17th May 2021 Town Improvements Minutes – Draft

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 17th May 2021 at 7pm The Old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road, Burnham-on-Sea

Present: Cllr A Hodge (Chairman), Cllr J Keen (Vice Chair), Cllr P Clayton, Cllr S Barber, Cllr D Carey, Cllr C Allen, Cllr N Tolley, Cllr M Murphy,

Cllr M Facey (Ex-officio), with Sam Winter (Town Clerk), Lorna Williams (Deputy Clerk) in attendance.

Two members of the public and one member of the media were present.

Public Participation

There were no speakers.

15/21/TIMP   Apologies were received from

                        Cllr P Harvey

16/21/TIMP   Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted

                        None             

17/21/TIMP   Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Town Improvements Committee meeting held on 22nd March 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

18/21/TIMP   Action List

                        The Action List was noted.

                        Motions for note/resolution

19/21/TIMP   To hear an update and offer feedback to SDC on the Welcome Back Fund plans for Burnham and Highbridge    

The meeting heard from an officer of Sedgemoor District Council who detailed the c.£285k contribution to the district council from the Govt’s Welcome Back Fund. The meeting heard that the fund was an extension of the High Street Safety Fund and included money to support a safe public environment. Sedgemoor DC will administer the fund and is considering putting in place: town promotional banners, consumables for the national street clean, temporary toilet facilities (01/06-31/08/21), an event on Burnham beach and a Christmas event.      

20/21/TIMP   To receive an update on the work undertaken by the town ranger team to date.

The meeting received an update from the deputy clerk on the work of the newly established town rangers. It was noted that the 2 staff members have made a positive difference in the two towns and their work has attracted much praise by residents on social media.

The rangers have tackled the clearing of overgrown alleyways and open ground, removed graffiti, re-sited a redundant flagpole and are always reactive in removing stray items on the highway that present a danger.

The rangers are scheduled to install the new speed indicator devices and will collect the data for reports back to this committee.

Cllr Allen and the rangers will be working alongside volunteers in support of The Great British Spring Clean in June.

21/21/TIMP   To receive a proposal from Cllr P. Harvey to support a resident’s application to Somerset County Council for the allocation of a residential disabled parking bay in Truro Close.                   

The meeting considered the proposal, which was seconded by Cllr Clayton, who also agreed to give support as the county councillor. It was resolved to support the application to Somerset County Council.

22/21/TIMP   To note that the application process for the HTAP (SDC) Business Support Fund (retail frontage improvements) has been approved by SDC and will be publicised imminently

The meeting noted that, following launch of the initiative, a panel of Cllrs Harvey, Clayton & Hodge will consider applications prior to SDC verification (07/21/TIMP).

23/21/TIMP   With reference to the draft minutes of the seafront sub-committee held on 7th April 21, to resolve the type of fingerposts to be installed throughout Burnham town centre and resolve that the town clerk’s office is delegated to proceed with the procurement and installation within the allocated budget.   

It was resolved to replace/install black and gold traditional fingerpost signs of a similar style to the existing, with the addition of a protective lacquer.

The meeting heard that the Burnham Evolution Plan budget includes a £12.5k allocation for signage. It was recognised that this work has been delayed due to the pandemic and it was subsequently resolved to give the town clerk authority to undertake the procurement of the signs, their installation and refurbishment/painting according to the agreed schedule, and to approve payment of any shortfall up to c.£5k from the EMR 335, ‘Replacement town improvements’. 

It was noted that, in common with all assets, a maintenance schedule will be put in place and will be available to inform the budgetary process. It was further noted that very few of the seafront assets are the responsibility of the town council, and the whilst the asset owners are not able to keep up with all maintenance, the town council might consider to what extent it will assist with maintenance of those assets.

(The matter will be brought to the attention of the councillors who are to discuss the changes under LGR).

24/21/TIMP   To consider a request from the Planning Committee that directional signage is installed from the seafront, indicting the location of BT payphones.

The meeting heard that this item is subject to the results of a review by BT. It was resolved that, should a BT payphone remain in the town, a fingerpost (as per min ref; 23/21/TIMP) will be installed to indicate its location from the seafront.

25/21/TIMP   To note that repainting works to lampposts and bollards began the week of 4th May, at a cost of £14,978.95, and that the old fibreglass seafront planters will be replaced within c.5 weeks at a cost of £1,615.38 (as funded under Burnham Evolution)                

The meeting heard that the repainting work is being undertaken by SDC’s contractor, paid for by the town council, and will be inspected by the town council’s project coordinator to check that metalwork has been scraped, spot treated and undercoated prior to repainting. The meeting was reminded that that the lampposts are nearing the end of their lives, which means that grinding out rust is not feasible and the finish will not be ‘as new’. Some of the other metal structures for repainting have also weathered badly. 

The meeting noted that Somerset County Council has still not granted permission to repaint its lampposts, and this is being chased. The cost to repaint those SCC lights will be an additional c.£7k.

SDC grounds staff are currently planting summer bedding plants in the towns. Planting in the 4 low planters by the visitor information centre, that have reached the end of their usable lives, will be planted once the replacements have been installed, which are self-watering. The seafront lawns on the South Esplanade are due to be replanted during the May bank holiday week.  

26/21/TIMP   To identify which seafront projects and original costings identified under the Burnham Evolution Plan require review and agree to liaise with SDC on a proposal to put before the town council and CIM board.    (see report with update on progress)

The meeting was reminded that there isn’t enough necessary work required on the shelters to spend the entire shelter budget. The seafront sub-committee had identified that the proposed coach building will cost more than twice the existing budget and is not required to retain coach friendly status. The maintenance budget under the BE Plan was for elements that are no longer happening and the art installation requires an additional £10k if it is to be of a long-lasting professional standard.

The town clerk and SDC resorts officer identified a number of existing asset defects that require repair.

The meeting acknowledged that since 2018, costs, needs and deterioration of assets had changed the requirements of the seafront refurbishment plans under Burnham Evolution.

It was resolved that the committee will put on hold the work on those BE projects that were yet to commence and take stock of the current seafront requirements prior to the respective councils reaching an agreement on the priorities for seafront enhancements and subsequent application to the CIM board for budget reallocation.

  • The town clerk will get criteria from the CPT to ascertain the expectations of coach drivers as to the provision of a dedicated coach building; and
  • Will work with SDC officers to draw up a list of seafront defects that require addressing

27/21/TIMP   To receive a recommendation from Cllr Clayton that the town clerk and Cllr Carey (councillor representative) holds initial discussions with the Burnham Visitor Information Centre to explore how the town council can work with and assist the centre with marketing and promotion of Burnham and of the Burnham Evolution projects.

The meeting noted that the council’s corporate plan includes an aim to support marketing of the town. It was identified that Cllr Carey and the town clerk should hold exploratory conversations with the centre to establish how the council might support better marketing, potentially using the comms and marketing officer and the Burnham Evolution funding. It was resolved that Cllr Carey and the town clerk will proceed and report back the committee for consideration of findings.

28/21/TIMP   To approve that the Project Coordinator will proceed, subject to Environment Agency permission, with procurement of the cleaning of the footpath side of seawall, shelters and footpath areas using the agreed BE budgets at c.£24k.

It was resolved that although comment from the Environment Agency should be sought, as actioned, the project coordinator should not proceed with the procurement of cleaning until instructed to do so by the Town Improvements Committee, after it has considered works identified with reference to min: 26/21/TIMP. 

29/21/TIMP   To agree the quantity and locations of Christmas trees in Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge for 2021.                    

It was proposed by Cllr Hodge, seconded by Cllr Clayton and resolved that there will be one tree on the public open space at Old Station Approach and one tree on the public open space outside the Highbridge Community Hall.

30/21/TIMP   To review the appointment of sub-committees and their terms of reference. 

The meeting considered the terms of reference of the seafront sub-committee and resolved that they should remain unchanged.

(The meeting did not consider the ToR for the Regeneration Partnership, which will be considered at the next town improvements meeting) 

In response to a request by the town clerk, and circulation of the Springboard vacancy data, the meeting confirmed that it wishes to continue to receive the data on Burnham vacancy rates and is grateful to the local resident who undertakes the work to provide the information.

31/21/TIMP   To receive an update on the installation of the seafront play area. (please note that this item is under review and might require the chairman to seek a vote to exclude press and public prior to discussion).        

It was resolved to exclude press and public for reasons of confidentiality relating to ongoing legal matters. The chairman instructed that discussion in camera would move to the end of the agenda. 

                        Financial Report

32/21/TIMP   To receive the income and expenditure report for March 2021

                        The report was noted.

33/21/TIMP   Date of Next meeting

It was noted that the next meeting of this committee will be held on Monday 12th July 2021 at 7pm.

31/21/TIMP   To receive an update on the installation of the seafront play area. (please note that this item is under review and might require the chairman to seek a vote to exclude press and public prior to discussion).        

The press and public left the meeting before background information and an update was received from the town clerk. 

On closing the meeting at 20:28, the chairman reminded those present of the eat:festival being held in Burnham on 29th May. He wishes the organisers well and stated that he hopes the town council will once again get the opportunity to attend in the future.

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