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 13th February 2013

MINUTES of the Meeting of the HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
held at
The 1912 Centre, Cow Lane, Harwich
on
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 @ 7.00pm

Present: Councillors Brown, Calver, Day, Flavell, King, McLeod, C Callender,
R Callender, Fowler, J Henderson, I Henderson, Thompson and Todd
In the Chair: Councillor J Thurlow
Clerk: Mrs Michelle Townsend
Also present: 7 members of the public and 1 member of the press
Prayers were said by Rev Peter Mann

The Chairman gave an outline of HTC’s public speaking protocol and made members of the public aware of the written guidance distributed.

141/12 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
None
142/12 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
143/12 PUBLIC QUESTIONS
Dr Rogers made members aware of his difficulty to visit the High Street during the recent bad weather since the majority of traders had not cleared the pathways outside their shops and asked that the Council undertake to request traders to do more. Members informed Dr Rogers that TDC workers were seen clearing pathways and that HTC had agreed to participate in the salt bags scheme. Bags of salt were made available to the Town Team although the delivery did not happen until a couple of days after the snow came. Cllr Calver agreed to bring Dr Roger’s views to TDC’s attention at a meeting that week with the Regeneration Team.Betty Holbrook informed members that she has spoken with the builders at the old school site and that piling would start at the end of the month.Mr Rutson expressed his concerns over the lack of consultation with the new pathway at the Hill School site and in his opinion there was a lack of adequate planning and a misuse of public money. He asked if the Hill School site sub committee would agree to meet with him to discuss their concerns. Cllr Thompson confirmed that if the Council agreed, he would be happy to meet Mr Rutson, however he felt that there was nothing else to discuss that hadn’t already been clarified. Cllr J Henderson confirmed that as his ward Councillor, he had never contacted her and that the Council had accommodated him with his FOI request and calls to the office.
144/12 MAYORS ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mayor gave an account of some of the engagements attended since the last meeting, which included the Haven Authority Board lunch, the commemoration of the 1953 Flood, 3D screening of the Life of Pi at the Electric Palace and the Pride of Tendring awards.
The Deputy Mayor informed members that he represented HTC at the flood memorial service at Chelmsford Cathedral.
145/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED That the minutes of the meeting of the Town Council held on 2nd January 2013 (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 2nd January 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Chairman and signed as a true record.
146/12 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Response from Cllr Peter Halliday – noted
Commemoration of the 1953 Flood – Cllr I Henderson expressed his thanks to Cllr Flavell for his involvement in this successful event and to Rev Peter Mann and the Church Wardens for the order of service and assistance on the day.   He also wished to thank David Whittle from the Harwich Society for his film footage depicting the events that took place and the Assistant Clerk for organising this successful event. Cllr Flavell wished to express his gratitude to Laurie Payne whose vision it was for a garden to commemorate the flood and to be an area for quiet reflection.
20 Market Street – Cllr Flavell informed members that the Corporate Enforcement Group had met and that the owner has been given 1 more month to formulate plans. If no further action has taken place, TDC will consider enforcement action
147/12 STANDING ORDERS
RESOLVED: To adopt Harwich Town Council’s Standing Orders to reflect changes of delegations to the Hill School Sub Committee (appendix C) agreed by the Council on 21st November 2012.
148/12 FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
RESOLVED: To approve and adopt Harwich Town Council’s revised Financial Regulations following an annual review.
149/12 HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES – CHARITIES AND ASSOCIATIONS
RESOLVED: To appoint the following members as HTC representatives for the charities/organisations detailed below:
Museums in Essex – Cllr R Callender
Tendring District Association of Local Councils – Cllr D Mcleod
Port Liaison Committee – Cllr M Fowler and Cllr R Callender
150/12 ELECT NEW CHAIRMAN FOR FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE
RESOLVED: To elect Cllr Robert Day as Chairman of the Finance & General Purposes Committee
151/12 TO FILL VACANIES ON THE FOLLOWING COMMITTEES
RESOLVED: The following councillors to be appointed to the committees detailed below:

  • Allotments Committee – Cllr G Calver
  • Finance & General Purposes Committee – Cllr B Brown and Cllr M Fowler
  • Environment & Highways Committee – Cllr A Todd
152/12 RESPONSE TO PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS REGARDING UNDERSPENDS AND ACCESS TO THE GUILDHALL
Councillor Day read a statement to address concerns raised and false perceptions that have arisen in the public domain regarding the ‘underspend’ accrued by HTC and the decisions to earmark the majority of this balance for the provision of a flood defence siren for Harwich and disabled access to the Guildhall. It was agreed that the full statement is to be passed to the press for publication and to be displayed on Harwich Town Council’s website.
153/12 GRANT REQUEST FROM THE ROCK SCHOOL
The Clerk confirmed that agreement had been sought from the acting Chair of F&GP Committee for this grant application to be reviewed at Full Council due to the urgent need to improve heating and insulation at the Rock School. Members agreed that the Rock School produced some inspirational musicians with over 120 people attending the organisation.
RESOLVED: To grant £2,899 s137 money.
154/12 BIG SOCIETY FUNDING FOR THE SKATE PARK
Cllr J Henderson updated members on the progress made thus far regarding the proposed improvements for the Skate Park and confirmed that £15k of S106 money had been agreed from TDC and £5k had been earmarked from Harwich Town Council.   Cllr J Henderson wished to seek approval from the Council to proceed with a request for £35k funding via the Big Society.
RESOLVED: Cllr J Henderson to proceed with submitting a grant request for £35k from the Big Society Fund.
155/12 EALC COURSE – FUNDING WORKSHOP
RESOLVED: Acting Clerk and Councillor Day to attend Funding Workshop on 6th March.
156/12 A120 IMPROVEMENTS
Councillor Todd updated members on correspondence received from the Highways Agency regarding the A120 and the urgent need for immediate improvements.   He requested HTC put forward their concerns and recommendations prior to an audit due to be undertaken in April.   Members agreed that a roundabout should be put in place, but until that is possible, to reduce the present danger, improvements in lighting and speed signage along with the introduction of rumble strips should be implemented immediately.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to Mr Peter Martin, Essex County Council expressing our concerns and recommendations to be implemented immediately. Copies to be sent to:
Mr Bernard Jenkin MP and Mr Eric Cooper, Highways Agency
157/12 COUNCIL COMMITTEES
Councillor Calver put forward a suggestion to review the current committee structure and proposed that a working party was put in place to take this forward.
RESOLVED: Working party comprising of all committee and sub committee chairs to be set up and chaired by the Mayor.
158/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST ENVIRONMENT & HIGHWAYS MEETINGCllr Flavell thanked Cllr R Callender for his work with the Local Highways Committee and successfully pushing forward several projects in Dovercourt and Harwich.RESOLVED: that the minutes of the last Environment & Highways Committee held on
17th January 2013 (previously circulated) be received.
159/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST GUILDHALL MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the last Guildhall Committee held on 23rd January 2013 (previously circulated) be received.
160/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST ALLOTMENTS MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the last Allotments Committee held on 29th January 2013 (previously circulated) be received.
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the confidential minutes of the last Allotments Committee held on 29th January 2013 (previously circulated) be received.
161/12 ACCOUNTS
Payments and receipts, current balances, financial activity against budgets and earmarked funds were noted.
RESOLVED: to authorise payments as listed in Appendix A
162/12 BRIEF REPORTS FROM MEMBERS

  • All members wished to express their thanks for the invitation to experience the 3D screening of Life of Pi.
  • Cllr Flavell and Cllr I Henderson confirmed that they had attended a meeting with the Friends of Esplanade Hall and gave a brief update on the current situation.
  • Cllr J Henderson updated members on her last meeting with Teen Talk and informed members on their current funding situation but stated that the time taken to apply for funding is proving problematic.
  • Cllr Flavell confirmed that he had been in contact with the owner of the Bernards Site and that they had agreed to remove and donate the last two remaining Bernard signs to the Harwich Society.
  • Cllr King confirmed her attendance at the H&D Community Association. Hopefully the first Committee meeting will be soon.
163/12 CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED IN POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS

  • Replacement Minerals Local Plan: Pre-Submission Draft – noted
  • Letter Received from Frances Double- Members reviewed the incredibly kind and generous gesture to donate 560 copies of ‘The Harwich Story’ to the Council to be sold in aid of the Mayoress’ Appeal. Members were delighted to accept and felt this was in keeping with Les’ community spirit.
    RESOLVED: Cllr Calver to liaise with the Clerk and forward a response offering HTC’s thanks and accept on behalf of the Mayoress’ Appeal
  • TDC Question Time – Members promoted this event and urged members of the public to attend.
  • Members noted the letter of thanks from Harwich Residents Association to all who were involved with the Flood Memorial.
164/12 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of Harwich Town Council will be held on Wednesday 27th March 2013 at The 1912 Centre, Cow Lane, Harwich, at 7.00pm, or at the rise of the Town Planning Committee, whichever is the later.
165/12 EXCLUSION OF THE 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 by virtue of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted

  • To receive update from Cllr J Henderson and Cllr King following their visit to TDC Control Centre.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.10pm.