Baldock and District Committee Minutes

Monday, 4th September, 2017
Baldock Community Centre, Simpson Drive, Baldock

Attendance Details

Councillor M.R.M. Muir (Chairman), Councillor Janine Paterson (Vice-Chairman), Councillor S.K. Jarvis, Councillor Jim McNally and Councillor M.E. Weeks.
In attendance:
Ashley Hawkins (Community Officer); Steven Cobb (Licensing Manager); Colin Broadhurst (Licensing Officer); Ian Gourlay (Committee and Member Services Manager); Amelia McInally (Committee and Member Services Officer).
Also Present:
Councillor Lynda Needham.
Mr Alessandro Marsili (Affinity Water); Mr Nigel Beaven (Affinity Water) and Mr Jake Rigg (Affinity Water).
At commencement of the meeting, 28 members of the public, including public speakers, were present.
Item Description/Decision
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Valentine Shanley.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Baldock and District Committee meeting held on 3 July 2017 be approved as a true record of the proceedings and be signed by the Chairman.
There was no other business notified.
(1) The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting including the general public and the public speakers for Public Participation. He also welcomed Members of the Committee and the Community Officer. The Chairman advised that Mr Alessandro Marsili Senior Asset Scientist of Hydrogeology would be giving a presentation on behalf of Affinity Water and that Mr Marsili would be available to answer questions.

(2) The Chairman advised that, in accordance with Council Policy, the meeting would be audio recorded;

(3) The Chairman drew attention to the item on the agenda front pages regarding Declarations of Interest and reminded Members that, in line with the Code of Conduct, any Declarations of Interest needed to be declared immediately prior to the item in question.
Mr Michael Bingham thanked the Chairman for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave a verbal presentation regarding the Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Neighbourhood Planning Group.

Mr Bingham advised that the Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Neighbourhood Planning Area had been designated by the Council in July 2017, which gave the Neighbourhood Planning Group formal status as a neighbourhood planning organisation.

Mr Bingham advised that the Group’s work was ongoing, and that a considerable amount of work had already been done over the past year or so. That work had been done in the Group members’ own time, on a voluntary basis, and had incurred some costs. He felt that a modest grant from the Committee would help the Group to meet those costs and further costs going forward.

Mr Bingham stated that the type of expenditure included hire of meeting rooms, production of publicity material, materials for events and limited travelling expenses. He commented that the Neighbourhood Plan was being produced within the framework of the emerging District Local Plan, with the aim of making the most for whatever happened to Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall.

Mr Bingham concluded by explaining that the exercise was quite a lot more challenging then other Neighbourhood Plans which were in progress throughout the District, given that it covered a large are of one town and two parished areas with a significant amount of potential housing growth. He therefore asked if the Committee would consider favourably an award of £500 to assist in this work, subject to the Group submitting the necessary grant application paperwork.

The Chairman thanked Mr Bingham for his presentation.

Mr Alessandro Marsili (Affinity Water), assisted by Mr Nigel Beaven (Affinity Water) and Mr Jake Rigg (Affinity Water) gave a presentation and answered member’s questions regarding water supply issues in the Baldock area.

Mr Marsili’s presentation covered the following issues:

• National Environment Programme (NEP) Study of the Ivel Headwaters;
• Summary of the NEP Study outcomes;
• Ivel Spring Area - Hydrogeology;
• Pumping Stations and level constraints;
• Current resources situation; and
• Proposed development and potential issues.

In response to a series of Members’ questions, Mr Marsili and his colleagues responded as follows:

• The Study had revealed that ground water tended to move from the west side of Letchworth towards the Baldock area;
• Water to fully supply the proposed new housing development to the North East of Baldock would need to be transferred from other areas;
• Affinity as a water company needed to meet the demand for water supply. Affinity currently supplied 3.5million people, the population of which was expected to increase by £600,000 (17%) up to 2040. This would be challenging, but had been built in to Affinity’s Business Plan. A water saving programme had been launched in 2015 to help address the issue by reducing leakage and reducing the use of water per head per day;
• £500Million would be spent on Affinity’s network between 2015 and 20920 on building up infrastructure. Until details of the North East Baldock development emerged it was difficult to speculate on the level of infrastructure changes/improvements required;
• 60% of water was ground water and the other 40% came from rivers/reservoirs. Water would be moved around Affinity’s network in order to service new developments and to meet demand;
• Since 2015, all new homes were required to be fitted with water meters;
• The representatives were confident that Affinity would be able to supply water to the 5,500 homes planned for the North East of Baldock and Letchworth; and
• Affinity Water would be keen to engage further with Members as part of the pre-consultation on its draft Water Resources Management Plan.

The Chairman thanked the Affinity Water representatives for their presentation and attendance at the meeting.


(1) That the representatives from Affinity Water be thanked for their presentation;

(2) That the representatives from Affinity Water be requested to:

• respond to Committee Members on the extent to which developers paid for the increased/enhance water infrastructure construction costs incurred on new housing developments; and
• copy in the Chairman of the Committee on any e-mails between Affinity Water and the Environment Agency relating to the Ivel Spring area.

REASON FOR DECISION: To keep Members of the Committee abreast of water supply matters in the Baldock area.
Mr Barry Kingham addressed the Committee and gave a verbal presentation regarding Baldock Town Youth Football Club Business Plan.

Mr Kingham presented the final Business Plan to the Committee, and thanked the Chairman and Councillor McNally for their previous input into the Plan. He commented that this input had been incorporated into the Plan.

The Committee reiterated its support to the aims and objectives of the Club, and agreed that, once the Business Plan has been considered at a meeting to be held between the Football Club and Committee Members, the final version be passed to the Hertfordshire County Council Land Service and the NHDC Executive Member for Leisure.


(1) That the aims and objectives of the Baldock Town Football Club Business Plan be supported;

(2) That, once the Business Plan has been considered at a meeting to be held between the Football Club and Committee Members, the final version be passed to the Hertfordshire County Council Land Service and the NHDC Executive Member for Leisure.

REASON FOR DECISION: To improve services provided by local organisations and groups which are accessed by the Community.
The Licensing Manager presented a report in respect of the proposed Street Trading Policy 2018-2015. He advised that consultation had commenced on a revised Policy, part of which was to seek the views of Area Committees

By way of background, the Licensing Manager explained that the Council had adopted the appropriate Street Trading legislation in 2005. In Street Trading terms, a “street” was a road, footway or other areas to which the public had free access (eg. car parks, shopping arcades). Street Trading was the selling of goods that could be purchased and taken away at the time of purchase.

The Licensing Manager further explained that Charter Markets were exempt from Street Trading, as were shops that displayed some of their wares outside their frontages. Typically, Street Trading covered burger vans, ice cream vans, ad hoc markets and community events. In this latter regard, he stated that the revised Policy sought to continue to those parts of the existing Policy which provided encouragement for community events.

The Licensing Manager advised that the Council was able to designate streets as consent streets, where its consent was required to be able to trade within such streets; prohibited streets, where trading would not be permitted at any time; or not to designate at all. In 2005, the Council had chosen to designate as consent streets all streets within the District’s four main towns and the arterial roads which linked them. Village roads/streets had been excluded from such designation.

The Licensing Manager commented that the Policy did not contain any prohibited streets, but appended to it was a list of streets where consent would not normally be granted.

In respect of Advertising Boards (A Boards) and tables and chairs outside restaurants/cafes, the Licensing Manager confirmed that those matters did not fall within the remit of street trading, but were instead the responsibility of Hertfordshire County Council under the Highways Act 1980.

The Licensing Manager stated that the main objective of the Policy was to protect the public from unregulated street traders. The Policy also aimed to make things easier for community events to go ahead without having to go through the same process as commercial operators. Accordingly, it was possible for an annual Town Centre consent to be issues to an appropriate Town Centre organisation (such as a BID company or Community Events Forum), so that all community or commercial operators wishing to trade within the town could approach the Town Centre organisation for permission to use their annual consent. A cost could be levied on a commercial operator for use of the consent, with no charge for not-for-profit community organisations.

The Committee commented that consideration should be given in the Policy to Licence Holders being responsible for the removal of any litter within the vicinity of the consent site, with the definition of vicinity being determined on a case by case basis. The list of arterial roads included in the Policy was mentioned, and the Licensing Manager undertook to review these in the light of any changes to road designations since the original Policy was adopted. It was hoped that the Baldock Community events Forum would be in contact with the Licensing Manager with a view to obtaining an annual Town Centre consent.

RESOLVED: That the report be noted, and the following comment considered by the Licensing Manager in the final version of the proposed Street Trading Policy 2018-2015:

The Licence Holder shall be responsible for the removal of any litter within the vicinity of the consent site, with the definition of vicinity being determined on a case by case basis.

REASON FOR DECISION: To provide local input into the proposed Street Trading Policy 2018-2015.
The Communities Officer and Councillor Jim McNally updated the Committee on a number of recent and forthcoming Baldock Community Events.

The Communities Officer advised that the Baldock Cycle Challenge had taken place on 23 July 2017, and 180 cyclists had taken part. The event had raised £1,800 for the Baldock Community Events Forum, and would return next year, but would be held during National Bike Week towards the end of June 2018.

Councillor Jim McNally stated that the next event would be the Christmas Fair, scheduled to take place on 2 December 2017. A local business whose 10th Anniversary was due to take place in 2018 had agreed to sponsor a 10Km run to mark the event. He commented that the Baldock Events Forum were looking to recruit a Fund Raising Director, together with further helpers, to run various events. He was also looking for someone to organise and run a 200 Club.
The Communities Officer introduced the report of the Communities Manager in respect of Grants Applications and Community Update.

The Communities Officer outlined the Base Budgets for the Committee for the 2017/18 Year, as set out in Paragraph 7.3 of the report.

The Communities Officer referred to the request for grant funding of £500 from the Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Neighbourhood Planning Group, as per the presentation made by a member of the Group earlier in the meeting (see Minute 27 above).

The Communities Officer advised that a grant application from the Baldock Bowls Club would be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee in December 2017. If Members were aware of any other organisations requiring grant funding, then he asked that they get in touch with him as soon as possible.


(1) That a grant award of £500 for the Baldock, Bygrave and Clothall Neighbourhood Planning Group be approved in principle, subject to officers receiving the appropriate supporting documentation in line with the Authority’s grant criteria outlined in Paragraph 8.1.1 of the report, to be funded from the Arbury, Baldock East, Baldock Town and Weston & Sandon Ward Budgets on the basis of the usual percentage split; and

(2) That the actions taken by the Community Development Officer to promote greater community capacity and well-being for Royston and District be endorsed.

REASON FOR DECISION: To keep Members of the Committee apprised of the latest developments in community activities in the Baldock and District area.
The Chairman commented that he had spent virtually all of his £90,000 Hertfordshire County Council Locality Budget for 2016/17. For 2017/18, he had asked for the resurfacing of Salisbury Road and renewal of pavements, together with some further pavement works and white lining around the town.

Councillor Steve Jarvis advised that he had about £4,500 of his Hertfordshire County Council Locality Budget left to spend.
Published on Tuesday, 26th September, 2017