Minutes of the full Parish Council Meeting held on 22nd June 2020 at 7.30pm via the Zoom Platform
Councillor B Burton
Councillor J Cambridge
Councillor G Carter
Councillor J Chaplin (Vice Chairman of the Council)
Councillor S Coiley
Councillor R Frost
Councillor C Howell (Chairman of the Council)
Councillor F Kent (from end of Minute Number 3 to Minute Number 10g)
Councillor P Nutter (from beginning of Minute Number 3)
Councillor I Peacock
Mrs S Clements – Clerk
District Councillor A Coley
Two Members of the Public
1. Welcome and Apologies for Absence – The Chairman welcomed everybody to the Meeting. Apologies for absence were received from District and County Councillor Guglielmi. Councillor Smith was not present and did not offer his apologies for absence for acceptance.
2. Declarations of Interest and Register of Interests
Name of Councillor Details of Interest Minute Number & FurtherDetails
Councillor Howell Non-pecuniary interest as she 9.a) Clerk & RFO – Schedule is related to a contractor of Accounts for Payment
Councillor Howell Pecuniary as she owns 10 c) Correspondence – property in this area Requests for Signage
Councillor G Carter Pecuniary as she owns 10 c) Correspondence – property in this area Requests for Signage
Councillor G Carter Non-pecuniary interest 10. e) Correspondence – Mistley Rugby Club
Councillor R Frost Non-pecuniary interest 10. e) Correspondence – Mistley Rugby Club
3. Public Voice – A Member of the Public raised his concerns about speeding vehicles on the High Street, back firing of vehicles, and breaking the highway code of 30mph. The Council responded by advising that it has been in close contact with Essex Police about these issues, that it will be installing a barrier gate to the entrance of its car park where some of these vehicles assemble and that the Mistley Village Hall Management Committee will be monitoring its CCTV to capture details.
Another Member of the Public spoke about concerns relating to the flow of vehicles using Shrubland Road, many of whom are not residents and are using it as a cut through, where speed is often an issue. A full and detailed discussion ensued relating to residents’ requests for improved signage in this area.
Councillor Kent joined the Meeting at this point.
Councillor Coiley asked about the closed footpath at EDME where he had been in contact with Essex County Highways about this. District Councillor Coley agreed to raise the matter with the Planning Enforcement Team at the District Council.
One 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 Testing at Clacton Leisure Centre, Discretionary Rate Relief – business grants policy, Business Support, Shoppers and Businesses urged to prepare for re-opening, Essex Libraries to re-open in a phased approach, Tendring residents encouraged to stay at home and grow their own vegetables, Visitors requested to take their rubbish home, and a plea to beachgoers to act responsibly.
District Councillor Coley provided responded to questions and made reference’ to social distancing and part two of the emerging Joint Local Development Plan and also carbon deduction. He commented on the Lawford Recycling Centre which is currently not open, and that Public Conveniences in the District are now open, where he felt that Parish/Town Councils would normally follow suit with the District Council regarding opening Public Conveniences. District Councillor Coley also commented on Village Halls and preparations for re-opening.
The County Councillor written report was received and noted. The report included details about helping Essex secure PPE (personal protective equipment), New Virtual Care Solution providing support for people in Essex, NHS (national Health Service) Partnership University and NHS Foundation Trust – New crisis Mental Health phone line launched, Essex County Council work helping Essex Residents, Communities and Businesses during COVID-10, the International Day of Families supported by the County Council, Essex preparing for phased School Re-opening, and an update on Education Setting and Re-opening in Essex.
5. Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on the 18th May 2020 – These Minutes were received, considered and approved following the vote. (Proposed by Councillor Coiley and seconded by Councillor Burton). (Copy in Minute Book).
6. Update/Matters Arising from Previous Minutes held on the 18th May 2020 – There were no updates or matters arising.
7. Report on External Meeting Attended – (Socially Distanced Site Meetings)
• Cemetery and Closed Churchyard Meeting with Contractor – Councillor Howell reported briefly on the site meeting with the contractor and Councillors Howell and Nutter. The issues regarding grounds maintenance were reviewed and discussed, but the meeting was with less senior staff from the contractors. Another site meeting will be held with a senior representative from the contractors and Councillors Howell and Nutter on the 23rd June 2020.
• Cemetery and Closed Churchyard Working Volunteer Grounds Works – The Council noted that a working volunteer group comprising Councillors Cambridge, Howell and Nutter, together with the Council’s Warden cleared piles of old wreaths and debris from the Cemetery and Closed Churchyard. The Council thanked the working volunteer group.
• Site Meeting with Football Club – Councillor Howell reported on this meeting where the Club are asking if training on the Council’s land can be reinstated, subject to COVID-19 government guidance being adhered to, with any risks mitigated and following guidance from the Football Association. This matter will be considered under Minute Number 10 e) along with the Rugby Club item, where both Clubs are tenants of the Parish Council.
• Phone Meeting with Rugby Club – Councillor Howell reported on this meeting where the Club are asking if training on the Council’s land can be reinstated, subject to COVID-19 government guidance being adhered to, with any risks mitigated and following guidance from the Rugby Union. This matter will be considered under Minute Number 10 e).
• Allotment Site Meeting with MALGA (Mistley Allotment and Gardeners Association) – Councillors Cambridge and Howell reported on a brief meeting with the Chairman of MALGA where the request received from MALGA will be considered under Minute Number 9. b) below.
• CCTV – Mistley Village Hall Meeting (Re; Parish Council’s Car Park & Anti-social Behaviour Footage) – Councillor Nutter -also Vice Chairman of the Village Hall Management Committee advised the Council that footage has been viewed and will continue to be monitored.
8. Councillor Generic Emails – Due to issues encountered with certain devices, it was agreed following the vote, that Councillors will meet in person with the IT Contractor when it is safe to meet again for face-to-face Parish Council Meetings in order to pursue this matter further.
9. Clerk and RFO (Responsible Financial Officer) Finance Matters
Councillor Chaplin took the Chair at this point given Councillor Howell’s declaration of interest as detailed in Minute Number 2 above.
a) Schedule of Accounts for Payment – The schedule was received, considered and agreed following the vote, (proposed by Councillor Nutter and seconded by Councillor Cambridge), for payments in the sum of £5,841.08. (Copy in Minute Book).
Councillor Howell returned to Chair the Meeting
b) Land South of Harwich Road – (Playing Fields Land and Phase 2 Allotment Land) – The Council received, considered and discussed the request received from MALGA for a contribution of £300.00 towards the cost of timber totalling £600.00 in order to reconfigure phase 2 of the allotment plots into half plots. A full and detailed discussed ensued. Follow the vote, the Council declined this financial request due in part to its budgetary restrictions and also because its expenditure needs to benefit the majority of its electorate. Refusal was proposed by Councillor Coiley and seconded by Councillor Burton, with Councillors Cambridge, Carter and Howell all abstaining. The Council also considered and discussed the next steps regarding the Section 106 Developer Contributions. Following the vote, it was agreed to ask the relevant LPA (Local Planning Authority) Officer for advice with regard to the £15,000 contribution that the Clerk has requested from the Developer which has not as yet been forthcoming following on from the closed meeting with the said officer on the 25th June.
c) Local Council Award Scheme – Foundation Level – The Council noted that the Clerk is currently working on a business plan to finalise the submission and that although the Council is only currently eligible to apply for the Foundation Level because it does not have at least two thirds of Councillors elected as opposed to co-opted, that after the next local elections the Council currently meets the next two levels of Quality and Quality Gold.
d) Parish Council Website – Councillor Profiles and Photographs – The Clerk advised that there are still some outstanding profiles and photographs. Councillors who had not submitted details to the Clerk agreed to finalise this matter. Suggestions were discussed regarding more historical content relating to Mistley and requests for local Residents to submit these via Facebook, and drawing themed competitions for local children, where winning pictures will be awarded the title of Picture of the Month. The purchase of books/vouchers utilising the Chairman’s Allowance was discussed and also the possibility of asking local Sports Clubs for fixture details. This was proposed by Councillor Howell and seconded by Councillor Nutter. Councillor Carter agreed to liaise with the local Primary School about the competitions.
e) Finance Committee – The Council received, considered and agreed the terms of reference for the ensuing year. (Proposed by Councillor Nutter and agreed by Councillor Coiley). Councillors noted that Councillor Peacock is able to continue as a member of the Committee.
f) Cemetery Sub-Committee – The Council received and considered the terms of reference. It noted that a Town Councillor from Manningtree Town Council will be a Member of the Sub-Committee. There are be no ex-officio members. It was agreed following the vote, that the Cemetery Sub-Committee Terms of Reference will be considered by the Finance Committee at its next Meeting.
g) Service Level Agreement (SLA) – BIU Group, Saints Helens, Merseyside – Clothes/Recycling Bank – Furze Hill/Shrubland Road Car Park – The Council agreed following the vote that this SLA should not be renewed with effect from the 1st August 2020 and that the clothing recycling bank should be removed from the site by the 1st August 2020.
h) Street Lighting Contractor – The Council received and considered the details pertaining to replacing older street lighting lanterns with new LED Lights. They noted that LED lighting can be brighter and sharper. Following the vote, (proposed by Councillor Burton and seconded by Councillor Peacock) it was agreed that a Working Party comprising Councillors Cambridge, Coiley and Nutter will look into this matter further and report back to the Council.
i) Bank Reconciliations – April 2020 and May 2020 – These were received and agreed following the vote. (Proposed by Councillor Burton and seconded by Councillor Peacock).
j) Silver Birch Sapling Donation – The Council noted that it was agreed previously to plant this sapling at the Welcome Home Field, but that the planting did not take place because of the cancelled VE Day Celebrations. It was agreed following the vote, to arrange for a Working Group comprising Councillor Chaplin, Howell, Kent and Nutter with Mr Horlock the Volunteer Tree Warden to establish the preferred site and then report back to the Council. In due course a date will be arranged to plant the sapling and a plaque detailing information about the donation from HM The Queen. Councillors noted that the site where the previous Horse Chestnut Trees were has had the stumps dug out and the soil is fine in this area.
k) Furze Hill Playing Field – The Council considered the request via the Mistley Village Hall Management Committee regarding Judo sessions (socially distanced) to take place at Furze Hill Playing Field. A discussion took place, Following the vote, this usage was agreed for a temporary period, subject to formal reviews and receipt of the Club’s satisfactory public liability insurance indicating sufficient cover.
l) Colchester Rovers Cyclocross Race Event – Furze Hill Wood – The Council received and considered the request for consent for the event scheduled for Sunday 11th October 2020. (Hire fee – £750). Following the vote, this was agreed, subject to receipt of the full hire fee, the event complying with the latest COVID-19 government guidelines at that time and after the event reinstating any damage to the Playing Field and other Council land. (Proposed by Councillor Coiley and seconded by Councillor Carter).
m) Barrier – Car Park – Furze Hill – The Council agreed to install a barrier gate due to the dangerous anti-social behaviour involving vehicles. Following the vote, this was agreed where the cost is £385.00. (Proposed by Councillor Coiley and seconded by Councillor Cambridge). Councillors Howell and Nutter abstained from the vote. The barrier gate will be closed each evening at 6pm and opened each morning at 8am with regular reviews of this. The Council’s Warden/Cleaner will open and close the barrier gate when closing, cleaning and opening the Council’s Public Toilet and formal representatives from the Football and Rugby Clubs and Village Hall hirers will be advised of the code (which will be changed regularly) and the last person at the Car Park will close the barrier gate when leaving the Council’s private Car Park. Nominally priced leaflets have been organised to leave on vehicles to advise people about the new closing and opening arrangements which will commence on the 23rd June 20200.
n) Training – The Council received and considered prices for basic chainsaw training for Volunteers on the Grounds Maintenance Volunteer Group. It was suggested that a grant could be applied for. The Council received and noted the information relating to the Parish Path Partnership scheme via Essex County Council and Public Rights of Way where training, tools, and support is available, but not training for chainsaw use. Following the vote, it was agreed to ask the Forestry Commission and the Woodland Trust for training recommendations and to notify the Council’s insurers about the equipment.
o) Urgent Finance Matters – There were no matters.
10. Correspondence – Councillors considered the following:
a) Annual Play Area Inspection Reports – The Council received and considered these reports and noted the low risk matters.
b) Policing – The Council received and noted the updates from PCSO Pat Smith. They noted the correspondence between the Council and Essex Police where the Council continues to alert the Police about dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour in the Village and continues to ask for urgent support and action in this regard in order to protect residents and visitors.
Councillor Chaplin took the Chair at this point given Councillor Howell’s declaration of interest as detailed in Minute Number 2 above.
c) Residents and Police Emails– Shrubland Road/Village Hall Car Park and Harwich Road. The Council received and considered the various correspondence.
The Council noted the correspondence from PCSO Smith regarding Shrubland Road/Village Hall Car Park and the request for details about the offending vehicle registration numbers so that she can arrange to send out Anti-Social Behaviour letters. Should the same vehicles continue to re-offend then PCSO Smith will arrange to look at issuing Community Protection Warnings. The issue of speeding and dangerous driving at Harwich Road was noted with concern. The Council also noted the threat of violence to one of its Staff Members by the driver of a vehicle parked at the Village Hall regarding littering, which was very upsetting and intimidating for the Council’s employee. The Council also considered the requests from residents for signage. The letter and photographs from some residents of Shrubland Road were received and noted, including the request for signage at various junctions near to California Road and School Lane. A full and detailed discussion ensued. Following the vote, it was agreed to continue to pursue the Police about dangerous driving and anti-social behaviour and to ask the residents who have asked for signage to advise the Council of the exact wording which needs to be kept succinct and to the point as too many words will be missed by motorists. The wording and request will then be passed to the Public Rights of Way Office (PROW) at Essex Highways for its approval. Any signage will be funded by residents.
• The second Member of the Public left the Meeting at this point.
• District Councillor Coley left the Meeting at this point.
• Councillor Howell returned to Chair the Meeting.
• At this point in the Meeting the Council considered and agreed following the vote to temporarily suspend its relevant Standing Order, such that the Meeting can continue with its business beyond 10pm.
d) Salt Bag Partnership Scheme 2020 2021 – The Council received and considered these details, including coordinating of volunteers. Following the vote, it was agreed to defer this to the next Meeting on the 20th July 2020 which will be just before the deadline of the 26th July 2020 deadline for responses.
e) Rugby Club – The Council considered the request for the Club to start training from the 1st July 2020, with social distancing measures in place, receipt of the satisfactory risk assessment and Rugby Union guidelines (already received and satisfactory). Following the vote, this was agreed. (Proposed by Councillor Burton and seconded by Councillor Howell).
Football Club – The Council considered and agreed following the vote, the request for the Club to start training again, with social distancing measures in place and subject to receipt of a satisfactory risk assessment and Football Association guidelines. (Proposed by Councillor Burton and seconded by Councillor Howell).
f) WW2 Huts – The Council received and considered further information regarding this project. Following the vote, it was agreed to support the project further by publicising it on the Council’s Website and local Social Media in conjunction with Mr Horlock the lead Volunteer. The Council thanked Mr Horlock and his small Volunteer Team for their respective sterling work.
Councillor Kent left the Meeting at this point.
g) Letter from Residents – Shrubland Road – The Council received and considered the request regarding residents’ trees maintenance. Following the vote, (proposed by Councillor Burton and seconded by Councillor Coiley), the Council declined the request to maintain a residents Plum Trees in their private residential garden.
h) Other Correspondence – No further details were received.
11. Dates of Next Meetings
• Full Parish Council Meeting – Monday 20th July 2020 at 7.30pm – Meeting via the Zoom platform.
• Planning Committee – Thursday 2nd July 2020 at 7.30pm – Meeting via the Zoom platform.
12. 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 (and the Press if present), since publicity would legally prejudice commercial sensitivity and confidentiality.
13. Staffing – The Council is asked to consider and agree the arrangements for the Council’s
Warden to open and close the barrier/gate at the Village Hall when the Hall opens and other Users commence using the Car Park again and after consulting with the Staff Member a change to his contract of employment.
There being no other business, this part of the Meeting finished to allow for the confidential part of the Meeting.