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 8th January 2014

MINUTES of the Meeting of the ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITY COMMITTEE
held at
The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on
Wednesday 8th January 2014 at 7.00pm

Present: Councillors Todd, McLeod, I Henderson, C Powell, Flavell, King, F Powell and Day
In the Chair: Councillor Fowler
Clerk: Mrs Michelle Townsend
Also present: Paul Preece, Horticultural Adviser
No members of the public or press

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:
None

E54/13 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillor Brown
E55/13 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
E56/13 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment & Community meeting held on 4th November 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
E57/13 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES

  • E46/13 – Members noted the resolution from F&GP Committee to proceed with signing the licence in the immediate term with a view to making a proposal for future enhancements to the area and seeking to enter into a longer term lease.
  • E52/13 – Councillor McLeod confirmed that most of the redundant posts in the area had now been reported.
E58/13 PUTTING GREEN
Following the resolution by F&GP Committee to sign the licence, and ongoing discussions between Councillor Day and Andy White from TDC, suggestions were made for HTC to submit a broader proposal for the development of the Dovercourt sea front area. This could encompass a review of car parking, existing parking restrictions in neighbouring roads, opening times of local businesses/attractions and possible new facilities and ideas for the area. Councillor Day agreed to enquire whether HTC can see sight of the TDC leases issued to the local businesses.   Members thanked Councillor Day for his time and assistance.
RESOLVED: Scope of the Putting Green Working Party to be extended to review the Dovercourt sea front area. Invitations to attend the Working Party to be extended to Councillor Calver and Councillor Day.
E59/13 LOCAL HIGHWAYS PANELCouncillor I Henderson confirmed that the next meeting of the Highways Panel will take place on 30th January 2014. Although the proposal for Pattricks Lane was turned down by the Panel, surveys have been undertaken and there may be S106 funding available. Members raised concerns regarding the lack of progress on projects submitted to the panel over the last year.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to Councillor Bass expressing HTC’s concerns with the lack of action on proposals put forward for the Harwich & Dovercourt area and the effectiveness and efficiency of the revised system for referrals being placed through the LHP.

Members reviewed the Harwich Speed Limit Feasibility Report DC1506. Opinion from both Members and some local residents is that the report is flawed as certain streets in the historic district were not included. It was felt that simple speed calming solutions could be put in place which could include 20mph signs as you come off the bypass and on Main Road when entering Old Harwich.
RESOVLED: Clerk to write to Councillor I Henderson stating that members of the E&C Committee are unhappy with the survey as forwarded to Harwich Town Council, stating reasons, and ask that they carry out a more appropriate review.

E60/13 LAMP POSTS
Councillor I Henderson raised the issue of removed lamp posts which are yet to be replaced. Absent lamp posts in Gravel Hill Way and outside Chase Lane School have been reported but delays for replacement are expected.
E61/13 TREE PLANTING & OUTDOOR SPACES
Paul Preece, Horticultural Adviser, updated members;

  • The remaining trees for the 2013 planting scheme are due to be delivered on 17th January and will be planted by TDC w/c 20th January.   Mr Preece expressed his disappointment with the delays and will talk to TDC about his concerns regarding planting during the cold weather spell.
  • The trees to be planted in the Hangings will not be planted by TDC until the end of February.
  • A meeting with be arranged with Councillor J Henderson and TDC to discuss ideas for improvements to the hedge surrounding the putting green so that a proposal for the remaining budget can be submitted and approved at the next meeting of the E&C Committee and invoices paid prior to the end of this financial year.
  • The agricultural team at TDC was due to replace the previously removed tree in St Austin’s Lane Car Park. When they found that the area had been concreted over, the tree was then planted elsewhere.
    Members were advised that this area had been repaired by another division of TDC to rectify damage caused by an accident.   Members agreed that although this was a genuine mistake and miscommunication between TDC departments, TDC should be requested to replace the tree which is in a conservation area, as previously agreed.
    RESOLVED: Clerk to write to TDC to ask that the removed tree in St Austin’s Lane Car Park is replaced.
E62/13 PROVISION FOR COMMUNITY NOTICE BOARDS
The working party presenting the different options available and highlighted the preferred air-dried oak notice board supplied by The Acorn Workshop. Councillor C Powell agreed that although it was a high cost to provide a notice board for the community, it will assist with keeping the local community informed and promote events and services in the area. Planning Services have already confirmed that planning permission is not required and Ian Taylor has provided approval for the type of notice board and location.
RESOLVED: Clerk to place an order with Acorn Workshop for an oak notice board (approx 168mm x 710mm) with a Tung Oil Finish and black lettering at a cost of £995.00.   Delivery to be direct to TDC.
E63/13 PROPOSAL FOR BUOY AT GAS HOUSE CREEK
The Clerk confirmed that Trinity House has provided details of the proposed buoy and its dimensions. Paul Howe has submitted a plan to include this project as one of Trinity House’s 500th Anniversary projects and is awaiting approval for the costs of refurbishing the buoy.
Councillor Flavell gave his thanks to the Assistant Clerk and Paul Howe for their time and assistant so far.
RESOLVED: Councillor Flavell and Assistant Clerk to progress the following;

  • Submit planning permission for the siting of the buoy. Cost approved up to £100
  • Approval to be sought from Essex County Council for the siting on the location by Gas House Creek and consider any necessary risk assessment.
  • Redundant lamp stand at proposed location to be removed.
  • Buoy to display ‘Welcome to Historic Harwich’ sign along with signage promoting Trinity House 500th Anniversary and if possible, the Harwich Town Council Crest.
  • Further meeting to be schedule with Paul Howe, to discuss signage, refurbishment, siting, ownership, required insurance and possible refurbishment of the other buoy (if possible, change of sign to read ‘Historic Harwich’ and inclusion of HTC crest).
    All correspondence to be copied to Councillor Kevin Bentley.
E64/13 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS

  • E-mail from TDC regarding Snow Patrol – Noted – Members raised concerns surrounding ‘safeguarding vulnerable people’ and involving members of the public.
  • Cllr McLeod asked Members to consider a civic pride day as a future project. Cllr I Henderson confirmed that this was a suggestion made by the Town Tourism Team who will hopefully be progressing this after their next meeting.
  • Cllr Todd expressed his frustration and disappointment concerning fly tipping in Bathside and lack of action that TDC is able to undertake due to the area being privately owned. The Clerk agreed to invite Councillor N Turner to meet with the Ward Councillors of East Ward to discuss.
  • Cllr Flavell updated Members following his meeting with Chris Strachan regarding new information boards to be displayed on the Electric Palace, to include the new Town Tourism map, and two notice boards promoting events in Harwich and the surrounding area.
  • Cllr Day asked for an update following the recent flood risk. Cllr I Henderson confirmed that TDC were still reviewing feedback received.
  • Cllr McLeod raised concerns over the number of pot holes in the area. Cllr I Henderson expressed his dissatisfaction with the response he received from EC Highways which confirmed that they were in the progress of programming carriageway patching in Main Road, however, they were unable to provide a timescale for this work.
E65/13 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Environment & Community Committee will be held at the Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich on 12th March 2014 at 7pm.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 20.35pm