Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at
The Village Hall, Bures Road, White Colne on Tuesday 19th November 2019 at 7.30pm.
Present :Cllr Batchford, Cllr Bond, Cllr Paxton, Cllr Saggars,Cllr Taylor (Chairperson), Cllr Watt.
Also Present: Clerk D Williams, Braintree District Council (BDC) Cllr Courtauld, and 1 member of the public.
193. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr Bolton, Essex County Council (ECC) Cllr Beavis, BDC Cllr Spray.
194. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
Cllr Saggars declared an interest in the tree works application 19/00211/TPOCON for 18/20 Colneford Hill as the applicant is a neighbour.
He declared an interest in the planning application 19/01811/HHfor 44 Colchester Road as the applicant is a neighbour.
He declared an interest in the planning application 18/02311/FUL for Toad Hall, Colchester Road as the applicant is a neighbour.
He declared an interest in the planning application 19/01869/LBC for 22 Colneford Hill as the applicant is a neighbour.
He will remain in the meeting, but not take part in the discussions nor vote.
Cllr Watt declared an interest in the tree works application 19/00211/TPOCON for 18/20 Colneford Hill as she lives at the property.
She declared an interest in the planning application 19/01869/LBC for 22 Colneford Hill as the applicant is a neighbour.
She declared an interest in the tree works application 19/00284/TPOCON for 12 Colneford Hill as the applicant is a neighbour.
She will remain in the meeting, but not take part in the discussions nor vote.
Cllr Bond declared an interest in the tree works application 19/00211/TPOCON for 18/20 Colneford Hill as the applicant is a neighbour.
He declared an interest in the tree works application 19/01869/TPOCON for 22 Colneford Hill as the applicant is a neighbour.
He declared an interest in the tree works application 19/00284/TPOCON for 12 Colneford Hill as the applicant is a neighbour.
He will remain in the meeting, but not take part in the discussions nor vote.
195. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
The minutes of the last parish council meeting of 17th September2019 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.
The meeting was resumed.
196. REPORT FROM BRAINTREE DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
BDC Cllr Courtauld said that the draft local plan is at present for public consultation, and he considers that the plan will proceed but that it does not affect the local communities.
He said that the District Councillors’ Community Grant Fundhas at least £200 available for White Colne in his budget for anyvillage schemes or projects, and he will put an application form into the village hall post box. Cllr Taylor said that the parish council is looking for support for a memorial bench on thevillage green.
197. PLANNING MATTERS
19/01811/HH Orchard Cottage 44 Colchester Road – new cartlodge garage. – No comment.
19/01869/LBC 22 Colneford Hill – replacement of 2 No existing skylights and refurbishment of 1 No first floor sash window. Removal of concrete floor and replacement with wooden floorboards. – No comment
18/02311/FUL Toad Hall, Colchester Road – retention of existing annexe building within grounds of Toad Hall and its use as short term holiday lets – additional plans and information. Cllr Taylor said that there were no further documents available on the BDC web site. The meeting was suspended and a parishioner stated the history of the annexe. The meeting resumed and the comments agreed were: In the light of no further information available on the District Council web site, the parish council repeats the earlier comments which were that the parish council believes that this building does not have planning permission and that Braintree District Council Enforcement has previously prevented the use of this building as a holiday let. The building is outside
the village envelope and as such does not conform to the village design statement and therefore we object to this application.
19/00215/TPOCON 18-20 Colneford Hill – Tree works – We support this application subject to neighbours’ views.
19/00284/TPOCON 12 Colneford Hill – Tree works – Nocomment. Cllr Taylor said that the tree warden had suggested in his report that the planning approvals for trees in the conservation area may be lifted, but members agreed that this requirement was necessary in the conservation area and outside the authority of the parish council to amend.
19/02038/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 5 No. residential dwellings –We would mention that under Highways considerations this site is alongside a narrow single track lane.
(b) Other Planning Matters – The clerk said that the resident at Brooms, Colne Park Road had reported to the parish council that a new entrance to the highway was being planned by the owner, and this was considered dangerous. The owner’s agent says that an existing entrance is being opened up. This was reported to BDC Planning Enforcement Officer who replied saying that they can only investigate breeches of planning that have occurred,and that planning permission is not required for a highway entrance onto an unclassified road. Cllr Paxton said that he could not see any evidence that work is being done for a new entrance. Cllr Bond said that the bank is very high and if the work was done the entrance would be dangerous. Members agreed that no action can be taken until work has been done to the new entrance.
198. 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 our agent had asked the proposed purchaser for a bond to secure the construction of the entrance road to theproposed building development at the start of the works. The purchaser does not want to provide a bond as the road will be developed at the start and then top dressed. Our agent still recommends a bond. ECC state that if this matter is not resolved in 28 days then they will grant the parish council a lease to the village hall. Our agent suggests a meeting and members agreed.
199. COMMUNITY LIAISON
Cllr Taylor said that there had been a response to the further consultation regarding a memorial bench on the village green at a location to be agreed, and the option B had the majority of votes. The basic cost is £781 to which is added delivery of£105,white doves of £45 and a bolt down kit of £10; total cost £941 plus VAT, to which is to be added the cost of a concrete base and installation. The clerk was asked to obtain a quotationfor this. The seat size is 1.6m x 0.64m, and the base size is to be 2.3m x 1.5m. A plaque with names inscribed will be added later. Cllr Bond proposed that the bench is purchased and installed, Cllr Paxton seconded, and all members agreed. Cllr Taylor said that this can be funded from the District Councillors Fund, theVillage Projects Fund, and there is a budgeted expense for the war memorial repairs which will now not proceed.
Members reviewed the emergency plan and updated where necessary. The clerk was asked to complete it and send a copy to BDC.
Cllr Taylor said that she had reviewed the Open Spaces Action Plan as requested by BDC and she said that no additions or amendments were necessary. Members agreed and the clerk was asked to advise BDC.
Members reviewed a Community Cohesion Survey commissioned by BDC which sets out the community activities in the parish and asks for proposals to help reduce loneliness. Members agreed that a luncheon club or friendship club located at the village hall would benefit lonely parishioners and the clerk was asked to complete the survey and send to BDC.
Cllr Taylor said that she had been advised that Footpath 10 north from Colchester Road opposite Chalkney Garage is blocked, and the clerk was asked to write to the landowner and ask him to arrange for it to be cleared.
Cllr Taylor said that Essex Wildlife Trust are aware of the otter hound situation at Chalkney Lakes.
Cllr Taylor said that carols on the green is to be held on Sunday 15th December at 6.30pm. BDC have advised us previously that no Temporary Event Notice is required, and no road closure will be required.
200. WHITE COLNE MEADOWS
Cllr Taylor said that a response has been received from the Conservation Trust regarding the work required at the pond, but is appears that a digger is now required to remove the silt. The clerk was asked to obtain two quotations for this, with the silt to be spread alongside.
Cllr Bond said that the handyman has nearly completed the repair of the interpretation board in the Meadows orchard. The hedge on the boundary is to be trimmed.
201. FINANCIAL MATTERS
(a) Payments.The clerk reported that since the last meeting, the following payments had been or are to be made:-
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
TOTAL NAT WEST PAYMENTS £ 254.00
By electronic payments from Unity Bank account:-
Stuart Day Electrical Installations Ltd – hall electrical test PAID £ 330.00 £ 55.00
J Heathcote – hall cleaning September PAID £ 65.00
S Beck Plumbing & Heating Ltd – hall gas safety insp & boiler service PAID £ 90.00 £ 15.00
G Allen – hall window cleaning – September PAID £ 14.00
S Mason – booking secretary September PAID £ 44.50
Unity Bank charges £ 18.00
Mortimer C Ltd–grasscutsMeadows£130,VGreen£132&Hall £72 £ 400.80 £ 66.80
D Williams-clerk sal Oct/Nov £972.66 less PAYE £388.80,home-office £ 609.86
H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salaryNovember £ 194.40
J Heathcote – hall cleaning October £ 80.00
S Mason – booking secretary October £ 60.50
J F Tree Specialist Limited – tree survey £ 300.00 £ 50.00
H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salary December £ 194.40
TOTAL UNITY BANK PAYMENTS £2,401.46
(b).Funds Received. Since the last report, the following funds have been received into Nat West :-
Village hall occasional hire fees £ 89.00
Allotment rentals £ 95.00
TOTAL NAT WEST RECEIPTS £ 184.00
Into Unity Bank
Village hall regular hire fees £1,641.00
Braintree District Council – 2nd half precept £ 5,669.00
TOTAL UNITY BANKRECEIPTS £ 7,310.00
(c).Financial statement & Bank Reconciliation
Following the above transactions– There is a credit balance onNat West current a/c £ 3,353.98
There is a credit balance on Unity Bank account of £28,951.58
TOTAL BANK BALANCES £32,305.56
Balance held in reserve – Village projects from White Colne 50Club £ 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 £ 22,139.83
NAT WEST BANK UNITY BANK
Bank Balances 17.09.19 £ 3,423.98 Bank Balances17.09.19 £ 24,025.04
Add Receipts £ 184.00 Add Receipts £ 7,310.00
Sub Total £ 3,607.98 Sub Total £ 31,335.04
Less Total Payments £ 254.00 Less Total Payments £ 2,401.46
Bank Balances 19.11.19 £ 3,353.98 Bank Balances 19.11.19 £ 28,933.58
(d) The clerk provided an update of income and expenditure to date this financial year compared to the budgeted figures.
202. VILLAGE HALL
Cllr Taylor said that a village hall hirer had requested a time extension on New Years Eve. After discussion members agreed that events should continue to finish at 12 midnight. Cllr Paxton will advise the village hall manager.
Cllr Paxton said that an outside light at the hall does not work, and Cllr Taylor said she would ask the handyman to change the light bulb.
Cllr Batchford said that he had established from meter readings that there is no water leak, and that investigations into the water usage will continue. The clerk was asked to obtain a quote to install a second water meter to establish water usage at the allotments.
The clerk said that our insurance brokers could not provide the parish council with a quotation for the booking secretary for public liability cover for work for the parish council as she is not a paid employee but self employed. Members agreed that she is asked to arrange this herself in the amount of £5m and invoice the parish council for the amount of the premium.
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. She said that ECC Highways have advised that land will have to be given up by the parish council if land is taken from the village green for the road widening, although the practicalities of this are unclear. We have now established that part of the village green opposite Colneford Place is owned by the parish council and registered with the Land Registry. After discussion members agreed to write to ECC Highways and say that we have discussed this road widening scheme further and remain of the opinion that the scheme is ineffective and will not resolve the damage to the village green and the pavement on Colneford Hill. The scheme is also detrimental to the landscape and general amenity and cannot see the benefit of giving up parish council land.
Cllr Bond referred to the 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 the meeting and agreed that the Speed Indicator Device (SID) 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. The parishes have been asked to provide details of locations for the SID, and Chappel and Wakes Colne Parish Councils have responded, but there has been no response from Aldham or Eight Ash Green Parish Councils to our two requests for location details. Cllr Bond said that if there is no response received then we will proceed with Chappel and Wakes Colne. Members agreed to this.
204. TREE SURVEY
Cllr Taylor said that the tree survey has been received for parish council owned land, and the clerk was asked to arrange for two quotations for the work proposed under medium risk.
The clerk said that plot rental invoices have been issued, and payments are being received. There may be one plot that will become vacant.
There being no further business the parish council meeting was closed at 9.34 pm.