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

Parish Council Minutes 7th July 2011

7th July 2011

The Council met in the Village Hall on Thursday 7 July 2011 at 8pm.


Also Present:


Before the meeting opened Cllr Simon Howell reported on the final details of the cabinet structure at Uttlesford District Council. Neighbourhood plans were discussed and the Chairman wondered if there would any advantage in the three local parishes submitting a plan together.

Mr Howell also outlined plans to install solar panels on the council’s social housing stock.

He had contacted Tracy Chapman at Essex concerning the pedestrian footway project and she had sent an officer out but no progress had been achieved. He reiterated his commitment to pursue the matter.

Cllr Howell was thanked for his contribution and he then left the meeting.

The Chairman opened the meeting at 8.30pm


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


    Overgrown Hedges – This issue had been mentioned in the latest newsletter and it was resolved that if the owners did not rectify the situation then they would be written to individually. Some owners have indicated that cutting is imminent. – Action ML/SM

    Data Protection – The clerk reported that there had been widespread confusion about the advice given on this subject and the Essex Association of Local Councils, together with the national body were seeking clarification. The clerk will report back on any outcomes or necessary actions. – Action ML

    Gala Weekends – As discussed at the previous council meeting it had been resolved to ensure maximum publicity to all aspects of these events by featuring them on the front page of the newsletter. A consensus was reached that the use of colour would achieve this even more effectively and an impressive front cover has since been printed.


    Leiston-cum-Sizewell Parish Council has appealed for support in seeking to encourage the Department of Communities to amend policy /guidance to assist small councils when they have to deal with planning applications from large organisations. The council agreed that they should offer their support by writing to the Leiston council. – Action ML


    North Uttlesford Community Forum
    The chairman reported that he had attended this meeting and heard further details of the Localism Bill. This was discussed briefly and it was agreed that it was difficult to see how smaller councils might be able use neighbourhood plans.

    Mr Haylock reported that he had attended a meeting where Barton Tree Nursery had been proposing a ‘Plant a Tree’ scheme. Mr Haylock undertook to provide further details when they were forthcoming.


    Village Green Issues
    Mr Haylock reported that there were still some details to be resolved regarding the transfer of land.

    Green Spaces Survey
    Miss Frost had completed the previous questionnaire concerning green spaces in the parish and received another more detailed form to complete.

    Registration of Common Land
    The clerk asked for details on the length of time that the parcel of land containing the Bus Shelter, War Memorial and Village sign had been used as a village amenity. It was agreed that he would meet with the Chairman next week to finalise the application to re-register this as common land.


    Grass cutting Programme had been now finalised as follows:

    Mr Harry Luff would do 2 cuts at £227.1 each.
    Mr David Haylock would cut paths as per the P3 agreement for £525
    These would be paid for by the P3 Grant of £979.2 as agreed with Debbie Poskitt
    Mr Julian Basham would cut the Glebe, Churchyard, and village centre spaces fortnightly, weather permitting for £300 monthly to a maximum of £1800 as agreed in the budget (8th December 2010 meeting minute number 128)
    This programme was agreed and any variation from this programme would have to be agreed by the council.
    The outstanding £1000 grant for grass cutting from last year had been received thanks to Miss Frost’s intervention.

    Transfers from Business Premium Saver account to Current account:
    £1000 was transferred on May 6 and it was agreed to agree a further transfer of £2000

    S137 Grants
    The cap for these, which are used for items which cannot be ascribed to the usual budget headings, had been set at £6.44 per elector in the parish. This would mean over £2000 could be used in this way. The council has never used this facility to that extent and last year only used £149

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

    Miss Frost Newsletter colour photocopying at Harts £98.49
    Council for Protection of Rural England membership £29.00
    Uttlesford Association of Local Councils subscription £25.00
    Rural Community Council of Essex subscription £227.10
    Harry Luff, Grass cutting £80.00
    Julian Basham, Grass Cutting £300.00

    The clerk proposed a monthly statement to the Council meeting to summarise accounts and progress against the budget. It was agreed this would be useful.

    Internal Audit Report
    This report from Mr John Cockman was discussed and his comments noted. It was agreed to improve

    • the recording of issuing of cheques
    • the quoting of minute references to previous discussions or agreements

    The council also acknowledged the need to update the Financial Regulations. This would be done by the clerk. The council and clerk expressed their thanks for the conscientious and supportive way that Mr Cockman had undertaken the Internal Audit.


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


    Mr Haylock reported that he had cut his sections of the footpaths on June 28.

    The clerk reported that he had established that Mr Basham was insured for public liability.


    It was agreed that the coloured front of the latest newsletter was a great success and effectively highlighted the Gala Weekends’ events.

    No website issues were reported.


    It was confirmed that the Village Hall had successfully been awarded a grant to install a hearing loop.

    Future meeting dates – Thursdays 11 August, 15 September and 13 October at 8pm in the Village Hall.

    The meeting closed at 9.42pm.