Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting The Village Hall, Bures Road, White Colne on Tuesday 17th September 2019 at 7.30pm.
Present :Cllr Batchford, Cllr Saggars, Cllr Taylor (Chairperson), Cllr Watt.
Also Present: Clerk D Williams, Essex County Council (ECC) Cllr Beavis, Braintree District Council (BDC) Cllr Spray,
and 1 member of the public.
178. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr Bolton, Cllr Bond, Cllr Paxton, BDC Cllr Courtauld.
179. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS – Cllr Watt declared an interest in the tree works application 19/00211/TPOCON for18/20 Colneford Hill as she lives at the property. She will remain in the meeting, but not take part in the discussions nor vote.
Cllr Saggars declared an interest in the tree works application 19/00211/TPOCON for 18/20 Colneford Hill as the applicant is a friend. He will remain in the meeting, but not take part in the discussions nor vote.
180. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING – The minutes of the last parish council meeting of 16th July 2019 which had been previously circulated, were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairperson.
PUBLIC QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS
The meeting was suspended for public questions and statements.
(i).A parishioner asked what the position was regarding the works that are needed for the pond. She said that she would contact Essex Wildlife Trust.
The meeting was resumed.
181. RESPONSE TO PUBLIC QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS
Cllr Taylor responded to the questions and statements and saidthat she was waiting for a response from the Conservation Trust volunteers.
182. REPORT FROM BRAINTREE DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
BDC Cllr Spray said that the draft local plan is at present for public consultation, and then it goes back to the inspector who re-opens the public examination.
She also said that the District Councillors’ Community Grant Fund would welcome any applications for village schemes or projects. Cllr Taylor said that the parish council is considering a memorial bench on the village green and could match any funding provided.
183. PLANNING MATTERS
19/01373/COUPA Brambles Farm, Brambles Lane – Prior approval for the change of use of agricultural building to a dwellinghouse (Class C3), and for associated operational development – Change of use to 5no. residential dwelling – for information only, no comment sent.
19/01617/LBC Forge Farm, Bures Road – Replacement of 3 No. rear windows – no comment.
19/00211/TPO Tree works – Land Adjacent 18 Colne Park Road– no comment
19/00215/TPOCON Tree works – 18 – 20 Colneford Hill – members agreed to await the tree wardens report before replying.
(b) Appeal to Planning Inspector following refusal by Braintree District Council
17/01877/OUT Land South of 30 Colne Park Road – application for outline planning permission for erection of 3 residential units with associated garages & alteration to existing vehicular access – after further consideration the following comments were sent to the planning inspector :- White Colne Parish Council continue to object to this appeal for the reasons stated in the previous submission and support the conclusions reached by Braintree District Council planning with special reference to the impact on the entrance to the conservation area. It is important to note that the transfer of land associated with this application relates to 2 metre wide strip of land which is a public footpath and the remainder is a soil tip which would be of no practical benefit for public recreation.
(c) Cllr Taylor said that she had received several complaints regarding noise at Chalkney Meadows on Saturday 14thSeptember. , and also there have been activities happening throughout the summer which appear to be a type of camp involving children, occurring from Mondays to Fridays. She has also been advised of otter hounds in the lake on Chalkney Meadows which was reported to Essex Police. Members agreed to ask the clerk to write to the owners expressing concern at the possible impact on the otter population following the re-introduction of otters to the River Colne.
184. 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 was nothing to report with matters in the hands of the ECC legal team who are to respond to our solicitor’s communication dated 13th July.
185. REPORT FROM ESSEX COUNTY COUNCILLOR.
ECC Cllr Beavis said that ECC are querying the position regarding the receipt of Euro funding following Britain’s forthcoming withdrawal from the European Union. ECC budget is being prepared with £6 million being taken out of the budget.A local summit is to be held on the draft local plan, where it will be proposed that part 2 of the plan is adopted and the garden communities are considered later.
186. COMMUNITY LIAISON
Cllr Taylor said that there had not been a great response to the consultation regarding a memorial bench on the village green, and it will be put to parishioners again. The district councillors’grant scheme could be considered for part funding. This will be an agenda item in November.
Members agreed to the installation of solar film shielding to the telephone box holding the defibrillator at a cost of £192.
Cllr Taylor said that the emergency plan should be updated and the clerk was asked to re-circulate the present plan for members to consider. This will be an agenda item in November.
187. WHITE COLNE MEADOWS
Cllr Taylor said that there will be a litter pick on 13th October, and a working party on the Meadows to undertake coppicing on 10th November.
Cllr Batchford said that the life ring has been thrown into the middle of the pond which he will try to recover.
Cllr Saggars said that the interpretation board in the Meadows orchard needs repairing. Members agreed that the clerk asks the handyman to repair this, but if he does not have the time to do this, then he is asked to advise and we will appoint someone else.
Cllr Batchford said that 2 people have been sleeping in a car in the village hall car park.
The meeting was suspended.
EWCC Cllr Beavis said that she would contact PC Wheeler regarding this.
The meeting resumed.
188. FINANCIAL MATTERS
Payments:- The Clerk reported that since the last meeting, the following payments had been or are to be made:-
(a).From Nat West account:–
Cheque Payee Details Amount £ VAT inc
D/D GoCardless Ltd – County Broadband WiFi at hall monthly charge 2x£29 £ 58.00
D/D Scottish Power – village hall electricity2x£20 £ 40.00
D/D Scottish Power – village hall gas 2x £78.00 £ 156.00
D/D Anglian Water – village hall £195.68, allotments £35 £ 230.68
TOTAL NAT WEST PAYMENTS £ 484.68
(b). By electronic payments from Unity Bank account:-
S Mason – booking secretary £91, exps £3 July £ 94.00
W Paxton – village hall door lock and keys £ 33.97 £ 5.66
G Allen – hall window cleaning – July & August £ 28.00
J Heathcote – hall cleaning £80, cleaning £17.75 July £ 97.75
D Williams-clerk salary Aug/Sept £972.66 less PAYE £ 388.80 £ 583.86
H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salary September £ 194.40
S Mason – booking secretary Aug £ 39.50
J Heathcote – hall cleaning £90, materials £ 23.87 £ 113.87
Mortimer C Ltd-grasscutsMeadows£260,VGreen£264 &hall £144 £ 801.60 £ 133.60
Braintree District Council – fee for uncontested parish election £ 60.29
H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salary October £ 194.40
H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salary Aug already in July list (£ 194.40) Not included
RCCE – sub balance £52.30 paid on £52.80 already in July list (£ 0.50) Not included
TOTAL UNITY BANK PAYMENTS £ 2,241.64
(c). Funds Received Since the last report, the following funds have been or will be received into Nat West :-
Village hall occasional hire fees £ 964.00
TOTAL NAT WEST RECEIPTS £ 964.00
Into Unity Bank
Village hall regular hire fees £1,249.50
TOTAL UNITY BANK RECEIPTS £1,249.50
(d). Financial statement & Bank Reconciliation
Following the above transactions- There is a credit balance on Nat West current a/c of £ 3,423.98
There is a credit balance on Unity Bank account of £24,025.04
TOTAL BANK BALANCES £27,449.02
Balance held in reserve – Village projects from White Colne 50 Club £ 3,165.73
Balance held in reserve – Village Hall Roofing Fund is £7,000.00
Total of allocated funds is £10,165.73
Thus the balance of unallocated funds is £17,283.29
NAT WEST BANK UNITY BANK
Bank Balances 16.07.19 £ 2,944.66 Bank Balances 16.07.19 £ 25,017.18
Add Receipts £ 964.00 Add Receipts £ 1,249.50
Sub Total £ 3,908.66 Sub Total £26,266.68
Less Total Payments £ 484.68 Less Total Payments £ 2,241.64
Bank Balances 17.09.19 £ 3,423.98 Bank Balances 17.09.19 £24,025.04
(e) The clerk was asked to provide an update of total income and total expenditure to date this financial year at meetings in future.
(f) The clerk expressed concern at the level of water charges and will ask Anglian Water for the cost of the installation of a watermeter at the allotments. Cllr Batchford said that he will read the water meter to see if a possible water leak can be identified.
189. VILLAGE HALL
Cllr Taylor said that the front door key lock has been changed.
The clerk said that members had agreed that the parish council should obtain quotations for insurance cover for the booking secretary as she is not a paid employee but self employed, seeking quotations for professional liability for work for the parish council for £1m, and for public liability cover for work for the parish council for £1m. Our present broker is seeking further information from the parish council before a quotation can be issued.
Cllr Batchford asked if there were any developments regarding the hall external light. Cllr Taylor said that Cllr Bond was dealing with this.
Cllr Taylor reported on the recent meeting with other local parish councils to discuss a request for an average speed camera on A1124. Chappel, Wakes Colne, Aldham and Eight Ash GreenParish Councils all attended. It was agreed that the Speed Indicator Device is loaned to each parish council for two weeks so that additional data can be included in the application for an average speed camera, and then the information can be collated.Earls Colne Parish Council attended as an observer.
Cllr Taylor said that ECC Highways propose to widen Colneford Hill by using part of the village green, and then putting hatching on the wall side of Colneford Hill. Part of the village green at the top is owned by the parish council, and investigations are taking place to discover the location of legal documents confirming ownership of part of the green.
Cllr Taylor said that the hedge overhanging the pavement on Colchester Road has not yet been cut, and the clerk was asked to ask the landowners again to attend to this.
Members said that the hedge in front of the Greenfields Housing properties around number 101 to the village requires cutting, and the clerk was asked to contact Greenfield Housing regarding this.
Correspondence from a parishioner regarding parking at the top of the green was discussed. The complaint was that vehicles are parked there by parishioners who live on Colchester Road and also by parishioners who have drives. A further point mentioned was speeding along Colne Park Road. Parishioners were asked to park and drive courteously. The clerk was asked to reply and state that the parish council is taking steps to reduce speed through the village. Also there are no designated parking spaces along the village green.
Correspondence received regarding the clearance of some of the gullies in Colne Park Road by ECC Highways, who have been asked to put this road onto a vulnerable list and ensure regular monitoring and cleaning takes place.
Cllr Batchford said that the cost of £80 per month for a portaloo which had been requested for use by allotment holders was not viable. Members agreed.
Cllr Taylor suggested that a best kept allotment competition was arranged next year, with the possibility of purchasing a cup to present to the winner. Members agreed.
192. OTHER MATTERS
Members agreed to a quotation for a tree survey for £250 from JF Trees, covering the trees on the village green, the Chase and the Meadows and the clerk was asked to instruct him. An alternative quotation for £400 had been received and this wasdeclined.
There being no further business the parish council meeting was closed at 9.08 pm.