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

Parish Council Minutes 15th September 2005

15th September 2005

The Council met in the Village Hall on Thursday 15 September 2005 at 8pm



  • County Councillor Simon Walsh
Also present:

  • Acting Inspector Ashley Seymour
  • PC Ryan McNamara
  • PCSO Mike O’Donnell-Smith
  • Mr Paul Hardy, West Area Highways Manager Essex County Council (ECC)

Mr McCarthy opened the preliminary part of the meeting by welcoming Acting Inspector Ashley Seymour, PC Ryan McNamara, PCSO Mike O’Donnell-Smith and Mr Paul Hardy and thanking them all for attending. Mr McCarthy asked A/Insp Seymour for his thoughts and suggestions with regard to the main issues in the village of traffic speed, possible support for the footpath scheme and anti-social behaviour. A/Insp Seymour explained his role of Community Sergeant overseeing a team of 6 officers, 3 based in Saffron Walden and 3 rural officers allocated to surrounding villages. He introduced PC Ryan McNamara as the new beat officer for Hempstead (and Thaxted, Little and Great Sampford, Radwinter, Ashdon and Hadstock). The main role of the community team is to react promptly to problems and to patrol on a reasonably frequent basis. In addition there were 4 Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) and PCSO Mike O’Donnell-Smith was introuced. (In addition the mobile police unit, traffic officers and 24 hour officers were also available to the community.) The community team are based in Saffron Walden and are there to serve the community in a number of different ways. Assessing speeding problems and reacting accordingly is within the remit of the rural officers and PC McNamara is trained to use a hand held detection unit.

PCSO Mike O’Donnell-Smith explained the role of Police Community Support Officers as high visibility foot patrol officers able to deal with minor crimes and anti-social behaviour. They are there to assist the police force and reassure the public. They are equipped with police radios and it is anticipated that their patrols should be as frequently as once a week. Starting in April 2005, PCSO O’Donnell-Smith covered North Uttlesford and had already been seen many times in Hempstead.

The issue of speeding in Hempstead was then discussed and A/Insp Seymour provided the following statistics from the last 3 visits of the speed detection unit:

of Day
Number of Vehicles
Average Speed
Highest Speed
1 8.20am 100 30mph 37mph
2 5.30pm 62 27mph 40mph
3 8.30am 36 32mph 51mph

Some fixed penalty notices and warnings had been issued (disappointingly local residents were included). These figures highlight that there is a speed problem, although it was noted that there were several incidents of drivers warning each other by flashing their lights. Within the area of the 30mph limit there had been 2 accidents in the last 3 years (1 minor and 1 serious) and this meant that the village did not warrant a camera site. It was agreed that frequent speed checks would continue to be carried out. It was pointed out that there were also speed issues outside the village (on the B1054 both near Hill Farm and the stretch towards Bramley Hollow), however it was advised that it was difficult to monitor speed outside of the 30/40mph areas.

With regard to anti-social behaviour issues, the police were critical of the fact that only two instances of anti-social behaviour had been reported to them this year. Failure to report the second incident of a broken window in the hall and a number of other instances does not allow them to see the whole picture and then take the appropriate action. Mr McCarthy will make a note of this in the newsletter to encourage residents to report all incidents promptly in future. The possibility of installing CCTV at the village hall was also discussed, PC McNamara will liaise with Mr Sladen accordingly.

Acting Inspector Ashley Seymour, PC Ryan McNamara and PCSO Mike O’Donnell-Smith then left the meeting at 8.40pm.

Mr McCarthy then welcomed Paul Hardy (West Area Manager, Essex CC, Highways Dept.) who is based at Harlow and whose area includes Uttlesford, Epping, Harlow and Brentwood. Mr Hardy confirmed that our request for an extension of the speed limits is in the 2007/08 programme of works. He also stated that when the time came the Parish Council would be consulted on the precise detail and that different alternatives may be more appropriate. He also advised that a further Planned Parish Visit was imminent and we would shortly be requested to provide a list of items for repair/maintenance. Mr McCarthy commented that we had been very impressed with the first Planned Parish Visit. The condition of Boytons Lane was drawn to Mr Hardy’s attention and we were asked to add this to the Planned Parish visit list.

With regard to the footpath project, Mr Hardy was in the process of writing a report to Cllr Bass justifying its inclusion in the Local Transport Plan 2 (LTP2) – it is currently on the Reserve List. (The LTP is a long term plan which sets out Essex County Council’s plans and policies for the future of transport in Essex. The first Local Transport Plan was a document containing the five-year programme from 2001-2006. The second Local Transport Plan contains the five-year programme from 2006-2011). LTP2 would go to Government in February to obtain additional funds for ECC to complete these projects. Mr Hardy advised that of the 103 footpath requests currently being assessed by his department, Hempstead’s scored highest, however he consider it only had a low chance of being included due to cost (in excess of £220,000). Based on justifications presented by various managers, officers at County Hall will decide which projects would be included in the LTP2 with Cllr Bass making the final decision.

Mr McCarthy asked what the parish council could do to help progress the scheme. Mr Hardy said that the presentation made by Alan Weedon on behalf of the parish council was very well received and would have done our cause a lot of good. He also suggested that the parish council write to Cllr Bass stating our case.

Mr Hardy left the meeting at 9.30pm

Mr McCarthy then opened the Parish Council meeting. He asked that the clerk write a letter of thanks to A/Insp Seymour and Mr Hardy for their attendance and support.


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


    • Highway Matters
      In sending his apologies for this meeting Cllr Walsh reported on a new capital funding initiative for parish and other local groups. Each district will have £150,000 to share out. Significant projects may attract a special Parish Improvement Grant of possibly up to £200,000. It is a possibility that the footway scheme could be put forward as a bid from this fund. The details have yet to be finalised, but Cllr Walsh will start making enquiries as to whether Hempstead’s proposal would count.

    • Path at Pond
      Miss Frost had received a quote from Knights Contractors but it was felt that other solutions might be more suitable. Miss Frost will investigate further.– Action DF


    To be carried forward to next meeting


    Mr Weedon was congratulated on a very adept presentation at the Highways and Transport Meeting, which was also attended by Mr Haylock and Mrs Midgley. The committee promised a written reply to the questions posed.


    • Notice of a meeting of the UALC.
    • Ring of Trees – letter of apology for misuse of the Ring of Trees had been received from a resident. It was suggested that some of the trees should now be pollarded and that replacing/extending the chain may also enhance the area … possibly a project for the prize money from the Best Kept Village competition.– Action DH
    • Clearing of Stream – Mr Sladen felt it was necessary to ensure that the stream through the village was clear of large obstructions before the wet weather arrived to try to avoid flooding. Mr Sladen/Mr McCarthy would walk the stream in the near future to identify potential problems.– Action JS

    Miss Frost reported that Dreamweaver software had been installed and both Brian Kitchen and Helen Philip were becoming familiarised with it. Village hall information has now been uploaded to the site.


    Mr McCarthy and Mr Haylock had attended a ‘Raising the Profile’ course held by Essex Training Partnership (ETP) on 14 September which had proved to be very interesting. Consideration had to be given to whether this was a route the Council wished to take and what benefits would be derived. The time scale in either case was expected to be 18/24 months and a steering group with a constitution would need to be established to assist in obtaining grant aid/match funding. It was necessary to consider if the issues that may be highlighted by these plans might be beyond the control of the Parish Council. Packs of information had been requested and will be reviewed on receipt– Action ALL


    The following accounts were presented for payment and cheques drawn up:

    S. Basham Grass cutting £180.00
    Stop Stansted Expansion Annual subscription £50.00
    (Mr MCCarthy declared an interest and refrained from the discussion.)


    UTT/1384/05 FUL – Wellyards, Well Yard

    Objections submitted to include:

    • all windows overlooking Cooks View to be opaque,
    • velux windows in roof at rear spoil roof line,
    • style of windows on northwest elevation should match existing.


    Mr Sladen had received audited accounts for the last 4 years and passed these to the Clerk for safekeeping. He reported that the insurers had carried out a satisfactory risk assessment and this meant a saving on the premium of £100. Mr Sladen also explained the new procedure of signing on leaving the building to discharge liability. The AGM of the Village Hall Management Committee is scheduled for 21 October 2005.

    Mr Sladen had obtained a supply and fitting quote of £292 + VAT for the sign for the Village Hall showing the website address. This was approved by the Council together with the detail of the font.


    Mr McCarthy drew attention to forthcoming fund raising events by Stop Stansted Expansion campaign.


    • Attention had been drawn to the damage to both the bench by the bus shelter and at Mill House Cottages. Mr McCarthy would assess the damage and report back.– Action SM
    • A resident was very upset following an incident involving horses and wanted to withdraw the permissive use of a bridle way on her land. This was not considered to be a matter for the council to deal with and Mr McCarthy would advise the resident accordingly.– Action SM

The dates of the next meetings are 12 October, 10 November and 8 December

The meeting closed at 10.30pm.