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Maldon Town Council


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

MINUTES OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 18th NOVEMBER, 2002 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Chairman: Cllr. Mrs M. Curtis
Vice Chairman: Cllr. Mrs E. Downes
Councillors: Mrs. V. Foster, T. Kelly, P. Roberts (Town Mayor),
P. Rew (Deputy Mayor), Mrs S. Riesebeck and K. Smith.
In Attendance: Two members of the public, the Town Clerk and Administrative Assistant.
 51. APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE
An apology for absence was received from Cllr. W. Prior.
 52. MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 21ST OCTOBER, 2002

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 21st October, 2002 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 53. LONGSHIP WAY - FELLED OAK TREE

Further to minute 99 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 30th April, 2002 members recalled that it had been agreed that the felled Oak tree stump should be left in situ on the Longship Way amenity area. In this respect members received and considered letters from residents of Longship Way requesting the removal of the tree stump.

The Chairman adjourned the meeting for the members of the public to speak.

The members of the public stated that the oak tree stump attracted youths who congregated on and around the stump in close proximity to residential properties. The youths were extremely noisy and stayed until late evening; they left a considerable amount of rubbish on the amenity area and their presence was intimidating to several elderly residents. It had also been noticed that parked vehicles in Longship Way had been vandalised and this vandalism had been reported to the Police.

The Chairman re-convened the meeting.

Cllr. Kelly felt that this matter could be separated into two issues:

· What to do with the felled oak tree stump
· The problem caused by the anti social behaviour of youths

It was suggested that it may be beneficial for residents of Longship Way to consider forming a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme which would involve liaising with the local Police.

With regard to the oak tree stump the view was expressed that if it were to be removed from the amenity area then attempts should be made for it to be used productively either on another site within the District or offered to the Plume School.

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that the oak tree stump located on Longship Way Amenity Area be removed to an alternative location or offered to the Plume School.

The members of the public left the meeting at 7.45 p.m.
 54. PARISH PATHS PARTNERSHIP (P3)

Further to the letter of the Town Clerk dated 10th October, 2002 regarding the Parish Paths Partnership Scheme (P3), members were informed that Ms. Cross, Essex County Council was unable to attend this evening's meeting.

The Chairman invited Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck to speak regarding this matter.

Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck informed members that she had recently attended a training course organised by the P3 scheme where it had been reported that equipment, funding and knowledge were available to members of the scheme. This assistance could be utilised to assist with grants for the improvements to local footpaths, fingerposts and ditches although volunteer help from organisations such as the Ramblers Association or the Maldon District Council's "Fit for Life" scheme would be required to undertake any work. Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck reminded members that there was no charge for joining the scheme.

A question was raised regarding the definitive map of footpaths and it was noted that Cllr. Kelly would be attending a meeting on 19th November, 2002 on behalf of the Town Council where the updated map would be issued.

Discussion ensued and it was

RESOLVED: that the Town Council joins the Essex County Council, Parish Paths Partnership Scheme (P3).
 55.

55.1
ALLOTMENTS

Allotment Inspection

Members received and considered a report regarding an allotment inspection undertaken by Cllr. T. Kelly on 10th November, 2002.
   Maldon Hall - Water Meter reading 102956

In view of the recent wet weather, it was not unexpected that not much work had been done on the site.

He was rather surprised to find that a brand new large garden shed had appeared at the end of plot no. 28 (for information the shed had been temporarily installed by the BBC for filming on 12th November, 2002 and would subsequently be removed when filming had been completed).

Most plots were in a reasonable condition - plot no. 23a had been completely cleared of all weeds and a lot of work had been put into plot no. 33a. The area to the rear of the garages needed to be cleared and it was suggested that the Plume Housing Association should be invited to improve their environmental commitment by installing further water butts to recycle the water from the garage roofs.

Cllr. Kelly felt that consideration should be given to restricting vehicles to the wide pathway on the bypass side of the site during wintertime as it was noticeable that the other main footpath used by pedestrians had been badly damaged (sunken tracks). Plot no. 3a had still not been cultivated, plot no.36a was overgrown and the vacant plots nos. 39a & 39b were in a deplorable condition.
   Warwick Crescent

The recent weather conditions - as on all sites - would make it unreasonable to "Tax" tenants too hard this time round. It was noted that the "no dogs, no dumping" etc sign was lying on the ground. One tenant commented that the water flow into the tanks was too slow (water pressure) so that if one person used a lot of water, others had some considerable time to wait until a refill was available. It appeared that someone had "dumped" some wallpaper scrapings amongst weeds etc near plot no. 11a. Consideration should be given to a programme of either hedge or fence renewal - especially at the point of plots 9a and 10a.

Plot no. 1a was completely unworked, while plot no. 10b appeared to require a lot of work. Plots nos.7a & 7b were in excellent condition. Cllr. Kelly felt that something needed to be done to heighten paths as there was already some flooding between the plots.
   Brickhouse Farm - Water Meter reading 0049.38

The right hand side upon entering the site was in a mess from stones, weeds and rubbish. Some plot markers were down (No.2), and plot no.1 badly needed attention. The footpath between plots nos. 10 and 11 was badly potholed and should be levelled to assist tenants using wheelbarrows etc. Plot no. 8 was in a bad condition and plots nos. 4 & 6 were very weedy. Most plots appeared to be regularly worked especially plots nos. 10 and 11.

For all sites, a general action plan for the removal of rubbish and weeds (non recyclable) and clearance should be undertaken early each spring to improve their overall appearance; Cllr. Kelly intended to make another inspection in March 2003.

Discussion ensued and members expressed the view that unfortunately the central track at the Maldon Hall site usually became rutted during the winter months; however members were informed that signs had now been installed on the gates to the site stating "No Vehicular Access During Wet Conditions".

The view was expressed that investigations should be undertaken to prevent the flooding between the plots at the Warwick Crescent site although it was noted that some tenants who had been affected by the flooded paths had commented that their plots had been extremely fertile this season.

RESOLVED: that (a) the Plume Housing Association be approached to enquire if they would be interested in improving their commitment to environmental issues by installing additional water butts along the rear of the garages at Maldon Hall;

(b) the water tanks at Warwick Crescent be serviced in early spring;

(c) investigations be undertaken regarding footpath improvement between plots at Warwick Crescent;

(d) in all other respects the report of Cllr. Kelly to be noted.
 55.2 Financial Statement of Account

Members received a report indicating that £10,079.74 remained in the allotment account this financial year. It was noted that an invoice in the sum of £2350.70 plus VAT was still awaited in respect of the installation of four additional water tanks at the Maldon Hall site.

Cllr. Roberts expressed concern regarding additional work being undertaken by the Ground Maintenance Contractor and he requested that the contract document be re-examined to ensure that any extra work such as hedge-cutting was not included within the contract. Discussion ensued and it was felt that a report should be compiled regarding the expenditure on additional works undertaken by the Ground Maintenance Contractor for submission to the Environment Committee meeting to be held on 8th January, 2003.

RESOLVED: that (a) investigations be undertaken regarding expenditure on additional Ground Maintenance work undertaken by the contractor and a report be submitted to the next meeting;

(b) in all other respects the financial report be noted.
 55.3 Maldon Hall - Plots 39a and 39b

At the meeting of the Environment Committee meeting held on 21st October, 2002 members were invited to visit the Maldon Hall allotment site to consider improvements to plots 39a and 39b (minute 39.36 referred).

Cllr. Kelly felt that to encourage prospective tenants to take on these plots the Town Council should cultivate the plots rather than leaving them fallow and covered in weeds. He felt that initially the plots could be used to grow plants which could be used to improve areas of the town.

The view was expressed that the condition of the soil on these plots was extremely poor as the ground contained large quantities of rubble and hardcore and accordingly they would be extremely difficult to cultivate.

It was suggested that, as the ground was in such a poor condition, it would be preferable for the area to be flattened and levelled to provide a turning area for cars and tractors visiting the site.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed that, due to the time of year, the matter should be deferred until the Spring when the matter should be reconsidered.

RESOLVED: that the matter be deferred until the Environment Committee meeting to be held on 10th February, 2003. (amended T.C. meeting 16.12.02)
 55.4 Warwick Crescent

Further to minute 39.1 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 21st October, 2002 members received and considered a quotation from the Parks Supervisor in the sum of £100.00 plus VAT to trim back the Lift Approach hedge.

In view of the fact that ground maintenance work was to be discussed at the next Environment Committee meeting it was agreed that this item be held in abeyance until the meeting to be held on 8th January, 2003.

RESOLVED: that the matter be deferred until the Environment Committee meeting to be held on 8th January, 2003.
 55.4 Brickhouse Farm

Further to minute 93.1 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 30th April, 2002 members noted that the Handyman had completed the construction of compost bins at the Brickhouse Farm site.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 55.5 Amendment to Tenancy Agreement

Further to minute 39.5 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 21st October, 2002 members received and considered an amended format for the Allotment Tenancy Agreement and Rules.

RESOLVED: that the amended Allotment Tenancy Agreement and Rules be adopted.
 56. ESTIMATE REQUIREMENT 2003 - 2004

Members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk regarding the draft estimate requirements for the Environment Committee for the 2003 - 2004 financial year and the following items were discussed:

St. Peter's Churchyard
The Town Clerk advised that investigations were being undertaken regarding schemes for the site which had been estimated to cost in the region of £3,000 and the total estimated cost for the project was approximately £20,000.

Cromwell Pump
Members noted that the wall capping surrounding the pump was crumbling and required to be repaired. It was suggested that as this would be a specialised work the advice of the Conservation Officer, Maldon District Council should be sought with a view to applying for a Local Features Grant to assist with funding.

War Memorial Maintenance

Members felt that a letter should be forwarded to Albert Kilby thanking him for his sterling work in cleaning the War Memorial.

Ware Pond

Members felt that the Ware Pond could be improved by the installation of a fountain. It was suggested that a letter should be forwarded to the developer of the adjacent site to enquire if they would be interested in funding enhancements to the Ware Pond.

Maldon in Bloom

Members were of the opinion that the Maldon District Council should increase their funding for the campaign as the Town Council's role in organising the 2002 campaign had not been recognised by the District Council.

Members recalled that it had been suggested that the Maldon In Bloom Working Party should investigate projects to environmentally enhance areas of the town such as the Wycke Hill Business Park pond, Market Hill Garden and the concrete area in front of Charter House, Wantz Road. It was suggested that the Plume Housing Association be asked if they would consider supporting improvements to the area of concrete outside Charter House by installing floral decorations such as tubs.

Litter Bins, Longship Way

In view of the proposed removal of the oak tree stump from this amenity area, it was felt a litter bin may not be necessary and that the situation should be monitored.

RECOMMENDED: that the Environment Committee submits a request for the sum of £41,384.23 to be allocated within the 2003 / 2004 Estimates.
 57. DOG FOULING

Further to minute 42 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 21st October, 2002 members received a response from the Environment Protection Team Leader, Maldon District Council regarding dog fouling in Maldon.

RESOLVED: that the response be noted.
 58. BUS SHELTERS

Further to minute 25 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 15th July, 2002 members recalled that it had been agreed that the bus shelter outside Oliver's Shoes should be reinstated now that the High Street improvement works had been completed. As a result of contacting the Essex County Council they had indicated that £1000 would be forwarded towards a replacement shelter in addition to their maximum grant of £800.

Members were reminded that the approximate cost of a graffiti resistant coated polycarbonate shelter including seating, timetable and installation was £3,657.00 and noted that the type of shelter previously selected had been sited within Conservation Areas of other towns.

Members received and considered a letter from the Landscape Officer, Maldon District Council who was not in favour of the design of the proposed design for the replacement shelter bearing in mind that it would be situated in a Conservation Area.

In response to a question the Town Clerk stated that the Town Council did not require permission from the District Council to install a bus shelter within the town.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed that the cost of a "Castle" type shelter be investigated.

It was suggested that information should be requested from local bus companies regarding the popularity of bus stops used by the public within the town with the view to considering the implementation of a rolling programme of including additional bus shelters throughout the town.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) a quotation for a "Castle" type bus shelter be sought;

(b) if the quotation is received within the next two days an item regarding the High Street bus shelter be included on the agenda for the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting to be held on 26th November, 2002, otherwise the matter be submitted to the next Council meeting;

(c) information regarding the number of persons using bus stops in Maldon be sought from bus companies
 59. ST. PETER'S CHURCHYARD

At the meeting of the Environment Committee held on 21st October, 2002 members agreed to undertake a site visit to consider the possible position of a diagonal pathway across the churchyard (minute 49.1 referred).

Upon consideration of this matter it was agreed that it would be extremely difficult to position a diagonal pathway from the rear of St. Peter's Tower across the churchyard due to the location of a number of tombs and trees.

In this respect it was

RECOMMENDED: that no further action be taken with regard to this proposal and the specification from Sarah Greene, Essex County Council be approved and tenders be sought for the proposed project.
 60. LEECH MEMORIAL GARDEN / WARE POND

Members were informed that, as a result of the strong winds on 27th October, 2002, branches had to be removed from willow trees at the Leech Memorial Garden and the Ware Pond at a total cost of approximately £150.00; this work was undertaken after consultation with the Chairman of the Committee.

RESOLVED: that the work to willow trees at Leech Memorial Garden and the Ware Pond in the sum of £150.00 be approved.
 61. ST. GILES RUINS

Further to minute 23 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 15th July, 2002 members were informed that the section of railings at St. Giles Ruins had now been installed and members noted that an excellent job had been undertaken by the Handyman and an assistant.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 62. LOCAL FEATURES GRANT SCHEME 2002 - 2003

Members received and considered a letter from the Conservation Assistant, Maldon District Council regarding the Local Features Grant Scheme 2002 - 2003 for local features which gave character to an area and an identity with the past which was considered to be important to conserve.

Discussion ensued and it was felt that applications for such grants should be submitted to the Maldon District Council for repair work to the Cromwell Pump and the Moot Hall.

RECOMMENDED: that grant applications be submitted to the Maldon District Council, Local Features Grant Scheme for repairs to the Cromwell Pump and the Moot Hall.
The Meeting closed at 8.55 p.m.

Councillor Mary Curtis

Chairman

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



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