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Parish Council Minutes

March 2015

White Colne Parish Council Minutes

                                     WHITE COLNE PARISH COUNCIL

                                  Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at The Village Hall,

                                 Bures Road, White Colne on Monday 9th March 2015 at 7.30 pm.

Present: Cllr Bond, Cllr Derby, Cllr Giles, Cllr Taylor (Chairman), Cllr Watt.

Also Present: Clerk D Williams, Braintree District Council (BDC) Cllr Siddall, and

1 member of the public attended.

700. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Cllr Pearcey, Cllr Webb, BDC Cllr Spray.

701. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS Cllr Bond declared an interest in minute

711 as the handyman is a family member. He will remain in the meeting but not vote on any issue regarding this minute.

702. CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING - The minutes of the last parish council meetings of 20th January 2015 and 23rd February 2015 which had been previously circulated, were agreed as true records and signed by the



The meeting was suspended for public questions and statements.

(i). A parishioner asked if there was any progress in filling in the gully between the village hall drive and the road. The potholes are also getting larger in the village hall drive.

The meeting was resumed.


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

704. VILLAGE HALL Cllr Taylor read out a report from Cllr Pearcey. He advises that regular hirers remain the same and the hall will be used on 1st and 2nd May as a pop-up fine dining restaurant. Quotations have been received for the exterior

        works to the village hall.

        Cllr Taylor said that there was a balance of £2,000 in the reserve for village hall works, to which a further £1,000 has been         budgeted for 2015/2016. She proposed therefore that a total of £3,000 be allocated towards these exterior works and that t         the Management Committee appoints the contractor to undertake the works within that cost. All members agreed.

       Cllr Bond proposed that a sum of up to £250 be allocated to purchase filings for the trough between the hall drive and the        road, and also for the drive potholes. All members agreed.

705. REPORT FROM BRAINTREE DISTRICT COUNCILLOR BDC Cllr Siddall said that the call for sites regarding the proposed District Plan has concluded.



15/00287/FUL Church Farm Bures Road - Erection of purpose built agricultural storage building - We object to this application as the building is too dominant and outside the original site boundary and would create a precedent for future

development into the open countryside. It is also too visible from all aspects.

However we could support a proposal which moves the building within the existing boundary and provides appropriate screening and lighting and noise restrictions.

15/00213/PLD 63 Colchester Road - Application for a proposed lawful development certificate - Erection of single storey rear extension. For information nly and no comments are required.


14/00587/FUL & 14/00588/LBC - Oxford House Upper Holt Street Earls Colne -  Change of use from A3/A4 to residential (Conversion of ground floor bar/restaurant into two self-contained flats and associated works) and erection of a detached two storey dwelling and associated works approved.

(c) BDC OPEN SPACE SPORTS & RECREATIONAL FACILITIES STRATEGY FORM The parish council has been asked to consider an entry outlining the facilities. Members agreed and Cllr Taylor agreed to complete the form.


The parish council has been provided with details of this new local plan scheme.

Cllr Taylor said that the parish has completed a Village Design Statement and so this new scheme is not necessary. In addition it would be difficult to raise a group of parishioners to do it. Members agreed.


BDC have forwarded proposals regarding the decision process for planning applications. The response to this consultation is:- We strongly object to the

proposal outlined in the second bullet point. This relies on just three people to decide what is "significant." We elect our district councillors to represent us and his suggestion is undemocratic and does not allow our councillor the opportunity to make a representation in an open forum. Also there is no longer an opportunity for applications to be called in if numbers of residents object. Local views are mportant, as details which may seem totally insignificant to someone away from the area could easily be very significant to the resident living next door to the proposed development or to the village as a whole.


Cllr Taylor said that 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 and Cllr Bond agreed to visit our agent and meet with the ECC agent to try and understand the present position.

708. COMMUNITY LIAISON Cllr Bond proposed that the telephone box is decommissioned and that the recently purchased defibrillator is installed in the telephone box. A consultation to the parishioners regarding this has been placed in the Newsletter. All members agreed. The clerk was asked to arrange for the decommissioning of the box with BT and purchase the box for £1. Cllr Taylor said that she would meet with the ambulance service regarding training. Cllr Bond said that he was concerned with the height of the hedge on Colne Park Road on the west side of the Meadows parallel with Colne Park Road. Members

agreed that the clerk should ask Mortimers to quote for a cut not with a flail to reduce the height to six feet. The trees within the hedge are to remain.

Cllr Bond said that the village green grass required some attention. It should be scarified and fed. Members agreed that the clerk should ask Green Thumb whether they wanted to do this at no cost under a sponsorship and providing a plaque. If not then Mortimers are to be asked to quote for the job.

Cllr Bond noted the progress made with the Superfast Broadband cabinets on the village green.


(a).The clerk reported that following receipts of £1102.68 and payments of £2236.02 since the last meeting there is a credit balance of £18,277.77, 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.

(b). Cllr Bond said that he was concerned with the low interest rate paid for the savings account accepting that the funds needed to be on demand. Members agreed that the clerk should ask BDC if they have considered ways of pooling reserves of various parishes to increase the interest rate.

(c). The clerk said that the accountant acting is awaiting a response from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to our reply to their last enquiry. He was asked to  establish from the accountant whether this matter should be chased up so to

reach a conclusion.

(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.

(e). The annual review of the Standing Orders of the parish council was conducted and agreed. The clerk was asked to arrange for them to be published on the web site.

(f). The annual review of the Financial Regulations of the parish council was conducted and agreed.

(g). The annual review of the Risk Assessment of the parish council was conducted and agreed.

(h). It was agreed to review the appointment of the internal auditor on an annual basis, and agreed to ask Ms N Powell Davies to undertake the internal audit for the parish council again this year.

710. HIGHWAYS Cllr Bond said that the request for a 40mph speed limit at Whites Farm/Pippins Nursery, Bures Road has been submitted to ECC Highways or consideration by the Local Highways Panel (LHP). He said that an application for a 40 mph speed limit should be considered for the A1124 from the end of the 30mph speed limit at Colne Commercials to the start of the 40mph speed limit at Wakes Hall. Members agreed and the clerk was asked to submit this application to ECC Highways LHP.

Cllr Bond said that the subsidence in the footway on Colchester Road from Colneford House to the top of the bend on the even numbered side of the road should also be reported to the ECC Highways LHP and the clerk was asked to submit this request.

Cllr Watt said that Essex Police have been asked to arrange retraining for Speedwatch.

711. HANDYMAN Cllr Taylor proposed a list of works for the handyman totalling approximately £370 plus materials which were approved. She said that he has advised that he has Public Liability Insurance, and it was agreed to ask him for confirmation of the amount.

712. ALLOTMENTS Cllr Watt said that the allotment fencing is in a poor state, and Cllr Taylor said that the Four Colnes Society may consider a grant for this. Cllr Watt agreed to investigate. Cllr Watt said that 1 plot is empty and 2 plots have not yet paid the annual rental. He will chase these overdue rentals.


The ECC Bus Strategy Consultation details were handed to Cllr Watt.


Cllr Taylor said that quotations for works proposed in connection with the S106 monies due for 41 Colchester Road can be held for the time being.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 9.23 pm.