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

Parish Council Minutes 15th September 2011

15th September 2011

The Council met in the Village Hall on Thursday 15 September 2011 at 8pm.


Also Present:


The Chairman opened the meeting at 8.04 pm

  1. MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 11 August 2011

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




    Councillor Simon Howell
    The Clerk read a report from the councillor. Items included the proposed changes to the waste and recycling service.
    The Performance and Audit Committee had been busy. The external audit is substantially complete and the final Statement of Accounts is expected to be approved at the next meeting of the Performance and Audit Committee on 29 September and an unqualified approval is anticipated. The unqualified approval of the Council’s ability to secure value for money represents a significant improvement.
    All District Councillors have been provisionally allocated a personal budget from the New Homes Bonus that will be distributed to parishes and could, for example be used to mark the Queens’s Diamond Jubilee in some way. – Action ML

    Councillor Simon Walsh
    sent a brief report regretting his absence and indicating that he had heard nothing new about the footway through the village. He urged acceptance of the Winter salt offer and reported that the new planning framework was worth looking at as it could have implications for rural communities.

    Waste collection system
    Proposed changes had been outlined in the newsletter and in information from the council. At least one respondent felt that were some disadvantages to the proposals. They were particularly against the loss of the civic amenity skips that visit Radwinter. The staff who operated them are very helpful especially to the those who find using Saffron Walden amenity site with its higher bins quite difficult. The clerk would pass on these comment to Uttlesford. – Action ML

    Invitations to take part in ‘Britain in Bloom’ and Parish Transport Meetings were noted but not deemed to be of interest at the current time. The periodical review of Polling Districts and Polling Stations was noted but there were no issues of concern.

    Winter Salt Supplies
    Essex County Council had offered each Parish one tonne of salt to treat the public highway network. The salt would come on one delivery in 20 kg bags. Mr David Haylock agreed to take delivery and arrange temporary storage. However concern was expressed concerning public liability issues if volunteers cleared paths and applied salt and subsequently accidents occurred. It was decided that the clerk would raise this issue with county and our insurers. Further discussion would be needed and it may be necessary to purchase a salt bin as county would supply no further bins. – Action ML


    None were reported


    Registration of Common Land
    The registration form for the land containing the bus shelter and War memorial had been completed and sent to Essex Legal Services.


    The council discussed the Banking review circulated by the clerk prior to the meeting. It was agreed that any changes should be seen by the internal auditor before action was taken, but there was agreement that there was a strong case for simplifying the council’s banking arrangements. This would also obviate risks identified in the current arrangements. The number of bank accounts would be reduced. It was planned to have one current account for the relatively small number of receipts and payments that are dealt with over the year. This would reduce the need for transfers. There would be a reversion to telephone banking as the bank could not offer an internet service that satisfied the need for accountability and financial probity. There would be an amalgamation of the two reserve accounts again to simplify the accounting. The village hall and clerk’s reserve accounts would of course remain separate. It was considered that these changes, if agreed, would be best made after the half year internal audit. – Action ML

    Financial Report
    It was reported that the second instalment of the precept, £3900, would be paid this week. The finances are running in line with the budget. Though a routine transfer of £3000 from the saver account to the current would need to be made to cover expenses up to the end of the year. – Action ML

    Minute Book
    The current book that the minutes are glued into is nearing the end of its life. The clerk had priced a replacement from the same supplier. The price was £137. It was agreed that he should look for other alternatives. – Action ML

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

    Audit Commission £162.00
    Donation to Essex Air Ambulance £50.00


    Pedestrian Footway
    No progress was reported but the council resolved to continue pursuing this matter diligently.

    Mr Drane had sent a report that he was still chasing the issues of potholes, hedges and re-surfacing. However he had received no replies to his constant emails for a couple of months. He pledged to continue his efforts on behalf of the council. Though in a subsequent email he noted that some local roads were to be re-surfaced in the next week.


    The first invoice for the work done by Harry Luff had been sent to Essex County Council for payment and payment from Essex County Council was imminent. He was due to do the second very soon.

    Mr Haylock had completed his cutting programme and would send the invoice to the clerk. – Action DH/ML


    The agreed Budget allocation for jobs around the village was discussed. The most pressing were agreed to be the pollarding in the Ring of Trees area and the hedge outside the Village Hall. Estimates were being obtained for this work.


    No issues discussed.


    Three applications were currently being circulated for comment: Mr Sladen declared an interest in the first of these applications.

    Anso Corner Farm
    The application for a retail presence at this location was discussed. The proposed retail usage that was detailed was not considered to be a problem in itself. However it was felt that it may open up the site for less amenable retail usage if there was deviation from that outlined. The Chairman agreed to contact neighbours to gain their views. – Action ML

    Wincelow Barn
    This had been discussed at the previous meeting and comment passed to the Planning Department

    Hempstead House
    Plans for this application had been seen by all councillors and no real objection raised but comment had been passed onto the Planning Department.


    Mr Sladen reported that the planning for the project to install a hearing loop was progressing.

    Future meeting dates – 13 October, 17 November and 15 December at 8pm in the Village Hall.

    The meeting closed at 9.28 pm.