Minutes of Town Council Meeting 18 May 2020

21st May 2020

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
  18 May 2020 18:50
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   Present
Councillor P Caulfield   Present
Councillor P Claydon   Apologies
Councillor Mrs S Dingle   Present
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 Mrs S Greatorex – Town Clerk       

01.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Cllr Claydon sent his apologies as he was moving house that day. Cllr Miss Smith gave her apologies due to work commitments.

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

02.  DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Mrs Pell declared 20/00623/HH as an NPI as a near neighbour is a friend, 19/00493/OUT an NPI as some objectors and neighbours of the site are known to her, 7a as NPI as a member of the CSGMC, 7d as NPI as one tenderer is known to her, 7e as NPI as one tenderer is known to her, item 8 as NPI as a Trustee of H4C and item 14 as NPI as member of BDC. Cllr Hume declared Item 7d as NPI as secretary of St Andrews Church Parochial church council, 7e(b) as NPI as contractor is known to him, 7a as NPI as Secretary to CSGMC, 19/00493/OUT as NPI as objectors known to him, and item 14, NPI as a member of BDC. Cllr Atkinson declared item 7d as NPI as one of the tenderers is known to her, 20/00623/HH as NPI as neighbour. Cllr Gronland declared 20/00623 as NPI as neighbour is a friend.  Cllr Warren  declared item 7a as NPI as a member of CSGMC.     Cllr Radley declared NPI Agenda item 14 as a member of BDC, and NPI 20/00623/HH as a neighbour is known to him.  Cllr Munday declared NPI in all planning as a member of BDC, and said he would leave the meeting for all planning, and also item 14, NPI, as a member of BDC.

03.  (a) PUBLIC QUESTION  TIME  No public questions had been received.

04.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 21 April 2020.   Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes was put forward by Cllr Mrs Pell and seconded by Cllr Munday. There were 9 votes in agreement and 1 abstention.      

05.  PLANNING APPLICATIONS

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

Cllr Munday left the meeting at this point.

20/00623/HH  9 Nether Court, Halstead, Essex – Single Storey rear extension – It was agreed that it should be made known to BDC planning that there was no planning notice on site for this application

Cllr Pell proposed no objection to this application, which was seconded by Cllr Gronland, and carried unanimously.

20/00644/FUL  Ivydene, Factory Lane East, Halstead- Demolition of existing outbuildings and erection of 1 No.detached dwelling.- It was agreed that there is not good access to the proposed house as it would be on a bend, that the style of house proposed is not appropriate for the area with the Grade II listed buildings in a conservation area.

Cllr Warren proposed objection to the application on the grounds that it was close to a conservation area, out of place and did not have good access. This was seconded by Cllr Gronland, and carried unanimously.

19/00493/OUT  – Land Off, Bournebridge Hill, Greenstead Green – Outline application for up to 200 residential dwellings (including 30% affordable housing), planting, landscaping, public open space and children’s play area and sustainable drainage system (SuDS). All matters reserved with the exception of access.

Cllr Atkinson proposed very strong objections on the following grounds:

  • Not within Halstead boundary but joins existing residential development thereby expanding urbanisation into open countryside.
  • The site is not allocated in the Draft Local Plan
  • The adverse impact on Halstead infrastructure
  • Halstead has a disproportionate amount of new development – 14% of the District housing supply target with only 8% of total population for the District and a further potential 855 homes still going through the planning process.
  • Access onto the A131 is poor and possibly dangerous.
  • Site is on the line of the proposed Halstead by-pass
  • There are concerns about flora and fauna on the site
  • There is concern that the narrow Tidings Hill could become a rat run
  • The site is currently open countryside in the Gosfield Wooded Farmland area

Cllr Gronland seconded this proposal, which was carried unanimously.

Cllr Munday returned to the meeting

Chair of the meeting was handed back to Cllr Radley                          

06.  There was no report on the Chairman’s appointments as none have been possible, due to the virus.

07.  FINANCE. Cllr Radley Chair of Finance for 19/20 presented Finance Reports, as the newly elected Chair of Finance would not have been prepared to chair this meeting.

a) Monthly Finance report.
The inevitable loss of income due to the impact of the virus was discussed. This was estimated to be approximately £12,000 over a period of 3 months of lockdown. HTC had made a surplus of roughly £10,000 in the financial year 19/20 and this could be used to offset the loss.

Other ways of offsetting the loss of income were discussed.

Cllr Gronland proposed cancellation of S137 grant awards for the current financial year, to be reviewed in 21/22.  This was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by 8 votes for and 2 against.

On the matter of finding contactless ways for customers to pay for car parking

Cllr Munday proposed that the Town Clerk should explore the possibilities of adding a car parking app as well as contactless payment to the pay and display machines. This was seconded by Cllr Gronland, and carried unanimously.

b) List of payments to be approved

Cllr Munday proposed that the list of payments for May should be approved. This was seconded by Cllr Atkinson and unanimously agreed.

c) To approve Direct debits for the year

Cllr  Pell proposed acceptance of the report.  This was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote

d) To approve repair of St Andrews wall

Cllr  Fincken proposed that Quote B @ £655 + VAT be accepted.  This was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote

e) To receive an update on the tender for Christmas lights.

Cllr  Munday proposed acceptance of the tender from Halstead Autoelectrical@ £11,582.25 per year for three years, with all the work to be carried out by HAE. This was seconded by Cllr Fincken and carried by unanimous vote

08.  COMMUNITY HALL.

There were no reports for this month. H4C is awaiting the outcome of its planning application for the hoarding around the site to allow decontamination to start.

09.  DISTRICT COUNCILLORS.

Verbal reports were received from the BDC councillors. Cllr Munday said that he had attended his first virtual planning meeting using MS Teams, and that a second planning meeting would take place on 26 May. Public questions were given in advance and read out by officers. Cllr Hume and Cllr Radley had also undertaken MS Teams training. Cllr Pell reported that she had regular meetings every week with the Group Leaders, Chief Executive and Corporate Directors of BDC. She reported that Green Bin service had restarted. She had also had received training on MS Teams and zoom. BDC are using both systems, and officers are working very hard.  Report was noted

010.  To receive reports from Champions

Cllr Atkinson reported that she is attempting to set up a zoom meeting with Nicola Murphy at BDC. She had also been invited to a 21st century group meeting. She also commented on the importance of Open Spaces during the pandemic for physical health and mental wellbeing.  Report was noted

011.  FOOTBRIDGE UPDATE. 

There was no report on the footbridge

012.  HOLY TRINITY WALL.

There was no report on the repair of Holy Trinity Wall as quotations are awaited.

013.   ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING.         

There was no report as HTC is waiting for Land Registry documents

014.  OAK ROAD ALLOTMENT TRANSFER

The transfer document which had been promised for the Oak Road allotments had still not materialised.

It was proposed by Cllr Radley and seconded by Cllr Munday that, when the document eventually arrives, Town Clerk should have delegated authority for its approval. through email. This was carried unanimously.

015.  EMPIRE THEATRE LEASE

The Empire Theatre Trust had recently queried some points in the new lease being prepared.

They had asked whether it was appropriate that they should be asked to make internal repairs if the additional rent was being put into a reserve fund. Councillors felt that the use to which the additional rent was put was a matter for the council to manage.

Councillors also agreed that although the Trust had been given a rent holiday, they should continue to pay their insurance as normal.

Cllr Munday proposed that Council agree with the 4 points below:

  • that there should be break clause on both sides every 3 years (Trust did not want HTC to have a break clause, but for it to be there only for the Trust to use)
  • that the Trust are responsible for all internal repairs
  • that HTC are responsible for external repairs
  • that the Trust can carry out internal and external repairs with HTC’s consent

Cllr Radley seconded this proposal which was unanimously agreed

016.  RAMP AT PARSONAGE STREET ALLOTMENTS

The groundsmen had reported that it would not be worthwhile to patch up or repair the ramp as it was already in a state where injury might occur. Cllr Pell suggested that there might be grants available as it was intended for use by disabled residents.

Cllr Munday proposed that HTC should agree to replace the ramp, preferably before the summer, having sought a third quote, and that then a vote should take place by email. Cllr Gronland seconded this proposal which was agreed unanimously.

017.  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 20.20

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