MINUTES OF A MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL,
HELD IN THE WELLS PAVILION, HOWE GREEN ROAD,
ON FRIDAY, 10th FEBRUARY 2017, AT 7.30 P.M.
Members present: Mr. G. Strathern (Chairman), Mr. N. Arthur, Mr. C. Ash, Mr. B. Oliver, Mr. S. Potter, Mr. G. Rayner.
Also in attendance: Mrs. Jane Potter (Clerk).
Two members of the public attended the open session prior to the start of the meeting as did Miss Sue White (District Council Ward Member).
The meeting was not attended by any members of the public.
1/02/17 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Mr. S. Bardwell who was unable to attend the meeting due to a prior personal commitment. Apologies were also received from Mr. John Archer (District Council Ward Member) and from Mrs. Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) who had prior personal and civic commitments.
2/02/17 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.
3/02/17 THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON 13TH JANUARY 2017 having been circulated to all Members, were approved, and signed by the Chairman.
4/02/17 TO DISCUSS ANY MATTERS OF INFORMATION ARISING FROM THOSE MINUTES:
4.1/02/17 Clerk: 9/01/17 Errors and omissions contained within the current version of the electoral register: Members noted that Lynda Elsegood (Electoral Management Officer, Maldon District Council) had thanked the Parish Council for its feedback on the current edition of the electoral register. According to Mrs. Elsegood, the addresses the District Council had used accorded with the Local Land and Property Gazeteer, which was part of the National Land and Property Gazeteer. The District Council was required to use the official addresses of properties, which were supplied to such organisations as the various emergency services etc. She would however pass Members’ concerns on to the Council’s Street Naming and Numbering Officer who would investigate the matter and report back to the Parish Council directly.
4.2/02/17 Members’: Members did not have any matters arising from the January meeting to discuss.
5/02/17 PLANNING MATTERS
5.1/02/17 Decisions taken between meetings: FUL/MAL/16/01502 Erection of 1 x 4 bed detached chalet dwelling with garage. The Willows, Maldon Road, Latchingdon. Mrs. Sarah Broome.
The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.
FUL/MAL/16/01470 Vary condition 2 of approved planning permission FUL/MAL/12/00929 (Development of former nursery for 4 detached residential properties with associated parking and garages. Change of use of land to residential. Land rear of Greenvale, Chelmsford Rd, Purleigh. Mr. Robert Steed – Task Force Developments Ltd.
The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.
LDE/MAL/17/00012 Claim for a Lawful Development Certificate for the existing residential use. Dwelling adjacent Brook House, Spar Lane, Purleigh. Mr. and Mrs. D. Hawkes.
The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.
5.2/02/17 Current applications: LDP/MAL/17/00031 Claim for lawful development certificate for proposed replacement of the existing wooden windows with UPVC windows. Kenbury, The Street, Purleigh. Mr. Clifford Hatton.
The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.
FUL/MAL/17/00046 Variation of conditions 3, 8, 9, 10 & 11 of planning permission FUL/MAL/12/00498 (Change of use of outbuildings to a 4 bedroom residential dwelling including a new link and conservatory and change of use of detached annexe to separate 2 bedroom residential dwelling). Novoli Farm, Pump Lane, Purleigh. Mrs. Joanna Allen.
The Parish Council RECOMMENDED REFUSAL on the grounds that Members understood the previous planning application FUL/MAL/12/00498 had lapsed.
5.3/02/17 Notification of appeals: Members noted that the Parish Council had not been notified of any planning appeals between meetings.
5.4/02/17 Maldon District Council planning decisions: Members noted that Maldon District Council had APPROVED the following planning applications:
and had REFUSED to grant planning permission for the following development:
5.5/02/17 Other planning matters: Consultation for new road name at land adjacent to the Three Rivers Golf and Country Club: Members noted and approved that between meetings the Parish Council had been consulted on the proposed new road name for the six new dwellings at land adjacent to the Three Rivers Golf and Country Club. Members had not had any objections to the name ‘The Links’ which had been proposed by N R Powell Developments Ltd.
6/02/17 HIGHWAY MATTERS
6.1/02/17 Blocked Drain between Mapletrees Bungalow and Hatch House Farm, Chelmsford Road: Members noted that Essex County Council’s Highways Department had informed the Parish Council that Engineers were aware of a number of drainage problems in this location. The issue Members reported had been risk assessed and recorded in line with the County Council’s Maintenance Strategy and the County Council was in the process of scheduling works.
6.2/02/17 A12 Chelmsford to A120 widening scheme – Public consultation: Members noted that the A12 Chelmsford to A120 Widening Scheme Team had announced the commencement of a public consultation which would run until 3rd March 2017.
In line with the Government’s Road Investment Strategy 2015, Highways England was developing proposals to widen the A12 between junction 19 (north of Chelmsford) and junction 25 (Marks Tey).
Highways England would continue to assess the effectiveness and affordability of various options but were keen to hear the public’s views before a decision was made on the preferred route and had invited the Parish Council to take part in its public consultation, which had begun on Monday, 23rd January 2017. All responses to the public consultation would be recorded in a consultation report and would be considered as part of the options selection process. Members noted that the closing date for responses to the consultation was 23.59 p.m. on Friday, 3rd March 2017.
6.3/02/17 Parking restriction proposals, The Street: Members noted that a resident had written to the Parish Council and Councillors John Archer, Sue White and Penny Channer asking all the tiers of local government to consider an alternative approach to implementing the project to secure parking restrictions in The Street.
According to the resident the South Essex Parking Partnership’s (SEPP) policy document referred to a procedure whereby local councils could fund the scheme directly as follows:
Extract from SEPP policy document:
Members noted that Penny Channer had kindly agreed to approach Richard Holmes, the lead officer at Maldon District Council for the SEPP with regard to Maldon District Council interests, to assess the viability of such an approach, as had Sue White.
6.4/02/17 Other highway matters: Posts bordering the Common, Farther Howe Green: Members noted that the Parish Council had been informed that the posts bordering the Common, which had been damaged by contractor’s vehicles working at Penquit would be replaced/repaired within the next few weeks. Concern had been expressed however that the posts that had been reinstated by Essex & Suffolk Water following a recent burst water pipe had been badly installed and were incomplete.
Temporary road closures: Members noted that the following roads would be closed within an eighteen month period from 20th February 2017, exact dates being specified on http://roadworks.org. Access would be maintained for pedestrians and the emergency services:
1 B1010 Fambridge Road, Purleigh – From its junction with the B1018 Cold Norton Road to its junction with Blind Lane, a distance of approximately 2,566 metres.
2 Lower Burnham Road, Stow Maries – From its junction with Church Lane to its junction with Woodham Road, a distance of approximately 1,749 metres.
Proposed diversion of footpaths 4, 7 and 49 Purleigh and Footpath 8 Woodham Ferrers & Bicknacre, in the administrative Districts of Maldon and the City of Chelmsford: Section 119 Highways Act 1980.
Members noted that Essex County Council had received an application to divert the above mentioned Footpaths in the Parishes of Purleigh and Woodham Ferrers & Bicknacre as shown on plans e-mailed to Members on Monday, 6th February 2017.
The diversions were being sought to reflect the routes of those paths currently being used on the ground and to aid the management of farming activities. It was proposed that all the new paths would be 2 metres wide.
Prior to the consideration of making a legal Order, the Parish Council had been consulted and asked to submit any representations to Essex County Council by 28th February 2017.
It was agreed to support the proposed diversions.
Damaged road sign, junction of Burnham Road and Fambridge Road: It was agreed to report the damaged road sign at the junction of Fambridge Road and Burnham Road to Essex County Council and ask for it to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
7/02/17 PLAYING FIELD AND OPEN SPACES
7.1/02/17 Children’s play area: Monthly report: Members noted that the Play Area remained closed pending the repair/replacement or removal of the damaged tyre traverse and monkey ladder and the wet pour safety surface beneath it.
7.2/01/17 Vandalism in the children’s play area and subsequent action: Members noted that Mr. Potter and the Clerk had met with representatives from three play equipment companies to discuss the repair/replacement or removal of the damaged tyre traverse and monkey ladder and the wet pour safety surface beneath it.
Gareth Palmer (Playscene) had explained that as the existing equipment didn’t comply with the revised BSEN1176 (2008) any repairs or changes to it would need to comply, which would potentially involve a complete redesign of the existing equipment. With this in mind therefore, considering the extent of the vandalism and the age of the tyre traverse he had recommended entirely new surfacing and equipment.
Mr. Palmer had given a quotation for ‘price low level’ equipment as this would allow Playscene to use the existing area without incurring further costs increasing the area of surfacing.
Members noted Playscene’s quotation as follows:
To breakout and dispose off site of existing equipment, take up and dispose off site of approximately 38.5 square metres of black wet pour safety surface. Supply and lay approximately 17.3 linear metres of PCC concrete edging, supply and lay approximately 5.5 square metres of top soil and turf. Import approximately 1 tonne of MOT Type 1 to adjust levels of existing base £4,065.00
To supply and install:
Members noted that James Lyons of Playcubed had provided the following quotation:
Replace the existing monkey bars and tyre traverse:
Remove the existing monkey bars and tyre traverse and dispose of them away from the site. Supply and install 1no. New monkey bars and 1no. Log traverse. All posts will be securely concreted into the ground, all timber used will be pressure treated and have a fifteen year guarantee
Option 1 – Replace the existing wet pour surfacing around the monkey bars and tyre traverse:
Remove the existing wet pour surfacing around the monkey bars and tyre traverse to 39m2, all waste will be removed and disposed of away from site.
Supply and install new wet pour surfacing to 39m2 at the correct depth for the critical fall height of the equipment:
Option 2 – Replace the existing wet pour surfacing:
Remove the existing wet pour surfacing to 90m2, all waste will be removed and disposed of away from site.
Supply and install new wet pour surfacing to 39m2 at the correct depth for the critical fall height of the equipment and wet pour surfacing to 30m2 at 40mm
Supply and spread topsoil to 21m2 and hard wearing grass seed.
Members noted that these quotations had been passed on to the Parish Council’s insurers to enable them to settle the claim.
7.3/2/17 The treatment of moles in the Children’s play area: The Chairman reported that Mr. Goodchild would be taking action to address the problem in due course.
7.4/02/17 To set the letting fees for the pavilion and associated facilities 2017/2018: The Parish Council gave careful consideration to a detailed breakdown of income from, and expenditure on, the pavilion and playing field up to 31st January 2017, together with estimated income and expenditure for 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.
Members noted that during 2016/2017, expenditure on the pavilion and playing field was expected to exceed the income derived from them by the sum of £5,356.86 and that if letting fees remained at their current levels, expenditure on the facilities was expected to exceed the income derived from them by the sum of £3,315.50 during 2017/2018, provided the Parish Council spent all of the allocated general maintenance budget of £1,500.00 and paid the full amount of non-domestic rates of approximately £2,000.00. Members noted that if the cost of grass cutting and insurance were included in the calculation of expenditure, the anticipated deficit in 2017/2018 would be approximately £6,000.00.
The Parish Council then gave careful consideration to the cost of providing the facilities and to the individual needs of each user group.
Mr. Arthur and Mr. Rayner declared a financial interest in the Table-tennis club, being members, and played no part in the setting of their fees.
The Parish Council confirmed its commitment to subsidising the pavilion and playing field to a certain extent, so that as many local clubs and organisations as possible could use them. Members also acknowledged however that they had a duty to minimise the expense levied on those parishioners who did not use the facilities.
After due consideration the Parish Council agreed that the letting fees for the Pavilion 2017/2018 should be as follows:
Occasional Bookings: The rate for occasional bookings for Purleigh parishioners remain £7.50 per hour.
The rate for the hire of the pavilion on one Saturday evening and the following Sunday morning to prepare for and hold the annual plant sale remain £50.00.
Purleigh Croquet Club: The rates for Purleigh Croquet Club remain £6.50 per hour (hire of the pavilion from Mid-April to Mid-October for approximately three hours per week).
Whist Drive: The rates for the Whist Drive £6.50 per hour (hire of pavilion for approximately 2 hours every Monday evening).
Purleigh Old People’s Housing Association: The rates for Purleigh Old People’s Housing Association remain £6.50 per hour (hire of pavilion for approximately two hours on the fourth Friday of every other month).
Purleigh Playing Field Association (PPFA): It was agreed not to charge the PPFA in 2017/2018 for the hire of the pavilion to hold committee meetings in recognition of its fundraising efforts (12 evening meetings on the fourth Thursday of each month). This arrangement would however continue to be reviewed along with all the other hiring charges on an annual basis.
The fees for the PPFA to hold coffee mornings on the third Thursday of the month remain £6.50 per hour.
Table-tennis club: The fees for the table tennis club remain £6.50 per hour (hire of the pavilion on the first and third Thursday evenings of each month).
U3A Aviation group: The fees for the U3A aviation group remain £25 per session (hire of the pavilion on the third Tuesday afternoon in the month).
Kalma: The fees for Kalma remain £7.50 per hour (hire of the pavilion on Wednesday evenings).
Purleigh Cricket Club: Members noted the contents of a letter from Josh Taylor (Purleigh Cricket Club) which explained that the cricket club had had an issue in the last few years with declining membership and players only committing to one game each weekend instead of two.
As a result, at the end of last season the club made the decision to rationalise what games it was attempting to participate in and whilst it would continue to attempt to attract new members and encourage new young players, it had decided to pull out of the Sunday league and also to cut back on the number of midweek fixtures. This would allow the club to focus on the Saturday league, which had always been its primary objective, plus some other selected fixtures.
Mr. Taylor explained that in the past the Club’s usage had been approximately:
The duration of its usage of the pavilion at this time had been approximately 8 hours for weekend games and 4 hours for midweek games, which amounted to a usage of approximately 192 hours in the year or £4.43 per hour based on the £850 charge last year.
Members noted that the Club’s proposed revised usage for 2017 was expected to be as follows:
This would mean that the club hired the facilities for an anticipated 112 hours, which would amount to a fee of approximately £500 which Mr. Taylor hoped the Parish Council would be able to agree to, in order to support the club in trying to restructure its activities. According to Mr. Taylor if the fees were to remain as they were the club’s position would very quickly become unsustainable and in 2016 the club made a loss of approximately £450 (about 1/3rd of its reserves). There were a few other costs the club could look to cut but the letting fees were a large part of its expenditure and taking £350 from them to reflect the new usage would go a long way towards the club becoming financially sustainable.
Mr. Taylor hoped that the Parish Council would also take also into account the Cricket Club’s contribution to pavilion facilities (including the dishwasher and chairs, plus assisting the PPFA with new table tennis tables and clearing out the white garage) over the last few years.
The Parish Council appreciated the difficulties the cricket club was experiencing but still had a duty to Purleigh Council Tax payers to try to reduce the deficit.
Mr. Oliver proposed that the cricket club’s fees for the 2017 season be reduced by £100 to £750.
Mr. Potter tabled an amended proposal that the Cricket Club’s fees for the 2017 season be reduced by £50 to £800 which based on their anticipated usage would amount to a fee of approximately £50 a match, or less if they played additional fixtures, and which would still be less than South Woodham Ferrers Cricket Club paid for the use of the facilities for their matches.
On being put to the vote, Mr. Potter’s proposal was carried, there being three votes in favour, two votes against and one abstention.
On being put to the vote Mr. Arthur’s proposal was carried unanimously.
South Woodham Ferrers Cricket Club: It was agreed that the fees for South Woodham Ferrers Cricket Club for the 2017 season remain £60 per match (hire of the facilities for approximately 9 fixtures on Saturdays between May and September as agreed with Purleigh Cricket Club).
Woodham Athletic Football Club: It was agreed that the fees for Woodham Athletic Football Club remain £640 (hire of the pavilion and playing field on Sunday mornings between 1st October 2017 and 30th April 2018).
Woodham Athletic Reserves Football Club: It was agreed that the fees for Woodham Athletic Reserves Football Club for the 2017/2018 season remain £640 (hire of the pavilion and playing field on Sunday mornings between 1st October 2017 and 30th April 2018 when the pitch wasn’t being used by Woodham Athletic Football Club).
7.5/02/17 Other playing field and open space matters: Playing field ditch, rubbish clearance: Members noted that on Saturday, 4th February 2017 Mr. Arthur, Mr. Ash, Mr. Bardwell and Mr. Potter had removed some bags of rubbish and a cone from the ditch where they had accumulated by the culvert.
They were thanked very much for their efforts.
Garage Door: Members noted that at the January PPFA meeting, the Committee had noted that there was an issue with the garage door which was proving difficult to lock securely. The PPFA had therefore asked the Parish Council if it would be willing to have it mended. The PPFA would be happy to make a contribution towards the cost of the repairs.
It was agreed to obtain quotations for a new garage door.
Croquet Club: Members noted and approved that the Croquet club intended to have their lawns treated to eradicate broad leaf weeds including dandelions, and that the club understood that their chosen contractor would put up the appropriate signage.
8/02/17 TO CONSIDER THE DRAFT AGENDA OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING to be held on Thursday, 27th April 2017
The draft Agenda for the 2017 Annual Parish Meeting, circulated by the Clerk prior to the meeting, was discussed and approved without amendment.
It was agreed that the Clerk would send out notices of the meeting to the relevant speakers and invite them to deliver a brief résumé of their organisations’ activities during the last twelve months.
9/02/17 ALLOTMENT MATTERS
9.1/02/17 To receive a report of the site meeting agreed at the January 2017 meeting: The Chairman reported that he and Mr. Potter had met at the allotment site on Wednesday, 8th February 2017.
During the site meeting it had been noted that since Matt Oliver (the tenant of Plot 3) had cut the hedge on the left hand side of the site when viewing it from the road, much more light was getting in which would benefit tenants. The Parish Council expressed its thanks to Mr. Oliver for carrying out this work free of charge and on behalf of all the tenants. It had also been noted that there was a pile of clippings in the front left hand corner of the site adjacent to the road which required disposal.
The Parish Council therefore agreed to ask Mr. Oliver if he would be kind enough to burn the clippings on his plot, and in recognition of everything he had done to enhance the allotment site over the past twelve months, the Parish Council would waive his allotment rental fee of £25 in 2017/2018.
As the Chairman and Mr. Potter had found the gate to the site open on arrival at the site, the Clerk agreed to laminate a sign asking tenants to please keep the gate closed, the previous padlock and chain having been damaged.
10/02/17 FINANCIAL MATTERS
10.1/02/17 Internal audit for the period 1st April 2016 to 31st December 2016: Members noted that the Chairman had carried out an internal audit of the Parish Council’s accounts for the period 1st April 2016 to 31st December 2016 on Friday, 10th February 2017. There had been no matters arising from the audit to report to the Parish Council.
10.2/02/17 To consider a request for a grant from the Citizens Advice Bureau: Members noted that Lucy Bettley (Bureau Manager) had written to the Parish Council describing the advice service provided by Maldon & District Citizens Advice. She explained that during 2016 the service had advised 71 residents of Purleigh, a very large percentage of whom had a long-term health condition or a disability. The subject areas discussed had been wide ranging with the largest number of enquiries relating to benefits. The benefit system was particularly complex for those with severe health problems; in many cases the problems they encountered could only be resolved with the Advice Service’s help and it was these clients who were most likely to need a home visit as they were unable to go out.
Mrs. Bettley explained that as an independent charity the service was responsible for obtaining its own funding. It was supported by Maldon District Council to provide a generalist level advice service from Maldon itself, and by the Big Lottery Fund to provide specialist advice in debt, benefits and homelessness prevention.
The outreach and home visiting service had cost £16,000 to run in 2016. During 2017 several charitable three year grants (which had supported this aspect of the Service’s work) would end, leaving it unfunded. In order to be able to continue to provide home visits throughout the district she was writing to Parish Councils to ask them to consider making a contribution to this vital service.
It was agreed to give Maldon & District Citizens Advice a grant of £100 in the current financial year.
10.3/02/17 To decide on the amount of grant towards swimming lessons in 2017/2018 for children of Purleigh residents who attend Purleigh Community Primary School: The Parish Council received the School’s swimming accounts for the 2016 swimming season as follows:
Members also noted that there were currently 214 pupils on roll, 61 of whom lived in Purleigh parish.
Mr. Figg thanked the Parish Council for its continued support and for last season’s grant of £1,400.00. The Parish Council’s generosity had enabled the school to continue to offer pupils within the Purleigh parish catchment a reduction of £7.00. Mr. Figg sincerely hoped that the Parish Council would agree to continue with this level of support.
It was agreed that on behalf of the Parish Council Mr. Arthur would make an appointment with Mr. Figg to obtain further clarification of the accounts and to ascertain the cost of swimming lessons to Purleigh and non-Purleigh residents.
10.4/02/17 To receive a report of receipts: Members received a report of the following receipts:
10.5/02/17 To approve payment of accounts between meetings: Members noted and approved that the following account had been paid between meetings, adhering strictly to the procedures outlined in the Parish Council’s Financial Regulations 5.5.
Mr. Ash reported that Mr. Mellor had held a meeting with the local First Responder who would order the appropriate defibrillator and security box etc. for installation on an exterior wall of The Bell Public House. As the equipment was being purchased through the NHS Trust the purchase would not be subject VAT and so the final cost would be less than the £1,600 originally estimated. The fund raising group were still considering the need for increased security however via the installation of a suitable CCTV device. The next stage would be to arrange suitable training and Mr. Mellor was planning to compile a list of individuals who needed to consider training as well as those who would like to get involved. An update on the fundraising would also be published in the forthcoming edition of the Parish Magazine.
10.5/02/17 To approve payment of accounts to hand and transfers between bank accounts: Members unanimously approved payment of the following accounts to hand:
Transfers: Members noted and approved the following bank transfer:
1 On 8th February 2017 the sum of £1,971.88 had been transferred from the Business Premium Account (80731099) to the Community Current Account (40731080) to cover payment of the accounts to be paid at the Parish Council meeting held on 10th February 2017 and leave approximately £1,500 in the current account.
Bank reconciliation as at 31st January 2017: A bank reconciliation for the period 1st April 2016 to 31st January 2017 was carried out by Mr. Rayner and approved by the Parish Council as follows:
Statement of Accounts:
Maldon District Community Safety Partnership Residents Questionnaire: Questionnaires were distributed amongst Members.
Dengie Hundred Group of Parish Councils
Members noted that the next quarterly meeting of the Group would take place in Burnham-on-Crouch Town Council Offices on 15th March 2017 at 7.30 pm.
12/02/17 POINTS OF INFORMATION
Members did not have any points of information to share.
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 9.15 p.m.