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Langham  Parish  Council

 

 

 

Langham Parish Council

 

Minutes of the meeting held on 22nd January 2008

 

 

1          Attendance and Apologies for Absence

 

Cllr. W. Durlacher      Acting Chairman

Cllr. C. Garnett          Borough Councillor

Cllr. S. Gallup

Cllr. A. Stacey

 

Apologies for absence were received from

 

Cllr. E. Schofield (due to illness)

Cllr. A. Ellis

Cllr. R. Watson

 

Also present

 

Mr D. Winter              Clerk to the Council

 

The council welcomed Mr Winter as Clerk to the Council on his first "official" meeting and were delighted to have him as Clerk.

 

One resident was present.

 

2          Declarations of Interest

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

3          Minutes of the meeting held on 27th November 2007

 

Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Gallup seconded that the minutes be agreed as accurate. This was accepted unanimously and the Acting Chairman signed the minutes.

 

4          Matters Arising from the meeting of 27th November 2007

 

Ref

Item

Action By

Status

7.1

Is the entrance to the school during school time to be through the gate in the memorial rather than the car park gate?

 

Cllr. Watson

This was discussed with the headmaster and it was pointed out that children use the other gate so as not to be too near the cars.

7.1

A donation of £100 to the school for the use of the hall.

 

David Winter

Done and a letter of thanks received.

7.1

A donation of £30 to the Scouts in appreciation of Edward Hobday’s playing of the Last Post.           

 

David Winter

Done

7.2

A deposit invoice has been received from Mr Wood the stonemason. The Clerk was to check the amount of the quotation and what work was covered by this.

David Winter

Quotation checked and deposit paid. New quotation for extra work awaited.

8

The children’s playground must be inspected weekly. The Clerk will ask Mr. Charles Hewitt if for suitable remuneration he would be willing to assist.

David Winter

Mr Hewitt is doing this, though he has not agreed any pay.

8

Wicksteed should be providing an annual inspection for 10 years free of charge. This needs to be confirmed

David Winter

Clive Seal had written to confirm with Wicksteed that this was to be provided. Wicksteed claim the inspection is free for two years only.

9

Wick Road bench. The Clerk is to arrange for the purchase and delivery of the seat.

David Winter

A site meeting is to be arranged.

See item 8.

10.1

The Clerk was asked to liaise with Cllrs Gallup and Garnett in writing a strong complaint to Mr Vincent Pearce to complain about planning applications which had not been received by the council

David Winter

An email has been sent to Mr Pearce. This has been passed to Mr Whybrow as Mr Pearce is unwell.

10.1

A copy of planning policy H12 is to be e-mailed to all councillors.

Cllr. Garnett

Received.

10.2

…the footpath on the north side of School Road … budget is unlikely to be available until the next financial year. Cllr. Watson would liaise with Cllr Garnett on what further action to take

Cllr. Watson

Meeting with Geoff Harris to try to confirm budget availability is arranged for 21st January.

10.2

He will be producing a simplified bus timetable that will be available for residents

Cllr. Watson

Completed and available from the Community shop.

10.2

Geoff Harris is to be contacted about getting the hedge obstructing the school sign on the north side of School Road cut back

Cllr. Watson

The County Council should have this in hand.

10.3

The Clerk was asked to identify the bonfire night cumulative profits separately.

David Winter

Outstanding. See item 9.3.

10.3

The bonfire site was to be cleared and more stones provided

Cllr. Durlacher

Outstanding. See item 9.3.

10.3

The Clerk was asked to check the donation made to the Scouts last year for their help on Bonfire night

David Winter

£60 paid this year.

10.3

General investigations are being made into the possibility of providing a junior football pitch and, in order to control rabbits, filling in the ditch and providing piping for drainage on the west side of the recreation ground.

Cllr. Durlacher

Mr Hewitt is resolving the junior football pitch arrangements. The ditch has been cleared so that the extent of any necessary work can be seen.

10.4

The Emergency Plan needs to be updated.

David Winter

Outstanding. See item 9.4.

10.7

Speed Signs were requested to be on the next agenda.

David Winter

Done

10.7

Post Office proposed change in the service provided. Cllr. Garnett would attempt to get an article in the Essex County Standard.

Cllr. Garnett

Done

10.8

Cllr. Stacey had received a telephone complaint that footpath 49 was obstructed. Cllr. Schofield was to try to obtain the land owner’s name so that he could be contacted

Cllr. Schofield

See item 9.8.

10.8

The footbridge on this path was also damaged and Cllr. Garnett was planning to talk to ECC about this.

Cllr. Garnett

This has been done but no reply as yet.

10.8

The hedges overhanging Wick Road at The Wick had been reported to ECC. The Clerk was asked to follow this up by e-mail.

Cllr Garnett

The Wick’s owners have been informed of the need to cut the hedge.

12

David Winter reported that

(a)   VAT needs to be reclaimed. This is expected by the end of February.

(b)   Last year’s financial report has to be sent to Lubbock Fine.

(c) An asset register has been discovered but will have to be updated.

David Winter

Outstanding

See item 15.

12

Grass Cutting contracts need to be checked and tenders requested if needed. It was thought Ian Sutherland might have some knowledge of this.

David Winter

A meeting is to be arranged with Ian Sutherland. See item 15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5          Residents’ Questions

 

Mrs Kimberley asked that potholes in the Moor Road by the Shepherd and Dog and on School Road by Spencer’s Piece be reported.

                              Action – Cllr. Watson

 

Fox House at the junction of Moor and Chapel Roads has been sold and the planning services department and Highways should be informed in case developments allowed sight lines at the junction to be improved.

                             Action – David Winter

 

6          American Monument

 

There was some concern from the Highways Authority that sight lines from the entrance to the field might cause a problem. After discussion with Cllr. Gallup, the Clerk asked Woods to put their ordering on hold.

 

Subsequently, Cllr Gallup went over to the Monument on Friday 11th January to look at sight lines and met the highways official Adam Garland. He

 

a)    accepted that the 4.5m is to the gate to the field,

b)   agreed that from that position the wall would not change the sight line to the east

c)    could see no major objection to the wall.

 

Cllr Gallup was slightly concerned about the lead time in getting the bricks and asked could we order them. Adam Garland said that we could. Adam Garland queried the position of the flagpoles, not so much on Highways grounds but because he thought that they might be vulnerable. Cllr Gallup said that they could move to beside the end of the wall,

Cllr Gallup and Adam Garland discussed the area to the left and agreed there is no problem with the paving. He thought that the kerb would be OK but would prefer us to wait until he gets the Highways map to check. It might be a couple of weeks before he gets this but will contact the Clerk as soon as it arrives. Quotes would then be obtained from Woods and Whitnell.

 

Cllr Gallup has rung Andrew Wood to allow him to proceed with ordering the bricks for the wall.

 

7          Village Upkeep

 

Mr Ernie Schofield has been asked to keep 30 mph signs clean and to check the village sign for damage.

 

The 30 mph signs in High Street had been knocked over and turned round. These have now been repaired.

 

8          Seat in Wick Road

 

A site meeting has been arranged for 1st February.

                                                                                               

9          Reports to the Council

 

9.1       Planning

 

Cllr. Gallup reported:

 

Applications:

 

  • CC/COL/159/07    Homestead School.     Identical plan to the previous application but this time the site plan showing land ownership is correct. This has now been approved.

  • 073010     Wenlocks, Grove Hill. Front and rear extension and new double garage. Part of the proposed garage would be on Highways land and so we object to this application. The actual boundary is shown by the line of the hedge to the south.

  • 080003    Airfield Museum, Langham Lane. They have swapped the position of the car park and the Nissen huts so that the car park is now closer to the road. The entrance and area of land remains the same. No objections.

 

Decisions:

 

Approved:

  • 072612       Ash House, School Rd. Single storey front extension and car port

  • 072615       Orchard House, Langham Lane. Animal feed/food store

  • 072614       Appleby's Park Lane. Extension to bungalow. Conditions a) Can only be occupied by dependent relatives, b) cannot be divided into 2 independent dwellings c) permitted development rights removed d) "...site has been much developed in recent years ...future proposals ... should be resisted."

  • 072677       Glebe House, Rectory Rd. Garden wall, new gates, pool pavilion

  • 072678       Glebe House, Rectory Rd. Garden wall, new gates, pool pavilion (LB)

  • 072717       Trevose, Moor Rd. Single storey extension

  • 072778        Laurel House, Chapel Rd. Single storey rear extension

  • 072787        Sidings, Moor Rd. Rear dormer

  • 072822        Broad View, Lodge Lane. Garage/outbuilding

 

 

  • 072694 and 072695    East Lodge, Gun Hill have been withdrawn

 

9.2        Roads and Transport

 

It was reported that Councillors Garnett and Watson had a meeting on 21st January with Geoff Harris (Area Highway Manager) and Ray Smith of ECC Highways Dept. concerning the proposed footpath on the north side of School Road. Geoff Harris explained that he could not at this stage make a commitment because he did not know the allocation of funds to his budget. However, he said that he would support our proposal and look for funds from outside Highways' budget, for example from Safer Schools.

 

The Councillors also discussed speed limits, but received no support for any extensions. They will however look at the deployment of a Vehicle Actuated Sign.

 

 

                             

9.3        Recreation Ground

 

Cllr. Durlacher reported that

 

(a)   The Clerk had still to identify Bonfire night’s cumulative profits so that the amounts could be ring fenced.

                            Action - David Winter

(b)   The bonfire site was to be cleared and more stones provided when the weather had improved.                                                                                 Action – Cllr. Durlacher

(c)   The new item of play equipment has been ordered and has to be located on Mr R Schofield’s return.

 

9.4 General Purpose

 

Cllr. Ellis reported that the AGM for the Village Design Statement is approaching and the text is soon to go to a designer.

 

The Emergency Plan needs to be updated.                                             Action – David Winter

 

9.5 Housing  There was nothing to report.

 

9.6 Community Council  There was nothing to report.

 

9.7 Ward Councillor

 

Cllr. Garnett reported that:

 

(a)   There has been a planning application submitted to deepen Abberton reservoir, including a pipeline to the Stour.

(b)   The hedges overhanging Wick Road at The Wick had been reported to ECC and they have contacted the owner.

(c)   Regional Development Agencies are likely to assume greater prominence, and he felt we should proceed with a Parish Plan as soon as possible.

(d)   He would try to get the Village Design Statement validated so as to become a component of the Local Development plans.

                                  Action – Cllr. Garnett

(e)   He outlined the details of the 106 agreements whereby parish councils may benefit from certain planning approvals.

 

9.8 Footpaths

 

Cllr. Stacey had nothing new to report. The query on the obstruction of footpath 49 remained. Cllr. Schofield was to try to obtain the land owner’s name so that he could be contacted.                  

                                                                                                              Action – Cllr. Schofield

 

10   Free Paint for Community Projects

 

Councillor Garnett reported that free paint was available for community projects from Community RePaint.
It was agreed that investigations should be made to see if there was any opportunities for the Community Shop and repainting the car park spaces.

                                 Action – Cllr. Gallup

11   Speed Signs

 

The Parish Council discussed whether or not a sign giving a visual indication of excessive speed might be suitable for Langham to consider using in order to try to lower speeds on Park Lane or Wick Road. It was thought Mr Harris was aware of this and Cllr. Watson would be asked to follow this up.

Action – Cllr. Watson

 

12   Post Office Update

 

Jill Jones provided a report of a conversation she had had with Angela Balcombe (ECC) regarding proposed Post Office closures earlier in January.

 

Angela explained that she is assisting in getting information regarding P.O. Closures. E.C.C. is exploring the possibilities of retaining some local /village P.O. Langham was mentioned at the November Forum at Harwich as an example of a special case where retaining the present P.O. as part of the Community had proved its case.  The Parish Council had produced figures from a survey that supported the need of a PO within the Community Shop.

By use of a questionnaire the Clerk was able to emphasise that the community of Langham and a larger community including near-by villages use the shop and PO regularly, and that volunteer workers continue to support the shop on a regular rota.  The survey conducted by the PC on the use of the shop day by day showed that more residents use the shop when the PO is open and sales are higher with more profit to support the shop.

Questions on the viability of the Community Shop without the PO were answered positively, but the survey had illustrated that a Community Shop plus PO worked and that the original aim of the Langham residents was to have a shop and PO for the community. Furthermore an outreach service was less favoured as a secure PO area is already in place and the post office personnel well known.

A question asking if the Parish Council would financially support the continuation of the PO service was answered – ‘only if the PC could do so legally as in the repayable loan to the Community Shop which was repaid to the PC earlier than planned’.

Otherwise the PC would seek advice as to gaining grants or providing a loan to retain the PO within the existing shop.

Questioned about the age of users it was thought that there are a high number of older residents including non-drivers living in the village area, also the disabled.  Another section would be young mums at pre-school, nursery and the local Langham School, many regular users of the shop a few yards from the Community Centre who do not have transport and would find a bus journey into Colchester a lengthy and tiring problem, with the Shop and PO much can be done in moments. For those with cars the Community Shop and Centre provides a large and safe area for parking.

Questions about any other key users provided the following answers. It was thought that local businesses, including Schofields, employers and employees at the business units, two local schools and the Pre-School etc. were named. Also near villages like Boxted whose residents prefer use a local PO, and visitors to the area including ramblers.

 

 

13   Going Green Events

 

The Parish Council discussed whether or not Councillors would like to attend these information events run by the RCCE and if they might form the basis of any local projects. It was agreed to pass copies of this information to the Community Council                                                       Action – David Winter

and to the Community Shop.                                                                    Action – Cllr. Gallup

 

14   Correspondence

 

14.1    Boxted Airfield Group

 

Cllr Gallup has been informed that the group is to apply for Heritage Funding, and that they would like a letter from Langham Parish Council supporting them in this application. It was proposed by Cllr Gallup and seconded by Cllr Garnett that the Council would support this application, making the points that the organisation had existed since 2000 and raised the profile of the village. This was agreed unanimously.                                                                                                             Action – David Winter

 

14.2 Letter from Mr David Elmer – 14/1/2008: Some of the problems in the village.

 

Mr Elmer made the following points:

 

  1. Stiles on footpaths 22 and 26 are in need of repair or replacement.

  2. Many footpaths have not been reinstated after ploughing.

  3. Footpath 49 is blocked by logs.

  4. The footway at the side of Birchwood Road is in need of resurfacing.

  5. The pedestrian gate at the end of Perry Lane is broken.

  6. Hedges at The Wick, and Old Park House, Park Lane need cutting back.

 

He has asked to be kept informed of progress.

.

The current status on these is

 

  1. Stile on footpath 26 may need replacement by a gate.

                              Action – Cllr. Stacey

  1. Stile on footpath 22 will be checked because the path may have been diverted.                                                                                       Action – Cllr. Stacey

  2. Where footpaths have not been reinstated after ploughing the farmers are to be informed.

  3. The line of footpath 49 is not blocked by logs, but the path is overgrown.                                                                                                                                          Action – Cllr. Stacey

  4. Colchester Borough Council has been investigating the footway at the side of Birchwood Road which needs resurfacing and it was felt they should be allowed more time before they are reminded of this..

  5. Essex County Council is to be told that the pedestrian gate at the end of Perry Lane is broken.                                                                                        Action – David Winter

  6. Essex County Council has been informed that hedges at The Wick need cutting back. They are to be informed about Old Park House, Park Lane.                                     Action – David Winter

 

 

15   Administrative Matters

 

The budgets were discussed and the precept was proposed to be £16,304, approximately £1,000 below the current year. This was proposed By Cllr Stacey and seconded by Cllr Gallup and passed unanimously.          

 

The Clerk asked all councillors to let him have their notices of registerable interests if these had not been provided in the last month.

                                    Action – all relevant Councillors

 

The Clerk reported that

 

(c)   VAT needs to be reclaimed. This is expected by the end of February.

(d)   Last year’s financial report has to be sent to Lubbock Fine.

(c) An asset register has been discovered but will have to be updated.

                                                                                                           Action – David Winter

 

Grass Cutting contracts must be checked and tenders requested if needed. Repayments for Urban Grass Cutting from Colchester Borough Council are to be investigated. It was thought Ian Sutherland might have some knowledge of this.                                                                       Action – David Winter

 

16   Receipts and Payments

 

A report of receipts and payments had been circulated showing from the previous meeting to the current meeting payments of £6,927 and receipts of £242.

 

In addition, a report of the current financial position against budget, together with a projection for the financial year to the end of March 2008, plus bank balances had also been circulated.

 

17   Mrs J Jones – Previous Parish Clerk

 

In appreciation of the work that Mrs Jones has done for the Council at short notice and in difficult circumstances it was felt that the Council should write a letter of thanks to her.                                                    Action – David Winter

 

In addition, it was felt that Cllr Schofield should use some of her Chairman’s allowance to buy a suitable gift for her. This was proposed By Cllr Durlacher and seconded by Cllr Garland and passed unanimously.

                                                                                                        Action – Cllr. Schofield

 

18   The date of the next meeting is Tuesday 26th February 2008, at Langham Community Centre at 7.30pm.

 

19   Any other urgent business

 

Cllr Gallup reported that Cllr Stacey and he had rewritten the village website and it should be uploaded in the next few weeks.

 

There being no other urgent business, the meeting closed at 9.05 pm.

 

 

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