Minutes of Meeting, Tuesday 3rd August 2021
The Parish Council met on Tuesday, 3rd August in the Evangelical Hall, at 7.30pm
Chairman: Councillor R. Siddall
Vice-Chairman N. Lawrence
Councillors: S.Venton, V. Hare,
Also in attendance 4 parishioners
349. Apologies for Absence: Councillors Hare and Gritton sent apologies
350. To invite Councillors to declare an interest in matters on the Agenda. None were declared
351. Minutes 6/7/21
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Parish Council held on the 6th July 2021 be approved and confirmed.
352. a) Planning decisions received from Maldon District Council
PDE/MAL/21/00763 single storey rear extension which would extend beyond the rear wall of the original house
By 3.45m, maximum height of 3m and the maximum height to the eaves of 3m.
High Elves, 7 Sawyers Road.
MDC had refyused the original application for building consent, the applicant had to apply for full planning
Permission. The Parish Council supports this application.
b) Latest planning applications – none received.
c) Appeals – none received
353. Co-option of a new Councillor
Only one resident had expressed an interest in becoming a Parish Councillor. Toni Philpott was co-opted.
RESOLVED The Parish Council thanked and welcomed Councillor Philpott.
354. Report by District Councillor Durham on funding
Councillor Durham is in his 2nd term at ECC. There are 10,000 homes in the area he covers. He is Deputy Cabinet Member of devolution, arts, heritage and culture. Councillor Bentley, Leader of the Council is allocating more money to the arts, heritage and culture to encourage more people to use the facilities on offer.
Councillor Durham spoke on the reporting of pot holes, highways issues etc via the ECC website. Once this has been done – with photos of the problem if possible – then Councillor Durham can follow it up, once he has the reference number.
Locality fund. Each ECC member is given £10,000 to spend in their own division. This has happened for the last 2 year; with the Parish Council requesting a bench and hardstanding this year.
Government funding. There is a Covid 19 local support fund and a winter support grant for those in food or fuel hardship.
The local highways panel. Councillor Siddall is on this panel. There is a £400,000 per year fund for the district.
It can take 2 – 3 years to get a project approved and completed. Training sessions will be available soon for Parish Councillors to attend, to explain how the system works.
The problem of pot-holes in Sawyers Road was discussed and Councillor Durham will chase this up.
355. Traffic issues and Community Group update
2 residents volunteered to join the TWCG at the meeting, held at The Swan on 14th July. “20 is plenty” stickers were discussed and 100 at a cost of £90 are to be ordered to go on bins. A banner will also be purchased at a cost of £34.
Councillor Lawrence suggested a rota of traffic monitoring – alternating days of the week.
RESOLVED The Clerk to order the stickers – Chairman Siddall to forward details.
356. Wicks Manor traffic
Councillor Hughes was not present to report at the meeting.
RESOLVED Councillor Hughes to update at the next meeting.
357. Access point to pond and summer house, near Penny Brook, update
The Clerk had written to the owner and received a reply explaining that the area has had flooding issues so the drainage has been improved. The area is for his parents, who are moving back to the village as his mother is unwell. Most of the work has already been completed. They will love in a mobile home.
RESOLVED Chairman Siddall advised the owner he needs to apply for planning permission for the mobile home. The owner to install mirrors to aid vehicles turning out of the fields on each side of the road.
Chairman Siddall also advised the parish council that an oil tank had been installed in the front garden of a property in School Road and a concrete wall built around it. The Clerk to raise this with the Enforcement Officer.
358. Broken fence in Sawyers Road car park
Chairman Siddall had contacted MDC regarding this and was told the fence has been repaired. This is not satisfactory, as a metal pole has been taped to the fence and looks unsightly.
RESOLVED Chairman Siddall to take photos and contact MDC again.
359. Platinum Jubilee
Chairman Siddall had spoken with 3 local residents – Lorna, Judy and Phil about a village party on the 1st weekend of June 2022 which is followed by 2 Bank Holidays on the Monday and Tuesday. He also suggested giving commemorative mugs to the children of the village – maybe designed by one of the children.
RESOLVED Chairman Siddall to get costs.
360. Memorial plaque update at the War Memorial
Councillor Lawrence is still waiting for the new plaque layout for approval.
RESOLVED Councillor Lawrence to chase up urgently.
361. Common land, including Commoners who help maintain
Councillor Venton had contacted the Community Payback team to see if they could help with more clearing of the Common areas – but they are not operating for the time being. Councillor Venton is also chasing up the free trees for the Common. A quote has been received to have the willow tree on the village green remove; £750 + VAT. It may be possible to get this paid for by the Insurance Company.
A parishioner asked the Parish Council why they are looking at planting more trees, seeing as how The Plains are over-grown and uncared for. There followed a discussion on the merits of maintaining control of the Commons or handing them back to the Lord of the Manor. The Millennium Wood was also discussed; with the Community Payback team doing a lot of clearing of brambles from the area last year so it is now used more by walkers.
RESOLVED Councillor Venton to sort out the free trees to be planted October – November this year.
The Clerk to contact the Insurance company to see if they will pay to have the willow tree removed.
All Councillors to consider what to do going forward for the Common, to be discussed again at the next meeting.
362. Clerk’s report
The Clerk has been re-organizing the paper files and has put a new larger cabinet in her room to take all the Parish Council paperwork. She requested Petty Cash money to purchase new folders, dividers and paper.
A more serious situation is that the Parish Council computer is getting vey unreliable. Sometimes it is impossible to log on to the Internet or open files. Very frequently the message “Microsoft is not responding” flashes on the screen. This caused The Clerk to spend more than 5 extra hours of work – just trying to get the computer to work. She contacted IncedIT, who set up the computer when it was purchased. They ran tests on the computer and found there are 3 uncorrectable faults and 352 reallocated sectors.
RESOLVED The Parish Council agreed to the purchase of stationery by The Clerk. The Clerk to contact IncedIT and ask them to quote for a refurbished business computer and the set up costs. Chairman Siddall to look at other options.
363. Invoices presented for payment
Autela payroll April – June 2021 £30.00
MDC Trucam, 6 hours £252.43
Play Inspections Annual Inspection £222.00
Petty cash Top up £60.00
Evangelical Church Hire of hall (2 months) £30.00
Skippers Grass cutting £306.00
The Clerk had emailed items to the Councillors.
RESOLVED The Clerk to continue to email correspondence
365. Update from the District Councillor
The A12 widening scheme is under consultation. Tiptree Parish Council has concerns that this will bring more traffic through their village.
2 new Enforcement Officers have been appointed.
MDC, through an accounting error by the previous Finance Officer, has an extra £500k. Government has provided £150k for businesses to help further.
A Budget survey will take place to enable residents to say what and when to spend the money on.
There are likely to be waste collection problems in the next few weeks due to staff shortages.
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.57 p.m.
Signed by the Chairman
ITEMS FOR NEXT MONTH’S AGENDA
Landscaping fund - £800
Purchasing of additional flower bulbs