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Maldon Town Council



Town Council Offices,
Town Hall, Market Hill,
Maldon, Essex,  CM9 4RL.

MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON TUESDAY 15th July, 2002 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.

PRESENT: Chairman: Cllr. Mrs Mary Curtis
Vice Chairman: Cllr. Mrs Eunice Downes
Councillors: T. Kelly, W. Prior, P. Rew (Deputy Mayor) and Mrs S. Riesebeck
Representatives: Mr S. MacPherson and Mrs G. Coppen (Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society)
In Attendance: The Town Clerk, Planning Committee Clerk and one member of the public.
18. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs. Mrs Foster, Roberts, who was representing the Town Council at the Parish Liaison meeting, and Smith.
19. MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON
11TH JUNE, 2002

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 11th June, 2002 be approved and signed as a correct record.
20.

20.1
ALLOTMENTS

Allotment Inspection

Members received and considered a report regarding an allotment inspection undertaken by Cllr. Mrs Downes which detailed the following:

Warwick Crescent
Concern regarding dog fouling in the Lift footpath between King Street and Manse Chase. Rear boundary hedge required to be cut.

Plot Nos.
1a Same condition as past inspection (letter of enquiry sent last month)
2a Same condition as past inspection (letter of enquiry sent last month)
4a Same condition as past inspection (letter of enquiry sent last month - response received that tenant's son is now assisting with the plot)
5c Rubbish sacks on plot
6a Bad (new tenant - June 02)
9b Bad (new tenant - May 02)
10a A little untidy and weedy
10b Weedy

Cllr. Mrs. Downes requested that the Essex County Council be contacted regarding the overgrown condition and amount of dog fouling on the Lift footpath. The Town Clerk stated that in response to a request from a local resident this matter had already been reported to the Essex County Council.

Brickhouse Farm
Paths need to be strimmed.

Plot Nos.
1 Cleared - part cultivated and signs of work being undertaken on the plot
4 Same condition as past inspection (Letter of enquiry sent last month - response received stated the tenant has been unwell and that the plot has now been cultivated)

Cllr. Mrs Downes requested that the number of the padlock on the entrance gate be forwarded to members undertaking allotment inspections to enable then to gain access to the site.

Maldon Hall
It was noted that a path had been trodden through a plot by the "No dumping" sign at the far end of the site next to the burnt out box.

Plot Nos.
3a weedy (new tenant - May 02)
18a weedy
20a part weedy
21a weedy
22a very poor condition (no response to letter sent to tenant in June 02 regarding the condition of the plot)
25b weedy
30a plot covered in polythene
45a weedy (new tenant - June 02)

RESOLVED: that (a) plots 6a Warwick Crescent and 22a Maldon Hall be strimmed;

(b) the handyman be requested to cut the hedge at the Warwick Crescent site and strim the paths at the Brickhouse Farm site.

(c) in all other respects the report be noted.
20.2. Financial Statement of Account

Members received a report indicating that £9,307.40 remained in the allotment account this financial year. It was noted that the invoice was still awaited in respect of the installation of the new water tanks at Maldon Hall.

RESOLVED: that the financial statement be noted.
20.3. Maldon Hall

a. Water Tank Re-location
Further to minute 93.1 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 30th April, 2002 members received and considered a quotation in the sum of £78.58 to re-locate the redundant water tank on plot 12 and connect it to the tank on plot 8.

RESOLVED: that the quotation in the sum of £78.58 to re-locate and connect the water tank at the Maldon Hall site be approved.

b. Use of Site by the BBC
Members were informed that the BBC had contacted the office, as a result of speaking to Russell Dawes, Maldon District Council, indicating that they would like to use an allotment at Maldon Hall as a location for filming. They had spoken to Mr T. Hill, the allotment tenant of plot 46b, who had no objection to them using his allotment. They would also like to erect a shed on allotment 46a which Mr Hill and another tenant have recently taken over.

BBC - Blackwater would initially undertake filming for half a day during August and would be prepared to pay approximately £200; if they returned later in the year for further filming they would pay a larger amount to the Town Council for using the allotments. A contract would be drawn up confirming that they would reinstate the allotment etc.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council have no objection to the BBC using plots 46a & 46b Maldon Hall allotment site for filming and the temporary erection of a shed on one of the plots subject to viewing the contract.
20.4. Warwick Crescent - Lease

In response to a recent enquiry regarding the lease for the Warwick Crescent allotment site, members were informed that the site was leased from the Plume Housing Association on an annual basis at a cost of £75.00 per annum. The lease agreement for the site stipulates that a 12 month notice period was required should the lease be terminated by the Plume Housing Association.

Councillor Mrs Downes expressed her concern that this area was not designated as a statutory allotment site and she felt every effort should be made to preserve the allotment site for the local community.

Councillor Kelly felt that the 12 months notice period stipulated in the lease agreement with the Plume Housing Association was not sufficient time as the Town Council's allotment tenancy agreement stipulates that tenants will be given a statutory 12 months notice to vacate their plots. He stated that he would initially investigate the terms of agreement between the Maldon District Council and Plume Housing Association when the ownership of the allotment site was transferred to the later.

RESOLVED: that (a) further investigations be undertaken regarding the Warwick Crescent Allotment site being designated as a Statutory Allotment site;

(b) a letter be forwarded to the Plume Housing Association to request that they consider amending the lease agreement to include an 18 month notice period.
20.5. Rents

a. Annual Rental Charges
Further to minute 16.9 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 16th July, 2001, members considered whether allotment rents should be increased. Members were informed that the current rental was 10 pence per square metre and Senior Citizens received a 50% discount.

Discussion ensued and members expressed the view that the allotments offered a small service to the community and provided recreational and health benefits to the tenants. It was therefore

RESOLVED: that there be no change to the allotment rent for the year 2002 / 2003.

b. Strimming Charge
Members were informed that a suggestion had been received from an allotment tenant that an additional charge of £10.00 should be included in the annual rental which could be used to strim plots which became in a poor condition.

Cllr. Kelly felt that it would be wrong to charge tenants who kept their plots in a satisfactory condition and that tenants should be charged if their plots become in an overgrown condition and need to be strimmed because they cause problems to neighbouring plot holders.

It was suggested that the terms and conditions of the allotment agreement should be amended to state that tenants would be charged at the rate of .30 pence per sq. metre to strim overgrown plots if the inspection report indicated that the plot was in poor condition and no valid reason had been submitted to the Town Council. In this respect a revised allotment tenancy agreement should be submitted to the Environment Committee meeting to be held on 20th August, 2002.

RESOLVED: that (a) a revised allotment tenancy agreement be submitted to the Environment Committee meeting to be held on 20th August, 2002;

(b) details of the amendment to the tenancy agreement be included in the next Allotment newsletter.
20.6. Allotment Notice Boards

Further to minute 5.8 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 11th June, 2002, members received and considered five quotations for unglazed, external landscape notice boards - size 880 x 744mm to include the header "Maldon Town Council" and fixing posts, to be located at the entrance to the Brickhouse Farm, Maldon Hall and Warwick Crescent allotment sites.

RESOLVED: that the quotation from Tony Turner to supply three 800mm x 744mm external notice boards with legs in the total sum of £306.00 plus VAT be approved.
(Small Holdings & Allotments Act 1908 ss26)
20.7. Youth Club Allotment

Members were informed that a request had been received from Mrs L. Wright regarding the possibility of Youth for Christ, the youth group of the Elim Church, being allocated , free of charge, a vacant allotment plot at the Maldon Hall site. Members were informed that there were currently 5 vacant plots at the site which were all in an extremely poor condition and a plot would require to be strimmed before being taken on by new tenants.

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that the Youth for Christ, Elim Church be offered free of charge for one year a strimmed allotment plot at the Maldon Hall site and the plot be monitored to ensure that it is being cultivated.

At the conclusion of this item in answer to a question from Mrs. J. Coppen, Mrs. J. Good informed members that plot markers had now been installed at both the Warwick Crescent and Brickhouse Farm Allotment sites.
21.

21.1
MALDON IN BLOOM

Notes of the Working Party Meeting held on 19th June, 2002

Members received and considered the notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party meeting held on 19th June, 2002.

In response to a question from Cllr. Rew the Town Clerk advised that Mr Nickolls had chaired the meeting.

Note 6.2 Judging Route
Cllr. Rew stated that whilst visiting the Promenade Park on 10th July, 2002 during the Cabbie Day outing comments had been made to him that some of the flower beds were disappointing and poorly coloured and did not enhance the Park. He suggested that a letter be forwarded to the Parks Department expressing this view.

Note 7.2 Litter/Weeds
Cllr. Kelly expressed the view that the Working Party could not expect the Chief Executive, Maldon District Council to have any control regarding weeds and litter in the town. He said that overall the cleaning of the High Street was very efficient.

Cllr. Kelly felt that the Maldon in Bloom Working Party were a committed group of people who provided an opportunity for the people within Maldon to become involved in community projects which could only benefit and enhance the town. He also felt that the development of the amenity area at the rear of Coleridge Road and Longfellow Road had made a positive difference and had encouraged members of the local community to assist in enhancing their community.

RESOLVED: that (a) a letter be forwarded to the Parks Department, Maldon District Council regarding the disappointing colour of some of the flower beds in the Promenade Park this year.

(b) in all other respects the notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party be noted.
21.2. Meeting Attendance

Members considered the request that a member of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party attends future meetings of the Environment Committee.

Reference was made to minute 168 of the Town Council meeting held on 22nd April, 2002 at which it had been suggested that future meetings of the Working Party be held in the evenings. It was noted that the majority of the people that currently serve upon the Working Party could not attend evening meetings for various reasons. Discussion ensued regarding this matter during which the view was expressed that as there were a number of people serving on the Working Party who were very involved and doing something for the benefit of the town, the meeting should continue to be held during the day.

In view of this it was agreed that a Maldon in Bloom Working Party member should attend and report to the Environment Committee in a similar manner as representatives of the Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society.

The Chairman stated that she hoped that one of the new Town Councillors may be able to attend the daytime Maldon in Bloom Working Party meetings.

RESOLVED: that a member of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party be invited to attend at future meetings of the Environment Committee.
22. AMENITY AREA REAR OF TENNYSON ROAD

Further to minute 9.2 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 11th June, 2002 members received and considered comments and a quotation from the Parks Supervisor, Maldon District Council in respect of the amenity area to the rear of Tennyson Road. He had suggested that the tarmaced area be treated annually in the spring with a weedkiller to remove the grass and weeds but also suggested that perhaps the local residents could get involved with this site.

The Chairman reminded members that the Town Council were only responsible for half of this area and that in the past residents had suggested that the land be incorporated into their gardens.

In response to a question from Cllr. Kelly regarding the necessity to use a weed killer on the area, the Town Clerk stated that the surface of the area was extremely overgrown which justified the use of a weed killer. It was agreed that the residents of adjacent properties should be advised, by letter, as to when the weed killer would be applied and that they should also be asked for their views in respect of how the area could be improved.

Members suggested that the Poets' Estate Residents' Association be invited to comment on ways the area could be improved.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) the quotation from the Parks Supervisor in the sum of £50.00 plus VAT to treat the Tennyson Road amenity area with weedkiller be approved;

(b) a letter be forwarded to all properties adjacent to the amenity area advising them of the work to be undertaken and requesting their comments regarding improvements to the amenity area;

(c) the Poets' Estate Residents' Association be requested for their views to improve the area.
23. ST. GILES RUINS

Further to minute 15 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 11th June, 2002 members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk regarding the installation of a section of railings at St. Giles Ruins.

Members noted that the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee had authorised the purchase of 5 ft. high railings from W. H. Dash & Sons, Latchingdon in the sum of £120.00 plus VAT. The railings had been collected and were being stored by Tom Polden who had submitted a quotation to undertake the cutting and painting of the railings and construction of six posts at a cost of approximately £150.00.

Mr. Loader, the Town Council's Handyman, had stated that the installation of the railings would involve at least two people and that Mr Brett, the Window Cleaner may be prepared to assist. Members also noted that drilling equipment for the holes would need to be hired and quick drying cement purchased.

Cllr. Kelly stated that if the work were to be undertaken at the weekend he would be willing to assist the Handyman. The Town Clerk said that the installation of the railings should be undertaken as soon as possible.

Members were reminded that the sum of £700.00 had been included in the 2002 / 03 budget in respect of St. Giles Ruins.

RESOLVED: that (a) the quotation from Mr T. Polden in the sum of approximately £150.00 for transportation, cutting and painting of the railings and construction of six posts be approved;

(b) subject to his fee Mr. G. Brett be asked to assist Mr R. Loader with the installation of the railings and members be advised of the date of installation.
(Open Spaces Act 106 ss9)
24. ST. PETER'S CHURCHYARD

Members received and considered a letter from Farleigh at St. Clare's Hospice regarding the installation of a Christmas tree in the grounds of St. Peter's Churchyard for the Light up a Life Service.

RESOLVED: that (a) Farleigh at St. Clares Hospice be informed that the Town Council have no objection to the Christmas tree being installed in the grounds of St. Peter's Churchyard for the Light up a Life Service;

(c) the Maeldune Trust be advised of the installation and date of the service.
25. BUS SHELTERS

Further to minute 16 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 11th June, 2002 members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk, including quotations and design illustrations for a replacement bus shelter to be located outside Oliver's Shoes, High Street, Maldon.

Members were reminded that the sum of £2000.00 had been included in the 2002 / 03 Estimates for Bus Shelters and that a grant application had been submitted to the Essex County Council who may provide half of the capital cost of the shelter, up to a maximum grant of £800.00. It was noted that the approximate cost for a graffiti resistant coated polycarbonate shelter, including seating, timetable board and installation was £3657.00.

Cllr. Kelly expressed his concern that the original shelter, which was in a functional condition, had been removed to facilitate the High Street pavement improvements undertaken by the Maldon District Council and Essex County Council. Cllr. Kelly was of the opinion that the shelter should have been reinstated as part of the improvement works and that the public should be made aware that it was the Maldon District Council and Essex County Council who had removed the bus shelter.

The Town Clerk advised that it had originally been thought that the shelter would be replaced as part of the Town Council's contract with Adshel but, Adshel had subsequently advised that, due to the downturn in the advertising market they were currently unable to replace the shelter.

In response to a question from Cllr. Prior the Town Clerk advised that it was not possible to have advertisements on shelters located in a Conservation Area. The view was expressed that local businesses should be approached to ascertain if they would consider sponsoring a bus shelter in this location which would benefit their customers.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) letters be forwarded to the Maldon District Council and Essex County Council requesting that a bus shelter outside Oliver's Shoes be reinstated now that the High Street improvement works have been completed;

(b) a letter be forwarded to local retailers requesting that they consider sponsoring the bus shelter.
(Open Spaces Act 1906 ss.9)
26. WAR MEMORIAL

Members received and considered a letter from the Friends of War Memorials regarding War Memorials in the area that could be improved by volunteer work.

Discussion ensued and members felt that the Friends of War Memorials should be congratulated on their initiative and asked if they would consider re-painting the railings around the War Memorial. It was felt that the Royal British Legion should be advised of this request.

Cllr. Mrs Downes felt that the views of the Friends of War Memorials should be sought regarding the memorial in the Moot Hall in respect of the Boer War which due to the Moot Hall opening hours only had limited public access.

Cllr. Downes suggested that the Friends of War Memorials should be advised that the Woodham Mortimer War Memorial was in poor condition and that the Woodham Mortimer Parish Council may require their assistance.

RESOLVED: that a letter be forwarded to the Friends of War Memorials

(i) requesting that they consider re-painting the railings of the Maldon War Memorial located outside All Saints' Church, Maldon;

(ii) their views be sought regarding the Boer War Memorial located in the Moot Hall.

(iii) advising that the Woodham Mortimer War Memorial was in poor condition and in this respect they may wish to contact the Woodham Mortimer Parish Council.
27.

27.1
POETS' ESTATE

Blooming Poet's Garden Competition

Members received and considered a press release from the Poets' Estate Residents' Association regarding the Poet's Garden Competition.

RESOLVED: that the Poets' Estate Residents Association be congratulated on their achievements and that the Town Council looks forward to receiving next years results.
27.2. Amenity Area

Available at the meeting were photographs showing the improvements to the amenity area to the rear of Coleridge Road and Longfellow Road resulting from the installation and planting of the concrete drainage rings.

Members were happy with the results of this community project and felt that the Poets' Estate Resident's should be congratulated again on their success.

RESOLVED: that the Poets' Estate Residents' be congratulated on their achievements.
27.3. Dog Waste Bins

Further to a request from the Poet's Estate Residents' Association regarding the installation of additional dog waste bins on the Estate, members were informed that the Waste Officer, Maldon District Council had advised that although the District Council were prepared to empty any additional bins installed by Town or Parish Councils, funds were not available to supply additional bins. Members therefore considered whether they wished to install additional bins on the Poets' Estate and in this respect received quotations for dog waste bins.

Cllr. Rew expressed the view that it was not only the Poets' Estate which required additional bins, there were numerous other areas within the town which also required bins and he suggested that a Budget Head be set up for Dog Bins.

Cllr. Kelly felt that the installation of dog waste bins was not a Town Council function as it was an Environmental Health issue and therefore additional dog bins for the town should be provided by the Maldon District Council. He suggested that a letter be forwarded to the Maldon District Council requesting that they review policy on their dog waste facilities and details of their record of complaints regarding dog fouling in Maldon should be requested.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed that no further action be taken until a response is received from the Maldon District Council and the matter should be reviewed prior to the 2003 / 04 Estimates meeting.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) a letter be forwarded to the Maldon District Council suggesting that they review their policy regarding dog waste facilities and requesting details of their record of complaints regarding dog fouling in Maldon;

(b) the situation regarding dog waste bins be reviewed prior to the 2003 / 04 Estimate meeting.
The meeting closed at 8.33 p.m.

Councillor Mrs M. Curtis

Chairman

Signed………………………………..… Date……………………………….



ITEMS   (copy, report herewith)  are available for inspection at the Town Hall during normal office hours.


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