Full Council Minutes 10th October 2012
HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich, Essex CO12 3DS
Tel: 01255 507211
MINUTES of the Meeting of HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL held at The 1912 Centre, Cow Lane, Harwich on Wednesday 10th October 2012 commencing at 7.00 pm
Present: Councillors Brown, Calver, Day, Flavell, Fowler, I Henderson, J Henderson, Thompson and Todd
In the Chair: Councillor J Thurlow
Clerk: Mrs Michelle Townsend
Also present: 12 members of the public and 1 member of the press
Prayers were said by Reverend P Mann
075/12 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr R Callender, C Callender, Gibbins, McLeod, King, and Double
076/12 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
077/12 PUBLIC QUESTIONS
Dr Rogers questioned the progress made thus far with instructing Micrologic to carry out the IT upgrade for HTC and requested to view their work specification. The Clerk confirmed that the upgrade had been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances but that it was our existing webmaster who is carrying out the improvements to the website of which the first phase should go live in the next couple of weeks.
Mr H Tisdale expressed his concerns regarding the current state of 20 Market Street and asked if HTC would consider backing a compulsory purchase. Cllrs Flavell and I Henderson both gave updates following correspondence from Alan Rusbridge and a subsequent meeting with Andy Knowles.
Mrs B Holbrook made members aware of her difficulty in contacting Pippa Colchester, Senior Consultant of Historic Buildings and enquired whether others were experiencing problems with communication. The Clerk agreed to forward a mobile contact once approval has been given.
Mr Rutson asked why Sub Committees are not open to the public. The Clerk confirmed that EALC have advised that sub committees do not need to be held in public, however the minutes are available to the public once approved (with certain exemptions).
Mr Sergeant enquired whether any members were aware of the purpose of the coloured markings in the High Street. Cllr Calver confirmed that he will report on this matter, later on in the meeting but could confirm that they are not related to future road works.
078/12 MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mayor gave an account of some of the engagements attended since the last meeting, which included a visit to Harwich International Port to say farewell to the Jewel of the Seas where a framed photo of Harwich was presented, Merchant Navy Day, Dovercourt Stroke Club and the well attended Motorcycle Charity Ride in aid of Essex Air Ambulance.
079/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Town Council held on 29th August 2012 (previously circulated) be approved by the Chairman and signed as a true record.
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the confidential minutes of the meeting of the Town Council held on 29th August 2012 (previously circulated) be approved by the Chairman and signed as a true record.
080/12 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Parking on the Quay Harwich – Cllr Flavell updated members of his attendance at the recent joint NEPP meeting and confirmed that they have successfully agreed to a revised concession whereby parking will be free from 5pm – 8am which will be a permanent measure with signs being displayed in the next couple of weeks. Members thanked
Cllr Flavell for his involvement.
20 Market Street – Cllr Flavell made reference to the Corporate Enforcement Group and whether HTC could have a representative on this group. Cllr I Henderson updated members following a meeting with Andy Knowles stating that TDC have confirmed that a structural survey took place 10 days ago and the site has been recommended for demolition. The insurance settlement is imminent and the owner has already instructed an agent.
Main Road School – Cllr I Henderson updated members following Andy Knowles’ visit to this site. TDC will be contacting the owner to secure the boundary properly and it is hoped that the work will start by the end of the month.
Parking on the Quay – Harwich Fisherman – Cllr Todd updated members following correspondence received from Integrated Transport Programme Management, Essex Highways. The bay will be marked with details of restrictions – loading/unloading for permit holders only. Permits will shortly be issued to the fisherman. Double yellow lines will remain but the TRO will give exception to permit holders.
Harwich Police Station – Cllr Calver raised his concerns over the transcript of the telephone conversation dictated to the clerk regarding policing in the area. With a population of approximately 20,000, a port and oil refinery, he felt it was truly frightening that the area is being policed from Clacton at night.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to Chief Constable of Essex, and ask how has it come about and when, who has been advised about it, what the policing levels are of the team in Clacton who are supposed to be policing Harwich, what is the response time from Clacton and what contingency plans are put in place for bad weather. HTC request that the reintroduction of rostered officers at Harwich Police Station at all times. Copies to go to Douglas Carswell, Bernard Jenkins and the Police Authority asking from their support.
West End Recycling Centre – Cllr Calver made reference to the letter received from Cllr Bentley.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to Jason Thurles and ask that HTC be made aware of when these items are going to be considered and notified of the outcome.
081/12 ESPLANADE HALL – LISTED STATUS
Cllr I Henderson gave members an update on the history of Esplanade Hall and confirmed that research was still underway to determine the ownership. Appreciation was given for the ‘Friends of Esplanade Hall’ who have looked after the hall to allow many groups within the community utilise the building. Cllr I Henderson felt that HTC should seek to get the building listed as it could be at risk.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to Harwich Society and ask for assistance with requesting the building to be listed.
082/12 INVITATION TO A LOCAL COMMUNITY RESILIENCE WORKSHOP
Members considered the invitation.
REOLVED: To nominated Cllr R Day and Cllr D Flavell to represent HTC.
083/12 REGENERATION OF HARWICH AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
The response received from Cllr Stock was reviewed and Cllr Day felt the reply was quite outrageous as it stated that regeneration was only a discretionary function but yet TDC have a regeneration portfolio holder with a budget. Cllr Flavell and Cllr I Henderson felt that the regeneration department is the engine room for growth in this area and should not be put back to the council.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to the new leader stating that the response is not acceptable and ask what their plans are to resource that department and support jobs and growth in Harwich.
084/12 FUTURE OF HARWICH POLICE STATION
Cllr G Calver raised his concerns over the future of Harwich Police Station and that it was not secure and stressed that HTC should not wait until elections for the new Police Commissioner, but to ask all candidates for reassurances.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to all candidates asking for reassurances that they will safeguard the police station and policing. As the elections will take place before the next HTC meeting, members instructed the Clerk to release the responses received to the media.
085/12 DOVERCOURT REDISCOVERED
Cllr Henderson confirmed that he had spoken with the Town Centre Group about efforts they are making in committing businesses to the town. The next phase is pedestrianisation of the high street and requested support from HTC. Cllr Calver confirmed that the marking in the High Street are as a result of the survey work with a view to getting the new heritage lamp posts in place and that they expect to achieve all 12 lamp standards and have them in by Christmas.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to Essex County Council and TDC Chief Executive and invite them to talk to HTC about any possible implications and costs of pedestrianisation.
086/12 HILL SCHOOL SITE
Cllr Thompson gave members an update on issues discussed at the Hill School Site sub committee and progress made thus far. It was confirmed that that consideration was being given to instructing solicitors to verify ownership of Manor Lane and that the problems with the light fittings, which are not directional, is currently being resolved. Signage at the site was considered but it was decided to review at a later date. Members gave thanks to the Clerk and sub committee members for their hard work and involvement with this current project. Members were notified that Mr Rutson and Mr Sergeant were not available to view the requested paperwork on the agreed date so a further date is due to be set. RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Hill School Sub Committee held on 10th September 2012 (previously circulated) be received.
Members discussed Mr Rutson’s and Mr Sergeant’s request for an apology regarding a lack of communication with residents prior to construction commencing. Members discussed the resolution made at Full Council on 29th August 12 to write to all relevant residents following the decision to proceed with Rose Builders.
RESOLVED: No apology to be issued.
087/12 FLOOD SIREN WORKING PARTY
Cllr Day and Cllr I Henderson confirm that a date had now been set to meet with Trinity House to progress the housing of a community flood siren. They hope to be accompanied by a potential sub contractor to help assist with progressing this project.
088/12 ARRANGEMENTS FOR REMEMBRANCE DAY CIVIC SERVICE
Members discussed alternative arrangements in relation to laying wreaths during the church
service due to the Deputy-Mayor’s and Cllr Brown’s absence.
RESOLVED: Cllr Thompson to lay the wreath in the absence of the Deputy Mayor.
089/12 MINUTES OF LAST ALLOTMENT MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Allotment Committee held on 25th September 2012 (previously circulated) be received.
090/12 MINUTES OF LAST FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee held on 10th September 2012 (previously circulated) be received.
091/12 MINUTES OF LAST GUILDHALL MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Guildhall Committee held on 20th September 2012 (previously circulated) be received.
Payments and receipts, current balances, financial activity against budgets and earmarked funds were noted.
RESOLVED: to authorise payments as listed Appendix A
093/12 BRIEF REPORTS FROM MEMBERS
Cllr Thompson updated members on current situation with the British Legion.
094/12 CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED IN POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS
Members noted the thank you from St Nicholas Church for taking part in the flower festival.
EALC – urgent response re Technical Reforms of Council 2012 – Members noted the consultation request but due to the limited time for response, HTC felt they were unable to comment.
095/12 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of Harwich Town Council will be held on Wednesday 21st November 2012 at The 1912 Centre, Cow Lane, Harwich, at 7.00pm, or at the rise of the Town Planning Committee, whichever is the later.
The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 8.10pm.