The meeting started at 8.01pm
The Chairman opened the meeting by wishing everyone a Happy New Year
FUTURE MEETINGS - Thursdays: February 9, March 23 and April 20 in the Village Hall at 8pm
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Mr Alan Weedon
REPORTS OR CONTRIBUTIONS FROM DISTRICT AND COUNTY COUNCILLORS
There were none.
MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING held Thursday December 15 2016
These were agreed to be an accurate account of the meeting.
Ruses Farm - The Council discussed the application for the conversion of three obsolete barns to living accommodation. There was no objection providing no further development was allowed on the site. The Clerk would communicate this and the fact that Council wanted the current layout of public rights of way, footpaths and bridle paths maintained. Any changes should be by formal application for a change to the Definitive Map.
Anso Corner Farm - The Council noted the re-submission on the advice of the Conservation Officer. Windows had been altered to make it look more like a farmhouse and the alignment would be square to the road. These were considered to be improvements and no comments would be passed onto the planning department.
Not covered elsewhere. There were none.
Correspondence from Miss Diana Frost: Mr Drane noted the broken finger post on Footpath 33 and would report it for repair. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Nick Fordham to restore the pond seat and concrete base. The pointing on the War Memorial base slabs would be discussed further at a council meeting in the spring. The fountain base was under consideration but it probably would not be possible to do anything this year as emergency tree work had become urgent.
County Councillor Alan Mills (Lead member for Highways) and Ringway Jacobs’ Highways Officers are holding a briefing on highways issues on 13 March at UDC offices. Mr Welbourn and Mr McCarthy agreed to attend.
HIGHWAYS AND PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY
Footway - There had been many complaints passed onto the Parish Council concerning the diversions for the footway. It had been promised by Essex Highways that there would be adequate signage to steer traffic away from the smaller roads that are unsuitable for heavy traffic. Unfortunately, these were not in place at the start of working on Monday morning. These have been chased up by the Parish Council and hopefully will be in place soon.
It was agreed that the Council should ask for reparation of these roads due to damage caused by excessive traffic using these roads.
The good news was that the work is progressing well on the footway project.
The date for the celebration to mark the completion of the footway was confirmed as Saturday April 11th. A list of people to be invited was compiled and would be checked at the next meeting. Press and police would also be contacted. It was agreed that the ribbon cutting ceremony would take place at 11am followed by refreshments in the village hall. Mrs Scott would contact Dave Boreham about providing canapes. Nibbles, soft drinks and wine would be provided.
Road Safety Schemes - Mr Welbourn shared a letter that he had prepared asking for further clarification of the status of the two schemes put forward by Hempstead Parish Council that were on the reserve list. No mention had been made of these in the last minutes of the meeting of Uttlesford District Local Highways Panel. Without confirmation of their status, the Council were unable to formulate its requests to the panel for the 17/18 financial year.
Flooding - Mr Sladen had emailed Chris Stoneham asking if some of the flood surveying could be carried out whilst the road was closed with the footway construction. At the moment there was no sign of any definite arrangements.
Tree Survey - The correspondence from Mr Griffiths, resident of Brookside was noted and it was agreed that further negotiation would be necessary.
It had been established that two of the trees were on unregistered land and not the responsibility of the Parish Council. The quote from Chas Johnson was £2400 for 15/16 dangerous trees. It was decided to ask for a re-quote based on pollarding rather than taking the trees right down. Mrs McNeill and Mrs Scott would continue to organise the project and if necessary it was agreed that they had the authority from the Council to sanction the work to go ahead as emergency action to a maximum of £2400.
Banking Arrangements - The letter to Barclays, signed by the Chairman and Mr David Drane, to close the three Parish Council accounts had prompted a reply saying that Mr Drane was not an authorised signatory. The Clerk reported that he had subsequently contacted Barclays and been told that Mr Drane was a valid signatory. Despite strenuous efforts the Clerk had been unable to obtain any information about when the account would be closed. He would continue to press for answers and action.
The Clerk confirmed with the Council that we do not allow advertising for profit making organisations on Parish Council noticeboards. Cultural, Charity and Public Service notices are encouraged as well as adverts for village events.
The Chairman reported on difficulties caused by a letting just before Christmas. He emphasised that £100 deposit is required and will be cashed as condition of booking.
The meeting ended at 9.35