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 & Community Committee Meeting – 1st July 2021

HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich, Essex CO12 3DS
Tel: 01255 507211
email: info@harwichtowncouncil.co.uk

MINUTES of the Meeting of the ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITY COMMITTEE
held on
Thursday 1st July 2021 at 7pm
at
Mayflower Primary School

 

Present: Councillors Davidson, Fay, McLeod, Powell, I Henderson, J Henderson, Ferguson, G Smith (sub for Cllr D Smith) and Saunders
In the Chair: Councillor M Fowler
Clerk: Mrs Michelle Townsend
Also present: Horticultural Adviser Cheryl Thompson
No members of the public and no members of the press

 

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:

None

E01/21 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received from;
Cllr D Smith (sub Cllr G Smith)
E02/21 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS INTERESTS
None
E03/21 ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIR

RESOLVED: to elect Cllr Saunders as vice-chairman of the Environment and Community Committee for the 2021/22 municipal year.

E04/21 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment & Community meeting held on
29th April 2021 (previously circulated) be approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

E05/21 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
E36/20 – 20MPH Street Safety Zone – The Clerk advised that Tom Eng, Assistant Highway Liaison Officer, was unable to provide a response as the review of the Speed Management Strategy is not something that would be instigated by the Local Highways Panel. He has copied in Member Inquiries as he believes they were providing a response to Cllr Bentley previously.
E06/21 MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES
E09/21 – Emergency Plan – Amendments have been made to the emergency plan reflecting changings at Mayor Making, staff and bad weather procedures.  A mock test is due to be undertaken.  Members took the opportunity to discuss the recent local emergency where surfacing water flooding affected a number of homes in the area.  Members were disappointed with the lack of communication from Tendring District Council and the necessary support for the affected venerable families both during and after the incident.  HTC’s emergency plan was set up following advice from TDC, to ensure that all relevant organisations communicate and work together to assist the community.  The following day, Cllr I Henderson visited the areas and properties which had flooded and highlighted his concerns that all support from statutory agencies had been withdrawn, leaving vulnerable residents to fend for themselves with waterlogged properties and damaged furniture.  Calls were made to request further support from Tendring District Council and the Fire Services.  Cllr I Henderson has contacted the water board to seek details of the regular checks and maintenance reports for the drains in the area and will keep the committee updated with the response.
RESOLVED:  In consultation with Cllr I Henderson and Cllr M Fowler, Clerk to forward a letter to the TDC Chief Executive (emergency planning team to be copied in) and request a debriefing with the appropriate agencies.
E24/20 – Tree planting has been deferred until autumn 2022
E07/21 HORTICULTURAL REPORT
Cheryl Thompson provided members with the following report:TDC now have a different way of deploying the teams of gardeners.  They are called in to work together in a particular location eg Clacton or Frinton and Cheryl is concerned that Harwich and Dovercourt may be bottom of a long list.   One of the large mowers has been out of service but doesn’t think this should be an excuse.  Members agreed that the upkeep and planting of the open space areas in the parish were not currently being done to the usual standard and questioned how Harwich & Dovercourt compared to other areas within the Tendring District.

RESOLVED:  Clerk to write to Ian Davidson raising the council’s concerns regarding the clearance and planting in the parish and request details of the work log for the horticultural team and % of time spent working in each parish of the Tendring district.

The slopes in front of the Mariners/Gables flats have at last been cut and there have been areas left uncut where the poppies and other wild plants are growing. There are vast numbers of bees and other insects visiting these areas, so a good move for the wildlife.

Cheryl used to look after the granite planters by the traffic lights but has stopped as they are used as litter bins and the two broken glasses pushed into the soil was the last straw.  When the railings by the traffic lights were taken away the litter bins went too.

Cheryl asked if Fraser Morrison could be contacted to ask if he would like the rose bushes planted in the Flood Memorial Garden (planted in memorial of one of his family members), prior to the site being cleared.  Cllr B Davidson had also expressed an interest in utilising the sleepers at Parkeston Welfare Park.

RESOLVED:  Clerk to contact Fraser Morrison and Parkeston Welfare Park to seek a new home for the rose bushes and sleepers prior to the clearance of the Flood Memorial Garden.

E08/21 FLOOD MEMORIAL GARDEN
The chair confirmed that she met with Ian Taylor and Cllr Ferguson on 14th May to discuss the abstract mural.  Mr Taylor explained that the proposed mural element is presenting some difficulty and is currently holding-up the project, as the south-facing wall is Grade II listed.  The proposed ‘abstract’ mural will require a heritage statement to be submitted with a listed building consent planning application, which will then automatically go to the TDC Planning Committee.  As there was strong objection to the proposed ‘abstract’ mural, the conclusion arrived at was to remove the mural element of the proposed garden design and the south-facing wall be repaired, repainted, along with the other wall and the Timberfields sign.
E09/21 EMERGENCY PLANNING

RESOLVED: Cllr Tanya Ferguson and Cllr Saunders to represent Harwich Town Council and attend the Parish & Town Council Community Resilience Forms run by Tendring District Council.

E10/12 BAD WEATHER CONDITIONS

The Clerk updated members on the progress made by the working party and confirmed that Harwich Cultural & Community Projects Ltd had agreed to store the salt bags at Harwich Space.  Park Pavilion have been contacted and are happy to accommodate a salt bin to assist with the spreading of salt in the High Street during bad weather, should the council be in a position to assist with their resources at the time.

RESOLVED:  To purchase a 400kg heavy duty grit bin with padlocks (to be located at Park Pavilion) at a maximum cost of £200.  To be expended from the Environmental Projects budget.

FURTHER RESOLVED: To write to Essex County Highways and request 4 pallets of salts rather than the usual 2.

FURTHER RESOLVED:  To apply for funding via CIF to purchase salt spreaders and trollies.

E11/21 WINTER SALT BAG SCHEME

Members reviewed the information received from Essex County Highways to participate in the 201/22 partnership scheme. The Clerk made members aware that following the bad weather last winter, all stock of salt was given out to local residents to assist with clearing local roads.

RESOLVED Clerk to confirm HTC’s participation in the 2021/2022 Winter Salt Bag Scheme and arrange for the salt to be delivered Harwich Space.

E12/21 OLD STARLINGS SITE
The Clerk confirmed that she had sourced a Suffolk market events company who facilitate markets (predominantly farmers but can create most themes) dependant on location, costs and facilities for the designated area.  They have assisted Babergh District Council with their market improvement programme.RESOLVED:  Clerk to forward the plans for the new community square on the old Starlings site.
E13/21 CLIMATE CHANGE

Cllr I Henderson gave members some background on actions taken by Tendring District Council and their Climate Change Action Plan 2020-2023.  Members reviewed the information provided by Cllr Talbot and agreed that it was important for Harwich Town Council to undertake an audit on how the council’s actions, services, administration and buildings effect climate change to seek what improvements could be made.

RESOLVED:  Clerk to investigate the contacts and costs for an audit to be carried out and make contact with the local university to enquire whether a suitably qualified student would be able to assist.

E14/21 LOCAL HIGHWAYS PANEL

The following update was provided by Cllr I Henderson;

20s Plenty by Local Schools – Signage is now in place for the sites which have been approved.

High Street/Kingsway – Following speed and volume surveys carried out, the
Assistant Highway Liaison Officer will not be recommending to proceed with the
council’s request.  The recorded speeds do not fit within the Highways Policy Note 040 and signage alone is unlikely to lead to compliance unless speeds are already low.
Cllr I Henderson will challenge this outcome at the next LHP meeting.

All members were asked all members to consider further schemed for the Local
Highways Panel to consider.

E15/21 MICRO GRANT ESSEX ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL COUNCILS
The Clerk made members aware o the micro grants available via EALC for community projects which generally reduce social isolation, improve wellbeing and support better connected communities.  Members agreed that this would be a good opportunity to purchase equipment required for litter picking which could be lent out to local volunteers as well as organising regular litter picking events.RESOLVED:  Clerk to submit an application to EALC to purchase relevant equipment up to a value of £500.

 

 

E16/20 SITING OF BENCH – ESPLANADE HALL
Following contact with the church wardens, a joint order has been placed for two benches (one funded by HTC to include a plaque at a cost of £390).  Confirmation has been received that the land where the bench will be sited is owned by the church and therefore no approval is required from TDC.
E17/21 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST OR ITEMS RAISED BY MEMBERS
None
E18/21 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Environment & Community Committee is at 7pm,
on Thursday 18th November 2021 at a venue to be agreed.

 

 

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.55pm

 

CHAIRMAN                                                                       DATE

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