Full Council Meeting Minutes 13th November 2017

15th November 2017



13th November 2017
Held at
Queen’s Hall, Chipping Hill, HALSTEAD, Essex. CO9 2BY



Councillor Mrs S Diver Chairman   Present
Councillor Mr Andy Munday Vice Chairman Present
Councillor Mrs J Allen   Apologies
Councillor Mrs S Dingle   Present
Councillor C Fox   Apologies
Councillor D Gronland   Present
Councillor D Hume   Apologies
Councillor Mrs J A Pell   Present
Councillor Mrs E Penn   Present
Councillor M Radley   Present
Councillor Mrs J Sutton   Present
Councillor G Warren   Present

Also in attendance: Public –  Alex Gidden (Press); Ms Helen Woolf, Mr Ian Tinton; Mr Martin Bell;

                                          Mr Adam Woodcock; Mr and Mrs P. Daw; Ms P. Jones; Mr Sweeting;

                                          Mr and Mrs R Smith; Mr P Henley.

                                          7 representatives of Bloor Homes

                                          Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)

                                          Julia Smith (Minute Clerk)                                   

Before the start of the meeting a presentation was made by Chairman to Town Clerk who has recently passed her CILCA examination and who has worked extremely hard to effect an efficient move of Council Office to Queens Hall.                   

361. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE received from Cllr Hume as unwell and Cllr Fox, as he was still at work.  Cllr Mrs Allen had indicated that she would arrive later, but was delayed by a hospital appointment for her daughter.  Cllr Mrs Pell informed the meeting that Cllr Hume was now out of hospital and at home but in quarantine at present.  Cllr Pell moved acceptance of these apologies and this was seconded by Cllr Munday.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.

362. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Mrs J Pell Declared NPI for the following Agenda items:  Agenda Item 7a and possibly 7b & 7c & 7d as member of Courtauld’s Sports Ground Management Committee and Member of In Bloom Partnership.  Agenda item 8 as Chairman of H4C.  Cllr Gronland declared NPI – Agenda item 15, request for signage at Stanstead Road as resident is known. Cllr Mrs J Sutton declared NPI in Agenda item 5-Planning item 17/01874/FUL as Agent is known to Council.   Cllr Mrs E Penn declared NPI for Agenda item 5 – Planning 17/01874/FUL as Agent has worked for Town Council.  Cllr  Radley declared NPI Agenda item 5. Planning 17/01874/FUL as Agent is known. NPI Agenda item 7b as Member of Courtauld’s Sports Ground Management Committee.  Cllr Munday declared NPI. Agenda item 5. Planning 17/01874/FUL as Agent is known. NPI Agenda item 7b, 7b & 7c as member of Courtauld’s Sports Ground Management Committee.  Cllr Mrs S Diver declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtauld’s Sports Ground Management Committee.  NPI Agenda item 5-Planning item 17/01340/FUL as lives nearby.

Chairman asked for vote on proposal that item 16 be moved into private session.

Proposal was carried by unanimous vote.  Cllr Mrs Diver also noted that item 19 on the Agenda, Staff Review Group, would not now be discussed at this meeting.

363. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME: Cllr Mrs Pell moved that item 3c Presentation on Oak Road by Bloor Homes be taken before questions from public.  Motion was seconded by Cllr Mrs Dingle and carried by unanimous vote.

 Presentation by Bloor Homes regarding development at Oak Road.

It was explained that the original submission was for 192 homes on this part of the Oak Road site but after consultation with Braintree DC this had now been revised to 183 homes.  Pre-planning advice had been sought and some concerns about original submission had been addressed.  It was noted that David Wilson Homes are developing a separate part of the site.

The revised open spaces and enhanced landscaping were noted as was the new play area and site for convenience store.  It was said that street layout would include trees and the site would have some character with buildings in the style of Victorian and Edwardian homes.  No building would be higher than two storeys.  The size of play area was queried and it was said that national guidelines have been followed.  It was said that the correct proportion of affordable homes has been applied meaning 55 units would be built and these are spread over the site, not in one place.  The number of social homes was queried and it was said that these are included in the affordable homes allocation.  Cllr Mrs Pell asked about the poles that have been erected to carry phone wires and was told that these were erected following a plan by BT. Cllr Mrs Pell said that in an urban environment, which this development will be, all services should be underground.  Bloor homes said that BT would be consulted again and would be advised that this will be an urban development.  After questions it was said that roads on the site meet Highways requirements.  Ms Helen Woolf asked if hedgerows would be reinstated and was told that planting would take place.  Mr Peter Daw asked about plans for widening Oak Road and plans were explained.  It was questioned whether two trees, a holly and a hazel, that have not yet been removed would remain and it was said that this will be checked.  Mr Patrick Henley asked about building construction, whether smoke detectors and sprinklers would be installed in all units and if properties would be freehold or leasehold. He asked whether purchasers would be free to choose their own utility suppliers.  It was said that homes would be of brick/block construction to meet building regulations and there would be various external finishes.  Smoke detectors would be fitted but at present there are no requirements to fit sprinkler systems.  Utilities would be connected to each property prior to sale but thereafter owners would be free to choose their own suppliers and all properties would be freehold with no restrictions on onward sales.  Ms Helen Woolf asked about management of open areas and was told that initially areas would be offered to Council but if this offer was not taken up then a Management Company would be set up with residents paying for services initially although it was hoped that residents would eventually take on maintenance.  Mr Adam Woodcock asked the distance from proposed convenience store to open space and was told about 10M; it was said that timescale for building the convenience store was not known.  Mr Woodcock stated that items laid down in the Management Plan are not being adhered to with work starting well before the agreed time of 8am and some other stipulations being flouted. Cllr Mrs Diver said that developers must liaise with residents and keep them informed at all times in order to keep relations on a good footing and developer agreed that this will be done.  It was also requested that Council be kept informed of all developments.

Cllr Mrs Pell proposed that meeting be moved back into standing orders.  This was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and agreed unanimously.

3b) Cllr Mrs Diver noted that there would be no presentation from Practice Manager, Courtauld’s Surgery this evening, but it was hoped that this would be given at a future Council Meeting.

Mr Mark Sweeting asked if there had been any response from Highways or Braintree DC about moving part of Oak Road into Quiet Road status.  He was told that no information was yet to hand.

Representatives of Bloor Homes and several residents left the meeting at this point.

364. MINUTES  To approve the minutes of the meeting on 16th October 2017.  Minutes had been circulated. Cllr Mrs Sutton queried minute regarding the Community Fridge but was told that minute was correct. Minutes were adopted by majority vote with 1 abstention.

365. PLANNING APPLICATIONS In Cllr Hume’s absence, Vice Chair of Planning, Cllr Mrs Pell took the Chair for this part of the meeting.

17/01340/FUL (plus Revised plans) – Halstead Chinese Takeaway, 28-30 Trinity Street, Halstead, CO9 1JA – Change of use of building to C3 residential to provide 7 x 1 bed flats together with internal and external alterations.  Cllr Mrs Pell noted that revision would be for 6 flats and 1 commercial unit as permission has already been given for 7 units.  It was noted that statutory bodies had made some comments although no objections had been made.  Cllr Mrs Diver noted that permits for parking can only be given to individuals and would not be awarded prior to occupancy. This had been noted on a prior occasion – residents would have to apply for permit and none were guaranteed. Cllr Munday queried whether there would be room for refuse bins and collections and it was noted that Environmental Health had queried similar.  A similar concern was raised about access for emergency services and it was noted that a requirement for a sprinkler system to be fitted would be made.  Cllr Radley moved no objections to this application provided that remedies were made to concerns raised by statutory bodies and about parking for residents.  This motion was seconded by Cllr Munday and adopted by unanimous vote.

17/01874/FUL – 50 Tidings Hill, Halstead, CO9 1BW – Erection of two storey and single storey rear extension and new window to the front elevation.  Cllr Mrs Pell moved no objection to this application and it was seconded by Cllr Munday.  Motion moved by unanimous vote.

147/01886/VAR – Lidl UK GmbH, Kings Road, Halstead, CO9 1HJ – Application for variation of condition 8 of approved application 15/01138/FUL – To allow store to open between 08.00-22.00 on Bank and Public Holidays.  The use of the site hereby permitted shall not be open to customers and no deliveries shall be made outside the hours of 08.00-22.00 Monday to Saturday including Bank and Public Holidays and 10.00-16.00 on Sunday.

Cllr Mrs Pell moved no objections and it was noted that these conditions are customary but it was requested that any Bank Holidays falling on a Sunday should be excluded.  It was said that National Guidelines should be followed in all cases and that there should be no differences between this and other stores.  Motion was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and carried with one vote against and one abstention to the motion.

Cllr Mrs Diver resumed Chair of the meeting.

Cllr Mrs Diver noted attendance at various meetings and also at a Highways meeting that was not included on the report but which had been most informative.   Report was noted.

367.  FINANCE. Cllr Radley Chair of Finance took the Chair for this part of the meeting.

7a Finance. Cllr Radley talked through the report in which, he said, there were no exceptions to report.  Cllr Mrs Pell noted an under spend against budget on coach outings and asked if the money could be carried over to next year but was told that this was not possible.  It was noted that income from coach outings was also lower than budget. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of this report and this was seconded by Cllr Gronland.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.

7b. & 7b(a) Payments to be approved.  Cllr Warren queried payment for church clock which, he said, did not strike at present.  He was told that this was routine maintenance payment..  Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of these reports. This proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.

7c. Summary of developer contributions under section 106 Cllr Radley noted this information is public knowledge and is shown on Braintree DC web site in various forms but that this report gives detail of all expected developer contributions.  Cllr Mrs Diver expressed thanks of the Council to Cllr Radley for formulating this report.  Cllr Mrs Pell said that money allocated for healthcare is shown as going to Courtauld’s surgery and it would be helpful to know how this will be spent.  It was said that monies would be given to NHS and then to the Surgery and it was queried whether the Surgery was aware of these funds.  Cllr Radley was concerned about the sum of £50349 that is still held by Braintree DC as contributions for Open Spaces and suggested that Council push to get this money allocated before deadlines run out.  Cllr Mrs Pell offered to go with Cllr Radley to Braintree to get clarification for this point.    Cllr Gronland proposed acceptance of the report and that Clerk should write to Surgery with a copy of the report for information.  Proposal was seconded by Cllr Warren and carried by unanimous vote.

7d.  Halstead in Bloom.  Report was before Council noting that Council pays Halstead in Bloom to provide hanging baskets and other Town Centre planting at a sum of £3000 p.a. and after discussion it was decided that this service would be continued for 2018 at the same cost to Council.  The matter regarding damaged containers at The Fountain, Market Hill was noted.  A request had been made for Halstead in Bloom to supply larger, more suitable containers at The Library and this was agreed. Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of the report and this was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver.  Motion carried by unanimous vote.

Trophy and Certificate awarded to Halstead by RHS Britain in Bloom 2017 were shown.

7e.  Reconciliation.  Cllr Radley noted that a reconciliation of Bank Account against Sage accounting system was required and had been an outstanding audit requirement.  All accounts had been reconciled and will be reconciled periodically.  Cllr Radley praised the work done by Finance Officer, Ms Kerry Cooper, who agreed that this work was rewarding and valuable for the Council.  Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of the report and this was seconded by Cllr Munday.  Proposal carried by unanimous vote.

Cllr Mrs Diver resumed Chair of the meeting

368.  COMMUNITY HALL REPORT a report was before the Council noting that a meeting will take place between the Trust and a representative from Cllr David Finch’s (ECC) Office.  Cllr Warren queried the purpose of the meeting and was told it was regarding finance and that this would be explained outside the Council meeting. Cllr Mrs Diver proposed that report be noted and this was seconded by Cllr Mrs Sutton.  Proposal carried unanimously.

369.  YOUTH REPORT Cllr Mrs Penn said that she was still trying to get a project started at the Resource Centre; it was noted that the youth survey was now complete.  Report noted.

370.  DISTRICT  COUNCILLORS’  REPORT.  A report from Cllr Mrs Allen had been  circulated and Cllr Mrs Diver proposed that report be noted.  This was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried with one abstention.

Cllr Mrs Pell had circulated a report and asked Council to note the first paragraph which gave confirmation that the area at Halstead Public Gardens commonly known as the Picnic Area was not included in the Local Plan and that this area will be incorporated into the Wild Life Area and Halstead Public Gardens.  Cllr Mrs Penn suggested that the Fields of Trust be contacted to bring this area within the protected area and Cllr Mrs Pell said she would bring this forward.  Discussions took place about the area of the former Senior Citizens’ hall and it was said that there would be a small development here rather than the larger development previously put forward. Cllr Mrs Diver proposed that report be noted.  This was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried unanimously.

371.SUGGESTED  MEETING  DATES  2018/19  report had been circulated.  It was said that the Election 2019 should be added (2nd May) and that the dates for Annual Town Meeting and Annual Town Council Meeting would need to be adjusted accordingly.  Town Clerk to clarify dates.  Cllr Mrs Pell proposed support of these dates provided the above provisions are made;  proposal carried by unanimous vote.

 372.  OUTINGS   Cllr Mrs Dingle queried the fact that only one quote was listed on report; Town clerk said that only one company had responded although quotes had been sought from three companies.  It was felt that this reflected the number of coaches required and times of trips.  Cllr Radley said that he supported these trips but felt that charges must reflect costs which had risen by 12.3% over last year.  He considered that this could be because destinations are further away (the distance to be travelled is 15% greater) but felt that charges should rise in line with increased costs.  Four matters were to be decided:  a) Should Council run trips in 2018.   Cllr Pell moved that Council run organised trips in 2018.  Proposal seconded by Cllr Munday and carried with one abstention.  b) To go to five destinations as listed.  Cllr Pell moved that destinations, identified by residents, should be included for 2018.  Motion seconded by Cllr Munday and carried with two abstentions  c) to accept quote from King’s Coaches.  After discussion it was decided to accept quote from Kings Coaches proposed by Cllr Radley and seconded by Cllr Pell.  Proposal carried with one abstention.  d) to adjust cost of trips for 2018.  Cllr Radley proposed that cost for Halstead residents for trips 2018 be increased to £13.50 and for non-residents cost should be £19.00.  Discussions took place and the need to review costs annually was decided.  Cllr Penn seconded the motion and a vote was taken; 6 votes for proposal. 1 vote against. 1 abstention.  Motion carried.

373.  GRANT AWARDING POLICY. Town Clerk said that such a policy should be in place and a draft policy had been circulated.  It was said that a policy would be fair to all and discussions took place about how and when to implement this policy.  It was pointed out that grants were awarded under Section 137 and it was felt this should be mentioned on the application form.  It was felt that policy should be implemented from 2018/19 financial year and round of applications should start on 1st April and close on 30th June (each year).  Applicants would need to demonstrate a ‘clear financial need’ and it was said that the scheme should be widely advertised. Cllr Gronland proposed implementation of this policy provided that note of Section 137 be added and dates for application be made clear.  Cllr Radley seconded the motion and it was carried by unanimous vote.

374.  COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY.  Clerk noted that this strategy should be in place and discussions took place on the draft strategy shown.  It was felt that in section 3, local MP should be added, plus other emergency services and relevant authorities.   In section 4 it was felt that Council reports should be added to web site as Council has nothing to hide.  Clerk noted that this is not recommended but inclusion will be checked.  The matter of ‘annual open day’ was discussed as it was said that the office is open each week day for residents to visit so it was suggested that the wording be changed to ‘Annual Town meeting’.  It was also said that those without electronic communication must be catered for.  Cllr Mrs Pell proposed acceptance of this strategy, with the changes noted.  Proposal was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.

375.  REQUEST  FOR  SIGNAGE AT STANSTEAD ROAD.  Cllr Mrs Dingle said that she used to live at Stanstead Close and found that often parcels were delivered wrongly.  Discussions took place about the most useful signage, and Cllr Mrs Penn proposed that ECC Highways be made aware of the present difficulties and asked to resolve as soon as possible.  Proposal was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried by unanimous vote.

Cllr Gronland asked Cllr Mrs Pell to assist him with lodging this request with Highways.                                                                                                    

376.  NAMING  OF  ROADS  AT  OAK  ROAD.  Discussion took place about naming roads before they are built.  Cllr Mrs Diver proposed naming of roads be delayed until they are built.  Proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Pell and carried by unanimous vote.

377.  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’

378.  REQUEST  TO  RUN  PRE-SCHOOL AT QUEEN’S  HALL.  A pre-school had asked to use Queens Hall on a daily basis. Much discussion took place about the suitability of Queen’s Hall facilities and also that with the school meeting 5 days per week, all day, the Hall would not be available for other public meetings. It was said that a great deal of public money had been spent on the refurbishment of Queen’s Hall and that it was only right that the facility be open for hire to all members of the public.   It was also said that there would be no suitable outside play space for young children and if part of the outside space was fenced off for use as a play area the remaining space would be limited for visitors to Council Office and also the History Society facilities.  The legal obligations regarding, for instance, business rates was queried and it was suggested that help and advice be offered to the pre-school about relocation.

Cllr Mrs Pell moved that standing orders be extended for 15 minutes and this was unanimously agreed.

Further discussions took place and it was suggested that perhaps the Resource Centre might have spare capacity for the pre-school.

All in all, it was decided that there would be too many obstacles to provision of suitable accommodation for the pre-school at Queen’s Hall and Cllr Warren proposed that Pre-School be advised that Queen’s Hall would not be a suitable venue for their business.  This proposal was seconded by Cllr Mrs Penn and carried by unanimous vote.

There being no other business meeting was closed at 9.31pm.