Annual Meeting 2009
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING of
HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL held at LONG
MEADOWS COMMUNITY CENTRE,
LONG MEADOWS DOVERCOURT
on TUESDAY 21st April 2009 at 7.00pm
The Mayor of Harwich, Councillor D Rutson, in the Chair
Councillors: L Payne, M Gardner, L Double, A Morrison, A Colbourne, S Henderson, P Burke, J Wares, G Calver, R Callender, D Mcleod and B Brown (from 7.40pm)
Clerk to the Council, Mrs E Novorol
Also present were one member of the press and fifteen members of the public.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor J Brown
SKATIG RIKN AND BOATING LAKE
Mrs B Holbrook asked councillors why car parks at Dovercourt seafront had not been open for the Easter weekend.
Councillor Payne advised that he will investigate the matter and revert to Mrs Holbrook. Mrs Holbrook raised her concerns regarding the poor use of the boating lake and skating rink. Councillor Calver explained that he was looking into the future of these sites together with officers of Tendring District Council and the Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Councillor Pierre Oxley, but could not give further details at the present time. Councillor Henderson stated that he would like to see Harwich Town Council running both these sites. Mrs Holbrook complained that rubbish had been left where a wall has been removed in George Street. Councillor Payne will contact Tendring District Council and request that pressure is put on the developers to tidy up the site.
BROKE GLASS ON BEACH AND CYCLISTS USING PATHWAYS
Mr A Abbot mentioned his concerns regarding broken glass on the beach and cyclists using paths where cycling is forbidden. Mr Abbot requested that relevant notices should be displayed. Councillor Henderson gave assurances that councillors will speak to Tendring District Council regarding these matters. Mr M Button asked why there are certain stretches of the promenade where cycling is prohibited. Councillor Payne advised that members can take this matter up with the District Council.
PLAY AREA ADJACENT TO THE SWIMMING POOL
Mr D Parsons asked why the play area by the swimming pool is inferior to other parks in the town. Councillor Double advised the site is on a priority list which is being looked at by the Portfolio Holder at Tendring District Council.
REFURBISHMENT OF DOVERCOURT SWIMMING POOL
Mrs B Holloway asked if Harwich Town Council fully supports the refurbishment of Dovercourt Swimming Pool and why had some members voted for an amendment to the proposal at a recent meeting of the District Council. Councillor Callender advised that he had voted for the amendment to be scrutinised as he wanted to know how repayments of a loan for these works could be made. He
stated that he believed there had been a manipulation of words used at that meeting and that he is not against the improvements.
Councillor Payne responded that now is a good time to borrow and that a motion for deferral had been put forward by those who are against borrowing. He also stated that the District Council is looking to invest in Harwich and Dovercourt. Councillor Henderson stated that the proposed refurbishment is a Capital Project in the budget and that he had been assured it would go ahead anyway. Councillor Calver advised Mrs Holloway that he was pleased she had listened to the audio of the District Council’s debate which mentioned the opposition to borrowing for leisure purposes.
Mr J Heath asked when seafront facilities to match the Blue Flag beach will be in place. Councillor Double explained that the Blue Flag is awarded for items such as water quality and information given to the public. He mentioned the new public conveniences and proposals for the swimming pool as examples of money being spent in the area. He stated his belief that wealth is being distributed more evenly throughout Tendring. Councillor Double mentioned the proposal for a learner’s pool at Dovercourt but stressed that it is not possible to do everything at once.
Mr J Heath raised his concerns regarding the skating rink. Councillor Double advised that plans may be put forward for its future use. Councillor Calver advised that he is in direct discussions with the District Council regarding the rink.
NEW PUBLIC CONVENIENCES
Mr A Abbot mentioned concerns of vandalism of new public conveniences.
Councillor Double advised that, although it is impossible to make anything completely vandal-proof, new facilities will be designed to minimise vandalism.
RESTRICTED PARKING IN HARWICH
Mrs L Chamberlain referred to restricted parking in Harwich and the possibility of residents’ parking. Councillor Double advised he would be happy to take the issue to Essex County Council Councillor Payne mentioned public consultation regarding the Masterplan and the need to encourage visitors to Harwich. The Plan must look for the best solution for both residents and visitors. Councillor Double referred to the development of Harwich Quayside which will result in more car parking.
ELECTION OF MAYOR
Mr M Button asked why the method of voting for the Mayor had changed this year.
Councillor Double advised that the present system had been in place since the early 1990s.
Mrs B Holbrook suggested that Christmas lights could be supplied by each individual trader, with interior displays, to avoid additional costs to the council-tax payer. Councillor McLeod advised that, last year, he had approached every trader with this suggestion but very few had used this method. He hoped that, with the new association of traders now in place, the provision of
Christmas lights in the future would be more successful.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 7.55pm