Minutes of a meeting 30th September 2021  7.30p.m. at Royal British Legion Club

 Chairman, welcomed all present and accepted apologies from those who could not attend.   

Minutes of meeting of 26th August had been circulated and were adopted.

UPDATES.  *Community Centre Ground.  Cllr Jackie Pell was contacted and said that money to clear the ground would be money that was needed for the project and therefore this would not be done.  Further information will be available.  *Whitehorse Avenue road sign.  The broken sign was reported and has been/will be mended.  *Himalayan Balsam.  The River Improvement Group and Environment Agency were informed and 2 of the RIG team cleared the plants (there were 2) and looked for more.  HiB was thanked for prompt action.  *Dog fouling on river walk.  This should have been cleared now and action will be taken to deter repeat offences.  *Kerb stones out of alignment.  Were reported by ECC said they could not identify the problem.  I have an incident number and now that location is established I will inform Highways. *Donation in memory of Iola was taken to Danaher Animal Home.  We were thanked and a lovely letter from the home was received.

LOCAL  GARDEN  COMPETITON.  Letters giving results were taken round by Chairman and were enthusiastically received.  An email from the winner was received, encouragement to enter next year was given!  Certificate and prize was handed to Colin Bailey who was present at the meeting

ANGLIA  IN  BLOOM Virtual Campaign 2021. A meeting of judges should have taken place on 30th September but was postponed because of the fuel situation (judges have to travel from the 6 counties of the Anglia region to attend).  Meeting will now take place, fingers crossed, on 21st October and results will be published thereafter.

 CALENDAR 2022.  Calendar is now on sale at Halstead Icing, Hardys Menswear, Phil the Egg Man, Halstead Town Council and will be on sale from tomorrow at Greenstead Green P.O. Stores.  We have had 3 successful selling stalls with more planned until Christmas.  Sellers will be required where ?? are shown.  Please let me know if you can help !

So far we have: 2/10. Joan and Carol. Sue and Margie Clarke. Linda and Debra. Billy and Karyn.

9/10. Joan and Jean.  Sue and Pauline.  Don and Margaret T.  Ian and David.
16/10 – Plant Stall.  Sue and Joan.  Carol and Margie Clarke. Linda and Nicky. Ian and David.  We need at least one more seller for each shift as we will have plants plus calendars.

23/10  Joan and ??  Nicky and Margaret T.  Annie and Mick.  Don and Margaret E.

29/10 – Friday Don and Joan.  Pat and ??  Linda and ??  Ian and David.

6/11 – Linda and Joan.  Nicky and Margaret JT.  Annie and Mick. Don and Margaret E

13/11 – Linda and Annie.  Don and Joan.  David and ??  Margaret E and Ian.

20/11 – Linda and Joan.  Don and ??  ?? and ??  Margaret E and Ian.

27/11 – This is the Christmas Fayre. Starting at 9.  Joan and ??  Linda and Joyce  Debra and ??  Ian and ??

This takes us up to 1pm so more spaces are vacant.  Graham and I will do the last shift 3-4pm.

Christmas cards are also on sale and have been selling well. Chairman thanked Joan and Dennis for their hard work.

PLANT  SALE. It was agreed that we will have a plant sale on 16th October .  We will be selling donated plants, anything saleable from the removed summer plants and it was  suggested that we sell the remaining knitted poppies – money from these to be given to the RBL poppy fund.  We will also sell the knitted items that we have in stock at present. 
Please let me know if you need pots for plant donations.  We do have some compost as well if necessary.

WORKING  PARTIES.   Joan has obtained permission from the Doctors’ Surgery for HiB to tidy up the area that we had cleared before the pandemic.  It is now very overgrown again so on Tuesday 5th October a small working party will convene.  Saws, loppers, secateurs, forks, spades – and muscles will be required!  Spoil will be taken away in bags to put in the green bin at The Empire.  Work probably won’t be completed on Tuesday so Thursday 7th will also be dedicated to this effort.  Any not attending at Surgery there is plenty of deadheading and weeding still to be done.  From Tuesday 12th we will begin removal of summer plants (boo hoo!!) and this will continue up to and including 19th and if necessary 21st but some work needs to be done as and when possible at the Road Runners’ bed.  On Tuesday 26th it is hoped that we may be able to help Peter in the new Play Park at HPG as this is getting a bit weedy.  There will not be a working party on 28th!! (unless there is work left to do!!!!!).  On 2nd November there will be planting to be done and on the morning of 4th November we will be selling calendars at Priory Hall.  Phew! 

ANY  OTHER  BUSINESS.    *Margaret E noted that there are hedges overhanging the pavements along Butler Road – left hand side going towards Empire.  These are responsibility of the property owner although they can be asked to cut back.  Will be reported.  Ivy encroaching on the footway was noted in the footpath between Mitchells Avenue and Holmes Road.  Not sure who has responsibility for this footpath but will be ascertained and reported.  Pat noted that there is also ivy coming through fence and onto pavement from Trinity Flats into Bridge Street.  This is Easlight Homes responsibility and will be reported.  Margaret E asked what had happened to the magnolia trees in High Street – their fate is not known at present, information to be sought.

*Linda spoke about the amount of weeds in pavements and at base of walls and asked if Braintree DC could bring their weed grabber to Halstead.  This machine was used on trial in Braintree, it isn’t known if one was purchased and if it is to be used in the district. Margaret E noted that there is to be a Partnership meeting on 26th October – the first for some time – and matters such as these will be discussed.  *Debra asked that whoever placed the new dog bin at Star Stile be thanked as this has improved the area greatly.  *Ian noted that the area near to the gates to Trinity Flats, at the rear of the Library is in a poor state and looks neglected.  This is Eastlight Homes property and this will be reported.  *Colin noted that at Portway Bridge (Chapel Street) the buddleia bush is overhanging the walkway and needs to be cut back.  There is only a very narrow gap for pedestrians to negotiate now.  This is BDC property and will be reported.  Colin also said that he had attended the Notley Gardening Club where HiB gave a talk some time ago and there were several favourable comments about Halstead and HiB.  Nice to hear!  *Don (a recent recruit to the team) said that he very much admired the flowers and the work done by HiB team that was let down by the state of the river.  It was agreed that while some good work had been done to ‘landscape’ the river bed the weeds do look unsightly.  EA say that they are good for wild life.   *Joan said she has heard that there is to be a Christmas Tree event at St. Andrew’s Church this year but no details have been received.  Mike said he would ask at forthcoming Church Meeting.  Joan also asked whether Holy Trinity Church would be open for refreshments and decorated with Christmas trees after the switching on of Christmas lights (27/11).  Situation not known at present.  Joan asked if HiB would be placing the soldiers’ names at WW1 and WW11 memorials this year.  It was said that this will be done, and the poppy fall will be placed on HPG railings as previously.  Joan said that the Chamber of Trade wanted to give a donation to HiB but it was agreed that we are struggling to handle the goods we have for sale at present and can’t really accept anything else.  Joan said that she had been approached by Chamber Chairman to place containers near to his premises in Head Street.  It isn’t known at present whether the designated area is Highway but this will be investigated.  *Joyce asked if Council could enforce owners to upkeep their properties in the centre of Town.  This isn’t possible, it is believed.  *Julia said that BDC are offering free bulbs and free whips and HiB has applied for 4 bags of 100 bulbs for entry beds and memorial bed in Chapel St. Car Park.  HTC are also going to apply and I suggested that they might be planted at Butler Road, outside the Public Gardens and at the Sudbury Road project.  Julia also said that the Officer at ECC now has all the info required regarding the bench replacement at Kings Road/Parsonage Street but it isn’t known when the licence will be granted.  The family who donated money are now pushing for this to be spent.  *Margaret T said that her Brownies and Rainbows would like to apply for bulbs and it was said that some could be planted in Sharon’s Garden and some at Adams Court.

*DON’T FORGET THE MONTHLY COMMUNITY LITTER PICK – date for next one to be announced as on 30th October we will begin planting.  For Community Litter Picks meet 10.30am at Sainsbury’s Car Park.  Monthly river clean will be on Sunday 3rd October.  Meet at 10am at Sainsbury’s Car Park.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.30 p.m.

Next team meeting on   Thursday 28th October  7.30p.m. at Royal British Legion Club, The Causeway.     


Contacts:  Margaret Eskins Chairman.  01787 269443;  Julia Smith, Secretary. 0776 2587141 / 01787461806. e-mail jaygrey@btinternet.com; Joan Gibson, plants and working parties. 01787 473070

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