HALSTEAD IN BLOOM
               Minutes of a meeting 29th June 2023 at 6.00p.m. at Royal British Legion Club
Chairman welcomed all present and accepted apologies from those who could not attend.

Minutes of the meeting of 25th May 2023 had been circulated and were adopted.
UPDATES:  *RBL Armed Forces Day Fete; Not a well attended event, shame the military band dropped out at the last minute.  Our stall took £12.80, mostly on sales of donated plants, and there was quite a bit of interest in the archive items on show.  We gave a donation of £20 to the British Legion to help with running costs.  *HTC/HiB working together.  Tim has been taking on several areas to water and is now at his maximum 10 hours allowed.  Jason continues to water in the Town Centre.   *Weed kill experiment; Grass at road sign Factory Lane has died but it’s difficult to remove as has grown through the membrane.  We have membrane in stock so could take up existing and lay down more with topping of bark chippings or similar. Margie advised that it may be a continuing project as similarly treated weeds at U.R.C. have come through again.  *Halstead Public Gardens.  Barry wrote to local Councillor and the reply received was read. It was said that the lack of colour in the Town Sign bed wasn’t inviting and could deter tourism.  Cllr Jackie Pell has said she will take complaints back to Braintree DC.  Team thought it a shame that insects are being deprived of nectar bearing plants when it is said that pollinators and flying insects are declining at an alarming rate. Carol noted that the sustainably planted beds at Churchill Avenue haven’t been well maintained and now look awful.  Barry was congratulated for highlighting the issue with Town Councillors.    *Team Working:  It was noted that recent team work at St. Andrew’s Church ground was excellent with team gelling and working well together.  It is hoped to continue this team working into the future.  *Visit to Holy Trinity School; report was given about the visit on 9th June when team members were shown the work that has been done, met some of the children and staff and were entertained to tea and cake!  The enthusiasm for improving the area was great to see, but some assistance was requested for watering during the summer holiday. *Grass at Weavers’ Court (outside Halstead Icing) was cut by Ian Ling who is prepared to keep it cut.  Grass behind the gates is still in an appalling condition; Chairman thought it is not safe for volunteers to work in the area.  It is thought that responsibility for the area is with the tenant or the landlord (we don’t know details of tenancy agreement).  *The Centre; large containers there are being maintained by shopkeepers.  Nettles and weeds have not been managed despite request to ECC via our local Councillor.  It was suggested that local MP should be contacted to see if he can make a difference.  It was noted that the area around Trinity Court is still in a poor condition with weeds growing at the base of the building and around the building.
ANGLIA IN BLOOM 2023:  The entry for St. Andrew’s Churchyard will be sent away to judges  shortly; another photo is required and will be provided by Margaret T/Helen.  ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ entries including Halstead Fire Station will be assessed shortly by AiB representatives.  Joan explained the removal of one of the shrub beds opposite the Fire Station. Fiona thought it a shame that one bed had been removed but agreed that it would now be much less work/watering, Tony Wicks (builder) did say that he would make a donation to HiB to compensate for this removal.
SPONSORSHIP:  Annie noted that some more sponsorship has been received including £300 from Ann and Dennis Hume, and £50 from Neil Hardy but thought that there would probably not be much more to come in this year.
EVENTS: Next Community Litter Pick – Sunday 30th July Meet at Sainsbury’s Car Park 10.30am.  *Next RiverClean event will be Sunday 2nd July, meet at Sainsbury’s Car Park at 10am. *Summer Fayre 5th August – we are to have the ‘straw’ game promoted by Annie.  We need to purchase some prizes – probably some small bags of sweets that were popular at the Fire Station event last year.  (arrangements for stall manning at next month’s meeting).

LOCAL GARDEN COMPETITION:   Helen reported that in all 12 entries had been received and a mixture over the 4 categories – not so many allotments this year but entrants have been invited to enter more than one category.  Judging will be over the weekend 1st/2nd July with guest judges Charles Soule and Sue Wilson.  There will be plaques for prizes.  Results will be made known to team as soon as possible and results will hopefully be posted in Halstead Gazette.
CALENDAR 2024: Choices for each month’s picture were on display and all were invited to choose their preference – Helen volunteered to take photos of each display and put on What’s App for anyone not present to view and make choices.  Quote has been obtained for printing: 500 copies would be £1325 (£2.65 each) and 600 would be £1500 (£2.50 each).  Envelopes would be £9.20 for 250 (4p. each). Having checked, we had 600 copies last year (at £1500) and we sold out.  Do we go for 600 again this year? It was agreed that this year we could increase the price to £4.50 each (this was if we went for the 500 copies) but include an envelope with this price.  I will go back to printer and say it will be a definite order but the quantity will be decided at next meeting
WORKING  PARTIES:  Joan advised that working parties will now mostly be deadheading and weeding but will be posted on WhatsApp.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS:    Julia noted that RHS had contacted HiB to say that they have been asked to make a ‘garden’ at Halstead Hospital.  Chairman of Friends of H.H. has also contacted to ask if HiB would like to be kept informed.  It was said that we would certainly like to have information but that at present we are not able to offer assistance.  Lin noted that members of the team have been asked about plants used in displays and Margaret T has suggested a board with details.  It was queried where this would be displayed to best advantage and thought that it would be better if team had information.  There is a list at Halstead TC and details are at the foot of these minutes.  Joyce noted that the hedge is still overhanging at Mount Hill.  Has been reported, but it was said that this is ECC responsibility, and the Ranger service has now been discontinued.  Fiona a) said that the lady who lost glasses that were found by HiB team member was most grateful and asked for the volunteer to be thanked – you know who you are! b) noted that there are brambles and buddleia hanging over the fence around the Resource Centre and this is making walking difficult and dangerous as children can get scratched (has been reported to our ECC Councillor) c) spoke about the abundance of weeds in the town and noted that some had died and not been subsequently removed making the area look very untidy (has been reported, this is joint BDC/ECC responsibility, hopefully there will be some action from BDC in the near future).  d) noted that there is overhanging hedge making the sight line when exiting Courtaulds Close very difficult and dangerous. (has been reported to Eastlight Homes, they will view and ask the tenant to take action). e) asked if Parsonage Street could be street swept (has been reported and will be swept where possible – can’t be done where vehicles are parked – in the near future). Carol asked if the ‘weed machine’ demonstrated last year is still in the area – we have been told that the machine has been retained but the Rangers who were trained to use the machine have been disbanded.  David (who was welcomed back after his stay in hospital/care) said that the flowers this year look great!  They give instant impact and he was so pleased to see them when he was able to get out and about again.
There being no other business meeting closed at    7.16pm.

HALSTEAD IN BLOOM
               Minutes of a meeting 29th June 2023 at 6.00p.m. at Royal British Legion Club
Chairman welcomed all present and accepted apologies from those who could not attend.

Minutes of the meeting of 25th May 2023 had been circulated and were adopted.
UPDATES:  *RBL Armed Forces Day Fete; Not a well attended event, shame the military band dropped out at the last minute.  Our stall took £12.80, mostly on sales of donated plants, and there was quite a bit of interest in the archive items on show.  We gave a donation of £20 to the British Legion to help with running costs.  *HTC/HiB working together.  Tim has been taking on several areas to water and is now at his maximum 10 hours allowed.  Jason continues to water in the Town Centre.   *Weed kill experiment; Grass at road sign Factory Lane has died but it’s difficult to remove as has grown through the membrane.  We have membrane in stock so could take up existing and lay down more with topping of bark chippings or similar. Margie advised that it may be a continuing project as similarly treated weeds at U.R.C. have come through again.  *Halstead Public Gardens.  Barry wrote to local Councillor and the reply received was read. It was said that the lack of colour in the Town Sign bed wasn’t inviting and could deter tourism.  Cllr Jackie Pell has said she will take complaints back to Braintree DC.  Team thought it a shame that insects are being deprived of nectar bearing plants when it is said that pollinators and flying insects are declining at an alarming rate. Carol noted that the sustainably planted beds at Churchill Avenue haven’t been well maintained and now look awful.  Barry was congratulated for highlighting the issue with Town Councillors.    *Team Working:  It was noted that recent team work at St. Andrew’s Church ground was excellent with team gelling and working well together.  It is hoped to continue this team working into the future.  *Visit to Holy Trinity School; report was given about the visit on 9th June when team members were shown the work that has been done, met some of the children and staff and were entertained to tea and cake!  The enthusiasm for improving the area was great to see, but some assistance was requested for watering during the summer holiday. *Grass at Weavers’ Court (outside Halstead Icing) was cut by Ian Ling who is prepared to keep it cut.  Grass behind the gates is still in an appalling condition; Chairman thought it is not safe for volunteers to work in the area.  It is thought that responsibility for the area is with the tenant or the landlord (we don’t know details of tenancy agreement).  *The Centre; large containers there are being maintained by shopkeepers.  Nettles and weeds have not been managed despite request to ECC via our local Councillor.  It was suggested that local MP should be contacted to see if he can make a difference.  It was noted that the area around Trinity Court is still in a poor condition with weeds growing at the base of the building and around the building.
ANGLIA IN BLOOM 2023:  The entry for St. Andrew’s Churchyard will be sent away to judges  shortly; another photo is required and will be provided by Margaret T/Helen.  ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ entries including Halstead Fire Station will be assessed shortly by AiB representatives.  Joan explained the removal of one of the shrub beds opposite the Fire Station. Fiona thought it a shame that one bed had been removed but agreed that it would now be much less work/watering, Tony Wicks (builder) did say that he would make a donation to HiB to compensate for this removal.
SPONSORSHIP:  Annie noted that some more sponsorship has been received including £300 from Ann and Dennis Hume, and £50 from Neil Hardy but thought that there would probably not be much more to come in this year.
EVENTS: Next Community Litter Pick – Sunday 30th July Meet at Sainsbury’s Car Park 10.30am.  *Next RiverClean event will be Sunday 2nd July, meet at Sainsbury’s Car Park at 10am. *Summer Fayre 5th August – we are to have the ‘straw’ game promoted by Annie.  We need to purchase some prizes – probably some small bags of sweets that were popular at the Fire Station event last year.  (arrangements for stall manning at next month’s meeting).

LOCAL GARDEN COMPETITION:   Helen reported that in all 12 entries had been received and a mixture over the 4 categories – not so many allotments this year but entrants have been invited to enter more than one category.  Judging will be over the weekend 1st/2nd July with guest judges Charles Soule and Sue Wilson.  There will be plaques for prizes.  Results will be made known to team as soon as possible and results will hopefully be posted in Halstead Gazette.
CALENDAR 2024: Choices for each month’s picture were on display and all were invited to choose their preference – Helen volunteered to take photos of each display and put on What’s App for anyone not present to view and make choices.  Quote has been obtained for printing: 500 copies would be £1325 (£2.65 each) and 600 would be £1500 (£2.50 each).  Envelopes would be £9.20 for 250 (4p. each). Having checked, we had 600 copies last year (at £1500) and we sold out.  Do we go for 600 again this year? It was agreed that this year we could increase the price to £4.50 each (this was if we went for the 500 copies) but include an envelope with this price.  I will go back to printer and say it will be a definite order but the quantity will be decided at next meeting
WORKING  PARTIES:  Joan advised that working parties will now mostly be deadheading and weeding but will be posted on WhatsApp.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS:    Julia noted that RHS had contacted HiB to say that they have been asked to make a ‘garden’ at Halstead Hospital.  Chairman of Friends of H.H. has also contacted to ask if HiB would like to be kept informed.  It was said that we would certainly like to have information but that at present we are not able to offer assistance.  Lin noted that members of the team have been asked about plants used in displays and Margaret T has suggested a board with details.  It was queried where this would be displayed to best advantage and thought that it would be better if team had information.  There is a list at Halstead TC and details are at the foot of these minutes.  Joyce noted that the hedge is still overhanging at Mount Hill.  Has been reported, but it was said that this is ECC responsibility, and the Ranger service has now been discontinued.  Fiona a) said that the lady who lost glasses that were found by HiB team member was most grateful and asked for the volunteer to be thanked – you know who you are! b) noted that there are brambles and buddleia hanging over the fence around the Resource Centre and this is making walking difficult and dangerous as children can get scratched (has been reported to our ECC Councillor) c) spoke about the abundance of weeds in the town and noted that some had died and not been subsequently removed making the area look very untidy (has been reported, this is joint BDC/ECC responsibility, hopefully there will be some action from BDC in the near future).  d) noted that there is overhanging hedge making the sight line when exiting Courtaulds Close very difficult and dangerous. (has been reported to Eastlight Homes, they will view and ask the tenant to take action). e) asked if Parsonage Street could be street swept (has been reported and will be swept where possible – can’t be done where vehicles are parked – in the near future). Carol asked if the ‘weed machine’ demonstrated last year is still in the area – we have been told that the machine has been retained but the Rangers who were trained to use the machine have been disbanded.  David (who was welcomed back after his stay in hospital/care) said that the flowers this year look great!  They give instant impact and he was so pleased to see them when he was able to get out and about again.
There being no other business meeting closed at    7.16pm.

Next meeting is Thursday 27th July   2023   6pm at Royal British Legion Club. All welcome.
Contacts:  Margaret Eskins, Chairman: 01787  269443; Joan Gibson, plants/working parties: 01787 473070.  Julia Smith, Secretary 07762587141 email;: jaygrey@btinernet.com
www.halsteadinbloom.org.uk:   Facebook: halsteadinbloom;  Instagram @halsteadinbloom
Join membership of National Co-op (Colchester Road) and note HiB as your preferred charity to donate via –co-op purchases.

Next meeting is Thursday 27th July   2023   6pm at Royal British Legion Club. All welcome.
Contacts:  Margaret Eskins, Chairman: 01787  269443; Joan Gibson, plants/working parties: 01787 473070.  Julia Smith, Secretary 07762587141 email;: jaygrey@btinernet.com
www.halsteadinbloom.org.uk:   Facebook: halsteadinbloom;  Instagram @halsteadinbloom
Join membership of National Co-op (Colchester Road) and note HiB as your preferred charity to donate via –co-op purchases.