Full Council Meeting Minutes 7th November 2013

19th November 2013

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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   MINUTES OF FULL COUNCIL MEETING
7th November 2013
Held at
Mill House, The Causeway

HALSTEAD, Essex. CO9 1ET

 

 

Membership:

Councillor D Hume Chairman  

Present

Councillor Mrs J A Pell  Vice Chairman Present

Councillor Mrs J Allen
Councillor Mrs B Carr

Councillor Mrs H W Catley

 

 

Present
Present

Present

 

Councillor Mrs S A Diver   Present
Councillor M J Fincken      Apologies
Councillor Mrs L J Hilton   Present
Councillor S Kirby   Present
Councillor Mrs K A Little   Present
Councillor A Munday Present
Councillor K Paisley   Apologies
 

 

Also in attendance:           Mr S Edney – Public

                                      Mrs H Wolf – Public

                                      Mr M C Murkin – Town Clerk

  Mrs J Smith – Minute Clerk

328. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were apologies for absence from Cllr M Fincken and Cllr K Paisley

329. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

Cllr Mrs J Pell declared non-pecuniary interest in Agenda item no. 11 as is Chairman of Community Centre Charity Trust. Cllr Pell also declared non-pecuniary interest in Agenda item no. 17 as Chairman of TAPS, a beneficiary of the Halstead Marathon.   Cllr Pell declared non-pecuniary interest in Agenda item no. 6, planning item no. 13/01113/FUL as a member of Braintree DC, partner with Greenfields C.H.

Cllr Mrs J Allen declared non-pecuniary interest in Agenda item no. 16 as is former Partner of Braintree Children’s Centre. Cllr Allen declared non-pecuniary interest in Agenda item no. 6, planning item no. 13/01113/FUL as a member of Braintree DC, partner with Greenfields C.H.

Cllr Mrs H Catley declared non-pecuniary interest in Agenda item no. 17 as is a representative of TAPS, a beneficiary of the Halstead Marathon.

Cllr Mrs S Diver declared non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item no. 16 as is a former Partner of Braintree Children’s Centre.

Cllr S Kirby declared non-pecuniary interest in all planning items as is a member of Braintree District Council Planning Committee.

Cllr D Hume declared non-pecuniary interest in Agenda item no. 16 as the Acorn Centre is one of his Mayor’s Charities for 2013/14. Cllr Hume declared pecuniary

interest in Agenda item no. 9 as he is a cheque beneficiary (Britain in Bloom expenses)

330. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

Mrs Helen Wolf asked if Town Council had any knowledge of plans for Central Park area; she also asked if Halstead has the full quota of green space and about the green infrastructure for Halstead; she felt that this was relevant now as there are concerns about the Land East of High Street and also the plans for Local Green Space are being discussed.

It was said that Town Council is consultee only and have no details at present. Cllr Mrs Pell said that some time ago her ward (Trinity) was said to be lacking in recreational space. It was agreed that a written reply would be sent to Mrs Wolf from Halstead Town Council and she was urged to contact Braintree DC with written questions about an update on green space policies and she would be given a reply within statutory time limits.

Mr Simon Edney explained that he had formed a petition regarding Policing in and around Halstead and asked if Council would support this petition.

Several Councillors expressed concerns about the level of policing in Halstead and surrounding District, but Chairman said that it would be left to individuals to sign the petition in a personal capacity.

It was agreed that the matter should be put as an Agenda item at the next Full Council Meeting so that discussion can take place and a resolution on the way forward be agreed. It was said that a Police presence at the next meeting should be requested.

331. PRESENTATIONS

Police. There was no police presence at the meeting

332. MINUTES. To approve the minutes of the Council meeting held on 10th October 2013. With an amendment to the date of proposed interviews of job applicants from November to October Minutes were approved, Cllr Kirby abstaining as he was not at the previous meeting.

333. PLANNING APPLICATIONS.

Cllr A Munday took the chair for this part of the meeting

Cllr S Kirby left the meeting

Cllr Mrs J Pell and Cllr Mrs J Allen left the meeting

13/01113/FUL. 1-48 Elizabeth Way, Halstead, CO9 2DT. Replacement of windows, fascia, soffits, guttering, downpipes and cladding.

Cllr Munday explained that there were 47 dwellings concerned with this application and the proposals would make a dramatic difference to the aesthetics of the buildings. It was noted that ECC Historic & Conservation Advice from Built Environment Department have suggested more attention to detail and could not support the application.

Members suggested that more attention should be paid to details of the products used and expressed concern about proposed dramatic visual changes. Members noted comments of Essex County Council Built Environment about this site which is adjacent to a Conservation Area.

Cllr Mrs J Pell and Cllr Mrs J Allen returned to the meeting.

13/01159/FUL. Valley View, Middlefield, Halstead, Essex. Demolition of existing glasshouse conservatory to the rear and replace with flat roofed conservatory which will also act as a balcony to the first floor.

Members raised no objections to this application.

Cllr S Kirby returned to the meeting

Cllr D Hume resumed Chair of the meeting

334. MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS.

Cllr D Hume noted that he did not attend the International Photography Competition on 3rd October as he was on holiday and Cllr Mrs Pell who was deputising was unwell and unable to attend.

Cllr D Hume could not attend the Home-Start AGM; Cllr M Fincken did attend.

Report was noted

335. FINANCE –

  1. Financial Monitoring –  Report noted
  2. Monthly Performance (Car Parks).  It was noted that the Free after 3 initiative had been monitored over the half term period and a report of findings will be circulated.  Report was noted

C) Monthly Performance (Lettings/Sickness). It was noted that Richard Barham (car park) had a period of absence of over 2 months and Nick Hall (car park) has been on sick leave since beginning of October. Derek Gardener has been covering both absences and has excelled in this work.

Report was noted

336. LIST OF PAYMENTS TO BE APPROVED

Clerk advised that there were some problems at present with the Sage Account System and cheques had not been raised. If difficulties cannot be resolved within the next day or so cheques would be manually produced.

Payments were unanimously approved.

337. SENIOR CITIZENS OUTINGS 2013 and 2014

Reports presented on outings 2013 and recommendations for 2014.

Cllr Mrs J Pell who acts as Chief Courier for trips proposed that 5 trips be arranged for 2014; that cost for trips 2014 be increased by 50p. to £10 per trip; that venues be Canterbury, Marlow, Brighton, Cromer and Herne Bay and that the quotation from Kings of Stanway be accepted.

The over-subscription for Christmas parties 2013 was discussed and it was noted that maximum capacity for seated meals at Queens Hall is 120 and 2 parties is the maximum that volunteers can cope with. Matter to be reviewed in new year.

Members unanimously accepted proposals for outings 2014.

338. COMMUNITY HALL

Cllr Mrs J Pell, Chairman of the Trust said that matters were moving on apace and it was felt that the recent meeting with Councillors had been valuable and would be repeated. It was noted that the Charity Commission had again changed rules which would have a cost implication for the Trust. Trust has written to the MP for this area and also to the Leader of Braintree DC to ask for any assistance they can give to move the establishment of the Trust forward.

A formal request was made to approve payment of the 45% tender fee to enable Burr & Neve to proceed with initial work. Cllr Mrs L Hilton proposed this payment; Cllr Mrs J Allen seconded the proposal and it was unanimously agreed.   Report was noted.

339. YOUTH.

A verbal report was given by Cllr Mrs L Hilton who said that the new Youth Council had met for a team building session and meal at the Cinnamon Tree which was a useful exercise. Ramsey College has been supportive and there is much enthusiasm for the coming year. Next meeting on 21st November at the Resource Centre (unless otherwise noted).

Report was noted

340. TOWN TEAM

A verbal report was given by Cllr Mrs L Hilton and it was said that at a recent meeting traders were introduced to the new web site that would be live by the end of November; it was said there was not a good attendance at the meeting. The Christmas Fayre is being planned with some ambitious events that have cost implications. Cllr Hume said it was disappointing that not all traders were positively supporting the event.

It was noted there is no co-ordinating committee, Cllr Mrs S Diver is trying to establish a committee. Flyers and posters will be produced advertising the day’s events. Some training for traders is being planned for the future.

Report was noted

341.2014/15 BUDGET AND PRECEPT

Councillors had agreed a rise of 50p. in cost of Senior Citizens Outings 2014 (Agenda item 10)

The recommendation to increase allotment rents was discussed, but it was agreed that as a 50% increase in rents had been implemented 2013/14 no increase should be levied.

It was agreed that car park charges remain unchanged.

Value of localism grant is not yet known; precept needs to be set by mid-January. It was decided to note report and defer setting of precept until the January meeting.

342. REQUEST FOR GRANT – HALSTEAD IN BLOOM

Chairman announced that Halstead is to be Anglia’s representative in the Town Category of RHS Britain in Bloom 2014.

It was proposed that Town Council purchase the six planters requested and make them available to HiB volunteers. This was unanimously agreed.

Chairman commented on the recent Panorama TV programme showing the Green Heart of Essex, Braintree DC initiative. Chairman reported this has resulted in correspondence from all over the world to Chairman of Braintree District Council asking for further details on how this is managed.

343. CHILDREN’S CENTRE CONSULTATION

Members were pleased that the Acorn Centre, Halstead is to remain and commented upon the excellent work and the good report given to the centre.

Cllr Mrs J Allen said that Home Start is an excellent project giving much needed support to families in the area. Members were pleased that Halstead resources are to remain but regret the loss of facilities in surrounding villages. It was left to members to make individual responses to the consultation.

344. REQUEST FOR SPONSORSHIP – Halstead Marathon

It was recognised that this is a prestigious event and is well supported by the local community.

It was unanimously agreed that sponsorship of this event should continue by meeting the cost of portable toilet provision with an upper limit of £1000 for this sponsorship.

345. TOWN TWINNING GIFT

The composite picture of floral Halstead given to commemorate 30 years of Twinning had been well received in Haubourdin and is to be hung in the Mairie of the Town. It was proposed that a similar picture be purchased for Halstead as only half of the budget had been used.

It was agreed that a picture be purchased for display in Halstead to commemorate 30 years of twinning and entry into the Champion of Champions category of RHS Britain in Bloom 2013.

346. REQUEST FOR A GRANT – Vikki V’s

Members noted that this group consists of young people and that equipment mentioned would be used at Queen’s Hall. It was noted that the requested Accounts had not been provided and it was agreed to defer decision on this grant until requested information had been supplied.

Town Clerk was asked to investigate the cost of P.A. equipment for the Queen’s Hall.

347. Exclusion of Public and Press

To give consideration to adopting the following resolution: – “That pursuant to the provisions of section 1 (2) – of the Admission to Meetings Act 1960, in view of the next item to be conducted, the press and public to be excluded from the meeting.”

There were no items to be discussed in private session.

Chairman closed the meeting at 8.48 p.m.

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