11th January 2021 Town Improvements Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 11th January 2021 at 7pm via video conferencing.

Present: Cllr Andy Hodge (Chairman), Cllrs Janet Keen, Chris Allen, Dawn Carey, Peter Clayton, Phil Harvey, Mike Murphy, Mike Facey.

Sam Winter (Town Clerk) and Lorna Williams (Deputy Clerk) were in attendance.

Four members of the public were present and one member of the Press.

Public Participation

Three members of the public addressed the meeting regarding the use and location of the new seafront play area on the Esplanade. The speakers commented on the current use of the site and requested that the council reconsiders the location of the play area to a different site further south of the planned location.

The committee chairman thanked the residents for their comments and explained the council’s position regarding the project that started in 2018 under the Burnham Evolution Business Plan, which is available in full on the council’s website, www.burnham-highbridge-tc.gov.uk

01/21/TIMP   Apologies

                        Cllrs Sue Barber & Nick Tolley,

02/21/TIMP   Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted

                        None

03/21/TIMP   Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Town Improvements Committee meeting held on 16th November 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

04/21/TIMP   Action List

                        The Action List was noted.

Motions for note/resolution
04/21/TIMP   To receive a report from Cllr Carey on the ongoing development of a Highbridge community discussion group, with reference to issues identified in Seed’s Creative Accelerator Report (published December 2020).

The meeting heard from Cllr Carey about matters explored in the councillor facilitated online Highbridge community discussion group, which enables groups to come together and share information with each other.

It was noted that the group offered positive and useful engagement within Highbridge. Matters raised aligned with findings in Seed’s Accelerator report and included the lack of public transport, poor levels of communication and a lack of connection with Burnham, and a desire to progress community projects, such as a community garden.

It was additionally noted that dual hatted town and district councillors are lobbying a regeneration working party at Sedgemoor with the aim that Highbridge is considered in a way similar to regeneration in other areas.

The meeting approved that the town clerk should proceed in exploring with Seed how the council can formally partner with it on the progression of Highbridge community projects over the next 12 months.      

05/21/TIMP   To consider the CIM funded seafront community art element for the seawall and approve Seed’s support in creation and management of the brief. 

The meeting considered a report on the art project and resolved that Seed should be commissioned to work with the town council to progress the seawall art project.

It was further agreed that Cllrs Cary, Clayton and Hodge will form a working group with authority to reach agreement with Seed to manage the artists’ brief and commission the designs through public participation, subject to existing budgets.

06/21/TIMP   To receive an update from Cllr Facey on an exploratory meeting held regarding the proposal to create a heritage centre in Burnham-on-Sea.

The meeting heard from Cllrs Facey and Clayton who had attended a pre-lockdown fact-finding meeting with a member of the local heritage group, which had requested that the town council purchases a town centre property for creation of a heritage centre (min ref: 59/20/F&R refers). It was clarified by Cllr Clayton that the fact-finding meeting was purely to listen to ideas and hear suggestions regarding the creation of a heritage centre.

It was noted that, although the group had a plethora of ideas and enthusiasm, it had been unable to find financial backing or submit any grant applications and, at the time of the meeting, had made no further headway in obtaining charity status. The matter will be reported to the Finance & Resources committee, and it was acknowledged that any decision on whether to proceed with financial support would be subject to that committee and full town council approval.

07/21/TIMP   To agree a panel of three members to consider draft criteria and subsequent applications for payments from the Burnham Evolution Business Support fund and make recommendations to SDC (min ref: 68/20/TIMP refers)       

The meeting resolved that Cllrs Harvey, Clayton and Hodge will agree the criteria and evaluate applications for payments from the business support fund and make recommendations for payment to Sedgemoor.

08/21/TIMP   To receive from Cllrs Carey & Clayton the names of winners of the Christmas shop window competition.

The meeting heard that, despite the hardships currently endured by businesses due to the public health crisis, traders had succeeded in creating fabulous festive windows. The winners were announced as:

Highbridge:   1st Sandra’s Hairdressers, 2nd Kerry’s Card Creations

Burnham:      1st Fortes, 2nd No.1 Regent Street hairdressers

                        The office will proceed with issuing prizes, as agreed.

09/21/TIMP   Date of Next meeting

It was noted that the next meeting of this committee will be held on 22nd March 2021 at 7pm.

The chairman took a moment to request that thanks were given to the town council grounds teams for their swift, same day, removal of some part-buried metal on the beach. It was acknowledged that the team’s pro-active response to avoid delay was greatly appreciated.  

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