Minutes of PC meeting held on 20th June 2021.

WHITE COLNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at White Colne Village Hall on
Tuesday 20th June 2021 at 7.30pm
Present: Cllr Batchford, Cllr Bond, Cllr Saggers, Cllr Taylor (Chairman), Cllr Wada, Cllr Watt. Also present: Clerk P Palfreyman and 2 members of the public

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
    Cllr Paxton, Essex County Council (ECC) Cllr Siddall, Braintree District Council (BDC) Cllr Courtauld, Braintree District Council, Cllr Spray
  2. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS BY MEMBERS ON ITEMS SHOWN ON THIS AGENDA.
    Cllrs Bond, Saggers and Watt declared an interest in planning application 21/01442/TPOCON
  3. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
    The minutes of the last parish council meeting on 16th March 2021 which had previously been circulated, were agreed as a true record. The minutes will be signed at the next meeting.
  4. MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES NOT DEALT WITH ELSEWHERE
    None.
  5. TO NOTE THE MINUTES THAT THE CLERK AND THE CHAIRMAN MET AND SIGNED THE OUTSTANDING MINUTES AND BANK STATEMENTS WHICH HAD NOT BEEN SIGNED DUE TO COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS.
    Noted.
    PUBLIC QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS
    The meeting was suspended for public questions and statements.
    The allotment plot number 4 is getting worse and is overgrown with weeds which are affecting other plots.
    Suggestions for spending the grant monies were more play equipment at The Meadows for imaginary play, maintenance of the heritage orchard.
    A request was made to return the swing at the play area (removed due to COVID 19 to help with social distancing) as soon as restrictions are lifted on July 19th 2021.
    The meeting was resumed.
  6. PLANNING MATTERS
    (a) Applications:
    21/01442/TPOCON Details: Notice of intent to carry out works to tree in a Conservation Area – Requesting to be able to remove a cypress tree (tree “A” on the attached Annex A plan) – Waterlane House, 22 Colneford Hill, White Colne. No comment
    21/01426/HH & 21/01427/LBC Installation of secondary doors to cart lodge entrance, replacement of kitchen window, creation of disabled accessible WC and shower room, repairs to walls where external hardstanding level adjusted, replacement of bathroom window, removal of 20th Century stud wall in bedroom 1, creation of upstairs bathrooms, new timber stud wall to open up landing and replacement of bedroom window – 12 Colneford Hill, White Colne, Essex. No comment
    21/0187 Erection of agricultural building for crop storage and cleaning facility – Church
    Farm, Bures Road, White Colne, Essex CO6 2QA – No comment
    (b) Applications approved by Braintree District Council – None
    (c) Any other planning matters raised by Members – None
  7. TO RECEIVE A REPORT AND CONSIDER FURTHER ACTION REGARDING THE HEADS OF AGREEMENT FOR THE TRANSFER OF WCPC LAND TO ECC IN RETURN FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE VILLAGE HALL LAND TO WCPC.
    Cllr Taylor advised she has contacted David Smith but neither he nor the solicitor has any further information.
  8. HIGHWAYS
    (a) Cllr Taylor advised that she had a meeting by Zoom with Cllr Jo Beavis and ECC Highways officers regarding the Village Green and explained why the council wanted the old scheme and not the proposed new scheme. Evidently, the old scheme was never approved. Highways will look at suitable materials to repair the wall with something more robust so that is no longer crumbles and taking in to account the area is a conservation area. Highways will also look at stepping down the wall so that HGVs trailers will skim over it. The ECC Highways Officers advised they did not support any work to the Village Green as it is not cost effective, and no work will be carried out before Christmas 2021. Thanks were given to Cllr Beavis for pursuing this matter.
    (b) Any other matters raised by members – None
  9. COMMUNITY LIASON
    (a) To discuss arrangements for the Queens Jubilee – The Council agreed to light the beacon on The Meadows on Thursday 2 June 2022 in celebration of the Queens Jubilee and to ask the village how they would like to celebrate the event. A working party will be needed to help organise the events.
    (b) To discuss committing to partner the Illegal Money Lending Team – The Council agreed to support this initiative to show the village that the Council support the Charter.
    (c) Any other matters raised by members – The old phone box which is used as a defibrillator shelter is also being used as a book swap. It was agreed that the phone box

should only be for the defibrillator and the bookshelves and books will be removed. The book swap can be relocated to the porch at the village hall, once it has been repaired. The Council agreed that the repairs to the porch can be carried out by the handyman at a cost of £90.

  1. WHITE COLNE MEADOWS
    (a) To discuss if repairs are needed on the gate at The Chase – The Council agreed that a new base and post should be installed by the handyman at a cost of £150. This will allow the gate the be kept in the locked position to protect the footpath and prevent vehicles on the footpath. A waterproof combination lock will be used to lock the gate and the access code will be given to the allotment holders. Horse riders have only been seen on the footpath a couple of times and although not permitted, no action will be taken at this stage. (b) To discuss the findings of the ROSPA report – The Council confirmed they had seen the ROSPA report. The Clerk recommended that the play equipment is inspected more often and it was agreed that Mortimer Contracts would inspect them every quarter at a cost of £40 per inspection and the handyman could inspect them weekly. The handyman will have a look at the ROSPA recommendations and will strim around the equipment next week.
    (c) Any other matters raised by members – The Wildflower Meadow. Bill Hadley has already been asked to cut and collect the grass later this year. Cllr Taylor advised that it is difficult to establish a wildflower meadow and that Yellow Rattle flowers should be tried again. Cllr Wada also suggested an avenue of Cherry Blossoms. In the autumn, the Council will look to establish a working party and involve the village.
  2. FINANCIAL MATTERS 1. PAYMENTS
    The Clerk advised that since the last report, the following payments had been or are to be made:
    UNITY TRUST ACCOUNT METHOD PAYEE
    DD Scottish Power – Village Hall electricity. March DD Scottish Power – Village Hall gas.
    March
    DD GoCardless – County Broadband WiFi at hall.
    April
    DD Scottish Power – Village Hall
    electricity. April
    DD Scottish Power – Village Hall gas. April
    DD GoCardless – County Broadband WiFi at hall.
    May
    DD Scottish Power – Village Hall
    electricity. May
    ££ VAT
    20.00 50.30
    29.00 20.00
    50.30 29.00
    20.00 DD Scottish Power – Village Hall gas. May
    DD GoCardless – County Broadband WiFi at hall.
    June
    TOTAL UNITY TRUST DIRECT DEBITS
    UNITY TRUST BANK ACCOUNT (ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS) Bill Mapes (PAID)
    Page Computers (PAID)
    EJ Fire Security (PAID)
    HMRC March PAYE (PAID)
    Unity Trust Service Charge March
    (PAID)
    White Colne PCC (PAID)
    J Taylor – condolence book (PAID)
    Mortimer Contracts (PAID)
    Prolectric Services (PAID)
    Gary Allen – VH window cleaner
    (PAID)
    EALC membership (PAID)
    J Bond – picture frames
    (PAID)
    J Bond VH toilet seat (PAID)
    P Palfreyman – clerks salary April
    (PAID)
    J Bond – Zoom subscription (PAID)
    J Bond – VH toilet
    seat(PAID)
    J Stobart – Internal Auditor (PAID)
    P Palfreyman – clerks salary May office allc £39 Go Daddy website domain £14.39 (PAID)
    Gary Allen – VH window cleaner
    (PAID)
    ROSPA (PAID)
    BHIB Annual Insurance
    (PAID)
    P Palfreyman – reimbursement for printer ink
    (PAID)
    Mortimer Contracts (PAID)
    Julia Heathcote (PAID)
    Mortimer Contracts
    (UNPAID)
    P Palfreyman – clerks salary June
    (UNPAID)
    50.30 29.00
    297.90
    520.00
    12.00 2.00 176.16 29.37 100.20
    18.00
    600.00
    29.95
    408.00 68.00 140.40 23.40 14.00
    169.16 12.49
    20.00 499.98
    14.39 20.00
    200.00 553.22
    14.00
    164.40 27.40 702.97
    60.99
    612.00 102.00 230.25
    240.00 40.00
    499.83 TOTAL UNITY TRUST ELECTRONIC PAYMENTS
    6032.39
    2.FUNDS
    RECEIVED
    Since the last report, the following funds have been received in to:
    NAT WEST
    No payments received
    0.00 0.00
    UNITY BANK
    BDC Locality
    grant
    BDC Grant
    BDC Grant
    BDC Grant
    BDC Grant
    BDC Grant
    BDC Precept (1st payment)
    Village Hall hire May (regular hire) Village Hall hire
    May
    TOTAL NAT WEST RECEIPTS
    1500.00
    4000.00 190.57 467.00 6193.29 8000.00 6289.00 220.00 124.00
    26983.86 TOTAL UNITY BANK RECEIPTS
    3. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND BANK RECONCILIATION
    Following the above transactions, the credit balances on the bank accounts are: NAT WEST as at 18 June
    2021
    UNITY TRUST as at 21 June 2021
    5384.61
    42741.37 48125.98
    12292.73 35833.25
    TOTAL BANK BALANCES
    Balance held in reserve
    Village projects from White Colne 50 Club
    Village Hall roofing fund
    Allotments
    Total of allocated fund Balance of unallocated fund
    1260.73
    11000.00 32.00 12292.73 NAT WEST BANK Balance Add Receipts Sub
    Total
    Less Total Payments
    TOTAL BALANCES
    UNITY BANK 5384.61 Balance
    0.00 Add Receipts 5384.61 Sub
    Total 0.00 Less Total Payments
    5384.61 TOTAL BALANCES
    21347.97 26983.86 48331.83
    6330.29 42001.54
    (a) Payment of accounts since the last meet – as above
    (b) Financial statement – as above. The Clerk also provided an up to date budget with
    income and expenditure to date.
    (c) To agree the level of reserves that should be held – The Clerk recommended the
    reserved held equated to approximately 1/3 of running costs and 1/3 income. A sum of
    £14300 was agreed to be held in general reserves for the coming year.
    (d) To certify that the Council is exempt from audit due to income and expenditure being
    less than £25000 and to sign the exemption certificate. – The Council agreed the certificate could be signed and it was noted that income would exceed £25000 for 2021- 22 due to the BDC grants that have been received this year.
    (e) To note the Annual Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2021 – The Council noted the Annual Accounts which had already been circulated.
    (f) To receive the report from the Internal Auditor – The Council noted the Internal Audit which had previously been circulated. The Clerk said she would review the points made but stated that it was a good internal audit and had no concerns to raise.
    (g) To approve the Annual Governance Statement (Section 1) – The Council confirmed that the statement certify that there is a sound system of internal control, could be agreed and signed.
    (h) To approve the Accounting Statements (Section 2) – The Council confirmed that all statements reflecting the end of year accounts could be agreed and signed.
    (i) To review the Standing Orders – The Internal Audit recommended some updates to the Standing Orders and the Council agreed to adopt the NALC Model.
    (j) To review the Financial Statements – The Internal Audit recommended some updates to the Financial Regulations and the Council agreed to adopt the NALC Model.
    (k) To confirm the insurance renewal with BHIB at a cost of £702.97 – The Clerk confirmed that she had reviewed the insurance cover with the fixed assets register and was satisfied with the cover offered. The Council agreed the renewal of the policy.
  3. GRANTS FROM BRAINTREE DISTRICT COUNCIL
    (a) To discuss how to spend the Braintree District Council grants totalling £18850.86. The following suggestions were made by the Councillors:

New allotment fencing and 3 perching benches on The Meadows.
Christmas tree lights for every tree on the Green.
New allotment fencing and updated play equipment at The Meadows.
Tidying up the outside area of the Village Hall and the Queens Jubilee.
Solar panels on the Village Hall roof. Decarbonising the Village Hall and electric charging points at the front of the Village Hall.

  1. VILLAGE HALL
    (a) To update members on issues from the Village Hall Management Committee – bookings are starting to come back such as Pilates and drawing classes. There is also a request for a children’s birthday party and to use the football area to hold 2 bouncy castles. The Council agreed this was acceptable as long as the bouncy castle was professionally hired and insurance is in place.
    (b) To discuss the Village Market and hire costs for the gazebo – a new Village Market will start in September and run on the 3rd Saturday every month. The organisers asked if they could use the gazebo. The Council considered the additional hire cost of the gazebo and agreed that for the first two events, the hire of the gazebo would be free, to support the initiative.
    (c) Any other matters raised by members – Land drain. The drain is blocked at the entry to the pipe feeding it into the drains at Bures Road. ECC are going to unblock this. The sleepers next to the football pitch are not very stable. Various options such as concrete sleepers, planters and a bund were considered and Cllr Bond said he would research these together with costs. Cllr Bond stated that he had been advised that the Village Hall roof was in good condition although there were a few slates missing which he would get a quote for.
  2. WHITE COLNE VILLAGE GREEN
    (a) To receive an update on issues – The VE day Tommy silhouette figure was on the Village Green next to the village sign and now a more permanent site is needed. This will need an anchor to keep it in place and stop anyone taking it. Cllr Bond will obtain a price to put it in and then a permanent site can be discussed.
    (b) Any others matter raised by members – Daffodil’s on the Village Green – Cllr Bond advised that he did not thin out the daffodils and suggested leaving the area wild with a path cut through. Cllr Taylor suggested that it should continue to be cut but to leave the verges wild. Cllr Watt confirmed that she had cleaned the board.
  3. BRAINTREE ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL COUNCILS (BALC)
    (a) To receive an update from Cllr Taylor – The BALC Executive Committee have been meeting regularly to get everything organised and the first members meeting will be on 1 July 2021. Braintree is the largest district in Essex and is the only one that does not have an Association so setting up BALC will rectify that.
    (b) To agree annual membership at a cost of £40 per year – The Council agreed to pay the annual membership.
  4. ALLOTMENTS
    (a) To consider amending the allotment agreement – Cllr Taylor advised that the allotments need a review as demand is now higher for the plots and there is a long waiting list which includes non-residents. Cllr Wada and Taylor will meet to agree some amendments to the agreement.
    (b) Any other matters raised by members – Plot 4 is overgrown and there has not been any response to the emails sent by the Clerk. The plot holder will now be given notice to give up the plot and to remove personal items and rubbish. The water meter has now been installed which will allow the Council to monitor the usage and review it.
  5. CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED
    (a) None
  6. TO CONSIDER ANY MATTERS RECEIVED SINCE THE PREPARATION OF THE AGENDA WHICH THE CHAIRMAN CONSIDERS URGENT
    (a) None
    There being no further business the parish council meeting closed at 9.06pm

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