13th July 2020 Town Improvements Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 13th July 2020 at 7pm via video conferencing.

Present: Cllrs Janet Keen (Vice Chairman) and Cllrs Chris Allen, Sue Barber, Dawn Carey, Peter Clayton, Phil Harvey, Andy Hodge, Mike Murphy with Sam Winter (Town Clerk) and Sally Jones (RFO) in attendance.

One member of the public and one member of the press were present.

Public Participation

There were no speakers.

41/20/TIMP   Apologies

                        Cllr Nick Tolley

42/20/TIMP   Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted

                        None

43/20/TIMP   Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Town Improvements Committee meeting held on Monday 18th May 2020, and the Extraordinary meetings held on Thursday 21st May and Monday 29th June 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

44/20/TIMP   Action List

                        The Action List was noted as completed

Motions for note/resolution

45/20/TIMP   To consider the available data & consultation responses relating to the street safety measures implemented under the SCC Highways Traffic Order and resolve how to proceed.

The meeting considered the results of the quantitative data gathered from the 988 responses obtained via the town council website, on-street surveys and questionnaires circulated to all town centre businesses, along with the data showing footfall totals over recent weeks.

It was noted that opinion on the street safety scheme was split, with no overwhelming majority either in favour of, or against the road safety measures. However, it was noted that the data gathered showed that most businesses state they are suffering lower footfall and income due to the ongoing Coronavirus public health position.

A number of views were explored on options to strike a balance between supporting town centre businesses and protecting public health, including a proposal advanced by Cllr Clayton for an alternative solution that offered a compromise in removing the less effective road measures whilst keeping those deemed necessary for pedestrian safety.

The chairman invited the attending representative of the Burnham Chamber of Trade to address the meeting and heard that most traders would like the road safety pedestrianisation scheme removed as it was perceived as damaging to trade, but they recognised that some safety measures to facilitate social distancing are required to be in place. It was confirmed that Cllr Clayton’s compromise had been discussed at a recent chamber meeting and it was agreed that it offered a sensible compromise at the present time. The representative asked that the council provides signage at key points to show that the town is still open for business.

The meeting recognised the professionalism, swift action and commitment to the public shown by those businesses who had been notified of contact with confirmed cases of COVID 19.

It was proposed by Cllr Clayton, seconded by Cllr Facey and resolved that a request will be put to the Highways authority to amend the road safety scheme to better reflect the needs of town centre residents, shoppers and traders, as follows:

  1. The pedestrianisation between College Street and Regent street will remain. The pavements from College Street to Regent Street are narrow and there can be queues of pedestrians spanning the road across to the former job centre.
  2. The section of High Street between College Street and Cross Street will be opened to traffic, with two-way traffic returning to College Street west and Cross Street. The pavements in the College Street to Cross Street section are wide enough to manage social distancing.
  3. The High Street section between Cross Street and Adam Street remains pedestrianised and closed to traffic. The pavements in this section are narrow in places, especially outside the town’s big Peacocks store.
  4. The High Street section between Adam street and Abingdon Street will be open to traffic, with both side streets returning to two-way traffic. The pavements in the South of the High Street are wide enough to manage social distancing.
  5. The temporary pedestrianised areas should remain in place from 9am to 5:30pm as per the existing order.

It was further agreed that the scheme will be kept under review and that Cllr Clayton will liaise with Somerset County Council on provision of permitted road signage to show the town is open for business.

46/20/TIMP   To resolve how to conduct safe Christmas lights switch-on events 2020

The meeting heard that both Burnham and Highbridge chambers of trade are willing to undertaken the Christmas lights switch-on event as they have in previous years.

It was proposed by Cllr Clayton, seconded by Cllr Hodge and resolved that the council will work with the chambers to arrange events for 2020 once the public health position is clearer, and that a planning meeting will be held between the chambers and councillors at a date to be agreed.

47/20/TIMP   To note the progress on the VJ Day Gallery event

The meeting received a written update report and heard that, keeping in mind the ongoing public health concerns, a low-key event will proceed with positive contributions from the schools and British Legion.

48/20/TIMP   To consider the SID report and agree which SID should be purchased and which locations it should be sited 

The meeting received a written report and agreed that councillors will email the office with suggested named locations of key roads on which permission to site a SID will be sought from Somerset Highways.

It was resolved to purchase 2 SIDs using company 3 on the report, with any additional expenditure for posts and accessories taken from the Grounds Maintenance EMR 4924 501.  

49/20/TIMP   To agree a process to assess tender submissions for the elements of the seafront enhancement works identified under Burnham Evolution

The meeting heard that tender submissions have been received for installation of the seafront play area.

It was resolved that the existing sub-committee is delegated to undertake the review of the documents and interviews of the applicants and make recommendations to the committee for award of the contract.

It was noted that, the sub-committee consists of Cllrs Facey, Murphy, Clayton, Carey and Hodge, with Cllr Allen replacing Cllr P Harvey.

50/20/TIMP   Date of Next meeting

It was noted that the next meeting of this committee will be held on 28th September 2020 at 7pm.

                        The chairman closed the meeting at 20:14

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