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

Full Council Minutes – 22nd June 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 HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
held at
The Mayflower Primary School, Main Road, Dovercourt
on Tuesday 22nd June 2021 at 7.03PM

Present: Councillors Chant, Davidson, Fay, Ferguson, Fowler, J Henderson, McLeod, Morrison, C Powell, Richardson, Saunders, D Smith,

G Smith and Todd

In the Chair: Councillor I Henderson

Clerk: Ms Lucy Ballard

Also present:  0 members of the public, 0 members of the press.

In opening the meeting, Cllr I Henderson thanked both the Harwich Festival and the Mayflower Primary School for permitting us to use the venue this evening.  He also thanked the HTC team for arranging this at short notice and carrying out the necessary risk assessments.

012/21 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr Calver
013/21 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
014/21 PUBLIC QUESTIONS

None

015/21 MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

The newly-elected Mayor referred to recent engagements attended since being elected, which included a couple of interviews for Felixstowe Radio, where he promoted both Harwich and the Mayor’s charity.  He’s met with Peter Davies of the Harwich Festival to discuss updates to the festival; met with the Harwich International Shanty Festival committee to discuss proposals and the High Sherriff, Simon Bryce for an informal meeting at the Guildhall.

016/21 MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting of Harwich Town Council held on 6th April 2021 (circulated separately) were approved as a correct record.

RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Annual Statutory and Mayor Making meeting of Harwich Town Council held on 20th May 2021 (circulated separately) were approved as a correct record.

017/21 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

• MIN 127/20 – Cllr I Henderson reported back to members following a meeting which was held to discuss the salt bag partnership scheme. He said good progress was made.  Members discussed a public communications strategy, the provision of salt required along with storage options, the equipment needed to assist with local clearance and a volunteer scheme.

• MIN 135/20 – Cllr I Henderson reported back to members that a date had been proposed for the Talent Pathway Programme event at the skate park, of 17th August.  Cllr J Henderson will be chasing up the landowner to ensure all is in order with our application to make use of the land.  The clerk mentioned that no further progress had been made with preparations for a skate park festival since a date was yet to be set for the Tour de Tendring, but that she was in talks with the district council.

MIN 136/20 – Members acknowledged a reply from Gary Guiver in the Planning Policy Team at TDC to a letter sent in relation to the former Train Ferry Gantry, by Harwich TDC councillors.  Members also considered MIN 73/20 under item 7.

Cllr Todd referred to the correspondence by Gary Guiver and asked if members would be agreeable to asking him to come and meet with councillors to discuss ongoing concerns.  He said Harwich International Port has a 1-year extension to their planning permission, which now expires March 2022.  He has asked TDC Planning to alert HTC if anything came in for this site since the long arm will need to be taken down before they can progress with the developments needed for Freeport status.  Cllr I Henderson suggested we discuss potential funding opportunities with TDC also.

RESOLVED: To invite Gary Guiver to an informal meeting with HTC

018/21 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

MIN 73/20 – Addressed under MIN 017/21 above.

MIN F75/20 – Members noted that Equality & Diversity Training as agreed at F&GP on 23rd March was carried out on 8th June.  The clerk confirmed that online training for anyone who didn’t attend, could be arranged.

• MIN 092/20 – Members received a letter of thanks for Census 2021 support from the Office for National Statistics.

• MIN 028/20 – Cllr Morrison confirmed that16th October is the date of the unveiling of the plaque to commemorate the burning at the stake of William Bamford in 1555, which is to be erected on the New Bell Inn.

019/21 SIGNATORIES AND BANK MANDATE

RESOLVED: To appoint signatories as follows: Cllr I Henderson (Chairman),

Cllr C Powell (Deputy Chairman), Cllr P Morrison (Chair F&GP) and Cllr D McLeod (Member).  The Clerk is to remain a signatory for items up to £500 only.  The signatory basis for authorisation is any two signatories. Signatories are not to authorise any payment for either themselves or another member they have a close relationship with.

020/21 INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF THE ACCOUNTS

RESOLVED: To appoint Cllr D Smith as an independent member to periodically review the bank reconciliation in accordance with Financial Regulation 2.2.

The Clerk mentioned that Cllr Smith did a sterling job in fulfilling this role during the previous financial year.

021/21 INTERNAL AUDIT
Members received the year end internal audit report.  The clerk confirmed that there were no recommendations made and therefore no plan of action was required.

RESOLVED: To accept the Audit Report and agree that no further action is required.

Members also reviewed the effectiveness of Internal Audit. The Clerk confirmed that the auditor satisfied the requirements to be competent and independent and found that an interim and year-end audit was sufficient.

FURTHER RESOLVED: That the current provisions were satisfactory.

Cllr Morrison wanted to record the council’s thanks to the clerk for her efforts in making sure the council are compliant, since a lot of work is put into ensuring everything is in order.

022/21 DATA PROTECTION RISK ASSESSMENT

Members reviewed the risks associated with the processing of personal data within the council and RESOLVED: that the risks were being properly identified and managed.

023/21 EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SYSTEM OF INTERNAL CONTROL
Members considered the findings of the review of the Council’s system of internal control, which was carried out at a previous meeting (MIN F84/20).

RESOLVED: Agreed with the findings that there are sufficient controls in place to effectively mitigate the risk to the Council’s finances ad that no immediate changes were required.

024/21 REVIEW OF RISK MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS

Members reviewed the arrangements which are in place to identify and mitigate against the risks associated with certain decisions which had been considered or taken over the previous financial year.  Members agreed that discussing the risks and giving full consideration of the implications of any proposal as they arise is the most effective method of addressing them and that this is supported by a written document, which can be referred back to.  The Clerk confirmed that the appointed clerk for each committee would maintain the risk register which accompanies other risk assessments that the council undertakes

RESOLVED: That the findings of the review are that the arrangements are effective in mitigating against the risks associated with the finances and reputation of the council.

025/21 ANNUAL GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN

SECTION 1 – ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT

Members discussed the assertions at Section 1 of the 2020/21 AGAR and the requirements needed to provide a ‘yes’ response.  The Clerk referred to assertion 2 (internal control measures) and that this had been satisfied under MIN 023/21 and also assertion 5, which had been satisfied under MIN 024/21.

RESOLVED: To approve the Annual Governance Statement at Section 1 of the AGAR.

026/21 ANNUAL GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN

SECTION 2 – ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS
Members reviewed the final Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2021 in conjunction with the Accounting Statements in Section 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR).
RESOLVED: To approve the accounts for year ending March 2021 and to approve the Accounting Statements in Section 2 of the AGAR.

027/21 SHUTTLE BUSES

Members considered providing a shuttle bus service, on 6 occasions, for the cruise ship crews during the 2021 season.  Quotations to be considered under confidential business.

RESOLVED To proceed with arranging a shuttle bus for the 6 cruise ships for 2021 subject to consideration of quotations to be discussed under confidential business.

028/21 HARWICH FESTIVAL

Members considered a grant funding application from the Harwich Festival of the Arts for the 2021 festival, which commences on 3rd July. Cllr Morrison confirmed that it is a condition for an awardee to acknowledge HTC’s funding.

RESOLVED: To award £2130 s.137 funding.

029/21 CLIMATE CHANGE

Members considered an email from Cllr Michael Talbot, along with other supplementary documentation in relation to climate change.  Cllr Talbot asked councils to consider the impact of their activity on climate change and suggested a standing agenda item at each meeting, to address this.

It was suggested this issue be referred to E&C Committee for consideration.

RESOLVED: To refer to E&C

030/21 MAYFLOWER MEDICAL CENTRE

Cllr G Smith relayed to members, concerns of local residents about accessing the switchboard and GP appointments at the local doctors’ surgery.

He suggested a meeting to discuss these concerns with Pam Green from the CCG and a representative of the Mayflower Medical Centre

RESOVLED: To arrange a meeting.

031/21 TOWN CRIER

Members were reminded that following the retirement of the former Town Crier, after 23 years of service to the town, the role had been filled by a Mr Richard Bench, who carried out a cry following this year’s Mayor Making ceremony.  The clerk informed members that this was a voluntary role arranged outside of the council’s remit but that it was good practice to endorse the appointment on the basis that it’s a non-commercial position.

Cllr McLeod gave some background on the role as carried out previously by Mr James Cole.  He felt HTC should recognise Mr Cole for his services to the town and

Cllr Morrison suggested he is presented with a town plaque at a future meeting.

RESOLVED: To endorse the appointment of Mr Richard Bench as Town Crier for Harwich.

Members also considered a request for the purchase of several pieces of uniform by the Town Crier and a quotation was considered.  The clerk confirmed that the council has the power to expend for tourism purposes and that the Town Crier is very popular with tourists to the area, but that the council would need to own the uniform, which could then be provided going forward should Mr Bench relinquish the role at any time.  She also advised that the Town Crier should be asked to cover the cost of any cleaning or repair.

RESOVED: To purchase the waistcoat and coatee at a cost of £1333.33 to be expended from the Economic Development budget.

032/21 BRIEF REPORTS BY MEMBERS APPOINTED TO OUTSIDE BODIES BY THE COUNCIL

None.

033/21 MINUTES OF THE LAST ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITY COMMITTEE MEETING
Members received the Minutes of the Environment & Community Committee meeting held on 29th April 2021 (circulated separately).
034/21 ACCOUNTS
RESOLVED:
To accept the financial report and to approve accounts for payment as per the schedule (circulated separately).
035/21 CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED IN THE POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS

• Members noted receipt of latest report(s) issued by PCSO Ryan Duffett, for information.

• Cllr I Henderson referred to a Public Engagement Event to be held on 19th August, co-ordinated by the Tending Community Policing Team.  Cllr I Henderson suggested a litter pick and clearance was carried out as part of the activities on the day.  The Salvation Army has agreed to provide some refreshments.

036/21 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of Harwich Town Council will be held on Tuesday 27th July 2021 at The Mayflower Primary School, Main Road, Dovercourt, at 7.00pm, or at the rise of the Town Planning Committee, whichever is the later.
037/21 EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS
Pursuant to Sub-section 2 of Section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 the meeting was closed to the press and public for the transaction of the under-mention business:

 

• Shuttle Bus Provision 2021

 

The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 8.03pm

CHAIRMAN                                                                                      DATE

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