Harwich Town Council

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Full Council Minutes 4th January 2012

MINUTES of the Meeting of HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL held at The 1912 Centre, Cow Lane, Harwich on Wednesday 4th January 2012 commencing at 7.02 pm

Church Street,
Essex CO12 3DS
Tel: 01255 507211

Present: Councillors C Callender, R Callender, Day, Double, Flavell, Gibbins, I Henderson, J Henderson, King, McLeod, Thompson, Thurlow and Todd

In the Chair: Councillor B Brown

Clerk: Mrs L Ballard

Also present: 3 members of the public and 1 member of the press

The Chairman welcomed Janet Heath to the meeting for the purpose of taking prayers in place of Rev. Mann.

Prayers were said by Janet Heath.

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Calver and O’Neill.

Cllr Double said he may declare a prejudicial interest in Min 126/11 in relation to CAROS if discussions get too in-depth.

Dale Cheeseman, H&D Community Association, informed of a TDC meeting she’d attended where the CAROS was discussed and voted on, and making reference to Cllr C Callender’s vote for scrapping the CAROS asked, as a Harwich councillor, does she not have a duty of care for community organisations in her ward and Harwich as a whole. She asked if HTC will come together to support community groups. Cllr C Callender said there are 800 other organisations in the area (of Tendring) that do not benefit from the CAROS and felt it was a fair decision to make.

Betty Holbrook asked Cllr R Callender why there are no lights around the scaffolding in West Street at the properties affected by the fires in December. Cllr R Callender said he would make enquiries with ECC in the morning.

Dr Terry Rogers asked members if HTC would be engaging with the Infrastructure Planning Commission in relation to the recently-accepted Galloper Wind Farm proposal, and what kind of comments HTC would be likely to make.

Cllr Brown said it was hard to comment at this stage given the short notice of the questions.
Dr Rogers felt that conditions should be placed on any planning consent. Cllr R Callender said that doing so may be detrimental to Harwich receiving the contract as 3 other ports fight for the work. Cllr I Henderson thought the IPC was being abolished.

Cllr Double said it would be preferable when making comments to say that the IPC should be ‘mindful’ of the issues surrounding the ports in general rather than specifically to Harwich.

Dr Rogers’ second question was deferred to the next meeting of the Town Council since the allocated time of 3 minutes per person had already been used.

The Mayor gave an account of some of the 33 engagements attended since the last meeting, and extended thanks to the Clerk and Assistant Clerk for their efforts at compiling and submitting amendments/additions for the 2012 Harwich Town Guide and the additional work in relation to the West Street fires. He gave an update on the situation regarding the fires, the actions taken and the payments made to the five families as a result of the donations received into the Mayor’s Appeal, which has currently exceeded £18600. He spoke about the various visits over the Christmas period to both the Fryatt hospital and various care homes in Harwich and Dovercourt and noted, imparticular, the excellent work and devotion of the staff, demonstrated by the happiness of the patients and residents. Finally he spoke of the superb New Year’s Eve firework display held at the Quay in Harwich.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Town Council held on 23rd November 2011 (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 23rd November 2011 (previously circulated) be approved by the Chairman and signed as a true record.

• Further to Minute 102/11 Cllr Day commented on the response from ECC in relation to the Flood Siren. He said he had registered with Flood Line to receive alerts and read a text alert to members. Upon calling Flood line, he said he has little confidence in the service and actions carried out to actually assist in preventing a flood e.g. ensuring the flood gates get closed. He relayed real concern about this issue.

Cllr I Henderson was astounded that our MP didn’t appear to know how good the warning system is, as was implied by his letter to ECC on 1st November. He also asked who knows that they need to register to receive flood warnings. He felt ECC had clearly got the wrong end of the stick and proposed HTC write to ECC to clarify that HTC are requesting the siren be returned rather than a new siren. RESOLVED: to write to Bernard Jenkin MP to bring to his attention the concerns raised about the FWD system as experienced by Cllr Day. FURTHER RESOLVED: to write to the Environment Agency to request they address HTC to explain what people need to do to register for their flood warning text/email alerts and to request an independent audit of the complete system. FURTHER RESOLVED: to write to ECC to clarify that HTC are not asking for a new siren but for the old siren to be returned and its use reinstated.

  • Further to Minute 114/11 Cllr J Henderson asked if a response had been received from TDC Planning Portfolio holder in relation to Pound farm. RESOLVED: to re-write to Portfolio holder and reiterate concerns and urgency of these.
  • Further to Minute 102/11 Cllr I Henderson referred to the response from the PCT regarding dispensary services.
    RESOLVED: to make MP aware of the issue and the correspondence between HTC and the PCT.

Cllr McLeod put forward a motion to recognise the hard work of the Harwich & Dovercourt Partnership in its achievements in terms of the successful Friday Street Market, the Christmas Lights and the Late Night Shopping event and Lights switch on. RESOLVED: to send letter to H&D Partnership.

126/11 CAROS
Cllr Double gave members some background on the CAROS which he had introduced when serving on TDC and gave examples of the kind of financial impact scrapping of the scheme would have on local community organisations. He asked if they would still be able to operate when the rents increase.

Cllr I Henderson added that the rents were supposed to cover maintenance of the buildings but hadn’t seemed to be the case and proposed HTC write a strong letter to TDC opposing the scrapping of the scheme and to think of the implications on local community organisations/sports clubs in the Harwich area.
RESOLVED: unanimously to write to Tendring District Council.

Cllr Double gave an update to members of the proposals made by the Jubilee working party to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
RESOLVED: to move forward with proposals.

Cllr Double informed members that the WDD didn’t affect Harwich and Dovercourt and the closest location was Pitsea near Basildon, and proposed to note the report and take no action.
RESOLVED: to note report and take no action.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Environment & Highways Committee held on 17 November 2011 (previously circulated) be received.
RESOLVED: to approve the budget recommendations of the E&H Committee.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee held on 6 December 2011 (previously circulated) be received.

131/11 BUDGET/PRECEPT 2011/2012
The Committee considered estimates of expenditure and income for the financial year 2011/2012. RESOLVED: that the council precept on Tendring District Council for £191,518 based on a summary of the detailed figures in Appendix A which would have an impact of £32.56/annum to a Band D council tax payer based on a tax base of 5882 (equivalent to an increase of 31p per week/per tax payer).

Payments and receipts, current balances, financial activity against budgets and earmarked funds were noted.
RESOLVED: to authorise payments as listed Appendix B


  • Cllr Flavell confirmed recent attendance of the Harwich Conservation Panel.
  • Cllr Kind confirmed no meeting of the H&D Community Association.
  • Cllr Brown confirmed no meeting of the Crime Prevention Panel.
  • Cllr Mcleod no meeting of the Chamber of Trade.
  • Cllr Brown confirmed attendance at a meeting in relation to an event being organised jointly between TDC and ECC to link in with the Olympic theme and read a letter from TDC about a glass bead which would be presented by the event procession and would contain items that mean something locally within each area of the district. Cllr Brown asked for any suggestions but agreed to obtain further information in the meantime.


  • Cllr Flavell commented on concerns raised at a recent meeting of the Harwich conservation Panel regarding the fate of the buildings damaged in the recent West Street fires and noted Phil Hornby’s departure from TDC. Cllr Flavell noted that the buildings were not adequately covered and in the recent winds one building had sustained a large crack to its frontage. He confirmed a press article had implied that the buildings would be taken down completely.
    Cllr I Henderson confirmed he’d spoken with TDC’s Chief Executive who had confirmed that no formal decisions have been made and they would be meeting with the loss adjusters this month and there were plans to consult with the residents, Planning and HTC.
  • Cllr Flavell suggested HTC write to the organisers of the New Year’s Eve fireworks on the Quay as it was thought to be an excellent display. Cllr R Callender said it was a really good effort as such short notice.
    RESOLVED: to write letter of thanks to organisers.

The next meeting of Harwich Town Council will be held on Wednesday 15th
February 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 meeting at 8.40pm