Halstead Town Council
Press Release – 14th July 2020
Message from the Mayor and Chairman
After a long period of lockdown it’s good to see the businesses in town starting to reopen and more people out and about in the town centre. At this difficult time as the local economy starts to rebuild it’s important that we support local businesses and the jobs they provide for residents. I encourage everyone to shop local if possible.
It’s fantastic to see the floral displays in the town that have been provided by the Halstead in Bloom team. They really provide a beautiful display and brighten up the town in this difficult time. We all owe the team a big thank you for the work they do and the resilience and dedication they bring to the town.
The town council continues to hold its virtual monthly meetings to keeps things moving. During the lockdown period the Town Clerk has co-ordinated a team of 40 volunteers to provide support to residents in need. I’m pleased to say the Town Council voted last night to continue with this scheme into the future so if any of you are interested in joining please contact the Town Clerk.
I know the repair and reopening of the Riverside Bridge is important to residents in the area. The working group last night reported that following an engineer’s report a series of work elements have now been defined and the group are actively looking at ways of conducting the work. This will be a mixture of voluntary work and specialists. This will require working with the Environment Agency to ensure no problems are caused to the river while carrying out the work.
Unfortunately the Covid-19 pandemic and other priorities have meant that the planned work on improving the River Colne along the Causeway has been delayed with no clarification of when it will be done. The council will continue to push the Environment Agency to get this work done as soon as possible.
Last month I met with PC Karen Scott who has joined the community policing team dedicated to Halstead and the surrounding area. Karen joins PC Craig Wheeler who is already allocated to Halstead and doing a great job. The council continues to support the Essex Police volunteer part time Community Special Constable programme. The first Special Constable is Michael Mihalyfi and a further two volunteers are in training.
The council has recently awarded a contract to a specialist company to conduct a major repair to one of the boundary walls of the Holy Trinity Church. Maintenance of closed churchyards is a town council responsibility. The wall is currently leaning badly and in urgent need of repair. This repair will be funded from allocated reserves.
As the government policy on Covid-19 develops, the town council continues to review the policy for its facilities. At last night’s meeting the council agreed to reopen Queens Hall from 20th July for the limited and specific use of hirers who can demonstrate compliance with the government guidelines. The services from the council offices will also reopen on 20th July but with restricted access. The council agreed to fund putting in place a range of hand sanitiser facilities in those locations.
Unfortunately it’s still not possible for members of the public to attend council meetings but please feel free to write to the Town Clerk if there are any issues you would like to raise at the meetings.
Cllr. Mick Radley
Mayor and Chairman of the Council