MINUTES OF A MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL,

HELD IN THE WELLS PAVILION, HOWE GREEN ROAD

ON FRIDAY, 11th OCTOBER 2019 AT 7.00 P.M.

 

Members present: Mr. G. Rayner (Chairman), Mr. S. Bardwell, Mr. B. Oliver and Mr. S. Potter.

 

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

 

Mrs. Jane Fleming and Mrs. Sue White (District Council Ward Members) attended the public session prior to the start of the meeting, as did two members of the public.

 

Mrs. Jane Fleming, Mrs. Sue White and two members of the public attended part of the meeting.

 

1/10/19 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

Apologies were received from Mr. N. Arthur, Mr. C. Ash and Mr. G. Strathern who were unable to attend the meeting due to prior personal and professional commitments. Apologies were also received Mrs. Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) who was unable to attend due to a prior civic engagement.

 

2/10/19 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATIONS (Localism Act 2011)

 

Mr. Potter declared a financial interest in Agenda item 5.2/10/19 relating to application COUPA/MAL/19/00964, being the co-owner of the site.

 

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

 

3/10/19 THE MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 13th SEPTEMBER 2019 having been circulated to all Members, were approved, and signed by the Chairman.

 

4/10/19 TO DISCUSS ANY MATTERS OF INFORMATION ARISING FROM THOSE MINUTES:

 

4.1/10/19 Clerk: The Clerk did not have any matters of information arising from the September 2019 Parish Council meeting to report to Members.

 

4.2/10/19 Members’: Members did not have any matters of information arising from the September 2019 Parish Council meeting to discuss.

 

5/10/19 PLANNING MATTERS

 

5.1/10/19 Decisions taken between meetings: Members noted that the Parish Council had not made any recommendations on planning applications to Maldon District Council between meetings.

 

5.2/10/19 Current Applications: LBC/MAL/19/00973 Removal of two partition walls, Purleigh Hall Barn, The Street, Purleigh.

 

The Parish Council recommended that the determination of this application be left up to the discretion of Tim Howson, the District Council’s Listed Buildings Officer, who was best place to assess its impact on the inside of Purleigh Hall Barn.

 

COUPA/MAL/19/00964 Application for prior approval for a proposed change of use of agricultural building to a dwelling house (Class C3) and for associated operational development. Barn at Lower Barn Farm, Roundbush Road, Purleigh.

 

Having declared a financial interest in this application Mr. Potter left the pavilion and played no part in the Parish Council’s consideration of it.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.

 

 

FUL/MAL/19/00897 Change of use to two existing buildings and link extension to provide a canine crèche dog day care business (sui generis use.) Warehouse, Oakbridge, Marlpits Road, Purleigh.

 

The Parish Council believed that the proposed development was sustainable and did not conflict with Policy S1 of the Approved Maldon District Local Development Plan 2014 – 2029, but RECOMMENDED THAT APPROVAL was temporary, conditional on further satisfactory noise assessments being undertaken once the business was established to protect the amenities of the locality and neighbouring property owners.

5.3/10/19 Notification of appeals: Members noted that the Parish Council had not been notified of any Appeals or Appeal decisions between meetings.

 

5.4/10/19 Maldon District Council planning decisions: Members noted that Maldon District Council had REFUSED to grant planning permission for the following development:

 

  • FUL/MAL/19/00667 Siting of two static caravans for use as short term holiday lets between 1st February and 30th December. Oakfield Farm, Hyde Chase, Purleigh.

  • FUL/MAL/19/00808Demolition of existing B1 office and construction of new dwelling house including change of use to residential. Former Veterinary Surgery, Chelmsford Road, Purleigh.

 

5.5/10/19 Other planning matters: Members did not have any other planning matters to discuss.

 

6/10/19 HIGHWAY MATTERS

 

6.1/10/19 Closure of Wellinditch Bridge, Stow Maries and associated traffic management: Members noted that Highways England had confirmed that the road closure would be in force at least until Christmas.

 

It was also noted that at a meeting of Stow Maries Parish Council held on 16th September the following points had been discussed, including Purleigh Parish Council’s suggestion for the introduction of a one way system in Church Lane and Honey Pot Lane. Members noted that according to the Clerk of Stow Maries Parish Council:

 

  1. A comprehensive diversion plan needed to be prepared and put in place by Highways England and Essex County Council Highways, taking into account the extra strain being put on other roads and parishes, especially now the repairs were going to take months rather than weeks to be completed.  Concerns were raised about the existing diversions and the lack of clarity of the associated signage.

  2. Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) had raised Purleigh Parish Council’s suggestion for the introduction of a temporary one-way system, which had not been well received, as it had been deemed that it would make matters worse for residents, the lanes not having been built for the volume and type of traffic that would be using them.

  3. Honey Pot Lane needed signs installed saying “Closed at both ends” and “Access Only” as well as “Business as usual” signs to assist businesses.

  4. Church Lane needed the same.

  5. On the bend in Cold Norton there was a sign reading “Diverted Traffic” and an arrow pointing down Woodham Road which needed removing as it was confusing. Signs clearly stating that Woodham Road was closed and that there was no access to the Lower Burnham Road and South Woodham Ferrers due to Urgent Bridge Repairs, together with a “Business as usual” sign were required in its place.

  6. At Palepit Corner there were multiple signs which were confusing. Irrelevant ones e.g. those advertising Steeple Bay Caravan Park needed removing so that drivers could focus on the diversion information.  The diversion signs were also too close to the junction and needed to warn drivers of the diversion earlier on Latchingdon Road as well just before the junction.

  7. Stating Woodham Road was closed due to urgent bridge repairs, access to the Lower Burnham Road and South Woodham Ferrers only via Fambridge Road was problematic as getting out of Fambridge Road was very difficult at peak times. It had been suggested that 3-way traffic signals could be introduced to improve traffic flow and prevent long tail backs at Palepit Corner.

  8. At Edwins Hall Lane there needed to be “No Access to Stow Maries” and “No HGV's” signs.

  9. Residents of Cold Norton and Purleigh should be directed to go via Palepit Corner.

  10. All businesses in the area should be notified and asked to contact their delivery drivers to make them aware of the alternative routes, to reduce the amount of HGV's using inappropriate roads.

 

6.2/10/19 Fambridge Road: Traffic issues in the vicinity of Wheatsheaf House: Members noted that Jane Fleming (District Council Ward Member) had been asked to raise this issue by an affected parishioner. Cllr. Fleming reported the concerns of the resident about the volume, type and speed of traffic using this part of Fambridge Road. Members believed that the increase in traffic was largely due to the closure of the main road through Mundon. In the past traffic speed checks carried out by Essex Police’s accident reduction unit, at the Parish Council’s request, had indicated that speeds along the road were not excessive.

 

6.3/10/19 Other highway matters: Members did not have any other highway matters to discuss.

 

7/10/19 PLAYING FIELD AND OPEN SPACES

 

7.1/10/19 Children’s play Area: Monthly report: In the absence of Mr. Ash, Mr. Oliver reported that Mr. Ash had completed his weekly inspections and that all items of play equipment appeared to be in a satisfactory condition.

 

There remained a problem however with the picnic benches which still weren’t properly secured in the ground as Mr. Amos had not yet managed to fit them with longer chains (See Minute 7.1/09/19.)

 

Mr. Bardwell, whose company S.P. Bardwell Ltd, was preparing the ground for the new play equipment, kindly agreed to remove the benches and store them whilst the play area refurbishment was in progress and then to re-install them with longer chains once the work had been completed.

 

Members noted that Broxap Ltd were hoping to start work on the Children’s Play Area on 31st October 2019 and would take an estimated 12 working days, finishing on Friday 15th November.

 

Mr. Bardwell and Mr. Potter agreed to meet at the playing field to establish the best access route for Broxap Ltd’s vehicles to reach the Children’s Play Area, and to mark it out to avoid confusion and to minimise any damage to the surface of the field.

 

7.2/10/19 Notice boards in the parish: Notice board, Rudley Green (Claim X115301/JJC): Members noted that after a considerable amount of negotiation, Core Claims, the loss adjuster working for Marker Study, had agreed to settle in the sum of £1,000.00.

 

Mr. Potter reported that the notice board at Roundbush could now be unlocked but not the one at Pump Corner, and that the notice board at Farther Howe Green was getting beyond repair.

 

7.3/10/19 Other playing field and open space matters: Smoke alarm: Members noted that the smoke alarm in the hall had been going off in the Pavilion and was difficult to turn off. It was agreed that Mr. Potter would ask an electrician to investigate and repair.

 

8/10/19 Parish Council Website and Accessibility Regulations Compliance

 

Members noted that, as agreed at the September meeting (Minute 8/09/19), the Clerk had liaised with Mr. Rapley, (the Parish Council’s webmaster) with a view to the Parish Council’s website achieving compliance with the new Accessibility Regulations. Mr. Rapley had been hoping for information from essexinfo.net or the Essex Association of Local Councils as to whether there was to be a joint approach to this problem. Unfortunately, he had heard nothing from these organisations or Cambridge Open Systems about whether they would be providing a service after March 2020.

 

A search of the Internet had revealed several website providers and development tools which could be used free of charge but these would not be compatible with the new website regulations. The website 'parish–counsel.com' was free if advertisements were allowed or would cost £29.95 per annum if not. There were several Parish Councils using this provider but this site appeared to be dated and the websites of its clients did not appear to be Website Accessibility Guideline compliant

 

According to Mr. Rapley, the website provider, 'myparishcouncil.co.uk' was compliant and would cost a minimum £10 per month (£120 per annum.) The TEEC Ltd template proposed by this company would meet the new standards and the Parish Council’s requirements.

 

Mr. Rapley’s main concern was whether this provider would be viable in the long term if insufficient councils used the service. Its website promoting the company’s services for parish council websites had been developed as recently as 2018 but as no other company had promoted their services in the sector Mr. Rapley suggested it may be useful to talk to TEEC Ltd to arrange to see a demonstration of the update and maintenance methods used with their website.

 

Members noted that Mr. Rapley was willing to assist in evaluating the provider’s services and in transporting the Parish Council’s website to a new one. The current website was valid until September 2020 or with the demise of essexinfo.net only until March 2020 and any new site needed to be immediately compliant to satisfy the deadline of September 2019 which applied to all new websites.

 

If it was simply a case of designing the template so that it was similar in appearance and layout to the existing one, transferring the files to the new server would be fairly simple, just time consuming and Mr. Rapley had estimated the time needed to achieve this would be about 20 hours (to define the template content, transfer the files and test the result) which would result in a cost of approximately £320. Members noted however, that the cost was dependent on the simplicity of using the template facilities which could only be determined during a demonstration. If the files were passed to the provider and they developed the website along the lines of the current website there would likely be a cost of £500 to £1000.

 

It was agreed to provide Mr. Rapley with a copy of ‘Websites and other IT Information’ prepared by the EALC, which listed a range of individuals and companies who could offer a replacement for essexinfo.net for the parish sector, for his assessment.

 

9/10/19 TO AWARD THE GRASS CUTTING CONTRACT FOR THE 2020 SEASON

 

The following tenders for the grass cutting and hedge-trimming contract in Purleigh for the 2020 season were opened by the Chairman, and their contents considered by the Parish Council:

 

A.G. Macmorland Farming Partnership 

                            £5,004.00

Maldon District Council

  £2,965.16

 

Members noted that on this occasion P.G. Groundcare had been unable to provide a quotation for Members’ consideration.

 

Having given the quotations very careful consideration it was unanimously agreed to award the grass cutting contract for the 2020 season to A.G. Macmorland Farming Partnership. Members appreciated that A.G. Macmorland was more expensive, but the flexibility he offered within the contract was an extra level of service Members considered worth paying for. Mr. Macmorland had a proven track record of excellent work in the parish and never undertook cuts when they weren’t necessary. As a result the maximum price quoted in his tenders was rarely achieved. He was also more than willing to undertake extra cuts to prepare the field for cricket matches or special events at very short notice and his exemplary work was particularly appreciated in the cemetery and churchyard which contained numerous memorials and as a result were very time consuming to cut properly.

 

10/10/19 ALLOTMENT MATTERS

 

10.1/10/19 Damage to crops: Mr. Potter reported that he and Mr. Strathern had inspected the damage to some crops on one of the plots, which in their joint opinion appeared to have been sprayed with chemicals.

 

It was agreed to ask one of the tenants to burn the hedge trimmings at the front of the site as soon as possible to clear the area. Mr. Bardwell also agreed to see if his wood chipper would be capable of dealing with the vegetation if for some reason it couldn’t be burnt.

 

10.2/10/19 Allotment tenancy: Members noted that, as previously agreed, a Purleigh resident had taken over the tenancy of Plot 9.

 

11/10/19 FINANCIAL MATTERS

11.1/10/19 Internal audit of accounts for the period 1st April 2019 to 30th September 2019: Members noted that John Smith-Daye (Lambert Chapman LLP) would carry out a half yearly independent audit of the Parish Council’s accounts for the period 1st April 2019 to 30th September 2019 on 30th October 2019 at 12.30 p.m.

 

11.2/10/19 To receive a Statement of Accounts for the period 1st April 2019 to 30th September 2019: It was unanimously agreed to approve the Statement of Accounts for the period 1st April 2019 to 30th September 2019 as follows:

 

Statement of Accounts:

 

Receipts: :

£96,779.24

Barclays Bank Plc

 

Expenditure

£27,117.32

Current account

£516.38

 

 

Business Premium Account

£36,930.28

 

 

Capital Projects Fund

£24,874.47

 

 

Legacy

£7,290.79

 

________

Petty Cash

£50.00

 

£69,661.92

 

£69,661.92

 

 

Bank statements detailing the transactions to date in all four of the Parish Council’s bank accounts for the period 1st April 2019 to 30th September 2019 were available at the meeting for Members’ inspection, as part of the internal audit process.

 

11.3/10/19 To carry out a financial review 2019/2020 and consider forward estimates 2020/2021: Members considered a detailed breakdown of income and expenditure for the period 1st April 2019 to 30th September 2019; estimated income and expenditure for the financial year 2019/2020 and a breakdown of anticipated income and expenditure 2020/2021.



Members noted that this review formed part of the Parish Council’s internal audit procedure as required by the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011.



Members noted that general maintenance on the pavilion to 30th September 2019 comprised PAT testing in the Pavilion in the financial year ending 31st March 2019 (£49.50) and painting the pavilion ceiling (£750.)



11.4/10/19 To receive a report of receipts: Members received a report of the following receipts:

  

 

Jane Potter

Contribution to Telephone Account

£70.00

Kalma

Pavilion hire July – September inclusive

£117.50

UK Power Networks

Wayleaves

£27.61

Maldon District Council

Lost key

£40.00

Allotment tenants

7 plot rentals @ £35 per plot per annum

£245.00

 

 

£500.11

 

 

 

11.5/10/19 To approve payment 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.

 

Chelmsford Diocese

Glebe Management

Licence fee (Standing Order)

 

£24.00

British Telecom’ PLC

Telephone account (Direct Debit)

£233.02

 

 

VAT

£46.60

 

 

 

 

£279.62

 

 

 

£303.62

 

 

11.6/10/19 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 – September 2019

£1,311.00

 

 

Less tax

£38.60

 

 

National Insurance

£71.04

 

 

And Pension Contributions

£76.04

 

 

 

 

£1,125.32

 

 

 

 

H.M. Revenue & Customs

Tax

£38.60

 

 

National Insurance (employees)

£71.04

 

 

National insurance (employers)

£81.70

 

 

 

 

£191.34

Essex Pensions Fund

Employee contributions

 

 

 

(5.8% pensionable pay)

£76.04

 

 

Employer contributions

 

 

 

(21.7% pensionable pay)

£284.49

 

 

Administration charge

 

 

 

(8% employee contributions)

£6.08

 

 

 

 

£366.61

Office Power Limited re:

Printer toner

£159.55

 

 Supplies 4 Business

Stationery

£32.94

 

 

VAT

£38.50

£230.99

Office Power Limited re:

 

 

 

  Supplies 4 Business

Stationery

£13.26

 

 

VAT

£2.65

£15.91

 

 

 

 

Mrs. R. Dilworth

Pavilion cleaning – September 2019

 

 

 

20 hours @ £8.50 per hour

 

£170.00

 

 

 

 

The Royal British Legion

1 type ‘C’ wreath with inset

£19.00

 

  Poppy Appeal* 

Donation

£21.00

 

 

 

 

£40.00

 

 

 

 

Anglian Water Business

Water Re: Pavilion

 

£19.78

(National) Ltd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AG Macmorland

Grass cutting – September 2019

£222.00

 

  Farming Partnership

VAT

£44.40

 

 

 

 

£266.40

 

 

 

 

Mrs. Jane Potter

Petty Cash reimbursement

 

£8.12

 

 

 

£2,434.47

 

 

*Members noted that this donation would be made pursuant to s.137 Local Government Act 1972.

 

Transfers: Members noted and approved the following bank transfer:

  1. On 10th October 2019, the sum of £3,027.98 had been transferred from the Business Premium Account (80731099) to the Community Current Account (40731080) to cover payment of the above accounts to hand and leave approximately £1,500.00 in the current account.

12/10/19 CORRESPONDENCE

 

Essex County Council

Members noted that Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) had forwarded the Parish Council a report on the most recent work of the County Council. Cllr. Channer’s report was placed in the circulation folder for Members’ information.

 

Dengie Hundred Bus users Group (DHBUG)

Representatives of the Parish Council were invited to the DHBUG Members’ Meeting at 1.00 p.m. on 23rd October 2019 in the Kings Hall, Burnham. DHBUG had invited representatives from bus operators including First Essex, Arrows, and Hedingham, as well as representatives from local Councils. An up to date status report on current and future bus related topics would be given and the recent Bus Questionnaire results would be discussed in detail at the meeting. In the past DHBUG had played a role in improving and promoting the increased use of buses and continued to do so.  Currently it was suggesting improvements to enable easier access to the latest timetables to increase the confidence of travellers.


Dengie Hundred Group of Parish Councils

Annual Quiz: Members noted that the annual quiz has been confirmed and would take place on 27th November at 7.30 p.m. for 8.00 p.m. in the Southminster Bowls Club at a cost of £6.00 per person. The Clerk agreed to book a table.

 

The Chairman reported that at the last Dengie Hundred Group meeting, Police Sergeant Andy Drake had updated those present on the Police presence in the area. Following the closure of Maldon Police Station, police staffing numbers had not been reduced and with increased staffing levels approved there should soon be 18 Officers in the area. There was still a 24 hour response team available to the area, Community Policing Teams served Chelmsford and Maldon which included PCSO’s and two PC’s had been allocated to Maldon Town Centre. Rapid response was 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and was based at Maldon and Chelmsford and there was an active rural crime team.

 

Comparably the Dengie was a safe area. The increase in Police numbers would see force figures comparable to 2010 and there was good support within the force for all Officers.

 

On another issue the Dengie Hundred Group meeting had also noted that due to increased development in the area, Ormston Rivers Academy was oversubscribed by 90 places and as a result children in Burnham were being faced with travelling to Wickford for their education.

 

13/10/19 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 8.34 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chairman:……………………………………… Date:……………………………………….