Minutes of the Meeting of Doddinghurst Parish Council held on
4th November 2021, at 20.00 in the Parish Room (adj. Village Hall), Church Lane, Doddinghurst, Essex, CM15 0NJ.
Present: Cllrs. Mrs D. Dicker (Chairman), Mrs J. Le Page, Mrs D. Rogers Harrison,
Mr M Capon, Mr G. Smith, Mr P. Arnell, Mrs K. Pond, Mrs T. Brooks, Mr R. McCheyne, Mr A. Smith.
Brentwood Borough Councillors: Ms. C. Gelderbloem, Mr K. Parker and Mr C. Poppy.
County Councillor: Mrs L.Wagland.
Clerk: Mrs C. Fuller.
Deputy Clerk: Mrs C. Tremain.
- Apologies for Absence: Cllr Mr D. Potter.
- I Resolved: Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 2nd September 2021
were approved and signed.
- Declaration of interests from members of any items on this agenda. None.
- Information: Clerks report for September and October 2021
- I have been in post since 11th October, working 21 hours per week (usually all of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). Roger is currently working alongside me two mornings a week to effect a hand-over. As agreed by the Council he will project manage the refurbishment of the Parish Rooms.
- I will be undertaking training in the new Doddinghurst PC “Scribe” systems.
- GP Committee agreed that the cross-trainer should not be used at present due to wear and tear and risk of finger entrapment. A temporary sign to that effect has put on the piece of equipment and Broadmead Leisure will be visiting w/c 1st November to give their opinion on repair or replacement.
- One of the heaters in the Parish Room has stopped working and was inspected by the electrician, who said it could not be repaired. He has removed it, the brackets and the cage, and has quoted £349.57 plus a small installation fee to replace it. It is on order.
- BBC’s NATS team is due to visit w/c 22nd November and a request has been made to trim the scout path hedge as Patrick has reported that brambles are over hanging the path. If you have any other requests to put on the list then please inform the Deputy Clerk. Poppy has asked us to be mindful they are also looking after Kelvedon Hatch and Navestock that week too.
- 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.
- 5. Schedule of Correspondence received up to the end of October 2021. Noted. Regarding the complaint, the councillor concerned has apologised to the complainant.
- Financial Reports and Minutes and Feedback from Committees.
- a) Information: Financial Reports for September & October 2021. Four pages reviewed. Cllr. A Smith reported that Scribe is capable of producing a report detailing uncashed payments.
- b) I Resolution to approve the Schedule of Payments for September & October
- c) Information and I Resolution: Planning Applications for September & October
- The Applications Pending and Applications Decided data sheets were
reviewed and approved.
- d) Information: G. Smith reported on the General Purposes meeting held on 14th October. Minutes previously circulated.
- Zip wire is to be replaced.
- Resident’s request to purchase a full burial plot for the interment of ashes was refused. The resident has appealed the decision and the Deputy Clerk is in correspondence with her to hopefully resolve the issue. The Clerk reported that a review of the Cemetery Rules is underway to ensure clarity in the future.
- The resident who requested a memorial bench has been contacted and is considering the Council’s suggestion of a bench in the children’s play area.
- The cross trainer needs to be taken out of action.
- The Chairman has contacted the resident who is seeking land for environmental projects for clarity on what is actually required. The allotment plots are apparently not suitable as there are no trees there.
- e) Information: Feedback from Members relating to Committees attended since last meeting.
Cllr. Capon reported that he had attended two (Zoom) information sessions by Essex County Council, hosted by the EALC on Highways matters. Information from the sessions have been circulated to all members by email. He reported that both were informative. One was focused on a winter service update (eg gritting, grit bins, winter salt scheme). He reported that gritting takes place on roads with more than four buses per day. Grit bins are only be maintained in very few areas. Residents can track gritter routes. The other session was on more general highways issues (eg maintenance, potholes, drainage). He also reported that he has been walking footpaths in the village and reporting any issues to ECC, particularly noted on Footpaths 4 & 5.
Cllr. Dicker reported that she had attended a Bus & Rail AGM at Brentwood Borough Council. She used the opportunity to talk to the management representative for the No.61 bus and reiterated the need for a rush hour bus to Shenfield Station. Alternative buses for the route, more suited to the rural roads, are now in service and a 5 year contract with ECC is being negotiated, including new vehicles. The representative agreed that the road and rail services should work together. With the increase in social rail travel at weekends, there was mention of re-introducing a Sunday service for the No.61. It was agreed that the No.61 service should be promoted locally. New timetables are being sent to the Chairman and she will take some to the newsagent, but they ought to also be displayed at bus stops. Members discussed safety issues at Brentwood railway station as it is not satisfactorily lit or manned at night. The Chairman wishes to be a regular attendee at future meetings and asked the Clerk to look into it.
- Information: Borough Councillors, County Councillors and members of the public to speak.
Cllr. Wagland thanked Rev’d Ann for taking on the Covid fund to help local people in need. The Locality Fund is being used for new stairs at the village hall, and there may be some funding left. A meeting was held with Ringway Jacobs to address issues with the London Quadrant Stream, the road surface in Rectory Chase. There is no justification in resurfacing Rectory Chase as it is structurally sound. Two residents are responsible for addressing a heave problem on a pavement in this location due to the removal of a large tree. Any highways issues can be reported online to ECC and Cllr. Wagland will progress any if she is given the reference number, although road closures are taking 8 weeks currently to authorise. Street lights are being replaced with LEDs. Revision to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) Para 12 states that any community with design codes which have been voted on should refuse planning applications which do not comply with those codes. Superfast Broadband continues to be rolled out. Cllr. Wagland is the cabinet member with responsibility for this. ECC have published an interactive map to track progress but she will report back at a future meeting. Doddinghurst is mentioned in ECC’s Bus Back Better Plan and her offer to arrange for someone to talk to the Council about this was agreed. Finally, some statistics: there are 800,000 cars in Essex and 24% of journeys are less than 2 miles.
Cllr. Gelderbloem reported that younger football teams are now playing at Navestock and all seems well. Members reiterated that they would welcome local players to Doddinghurst and generally support football and other sports. She asked whether there were any particular problems with young people, but apart from some litter problems in the woods, all was well. Cllr. G. Smith will contact her separately about this. A Youth Strategy Group team will come out to speak in villages if required.
Cllr. Parker reported that the Chairman of Blackmore Youth Football had contacted the Leader of Brentwood Borough Council and asked that negotiations are commenced with a view to returning to Doddinghurst. Members unanimously agreed that they would not wish to enter into any negotiations as the village simply cannot cope with the volume of cars that arrive on a Sunday morning and as both parties are so far apart in their aspirations there was no point in negotiating. Cllr. Parker will relay this information back to the Leader. Cllr. Parker has met with a local landowner who was seeking advice on what his land could potentially be used for. Further meeting is being arranged. Efforts are being made to ensure that any planning breaches are seen through by enforcement officers.
- Information: The Chairman thanked Cllr. Parker for his update on the Waterworks Spring Farm development, which was circulated with the agenda. The S.106 Agreement is still going through and the site will be secured against future break-ins. A public exhibition by the developer will be arranged in the New Year to give residents an opportunity to see what is planned for the site.
- I Resolution: Inaugural meeting of the Communications Working Party will be held on Wednesday 25th November and will report back to the Council.
- Information: Platinum Jubilee events at the Village Hall – Cllr. Le Page reported that events will coincide with the Church’s Flower Festival on 5th June 2022. Being planned is a brass band, joint schools choir, steel band, climbing wall and archery, along with a marquee for 100 people. It was noted that £5,000 will be set aside in the Council’s 2022-23 budget for this event.
- I Resolution: Agreed to hold the Christmas Buffet on Thursday 2nd December 2021. The Deputy Clerk was asked to send out the invitations.
- Other urgent information (No council actions/letters/undertakings permissible on this item).
Cllr. G. Smith reported that the Daily Telegraph is consulting its readers on whether they would wish to have their papers delivered direct. He urged members to support the local newsagent by using them for delivery.
Cllr. McCheyne suggested that all future Council and Committee meetings commence
at 19.30 and all members were in favour of this.
The meeting closed at 21.50
Minutes signed: Date: 13th Jan 2022