MINUTES OF A MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL, 

HELD IN THE WELLS PAVILION, HOWE GREEN ROAD,

ON FRIDAY, 8th DECEMBER 2017, AT 7.00 P.M.

 

Members present: Mr. N. Arthur (Chairman), Mr. C. Ash, Mr. S. Bardwell, Mr. S. Potter, Mr. B. Oliver, Mr. G. Rayner.

 

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

 

Mr. John Archer and Miss Sue White (District Council Ward Members) attended the public session prior to the start of the meeting, as did one member of the public.

 

One member of the public attended part of the meeting.

 

1/12/17 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

Apologies were received from who Mr. G. Strathern who was unable to attend the meeting due to a prior professional engagement and from Mrs. Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) who also had a prior civic commitment.

 

2/12/17 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATIONS (Localism Act 2011)

 

There were no new declarations of interest made, nor were there any applications for dispensations from the provisions of the Localism Act 2011.

 

3/12/17 THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON 10TH NOVEMBER 2017 having been circulated to all Members, were approved, and signed by the Chairman.

 

4/12/17 TO DISCUSS ANY MATTERS OF INFORMATION ARISING FROM THOSE MINUTES:

 

4.1/12/17 Clerk: The Clerk did not have any matters arising from the November Parish Council meeting to report to Members.

 

4.2/12/17 Members’: Members did not have any matters arising from the November Parish Council meeting to discuss.

 

5/12/17 PLANNING MATTERS

 

5.1/12/17 Decisions taken between meetings: FUL/MAL/17/01069 & LBC/MAL/17/01070 Proposed extension to existing public house with internal and external alterations and replacement doors and windows. Key Design Changes. The Bell Public House, The Street, Purleigh. Mr. & Mrs.Webb.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APROVAL, provided that all aspects of Policies D1 and D3 of the Approved Local Development Plan were fully complied with and most importantly that the requirements of Maldon District Council’s parking standards were met without having any detrimental effect on the conservation area in which The Bell was situated.

 

5.2/12/17 Current applications: The Parish Council did not have any current planning applications to consider.

 

5.3/12/17 Notification of appeals:

 

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (appeal under s78)

Appeal by: The Trustees, Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome Trust

Site address: Stow Maries Aerodrome, Hackmans Lane, Cold Norton

Application reference No: FUL/MAL/16/001142

Appeal reference No: APP/X1545/W/17/3182321

Description of development: Planning application for operational arrangements for the use of the Airfield at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome including hours of operation, restrictions on the number of take offs and landings, and arrangements for Special Public Event days. The arrangements to be as follows: The airstrip to be used by fixed wing and propeller driven aircraft, helicopters, apart from emergency services machines, may only use the site in the event of emergency or during Public Event days. Take offs and landings only after 08.00 hours and no later than either 20.00 hours, or sunset whichever is earlier. In the winter months (November to April inclusive) there shall be no more than 25 landings and 25 take offs per day. In the summer months (May to October inclusive) there shall be no more than 25 landings and 25 take offs on weekdays. In the summer months (May to October inclusive) there shall be a maximum of 50 landings and take offs per day at weekends and bank holidays apart from Special Public Event Flying days when maximum landings and take offs are increased to 75 take offs and 75 landings per day.

 

Members noted that the above Appeal had been withdrawn.

 

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (appeal under s78)

Appeal by: Mr. G. Phillips

Site address: Oakbridge, Marlpits Road, Purleigh. CM3 6RB

Application reference No: OUT/MAL/17/00350

Appeal reference No: APP/X1545/W/17/3177879

Description of development: Demolition of dwelling, granted through application LDE/MAL/16/01289 and construction of replacement dwelling, with new access.

 

Members noted that the above Appeal had been DISMISSED, largely on the grounds that the proposal would conflict with Policies S1, S8, and D1 of the Local Development Plan. A copy of the Inspector’s decision was placed in the circulation folder for Members’ information.

 

5.4/12/17 Maldon District Council planning decisions: Members noted that Maldon District Council had APPROVED the following planning applications:

  • LDE/MAL/17/01056 Claim for Lawful Development Certificate for existing continued B2 general industrial use. Birchwood Farm, Birchwood Road.

  • TCA/17/01139 T1 Sycamore – reduce to previous reduction points. Prune to lift from garage roof. 1m clearance. T2 Yew - crown lift to 2.5m by removal of minor limbs 5cm diameter. Reduce crown overall to produce an even crown. Approx 2m off the top and 1 -1.5m around sides. Purleigh Hall, The Street.

  • RES/MAL/17/01022 Reserved matters application for the approval of layout, scale, appearance and landscape on application OUT/MAL/15/00691 approved on appeal APP/X1545/W/16/3148836 (Outline application for the demolition of existing chalet dwelling and erection of 3No. detached houses). Treelawn Nursery, Chelmsford Road.

And had REFUSED to grant planning permission for the following development:

  • FUL/MAL/17/01160 Erection of detached two bedroom chalet bungalow with associated cart lodge, access and amenity. Land Adjacent Sunnycot, Chelmsford Road.

 

On the following grounds:

 

  1. The provision of a dwelling on this site, would fail to protect or enhance the natural beauty, tranquillity, amenity and traditional quality of the rural landscape setting by introducing unacceptable built form into the site that currently forms an integral part of, and contributes to, the rural quality of the area. The proposal would therefore fail to make a positive contribution to the locality and cause an unacceptable degree of harm to the character and appearance of the locality, contrary to Policies S1, S8, D1 and H4 of the Local Development Plan and core planning principles and guidance contained in the National Planning Policy Framework.

  2. The site was not considered to be in a sustainable location. Therefore, the creation of new residential development, remote from community services and essential support facilities, would be contrary to the 'presumption in favour of sustainable development' contained in the National Planning Policy Framework and to Policies S1 and S8 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan. The poor sustainability credentials of the site and its locality, coupled with the impact of development on the character and appearance of the rural locality, would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal when assessed against Policies S1 and S8 of the Local Development Plan and the National Planning Policy Framework as a whole.

 

5.5/12/17 Other planning matters: Letter from Fiona Marshall (Chief Executive, Maldon District Council) regarding changes to existing governance arrangements including planning: Members noted the contents of a letter from Fiona Marshall advising the Parish Council that the Parish Trigger had now been replaced with an extended call in process by an appropriate Area Planning Committee Member. Parish and Town Councils with concerns were advised to contact an Area Planning Committee Member who may then agree to call in the application to the relevant Area Planning Committee. Mrs. Marshall urged the Parish Council to note that in such cases the Member would need to provide sound planning reasons for their call in and where an application was presented to committee through this route it would be helpful in circumstances where the Parish Council had strong views on the application for a representative to attend the Planning Committee to put forward their views. Any Member on an Area Planning Committee could call in any application within the ‘call in area’ of the Committee they sat on.

 

Members noted that it was envisaged that this adjustment would improve the Council’s basis for evidence based decision making, increase efficiency and would further connect Ward Members with their respective Parish or Town Councils and their residents.

 

The process of Members calling in planning applications to the South Eastern and North Western Area Planning Committees had changed to allow for Ward Members to call in any planning application that fell within their call in area, as follows:

 

North Western Area Planning Committee

Call in area 1 ......Tollesbury, Tolleshunt D’Arcy and the Tothams

Call in area 2 ......Purleigh, Wickham Bishops and the Woodhams

 

Committee membership and their contact details were available on the Council’s website and Parish and Town Councils also retained their right to feed in their views on applications as a consultee.

 

Members noted that the District Council was seeking to streamline its planning process alongside improving efficiencies and reducing wastage. As part of this process the District Council had sought to enhance the use of technology and reduce the reliance on paper; this included an update in 2016 of the online search facility provided on the Council’s website. These improvements were supposed to provide an easy-to-use process to search and track applications. Currently the District Council provided paper copies of applications to Parish and Town Councils as part of the consultation process. In the interests of efficiency, for applications validated with effect from the 1st April 2018, the Council would no longer be providing paper copies of applications, including forms and plans, to Parish and Town Councils. It was hoped that informing Members of the District Council’s intention at an early stage would allow Parish Councils to make the necessary arrangements to facilitate a smooth transition.  

 

Members also noted the contents of a letter from Wickham Bishops Parish Council to Mrs. Marshall outlining its concerns about the abolition of the parish trigger described above.

 

It was agreed to support Wickham Bishops Parish Council’s attempt to reverse the District Council’s decision to abolish the parish trigger and to encourage it and the bigger Town and Parish Councils such as Burnham-on- Crouch and Maldon to negotiate with the District Council, on all the parishes’ behalf, to retain both the parish trigger in its previous format and to continue to supply Parish and Town Councils with copies of planning applications including paper plans.

 

Both the removal of the parish trigger, which made Parish and Town Councils dependent on the goodwill of area planning committee members, and the cessation of sending paper plans out to Parish Councils eroded local democracy and was contrary to the ethos of the Localism Act 2011 whose stated aim was to ‘devolve greater powers to councils and neighbourhoods and give local communities more control over housing and planning decisions’. By eroding the independence and influence of Parish Councils in this way, it would also act as a disincentive for people to stand for election at arguably the most important grass roots level of local government.

 

In terms of the removal of the parish trigger, Members shared the concerns of Wickham Bishops Parish Council and others that the practicalities of the proposed extended member call in had not been thought through nor had the way or time scale within which a Parish Council worked been fully understood. Officers for example, could make and publish a decision about an application before a Parish Council meeting could be properly convened and held to discuss it, and when the Parish Council made its decision on an application, it wouldn’t know the Officer’s recommendation and therefore wouldn’t know whether to initiate the extended call in process or not. Relying on the current publication of Officer’s reports to Members alongside Planning Committee Agendas would not allow sufficient time.

 

If Parish Councils were therefore forced to ask for all applications to be called in where their decision differed with that proposed by Officers it would have the opposite effect of the District Council’s stated aim to increase efficiency and save the District Council money. The Parish Council also noted that it never recommended that an application be refused without giving sound planning reasons for its decision or without feeling strongly about it. Members would greatly appreciate a much clearer explanation from Mrs. Marshall therefore about the new system, including the provision of detailed timescales, the proposed means of dissemination of appropriate information to Clerks, and how she envisaged all this would be accomplished within the cycle of Parish Council meetings.

 

The proposal to stop sending Clerks paper copies of planning applications to circulate amongst Members also seems designed to further erode the influence of Parish Councils in the planning process. In brief, not all Councillors had access to the internet, and if they had, broadband speeds were still very slow in parts of rural parishes such as Purleigh. The District Council’s website was not entirely reliable, searches could be time consuming, and often information posted thereon was incomplete or late. Some councils only had black and white printers and therefore couldn’t print off workable plans even if they were inclined to do so. Again, it seemed to the Parish Council that the District Council has little appreciation of, or regard for, the work that Parish Councillors did. Purleigh Parish Councillors were extremely conscientious when considering applications and visited sites, taking the paper plans with them so that a realistic comparison and assessment could be made of the application and its effect on neighbouring properties and the surrounding area. This hands on approach taken by Parish Councillors, combined with their local knowledge and engagement, was one of the cornerstones of the planning system, was highly valued, understood by and accessible to parishioners and should be encouraged, not deterred. Applicants could easily be asked to bear the cost of one extra set of plans plus postage.

 

North-Western Area Planning Committee: Members noted that between meetings, the Parish Council had been invited to speak at the North-Western Area Planning Committee held on Monday, 27th November 2017 at Maldon District Council’s offices on the following application:

  • FUL/MAL/17/01160 erection of detached two bedroom chalet bungalow with associated cart lodge, access and amenity. Land adjacent Sunnycot, Chelmsford Road.

In accordance with the policy agreed at the May 2017 Parish Council meeting (Min ref: 07/05/17) it had been agreed not to make any representation at the Committee meeting.

 

Potential commercial use of residential land, 2 Silsons Cottages, Fambridge Road: Members noted that the Planning Enforcement section of the District Council had commenced an investigation into this matter (Case number 17/00497/CU).

 

6/12/17 HIGHWAY MATTERS

 

6.1/12/17 Highway verge, The Street: Members noted that S.P. Bardwell Ltd had provided the following estimate for the restoration and kerbing of the verge opposite The Bell, based on the findings of the site meeting attended by Mr. Bardwell, Mr. Potter and Mr. Strathern:

 

 

ESTIMATE

Re: Proposed kerbing and road reinstatement Church Hill Purleigh.

 

 

Description

Q

 

U

R

£ p

1

Excavate for supply and install on concrete bed and haunch HB2 type kerbs. Approx.

 

 

35

 

 

M

 

 

28.00

 

 

980.00

2

Excavate in damaged tarmac surface of normal ground maximum depth 300mm and dispose of to tip.

 

 

12.6

 

 

M3

 

 

48.00

 

 

604.88

3

Provide lay and compact 200mm thickness of DOT type one sub-base. Approx.

 

 

42

 

 

M2

 

 

12.50

 

 

525.00

4

Provide lay and compact 60mm thickness of 20mm base course tarmac. Approx.

 

42

 

M2

 

18.75

 

787.50

5

Provide lay and compact 40mm thickness of 10mm DBM wearing course tarmac. Approx.

 

 

42

 

 

M2

 

 

16.00

 

 

672.00

6

Provide and maintain traffic management and signing lighting and guarding to chapter 8 requirements.

 

 

Item

 

 

 

 

280.00

 

NET TOTAL

3849.38

 

VAT @ 20%

769.87

 

TOTAL

4619.25

 

Members noted that this had been forwarded to Essex County Council, as agreed at the November 2017 Parish Council meeting (See Minute 6.3/11/17) and that Jon Simmons had responded by explaining that he had spoken with colleagues who dealt with validation of Local Highways Panel schemes about the Parish Council’s suggested kerbing solution. Their initial thoughts were that this may not stop the issue of vehicles causing damage. Vehicles could still mount the kerbs to park and this could lead to damage not only to the verge but also the kerbs, increasing the maintenance liability. They did not think that street furniture such as bollards would limit the parking either as any bollards would have to be installed at an off-set of 450mm from the edge of carriageway which could again still allow vehicles to park on the verge. In terms of preventing vehicles parking and causing damage, the suggestion could be to contact the Parking Partnership about implementing parking restrictions in the area. Mr. Simmons welcomed the thoughts of the Parish Council.

 

It was felt that Mr Simmons hadn’t fully understood what the Parish Council wanted to do to the verge opposite The Bell. It was agreed to write to him again reiterating that Members would like to kerb the edge of the highway alongside the Bell’s hedge and fence property boundary (not alongside the current tarmacked area), so there would be no possibility of any vehicles parking on the kerb stones. At the same time the current muddy and pot-holed verge would be dug out, made up and tarmacked. It was not the Parish Council’s intention to stop vehicles parking on the edge of the road here but to prevent the area being such an eyesore in the middle of Purleigh’s conservation area. It was hoped that someone from the highways authority would accept an invitation to attend a site meeting so that they could get a better understanding of the scale of the problem here and the proposed solution.

 

At this juncture the member of the public present advised the Parish Council that the District Council’s Conservation Officer believed that retaining a grass verge would be preferable.

 

6.2/12/17 Localised flooded roads, temporary road closure - Maldon Road: Members noted that Essex County Council had sent the Parish Council an agreement for signature and return which Mr. Bardwell had kindly considered and approved prior to returning the document.

 

Members understood that once the agreement had been signed, the County Council would send the Parish Council pro forma notices to be filled in and displayed, should Maldon Road have to be temporarily closed.

 

Mr. Bardwell was thanked again for his assistance with this matter.

 

6.3/12/17 Other highway matters: Members did not have any other highway matters to discuss.

 

7/12/17 PLAYING FIELD AND OTHER OPEN SPACE MATTERS

7.1/12/17 Children’s play Area: Monthly report: Mr. Ash reported that that he had carried out weekly inspections of the children’s play area and that all items of play equipment therein appeared to be in a satisfactory condition, although the moles were continuing to increase their activity. It was agreed to continue to monitor the amount of mole activity in the area with a view to asking P.G. Groundcare Ltd to visit the site again and take remedial action, should this be required.

 

7.2/12/17 To receive a report of a meeting with members of the Purleigh Community Fund about the future of the Children’s Play Area: Members noted the contents of a report of the meeting held on 4th December which Mr. Ash, Mr. Bardwell, and Mr. Potter had attended on behalf of the Parish Council together with Christina Chan and Rachel Moore from the Purleigh Community Fund and the Clerk as follows:

 

Aim: To receive an updated report on the Purleigh Community Fund’s project to rejuvenate the children’s play area and clarify the role of, and contribution expected from, the Parish Council.

 

Space available: Mrs Chan explained that the group hoped to utilise the area currently encompassing the fenced children’s play area and trim trail plus an additional 20 square metres approximately where the grass cutting/soil/compost heap was currently located and to expand around the periphery to include benches and litter bins etc.

 

The group were advised to leave a minimum 3 metre band around the ditch for ease of maintenance and safety.

 

Action:

  • To agree parameters with the Parish Council.

 

Survey results to inform the design brief: The meeting was advised that the survey received over 100 responses and that the following priorities had been identified:

 

  1. To improve the lack of seating

  2. To provide better play equipment for 5 – 12 year olds

  3. To create toddler zone for the under fives

  4. To incorporate natural play elements within any scheme

  5. To integrate any play area improvements within the existing landscape

  6. To create areas for teenagers

 

The meeting discussed at some length the best way to proceed to finalise a design for the rejuvenated play area. Some members of the Purleigh Community Fund favoured employing a landscape architect to design the area at a cost of £3,000 to £4,000, whilst others preferred asking a selection of play equipment companies to submit designs for the area free of charge.

 

It was agreed that the aim of the project was to improve the play area, its surroundings and the equipment therein for the benefit of the children and families using it and therefore any monies spent might be better used in furthering this ambition directly rather than by employing consultants such as landscape architects. The Clerk also pointed out that another advantage of using the design services of play equipment companies was that their designs should be fully compliant with current regulations. The group were advised however to make acceptance of any design brief conditional on passing a RoSPA (or equally accredited company) inspection. Insurance companies also preferred dealing with industry approved schemes rather than bespoke ones, and again it was suggested that before any scheme was accepted the Parish Council ask for its insurer’s approval to save issues further down the line.

 

The meeting also suggested that provision for teenagers should be a low priority given the survey results and the imperative, if providing for teenagers, to do it well.

 

The meeting was agreed that where possible existing facilities should be re-used or re-purposed. Items such as the newest piece of play equipment, the hill slide, the fence surrounding the children’s play area and some of the safety surfacing could all be incorporated into the new design.

 

The meeting also discussed the on-going maintenance and financial implications of implementing any new scheme, such as insurance premiums, safety inspections and grass cutting.

 

It was agreed that when designing any soft landscaping of the area the group would bear in mind the need of the Parish Council’s grass cutting contractor to access the area quickly and easily to avoid incurring extra on-going maintenance costs.

 

Action:

  • The group to finalise its brief and obtain costed designs bearing the above in mind.

 

Funding: The Purleigh Community Fund hoped that the money required could be raised through the receipt of grants and local government funding, including the parish precept.

 

The Clerk explained the many constraints on local government finance and the very real threat of parishioners calling for a costly referendum should their council tax rise significantly. It was also pointed out that whilst Purleigh was a large parish geographically, the number of households bearing the tax burden was relatively low. Most parishioners in fact wouldn’t use the play area and whilst they accepted subsidising the facilities to a certain extent would object to the precept being raised significantly purely to pay for its regeneration.

 

To achieve stage two of the scheme, ‘Improvement of seating and litter facilities’, the group hoped the Parish Council would consider precepting for the purchase of 4 picnic tables from Rustic Garden Furniture Ltd at a cost of £1,080 and perhaps an additional litter bin. This would then demonstrate seed funding for other grant applications.

 

The group were advised to ask the PPFA to commit to giving it a specific sum towards the project which would also assist with grant applications.

 

To help with grant applications the group were also strongly advised to become a properly constituted organisation and to open a bank account in its name in which to receive funds.

 

Action:

  • The Parish Council to consider precepting for picnic tables and a litter bin (Minimum £1,080)

  • The Purleigh Community Fund to ask the PPFA for a grant

  • The Purleigh Community Fund to apply to the Community Initiatives Fund, once quotations had been received

  • The Parish Council to agree that grant applications could be in its name where appropriate and for the Clerk to lend administrative support as required

  • The group to reconsider becoming properly constituted and opening a Bank Account

 

It was agreed that to assist in the layout of the children’s play area and its environs, it would be desirable to create a contained area for grass cuttings and compost. It was also agreed to consider precepting for the sum of £1,000 in 2018/2019 towards the purchase of picnic benches.

 

7.3/12/17 Maintenance of the War Memorial Garden: Mr. Bardwell, Mr. Potter and Mr. Strathern reported that having reviewed the garden they recommended that Mr. Ovel plant some perennials, which required minimum tending, and maintain them. Mr. Bardwell would also arrange for the gutters to be cleared on the lych-gate and restore the water butt they fill, to facilitate the garden’s irrigation.

 

7.4/12/17 Pavilion security: Members noted that the new CCTV system had been installed in the Pavilion (See Minute 7.2/11/17).

 

Came & Company, the Parish Council’s insurers, had also confirmed that Public Liability insurance was automatically provided for any assets that the Council owned or was responsible for maintaining, and it was noted that the Parish Council had arranged loss or damage cover for the new CCTV equipment at a purchase price of £1,214.75.

 

Members agreed on future arrangements to cover the children’s play area with CCTV and Mr. Bardwell was thanked for his help arranging it.

 

Members noted that regarding any new lock the Parish Council may wish to have fitted to the pavilion door, Aviva could apply the following minimum security condition to the Council’s policy, according to its assessment of the risk posed:

  • That final exit doors were secured as follows:

Timber doors: By mortice deadlocks having five or more levers or conforming to BS3621 with matching boxed striking plate.

Aluminium doors: By cylinder mortice lock operating a swinging lock bolt

  • The first closing leaf or double leaf doors must be fitted internally with bolts top and bottom.

  • When the premises were closed for business, all locks fitted to final exit doors must be put into effect.

  • All other external doors and internal doors leading to common areas were secured by the means set out above or by key operated security bolts fitted top and bottom.

  • All opening windows or roof lights accessible from the ground or via rooves, pipe work or other structures were secured by key operated locking devices or screwed permanently shut.

Any door or window officially designated as a Fire Exit were excluded from these requirements.

 

It was noted that at the moment this condition did not apply to the Council’s policy.

 

7.5/12/17 Other playing field and open space matters: Missing Ladder: Members noted that the ladder had not been returned to the Pavilion, despite a plea in the Parish Magazine.

 

Mr. Oliver kindly offered to donate a ladder to the Parish Council, which was greatly appreciated.

 

Broken chair backs: Members noted that Mr. Steeples had repaired the backs of some of the broken blue chairs in the pavilion. The Parish Council had thanked him for doing so.

 

Overgrown Maple in the Churchyard: Mr. Bardwell, Mr. Potter and Mr. Strathern reported that in their opinion the Maple was safe and not in need of pruning.

 

Allotment Matters: Water Meter: It was noted that between meetings Mr. Bardwell, Mr. Potter and Mr. Strathern had located and read the water meter at the allotments. The reading obtained tallied with that on the most recent water bill.

 

Complaint: Members noted that between meetings the Parish Council had received a letter from the tenant of Plots 4 & 9 complaining about the historic dumping of grass cuttings on their dog’s grave and also the removal from the hedge at the rear of the site of some bird feeders (discovered on 22nd October 2017). Mr. Arthur reported that the tenant in question had been reminded to contact him or Mr. Strathern as soon as he perceived a problem at the site to have occurred.

8/12/17 PARISH COUNCIL SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS FOR 2018

 

Members agreed that the Parish Council would hold meetings on the following Fridays in 2018:

 

12th January, 9th February, 9th March, 13th April, 11th May, 8th June, 13th July, 10th August, 14th September, 12th October, 9th November, 14th December.

 

It was also agreed that the Annual Parish Meeting would take place on Thursday, 26th April commencing at 7.00 p.m. in the Pavilion.

 

9/12/17 CLERK’S SALARY AND CONTRACT REVIEW AND REVIEW OF REMUNERATION FOR SERVICES

 

9.1/12/17 Clerk’s salary review and review of remuneration for services: National Living Wage: Members noted that the National Living Wage was currently £7.50 per hour for workers aged 21 years and over and that from April 2018 the Living Wage would be increased to £7.83 per hour for workers aged 25 and over.

 

Pavilion cleaner and groundsman: Members noted that Mrs. Dilworth currently charged £7.50 per hour to clean the Pavilion and Mr. Ovel, the Parish Council’s groundsman, charged £15.00 per hour for his services

 

Members noted that to comply with the Living Wage Mrs. Dilworth would charge £8.00 per hour from 1st April 2017.

 

9.2/12/16 The Clerk: Members noted that the Clerk was contracted to work an average 100 hours per month and currently earned an annual salary of £14,716.00 (i.e. £12.26 per hour) plus expenses as follows:

 

The sum of £400 per annum for the use of a room in her house as a parish office.

The sum of £300 per annum for the use of her personal word processing equipment.

A lump sum of £1,239 per annum for the essential use of a motor vehicle (1200 - 1400cc), as agreed by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services and recommended in the National Association of Local Councils ‘2008/09 National Salary Award for Local Council Clerks’ (November 2008).

 

Members were reminded that at the December 2016 Parish Council meeting it was agreed that in future the clerk’s salary would be reviewed every three years and that in the interim the Clerk’s hourly rate of pay would be increased on a yearly basis in line with a chosen consumer price index such as the Retail Price Index (RPI) or Consumer Price Index (CPI) capped at 3.5% which would trigger a review.

 

According to the Office for National Statistics:

 

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) had risen by 3% in the year to November 2017

  • The Retail Price Index (RPI) had risen by 4% in the year to November 2017

  • The Consumer Price Index including Housing Costs (CPIH) had risen by 2.8% in the year to November 2017

  • (The all items Retail House Price Index Jevons (RPIJ) had been discontinued)

At the January 2017 Parish Council meeting (Minute 10.01.17) it had been agreed to increase the Clerk’s salary by 2.2% in 2017/2018 and by the Retail Price Index for the next two years based on the Office for National Statistics data (provided it didn’t exceed 3.5%.).

 

Having already registered his disclosable financial interest in this matter in the Register of Members’ Interests Mr. Potter played no part in the Parish Council’s discussion of this Agenda item.

 

It was proposed and agreed that the Clerk’s salary be increased by 3.5% effective from 1st April 2018 which meant that her salary would be increased from £14,716.00 per annum to 15,231.06 (£12.69 per hour) plus expenses as follows:

  • The sum of £400 per annum for the use of a room in her house as a parish office.

  • The sum of £300 per annum for the use of her personal word processing equipment.

  • A lump sum of £1,239 per annum for the essential use of a motor vehicle (1200 - 1400cc), as agreed by the National Joint Council for Local Government Services and recommended in the National Association of Local Councils ‘2008/09 National Salary Award for Local Council Clerks’ (November 2008

10/12/17 FINANCIAL MATTERS

 

10.1/12/17 Arrangements for the calculation of the precept 2018/2019: Members formally agreed that the precept 2018/2019 would be set at the Parish Council meeting to be held on Friday, 12th January 2018.

 

It was noted that the following potential projects/capital purchases/grants 2018/2019 had been identified:

 

  • Reinstatement and kerbing of the grass verge in The Street opposite The Bell Public House: It was agreed to provisionally set aside the sum of £1,000 in the precept for this work with any remaining funds outstanding coming from Miss Pawsey’s legacy.

  • Children’s Play Area: It was provisionally agreed to set aside the sum of £1,000 in the precept towards the refurbishment of the Children’s Play area.

  • It was also agreed to consider to pay for the creation of a purpose built contained area for grass-cuttings etc. on the playing filed

  • Enforcement of speed limits in the parish, including the 30 mph speed limit in Hackmans Lane, by Maldon District Council: It was agreed to incorporate the sum of £367.20 per annum for one hour enforcement per month.

  • Double Yellow Lines in The Street – Total cost approximately £2,000.00. It was agreed to provisionally precept for 10% of the cost of this project in 2018/2019

  • Broadband improvements including a professional survey to be used to pressurise BT into acting more quickly to introduce superfast broadband in the parish. It was agreed not to precept towards this project.

  • Solar Panels on the Village Hall roof. It was agreed not to precept towards this project.

  • Publishing booklets on the history of the War Memorial and those named on it, to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War. It was agreed to incorporate 50% of the cost of printing 1,000 booklets (approximately £210) with the author, Mr. Potter, paying the remaining 50%.

  • It was also agreed for next year only to increase the Parish Council’s donation to the Royal British Legion from £40 to £60 to pay for three additional small wreaths to be laid on the graves of soldiers buried in Purleigh who gave their lives in the First World War.

 

Members noted that the Parish Council would also have to make provision in the precept to secure the services of an independent Data Protection Officer to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations due to come into force on 25th May 2018.

 

It was agreed to allocate the sum of £500 in the precept 2018/2019 to secure the services of an independent Data Protection Officer to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations.

 

10/2/17 To review Parish Council subscriptions: Members noted that the Parish Council currently subscribed to the following organisations:

 

 

Essex Heritage Trust

£25.00

Essex Association of Local Councils (including NALC)

£334.67

Council for the Protection of Rural Essex

£36.00

Dengie Hundred Group of Parish Councils

£15.00

Society of Local Council Clerks (including ALCC)

£147.00

Local Council Review

£17.00

 

£574.67

 

 

 

And that the cost of subscriptions had increased by £14.68 between 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 (EALC plus £6.68, SLCC plus £8.00).

 

It was agreed to continue to subscribe to all the above organisations in 2017/2018.

 

10.3/12/17 To receive a report of receipts: Members received a report of the following receipts:

 

 

E-on  Refund Re: Disputed electricity charges

Refund Re: Disputed electricity charges £132.80
     

Whist Drive

Pavilion hire to 31st December 2017 £156.00

 

  £288.80

 

 

10.4/12/17 To approve payment of accounts made between meetings: Members noted that there had not been any payments made between Parish Council meetings.

 

10.5/12/17 To approve payment of accounts to hand and transfers between bank accounts: It was unanimously agreed to approve payment of the following accounts to hand:

 

 

Mrs. Jane Potter

Salary – November 2017 £1,226.00  
 

Less tax

£39.00  
 

National Insurance

£65.52  
 

And Pension Contributions

£71.11  

 

    £1,050.37
       

H.M. Revenue & Customs

Tax £39.00  
 

National Insurance (employees)

£65.52  
 

National insurance (employers)

£75.35  

 

    £179.87
       

Essex Pension Fund

Employee contributions    
 

(5.8% pensionable pay)

£71.11  
 

Employer contributions

   
 

(16.7% pensionable pay)

£204.74  
 

Administration charge

   
 

(8% employee contributions)

£5.69  

 

    £281.54
       

Mrs. R. Dilworth

Pavilion cleaning – November 2017    
 

20 hours @ £7.50 per hour

£150.00  
 

Additional cleaning (Shower repairs)

£40.00  

 

    £190.00
       

Essex Air Ambulance

Donation*   £40.00
       

Farleigh Hospice

Donation*   £40.00
       

RNLI

Donation*   £40.00
       

The Society of Local

Membership fee 2017/2018   £147.00

   Council Clerks

     
       

Bradling Security Limited

1 x Dahua CCTV System £1,214.75  

 

VAT £242.95  

 

    £1,457.50
       

Easyspace Ltd

1 year Domain renewal (website) £74.65  

 

VAT £14.93  

 

    £89.58
       

AG Macmorland

Grass cutting – November 2017 £115.00  

   Farming Partnership

VAT £23.00  

 

    £138.00
       

RBS Invoice Finance Ltd

Photocopying £10.85  

 

VAT £2.17  

 

    £13.02
       

All Saints Church Purleigh

Advertisement re: Pavilion   £21.00

   Magazine

     
       

Mrs. J. Potter

Petty cash reimbursement    

 

Postage   £8.14

 

    £3,696.02

 

 

 

Transfers: Members noted and approved the following bank transfer:

 

  1. On 7th December 2017 the sum of £3,658.32 was 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 30th November 2017: A bank reconciliation for the period 1st April 2017 to 30th November 2017 was carried out by Mr. Rayner and approved by the Parish Council as follows:

 

Statement of Accounts:

 

 

Receipts:

£82,360.53 Barclays Bank Plc:  

Expenditure

£40,080.74 Current account £1,354.70

 

  Business Premium Account £25,591.24

 

  Historic Buildings Fund £8,768.69

 

  Miss Pawsey’s Legacy £6,515.16

 

________ Petty Cash £50.00

 

£42,279.79   £42,279.79

 

 

 

11/12/17 CORRESPONDENCE

 

Members did not receive any correspondence to consider.

 

12/12/17 POINTS OF INFORMATION

 

Dengie Hundred Group of Parish Councils: Annual Quiz: Members noted that having put up a spirited defence of last year’s title a team comprising Nigel, Leonie, Graham, Tracy, Steven and Jane came a commendable second in this year’s quiz, 1½ points behind the winners Asheldham & Dengie. If only any of them had ever watched Eastenders or Call the Midwife …!

 

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.