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

Parish Council Minutes 9th February 2012

9th February 2012

The Parish Council met in the Village Hall on Thursday 9 February at 8.00 pm.


Part Time:

  • District Councillor Simon Howells


  • County Councillor Simon Walsh

Prior to the meeting proper District Councillor Simon Howell addressed the meeting and discussed some of the local issues arising from the Local Development Framework consultation. Two possible sites in Hempstead had been identified in the consultation each with a potential of 20 to 41 houses. This and the appointment of a Highway Ranger were noted and discussed later in the meeting proper.

He said that the district budget was taking shape and council tax would be held at the current levels but parking levies would be raised as one of the sources to enable this.

The meeting began at 8.13pm


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


    None not covered elsewhere.


    County Councillor Simon Walsh
    sent an update regarding contact with Cllr Chapman and the pedestrian pathway. She advised him that she is unable to visit Hempstead, as the council had wished. She is still pursuing the update he requested a month ago, and again this week. She suggested this scheme might be worthy of putting before the new Local Highways Panel. This will come on stream for the new financial year, and will be led by County Councillors, alongside District Council representatives. There is a County pot of £8 million per annum, which will be divided out across the Districts, and will be available as extra funding over two years. The precise details have yet to be worked up. This is an opportunity, but not without risk as it will be competing with other Uttlesford schemes. Councillor Walsh will continue to lobby for this scheme to see if it could be funded centrally. He did take the opportunity to speak with Chris Stoneham about this, who thinks it might be better to take this forward in two phases, which will spread the financial costs.

    The parish council felt that this could be construed as attempt to sideline the issue and lose sight of it between county and district. Councillor Howell had also voiced his scepticism when this came up in the discussion before the meeting. (Action Point: The Chairman to contact Simon Walsh to strongly express the council’s views.)

    Saffron Walden Recycling Facility Hours
    An acknowledgement had been received from ECC regarding the council’s suggestion of changes to opening hours.

    Garden Waste Skip
    A schedule had been received for visits to Radwinter. (Action Point: The clerk to clarify and circulate dates and times.)


    Mr Sladen had attended the Parish Forum which discussed the consultation on the Local Development Plan that covers potential sites for development throughout the whole Uttlesford District. He and Miss Frost had attended the Exhibition at the District Council Offices. The council discussed some of the problems in general that the increases in house building might cause to the roads, towns and villages of the Uttlesford area.

    The council agreed, that whilst there might be advantages to more housing in Hempstead, it would have to be carefully considered to ensure traffic and other infrastructure issues were not exacerbated. Two sites had been identified in Hempstead, though this still remains only a consultation towards the Local Plan. Even modest amounts of building would represent a high percentage increase in a village like Hempstead of some 140 houses. Requirements for a proportion of more affordable housing would have to considered carefully as they had not always been a success in local villages. (Action Point: It was agreed that Mr Sladen, Miss Frost and Mrs Scott would form a sub-committee to formulate a response on behalf of the Parish Council.)


    Planning of events has been progressing well as reported in the Newsletter and the plans now take a prominent place on the village website. The issue of insurance cover for the Village Hall and Glebe would be clarified. The agreed budget should achievable if the fundraising activities reach expectation. (Action Point: Mr Sladen to confirm covers with insurers of the Village Hall)


    Village Green
    (Action Point: Clerk to complete map and send to ECC)


    Insp. Mick Couldridge, who is the new Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector, agreed to meet the council to discuss policing concerns. It was resolved to meet him on 13th March, one of the dates that he suggested:-. (Action Point: Clerk to contact Insp. Couldridge and finalise arrangements)


    The Village Hall Management Committee had sent a request for release of funds from the bank account held by the Parish Council on their behalf. This was for costs incurred in the transfer of proprietorship of the merged Hempstead Recreation Ground to Hempstead Parish Council as custodian trustee of the Village Hall. Copies of the appropriate documentation had been supplied.

    The total to transfer was £918 (£500 land valuation, £50 Land Registry Fee and £368 solicitor’s fees and disbursements) This transfer was authorised by the parish council. (Action Point: Clerk to arrange transfer.)

    Cheques were approved and raised for :

    Essex Heritage Trust £15 donation
    Chas Johnson £250 Maintenance on the ring of Trees (Previously agreed 13 October Minute no: 86)

    The clerk reported that a cheque was needed for £29.35 to UK2 for web services but he needed to clarify exact payment details and would raise the cheque outside the meeting. He had also just received indication that he would also need to do other cheques for PAYE in the near future. (Action Point: Clerk to arrange cheques and appropriate signatories)


    Uttlesford District Council had arranged for a ‘Highways Ranger’ to do small scale repairs and maintenance. Mr Drane had speedily contacted him with tasks that needed doing in the parish. (Action point: Mr Drane to monitor progress.)


    Path Cutting
    It had been agreed with Essex County Council for the work done by Harry Luff to proceed on the same basis as last year. The agreed cost of £453 to be met from a P3 grant. Mr Haylock would contact Shirley Clayton-Anglin to agree his cutting programme. (Action Point: Mr Haylock to contact ECC)

    Difficulties for the contractor had occurred on Footpath 19 due to overgrown brambles and hedges. As this is a well-used footpath It was agreed that this was a cause for concern and was the adjoining landowners’ responsibility. The contractor had offered to clear the obstruction but would clearly need paying. It was agreed that Miss Frost would contact Mr Luff to clarify the price. She would then contact the landowners who could choose to use the contractor’s services or arrange for the work to be done themselves. (Action Point: Miss Frost to clarify price and contact landowners)


    The pole that was potentially delaying cutting of the hedge beside the village hall had been identified as belonging to the electricity supply. (Action Point: Miss Frost to contact the appropriate authorities to clarify cutting programme)


    The Jubilee arrangements and pictures of the village in the snow were agreed to be a welcome addition to the website.

    Miss Frost asked that an appeal be put in the Newsletter for villagers to support local clubs and activities both as members and to serve on committees etc. Numbers were diminishing and some were in danger of ceasing if new participants could not be found. (Action Point: Mr McCarthy and Miss Frost to ensure an appeal went out in the next newsletter.)


    Mr Sladen with others had updated the village emergency plan and it had been circulated and a copy sent to Uttlesford District Council.


    Thanks to Mr Cockman’s efforts the hearing loop is now in place. The project was successfully completed on budget.


    The clerk had sent the agreed comments concerning the Church Farm Cottage application to the planning website.


    A provisional date of Friday 18th May was agreed. The Annual Report would be agreed at the Parish Council Meeting of 19 April to allow time for copying and distribution. (Action point: Clerk to supply minutes from the last annual meeting)

Future meeting dates – Thursdays 12 January, 9 February and 15th March all at 8pm in the Village Hall.

The meeting closed at 9.20pm