Agenda 12th September 2018

Highwood Parish Council

 

66 Victoria Road, Writtle, Chelmsford CM1 3PA

 

4 September 2018

 

To:      MEMBERS OF HIGHWOOD PARISH COUNCIL

 

You are hereby summoned to attend a meeting of Highwood Parish Council to be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 12 September 2018 in the Village Hall, Loves Green, Highwood, to transact the business shown in the agenda.

 

The press and public are welcome to be present.

 

Louise R Fuller

Clerk

 

A G E N D A

 

1

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

To RECEIVE any apologies for absence.

 

 

2

CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES

 

 

To APPROVE the minutes of the meeting of the parish council held on 1 August 2018 (replacing the meeting scheduled for 11 July 2018) as a correct record.

 

 

3

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

3.1

Councillors to DECLARE any disclosable or other pecuniary interest or other interest in any items on the agenda, in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct.

Pecuniary or other interests should be declared at this time, or at any point in the meeting where they become apparent.

Councillors must inform the Monitoring Officer of Chelmsford City Council, via the Clerk, within 28 days of becoming aware of any change in their pecuniary or other interests.

 

3.2

DISPENSATIONS

To CONSIDER any requests for dispensation from the provisions of S31(4) of the Localism Act 2011.

 

S31(4) states that a member may not participate in any discussion or vote upon a matter, at the meeting, in which he/she has a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

Requests for dispensation must be made in writing to the Clerk.

 

 

4

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

 

To RECEIVE questions from members of the public.

 

In accordance with the agreed procedure public questions will be taken and shall be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes or such other period as may be determined by the Chairman of the meeting.

 

 

5

REPORTS

To RECEIVE brief reports on the following matters.

 

Chelmsford City Council

City Cllr N Chambers

 

Essex County Council

Cty Cllr J Aldridge

 

Play park, Edney Common

Cllr D Cameron

 

Village Hall

Cllr S Maclean

 

Public Rights of Way

Mandy Martin has walked all the footpaths in August and reported several issues, which will be taken up with ECC/CCC as appropriate.

 

 

6

REPORT OF THE CLERK

 

To RECEIVE the report of the clerk.

 

 

1

Litter pick 2019

Alison Shuttleworth has kindly offered to co-ordinate the litter pick for 2019. She suggested various dates in March which would suit her; the date agreed is Sunday 24 March 2019, when hopefully the worst of the winter weather will be over but the vegetation will not have grown so long that the litter becomes difficult to see/collect. The village hall has been booked for this date.

 

 

2

Garages in Sparrows Close

All three of the existing tenants have now requested to purchase their respective garages. They are in the process of appointing a solicitor and intend to use the same one to reduce costs.

 

 

3

 

 

Forecourt to garages in Sparrows Close

A request has been made for the forecourt to be tidied up, particularly in light of the weed growth which is unattractive. The grass-cutting contractor has done this on a previous occasion. It is recommended to ask him to do it again, and also to include this in the specification for the future so it is done on a regular basis (at least annually).

 

 

 

7

NEW PLAY AREA, REAR OF VILLAGE HALL  

1          Work was due to commence week beginning 3 September but has now been put back to 10 September. It is expected to last about eight working days.

 

2          The work already ordered will overspend the S106 funds currently held by £1,663. A further £18,074 is due in respect of S106 agreements to be spent on provision of further open space/provision of play equipment/towards any other scheme which fulfils the objective of the agreement.

 

3          Once the new play area is open to the public it is essential that a weekly inspection is carried out and documented. The reports must be retained for 21 years.

 

4          The grass cutting specification, and thus the price, will need to be amended to reflect the need to cut/strim round the equipment, rather than just mowing in straight lines. It is also suggested that the frequency be increased to keep the grass to a more pleasant height for users.

 

5          No answers on the covenant position and planning permission in respect of the proposed car park spaces have yet been received.   Follow-ups have been sent.

 

6          Quotes for the fencing and surfacing have not yet been obtained. With the imminent start of the works, it is planned to erect a temporary boundary fence between the village hall car park and the play area to prevent vehicle access.

 

7          A request to install an outdoor table tennis table has been received from a member of the public.

 

 

8

 

2

S106 AGREEMENTS

An agreement has to be signed by the council to release the S106 funds from CCC. A copy has been circulated to councillors and the council is asked to AGREE that the clerk should sign the agreement on behalf of the council.

 

 

9

COUNCILLORS’ EXPENSES (Cllr Cameron)

The chairman has asked about councillors’ expenses to reimburse the cost of printing etc.

There are two pieces of legislation which cover the payment of expenses to councillors.

The first is the Local Government Act 1972, under which a council chairman can be paid an allowance to defray the specific expenses of carrying out the rôle of chairman. Highwood Parish Council already has this in place. The amount for 2018-19 is £100 and it is shown as a line in the budget. Some years ago the chairman said that he would rather claim it on the presentation of receipts than be paid a lump sum.

The second is the (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003. Under this legislation the council may set up a scheme to pay elected members (including the chairman) a “parish basic allowance” to cover the costs of acting as a parish councillor. The council also has an amount for this in the budget – it is £100 for 2018/19.   The allowance can be paid as a lump sum, in which case it would be subject to income tax under PAYE, or it could be paid on presentation of receipts. Councillors can forgo all or part of the allowance, by giving notice in writing, if they do not wish to receive it. The provisions only apply to elected members, not co-opted members; this might seem unfair but it is what the legislation says. A separate scheme may be made for travelling and subsistence allowances and these can be paid to all councillors.

There is no other legitimate method of covering councillors’ expenses e.g. procurement by the clerk of supplies for councillors.

The council did consider introducing a formal scheme of allowances to cover expenses in 2011 but it was not agreed.

The clerk is happy to print copies of agendas if requested.

The council is now ASKED to consider setting up a formal scheme of councillors’ allowances.

 

 

10

VILLAGE HALL PARKING (Cllr Cameron)  

Cllr Cameron has had an email from a parishioner concerned about parking at the village hall and requests that the parish council CONSIDERS allowing the village hall use of a little of the southern end of the council land.

 

 

 

11

FINANCE

 

11.1

 

Accounts for payment

To APPROVE the accounts for payment (list will be available at the meeting).

 

 

11.2

To NOTE the account balances as at 31 August 2018.

 

 

11.3

Annual Governance and Accountability Return/External Audit

The Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) has been signed off by the external auditor as satisfactory and without any comment made.

The Conclusion of the Audit and publication of the certified AGAR will be advertised as required on noticeboards and on the council’s website.

 

 

12

HIGHWAY MATTERS REPORTED BY COUNCILLORS AND CLERK

1          Speeding Traffic (standing item)

2          from the last meeting: speed limit for Ingatestone Road, as applied at Cooksmill Green (Cllr Horsnell): the channel for requesting a speed limit is to put it to the Local Highways Panel. The request would go through the Scheme Validation process, but the first stage would be to get some speed/volume data for the road to see what the average speeds are. It is possible that historical traffic survey data are already held; if not, then with the support of the County Councillor ECC could carry out an automatic traffic count covering a seven day period/twenty four hours per day.   The council is ASKED if it wishes to proceed with a request to reduce the speed limit in Ingatestone Road.

3          Request for the speed limit between Edney Common and Loves Green to be reduced to 30mph (Cllr Latham)

4          Overhanging hedges and trees in various locations (Cllr Horsnell)

5          Difficulties of using ECC’s online reporting system, and lack of action on reports made (Cllr Horsnell)

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

2

COMMUNICATIONS AND CORRESPONDENCE

To RECEIVE such communications and correspondence as the Clerk may place before the Council.

Requests for donations:

1          Essex and Herts Air Ambulance

2          Support 4 Sight – email has been circulated

 

 

14

DOCUMENTS ON DEPOSIT

To RECEIVE notice of the following documents received by or deposited with the Clerk.

Essex Association of Local Councils Annual Report and AGM Agenda

RCCE Oyster Summer 2018

 

 

15

PLANNING APPLICATIONS

 

a)

To NOTE the parish council’s comments made on planning applications between meetings.

 

 

App. no.

18/01356/FUL

 

 

Location

Metsons Cottage, Metsons Lane

 

 

Proposal

Construction of an external timber staircase to rear of double garage to access roof space store.

 

 

Comment

No objection

 

 

 

 

 

 

App. no.

18/01305/FUL

 

 

Location

Woodland House, Loves Green

 

 

Proposal

The proposal comprises only the installation of a new window to the dining room (1770mm x 1050mm), the enlargement of the side living room window (from 630mm x 1050mm to 630mm x 2100mm) and enlargement of the first floor bathroom window (from 630mm x 750mm to 900mm x 750mm). To the road-side boundary it is also proposed to retain a close boarded fence.

 

 

Comment

The council has no objection to the application relating to windows. However it does object to the application to retain the close-boarded boundary fence, on the grounds that it is out of keeping with the rural nature of the village and has a detrimental visual effect on the street scene. The previous application for this property, in which the boundary treatment was a hedge, was acceptable as it suited the rural aspect of the village.

 

 

 

 

 

b)

To CONSIDER the following planning applications

 

 

App. no.

18/01492/FUL

 

 

Location

Building Chalet 2, Radley Green Farm, Radley Green Road

 

 

Proposal

Retrospective application for change of use of farm store to one bedroom dwelling

 

 

 

 

 

c)

To CONSIDER any other planning applications received since the agenda was prepared.

 

 

 

 

 

d)

DECISIONS BY CHELMSFORD CITY COUNCIL

To NOTE the following planning decisions by Chelmsford City Council.

 

 

 

GRANTED

 

 

 

App. no.

18/00858/FUL

 

 

Location

Cedar House, Loves Green

 

 

Proposal

Single storey rear extension

 

 

 

 

 

e)

 

 

PLANNING CORRESPONDENCE

i           To NOTE any planning correspondence received and respond to             consultations as appropriate.

None.

 

 

 

 

16

OTHER URGENT BUSINESS – for information only

To NOTE any matter of an urgent nature which a Member or the Clerk may wish to draw to the attention of the Council, and/or request to be included on the agenda for the next meeting of the Council.

 

Note: no decisions may be taken during this item as the required statutory notice of the business will not have been given.

 

 

17

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

7.30 p.m. Wednesday 14 November 2018.

 

 

18

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

To RESOLVE to exclude the press and public from the following item under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 as it contains sensitive information which the council has been asked to keep to itself.

 

 

19

 

SENSITIVE MATTER

Report and email have been circulated to parish councillors.