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 2nd January 2013

MINUTES of the Meeting of the HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
held at
The 1912 Centre, Cow Lane, Harwich
on
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 @ 7.14pm

Present: Councillors Brown, Calver, Day, Flavell, Gibbins, King, McLeod, C Callender,
R Callender, Fowler, J Henderson, I Henderson, and Thompson
In the Chair: Councillor J Thurlow
Clerk: Mrs Michelle Townsend
Also present: 10 members of the public and 1 member of the press
Prayers were said by Rev Peter Mann

The Chairman informed Councillors and members of the public that a request had been made after the closure of the last Full Council meeting, to ask members to consider standing whilst making comments during Council meetings to ensure that all discussions can be clearly heard by members of the public. The Acting Clerk had been asked to contact all members to gain views, and all those who replied wished to continue with the Council’s existing procedures. The Chairman did however, ask that all Councillors and members of the public refrain from undertaking any discussions amongst themselves whilst Council meetings are in progress.

115/12 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllrs Double and Todd
116/12 TO AGREE THE FOLLOWING DISPENSATION, PRIMARILY TO PERMIT THE SETTING OF THE PRECEPT
Members agreed unanimously to the following dispensation, primarily to permit the setting of the precept.
That the dispensations from Section 31(4) of the Localism Act 2011 (the “Act”) identified below are now granted under Section 33 of the Act to each and every councillor of Harwich Town Council for a period of 4 years beginning immediately because otherwise the number of Councillors prohibited from participating in relevant business would impede the transaction of the business.That the dispensations referred to above relate to all or any of the following matters:
•   Setting Council Tax or a precept under the Local Government Finance Act 1992
•   Any allowance, payment, pension or indemnity given to Councillors
•   Any ceremonial honour given to councillors
117/12 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
118/12 PUBLIC QUESTIONS
Mr Sergeant made a request for item 8 on the agenda to be moved ahead of Public Questions as the discussions with the Police may prompt questions from members of the public. Mr Sergeant’s request was declined as the police had been invited to address members.Mr Rutson made reference to the last 3 meetings of HTC where members had expressed concerns over regeneration and the lack of response from TDC, but he was in receipt of an e-mail sent to this Council on 12th November from Peter Halliday stating the plans and thoughts of TDC and an offer to attend a HTC meeting. The Acting Clerk confirmed that all members had received a copy of this letter prior to the last Full Council meeting as well as brief details written in the Clerks report. At the last Full Council meeting the content of the letter was not raised by any members so the Clerk had subsequently placed the letter on the agenda for tonight’s meeting – Item 12.Following an article which detailed that Peter Halliday had given up some of his expenses, Betty Holbrook asked what members thought of all Councillors at TDC and Harwich cutting their expenses.   Cllr I Henderson felt that the article was a little misleading as under current rules Peter Halliday could not claim 2 allowances and it was Councillors from Harwich that had asked for the cabinet to be reduced.   Cllr Flavell confirmed that at the very first meeting of this Council all members voted not to increase Councillor allowances for the next 4 years.Following Mr Brian Knight’s inquiry, he was informed that members thought it was the Environment Agency who controlled the river gates at Ramsey.
119/12 MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mayor gave an account of some of the engagements attended since the last meeting, which included a meeting with The Luney Club who were celebrating 55 years, St Nicholas Church Community Carol Service, the switching on of Christmas lights in the high street, and the Harwich Society Christmas dinner and celebration for Andy Rutter’s 80th birthdayThe Deputy Mayor informed members that he had attended the Annual Dinner of Cambridge University Naval Unit on behalf of HTC.
120/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Town Council held on 21st November 2012 (previously circulated) be approved by the Chairman and signed as a true record.
121/12 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
20 Market Street – Cllr Flavell informed members that he had been notified that the Corporate Enforcement Group did not meet to discuss 20 Market Street and would be discussed at the next meeting.
122/12 DISCUSSIONS WITH POLICE REGARDING TOWN CENTRE POLICING AND CCTVInspector Chris Willis, Chief Inspector Cat Barrie and Acting Chief Superintendent Sean O’Callaghan addressed members regarding policing in Harwich and confirmed that there have been more patrols out since the last spate of burglaries in the Town Centre Members welcomed the return of 24 hour policing in the area but raised concerns that HTC had not been fully briefed regarding cover being deployed from Clacton, a point the Police disputed. The Police confirmed that there was no correlation between CCTV and policing levels in Harwich and that CCTV aids the Police in being more efficient and effective and has helped in some incidences to positively identify suspects. Acting Chief Superintendent O’Callaghan reported the requested statistics. The police urged the public and local groups to give their support, report incidents and for the press to undertake positive reporting.
123/12 TOWN CENTRE POLICING
Members reviewed the actions taken under suspension of standing orders at the Planning Committee on 12th December 2012.
124/12 CCTV
The Chairman invited Mark Westall from TDC to speak with members regarding the monitoring of CCTV in Tendring.   Mark Westall confirmed that CCTV is critical to public safety and welcomed the possibility of HT Councillors attending the control room to review the set up and its effectiveness.   Members discussed the location of cameras, quality of images and how they are transmitted.
RESOLVED: Clerk to liaise with members and Mark Westall to arrange a visit to the Control Room.
125/12 STANDING ORDERS
RESOLVED: To update HTC’s standing orders to reflect changes of delegations to the Hill School Sub Committee (Appendix C) agreed by the Council on 21st November 2012.
126/12 REGENERATION OF HARWICH AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Members reviewed correspondence received from Peter Halliday and welcomed his offer to attend a Harwich Town Council meeting but repeated their request for the Regeneration Portfolio holder to attend at the same time.
RESOLVED: Clerk to arrange for Peter Halliday to attend a meeting of Harwich Town Council and extend the invitation to the Regeneration Portfolio Holder.
127/12 REQUEST FROM ONE WEBSITE DESIGN TO USE THE HARWICH CREST
RESOLVED: Following consideration, members agreed permission for the Harwich Town Council crest to be used by One Website Design.
128/12 TDC’S DRAFT LOCAL PLAN
Clerk read out recommendations discussed at an informal meeting on 19th December with a minor amendment to wording regarding the High Street.
RESOLVED: Recommendations made to be put forward as HTC’s response to TDC’s Draft Local Plan
129/12 TENDRING INFRASTRUCTURE STUDYClerk read out recommendations discussed at an informal meeting on 19th December.
RESOLVED: Recommendations made are to be put forward as HTC’s response to

Tendring’s Infrastructure Study.

130/12 COMMEMORATION OF THE 1953 FLOOD
Cllr Flavell updated members on his investigation for possible events to commemorate the flood. Unfortunately the Norwegian Embassy cannot commit to attend that day and the sandstone plaque is in a poor condition but a tree and bench is due to be placed in the Flood Memorial Garden. Rev Peter Mann has welcomed the possibility of a memorial service on 1st February, with a suggested dedication of the flood memorial garden, followed by a Mayor’s Reception at the Guildhall.   Members thanked Cllr Flavell for his work and time spent reviewing options.
RESOLVED: Cllr Flavell to liaise with The Mayor and Clerk and make the necessary arrangements.
131/12 ESPLANDE HALL
Cllr I Henderson updated members on progress made thus far and noted the tremendous amount of time Andy White from TDC has dedicated to investigating this issue. Because of the ownership issues that have been raised, it was felt that the best way forward is for the Church to claim ownership and then pass the ownership on to Friends of Esplanade Hall who have expressed a keen interest. As yet, no update has been received regarding our request for the building to be listed.
132/12 FLOOD SIREN WORKING PARTY
Cllr Day confirmed that they now have a proposal that works although there is still further investigation to be made including planning permission, formalising an agreement with Trinity House, and consulting with the Emergency Planning Committee. Members have been issued with relevant documentation and quotations, although further quotations will be sought. Cllr Day and Cllr I Henderson made members aware of the recommendations being made within the precept proposal to earmark funds of £25,000 for this project and asked that members give this due consideration. Members expressed their gratitude for the amount of time Cllr Day has spent on this project and thanked both Cllr Day and Cllr I Henderson for taking the project forward.
133/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the last Finance & General Purposes Committee held on 11th December 2012 (previously circulated) be received. Members discussed the proposals submitted and debated the suggested funds recommended to be earmarked.FURTHER RESOLVED: The Committee considered estimates of expenditure and income for the financial year 2013/2012. RESOLVED: that the council precept (including the recommendations for funds to be earmarked for the Flood Siren and Disabled Access for the Guildhall) on Tendring District Council for £153,769 (figures after LCTSS grant has been deducted) based on a summary of the detailed figures in Appendix A, having an impact of £31.81 per annum for a Band D council tax payer based on a tax base of 4834 and representing a 75p per annum reduction on 2012.13.
134/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST ALLOTMENTS MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the last Allotments Committee held on 29th November 2012 (previously circulated) be received.
135/12 ACCOUNTS
Payments and receipts, current balances, financial activity against budgets and earmarked funds were noted.
RESOLVED: to authorise payments as listed in Appendix A
136/12 BRIEF REPORTS FROM MEMBERS
Cllr Flavell confirmed his attendance to the Harwich Festival of the Arts Committee. Although it is in the draft stages, they intend to build on the success of last year. Cllr Flavell also attended the Community Resilience Workshop held by TDC and ECC.   HTC have until the end of February to produce a report. Due to numbers, The Conservation Panel meeting was informal only.Cllr Thompson attended the Integrated Offender Management in Colchester and was impressed with their ideas to help support re-offenders to integrate into Society.Cllr Mcleod confirmed that the Chamber of Trade had not yet met but assurances have been given that they are not disbanding. Accrued funds are to be handed to the Town Team to improve Dovercourt Station to hopefully contain an Information Centre and community rooms which can be sub let.Cllr J Henderson confirmed her attendance at a recent Teen Talk meeting where they discussed funding issues.
137/12 CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED IN POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS
Members noted the letter of thanks for grant funding received from The Parish of the Harwich Peninsula
138/12 DATE OF NEXT MEETINGThe next meeting of Harwich Town Council will be held on Wednesday 13th February 2013 at The 1912 Centre, Cow Lane, Harwich, at 7.00pm, or at the rise of the Town Planning Committee, whichever is the later.
139/12 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 review and act upon correspondence received from Jones Lang LaSalle
The Chairman closed the meeting at 9.10pmTOWN MAYOR AND CHAIRMAN