Hempstead in Essex
Resting place of William Harvey and Sir Eliab Harvey and birthplace of Dick Turpin

Parish Council Minutes 10th September 2015

10th September 2015


Thursday September 10, 2015

Held at Hempstead Village Hall


Part Time:

  • District Councillor Simon Howell

Members of the Public

District Councillor Howell addressed the meeting. He apologised for missing the last few meetings. He asked if there were any developments regarding the Bluebell Public House. The Chair updated him with the information that there was interest being shown by potential landlords.

The completion of the footway project could go ahead now that the last legal difficulties had been resolved. The time frame was uncertain but it would definitely be finished before the end of the financial year otherwise funding could be lost.

Harvey Way hedge was now on the Highway Rangers work schedule and should be done within a month. He explained one of the delays had been caused by the fact that scheduling of their work is done centrally by Essex Highways.

A start had been made on the derelict site opposite the Tesco store in Saffron Walden. There would be blocks of nursing home accommodation and housing.

The district housing plan was being revised and villages with some amenities such as Radwinter would have to take their share of housing allocation. Hempstead was not directly under consideration due to its size and lack of amenities. He was thanked by the chairman and left the meeting.

The Parish Council Meeting opened at 8.15 pm.


    District Councillor Simon Walsh


    These were agreed to be a true record of the meeting of August 13 2015 and were signed by the Chairman.


    There were none not covered elsewhere.


    High Lea extension: This was considered by some to be rather large but as the majority of members did not think that it was a problem no comments would be forwarded to Uttlesford District Council.

    Boytons: the application to alter the flooring in a listed building was not considered to be significant so no comments would be made.

    Work being carried out at Pippins was mentioned as there did not seem to have been any planning notifications. The Chairman agreed to make enquiries


    The survey of interest was nearing completion and the results would be sent off for analysis. Planning was slightly behind schedule. No references had been received from villages already using the system.


    The clerk mentioned the email from County Councillor Simon Walsh. Mr Welbourn pointed out that it contained reference to probable new primary schools in Saffron Walden but no mention of secondary provision.

    The clerk mentioned several meeting and AGMs that were imminent. It was agreed not to subscribe to The Uttlesford Association of Local Councils.


    Local Highways Panel – As Rissa Long had informed the Parish Council that there were surveys and discussions on the submitted road safety schemes taking place it was not considered necessary for anyone to speak at the next meeting. Mr Welbourne said that he would try to attend anyway if possible.

    Councillor Drane Report – Mr Drane reported that the cats eyes in the village should have been installed on September 5th but this had been put off for a week. Mr Sladen said that a resident of Anser Gallows Farm had difficulty coming out of his drive due to lack of visibility and speed of vehicles from the Radwinter direction. He wondered if it would be possible to put slow signs on the road

    Footway Project – The Chairman had spoken to the resident of the property concerned a couple of weeks ago and had been told that there was no objection from the mortgage company and no further survey would be required. Essex County Council had changed some wording on the agreement but this should not delay signing which had been due to take place before today’s meeting. Communication was now difficult due to holidays.As discussed with Councillor Howell completion was in sight but different reports of the timing had been given as there were a lot of organisational issues, such as road diversions to be finalised.


    Flooding – Mr Sladen reported that clearing of gullies had started on A and B roads. The sumps were cleared then checked and the drains marked, either yellow meaning that they were working reasonably well or red to indicate problems. Results would be sent to Essex Highways to give a picture of where problems existed. Along Anso Road half the drains were marked red. Problems had been caused by landowners not clearing drains as well as the general neglect of the system due to shortage of funds. He promised to arrange a meeting to update the Emergency Plan.

    Pond Refurbishment – As this had proved problematic it was agreed that it may be better to clear out the pond from the road side, remove the wooden platform which is in poor condition and then grass over the edge. Quotes would still be needed for the digger and carting work as well as the blue clay for puddling, topsoil and grass seed. Attention may also have to be given to the outflow pipe that maintains the level of water.

    The Mound – Mr Weedon would look at detailed plans to see if any encroachment had taken place on this area.

    Village Green – Mr Welbourn reported on his scrutiny of the paperwork and outlined the approaches that it would be possible to take to secure its future. He advised that the current application be withdrawn as it was almost sure to fail. He would investigate the possibility of applying for first registration of ownership of the land with the land registry.

    Wellyard Trees/Brookside Cottage – A resident had contacted the clerk concerned that trees from the council owned land adjacent to her property were touching the roof of her property. It was agreed that the chairman and Mrs McNeill meet with her to discuss the problem. It was also agreed that the clerk write to occupants of Wellyard properties to clarify the situation reading the dumping of garden waste on this land.

    Christmas Decorations – It was agreed that the clerk should order 2 sets of battery operated LED lights at the anticipated price of £30 per set. It would also be necessary to order a Christmas tree at a cost of approximately £40. Mr Welbourn agreed to provide a barrel.

    The Bluebell Inn – The Chairman had been in contact with parties interested in taking over the public house. One group were particularly keen, though the owner feels the need to work through some issues first. A potential tenant, who has relevant experience and another pub already, would like to be in as soon as possible.

    Play Area – Several residents had asked about this possibility of installing a play area on The Glebe. The Village Hall Management Committee and the Parish Council were both fully in favour and would add support. However, because of the existing workload of individuals involved with these two organisations it was agreed that the Chairman would ask in the newsletter for volunteers. It would be necessary to form a committee to plan the project, apply for grants and raise funds. The Village Hall would have to ensure adequate insurance as they owned The Glebe. Regular maintenance and safety checks would be an ongoing expense that had to be budgeted for.


    Charities – Home Start and Air ambulance; it was agreed to donate £50 each of these causes, the cheques to be signed at next meeting

    Cheques were signed to – HMRC £37.44 for PAYE, Julian Basham £300 for grass cutting

    Banking Arrangements – Mrs McNeill and Mr Welbourn were given forms to sign so that they could act as signatories if necessary. Also the Clerk needed to complete a form to enable him to use internet banking. The forms would be sent off after the next meeting to complete the mandate change. Then we could deal with the change to internet banking.

    New Homes Grants via Councillor Howell – Last year’s grant of £666.66 had been allocated to the pond project. It was agreed that the clerk would write to Councillor Howell for agreement for this year’s identical grant to be spent in a similar way.

  10. Communications

    Mrs McNeill was working on updating areas such as Neighbourhood Watch on the website with Mrs Scott.


    A Fundraising Auction of Home and Garden donations was planned for Saturday 12th September in the Village Hall.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS – Thursdays, October 15, November 26 and January 14 at 8pm in the Village Hall.

The meeting ended at 9.58 pm