had not been acknowledged. Report was noted.
078. YOUTH REPORT . Cllr Penn was not present but had made a written report. Cllr Munday noted that young people want to be involved at the heart of the Town. It was asked whether the suggested name and acronym of the youth group was known but it has not been disclosed at present. Cllr Munday proposed that the report be noted, seconded by Cllr Mrs Dingle. Proposal carried by unanimous vote.
079. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS. Cllr Mrs Allen noted that 2 driver hearings had taken place. Cllr Mrs Allen had attended a further Task and Finish group meeting regarding the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle initiative and noted that she and Cllr Phil Barlow had visited schools to see how they were promoting recycling. It was said that young people need to be aware of the ethos to save large amounts of goods that could be recycled going to landfill. It was noted that plastic poses a huge problem at the moment and reduction of use will be promoted.
Cllr Mrs Pell reported attendance at second meeting of the Housing Development Company and noted that the site of the former Senior Citizens Building in New Street, Halstead is under discussion. A meeting with the Electoral Officer has taken place and was informative. A meeting regarding social isolation focused on faith groups and how they could help. A cabinet meeting had taken place. At the recent Friends of Halstead Public Gardens meeting, the siting of a 'there but not there' figure had been discussed. A licensing meeting had discussed update on policies. Cllr Pell noted Gold and Best Medium Park Award given to Halstead Public Gardens and Silver Award to Halstead Cemetery and said that these awards will be announced at full BDC council meeting. Reports were noted.
Cllr Mrs J Beavis (Essex CC) was invited to report and told the meeting that the first Parish Forum would take place shortly. Cllr Mrs Beavis was aware that some Highways issues had been raised and were of concern to many parishes and many felt that their difficulties were not being addressed or even heard. It was said that Cllr Kevin Bentley was now Chair of Highways and had cancelled a planned forthcoming meeting although the reasons were not known. It was said that Highways issues must be dealt with by professionals who would have a holistic view. Cllr Mrs Beavis reported meetings regarding children and families and noted that there are problem families in this area.
Cllr Beavis was thanked by Chairman for her report and her attendance at the meeting.
080. TOMMY SILHOUETTE. It was reported that Braintree DC has purchased one of the Tommy Silhouettes associated with the 'There but not There' campaign, for Halstead Public Gardens. Decisions now need to be made about where it will be sited within Halstead Public Gardens. Discussions took place and it was said that Braintree DC's preferred location was near to the new WW1 bed.
It was agreed that BDC would have the final decision but Cllr Warren proposed that the Tommy Silhouette be placed near to the WW1 bed in Halstead Public Gardens. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Mrs Beavis left the meeting at this point.
081. COVERS FOR THE CAR PARK TICKET MACHINES. Report was before Council noting that recently the Chapel St. car park ticket machine had stopped working due to water ingress onto the PCB when machine was opened to collect cash. Initially an invoice for repair had been sent by Parkare, the suppliers of the machine, but when Town Clerk queried this and noted that no instruction had been given that machine should not be opened in the rain and indeed operatives had been instructed by the supplier to open the door, the invoice was made void. It was noted that warranty on the machine runs until October. There are concerns that Parkare will not continue to repair free of charge when water ingress is the cause of fault and suggestions were put forward regarding a cover for the machines at Chapel Street and at Butler Road. Discussions took place about the validity of a machine that has to stand outside but is likely to fail in wet weather and Cllr Mrs Sutton declared that it had been sold but was not fit for purpose. After lengthy discussion Cllr Mrs Sutton proposed that Town Clerk be asked to refer to supplier and note that machine is not fit for purpose due to likely water ingress and ask for a solution to this problem. Cllr Mrs Allen seconded this proposal and a vote was taken. 5 votes for proposal. 2 abstentions. Motion carried.
082. BUYING UPDATED EXCESS CHARGE TICKETS. Report was before Council stating that a large amount of car park Excess Charge tickets are in hand but they have the wrong information regarding Council address and details regarding Parking Order. Prices for replacement tickets have been obtained and were stated on report. It was said that about 3000 tickets would need to be purchased to get the best 'run on' price and 5 suppliers' prices were shown. After discussions Cllr Mrs Diver proposed purchasing rolls of parking tickets from Contractor 1 asking the Town Clerk to negotiate for smaller quantity at same roll price if possible and giving delegated responsibility to the Town Clerk for purchase. Cllr Mrs Dingle seconded this proposal and vote was 7 votes for with 1 abstention. Motion carried.
083. PROCESS OF TENDERING. Following discussions at previous month's meeting a protocol for tendering had been produced and a draft form for tender requests for contracts over £1000 was now before Council; it was explained that for contracts of lesser value there would be delegated powers and decisions. Cllr Mrs Allen queried the inclusion of date of establishment of company and said that this might preclude new companies from tendering. Chairman said that established companies with experience would normally be preferred but no tender would be discounted. It was said that the inclusion of question regarding connection with Halstead Town Council - employees or Councillors - was to give total transparency and it was said that any Councillor with interest in tenders submitted must declare that interest. Cllr Gronland asked for a Tender Reference Number to be applied to all requests for tender and all tenders submitted should be signed and dated. With regard to references it was suggested that 3 trade references should be requested. Cllr Munday proposed that the draft tender form be amended to include a reference number and space to sign and date the form and that 3 trade referees should be given. This proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Dingle and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Munday then proposed that the amended tender form be available to contractors when asking for prices for refurbishment of public toilets in Kings Road. This proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Munday asked that if any Councillor knows of contractors who might tender for the work they should make names known to Town Clerk. After query by Cllr Mrs Pell it was said that work was not suitable to be undertaken by Halstead Town Council Staff.
Cllr Mrs Diver commented on the excellent refurbishment to the exterior of the toilets carried out by community service workers recently.
084. 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 9.25pm.