WHITE COLNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at Remotely by Zoom
on Tuesday 19th November 2020 at 7.30pm.
Present : Cllr Batchford, Cllr Bond, Cllr Paxton, Cllr Saggars, Cllr Taylor (Chairman), Cllr Watt.
Also Present: Clerk D Williams, Essex County Council (ECC) Cllr Beavis, Braintree District Council (BDC) Cllr Courtauld, BDC Cllr Spray and 1 member of the public attended.
243. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – None
244. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS – None
245. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
The minutes of the last parish council meeting of 22nd September 2020 which had been previously circulated, were agreed as a true record. They could not be signed by the Chairman.
246. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES NOT DEALT WITH ELSEWHERE
The clerk advised that he had not been able to contact the local farmer to arrange a cut and collect of the Meadows before the raincame. Cllr Taylor expressed surprise and the clerk was asked to again try to contact him to arrange a cut and collect.
247. PARISH COUNCILLOR VACANCY
Cllr Saggars said that he is aware of someone interested in becoming a member of the council, and Cllr Bond said that someone was also previously interested. Both councillors will arrange for the interested parties to contact Cllr Taylor to discuss if they wished to proceed further with an application.
PUBLIC QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS
(i).What is the strength of broadband in the community. If you are far from the exchange then the service is not good. Will the parish council support County Broadband in the village?
Cllr Saggars said that there is a Superfast Essex meeting next week and it is a good opportunity to investigate the service and report back.
Cllr Bond said that the parish council are not in a position to recommend any company and we should investigate and advise options.
248. REPORT FROM ESSEX COUNTY COUNCILLOR
ECC Cllr Beavis said that the Superfast Essex meeting is recommended. She said that concerns have been raised regarding ECC Highways diversion signs which have been put up too early before works started, and then left after works have finished. These works are regarding Highways improvements and Gigaclear. ECC Cllr Beavis said that the solar light funding has been put forward, and the lease of the village hall is proceeding. She said that Essex did not request to go into Tier 2 of the Covid19 restrictions for financial reasons, and details of the organisations that benefitted from government funding were given, together with £2 million for local businesses. ECC are reviewing their methods of working, which will include a blending of virtual and real meetings.
The clerk reminded the chairman that there was an issue regarding blocked drains in Colne Park Road, and ECC Cllr Beavis said that ECC are coming out shortly to investigate. Cllr Bond said that this issue had been reported every year for 5 years, ECC come out, mark up the areas concerned and do nothing.
249. REPORT FROM BRAINTREE DISTRICT COUNCILLOR
BDC Cllr Spray said that the inspectors’ report on the Local Plan section 1 is being prepared and it is expected shortly. She said that Covid19 cases in Essex are increasing and gave current statistics. She said that Essex has been accepted for mass testing.
Cllr Bond asked if there is enforcement action at Chalkney Garage as the fence is still in place. BDC Cllr Spray said that the enforcement notice has been served and has now expired. Action to deal with this is underway.
BDC Cllr Courtauld said that he was shocked by the contact from people affected by Covid19 restrictions that cannot be covered by grants.
BDC Cllr Spray then referred to correspondence received regarding poor parking on Colchester Road. The North Essex Parking Partnership had suggested that yellow lines be installed. Cllr Taylor said that the parish council preferred not to deal with this through yellow lines. ECC Cllr Beavis said that the Highways Panel has no funding left and a long waiting list, so there is no chance of this being done for some time, and she suggested a local initiative. The clerk said that this poor parking had been reported to the neighbourhood police officer. Cllr Taylor asked if ‘do not park’ signs could be placed on the grass verge, but ECC Cllr Beavis said that such signs cannot be placed on ECC or BDC land, only on private land. Cllr Bond suggested that bollards are put up, and ECC Cllr Beavis said that this would be a small scheme which may be authorised quicker. Cllr Taylor said that parking is everywhere and you will need a number of bollards. Matters were left that the clerk would liaise with ECC Cllr Beavis concerning the forms to complete and the location.
250. PLANNING MATTERS
20/01542/HH 33 Colne Park Road – Erection of a part single, part two-storey rear extension and conversion of integral garage to habitable accommodation- No comment subject to neighbours’ views.
20/00397/TPOCON 1 Colne Park Road Notice of intent to carry out works to trees in a Conservation Area – set of 4 Fir trees at front of house, fell 3 leaving the front right one remaining. This has been
suggested by the parish council, there is a note attached to previous application – This work was completed on 18th November. The tree warden’s advice is that his original recommendation
in August suggests what is proposed, and that advice was repeated.
20/01709/AGR Land To The South Of Boley Road-Application for prior notification of agricultural or forestry development-General purpose farm machinery & hay storage building-For information only.
20/01538/HH 15 Colneford Hill Part single, part two-storey rear and side extension – No comments subject to neighbours’ views.
251. CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT ON THE HEADS OF AGREEMENT FOR THE TRANSFER OF WCPC LANDTO ESSEX CC IN RETURN FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE VILLAGE
HALL AND LAND TO WCP
Cllr Taylor said that the parish council had required a bond to cover the road construction down the side of the hall, and ECC have offered to put £15,000 aside for 3 years in case the developer is unable to complete the road. Our agent has recommended a figure of £20,000. Cllr Bond proposed that the funds of £15,000 are held for 5 years rather than 3 years and all members agreed to that.
252. COMMUNITY LIAISON
Cllr Taylor said that Cllr Bond and Cllr Saggars are attending the forthcoming Superfast Essex meeting. Cllr Taylor said that there is a book swap in the bus stop, but the books are stopping the public from sitting down. She suggested that this is transferred to the porch at the front of the village hall, where the handyman could construct shelves and box in the meter at a cost of £100. Cllr Bond said that the bottom of the porch needs repairing as it is rotten and so this move was not agreed and Cllr Taylor said that she would make enquiries to establish who is putting books there and discuss the way forward.
253. WHITE COLNE MEADOWS
Members agreed to accept the quotation from Mortimers for £185 for a cut of the side only of the hedge on the left hand side, that is the Colne Park Road side. Cllr Taylor said that the pond work looks good. Cllr Saggars said that the silt trap needs clearing and Cllr Taylor said that she will discuss this with the handyman. Cllr Bond said that this should be cleared each year and covered in the budget, and he suggested a figure of £500.
Cllr Taylor said that the rope walk needs to be repaired, and the handyman is looking for a bolt to do this repair.
The members of the public left the meeting.
254. FINANCIAL MATTERS
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 1x £78.00 , 1x £50.30 £ 128.30
D/D Anglian Water, village hall £330.29, allotments £35 £ 365.29
TOTAL NAT WEST PAYMENTS £ 591.59
(b). By electronic payments from Unity Bank account:-
A Deptford – defibrillator battery and pads PAID £ 114.00 £ 19.00
Mortimer Contracts-grasscuts-Meadows£130Green £132, &Hall £72 PAID £ 400.80 £ 66.80
J Heathcote – hall cleaning July/Sept £180, Cleaning materials £ 44.22
Public liability insrnce £ 91.00 PAID £ 315.22
S Mason – booking secretary final £160.00 Expenses re covid 19 regs £ 43.96 PAID £ 203.96
B Mapes – caretaker of village hall PAID £ 390.00
B Mapes – handyman £600 for pavilion, £225 benches from village projects budget,
pond £1,200 (being Meadows budget £500,village projects budget £700)PAID£2,040.00
Unity Bank – charges PAID £ 18.00
G Allen – hall window cleaning 28.09 and 09.11 £ 28.00
JRB Enterprise Ltd – dog bags for Meadows £ 290.46 £ 48.41
J Bond – reimbursement for Zoom virtual meeting £ 14.39
H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salary November £ 237.60
D Williams-clerk sal Oct £486.33,Nov £499.83 + arrears £94.50 less PAYE £432 £ 648.66
J Heathcote – hall cleaning October £ 170.00
J Heathcote – booking secretary October £ 100.33
H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salary December £ 199.60
TOTAL UNITY BANK PAYMENTS £5,171.02
Funds Received Since the last report, the following funds have been received into Nat West :-
Scottish Power – refund of gas payments £ 194.77
UK Power Network – wayleaves £ 59.67
TOTAL NAT WEST RECEIPTS £ 254.44
Into Unity Bank
Braintree District Council – 2nd half of precept £6,013.00
TOTAL UNITY BANK RECEIPTS £6,013.00
3. Financial statement & Bank Reconciliation
Following the above transactions- There is a credit balance on Nat West account £ 5,726.22
There is a credit balance on Unity Bank account £25,209.85
TOTAL BANK BALANCES £30,936.07
Balance held in reserve – Village projects from White Colne 50 Club £ 1,260.73
Balance held in reserve – Village Hall Roofing Fund £11,000.00
Balance held in reserve – allotments £ 32.00
Total of allocated funds is £12,292.73
Thus the balance of unallocated funds is £18,643.34
NAT WEST BANK UNITY BANK
Bank Balances 22.09.20 £ 6,063.37 Bank Balances 22.09.20 £ 24,367.87
Add Receipts £ 254.44 Add Receipts £ 6,013.00
Sub Total £ 6,317.81 Sub Total £ 30,380.87
Less Total Payments £ 591.59 Less Total Payments £ 5,171.02
TOTAL BALANCES 19.11.20 £ 5,726.22 TOTAL BALANCES 19.11.20 £25,209.85
The clerk advised that a further invoice for £255 plus VAT will be received shortly for tree works. The quotation has already been agreed and members agreed to pay this further invoice when received.
The clerk said that the PRS and PPL music licence is due for review. The charge has been based on estimates as the review datedoes not coincide with the date of the annual accounts. The tariff may also be changed and members accepted that the annual charge may increase.
255. POSITION OF CLERK
Cllr Taylor said that 9 applications have been received, 3 applicants have been interviewed and one has been offered the position and when she has resigned from her present position and all references have been received it can be confirmed and she will start on 1st January. The present clerk will retire on 31st January.
256. VILLAGE HALL
Cllr Taylor said that the ECC grant of £1,500 to fund a solar light and a front picket fence has been agreed. Cllr Bond said that he will send the quotation for the solar light to the clerk who can then order it. Cllr Bond asked the clerk to liaise with him regarding the quotation of £600 for the fence at the front of the hall and then order it. Members referred to the enquiry concerning external lighting around the village hall exits and members asked the clerk to ensure that the village hall booking secretary revises the exit plan so that the one way system uses the fire exit which has external lighting.
Cllr Bond said that under the Covid19 restrictions the hall windows are open which chills down the hall so that the heating costsare increasing. He proposed that the hiring rates are reviewed in the New Year in view of this. The clerk was asked to obtain the present hiring rates and circulate them to members.
Cllr Bond referred to the recent broadband downtimes and said that when life returns to some sort of normal then we should consider if there are alternative broadband suppliers.
257. VILLAGE GREEN
Cllr Taylor said that a quotation of £175.99 had been received for Christmas lights on the village green, and all members agreed to this cost. Cllr Bond said that he will ask Olivers Nursery whether they will donate a Christmas tree for the village green again.
Cllr Bond said that the Speed Indicator Device (SID) is at Colne Park Road but the memory card is not functioning properly. Speeds are fast on Colchester Road. Cllr Bond said that the inspection cover outside 24 Colneford Hill has again been forced up as the sewage cannot cope with heavy rain. Cllr Bond said that he will send wording to the clerk so that we can ask ECC Highways to liaise with Anglian Water.
Cllr Saggars referred to the broken handrail on the footpath from Colne Park Road and said that he will advise the length of the handrail and the posts so that the clerk can arrange for the repair with the Friends of Flitch Way. Cllr Saggars said that a more permanent arrangement would be to concrete in metal posts and have a metal handrail.
Cllr Bond said that a local plumber has given a quotation of £160 for the installation of a water meter for the allotments. Members agreed to this cost. The clerk said that this cost is not in the budget and is done in a year when there will be a deficit.
There being no further business the parish council meeting was closed at 9.35 pm.