Draft Minutes of Town Council Meeting 13 July 2020

22nd July 2020

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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DRAFT MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
13 July 2020 at  19:15
Held at
Queens Hall, Chipping Hill, HALSTEAD, Essex. CO9 2BY 

This meeting was conducted by Zoom

 Membership:

Councillor M Radley Chairman   Present
Councillor D Gronland Vice Chairman Present 
Councillor Miss J Atkinson   Apologies
Councillor P Caulfield   Present
Councillor P Claydon   Present
Councillor Mrs S Dingle   Present
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 Mrs S Greatorex – Town Clerk       

042.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Cllr Munday sent his apologies for family reasons. Cllr Miss Smith gave her apologies due to work commitments. Cllrs Hume and Atkinson sent their apologies as they were both unwell.

Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of the apologies, seconded by Cllr  Warren, carried unanimously.

043.  DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Mrs Pell declared an NPI in Item 5 20/00875/HH as the agent is known to her, NPI in 20/00969/HH as friend lives nearby, and a PI 20/00917/FUL as H4C owns land nearby and her son-in-law has a factory almost opposite, and she will leave the meeting at that point. Also NPI 7b(a) as member of CSGMC, item 7d as a member of BDC, Item 8 as a member of H4C.   Cllrs Warren and Claydon declared an NPI for item 7b(a) as a member of CSGMC. .Cllr Radley declared NPI  item 7d  as a Member of BDC. 

044.  PUBLIC QUESTION TIME 
There were no public questions

045.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 15 June 2020.   Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes was put forward by Cllr  Gronland and seconded by Cllr Claydon, carried with 6 in favour and 2 abstentions.

046.  PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Cllr Pell took the Chair for this part of the meeting, as Vicechair of planning, standing in for Cllr Hume.

20/00875/HH – 99 Mount Pleasant, Halstead, Essex – Erection of a front Porch.
The application should have stated that the applicant was related to a member.
Cllr Gronland proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Warren, and carried unanimously.

19/02330/FUL – Land South West Of, Oak Road, Halstead – Erection of 6 dwellings, with associated parking, landscaping details and access arrangements.
Cllr Warren proposed objection to the development because of the loss of amenity and further drain on the town’s resources. This was seconded by Cllr Caulfield and carried unanimously.

20/00644/FUL – Ivydene, Factory Lane East, Halstead – Demolition of existing outbuildings and erection of 1 No. detached dwelling.   
Cllr Radley proposed objection to the new revision of this application as it was out of keeping with the area, and adjacent to buildings of historic interest in a conservation area. This was seconded by Cllr Fincken and unanimously agreed.

20/00902/FUL – 2 Haubourdin Court, Colne Road, Halstead – Insertion of two rear windows. 
Cllr Warren proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Claydon and carried unanimously.

20/00908/VAR  –  Framcombe – Upper Chapel Street, Halstead – Variation of Condition 2 ‘Approved Plans’ of permission 18/01100/FUL granted 30/05/2019 for Proposed new dwelling house. Variation would allow Alterations to the design.
Cllr Radley proposed a note to applicant that the builders had been blocking the road, left a mess, and been working out of hours. He proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Claydon and carried unanimously.

20/00919/HH – Brook Farm House, Colchester Road, Halstead – Retention of Garden Shed. 
Cllr Gronland proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Warren and carried unanimously.

20/00926/VAR – Rawden Enterprise Park, Sixth Avenue, Bluebridge Industrial Estate – Variation of Condition 2 ‘Approved Plans’ of permission 17/00579/FUL granted 10/07/2017 for: Erection of B1 & B8 Commercial units. Variation would allow alterations to the approved plans.
Cllr Gronland proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Warren, and carried unanimously.

20/00971/HH – 46 Tidings Hill, Halstead, Essex – Erection of single storey side extension. 
Cllr Caulfield proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Claydon, and carried unanimously.

20/00966/HH – The Old School House, 125 Hedingham Road, Halstead – New front boundary retaining wall and new public footway 
Cllr Gronland proposed no objection but drew the attention of the planning officers to the comments made by the Gas Board. This was seconded by Cllr Claydon and carried unanimously.

20/00969/HH – 9 Nether Court, Halstead, Essex – Two storey side and part single storey front extension 
Cllr Fincken proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Caulfield, and carried unanimously.

20/00975/FUL – 1 Windmill Road, Halstead, Essex – Erection of an end of terrace 3 bedroom dwelling and new vehicular access 
Cllr Caulfield proposed objection on grounds of the development not being in keeping with the surrounding street, seconded by Cllr Gronland, and carried unanimously.

Cllr Pell handed the chair of the meeting to Cllr Radley and left the meeting.

20/00917/FUL & 20/00918/ADV – 55-59 Broton Drive, Halstead, Essex – 4 No Fascia signs & 1 No sign to fence (1 No internally illuminated) Part Retrospective 
Cllr Warren proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Dingle and carried unanimously.

Cllr Pell returned to the meeting.

Chair of the meeting was handed back to Cllr Radley

047.  MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS
There was no report on the Mayor’s appointments as none have been possible, due to the virus.

Cllr Radley announced that his chosen charity for his year as mayor would be the Foodbank. He had been in touch with the Braintree branch, which holds a session in Halstead one morning a week.

He also commented that it was good to see businesses reopening in the town and more people out. He said that he would be writing a letter of thanks to the Halstead in Bloom team, for the floral displays which are brightening the town even in the current difficult circumstances.

Cllr Radley handed the chair to Cllr Claydon

048.  FINANCE. Cllr Claydon took the chair as Chair of Finance.
a) To approve the Monthly finance report
Cllr Claydon explained that the coach outings income and most of the Queen Hall bookings income was still to be returned due to cancellations due to Covid-19. The outstanding payments from Sainsburys were still being progressed by the Town Clerk.
Cllr Pell proposed acceptance of the report, seconded by Cllr Fincken and carried unanimously.

b) To approve the List of payments
  Cllr  Pell proposed approval of the List of payments. This was seconded by Cllr Radley and unanimously agreed.

c) To approve the Bank Reconciliation
Cllr Radley proposed approval of Bank reconciliation.  This was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.

d) To consider an annual premises licence
Cllr  Caulfield proposed purchase of an annual premises licence.  This was seconded by Cllr  Fincken and carried by unanimous vote

Cllr Claydon handed the Chair back to Cllr Radley.

049.  COMMUNITY HALL.
Cllr Pell reported that planning permission has been granted to erect the hoarding around the Butler road site for the proposed community centre. Cllr Radley reported that a meeting of the Halstead Town Council working group for the Community centre would be held on 15 July.

050.  DISTRICT COUNCILLORS.
Verbal reports were received from the BDC councillors. Cllr Pell reported that she had attended a member development meeting via Zoom on Covid-19. This was a well attended meeting and very informative.

She continues to have weekly Leaders’ meetings and these have mainly centred on Covid.  We have been updated on the track and trace and given the latest information coming out of Government regarding what we as a Council can do and what the public are allowed to do.  As the situation now seems to be under control these are going to reduce to one every two weeks unless there is a resurgence of the virus.

Through cross party agreement the Green Bin service has been reinstated. Thanks go to staff and unions for agreeing the working practices.

Staff have been busy inspecting premises, licensed  premises, hairdressers etc. to ensure that the Government guidelines are being met and they have been working with the police to do this.  They have worked with parishes also to ensure that their practices are also meeting guidelines.

Meetings will continue to be virtual and the offices continue to remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future.

Cllr Radley reported that he had also attended the member development meeting on COVID19. He said that the Local Plan was currently a key issue for BDC and would be discussed at the subcommittee on 16 July and then at Full Council on 27 July.  Reports were noted

051.  To receive reports from Champions

Cllr Gronland reported that Dr Kreis-Ali would attend the August Full Council meeting, and that the surgery is moving forward with its expansion plans. She will report on this.

Cllr Caulfield reported that he and Cllr Hume had received a letter from Hayley Todd, Headteacher at Holy Trinity school, asking whether it was legal to open a pedestrian entrance to the school from Chapel Hill, to reduce crowding in the footpath currently used. She would also like a crossing patrol to operate across Chapel Hill.

On Open Spaces, Cllr Fincken reported that he was waiting for a meeting to be organised by Nicola Murphy of BDC to walk the Riverside path. He also stated that the Environment Agency had not yet done the work to enhance the appearance of the area on the Causeway. He suggested that the VE day models should now come down. He also suggested that HTC get in touch with the owner of Mill House and Blacksmiths to express the concern of HTC at the state of Mill House and the Blacksmiths area. HTC should ask him to cut the grass, and replace the fence, and request a meeting in order to impress upon him the importance of the area for the town.

Town Clerk was asked to contact the owner of Mill House with these points, and to contact the Environment Agency concerning the state of the river at the Causeway.

On policing, it was reported that the establishment of a pubwatch group was being considered. Cllrs Warren and Claydon are in touch with the Community policing team on a regular basis, on speeding issues. It was also discussed that HTC should write to the supercar repairers on Bluebridge to ask them to ask their customers to show some consideration to residents when leaving the industrial estate. 

052  FOOTBRIDGE UPDATE. 

The Riverside Bridge working party had met and the work-packages required to repair the bridge have been identified. The group will now look for a mixture of volunteer work and the help of specialists to conduct the work. Consultation will be required with the Environment agency.   The report was noted

053.  ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING.         
There was no report as HTC is waiting for Land Registry documents

054.  TO CONSIDER THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT VOLUNTEER SERVICE
Cllr Warren stated that the volunteer service was an excellent idea at the heart of the community. It was agreed that volunteers should be made aware that they should inform their insurers if they were using their cars to deliver, and that a risk assessment should be carried out. Cllr Radley said that he would write to the volunteers on behalf of HTC.

It was proposed by Cllr Radley and seconded by Cllr Claydon that HTC agrees to the Halstead Town Council Community Volunteers becoming a permanent voluntary group and pays for a DBS check for anyone who does not already have one. This was carried unanimously.

055.  TO APPROVE AN AMENDMENT TO THE SCHEME OF DELEGATION   
Cllr Radley proposed, seconded by Cllr Fincken  that training for both councillors and staff would be considered and managed by the Staff Advisory Committee. This was carried unanimously.

056.  TO APPROVE AN AMENDMENT TO THE PROTOCOL FOR MEMBER/OFFICER RELATIONS
It was proposed by Cllr Fincken and seconded by Cllr Gronland that if a concern is raised about a member of staff, or a member of the Council, the Clerk should discuss the matter with the Chairman and agree the action to be taken. If the Clerk and Chairman are unable to agree the action to be taken or cannot resolve the matter, it should be referred to the Staff Advisory Committee.

057.  TO REVIEW WAYS OF PAYING FOR CAR PARKING
It was proposed by Cllr Radley and seconded by Cllr Claydon that the decision on ways of paying for car parking should be deferred until budget discussions in November, and implemented in April 2021. This was carried unanimously.

058.  TO REVIEW HTC’S COVID POLICY 
The reopening of Queens Hall and the Council offices was discussed.

It was proposed by Cllr Radley and seconded by Cllr Claydon that HTC agrees to reopen Queens Hall from 20th July to users who are able to demonstrate compliance with the government guidelines. Town Clerk to be given delegated authority to authorise users. This was agreed unanimously

It was proposed by Cllr Radley and seconded by Cllr Gronland that HTC agrees to reopen access to the Council office services to the public from 20th July 2020 but not to allow public access to the office area. Town Clerk to be given delegated authority to implement appropriate measures in line with government guidelines and to manage the return to work of staff. This was agreed by a majority of 7 with 1 abstention.

Cllr Pell proposed the suspension of Standing orders for 15 minutes, seconded by Cllr Warren and agreed unanimously.

It was proposed by Cllr Gronland and seconded by Cllr Warren that HTC agrees to the purchase of 6 wall mountable dispensers and supply of hand sanitiser to install in Queen Hall, Council offices and Courtaulds, in line with government guidelines, at a cost of £281 per year for 3 years, from our usual sanitary supplier Initial. This was agreed unanimously

059.  TO CONSIDER AN UPDATE TO THE HTC ACTION PLAN
It was agreed that more environmental issues should be added, and that research should be done by the Clerk into grants for installing solar panels.

Cllr Radley proposed, seconded by Cllr Warren, that the Action plan should be reviewed every year, at the Annual Town meeting and in December. This was carried unanimously.

060.  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’ 

061.  An aspect of the repairs to the footbridge was discussed.

There was no further business.  Meeting closed at 21.40

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