Minutes of the Full Council meeting held on Wednesday 15th November at 7.30pm in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
PRESENT Cllr M Caton (Chair), Cllrs A Guney, J Hogg, J Kavanagh, A Khan, A Love, J O’Brien and G Sell
ATTENDING Mrs Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk, 1 member of the press (via Zoom), 3 members of the public (1 via Zoom)
249 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Barnes – working, Cllr Ghosh – family commitment, Cllr Jones – family commitment, Cllr Prior – work commitments and Cllr van de Bilt – family event. It was unanimously
RESOLVED To accept the apologies for absence from Cllrs Barnes, Ghosh, Jones, Prior and van de Bilt.
No apologies received from Cllr Braeckman.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION – none
250 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
251 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 1st NOVEMBER 2023
RESOLVED To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 1st November 2023 as a true and accurate account.
252 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS FROM THE LAST MEETING
245 – office to send final comments on UDC budget to ward members – done.
253 TO WELCOME REPRESENTATIVES OF MANCHESTER AIRPORTS GROUP
The Chair welcomed Joe Chapman, Head of Corporate Affairs and Daniel Burford, Community Engagement Manager.
Mr Chapman reported on the Airport’s current activities, highlighting the following:
- Passenger throughput is recovering and in a state of growth
- Operationally performing well with 97% of passengers through in 15m or less
- Planning permission granted to extend the terminal building by 3 bays towards airfield. This will increase departure area by around 40% but also increase capacity in arrivals.
- New technology will be installed in security area with 3D scanning
- Anticipate that the growth in the next few years will create 5,000 new jobs
- 3megawatt solar farm to be built at Hill House Farm near Cooper’s End roundabout. This will power the entire airport (equivalent to 6,000 homes) on a sunny day and also feed back to the grid. Result is they will achieve net zero by 2038. Should be operational summer 2024.
- Robust operation in place to deal with noise complaints. 95-96% of arrivals and 98% of departures achieve compliance. Less than 1% of noise complaints come from Stansted. Every complaint is investigated.
- Night control measures were imposed by the Planning Inspectorate – window is 11pm-7am.
- 49% of journeys to the airport are made on public transport
- There is a forum to deal with transport and a sub-group focussed on fly-parking. A recent multi-agency meeting was well attended. There is a budget to assist with Traffic Regulation Orders such as the 1-hour restriction now in place in Takeley. Mr Burford stated that Cllr Cheetham represents town and parish councils on the forum.
Various questions were then raised by members of the Council including number of long-haul flights, the local resident discount card, night flight quotas and helicopter routes. Mr Chapman confirmed that one member of the Senior Leadership Team is looking at the Uttlesford Draft Local Plan. One member of the public raised questions about the Noise Action Plan which he considered unsustainable as summer quotas are regularly exceeded.
Mr Chapman agreed to seek further information relating to dispensations in regard to night quotas and the impact of the terminal extension on light pollution and what mitigation measures will be in place. He will send responses to the Clerk for circulation.
The Chair thanked the MAG representatives for their attendance, and they left the meeting at 8.13pm.
254 TO WELCOME THE STANSTED SURGERY PRACTICE MANAGER
Unavailable due to family circumstances
255 TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE CHAIR, CLLR MAUREEN CATON:
Remembrance Sunday was very well attended – even given the rain! The donations on the day also exceeded last year and will be given to the Royal British Legion. The wreath laid on behalf of the Union National des Combatants (the Rungis Veterans Association) was laid by a member of the Stansted Twinning Committee; as was our wreath from the Parish laid by their French counterpart at the ceremony in Rungis. We have also written to the Rungis Veterans to thank them for the Remembrance Plaque they have sent to the Parish – which we hope to place in the Parish Church.
We are in grave danger of losing the funds, currently held by LEAP (Legacy East Alms house Partnership) , if we cannot locate land to reinstate the provision formerly on Church Road. We have asked for a meeting with Bloor and the landowners to see if there is any potential to re – provide through their proposed developments.
Christmas Parking has become a hot issue again. UDC have taken the decision to agree free parking on 2 days only this year – 24th November and 23rd December – we were not consulted on this decision and neither were our Business Forum or local service providers. Last year we had 4 half days in each week in November and 2 full days on 25/26th November. The week was also free between December 25th to January 1st. This cost £12k in revenue from car parking fees. This year the loss will be only £6.5K. It would seem this is a cost cutting exercise to recoup some of the UDC income deficit- robbing Peter to pay Paul. Also, as we are partners with UDC – given they manage Crafton Green on our behalf for a return of 50% of the fees – consultation would have been respectful. I expect the Economic Development Group on behalf of businesses to take up this issue.
Councillors have mentioned their unease with the system of agreeing absence – as this is an area where they feel they have no option but to agree the reason offered. However, whilst I totally agree with the sentiments expressed – The Good Councillor Guide states- that whilst not required by law – it is good practice to give reasons for apologies. The Council then considers whether or not to accept them. If not accepted this counts as non-attendance and goes towards the 6- month rule. Acceptable reasons are considered to be illness and work commitments, going to a football match is not.
I therefore propose – having given this a great deal of thought – that changing the system will not have any additional impact or consequence. Councillors should/ have the right to object if they feel non-attendance is impacting the work of/ commitment to the council. I however, propose, that we publish the attendance of Councillors at Full Council and Committee meetings at 6 monthly and annual intervals. (REPORT ENDS).
A discussion took place around the need for members to give reasons for their absence – this is good practice rather than legislative. Those present at the meeting agreed that in the interests of transparency a record of attendance should be published every 6 months in The Link and on our website.
256 TO RECEIVE WRITTEN DISTRICT COUNCILLOR REPORTS
No written reports received. Cllr Sell reported:
- Christmas parking – free parking is much reduced this year. Uttlesford is meant to be committed to helping local businesses so he has queried this decision – it is poor that the Stansted Business Forum had not been made aware.
- Both Cllr Dean and himself have made representations about the lack of public exhibition for the draft Local Plan in Stansted. The nearest one is Manuden – which is not due any development.
- Investment Board meets tomorrow. Uttlesford has to become leaner over the next few years and make savings of £3.5m in 2024/25. The only way to achieve this is to sell off one of the Council’s investments but, currently, 4 our of 6 are in negative equity and borrowing costs continue to escalate.
Cllr Guney asked how it is decided which district member will present the report to the Council. The Clerk explained that all 4 ward members receive an agenda with a request for a written report to be received on the Monday prior to the meeting. Cllr Sell stated that there used to be a rota system but that no longer appears to be the case.
257 TO RECEIVE A WRITTEN COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORT
No written report received. Cllr Khan stated that he wished to propose a vote of no confidence in our county councillor as he believed he was being discourteous in not keeping the Parish
Council informed and not responding to requests for updates. He stressed that this was a comment about the role as a councillor and not an attack on him as an individual.
Cllr Sell stated that he had asked Cllr Gooding to attend meetings of the Highways sub-committee and he usually does. Cllr O’Brien proposed that Cllr Khan’s statement be amended to express the Council’s disappointment at recent lack of attendance, reports and updates. This was unanimously agreed together with a request that the Clerk invite Cllr Gooding to meet with herself and the Chair to discuss.
- a) TO APPROVE THE LIST OF PAYMENTS
Cllr O’Brien had checked the invoices against the schedule before the start of the meeting. The payment schedule was approved.
- b) SUMMARY INCOME AND EXPENDITURE STATEMENT TO 31-10-23
Circulated with the agenda.
259 PLANNING APPLICATION
1 UTT/23/1959/FUL – 7 Station Road, Stansted
Extension to first floor at rear of property to create storeroom
No objection in principle as long as the extension remains as a storeroom and is not converted to residential. Members commented that the rubbish storage would need to be relocated as it may now become a fire hazard.
260 ESSEX PARKING GUIDANCE CONSULTATION
Cllr O’Brien has drafted some responses to the consultation. The Chair asked any other members of the planning working group to forward comments to the Clerk by Friday 18 November.
261 WALPOLE MEADOWS 20MPH ZONE CONSULTATION
Incorrect description – this is Dairy Lane, Church Road. No comments.
262 TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FROM STANSTED MILLERS TO UNDERWRITE THE SET-UP COSTS FOR THE 2024 FETE
The Clerk reminded members that they have agreed this for the last couple of years. To date, the Millers have always reimbursed the setup costs but this gives them reassurance should the event not raise sufficient funds. Having been proposed by Cllr Sell and seconded by Cllr Kavanagh, it was unanimously
RESOLVED to underwrite the setup costs of the Windmill Fete in August 2024.
263 TO CONSIDER AUTHORISING EXPENDITURE FROM THE CLIMATE CHANGE EARMARKED RESERVE (TOTAL £5,000)
A report detailing how the funds would be spent, if approved, had been circulated ahead of the meeting. After a brief discussion, and having been proposed by Cllr Khan and seconded by Cllr Guney, it was unanimously
RESOLVED to release up to £3,500 from the Climate Change EarMarked Reserve Fund to support the initiatives of the Biodiversity Working Group and Sustainable Stansted
Meeting closed at 8.55pm
253 Representatives of MAG to send written responses relating to night quotas and light pollution
255 Office to draw up attendance record for publication twice per year
257 Clerk to invite County Cllr Gooding to a meeting with herself and the Chair
Members of the Council you are hereby summoned, and members of the public and press are hereby invited, to attend a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL which will be held on Wednesday 15th November at 7.30pm in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted, Essex where the following business will be transacted:
1 To receive and approve apologies for absence
Adjourn for public participation
2 To receive declarations of interest
3 To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 1st November 2023
4 To receive an update on action points from the last meeting
5 To welcome a representative from Manchester Airports Group
6 To welcome Teresa Buglass, Practice Manager at Stansted Surgery
7 To receive a report from the Chair, Cllr Maureen Caton
8 To receive written District Councillor Reports
9 To receive a written County Councillor Report
- a) to approve the list of payments – to be tabled
- b) to receive the summary income and expenditure statement to 31.10.23 – attached
11 To consider the list of planning applications received– see attached
12 Essex Parking Guidance consultation – to consider comments suggested by the Planning WG – to follow/be tabled
13 Walpole Meadows 20mph Zone consultation – to consider any comments suggested by Cllrs Sell and Khan – to follow/be tabled
14 To consider a request from Stansted Millers to underwrite the setting up costs for Fete 2024
15 To consider authorising expenditure from the Climate Change EMR (total £5,000) for;
- a) wildflower/seeding project (up to £2,000) and,
- b) Sustainable Stansted to part-fune Biodiversity Study (up to £1,500)
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk – 8th November 2023
Any intention to record, film or take photographs during a meeting must be notified to the Clerk prior to the start of the meeting.