Minutes of a meeting 23rd February 2022  7.30p.m. at Royal British Legion Club

 Chairman, welcomed all present and accepted apologies from those who could not attend.   Meeting followed AGM 2021.

Minutes of meeting of 23rd January 2022 had been circulated and were adopted.

UPDATES.  *David has booked the Con Club for Friday 14th October as agreed.  Annie and Mike will assist with entrance and raffle.  *Van has been booked at just insurance and diesel costs from EA Van Hire, Weavers’ Court.  *Footpath from Kings Road to Doctors’ Surgery – this footpath was put in by developer who has now no interest.  BDC say that they can’t manage it; HTC is exploring possibilities but no agreement so far. Post meeting note:  Billy offered to cut back the brambles to make the footpath safe.  Work to be done on Sunday 27/2.  *Holy Trinity School Gardening Club- Chris says that this will be up and running very shortly and has asked if HiB could purchase a polytunnel for their use.  Officers have agreed to this spend and all agreed that this would be good use of funds. *Total for calendar sales 2022 now stands at £453.00 profit – not sure if there is any more to come in from Phil the Egg Man and there will be further cash from Thelma.

NEWS:  *We are due to receive the first part of the Community Grant from Colchester Road Co-op in April having been accepted for funding from 2022.  A team member has donated £270 to HiB as she is in awe of the work done by volunteers.  * We were asked to support the Halstead Horticultural Society by sponsoring their schedules again this year, this has been agreed.  *We have booked in for a free event to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee on Saturday 4th June.  This will be similar to the Christmas Fayre and we will be selling plants as well as some hand-made items. It was suggested that we might sell some table decorations made under Joan’s guidance.  Possibility to be explored.  We will be based opposite Costa as usual.

ANGLIA  IN  BLOOM Campaign 2022. 4 places have been booked and paid for to attend the Spring Launch of Anglia in Bloom on 24th March at Hyde Hall.  Jenny Brimley has asked for one place, and Annie has said she would like to attend.  Margaret E and Margaret T also asked for places.  At present there are just 4 places available – team will be told if more places can be booked. * BDC has asked if we will enter the Public Gardens, the Cemetery, Mill Chase and possibly the River Walk.  HTC will be asked if they would like the St. Andrew’s churchyard to be entered. (These ‘additional categories’ will all be judged virtually we understand and there will be a cost of £20 per entry).

EVENTS.  *Community Litter Pick – Sunday 27th February. Meet 10.30 at Sainsbury’s Car Park.  *Jubilee Events:  As well as the Fayre on Saturday there may be other events taking place.  To be advised.

*Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean Event will take place this year from 25th March to 10th April.  There will be our usual Community Litter Pick on 27th March and the working party on 5th April will also be a litter pick event.  Chris is to send note to local paper and post on Facebook.  *We have agreed to take part in the Flower Festival to be held at St. Andrew’s Church on 8th/9th/10th July.  The theme is ‘Songs of Praise’ so I’m sure that Joan has thinking cap on!  She will appreciate ideas on this theme. *Margaret T has been told that there will be a Fete in Halstead Public Gardens on 25th June to celebrate the Royal British Legion. 
WORKING  PARTIES Joan  gave a resume of the planting for summer 2022 with some themed areas for the Jubilee celebrations namely the ‘badge bed’ in Halstead Public Gardens and the Loom garden.  Joan asked team to collect small white bottle tops and milk bottle tops for the Badge Bed.  The colours in Town Centre and other areas will be red/gold/cream – regal colours.  Working Parties for the next month will be: 1st March (St. David’s Day and Pancake Tuesday!) Halstead Public Gardens and Bluebridge.  Tuesday 8th March Public Gardens and Bluebridge.  15th March Deadheading.  22nd March Clearing the River Bank near to Peter Robertson’s  29th March River Bank again 5th April Litter Picking for the Great British Spring Clean.  Margaret E also noted that some work will be required in car park near to Thelma as a tree has come down. 

HIB GOING FORWARD  Joan and Julia attended the Town Council meeting on 14th February where a report was before Council to give HiB money to purchase in sub-contractors for necessary work.  Julia spoke during Public Question Time and said that money was not what was required from Council but support will be necessary if Halstead in Bloom is to continue with entry to prestigious In Bloom campaigns.  There was a proposal to re-write the Partnership Agreements and a meeting has been called for further discussion on this matter on 3rd March.

ANY  OTHER  BUSINESS.    Colin said that he has been told informally that the Local Garden Competition 2022 will not be judged by independent judges as has been the case in previous years.  Margaret, Helen, Billy and Karyn explained that they had one meeting so far and thought it would be better – as there were only 6 entries in 2021 – to try and have a more relaxed and information competition with less rigid criteria.  This would be tried for one year and if the idea didn’t work then something else would be tried for the future.  Karyn said the team were trying to encourage everyone of all ages to take part and brighten the environment.  Colin was assured that the competition would be judged fairly but Colin was not happy that it would not be independently judged.  The Local Garden Competition team will meet again before next HiB meeting and the L.G.C. team will give further information then.  Annie noted that the area in front of the former Premaberg building has been cleaned and tidied with paving slabs put back in better positions.  Fiona noted that most of the litter bins that are hung on lampposts do not have lids so that in windy conditions the contents tend to blow away and cause litter.  Fiona asked if this could be addressed clarification will be sought.  Fiona also noted that many street signs are in a dirty and unkempt state.  (This is ECC Highways responsibility).Linda asked where matters of Highway/Pavement defects can be reported and was told that there are reporting facilities on the Essex County Council web site, or ring Halstead Town Council and they will report.  Linda also spoke about the seats that HiB installed at the rear of the Hospital and said they were well used and still looked clean and tidy.  Cigarette bins are being fully used.   Jean asked if the Local Garden Competition this year will include allotments and was told that it will. Margaret T noted that there is part of an inspection box from the electricity sub-station near to the Town Bridge lying over the railings.  Will be reported.  It was asked if any decisions had been made about Halstead Hospital’s future and it was said that meetings had taken place but no decisions had been made.  Clinics and outpatients departments at the front of the building will remain but the wards at the rear may be sold if they cannot be re-used.  Ian asked if there was any news on the proposed Town Centre Revamp but as yet no further meetings had taken place.  Julia explained that the bench that HiB removed from Kings Road/Parsonage St. and repaired and refurbished was offered to HTC to replace the broken bench in St. Andrew’s Churchyard.  It had somehow been put forward as a ‘Jubilee Bench’ and there had been some resistance from public and Councillors for this.  HTC may have another use for the bench to replace another broken bench outside Queen’s Hall.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.45 p.m.

Next team meeting on Thursday 31st March 2022. 6.00p.m. at Royal British Legion Club, The Causeway.  

All further meetings will be on last Thursday of the month at RBL Club starting at 6pm unless otherwise notified.

 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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