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MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 28th APRIL, 2003 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Chairman: Cllr. Mrs M. Curtis
Councillors: T. Kelly, W. Prior, P. Rew, Mrs S. Riesebeck,
P. Roberts (Town Mayor).
In Attendance: Cllr. S. Savage (Maldon in Bloom Working Party), Cllr. Shrimpton, Mr. McPherson (MHHS), the Town Clerk and the Administrative Assistant .
 97. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs. Mrs. E. Downes, Mrs V. Foster and K. Smith and Mrs G. Coppen (MHHS).
 98. MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 25TH MARCH, 2003

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 25th March, 2003 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 99.

 99.1
ALLOTMENTS

Allotment Inspection

Members received and considered the report of Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck regarding an allotment inspection undertaken between 19th - 22nd April, 2003. Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck reported that she had enjoyed her visit to the Warwick Crescent and Maldon Hall allotment sites and had found then to be very attractive and well cared for. Unfortuneately the Brickhouse Farm site looked a little tatty which she felt may be because it was still a relatively new site and yet to mature.
MALDON HALL

Bags of wood off cuts dumped behind garage no.30 but the overall appearance of the site was very attractive.
Gates and posts Need to be painted (Handyman to undertake this task)
Signage Signs on both gates need attention (new notice board to be installed in the near future)
Main Footpaths Recently mown
Plot Markers Some missing
Plots
2a No work undertaken (Letter had been sent stating that unless some sign of cultivation before Easter the tenancy for the plot would be terminated)
3a No work undertaken (Letter had been sent stating that unless some sign of cultivation before Easter the tenancy for the plot would be terminated)
8a Signs of fresh cultivation - weedy
11 Some attention needed
12b Needs attention by raspberry canes
15 Some cultivation, back end overgrown
16b Overgrown - grassed back 2/3 , rest weedy
17 Needs attention to grass areas
21b Bit weedy
22a Very weedy, work started in one corner
23b A bit weedy
29 No work undertaken
26 No work undertaken
28b Lots of wood piles
30a Needs some work
31 No signs of fresh work
Behind 31 Signs of work
33b Bit weedy
40 Grass area needs trimming
WARWICK CRESCENT

The overall appearance of the site was very good.
Approach Track Dog mess on approach track, rubbish bags full of bottles (Suggest dog bins installed)
No dogs sign Needs repairing (New notice board to be installed in the near future)
Access path To rear of plot 9b, needs clearing to allow thoroughfare, also lid of wooden compost bin broken
Plots
2a ½ worked, a bit messy
4a 2/3 freshly dug, back 1/3 being worked on
5b Freshly dug
6a ½ dug, cultivated, back half grassed over
7a Dug over
10b Overgrown, but started to dig the plot
In response to a question, the Town Clerk advised that the Lift Approach track adjacent to the allotment site was owned by the Essex County Council and not the responsibility of the Town Council. The view was expressed that a letter should be forwarded to the Essex County Council stating that dog fouling was becoming a problem on the Lift Approach track and suggesting that it would be beneficial for a dog bin to be installed on the track. It was also suggested that the Dog Warden, Maldon District Council be contracted and requested to monitor the area.
BRICKHOUSE FARM
Boundary fence by main footpath Has piles of stones and grass from plots dumped alongside the fence. Plastic rubbish bags also dumped. (Suggest a litter bin be installed
Signage No signage (New notice board to be installed in the near future
Soil Improver outside allotment boundary This has been left by the DSO for tenants use.
Some compost bins look tatty
Plots
1 Freshly dug earth at back, raspberry canes weedy, front ½ mostly grass and weeds
3 A little weedy
4 Needs attention, back weedy, 1/8 dug
6 Needs attention, very weedy, no sign of cultivation this year
7 Front ½ weedy, back half dug
8 Mostly dug over
9 Very weedy, some digging started
12 Overgrown
14 No fresh cultivation this year
15 Fresh beds being made
18 1/2 under cultivation and freshly dug (new tenant)
Discussion ensued regarding the installation of a litter bin at the Brickhouse Farm allotment site and it was noted that litter bins were not available at the other allotment sites and tenants usually took their litter home. The view was expressed that a sign should be placed on the allotment notice board requesting that tenants take their rubbish home. It was suggested that the Facilities Manager, Maldon District Council be contacted to enquire if it would be possible for a litter bin to be installed on the cycleway / footpath, Brickhouse Farm open space.

RESOLVED: that (a) a letter to forwarded to the Essex County Council suggesting that a dog bin be installed on the Lift Approach track and the Dog Warden, Maldon District Council be asked to monitor the area;

(b) the Facilities Manager, Maldon District Council be contacted to enquire if a litter bin could be installed on the cycleway / footpath, Brickhouse Farm,

(c) a sign be placed on the Brickhouse Farm allotment site notice board requesting that tenants remove litter from the site;

(d) the tenants of plots 2a and 3a, Maldon Hall allotment site be notified that their tenancy has been terminated;

(e) in all other respects the report regarding the allotment inspection be noted.
Discussion ensued regarding the installation of a litter bin at the Brickhouse Farm allotment site and it was noted that litter bins were not available at the other allotment sites and tenants usually took their litter home. The view was expressed that a sign should be placed on the allotment notice board requesting that tenants take their rubbish home. It was suggested that the Facilities Manager, Maldon District Council be contacted to enquire if it would be possible for a litter bin to be installed on the cycleway / footpath, Brickhouse Farm open space.

RESOLVED: that (a) a letter to forwarded to the Essex County Council suggesting that a dog bin be installed on the Lift Approach track and the Dog Warden, Maldon District Council be asked to monitor the area;

(b) the Facilities Manager, Maldon District Council be contacted to enquire if a litter bin could be installed on the cycleway / footpath, Brickhouse Farm,

(c) a sign be placed on the Brickhouse Farm allotment site notice board requesting that tenants remove litter from the site;

(d) the tenants of plots 2a and 3a, Maldon Hall allotment site be notified that their tenancy has been terminated;

(e) in all other respects the report regarding the allotment inspection be noted.
 99.2 Financial Statement of Account

Members received and considered a report indicating that £6,869.72 remained in the allotment account for this financial year.

In response to a question, the Town Clerk advised that the Maldon in Bloom budget was not part of the allotment account. The allotment account was a separate bank account enabling the balance to be carried forward from year to year.

RESOLVED: that the financial report be noted.
 99.3 Maldon Hall - Plots 39a and 39b

Members were informed that plots 39a and 39b had now been cleared and appeared to be in a condition suitable for cultivation and in this respect it was suggested that an article be placed in the local press advertising that there were vacant plots available at the Maldon Hall site.

RESOLVED: that an article be placed in the local press regarding vacant allotment plots at the Maldon Hall site.
 99.4 Questions from the Maldon & Heybridge Horticultural Society Representative

In response to an invitation from the Chairman, Mr. McPherson reported that youths had been seen drinking on the Maldon Hall allotment site. He also stated that he was aware that tenants were raising a petition for sheds to be allowed on plots at the site.

Discussion ensued and the Town Clerk advised that the Tenancy Agreement would require to be amended if members agreed to the erection of sheds on allotment sites as, at present, the only structures allowed were tool boxes. She was aware that tenants felt a shed would provide shelter during inclement weather conditions. The view was also expressed that the erection of sheds would reduce the cultivation area.

Members agreed that no action should be taken regarding this matter until receipt of the petition.
 100. MALDON IN BLOOM

Further to minute 78.1 of the Environment Committee Meeting held on 10th February, 2003 members received and considered a copy of the Maldon in Bloom Competition leaflet 2003 and noted that it was to be circulated to all properties in Maldon at the beginning of May.

Members commented favourably on the leaflet and it was

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 101. GROUND MAINTENANCE CONTRACT

Further to minute 82 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 25th March, 2003 members received and considered a report detailing a meeting held on 1st April, 2003 between the Mayor, Chairman of the Environment Committee, the Town Clerk and Mr Taylor, Parks Team Leader, Maldon District Council to discuss the Ground Maintenance Contract. Concern had been expressed that the Town Council were being invoiced for work which should have been included in the contract such as the removal of Ivy and additional work to trees. Mr Taylor had stated that the removal of Ivy was included in the Ground Maintenance Contract but there would be a charge for any tree works as these could not be identified until the tree survey had taken place. The Town Clerk had subsequently investigated and rectified the situation with Mr Taylor regarding invoices for the removal of Ivy.

The report suggested that the Ground Maintenance Contract should be reviewed on an annual basis to take into account any change of circumstances which may have occurred during the year.

As an addendum to the Ground Maintenance Contract, a member requested that at a future meeting consideration be given to the installation of concrete barriers to prevent cars parking on grass verges and amenity areas such as Viking Road. Members agreed that the matter should be monitored and reviewed.

Discussion ensued and it was

RECOMMENDED: that (a) the Town Clerk and Mr Taylor review and update the Ground Maintenance Contract annually;

(b) the situation regarding cars being parked on the grass verges of amenity areas be monitored.
 102. ANNUAL TREE SURVEY

Further to minute 82 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 10th February, 2003 and the meeting between the Mayor, Chairman of the Environment Committee, the Town Clerk and the Parks Team Leader, Maldon District Council held on 1st April, 2003 members received and considered a quotation in the total sum of £475.00 from the Parks Department, Maldon District Council for various tree work identified in the Annual Tree Survey (minute 71 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 8th January, 2003 refers).

The view was expressed that an Annual Tree Survey was not a necessary requirement but it was agreed that as the Town Council were responsible for the trees on Town Council owned property it was necessary for them to be surveyed annually to ensure public safety.

Discussion ensued and it was

RECOMMENDED: that the quotation from the Parks Department, Maldon District Council in the total sum of £475.00 plus VAT for work to trees at Leech Memorial Garden, All Saints' Churchyard, St. Mary's Churchyard and Longship Way amenity area be approved.
 103. SITING OF TELEPHONE MASTS

Further to minute 146.3 of the Town Council meeting held on 10th March, 2003 members considered the formulation of a Town Council policy regarding the siting of telephone masts on Town Council land.

A member expressed the view that the policy should refer to mobile radio masts and not telephone masts and felt that mobile radio masts should be dealt with separately on their own merit.

Discussion ensued and the view was expressed that the Town Council should have a policy to object to the installation of all telecommunication equipment on either Town Council owned land or property. The Town Clerk reminded members that, at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 3rd April, 2002 a request had been received to install a Personal Communications Service transmitter on St. Peter's Tower. In response to this request, it had been resolved that, "the Town Council would not grant permission for the installation of a transmitter or similar equipment on St. Peter's Tower or any of the Council's other listed buildings in the Conservation Area" (minute 108.1 refers). The Town Clerk also reminded members that Item no 17 of the Town Council's Planning Policy stated that:

"The installation of telephone masts and equipment on Listed Buildings owned by the Town Council will not be approved"

Members agreed that the new Environment Committee should look at expanding the existing Planning Policy to include land owned by the Town Council and the policy be ratified by the full Council.

RESOLVED: that the matter be considered by the Environment Committee in the new municipal year.
 104. ALL SAINTS' CHURCHYARD NORTH BOUNDARY WALL

Members were reminded that it had been agreed at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 26th November, 2002 (minute 65.2 refers) that F. J. Capon Ltd undertakes repairs to the North Boundary Wall, All Saints' Churchyard. Members received and considered a report which stated that trees in the Vicarage Garden adjacent to the wall had now been removed and a fax had been received from F. J. Capon Ltd. stating that the removal of the trees had revealed two large tree roots which were causing concern and it may be necessary for the footing of the wall to be replaced. In view of this information the report suggested that the views of a Structural Engineer be sought.

The Town Clerk circulated a further fax from F. J. Capon Ltd. at the meeting which included a quotation in the sum of £420.00 plus VAT to take down the remaining section of the wall up to the pier and to rebuild.

Discussion ensued and members agreed that the quotation from F. J. Capon Ltd. should be accepted and the view was expressed that instead of having a structural survey a further quotation should be requested from F. J. Capon Ltd. to replace the footing of the wall.

In response to a question from the Town Clerk, it was agreed that the matter be further considered at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting to be held on 20th May, 2003.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) the quotation from F. J. Capon Ltd. in the sum of £420 plus VAT to demolish and rebuild the additional section of wall to the pier be approved;

(b) a quotation be requested from F. J. Capon Ltd. to replace the footings of the wall;

(c) the matter be considered further at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting to be held on 20th May, 2003.
 105.

 105.1
ST. PETER'S CHURCHYARD REFURBISHMENT

Quotation for Refurbishment Works

Further to minute 92.2 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 25th March, 2003 members recalled that an additional quotation for the refurbishment works at St. Peter's Churchyard was to be sought. In this respect members received and considered a report detailing a quotation received from Urban Forestry together with the past quotations from D. F. Clarke and SSG Landscapes.

The report detailed that the following funding was available within the Town Council Estimates for this project:

Queen's Golden Jubilee (2002-2003)       £4,000
Millennium Garden (2002-2003)              £1,000
St. Peter's Refurbishment (2003-2004)    £6,000
Total                                                         £11,000

Discussion ensued and members felt that the quotation from SSG Landscapes for the refurbishment work in the sum of £32,487.61 should be accepted and it was agreed that additional grant funding should now be sought from outside bodies.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) the quotation from SSG Landscapes for the refurbishment of St. Peter's Church in the sum of £32,487.61 to accepted subject to the receipt of grant funding;

(b) additional grant funding be sought for the refurbishment of St. Peter's Churchyard.
 105.2 Millennium Garden Plants

In conjunction with the proposed refurbishment of St. Peter's Churchyard, which includes the revamping of the Millennium Garden, members were requested to consider the future of the plants currently growing in the garden. It had been suggested that the Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society (MHHS) be contacted to request their views on the disposal of the plants as they had undertaken the original construction of the Millennium Garden which had been designed as a Monastic Herb Garden.

The Town Clerk reported that Mrs Coppen (MHHS) had suggested that their members could relocate some of the plants to the Friary Walled Garden.

The view was expressed that, if possible, the plants could be relocated to a specific area in the Friary Walled Garden with some form of identification stating that the plants had originally been growing in the Millennium Garden.

RECOMMENDED: that the MHHS be informed that the plants in the Millennium Garden be relocated, if possible, to a specific area in the Friary Walled Garden with some form of identification stating that they had previously been located in the Millennium Garden.
 105.3 Seating Area Canopy

At the request of Cllr. Thain, members considered the possibility of erecting a canopy over the seating area beneath the Holm Oak , St. Peter's Churchyard to protect users from the birds.

The Chairman reminded members that a Lych Gate had been included in the original design from the Essex County Council and members had felt that it was an unnecessary expenditure. The view was expressed that seats were provided in St. Peter's Churchyard and outside All Saints' Church.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed

RESOLVED: that no further action be taken regarding this matter.
 106. QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

There were no questions.
   The meeting closed at 8.15 p.m.

Councillor Mary Curtis
Chairman

Signed……………………………………… Date………………………………



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