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

Parish Council Minutes 12th January 2012

12th January 2012

The Parish Council met in the Village Hall on Thursday 12 January at 8.00 pm.


Part Time:

  • District Councillor Simon Howells
  • County Councillor Simon Walsh


Prior to the meeting proper County Councillor Simon Walsh addressed the council and reported that Councillor Chapman had at last agreed to look into the matter of the pedestrian footway. Councillor Walsh had briefed the Head of Highways. Things had not progressed since the exorbitant costings produced on a rather ‘over-engineered’ proposed solution several months ago. Councillor Walsh agreed to make a strong case but said budgets were very tight and there were competing demands on them.

The Chairman reminded him that the council had been assured in the past that this scheme was top priority because of the risk to pedestrians. He strongly expressed the parish council’s frustration and annoyance at the lack of progress or even any communication on the matter. Councillor Chapman had never replied in the nearly nine months that she had been in office to any communications or requests for a visit. He said it felt as if we were an ignored backwater on the northern border of the county and easily forgotten. The purchase of the land had been agreed with landowners. The parish had volunteered to use some of its reserves to aid progress of a scheme that had been discussed for over 40 years.

Miss Frost said that the council now needs answers to the following:

  1. When will revised costings be available?
  2. Where will the budget come from?
  3. What is the timetable for completion?
  4. When will the Parish Council be able to meet with Councillor Chapman?

The Chairman expressed the view of the council and local inhabitants that they were no longer going to sit quietly and be ignored but would take steps to ensure that our case would get the maximum publicity even if it meant contacting press and local media, staging demonstrations and protests.

Councillor Walsh accepted some of the blame for not arguing the case strongly enough but said that he had been left in no doubt as to the strong feelings that surround this topic.

The topic of policing was also discussed, again with strong views being expressed on the sudden changes and seeming reduction in manpower. The Chairman again expressed the feeling that we are a remote rural area with infrequent and very low profile police visits. No speed checks or support on the footway issue had been forthcoming. Councillor Walsh promised to communicate these feelings to the new commander.

Councillor Walsh was thanked by the Chairman for his attendance.

District Councillor Simon Howell addressed the meeting and pointed out that consultation on the Local development framework was taking place from 20 January until 5 March.

He hoped to raise some of the council’s and local area’s policing concerns with the Assistant Chief Constable who would be attending the West Area Forum on the first of March.

The revised opening hours of Saffron Walden Recycling centre were discussed. Miss Frost suggested there could be an adjustment in the hours so that it opened one morning a week at 8am. This would enable people to use it on the way to work and thus reduce pressure on the weekend usage. Councillor Howell agreed to look into this. He was thanked for his attendance.

The meeting proper began at 8.27pm


    were taken as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



    Green Waste Skip
    It was agreed to pay a contribution towards the Radwinter to their Parish Council. The payment would be for a fortnightly service from 7 April to 4 November the charge would be £135. It was noted that this figure would probably double after the introductory year. (Action Point: Clerk to write and finally accept the offer.)

    Saffron Walden Recycling hours
    Further to the pre meeting discussion it was agreed to write to Uttlesford District Council to underline the feelings about a more flexible opening pattern. (Action Point: Clerk to correspond)

    Emergency Planning
    Mr Sladen reported that there was to be a meeting on Wednesday January 18 tp update the documentation. (Action point; Mr Sladen to report on progress)

    Salt Bin
    The bin on Church Hill had been reported to the Highways Dept. as it had overturned. It had now been righted.


    Village Green
    The clerk had received a letter from Lloyd Simpson of Essex Legal Department requiring a more detailed map of the village green marking the bus shelter, bench, war memorial, etc. Apparently the land that these occupy cannot be registered. There was also a query about the post and chain boundary marker that the clerk would further address with Mr Simpson. (Action point: Clerk to provide sketch map and clarify position concerning posts)


    Miss Frost and Mrs Scott attended a meeting of interested villagers to set up a committee to organise events to celebrate this occasion and were encouraged by the response. The majority of people agreed to help form the committee and encourage others to be involved. A further meeting was arranged for Tuesday January 17.

    A budget of £3000 to £3500 had been discussed. £333 would come from the new homes bonus via Councillor Howell and the Parish Council would donate £500 from reserves as agreed. Fund raising ideas included a Quiz Night and possibly a Beetle Drive. Subject to agreement with committees Mr Sladen thought the Village Hall could be provided free of charge and Miss Frost said that the Gardener’s Mart profits could contribute.

    The events would be advertised extensively in the newsletter and on the website. There was to be a children’s competition to design a logo. The council looked forward to hearing of further progress.


    Building Society Account
    A letter was signed to Saffron Walden Building Society to close the account. This will be consolidated with reserves in Barclays as the first stage of the rationalisation of accounts previously discussed. (Minute No: 71 Meeting 15 September)

    A cheques was signed for £254.20 to HM Revenue and Customs for the period from the beginning of the financial year until the end of December to cover income tax on the Clerk’s salary. This must now be collected by the Parish Council on a PAYE basis. This amount will be reduced from the quarterly payment to the Clerk in March to offset this and subsequent payments. Next year it will probably be necessary to pay the clerk and HMRC monthly. It was agreed to review the issue of the Clerk’s salary at a later meeting. (Action Point: Clerk to find out latest pay scales from EALC)


    Mr Drane continued to pursue the repair of these but with the usual problem of no replies from the council.


    The problem of horse traffic affecting one of the footpaths was discussed. It was agreed that this had been sorted out and was no longer a problem.

    Miss Frost reported that grants for footpath cutting had been agreed for next year on the same basis as last year of two cuts for £435.90


    Village Hall Hedge
    This had still not been cut as Chas Johnson was awaiting BT to do some work in this area. Miss Frost agreed to contact BT to clarify the situation.

    Overgrown hedges
    in the village had been trimmed back, and fallen logs removed by the Community Payback Scheme organised by the Probation Service. (Action point: Miss Frost to contact BT)


    Church Farm Cottage
    Another application had been received as the previous application was incorrect. However it still showed boundaries marked incorrectly. (Action point: The clerk would comment on this on the planning website.)


    Hearing Loop
    This is almost complete and being tested. One of the next steps would be to get user groups together to demonstrate the usage.

Future meeting dates – Thursdays 9 February ,15th March and 12 April all at 8pm in the Village Hall.

The meeting closed at 9.27pm