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

Parish Council Minutes 11th June 2015

11th June 2015

Thursday June 11 2015

Part Time:

  • Simon Howell District Councillor

Members of the Public

The Parish Council Meeting was adjourned whilst Mr Howell addressed the Council. He updated the Council on some of the post-election changes at Uttlesford District Council. Most significant of these for Hempstead was that there was to be a new Chairman of the Local Highways Panel.

Mr Howell said that his new role was to Chair the Finance Committee which meant facing some tough decisions. He re-iterated the problems of the growing population of Saffron Walden with no update of infrastructure. The secondary school situation was particularly worrying as children from the villages would no longer be eligible for place at the County High School.

The Parish Council Meeting opened at 8 pm.


    County Councillor Simon Walsh


    These were signed as an accurate record of the meeting on Thursday May 14


    None arose not covered elsewhere.


    Broadband – James Nicholson had contacted a potential supplier of an improved service. There were different options, with cost depending on actual level of service and the number of people prepared to sign up. A public meeting would be the next step forward. It was agreed that the Chairman would go ahead and liaise with James Nicholson. It would be advertised and put in the newsletter.


    An application had been sent to Uttlesford by the residents of Coach Road Cottage seeking permission to build a garden room and raise the chimney level. The Council decided that it was not necessary to send in any comments.


    Local Highways Panel – on 22nd would be attended by Mr Welbourne and the clerk to put the case for the three submitted road safety schemes.

    Mr Drane – reported that much of Hill Road had finally been repaired and was due for re-surfacing, but no date had been given. The Radwinter to Ashdon Road should be re-surfaced in August

    Footway Project – The Chairman reported that he had been in touch with Essex Highways who had told him that they were still awaiting the completion of the final legal agreement with the remaining affected property.

    Public Rights of Way – Mr Drane had asked Essex Highways when the first cut would be but it was not yet clear. Footpath 19 was discussed and it was clear that the owners of the adjacent properties would need to cut back brambles etc. which were causing difficulties.

    Harvey Way Hedge – The Chairman said that he would write to Simon Howell who had proved helpful on previous occasions.


    Flooding – Mr Sladen had again looked at the progress on the three reported issues that had been allocated reference numbers. He had phoned Essex Highways who advised him to email the questions. These were, emptying of drain sumps, jetting between drains and contact with landowners. Water still leaking on Church Hill was mentioned but Mr Sladen thought that this should be cleared.

    Emergency Plan – Mr Sladen said that with new councillors it would be a good time to work on the update. He would arrange a meeting with Mr Drane and the Chairman.

    Pond Refurbishment – Mrs Scott agreed to chase up the quote needed in writing for the council to apply for a grant and plan the work for autumn.

    Telephone Kiosk – The Council were pleased to see that the telephone kiosk had recently be re-painted as promised by BT and now looks very smart. The clerk said that he would write again to BT to thank them and ask that they finish the job by replacing the upper glass panels.


    There had been some vandalism to the Pre-School Group equipment and motor bikes had been riding around in the car park of the closed Bluebell pub. The Chairman agreed to contact the police to ask for some extra visits.


    Cheques – were signed for HMRC PAYE £37.44 & Julian Basham, Grass cutting £300

    The Internal Audit Report – was received form Mr John Cockman and the contents noted. His recommendations, particularly those concerning the asset register would be carried out over the coming year. Also under the new audit regime a section on the website specifically for Parish Council financial information would be needed.

    Year End Accounts and Annual Governance Statement – were discussed and signed prior to sending off to the external auditor.


    Website – Mrs McNeill had met with Brian Kitchen to discuss the website. The Clerk mentioned that there was quite a lot of old information, for example Neighbourhood Watch reports, that was no longer relevant and may need discarding.


    The committee had recently met and were looking at the possibility of updating the sanitary ware which had not been replaced in last refurbishment in 1999. Also expenditure was likely to be needed on the heating system. It was planned to hold a fundraising event in the autumn. Bluebell 2 was to be held after the success of Bluebell 1 which raised £280 after paying a fee to the village hall and a donation to the Nepal earthquake appeal.


    It was agreed to take this item off future agendas until there were any significant developments. The Chairman had contacted Mr Sills but no reply was forthcoming. Mrs Scott said that she would inform Hastoes.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS – Thursdays July 9, August 13 and September 10 at 8pm in the Village Hall.

The meeting ended at 9.20 pm