Harwich Town Council

The Guildhall,
Church Street,
Harwich. CO12 3DS

t: 01255 507211
e: info@harwichtowncouncil.co.uk
Hours: 9.30am – 1pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday

Environment Minutes 4th September 2013

MINUTES of the Meeting of the ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITY COMMITTEE
held at
The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on
Wednesday 4th September 2013 at 7.00pm

Present: Councillors Flavell, F Powell, C Powell, King and McLeod
In the Chair: Councillor Fowler
Clerk: Mrs Michelle Townsend
Also present: 1 member of the public, no members of the press and Councillor Calver
Guest speakers – Lorraine Price and Jane Nettleton from Spirit of the Dog and Adam McGoldrick TDC Dog Warden
Absent: Cllr Day

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:

Mrs Walker informed members that she was seeking the support of Harwich Town Council to consider setting up a Dog Park whereby local residents could allow their dogs to play off their lead in a secure location. Following her promotion on Facebook, feedback was received from 41 local people registering their interest.

E23/13 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllrs Todd, I Henderson, and Brown
E24/13 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
E25/13 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment & Community meeting held on 10th July 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
FURTHER RESOLVED that the confidential minutes of the Environment & Community meeting held on 10th July 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
E26/13 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
None
E27/13 DISCUSSIONS WITH SPIRIT OF THE DOG AND TDC DOG WARDEN REGARDING FEASIBILITY OF A LOCAL DOG PARK
Spirit of the Dog has secured land in Thorpe for the first Dog Park in Tendring. Lorraine and Jane enlightened members on a number of benefits that a Dog Park would bring to the community. Minimum criteria would need to cater for disabled access, a closed gate system and secure boundaries. The intention is for all users to register with donations payable to help cover costs. Adam confirmed the benefits for allowing dogs to run free in a secure environment, which will take dogs off the public highway.   However, should the need arise, TDC are unable to issue fixed penalties as it is classed as private land.It was noted that HTC do not own any suitable land, however a suggestion was made to approach local farmers.   Members agreed that they support the proposals in principle for a Dog Park in Harwich as long as it is in an appropriate place, run by an appropriate organisation along with the support of the TDC Dog Wardens.
RESOLVED: Write to TDC confirming that HTC support proposals for a local Dog Park in principle and for possible future reference, request feedback for any implications.
E28/13 REPORTING VISION FOR TREE PLANTING AND OUTDOOR SPACES
Paul Preece thanked members for accepting his invitation to join them as Horticultural Adviser. Paul hoped to engage with the town and recruit additional support. Long term plans include an interactive map which details local trees to assist with monitoring and registering any issues as well as Harwich and Dovercourt becoming a Bee Guardian Town. It was felt that the proposal for bee friendly planting was supported in principle however, may not be achievable in all instances, only where practical.
A request was made for approval to plant on TDC Council land to aid an urgent application that he would like to submit to Woodland Trust for up to 420 trees.
Members welcomed Paul and applauded his enthusiasm and vision.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to TDC confirming that HTC supports the acquisition of trees through the Woodland Trust Initiative and would ask that TDC liaise with HTC to agree on suitable locations and specimens for planting within the Harwich area.
FURTHER RESOLVED: Council requirements for becoming a Bee Coastal Town to be presented at a future meeting of the Environment & Community Committee for consideration.
E29/13 PROPOSED REPLACEMENT OF PUTTING GREEN HUT USING S106 FUNDING
Cllr Calver apologised for the short notice but stressed the need to act swiftly. He had become aware that S106 funds were due to be paid to TDC in respect of a development site within his ward. If it was permissible, Cllr Calver suggested that the funds could be utilised for replacing the putting green shed. Contact has been made with the Planning Policy team at TDC to review the S106 agreement and it was agreed in principle that this would be a good use of the funds.
RESOLVED: Write to TDC highlighting support for the funds to be used for this purpose.
E30/13 PUTTING GREEN
RESOLVED: To establish a working party comprising of Cllr McLeod, Cllr C Powell,
Cllr F Powell and Philip Hutchinson, to review the area and facilities.
FURTHER RESOLVED: Clerk to invite suggestions from all Councillors for improvements to these facilities.
E31/13 LOCAL HIGHWAYS PANEL
Clerk agreed to forward an update to members following the next planned meeting of the Local Highways Panel.
E32/13 VISITORS INFORMATION BOARD SITUATED AT THE HIGH LIGHTHOUSE
Cllr C Powell raised his concerns regarding the inaccurate and inadequate information detailed on the visitor information board. The ‘here you are’ arrow is positioned in the wrong place and all surrounding adverts are for Clacton/Tendring businesses.
RESOLVED: Write to TDC notifying them of the error and our concerns and suggest replacement with one of the 10 ‘Discover Dovercourt’ leaflet maps.
E33/13 PROVISION FOR COMMUNITY NOTICE BOARDS
Cllr Flavell proposed purchasing a community notice board which could house information promoting local events.   Members reviewed the three quotations presented and Cllr Flavell suggested purchasing a recycled plastic notice board which would house 8 A4 posters and would be visually suitable for its surroundings.
RESOLVED: To establish a working party comprising off Cllr C Powell, Cllr Flavell and Cllr Fowler to investigate the siting for such a board. Assistant Clerk to investigate the necessary permissions and costs for siting the notice board.
FURTHER RESOLVED: Once the project is in a position to proceed, Clerk to purchase the chosen notice board from ECO Services at a maximum cost of £600 (excluding VAT).
E34/13 PROPOSAL FOR BUOY AT GAS HOUSE CREEK
Cllr Flavell informed members that this formed part of the Regeneration Plan for Harwich. At the last meeting of HTC, members supported the project. Cllr Flavell has since been in touch with Trinity House who are actively looking for a redundant buoy.   Planning permission would need to be sought and it was hoped that the buoy would be in place for Trinity House Service next year.
RESOLVED:   Write to Trinity House suggesting that we work together and request details of a suitable buoy in order that HTC can then proceed with planning permission.   Wording on the buoy to read Welcome to Historic Harwich.
FURTHER RESOLVED: Costs for planning permission to be set aside from this year’s budget.
E35/13 HARWICH SIGNAGE ON A120
The Chair invited Cllr Calver to update members on enquiries made by Cllr I Henderson for signage along the A120 promoting people to visit Historic Harwich. ECC have confirmed that tourism signs will be provided only where the ECC criteria contained in ‘Signing Practice’ is met and will be financed by the attraction/facility.
RESOLVED: Write to ECC to clarify costs and ask if they would consider permission should HTC seek to go ahead.
E36/13 WINTER SALT BAG SCHEME
The Clerk confirmed that an order had been placed for 84 25kg bags of salt which is due to be delivered to the town in September.   Members considered recruiting volunteers to undertake the distribution of salt, clearance of snow and the purchase of basic equipment. Members felt that the Town Centre was the priority during bad weather conditions and it was agreed to continue with the management of salt to be undertaken by the Town Team.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to Lesley Pollard and any requests from local residents to be referred to the Town Team.
E37/13 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS
Cllr Flavell confirmed that signage has now been displayed in the two lay-bys by Trinity House. Cllr Flavell also expressed his concerns regarding notification placed on lamp posts in Old Harwich notifying that yellow lines will come into force and that HTC had not been notified.
E38/13 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Environment & Community Committee will be held at the Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich on 6th November 2013 at 7pm
E39/13 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
Pursuant to Sub-Section 2 of Section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 the meeting is closed to the press and public for the transaction of the under-mentioned business:
Voluntary position to assist the Committee with all aspects of tree and shrub planting for the Dovercourt and Harwich area
•To review a letter of interest received for the voluntary position

The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 8.30pm