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White Colne Parish Council Minutes

January 2014





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WHITE COLNE PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at

The Village Hall, Bures Road, White Colne on Tuesday 20th January 2015 at 7.30 pm.

Present: Cllr Derby, Cllr Giles, Cllr Taylor (Chairman), Cllr Pearcey, Cllr Watt, Cllr Webb

Also Present: Clerk D Williams and 4 members of the public attended.


681. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Cllr Bond, Braintree District Council (BDC) Cllr Siddall,  BDC Cllr Spray.

682. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

Cllr Derby declared an interest in minute 686(b) as she is the applicant of the approved planning application for 2 Colchester Road.

Cllr Webb declared an interest in minute 686(d) as she is a neighbour of the proposed sites for development, and also minute 694 as she is an allotment holder.

They will both remain in the meeting but not vote on any issues regarding these minutes.

683. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING - The minutes of the last parish council meeting of 18th November 2014 which had been previously circulated, were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS

The meeting was suspended for public questions and statements.

(i).Could the new owner of the corner house be asked to cut back the hedge at the bottom of Bures Road as it is dangerous for traffic.

(ii).Could the parish council give an update regarding the development at the rear of the village hall.

(iii).Can arrangements be made for someone to take over the village strimmer machine.

(iv).Can anything be done with the trough between the village hall drive and the road, and also the potholes on the drive need attention.

(v). The solar lights outside the village hall do not always work.

The meeting was resumed.

684. CONSIDERATION OF ISSUES RAISED AT PUBLIC QUESTION TIME

Cllr Taylor said that all these issues would be answered during the meeting.

685. VILLAGE HALL

Cllr Pearcey said that he has met with a contractor regarding the external works and awaits the quotations.  He said that the concrete screed cannot be repaired and the quotation will reflect that it is to be taken off. The management committee are considering the installation of solar panels for the hall roof when the re-roofing of the hall is considered, but there are doubts that the roof would catch enough sunlight. They are also considering the purchase of new chairs. The committee are concerned with the trough between the hall drive and the road and the potholes, and the parish council have previously written to Essex County Council (ECC) regarding the landlord’s responsibility concerning the trough and the potholes at the side of the road.

Members agreed that the clerk should write again to ECC.

686. PLANNING MATTERS

(a) APPLICATIONS None

(B) ADVICE OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS APPROVED BY BDC

14/01193/FUL  Land North East Of Countess Cross Colne Engaine - Change of use from agricultural to equestrian grazing with 4

                          no. stables with post and rail fencing

14/01382/FUL  63 Colchester Road - Erection of single storey rear extension

14/00310/TPO  2 COLCHESTER ROAD – TREE WORKS

14/01364/FUL  Land Adjacent Forge Farm, Bures Road – Creation of a new vehicle access to serve agricultural land

14/01478/FUL  41 Colchester Road – Application for a variation of condition no 3 of approved application 10/00537/OUT –

                          amendments to levels.

(c) ANNUAL REVIEW OF BDC OPEN SPACES ACTION PLAN

It was agreed to add a requirement for storage facilities for event equipment on the Meadows, and to add the War Memorial. It was further agreed to delete the reference to a lack of play facilities for children.

(d) CONSIDERATION OF ANY ACTION FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF SITES SUBMITTED IN RESPONSE TO BDC CALL FOR SITES.

Cllr Taylor said that two sites had been proposed for consideration. After discussion it was agreed to respond:- We object to development of these two sites as they are outside the village envelope. This decision is supported by our village design statement and the parish has already fulfilled its allocation.

(e) CONSIDERATION OF EXPENDITURE OF S106 MONIES DUE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AT 41 COLCHESTER RD

Cllr Taylor said that BDC had confirmed that approximately £2,500 would be available to the parish by way of S106 monies due for the development at 41 Colchester Road, and had asked members for proposals to cover expenditure on leisure or open spaces. The suggestion of an extension of the play equipment to cover an outdoor gym for adults was placed in the recent newsletter to seek parishioners’ views. We have received 12 responses, some for and some against. This small number of responses cannot support this suggestion. Cllr Taylor suggested that works to the village green, the village sign and the notice boards be considered instead and she will contact BDC to clarify whether these can be included. Cllr Pearcey will contact the contractor to delay the start of the works to the village green.

687. CONSIDERATION OF A REPORT ON THE HEADS OF AGREEMENT FOR THE TRANSFER OF WCPC LAND TO ESSEX CC IN RETURN FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE VILLAGE HALL AND LAND TO WCPC.

Cllr Taylor said that the property on the corner of Bures Road and Colchester road has been sold to a proposed developer. A new agreement is to be drawn up by Essex County Council (ECC). ECC are having discussions with other parties to the agreement but not with the parish council. We have asked our agent to advise them that we are concerned with this lack of contact. Cllr Taylor said that she would ask the agent to ask ECC to contact the new owner of the corner house to cut back the hedge at the bottom of Bures Road.

688. COMMUNITY LIAISON

Cllr Pearcey said that the events committee staged a live music pub night at The Stationmasters Arms on 29th November which was well attended. Carols on the Village Green was held on 14th December and was well supported.

              Forthcoming events include a Wine Tasting Evening on 24th January, a Race Night at The Stationmasters Arms on 14th March and a Quiz Night on 17th April.

Cllr Taylor said that we are waiting for advice of the cost of the renovation works to the war memorial.


689. FINANCIAL MATTERS

(a).The clerk reported that since the last meeting, the following payments are to be made. These were authorised :-

Cheque         Payee Details                                                                                             Amount  £           VAT incl

1556   Braintree District Council – Temporary Event Notice for Carols on V Green       £     21.00

1557   J Watt – Website domain renewal                                                                               £     58.12           £     9.69

1558   J Watt – battery for Highways SID unit                                                                     £     41.80           £     6.97

1559   Andrew Deptford – defibrillator and cabinet                                                             £1,674.00           £ 279.00

1560   JRB Enterprise Ltd – dog poop scoop bags – Meadows, 2 deliveries                  £     58.60           £     9.76

1561   D Williams-clerk net salary December, January                                                  £   543.60

1562   H M Revenue & Customs – PAYE for clerk salary                                                  £   362.40

1563   Leo Print Limited – Carol sheets £50 newsletters Dec £38 Jan £81.28                  £   169.28

1564   C Armstrong – strimmer repair - Meadows                                                                £    64.65            £  10.77

D/D    Anglian Water – village hall chargeback £121.20, allotments £35                         £  156.20

D/D    Scottish Power – village hall chargeback gas                                                          £    50.00

D/D    Scottish Power – village hall chargeback - electricity                                             £    11.00

D/D    Scottish Power – village hall chargeback gas                                                          £    50.00

D/D    Scottish Power – village hall chargeback - electricity                                             £    11.00

                                                     SUB TOTAL                                                                      £ 3,271.65

          Less £3.72 being cheque no 1553 listed in Nov as £85 instead of £81.28        - £       3.72

                                                    TOTAL PAYMENTS                                                        £ 3,267.93

2. Funds Received

Since the last financial report, the following funds have been received:-   

           Allotment rentals                                                                                                     £    105.00

           Newsletter advert                                                                                                    £      50.00

           Wayleave – UK Power                                                                                           £      54.47

           Wayleave – BT Open Reach                                                                                 £    786.00

           Nat West Bank plc – interest                                                                                £        0.68      

                                                    TOTAL RECEIPTS                                                       £    996.15

3. Financial statement & Bank Reconciliation

Following the above transactions there is a credit balance on current account of   £  9,220.22

                                                                                            on reserve account of           £ 10,190.89                                                                                                         

                                                                                            Total                                      £ 19,411.11

Of which the balance held in reserve for the Heritage Fund is                                    £ 1,182.74             

And the balance held in reserve for Village Hall maintenance & works is  £ 2,000.00

                                                                                     Total of allocated funds is         £   3,182.74

                                                               Thus the balance of unallocated funds is     £ 16,309.65

Bank Balances 18.11.14      £ 21,682.89

Add Receipts                      £      996.15

Sub Total                              £ 22,679.04

Less Total Payments          £    3,267.93   

Bank Balances 20.01.15     £  19,411.11

(d) The clerk said that the accountant acting is awaiting a response from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to our reply to their last enquiry.   

(c)Mr C Mortimer presented his proposed increased prices for grass cutting for 2015. Members agreed these prices and that it was not necessary to seek alternative prices from another contractor.

(d) The clerk advised that the other local councils approached regarding the bulk purchase of dog bags are considering the position and will advise us.

(d) The budget for the financial year from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 was discussed, and draft figures were considered in detail. Income figures agreed included £250 for allotment rentals, and £200 for newsletter adverts. The parish support grant now includes the Localised Council Tax Support Grant and is reduced by £273. Total income including the grants but excluding the precept is estimated at £2,974. Total expenditure is estimated at £17,067 and included telephone box adoption reserve of £500, meadows maintenance of £1,200 and village hall maintenance of £1,000. The clerk’s annual salary was reviewed and he left the meeting whilst his salary was discussed. It was agreed to increase the clerk’s salary by 1% to £5,500 pa. together with back pay of £24 in line with the pay scale and job points from Essex Association of Local Councils.

Cllr Taylor proposed that the precept is increased to £9,516 which is an increase of £130. This keeps the council tax for each band D property charge at the same figure of £46.44 and the increase reflects the increase in the tax base (the number of charged properties). Members agreed the precept of £9,516 unanimously.

690. HIGHWAYS

Cllr Pearcey said that the parish council have agreed to request a 40mph speed limit at Whites Farm/Pippins Nursery, Bures Road, and a petition has been prepared by local parishioners. He will obtain details so that the clerk can submit the request to Essex County Council Highways (ECC Highways).

Cllr Pearcey said that ECC Highways have been advised that the signpost on Colchester Road pointing to Bures Road and also the 30mph signs at Hill Farm, Bures Road have been knocked and require straightening. The work has not yet been done and the clerk was asked to chase ECC Highways.

Cllr Pearcey proposed that ECC Highways are chased concerning the works agreed to the top and the bottom of the village green, as there does not appear to be any progress. This was agreed and the clerk was asked to contact ECC Highways regarding this.

Cllr Watt said that a pothole at Colneford Hill had been reported to ECC Highways.

Clr Taylor said that the gullies on Colchester Road near Boley Road and at the bottom of Boley Road need cleaning, and the clerk was asked to contact ECC Highways and ask that this work is done.

691. VILLAGE GREEN

Cllr Taylor said that the green was registered as a village green. She said that she thought that an understanding of the recent history of the green would be helpful. In the early 1980’s part of the village green was in Earls Colne. In 1984 the parish boundaries were revised and White Colne Parish Council took over maintenance of the village green. The Parish Council own the middle part of the green which was where a house was situated. In the late 1980’s the agent for the Lord of the Manor introduced himself. The Master of the Rolls ruled that Lords of the Manor do not own village greens, the people own the village greens. As White Colne Parish Council represents the people they regard themselves as owners.

Cllr Taylor said that the solicitors Messrs Holmes and Hills had replied to our enquiry asking them for an approximate timescale and costs involved in investigating the legal ownership of the Green. They advised that the timescale is difficult to assess, and the cost would probably be between £1,250 and £2,500 depending on the complexity. The application for legal ownership may not be successful. Members agreed not to proceed any further with this at present.

692. FLOODING

Cllr Taylor said that ECC have asked parishes for details of the top flood risk areas in the parish and the possible solutions to solving flooding in the area. The area from Nos 8 to 22 Colchester Road was identified as an area suffering from surface water flooding, and the solution is for improved road gully drainage from the road to ditch. The clerk was asked to respond to ECC.

693. EMERGENCY PLAN       

Cllr Watt said that amendments to the parish emergency plan are being considered.

694. ALLOTMENTS

Cllr Watt said that he had been asked by existing allotment holders whether they could rent more than one allotment, as there are some plots becoming vacant. Members did not agree to this, and it was agreed that an article be placed in the newsletter advising parishioners of the vacancies.

695. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Cllr Taylor said that the defibrillator and the cabinet have been delivered. The agreed location is the village hall exterior wall, and this equipment should be added to the parish council insurance policy. Members agreed and the clerk was asked to arrange this.


There being no further business the parish council meeting was closed at 9.30 pm.








Chairperson………………………………………………….   Date……………………………………….