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Langham Parish Council

 

Minutes of the meeting held on 25th March 2008

 

1          Attendance and Apologies for Absence

 

Cllr. E. Schofield         Chairman

Cllr. W. Durlacher      

Cllr. C. Garnett            Borough Councillor

Cllr. A. Stacey

Cllr. A. Ellis

Cllr. R. Watson

 

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr. S. Gallup

 

Also present was Mr D. Winter, Clerk to the Council

 

Three residents were present.

 

2          Declarations of Interest

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

3          Minutes of the meeting held on 26th February 2008

 

Cllr. Ellis noted that in item 9.4 it should read “reins” and not “reigns”. With this correction, Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Watson seconded that the minutes be agreed as accurate. This was accepted unanimously and Cllr. Schofield signed the minutes.

 

4          Matters Arising from the meeting of 26th February 2008

 

Any items where action is carried forward are shown in the minutes.

 

Ref

Item

Action By

Status

 

 

 

 

4.2

Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Stacey seconded the motion that Peter Martin, the expert in this area from Essex County Council, should be asked to attend the annual parish meeting to speak on this subject. This was agreed.

 

David Winter

Paul Hinsley from Essex CC has agreed to speak.

7

Mr Ernie Schofield will be asked to keep signs clean and to trim around them. He will also be asked to see if he could repaint the landing lights at the USAAF Monument.

Cllr. Schofield

He has been asked and provided he is well enough will do this.

9.1

Cllr. Gallup is to check that the Essex Design Guide principles are followed.

Cllr Gallup

 Done

9.3

The bonfire site was to be cleared and more stones provided when the weather had improved.   

Cllr. Durlacher

Done

9.3

The new item of play equipment has been ordered and has yet to arrive

David Winter

Now arrived

9.4

The Emergency Plan needs to be updated.

David Winter

Outstanding.

9.7

Local Development Framework - Submissions have to be made by 28th March and the planning group on the council will prepare this.

Cllr Gallup

These have been prepared ready for submission.

9.8

Cllr. Stacey is to have a word with Mr. Rix about marking the footpath south of Park Lane. It is passable as it has been sown to ley grass, but the line is not obvious to walkers. An alternative is to improve signage

Cllr. Stacey

Outstanding.

9.8

The footpath tools need to be collected from the Homestead School.

Cllr. Stacey

. Done

10

Community Initiatives Fund - The Clerk was to provide further details to the Councillors within the next two weeks.

David Winter

Sent round on 6th March.

 11

 Best Kept Village - The Clerk and Cllr. Schofield will complete the application form.

 

David Winter

The information has been assembled and Jill Jones is helping with the completion of the form. This will be despatched by 28th March.

12

Cllr. Ellis reported that the Community Shop had made a surplus of £5,700 and the Council felt it should be congratulated and they hoped it would continue as the asset it has become.

David Winter

Letter delivered to Gill Flack.

13

The Youth Community bus was to visit Dedham on 12th March at 7.30 pm. The Clerk was to contact Rev. Bull to see if he might be interested in attending. 

David Winter

Note delivered to Tim Bull. 

 

14

Park and Ride at the Community Centre - The Council rejected this proposal vehemently and the Clerk was to write to Mr. Cadman hoping that the Community Council would do the same.

 

David Winter

Letter delivered to Alan Cadman

15

Cllr. Garnett reported that CBC’s annual spring clean was to take place in March. Cllr. Schofield was to arrange this, enlisting the help of the WI if possible.

Cllr. Schofield

It was not possible to co-ordinate the date with CBC so if a spring cleaning day is needed, it will have to be at a different time.

16

Clerk’s Contract - this was agreed and the contract will be produced.  

Cllr. Durlacher

Cllr Watson

In progress

19

VAT needs to be reclaimed.

 

David Winter

 Over £10,000 has been reclaimed.

19

An asset register has been discovered but will have to be updated

David Winter

Outstanding

19

Grass Cutting contracts must be checked and tenders requested if needed. Repayments for Urban Grass Cutting from Colchester Borough Council are to be investigated.

David Winter

Grass cutting is divided between Troggy and Pinnacle and will continue as is for the next year.

Repayments for Urban Grass Cutting need to be investigated.

21

In appreciation of the work that Mrs Jones has done for the Council at short notice and in difficult circumstances the Clerk has written a letter of thanks to her which is with Cllr. Schofield for her approval.

 

Cllr. Schofield

This has been approved.

21

Cllr Schofield as agreed at the last Parish Council meeting should use some of her Chairman’s allowance to buy a suitable gift for Jill Jones.

 

Cllr. Schofield

This is now in hand

 

5          Residents’ Questions

 

5.1             Park and Ride

 

Several comments were raised by members of the public. Cllr. Garnett advised caution as it is not sensible to give too much notice of any objections that might be raised if planning became an issue. He suggested individuals might like to contact Essex County Council giving a copy of their correspondence to him and the Parish Council.

 

5.2             Road Problems

 

A resident complained about the poor state of the A12 end of Park Lane, with protruding lumps of concrete and overhanging hedges at Old Park House. The Council would look into this.                                               Action – Cllr. Garnett

 

6          American Monument

 

A report on progress was provided by Cllr. Ellis. The plaques on the monument will be unveiled by Councillors, except for the central one. A lot of work had gone into setting up the exhibition for which Cllr. Schofield thanked Cllr. Ellis, Cllr. Watson and Mrs Smerdon.

 

7          Village Upkeep

 

Mr Ernie Schofield is not well. Mr Bob Schofield has offered to do his jobs as far as possible until he is better. The Clerk was asked to send a note giving our best wishes to Mr Ernie Schofield.                                                                     Action – David Winter

 

8          Seat in Wick Road

 

We are waiting for Mr. Revett to start.

                                                                                               

9          Reports to the Council

 

9.1       Planning

 

Cllr. Gallup provided a written report:

 

Applications:

 

080282            Certificate of lawfulness for School Farm Buildings.

 

We accept that it has been used as an informal car park for many years. To the best of our knowledge it has never been used by HGVs and HGVs would find great difficulty in gaining access.

 

080291            Barnfield, Park Lane. Variation of design of car port.

 

The new Barnfield will be a replacement dwelling in the countryside. This application would make the car port alone as big as the original bungalow and certainly much more obtrusive. We object to this because it contravenes all three conditions of H12 in that a) in would cause a loss of good agricultural land and make the adjacent agricultural land unworkable, b) it would set a precedent for all properties backing onto the land in Wick Road and Moor Road as well as Park Lane and c) it would cause an adverse impact in that it would cause the loss of the linear boundary.

 

080319            Orchard House, Langham Lane for an implement shed

 

We are rather concerned at yet another building on this property, especially as it would be so close to Footpath 39, which runs along the access lane.

 

The following are all in the consultation process:

 

080412            Barnfield, Park Lane. Change of use of land to the north

080425            East Lodge, Gun Hill. Demolition of Lodge and replacement building

 (This is very similar to the previous application and so our reply is also similar) The proposed new entrance is on a steep part of Gun Hill where there is a bend and the area is dark because of trees. The actual access would be very steep. We request comments from Highways.

It would be a great pity if the present building had to be demolished because it is such a traditional gate house, but if it does have to be demolished we would prefer to see a building of the same height and similar footprint as the present building and a similar appearance from the road. We feel that this would be much more appropriate in an important part of Dedham Vale.

 

080426            East Lodge, Gun Hill. Demolition of Lodge and replacement building (LB)  

080463            The White House, Dedham Road Extensions            No objections

 

080484            Park Farm Barn. Extensions                                      No objections.

 

080489            Gun Hill Estate. Replacement of existing buildings    No objections

 

Decisions:

 

Approved:

 

080086            Gun Hill, Removal of condition about sight splay

 

080186            Moorleigh, Moor Rd, but with very strict conditions that the glass in the dormer windows must be obscure and that the windows must be fixed or with restricted opening.

 

080122            Oakcroft, School Road, with conditions that the windows to the west must be obscure.

 

Refused:

 

080177            Land adjacent to Alefounders Barn.

 

9.2        Roads and Transport

 

Councillors are to approach Essex County Council to see which Langham roads are in their programme for improvements in the financial year 2008/2009.

Action – Cllrs. Garnett and Watson

                             

9.3        Recreation Ground

 

Nothing further to report other than already covered in the matters arising.

 

9.4       General Purposes

 

The Village Design Statement will be available for viewing on 5th April at the Community Centre.

 

The Emergency Plan will be updated after the next election.

.                                                                                               Action – David Winter

9.5       Housing

 

There was nothing to report.

 

9.6       Community Council

 

Cllr Ellis reported that

 

  • The whole council will form the committee for the village fete led by Clare Hawksbee.

  • The current treasurer Peter Herbert is to resign at the next AGM.

  • The expenditure for the first two months of the year considerably exceeded the income, though there were a lot of accruals. Fuel costs were almost 75% of the income.

 

9.7        Ward Councillor

 

Local Development Framework

 

Cllr. Garnett reported that there should be no further action until the final sites, if any, are chosen.

 

Youth Bus

 

The Clerk was asked to find out details of the scheme, including what qualifications volunteers for this scheme will need.   Action - David Winter

 

Youth Provision within Homestead School

 

The Clerk was asked to approach Essex County Council to see if any parts of this school could be used for the Church’ s proposed youth worker.

                                                                                                Action - David Winter

Decent Homes

 

This project is due to be completed by 2010. The Clerk was asked to write to Colchester Borough Homes to ensure Langham houses are improved as soon as possible.                                                                                Action - David Winter

 

Mr Rideout

 

The environmental health authorities have been asked to contact Mr Rideout’s neighbours, and Mr Rideout has been provided with the appropriate contact numbers. 

 

9.8       Footpaths

 

Footpath 33

 

Cllr. Stacey is to have a word with Mr. Rix about marking the footpath south of Park Lane. It is passable as it has been sown to ley grass, but the line is not obvious to walkers. An alternative is to improve signage.

Action – Cllr. Stacey

 

An extra key to the pavilion is needed for Cllr. Stacey. Mr Bob Schofield was arranging for this.                                                                        Action – Cllr. Schofield

 

10     Community Centre Refurbishment

 

A report from the Community Council outlining their plans for refurbishment of the Community Centre was considered. Mr. Clarke outlined the latest proposals on this project. The Chairman made it clear that the Community Council will have to apply for the grants themselves but that the Parish Council would support and help them where possible. Details of the Community Initiative Fund were given to Mr. Clarke. It was pointed out that the Community Council had £5,000 held by the Parish Council for general expenses, but Mr. Clarke indicated that they had other ideas for using this money. Other grants will be available from the “Town Clerks’ Fund”, and when details are known, the information will be passed to the Community Council.

 

 

 

 

11     Community Initiative Fund

 

The Clerk has provided further details to the Councillors on 6th March. If Councillors have any ideas for grant applications these should be put on the agenda.

 

12     RCCE – Best Kept Village Competition

 

The entry form has been completed and submitted.

 

13     Park and Ride

 

The Council has submitted its objections to this and other schemes and Cllr Garnett felt there was nothing further to add. This scheme is a long way from being a certainty. Cllr Schofield proposed that Cllr Garnett be thanked for the way the meeting was taken. This was seconded by Cllr Durlacher and approved unanimously.

 

It was proposed that any information regarding the proposals should be provided

  • Through the village newsletter, with the approval of Ian Hollands. This may require inserts at some times.

  • By adding to the web site.

  • By posters on the notice boards.

 

This was proposed by Cllr Watson and seconded by Cllr Durlacher and approved unanimously.

 

Cllr Garnett was to ask Mr Grant if it would be acceptable to put the minutes of the public meeting on the web site.                                Action – Cllr. Garnett

 

14        Local Highway Panels

 

It was agreed that the Council will propose that Cllr Watson be elected to act as a representative on this panel. Cllr Durlacher will act as deputy. The Clerk will submit Cllr Watson’s name to Colchester Borough Council.

                                                                                                Action - David Winter

15     Web Site

 

It was proposed by Cllr Ellis and seconded by Cllr Watson that we put the following items on the web page

  • Agenda

  • Draft minutes

  • Names, responsibilities and contact details of Councillors

 

This was agreed unanimously.

 

16        Correspondence

 

The following correspondence had been received during the last month and was available for inspection at the meeting.

 

  • Letter from Essex CC Highways - regarding the A12

  • Local Highway Panels - see item 14.

  • Proposed Alterations to Langham Community Centre – see item 10.

  • Nomination Papers for Election of a Parish Councillor

  • Colchester Borough Council – Forward Plan of Key Decisions - 1 April to 31 July 2008

  • CPRE Membership - it was proposed by Cllr Ellis and seconded by Cllr Stacey that we continue with our membership of this organisation. This was agreed.

  • Audit Commission - a new external auditor has been appointed to replace Lubbock Fine.

  • Glasdon Catalogues

  • Enjoy England – Celebrate St George’s Day

  • Postwatch – Cllr Stacey agreed to submit the questionnaire soliciting our views as to the consultation that took place over post office closures.

  • East Essex Forum – information regarding the meeting of 8th April.

  • Waste Management Advisory Board - the draft waste strategy for Essex.

  • Essex Rural Services Survey 2008 – completed.

  • Bus Timetable

  • NATS - Terminal Control North Proposed Changes to Airspace

  • Essex Partnership News

  • Wicksteed Annual Playground Inspection - a satisfactory annual report.

  • E-mails from Mr Rideout – see Cllr Garnett’s report.

 

17        Administrative Matters

 

The last few years have been a period of great turmoil with the unexpected and sad demise of the previous clerk. As a result there has been a delay in reclaiming VAT. This has now been rectified and VAT of over £10,000 covering the last two years has been reclaimed. This may not be paid into the bank account until the new financial year.

 

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

                                                                                                Action – David Winter

 

Repayments for Urban Grass Cutting from Colchester Borough Council are to be investigated.                                                                       Action – David Winter

 

It has been agreed that the Clerk will be paid on point 19 of the spinal column and the contract is to be produced.      Action – Cllrs. Durlacher and Watson

 

18        Receipts and Payments

 

A report of receipts and payments had been circulated showing from the previous meeting to date payments of £5,953 and receipts of £100.

 

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.

 

19        Mrs J Jones – Previous Parish Clerk

 

A garden voucher for £50 and two roses have been given to Mrs J. Jones.

 

20     Next Meeting

 

The annual parish meeting will be on Tuesday 29th April 2008, at Langham Community Centre at 7.30pm. All residents of the village are cordially invited to attend and the Parish Council hope for a good turnout. Notices are to be distributed about two weeks prior to the meeting, and distributed by Councillors as follows

  • Lodge Lane, Old Ipswich Road, Moor Lane - Cllr Garnett

  • Langham Lane, Chapel Road, High Street – Cllr Stacey

  • Wick Road - Cllr Ellis

  • Park Lane – Cllr Watson

  • Perry Lane – David Winter

  • School Road – Cllr Gallup

  • Greyhound Hill – Cllr Schofield

  • Dedham Road – Cllr Durlacher.

 

County Councillor Clover is to be invited, but if he is not too well we would understand if he felt unable to attend.                                Action - David Winter

 

Paul Hinsley, who is attending from Essex County Council to speak on environmental matters, is to be asked about such items as solar heating. The aim is to ask him not only what individuals can do, but what can Parish Councils do?                                                                                          Action - David Winter

 

This will be followed by a short Parish Council meeting.

 

21        Any other urgent business

 

There being no other urgent business, the meeting closed at 10.10 pm.

 

 

 

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