PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL
ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE PERIOD
1st APRIL 2018 — 31st MARCH 2019
Nigel Arthur (Chairman) Birch House, Maldon Rd, Latchingdon.
Tel: 01621 744523
Graham Rayner (Vice Chairman) 5, Hawkins Close, Cock Clarks, Purleigh.
Tel: 01621 828117
Colin Ash Gardeners Cottage, Spar Lane, Purleigh.
Tel: 01621 827055
Steven Bardwell Brooklea, Cold Norton Road, Latchingdon.
Tel: 01621 740234
Brian Oliver Cosy Nook, Chelmsford Rd, Purleigh.
Tel: 01621 828433
Steven Potter Lower Barn Farm, Roundbush Rd, Purleigh.
Tel 01621 828270
Gavin Strathern Spar Hill Farm, Chelmsford Rd, Purleigh.
Tel: 07702 322203
Jane Potter 27 Anchor Reach, South Woodham Ferrers. CM3 5GS
Tel: 01245 320426
CHAIRMAN’S OVERVIEW OF THE YEAR
The Parish Council has held twelve ordinary meetings during the year at which Councillors made 66 attendances out of a possible 84. Two Councillors attended every meeting and our thanks go again to our District and County Council Ward Members for attending the public sessions held before each meeting, listening to our concerns and for keeping us informed about the work of their respective organisations. Councillors also attended a number of site meetings across the parish concerning amongst other things, the future of Purleigh Shop and plans to refurbish the children’s play area. Members also attended meetings which discussed wider issues for the community, such as changes to the District Council’s planning procedures and the roll out of superfast or ultrafast broadband. This year, for the first time, the Parish Council has a permanent representative on the Stow Maries Joint Consultative Committee, a newly constituted organisation designed to consult about Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome to create greater understanding and improved communication between the aerodrome, the communities its activities affect and other stakeholders.
During the year we commented on 55 planning applications, despite the difficulties faced as a result of the District Council’s decision not to provide us with paper copies of plans any more, and we responded to numerous consultation papers, including those concerning the future of Essex library services, local authority finance and supplementary planning documents.
The total amount of money we required from Maldon District Council for the year ending 31st March 2019 was £40,000, the same as in the previous year.
During the year the Parish Council has continued to provide and maintain the pavilion and playing field for the benefit of parishioners, carrying out further improvements to the security of the building and continuing on-going repairs to the showers. We also carried out a full electrical inspection of the premises and paid the sum of £1,080 for new picnic benches, part of the Purleigh Community Fund’s improvements to the area surrounding the existing children’s play area. Income from letting the pavilion during the year came to £4,332, but we spent £5,681 maintaining the facilities, spending £1,154 of that sum on general maintenance and £539 on improved security. An additional £2,820 was spent on cutting the playing field grass and works to trees around its perimeter.
During the year the Parish Council continued to pay Maldon District Council’s Community Protection Team to enforce the parking restrictions in Pump Lane, assisted this year by match funding from Purleigh Community Primary School, and in April Officers expanded their role in the parish by enforcing the speed limits in Chelmsford Road and Hackmans Lane using Tru-Cam. 114 Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued to speeding motorists since these patrols began and once the Police have agreed suitable sites, Officers will further increase their role to include the enforcement of the speed limits in Fambridge Road and Maldon Road.
One of the Council’s most significant achievements this year has been to facilitate and support plans to re-open a shop in Purleigh. To that end the Parish Council assessed the viability of setting up a community owned shop in Purleigh via extensive research, the circulation of a questionnaire and the collation of its results, the identification of numerous groups and individuals to create a network of future support, and the identification of potential sources of funding and expertise. On 17th November we hosted a public meeting at which a group of people came forward from whom a Management Committee has now been elected to take the project further. Since then, the Parish Council has continued to support the Management Committee by paying its affiliation fee of £240 to the Plunkett Community Co-operative Network, a charity with most expertise in setting up community businesses. We have also given the Committee a grant of £2,500 to help with its initial costs and have allocated it a grant of the same amount in the current financial year. We would like to thank everyone involved most sincerely, particularly Mr. and Mrs. Gilbey, the owners of the shop premises, without whose support and generosity the plan to try to establish a community shop for Purleigh would have been impossible.
During the year the Parish Council played a significant role in Purleigh’s commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, displaying a silhouette of a solitary soldier throughout the parish and publishing (and jointly funding with the author) a booklet entitled ‘Purleigh’s War Memorial and the Men it Commemorates 1914-1918’, which was made freely available to any parishioner who wished to receive one. We also made a donation towards the Flower Festival held in All Saints Church and purchased an additional three small wreaths which were laid on the graves of soldiers buried in Purleigh who gave their lives in the First World War, in addition to the larger wreath we lay annually at the war memorial on Remembrance Sunday.
During the year the Parish Council also made donations to the RNLI, Essex Air Ambulance and Farleigh Hospice.
The Parish Council would like to take this opportunity to thank Jim Ovel for all his work in the parish, Mrs. Dilworth for her work at the pavilion and the clerk for continuing to efficiently administer the work of the council.
Finally, it is my annual duty to report that the council has one employee, white, British who received training during the year. We are not able to detect any pattern of inequality arising from this data.
During the period 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019 the Parish Council’s income and investments amounted to £97,136.99 and in the same period it spent £43,693.75 on parishioners’ behalf. At 31st March 2019 the following monies were held:
|Barclays Community (Current) Account||£3,017.08|
|Barclays Business Premium Account||£17,419.02|
|Historic Buildings/Capital Projects Fund||£25,673.61|
Income and Expenditure
During the year the greatest sources of income were the parish precept (£40,000) and income from the pavilion and playing field (£4,332.25). The Parish Council also received income from leasing its allotments and a small amount of interest was accrued on its investments, rentals and wayleaves. Unusually during the year of account the Parish Council received grants totalling £19,380 towards the planned refurbishment of the children’s play area, £10,000 from Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund and £9,380 from the National Lottery. It is envisaged that this money will be spent before 31st March 2020.
The Parish Council spent £5,660.40 during the year maintaining and improving the pavilion and playing field on behalf of parishioners. Monies were also spent on general administration, which included insurance premiums, subscriptions, audit fees, data protection registration fees and the maintenance of the parish website.
Expenditure on salaries included employer’s National Insurance contributions and pension liabilities. In addition to the normal minor miscellaneous grants made by the Parish Council, a grant of £2,500 was also given to Purleigh Community Shop Ltd towards the establishment of a community shop in Purleigh. During the year of account the clerk was paid £12.69 per hour.
External Audit of Accounts for the year ending 31st March 2019
The Parish Council’s Annual Return will be completed and returned to the auditor, PKF Littlejohn, by Monday, 1st July 2019 so that they can carry out the annual audit of accounts.
To comply with the legal requirement to enable interested parties and local electors to exercise their rights with regard to the accounts, PKF Littlejohn has suggested Monday, 17th June 2019 to Friday, 26th July 2019 inclusive, as the dates between which interested parties can inspect the accounts and related documents and exercise their rights under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.
On 7th June 2019 therefore, the Parish Council will display notices informing parishioners that the accounts will be available for inspection at 27 Anchor Reach, South Woodham Ferrers, from 17th June 2019 to 26th July 2019 inclusive (on reasonable notice by application to the Clerk).
A copy of ‘Local Authority Accounts: A Summary of Your Rights’ will be displayed alongside each notice, as required by the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 sections 26 and 27, and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234). This explains the rights of local electors and interested parties to inspect and question the accounts.