Minutes of Parish Council 27th November 2013

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 27th November 2013 at 7.30p.m.

Chair John Gili-Ross
Parish Councillors Present Jenny Church, Murray Harlow, Andrew Savage, David Short, Chris Stevenson, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell, Phil Walby
Parish Clerk Val Walsom
Borough Councillors Councillor Harrington
Present: 2 members of the public

Part I – Public

1.  Receive Apologies

Apologies were received from Rosemary James, Rachel Young and Councillor Willetts.

2.  Questions from registered electors

No questions were received.

3.  Receive items for information not on the agenda, which in the opinion of the Chairman should be brought to the attention of the Council

No items received.

4.  Declarations of Interest

Chris Stevenson declared an interest in Item 8 relating to Highways.

5.  Minutes

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Wednesday 23rd October 2013 were approved and signed.

6.  Report for Colchester Borough Councillors

Councillor Harrington advised that he would be calling in Planning Application No 132234, High Trees Farm and invited members of the Parish Council to attend the CBC Planning meeting, likely to be held on 2nd January 2014, to support the Application.

The CBC Rate Support Grant is likely to set at £500 although this has yet to be finalised by CBC.  The grant from Central Government has been significantly reduced this year.  MH advised that the Borough Councillors’ Locality Budget of £1000 per councillor will be available for appropriate projects.

7.  Finance

a)  Statement of Accounts for October 2013

The accounts for October 2013 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 95% income, 41% general expenditure, 46% environment expenditure and 43% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 55% income and 63% expenditure.

b)  Draw cheques

It was proposed by AS and seconded by AC to make the following payments:

Payment Details Expense Purpose Amount
Landscape Services Hedge Cutting 600.00
Ernest Doe Environmental purchases 84.58
Countrywide Grass cutting 220.00
Chris Stevenson Neighbourhood Plan survey 144.00
Anglian Water Poors Land/Allotments 301.64
Collier and Catchpole Materials for footpath 32.73
Norhurst Landscapes Clearing pond waste 165.00
BHYFG Repairs to football pitch 40.59
P Tuckwell Ltd Salt Spreader 238.80
S J Andrews Replace lamps 52.80
A to Z Supplies Paper towels and refuse sacks 49.50
Anglian Security & Fire Fire and Security alarm 50% deposit 2,547.00
Mike’s Cleaning Cleaning 525.00
Vicky Beckwith-Cole Miscellaneous purchases 25.76
G Walls Lamps for hall 6.94
GW Commercial Heating Repairs to boiler 236.40

Salary payments were made to Val Walsom, Gary Walls and Stephen Cook from the General Account and Vicky Beckwith-Cole from the Hall Account.

[Click to view Summary Accounts – Summary Accounts October 2013]

c)  Savings and Investments

AS presented the Annual Savings and Investments position with a comparison to the same time in 2012.

d)  2014/2015 Budgets, annual rents and Rate Support Grant

AS presented proposed budgets for 2014/2015.  Increases have been mainly set in line with inflation.

Orpen Memorial Hall – the fuel budget will be significantly increased in line with higher costs this year.  JG-R advised that it is important to check renewal dates for gas and electricity and ensure we look at comparisons for cheaper costs next year.

General Account – 2 versions were presented at 1.8% and 2.4% increases in the Precept.  It was agreed that the Precept should be set at the higher level.  As the Rate Support Grant is likely to be £500 the increase per household will be at 10.9% (£3.69) per household.  MH was asked to find out if there is likely to be any LCTS Grant from CBC before the budgets are confirmed.

The budgets and Precept will be approved at the meeting in January 2014.

e)  Financial review of car park project

AS presented a budget summary for the proposed revised costs of the car park project at £52,486 plus project management fees.  With the grant of £12,000 this will leave £40,486 plus the remainder of the project management fees to be funded.  AS has calculated that this can be funded from the General account which will leave approximately £24,000 in the account at the end of the year.

MH asked whether it would be a good idea to seek further quotes given that the spec has changed from the original proposal.  Following discussion it was agreed to proceed with the work as agreed by the working party.

f)  Scout Hut Licence and rent update

The end of the Notice period for the Scout Association to respond is 28th November and there had been no response until today when their solicitor again asked for information from the Charity Commission which the PC believes should be sought by them.  Martin Hopkins advised that the work will be completed by 31st January 2014 and the Scout Association has requested that the Notice to Hirers about sub-letting is not posted at this time.  The Scouts need to check their liability insurance.  It is essential that the Scouts insurers are aware of the no sub-letting clause in the agreement.  Martin Hopkins advised that the Scouts want to make some amendments to the Licence which they need to convey to the PC.

8.  Traffic Safety Plan

CS declared an interest in this item as it relates to Highways issues.

New Church Road residents and Councillor Anne Brown have received a copy of the summary document.  Councillor Harrington advised that West Bergholt is now on the list for a speed restriction survey.

A short article about the Traffic Safety Plan will appear in the December Village Bulletin and the summary document will be available to view on the website.

9.  Clerk’s Items to Note

a)  Review of Standing Orders

The Clerk will make a list of items for consideration and distribute to Councillors over the Christmas break.  The Standing Orders will be approved at the meeting in February.

b)  EALC Courses –    Risk Assessment Course – 04/12/13

Courses are mainly distributed by email.  Any Councillor who would like to attend a course should advise the Clerk.

10.  Village Communications

a)  Website report

Dave Kingaby has requested a review of his annual charges.  Murray Harlow will discuss this with him.

Most issues on from the Website report have been cleared up.  MH advised that the website is not receiving enough ‘hits’.  The monthly report distributed by the Neighbourhood Police team now appears on the website.

b)  Receive update from Village Communication Officer

A photo of the winner of the Neighbourhood Plan Survey hamper will appear in the Bulletin.

11.  Planning

a)  To approve comments and decisions for Planning Applications (Report from the Planning Committee’s meeting on 20th November 2013 was received):
132122 98 Chapel Road Support with no comments.
132135 92 Lexden Road Object The Parish Council is very concerned at the alien nature, the appearance and bulk of the current proposals as they are totally out of keeping with any adjacent buildings and offer little or no design quality.  This is effectively a new build and should meet the criteria set out in the adopted Village Design Statement, for high quality design.  This is a prominent site both from the Lexden Road and from the public footpath passing to the rear.  There is an opportunity to create an interesting property that reflects the village iconography and contributes to the urban and rural landscape of the village.  We therefore strongly recommend refusal.
132148 79 Mumford Road Object The Parish Council is concerned that the front extension projections to the original building line are partially offset with respect to each other, and sees no reason for this to stay as part of the final design which should be amended to reflect a more pleasing appearance to the street.  There is a danger that the multiple extensions will appear disjointed and not enhance the street scene.
132156 Crockeys, Chapel Lane Support with no comments.
132158 Oakland, Chapel Lane Support with no comments.
132186 Land adjacent to 43 Colchester Road Support This is a reapplication for permission which has been granted many times over the past decades.
132224 High Trees Farm Barn, Lexden Road Support The application has previously been considered and is not materially different to the previous application.  The PC is not concerned about the technical infringement of the village envelope, since the boundary is an historic anomaly in this location and the former farm buildings have clearly been part of the village environs for many, many years.

Members of the public attended the meeting to advise the committee about their concerns regarding possible development in the area of Valley View and Valley Crescent.  There was no planning application to consider but the Committee were grateful to receive this information.

b)  Project plan for resurfacing car park

See Item 7c above.

c)  Neighbourhood Plan

Questionnaires for businesses within the village and the school will be distributed in December and January.  A report giving results of the household questionnaire will be published on the website.  Several have come forward who may be interested in joining the Steering group.  The Steering group will start applying for grants and pursuing technical help.

12.  Environment and Highways

a)  Report on drainage issue to property at junction Armoury Road/Colchester Road

There was no report available.  However, workmen have been seen in the area.

b)  Allotments – Proposed rents for 2014/2015

It was agreed that the rent will be increased to £16 and £10.

c)  Reinstatement of Poors Land and footpath

The entrance is in a mess again following the fireworks event.  Extending the footpath through the hedge to the footpath sign on the Village Green was discussed.  The Trustees are happy with this in principle but need to explore further how this can be achieved.  The land has not currently been reinstated in line with Planning conditions and ECC need to be advised of this.

Other issues
  • The cost of purchasing a trailer for the Handyman is being explored.
  • The duck house has sunk and needs rebuilding.  DS will look into this.
  • A cold water tap will be installed in the boiler room at the Orpen Hall.  This will benefit the MUGA.
  • The beacon can now be erected on its post.
  • A new heavy duty manhole cover is to be purchased to replace the damaged cover on the Village Green.

13.  Premises and Recreation

a)  Heathlands Fireworks event- discuss outcomes following the event

See 12c above.

b)  Discuss request from Heathlands PTA to hold a ‘camp out’ on Poors Land next summer

It was agreed that this event can go ahead.

c)  Alarm systems in hall – discuss key holders and alarm call out list

Fire alarm and intruder alarm systems for the Orpen Memorial Hall will be installed in December.  The key holders will be Vicky Beckwith-Cole, John Gili-Ross and Phil Walby.

d)  Discuss purchase of new chairs for the hall

All the chairs need to be replaced and suitable replacements to be sought.  It was suggested that folding chairs stored on a trolley may be a good option.  The grey upholstered chairs could be cleaned to give them more life.

Items to Note

(a)  RCCE – Village Halls and Community Buildings Update – October 2013
(b)  War Memorials Trust Bulletin
(c)  Clerks and Councils Direct – November 2013

Part II – In Committee

Matters taken in the absence of Press and Public (Public (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960) as the item contains exempt information as defined by the Local Government Act 1972 Sch. 12a Pt (1).

There were no matters to discuss.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 22nd January 2014 at 7.30p.m.

The meeting closed at 9:45p.m.



Position on Parish Council:Date:


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