Minutes & Agendas
Langham Parish Council
Minutes of the meeting held on 24th February 2009
1 Attendance and Apologies for Absence
Cllr. E. Schofield Chairman
Cllr. C. Garnett Borough Councillor
Cllr. W. Durlacher
Cllr. A. Stacey
Cllr. R. Watson
Cllr. M. Bottwood
Also present were Mrs Kimberley, Mr. R. Schofield and Mr. D. Winter, Clerk to the Council
Apologies were received from Cllr. A. Ellis, who was on holiday.
2 Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
3 Minutes of the Meeting held on 27th January 2009
Cllr. Bottwood pointed out that item 6.6 in matters arising was not seconded by Cllr. Watson as he was not present. It was confirmed that the item was seconded by Cllr. Garnett. Subject to this alteration, Cllr. Stacey proposed and Cllr. Garnett seconded that the minutes be agreed as accurate. This was accepted unanimously and Cllr. Durlacher signed the minutes.
4 Matters Arising from the Meeting of 27th January 2009
Any items where action is carried forward are shown in the minutes.
School Farm Buildings
The clerk was to write to the planning department to ask for copies of all planning applications and recommendations that were applicable to School Farm Buildings. It is important to ensure all companies operating on the site do so with planning permission.
The clerk has written and received the response that the only information the planning department has is the original application. Cllr. Garnett is querying this with Mr. Whybrow and further information is in the Ward Councillor’s report.
School Road Footway
It has been suggested that it should be accompanied by a pedestrian crossing and a 20mph limit outside the school. The head is quite keen on the latter. Cllr. Watson thinks the former more useful. Could he have your views on both please?
See the roads and transport report.
Road Condition in Langham
The clerk was asked to write to Essex County Council Highways to remind them that the increased use of Park Lane and Langham Lane by HGVs is damaging the road surface and the edge of the roads, in some cases undoing the good work done on recent repairs.
Done and reply circulated. No promises of improvements.
Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Ellis seconded the motion that the shop, community council, recreation ground committee and church should formally be invited to investigate the practicality of a major project, and that Cllr. Watson might lead on this with the Village Development Committee.
Cllr. Watson and David Winter
This has been discussed and the position will be discussed in the general purposes report.
Cllr Stacey reported that the route of Footpath 31 south from School Road had been resolved by the CC. Footpaths 25 and 33 have been re-instated. He will contact Mary Moir re the position regarding the improvement of what he knows as the vineyard footpath.
See the footpaths report.
Information Commissioners Office.
The Council has to adopt an approved Publication scheme which makes certain kinds of information routinely available to the public. A template guide has been circulated and the Clerk was asked to complete this and circulate it for the Councillors’ approval.
A proposal has been circulated. This was agreed to be adopted by the Council
Parish Expenditure Requirements
The precept request for 2009/10.has been received and has to be sent to CBC.
CBC Local Development Framework
This item will be added to the agenda for the February Parish Council meeting. This will provide an opportunity for the Parish Councillors to voice their opinions. Any comments should be sent to Cllr. Ellis by 13th February so that he can provide a response ready for the Council meeting and prior to his holiday. The response will have to be submitted by Friday 27th February, the end of the same week as the meeting. The relevant e-mail has been circulated but for further information, contact www.colchester.gov.uk/ldf.
See item 9.
Letter from Mr. Elmer
Mr Elmer was not satisfied with the reply to his original letter. The Clerk was asked to write to him to let him know what planning enquiries were taking place.
Department for Transport
Drink drive campaign details are to be given to the shop and posted on the notice boards.
Details are to be given to the shop and posted on the notice boards.
Wicksteed Annual Safety Inspection
Cllr. Durlacher proposed and Cllr. Garnett seconded the motion that Wicksteed carry this out at a cost of £45. This was approved unanimously
Hedges overhanging the pavement approaching Agrimix
This problem was investigated and the Clerk was asked to contact the owners of the site, thought to be Palmer Brothers, and to inform Mr. Maplestone for ECC.
The site has been visited. The person I saw from Agrimix was not able to help and thought it was the responsibility of Essex CC Highways. Mr. Maplestone has been contacted.
Essex County Highways Visit
The Clerk was asked to contact Mr Harris to check the legal position regarding positioning rocks, cutting hedges and notices placed at the side of the highways.
Done. If the rocks etc are on private land, there is very little that can be done. If the rocks etc are on ECC land, they should only be there with permission. However, the only way of being sure if it is ECC or private land is on a case by case basis. See the Ward Councillor’s report.
ECC is to be asked to monitor HGV movements.
Done. Geoff Harris’s reply has been circulated. He said the question has been passed to CBC Planning.
The Clerk was asked to check what land the Council owns, with help from Mrs Smerdon, and to check the costs of registering it.
Done and a detailed pack from the Land Registry arrived on 24/02/09. The most expensive cost would be £525 for land worth over £1 million.
Closing Thomas Love and moving the money to
Lettice Dyke is to be investigated.
See administration report
Receipts and Payments
Once the financial turmoil has died down, the Council should consider putting more money into higher interest bearing accounts.
Cllr. Watson and David Winter
See the receipts and payments report.
5 Residents Questions.
5.1 Draft Minutes
The Clerk was asked to make the word DRAFT on the minutes left in the shop more obvious. Action – David Winter
5.2 Overhanging Vegetation
The Clerk was to check EC law as to when hedges could be trimmed.
Action – David Winter
If it is acceptable to cut hedges at present, the Clerk was asked to contact the owner of Chaplin’s Farm on Moor Road to ask them to cut back overhanging hedges. Cllr. Stacey would be able to advise on the details if necessary. Action – David Winter
Mr Corr was to be asked to cut back his hedges on Park Lane.
Action – Cllr. Bottwood
6 Reports to the Council.
Cllr. Ellis provided a written planning report for February 2009.
Application no. 082015 – 2, Perry Lane – Extension. APPROVE
Application no. 081998 – Glebe House, Rectory Road – Coach House APPROVE
APPLICATIONS AND PARISH COUNCIL RESPONSES
6.2 Roads and Transport
(a) Footway on school Road
The footway on the north side of School Road was completed a week ahead of schedule. The Clerk was asked to contact Geoff Harris to compliment him on this achievement and to ask that he pass this information to the contractors, who we thought were exceptionally good. Action – David Winter
Cllr. Stacey proposed and Cllr. Durlacher seconded the motion that there should be a lollipop person employed to assist with crossing the road. Cllr. Watson was to check the school’s view on this subject prior to the Clerk writing to the “Safer journeys to school” section of the Education Committee to ask for their consideration of this request, and to state that we would investigate the possibilities of local candidates.
Action – Cllr. Watson
(b) Speed Limits
Councillors Bottwood and Watson are maintaining the pressure on ECC Highways to implement a 40mph limit on Park Lane.
6.3 Recreation Ground
The waste from the bonfire had been cleared into bags prior to the arrival of the rubbish freighters at the Community Centre.
6.4 General Purposes
(a) Parish Plan
The next stage is the preparation of the questionnaire, to include questions on allotments and affordable housing. The Committee room at the Community Centre is booked for 10th March and it has to be agreed whether this is required.
Action - Cllrs. Watson and Bottwood
(b) The Village Development Committee
See the comments on the potential changes to the Community Centre in section 11.
The availability of grants will be checked, but it was felt a better idea of the amount we will be looking for should be obtained first.
(c) Youth Projects
Ideas have been discussed in areas such as
A cyber café
Enlisting the use of the army
The current position following the recent inspection is that
The property next to Rayners Court has very poor insulation and Colchester Homes are considering what to do.
There has been no progress with solving the damp problems in Rayners Court
A 40 year old kitchen will be replaced hopefully in the summer.
6.6 Community Council
Cllr. Schofield reported on the minutes of the last meeting. The next meeting will be on 12th March 2009.
6.7 Ward Councillor
(a) Dog Waste Bins
New dog waste bins will be provided at Pond Corner and opposite the Shepherd and Dog.
(b) Clare Jeffs Correspondence from Essex County Standard
The Clerk was asked to contact her to say we would be delighted to speak to her and that we have possibly an interesting story in how we are preparing for the Calor National Village of the Year competition. If she would like to arrange a meeting, please let the Clerk know.
Action – David Winter
(c) School Farm Buildings
The Clerk was to scan and circulate the details of the planning approvals applicable to this site. Action – David Winter
(d) Jeveck Land Change of Use
From the National Land Register, it was clear that the land they would like to incorporate into their garden is grade 2. This would not normally be land that was allowed to be incorporated into a garden.
(e) Road Signs
Mr. Smith of Essex County Council Highways is due to visit Dedham to discuss related problems. Cllr. Garnett will ask him if he will visit Langham on the same day. He will inform the Chairman so that other councillors may be present. Action – Cllr. Garnett
Cllr Stacey reported that the route of Footpath 31 south from School Road is now totally open.
Footpath 35 behind School Farm Buildings has been re-routed but possibly to the correct position! There has been a change of land use without planning permission and Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council have been asked to pursue this.
The Clerk was asked to investigate purchasing two copies of the definitive footpath map at a scale of 1:1250. Action – David Winter
7 Loan to the Community Council
Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Durlacher seconded the motion that the Parish Council made the payment of the loan of £1,000 to the Community Council to help towards the planned refurbishments as agreed at the July 2008 Parish Council meeting. There should be a suggested two year repayment period. This was agreed unanimously.
8 Hire of the Committee Room on 28th March 2009 for Speed Watch Training
Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Watson seconded the motion that the Council would hire and pay for this room for use in training the speed watch group. This was agreed unanimously.
9 Local Development Framework
The Councillors broadly speaking support the document and its principles, as per the previous meetings with the planning department. The Clerk was asked to forward this information. Action – David Winter
10 Correspondence Received
1 Making the Links
Cllr. Stacey was passed the information relating to the “Pubic Access Rights of Way Review”, and the “green” “Rubbish Free Week”. Cllrs Bottwood and Watson had distributed to them the article on “Making it happen”, concerning Parish Plans.
2 The Essex Local Area Agreement 2008-2011 a brief guide
The first 4 pages were distributed, and full copies of the guide are available.
3 RCCE – 2009 Essex Village of the Year
The Clerk was asked to check to see if Langham was eligible to re-enter. If so, the entry form would have to be completed by 31st March 2009.
Action – David Winter
4 Highways Act – Diversion of Footpath 29
This is the confirmation of the diversion order for the footpath around Keepers Cottage.
5 The Playing Field
This newsletter of the Essex Playing Fields Association was passed to Cllr. Durlacher.
Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Bottwood seconded the motion that the Council continued to belong to this organization at a cost of £29 per annum.
Action – David Winter
7 CBC Forward Plan of Key decisions.
8 Letter from Sue Thorpe
The Clerk was asked to contact Sue Thorpe as to its view that as most of this rubbish came from passing cars, a bin was unlikely to be useful. However, when the condition of the area was particularly bad, either she could inform Cllr. Watson or report this to Essex County Council Highways to clear it up.
Action – David Winter
Cllr. Garnett was to try to arrange for this area to be cleared in the week prior to the Village of the Year’s judges’ visit on 3rd April. Action – Cllr. Garnett
9 Essex County Council
Cllr. Schofield was to decide by 28th February if she and her husband would like to attend the Annual Civic Service on 26th March 2009. Action – Cllr. Schofield
10 e-mail from Clare Jeffs of the Essex County Standard
See item 6.7 above.
11 Administrative Matters
In the last 4 weeks the Clerk reported that the major activities have been
Parish Plan work and the meeting on 7th February.
Agreement for en-form to attend the annual parish meeting to talk about allotments.
Village Development Committee work including discussions on possible changes to the Community Centre and obtaining plans of the Community Centre.
Letter to thank Mr Whitnell for his work draining Old Mill Road into Mr Minter’s field.
Cllr. Watson proposed and Cllr. Garnett seconded the motion that the Council deferred any discussion on allotments until the results of the Parish Plan questionnaire have been received. The Clerk will inform en-form. Action – David Winter
(b) Community Centre Changes
The cost of Mr Cherry drawing up plans to the stage of obtaining building quotations would be £700. According to the financial regulations applicable to this Council, this amount (as it is below £1,000) may be sanctioned without further quotations if required. The Clerk confirmed the Council could afford this level of expenditure. However, before we can proceed, the requirements of the potential cyber café and tennis club additional room need to be considered. Action – David Winter
Cllr. Garnett proposed and Cllr. Durlacher seconded the motion that the Council retain the two Charities as they are. This was agreed unanimously.
12 Receipts and Payments
A list of receipts (£40) and payments (£1,478) was circulated as part of the financial report. The Clerk reported that actual expenditure is likely to be £7,300 more than budgeted. Income is only likely to be £1,350 more than budgeted.
It was agreed that once the financial turmoil had died down, the Council should consider putting more money into higher interest bearing accounts.
Action - Cllr. Watson and David Winter
It was agreed that the Clerk would move excess funds from the current account to the deposit account. Action - David Winter
13 Next Meeting
The next meeting will be on Tuesday 31st March 2009, at Langham Community Centre at 7.30 pm.
14 Any other urgent business
(a) Cllr. Stacey reported that a parishioner had registered an interest in affordable housing. This will be covered in the Parish Plan questionnaire.
(b) Cllr. Schofield reported that the Environment Agency (EA) had been asked to investigate whether or not a mound of manure alongside Greyhound Hill could cause an environmental hazard. The EA will respond to the Clerk. Blocked culverts on the same ditch were to be investigated.
Action – Cllr. Garnett
There being no other urgent business, the open meeting closed at 9.45 pm.
15 Closed Session