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

Parish Council Minutes 14th November 2013

14th November 2013

The Parish Council met in the Village Hall at 8.00 pm.


Part Time:

  • County Councillor Simon Walsh


Prior to the Parish Council Meeting County Councillor Mr Simon Walsh discussed various issues with the Parish Council.

He reported that he had put in a request for the persistent water leak at the bottom of Church Hill near the War Memorial to be investigated.

Mr McCarthy explained that a lot of the concerns that the council currently have, seemed to come under the auspices of the Highways Department. First discussed was the Tour de France route on nearby roads. Mr Walsh explained that the Highway Engineers were planning to deal with these in one sweep to ensure that the roads were fit for purpose. The council said that this was important for tourism in the region.

Next Miss Frost explained our difficulties with the cutting of Public Rights of Way. The parish council had a proven track record of organising this efficiently. The present system was not working and Rob Venables had been left with an unrealistic workload but was doing his best. Paths that the parish had agreed to cut had been cut by the county and the plan was not coherent and left the county cutting small lengths between the planned parish cuts. This was wasteful and muddled. The rate allowed had been cut by 50%. A much more organised approach was needed.

Rural speed limits were discussed next. At one time we seemed to be moving towards achieving 40 mph limits to Radwinter and Bramley Hollow in the other direction, though ideally this would be extended to Blagdens House due to the dangerous blind summit where a fatality occurred last year. Then a Government intervention seemed to have stalled the process. A Hempstead resident, Mr Mark Welbourne has written on the subject several times to the Highways Department and not yet received satisfactory or very speedy replies.

The narrowness of Anso Road was also problematic, as at times it is difficult for two ordinary vehicles to pass, let alone large lorries and agricultural vehicles that regularly use it. Mr Walsh agreed to back up the council on these issues.

The pedestrian footway was at least making some progress and it was hoped to make even more positive progress after the public meeting on 28th November when the Highways staff would listen to any outstanding concerns of those residents most affected. Mr McCarthy emphasised that it was important to push ahead at speed in the New Year to ensure that tree and hedge work was carried out before the nesting season. Mr Walsh promised to keep up the pressure on this issue.

Mr McCarthy thanked him for his attendance and he left the meeting.

The Parish Council meeting was opened at 8.41pm.


    held Thursday October 19, 2013 were agreed as a correct record.


    Mr Haylock reported that he had not yet inspected the hedge adjacent to the village hall, as the horse that lives in the field concerned had returned earlier than expected, but he will do this soon.


    The Council noted the address of the refurbished barn opposite Wincelow Hall.

    Mr McCarthy reported that he would be applying to rationalise one of the footpaths on his property so that it went along the field edge rather than across the middle.


    The Transport Consultation was briefly discussed and it was agreed that the clerk would respond requesting at least the status quo. As the bus was never full the council thought it appropriate to suggest the use of a smaller vehicle.


    Pedestrian Footway
    There was a imminent Local Highways Panel Meeting and it was agreed that this would attended by Mr McCarthy, Tricia Ridgway and Richard Crane from the Road Safety Committee as well as the clerk. As discussed before the meeting with Councillor Walsh a public meeting was planned for 28th November. It was agreed that the clerk would advertise this on the notice boards and write personally to all the adjacent properties.

    The Council also agreed that it would be a good idea to record the area as it is before any changes took place. Mr McCarthy agreed to ask Mr Julian McCarthy to undertake this task.

    Mr David Drane
    was pleased to note that more of the outstanding potholes that had been marked up had now been filled. He continues to chase other outstanding work. He had reported the sign at the end of Anso Road as well as the Hempstead village sign. Additionally it was noted that the 30mph signs were not very visible.


    Water Leaks
    Mr McCarthy had shown the area to Councillor Walsh at the bottom of Church Hill and this had been discussed prior to the meeting.

    War Memorial Cleaning
    Mr Weedon who had carried out this work could no longer manage this task and a volunteer would be sought.

    Affordable Housing
    The clerk informed the council that he had contacted the Rural Community Council for Essex who would be sending a representative, Moira Groborz to the January meeting.


    Mrs Scott reported that after changes at the Neighbourhood Watch she did not seem to be getting the same quality of information and was relying more on Farmwatch.


    The Current list was discussed and some amendments made. The clerk would update the list for the next meeting. Miss Frost agreed to update the village jobs list that was also discussed.


    New Salary Scales for Clerk
    It was agreed to pay the clerk on salary spine point 23 to be backdated to April 2013.

    Cheques for payment were signed as follows:
    J Basham final village grass cut: £300
    HMRC PAYE: £157
    British Legion Donation for Remembrance Day Wreath: £25
    Final Invoice for Gutter Press, Newsletter Printing: £330.
    A cheque for Clean Up Day Refreshments was also signed but subsequently found to be incorrect and would be re-issued at the next meeting.

    Slee Donation
    It was agreed that Mr Drane and Miss Frost would look into a possible design for a circular plaque to fill the vacant space on the village hall.


    Mr Haylock reported that R D Haylock and Son would be unable to finish the second cut due to the change in weather. They would submit an invoice for the work completed.


    Miss Frost distributed drafts of the ‘landing pages’ for the Parish Council and other organisations. It was agreed that these would be scrutinised and any suggestions passed to Miss Frost.


    The official opening event had been successful and had been attended by Mr Alan Haslehurst, the local MP.

    Mr Sladen reminded everyone that the AGM of the Village Hall Management Committee would take place on Tuesday November 19.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS – Thursdays January 9 and February 6 all at 8pm in the Village Hall.

The meeting closed at 9.55 pm