Minutes of the Meeting of Doddinghurst Parish Council held on 5th July 2021, at 20.00 in the Village Hall, Church Lane, Doddinghurst, Essex, CM15 0NJ.
Present: Cllrs. Mrs D. Dicker (Chairman), Mrs D. Rogers Harrison, Mrs J. Le Page, Mr G. Smith, Mr P. Arnell, Mr A. Smith, Mr D. Potter, Mrs K. Pond, Mrs T. Brooks. Brentwood Borough Councillor Ms. C. Gelderbloem, Essex County Councillor Lesley Wagland.
- Apologies for Absence: Mr M Capon, Brentwood Borough Cllrs Mr K. Parker and Mr C. Poppy
- I Resolved: Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on the 5th June 2021 were approved and signed.
- Declaration of interests in items arising on the agenda. None
- Information: Clerks report for June 2021 (for 5th July meeting)
- A recruitment campaign has been launched for a new Clerk and RFO with a closing date of the 30th June 2021.The job advert has been run by the EALC across all Towns and Parishes in Essex and on a variety of local community social media platforms covering Doddinghurst and the nine Parishes of Brentwood and the Brentwood area in general. Response has been slow.
- The Insurance claim investigators continue to collect information about the safety inspection processes of the Parish Council with telephone interviews of people we use to carry out the work, following the incident where a child fell off the zip wire and broke his arm during C-19 lockdown.
- The new Doddinghurst PC “Scribe” cemetery system is being populated with data and will be up and running towards the end of 2021.
- Cllr Hugh Gorton of Kelvedon Hatch has circulated his notes of the last Brentwood Local Highways panel meeting on the 10th A copy has been passed to Cllr G Smith.
- Water Works Spring Farm’s planning development application has been referred to the Brentwood Borough Council planning meeting on the 29th June 2021.
- Swallows Cross Farm planning for housing development application has been resubmitted with a closing date for comments of the 13th July 2021
- A document setting out the scope of work for Phase 2 refurbishment of the Parish Rooms has been circulated for comment. This will be used to obtain quotations from local firms during early July.
- A GP meeting was convened on the 17th June and also a BBPCA meeting attended on the 16th I am in the process of stepping down from the BBCA Treasurer role, which I have held since 2013. Terry Portch, Clerk & RFO of Kelvedon Hatch is picking up both the secretary and treasurer activity for the BBPCA.
- DPC Barclays Bank account funds on 25th June 2021 stood at £133,089.96p. In addition, there was £18,188.65 held in the Santander Bank and £35.16 held as petty cash making £151,313.77 in total (this excludes any accrued VAT refund and pending transactions). Overall, the funds are down by £6,039.28 from the £157,353.05 held on 29th May 2021. There is £2970.42 to reclaim in VAT in July 2021.
- The abortive cost of the failed recruitment of a new Clerk in May amounted to some £1300 in direct costs, not including the cost of a new laptop, as the laptop will be passed to the next Clerk & RFO.
- The audit for 2020/21 has been completed and submitted to, and acknowledged by, the external auditor. The relevant public information has been published on the PC website.
- Schedule of Correspondence received up to the end of June 2021. Noted.
- Financial Reports and Minutes and Feedback from Committees.
- Information: Financial Reports for June 2021.Reviewed together with a 21/22 Q1 Budget update showing lower than planned burial income and higher than planned wages. In addition, this year’s capital budget had been affected by the delay in completion of the unisex disabled toilets. Overall, income and expenditure are currently out-turning some £15k to £20k higher than the 2021/22 budget. A Q1 VAT refund for £2970.42 has been filed.
- I Resolution to approve the Schedule of Payments for June 2021. Approved
- Information and I Resolution: Planning Applications for June 2021 including Water Works
Spring Farm BBC Planning meeting of 29th June 2021 and Swallows Cross Farm revised application for comments by 13th July 2021 at latest. Cllr David Potter had represented the Parish Council at the Brentwood Borough Council Planning Committee meeting considering the Water Works Spring Farm planning application and had circulated a summary of the discussion to Council members. Brentwood Borough Council had approved the planning application on Green Belt land as an exceptional circumstance and subject to a number of conditions relating to restoration of woodland, pedestrian access between the centre of the village and the site and Dagwood Lane improvements and a section 106 agreement. Councillors noted that the opportunity for comments on the latest Swallows Cross application closes on the 13th July 2021.
There were no resolutions
- Information: General Purpose Committee of the 17th June 2021.Noted the meeting minutes. Cllr Smith summarised the position on the use of the Football Fields as the GP committee had determined that the impact on the village was overall negative unless it could be shown that the Children of the village benefitted from the use of the fields by teams from Blackmore. He asked for comments from Councillors on how this should be addressed.
- Information: Feedback from Members relating to Committees attended since last meeting including the BBPCA. A BBPCA meeting had been held via Microsoft teams on the 16th June attended by the Chairman and Clerk. Matters relating to the local Highways panel have been passed to Cllr G Smith to contact Cllr Hugh Gorton who represents all the Borough’s parishes on the local highways committee. Ongoing issues were poor grass cutting in the Borough, lack of meetings with BBC senior staff and double taxation. The Local Plan is still in discussion with the Inspectorate.
- Information: Borough Councillors, County Councillors and members of the public to speak. Cllr Wagland updated the committee on ECC matters including the Locality Fund and the CIF fund, now managed by EALC. She also referred to the right approach to dealing with Highways defects is via the Highways defect portal and that other ways of getting funding to repair defects were being explored. Cllr Chris Gelderbloem thanked David Potter for his contribution to the Planning Committee debate on Water Works Spring farm.
- Information and Resolution: Phase 2 refurbishment work. Invitation to Quote, approved for issue.
- Information: Recruitment of and Interviews for a new Clerk and RFO. Only one qualified applicant received and an interview has been arranged with the interview panel.
- Resolution: Delegation of authority to appoint a new Clerk and RFO. Approved, the interview panel was granted the power to offer the job and agree the Salary and Terms and Conditions to an applicant.
- Information: New Councillor Training. Cllr K Pond has been allocated a place on the EALC new Councillor training days (via Zoom).
- Information: Co-option of New Councillor. Councillor Roger McCheyne has applied and been verified by BBC. Co-option will be at the September meeting.
- Information and Resolution: Memorial Bench Location approval re: Mr Laing application. The matter was referred back to the GP meeting with the observation that something other than a bench might be considered. Mr Laing did not approve of the suggested location on Peartree Field as he wanted it to be nearer the church.
- Information and Resolution: DPC event next year for the Queen’s anniversary. Approved, in principle, a village fun day event to be held on a day in June 2022 (yet to be agreed) with a provisional budget of up to £5000 from the 2022/23 budget. It was noted that the BBC are also holding fun days with one published for the 23rd July 2021,10.30am to 15.30pm in Doddinghurst Village Hall, although confirmation with the event organisers was proving difficult to obtain.
- Other urgent information (No council actions/letters/undertakings permissible on this item). Councillor David Potter is helping to arbitrate on a dispute between neighbours over tall trees. Councillor Potter is also representing Doddinghurst in the Stansted Airport consultation on the future use of airspace.
The meeting closed at 21.45
Minutes signed: Date: 5th July 2021