MINUTES: TOWN IMPROVEMENTS COMMITTEE
Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 18th May 2020 at 7pm using video conferencing
Present: Cllr Nick Tolley (Chairman), Cllrs Janet Keen (Vice Chairman), Chris Allen, Sue Barber, Dawn Carey, Peter Clayton, Rich Gardiner-White, Phil Harvey, Andy Hodge, Mike Murphy, Mike Facey (Ex-officio) with Sam Winter (Town Clerk) and Lorna Williams (Deputy Clerk) in attendance.
One representative of the press & one non-committee councillor member was in attendance.
There were no apologies
15/20/TIMP Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted
Cllr Gardiner White stated that due to his ownership of a shop in Burnham, he will declare an interest in items 6, 11 and 12 if discussion turns to impacts on traders or on any matter directly affecting his interests. Cllr Gardiner White requested to raise an emergency item regarding street safety and COVID 19 planning and asked that the meeting approves his written dispensation request to the clerk to permit him to speak and vote on this matter. The meeting noted that the dispensation request was approved, there were no objections.
The Chairman informed the meeting that to ensure debate runs smoothly, and because the agenda was particularly long, he would be using Standing Orders; members would speak only once on an item. Additionally, the Chairman clarified that he had requested that, rather than inviting any public to comment in person at the meeting, he had requested comments in writing and would address them as appropriate.
16/20/TIMP Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the Town Improvements Committee meeting held on 20th January 2020 were approved as a correct record and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.
17/20/TIMP The Chairman invited Cllr Gardiner-White to speak briefly on his emergency request to consider COVID 19 emergency planning in the towns. Cllr Gardiner White drew the meeting’s attention to his written report, which included a proposal to request other bodies to work together to undertake safety measures on the high footfall areas in Burnham & Highbridge town centres and open spaces, taking into account the Government’s Task Force guidance on COVID-19. It was acknowledged that this meeting could not lawfully resolve the proposals, therefore the Chairman called for an extraordinary meeting to take place as soon as was practical.
18/20/TIMP Action List
The Action List was noted.
Cllr Keen requested a progress report on the Crosses Penn Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). Cllr Murphy agreed to give an update in due course.
Motions for note/resolution
19/20/TIMP To consider the Burnham-on-Sea fireworks display 2020 and to resolve how to proceed
The meeting considered a written report on the item and through discussion recognised that, although the display might bring respite to residents following the recent movement restrictions and health concerns, there was still a significant risk that the Coronavirus might prevent or impact on the event proceeding. The meeting acknowledged that it was not possible to predict with any certainty the social and health position in the winter, and the Government advisors have stated a second spike in the virus was a possibility.
It was proposed by the chairman and RESOLVED to set aside standing orders to permit a change to the former resolution (min ref: 05/20/TIMP) to proceed with the display
It was RESOLVED to provisionally book the firework event with Skyburst on the understanding that, if later it transpires that restrictions prevent the display proceeding, Skyburst will carry over the deposit to 2021 without any financial penalties to the Council.
20/20/TIMP To receive a report on costs for 2020 provision of Christmas lights in both towns and agree how to proceed
The meeting considered the quotes received in respect of replacing the Christmas lights, and looked at all the options available; from purchase, hire or alternative suggestions. It also noted the estimated repair & testing costs to the lights’ on-street infrastructure. The meeting agreed that a Christmas lights display would offer an optimistic end to a difficult year and that the Portishead Christmas lighting model (a volunteer fundraising group) should be considered in the future, but would take time to set-up and was not viable for 2020.
It was RESOLVED that for cost-effective efficiency the Council should enter into a three-year contract to hire the lights with a single company across both towns, using local installer(s).
21/20/TIMP To receive an update report on the Victoria Quarter sign and to agree how to proceed
The meeting considered a written report that showed the sheet metal sign was commissioned in 2015 without appropriate consultation or mandatory permissions and that to proceed with the project would incur further extensive costs, without assurances that it can be installed. The meeting acknowledged that the execution of the project had lacked due diligence.
It was RESOLVED that due to the lack of appropriate project planning in 2015 the project to install the sign at additional cost should not to proceed.
21/20/TIMP To receive an update from Cllr Allen regarding the funding and service of the 67 bus in relation to Town Improvements Committee considerations.
The meeting heard that project (budget) meetings between parishes have been cancelled due to COVID-19 and that the financial contribution towards funding for 20/21 had been agreed by this council. The meeting acknowledged that Mendip Community Transport provides a Slinky Bus for the area covered by the 67 bus and suggested that there was room for improvement in the 67 route and times, including service provision at school times for out of catchment children. The meeting agreed that it should look in more detail at the options for improving public transport for the two towns and that this would form part of a future wider discussion on local transport needs post COVID 19.
22/20/TIMP To receive an update from Cllr Clayton on the meeting held on 6th February to discuss the Trinity Christmas lights display.
The meeting heard that 9 residents and representatives from key decision makers in local authorities attended the meeting to discuss anti-social behaviour issues, including public order offences, littering and driveways being blocked. The meeting heard that it had been agreed that the lights display was classed as an official event requiring insurance and associated planning through an organising committee. Offers of support and finance had been received from local groups.
23/20/TIMP To receive an overview on aspects of recovery and finance post COVID 19.
The meeting noted the financial options available for consideration and it was confirmed that accurate levels of Town Council reserves will be available following the end of year accounts process. The meeting additionally noted a report showing decreased footfall between 27th April to 3rd May in Burnham-on-Sea, as well as confirmation that hanging baskets will not be provided this year, but planters will be maintained at a cost of £300.
24/20/TIMP To receive and approve a proposal from Cllrs Carey & Clayton to form a collaborative Partnership, with the aim of producing a new inclusive plan for regeneration of the entire parish of Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge
A full written proposal was received and proposed by Cllr Clayton and seconded by Cllr Chris Allen.
The Meeting RESOLVED to end the Burnham Evolution Partnership and approve the formation of a new collaborative Partnership with the aim of producing an inclusive plan for regeneration of the entire parish of Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge.
25/20/TIMP To receive and approve a terms of reference from Cllrs Carey and Clayton in relation to the formation of a regeneration partnership.
Cllr Harvey proposed an amendment to the motion: To approve an amended version of the Terms of Reference submitted by Cllrs Carey and Clayton in relation to the formation of a Regeneration Partnership.
Cllr Clayton seconded the motion.
The meeting considered the amended motion and subsequently RESOLVED to approve the Terms of Reference, as amended by Cllr Harvey, for the Regeneration Partnership.
26/20/TIMP To receive an update from the Town Clerk on the implementation of the HPC funded free business support programme in Burnham-on-Sea.
The meeting NOTED the written update and acknowledged that the questionnaire will be circulated all applicable businesses once movement permits.
27/20/TIMP Burnham Evolution Project – progress report
The meeting noted that there was a delay in the provision of the town improvement projects planned for commencement this spring, both at the Princess and on the seafront. This delay came from public health reasons and changes to procurement methods, as agreed with the district council. The meeting heard that the identified levels of funding from HPC were applied strictly, which meant that some aspects, including works to shelters and the provision of a trim trail needed more clarification from the Town Council.
It was RESOLVED that the Clerk will call a meeting of a sub-committee (formed from up to nine members of the Committee), who will meet in June to take implementation decisions on the placing/design of aspects of the agreed seafront works.
28/20/TIMP To resolve whether to proceed this year or next with the purchase and installation of a legacy town clock.
The meeting received a written report on the options for the purchase of a clock and RESOLVED to postpone the installation until the new financial year to allow the budget to reflect costs.
29/20/TIMP To note that permanent advice has been issued by Defra against bathing at Burnham Jetty due to the beach location at the mouth of the rivers Brue and Parrett.
The meeting received the notification from Defra to state that the advice against bathing at Burnham Jetty is now permanent due to the water quality at the location at the mouth of the rivers Brue and Parrett.
30/20/TIMP To consider sponsoring a Town Council garden competition.
The meeting received a written report and RESOLVED to sponsor the competition, selecting two winners from each of the three Sedgemoor wards in Burnham & Highbridge with £120 budget allocated for use as prize money; £20 per winner. Cllr Keen volunteered to assist with the competition.
31/20/TIMPS To consider whether to hold a VJ Day Celebration Gallery event.
The meeting received and agreed with a comment received from a member of the public that VJ Day was a commemoration and not a celebration.
Following consideration of the report it was suggested to approach the property owners of the Job Centre and S & A Linens in the High Street to see if artwork could be put in those windows. Concerns were voiced that caution regards social distancing should be still be kept in mind when encouraging people to the high street.
The meeting RESOLVED that £300 will be used from the events budget for the production of 16,000 maps. Cllrs Tolley, Cary and Gardiner-White will form a working party to involve schools in this event.
Cllr Tolley asked that his thanks are recorded and given to all those in the community who had volunteered to help with the proposed VE day event. He stated that their responses and willingness to contribute was much appreciated.
Mayor Cllr Facey informed the meeting that as a mark of commemoration, he will lay a wreath on the grave of Field Marshal Montgomery, which is situated in Burnham Cemetery.
32/20/TIMPS To receive an update from Cllr Carey on progress of a youth awards scheme
The meeting heard that the awards ceremony will be postponed until April 2021 to ensure that there would be no compromise in the level of the event. It was confirmed that no money has been spent and funds will transfer across to next year’s budget. It was further stated that pledges of sponsorship have been confirmed and will remain in place for use next year.
31/20/TIMPS Date of the next meeting
The next meeting of this committee will be held on Monday 13th July 2020 at 7pm(method to be confirmed).
The Chairman closed the meeting at 8:30pm