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

Parish Council Minutes 14th December 2017

14th December 2017


Thursday 14 December 2017 in the Village Hall


Part Time:

Members of the Public:

The meeting started at 8.01pm


    County Councillor Simon Howell
    Mr Mark Welbourn


    County councillor Walsh’s report had previously been circulated. There were no issues in need of discussion.

  3. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING HELD Thursday 2nd November, 2017

    These were agreed to be an accurate account of the meeting and signed


    Not covered elsewhere. There were none.


    Flooding – Training of volunteers to map and establish ownership of the water courses in the parish had taken place on Saturday 9th December. The need to work on pairs had been identified. The larger scale maps needed will be sent to Mrs McNeill which together with the information held by Mr Sladen will enable work to start probably next Summer. In the meantime, any urgent action can be reported. Mr McCarthy congratulated everyone concerned in getting this initiative underway.

    Base of Fountain – A quote had been received for pressure washing, grouting and sealing as well as attending to the overgrown surrounding area. Mark Halls had quoted £1950 plus vat to carry out the more substantial re-furbishment originally envisaged. It was agreed to go with the less expensive option. The Clerk would contact Mr Simmons to arrange for the work to be done.

    Christmas Tree – Mr Sladen had put in a stake to support the tree. Mrs Scott agreed to look at the lights which probably need new batteries.

    Village Sign – Aaron McCarthy(no relation) who had previously renovated the notice boards, had agreed to look at the work needed and supply a quote.


    Chalkstones: The Clerk had secured the agreement of the planning department to send in comments slightly after the official deadline.

    The Council were concerned about this being another case of retrospective agreement for development being sought. Previous concerns expressed by the Council and neighbours seem to have been ignored. It was agreed that the Clerk and Chairman would write appropriate comments.

    Bullsbridge and Hempstead Play Area applications were deemed to be straightforward and not needing comments.

    Fairview: a substantial structure had been started to the front of this property. No planning permission had been received and the Enforcement Section of Uttlesford Planning had opened a file on the case. They were concerned that the structure was in front of the building line. The Clerk had contacted them and they advised the Council to hold any comments until an application is received.

    The Enforcement Team had proposed meetings with clusters of parishes to discuss their work. This had prompted comments from Councils and Councillors about the lack of enforcement in cases of retrospective applications compared to other district councils. Theses echoed the Council’s own feelings on this issue.


    Thanks had been received from the Air Ambulance charity for the council’s donation.


    Highways Report – Mr Drane had contacted Rissa Long on the fairly extensive hedge trimming that had been carried out in the area. There had been some complaints about the mud created but overall it was an improvement.

    Some further patching of potholes had been carried but Mr Drane was still chasing for others to be done.

    Road Safety Schemes – The Council noted Rissa Long’s email that explained the proposal to have a short buffer section of 40mph restriction on the entry into the village from Steeple Bumpstead direction had been validated and would now be put forward to the Local Highways Panel for possible allocation of funds.

    The Council acknowledged that this was a very small step forward that we should be grateful for. However, Mr Welbourn is still pursuing the other two more substantial schemes that have been submitted.


    The revised draft budget for 2017/8 that had been prepared by the Clerk was discussed and agreed. It allows for a small increase if £250 per annum. The form to claim next Year’s Precept was signed by the chairman and Clerk.

    In addition it was decided that after this year the Council would no longer support the Radwinter green waste service as it was clear that there is no evidence of it being used by Hempstead residents.

    The Clerk reminded the Council there was a transparency grant £390 that had been awarded by NALC.


    Play Area Planning Permission: Mr Long reported that a Bio-diversity survey had been commissioned and sent into Uttlesford Planning Department. The application has now been validated and a final result is awaited by 24th January. He had talked to the supplier, who has a seven-week lead time, and it is hoped to do the construction in March. This will also give us time to access the grant. He had contacted the main grantees, Essex County Council and alerted them to the fact that we could slightly overrun their deadline and they acknowledged that this is not a problem.

    Mr Weedon raised the issue of the exact ownership of the land used by Radwinter Preschool groups for forest school activities. Mr Sladen agreed to look at maps in his possession to clarify that issue.


    The two assets nominated, namely the Bluebell Inn and the unregistered Village Green containing the bus shelter, have been accepted onto the list of Community Assets in the parish.


    The Neighbourhood Watch pages had been updated on the website. After the recent spate of local burglaries residents had expressed concern about the lack of local police presence with nearest officers stationed in Braintree. The Council agreed that thIs might be an appropriate time to try to recruit volunteers and re-establish and effective network in the village. Mrs Scott would prepare an article for the next newsletter.

FUTURE MEETINGS – Thursdays 15th February and 15th March all at 8pm in the Village Hall.

The meeting ended at 9.10pm