Minutes of a Meeting of Earls Colne Parish Council held in the Council Chamber
on Wednesday 20th June 2012
PRESENT: Cllrs: Mr. R. Austing, Mr. J. Bendall (Chairman), Mrs. M. Barrett, Mr. W.
Bennett, Mr. R. Curtis, Mr. P. Harrington, Mr. C. Hazell, Mr. K. Shipp, Mr. I. Sparks and Mr.
Mrs. V. Holmes was present in her capacity as Clerk together with one member of the public,
Mr. M. Hobbs.
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr. D. Howorth, District Councillors :- Cllr. C. Siddall and Cllr. G. Spray.
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Cllr. Curtis declared an interest in planning application 12/00154/TPOCON as the
property was adjacent to his own. He therefore declined to take part in any decision the
members agreed to make.
3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION
Cllr. Curtis made a statement as a member of the public indicating that he had no
objection to planning application 12/00154/TPOCON.
Mr. Hobbs informed members that he had purchased ‘Rosedene’, a property adjacent to
the entrance to the Essex Golf and Country Club and that a planning application would
be submitted by him in the near future. Mr. Hobbs gave members an indication of his
plans, which would be in keeping with the local architecture and would create a new
entrance to the property.
4. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FOLLOWING MEETINGS:
The Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 16th May 2012 were approved and
5. CLERK`S REPORT:
a) The Clerk noted communications from Rev. Brooks, E.C. Friendship Club and ABCO
Insurance congratulating the Parish Council on the very successful Jubilee celebrations.
b) Members were informed that a quotation for a replacement Olive Tree on the Village
Green had been received and members agreed to defer a decision until the Autumn.
c) The Clerk noted a letter of thanks from the Earls Colne Friendship Club for the
d) The Clerk noted a letter of thanks from Lifeline Screening who held a very successful
screening session in the Village Hall on 25th April.
e) Members were asked to consider adopting the Braintree District Council Code of
Conduct which was currently in draft format awaiting regulations around disclosable
pecuniary interests. Members agreed to adopt the Code of Conduct once finalised.
f) The Clerk reported that members had been invited to attend the Halstead & Colne
Valley Scouts AGM on 5th July.
g) The Clerk noted a press release from the Environment Agency regarding a chemical
spillage in Toppesfield which was affecting the River Colne as far as Halstead and
h) The Clerk reported an email from Cllr. G. Spray informing members that a Highways
representative from Essex County Council would be allocated to Causeway House on a
permanent basis to deal with highways problems and queries.
i) The Clerk noted the recent press complaint regarding the overgrown churchyard/garden
of remembrance. It was agreed by members to arrange a site meeting with
representatives of Parish Council and St. Andrew’s Church as soon as possible.
j) Vandalism – the Clerk reported damage to the telephone box on the village green. This
had been reported to British Telecom and the Police.
k) The Clerk noted a letter of thanks from the Friends of Earls Colne Primary School &
Nursery for the donation of 2 hrs village hall time for the children’s birthday party for
their Summer Ball.
a) Decisions reached:
12/00023/NMA Application for non-material amendment following a grant of planning
permission 11/00539/FUL – amendment to balcony brick parapet wall to a glass
balustrade with a stone coping; ground floor amended to align through with existing
house and rear external ground floor door fenestration amended to suit revised floor
level – Myrtle Cottage, 2 Park Lane. GRANTED
12/00087/TPOCON Notice of intent to carry out works to tree in conservation area –
1 Thatched Cottages GRANTED
12/00634/FUL & 12/00635/LBC Removal of three existing 20th Century windows,
replace with sliding sash to match main dwelling – Chandlers, 28 Upper Holt Street
b) Current applications: Cllr. Harrington reported on the following applications:
12/00747/LBC Strip andre-tile roof and replace 1 no. oak pillar to match existing –
Priory Cottage, 35 Upper Holt Street..
Members had no objections to this application.
12/00154/TPOCON To carry out work on trees affected by the conservation area – 7-8
Members had no objections to this application.
7. MEMBERS` REPORTS
a) Members agreed to review the Allocation of Committees and Responsibilities agreed at
the meeting on 16th May. Cllr. Shipp had not been present and wished to share
responsibility for the Annual Report/Newsletter with Cllr. Howorth. Members agreed
to this amendment. Cllr. Bendall had been the Parish Council representative on the
Valley Children’s Centre Forum, but due to other commitments felt he could no longer
continue. Cllr. Barrett and Cllr. Austing agreed to share this responsibility. Cllr.
Harrington reiterated his wish to represent the Parish Council on the Earls Colne
Recreational Trust. Cllrs. Bendall and Harrington withdrew from the meeting for
members to deliberate. Members felt that Cllr. Harrington’s involvement and active
membership of the Recreation Club could only be beneficial in the role and would not
create a conflict of interest. It was therefore unanimously agreed that Cllr. Bendall
would retire from this responsibility and Cllr. Harrington would be appointed.
Allocation of Committees and Responsibilities 2012/13: The following amendments
Annual Report/Newsletter D. Howorth/K. Shipp
Earls Colne Recreational Trust P. Harrington
Valley Children’s Centre M. Barrett/R. Austing
8. ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL
a) Cllr. Bendall reported to members that Cllr. J. Pike had been awarded the M.B.E. An
email had been sent by the Chairman to congratulate him for this wonderful
achievement and it was agreed that a formal letter from the Parish Council should also
b) Footpath No. 19 - Cllr. Bendall reported that the dispute over land ownership
continued. In the meantime it was understood the original path had been reinstated. It
was noted that Essex County Council were due to meet with Tom Smith at the Colne
Valley Golf Club on 13th June to discuss the matter.
c) Footpath Nos. 29, 30 & 34 - Cllr. Curtis reported on concerns raised by local residents
relating to footpaths 29, 30 and 34. Members discussed issues raised by local residents
and these matters would be passed to Essex County Council for attention, where
d) Review of Signs to Free Car Park/Public Conveniences Members discussed new
signage but felt that the existing sign was adequate and that a larger sign may be
obstructive. It was therefore agreed not to make any changes.
9. BRAINTREE DISTRICT COUNCIL:
a) Air Ambulance – Members agreed to defer this item to the next meeting as there was
nothing further to report at present.
b) Members were informed that Greenfields Community Housing would be holding area
estate inspections in Earls Colne on 11th July and 13th September.
c) Members were invited to attend Member Briefing: Consulting on housing policy
changes at Causeway House, Braintree on 3rd and 4th July to discuss policy changes in
respect of new Localism and Welfare Reform Acts.
d) Public Conveniences, Queens Road – members were read an email from a regular
visitor to Earls Colne congratulating the Parish Council on the public conveniences,
particularly the cleanliness. Cllr Barrett noted, however, her disappointment that the
toilets themselves had not been replaced during the refurbishment as they appeared
discoloured due to age.
10. DIAMOND JUBILEE:
a) Village Fete: Cllr Williams reported on the income and expenditure for the Village
Fete. Taking into account the generous donation of £1500 from E. Hobbs (Farms) Ltd.
towards the celebrations and £1,000 from the P.C. Budget, and taking out all expenses,
the balance remaining amounted to £49.10. Donations on the day amounted to £744.54
and members agreed to forward £750 to the charity Heart of the Valley Community
First Responders. Members also discussed a donation to the Earls Colne Recreation
Club in the sum of £500 for the use of their facilities for the event and this was agreed
by a majority vote, with the £500 to be taken from the income generated from East of
England Co-op for the hire of the village hall (S.137).
b) Diamond Jubilee Monument - Insurance: Consideration was given by members to
insurance for the Monument. It was agreed by all members that the monument should
be insured providing the premium was not excessive. Clerk to report back to next
meeting for confirmation.
11. VILLAGE PLAY AREA INSPECTION:
Cllr Hazell reported that a recent RoSPA Inspection of the Parish Council play area
showed every aspect to be satisfactory with no remedial works necessary. Cllr Siddall
has reported to Braintree District Council some areas of the Tey Road playground
which required maintenance and it was agreed by members that a site meeting should
be arranged to discuss outstanding issues. This would be arranged by the Clerk as soon
12. VILLAGE HALL CENTENARY:
Cllr Shipp reported on behalf of the working group that the organisation of the Village
Hall Centenary was now well under way. The celebrations would take place in the
village hall on 12th January 2013, commencing at 2.00 p.m.
13. EALC TRAINING COURSES :
Cllr. Barrett reported on Employment Issues training and was pleased to confirm that
members were currently following up to date recruitment procedures. Following
discussion it was felt that no changes were necessary to current practises but that, if
necessary, members would refer to the Essex Association of Local Councils for
14. VILLAGE HALL:
Members agreed that the hire of the small village hall to the Co-op had been well
received by the local community and agreed unanimously to forward an invoice to the
Co-op for £3,500 for the use of the village hall for the period 4th May to 1st June 2012.
Robert Head, Area Manager, had requested clarification from members regarding the
handrails which had been fitted to the outside of the rear access for their customers.
Members agreed that the handrails should remain in place and the Parish Council
would remove them in the future should the need arise.
a) Internal Audit: Cllr Bendall was pleased to report that Mr. E. Hall had agreed to
continue as the Internal Auditor for a further period of one year.
b) External Audit: Cllr Williams reported that a notification had been received from the
Audit Commission that they would no longer be undertaking audits for small bodies
and contracts had been awarded to four companies. Members were being consulted on
the appointment of Littlejohn LLP to audit the accounts of the Parish Council for five
years from 2012/13. The appointment would commence in September 2012. Members
unanimously agreed to this appointment.
16. LAND AT STATION ROAD:
Members noted a communication between Savills and Braintree District Council.
The meeting closed at 9.10 p.m.
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