Draft Minutes of the Town Council Meeting 15 November...

23rd November 2021

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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DRAFT MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

PUBLIC SESSION MINUTES

15 November 2021 : at  19:15
Held at
Queens Hall, Chipping Hill, HALSTEAD, Essex. CO9 2BY 

 Membership:

Councillor M Radley Chairman   Present
Councillor D Gronland 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 Hume   Apologies
Councillor A Munday   Apologies
Councillor Mrs J A Pell   Present
Councillor Miss L Smith   Apologies
Councillor G Warren   Present

Also in attendance: Cllr Chris Siddall, Beverley David, Mark Lister, Helen Wolf, Ian Tinton, Amanda Hislop, Jane Benson, Tony Edwards, Mr& Mrs Kuhlman

Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)

134.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  Cllrs Munday and Hume sent their apologies for personal reasons. Cllr Smith sent her apologies, due to work commitments. Cllr Dingle sent her apologies due to continuing ill health.

Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of these apologies, seconded by Cllr Pell and unanimously agreed.

135.  DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS:

 Cllr  Pell  declared NPI item 5 21/03101/FUL as objector is known to her, and she lives on a road off tidings Hill, and a family member works as a contractor for Bellway, 21/03285/HH& 21/03286/LBC as agent is known to her, 7a as a member of CSGMC, 7b and 7b(a) as member of BDC and CSGMC, and Halstead Autoelectrical known to her, item 8 as Trustees of H4C. Cllr Caulfield  declared NPI item 5, 21/03299/VAR as he lives close by.. Cllr Radley declared NPI  items 7b  Cllr Warren declared NPI item 7a as a member of CSGMC, and item 10 as his grand-daughter attends St Andrews school.. Cllr Claydon declared NPI item 7a, 7b and 7b(a) as a member of CSGMC. Cllr Gronland declared NPI item 11, as his wife is Secretary of U3A.

136.  PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

Cllr Radley made a statement concerning the Land east of the High Street. Concerns had been raised over the weekend relating to works which appear to have been carried out on the land involving the removal of trees and clearance. He explained that planning enforcement is managed by Braintree District Council, and that Halstead Town Council has no legal powers on such issues. He explained that Cllrs Radley and Pell had already been in touch with Cllr Gabrielle Spray and the Senior Planning Officer. He confirmed that no planning permission had yet been given, but that it may not be needed. There are Tree Preservation Orders on some trees on the site. Part of the land is subject to control as it is in a conservation area. Within the conservation area notice is required for works to trees that have a trunk diameter of more than 75mm when measured at 1.5m from ground level. Cllr Radley confirmed that the Enforcement officer had visited Halstead on 15 November, and that the Town Clerk had formally complained to report a possible breach of planning.

a) Public questions

Helen Wolf thanked Halstead Town Council for their support in this matter. She said that there had been a meeting between a contractor and the landscape officer at BDC. The contractor had been very open about the owner’s requests. He had said he would not cut the trees or touch the conservation area. She said that BDC need to recognise the importance of the area.

Julie Kuhlmann questioned why BDC sold land to a developer, going against all the principles of the Climate emergency action plan, in terms of protecting what we already have. Cllrs encouraged the public to make comments to BDC when the planning application is put on the website.

Ian Tinton also referred to the works done on the Land east of the High Street, and said that apple and damson trees had been cut down. He questioned whether any evidence of this had been removed. He thanked Cllr Siddall for his reply on surface water flooding. He also asked whether requests for preapplication consultations would be made public, and had received a response to say these were not published.

Jane Benson said that she thought that it was only land which had belonged to the Salvation Army which had been auctioned. Cllr Pell suggested that a Freedom of Information request should be put in to find out more. Cllr Siddall encouraged the public to write to Cllr Spray or the CEO if they cannot complain online.

b) Cllr Siddall

Cllr Siddall said that it was budget time for central government, and that £4.8bn had been promised for local government, and £411m for highways. He said that the Covid situation was steady, encouraged people to get their booster jab, and said that those who were hospitalised were largely unvaccinated. He said he was closely involved with the cycle path project. He had also talked to Richard de Clare school about getting the pitch netted to protect surrounding buildings.

Cllr Radley thanked Cllr Siddall for all the work he is doing for Halstead.

136.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 18 October 2021.  Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt public session minutes of 18 October 2021 was put forward by Cllr Fincken,  and seconded by Cllr Claydon with 5    in favour and 3 abstentions.

137.  PLANNING  APPLICATIONS

Cllr Pell led discussions for this part of the meeting.

The following Planning Applications, which were received and circulated electronically, were to be considered at the Council meeting.

21/03011/HH – 26 Harper Lane, Halstead, Essex – Installation of air conditioning units

21/03113/HH – 15 East Mill, Halstead, Essex – Proposed two storey rear and side extension and single storey side extension

Attention was drawn to a letter from a resident regarding construction traffic and pedestrians

21/03120/HH – 16 East Mill, Halstead, Essex – Proposed single storey rear extension

21/02718/REM – (Revised Plan) – Plc Hunwick Ltd, Kings Road, Halstead – Application for the approval of reserved matters (in respect of appearance, landscaping and layout) pursuant to outline planning permission 19/02304/OUT granted 23.04.21 for the erection of four x 2 bed houses, five x 4/5 bed houses, 12 flats and 10 commercial units for class B1 (a) office purposes.

Councillors pointed out that there is still a tree to be planted on the corner of Factory Lane West which will obscure the view of the road.

21/03285/HH & 21/03286/LBC – 55 – 59 Head Street, Halstead, Essex – Replacement of 1 No. front dormer and repair to 2 No. front dormer windows. Replacement side window and replace render to side elevation

21/03299/VAR – 83 Chapel Hill, Halstead, Essex – Variation of Condition 2 (Approved Plans) of approved application 21/02270/FUL granted 15.09.2021, for: Erection of 2 No. 3 bed semi-detached dwellings.  Variation would allow for: addition of visibility splay to the South-East

The above 6 applications were treated en bloc. Cllr Pell proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Gronland, and unanimously agreed.

21/03101/FUL – Land North of, Oak Road, Halstead – Erection of 80 dwellings (Class C3) including affordable homes, public open space including local equipped area for play, access from Tidings Hill, sustainable drainage systems, landscaping and all associated infrastructure and development.

Cllr Pell proposed objection to this application, seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed, for the following reasons:

  • The consequence of this development on highways is disastrous
  • An application was made 5 years ago for Oak Road to be classified as a Quiet Lane, as it is a single track road used by many for exercise, and is unsuitable for through traffic
  • This goes against the walking and cycling strategy in narrow roads/lanes surrounding the site
  • The application does not provide good connections to the main road, both Oak Road and Tidings Hill being too narrow
  • Flooding is a major concern
  • The number of houses to be built has increased from 70 to 80, although the infrastructure needed is not in place
  • The GP practice cannot accommodate the influx of new patients
  • The bus stop at White Horse Avenue needs to be electronic
  • There is inadequate parking within the plans
  • There is complete disregard for the environmental impact on agricultural land, trees, green space and habitats
  • over intensification of the site
  • No play equipment suitable for children with disabilities 

Cllr Pell left the meeting.

21/02874/FUL – Runnymede, Tidings Hill, Halstead – Erection of 1 no two-storey four-bedroom dwelling

Cllr Radley proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Caulfield, and unanimously agreed.

Cllr Pell returned to the meeting.

138.  MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS

Cllr Radley announced that the civic service will be on 3 April 2022.

The report was noted.

139.  FINANCE Cllr Claydon led the discussions for this part of the meeting

a)  To approve the income and expenditure report for October 2021.

Cllr Claydon reported that the Council was showing a very healthy surplus and was in a good position. It was agreed that the continuing vandalism at the toilets will need to be investigated.

Cllr Claydon proposed approval of the income and expenditure report, seconded by Cllr Fincken and unanimously agreed.

b)  To approve the List of payments and supplementary payments to be made in November

It was noted that there will be continuing costs for at least 6 months of the year associated with garden waste, as HTC now has to pay for disposal of garden waste at Corden’s Farm.  

Cllr Radley proposed approval of the list of payments, seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed.

c)  To approve the Bank reconciliation

Cllr Claydon proposed approval of the bank reconciliation for October, seconded by Cllr Fincken and unanimously agreed.

d)  To receive a report on outings planned for 2022

Cllr Pell proposed, seconded by Cllr  Warren and unanimously agreed, that:     

  • the trips should run again in 2022
  • the cost of the trips in 2022 for Halstead Residents should be £16.50 and for non-residents £20.50
  • HTC should accept the quotation from Kings Coaches, who have a proven record of being very professional and reliable, and providing the facilities needed for these outings

e)  To consider making repairs to St Andrews church clock

Cllr Fincken proposed that the Clerk go back to the clock adviser for confirmation of the most appropriate quote before making a decision. The recommendation was approved subject to this action being taken first. This was seconded by Cllr Atkinson, and unanimously agreed.

f)  To appoint a councillor to carry out internal control

Cllr  Pell proposed, seconded by Cllr Claydon, that this opportunity should be made available to all councillors, and that a volunteer should be asked to come forward by email.

g)  To consider investing savings in CCLA

Cllr Warren proposed, seconded by Cllr Gronland, and unanimously agreed that HTC should invest savings in CCLA.

h)  To consider implementing the decision made on MiPermit and Chipside

Cllr Pell proposed that councillors approve the immediate purchase of 2 new handheld devices and a printer with case, seconded by Cllr Caulfield and unanimously agreed. 

i)  To consider repairs to churchyard wall

Cllr Radley proposed giving delegated authority to the Clerk to approve Quote B once she has checked with BDC planning, subject to confirmation from the Clerk to all councillors that this is acceptable. This was seconded by Cllr Warren and unanimously agreed. 

j)  To consider replacing door and window at Queens Hall

Cllr Fincken proposed that the Town Clerk should seek 2 further quotes for this work. This was seconded by Cllr Atkinson and unanimously agreed.

140.  H4C

Cllr Pell said that there was nothing to report.

Cllr Radley proposed that the item be removed from the Agenda until there was something to report. This was seconded by Cllr Atkinson and unanimously agreed.

Cllr Siddall offered his support if needed.

141.  To receive reports from District Councillors

Cllr Radley reported that he had had a holding response to his letter of 21 October. He asked that the Town Clerk write once again to Nicola Murphy to ask about any plans or opportunities for her to meet once again with the Town Council. Cllr Siddall offered his support.

Cllr Radley said that budgeting is taking place at BDC, and that he would be attending a Scrutiny meeting on 24 November. BDC is recruiting a new corporate director. The next BDC Full Council meeting on 13 December will be held at Causeway House.

Cllr Pell reported that she had attended the cycling group, and the Community development group which is also related to cycling and walking. There will be a Leaders’ meeting on return to Causeway House

Reports were noted

142.  To receive reports from Champions

Education –. Cllr Caulfield reported that he and Cllr Hume are liaising with St Andrews school over parking issues.

Open spaces and environment – Cllr Fincken reported that there had been a very successful clearing day for the cycle route. There will be another on 21 November, and on 11 December, they will be looking at routes into Halstead.

Champions’ reports were noted

143.  Grant awarding

Cllr Atkinson stated that the cycle path project EC2K would like to apply for £500 of the remaining funds, as they need funds for clearance, for insurance for those working on the project, and for plant hire.

It was proposed by Cllr Warren that the Council agrees to distribute the £288 requested by Halstead U3A.and £500 requested by Halstead Royal British Legion., and the £500 requested by EC2K. This was seconded by Cllr Fincken with 7 in favour and 1 abstention.

Cllr Radley proposed, seconded by Cllr Warren, the extension of Standing Orders until the close of business. This was unanimously agreed.

144.  To consider the personal safety of members and officers

Cllr Warren proposed, seconded by Cllr Claydon , and unanimously agreed:

  1. That the postal addresses and phone numbers of all councillors are removed from the council website
  2. That individual councillors contact Kim Cole, Monitoring Officer at BDC, if they wish their addresses be redacted from the Register of interests
  3. That a generic email address is created for each councillor
  4. That councillors should avoid using Facebook or other social media in their official capacity
  5. That members of the public attending meetings should be approached for their details on arrival
  6. That any member of staff working alone in the offices should lock themselves in
  7. That officers and members be issued with personal security alarms @ £100 for all to have one
  8. That a panic alarm extension be added to the office alarm system
  9. That the new front door at Queens Hall should be fitted with a release pad
  10. That the MP should in future conduct his surgeries in Queens Hall, where there are 2 exits, and that he should bring his own staff to ensure his personal security/carry out a weapons search of those attending

145.  To approve Committee dates 2022/23

Cllr Radley proposed approval of the dates, seconded by Cllr Pell, subject to the moving of the SAC meeting from 2/6/22 to 3/6/22 as 2 June is a public holiday. This was unanimously agreed.

146.  To note the Minutes of the Events group meetings held on 8 and 9 November 2021

Cllr Radley reported that at present the marching band is unable to attend although booked months ago. Cllr Pell thanked both staff and councillors for all the work that has gone into the events recently.

Minutes were noted

147.  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”.

Cllr Radley proposed, seconded by Cllr Warren that the public and press be temporarily excluded from the meeting, and this was unanimously agreed.

PRIVATE SESSION

148.  To note Minutes of Staff Advisory Committee meeting of 3 November

The minutes of the Staff Advisory Committee of  3 November 2021 were noted.

149.  A staff matter was discussed

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 22.15

Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)                             

 

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