QUARTERLY REPORT FOR THE PERIOD

1st APRIL 2016 — 31st DECEMBER 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 QUARTER

 

I’m sorry to start my report on a negative note but over the Christmas period the tyre traverse and monkey ladder in the children’s play area was set alight causing significant damage to the equipment and the wet pour safety surface beneath it. The Police have been informed, will be pursuing the culprits, and crime reference number 42/161631/16 has been assigned to the case. The Parish Council’s insurers have been informed and in the interests of public safety the Children’s Play Area has been closed until further notice. Please, if anyone knows anything about who was responsible tell the Police by calling 101 or let the Parish Council know. Even with an insurance claim, repairing the damage or replacing the equipment will cost thousands rather than hundreds of pounds and has had an impact on the parish portion of council tax Purleigh parishioners will pay in 2017/2018. We greatly regret the inconvenience caused to the many parents and children who use the play area, but sincerely hope the community will come together to try to identify those responsible. Rest assured we are doing everything in our power to get the area repaired and re-opened as soon as possible.

 

At the January meeting we set the parish portion of the council tax payable by parishioners in 2017/2018. When discussing income and expenditure for the forthcoming year we were pleased to give the newly revived table tennis club a grant of £272.50 towards their new tables and have donated £100 from the current year’s funds towards the purchase and installation of a community defibrillator. We continue to pay the subscription to Viking Community Transport to subsidise travel for older parishioners to social events throughout the year and have agreed to retain the services of Maldon District Council’s Ranger service to enforce the parking restrictions in Pump Lane and encourage safer parking around the school.

 

So far this financial year we have had to pay £5,235 just on repairs to the outside of the pavilion, and much more work will be required next year to keep the building safe and in good order for users. In addition, and quite beyond our control, to comply with employment legislation we now pay pension contributions for our clerk. The Valuation Office Agency has also completed a revaluation of rateable values for business premises in the area. As a result, the rateable value of the pavilion and premises has been reassessed at a rateable value of £2,000 (compared with £980 under the previous valuation). We have applied for discretionary rate relief from Maldon District Council but at this juncture cannot guarantee the outcome of our application. We have also set aside monies to install CCTV cameras in the pavilion to try to reduce the amount of vandalism in the future, and we will continue to subsidise the cost of swimming lessons at Purleigh School for pupils living in the parish.

 

All the other services we provide such as grass cutting, maintenance of the pavilion, playing field, children’s play area, and allotments will continue as before. In the last financial year we drew heavily on our reserves to keep the parish portion of the council tax as low as possible, but having used almost seven thousand pounds of that money last year can no longer avoid an increase.

 

After a very careful consideration of estimates of income and expenditure in 2017/2018 we agreed therefore that as a result of the increased costs incurred because of vandalism, business rate increases, pension contributions and the maintenance of the pavilion and children’s play area, a Band ‘D’ Council tax payer in Purleigh will be asked to pay a parish rate of £72.95 in 2017/2018, an increase of £12.64 a year (or £1.05 per month) compared with 2016/2017.

 

We have also set aside the sum of £1,000 from Miss Pawsey’s legacy (which does not affect the parish rate) towards a flood alleviation scheme in Maldon Road in case the Essex County Council Flood Partnerships Programme grant scheme is extended for a further year and we can bid for funding.

Gavin Strathern

 

FINANCIAL MATTERS

During the period 1st April 2016 to 31st December 2016 the Parish Council’s income and investments amounted to £66,017.53 and in the same period it spent £33,864.93 on parishioners’ behalf. At 31st December 2016 the following monies were held:

 

General Fund:  
Barclays Community (Current) Account £560.35
Barclays Business Premium Account  £16,258.40
Petty Cash £50.00
Earmarked Reserves:  
Historic Buildings Fund  £8,768.69
Miss Pawsey’s Legacy  £6,515.16
  £32,152.60

 

  INCOME & EXPENDITURE

 

Most of the income received during this quarter came from letting the pavilion and from allotment rentals. A small amount of interest was also accrued on the Parish Council’s investment accounts.

 

In the financial year to date the Parish Council has spent over £8,000 on the Pavilion and playing field which does not yet take into account the damage to the tyre traverse and monkey ladder or clearing the playing field ditch to improve the drainage of the field for users.

 

Dengie & District U3A

 

A monthly meeting for all members is held on the 2nd Monday of every month at the Jack’s Centre, Burnham Road, Latchingdon at 2.00 p.m. Entrance to these meetings is £1.00 for members, guests free for the first visit.

 

The next meetings are:

 

13th February - Prison Chaplain Duties (Ruth Langley)

13th March - History of the National Garden Scheme (Linda Holdaway)

10th April - Badger Group (Martin Taylor)

 

For further information please contact Roger on 01621 330745 or email dengieu3a@hotmail.co.uk.

Pavilion Hire

To hire the Wells Pavilion please contact Steven Potter on 01621 828270.

Occasional bookings for Purleigh residents cost £7.50 per hour, and regular bookings for local clubs and organisations cost £6.50 per hour.

 

USEFUL CONTACT NUMBERS

 

Planning / Environmental health:  01621 854477

To report a highway fault:                0845 603 7631

                                                        www.essex.gov.uk/highwayfaultreporting

Refuse collection                            01621 875706

Essex Police (non-emergency)      101