MINUTES OF A MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL,

HELD IN THE WELLS PAVILION, HOWE GREEN ROAD

ON FRIDAY, 9TH JUNE 2017 AT 7.30 P.M.

 

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

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

Three representatives of the Purleigh Community Fund (Christina Chan, Libby Johns and Rachel Moore) attended the open session prior to the start of the meeting, as did Mr. John Archer (District Council Ward Member). During the public session Christina Chan presented the Community Fund committee’s ideas to improve the children’s play area which aimed to enhance the landscape of Purleigh and create a community asset to be proud of. Phase one of the project had a target spend of £5,000 to integrate and improve the current play area including the stream and wooded area; install a picnic table, benches and litter bins with landscaping, as required. The Committee hoped this phase could be completed by the end of 2017. Members advised the Committee to contact the croquet and cricket clubs to ascertain the boundaries of their playing areas before finalising its proposals. 

The meeting was not attended by any members of the public. 

 

1/06/17 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE 

Apologies were received from Mr. S. Bardwell and Mr. G. Strathern who were unable to attend the meeting due to prior personal commitments, from Mr. B. Oliver who was unwell and from Miss Sue White (District Council Ward Member) and Mrs Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) who were unable to attend due to prior personal and professional commitments. 

 

2/06/17 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. 

 

3/06/17 THE MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON 12TH MAY 2017 having been circulated to all Members, were approved, and signed by the Chairman.

 

4/06/17 TO DISCUSS ANY MATTERS OF INFORMATION ARISING FROM THOSE MINUTES:

 

4.1/06/17 Clerk: The Clerk did not have any matters arising from the May 2017 Parish Council meeting to report to Members. 

4.2/06/17 Members’: Members did not have any matters arising from the May 2017 Parish Council meeting to discuss.

 

5/06/17 PLANNING MATTERS

 

5.1/06/17 Decisions taken between meetings: FUL/MAL/17/00310 Retrospective – Erection of boarded gate and fence. Blackstone Farm, Lodge Lane, Purleigh. Ms Elizabeth Padfield.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.

 

LDE/MAL/17/00503 Claim for a Lawful Development Certificate for the existing use of a building as a single dwelling house for in excess of four years. Domestic Unit, Old Whitmans Farm, Hackmans Lane, Purleigh. Mr. Alex MacFadzean.

 

The Parish Council did not have any information which contradicted that supplied by the applicant.

 

5.2/06/17 Current applications: HOUSE/MAL/17/00519 Loft conversion of existing bungalow. Pipkins, Maldon Road, Latchingdon. Mr. and Mrs. F. Dash.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.

 

FUL/MAL/17/00489 Variation of Condition 1 on approved planning permission FUL/MAL/16/01470 (Vary condition 2 of approved planning application FUL/MAL/12/00929 – Development of former nursery for four detached residential properties with associated parking and garages. Change of use of land to residential.) Land rear of Greenvale, Chelmsford Road, Purleigh. Mr. Robert Steed.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APROVAL.

 

HOUSE/MAL/17/00622 & LBC/MAL/17/00584 Amendments to works previously approved under application numbers HOUSE/MAL/16/1159 and LBC/MAL/16/01160. Mill House, Mill Lane, Purleigh.

 

The Parish Council had no objection to the application, but deferred to the expertise and knowledge of the District Council’s Listed Building Officer to determine whether the work proposed was appropriate and would not harm the fabric or integrity of the building.

 

5.3/06/17 Notification of appeals: Members noted that the Parish Council had not been notified of any Appeals between meetings.

 

5.4/06/17 Maldon District Council planning decisions: Members noted that Maldon District Council had APPROVED the following planning applications:

 

  • HOUSE/MAL/17/00279 Proposed single storey rear extension with flat roof. Proposed cottage style dormer and velux windows to first floor flank elevation loft space. Montrose, Birchwood Road.

  • HOUSE/MAL/17/00361 Proposed garage extension and roof conversion (2nd application under 16/00965/HOUSE). Arundel House, Lower Burnham Road.

 

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

 

  • HOUSE/MAL/17/00299 One and a half storey side extension to existing residential annex. Oakfields House, Hackmans Lane.

  • OUT/MAL/17/00319 Construction of two dwellings in replacement of the existing dwelling, Park House, along with parking and landscaping. Park House, Maldon Road.

  • FUL/MAL/17/00300Construction of a new dwelling. Rear garden of The Old Post Office, Church Hill.

  • OUT/MAL/17/00350 Outline planning permission with some matters reserved for the demolition of dwelling granted through application LDE/MAL/16/01289 and construction of replacement dwelling, with new access, outline with matters of access, siting and scale considered. Annexe, Oakbridge, Marlpits Road.

 

5.5/06/17 Maldon District Design Guide public consultation: Members noted that Maldon District Council was consulting on the design guide and associated papers (which had been circulated amongst Members prior to the meeting) until Friday, 30th June 2017. Design guidance for the District was required under Policy D1 Design Quality and Built Environment within the emerging Local Development Plan (LDP) for all types of development, whether a residential extension, infill developments, small village developments or large residential projects.  Policy D1 acknowledged the District’s distinctive character and how good design guidance was essential for residents and customers to:-

 

‘Ensure that all development was visually attractive, responsive to local character, promoted healthy communities and created buildings that were durable, adaptable, and functioned well in their surroundings.  Good design enabled and encouraged people to live healthy lifestyles, reduce the risk of crime and created accessible environments which were inclusive for all sectors of society for social interaction.’

 

Members noted that Maldon District Council welcomed comments on the content of the Guide as well as on its usefulness.  It was intended that the Guide would be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document.

 

The Guide was supported by national guidance: Technical Housing Standard – nationally described space standard, County-wide guidance within the Essex Design Guide and existing Supplementary Planning Documents including Vehicle Parking Standards, MDC, 2006 (now under review).  Four short Technical Documents produced by Maldon District Council further expanded on the Guide and supported and assisted in the design process, depending on the type of development proposed.  These were:

 

  • Planning and Noise

  • Assessing Air Quality and Emission Impacts from Development

  • Older Persons Housing

  • Landscape and Green Infrastructure

The Parish Council agreed not to formally respond to the Design Guide consultation.

 

5.6/06/17 Other planning matters: Unauthorised development, Land opposite Hide Away, Hackmans Lane, Cock Clarks: Members noted that with the approval of the Chairman and Vice Chairman, between meetings the Parish Council had asked Maldon District Council to investigate an apparent development taking place on agricultural land in Hackmans Lane, Purleigh, opposite Hide Away (CM3 6RE) as the Parish Council had received two complaints from concerned parishioners. These residents estimated that in excess of 100 tonnes of rubble had been imported onto the site with associated plant and machinery. Maldon District Council had subsequently confirmed that Officers would investigate to ensure that no unauthorised development was taking place in the open countryside and in such an unsustainable rural location, and to that end had commenced two investigations as follows:

  • 17/00223/OPCOMP Unauthorised erection of an outbuilding which does not appear to be within permitted development.

  • 17/00222/CU Importation and storage of rubble.

6/06/17 HIGHWAY MATTERS

 

6.1/06/17 Obstruction of the Public Right of Way between Farther Howe Green and the Water Tower (Hackmans Lane): Members noted that the Parish Council had received an email drawing the Parish Council’s attention to the condition of the footpath from Farther Howe Green to the water tower on Hackmans Lane.   Apparently there was no finger post on the road at Farther Howe Green showing where the path began.  In addition, the first part of the path (more or less due west up the side of the field) was just passable, but where it turned south west a waymark post indicated the general direction, but the landowner had not maintained the path across the field towards the water tower.

 

All the other paths the walker had encountered, some in Purleigh and some in Cold Norton, had been beautifully cleared and as a result the Parish Council had been asked to congratulate the landowners concerned.

 

Members noted that Robert Boult (Essex County Council PROW Area Inspector) had left Essex County Council and that the Parish Council had not been informed who his replacement was.

 

6.2/06/17 Invitation to participate in the 2017/2018 Winter Salt Bag Partnership Scheme: The Parish Council confirmed that it still wished to participate in this scheme and that it did not require any more salt.

 

6.3/06/17 Highway enquiries – Contacting Essex County Council: Members noted that the Highway.enquiries@essex.gov.uk email address had closed on 19th April 2017 following the introduction of the Highways ‘Tell Us’ and ‘Check a Query’ web tools.

 

  • To report a new highway issue customers were directed to the online form tell us  

 

  • To review the status of a previously reported highway issue, by either a reference number or searching the location, they were advised to use check a query

  

Since this change, several parishioners had asked the Clerk to report highway issues on their behalf as either they didn’t have access to the internet or the on line reporting tools didn’t appear to respond. The lack of an email address was extremely frustrating as the on line reporting tool was restrictive, often unresponsive and frequently did not match the problem or issue that the Parish Council wanted to report or raise e.g. the recent possible encroachment onto the highway at New Hall Vineyard.

 

6.4/06/17 Other highway matters: Request for speed survey, Hackmans Lane: Members noted that a resident of Cock Clarks had asked the Parish Council to request a speed survey in Hackmans Lane as they believed the problem of speeding traffic was becoming worse.

 

It was agreed to request that a speed survey was undertaken.

 

7/06/17 PLAYING FIELD AND OPEN SPACES

 

7.1/06/17 Children’s Play Area: Mr. Ash reported that he had carried out his weekly inspections of the Children’s Play Area and that all the equipment available for use appeared to be in a satisfactory condition but signs of mole activity were starting to reappear.

 

Members noted that Playscene intended to start work to replace the vandalised tyre traverse and monkey ladder in the Children’s Play Area on Tuesday, 13th June 2017.

 

7.2/06/17 To receive a report of the annual playground inspection and put any remedial works in hand: Members noted that Aviva had included the following Endorsements in the Parish Council’s Insurance Policy (24414511CHC with Came & Company) regarding playground inspection:

 

  • The insured must ensure that in connection with playground and amusement devices (including sand pits and paddling pools) all equipment is manufactured and installed to the appropriate standard and maintained in good condition; is inspected, by a competent person, at least weekly and all defects or risks to health or safety immediately rectified or the equipment or device taken out of use.

  • The insured will erect where necessary suitable signs detailing any information that is necessary for the safe use of the equipment device or facility clearly stating any restrictions on its use.

 

Members noted that the children’s play area had been inspected by Alan Lingley RP11 Annual Inspector on 26th April 2017 and had been awarded an overall risk assessment of: 9 – Low Risk compared with 8 – Low Risk in 2016.

 

The Inspector’s recommendations were noted by the Parish Council and it was agreed to pass a copy of his report to Mr. Ovel, the Parish Council’s groundsman, and ask him to attend to the minor maintenance issues highlighted therein.

 

Members noted that the Parish Council had allocated the sum of £500 in the precept 2017/2018 for the playground inspection and maintenance costs.

 

7.3/06/17 Repairs to the exterior of the pavilion: Members were reminded that at the January 2017 meeting Mr. Potter had reported that during a site meeting with Mr. Arthur held on 31st December 2016 they had prioritised the following repairs to the exterior of the Pavilion (Minute 7.4/01/17), having studied the quotation for further repairs provided by Mr. Russell (Nestwood Building Services):

 

To take up floorboards directly in front of the main doors to expose the floor plate which was completely rotten and showing signs of dry rot (cuboidal cracking) and replace. Reinstate floor boards

Cost labour and materials           £550.00

 

Mr. Potter and Mr. Arthur had also felt that the east end gable and barge board needed re-painting as did the entrance door to the lobby and adjoining walls, and a small piece of timber needed repairing on the north wall.

 

It was agreed that Mr. Potter and Mr. Arthur would negotiate with Mr. Russell regarding the cost of the extra work identified, with the aim of completing it all within the £1,000 allocated in the precept for exterior repairs to the pavilion in 2017/2018.

 

Following the Chairman and Mr. Potter’s meeting with Mr. Russell held on Monday, 29th May 2017, Mr. Russell (Nestwood Building Services) provided the following estimate for the Parish Council’s consideration:

 

Supply all necessary equipment for safe access at height.

 

View from front:

Effect repair to sprung shiplap left hand side

 

Left hand gable end and walls:

Apply two coats ‘Bedec’ matt black barn paint to walls

Take down guttering and set aside for re-use

Scrap black fascias and soffits, prime, 2 x undercoat and one white topcoat

Prepare and paint door (Blue?)

Prepare and paint window (undercoat and top coat white)

Repair vent if possible, if not advise extra cost

Refit guttering

 

Right hand gable end and wall:

Apply two coats ‘Bedec’ matt black barn paint to shower wall

Take down guttering and set aside for re-use

Scrap black fascias and soffits, prime, 2 x undercoat and one white topcoat

Prepare and paint window (undercoat and top coat white)

Clear site of all arisings

 

Total cost labour and materials           £1,075

 

It was agreed that if Mr. Russell could carry out the above work for the sum of £1,000 rather than £1,075 as quoted, he would be authorised to proceed, subject to the receipt of an amended quotation.

 

It was also agreed that Mr. Russell could start work on the inside of the pavilion (to take up floorboards directly in front of the main doors to expose the floor plate which was completely rotten and showing signs of dry rot and replace) on Monday, 12th June 2017 and that this work be carried out for the sum of £550, as per his estimate.

 

7.4/06/17 Broken Water Heater in the Pavilion: Members were reminded that at the May meeting (Minute 14.4/05/17) it had been agreed that if, after further investigation, it couldn’t be proved that the PCP board was causing the fault in the water boiler, the Parish Council would consider removing it and replacing it with either a Baby Burco water boiler or two new kettles, as the cost of repairing the Marco water boiler would be prohibitive given the age of the equipment and the money the Parish Council had spent on maintaining it thus far.

 

Mr. Rayner reported that possible repairs to the water boiler were still in hand.

 

7.5/06/17 To receive a report of the annual tree inspection: Members noted that the Parish Council had set aside the sum of £1,000 in the precept 2017/18 for the maintenance of the Parish Council’s trees and hedges.

 

The contents of a report on the condition of the Parish Council’s tree stock, prepared by Mr. Potter following the annual inspection carried out by the Chairman and Mr. Potter on 5th June 2017, were noted by the Parish Council as follows:

 

Churchyard

Members noted that there was an overhanging small dead branch on a tree in the Old Rectory garden near the entrance to Rigby’s Path. There was also one dead Holly tree on the south side near the porch, which was recommended for removal. Everything else seemed to be in good condition.

 

War Memorial

All trees seemed in good condition

 

Playing Field

There was one small dead tree in or very near the roadside hedge which should be removed before it fell in to the road.

 

One tree near the old cricket practice nets area was mostly dead but was struggling to regenerate itself. At present it appeared quite safe. It had been photographed so it could be monitored and compared with its condition next year.

 

There was a small dead Elm tree in the hedgerow next to the children’s’ play area (but on the neighbouring property) which could fall across the ditch and on to the playing field. The Chairman and Mr. Potter suggested it was removed as soon as possible.

 

Everything else seemed to be in good condition.

 

The Common

Apart from a few small dead Elms which gave no cause for concern, everything seemed to be in good condition.

 

Allotments

The one large Oak tree on the roadside looked very healthy.

 

It was agreed to ask Andrew Macmorland to take down the three trees recommended in the report.

 

7.6/06/17 To receive a report of the risk assessment carried out in All Saints Churchyard, including memorial inspections: The Chairman and Mr. Potter reported that three memorials were giving cause for concern. It was agreed that the Chairman would liaise with Mr. Bardwell and ask SP Bardwell Ltd to provide a quotation for the work required to make the memorials safe to be considered by the Parish Council at the July Parish Council meeting.

 

7.7/06/17 Other playing field and open space matters: Grass cutting, The Glebe: Members note that the Parish Council had received a complaint about the ‘length of the grass on the verge along the main part of the Glebe, which looked really untidy compared to the area by the shop that the Parish [Council] looked after’.

 

It was agreed to advise concerned residents to contact Maldon District Council (who cut the verges under contract to Essex County Council) and explain to Officers that the grass verge in question was an ornamental verge and therefore needed more frequent cutting than the normal highway verge.

 

8/06/17 Social Media for Parish Councils

 

Members noted that this item appeared on the Agenda at the suggestion of Mr. Rayner. There was now a thriving Purleigh including Cock Clarks Facebook group. Training on the use of social media by Parish Councils was periodically available from the EALC and the next scheduled course was due to take place on 10th October 2017.

 

Members noted that a copy of NALC’s guide to using digital communications to get ‘a Parish Council’s message across’ had been placed in the circulation folder for Members’ information.

 

It was agreed to keep this matter under review, once Members had read the guidance provided by the NALC and more details were known about the forthcoming changes to data protection law. It was also agreed that the Clerk and/or interested Members should undertake training on the use of social media by Parish Councils.

 

9/06/17 FINANCIAL MATTERS

 

9.1/06/17 To receive a report from the independent auditor, including section 4 of the Annual Return: Members noted that Mr. Smith-Daye had carried out an internal audit of the accounts for the financial year ending 31st March 2017 and completed his report to the external auditor (section 4 of the Annual Return) on 15th May 2017. There were no matters arising from the internal audit to report to the Parish Council.

 

Members noted that the Clerk had been commended by Mr. Smith-Daye for continuing to provide full information and a thorough, clear and accurate trail of how the financial matters of the Parish Council had been dealt with during the period under review.

 

The Parish Council’s completed Annual Return for the year ended 31st March 2017 had been sent to Littlejohn LLP for external audit and copies of completed sections 1, 2 and 4 along with ‘Notices of public rights and publication of unaudited annual return accounts for the year ended 31st March 2017’ had been published on the Parish Council’s website and on the notice boards alongside copies of ‘Council accounts - a summary of your rights’, as required by the new Regulations.

 

9.2/06/17 To receive a report of receipts: members received a report of the following receipts:

 

 

FOPC

Pavilion hire (annual plant sale) £50.00

Mr. A. Harkness

Pavilion hire £25.00

 

  £75.00

 

 

 9.3/06/17 To approve payments of accounts between meetings: Members noted and approved that the following accounts had been paid between meetings, adhering strictly to the procedures outlined in the Parish Council’s Financial Regulation 5.5.

 

NWG Business

Water bill re: Pavilion and playing field £15.78

NWG Business

Water bill re: Allotments £43.39

 

  £59.17

 

 

9.4/06/17 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 – May 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 – May 2017    

 

20 hours @ £7.50 per hour   £150.00
       

Lambert Chapman LLP

Independent review of financial    
 

Statements for the year ended 31/03/17

£250.00  
 

VAT

£50.00  

 

    £300.00
       

Maldon District Council

Play area inspection and report £56.00  

 

VAT £11.20  

 

    £67.20

A.G. Macmorland

 Grass cutting – May 2017 £750.00  

   Farming Partnership

VAT £150.00  

 

    £900.00
       

Mrs. Jane Potter

Petty Cash – Reimbursement    

 

Postage   £15.95
       

Aldermore Bank Plc

Printer toner (2 cartridges) £129.22  

 

VAT £25.84  

 

    £155.06
       

Aldermore Bank Plc

Photocopying £14.80  

 

VAT £2.96  

 

    £17.76

 

    £3,117.75

 

 

 

As Mr. Potter was the only councillor present who was authorised to sign cheques on behalf of the Parish Council, it was agreed that Mr. Strathern or Mr. Oliver would also sign the cheques at their earliest convenience to comply with the Parish Council’s Financial Regulation 6.4.

 

Transfers: Members noted and approved the following bank transfer:

 

  1. On 8th June 2017 the sum of £2,564.20 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 May 2017: A bank reconciliation for the period 1st April 2017 to 31st May 2017 was carried out by Mr. Rayner as follows:

 

Statement of Accounts:

 

 

Receipts:

£75,746.00 Barclays Bank Plc:  

Expenditure

£  7,495.58    Current account £1,939.90
       Business Premium Account £40,833.23
       Historic Buildings Fund £8,768.69
       Miss Pawsey’s Legacy £16,658.60
  ________ Petty Cash £50.00

 

£68,250.42   £68,250.42

 

 

10/06/17 CORRESPONDENCE

 

Dengie Hundred Group of Parish Councils:

Members noted that the next quarterly meeting of the group would take place on 21st June at 8.00 p.m. in Althorne Village Hall, Summerhill, Althorne. CM3 6BY.

 

It was agreed to ask Mr. Bardwell if he was available to attend as Mr. Rayner, the Parish Council’s other representative on the group, had a prior engagement.

 

11/06/17 POINTS OF INFORMATION

 

Members did not have any points of information to report.

 

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 8.40 p.m.