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 11th December 2013

MINUTES of the Meeting of the HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
held at
The 1912 Centre, Cow Lane, Harwich
on Wednesday 11th December 2013 at 7.40pm

Present: Councillors Brown, Calver, Day, Flavell, Fowler, I Henderson, J Henderson, King, Morrison, Nicholson, C Powell, F Powell, Thompson, Thurlow and Todd
In the Chair: Councillor McLeod
Clerk: Mrs Lucy Ballard
Also present: 0 members of the public and 1 member of the press
Prayers were said by Rev Mann
111/13 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
None
112/13 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
Cllr Thurlow declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 16 in relation to the Harwich & District Community Association.
113/13 PUBLIC QUESTIONS
None
114/13 MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mayor gave an account of some of his engagements since the last meeting, which included attending The Red Cross AGM, Welcoming the Blackeberg Students, the CaMRA Sausage Festival, Hoody Festival, two award ceremonies, HHA 150th anniversary celebrations, the arrival of St.Nicholas and Black Peter and the Christmas lights switch on.
115/13 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: That the minutes and confidential minutes of the meeting of the Town Council held on 30th October 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Chairman and signed as a true record.
116/13 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Cllr I Henderson referred to min 100/13 in relation to the Part Night Street Lighting stating that he’d requested mapping of the areas to be affected by the switch off and asked if the Clerk could request this also from the appropriate officer at ECC.
117/13 ROCK SCHOOL
Chris Scott gave a presentation on the Rock School and asked for HTC’s support with their efforts to secure a future for the apprenticeship programme they run. Cllr I Henderson suggested Chris Scott write to the minister who had already acknowledged the Rock School’s contribution, via his MP, or to contact the Local Enterprise Panel. Council pledged their support and Cllrs Calver and Day agreed to draft a letter in support to provide to Chris that could be submitted with any application for funding.
118/13 CHURCH STREET POST OFFICE
Cllr Flavell relayed his concerns to members about the proposed move to new premises, particularly in relation to the loss of both the posting box and the cash machine.
RESOLVED: To respond to consultation by requesting both the posting box and cash machine are retained on the basis that the remaining posting boxes are insufficient to serve the community and the cash machine is the only one in Harwich and serves the night time revellers.
119/13 DOVERCOURT SEAFRONT
Cllr J Henderson discussed with members about the proposals of TDC for landscaping on the greensward along Dovercourt Seafront and asked for feedback to be able to relay to TDC. After some mixed reviews it was RESOLVED: to request that TDC retain the seafront as it has been enjoyed for the past 50 years, and keep the area as a greensward.   And ask TDC for their proposals to achieve this.
FURTHER RESOLVED: to relay concerns to TDC about the Cliff slopes which have become covered in weeds.
120/13 CODE OF CONDUCT
RESOLVED: to adopt the new Code of Conduct with immediate effect.
121/13 STANDARDS COMMITTEE
Cllr McLeod urged members to consider the request by TDALC to agree with their suggestion for nominating candidates to sit on the Standards Sub-committee and asked for nominees for candidates.
RESOLVED: to agree with TDALC’s suggestion and propose Cllr C Powell as a candidate to sit on the Sub-committee.
122/13 FLOOD SURGE ALERT
Cllr I Henderson thanked all those involved in the operations during the tidal surge, including the health services and volunteers etc. He mentioned concerns had been raised about the availability of sand bags as well as confusion over the location of rest centres, and these concerns had been raised with TDC.
123/13 PROTOCOL FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING
The Clerk informed members of the disparity in the rules for Council meetings and Committee meetings in terms of the rules for public questions.
RESOLVED: to amend point 3 of Appendix B (Protocol for Public speaking) to read “Only 1 question may be asked by any one individual and for no longer than 3 minutes”.
124/13 EMERGENCY PLANNING
Members considered a request by Senior Planners at TDC to suggest suitable venues to act as rest centres for incidents where a smaller rest centre would be more appropriate.
RESOLVED: to suggest the following venues: Park Pavilion, Salvation Army, Adult Education Centre, Long Meadows Community Centre and Kingsway Hall.
125/13 VESSELS ENTERING UK WATERS
Cllr Todd said he was still awaiting the draft regulations that were due out this month.
126/13 MINUTES OF THE LAST ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITIES COMMITTEE MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Environment & Communities Committee held on 4th November 2013 (previously circulated) be received.
127/13 MINUTES OF THE LAST FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING
Cllr Thurlow left the room.
RESOLVED: that the minutes and confidential minutes of the meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee held on 4thn December 2013 (previously circulated) be received.
Cllr Day informed members of the agreement of the F&GP Committee to grant the funding application of the Harwich & District Community Association.
128/13 ACCOUNTS
Payments and receipts, current balances, financial activity against budgets and earmarked funds were noted.
RESOLVED: to authorise payments as presented
129/13 BRIEF REPORTS BY MEMBERS

  •  Cllr Flavell reported attendance at a reception of the Harwich Festival of the Arts and relayed some of the proposals for next year’s festival.
  • Cllr Todd reported attendance at the MNWB AGM who passed on their thanks to HTC for the hire of the Guildhall and for providing the transport for the cruise ships crew.
  • Cllr I Henderson confirmed that the Strategic Signage Review was complete and expected the report soon. He said funding was still needed for the signs and suggested that the Town Tourism Working Group reconvene along with HTC to discuss ideas and future proposals.
  • Cllr Henderson also confirmed that Greater Anglia has pledged to sponsor £1k for the publication of the insert needed for the 2014 tourism brochure.
  • Cllr Henderson relayed some of the positive feedback received from both the Port and local retailers regarding the shuttle buses organised by HTC for the ships’ crew.
  • Cllr Henderson also informed members of the progress with displaying the information boards in the locality and commented on the aesthetic improvements in the town centre to come out of Dovercourt Rediscovered.
  • Cllr C Powell reported attendance at the Parish Transport Meeting in October and raised concerns over changes in the bus services, which would now all operate out of Clacton. He also confirmed that two services had to be cancelled last week. Cllr Calver suggested HTC request a representative from the bus operator comes to speak to HTC about the changes to services.
131/13 CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED IN THE POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS

  • Members noted the dates of Council closure over the Christmas period.
  • Members noted that a special meeting will be necessary to consider the budget for 2014/15.
132/13 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of Harwich Town Council will be held on Wednesday 22nd January 2014 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 9.10pm.