Harwich Town Council

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Environment Minutes 21st June 2011

Minutes of the Meeting of the ENVIRONMENT AND HIGHWAYS Committee
held on Monday 21st June 2011 at 6.30pm at The Guildhall Church Street Harwich Essex

Present: Councillors R Callender, Day, Double, Flavell, I Henderson
Chairman: Councillor McLeod
Deputy Mayor: Councillor Thurlow

Deputy Clerk: Lesley Keeley

Also present: 3 members of the public.

Public Question Time of 15 minutes
Resident of West Street, Harwich, Mrs Bradnum, informed the Committee that gullies between the pathway and houses in West Street had been cleaned at 6 am today using machinery which was extremely noisy and inappropriate for this time of day and that residue had been left splashed against the houses. Cllr Callender said that he will report the matter to the appropriate department at Essex County Council (ECC).

E01/11 Apologies for Absence
There were none

E02/11 Election of Vice-Chairman
Cllr Day was elected Vice-Chairman for the municipal year by unanimous vote.

E03/11 Declarations of Members’ Interests
There were none.

E04/11 Minutes of the last Meeting
It was resolved that minutes of the Environment and Highways Committee meeting held on 3rd February 2011 (previously circulated) be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

E05/11 Highway Issues
a) Quayside Regeneration
Cllr Flavell said there is no buffer between parked cars and benches near to the Merchant Navy Memorial and Trinity House Pier and potentially hazardous. Safety as to usage of the lower lip to the paving area should also be addressed. It is understood that a risk assessment is in hand but agreed the matter is urgent.
It was resolved for Cllr Callender to speak to the Integrated Traffic and Minor Schemes Project Manager ECC and report back to the Committee.

b) Car Parking in Old Harwich
It is understood that a comprehensive car parking review was not undertaken and the matter of parking availability is on the agenda for discussion by Full Council. It was noted that Cllr Henderson is meeting with Ian Taylor Acting Head of Legal Services TDC and Cllr Sambridge TDC to discuss parking availability including parking bays near to the Lifeboat Station prior to discussion by Full Council.

c) 20 mph Zone for Old Harwich
Cllr Flavell said that the Quay and West Street are frequently used as “race tracks” and would like to see 20 mph speed restrictions implemented and was discussed at a meeting of Full Council (minutes 11/10 and 23/10).
It was resolved for Cllr Callender follow up at ECC and report back.
d) Taxi Rank
Further to minute E172/10, discussion took place as to the viability of a taxi rank near to the High Lighthouse in West Street and/or taxi pick-up points to assist in alleviating disturbance to residents during late evening.
It was resolved for the Deputy Clerk to contact Ian Taylor Acting Head of Legal Services TDC regarding feasibility.

e) Junction of George Street near to Rail/Bus Stations
It was agreed the junction is chaotic and potentially hazardous and resolved for Cllr Callender to highlight at Highways Dept ECC.

f) ‘New Street Lighting
Cllr McLeod said that many of the lamp posts in Dovercourt remain in need of repair/replacement pending replacement with posts fitted with electricity for display lighting and to accommodate hanging baskets.
It was resolved for the Deputy Clerk to investigate with ECC and the Community Initiative Fund CIF.

g) Untidy Sites
It was reported that many premises in Harwich and Dovercourt are boarded up and enforcement notices being issued by Planning Services TDC. The Chairman asked if members would please report findings directly to Planning Services. Cllr Henderson and Cllr Todd have recently made an inspection of Bathside and a “clean up day” is planned by TDC for 2nd July in full support of residents. Maintenance of the overhanging trees and shrubs on the pathways at Bathside (parallel to the A120) by ECC is also planned. A press release will be issued and Cllr Henderson will keep the Clerk’s office informed.

h) Road Signage and Furniture
Many of the road signs in Harwich/Dovercourt and the A120 are in poor repair. It was also noted that a substantial number of the finger posts in Harwich Town are in need of repair/rectification and regularly reported to Leisure Services TDC. It was resolved for the Deputy Clerk to write to Highways ECC to ask if an Officer would meet with the Chairman and Vice Chairman to identify faulty signage locally.

i) Private Roads
Further to minute E54/10, no improvement has been made to the road in Patricks Lane. The condition of the road/pathway between Patricks Lane and Main Road is very poor and unsafe but agreed that the Committee is not in a position to progress the matter.

E06/11 Harwich Beach – Clean Up
Cllr Flavell informed the Committee that members of the Harwich Residents Association and Friends of the Earth are planning a “clean up” of the beach. Cllr Henderson said that TDC is organising a team to clean the beach before the summer holidays and keep Cllr Flavell and the Deputy Clerk informed of the date should members of the community like to join forces.

E07/11 Feasibility of Painting Welcome Signage on the Seaward Side of the Flood Wall at Harwich Quay
Following proposal by Cllr Todd, discussion took place as to whether a message would be visible to passengers on cruise vessels from mid-river, suitability of painting on a flood wall and future maintenance. The option of hanging a banner appropriately positions at The Quay from the beginning of the summer season was suggested. It was agreed for Cllr McLeod to ask Cllr Todd to investigate the matter further and report findings at the next meeting.

E08/11 Volunteer for Maintenance Locally
Cllr McLeod suggested members may give consideration to sourcing a person to carry out general tidying and maintenance duties in Harwich and Dovercourt. It was resolved for the Deputy Clerk to contact Legal Services TDC regarding volunteer policy.

E09/11 Timberfields – Memorial Garden
At a previous meeting it was agreed to plant a tree at Timberfields near to the Memorial Sundial (Minute 26/10).
It was resolved for the Deputy Clerk to contact ex-Cllr Laurie Payne (who is responsible for installing the Sundial) as School Board member of Harwich Community Primary School and to liaise tree type and planting so as to co-ordinate with the School’s plans for pupils involvement in creating a small garden area with raised beds at the site.

E10/11 Traffic Cones
Change in responsibility for management of traffic has incurred costs such as charges for traffic cones and which could impact upon charitable organisations and their being charged when holding an event. It was resolved for the Deputy Clerk to clarify the position with the North Essex Parking Partnership Colchester.

E11/11 Temporary Road Closures
Harwich Children’s Carnival – 1 July from 1230 hrs
Essex Air Ambulance Motorcycle Rally – 11 September 1000-1800 hrs

E12/11 Matters Received in the Post
Letter dated 1st March from Ian Taylor, Technical and Procurement Services TDC (minutes of 3rd February) informing members that the car park in Wellington Road will remain open presently in order to meet parking needs in Harwich.
Letter of thanks from The Harwich Society for the donation by the Committee towards the costs for “Harwich in Bloom”

E13/11 Date of Next Meeting
A date for the next meeting is to be arranged.

The meeting closed at 8.05 pm.