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MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON TUESDAY 12th JANUARY, 2004 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Vice-Chairman: Cllr. M. Bentley
Councillors: Mrs. M. Curtis (Deputy Mayor), Mrs. M. Game,
I. Mackenzie, W. Prior, S. Savage,
K. Smith (Town Mayor) and J. Swallow.
In Attendance: The Town Clerk and Administrative Assistant
IN THE CHAIR - CLLR. M. BENTLEY
 59. APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE

An apology for absence was received from Cllr. Mrs. S. Riesebeck.
 60. MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 17TH NOVEMBER, 2003

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 17th November, 2003 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 61.

 61.1
ALLOTMENTS

Allotment Inspection

Members recalled that no allotment inspections would be undertaken during January and February - minute 83.1 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 11th February, 2002 refers. It was noted that Cllr. Prior was to undertake the March allotment inspection.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 61.2 Financial Statement of Accounts

Members received and considered a report indicating that £7,435.08 remained in the allotment account for this financial year.

In response to a question regarding water charges the Town Clerk said that she would investigate whether the water charges were calculated at an agricultural or domestic rate. It was also noted that the bills were received on a half yearly basis and as such there were water bills for two separate periods included in the report.

RESOLVED: that the financial report be noted.
 61.3 Brickhouse Farm

a. Clearance of Rubble
Further to minute 49.5 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 17th November, 2003 members received and considered a report regarding the remaining rubble at the Brickhouse Farm allotment site. The report indicated that a considerable amount of rubble still remained alongside the boundary fence at the site and it was noted that the approximate cost to hire another skip would be £100 plus if felt necessary, any costs for labour to fill the skip. It was also reported that the communal compost bins were completely full due to the large quantities of unsuitable vegetation which had been deposited in the bins and would take a long time to rot down.

Discussion ensued and it was felt that it would be beneficial to organise a site meeting on a Saturday morning between members and tenants to discuss the on going problems at the site.

RESOLVED: that a site meeting be arranged on a Saturday morning between members and tenants to discuss the problems at the site.

b. Tenancy Agreement
Further to minute 49.5 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 17th November, 2003 members received a copy of the Brickhouse Farm Tenancy Agreement. Members were informed that clause 6(n) of the agreement referred to the disposal of refuse and decaying matter and they considered whether this clause was adequate or if it should be amended to include the disposal of stones and rubble.

Discussion ensued and it was felt that clause 6(n) of the tenancy agreement should be amended and it was

RESOLVED: that clause 6(n) be amended to read, "shall not deposit or allow other persons to deposit on the allotment garden any refuse, decaying matter (except manure and compost in such quantities as may reasonably be required for use in cultivation), stones or rubble or place any matter in any hedges, ditches or dykes in the said allotment site or any adjoining plot."
 61.4 Comments from the Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society (MHHS)

There were no members of the MHHS present at the meeting.
 62. MALDON IN BLOOM WORKING PARTY MEETING HELD ON 3RD DECEMBER, 2003

Members received and considered the notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party meeting held on 3rd December, 2003.

RESOLVED: that the notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party meeting held on 3rd December, 2003 be approved.
 63.

 63.1
ST. PETER'S CHURCHYARD

Grant Funding

Further to minute 54 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 17th November, 2003 members received and considered a report regarding the provision of grant funding for the proposed refurbishment project for St. Peter's Churchyard.

The report indicated the following information regarding grant funding:

(i) Essex Heritage Trust - A letter had been received stating that subsequent to a site visit the Trustees had discussed the matter where it had been agreed that the application should be deferred and re-submitted dependant on success in raising further funding.

(ii) Essex Environment Trust - A letter dated 27th November, 2003 had been received stating that the Town Council would receive £5,000 towards the project.

(iii) Maldon District Council - A letter had been received on 24th November, 2003 stating that the Maldon District Council were prepared to offer a grant of £5,000 from the Conservation Area Enhancements section of the Planning and Development Services' Environmental Enhancement budget.

(iv) Shell Better Britain Campaign - Unsuccessful application.

(v) Local Heritage Initiative Grant, Countryside Agency - As a result of a recent meeting between the Town Clerk, Sarah Green, Essex Landscape Consultancy and Lisa Proctor, Local Heritage Initiative (Lottery Board) held at the Town Council offices, Ms. Proctor had indicated that the proposed project was very worthy of funding but she had felt that a revised application should be submitted detailing more of the history/heritage of the site. Discussion had ensued at the meeting on the many ways in which the various local community groups could become involved in the project during and after its completion. Ms. Proctor had also stated that she would be happy to review the revised application prior to its re-submission.

Discussion ensued and it was felt that in order to obtain the maximum £25,000 funding from the Heritage Initiative, further investigations should be undertaken regarding the points raised by Ms. Proctor and detailed in the report.

RECOMMENDED: that further investigations be undertaken to involve the local community in the project to refurbish St. Peter's Churchyard and that the grant application to the Local Heritage Initiative be re-submitted.
 63.2 Access for the Disabled - Plume Building

Further to minute 16(b) of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 23rd June, 2003 members recalled that a quotation from Bakers of Danbury Limited had been sought for the provision of a disabled access ramp into the Maeldune Centre. Following a recent site visit by Bakers of Danbury it had been suggested that, to avoid having to undertake major structural alterations within the building, it would be beneficial for the external entrance to be altered by incorporating a slope when the refurbishment works are being undertaken to the footpath.

RECOMMENDED: that the external entrance to the Maeldune Centre be altered during the refurbishment work to the footpaths surrounding St. Peter's Churchyard to enable access for the disabled.
 64. REFUSE AT HYTHE QUAY

Further to minute 63 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 6th October, 2003 members received a response from the Waste Management Officer, Maldon District Council which apologised for the delay in replying and stated that the problems with the waste bins had occurred during a change over of contractors and that they would in future be monitoring the situation and action would be taken should a further problem occur.

RECOMMENDED: that the information be noted.
 65. SALT BINS, MALDON

Further to minute 40.2 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 6th October, 2003 members received the response from the Area Manager South, Essex County Council regarding salt bins. The response indicated that new salt bins have to be funded by town/parish councils and installed by Alfred McAlpine at a cost including installation of approximately £300.

Discussion ensued regarding salt bins being provided at Beeleigh Road and Warwick Crescent and the Town Clerk informed members that there had been no provision for additional salt bins in the 2004/2005 Estimates.

RECOMMENDED: that the information be noted.
 66. MARKET HILL GARDEN

Further to minute 53 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 17th November, 2003 members were informed that the Town Council's Handyman had agreed to undertake the task of cementing the rocks into position along the front boundary wall of Market Hill Garden.

RECOMMENDED: that the Town Council's Handyman cements the rocks into position along the front boundary wall, Market Hill Garden.
 67. PUBLICATION - THE LAW OF ALLOTMENTS

Members considered the purchase of a book entitled, "The Law of Allotments" 5th Edition by Paul Clayden which provided a practical, concise but comprehensive form of allotments law for the benefit of local authorities (particularly parish and community councils) at a cost of £18.95 including postage and packaging.

RECOMMENDED: that the Town Council purchases a copy of the book, "The Law of Allotments" 5th Edition by Paul Clayden at a total cost of £18.95.
 68. PUSH TESTER

Members recalled that as part of the Town Council's Risk Assessment it was necessary for tomb stones located in the three Closed Churchyards to be regularly tested to ensure that they would not fall over and cause harm to the public. In this respect members considered the purchase of a "Push Tester" which was designed to check the stability of memorials, graves, bollards, posts etc. at a cost of £695.00 plus an annual fee of £64.00 for annual calibration including certificates and carriage. A copy of the specification for the "Push Tester" had been circulated to members.

It was noted that the Maldon District Council had been contacted to ascertain if they use such equipment and had stated that they test memorials manually.

Discussion ensued and it was felt that as there were no high rise tombs in the churchyards the tests should be undertaken manually. It was also noted that the equipment could be hired for £65.00 per week.

RECOMMENDED: that the Town Council does not purchase a "Push Tester" and that future testing be undertaken manually.
 69. CHURCH WALK - ADDITIONAL LIGHT

Members considered a request for the provision of an additional Parish light in Church Walk as it had been reported by a member of the public that this area was very dark at night.

In response to a question the Town Clerk stated that the cost of providing a light was not known as it was dependant upon the source of the electricity supply.

Discussion ensued and it was suggested that external lighting could be included in the proposed church hall development. It was also felt that the views of owners and tenants of properties in Church Walk should be sought regarding this matter.

RECOMMENDED: that the views of owners and tenants of properties in Church Walk be sought regarding the installation of an additional Parish light in this location.
 70. SATURDAY GREEN WASTE COLLECTIONS IN 2004

Members were informed that notification had been received from the Waste Management Officer, Maldon District Council regarding the restarting of the popular Saturday Green Waste Collections throughout the District. In this respect the service would this year be extended by one month and would commence from Saturday, 6th March, 2004 and run until the end of November, 2004. Members noted that Maldon collection points would be:

Council Offices car park         9.45 a.m. to 10.00 a.m.
Brickhouse Farm car park    10.10 a.m. to 10.40 a.m.

RECOMMENDED: that the information be noted.
 71. QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

There were no questions from the press or public.
   The meeting closed at 8.00 p.m.

Councillor Mike Bentley
Chairman

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



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