MINUTES of Environment Committee meeting held on Zoom on 7 September 2020 at 7.30pm Chair Approved
Present: Cllr Evans (Chair), Cllr Tile, Cllr Aldis, Cllr Luxford-Vaughan, Cllr Maltby, Cllr Wenaden, J Beighton-Emms (Town Clerk) and 3 members of the public
Public Questions; None.
E/09.20/01 Apologies for absence: Cllr Needham
E/09.20/02 Declarations of interest: None
E/09.20/03 Minutes of the meeting held on 11 August 2020; The minutes of this meeting were proposed by Cllr Maltby, seconded by Cllr Wenaden and approved by majority as an accurate record of proceedings. Cllr Tile questioned the validity of the virtual meeting held on 11 August 2020 as the Chair was in a licensed premises.
E/09.20/04 TOR- To agree frequency & timings of meetings; Cllr Aldis suggested that as per the other committees, this committee should meet bi-monthly with the working groups meeting as and when required. The frequency of the working group meetings is likely to increase. It was proposed by Cllr Maltby that the Environment Committee and Health & Well-Being Sub Committee meets bi-monthly. This was seconded by Cllr Luxford-Vaughan with all in favour.
E/09.20/05 Budget Update; The Town Clerk confirmed the available budgets for the Environment Committee and Community & Health and Wellbeing for 2020/21. Also, the need for all spending to be approved at committee level to be brought to Full Town Council dependent on the level of spending.
Cllr Evans reported that he will update the committee on all proposed spending.
Also, that he had made an appeal on the WTC Facebook page for plants
and assistance with the Millfield School verge project. No plants have been donated
but he had received an offer from Beth Chatto Gardens to provide plants at cost. Some will be funded by members of the public.
The Town Clerk suggested that to prevent delay the committee vote on a spending
limit for the planting. Cllr Evans proposed that the committee spend up to a limit of
£200 for plants for the Millfield School verge project. This was seconded by Cllr
Luxford-Vaughan with all in favour.
E/09.20/06 Update from CBC Environmental Committee; Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported that this committee had not met for some time. Cllr Maltby agreed that she would attend further meetings as a lay member to put forward agreed questions and report back to WTC. It was agreed that she would nominate a deputy to assist with this duty.
Cllr Evans reported that Mark Halliday had been in contact with Steve Collis, CBC, regarding the Re-Wilding Project and the Green Spaces audit- a report had been previously circulated to the committee and is attached as Appendix A. It was clear to Cllr Evans that Mr Collis was keen to work with Wivenhoe. It was noted by Cllr Aldis that all green spaces in Wivenhoe had been included in the report and that WTC do not own them all. Also, that WTC should prioritise which areas to progress first. He suggested that WTC use a CBC contact to calculate the council’s carbon footprint. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan confirmed that this is Rory Doyle. Mr Halliday confirmed that papers were being considered by CBC on 17 September and it is hoped that approval will be given, followed by a permissive policy and a plan of action. These include matters such as changing mowing regimes, tree planting and banning the use of glysophates.
Cllr Aldis and Cllr Luxford-Vaughan confirmed that Mr Halliday cannot act on behalf of
the council but can be nominated as a lay member, as long as the committee are
copied into all email contact and correspondence.
E/09.20/07 Environment Update;
a) Transition of Environment Working Group to Environment Committee:
Cllr Evans reported on contact with Elmstead Parish Council regards the mowing regime on the grassed area near to Millfield School and sharing policies for equipment. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan said that there had been complaints from dog walkers regarding the area being left unmown and that paths must be created. Cllr Evans said that he had been given permission to borrow mowers from WAGA and that he would find a resolution.
Regarding the transition from the Environment WG, Cllr Maltby updated on the work that had been done;
There had been an audit of the Council Offices to see what could be done to reduce carbon emissions.
Cllr Maltby had received £700 from the Locality Budget for a recycling initiative.
It was agreed that this would be reconsidered. The Town Clerk reported that staff are now covering additional cleaning duties which must be taken into account. Cllr Aldis queried what types of items could be collected for recycling under this scheme and where WTC would arrange collection from. Cllr Maltby explained that WTC could start with bins in the library and schools and then to other locations, such as the estate agents. The locations need to be reconsidered because of covid-19. Cllr Tile queried the type of scheme and if there were rewards. Cllr Maltby agreed to circulate her original report. Cllr Wenaden suggested that a sub- group is formed to work on this initiative. This was agreed by all.
b) Community sub-group- projects & aims;
Cllr Maltby said that the committee must re-engage with the community. Cllr Evans suggested that Cllr Maltby requests minutes from the meetings held by these sub-groups to bring the committee up to date.
c) Climate action plan;
Cllr Maltby said that the committee must re-engage with the community and agree on projects, leads and timescales. Cllr Evans suggested use of the WTC Facebook page and Cllr Aldis suggested an article in the next newsletter. It was agreed that there would be a review of plans created by other councils to gather ideas. These would be circulated by email for discussion at the next meeting. Cllr Aldis agreed to start this process. Cllr Tile reported on the use of air pumps by Marks Tey.
E/09.20/08 Health & Wellbeing Update;
Cllr Wenaden reported that her key aim was to identify gaps in the community i.e those groups of people who are not receiving assistance. There will be a sub-group meeting on 21 September.
Cllr Wenaden has been in touch with Age Concern who are keen to work
together on a befriending scheme which is much needed as groups are still not
meeting face to face due to covid-19. This increases loneliness and feelings of
isolation. Cllr Evans suggested a contact at Wivenhoe Mutual Aid who be able
to assist with contact details for the pool of volunteers.
Cllr Wenaden noted the key factors for the sub-group to consider; mental health,
learning difficulties, obesity, social isolation and disability.
Cllr Aldis said that he would make enquiries about the Rocket Club for people
with learning difficulties and suggested use of the WTC minibus.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan reported on an offer for a dementia awareness presentation. She said that she will pass on details from the Dementia Awareness Organisation to Cllr Wenaden and the Town Clerk.
Cllr Wenaden said that champions for each of the five areas need to be identified and then a questionnaire to the community could be circulated.
Cllr Luxford-Vaughan said that there is a need to be very aware of the effects of
the lockdown on mental health and that we must ensure we comply with data
protection if a questionnaire is used. Information should be anonymous.
It was agreed that WTC should consider what it could do if there is a second
wave of the virus. Cllr Luxford-Vaughan suggested better ways of sharing
information, including the WTC website and Facebook page. It was agreed that
all information must be provenanced.
E/09.20/09 Date and time of the next meeting; It was agreed that the next meeting would
be held on Zoom at 7.30pm on Wednesday 4 November 2020.
The Chair closed the meeting at 20.44.