DRAFT Minutes of Town Council Meeting 18 July 2022

27th July 2022

HALSTEAD TOWN COUNCIL

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DRAFT MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

PUBLIC SESSION MINUTES

18 July 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   Present
Councillor P Claydon   Present
Councillor P Dingle   Apologies
Councillor  M Fincken   Present
Councillor D Gronland   Present
Councillor D Hume   Apologies
Councillor A Munday   Present
Councillor M Radley   Present
Councillor L Smith   Apologies
Councillor G Warren   Apologies

Also in attendance: Sarah Greatorex (Town Clerk)  Jim Davis (Halstead History Society)                           

47.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE   Cllr Dingle and Cllr Hume sent their apologies due to ill health. Cllr Smith sent her apologies due to work commitments, and Cllr Warren for personal reasons. County Councillor Chris Siddall also sent his apologies for personal reasons..

Cllr Pell proposed acceptance of apologies, seconded by Cllr Atkinson and unanimously agreed.

48.  DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS:

All councillors declared -NPI  item 5c, as HTC owns the library.

Cllr Atkinson declared NPI item 5, 22/01527/FUL, as she had had discussions with developers, and is a trustee of the 21st century group, also item 12 as a trustee of the 21st century group.

Cllr Munday declared item 5, as a member of BDC planning committee, item 12 as a trustee of the Empire Theatre, and item 7b as a member of BDC. Cllr Claydon  declared NPI items 7a, 7b and 7ba as a member of CSGMC.  Cllr Gronland declared NPI item 12 as a beneficiary of Hope for Tomorrow. Cllr Radley declared NPI item 5, 22/01527/FUL as a member of BDC, which owns the land, and 7b as a member of BDC. Cllr Fincken declared NPI item 12 as a member of the 21st century group. Cllr  Pell declared NPI item 5 22/01527/FUL as a member of BDC which owns the land, 7b, and 7ba as a member of BDC and CSGMC, item 12 as a trustee of the Day centre, and item 13 as the representative on HiB for BDC.

49.  PUBLIC  QUESTION TIME

  1.  Statement from Julia Smith of Halstead in Bloom in relation to item 13

I am sorry that I can’t be at the meeting tonight, I have been judging for Anglia in Bloom today and now need to recover and cool down. I know that you will be discussing the future of Halstead in Bloom tonight and the paper put to you by Town Clerk. A new Halstead in Bloom Partnership document is being formulated and when content is agreed it will be signed, formally, by the four partners – Braintree District Council, Essex County Council, Halstead Town Council and Halstead in Bloom volunteers – with responsibilities for each clearly laid down.

The HiB volunteer team is still strong but there is not a willingness to take on tasks that we have habitually undertaken. Let me give you an example. Some years ago Halstead Town Council ordered ‘up the pole’ baskets for the 5 lampposts along The Causeway, that’s 10 baskets in all.  These are a great addition along this busy walkway, but from the start it was made clear that Town Council could not water them. Two of the baskets are watered automatically by the system installed and maintained by my husband, water taken from the river to feed the Bridge, Causeway, Weavers Court and Billson areas. The other 8 baskets I have always watered. It was no problem when I worked in Halstead as I could do the work either before or after work. Since my retirement I have travelled the 10 miles round trip from my home to Halstead, with watering equipment, to carry out this task. Is this good environmental practice? I do water other installations in the vicinity, it takes me about an hour and a half at least twice a week. What will happen when I can no longer drive, or my car breaks down, or I am unable to do this task for some reason? There is no one else in the HiB team who will do ‘town council’s work’ so perhaps this draw for visitors will be lost.

This situation is replicated in other areas of the town by other volunteers who are approaching a time when we may not be able to continue with carrying heavy water bottles in cars to keep the floral decorations that tourists want to see in tip top condition.

A similar situation is weeding, where volunteers have been hand weeding in pavements and cobbled areas but can no longer bend or kneel to do this task. There is some weed control undertaken by Essex CC but there are many areas outside the town Centre where weeds are unsightly and inappropriate.

Volunteers are willing to continue to manage planting, even in those areas and containers owned by Council, and to maintain plants but there is no way that volunteers could manage watering in the town Centre that would require a water bowser or some sort that no one on the team has a licence to manage.

We are considering sustainable, perennial planting in peripheral areas, but this would not give the same impact if extended into the Town Centre the planting that attracts comments from visitors, those passing through the town and of course the judges from Anglia in Bloom and RHS Britain in Bloom. I should remind you that the trophies in the glass cabinet you can see in Queens Hall are won by HALSTEAD, not by HiB volunteers.

We will go on as long as we are able, but I would urge you to consider now, before it is too late, if you want Halstead in Bloom (the soubriquet by which the town is known ) to continue to attract visitors into the future or if you are prepared to put in place other reasons for tourists to come to Halstead.

This statement was taken into account during the discussion of item 13, the future of HiB.

  1. Statement on Tidings Hill, read out by the Chairman at the meeting:

Proposing the changing of Tidings Hill Halstead to a one-way street.

Having experienced close calls of a serious road accident involving myself and witnessing  close calls and reports of others, it is time for Tidings Hill to become a one way street. 

The road is too narrow for two-way traffic with modern day vehicles. 

The increase in traffic due to the continuing expansion of Halstead’s real estate, abated by BDC  ludicrous planning decisions are adding to the problem. 

Without action taken now someone will be seriously injured or worse. 

The pavements are becoming part of the roadway. 

This is a major footfall for school children morning and evening. 

I fear that if the problem is pushed to one side, tragedy will be the result. 

Adrian Smart (retired Police Officer)

Councillors discussed other ways of calming the traffic, such as a 20mph speed limit, or speed bumps

It was agreed that the Town Clerk would write formally to Cllr Gronland as a member of the LHP to raise this.

50.  MINUTES To approve the minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 13 June 2022, Minutes had been circulated and proposal to adopt minutes of 13 June 2022 was put forward by Cllr Caulfield and seconded by Cllr Fincken, and carried with 4 in favour.               

The minutes of the Events working group meeting of 14 July 2022 were noted, proposed by Cllr Caulfield, seconded by Cllr Atkinson and unanimously agreed.

51.  Cllr Munday proposed that item 16 be brought forward, seconded by Cllr Radley and unanimously agreed.

Cllr Munday proposed that HTC consents to the erection of the plaque to Michael Portway at an appropriate spot at Halstead Town Council. This was seconded by Cllr Atkinson and unanimously agreed.

52.  PLANNING  APPLICATIONS

All members of the council discuss planning applications. Lead member for Planning – Councillor Hume, Deputy lead – Councillor Pell. Cllr Hume was unwell and unable to attend the meeting, so Cllr Pell took the lead for this part of the meeting.

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

Cllr Munday left the meeting

22/01452/HH – 3 Bois Field Terrace, Halstead, Essex – Replacement of existing lean to structure with a single storey rear extension.

(An extension to this application was denied and it was therefore considered by Councillors prior to the deadline). 

Halstead Town Council raised no objection to this application.

22/01527/FUL – Land East of High Street, Halstead – Proposed 31 No. residential units with associated car parking, amenity areas, external works with the retention of 10 No. WW11 Air Raid Shelters and 1 No. Wardens Hut.

Cllr Caulfield proposed, since many of the councillors present had associations with the 21st Century group or were BDC councillors, linked to the ownership of the land,  that HTC requests that this application be deferred to the August meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Claydon, and carried with 4 in favour.

Cllr Pell also asked that the Halstead Mens shed be directed to this land as it would be of interest to them

22/01551/HH – 60 Nether Court, Halstead, Essex – Single storey front extension and conversion of garage to habitable accommodation.  Alteration to roof form.

Cllr Atkinson proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Radley and unanimously agreed.

22/01570/HH – 25 Beech Avenue, Halstead, Essex – Relocation/construction of boundary wall

Cllr Radley proposed no objection, as long as the alteration was legal, seconded by Cllr Atkinson and unanimously agreed

22/00652/HH  (Revised) – Oakleigh House, Upper Chapel Street, Halstead – Proposed single storey side extension and replacement double garage.

Cllr Radley proposed no objection, assuming that the extension does not block the roadway or any rights of way, seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed

22/00279/FUL (Revised) – Store Rear of, 45 High Street, Halstead – Demolition of warehouse building and erection of two storey detached dwelling house with parking.

Cllr Atkinson proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Caulfield and unanimously agreed

22/01743/VAR – Units 1, 2 & 3, Sixth Avenue, Bluebridge Industrial Estate – Variation of Condition 9 (Operating hours) of permission 20/01474/FUL granted 03/12/2020 for: Erection of Use Classes E(g) and B8 Commercial Units. Variation would allow the condition to be changed from :-

The use hereby permitted shall not operate outside of the following hours:

Monday to Friday – 07:00-18:00 hours, Saturday – 07:00-14:00 hours, Sundays, Bank Holidays and Public Holidays – No vehicular movements

New hours to be :-Mon-Fri: 07:00 to 18:00, Sat: 07:00 to 18:00,  Sun: 08:30 to 17:00.

Cllr Atkinson proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed.

22/01688/LBC – 3 Market Hill, Halstead, Essex – Repaint front exterior to pink and new signage. 

Cllr Caulfield proposed no objection, providing a heritage colour is chosen, seconded by Cllr Atkinson and agreed with 6 in favour and 1 against.

22/01758/HH – 35 Sudbury Road, Halstead, Essex – Part two-storey and single storey side and rear extensions.  Replacement cladding to front elevation and new detached garage.

Cllr Fincken proposed no objection, seconded by Cllr Atkinson and unanimously agreed

Cllr Munday returned to the meeting

53.  Street naming at Oak Road development

Cllr Pell proposed that the main street in the development be named Edwards, and the other 2 smaller roads Fairman and Jubilee. Cllr Fincken seconded this, and there were 7 in favour and 1 abstention.

54.  Planning decision on Clock at Library building

Cllr Atkinson proposed that the Clock and plaque to mark the Platinum Jubilee should be bought from capital funds, seconded by Cllr Gronland and unanimously agreed.

55.  MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS

Cllr Caulfield proposed that the Mayor’s appointments be noted, seconded by Cllr Fincken, and unanimously agreed.

56.  FINANCE

Finance – Lead Cllr J Atkinson led this part of the meeting.

All members of the Council are members of the Finance section

a)  Income and expenditure report for June 2022

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

b)  To approve the lists of payments 7b and 7ba

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

c)  To approve the bank reconciliation

Cllr Munday proposed, seconded by Cllr  Gronland, that the reconciliation be approved. This was unanimously agreed.

g)  To reconsider the resanding and sealing of Queens Hall floor

Cllr Munday proposed that the resanding and sealing be deferred to August, to allow the clerk to seek other quotes. This was seconded by Cllr Radley, with 7 in favour and 1 abstention.

h)  To ratify a correction to the Accounting statement

Cllr Atkinson  proposed, seconded by Cllr  Radley that the revised Accounting statement be ratified and resubmitted to the external auditor. This was unanimously agreed.

57.  To receive reports from District Councillors

Cllr Munday said that he had attended one planning meeting where no applications had related to Halstead. He had also sponsored part of the Flower Festival at St Andrews church with his BDC councillor grant.

Cllr Radley said that he would be attending Full Council on 25 July, when the Local Plan is to be approved. A tour of the new facilities at BDC had been planned, but had been cancelled due to the hot weather. He had visited a new recycling centre in Ipswich, and will hold a Scrutiny meeting on S106 funds.

Cllr Pell said that she had been involved in the recruitment of the new CEO at Braintree, and attended a meeting with the Police and Fire Commissioner. She had attended Armed Forces Day in Braintree, a Leaders’ meeting where the role of the new CEO was discussed, Full Council and Cabinet.

58.  To receive reports from Champions

Police – A meeting has been arranged to discuss antisocial behaviour.

Schools – Cllr Caulfield confirmed that he and Cllr Hume had attended a meeting concerned with parking at St Andrews school. The school has arranged a meeting with Essex County highways to discuss potential solutions, including a 20mph speed limit, residents’ parking and yellow boxes. They will continue to support the school. Cllr Fincken reported that S106 monies are being used to build new classrooms at Richard de Clare school.

Doctors’ surgery – Cllr Gronland reported that he had received a message to say that the surgery are discussing various possibilities with the CCG to have some dedicated space at Halstead Hospital, but are not yet in a position to confirm this or to give a timeframe.

Open spaces – Cllr Fincken reported that the route into Halstead is still being studied by the EC2H group, and it is hoped that they will come forward with a proposal. There is a fundraising event at Marks Hall on 3 August, and anyone with fundraising experience should attend.

There are still frequent complaints about the river and the Causeway.

Tourism – Cllr Pell commented that the Jubilee weekend had brought lots of people to Halstead, and that councillors, staff and volunteers should be thanked for their efforts.

59.  CIF application for grant to buy chairs for Queens Hall

Cllr Radley proposed that HTC should apply for a CIF grant for chairs in the hall, seconded by Cllr  Atkinson and unanimously agreed. Matchfunding should be taken from capital.

60.  To consider Grant applications received

Cllr Munday proposed approval of the payment of grants to a number of Halstead charities, seconded by Cllr Radley and unanimously agreed. For 2 projects, grants would be held by HTC until the organisations confirm they have the full funding available for the project – grant funds will be available up to 31st March 2023 after which they will expire.

61.  To consider the future of Halstead in Bloom

Cllr Radley proposed that schedules of work should be drawn up for the activity required by HiB, and the number of hours this work would take and the frequency with which it should be carried out. A number of options for the way forward should be brought to the next meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Munday, and unanimously agreed.

62.  Cllr Gronland proposed an extension of Standing Orders until close of business, seconded by Cllr Radley and unanimously agreed.

63.  To consider an update to the Grievance policy

Cllr Fincken proposed that the update be approved, with the alteration that the Council, not SAC, would select the Appeals committee. This was seconded by Cllr Caulfield and unanimously agreed.

64.  To consider an update to the policy on the press and media

Cllr Caulfield proposed, seconded by Cllr Atkinson, that the updated Press and Media policy be approved. This was unanimously agreed.

65.  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 Pell proposed adopting the resolution, seconded by Cllr Caulfield, and unanimously agreed.

66, 67.  A report and recommendations from SAC were discussed.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at  22.25

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