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 22nd October 2014

MINUTES of the Meeting of the HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
held at
The 1912 Centre, Cow Lane, Harwich
on Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 7.18pm

Present: Councillors Brown, Calver, Day, Fowler, I Henderson,
J Henderson, King, McLeod, C Powell,
F Powell, Thompson and Thurlow
In the Chair: Councillor Todd
Clerk: Mrs Lucy Ballard
Also present: 2 members of the public and 1 member of the press
83/14 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllrs Flavell, Morrison and Nicholson
84/14 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
85/14 PUBLIC QUESTIONSBetty asked Cllr I Henderson about the lights on New Years Eve on the Quay and have we had a response from Cllr Bass about keeping them on.  He attended a meeting and said he asked the Portfolio holder to consider relaxing the PNSL for NYE and the response was not positive and the portfolio holder (Cllr Bass) said he was minded not to as there were no problems last year (in other areas that were already subject to the PNLS).  He will consult the police for their opinion before making a final decision.
Dr Rogers referred to the Planning meeting and retrospective applications and recognises that some developments aren’t obvious (i.e. Dovercourt Hall) but with the very obvious ones he asked why the ward councillors don’t bring them to a Planning committee to discuss?  Cllr Calver made Dr Rogers aware that he and Cllr McLeod had made representations on the Coco’s application and copied him in on the emails.  Cllr Todd confirmed that planning applications for this site have been brought before the council previously and we’ve had no further information since.  Cllr Calver believes that what they’ve built doesn’t meet the permissions that were given and no-one would necessarily notice that, hence the retrospective application.  Cllr McLeod said much of the works detailed in the application have already been approved under the original approved application and these are additional alterations.
86/14 MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Mayor gave an account of some of his engagements since the last meeting, which included the High Sherriff of Essex service in Colchester, 4th Dovercourt Seas Scout Trafalgar Dinner and attending a Civic Service in Wivenhoe.  Cllr Day, as Deputy Mayor, attended HIP and presented a Town Plaque to the Master of the Dana Serena who has passed the plaque to the Mayor of Esbjerg.
87/14 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting of the Town Council held on 10th September 2014 (previously circulated) be approved by the Chairman and signed as a true record.
FURTHER RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the Town Council held on 7th August 2014 (previously circulated) be approved by the Chairman and signed as a true record.
88/14 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
• Min 67/14 – The Mayor read aloud an email from Acting Inspector Russ Cole in response to an appeal for assistance in requesting the street lights in Harwich & Dovercourt are left on during the night of 31st December 2014/1st January 2015.
Min 70/14 – GC/CP props we write to First Bus with a copy of original letter to chase up urgent response to our request for information on the subsidies received.
Min 80/14 – GC/DM props we write to Colin Crawford and chase a response to our previous letter regarding the operational status of the Harwich CoTC.
Min 81/14 – GC/DM props we write to Cllr Mick Page and chase a response to our original letter about the Dovercourt Town Centre car park.
89/14 MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
• Min 163/13 – Members considered an email from TDC Dog Warden in response to a request for action plan of how they intend to tackle the growing problem of dog fouling.  Cllr J Henderson proposed HTC write to Nick Turner to ask what he intends to do to improve the service for next as the dog wardens aren’t being deployed appropriately and since there are only two, the resources are limited.  Cllr Henderson had asked about fold-up bikes and a change the working hours to fit in with when offenders are about, and stated that they are not acting on the information provided.  Cllr I Henderson said the majority of dog owners are responsible but there is very real issue.  Cllr McLeod referred to a previous request for 3 wardens to facilitate shift patterns, but this was refused due to cost.RESOLVED: To send letter to Nick Turner.
• Min 51/14 – Member considered an email from James Egan, Waste Operations Manager at ECC, in response to a letter about the number of opening days and the issue surrounding the two consecutive closed days.
Cllr I Henderson presented the 3000 named petition to the chair of ECC and a full reply from the portfolio holder will be forthcoming.  The Clerk agreed to chase up a full response for the next meeting.
90/14 HARWICHTOWN COUNCIL EMERGENCY PLAN
Cllr Day briefed all members on the background to the Emergency Plan and the work needed to compile it.  Cllr C Powell reiterated a lot of work has gone into it but stressed that HTC are not responsible, but instead will aim to assist the authorities and organisations accordingly.  Cllr I Henderson said all new councillors should be given this as part of their induction to the council. He commended everyone involved in compiling the document.
RESOLVED: To adopt the Emergency Plan for Harwich Town Council.
FURTHER RESOLVED: To redact the ‘not for public use’ contact telephone numbers and or any personal information, and to retain this version of the Plan for perusal by the general public.
91/14 HARWICH FIREWORKS ON THE QUAY
RESOLVED: To grant £1500 s137 funding
92/14 ANNUAL SAUSAGE FESTIVAL
Cllr Calver briefed members on the forthcoming event on 8 November and proposed that the Mayor invite the chairs of other local parish/town councils to a small reception at The Guildhall prior to the commencement of the festival, at which they would be welcome to join him in watching the event.
RESOLVED: To send invites to the chairs of all Tendring district parish councils.
93/14 TOURISM AND REGENERATION
Cllr I Henderson mentioned that we’ve approached the end of the tourism season and he will be meeting with Sally Looker and Ian Davidson to have a debrief to establish success this year and what to look at for next year.  Some successes have been the arrival of the lamp posts in the town centre and new flower display thanks to the H&D Partnership, using the Mary Portas funds.  New black signposts to match the lamp posts with a further 3 post to go up. The surface area improved by the Dovercourt Station.  The Harwich Society was thanked for the upkeep of the flowers in the new granite planters.  The Way-finder maps displayed around the town.  New cycle route signs displayed.  The pathway between town car park and high street has been resurfaced.  The shuttle bus bringing crews from the cruise boats into the town for the benefit of the local traders.  Positive feedback received from the crews.  Typical spend is roughly £10 – £50 per person each visit. He further referred to the Discover Dovercourt brochure and how successful they’ve been.  Greater Anglia/Abellio has agreed to sponsor the 2015 insert up to the value of £1k.  Cllr Henderson urged any organisations who want their events advertised to inform the office as a matter or priority.  He thanked the volunteers in the town and confirmed he’s looking to hold another workshop to brainstorm for next year.  Meetings with stakeholders have led to more outlets/traders offering exchange or taking other currencies.  Looking at organising some form of branding for Harwich to be sited on roundabouts near the port.
Cllr J Henderson said she and Cllrs C Powell and Flavell attended a Seafront User Group meeting and asked about a changing place for use by the public.  Cllr Powell clarified that it’s a facility that is DDA compliant with heated floors and will be placed where the beach patrol hut is at present.  There will be access for cars and will have wheelchair friendly paths to make the beach accessible by wheelchair users.
Cllr Calver mentioned that HTC have been seeking to revamp the putting greens and are looking into s106 monies to facilitate this.  HTC have been allowed to carry this forward under local procurement.  He asked Cllr I Henderson if the aim is still to move forward and look further at enhancing the whole seafront facilities, which he confirmed.  He also commended Yemi on the cruise terminal desk, the Dovercourt Theatre Group and the Town Crier on their hard work in promoting Harwich. He read an extract from a newsletter produced by Harwich International Port.
94/14 HARWICH FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Cllr Fowler appealed to members for a new representative to sit on the Harwich Festival of the Arts Committee since Cllr Flavell was unable to continue in this role.
RESOLVED: To defer to the next meeting to allow further consideration in the interim.
95/14 LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION SCHEME (LGPS) 2014 DISCRETIONS POLICY STATEMENT
Members considered the provisions of the scheme, under which Harwich Town Council had discretion, and agreed on the policy statement(s) to support each discretion.RESOLVED: To adopt the Discretions Policy Statement and submit to Essex Pensions Scheme.
96/14 PART NIGHT STREET LIGHTING
Cllr C Powell proposed that HTC write to the Police Crime Commissioner to ask him to put his full support behind HTC’s request to reinstate full night lighting and stress that we are concerned about the risks associated with PNSL scheme.
RESOLVED: To write to the Police Crime Commissioner.
97/14 VESSELS ENTERING UK WATERS
Cllr Todd provided an update on the impact of the proposed new regulations on sulphur emissions.  He read aloud the full report, an extract of which was published in the H&M Standard recently, in relation to a meeting attended by the MP at which the new Ports Service Regulations was considered.  He said he has asked the MP if the Sulphur emissions issue had been discussed at the recent meeting and was told no as this had been passed some time back.  Cllr Todd request information on the concessions but these have not been forwarded as yet.  He proceeded to read aloud some correspondence from Peter Cannon (MPs researcher) which confirmed that no further voting will be taken on the implementation on the regulations which are due to come into effect in January 2015. Cllr Day reiterated his sadness at the loss of jobs that had already taken place.  Cllr I Henderson asked if the ports services Regulations was a different issue.  Cllr Todd confirmed yes.  Cllr Calver stressed that we’ve come to the end of the road and HTC have been let down by the people elected to serve us at the highest level.  He thanked Cllr Todd for bringing this to the attention of the council and his hard work in following through with this issue.  Cllr Todd confirmed that he will be raising the issue at a meeting of the MNWB next month, and ask how the regulations will be enforced.  Cllr McLeod stressed worry at the effect this would have across Europe and the efforts to establish a greener future should be funded by Europe.
98/14 MINUTES OF THE LAST ENVIRONMENT & COMMUNITY COMMITTEE MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the meeting of the Environment & Community Committee held on 23rd September 2014 (previously circulated) be received.
99/14 MINUTES OF THE LAST FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING
Cllr Day updated members on the improvements to the Guildhall vacant area and for the modifications for disabled access.
Cllr I Henderson reported on progress with the flood siren and said TDC officer has obtained a tentative agreement from the Police and Environment Agency, and just awaiting confirmation from ECC.  Cllr Day confirmed the stall was due to the Emergency Planning aspect.
RESOLVED: that the Minutes of the meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee held on 7th October 2014 (previously circulated) be received.
FURTHER RESOLVED: To accept the recommendations of the committee in relation to grant funding application from the Dovercourt Theatre Group.
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Confidential Minutes of the meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee held on 7th October 2014 (previously circulated) be received.
100/14 ACCOUNTS
Payments and receipts, current balances, financial activity against budgets and earmarked funds were noted.
RESOLVED: to authorise payments as presented.
101/14 BRIEF REPORTS BY MEMBERS.
Cllr Todd attended Port Liaison Committee, Harwich Connexions AGM, Local Plan meeting at Weeley and a Chairman’s Day training course.
102/14 CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED IN THE POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS
None
103/14 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of Harwich Town Council will be held on 3rd December 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 8.55pm.