INUTES OF A MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL,

HELD IN THE WELLS PAVILION, HOWE GREEN ROAD

ON FRIDAY, 10th AUGUST 2018 AT 7.00 P.M.

 

Members present: Mr. N. Arthur, Mr. C. Ash, Mr. B. Oliver, Mr. S. Potter, Mr. G. Rayner and Mr. G. Strathern.

 

Also in attendance: Mrs. Jane Potter (Clerk).

 

Miss Sue White (District Council Ward Member) attended the public session prior to the start of the meeting as did nine members of the public.

 

Nine members of the public attended part of the meeting.

 

1/08/18 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

Apologies were received from Mr. S. Bardwell who was unable to attend the meeting due to a prior personal commitment and also from Mr. John Archer (District Council Ward Member) and Mrs. Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) who were unable to attend due to prior personal and civic engagements.

 

2/08/18 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATIONS (Localism Act 2011)

 

Mr. Strathern declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda item 5.2/08/18 in respect of planning application LDE/MAL/18/00857, being related to one of the applicants.

 

There were no applications for dispensations from the provisions of the Localism Act 2011.

 

3/08/18 THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON 13TH JULY 2018 having been circulated to all Members, were approved, and signed by the Chairman.

 

4/08/18 TO DISCUSS ANY MATTERS OF INFORMATION ARISING FROM THOSE MINUTES:

 

4.1/08/18 Clerk: 8.1/07/18 Allotment matters: Members noted that the remains of a manure heap left inside the front gate adjacent to the road, and the chicken wire fence which surrounded it, had been tidied up so the appearance of the front of the site looked much improved.

 

4.2/08/18 Members’: Members did not have any matters arising from the July 2018 Parish Council meeting to discuss.

 

5/08/18 PLANNING MATTERS

 

5.1/08/18 Decisions taken between meetings: Members noted that the Parish Council had not made any recommendations to Maldon District Council on planning applications between meetings.

 

5.2/08/18 Current applications: HOUSE/MAL/18/00882. Installation of rooflights. The Crib, Hackmans Lane, Purleigh.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.

 

LDE/MAL/18/00857. Claim for lawful development certificate for the existing use for storage of materials and plant connected with demolition by R. Strathern and materials and plant by E. J. Taylor. Field NW of Mosklyns Farm, Chelmsford Road, Purleigh.

 

The views of the applicants and other nearby property owners were noted by the Parish Council, as were images captured from Google Earth showing the site in 2009, 2011 and 2017.

 

 

The Parish Council agreed to inform Maldon District Council that the photographic images from Google Earth appeared to contradict the information supplied by the applicant that materials and plant had been stored on the site for a period in excess of 10 years.

 

FUL/MAL18/00805. Two replacement dwellings. Brook House, Spar Lane, Purleigh.

 

The contents of a letter from the applicant explaining the application further were noted by Members.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED REFUSAL on the following grounds:

  1. The proposed development, as a result of the design, siting, and location of the proposed dwellings and the spread of built form at the site on a partially open parcel of land, would result in an incongruous, prominent form of new development that would have an unacceptably urbanising effect by way of visual intrusion and unacceptable encroachment into the rural landscape setting.

  2. The poor sustainability credentials as defined by the National Planning Policy Framework, particularly in terms of the environmental element of sustainability, would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal when assessed against the approved policies of the Local Development Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework as a whole. The proposal would therefore fail to meet the requirements of policies S1, S8, D1 and H4 of the approved Maldon District Local Development Plan and the core planning principles and guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework.

  3. A large section of hedge appeared to have been removed at the junction of Spar Lane, Rudley Green Lane and Chelmsford Road and been filled with rubble, thereby creating a potential access (contrary to the Hedgerow Regulations and the applicant’s earlier agreement with the District Council’s Tree Officer (included as PSS3 in the application), that they were not permitted to completely break through the hedge, adding to the urbanising effect of the proposed development and consequent harm to the rural street scene, contrary to Policies S1, S8, D1 and H4 of the approved Maldon District Local Development Plan.

  4. The plans were inaccurate regarding access to the proposed development. A conflict lay in two of the maps submitted with the application - one site plan showed the access at the junction of Spar Lane (a bridleway), Rudley Green Lane and Chelmsford Road whereas the Tree Constraints and Protection Plan (drawing number LAW/SPA/01) showed it part way down Rudley Green Lane (where to date trees had been removed, but no obvious access created.) In addition, it appeared that the proposed development would encroach further into the countryside than the extant built environment, contrary to claims made in the supporting statement accompanying the application.

  5. The introduction of hard kerbing in this extremely rural lane was entirely out of keeping with the prevailing street scene, which combined with the removal of hedges detailed above, would urbanise and irrevocably change the quintessentially green nature of the lane, impacting upon nearby property owners’ enjoyment and appreciation of their immediate surroundings and the wider local environment. The development would therefore be contrary to Policy S8 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan which clearly stated that in a smaller village such as Purleigh, development would only be permitted provided ‘it does adversely affect the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.’

  6. The newly created access at the junction of Spar Lane, Rudley Green Lane and Chelmsford Road would be detrimental to highway safety.

FUL/MAL/18/00873 Permission to install a ground mounted solar PV installation. Land South East of Old Whitmans Farm, Hackmans Lane, Purleigh.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.

 

HOUSE/MAL/18/00900 Replacement garage. 7 Thatchers Croft, Latchingdon.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.

 

5.3/08/18 Notification of appeals: Members noted that the Parish Council had not been informed of any new Appeals or Appeal decisions between meetings. 

 

5.4/08/18 Maldon District Council planning decisions: Members noted that Maldon District Council had APPROVED the following planning application:

  • HOUSE/MAL/18/00705 Two storey rear extension & shed. 57 The Glebe, Purleigh.

5.5/08/18 Maldon District Council: Licensing Act 2003, Statement of Licensing Policy: Members were reminded that this matter had been deferred from the July meeting to give Members time to consider the Statement of Policy (Minute 5.7/07/18).

 

It was agreed not to comment on the draft Statement of Licensing Policy.

 

5.6/08/18 Other planning matters: Storage of rubble, Eastcroft Cottage, Fambridge Road: Members noted that Maldon District Council had advised that an investigation into the above matter was underway (case number 18/00154/CU).

 

6/08/18 HIGHWAY MATTERS

 

6.1/08/18 Proposed parking restrictions in The Street: Members noted that the South Essex Parking Partnership had thanked the Parish Council for clarifying its position regarding the proposed changes to the current parking restrictions in The Street, Purleigh. Once the 21-day statutory formal consultation period had closed, all representations received (for and against the proposal) would be collated and discussed with the Lead Councillor and Lead Officer for parking matters for Maldon, so that a local recommendation could be made.

This recommendation would then be put in a report to the South Essex Parking Partnership Sub Committee. When the sub-committee met it would decide if the proposal was to proceed (and then bring the Order into effect), amend the proposal or withdraw it and leave any current restrictions in place. Any person that had submitted a representation would receive a copy of the report in advance of the meeting and be invited to attend, where they would have the opportunity to speak to the sub-committee members before a decision was made.

 

6.2/08/18 Condition of Fambridge Road between Palepit Corner and Limebrook Way: Members noted the response received by Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) from the Highways Department following her referral of the Parish Council’s concerns about the condition of the carriageway to Member Enquiries.

 

Members noted that Cllr. Channer had been advised that Fambridge Road was inspected on a monthly basis and a Highways Inspector would also conduct ad hoc inspections of particular issues in response to reports made by members of the public. The last inspection of Fambridge Road had taken place on 2nd July 2018 where no new issues had been logged.

 

According to the Highways Department, a number of works, make safes and carriageway patching had already taken place on Fambridge Road this year. Further works to rebuild the concrete chamber and reset the manhole cover outside Whymarks House were scheduled and were expected to be completed this summer.

 

Members noted that Essex County Council had also written directly to the Parish Council informing Members that the section of Fambridge Road from Barons Lane to the junction with Limebrook Way was on the list for micro-surfacing in Spring / Summer 2019. Provisional repairs would be carried out prior to the surfacing works, however no date had been set for these at present.

 

With regards to the other issues reported by the Parish Council, whilst the County Council appreciated it may take time to report these individually they should be reported using the on line tool so that an Inspector could attend and take the appropriate action.  Fambridge Road was on a monthly inspection route and the next inspection was due in August.

 

6.3/08/18 Other highway matters: Proposed improvements to the grass verge opposite The Bell Public House: It was agreed to try to find out from the Local Highways Panel what, if any, progress had been made towards implementing the Parish Council’s proposals to improve the verge opposite The Bell. 

 

7/08/18 PLAYING FIELD AND OPEN SPACES

 

7.1/08/18 Children’s play Area: Monthly report: Mr. Ash reported that he had carried out his weekly inspections of the Children’s Play Area and that all items of play equipment therein appeared to be in a satisfactory condition. The grass had been cut and the strimming back of vegetation alongside the Footpath adjacent to the road leading to the Telephone Exchange and playing field had been warmly welcomed by pedestrians who used the route.

 

The Parish Council confirmed its intention to remove the see-saw as soon as soon as ground conditions permitted.

 

7.2/08/18 To consider proposals from the Purleigh Community Fund to landscape the area around the grass cuttings heap: It was agreed to invite representatives of the Purleigh Community Fund to a 15 minute meeting before the public session prior to the start of the September 2018 meeting to explain the group’s proposals to landscape the area around the former grass cuttings heap, so that the Parish Council could properly assess the risks involved with the scheme. Due to holiday commitments the group had been unable to attend in August (see Minute 7.2/07/18.)

 

7.3/08/18 To consider quotations for a new litter bin to be installed in front of the Pavilion: Members considered the following quotations:

 

 

Glasdon:

 

Enviropol 100 square closed lid litter bin with black enviropol slats, metal liner and

 

ground lock fixing kit

£685.57
   

Earth Anchors:

 

Sentinel 120 litre open lid square litter bin galvanised and colour coated green with

 

rootfast anchored base

£388.00
   

Furnitubes:

 

Peterborough 120 litre closed top steel square litter bin with tidyman logo

 

and ground fixing kit

£759.00
   

All quotations were net of VAT.

 

 

 

It was agreed not to proceed as money had not been set aside to purchase a new litter bin in the precept 2018/2019. The Chairman agreed to speak to the Cricket Club suggesting that if the bin was full its members could take away any surplus rubbish in black bin bags, which were provided in the pavilion, to try to alleviate the problems being caused by the existing litter bin overflowing on match days.

 

7.4/08/18 Pavilion security: New Lock and keys: Members noted that the Parish Council had received the new lock and keys and was in the process of distributing keys to users before the lock was changed. The Chairman had kindly agreed to install the new lock once users had acknowledged receipt of their keys.

 

CCTV: Members noted that Mr. Bardwell had also taken delivery of six signs notifying users of the facilities that a surveillance scheme was in operation at a cost of £9.33 each plus VAT (see Minute no 7.3/06/18) which he and the Chairman had installed on site on Saturday, 28th July 2018.

 

The CCTV was now operational and Essex Police and the Office of the Information Commissioner had been informed.

 

7.5/08/18 To receive an update on the annual inspection and risk assessment of the closed churchyard at All Saints Church, including memorial inspections: It was agreed to ask Mr. Bardwell if he would prefer the Parish Council to obtain additional quotations for the work required to the memorials in the churchyard, given his current heavy workload.

 

7.6/08/18 To receive a quotation for the repairs needed to the home showers: Members noted the following quotation from Nestwood Building Services Ltd to carry out the maintenance work needed in the home shower room which was identified by Members at the July meeting, and to replace the broken tap cover by the cricket square (see Minute 7.7/07/18).

 

 

To make good joints to ‘Home’ shower wall

 

To renew insulation to pipework

 

To replace broken/missing tiles.

 

To renew broken drain cover on the field.

 

Total cost labour and materials

£350

 

 

It was agreed to accept Nestwood Building Services’ quotation provided it included replacing loose tiles as well.

 

7.7/08/18 Other playing field and open space matters: Work arising from the annual tree inspection: Members were reminded that at the July meeting it had been agreed to ask A.G. Macmorland Farming Partnership to provide the Parish Council with a quotation for the works needed to the trees identified by the Chairman and Mr. Potter during the annual tree inspection, and to authorise Mr. Macmorland to proceed if the sum he quoted was less than £750.00 (see Minute 7.5/07/18).

 

Mr. Macmorland had subsequently supplied a quotation in the sum of £400 to:

  1. Remove dead branches from four trees in the Churchyard.

  2. Remove a low branch of the Oak tree at the front of the allotment site which was overhanging Plot 6 and remove a small self–seeded tree growing under the canopy of the Oak

  3. Remove one dead tree from The Common.

  4. Remove two dead trees on the playing field adjacent to Howe Green Road and some dead branches on trees about half way down the ditch side of the playing field.

so he had been asked to carry out the work, as agreed.

 

Condition of the Notice Board at Rudley Green: The Chairman agreed to inspect, and see if he could repair, the notice board which was twisted and out of alignment so couldn’t be locked, as was the one in Howe Green Road, and report back at the September meeting.

 

8/08/18 FINANCIAL MATTERS

 

8.1/08/18 To receive a report of the internal audit of accounts for the period 1st April 2018 to 30th June 2018: Members noted that the Chairman had carried out an internal audit of the accounts for the period 1st April 2018 to 30th June 2018 on Monday 30th July at 8.30 a.m.

 

During the audit, the Chairman checked statements of balances submitted to the Council against its bank statements and transaction books and carried out a bank reconciliation. He also inspected the petty cash book, VAT and PAYE records and other subsidiary accounting records as he saw fit, in accordance with the Parish Council’s internal audit procedure.

 

There had been no matters arising from the internal audit to report to the Parish Council.

 

8.2/08/18 to consider a request from Southminster Parish Council for funding towards a Halloween event for local children: Southminster Parish Council: At the request of Southminster Parish Council Members considered making a financial contribution to a Halloween event for children in the Dengie Hundred area to be held on 27th October 2018. It was agreed not to make a financial contribution towards the event.

 

8.3/08/18 To receive a report of receipts: Members received a report of the following receipts:

 

Kalma

Pavilion hire (April – June inclusive) £210.00
     

Maldon U3A

Pavilion hire (April – June inclusive) £75.00
     

HMRC

VAT refund (1st April to 30th June) £559.49

 

  £844.49

 

8.4/08/18 To approve payments of accounts between meetings: Members noted and approved that the following account had been paid between meetings, as agreed at the May 2018 meeting and adhering strictly to the procedures outlined in the Parish Council’s Financial Regulation 5.5.

 

 

Rustic Garden Furniture Ltd

4 picnic benches

£1,080.00

 

 

8.5/08/18 To approve payment of accounts to hand and transfers between bank accounts:

  

Mrs. Jane Potter

Salary – July 2018 £1,269.00  
 

Less tax

£41.40  
 

National Insurance

£68.04  
 

And Pension Contributions

£73.60  

 

    £1,085.96
       

H.M. Revenue & Customs

Tax £41.40  
 

National Insurance (employees)

£68.04  
 

National insurance (employers)

£78.25  

 

    £187.69

Essex Pensions Fund

Employee contributions    
 

(5.8% pensionable pay)

£73.60  
 

Employer contributions

   
 

(19.2% pensionable pay)

£243.65  
 

Administration charge

   
 

(8% employee contributions)

£5.89 £323.14
       

Mrs. R. Dilworth

Pavilion cleaning – July    

 

20 hours @ £8.00 per hour   £160.00
       

 

     

Mrs. J. Potter

40 engraved brass key fobs    

   (reimbursement)

  £133.34  

 

VAT £26.66  

 

    £160.00
       

AG Macmorland

Grasscutting – July £175.00  

   Farming Partnership

Work to trees £400.00  

 

VAT £115.00  

 

    £690.00
       

 

     

RBS Invoice Finance Ltd

Photocopying £23.35  

 

VAT £4.67  

 

    £28.02

 

     

PKF Littlejohn LLP

Audit fees    

 

Year ended 31st March 2018 £200.00  

 

VAT £40.00  

 

    £240.00
       

Maldon District Council

Data Protection Officer services    

   Services

  £150.00  

 

VAT £30.00  

 

    £180.00

 

    £3,054.81

 

 

Transfers: Members noted and approved the following bank transfer:

 

  1. On 8th August 2018 the sum of £2,117.42 had been transferred from the Business Premium Account (80731099) to the Community Current Account (40731080) to cover payment of the above accounts and leave approximately £1,500 in the current account.

 

Bank reconciliation as at 31st July 2018: : A bank reconciliation for the period 1st April 2018 to 31st July 2018 was carried out by Mr. Rayner and approved by the Parish Council as follows:

 

Statement of Accounts:

 

 

Receipts:

£72,954.74 Barclays Bank Plc:  

Expenditure

£16,179.36    Current account £1912.39
   

   Business Premium Account

£38,761.21
   

   Historic Buildings Fund

£8,778.98
   

   Miss Pawsey’s Legacy

£7,272.80

 

________ Petty Cash £50.00

 

£56,775.38   £56,775.38

 

 

Completion of the external audit of accounts (limited assurance review) for the year ended 31st March 2018: Members noted that PKF Littlejohn LLP had concluded its audit of the Parish Council’s accounts for the financial year 2017/2018 and had concluded that on the basis of its review, in its opinion, the information contained in the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) was in accordance with proper practices and that no matters had come to its attention which gave cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements had not been met.

A copy of Section 3 of the AGAR (External Auditor Report and Certificate) was given to each Member at the meeting.

Members noted that the successful conclusion of the audit would be advertised on the Parish Council’s notice boards alongside a copy of the completed AGAR and on the Parish Council’s website.

 

Timetable for 2018/2019: Members noted that next year PKF Littlejohn Ltd planned to set a submission date for the return of the completed AGAR no earlier than 10th June 2019. In line with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 the Parish Council was obliged to inform the electorate of a single period of 30 working days during which electors’ rights may be exercised and this information had to be published at least the day before the inspection period commenced. The inspection period had to include the first 10 working days of July 2019 (i.e. 1st to 12th July inclusive). In practice this meant that electors’ rights may be exercised:

 

  • At the earliest, between Monday, 3rd June and Friday, 12th July 2019, and

  • At the latest, between Monday, 1st July and Friday, 9th August 2019.

 

The completed AGAR and associated therefore needed to be submitted to PKF Littlejohn Ltd in the usual way by Monday, 10th June 2019.

 

9/08/18 CORRESPONDENCE

 

Dengie Hundred Group of Parish Councils’ Meeting held on 20th June 2018: Mr. Rayner reported that the meeting had focussed on cyber security and had been given a presentation on beating cyber crime, facilitated by Simon Mitchell from Maldon District Council. Amongst many other things the meeting had been advised that passwords were most secure when they contained three words each with a capital letter and a hyphen.

 

Mr. Rayner placed a booklet entitled The Little Book of Cyber Scams in the circulation folder for Members’ information.

 

The meeting was advised that the Annual Quiz for the John Mardon Trophy would take place on 21st November 2018 at Southminster Bowls Club at a cost of £6 per person.

 

EALC

Annual General Meeting and Essex County Council and EALC’s Annual Conference: Members noted that this combined event would take place on Thursday, 20th September 2018 in the Foakes Hall, Stortford Road, Great Dunmow. CM6 1DG commencing at 11.00 a.m.

 

This year’s conference would be chaired by Mrs. Sue Lissimore (ECC Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities) and Mr. Peter Davey (EALC Chairman). Speakers would be Mike Gogarty (Director, Wellbeing Public Health and Communities) on developing the role of the parish sector; Clive Emmett (Chief Officer, Council for Voluntary Service, Uttlesford) on the Green Matters project and Cllr. David Finch (Leader, Essex County Council) on Localism and Subsidiarity.

 

Essex County Council

Solar Together Essex: Members noted that Simon Walsh (ECC Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste) had written to the Parish Council asking it to help publicise a group buying scheme for solar panels. Mr. Walsh explained that Essex County Council had launched a scheme to help residents and businesses to get high quality solar panels at a competitive price through the power of group buying, saving on both installation and future energy bills.

 

Registration was free before 22nd August 2018 and there was no commitment. The more people that registered however the better the deal should be for each household and business in Essex.

 

There was a UK helpline for further information 0800 048 8639 and a website www.essex.gov.uk/solartogether

 

Dengie Hundred Bus Users’ Group (DHBUG)

Membership request: Members noted that Allan Brignall, incoming Chairman of DHBUG had written to the Parish Council asking it to consider becoming a member for an annual fee of £5.

 

DHBUG was always willing to assist people, including Purleigh residents, on matters regarding bus travel in the Dengie and with connections to services for onward travel. The website at dhbug.org.uk was frequently updated and was accessible to members and non-members alike. To further the group’s links to Town and Parish Councils, committee members would be willing, where possible, to support Town and Parish Council meetings with written input or attendance at the meeting if the topic required discussion.

 

It was agreed that the Parish Council would become a member of DHBUG.

 

Maldon District Council

The District’s commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War: Details of the events being held were placed in the circulation folder for Members’ information.

 

In addition, the District Council had a 6 foot high life size wooden silhouette capturing the stark and poignant image of a solitary soldier on the battlefield available for each parish. The silhouette was offered for display in the parish and provided a canvas for each community’s personal commemoration. For example the names of the fallen of the parish could be added or it could be decorated on the theme of ‘Battle’s Over’. The silhouettes would be collected from the parishes during the week beginning 29th October and placed in Promenade Park as part of the Battle’s Over evening of 11th November.

 

It was agreed to ask the District Council to deliver the soldier to Mr. Ash who, as an ex-military policeman and amateur artist, had kindly agreed to personalise it for Purleigh.

 

Essex County Council

Parish Update: Members noted that Penny Channer had sent the Parish Council a report on the most recent work of Essex County Council. Her report was placed in the circulation folder for Members’ information.

 

Essex Heritage Trust

Annual Meeting: A representative of the Parish Council plus a guest was invited to the Annual Meeting at The Fry Art Gallery Too, 9b Museum Street, Saffron Walden on Thursday, 13th September 2018 at 7.00 p.m. followed by a talk by a Trustee from the Fry Art Gallery. Members noted that the Fry Art Gallery, Castle Street, Saffron Walden would be open from 6.00 p.m. for viewing the exhibition ‘Edward Bowden at Home’. Wine and refreshments would be served and RSVP’s were required by 3rd September 2018

 

10/08/18 POINTS OF INFORMATION

 

Members noted that Purleigh Shop was due to close on 7th September and that the Parish Council had been asked if there was anything that could be done to save it, for example by setting up a community shop staffed by volunteers or organising a public meeting so the matter could be discussed further.

 

The business wasn’t registered as a community asset.

 

Members noted that Oxfordshire Rural Community Council had produced a toolkit which set out different approaches to saving and setting up village shops and the relative roles and responsibilities of the various partners, including Parish Councils who would be involved. A copy was available at the meeting for Members’ information.

 

It was agreed to ask the owner of the premises if she was seeking a new tenant.

 

CRIME AND DISORDER ACT 1988 (SECTION 17)

 

Consideration was given to the crime and disorder implications of all decisions made at this meeting.

 

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.55 p.m.