PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL

QUARTERLY REPORT FOR THE PERIOD

1st APRIL 2015 — 31st DECEMBER 2015

 

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 QUARTER

During the quarter we were informed about two proposed cuts to services which may have a serious impact on the parish. Firstly we were informed that it was being proposed that the new community policing team for Maldon and Chelmsford would be cut and that in future it would be made up of a local policing and partnership inspector, two sergeants, ten constables, one dedicated youth officer and seven Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s). The team would be locally based and would prioritise protecting people from harm; preventing and reducing crime; bringing criminals to justice and engaging with the public. They would not deal with low level non-policing matters such as neighbourhood disputes, low level anti-social behaviour and parking issues but would work alongside partners such as the District Council and Community Safety Partnership, who would address these matters. Under the proposals twenty four of the thirty one PCSO posts in Chelmsford & Maldon could be removed. It was also being proposed that the new Community Policing Team for Maldon & Chelmsford would retain just seven PCSO jobs. The Community Policing Teams would continue to hold monthly meetings so residents could raise their crime-related concerns but the existing ‘street meets’ would be discontinued. Public engagement events will be held in each district for you to have your say if you are concerned about the proposals.

 

On the subject of parking, the Parish Council was informed that the daily school bus from North Fambridge to Purleigh Community Primary School was to be phased out in its current form. Residents and the Parish Council were worried about the effect this would have on traffic movements through Purleigh village, parking, and highway safety in Pump Lane and the surrounding area. We duly wrote to Essex County Council and were informed by Cllr. Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning that the County Council’s policy for pupils starting primary school from September 2015, was to only provide free home to school transport to children attending the nearest state primary school, where that school was 2 miles or more from their home address up until the age of eight and 3 miles thereafter. Cllr. Gooding appreciated that North Fambridge was within the ‘catchment’ area of Purleigh Primary School but the County Council did not set the ‘catchment’ areas for Academy schools like Purleigh however and there was no requirement in law for such ‘catchment’ areas to be taken into account in the assessment of entitlement to funded transport.

 

Transport operators carrying out school contracts may wish to provide additional seats to meet any extra demand but this was a commercial decision that rested with operators and any such arrangements were at their discretion, to be negotiated directly with the parents of children who did not have an entitlement to funded transport. There was also the opportunity for individual schools to make whatever arrangements they deemed necessary to help parents with transport where there was no entitlement under Council policy. According to Cllr. Gooding, the County Council had considered the matter of the home to school transport policy very carefully and the agreed position was that the policy would stand and there were no plans to revise it or to take any action to ameliorate its effects. The Parish Council has forwarded Cllr. Gooding’s response to Purleigh School and asked what, if any, measures it intended to take to reduce congestion around the school at peak times once the North Fambridge Bus has been phased out.

 

During the quarter we commented on a Local Development Plan Document concerning rural housing allocations, rural employment allocations and district travellers allocations. Our view remained that if the parish had to accommodate extra housing in the future, the greatest need appeared to be for smaller houses for single people, families and especially homes for young people, predominantly owner occupied, with some available for rent. We believed that Purleigh’s two exiting authorised traveller sites were sufficient and that there was enough employment land in the parish. The designation of further hectares for employment being hard to justify, when recent District Council planning consents had granted change of use from industrial to residential purposes.

 

John Smith-Daye (Lambert Chapman LLP) carried out an interim internal review of the Parish Council’s accounts for the period 1st April 2015 to 30th September 2015 on 13th October 2015. During the audit he carried out tests suggested by the Audit Commission and reviewed the Council’s internal financial controls and systems. I am pleased to report that there were no issues of concern arising from his examination of the books.

 

As always may I take this opportunity to remind you that the parish council usually meets on the second Friday of every month in the Pavilion and that a public session is held between 7.15 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. before each meeting. Please come along if you have an issue you would like to discuss with us or if you are just interested to see what goes on. Gavin Strathern.

 

 

 

 FINANCIAL MATTERS

During the period 1st April 2015 to 31th December 2015 the Parish Council’s income and investments amounted to £64,214.70 and in the same period it spent £27,605.36 on parishioners’ behalf. At 31st December 2015 the following monies were held:

 

General Fund:

Barclays Community (Current) Account £2,605.28

Barclays Business Premium Account £18,677.81

Petty Cash £50.00

Earmarked Reserves:

Historic Buildings Fund £8,764.33

Miss Pawsey’s Legacy £6,511.92

£36,609.34

INCOME & EXPENDITURE

 

The main source of income during the period 1st July to 31st December 2015 was fees from letting the pavilion, which amount to £2,908 so far this financial year. A very small amount of interest was also accrued on the Parish Council’s investment accounts.

 

The only unusual item of expenditure during the quarter was a payment of £300 to aerate the playing field to try to improve drainage for the sports clubs who use it.

 

PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS 2016

 

The Parish Council will meet in the Wells Pavilion at 7. 30 p.m. on the following Fridays in 2016:

 

15th January

12th February

11th March

15th April

13th May

10th June,

8th July

12th August

9th September

14th October

11th November

9th December

 

Fifteen minutes is set aside immediately before the start of each meeting for members of the public to talk to Parish Councillors on a more informal basis

 

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 2016

 

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Thursday, 21st April 2016 commencing at 7.30 p.m. in the Pavilion. Everyone is very welcome to attend and refreshments will be served.