DRAFT Minutes of Town Council Meeting 17 March 2021

30th March 2021

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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DRAFT MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
 17 March 2021 at  19:15
Held at
Queens Hall, Chipping Hill, HALSTEAD, Essex. CO9 2BY 

This meeting was conducted Virtually 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   Apologies
Councillor M Fincken   Present
Councillor D Hume   Present
Councillor A Munday   Present
Councillor Mrs J A Pell   Present
Councillor Miss L Smith   Apologies
Councillor G Warren   Present

Also in attendance: Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)                             

233.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  Cllr Smith sent her apologies, due to work commitments. Cllr Atkinson sent her apologies as she is still unwell. Cllr Dingle sent apologies due to connection issues.

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

234.  DECLARATION OF INTERESTS:  All councillors declared NPI item 5, 21/00407/HH as this application was made by a fellow councillor. All BDC councillors declared NPI item 13.

Cllr  Pell  declared NPI  item 5, 20/00320/FUL Sundern Tidings Hill -. Can be seen from her home and knows the present owner and past owners, 7a and b – mention of Courtaulds as member of CSGMC, 8 member of H4C. Cllr Hume declared item 5 NPI, 21/00320/FUL as agent is known to him, 7a and 19, as President of HiB.. Cllr Munday declared NPI  item 5, as he is a member of BDC planning committee. Cllr Claydon  declared NPI item 7a and 7b as a member of CSGMC. Cllr Warren declared  NPI items 7a and 7b and 13 as a member of CSGMC.     

235.  PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

There were no Public Questions.

236.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 15 February 2021.  Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes of 15 February 2021 was put forward by Cllr Radley,  seconded by Cllr  Warren, and agreed unanimously.

237.  PLANNING  APPLICATIONS

Cllr Hume took the Chair for this part of the meeting. Cllr Munday left the meeting.

a)

21/00418/FUL – Crowbridge Farm, Chapel Hill, Halstead – Conversion of barns into 1 No. dwelling with associated rebuild of outbuilding as a garage/car port, boundary treatment and ancillary works.

Cllr Pell proposed no objection to this application, seconded by Cllr Gronland, and unanimously agreed.

Cllr Pell left the meeting

21/00320/FUL – Sundern, Tidings Hill, Halstead – Demolition of existing chalet bungalow and erection of a two-storey house

Cllr Gronland proposed no objection to this application, seconded by Cllr Caulfield and unanimously agreed.

Cllr Pell returned to the meeting.

21/00407/HH – 28 Trinity Road, Halstead – Erection of a front porch

All councillors at HTC stated that they were unable to discuss this application, as the applicant was a fellow councillor, so the decision must be left to BDC.

21/00575/HH & 21/00576/LBC – 75 Head Street, Halstead – Proposed single storey link extension and part-conversion of outbuilding to form accessible ground floor bedroom and shower room facilities with wheelchair access

Cllr Pell proposed no objection, so long as the outbuilding was tied to the occupancy of the main building. This was seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed.

Cllr Munday returned to the meeting

b) Protocol for speaking at planning meetings at BDC

Cllr Warren had raised this matter as there had been a situation where two councillors had wanted to speak on behalf of the council, and he felt that there should be a clear protocol for deciding who should speak.

Cllr Munday stated that he always speaks on Halstead applications as a member of BDC planning committee, but it is important to have another councillor from HTC to speak on significant applications. HTC has often been criticised for not being represented at BDC planning meetings.

Cllr Radley proposed that the Town Clerk should work with the Lead and Vice for planning to develop a policy to ensure that HTC is fully represented at BDC planning meetings on significant applications. This was seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed.

He thanked Cllr Warren for bringing this to the attention of the Council.

238.  MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS

Cllr Radley reported that he had been unable to attend any events due to the lockdown in place.  He took the opportunity to recognise the recent Local Council Gold Award (NALC) for HTC, the first Gold award within the Braintree District, and thanked the Clerk for her work to achieve this.

239.  FINANCE Cllr Claydon chaired this part of the meeting

a)  To receive the income and expenditure report for the month of February

Cllr Claydon and Cllr Gronland said that they could not sign off the accounts as they had concerns about the accuracy. Cllr Claydon offered to assist with correcting errors. Cllr Fincken said that this should have been brought up before the meeting, rather than at the meeting. The Town Clerk said that she had banked cash, entered invoices for payment so that all payments due were achieved before the end of the financial year, but that she would not enter transactions on SAGE as she was not trained to do so.

Cllr Pell proposed that HTC did not approve the income and expenditure report, and suggested that Cllr Claydon should work with the Town Clerk, so that the accounts could be re-presented to the Council at a later date. This was seconded by Cllr Fincken and unanimously agreed.

b)  To approve the List of payments to be made in March

Cllr Pell  proposed approval of the List of payments. This was seconded by Cllr Caulfield and unanimously agreed.

c)  To approve the reconciliation of bank and petty cash accounts to 22 February 2021.

Cllr Pell proposed that the reconciliation should not be approved until the errors had been eliminated. This was seconded by Cllr Fincken and unanimously agreed.

d)  To record approval for a further rent holiday for the Empire carwash until 12 April 2021

Cllr Claydon proposed, seconded by Cllr Fincken, that the council should approve a further rent holiday for the Empire carwash until 12 April 2021.

240.  H4C

The next report from H4C will be presented in May 21. The working group has received a communication from H4C and will discuss this at the forthcoming working group meeting on 19th March.

241.  To receive reports from District Councillors

Cllr Munday had submitted a written report. He also reported that planning for Whitehouse business park had been approved.

Cllr Hume reported that he had attended 2 Council meetings and a Corporate Governance meeting, where the constitution was being worked through. It is hoped that the Local Plan Part 2 will be ready for the inspectors by July. Cllr Hume has been asked to be a deputy for the BDC planning meeting if numbers are low.

Cllr Pell reported that the Community Development group is now focusing on cycling and walking, for which there will be a consultation with the public. She had attended the Council budget meeting and the developing democracy group. The Empire is to be used as a polling station. The climate strategy was signed off on 15 March. More signage has been requested to indicate to contractors the entrance to the site on Sudbury Road. Relaxation of rural grass cutting on verges has been extended for another 12 months.

Cllr Radley reported that he had attended Full Council on 15 March and had chaired a Performance Management Board meeting on 10 March, which had reviewed performance management measurement. He said that BDC had received a lot of financial support from central government during the pandemic and would be close to meeting its budget. He also mentioned that BDC is conducting a scrutiny review of the commercialisation of some of its services.

Reports were noted

242.  To receive reports from Champions

Police – Cllr Warren reported that he had received a report from Craig Wheeler. Halstead still has 2½ specials, and the police stamped quickly on some trouble at the King George V playing field. He said that the derelict care home at Halstead Hall had become a problem as the owner had failed to secure the building. The speedwatch programme had been delayed as there was currently no coordinator.

It was agreed that the Town Clerk and Cllr Warren should start recruiting volunteers for this, and the Town Clerk should contact the administrator.

Cllr Warren also reported that the police have made recommendations on safeguarding car park attendants: they should always use their bodycam, they should report all confrontations to the Town Clerk and HTC should report all threats and attacks to the police.

Cllr Warren proposed that on issues of threats and attacks on staff the law is pursued to its full extent, irrespective of the victim’s decision. This was seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed.

It was agreed that the Town Clerk would develop a protocol on how HTC deals with these confrontations with the public.

Cllr Radley proposed that the Town Clerk should do some exploratory work on banning orders, seconded by Cllr Gronland, and unanimously agreed.

Surgery – nothing to report due to current Covid-19 workload at Surgery

Open spaces and environment – Cllr Fincken reported that he and Cllr Atkinson had attended another meeting of the EC2H cycle route group, and were exploring the problem of getting over the A1124. The costs of a bridge over the road or the river were prohibitive, but it might be possible to use the River walk as a way of entering the town.

Education – Cllr Hume reported that there had been some changes in the governing body at Holy Trinity.

Tourism – Cllr Pell reported that the events group are carrying out a survey on the appetite of the over 60s for outings this year, and that the band ‘Sarah and the others’ has been booked for Sunday 18 July, and ‘Route 66’ for 15 August.

Champions’ reports were noted

243.  FOOTBRIDGE  UPDATE.

Cllr Munday reported that he and the Town Clerk had met with contractors to obtain the 2 additional quotes. The working group had a preference for Quote A, as the powdercoat materials used would provide a longer-lasting finish.

Cllr Gronland proposed that the Town Clerk be given delegated authority to contact the contractor who had offered Quote B, and ask him to quote for the same 2-part acrylic coating which is to be used in Quote A. This should then be emailed to all councillors. This was seconded by Cllr Warren, and unanimously agreed.

244.  To approve Christmas closure dates

Cllr Gronland proposed acceptance of the dates. This was seconded by Cllr Warren and unanimously agreed.

245.  To consider action on climate change

Cllr Caulfield suggested that the allotments be added into the things which Halstead could already celebrate.

Cllr Munday proposed :

  1. that HTC declares a climate emergency and puts into action as many as possible of the suggested initiatives.
  2. That HTC adds to its Financial Regulations (under point 3.6) and Standing orders (under point 17.d.vii) the statement 

“All contracts undertaken by HTC will, in addition to cost, consider the carbon footprint, and the impact on climate change of the proposed action”

  1. That HTC works in conjunction with BDC and ECC on the Climate change strategy

This was seconded by Cllr Gronland, and unanimously agreed.

Cllr Radley proposed that Standing Orders should be extended until the end of business. This was seconded by Cllr Warren and unanimously agreed.

246.  To update the Risk Assessment for car park attendants

Cllr Radley proposed that HTC approves the risk assessment. This was seconded by Cllr Claydon, and unanimously agreed.

247.  To review the Data Protection policy

Cllr Warren proposed that HTC accept the revised Data Protection policy seconded by Cllr Hume, and unanimously agreed.

248.  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”.

Exclusion was proposed by Cllr Radley and seconded by Cllr Munday, and agreed unanimously.

PRIVATE SESSION

249.  To note the private session Minutes of the SAC of 2 March 2021

Cllr Radley proposed, seconded by Cllr Gronland that the Minutes of the private session of SAC on 2 March 2021 were noted. There were 8 in favour and 1 abstention.

250.  A report from SAC was discussed

251.  The minutes of a meeting held on 3 March 2021 between the HTC Public Realm Town regeneration working group, Nicola Murphy of BDC and consultees were received

Cllr Radley proposed that the Minutes of the HTC Public Realm Town regeneration working group be noted, seconded by Cllr Warren, and unanimously agreed.

There was no further business.  Meeting closed at 21.52

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