Minutes of the Meeting of Doddinghurst Parish Council held on 2nd September 2021, at 20.00 in the Parish Room (adjacent Village Hall), Church Lane, Doddinghurst, Essex, CM15 0NJ.
Present: Cllrs. Mrs D. Dicker (Chairman), Mrs J. Le Page, Mr M Capon, Mr G. Smith, Mr P. Arnell, Mrs K.
Pond, Mrs T. Brooks; Brentwood Borough Councillors Ms. C. Gelderbloem, Mr K. Parker and Mr C. Poppy
- Apologies for Absence: Cllrs Mr A. Smith, Mr D. Potter, Mrs D. Rogers Harrison, Essex County Councillor Lesley Wagland.
- I Resolved: Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 2nd September 2021 were approved and signed.
- Declaration of interests in items arising on the agenda. Cllr G Smith recorded that one of his neighbours had an active planning application.
- Information: Clerks report for July and August 2021 (for 2nd Sept meeting)
- Following the advert of the Parish Clerk vacancy one applicant was interviewed on the 6th July and offered the position by the interview panel. Caroline Fuller accepted the offer and a Contact of Employment has been completed for the Clerk & RFO role. She is currently working her period of notice and is scheduled to start work with Doddinghurst Parish Council from the 11th October 2021. She is CiLCA qualified and has a total of 16 years’ experience working as a Clerk for local Parish and Town Councils.
- The External Audit for 2020-21 has been signed off without comment. The Notice of Audit closure has been posted on the DPC website.
- The new Doddinghurst PC “Scribe” cemetery system database has been completed and it is now in day-to-day use.
- Water Works Spring Farm’s planning development application was eventually approved under exceptional circumstances at the Brentwood Borough Council planning meeting on the 29th June 2021.
- The Phase 2 refurbishment of the Parish Rooms scoping paper was released for quotations and two companies submitted offers for the whole of the work (both were within the approved budget). We also received a number of offers for parts of the work in particular the electrical and the plumbing elements of the job. I also approached individual tradesmen who have worked for the Council in the past but none wished to quote. Two Councillors volunteered to help with the projects assessment and all the information and quotes were accordingly passed to Councillors Dicker and Le Page on the 29th July with three options to consider:
- To pick one of the two quotes.
- To break the job down into specialist areas such as electrical, plumbing, flooring, decoration, blinds and doors and do them more or less one at a time.
- To defer the Phase 2 work until after Caroline has started and the world has returned to a semblance of normality.
I was advised on the 24th August that Option 3 has been chosen and to defer the works execution until August 2022.
- DPC Barclays Bank account funds on 27th August 2021 stood at 128,084.26 with £1932.35 pending payment. 2021. In addition, there was £18,188.65 held in the Santander Bank and £34.77 held as petty cash making £144,375.33 in total (this excludes any accrued VAT refund and pending transactions). Overall, the funds are down by £6,938.44 from the £151,313.77 held on 25th June 2021. A VAT reclaim is due in Oct 2021 having received a £2970.42 VAT refund in July 2021.
- The hydraulic “soft close” units on the CPA gates have been replaced.
- Schedule of Correspondence received up to the end of August 2021. Noted. In response to Highway’s issues information requested by Cllr Hugh Gorton for the Local Highways panel meeting on the 23rd September 2021 Cllr G Smith is compiling a “defects” register for Doddinghurst. He requested Councillors to advise him of any issues, including pavements, they were aware of in the Parish.
- Financial Reports and Minutes and Feedback from Committees.
- Information: Financial Reports for July and August 2021. Four pages reviewed without comment.
- I Resolution to approve the Schedule of Payments for July and August 2021. Approved
- Information and I Resolution: Planning Applications for July and August 2021. The Applications pending and Applications decided data sheets were reviewed. The Council had responded to application 21/01124/FUL stating that exceptional circumstances did not apply to the site in question as claimed by the applicant. Also, a footpath from the Water Works Spring Farm development, to give access to the centre of the village, was also discussed. It was clarified that the easement paid to a landowner for the provision of passing places on Dagwood Lane did not cover the footpath. Councillors were informed that the intention of the developer is, by local agreement, to obtain a right of way across a short stretch of private land from the Waterworks Spring Farm land to the existing public Footpath (No 35) to provide pedestrian access to the village. Councillors raised questions as to the addition of the new section of footpath to the ECC definitive footpath list to ensure its ongoing sustainability. Also, as to how the WWSF site infrastructure and flora would be managed once the development was completed and who would oversee that the site was properly cleared of years of tipping by the previous owner?
- Information: Feedback from Members relating to Committees attended since last meeting. Cllr Smith reported on the webinar attended by himself and Cllr Potter on the air traffic control changes being considered by Stansted Airport. The objective of the review of the air traffic movements is to reduce stacking and shorten glide paths to and from runways – all in an effort to reduce fuel wastage and hence emissions produced per plane (although there could be more planes). A public consultation is expected in Jan 2022.
- Information: Borough Councillors, County Councillors and members of the public to speak.
Cllr Gelderbloem reported on a youth behaviour study but was finding little support from parents. Cllr Poppy reported on the BBC improvements at sites in Brentwood including King Georges fields. Cllr Parker advised the Council that the area of land on the Doddinghurst Road opposite Brook Lane currently used to keep goats was up for sale. It is Green Belt land and despite its relatively high asking price is unlikely to receive any approval for development. Mr A Farrow asked about the effectiveness of the CCTV system along the high street in Brentwood as he had failed to get any support from the Police follow theft of property in Brentwood. He was assured by Borough Councillors that the system was police standard compliant.
Cllr M Capon asked about the planned Thames Crossing and how it impacted Brentwood.
- Resolution: Confirmation of the appointment of Caroline Fuller as the Proper Officer to the Council in the role of Clerk and RFO with effect from the 11th October 2021 and approval to become a bank authorised person for Parish Council Barclay and Santander accounts. Resolved and approved.
- Information and Resolution: Co-option of new Councillor, Mr Roger McCheyne. Resolved and approved. Mr Roger McCheyne signed the declaration of acceptance of office and joined the Council. The Clerk will advise BBC of the appointment.
- Information: Phase 2 refurbishment work – Update on quotations and way forward. Following a discussion and suggestion from Cllr G Smith the Council agreed to progress the work as packages of work by trade expertise, and to be organized by Roger Blake – beyond his role as Clerk & RFO.
- Information: Football Field utilisation – update on discussions with Blackmore FC. An extensive set of documents was tabled by Cllr G Smith. The key elements were: that the agreement with BYFC expired in 2020 and the club had not sought to renew it nor and had made any financial contribution to field management in 2021 The number of games being played had grown significantly beyond the ability of Doddinghurst to cater for in terms of car parking. There was no evidence that the players were from Doddinghurst. The Village Hall, who own the main car park in the village, and had tried to work with the football club, but found that their own customers (who had paid to hire the Village Hall) were left with no-where to park and the VH received very short notice of pending matches. In consequence, Cllr G Smith was tasked with contacting BYFC to formally tell them that the fields could no longer be used by the club.
- Information and Resolution: Repair and replacement of hydraulic closing systems on CPA pedestrian gates. Noted that the work, authorised under the Clerks emergency spending arrangement, had been completed. Resolved and approved.
- Information and Resolution: Essex Highways Devolution scheme.Deferred to the next meeting.
- Other urgent information (No council actions/letters/undertakings permissible on this item). No items raised.
The meeting closed at 22.00
Minutes signed: Date: 4th Nov 2021