Current News


Community Shop









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.





Action By



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.



David Winter


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?           


All Councillors


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.          


David Winter


Done and reply circulated. No promises of improvements.

8.7 (d)


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.         


Cllr. Stacey



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.


David Winter


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.


David Winter




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


All Councillors


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.


David Winter




Department for Transport

Drink drive campaign details are to be given to the shop and posted on the notice boards.          


David Winter





Details are to be given to the shop and posted on the notice boards.


David Winter




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


David Winter



11 (b)

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.


David Winter


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.

11 (c)

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.


David Winter


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.

11 (d)

Powerplus Engineering

ECC is to be asked to monitor HGV movements.


David Winter


Done. Geoff Harris’s reply has been circulated. He said the question has been passed to CBC Planning.

11 (e)

Land Registration

The Clerk was asked to check what land the Council owns, with help from Mrs Smerdon, and to check the costs of registering it.


David Winter


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.

11 (f)

Lettice Dyke

Closing Thomas Love and moving the money to

Lettice Dyke is to be investigated.



David Winter


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.


6.1       Planning                      


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










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

  • Performing arts

  • A cyber café

  • Enlisting the use of the army


6.5       Housing


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


6.8       Footpaths                    


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.

6          CPRE.

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


(a)        General


In the last 4 weeks the Clerk reported that the major activities have been


  1. Parish Plan work and the meeting on 7th February.

  2. Agreement for en-form to attend the annual parish meeting to talk about allotments.

  3. Village Development Committee work including discussions on possible changes to the Community Centre and obtaining plans of the Community Centre.

  4. 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


(c)        Charities


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