Minutes of the Meeting of Doddinghurst Parish Council General Purpose Committee held at 19.30 on the 12th October 2022 in the Parish Room, (adjacent Village Hall), Church Lane, Doddinghurst, Essex, CM15 0NJ
Present: Cllrs. Gerry Smith (Chairman), Julia Le Page, Phil Arnell and Roger McCheyne.
Also present: Mrs C. Fuller (Clerk/RFO)
1. Apologies for absence: Cllrs T. Brooks & D. Potter.
2. Declaration of interests relating to items on the agenda: None declared.
3. Resolution: Minutes of the meeting held on 15th June 2022 were approved.
4. Public Participation: None present.
5. Information: Update on activities undertaken since 15th June 2022 meeting.
(i) Play Area: It was noted that the top of the ‘hump’ is being worn away and is being monitored. Consideration to be given to topping the area with rubber matting which grass can grow through. It was agreed that the signage in the play area needed to be reviewed. A new sign to replace the bleached out one (general information) was agreed, and a review of signage in the adult area and zip wire was required. The Cross Trainer needed to be replaced and the quote to be brought to the next meeting.
(ii) Burial Ground: Some of the loose ashes headstones are falling onto each other and require a more robust channel to hold them in place, bearing in mind that they do need to be removed for additional inscriptions and maintenance. The office has contacted the contractor who has made and installed channels for Brentwood Council and his advice is awaited. The Chairman thanked the Deputy Clerk for her work on this so far. The Clerk reported that the grave with unauthorised decorations had received a complaint from another grave owner. The Clerk will meet the owner and endeavour to enforce the Council’s Burial Ground Rules.
iii) Allotments: A new sign has been put up at the entrance to replace the one that was unreadable. Vegetation has been cut back around the shed roof and from the notice board and entrance. Perspex has been replaced in shed door. Attention was given to the gate lock which had become stiff. A first aid box has been installed in the shed.
iv) Parish Room/Parish Office: Most planned refurbishment works are now complete. A new internal lock has been fitted on the kitchen door along with new batons for the creche gate. Outstanding works: 2 external doors (quote awaited) along with replacement of gents’ toilet window. Consideration to be given to an external ramp for disabled access and underfloor insulation.
(v) Trees: Place Services have been approached to provide a quote to map and inspect all the Council’s trees. This is to be pursued.
(vi) Ponds: A tree growing in the pond will be cut back at the appropriate time.
(vii) Grass Cutting: Nothing to report.
(viii) Footpaths: The NATS team cut back the footpath running along the back section of the burial ground which was very overgrown. The path from the Recreation Ground to Budgens Field has been reported as impassable in winter. Cllr. McCheyne will inspect and make a recommendation.
(ix) Small Car Park Surfacing: Work completed satisfactorily during September
(x) Flower Tubs: It was noted that Cllr. LePage would complete the autumn planting, but wished for others to take over from next spring. The Clerk had obtained a quotation and it was agreed to put appropriate funding into the budget.
6. Office Alarm:
Two quotes to replace the alarm were noted. It was also noted that the new external doors would increase the building’s security, along with new internal locks. There was very little of monetary value kept on the premises and it was not a requirement of the instance company that an alarm is fitted. It was proposed to accept the quotation from KJF Electrical for £300 plus VAT. The proposal was not seconded and it was therefore resolved that the alarm is not replaced.
7. Budget 2023/24:
Members suggested the following to be included in the draft budget: Replacement play equipment, disabled ramp, channels for ashes headstones in the cemetery.
8. Information Items: None.
The meeting closed at 20.31
Minutes signed: Date: 15th February 2023