Draft Minutes of Town Council Meeting 12 April 2021

20th April 2021

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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DRAFT MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
 Monday 12 April 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   Present
Councillor P Caulfield   Apologies
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)                             

Cllr Radley opened the meeting by expressing the sadness of the Town Council at the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and read the letter which he had prepared to send to the Queen:

Madam,

I write on behalf of the Town Council and the residents of the town of Halstead in the county of Essex.

We send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to your Majesty and your family upon the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh. It was with great sadness that we received the news of his loss.

Prince Philip was devoted to duty and provided steadfast support to your Majesty and the people of our country for many years. He provided leadership and inspiration to so many young people through the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, a legacy that will remain with us for many years to come.

We give thanks for the life of Prince Philip for his long and distinguished years of loyal service.

Our thoughts are with your Majesty and your family at this sad time.

I have the honour to be, Madam, Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servant,

The meeting observed a silence of one minute

262.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  Cllr Smith sent her apologies, due to work commitments. Cllr Dingle sent apologies due to a previous engagement. Cllr Caulfield sent his apologies as he was unwell.

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

263.  DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

All councillors declared 20/02238/REM as objector is a fellow councillor. All BDC councillors declared NPI item 7b.

Cllr  Pell  declared NPI  item 5, 21/00594/FUL as agent is known to her, 7e and b – mention of Courtaulds as member of CSGMC, 7b as member of BDC, 8 and 17 as member of H4C. Cllr Hume declared item 5 NPI, 21/00594/FUL. as agent is known to him, 20/02238/REM as some respondents are known to him, 7b,d and e, as Secretary of CSGMC and Secretary to St Andrews PCC, 7b as a member of BDC. Cllr Munday declared NPI  item 5, as he is a member of BDC planning committee. Cllr Claydon  declared NPI item 7b, 7b(a), 7d and 7e as a member of CSGMC. Cllr Warren declared  NPI item 7b, 7b(a), 7d and 7e  as a member of CSGMC, 20/02238/REM as he is an objector.  Cllr Radley declared NPI item 7b as member of BDC  

264.  PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

There was one Public Question, from Mr Bob Richmond relating to Item 12, the Terms of reference of the Staff Advisory committee. Receipt of this statement was noted, to be taken into account at item 12.

265.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 17 March 2021.  Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes of 17 March 2021 was put forward by Cllr Warren,  seconded by Cllr Claydon, with 8 in favour and 1 abstention.

266.  PLANNING  APPLICATIONS

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

21/00594/FUL – 76 Trinity Road, Halstead, Essex – Re-establishment of 2 no 2-bed semi-detached properties from an existing 3-bed detached house

Cllr Pell proposed that HTC make no objection, but draw attention to the inadequate parking and to the fact that the accessible space in the accommodation at no 74 is below the recommendation. This was seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed.

Cllr Warren left the meeting

20/02238/REM (Revised) – Land West of Mount Hill, Halstead, Essex – Reserved matters (appearance and landscaping) pursuant to outline planning application ref 18/00774/OUT for the erection of 71 dwellings with associated garages garden curtilages, a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS), public open space, hard and soft landscaping.

Councillors repeated their very strong objection, already made at the 15/2/21 meeting, for the following reasons:

  • The SUDs scheme is inadequate to cope with the existing runoff let alone what will be caused after the building
  • The flood water running off will damage the existing houses at Greenbanks and Monklands
  • The new houses will overlook Greenbanks
  • A meeting had been called with the residents but the developer called it off
  • The houses are to be built over a sewer, which is illegal
  • There is no screening between the houses on several plots
  • The materials and appearance of the new buildings are inappropriate when adjacent to the historic building at Blamsters Farm, as mentioned by the Historic Adviser
  • A more detailed landscape plan is needed to take into account the historic buildings report
  • These plans will destroy all existing trees and hedges whereas attempts should be made to preserve them
  • The planned ponds appear to be on the wrong side of the development
  • Ecology condition to be applied as per objection letter
  • Traffic incidents including fatal on the A131 since approval was given.  

They also emphasised that the very real risk of flooding to the existing houses at Greenbanks is not something to be ignored by planners.

The fencing is inadequate and there are inaccuracies in some of the documentation.

HTC would like to request that a 2nd independent report is undertaken regarding the flooding as local knowledge expresses grave concerns and it is a bit late when the houses are built and the people living in Greenbanks are flooded out

Cllr Pell proposed objection on the grounds listed, seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed.

Cllrs Warren and Munday returned to the meeting

Cllr Hume returned the chairing of the meeting to Cllr Radley                    

267.  MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS

Cllr Radley reported that he had been unable to attend any events due to the lockdown in place, but hoped that there may be events going forward.

268.  FINANCE Cllr Claydon chaired this part of the meeting

a) There was no income and expenditure report for this month, as the Finance Officer continued to be on sick leave.

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

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

c) There was no bank reconciliation this month as the Finance Officer continued to be on sick leave.

d) To consider purchasing a lawn mower for churchyards, allotments and footpaths.

Cllr Fincken proposed, seconded by Cllr Gronland, that the council should approve the purchase of the chosen lawnmower from capital reserves.

e) To consider the purchase of a line-marker, which is now needed.

Cllr Fincken proposed, seconded by Cllr Gronland, that the linemarker is purchased out of capital reserves

269.  H4C

There is a report in private session.

270.  To receive reports from District Councillors

Cllr Munday reported that he had attended 1 planning meeting, where the plans for the Parkfields Baptist church were approved, and would be attending a second in the coming week.

Cllr Hume reported that he had attended a meeting of the Corporate governance group, looking at the revised constitution, under the guidance of Kim Cole, who is very professional.

Cllr Pell reported that she was still attending fortnightly leaders’ meetings. She agreed that the Corporate governance meetings were excellent. The new constitution would be going to Full Council for approval in April. She reported that the High Court case relating to remote meetings would take place from 21 April. She also said that the cyber security member development had been very useful. She has also been very busy with constituents.

Cllr Radley reported that he had also attended the cyber security training, and that he would be part of the  group conducting the appraisal of the CEO and corporate directors.

All BDC councillors said that they were reluctant to attend in person meetings at Causeway House, but would be happy to attend in smaller numbers.  Reports were noted

271.  To receive reports from Champions

Police – Cllr Warren said that he didn’t have a formal report, but that the police were aware of the activities in the Public Gardens. He requested the model and serial number for the speed camera so that it could be calibrated.

Surgery – There was nothing to report but Cllr Gronland said he would be in touch by email for an update.

Open spaces and environment – Cllr Atkinson reported that the Riverclean group had been active over Easter, and said that she would be I touch with Eileen Penn over grants from BDC councillors.  

Education – Cllr Hume reported that there had been difficulties in getting in touch with Holy Trinity school for the children to take part in roadnaming Competition.

Tourism – Cllr Pell reported that plans were going ahead for the Christmas Fayre and bands in the park.

Champions’ reports were noted

272.  FOOTBRIDGE  UPDATE.

Cllr Munday reported that he had talked to Halstead in Bloom about wording on any plaques which might be put up at the opening of the bridge. He said that the repairs to the parapet had been signed off, and the painting had started. There will be a meeting of the working group to decide how the opening is organised.

273.  TOR for Staff Advisory group

It was agreed that the terms of reference should be revisited, and that it should be made very clear that the SAC was an advisory committee to the Full Council, and could not make decisions without Full Council approval.

Cllr Fincken proposed, seconded by Cllr Munday, that the Town Clerk should revise the Terms of reference again, and bring the matter back to SAC and then to Council.  This was unanimously agreed.

274.  To review the privacy notice for Halstead Town Council

Cllr Radley proposed, seconded by Cllr Claydon, that the privacy notice be approved, and this was unanimously agreed.

275.  To review the subject access policy

Cllr Gronland proposed that HTC approve the subject access policy. This was seconded by Cllr Claydon, and unanimously agreed.

276.  To review the council policy on meetings

Cllr Radley proposed:

1. HTC follows government guidelines on changing from virtual meetings to in-person meetings.

2. HTC continues to take questions from the public via email until 17 May 2021

3. HTC brings forward its annual town council meeting to 4 May 2021 to allow all councillors to take part

4. That HTC brings forward the Annual Town meeting to a virtual meeting also on Tuesday 4 May

This was seconded by Cllr Munday and unanimously agreed.

277.  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 Hume, and agreed unanimously.

PRIVATE SESSION

278.  A communication to H4C was approved

279.  The minutes of the SAC meetings of 31 March 2021, and 8 April 2021 were noted.

280.  A recommendation from SAC was approved

There was no further business.  Meeting closed at 21.17

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