Full Council Meeting Minutes 10th April 2017



10th April 2017
Held at
Mill House, The Causeway, HALSTEAD, Essex. CO9 1ET



Councillor Mrs S Diver Chairman   Present
Councillor Mr Andy Munday Vice Chairman Present
Counvillor Mrs J Allen   Present
Councillor M Day   Apologies
Councillor Mrs S Dingle   Present
Councillor C Fox   Apologies
Councillor D Gronland   Present
Councillor D Hume   Apologies
Councillor Mrs J A Pell   Present
Councillor Mrs E Penn   Present
Councillor M Radley   Present
Councillor Mrs J Sutton   Present

Also in attendance: Public -  Mr Ian Tinton; Mr Martin Walker; Mr Sean Davies (Press)

                                          Mrs S Greatorex – Town Clerk

                           Mrs J Smith – Minute Clerk                   

213. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE received from Cllr Day, Cllr Fox and Cllr Hume

214. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS: Cllr Mrs J Pell Declared NPI - Agenda item 5. Planning 17/00527/FUL and 17/00619/FUL as Agent is known.  NPI - Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee.  NPI - Agenda item 8 as Chairman of H4C. NPI - Agenda item 14 as Braintree DC Councillor. Cllr Pell Declared PI - Agenda item 5. Planning 17/00575/OUT as family member lives nearby and is also member of Halstead Cricket Club. Cllr Mrs Allen Declared NPI - Agenda item 14 as Braintree DC Councillor.  Cllr Mrs Penn Declared NPI  - Agenda item 5. Planning 17/00575/OUT as nearby residents are known to her.  Cllr Radley declared NPI Agenda item 7b as member of Courtaulds Sports Ground Management Committee.  Cllr Munday Declared NPI - Agenda item 5. Planning 17/00527/FUL and 17/00619/FUL as Agent is known. Cllr Mrs Diver Declared NPI - Agenda item 5. Planning 17/00527/FUL and 17/00619/FUL as Agent is known.  Cllr Diver also declared NPI for all Councillors - Agenda item 15 as Contractor is known to all members attending.

215. PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:  Mr Martin Walker spoke about Planning item 17/00575/OUT as member of the 'Hands off Halstead' group and said that this proposed development is not sustainable.  He said that as Braintree had no 5 year plan in place the Developer had taken advantage and put forward this proposal and that Hands off Halstead has distributed 1500 leaflets advising how to object to this proposal.  He said that many residents had asked what is Halstead TC's position regarding this proposal and asked that Council reject this proposal in the strongest possible terms.

Mrs Jacqueline Pell spoke as a member of the public and said that this land is not in the Local Development Plan but that finding reasons to object could be difficult.  She noted that EC Highways had lodged objections regarding vehicular ingress/egress and there were also objections regarding mineral recovery/loss, infrastructure, drainage and ecology.  Mrs Pell urged Council to look beyond what is before them and to consider what Council will require if outline planning permission is given.  She said that S106 money that might come from any development should be requested for Halstead projects - the Community Hub, Roads, etc. and said that a list should be drawn up ready for submission because if Braintree DC rejected the application but developers appealed to the Planning Inspectorate any requests could be lost.  Mrs Pell noted that time for comment is short as this consultation had originally just gone to Greenstead Green and Halstead Rural and part of the area is outside Halstead boundaries; Halstead TC may need to ask for time to consider this application.

Chairman noted that Cllrs Hume and Gronland are currently looking at impact of developments on local infrastructure but agreed that Council must set some parameters for Town's requirements.

Mr Ian Tinton spoke about a recent road traffic accident near to the area of proposed development and said that it was not uncommon for there to be accidents on the main A131 road at this location.  It was said that EC Highways would have information and this would be taken into consideration.


To approve the minutes of the  Special Planning Meeting held on 13th March 2017 and the Council Meeting held on 20th March 2017.  It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Diver and seconded by Cllr Gronland that the minutes of the Special Planning Meeting of 13th March 2017 be approved.   Motion carried by 5 votes (those present at the meeting).  It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Pell and seconded by Cllr  Munday that the minutes of the Town Council Meeting of 20th March 2017 up to the item 'Exclusion of Public and Press' be approved. Motion carried with one abstention.  Minutes in Private Session of meeting 20th March 2017 to be discussed later.

217. PLANNING APPLICATIONS Cllr Mrs Pell -Vice Chair of Planning took the Chair for this part of the meeting.

17/00494/FUL - 23 Nether Court, Halstead, CO9 2HE. Demolition of existing garage and erection of single storey side extension, erection of single storey rear extension and minor internal alterations.  There were no objections lodged against this application and Cllr Mrs Pell moved no objections.  This was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.

17/00527/FUL - 6 The Tythings, Halstead, CO9 1EP. Erection of L-shape single storey, flat roof rear extension. There were no objections lodged against this application and Cllr Mrs Pell moved no objections.  This was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.

17/00514/FUL - 16 High Street, Halstead, CO9 1AD. Proposed external stairwell for access to apartment above together with railings on the single storey flat roof to provide a first floor balcony. Cllr Munday noted that an out of date aerial photo had been used but noted no objections.  It was said that other properties nearby had similar balconies.

Cllr Mrs Pell moved no objections.  This was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried by unanimous vote.

17/00619/FUL - 15 Sudbury Road, Halstead, CO9 2BA. Erection of L-shaped single storey extension to rear and side, erection of timber open porch and replacement window to front elevation.  There were no objections lodged against this application and Cllr Mrs Pell moved no objections.  This was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and carried by unanimous vote.

17/00579/FUL - Development land at Third Avenue, Bluebridge Industrial Estate, Halstead, CO9 2FL. Erection of B1 and B8 Commercial Units.  It was said that outline permission had been granted for this development and there were no objections.  It was noted that this would bring employment to the town and Cllr Mrs Pell moved no objections.  This was seconded by Cllr Radley and carried by unanimous vote.

17/00594/LBC - 70A High Street, Halstead, CO9 2JG. Replace fire damaged timber pitched roof structure to match existing including the replacement of fire damaged clay peg tiles and first floor lath and plaster ceiling all to match existing.  Cllr Mrs Pell moved no objections.  This was seconded by Cllr Munday and carried with one abstention.

Cllr Mrs Pell left the meeting at this point.

Cllr Mrs Diver resumed Chair of the meeting and acted as Chair of Planning for the next item.

17/00575/OUT - Land East of Sudbury Road, Halstead, Essex - Outline planning permission for up to 205 residential dwellings (including 30% affordable housing), 0.51ha for apartments with care (C2 use class), planting, landscaping, public open space and children's play area and sustainable drainage system (SuDS).  All matters reserved with the exception of three access points.  The final sentence of this application was discussed and it was said that the identified access points would remain constant although there could be some changes within the structure of the plan.  Cllr Gronland said that local infrastructure was already struggling and with further developments in the pipeline matters could only get worse.  Cllr Dingle said that the existing GP surgery was finding it difficult to cope as no new GPs are coming through the system.  Cllr Allen agreed with this and said that schools are also finding it difficult to cope; she noted that proposed developments in the area all seem to be just under the numbers for developers to provide new schooling.  Cllr Allen said that S106 money from developments could be used as capital for a doctors’ Surgery but could not be used to recruit additional staff.  Cllr Sutton noted that land for this proposed development was not identified in the Local Development Plan and Council had objected to development in this location and Cllr Penn agreed. Cllr Munday said that it was important to challenge on planning grounds.  Terms for rejection of this application were discussed and Cllr Munday proposed that Council Strongly Object to this application for the following reasons in addition to those given at discussions of the Draft Local Plan:  1) Ingress and egress from the site at this identified accident black spot. 2) with other local on-going developments the local infrastructure is saturated at present and this development would add to the present difficulties.  3) Loss of green space at town perimeter and impact on local nature reserve Coggeshall Pieces.  Motion was seconded by Cllr Mrs Diver and was carried unanimously.

Discussion took place about allocation of S106 money should the application be successful and Cllr Munday proposed that if the application is allowed to go ahead Halstead Town Council would ask for the following recompense:

1) New primary school. 2) New GP Surgery or extension to the existing surgery. 3) Resolution of highways saturation in town (possibly by road widening schemes or a weight limit through town centre) 4) money for Community Hub 5) An open space action plan.  Motion was seconded by Cllr Gronland and carried unanimously.

Councillors were advised that as individuals they were at liberty to support the Hands off Halstead group.

Cllr Mrs Pell returned to the meeting.

218. MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS -  Chairman noted that she and the Vice Chair would be attending the Mayoral Ceremony at Sudbury and was pleased at this instance of towns working together. Report was noted.

219. FINANCE Cllr Radley -  Chair of Finance  took the chair for this part of the meeting

a) Finance- It was noted that 31st March is the end of Financial Year and that figures given are Provisional Annual Accounts that will be scrutinised and amended as required.  The surplus over budget was noted and it was said that staff should be applauded for their hard work to prepare these figures.  Cllr Radley noted an improving position.    Cllr Munday said that the important fact was continuing delivery of service to the Town.  In Capital expenditure it was queried whether the toilet floor had been repaired and it was said that this had been deferred until the new financial year  and this expenditure will now take place.

Cllr Radley moved acceptance of report, this was seconded by Cllr Munday and motion  for acceptance was carried with one abstention.

b)  List of payments to be approved.  The item of expenditure of £1122.00 for postage of the Town Plan was noted and it was said that a grant had been obtained to cover this expense.  The grass treatment cost of over £2000 p.a. was noted and it was said that some of this cost would be recovered from the Bowls Club.

b a) Cost from the previous security company had been challenged as was the items for purchase of two polesaws.  Cllr Sutton queried the cost of fuel from Mount Hill Garage and noted that previously it had been suggested that account be moved to Esso Garage.  It was said that no better price had been offered by Mount Hill Garage, but that it was necessary to have an account as staff had no access to credit/debit cards.  Clerk will investigate.  Cllr Radley proposed acceptance of this report with the provision that queries would be investigated.  This was seconded by Cllr Munday.  Motion was carried unanimously.

Cllr Radley informed Council that an Internal Audit would take place the following day.  He told Council that at the next meeting there would be no financial report  as accounts would not be meaningful with just one month's  figures compiled although there will be list of payments to be approved.   Cllr Munday asked if a verbal update could be given and this was agreed.

Cllr Mrs S Diver resumed Chair of the meeting.

220. COMMUNITY  HALL - Cllr Mrs Pell noted that an informal meeting between Council and Trustees had taken place and further meetings will take place.  Report was noted. 

221. YOUTH  Cllr Mrs Penn reported  that Youth Team would have a stall at the forthcoming May Fair and that she and Cllr Munday are still hoping to have a meeting with ECC Youth Leader.  Report was noted.

222. TOWN  TEAM.  Cllr Radley noted the disappointing situation that no-one was coming forward to take on work for the Town Team.  He said that much had been done by the existing team but there was lack of support from businesses and traders meaning that the proposed Food and Drink Fayre would not take place.  Cllr Radley said there was to be a Special General Meeting on 27th April and if no-one came forward to run the Town Team at that time it would  be disbanded with questions then about  running of the Town's annual Christmas Fayre.   Cllr Mrs Diver noted that an Extraordinary meeting of Halstead Chamber of Trade had been called for 26th April to discuss the future of Halstead Christmas Fayre and she would be attending with delegates from other Town organisations.

Mr Ian Tinton who was attending the meeting as member of the public and is vice-Chair of Halstead Chamber of Trade said that the Fayre used to be run by the Chamber but that lack of time, finance and man-power had meant that responsibility had been handed to Town Team.  Cllr Mrs Diver asked that if Councillors had any questions they be sent to her and she would forward; it was said that Council did not have the resources to run the Fayre.  Cllr Radley noted that Town Team had residual funds that could be transferred and also noted that two volunteers had come forward to help with running a Christmas Fayre.  Cllr Munday queried whether funding from the Mary Portas scheme could be transferred to another team and it was said that part of the money held was from previous fund raising activities and the money from the Mary Portas scheme would be ring fenced for Town promotion.  Cllr Pell asked when the proposed Town Centre Regeneration plans would be made known and it was said Council had been told that information would be forthcoming in the near future.     Report was noted.

223. DISTRICT COUNCILLORS A verbal update was given by Cllr Mrs Allen.  She had attended the recent BDVSA awards and noted the recent Full Council meeting which had been webcast.  Cllr Allen said that she had used her Councillor Grant Funding for a Quick Cricket project and also for the Empire Theatre.  The Grant Funding had been useful and was now into a second year.   Cllr Mrs Pell noted a recent Licensing Committee but reported that neither she nor Cllr Mrs Allen could vote on Halstead applications.  Cllr Pell said she had not yet used her Councillor Grant but now had a project that she would be discussing with other Halstead Councillors as the Town Sign needs repainting.  She would check that this is a project on which she can use Grant Funding; her grant for 2016/17 can be carried forward to 17/18.   Cllr Radley asked if other District Councillors had used their grants and it was said that Cllr Hume had used some on the Quick Cricket project.  It was said that next scheduled meeting was the Annual General Meeting when a new Chairman would be appointed. Report was noted.

224. UPCOMING TRAINING PROVIDED BY EALC.  Cllr Pell noted that most of the training was not relevant for this Council but Councillors were asked to pass any requests for training to Chairman.  It was noted that Clerk is working on a CiLCA course which she is self-funding as there was no budget for this training.  Report was noted.

225. CIVIC  DAY Braintree DC has been asked if they will celebrate this day and so far no decision has been made to hold any event.  It was suggested that perhaps Halstead History Society would like to hold a day of Civic Pride and show Town artefacts.  Cllr Mrs Penn said that this was a day to show civic pride, maybe by simply putting up a banner saying 'we are proud of our town'.  Cllr Mrs Pell said that the St. George's Day flag would be flown in Halstead Public Gardens.  Halstead History Society will have a market stall showing artefacts on that day and the RiverCare Group, 21st Century Group and Halstead in Bloom will celebrate the day.  All were asked to contact Mrs Penn with ideas for showing civic pride on this day.

226. COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE SURVEY It was said that this is an important document and questions need to be addressed to ensure that the needs in the parish are met particularly with regard to development at Oak Road and possible development at Sudbury Road. Answers to questions raised were given:

1. Councillor numbers - it was proposed by Cllr Mrs Pell and seconded by Cllr Munday that existing numbers are most suitable. Motion carried by unanimous vote

2. Warding - it was proposed by Cllr Pell and seconded by Cllr Munday that existing Wards are most suitable.  Motion carried unanimously

3. Grouping - it was agreed unanimously that this was not relevant for this Council

4. Boundaries - Cllr Mrs Penn said that she had been warned to be careful where boundaries are re-drawn as Countryside planning regulations differ from urban regulations.  It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Pell and seconded by Cllr Gronland that some town boundaries do need to be re-drawn.

5. Naming - it was proposed by Cllr Pell and seconded by Cllr Munday that existing Ward names should remain.  Motion carried unanimously.

227. EXTRA MOTIFS FOR CHRISTMAS LIGHTING. Proposed additional motif Christmas lights were shown and it was agreed that they are suitable in ice white and blue.  Numbers and locations were discussed.  It was decided that motifs be fixed to alternate lamp posts starting at the top of High Street and down to the New Street/Trinity Street junction.  It was proposed by Cllr Munday and seconded by Cllr Mrs Allen that Clerk be given delegated authority to liaise with Contractor regarding number, location and position of new motifs and to contact ECC Highways for permission.  Clerk to send information to all Councillors with costings for decisions to be made.  Motion carried unanimously.

228. COMMUNITY  FRIDGE UPDATE Clerk had met with Sainsbury representative and a grant has been explored.  Volunteers would be required to manage the project and Clerk was advised to contact Dorothy Lodge who manages the Food Bank campaign in this area.  Cllr Sutton queried the necessity for locking the fridge and it was said this had been found to be necessary in other places.  It was agreed to continue to explore the possibility of a Community Fridge in Halstead, but it was said that Town Council staff could not manage the project.  Cllr Dingle and one colleague volunteered to get involved.

229. UDATE ON THE POLICY ON THE PRESS Cllr Mrs Pell asked for two minor amendments to the revised policy: item 4.6 addition of ' Vice-Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Committees'.  Item 6.2.0 delete 'issued' and add 'shown to'.  Policy was then moved for adoption by Cllr Mrs Pell and seconded by Cllr Mrs Allen.  Motion was carried unanimously.


To give consideration to adopting the following resolution:- 'That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted an pursuant to the provisions of section 1 (2) - of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, as amended, the public and the press be temporarily excluded from the meeting.



1. The new Clerk was confirmed in post moved by Cllr Diver, seconded by Cllr Pell and carried unanimously

2. It was proposed that a staff salary review should be carried out at the time of the budget in November 2017, by Cllr Pell, seconded by Cllr Fox and carried unanimously.

3. Pending a formal review of staffing, the resolution made under point 5 at the Staff review Group meeting of 16 February 2017 was adopted.

4. It was agreed that the Minutes secretary should continue in her post for the coming year.

There being no further business,  Chairman closed the meeting at  9.15 p.m