Minutes of the full Parish Council Meeting held on 20th July 2020 at 7.30pm via the Zoom Platform

Minutes of the full Parish Council Meeting held on 20th July 2020 at 7.30pm via the Zoom Platform

Councillors Present:
Councillor B Burton
Councillor J Cambridge
Councillor G Carter
Councillor J Chaplin (Vice Chairman of the Council)
Councillor S Coiley
Councillor R Frost
Councillor F Kent (From End of Minute Number 6)
Councillor C Howell (Chairman of the Council)
Councillor P Nutter
Councillor C Smith

In Attendance:
Mrs S Clements – Clerk
District Councillor Coley
One Member of the Public (Up to end of Minute Number 3).

1. Welcome and Apologies for Absence – The Chairman welcomed everybody to the Meeting. An apology for absence was received from Councillor Peacock who is unwell. This apology was agreed. Apologies for absence were also received from District and County Councillor C Guglielmi and District Councillor V Guglielmi.

2. Declarations of Interest and Register of Interests – Councillor Carter declared a pecuniary interest under agenda item numbered 12 b) Correspondence and PROW (Public Rights of Way Office), as she owns a property in this area. Councillor Howell also declared a pecuniary interest under the said agenda item, as she’ part owns a property in this area.

3. Public Voice – A Member of the Public spoke about agenda item numbered 12 b) Correspondence and PROW. He asked if the Council could purchase the signage so that it could reclaim VAT and then receive donations from residents and he also asked for a financial contribution towards the signage from the Council. The Council will consider this matter and the requests under Minute Number 12 b) below.

The Member of the Public left the Meeting at this point.

4. District and County Councillors Reports –

The District Councillors written report was received and noted. The report contained details about COVID-19 support including Sharon Robinson’s volunteer group which has now closed, other volunteer support groups which are available and huge thanks goes to Sharon Robinson and to these groups for their sterling support, some District Council Staff being in isolation during the height of COVID-19, Residents complaints about grass cutting where Staff were deployed to work on emergency matters, figures for the number of cases and tragically the number of deaths as a result of COVID-19, Glypthosate Herbicide and the control of weeds and concerns from local residents together with clarification from the Public Realm department, Play Areas reopening in the District after safety assessments have been completed, the extension of the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) including Mistley and the surrounding area, the Structures Team of Essex County Council dealing with the Old Maltings, Mistley Quay temporary footpath which is inadequate and dangerous as opposed to the Planning and Development Enforcement Team of the District Council, updates regarding the GP Surgery at Lawford, the Library at Manningtree, the Lawford Recycling Centre, a Local Government White Paper about reforming tiers of government, Anti-social behaviour in Mistley and Lawford, and Abandoned Boats at The Walls.

District Councillor Coley responded to questions and queries. Councillor Cambridge asked about the Planning Garden Community draft details and the Inspectors Report. Councillor Coiley asked about the boundaries of the AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

The County Councillor written report was received and noted. The report included details about the A133 Ipswich to Harwich Road improvements which finished on the 30th June 2020, the Basildon Waste Plant, the County Council allocated £5.78m from the funding package to support social distancing/COVID-19, the Additional New Family Innovation Fund for Essex Families, and Essex Welfare Services expanding with new support services.

5. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 22nd June 2020 – These Minutes were received, considered and approved following the vote. (Proposed by Councillor Burton and seconded by Councillor Nutter). (Copy in Minute Book).

6. Update/Matters Arising from Previous Minutes held on the 22nd June 2020 – There were no new updates.

Councillor Kent joined the Meeting at this point.

7. Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting held on the 2nd July 2020 – (Furze Hill Playing Fields) – Councillor Burton agreed to ask the Keep Fit Club to write to the Parish Council asking for consent to use the field, give details of days and timings, to ask for submission of appropriate public liability insurance and ask if a donation could be offered to the Village Hall Management Committee. The Minutes were received, considered and approved following the vote. (Proposed by Councillor Frost and seconded by Councillor Burton). (Copy in Minute Book).

8. Update/Matters Arising from Extraordinary Parish Council Meeting held on the 2nd July 2020 – The Council noted that a member of the Village Hall Management Committee has written to the Clerk advising that the Keep Fit Club is affiliated by the Rugby Club. (See Minute Number 7 above). The Village Hall is due to open at the beginning of August 2020.

9. Councillors Report on External Meetings – The following updates were provided:
• Grounds Maintenance Contractor Site Meetings – Councillor Howell reported on site meetings with Councillor Nutter and the contractor. A WhatsApp group has been set up so that photographs can be shared when work has been completed or the dates when work is scheduled in accordance with the SLA (Service Level Agreement). The quotation received from the contractor was received and noted. It was felt that some of this additional work could be completed by the Grounds Maintenance Volunteer Group and the Council’s Warden.
• Stourview Avenue – The Council noted that the District Council has cut the grass.
• Allotments – Councillor Cambridge reported on his site meeting with Councillor Chaplin and the Chairman of MALGA (Mistley Allotment and Gardeners Association). The hedge cutting arrangement by MALGA and a resident were noted. MALGA’s points regarding the cost of timber to split phase 2 into half plots were also noted.
• Mistley Computers – Councillor Cambridge advised the Council that he had met with the contractor who has kindly agreed to assist Councillors in person with setting up their respective generic Councillors email accounts when it is safe to meet again at the Village Hall. The total cost is likely to be £25 (the contractor’s hourly rate).
• Covenant – Stourview Avenue – Councillor Cambridge advised the Council that he has received a copy of a covenant going back to when this estate was built – around 1976 indicating that trees on this site cannot be felled if the estate is developed further.
• A & J Lighting – Councillor Cambridge provided an update regarding his discussions with the Council’s lighting contractor and quotations for upgrading the Council’s street lighting lanterns to LED’s. The Council noted that each lantern will cost around £300. The lanterns in the Conservation Area would naturally need to be heritage and would be around £1,000. There are 103 street lights’ in total where 10 of these are heritage.
The current lanterns are around 40/50 years old and out of date. New LED lights would save the Council and tax-payers electricity costs as well as reducing the carbon footprint. The new white light would improve security and aid any CCTV cameras. They would have a 10 year’ warranty with the Holofane luminaire. Call out repairs would be minimal and would save money too. Annual maintenance checks would still be recommended to check and clean the lighting. New parts for the Council’s street lighting are becoming more difficult to source and are costing more. For example, a part that cost £8 is now costing around £30. The Clerk will look into possible grants for energy, climate and environment and report back to the Council. Councillor Cambridge was thanked for his research work.
• Local Residents Highway Concerns – Councillor Cambridge reported on the concerns communicated to him from local residents about the dangerous junction at Long Road/Clacton Road/Trinity Road/New Road area and the recent serious road traffic accident with a cyclist. Residents have asked if a new form of alternative junction arrangement could be agreed between the Local Planning Authority, i.e. Tendring District Council and the Developer for any new dwellings proposed in this area.

10. Councillors Working Party Meetings – See Minute Number 9 above.

11. Clerk and RFO (Responsible Financial Officer) Finance Matters

a) Schedule of Accounts for Payment – The schedule was received, considered and agreed following the vote for payments in the sum of £3,989.77. (Copy in Minute Book).

b) Land South of Harwich Road – The Council noted the next steps regarding the Section 106 Developer Contributions where the £15,015 will be paid upon the agreed occupancy rate of the bungalows in accordance with the legal agreement.

c) Bank Reconciliation – June 2020 – This was received and agreed following the vote.

d) 1st Quarter Finance Report – April-June 2020 – This Report was received and agreed following the vote.

e) COVID-19 Matters – A full and detailed discussion ensued. The Council noted that other nearby Villages have opened their play equipment. It was agreed following the vote, that the Council’s play equipment should be reopened where appropriate updated signage will be affixed regarding safety and that parents and children should be cautious about safety/COVID.

f) PCC (Parochial Church Council) – St Mary and St Michael, Mistley and Manningtree – The Council discussed approaching the PCC for a financial contribution/grounds maintenance support in the Closed Churchyard. Following the vote, it was agreed that Councillor Howell will contact Rev’d Turner to start a dialogue.

g) Parish Council Community T-Shirts – It was agreed that the Council’s Warden and Councillors carrying out work, including volunteer work around the Village would be invited to wear the Council’s Community T-Shirts.

h) Urgent Finance Matters – Standing Orders and Financial Regulations – The Council received, considered and agreed/adopted following the vote, the updates to these documents that the Clerk is aware of via NALC (National Association of Local Councils).
All of the above was agreed following the vote, proposed by Councillor Coiley and seconded by Councillor Nutter.

12. Correspondence – Councillors considered the following:

a) Policing – The Council received and noted the updates from PCSO Pat Smith. They noted that one crime has been recorded since the last report. This being the theft of a motor vehicle from Harwich Road. The crime reports for areas near to Mistley were received and noted.

Councillor Chaplin chaired the Meeting at this point given Councillor Howell’s pecuniary interest in Minute Number 2.

b) PROW (Public Rights of Way) Essex Highways – The Council received and considered the correspondence regarding residents’ requests for signage. It noted that PROW has agreed the wording. The Council declined the request for it to assist as paymaster so that residents could avoid paying VAT and it also declined the request for any financial support. Following the vote, the foregoing decisions were agreed. (Proposed by Councillor Coiley and seconded by Cambridge).

Councillor Howell returned to Chair the Meeting at this point.

c) Salt Bag Partnership Scheme 2020 2021 – (Essex Highways) – (Deferred from last Meeting) – The Council received and considered these details again, including coordinating volunteers. The Council agreed that no further bags were needed as there are already two pallets stored locally at Edme. Volunteers can be set up in due course to assist with distributing the salt when it is needed.
d) WW2 Huts – The Council noted that Mr Horlock the lead volunteer local resident has written some details but that a photograph is awaited. Following the vote, it was agreed to continue to support this worthwhile historic, local community project and assist with publicising it by providing details of the local press representative and posting details on the Council’s Website and Facebook relevant pages.
e) Donation by Local Resident – Re; Barrier/Gate – Village Hall Car Park – The Council was delighted to receive the thank you email and £75 donation from a local resident. Following the vote, it was agreed to defer spending this for now.
f) Other Correspondence – The Council received the details about an alleged hate/racial matter by a local resident to other residents/others. It was proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded by Councillor Frost and agreed following the vote that this matter be discussed by the Council in confidence and following Minute Number 14 and 15.

13. Dates of Next Meetings
• Full Parish Council Meeting – Monday 21st September 2020 at 7.30pm – Virtual/Remote Meeting via the Zoom platform.
• Planning Committee – Thursday 6th August 2020 at 7.30pm – Virtual/Remote Meeting via the Zoom platform.

District Councillor Coley left the Meeting at this point.

14. Resolution to Exclude the Public and the Press – The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings Act 1960) amended (2014) and the Local Government Act 1972 (s.1) (2). The Council considered and agreed following the vote, to exclude the Public since publicity would legally prejudice commercial sensitivity and confidentiality. (Proposed by Councillor Howell and seconded by Councillor Frost).

District Councillor Coley left the Meeting at this point.

15. Confidential Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 22nd June 2020 – The Council is asked to receive, consider and agree these Minutes. (Copy in Confidential Minute Book).

16. Alleged Hate/Racial Comments on Social Media – The Council is asked to receive and consider the correspondence received under 12. f).

There being no further business, the Meeting closed to facilitate the confidential/closed part of the Meeting.