Draft Minutes of Town Council Meeting 13 June 2022

21st June 2022

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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DRAFT MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

PUBLIC SESSION MINUTES

13 June  2022: at  19:15
Held at
Queens Hall, Chipping Hill, HALSTEAD, Essex. CO9 2BY 

 Membership:

Councillor J Pell Chairman   Present
Councillor P Caulfield Vice Chairman Present 
Councillor J Atkinson   Apologies
Councillor P Claydon   Apologies
Councillor P Dingle   Apologies
Councillor  M Fincken   Apologies
Councillor D Gronland   Apologies
Councillor D Hume   Present
Councillor A Munday   Present
Councillor M Radley   Apologies
Councillor L Smith   Apologies
Councillor G Warren   Present

Also in attendance: Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)                             

31.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  . Cllr Dingle sent her apologies due to ill health, Cllrs Fincken, Radley and Gronland sent their apologies due to being on holiday. Cllrs Smith and Claydon sent their apologies due to work commitments, and Cllr Atkinson for personal reasons.

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

32.  DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS:

Cllr Munday declared item 5 and 5b, as a member of BDC planning committee. Cllr Warren  declared NPI item 7e and 7e(a) as a member of CSGMC.  Cllr Hume declared NPI  item 5 22/01155/FUL as the applicant and objector are known to him, item 5b as a member of BDC, item 6 as a member of Rotary and President of the Friends of St Andrews, item 7e and 7e(a) as a member of BDC and CSGMC, item 7f as a member of CSGMC, item 7g as a signatory on the account. Cllr  Pell declared NPI  item 5, 22/01376/VAR, PI as pension paid by the electricity supplier and family member lives next door to the owner of the site, NPI 22/01155/FUL as applicant known to her and 5b as a member of BDC, 7e and 7e(a) NPI as a member of BDC and CSGMC and chief courier for HTC, Item 15 as son-in-law works for the co-op.             

The Town Clerk stated that, due to the absence of many members, item 16 in private session would be postponed to the July meeting.

33.  PUBLIC  QUESTION TIME

 There were no public questions.

34.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 9 May 2022, and of the Annual Town and Annual Town Council meetings of 9 May 2022.  Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt all minutes of 9 May 2022 was put forward by Cllr Pell and seconded by Cllr Munday, and unanimously agreed.               

The public minutes of the Staff Advisory Committee meeting of 6 June 2022 were noted.

35.  PLANNING  APPLICATIONS

All members of the council discuss planning applications. Lead member for Planning – Councillor Hume, Deputy lead – Councillor Pell.

 The following Planning Applications, which were received and circulated electronically, are to be considered at the Council meeting.

Cllr Munday left the meeting

22/01165/HH – 4 Factory Terrace, Factory Lane East, Halstead – Proposed single storey rear extension and internal alterations.

Cllr Pell proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Hume and unanimously agreed.

 22/01184/ADV – 7-11 Second Avenue, Bluebridge Industrial Estate, Halstead – Installation of 3 No. non-illuminated aluminium fascia signs, 7 No. window vinyls, 1 No. non-illuminated aluminium panel to existing freestanding sign and 2 No. non-illuminated aluminium window signs.

Cllr Hume proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Caulfield, and unanimously agreed.

 22/01155/FUL – 58 Churchill Avenue, Halstead, Essex – Erection of 1 No. two-storey dwelling and associated parking areas.

Cllr Hume proposed no objection, providing that it is noted that the hedge reduces visibility, and that it is borne in mind that there is only one parking space attached to the house. This was seconded by Cllr Caulfield, and unanimously agreed.

20/01493/OUT  (Revised) –  Land at Mount Hill, Halstead, Essex – Outline application with all matters reserved except access for up to 130 dwellings with new landscaping, open space, access and associated infrastructure

Cllr Hume proposed that council should vehemently object to this application, for the same reasons as given in June 21, and for additional reasons:

  • It lies within the boundary of Greenstead Green and Halstead Rural, which would mean there would be no council tax income for Halstead, but the development would be dependent on the Halstead infrastructure of schools, doctors’ surgery and transport, which is already inadequate for the size of the town
  • The applicant refers to the boundary of Halstead at the Oak Road development. All of Oak Road is within the Halstead boundary
  • The area is not suitable for a development of this size and the density is too great
  • It is susceptible to flooding at the junction with Blamsters, and any connection for surface water onto the A131 would exacerbate this problem
  • This junction is also an accident blackspot
  • There is already queuing of traffic at peak times when entering Halstead. Introducing a roundabout or traffic lights would increase congestion
  • Some bus stops indicated on plans do not exist and it would not be safe to locate them in these positions
  • The parking planned would be inadequate
  • This area is not designated for development in the Local Development framework core strategy of 2011. The growth potential of Halstead is limited by its isolated location and high quality landscape setting. The services and infrastructure are of a lower quality than in Witham and Braintree
  • There would be a loss of fauna and flora on a greenfield site
  • There would be a loss of trees
  • This development represents a loss of valuable countryside as visitors enter the town
  • It would have no identity of its own, being tagged onto Halstead, but not close enough to be part of its parish of Greenstead Green and Halstead Rural

In addition:

  • The area lies within the zone of influence for Natural England
  • There is a real fear that roads could be further extended into the countryside in future to create a larger development
  • There is no preschool provision within the area
  • Walking to school is described in the plans, but it is not safe for anyone to walk along the road
  • Library facilities have been deemed insufficient
  • Historic Buildings have said that they cannot support the application
  • This can still be regarded as overdevelopment in a rural location, even if the number of houses to be built has been reduced

Cllr Caulfield seconded the motion, which was unanimously agreed.

Cllr Pell left the meeting

22/01376/VAR – Plc Hunwick Ltd, Kings Road, Halstead – Variation of Condition 2 (Approved Plans) of permission 19/02304/OUT granted 23.04.2021 for: Outline application for four x 2 bed houses, five x 4/5 bed houses, 12 flats and 10 commercial units for B1(a) office purposes (with all matters reserved other than means of access, layout and scale). Variation would allow for: – Re-siting of substation and adjustment of parking area to flats, to avoid large water main and UK Power Networks require two pods. 

Cllr Hume proposed no objection, although he stated that the council would have concerns if the resiting of the substation resulted in loss of parking spaces. This was seconded by Cllr Caulfield, and unanimously agreed.

Cllr Munday and Cllr Pell returned to the meeting

 Planning Forum

Cllr Warren proposed that HTC should welcome the idea of a Planning Forum as described, although he suggested that the point made under 2.4 should be clarified, as it could be seen as predetermination. This was seconded by Cllr Hume and unanimously agreed.

36.  MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS

Cllr Pell said that she had decided to make the Halstead Day Centre her charity for the year, as there was an obvious need for funds to keep the Centre going.

She also said that she had attended all the events put on by HTC for the Jubilee, and would like to pay tribute to the councillors, staff and volunteers who helped. A lot of work had gone into the events and she appreciated that.

Cllr Munday said that huge thanks were owed to Cllr Smith and the Town Clerk for their organisation of all the events which had gone so well. Cllr Hensman of BDC had also commented on how well Halstead had done for the District. He said that thanks should also be extended to the Co-op for their help with storing furniture.

The report was noted

37.  FINANCE

Cllr Pell expressed her thanks to Cllrs Claydon and Gronland for their work on Finance for the past year.

Finance – Deputy Cllr A Munday led this part of the meeting.

All members of the Council are members of the Finance section

a) 2021-22 Financial accounts and fixed assets

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Caulfield that the Financial accounts be approved, and this was unanimously agreed.

b) To approve the Internal Auditor’s report.

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Caulfield that the Internal Auditor’s report be approved, and this was unanimously agreed. Cllr Munday thanked the office staff for their good work, reflected in the good report from the internal auditor.

c) To approve the Annual governance statement

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Warren that the Annual governance statement be approved, and this was unanimously agreed.

d) To approve the Accounting statements for audit

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Caulfield, that the Accounting statements be approved. This was unanimously agreed.

e) To approve the lists of payment 7e and 7e(a)

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Warren that the lists of payments be approved. This was unanimously agreed.

f) Income and expenditure report for May 2022.

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Caulfield, that the income and expenditure report be approved. This was unanimously agreed.

g) Staff pay increase

Cllr Munday proposed that it be noted that staff had received in March their statutory pay increase backdated to April 2021. This was seconded by Cllr Hume, and unanimously agreed.

h) To approve the closure of the Mayor’s charity account.

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr Warren, that the Mayor’s charity account be closed and all funds transferred to the revenue account. This was unanimously agreed.

38.  To receive reports from District Councillors

Cllr Munday said that he had attended one planning meeting as the other had been cancelled.

Cllr Hume said that he had attended a Member development session, but had missed a meeting of the Local plan committee as he was attending Town Council.

Cllr Pell said that she had attended a Partnership scrutiny meeting, and several meetings relating to the recruitment of a new CEO, a Member development session, and a leaving reception for Steve Daynes. She had also been involved in a lot of constituency work in the town.

39.  To receive reports from Champions

Police –  Cllr Warren  commented that the HTC Jubilee events had been well attended by the police. He suggested also that a more formal meeting should be arranged with those police officers and specials responsible for Halstead.

40.  To approve an update to the Member & Officer protocol

Cllr Munday proposed approval of the update, seconded by Cllr Hume and unanimously agreed.

41.  To consider an update to the complaints procedure

Cllr Pell proposed approval of the updated Complaints procedure, seconded by Cllr Hume and unanimously agreed.

42.  To consider antisocial behaviour in Halstead, and ways of dealing with it

Cllr Warren proposed that a working group should be set up to consider the items  listed in the report, and to seek measures to alleviate them. The group should consist of 4 members, selected through email exchange. This was seconded by Cllr Caulfield, and unanimously agreed.

43.  To consider the use of MiPermit

Cllr Munday proposed that HTC does not go down the route of payment through the portal for car park permits. This was seconded by Cllr Warren and unanimously agreed.

44.  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”.

Cllr Hume proposed adopting the resolution, seconded by Cllr Munday, and unanimously agreed.

45.  To consider a car park issue

A matter relating to one of the town’s car parks was discussed.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at  21.15

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