WHITE COLNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at
The Village Hall, Bures Road, White Colne on Tuesday 21st July 2015 at 7.30 pm.
Present: Cllr Bond, Cllr Paxton, Cllr Pearcey, Cllr Taylor (Chairman), Cllr Watt
Also Present: Clerk D Williams and 4 members of the public attended.
740. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Braintree District Council (BDC) Cllr Siddall, BDC Cllr Spray
741. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS – None
742. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING – The minutes of the last parish council meeting of 19th May 2015 which had been previously circulated, were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
PUBLIC QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS
The meeting was suspended for public questions and statements.
(i).A parishioner said that the apple orchard on the Meadows was in a poor condition, the drainage needs attention and it is overgrown.
(ii).A parishioner said that there is a van parked on Colneford Hill and it is being used for advertising. This is in a conservation area. The van is parked where parking is for residents only and not for the public on the condition that it is maintained. Essex County Council (ECC) gave this permission. Can we regularise this by putting up a notice stating that parking is for residents only.
(iii).Cllr Pearcey said that a parishioner has asked if internal works could be undertaken to a property in the conservation area.
(iv). A parishioner said that he was concerned with the water issue on the proposed development behind the village hall.
The meeting was resumed.
743. CONSIDERATION OF ISSUES RAISED AT PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
Cllr Taylor said that these issues raised in points (i), (ii) and (iv) would be considered during the meeting. She said that the answer to point (iii) was that internal works can be done to a property in the conservation area as long as it is not a listed property.
744. CONSIDERATION OF CO-OPTION OF PARISH COUNCILLORS TO FILL TWO VACANCIES
Cllr Taylor asked if there were any nominations for co-option, and as there were none, members were asked to consider this for the next meeting.
745. VILLAGE HALL
Cllr Pearcey said that ELC Builders are proceeding with the building works agreed. He proposed that £289 from the Heritage Fund is used for part payment of the refurbishment of the hall ticket office after payment of the sign and notice board at the hall. This was agreed. He said that there was an issue with parking in the hall entrance and it was agreed that the clerk writes to the owner of a regularly parked vehicle asking not to park on dates of events. Cllr Pearcey will advise the dates concerned.
746. PLANNING MATTERS
15/00705/LBC Colneford House, 40 Colneford Hill – Internal alterations and refurbishment – Colneford House is a building of historical importance, both to our village and nationally. The parish council has no objections to this application, fully supports the advice of the Historic Buildings Consultant, and expects full compliance to the conditions/requirements laid out in his letter dated June 10th 2015 .
15/00435/OUT Former Goods Yard Bures Road – Outline planning permission for residential development (up to 5 dwellings) and creation of new access/highway alterations – updated reports – This site is at the rear of White Colne Village Hall which is controlled by White Colne Parish Council. The parish council supports this application but are concerned with the lack of current capacity in the sewerage system as confirmed by Anglian Water at our parish council meeting of 18th November
2014. We also support the Historic Buildings Consultant’s comments in his letter of 9th July 2015.
(B) ADVICE OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS APPROVED BY BRAINTREE DISTRICT COUNCIL (BDC)
15/00287/FUL Church Farm Bures Road – Erection of purpose built agricultural storage building
Cllr Taylor referred to the van parked on Colneford Hill that was mentioned in Public Questions, and said that BDC do not regard the van as an abandoned vehicle, and are presently seeking advice whether or not it breaches the advertising laws on the highway. Further details regarding this are awaited.
Cllr Watt said that Anglian Water is investigating a water leak on Colneford Hill. ECC Highways have not yet responded to the parish council’s complaint regarding the gully down the side of the newly repaired village green.
Cllr Taylor said that there had been no response to the parish council’s request to ECC Highways asking that records should be changed regarding Bures Road which is still named Station Road in part. It was agreed that the parish council asks BDC to assist, particularly so that the emergency services have the correct information for residents and any incidents on the road.
Cllr Taylor said that ECC Highways had invited the parish to join the Salt Bag Scheme this winter. Cllr Pearcey said that the parish has enough salt for two winters and we now have five salt bins which are satisfactory. In view of this and the considerable monitoring of the scheme required by ECC it was agreed that the parish would not join the scheme this year.
748. CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT ON THE HEADS OF AGREEMENT FOR THE TRANSFER OF WCPC LAND TO ESSEX CC IN RETURN FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE VILLAGE HALL AND LAND TO WCPC.
Cllr Taylor said that there is nothing to report in view of the recent planning application for the development.
749. COMMUNITY LIAISON
Cllr Taylor referred to the parish council’s agreement to fund repairs to the war memorial to a maximum of £500 and said that the improvements are being considered.
Cllr Bond referred to the application to BT for the decommissioning of the telephone box, and said that a notice in the telephone box states that the consultation period has finished. Cllr Taylor said that further details are awaited from BT.
Cllr Taylor said that the parish council’s policy for advertising on the village green should be updated. Cllr Bond proposed the following policy statement which was agreed by all members. The policy is:-
White Colne Parish Council wishes to support the charitable activities of nearby parishes and residents and therefore is happy to grant permission, on application to the Clerk to the Council, for one sign at a time to be displayed on the village green in accordance with the following rules.
Temporary notices or signs which are intended to advertise any local event being held for charitable purposes, which may be religious, educational, cultural, political, social or recreational, but not for any commercial purpose. This permission would include, for example, an advertisement for:
* a church bazaar
* a fete for a parent-teacher association
* a sponsored marathon in aid of charity
* an amateur sports event, but not any sporting event organised for commercial purposes.
The advertisement must not exceed 0.6 of a square metre and it must not be displayed more than 28 days before the sale or event begins and must be removed within 14 days after it ends.
These rules comply with the document Outdoor Advertisements and signs: a guide for advertisers. Dept for Communities and Local Government 2007.
The clerk was asked to send this policy statement for information to the local parish councils at Colne Engaine, Earls Colne, Chappel and Wakes Colne, Bures and Mount Bures, together with Earls Colne School and Essex Country Club. It can also be displayed on the web site and on the parish notice board.
Cllr Pearcey proposed that he asked Mr Hadley to cut the Meadows at a cost of £300-£350. This was agreed. Arrangements were discussed to plant Yellow Rattle in the Autumn. Cllr Taylor will ask the handyman to strim the orchard in the Meadows. Cllr Taylor said that the drainage issue may be a blocked drain and this can be investigated in October by a working party after the Meadows cut.
Cllr Pearcey said that a Bird Walk and Brunch was held on 31st May and 13 people attended. A Stationmaster’s Arms night on 13th June raised over £425 for the 50 club and over 60 people attended. Forthcoming events include a Stationmaster’s Arms night on 26th September, Children’s Halloween Party on 31st October, a Craft and Gift Fair on 7th November, a Quiz on 13th November, and a Stationmaster’s Arms night on 28th November.
Cllr Taylor referred to the application to Essex County Council to legalise the footpath from Colne Park Road to Bures Road. She said that the application was submitted on 18th June with 29 evidence forms and 1 letter, and the result of the application will be known in March next year. Notice was also served on the landowner on the same day.
750. FINANCIAL MATTERS
(a).The clerk reported that since the last meeting, the following payments are to be made. These were authorised :-
The Clerk reported that since the last meeting, the following payments had been or are to be made:-
Cheque Payee Details Amount £ VAT incl
1590 H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salary June £ 183.20
1591 Hole Service Earth Works- patch hall entrance&drive,repair football pitch fence£ 660.00 £ 110.00
1592 Hole Service Earth Works-v.green posts to verge&reinstate verge £2,064.00 £ 344.00
1593 Braintree District Council – local election costs £ 59.00
1594 C Mortimer Grounds Mntnce–cuts Green£186,Meadows£248,Hall£99.
weedkill hall car park £30, clear branches and lift branches v green £60 £ 747.60 £ 124.60
1595 JRB Enterprise Ltd – dog poop scoop bags – Meadows £ 29.30 £ 4.88
1596 D Williams-clerk salary June & July £916.66 less PAYE £366.40 £ 550.26
1597 H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salary July £ 183.20
1598 Leo Print Limited – July newsletter £ 83.03
1599 P Norris – Paper for newsletter covers £ 62.16 £ 10.36
1600 Rural Community Council of Essex – subscription for parish council £ 48.00 £ 8.00
1601 J J Bond – payment of handyman invoice submitted by B Mapes £ 462.70
1602 St Andrews Church – donation towards churchyard maintenance £ 600.00
1603 Playsafety Limited – annual inspection of play areas – amount to be advised
D/D Scottish Power – village hall chargeback gas £ 50.00
D/D Scottish Power – village hall chargeback – electricity £ 13.00
D/D Scottish Power – village hall chargeback gas £ 50.00
D/D Scottish Power – village hall chargeback – electricity £ 13.00
D/D Colne & Stour Association – annual subscription £ 5.00
SUB TOTAL £ 5,863.45
Less adjustment for 1579 AON UK Ltd, was £866.34, now £703.76 – £ 162.58
TOTAL PAYMENTS £ 5,700.87
2. Funds Received
Since the last financial report, the following funds have been received:-
HM Customs & Excise – VAT reclaimed £1,485.31
Nat West Bank plc – interest £ 0.69
Allotment rentals £ 24.00
Allotments – donation re water use £ 2.00
TOTAL RECEIPTS £1,512.00
3. Financial statement & Bank Reconciliation
Following the above transactions there is a credit balance on current account of £ 8,054.33
on reserve account of £10,192.93
Of which the balance held in reserve for the Heritage Fund is £ 1,182.74
And the balance held in reserve for Village Hall maintenance & works is £ 3,000.00
Total of allocated funds is £ 4,182.74
Thus the balance of unallocated funds is £14,064.52
Bank Balances 19.05.15 £ 22,436.13
Add Receipts £ 1,512.00
Sub Total £ 23,948.13
Less Total Payments £ 5,700.87
Bank Balances 21.07.15 £ 18,247.26
(b) The annual parish council insurance was due for renewal on 1st June. The existing insurer is Allianz and their broker Aon UK
Ltd quoted £866.34, the same premium as last year. However several parts of the policy cover have been increased. The clerk
contacted Aon UK who advised that cover had been standardised to the size of the parish council. However the premium was
reduced to £703.76 and members confirmed their agreement to this renewal.
(c).The clerk advised that the internal audit for the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2015 had been completed and the report dated June 2015 from the internal auditor had been circulated to all members. The opinion of the report was that the financial records are maintained in an effective manner and a high level of information is provided to the council. The systems used are generally sound. Recommendations were:-
1.The council needs to accept the consequences of calling the funds used to pay village hall costs council funds. These include:
(a). confirming the Village Hall Management Committee (VHMC) as a committee of the council with co-opted non councilor
members which reports regularly to council meetings
(b). confirming that their funds form part of the council funds under the oversight of the Responsible Financial Officer.
(c). changing the name of the bank account to clarify that it is part of the Council and ensuring that the signatories are councillors
(d). including the financial transactions and funds of the VHMC in the Council accounts, especially at the year end. This will
mean their inclusion in the scope of both internal and external audit.
2.When carrying out their annual review of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations the opportunity should be taken to align the value at which tenders are required.
3.The format of the fixed asset register and the valuation of the Council’s fixed assets should be reviewed.
Members agreed to these recommendations, and also to take the opportunity of using internet banking facilities for the Village Hall bank account. The clerk was instructed to write to Nat West Bank advising that the Council is proposing to make these changes, and also to liaise with the village hall management committee regarding these arrangements. The views of the internal auditor are also being sought.
The Annual Return has been sent to the external auditor.
(d) The clerk said that the high annual cost of the 24,000 dog bags used in the parish had been discussed at a previous meeting, and he had been asked to establish whether other local parish councils wished to be involved in bulk purchases and so to reduce annual costs from the current £293. Earls Colne Parish Council have shown interest in joining a scheme, but quotations for amounts over 25,000 were not viable because of delivery costs. Members therefore agreed to order 25,000 as per quote 22 October for £205.50 for our Council and advise Earls Colne Parish Council that we cannot arrange a scheme.
(e) The clerk advised that Mr Fordham has kindly offered to remove the stump of the horse chestnut tree on the village green free of charge. Members agreed and asked to convey their thanks.
Cllr Taylor proposed that the allotment agreement is altered to add that bees are not to be kept on an allotment plot unless the plot holder has a bee keeper’s certificate. Members agreed and the clerk was asked to amend the agreement accordingly.
752. CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED
From Scottish Power inviting a renewal of the contract for gas supply to the village hall. Members agreed to renew the contract and Cllr Pearcey said that he would deal with this.