APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Mr David Drane
County Councillor Simon Walsh
MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING OCTOBER 15, 2015
These were agreed as a true record
None not covered elsewhere.
The email from County Councillor Simon Walsh concerning Secondary Education was discussed. There was general agreement that it was very likely that village children would lose their entitlement to places at Saffron Walden County High School in the very near future. Travel to a Stansted school would be very unpopular to residents and it was agreed that the clerk would write to Councillor Walsh explaining this and asking to be kept up to date with information on this topic.
Finchingfield Bridge: It was agreed that the Clerk would write adding Hempstead’s support to erect a temporary bridge whilst there were lengthy repairs in the summer. When the bridge had been closed recently there had been a noticeable increase of traffic and the incidence of higher speeds in Hempstead as drivers tried to make up the loss of time caused by the lengthy diversions.
The new managers of the Almshouses had contacted the clerk for assistance in finding tradesmen for repairs. If there are vacancies in the future they may contact the Council for suggestions.
Thanks had been received from Essex Air Ambulance and Home Start for the donations from the Parish Council.
Still no references had been received from the company researching the possibility of supplying a broadband system. There was also difficulty with funding. The Council would not be able to support the venture with any finance. Other alternatives had become apparent, some using existing masts and other infrastructure. The Council would await the outcome of the various plans being mooted.
Plans had been received fom High Lea for a change to Equestrian usage and construction of an outdoor exercise ménage. Also from Bullsbridge Farm for a hanging hanging sign and lettering on end of barn. These were both seen as unproblematic and would not require comment to Uttlesford Planning Department
Pollards Cottage and Bluebell Inn: complaints had been received by the Planning Enforcement Section at Uttlesford District Council. In both cases compliance had been achieved after officers had visited and the files closed.
HIGHWAYS AND PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY
Local Highways Panel Meeting 18th January. A reply was still awaited from Rissa Long on the progress of the three schemes submitted. Mr Welbourne agreed to try to attend the meeting. The Clerk would try to access the agenda and arrange for a representative of the council to speak.
Footway Project: Completion is still promised before the end of the financial year. The Chairman agreed to contact Rissa Long for an update.
David Drane had sent a report confirming that the cat’s eyes in the village and the bad pot hole at Bridgefoot in Radwinter had been repaired. Also the dead tree at the Wash had been removed.
The clerk reported that changes to footpath 41 were now complete and were on the Definitive Map. It was noted that several footpath bridges had been repaired and new hand rails put up.
Flooding – Mr Sladen had received an email form ECC saying that they were following up on their clearance and inspection programme. One of the problems is the division of responsibility between landowners and council. Councillor Walsh had mentioned the £1.5 million per annual flood prevention capital programme for the next 5 years. However schemes would be prioritised to where there are 25 houses or more at risk so Hempstead is unlikely to benefit. Additionally grants may require matched funding.
Mr Sladen agreed to look into the issue of a broken rainwater pipe at Drapers which was uncovered when the stopcock was replaced. Mr Sladen would contact Affinity Water who had been told to ignore it and fill the trench by Essex C.C.
Pond Refurbishment – Mr Sladen had met with the contractor in the Chairman’s absence. It was anticipated that there would be a start on the necessary work to the vegetation before Christmas
The actual work would be started by the end of January. The area would be grassed and the cost of seeding was included in the estimate. The railway sleepers would be replaced at least as a temporary measure.
Christmas Decorations – It was agreed that the clerk would arrange purchase of the tree. Mr Welbourn would help to erect the tree. Then after the Bluebell 2 event residents would donate decorations etc.
The Bluebell Inn – The situation was little changed with the potential new landlords hoping to finalise an agreement soon. They had kindly agreed to donate a keg of beer to Bluebell 2. A day of work had been agreed to help clear the exterior grounds as a gesture of goodwill and encouragement to the new landlords.
Trees at Brookside Cottage – had been cut as an agreed emergency measure by Chas Johnson for the sum of £80. The resident concerned had expressed her thanks.
The Budget and Precept for next year 2016/17 were discussed. The clerk had previously circulated a draft budget and also a fuller updated version which was approved.
It was agreed to support the Play Area initiative with a grant for £2000. Section 137 limit which covers grants and donations made by the Council that do not fall within its agreed areas expenditure is approx £2500. This means that there would be little room for further grants etc. over the course of the year.
It was agreed to keep the precept at the same level as last year namely £8500 in total from Precept and LCTS grant.
Cheques were signed to:
HMRC PAYE 2 months £37.44 each, Julian Basham Grass Cutting £150 and £45 to EALC for finance training attended by the clerk.
A cheque had been signed outside the meeting on 10th November for £25 to the British Legion for the Remembrance Day Wreath.
Banking Arrangements: the clerk reported that he had sent off the appropriate change of mandate forms to Barclays Bank.
Mrs McNeill reported that she and Mrs Scott had worked on updating and simplifying the Neighbourhood Watch section of the website. Now links could be used to access up to date information.
Mrs Diane Franier had volunteered to organise the development of a Play Area with equipment on The Glebe. She is a head teacher with experience of developing play areas and sourcing equipment. She is currently seeking for volunteers to be on the committee and is hopefully submitting an article for the newsletter.
NB the date of February meeting has changed from previous information.
The Chairman wished everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year.