28th September 2020 Town Improvements Minutes – Draft

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 28th September 2020 at 7pm via video conferencing.

Present: Cllr Janet Keen (Vice Chairman), Cllrs. Chris Allen, Dawn Carey, Peter Clayton, Phil Harvey, Andy Hodge, Mike Murphy, Nick Tolley with Sam Winter (Town Clerk), and Lorna Williams (Deputy Town Clerk) in attendance.

Three members of the public and one member of the press were present.

Public Participation

There were no speakers.

51/20/TIMP   To elect a committee chairman

It was proposed by Cllr Clayton, seconded by Cllr Keen and carried that Cllr Hodge is elected chairman.

Cllr Hodge took the chair from Cllr Keen. Cllr Hodge thanked Cllr Tolley for his tenure as committee chairman to date.

52/20/TIMP   Apologies

                        Cllr Sue Barber

53/20/TIMP   Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted

The chairman reminded councillors to consider their business & other interests in the towns when declaring an interest in items to be discussed on this agenda.

Cllr Tolley declared an interest in items (61, 63, 68/20/TIMP)

Cllr Keen declared an interest in item (67/20/TIMP)

54/20/TIMP   Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Town Improvements Committee meeting held on Monday 13th July 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

55/20/TIMP   Action List

The Action List was noted as completed

                        Motions for note/resolution
56/20/TIMP   To receive an update of the Police & Community Safety responses to reports of anti-social behaviour in Highbridge

The meeting received an update from the town clerk to state that since the circulated briefing note to the committee on this matter, Sedgemoor DC has confirmed that the Together Team and the YMCA have made contact with local businesses to discuss what, if any, problems they are experiencing and to try to ascertain the scale of the problems. The Together Team states it has not received any recent complaints directly from residents or businesses, and reports to the police have reduced almost entirely over the last month since the Team began working on the ASB problems in the area.

The meeting heard the position with regards the existing Public Space Protection Order put in place to address ASB and street drinking.  

57/20/TIMP   To hear from Cllr P Harvey and a consider a request for support in the application of yellow lines on Ham Lane, Burnham-on-Sea to resolve parking and access problems

The meeting considered the proposal from Cllr Harvey that the committee supports an application to Somerset County Council for the application of double yellow lines on Ham Lane. The meeting heard that residents’ access to their garages is being hindered by cars parking opposite and that there are concerns that emergency vehicles would find it impossible to access the lane.

It was proposed, seconded and resolved that the clerk would write to Somerset County Council to request that Ham Lane is added to the parking amendment order on safety grounds.

58/20/TIMP   To receive an update from Cllr Clayton on the position regarding a Christmas lights display at Trinity Rise           

The meeting heard that Cllr Clayton had circulated a letter to residents detailing the position with regards the outcome of the lights meeting held between residents and key local authority decision makers in February (min ref: 22/20/TIMP). The meeting heard that Cllr Clayton has received just one response to the letter to acknowledge the agreed position that the lights display was classed as an official event requiring insurance and associated planning through an organising committee. Cllr Clayton is subsequently not aware of any plan having been put in place to regulate the event and will notify the necessary safety advisory group representative of the outcome.

59/20/TIMP   To definitively resolve not to proceed with the fireworks display in November, in light of existing social distancing requirements & public health information   

The meeting heard that the current public health position has made the event untenable and resolved not to proceed with the event this year.

60/20/TIMP   To resolve that the 2020 Christmas lights switch-on event will be virtual and live streamed through social media channels

The meeting resolved that due to current restriction on public gatherings, the Christmas lights switch-on event in November 2020 will proceed as a virtual, streamed event.

Cllr Tolley left the meeting

61/20/TIMP   To consider a request from the Burnham-on-Sea Chamber of Trade that the Christmas lights switch-on takes place at an earlier date on or around 12th November so as to maximise opportunities for the high street to benefit from Christmas trade (please note the existing switch-on date for both towns is scheduled for 21st November 2020)

The meeting considered the request and discussions were held on the pros and cons of holding an earlier lights’ switch-on. Concerns focussed on the risk that an extended period when the lights were on might lead to residents, and particularly families with children, losing the positive feeling of excitement as the event becomes too long and ‘stale’. The meeting resolved not to hold an early switch-on and to proceed with the existing switch-on date for both towns as the 21st November 2020.

62/20/TIMP   To resolve to agree expenditure of £1000 from budget no. 301 4329 (TIMPS events budget) to commission Event Power Engineering to produce a film for a virtual 2020 Christmas Lights switch-on event.  

Cllr Clayton proposed that the council should explore potential working arrangements with the arts group, Seed, to help increase community involvement in the creation of a switch-on film. The meeting resolved to agree the expenditure of £1000 to produce a switch-on film, with footage provided by Event Power, and to liaise with Seed on options for the film’s production.

Cllrs wishing to assist in the production of the film were asked to liaise with Cllr Clayton direct.

63/20/TIMP   To consider the footfall numbers in the Burnham high street and resolve any action required to facilitate social distancing

The meeting considered the existing footfall numbers and patterns from previous years, along with the feasibility of possible pedestrian management schemes. It was proposed, seconded and resolved to continue to monitor footfall, but, whilst traders and shoppers were managing their own safety measures, it was agreed not to progress any further safety measures at the present time.

It was noted that the existing hand sanitiser units remain on the high street and the town council grounds teams continue to monitor and refill as necessary.

Cllr Tolley re-joined the meeting

64/20/TIMP   To note the national and local Springboard vacancy rate figures for July 2020

The national and local Springboard vacancy rate figures were noted.

65/20/TIMP   To note receipt of the sealed order granting permission for road closures for two eat:festivals food festivals; 24th October and 5th December 2020

The receipt of the sealed order granting permission for road closures for two eat:festivals food festivals was noted.

66/20/TIMP   To resolve whether councillors will operate the town council stall at the Burnham-on-Sea COVID safe eat food festival on 24th October 2020 and note that risk assessments will be required from the town council to cover the area of a town council stall

The meeting expressed its appreciation for the invitation to attend this significant and professionally run event, but considered that the council will not on this occasion take up space that could be otherwise used by a business or by the public attending. It was further noted that some cllrs could not attend for personal reasons, which left a reduced number to undertake the event. It was resolved to decline to attend the festival on this occasion. 

 Cllr Keen left the meeting

67/20/TIMP   To receive a proposal from Cllr Mike Facey that the town council supports a £75,000 application to the Somerset County Council Climate Emergency Community Fund for the benefit of the Somerset Wildlife Trust and Somerset Climate Action Network to fund two posts

The meeting resolved to support a £75,000 application by the Somerset Wildlife Trust and Somerset Climate Action Network to the Somerset County Council Emergency Community Fund. This Council would also like to be considered a lead council showing support.

Cllr Tolley left the meeting
68/20/TIMP   To receive an update on the responses to questionnaires re: small business support initiative in Burnham & comment on the potential alternative use of the fund to make improvements to shop fronts

The meeting considered the update from the Clerk on the low response rate to circulated business support questionnaires.  

The meeting resolved to support an alternative provision whereby the allocated £30k is used to fund improvements to retail frontages by way of traders’ applications for grant funding.

It was noted that the clerk will discuss the finer detail for application criteria with Sedgemoor DC, which remains the awarding body and that consideration should be given to including provisions from the Neighbourhood Plan policy Cb2 and S5.2 guidance on colour of façade.

                        Cllr Tolley re-joined the meeting

69/20/TIMP   To receive a recommendation from the seafront sub-committee that the council enters into a contract with Wicksteed Leisure Ltd for the provision of a seafront play area & trim trail (as determined & paid for under the agreement with the Community Impact Mitigation Fund) at a cost of £87,400

The meeting  confirmed receipt of the scrutinised tender submissions & received & considered a full report from the Project Coordinator. The meeting heard that the procurement had been very competitive with all tenderers having passed financial and health & safety checks. Consideration was given to contractors’ proven experience under other significant contracts.

The meeting resolved that the council enters into a contract with Wicksteed Leisure Ltd for the provision of a seafront play area & trim trail (as determined & paid for under the agreement with the Community Impact Mitigation Fund) at a cost of £87,400

70/20/TIMP   To resolve that the CIM Project Coordinator should proceed with liaison between Sedgemoor DC and Somerset CC with the aim of identifying an agreeable design for the play area and trim trail according to those seafront landowners, based on concepts presented by Wicksteed, and to report back to this committee for final consideration and agreement of a design on which to seek formal permissions.

The meeting resolved that the CIM Project Coordinator should proceed with the liaison and to report back to this committee for final consideration and agreement of a design on which to seek formal permissions.

71/20/TIMP   Date of Next meeting

It was noted that the next meeting of this committee will be held on Monday 16th November 2020 at 7pm.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.20pm

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