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MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON TUESDAY 15th JULY, 2003 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Chairman: Councillor Mrs. S. Riesebeck
Councillors: Mrs. M. Curtis, P. Roberts (Deputy Mayor), S. Savage and K. Smith (Town Mayor) and J. Swallow
Representatives: Mr. S. McPherson (Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society).
In Attendance: The Town Clerk and Administrative Assistant.
Absent: Cllr. M. Bentley
 14. AN APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE

An apology for absence was received from Cllr. W. Prior.
 15. MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 9TH JUNE, 2003

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 9th June, 2003 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 16.

 16.1
ALLOTMENTS

Allotment Inspection

Members received and considered the report of Cllr. Mrs S. Riesebeck regarding an allotment inspection undertaken during the last week of June, 2003.

Maldon Hall Site

Most plots were very good, overall appearance excellent.
  
Gates and PostsGood
SignageGood
Main FootpathsGood
Plot MarkersPlots to be re-measured in the summer when a check on plot markers will be undertaken
Car park areaOuter edge by boundary fence is getting a bit weedy
  
Plots
8a Partially cultivated, a bit weedy
8b Has some weeds but cultivated; tenant works away
12b Needs strimming - letter of enquiry
16a Cultivated but weedy
16b Dug over, starting to cultivate - new tenant
19b No signs of any work - letter of enquiry
20b Needs some attention - send second letter
21b Mostly weedy - letter of enquiry
22b Needs strimming - plot now strimmed and to be relinquished
23a A bit weedy in the middle
23b All growth gone to seed, needs strimming - plot now strimmed and to be relinquished
25a All last years stock, wild, no signs of work this year - second letter to be sent
26 Signs of work - monitor
28b A bit overgrown
29 Back half cultivated, rest overgrown (new tenant)
30a Needs strimming (Ground Maintenance Contractor has been requested to strim this plot prior to being taken over by a new tenant)
30b Path side front very weedy, reasonable at back
31 Signs of work starting
34 Rotovated, no cultivation
37a Some work done - Monitor
39b No sign of work (the area to be coppiced has now been marked out and the area strimmed)
40 Nearly half grassed over
41 Weedy
46b Tenant would like to see another water tank closer to his plot
   Trespass Complaint

Members received a letter, circulated at the meeting, from a tenant of the Maldon Hall allotment site outlining his concerns regarding a person and his dog trespassing on the site which also coincided with the theft of produce from allotment plots.

Members were informed that this was not the first time that this problem had been reported and several years ago the same person had been forwarded a letter regarding trespassing.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed that a letter should be forwarded to the person identified making him aware that, in accordance with the rules of the allotment site, no dogs or trespassers were permitted on the site. It was also felt that reference should be made to the fact that a previous letter had been sent regarding this matter.
   Warwick Crescent

It was suggested by a tenant that the Town Council should present an annual award for Best Kept Allotment which could be judged 2 - 3 times yearly with the scores added together for the overall winner. It was noted that the Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society held an allotment competition as well as Maldon in Bloom.

Another tenant had suggested that toilet facilities should be provided at the site.
  
Approach TrackGood
Notice BoardNew notice board installed with new signage
Boundary hedgeA little overgrown
  
Plots
2a No sign of cultivation, very overgrown - send second letter
10bThe plot has now been strimmed and there had been a bonfire on the plot, signs of earth being turned at the rear of the plot, nothing growing.
   Brickhouse Farm
  
GatesGood
Fences Good
SignageGood
  
Plots
4 Back half cultivated
5 A bit weedy
6 Tenancy to be terminated (plot to be strimmed and offered for tenancy from waiting list)
12 Weedy towards rear of plot
   RESOLVED: that (a) a letter be forwarded to the person who had been trespassing at Maldon Hall stating that no dogs or trespassing were allowed on the site and noting that this was his second reminder;

(b) the suggested action be taken regarding uncultivated plots and in all other respects the report be noted.
 16.2 Financial Statement of Account

Members received and considered a report indicating that £6,596.12 remained in the allotment account for this financial year.

In response to questions, the Town Clerk advised that as far as she was aware, apart from the strimming of a couple of plots, there were no outstanding amounts and the cancelled cheque detailed on the report was a cheque which had not been cashed during the transfer of Causeway Timber to Travis Perkins.

RESOLVED: that the financial report be noted.
 16.3 Compost Toilets

In response to a request for toilet facilities at the Warwick Crescent allotment site members received and considered information regarding environmentally friendly compost toilets.

Discussion ensued and concern was expressed regarding the possible location for such facilities with regard to the adjoining properties. It was also felt that they would probably be subject to vandalism and according to the literature would require to be maintained daily.

In response to a question regarding the cost of these facilities it was stated that this would be dependant on the type of building constructed to house the toilet. After further discussion the view was expressed that no further action should be taken and it was

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 16.4 Comments from the Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society

Mr McPherson informed members that the results of the Best Kept Allotment Competition would be announced this week.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 17. PLUME BUILDING EXTERNAL LIGHTING WORKING PARTY MEETING HELD ON 23RD JUNE, 2003

Members received and considered the Notes of the Plume Building External Lighting Working Party meeting held on 23rd June, 2003.

Mrs Good advised that a breakdown of the quotation from Abco Electrical Services had now been received but the additional quotation using alternative fitments was still awaited.

RESOLVED: that the Notes of the Plume Building External Lighting Working Party held on 23rd June, 2003 be noted.
 18. LONGSHIP WAY

Further to minute 7 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 9th June, 2003 members recalled that it had been agreed that no further action should be taken regarding the installation of a bench and litter bin at the Longship Way amenity area.

Members were informed that at the Youth Council meeting held on 1st July, 2003 the view was expressed that they would like to purchase a litter bin for this area and in this respect members attention was drawn to Standing Order 33a - Rescission of Previous Resolution.

In response to question, the Town Clerk stated that the responses to the letter drop regarding the installation of a seat and litter bin at the site had generally been against their installation. She also stated that the Maldon District Council would have to be consulted as to whether they would empty a bin should it be installed.

Discussion ensued during which some members reported that the District Council undertake regular litter picks of this area. When put to the vote it was

RECOMMENDED: that in accordance with Standing Orders the matter be deferred for six months.
 19. POETS' ESTATE - TENNYSON ROAD AMENITY AREA

Further to minute 8(c) of the Environment Committee meeting held on 9th June, 2003 members were requested to consider the proposed date of 26th July, at 10.00 a.m. for a site meeting with occupiers of the properties adjoining the Tennyson Road amenity area. Members noted that the District Council had also been contacted regarding a similar situation at Burnham on Crouch and confirmed that an area of land owned by the District Council had been sold for residential gardens.

A member stated that he had made some investigations regarding the area and he felt that there may have been an ancient Gypsy covenant on the area. It was indicated that this area was only accessible by a footpath which was not sufficiently wide enough to allow vehicular access.

The Town Clerk advised that the Land Registry had been contacted and they have no records as to who owns the land. After further discussion it was

RECOMMENDED: that a site meeting be arranged on Saturday, 26th July, 2003 commencing at 10.00 a.m. between residents of the properties adjoining the Tennyson Road amenity area, the Poets' Estate Residents' Association and members of the Town Council.
 20. BUS SHELTER - ST. GILES CRESCENT/CHERRY GARDENS

Members were informed that the bus shelter at the junction of St. Giles Crescent and Cherry Gardens had been vandalised and in this respect received and considered two quotations to replace 2 panels with 6mm clear toughened safety glass at the bus shelter.

Members were advised that a claim for the repair had been submitted to the Town Council's insurance company and subsequently a cheque for £95.00 had been received. Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 was considered in conjunction with this item.

RECOMMENDED: that the quotation from Craftsman Glass in the sum of £170 to repair the bus shelter at St. Giles Crescent/Cherry Gardens be accepted.
(Local Government {Misc. Provisions} Act 1953, s.4)
 21. ST. MARY'S CHURCHYARD

Members were informed that an area on the eastern boundary of St. Mary's Churchyard had been left as a wildlife area and was currently cut annually during January/February. Every year concerns are expressed by the occupiers of a property at The Hythe, whose garden adjoins the churchyard, regarding self sown sycamores and arrangements are made for an additional cut. In view of this it was suggested that the Ground Maintenance Contract be extended to make provision for this area to receive an additional cut during June/July at a cost of £64.00.

RECOMMENDED: that the Ground Maintenance Contract be extended to include an additional cut during June/July of the wildlife area at the eastern boundary of St. Mary's Churchyard at a cost of £64.00.
(Local Government Act 1972 s.215)
 22. TOWN SEATS

Members received and considered a quotation from Tony Turner for the repair of four benches in the sum of £450.00. It was noted that a sum of £250 had been included in the 2003/04 budget for town seats.

Concern was expressed regarding the cost to repair the benches but it was indicated that two of the benches had been severely vandalised and required a lot of work. It was also noted that the cost of new hardwood benches was in the region of £350.00 per bench.

In response to a question regarding the additional sum required for the repair of the seats the Town Clerk suggested that the funds be vired from the Amenity Area Estimate Head.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) the quotation from Tony Turner in the sum of £450.00 for the repair of four town seats be approved;

(b) the additional funds be vired from the Amenity Area Estimate Head.
(Parish Council Act 1957 s.1)
 23. ITEM FOR INFORMATION

Bus Shelter

Further to minute 111 of the Town Council meeting held on 16th February, 2003 members noted that the bus shelter had now been installed outside Shoe Zone and that a grant of £1,800 would be received from the Essex County Council towards the purchase of the shelter which cost £2,587.48.
(Local Government Act {Misc. Provisions} Act 1953 s.4)

In response to a request, the Town Clerk stated that she would contact the appropriate authorities regarding the street light which was still not working in the vicinity of the bus stop.
 24. QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

There were no questions from the press and public.
   Meeting closed at 7.57 p.m.

Cllr. Mrs S. Riesebeck
Chairman

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



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