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||Apologies|
|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 E Penn; Mr I Tinton; Mr G McCoyd; Mr and Mrs Martin; Mr and Mrs T Kennedy; Ms D Thurgood
Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)
Julia Smith (Minute Clerk)
151. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. Cllr Claydon (work), Cllr Ms Smith (work) Cllr Ms Dingle (work) Cllr Munday proposed acceptance of these apologies. Proposal seconded by Cllr Caulfield and carried by unanimous vote.
152. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Munday declared NPI for all members Agenda item 5-Planning 19/020709/FUL as Agent is known to all. Cllr Hume declared NPI Agenda item 7d and Agenda item 11 as Secretary of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee (CSGMC). Cllr Warren declared NPI Agenda item 7d as member of CSGMC. Cllr Mrs Pell declared NPI Agenda item 5-Planning 19/02109/FUL as applicant may be known to her. NPI Agenda items 7b and 7h as volunteer courier for senior citizens’ trips. NPI Agenda items 7d and 7b(a) and 11 as Chairman of CSGMC. NPI Agenda item 11 as Chairman of Friends of Halstead Public Garden. Cllr Ms Atkinson declared NPI Agenda item 11 as member of Friends of Halstead Public Gardens. Cllr Caulfield declared NPI as lives near to the proposed development and application is being discussed on the ‘Hands off Chapel Hill’ Facebook page of which he is Administrator. Cllr Munday declared NPI on all matters in Agenda item 5 as is member of BDC Planning Committee and will leave the meeting for this Agenda item – although Cllr Munday hoped that in future, due to discussion with BDC Governance, he hoped to be able to stay to hear items discussed although will not take part and will not vote. Cllr Munday also declared PI Agenda item 7b(a) as recipient of expenses.
153. a). Dr. Kreis-Alsayyedd from the Elizabeth Courtauld GP Surgery was not present and no apology for absence had been received. Clerk was asked to contact the Surgery to ascertain whether a representative will attend a future meeting.
b) Public Questions: Mr G Martin spoke about Agenda item 5-Planning 19/02109/FUL and said he is resident in Orchard Avenue, close to the site of proposed installation of a portable building. He voiced concern that he had not been sent information about this application and had not seen planning notice affixed to the site. He said that he was not against the proposal for pre-school provision but felt that the site chosen is not suitable and the access from a very busy Chapel Hill is not, in his opinion, suitable. He was concerned about lack of parking provision for parents attending to drop off children. He was also concerned that trees would be cut down to make access. He felt that there is a need for this business but that the proposal is a poor solution. Mr T Kennedy spoke as the applicant for the Pre-School provision at Holy Trinity School and said that under current legislation there needed to be a separate entrance for the pre-school building as opposed to school entrance. He said that the current pre-school (Little Angels) at Holy Trinity School is not sufficient. A short discussion took place between Mr Martin and Mr Kennedy and Cllr Munday said that Council had heard the views of both parties and would take these into account when making their decisions at Agenda item 5. Ms E Penn gave Council an update on the Appeal against Planning Decision for Land East of High Street in Halstead. Government Inspector has dismissed the appeal by the applicant on grounds including local heritage, conservation and poor access. Full details will be on the BDC website. Mr I Tinton noted that he had reported the 2 street lights in Bridge Street that are still not working and asked what else could be done to make sure that this site is properly lit. Mr Tinton also spoke about the pot holes in Chapel Hill outside the former Bird in Hand PH. He noted that there are also potholes in White Horse Avenue. Mr Tinton also said that large lorries carrying spoil away from various building sites are using Sloe Hill/Chapel Hill and also Beridge Road which is not suitable for heavy traffic. He asked if something could be done to get heavy lorries to use preferred routes. Cllr Munday said that pot holes had been reported, and Cllr Caulfield gave an update that they should be filled in the near future. Cllr Mrs Pell said that she had been told that pot holes in Factory Lane West would be filled on 2nd December. Mr Tinton then said that he had been told that planning notices were not always sent/posted because of lack of staff at BDC. Cllr Munday said that BDC do try to make sure that sites of planning applications are seen and Cllr Hume made the point that it is unacceptable that nearby residents are not informed although he knew that the Planning department are short of 2 staff and have difficulty in recruiting to this Department. Cllr Munday said he would bring this matter up to the planning team members at a future BDC planning meeting. Cllr Mrs Pell said that it is a legal requirement that residents on either side of proposed developments are informed and she was sure that the Planning Dept. do try to keep residents informed.
c) Youth Verbal Update from the HAPPY group: Cllr Mrs Eileen Penn gave a report saying that the group had taken part in the Christmas Fayre and had attended at the Youth Bus. The group helped with marshalling for the Christmas Tree event at St. Andrew’s Church and will be pleased to help again next year and also to set up a tree for the event. The Poppy Run took place and £125 was raised for the poppy appeal – there will be photos of the events. Cllr Mrs Penn said that she would be treating the group to a Pizza Night as a thank you for all the hard work they have done this year. Cllr Munday said he was delighted to see the group moving forward and said how proud he and the Council were of Hannah Birch for leading this group. Cllr Hume said that the Church had formed a good relationship with the HAPPY group and were delighted to have them help at the Christmas Tree event.
154. MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 11th November 2019 and of the public and private sessions of the Extraordinary meeting held on 28th October 2019. Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes of Town Council Meeting of 11/11/19 was proposed by Cllr Radley and seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell. Vote was taken with 7 votes for, 2 abstentions. Proposal to adopt minutes of the public part of Extraordinary meeting of 28th October 2019 was made by Cllr Munday and seconded by Cllr Hume. Vote was taken with 7 votes for and 2 abstentions. Cllr Gronland asked that the Standing Orders relating to extraordinary minutes be reviewed in the new year, and this was agreed. It was also agreed that Standing Orders in general would also be reviewed as part of this process. Minutes of the Private part of Extraordinary Meeting of 28th October 2019 had been circulated and Cllr Munday proposed acceptance of these minutes. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried with 7 votes for and 2 abstentions.
155. PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Cllr Hume took the Chair for this part of the meeting.
19/01991/VAR – 3 Market Hill, Halstead, Essex – Application for variation of Condition 2 (approved plans) of approved application 16/01973/FUL. Cllr Hume said that he had found this application difficult to navigate. Cllr Mrs Pell noted comments from statutory bodies regarding bin storage and felt that this needs to be addressed. Cllr Mrs Pell also spoke about the comments from Historic Buildings Consultant regarding non-compliance on requirements on previous application 19/00321/LBC that are still not being addressed. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed that Council objects to this application and asks that Braintree DC notes the lack of provision for bin storage and also the comments from Historic Buildings Consultant. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.
19/02030/HH – 34 Hedingham Road, Halstead, Essex – Part two storey, part single storey rear extension. It was noted that there are objections from neighbours to the site regarding overlooking their property and potential tree damage. It was noted that this is an historic Courtaulds building. Cllr Gronland said that nearby buildings had made similar extensions to property and Cllr Radley and Cllr Ms Atkinson noted that applicant had tried to address the concerns of neighbours. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed that Council has no objection to this application and this proposal was seconded by Cllr Ms Atkinson. Vote was taken and decision was unanimous.
19/02079/FUL & PP-08292767 – ATS, 41 Chapel Hill, Halstead. Change of use and alterations to roof of commercial building to enable 3no. Flats with parking. It was noted that application at this site for 4 dwellings had been made previously and that the current application was for 3 dwellings. It was noted that provision had been made for 4 parking spaces and also that the previous application had been granted. All agreed that the site was in a very poor and unsightly condition at present. Cllr Mrs Pell proposed no objection to this application. Cllr Gronland seconded this proposal and it was carried unanimously.
19/02109/FUL – Holy Trinity C of E Primary School, Beridge Road, Halstead. Installation of a demountable classroom for pre-school provision, with associated services and car parking. It was noted that ECC Highways had lodged no objection to the application and that Little Angels Pre-School had currently been operating at the Holy Trinity School site. Cllr Hume said that it would be very hard to enforce parking restrictions for parents visiting the proposed site. Cllr Mrs Pell raised concerns about parking and hoped that ECC and Holy Trinity School might re-negotiate with applicant to make better parking provisions. Cllr Mrs Pell said that the Pre-school was needed for Halstead but was very concerned about access to the proposed site. Cllr Caulfield said that objections had been made to all planning applications for Chapel Hill as this was a very congested road and he felt that parents parking for access to the proposed pre-school would aggravate this problem. Cllr Gronland asked if there might be provision for a car park at the site and asked how the current Little Angels school was accessed. He felt that there must be compromise. Cllr Fincken spoke about the trees that would need to be removed and it was pointed out by Cllr Ms Atkinson that the trees to be removed are just saplings and that there is provision in the application for more tree planting. Cllr Munday proposed that Council accepts this application on principle but feels that further negotiation with ECC Highways and land owners regarding access and parking is required. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Hume passed Chair of the meeting back to Cllr Munday.
156. MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT AND ANNOUNCEMENTS Cllr Munday reported attendance at Senior Citizen’s Christmas Parties and thanked all the volunteers and Council Staff who had made the events so successful. Cllr Munday then noted attendance at the Christmas Fayre that was a very successful event as was the switch on of Christmas lights that had worked very well. The Torchlight Procession and Civic Reception had taken place and the number of people attending was estimated at between 1000 and 2000. At total of just over £1022 had been collected for the Mayor’s charity (Halstead Day Centre). Mayor asked all Councillors to help with collections in future years – Cllr Warren apologised for not attending and assisting as he had been stuck on the M25 in traffic. Cllr Caulfield has made videos of the evening and when edited will make this available for Council web site.Cllr Radley attended the Light for a Life service of remembrance and Cllr Radley will attend the BDC Festive Concert on 11th December. Cllr Munday asked that report be noted and this was unanimously agreed.
157. FINANCE. Cllr Radley as Chair of Finance presented Finance Reports.
a) Income and Expenditure Report for the month of November. Cllr Radley noted that car park receipts were lower than expected but it was said that the ticket machine had failed for part of the month. Some major, necessary work on equipment at Courtaulds Sports Ground was noted and there were some other variables but Cllr Radley said that at present income was 1.6% higher than budget and expenditure was 2.8% lower than expected. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of the Income and Expenditure Report for November. Cllr Warren seconded the proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote.
b) and b(a) List of payments to be approved. It was explained that the item for David Ogilvie Engineering of £365 for VAT element of Insurance Claim would not be paid as VAT regulations would not allow this payment. Item in 7b(a) regarding de-installation of Christmas lights was discussed. It was agreed that this item would not be paid until the lights had been taken down in a satisfactory manner. It was agreed that Terms of Payment had not been set out prior to contract. Cllr Warren said that this was a local, trusted company and felt that the invoice should be approved but not paid until after work had been carried out to the satisfaction of the Council.
Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of items 7b and 7b(a) payments, with the exception of payment of £365 to David Ogilvie Engineering, to be approved with delegated authority to two approved signatories for signing of the cheque of second instalment of Christmas Light contract when work has been satisfactorily finished. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Caulfield and carried by unanimous vote.
c) Monthly Reconciliation Report – bank and petty cash accounts. Cllr Radley noted that monies had been moved to the Lloyds account as agreed and that £35000 now remained in the current account. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of the report. Cllr Munday seconded this proposal and it was agreed by unanimous vote.
d) To approve the purchase of CCTV at Courtaulds. Cllr Radley asked Cllr Caulfield to report and it was said that the initial report did not give enough specifications to allow for proper discussions but that quotes had now been viewed and discussed in more detail. It was noted that Quote A has automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and that the camera provision is adequate. Recording is adequate and remote viewing will allow proactive response to any emergency calls for action. It was noted that the monitor would need to be securely housed with possibly dedicated key holder(s). It was said that the system would not need to be constantly monitored. Cllr Radley asked about maintenance costs but it was said that this had not been discussed although some maintenance would be required. Cllr Mrs Pell said that the system was needed urgently; Cllr Munday suggested approval of Quote A with some discussion to take place about maintenance before contracts are signed. Cllr Caulfield agreed that Quote A could be approved and he would negotiate with the Company regarding maintenance. Cllr Munday proposed that Council accept Quote A and give delegated authority up to a maximum of £250 to allow for maintenance costs which Cllr Caulfield will pursue. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
e) To approve the purchase of CCTV at Butler Road. Cllr Caulfield spoke on this item also and noted that Quote C (recommended) gives better view as lighting columns are used for installations. It was noted that the wireless transmitter and receiver would need to be fixed at the Empire Theatre and the networked video recorder would need to be situated inside the Empire Theatre. Company C was the same company that has been agreed for installation at Courtaulds so this will allow for better negotiating position for HTC. Cllr Radley asked if the Empire Theatre were aware of the requirements, and it was said they had not been informed but that negotiations would need to take place. It was suggested that the installation at Courtaulds should proceed and then later be followed up with installation at Butler Road Car Park to ascertain the efficiency of working. Cllr Caulfield noted that a wide area would be covered at Butler Road and Cllr Fincken said that local residents are pressing for action to be taken. It was said that a quick decision would be welcomed, and it was suggested that no longer that four weeks after installation at Courtaulds would be long enough to ascertain the efficiency of the system. Cllr Munday proposed that Company C be approved and that delegated authority for up to £300 be given for negotiating a maintenance contract for installation, which Cllr Caulfield will pursue, and that work should begin after satisfactory implementation of the system at Courtaulds Sports Ground. Cllr Gronland seconded this proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Mrs Pell spoke about signage and it was agreed that generic signage would not be sufficient so Halstead TC would supply the necessary signs.
f) To approve the resurfacing of Hedingham Road Car Park.
It was noted that the car park surface is worn in places and that there are reserved funds for repair work. Quotes had been obtained and recommendation was that Quote C at £4100 was accepted. Cllr Mrs Pell cautioned that surfacing should not be done in poor weather, but it was said that Contractors would need to use their professional expertise to make a decision. Cllr Hume proposed that Quote C be accepted for remedial work at Hedingham Road Car Park. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.
g) To consider replacing the theatre doors at The Empire
Report from Empire Theatre Trust had been circulated showing a wide range in costs on various different types of door. Discussions took place at recent Empire Trust meeting at which neither Cllr Munday nor Cllr Caulfield were present. Clerk said that no discussion with HTC had taken place. Cllr Mrs Pell cautioned that any changes to fabric of the doors must be compliant with Braintree DC Licence conditions. Cllr Fincken said that more information and some detailed discussions would be necessary before decisions can be made. Cllr Munday said that a meeting with Trust must be organised and both representatives from HTC should attend to have detailed discussions. Cllr Munday asked that the Clerk also be present at the meeting. Cllr Munday proposed that Town Clerk organise a meeting with Empire Theatre Trust, the two Halstead Town Council representatives on the Trust and Halstead Town Clerk before decisions are made. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
h) To approve additional expenditure on Christmas parties
it was noted that this is a retrospective action as parties have already taken place and emergency decisions had to be made; an additional £300 was paid as approved by email to Councillors. It was noted that provision for additional expenditure had been made for parties 2020. Cllr Mrs Pell thanked Councillors for their assistance. Cllr Munday proposed that additional expenditure be retrospectively approved. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Radley handed back Chair of the meeting to Mayor Cllr Munday
158. COMMUNITY HALL.
a) Verbal update from H4C : Cllr Mrs Pell said that planning application for the hoardings around the site has now been lodged and when this is approved hoardings will be erected to make the site safe before decontamination work begins.
b) Verbal Update from HTC Working group for the Community Hub: Cllr Radley noted that Trust had asked that the contact number (for fault/damage reporting) on the hoardings be that of Halstead TC Town Clerk rather than for private individuals of the Trust. It was reported that there would be no meeting with the Trust in December but a meeting will be arranged for January 2020. Cllr Munday proposed that the reports regarding Community Hall be noted and that Halstead TC phone number be given as contact. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Caulfield and carried by unanimous vote.
159. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS REPORTS.
a) Written Report from Cllr Radley had been received. (report attached here)
Cllr Munday reported attendance at a Planning Meeting where no Halstead applications had been discussed.
Cllr Hume reported that the planned Local Plan sub-committee meeting was cancelled.
Cllr Mrs Pell attended a Licensing Committee meeting where criminal convictions were discussed with Police and plan was approved for consultation. Cllr Pell had attended a Partnership Development Group where Active Braintree Foundation was in attendance and S106 expenditure for keeping the population active was discussed. Cllr Mrs Pell told the meeting that it was now possible to hire or borrow various equipment from BDC to keep young people active – this can be obtained from Little Pickles Nursery. Cllr Pell had attended a Member Development Group meeting, and two days of intensive interviews to appoint a new Corporate Director took place after Jon Hayden and moved on from the Council. An appointment had been decided but no details could be given as yet. Cllr Mrs Pell attended a Performance Management Board meeting and asked for one more green bin collection this year as leaves were falling late in season. Meeting had been told that this was not possible.
Cllr Warren asked if current CCTV system noted in Cllr Radley’s report was monitored and was told that the system is running but is not monitored although is recorded for later viewing as required. Cllr Radley said that he thought Halstead TC should have some involvement in the town centre CCTV system and asked if the Town could be involved in the system. Cllr Mrs Pell said that we should lobby for this and that it should be free for Halstead to use.
Cllr Munday proposed that District Councillor reports be noted. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.
160. TO RECEIVE CHAMPIONS UPDATES.
Cllr Caulfield said that he and Cllr Hume, Education Champions, had been pleased with responses from all schools and they have appointments to meet with representatives and will be able to report back to Council by February. He said that at present the situation was fluid but satisfactory. Cllr Hume said they had been encouraged with the response and were looking forward to taking matters forward. Cllr Radley asked if Champions could look, with schools, at the S106 monies available from ECC and see how it may best be spent.
Cllr Warren spoke about Police Champions and said that a further special would be coming on line in the near future making 3 special constables for Halstead.
Cllr Gronland asked about the Chamber of Trade and the £4100 in hand. Cllr Munday said that Cllr Ms Smith is trying to discuss the matter with Chamber of Trade and Councillors agreed that cash is to hand and needs to be allocated.
Cllr Mrs Pell said that a meeting will be arranged with the Tourist Board to launch a web site to promote tourism in the area and noted that the Torchlight Procession, Christmas Fayre and switch on of lights had been promoted.
Cllr Munday proposed acceptance of Champions’ reports; proposal was seconded by Cllr Caulfield and carried by unanimous vote.
161. TO CONSIDER ADDITIONS TO THE OSAP AND TO CONSIDER MONIES ALLOCATED BUT NOT MADE AVAILABLE FOR SPENDING
Report was before Council and Open Spaces Champions Cllr Ms Atkinson and Cllr Fincken asked Councillors to view the S106 monies in hand and unallocated to try to prioritise projects. It was noted that submissions must be made by 20th January so asked that Councillors consider and bring proposals to next meeting. Cllr Munday agreed that there needs to be an unblocking of spending. Cllr Fincken suggested that improvements could be made to the River Walk, particularly in the neglected areas although further improvements could be made where money has already been spent. Tree planting could be another priority for the town, although it was noted that Halstead TC is not a land owner so permissions would have to be sought. Cllr Mrs Pell noted the proposals made by Friends of Halstead Public Gardens where it was hoped some grant money could be obtained to make a ‘pocket park’ in the former picnic area which would become a safe area for parents and small children. Cllr Pell said that the Friends of HPG would apply for grants, although Braintree DC does have some money available. It was questioned whether the format of the OSAP is as required by BDC but it was said that this is the format as laid down. Cllr Munday stressed that decisions should be made as an opportunity to prioritise Halstead’s requirements was missed last year, once proposals go to Cabinet and are agreed they cannot be altered. Cllr Fincken urged all Halstead Councillors to review the Plan and discuss by email to update by resolution at January meeting where this will be a separate item on Agenda. Cllr Munday proposed that discussion for this item with priorities listed should come to January Agenda after a separate agenda item to consider the NALC Tree Charter was decided upon. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Ms Atkinson and carried by unanimous vote.
162. ACTION PLAN REVIEW:
Plan was before Council and Cllr Gronland proposed that it be published, as is, on Council web site. Cllr Hume seconded this proposal and it was carried by unanimous vote. Cllr Radley voiced Council’s thanks to Town Clerk for this report and suggested that an action be included for the Environment high priority item 4. Cllr Ms Atkinson said that in section 4 there are issues with Land East of High Street where access, local heritage and conservation are priority in this piece of land that is difficult to develop. Cllr Fincken proposed that Halstead TC may want to take plans for this area forward as Local Green Space. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Ms Atkinson and carried by unanimous vote.
163. TO APPROVE A REVIEW OF RISK ASSESSEMENTS.
Clerk noted that an annual review should take place and minor changes have been made to this document now before Council. Cllr Mrs Pell asked if the section on events in Halstead Public Gardens relate to HTC events, and was told this is the case. Cllr Mrs Pell also asked that in the section on outings it should be made clear that any personal walking aids, etc. brought on coaches have names of owners clearly fixed. Clerk agreed to add this. Cllr Radley asked that no specific names are noted in the assessments but that ‘The Officer’ or ‘The Responsible Person’ is listed. Cllr Radley asked that at the Torchlight Procession a Lead Marshall and named list of other Marshalls are appointed and wear clothing denoting that they are responsible marshalls. It was asked that the group of marshalls meet prior to the event and agree strategy. Councillors agreed that a structure must be in place to marshall at the top of the town and also at the gates of the public gardens to allow for smooth and safe running of the event. Cllr Radley proposed that a team of Marshalls be put in place with a formal structure and logistical plan be worked on by the Events Committee for the Torchlight Procession. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Fincken and carried by unanimous vote.
Cllr Radley noted that there are two different styles on the Risk Assessment document and Proposed that styles be standardised with a responsible person identified for each risk. Proposal was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.
164. 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 being no other public business to discuss meeting closed at 9.30pm.