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Maldon, Essex,  CM9 4RL.

MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON TUESDAY 17th NOVEMBER, 2003 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Chairman: Cllr. Mrs. S. Riesebeck
Vice-Chairman: Cllr. M. Bentley
Councillors: Mrs. M. Curtis (Deputy Mayor), I. Mackenzie,
W. Prior, S. Savage, K. Smith (Town Mayor) and J. Swallow
Representatives: Mr. S. McPherson (Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society)
In Attendance: Cllrs. D. Keighley and T. Shrimpton, District Cllr. Mrs. B. Keighley, M. Bradley, Parish Paths Officer, Essex County Council, the Town Clerk and Administrative Assistant
 46. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no apologies for absence.
 47. PARISH PATHS PARTNERSHIP (P3)

Members received a presentation from Margaret Bradley, Parish Paths Officer, Essex County Council regarding the Parish Paths Partnership Scheme (P3).

Ms. Bradley thanked members for inviting her to attend the meeting and gave members a general overview of the Parish Paths Partnership or P3 Scheme. This voluntary scheme had been running for 10 years and provides the opportunity for Town and Parish Councils and walking and riding groups/organisations to look at maintenance, improvements and preservation of Public Rights of Way including footpaths, bridleways and byways. Currently 131 groups have joined the scheme which provides 100% grants for maintenance work such as repairs to footpaths, replacement of waymark posts and stiles and promotional work such as providing leaflets, maps and undertaking guided walks.

Ms. Bradley supplied two additional copies of the Definitive Map of Maldon which would enable a survey of the town's footpaths to be undertaken and she was advised that Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck was the Town Council's Footpath Representative. Ms. Bradley said that officers of her department would be pleased to offer training and assistance with regard to the footpath survey.

In response to a question, Ms. Bradley said that the adjoining parishes of Heybridge, Langford and Woodham Walter were all members of the P3 Scheme and should any footpath within the Town Council area run into these parishes it should be possible to liaise with them to enable any work to be undertaken.

A member enquired who was responsible for ditches along the side of footpaths and Ms. Bradley advised that the relevant information could be obtained from the Highways Authority, Essex County Council.

The Chairman thanked Ms. Bradley for her presentation to the Committee.

RESOLVED: that the presentation of Ms. Bradley, Parish Paths Officer be noted.
 48. MINUTES OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 6TH OCTOBER, 2003

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 6th October, 2003 be approved and signed as a correct record.
 49.

 49.1
ALLOTMENTS

Allotment Inspection

Members received and considered the report of Cllr. Savage regarding an allotment inspection undertaken between 7th - 9th November, 2003.

Cllr. Savage had expressed the view that the overall condition of the sites had been much better than he had expected and the majority of the plots were in an excellent state of cultivation for this time of year.

Maldon Hall Site

Most plots were very good, overall appearance excellent.
  
Gates and PostsLatch broken on access gate from flats (Suggest Handyman to repair)
SignageOK
Main FootpathsOK
Plot MarkersOK
Car park areaOK
Bypass boundary hedgeChestnut fence down near flats' access gate and branches had been dumped onto the bypass embankment. (Suggest Handyman investigates)
Water tanksOK
  
5bNo plot marker (5A and 5B are currently cultivated by one tenant)
30bMarker not in ground
  
   Warwick Crescent

Cllr. Savage stated that he had noticed that mud had either been brought from the Lift Footpath or the allotment site onto the pavements in King Street and he felt that there should be some signage requesting tenants to remove mud from their boots or tools before leaving the site. He also stated that the apple tree on plot 11b required some attention. (amended at the Town Council meeting held on 15th December, 2003 - minute 114.3 refers)

  
Approach TrackBeyond entrance gate - weeds and grass dumped (Suggest that Essex County Council, Highways be informed of the problem)
Boundary hedgeCorrugated asbestos sheet to rear of plot 3b
SignageFaded (Suggest signage be renewed in the Spring
GateOK
Water tanksOK
  
Plots
1c Brambles - (This plot had recently been divided from plot 1B)
6aOnly half cultivated (Tenant to give up half plot when vegetables have been harvested
6b Tool box needs moving onto plot. (Tenant to be contacted)
10b Part cultivated - grass short - dead stumps
11b Plot marker rotten - (Suggest Handyman investigates )
11b Apple tree needs attention and rear path overgrown - (Suggest tenant be asked to remove dead branch from tree and cut rear path)
   Brickhouse Farm
  
GatesOK
SignageFaded (Suggest replace in the Spring)
FencesOK
FootpathOK
Compost binOK
Water tanksOK
  
Plots
1 Some weeds in seed (monitor)
  
RESOLVED: that (a) the appropriate action be taken regarding uncultivated plots;

(b) signage regarding the removal of mud from boots and tools be placed on the Warwick Crescent notice board;

(c) in all other respects the report be noted.
 49.2 Financial Statement of Accounts

Members received and considered a report, circulated at the meeting, indicating that £7,901.40 remained in the allotment account for this financial year.

RESOLVED: that the financial report be noted.
 49.3 Maldon Hall Site - Water Tanks

Members were informed that a letter had been received from the tenant of plots 34a and 34b, Maldon Hall allotment site, enquiring if an additional water tank could be installed at the site. It was noted that another allotment tenant had offered to install an additional water tank provided that the Town Council supplied the materials.

Cllr. Savage stated that whilst undertaking his allotment inspection he had examined the area in question and he felt that the request for an additional tank was justified.

Members were informed that a 4 foot auto filling cattle trough including service box, of the type previously used as water tanks, cost £89.58 plus VAT. Other materials such as plastic pipe and connections would also be required.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council provides the tank and materials to install an additional water tank in the vicinity of plots 34a and 34b and that the offer from the allotment tenant to install this tank be gratefully accepted.
 49.4 Warwick Crescent - Asbestos Removal

At the meeting of the Environment Committee on 6th October, 2003 (minute 37.1) it was agreed that tenants should move all items alongside the rear hedge to within the confines of their plots. It had been reported however that a small sheet of asbestos had been found lying against the rear boundary hedge of the Warwick Crescent allotment site:

In this respect enquiries had been made regarding the safe disposal of asbestos and quotations ranging from £30 plus VAT for disposal and £95 plus VAT for collection and disposal had been obtained. Members noted that the disposal companies providing these quotations were not located within the District.

Cllr. Savage had noted the presence of the asbestos during his allotment inspection and he suggested that Maldon Demolition Company be contacted to enquire if they removed asbestos.

RESOLVED: that a disposal company be contacted and requested to remove the asbestos sheet from Warwick Crescent allotment site.
 49.5 Brickhouse Farm - Clearance of Rubble

Further to minute 35.4 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 6th October, 2003 members were informed that the removal of the rubble had been undertaken by the Parks Department, Maldon District Council on Wednesday, 12th November, 2003 for the following costs:

Labour                                 £280.00 plus VAT
Hire of 2no. 6 yard skips    £195.78 plus VAT
Total cost                            £ 475.78 plus VAT

Members recalled that it had been agreed that the work should be undertaken if the total cost was less than £500.

The Town Clerk stated that there was still some rubble remaining at the site after two skips had been filled.

In response to a question regarding whether it was the Town Council's responsibility to remove rubble from the site, members were informed that before the Town Council leased the site from the District Council the Maldon & Heybridge Horticultural Society had advised that this particular site was not considered to be suitable for allotment cultivation as the land had originally housed farm buildings which had subsequently been demolished and had then become a building site. It was the remnants from these buildings and the building site which were now rising to the surface of tenants' plots and causing problems.

It was suggested that an additional clause be included in the tenancy agreement making it clear that it is the responsibility of the tenant to dispose of rubbish at the site.

Discussion ensued and it

RESOLVED: that the matter be deferred until after the second skip had been removed from the site and the situation regarding the remaining rubble and the terms of the tenancy agreements then be re-assessed.
 49.6 Comments from the Maldon and Heybridge Horticultural Society

RESOLVED: there were no comments.
 50.

 50.1
MALDON IN BLOOM

Notes of Maldon in Bloom Working Party meeting held on 22nd October, 2003

At the request of the Chairman of the Committee, the Vice-Chairman of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party presented the notes of the meeting held on 22nd October, 2003 and informed members that the town had been awarded a Bronze award in this year's Anglia in Bloom competition.

Note 4b - Financial Report
With regard to recommendation 4b(d) it was noted that in the past any funds remaining in the budget head at the end of the financial year were not carried forward. It was therefore felt that this matter should be discussed further at the end of the 2003 / 2004 financial year when the exact figure remaining in the Estimate Head would be known.

Note 7b - Anglia in Bloom - Weeds in the Town
The view was expressed that it was not the Town Council's responsibility to remove weeds from the footpaths in the town and it was noted that the Essex County Council did spray the High Street with a weed killer but the weeds were then left to die in situ. It was suggested that the Maldon in Bloom Working Party should liaise with the Essex County Council to ensure that the dead weeds were removed before the Anglia in Bloom judges visit the town in 2004.

Discussion ensued and it was agreed that the Town Council should not fund the removal of weeds in the High Street.

RESOLVED: that (a) further discussion regarding any remaining funds in the Maldon in Bloom Estimate Head be considered before the end of the 2003 / 2004 financial year;

(b) a letter be forwarded to the Essex County Council regarding the removal of High Street weeds;

(c) the Town Council should not include provision in the 2004/2005 Estimates for the removal of weeds from the High Street and alleyways;

(d) in all other respects the notes of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party meeting held on 22nd October, 2003 be noted.
 50.2 Town Centre Weeds

Further to note 7 of the Maldon in Bloom Working Party meeting held on 22nd October, 2003 members considered whether the Town Council should take over responsibility for removing weeds from the High Street pavements and adjoining alleyways.

This matter was discussed in the previous item {see (c) above}.
 51.

 51.1
DOG FOULING

Longship Way Amenity Area

Further to minute 32 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 19th August, 2003 members were informed that the Animal Warden had stated that she had not been aware of problems in this area; however, she would visit the area to investigate whether there were poles or street lamps in the vicinity where "No Dog Fouling" signs could be installed. She also stated that evidence of dog fouling, such as photographs or names would be required before any action could be taken.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 51.2 Beeleigh Road

Further to minute 13 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 9th June, 2003 the Animal Warden had visited Beeleigh Road during school times and had not found there to be any problems. She had stated that evidence would be required such as photographs or names to enable action to be taken. She also reported that West Chase was a private road and therefore she had no responsibility for that location.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 52. PARISH PATHS PARTNERSHIP TRAINING COURSES

Further to minute 31 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 19th August, 2003, a report was circulated at the meeting regarding Cllr. Savage's attendance at the Parish Paths Partnership Training Courses held at Cressing Temple Barns throughout October.

Cllr. Savage referred members to item 4.12 of his report and said he felt that investigations regarding the designation of the Ware Pond as a Local Nature Reserve should be sought from English Nature.

Cllrs. Bentley and Savage volunteered to assist Cllr. Mrs. Riesebeck, in walking the Parish Footpaths with the view to producing a survey of the condition of the paths.

The Chairman thanked Cllr. Savage for such an informative report.

RESOLVED: that (a) enquiries be made of English Nature regarding the possibility of the Ware Pond becoming a Local Nature Reserve;

(b) the report of Cllr. Savage be noted.
 53. MARKET HILL GARDEN

Further to minute 38 of the Environment Committee meeting held on 6th October, 2003, as a result of further concerns regarding the rocks at Market Hill Garden members were informed that the Grounds Maintenance Contractor had now removed the rocks for safety reasons. A quotation for cementing the rocks into position was still awaited.

In response to a question, the Town Clerk advised that the removed rocks were being stored at the Parks Depot, Promenade Park.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
 54. ESTIMATE REQUIREMENT

Members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk regarding the draft estimate requirements for the Environment Committee for the 2004 - 2005 financial year and the following items were discussed:

St. Peter's Churchyard
The Town Clerk advised members that a representative from the Lottery Board would shortly be visiting the site regarding grant funding for the refurbishment project for the churchyard.

Cromwell Pump
Members expressed concern regarding the condition of the Cromwell Pump and it was suggested that investigations should be undertaken to renovate the pump. The Town Clerk felt that as the pump was listed, grant funding for its renovation should be available from the District Council.

Discussion ensued and it was felt that it would be beneficial, in view of possible renovation work to the pump, for the estimate head to be increased by £1,000 to £1,500.

Floral Decorations
In response to a question, the Town Clerk advised that the Floral Decorations Estimate Head related to the Moot Hall, in front of the Town Hall, the Butt Lane and White Horse Lane Public Conveniences (summer only) and the War Memorial (summer and winter).

Parish Light
In response to a question, the Town Clerk advised that the Parish Light was located in Church Walk.

Ware Pond
It was suggested that as the fence surrounding the Ware Pond was undistinguished consideration should be given to its renewal.

Leech Memorial Garden
Concern was expressed that motor bikes were riding on the Public Footpaths and area surrounding the Leech Memorial Garden and it was suggested that investigations should be made to ascertain if motor bikes were also riding in the Garden as access could be gained from the footpath which ran alongside.

Removal of Weeds in the Town and Alleyways
This matter was discussed under minute 50.1 where it had been agreed that the Town Council would not fund the removal of High Street weeds.

RESOLVED: that (a) the Environment Committee submits a request for the sum of £44,170.00 to be allocated within the 2004/2005 Estimates, as detailed in Appendix A;

(b) investigations be undertaken regarding the refurbishment of the Cromwell Pump;

(c) investigations be undertaken regarding motor bikes using Leech Memorial Garden.
 55. WOODEN BENCH

Members were informed that a member of the public had enquired if she could provide a wooden bench outside All Saints' Church. She would like the Town Council to obtain the seat on her behalf and for the inscription to read:



RESOLVED: that on behalf of a member of the public, a seat be obtained by the Town Council for location outside All Saints' Church with an inscription as indicated above.
 56. QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

There were no questions from the press or public.
 57. EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

RESOLVED: that pursuant to section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, the meeting be not open to the public and press for the following item of business and they be instructed to withdraw.

The Chairman indicated that District Councillor Mrs. Keighley could remain in attendance at the meeting.
 58. LAND AT TENNYSON ROAD

Further to minute 28.3 of the Environment Committee meeting held on19th August, 2003 members received the report of the District Valuer regarding land at Tennyson Road.

In response to a question, the Town Clerk said that she would contact the Treasury Solicitor with regard to the area of the site not owned by the Town Council, as the original owner may not now own the land and it may have become vested in the Crown.

RESOLVED: that (a) the Treasury Solicitor be contacted regarding the area of the land not owned by the Town Council;

(b) in all other respects the report of the District Valuer be noted.
   The meeting closed at 8.50 p.m.

Cllr. Mrs. S. Riesebeck
Chairman

Signed……………………………………………. Date



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