PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL

ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE PERIOD

1st APRIL 2015— 31st MARCH 2016

 

YOUR COUNCIL

 

Gavin Strathern (Chairman) Spar Hill Farm, Chelmsford Rd, Purleigh

Tel: 07702 322203

Nigel Arthur (Vice Chairman) Birch House, Maldon Rd, Latchingdon.

Tel: 01621 744523

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

Graham Rayner 5, Hawkins Close, Cock Clarks, Purleigh.

Tel: 01621 828117

CLERK

Jane Potter 27 Anchor Reach, South Woodham Ferrers. CM3 5GS

Tel: 01245 320426

E-mail: jane.m.potter@btinternet.com

WEBSITE www.purleigh.com

 

CHAIRMAN’S OVERVIEW OF THE YEAR

 

The year began with the very sad news that Mick Elliott had died after being re-elected to the Council but before he could take his seat. Mick has been greatly missed during the year, especially when we discuss the pavilion and playing field which Mick cared so much about and helped improve in so many ways.

 

In May we were very pleased to welcome Colin Ash and Steve Bardwell, who have become highly valued members of the Parish Council since their election.

 

The Parish Council has held twelve ordinary meetings during the year at which Councillors made 67 attendances out of a possible 84. One Councillor attended every meeting and our thanks go again to our District Council Ward Members, John Archer and Sue White and our County Council Ward Member, Penny Channer for attending the public sessions held before each meeting and for keeping us informed about the work of the District and County Councils.

 

Parish Councillors have also attended site meetings about flooding in Maldon Road and the repairs needed to the exterior of the pavilion, and have represented us at the Dengie Hundred Group of Parish Councils. Some Council Members have also met with leaders of Maldon District Council, and formed a working party to clear out the ditch by the children’s play area.

 

During the year we commented on 59 planning applications and responded to consultation papers about strengthening parish and town council accountability; rural housing, rural employment and district traveller allocations; the home to school bus service in the Maldon District; the future of Essex Police; the new audit regime for smaller authorities, and proposed changes to emergency cover provided by the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

 

The total amount of money we required from Maldon District Council for the year ending 31st March 2016 was £31,500, of which £30,260 was charged as precept, the remaining £1,240 being a government grant to offset the cost of the localisation of council tax.

 

During the year the Parish Council has continued to provide and maintain the pavilion and playing field for the benefit of parishioners. This year we spent £6,366.59 on general running costs, which included utility bills, fire extinguisher maintenance, the electrical inspection and upgrading of the premises, fitting mains driven battery back-up smoke detection, the purchase and installation of a new shower, replacement tiling and PAT testing the small electrical items in the building. This sum does not include the cost of insurance or grass cutting however which cost an extra £3,350.93. Our biggest items of expenditure on the pavilion and playing field this year were the upgrading of the electrical installation and fitting new smoke detection devices which cost £1,676.50 and significant repairs to equipment in the children’s play area which cost £1,445.00. Both of these will however enhance the facilities and improve safety. Our focus in the year to come will be repairing the outside of the pavilion and trying to improve the drainage of the playing field.

 

Income from letting the pavilion during the year came to £4,665. After careful consideration therefore we agreed at the February meeting that the letting fees for the Pavilion in 2016/2017 should be increased by a small amount to try to reduce next year’s deficit (50p per hour for regular and occasional hirers).

 

On the subject of the pavilion, we have been experiencing an increase in the amount of vandalism on the premises. Graffiti has been scrawled on the pavilion’s walls, the verandah has been badly damaged, including having its end wall destroyed, and many of the black, wooden boards which protect the outside of the building have been pulled off. In addition we have had some damage done in the children’s play area and a quad bike has been ridden over the playing field on more than one occasion. We are very grateful to everyone in the parish who lets us know when something has been damaged or is going on and we take your suggestions to improve security very seriously.

 

During the year the Parish Council continued to pay Maldon District Council’s Ranger Service to enforce the parking restrictions in Pump Lane. The Rangers have been very successful in issuing fixed penalty notices and in talking to parents and visitors to the school about safe parking. With the gradual withdrawal of the school bus from North Fambridge to Purleigh School in the offing, we will continue to do all that we can to keep the roads around the school safe and free from obstruction.

 

We have continued to liaise with Essex County Council over highway issues in the parish and, as usual, flooding, speeding traffic and overdue maintenance have featured heavily in our correspondence. With highway’s permission this year we have installed a litter bin outside 17, The Glebe next to the new bench, as asked for by parishioners.

 

The Parish Council would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. and Mrs. Challis for continuing to maintain the War Memorial garden with such care, 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. I would also like to take this opportunity to advertise a vacant allotment, so if anyone is interested in growing their own please have a word with the clerk.

 

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.

 

  FINANCIAL MATTERS

During the period 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016 the Parish Council’s income and investments amounted to £65,966.72 and in the same period it spent £36,560.24 on parishioners’ behalf.

 

At 31st March 2016 the following monies were held:

 

General Fund:

Barclays Community (Current) Account £1,203.83

Barclays Business Premium Account £12,874.50

Petty Cash £50.00

Earmarked Reserves:

Historic Buildings Fund £8,765.42

Miss Pawsey’s Legacy £6,512.73

£29,406.48

 

VANDALISM IN PURLEIGH

 

There appears to be an increase in vandalism in the parish, most of which has, or will, cost money to repair which in turn could cause an increase in the portion of the council tax that pays for the parish precept. In order to try and stamp it out it is essential that the Police are notified so that they can build a better picture of what is happening in our parish. If you could also inform the Parish Council about any incidences that take place it would be appreciated.

 

Please, if you see anything unlawful or are a victim of vandalism, report it by calling 101 and ask for an incident number as this will ensure that the call is logged, enabling a picture to develop of what is happening in our area. Non-emergency crimes and anti-social behaviour can also be reported online via the Essex Police website.