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

Parish Council Minutes 17th March 2005

17th March 2005

The Council met in the Village Hall on Thursday 17 March 2005 at 8.40pm


  • Mr S McCarthy (Chairman)
  • Miss D Frost
  • Mrs A Midgley
  • Mr J Sladen
  • Mr A Thomas
  • Mr A Weedon
  • Mr D Haylock
  • Parish Clerk
  • Parish Clerk Designate

  • Sue Schneider (prior engagement)
  • Mr D Haylock (prior engagement)
County Councillor John Whitehead attended for 25 minutes and discussed County matters with members of the Council.

The Chairman reminded everyone that this was the last meeting of the Clerk and wished her well.



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


    • Rights of Way
      Discussion with Essex County Council had highlighted that the cost of any alteration to rights of way on the Definitive Map would cost in excess of £1,000 each and that there was no ECC money available for such work.

      This is far in excess of what this Council had been led to believe initially by Fiona Taylor (£2-3,000 in total). Mr McCarthy and the Clerk were to have a meeting with Maggie Cox of Uttlesford District Council to review the position. She has said that if the landowner had made the requests for alterations then they would need to pay if the work was to go ahead.

      The Parish Council was particularly upset by this turn of events as considerable time and effort had been put in to walking all the paths and bridleways, holding public meetings and drawing up plans etc. It was felt that Fiona Taylor had misled the councillors and they would now suffer considerable loss of face among the residents in potentially not being able to continue with this course of action.

      It was agreed that despite the Clerk’s retirement, Mrs Grimster would continue to work with this sub-committee to ensure continuity.

    • Highway Matters
      The request for the extension of the speed limit was in the Locally Determined Programme for 2006/07. This meant that it would be considered providing more urgent work did not supersede it. It was agreed that the District Councillor would have to give her strong support to ensure success.

      The triangle at the top of Coach Road was discussed – the signpost was rotten and had fallen over and this had been reported to the Highways Department requesting a replacement. However the whole area needed refurbishment as the raised centre was in a state of disrepair. This needed to be notified. The trees requested by a nearby resident had been considered but it was felt that they would interfere with overhead lines and sight lines for drivers.

      Two reflectors at the junction at Anso Corner were also missing. This also needed reporting.

    • Report re PC Alex Webb
      The Clerk had discussed the matter of the vandalism at the Village Hall and PC Webb reported that despite stones being removed from the site for forensic investigation, no evidence had been found. The matter had been discussed with some of the residents of the village but to date there was no proof/evidence to be able to arrest anyone. PC Webb reiterated that he would continue to keep himself fully aware of events in the village. Mr Sladen commented that he felt that the police had been particularly slow at reacting and considering the extent to which this Council supports PC Webb (mobile phone) that the outcome so far was unsatisfactory. It was noted however that there had been little problem activity in the vicinity of the village hall.

    • Website
      It was agreed to ask Brian Kitchen to register a website name to include up to 20 email addresses and virus protection etc as appropriate. He would then set up a few front pages for this Council to review. Miss Frost would liaise with Mr Kitchen and provide information as necessary. It was felt the home page of the site would contain photos and information about the village with links to society pages, what’s happening, what’s new etc. The Clerk would provide Miss Frost with the village summary used on past grant applications.


    • Traffic Management Strategy
      The Clerk thanked the councillors for their prompt review and response to the above document. A letter had now been posted to Essex County Council (copy to John Whitehead) incorporating all the comments received.

    • ECC – Minerals & Waste Development Framework
      Not much to comment on this report as our area did not contain the minerals being extracted.

    • Alms Houses
      Mr McCarthy had been approached by one of the residents of the Almshouses who was particularly concerned about the car parking situation. There were four cars being used by the residents of the Almshouses and only two car parking spaces. Currently the other two cars are being parked on the lane leading to Quail Farm Cottage but once the cottage is occupied this may not be possible. Parking on Church Hill was not really an option, as it would restrict the movement of traffic, particularly larger vehicles. A letter had been sent to Springboard Housing Association stating that the Parish Council was concerned about the situation.

    • Grass Cutters
      The grass cutting team had said they will recommence grass cutting after Easter but they did ask for an increase in their fees to £90. This was agreed by the Council but it was noted that, although no increase had been made in the last 3 years, this was a 12% increase.


    In addition to the above, the Clerk had approached the EALC and received a grant application form from the Rural Renaissance Fund, which Miss Frost had completed. In addition, £1,000 was being given to each Parish Council from Essex County Council primarily to help with IT costs.


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

    Mrs Grimster 6 months’ salary £625.00  
      Expenses £175.00  
      Postage £11.20 £811.20
    Mr McCarthy Chairman’s Allowance £800.00
      (proposed by Mr Sladen and
    seconded by Mr Weedon)
    Mrs Grimster Clerk’s Retirement Gratuity £3,200.00
      (from Building Society Account)  

    The anticipated set up costs of the website were discussed and approved in principle.


    Forwarded to next meeting.


    Following discussion it was felt that there was not much we could do to enhance the existing facilities for waste recycling in the village. Remove from agenda.


    No attendance due to inclement weather conditions.


    • Quail Farm Cottage
      Further amended plans had been received. Discussion ensued and it was felt that it would be preferred if the building were 10% lower. The patio doors should be redesigned as the plan showed these as inappropriate. Permission should be conditional on no further development on the site and no removal of trees that screen the site.

    • 1 Bulls Bridge Farm Cottages
      Plans for a small rear extension had been received. In view of a similar extension on the adjacent cottage no objection was felt necessary.

    • Initial documents had been received regarding the proposed changes to the planning application system – these would be circulated to the councillors.

    Mr Sladen reported attendance at the UDC meeting regarding licensing had been of little use and licences would continue to be sought from the Magistrates Count until November when UDC would take this over. It had been established that a Premises Supervisor was not needed.


    There was nothing to report.

The dates of the next meetings were arranged for 19 April, 19 May, 14 June and 21 July.

Mr McCarthy stated that the retirement of the Clerk was the end of an era and thanked Mrs Grimster for all her dedication, assistance and loyalty during his chairmanship and presented her with some flowers. These comments were echoed by all the councillors.

The meeting closed at 9.50pm.