MINUTES OF A MEETING OF PURLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL,

HELD IN THE WELLS PAVILION, HOWE GREEN ROAD

ON FRIDAY, 13th MARCH 2020 AT 7.00 P.M.

 

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

 

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

 

Mrs. Jane Fleming and Mrs. Sue White (District Council Ward Members) and Mrs. Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) attended the public session prior to the start of the meeting as did one member of the public.

 

Mrs. Penny Channer (County Council Ward Member) and one member of the public attended part of the meeting.

 

1/03/20 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

Apologies were received from Mr. N. Arthur and Mr. S. Bardwell who were unable to attend the meeting due to prior personal commitments.

 

Mr. Strathern apologised as he may have to leave the meeting early. Mr. Strathern left the meeting after discussion of Agenda item 10.3/03/20.

 

2/02/20 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND APPLICATIONS FOR DISPENSATIONS (Localism Act 2011)

 

Mr. Potter declared an interest in Agenda item 5.2/03/20 relating to application FUL/MAL/20/00204, being related to the applicant. There were no applications for dispensations from the provisions of the Localism Act 2011.

 

3/03/20 THE MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 14th FEBRUARY 2020 having been circulated to all Members, were approved, and signed by the Chairman.

 

4/03/20 TO DISCUSS ANY MATTERS OF INFORMATION ARISING FROM THOSE MINUTES:

 

4.1/03/20 Clerk: The Clerk did not have any matters arising from the February 2020 Parish Council meeting to report to Members.

 

4.2/03/20 Members’: Members did not have any matters arising from the February meeting to discuss.

 

5/03/20 PLANNING MATTERS

 

5.1/03/20 Decisions taken between meetings: Members noted that the Parish Council had not made any recommendations on planning applications to Maldon District Council between meetings.

 

5.2/03/20 Current applications: LBC/MAL/20/00125 Replacing an MDF fireplace surround with a limestone surround including external gas fired heating appliance and associated gas bottle storage. The Old Rectory, Church Hill, Purleigh.

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.

 

FUL/MAL/20 00204 Demolition of existing chalet dwelling and garage and the erection of new replacement dwelling and car port with annexe accommodation above. Atherstone Lodge, Fambridge Road, Mundon.

 

Mr. Potter declared an interest in the above application, being related to the owner of the site and played no part in the formulation of the Parish Council’s recommendation.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.

 

HOUSE/MAL/20/00137 Single storey rear and side extension, two storey side extension, front single storey extension and new parking space. 11, Westerings, Purleigh.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED APPROVAL.

 

OUT/MAL/20/00170 Outline application with the matters of access and layout for determination, for the erection of 5 detached dwellings. Land adjacent Caxton Pride, Hackmans Lane, Purleigh.

 

The Parish Council RECOMMENDED REFUSAL on the following grounds:

 

  1. The application site lies outside the defined settlement boundaries of Cock Clarks where policies of restraint apply.
  2. The District Council can demonstrate a five year housing land supply to accord with the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework.
  3. The site has not been identified by the District Council for development to meet future needs for the District and does not fall within either a Garden Suburb or Strategic Allocation for growth identified within the Maldon District Local Development Plan to meet the objectively assessed needs for housing in the District.
  4. The proposed development would substantially alter the character of the area and have an unacceptable visual impact on the countryside through the urbanisation and domestication of the site and by extending development into the open countryside.
  5. The site is poorly located relative to facilities, services (particularly mains drainage) and sustainable modes of transport, contrary to Policies S1 and D1 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan and Government advice contained within the National Planning Policy Framework.
  6. The development would therefore be unacceptable and contrary to policies S1, S8 and D1 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan and Government advice contained within the National Planning Policy Framework.

 

20/00335/SCOPE Environmental impact assessment scoping opinion of up to 1,250 dwellings. Land North West of Hamberts Farm, Burnham Road, South Woodham Ferrers.

 

Members noted that Chelmsford City Council had received the above application and although the site didn’t lie within Purleigh, the Parish Council had been consulted due to the parish’s close proximity to the boundary.

 

The Parish Council agreed not to comment on this application.

 

5.3/03/20 Notification of appeals: Members noted that the Parish Council had not been notified of any new Appeals or Appeal decisions between meetings.

 

5.4/03/20 Maldon District Council planning decisions: Members noted that Maldon District Council had REFUSED planning permission for the following development:

 

¨       OUT/MAL/19/01287 Outline application (all matters reserved) single storey dwelling and garage. Land adjacent to Fourways, Howe Green Road.

 

5.5/03/20 North Quay Development Brief: Draft Supplementary Planning Document: Members were reminded that at the February 2020 meeting they had noted that Policy S5 of the Maldon District Local Development Plan set out the key projects for the Maldon & Heybridge Central Area Masterplan SPD. 

 

The adopted Masterplan had eighteen key projects and a project priority programme which aimed to deliver economic growth and environmental enhancements over the next nine years to 2029, including a development and regeneration strategy for the North Quay, Fullbridge, Maldon.

 

This North Quay Development Brief draft SPD met Policy S5 and Masterplan objectives to: Improve connectivity for walking and cycling; identify development opportunities to realise new Use Class B employment space; create new jobs, and give access to and stimulate growth at the River Chelmer and Heybridge Creek frontages.

 

The draft North Quay Development Brief had been prepared to inform applicants and developers of the identified opportunities and known constraints to regenerate the North Quay area and to enable informed and consistent decisions to be made by the District Council.

 

Members noted that consultation on the draft North Quay Development Brief had commenced on 10th February 2020 and would last for a period of six weeks.

 

It had been agreed to put this item on the Agenda of the March Parish Council meeting, once Members had had the opportunity to study the draft SPD.

 

It was agreed not to formally respond to this document.

 

5.6/03/20 Other Planning Matters: Proposals for a new nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea (“Bradwell B”) – Stage 1 public consultation 4th March to 27th May 2020: Members noted that China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and EDF (energy) Group had commenced a first stage of consultations on 4th March 2020 for their proposals to build a new nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea. A series of exhibitions would be staged locally by the Group on the “Bradwell B” project, starting on 5th March 2020 at Steeple Village Hall and finishing on 28th March 2020 at St John the Baptist Church, Danbury. Full details of the exhibitions, together with the main consultation document and an accompanying summary could be viewed at: https://bradwellb.co.uk/.

 

This stage 1 consultation would finish on 27th May 2020.

 

Members noted that a representative of the Bradwell B consultation team would like to talk to the Parish Council about the stage 1 consultation process. They had suggested allowing 45 minutes prior to the start of a Parish Council meeting. The transport proposals, including early stages transportation, strategic routes, freight management and park and ride facilities could have a big impact in Purleigh.

 

Copies of the part of the consultation document, a black and white summary and some key bullet points provided by Cllr. White, were placed in the circulation folder for Members’ information.

 

It was agreed to invite a member of the Bradwell B consultation team to discuss the proposals for the new nuclear power station between 6.00 p.m. and 6.45 p.m. before the start of the April 2020 Parish Council meeting to be held on Thursday, 9th April.

 

Members also noted that Planning Aid England (PAE), had been asked to work with local parish and town councils in the Dengie and Blackwater Estuary area to support their engagement with this consultation. Once the CGN/EDF exhibitions had finished PAE would: 

 

  1. Hold six workshops between Tuesday 7th and Thursday 9th April, designed to help Members consider the proposals in more detail and how they might prepare responses on behalf of their communities.
  2. Provide a follow up e-mail advice service so that councils had an opportunity to discuss their draft responses with the PAE team ahead of the end of the consultation on 27th May.

Workshops:

Workshops would last approximately 2 hours and would be held as follows:

  • Tuesday, 7th April: 3.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. Champions Manor Hall, South Woodham Ferrers.
  • Wednesday, 8th April: 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 Noon and 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. Mayland Parish Council, Lawling Park Hall, Katonia Avenue, Mayland.
  • Thursday, 9th April: 10.00 a.m. to 12.00 Noon, Maldon Town Council, Market Hill.

 

E-mail advice service

This second phase of support would comprise an e-mail advice service so that councils had an opportunity to discuss their draft responses with the PAE team that had delivered the workshops which it was envisaged could help councils explore how best to present specific issues of concern, including any mitigation measures which they would like to see delivered. This e-mail advice service would be in operation for the final six weeks of the consultation period.

Members noted that the Parish Council would be contacted later in March to ascertain whether and when Members wished to attend one of the PAE workshops.

 

It was agreed that representatives of the Parish Council would attend one of the workshops if they were available.

 

6/03/20 HIGHWAY MATTERS

 

6.1/03/20 Parking in The Westerings and surrounding area: Members noted that the first meeting of the Working Party established to look into the issues surrounding parking in the vicinity of the school, to be chaired by Cllr. Fleming, would be held at Purleigh School on Wednesday, 16th March at 6.30 p.m. (Minute ref 6.1/02/20.)

 

Three residents, one parent/resident and one parent living outside the parish had been invited to attend along with a representative from the Village Hall Management Committee and Mr. Bardwell and Mr. Strathern had agreed to represent the Parish Council at these meetings.

 

Members noted that the Parish Council was liaising with the school and Cllr. Fleming and had advised Purleigh School that this should not be an open meeting, rather a working party with invited attendees only, its remit being to look at ways to improve the parking situation around the school, with the exception of the possible creation of a new footpath which would be explored and actioned within Parish Council meetings.   The school had agreed to be totally guided in all matters relating to the meeting.

 

Re: Creation of a footpath: Mr. Strathern reported that he and Mr. Bardwell were continuing to explore various options.

 

Members noted that the Village Hall Management Committee had met recently and discussed the possibility of using or extending the Village Hall car park to alleviate some of the parking issues around the Westerings and Pump Lane. Although the Committee could see that this might provide a partial solution to the problem, the Trustees had raised a number of concerns about using the Hall and its grounds for such a purpose. There had not been any volunteers to attend the working party meeting.

 

The Management Committee felt that it would be advantageous, once any proposals became more formalised, for someone from the Parish Council to discuss them with the Trustees. It would not be sensible for anyone to spend considerable time developing ideas if the Trustees were not happy with the proposals nor would it be helpful if rumours about the future development of the Village Hall circulated in the village before the Trustees had been formally appraised of them.

 

It was noted that the next meeting of the Village Hall Management Committee was scheduled to take place on 18th March at 2.00 p.m. in the Village Hall, however a meeting could be convened at a mutually convenient time if and when it was appropriate.

 

It was agreed to ask to meet the Village Hall Management Committee at the Village Hall at the Committee’s earliest convenience to discuss possible options and outcomes if the committee was willing to lend its support to the project.

 

Members noted that on Wednesday, 4th March 2020 the Clerk had attended an extremely useful training session provided by the District Council, on bid writing and preparing grant applications with a view to trying to secure funding should the footpath scheme progress. The District Council was commended for its new approach to passing on Officer training to parish clerks free of charge.

 

6.2/03/20 Bus stopping point – The Glebe: Mr. Potter reported that an urgent public safety issue had been brought to the Parish Council’s attention. There already existed a safe bus stopping point next to the litter bin and bench outside 17, The Glebe, for passengers travelling towards Maldon. If the Glebe lay-by was full of vehicles however, passengers getting off buses on the opposite side of the road travelling towards the junction with Howe Green Road were being forced to step out onto a grassy slope angled towards the road. There had already been some minor accidents, but there was a very real possibility that a passenger could get off the bus, slip and fall under it with very little chance of the driver noticing before moving on.

 

It was therefore agreed to ask Essex County Council, as a matter of the utmost urgency, to create a level, tarmacked area where passengers could get off buses safely.

 

6.3/03/20 Other highway matters: Temporary road closure: Burnham Road: Members noted that Burnham Road had been closed for 3 days commencing 11th March 2020 between its junctions with Fambridge Road and Main Road (Mundon) and that the pot hole and carriageway defects reported by the Parish Council had been repaired.

 

Carriageway defects, Cold Norton Road: It was noted that Essex County Council had investigated, risk assessed and recorded the pothole, and initial works to make it safe had been completed. A further assessment would be carried out to establish whether a permanent repair was required in the future.

 

Mundon Wash Bridge and Blind Lane: Members noted that remedial works were due to be carried out at Mundon Wash Bridge, Mundon. These would begin on Monday, 16th March and were expected to take approximately 4 weeks to complete with the support of temporary traffic lights.

 

Following completion of these works at Mundon Wash Bridge, road patching activities were planned to repair identified defects on Blind Lane. These works were anticipated to take approximately 2 weeks to complete and were due to begin on Monday, 13th April 2020 with the support of a full road closure due to the restricted road width.

 

Members noted that access to properties on Blind Lane during closure periods would continue to be maintained either from Fambridge Road or Mundon Road, depending on the location of the repairs. Advance signage would be in place to advertise the road closure with appropriate diversions in place. Updates relating to the traffic management plans about the above works would be advertised on the ‘Mundon Wash Bridge, Mundon Road’ webpage which could be found at:

 

https://www.essexhighways.org/highway-schemes-and-developments/highway-schemes/mundon-wash-bridge-mundon-road-mundon-maldon.aspx

 

7/03/20 PLAYING FIELD AND OPEN SPACES

 

7.1/03/20 Children’s play area: Monthly report: Mr. Ash reported that he had carried out his weekly inspections of the Children’s Play Area and that all items of play equipment that he could access appeared to be in a satisfactory condition.

 

The new equipment in the fenced area remained closed to the public however as remedial work was still required to the surface but the zip wire was now being used.

 

It was agreed to inform Broxap Ltd that there may be a window of opportunity to make good the outstanding work required to the ground surface beneath the new equipment in approximately three weeks time.

 

7.2/03/20 Other playing field and open space matters: Discretionary rate relief 2020/2021: Members noted that Maldon District Council had advised that the Parish Council’s application for non-domestic rate relief had been successful and as a result it would receive 100% discretionary rate relief on the Pavilion until 1st April 2021. The total amount of rates due therefore for the forthcoming financial year was nil.

 

Broken lock on the pavilion garage door: It was noted that having consulted all Members, between meetings Josh Taylor (Purleigh Cricket Club) had been authorised to ask a locksmith who plays for the side to look at the lock on the garage door and repair it if possible, or if not to get a price for the materials to replace it.

 

8/03/20 PARISH COUNCIL WEBSITE AND ACCESSIBILITY REGULATIONS COMPLIANCE

 

Members noted that Mr. Rapley had changed the domain name pointer to the new website host and had transferred content for 2019 and 2020.

 

In addition, Mark Holton (TEEC) would be starting on the set up of the new website during the week commencing 9th March 2020 and would be sharing log-in details with the Clerk shortly.

 

9/03/20 ALLOTMENT MATTERS

 

9.1/03/20 Vacant allotment: Members noted that the vacant allotment would be advertised in the Parish Magazine and Maldon Town Council had been informed of the vacancy.

 

9.2/03/10 Other allotment matters: Members had no other allotment matters to discuss.

 

10/03/2020 FINANCIAL MATTERS

 

10.1/03/20 To receive a report of receipts: Members received a report of the following receipts:

 

POPHA                                       Pavilion hire 2019/2020                                                 £78.00

 

PPFA                                           Pavilion hire 2019/2020                                               £156.00

 

Mrs. S. Brown                             Pavilion hire                                                                  £40.00

 

Whist Drive                                 Pavilion hire: October to December 2019                      £182.00

                                                                                                                                          £456.00

 

10.2/03/20 To approve payment of accounts between meetings: Members noted and approved that the following account had been paid between meetings, adhering strictly to the procedures outlined in the Parish Council’s Financial Regulation 5.5.

 

G.B. Plumbing                             Redring water heater                                                    £331.35

 

10.3/03/20 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 – February 2020                            £1,311.00

                                                     Plus room allowance                                 £   400.00

                                                     Plus use of personal word processing

                                                     Equipment (Min 10.2/12/19)                      £   300.00

                                                                                                                       £2,011.00

 

                                                   Less tax                                                      £   178.40

                                                   and National Insurance                              £   155.04

                                                   Pension contributions                                 £     76.04

                                                                                                                      £   409.48

                                                  

                                                                                                                   = £1,601.52

                                                   Plus

                                                   Expenses 2019/20 (Min 10.2/12/19)         £1,239.00                  

                                                                                                                                        £2,840.52

 

 

H.M. Revenue & Customs         Tax                                                             £   178.40

                                                   National Insurance (employees)               £   155.04

                                                   National insurance (employers)                £   178.30

                                                                                                                                       £   511.74

 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

 

Mrs. R. Dilworth                          Pavilion cleaning – February

                                                   20 hours @ £8.50 per hour                       £   170.00

 

 

Supplies 4 Business                  Photocopying                                             £    22.56

From Concisely Ltd                   VAT                                                             £      4.51                                                                                                                                                             £    27.07

A.G Macmorland                       Grass cutting                                              £    55.00

Farming Partnership                  Sawing up tree (Rigby’s Path)                   £    30.00

                                                   VAT                                                            £   17.00                  

                                                                                                                                      £102.00

Mrs. J. Potter                             Petty Cash reimbursement

                                                  Postage                                                                         £22.29

                                                                                                                                   £4,040.23

                                                                                                                                                  

Transfers: Members noted that there had not been any funds transferred between the Parish Council’s bank accounts between meetings.

 

Bank reconciliation as at 29th February 2020: A bank reconciliation for the period 1st April 2019 to 29th     February 2020 was carried out by the Chairman and approved by the Parish Council as follows:

 

 

Statement of Accounts:                                                                                                                                    

 

 

 

Receipts:                        £118,226.22                   Barclays Bank Plc:

 

Expenditure                      £77,822.79                     Current account                      £ 5,337.20

 

                                                                                 Business Premium Account   £17,235.39

 

                                                                                 Capital Projects Fund             £10,486.41

 

                                                                                 Legacy                                    £ 7,294.43

 

                                         ________                   Petty Cash                                   £      50.00

 

                                        £40,403.43                                                                   £40,403.43

 

 

 

 

Mr. Strathern left the meeting at this juncture.

 

10.4/03/20 To consider a request for a donation from Home-Start, Maldon: Members noted that Home-Start had asked the Parish Council to consider making it a donation. Home-Start was an organisation which provided a free, confidential, family support service of home visiting and family groups within the Maldon District. It had been running for over 40 years providing emotional, practical and friendship support to families, helping them to overcome the challenges of rural isolation, poor mental health, illness, lack of family support and disability, all of which could leave a family feeling overwhelmed.

 

On average it cost £500 to support a family in Purleigh for 6 months which was typically the period when support was needed. Any contribution, however small, the Parish Council could make would be valuable and would help to ensure the continuation of the organisation’s service to the most vulnerable families in the Maldon District.

 

It was agreed to give Home-Start Essex a donation of £100 before the end of this financial year.

 

 11/03/20 CORRESPONDENCE

 

Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE)

2020 Village of the Year: Members noted that the RCCE had revamped its Essex Village of the Year competition. Physical inspections, maps, and supporting documentation were no longer required. All that was needed was 500 words describing what made Purleigh special, telling the RCCE about the organisations, activities and events that contributed most to community life in the village today e.g:

 

  • How was a sense of community achieved?
  • Were annual village events held?
  • Was there a good mix of local clubs and groups?
  • Did local businesses support community activities like youth sports teams?
  • Did volunteers help care for the local environment?
  • Was the community involved in running any local services – e.g. community shops, pubs or transport schemes?
  • Was there a community magazine or website?
  • Were there any new community initiatives in progress?

 

The Parish Council could be the sponsoring organisation but didn’t necessarily have to write the 500 words. The entry guidelines stated there was no need to supply any additional information, documentation or photographs.

 

Members noted that entries were required by Friday, 24th April 2020.

 

It was agreed to enter Purleigh in the RCCE 2020 Essex Village of The Year competition.

 

Essex County Council

A report prepared by Cllr. Channer explaining the recent work of the County Council and its response to the Coronavirus Pandemic was placed in the circulation folder for Members’ information

 

12/03/20 POINTS OF INFORMATION

 

Maldon District Council

Coronavirus Guidance:   Members noted that Maldon District Council had forwarded the Parish Council guidance on the coronavirus, as had NHS.UK.

 

Government Guidelines

It was noted that there had been a lot of information in the media about the Coronavirus and what preventative measures local government should be taking. Based on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration that this was a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers (at the time of writing) had raised the risk to the public from moderate to high and the WHO had categorised the outbreak of the disease as a Pandemic. This permitted the Government to plan for all eventualities.

 

Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC)

Advice notes from the SLCC, ‘COVID-19 Practical Steps for Clerks’ and ‘Model Document: Pandemic Contingency Plan policy’ were also placed in the circulation folder for Members’ information.

 

Members noted that in the interests of public health public information notices from the NHS had been displayed in the Pavilion, and that further advice had been placed in the circulation folder for Members’ information.

 

Local Government Pension Scheme

Members noted that Essex Pension Fund had accepted the Parish Council’s Annual Return 2019/2020.

 

 Purleigh Bell

Quiz: 1st April 2020: Members noted that the Parish Council had been challenged by Purleigh Community Shop to field a team, and hoped to extend the challenge to other community groups in the parish e.g. the Village Hall Committee, Purleigh Community Fund, and the PPFA etc.

 

The Chairman, Clerk and Mr. Potter were available to attend, Mr. Ash and Mr. Oliver expressed interest and it was agreed to invite Mr. Bardwell and Mr. Strathern to join the team.

 

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 8.28 p.m.