Minutes 13 March 2017

Minutes of the Parish Council’s Meeting held on 13 March 2017 in the Village Hall, Shrubland Road at 19.30

Present Cllrs. Birch, Carter, Chaplin, Fairhall, Peacock and Rayner. D. Cllrs. Coley and Guglielmi. Mr. R. Ling (Responsible Finance Officer) and Mr. A. Lee (Clerk). Four Members of the Public.

12.17 Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs. French and Howell. Cllr. Horlock was absent.

13.17 Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 30 January 2017, having been circulated previously, were agreed as a true record. Proposed Chairman, seconded Cllr. Birch, were approved unanimously, and signed by the Chairman.

14.17 Declarations of Interest
Cllr. Rayner declared an interest in items 20.17 (a) (ii) (landowner) and 22.17 (d) (landowner)

15.17 Public Voice

(a) Bill Jenman, who works as a Project Manager for the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, spoke about developing a bid to the Lottery for a major new project around the sides of the Stour and Orwell estuaries. The Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty were particularly keen to include more proposals from local communities, as these were some of the most successful elements of their previous projects. Needed to submit a bid at the end of May and would receive the result in October, which would be followed by a development period in 2018, with projects starting in the spring of 2019. Projects needed some match-funding which could include volunteer time. The Chairman thanked Bill Jenman for his presentation and proposed that the Parish Council consider the matter at the April meeting. Action: Clerk

(b) Malcolm Westwood spoke about the work and needs of The Hub, which was under financial pressure and needed to find funding for maintenance costs. The Chairman thanked Malcolm Westwood for his presentation and proposed that the Parish Council would consider making a section 137 grant at the April meeting. Action: Clerk

(c) D. Cllrs. Coley and Guglielmi provided a report from Tendring District Council. Tendring District Council’s share of the Council Tax bill will rise by £5 in 2017/18 for an average Band D property. Tendring District Council faces considerable cost pressures – such as £4.3 million bill for waste, recycling and street cleaning contracts, which are difficult to lower without cutting services. Voters in Tendring should make sure they are registered to vote and be able to take part in the elections on May 4. To apply to register to vote, visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote before Thursday April 13. Residents across Tendring will have more time to apply for their popular free parking permit this year and last year’s virtual permits would not run out until March 31. Essex County Council and Tendring District Council are asking residents to consider working in the care sector to help fill the high number of vacancies and improve the lives of elderly and vulnerable people. The future of Tendring gathered at Clacton Town Hall to celebrate their successes over the past year. The event was held as part of National Apprenticeship week to recognise and highlight the commitment and achievement of young people in the workplace across the District. A request has been submitted to Tendring District Council for sandbags to be supplied to residents on Mistley Quay. The current Street Cleaning Contract is running at approximately a 30% loss to the contractor. There are currently no anticipated changes to the schedule, but Street Cleaning will feature in the contractual negotiations when the current contract expires in 2019.

(d) The Chairman on behalf of Cllr. Howell announced that the Parish Council had organised a litter pick up event for Saturday 18 March. Tendring District Council had agreed to loan equipment and bags and arrange with Veolia to collect the litter collected. Also on Friday 17 March, the children of Mistley Norman School will volunteer to tidy up around their school grounds.

16.17 Matters arising from previous minutes

(a) Item 87.16 – Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year Competition – considered the Woodland Trust’s grant of £500 and it was agreed unanimously that the money be put towards work to thin saplings and opening up older trees to air and light. The Chairman added that a member of Mistley Rugby Club had offered to cutback brambles near to path on Furze Hills and the Pay Back Team would be engaged with clearing.

(b) Item 06.17 (b) – Play Equipment Working Party – the Chairman reported that the Working Party’s recommendations for new play equipment included: a wheelchair accessible roundabout; a basket swing; the replacement of the bucket swing; a multi-play unit; and a goal and basketball unit. One quotation for these items came to about £30,000 and more quotations would be obtained. The Chairman explained that the Parish Council had set aside £13,500 and there was about £10,500 of section 106 money which would be utilised. Cllr. French explained that four applications had been made for grants and that the process would take time and certain conditions had to be met.

(c) Item 09.17 (e) – Village Hall Car Park – the Chairman explained that a member of the public had suggested a footway from the footpath to the Village Hall entrance ramp be included in the marking out and so the contractor would be asked to include this measure as good practice.

17.17 Manningtree and Mistley Welcome Home and Memorial Fund
A communication received from the Welcome Home and Memorial Fund Trust had posed the following two questions: (1) would the Parish Council be able to take over the management of the Trust? and (2) could the Parish Council handle the financial aspect of the project fundraising campaign to get the roadway leading up to the cricket and bowls club resurfaced (i.e. process all payments from contractors so that the VAT can be reclaimed)? Following a discussion, it was agreed that the Parish Council would be acting illegally in respect of the request made in the second question. As to the first question, this had been discussed previously by the Parish Council. The Council agreed that this facility was a significant asset to the local community and that the land had been purchased by public donations and was intended to be a living memorial dedicated to those who had sacrificed their lives. The Council felt there was a need to consider with sensitivity as whether to take over running the facility. It was agreed that the Rural Community Council of Essex be consulted for advice. Action: Clerk

18.17 Councillors to report on meetings attended

(a) North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group – Cllr. Rayner reported that home birth was being promoted for those women not receiving consultative intervention. The Harwich Maternity Unit was to be closed, with the Colchester Unit to be the main centre for the district. Health Watch was also being publicised to enable people to rate and express their views on their experiences. Cllr. Rayner to enquire about what was happening with Mistley Clinic.

(b) Mistley Allotment and Leisure Gardener Association Annual General Meeting – The Clerk reported that members remained hopeful that access to part of the former Brunswick House Allotments might be allowed once the details of the developer’s section 106 proposals had been approved by Tendring District Council. The Clerk had reviewed the allotment waiting list and there were currently 24 on the list (including 14 former Brunswick House Allotment tenants).

19.17 Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that four streetlights had been repaired by the contractor. Several bags of garden and building waste had been fly-tipped along Green Lane, which had been reported to Tendring District Council for removal. Tendring District Council had confirmed that no requests for an election for the second casual vacancy had been received and the Parish Council could seek to co-opt a new Member. This vacancy had been advertised and applicants for both vacancies would be interviewed after the next meeting of the Planning Committee. Action: Clerk

20.17 Planning

(a) Considered the following Planning Applications:

(i) Ref. 17/00140/FUL – Retrospective application for the replacement of 2 windows to the front elevation at 2 Rigby Road – No Comment Chairman proposed, and agreed unanimously. Action: Clerk

(ii) Ref. 17/00369/TCA – London Plane – pollard; Deoder Cedar – deadwood, clean crown; Beech – deadwood, clean crown, tin crown by 15% and balance tree at Honeypot House, 25 New Road – No Comment – defer to Tree Officer. Vice-Chairman proposed, and agreed unanimously. (Cllr. Rayner did not participate in this decision and left the room during discussion). Action: Clerk

21.17 Finance

(a) Noted that E-ON Energy have given notice of an almost 10% increase in the cost of energy used by the Council’s street lights. This will increase the cost of street lighting by about £450 per year.

(b) Noted the following Direct Debits / Standing Orders have been paid:
A and J Lighting £55.80, £99.60 and £250.20 (street lights maintenance)
J Hinson £563.33 and £563.33(Village Hall Caretakers salary – January and February)

(c) Noted the following cheques have been signed since the last meeting:
R Ling £106.20 (salary – February) A Lee £670.56 (salary – February)
B Forrester £117.60 (wages – February)
HM Revenue and Customs £293.88 (PAYE and NI – February)

(d) Approved a grant of £117.80 to the Manningtree and Mistley Welcome Home and Memorial Fund for their share of the cost to Command Pest Control for carrying out mole destruction at the Welcome Home Field (see item (e) below). Action: Clerk

(e) To approve the following payments:
Command Pest Control £256.20 (mole destruction at The Green, Furze Hill and the Welcome Home Field)
A Lee £460.00 (Annual Allowance and use of Computer)
R Ling £62.04 (postage and mileage, October – March)
Proposed, seconded and agreed unanimously.

(f) Considered and agreed to accept A and J Lighting’s offer of a six-year agreement and noted that repairs will be carried out to a schedule of rates to be agreed annually.

22.17 Correspondence

(a) Considered and agreed not to submit an entry to the 2017 Essex Village of the Year competition.

(b) It was agreed that Councillors would respond individually to a public consultation about the potential change in the way Essex Police and Essex County Fire & Rescue Service is governed.

(c) Noted the Footpath Representative’s latest report. Action: Clerk

(d) Noted the current state of Footpaths 19 (Church Lane) and 21 (Barnfield). Following a discussion it was agreed unanimously to contribute to the provision of materials to repair Church Lane and liaise with the Parish Church and Mistley Cricket Club to carry out repairs. In respect of Barnfield, it was agreed that residents should facilitate repairs (Cllr. Rayner did not participate in the decision concerning Barnfield).

(e) Considered requests from: (i) Nigel Humphreys for permission to affix a plaque to a bench at The Walls dedicated to his late-mother; and (ii) Saleha Whent for permission to erect a memorial bench at Furze Hills dedicated to her late-mother-in-law. It was proposed that any memorial plaques to the non-dedicated benches along The Walls should be restricted to residents of Mistley, Manningtree and Lawford, was approved with four votes for and two against. It was proposed that there would be no further seating either in the woods of around the playing fields on Furze Hill, was approved with four votes for and two against.

23.17 Dates of next meetings – all in the Village Hall
Finance Committee Saturday 25 March at 10.30
Planning Committee Thursday 30 March at 19.30
Planning Committee Thursday 20 April at 19.30
Full Council Monday 24 April 2017 at 19.30 (please note it is preceded by
the Parish Assembly at 19.00)

There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 21.36.