MINUTES of a meeting of the Full Council held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 27th January 2021. This was a virtual meeting using the Zoom Platform.
PRESENT Cllr M Caton (Chairman), Cllrs A Barnes, D Brett, J Harding, J Hogg, J Hudson,
M Jessup, J Kavanagh, A Khan, J O’Brien, F Richards, G Sell, D Wallace-Jarvis
and T van de Bilt
ATTENDING Mrs R Clifford – Clerk to the Council
Mrs E Philbrick – Admin Assistant
Mrs L Azure – Marxen – Committee and Project Support Assistant
District Cllr M Caton
County Cllr R Gooding
George Braeckman – Member of Youth Council
2 members of the public
1 member of the press
483 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – None
One member of the public spoke regarding the following:
Asked Cty Cllr Gooding for an update on the pedestrian crossing in Lower Street which was still not completed.
Advised he thought it would be a good idea for the Council to keep a record of all recent planning and appeal decisions as this could be important in future decisions.
Thinks that the Council’s budget needs to look beyond the next financial year and give some indication of the outlook for the 2 years following.
484 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
485 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 16TH DECEMBER 2020
Cllr Sell advised that he did raise concerns about the increase to the precept, but these have not been noted. The Clerk advised she will look into this.
RESOLVED To accept the minutes of the meeting held on 16th December 2020 as a true and accurate account
486 MATTERS ARISING AND ACTION POINTS
No matters arising and both action points have been completed.
487 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – See attached. Cllr Caton recorded the thanks of the Council to Mike Belcher for his hard work in preparing evidence for the Stansted Airport Planning Inquiry.
488 DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORT
A written report by District Councillor Melvin Caton is attached
Cllr Brett commented with regards to UDC’s Call for Sites and questioned whether bundling a request for sites for tree planting in with that for housing was the right approach.
Cllr Sell reported the following:
District Cllrs Sell and Khan were members of the investment board and were looking at the ethical code of the Council and there appears to be none.
Tomorrow there is a governance review group meeting taking place.
Would like to record his thanks to Peter Jones for his work in representing the Council at the recent Airport enquiry.
489 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT – see attached
Cty Cllr Gooding also advised that Essex County Council had been dealing with a major issue tonight in Harlow where there was a major water leak. The issue was with a 1 metre pipe which had caused the pumping station to flood which is a considerable concern. The pipe has been repaired but it has drained half of the reservoir which serves it. At 7pm tonight they will have to cut off the water supply to 10,000 homes in Harlow. They are hoping to have the issue rectified within 2 hours but homes in a number of areas in Uttlesford will experience very low water pressures. It is a significant issue.
The Government announced today its intention to not re-open schools until 8th March at the earliest and he thinks this could be done using a tiered system. There was a lot of questions when lockdown started as to why nurseries etc stayed open and this is because in the first lockdown they saw a 22% increase in serious neglect of young children and a 30% increase in mortality in these age group. He feels it is a shame that this data was not made public. Scotland didn’t have the same rise and consequently closed theirs when lockdown was announced.
He has given a grant of £2000 to Uttlesford Food Bank for Stansted and the surrounding areas, Newport and Birchanger are recipients
Cllr Khan wanted to ensure that people were aware of a poverty fuel initiative being run by Uttlesford to ensure people struggling were able to keep a warm home. Anyone having problems should talk to Citizens Advice.
490 F&GP COMMITTEE – TO APPROVE THE MIINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 13 JANUARY 2021
RESOLVED to accept the minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2021 as a true and accurate account
491 OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE – TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 20 JANUARY 2021
RESOLVED to accept the minutes of the meeting held on 20th January 2021 as a true and accurate account
492 FINANCE – PAYMENTS FOR AUTHORISATION – Approved
493 PLANNING APPLICATIONS
1 UTT/21/0089/HHF – LARGO COTTAGE, 26 BENTFIELD ROAD
Redesign of rear garden
2 UTT/20/3191/FUL – LAND REAR OF CROFT HOUSE, HIGH LANE
Proposed addition of garage to 1 no. dwelling approved under planning permission UTT/20/0746/FUL
No objection subject to the removal of the previously approved garage
3 UTT/20/3225/FUL – 1 EASTFIELD STABLES, MAY WALK
Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of replacement dwelling
The parish council agrees that the current structure is not, and never has been, fit for residential use. However, it does not accept its replacement with a larger property without addressing the issues that have been raised: i) access to the site which must be safe and suitable for ALL public use and iii) waste management for the site.
4 UTT/20/3448/FUL – LAND ADJACENT MOAT HOUSE, 12 GROVE HILL
Erection of a single dwelling
No objection in principle, but we should reiterate our previous concerns, as these have not been addressed by the applicant, and the application was withdrawn before planning officer’s consideration of our comments.
5 UTT/21/0143/HHF – 53 WEST ROAD
Erection of ground and first floor side extension
The Council objects as this is out of keeping with the street scene and could prevent access to the communal garage area.
6 UTT/21/0141/LB – RYDERS FARM, BURTON END
Conversion of extension of existing agricultural storage barns to 2no. dwellings (revised application to UTT/19/0386/LB to change roof covering to slate).
494 TO AGREE THE COUNCIL’S POLICY ON GENERAL (FREE) RESERVES
Cllr O’Brien explained to members his idea to change from a fixed sum to a percentage and why he thought it was a good idea. It had been discussed at the recent F&GP meeting and they had resolved to bring it to Full Council. Having been proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Jessup it was:
RESOLVED to maintain the free reserve at a minimum of 25% of expenditure, working towards raising this to 30% as year-end surpluses permitted.
This was unanimously agreed.
495 TO APPROVE THE DRAFT BUDGET FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2021/22
Cllr O’Brien discussed the changes that had been made to the draft budget from the version sent out to all members in December and that considered by the F&GP Committee. This includes an increased salary allowance due to an additional member of staff being employed, increase in the National Living Wage and an increase of hours for career development.
Cllr Sell advised he supported the changes to the budget which have been made to increase human resources. There are many challenges facing the Parish Council and it is likely to grow and the responsibilities are likely to grow with it. At a previous meeting he had been cautious about a too heavy increase but is happy to support this budget. He supports the comments made during public participation that the Council should try to look 3 years ahead and advise parishioners if they are likely to see double figure increases.
The Clerk advised that they had all received a draft budget on 16th December and it showed for 2022/23/24/25 that they were looking at a healthy surplus budget but as always this could be affected by the implications of the Council’s decisions. No significant increases in the precept, going forward, are expected at this stage.
Cllr Brett commented that every other authority has had their spending capped and the Parish Council is taking the fall of that and are becoming responsible for more and more.
He also asked what would happen if the costs for Crafton Green House go above the £20,000 budgeted – would the free reserves be used to fund it or would the decision be no. The Clerk advised that based on the report received since the budget went out that, if every item listed was addressed, then the costs do go above this. However, it may not be considered necessary to undertake everything but that the working group would need to make a recommendation to the Council to spend the Free Reserves if this is what they choose to do.
Having been proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Jessup it was:
RESOLVED to accept the new proposed budget for the financial year 2021/22.
This was unanimously agreed
496 TO SET THE PRECEPT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2021/22
Having been proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Richards it was:
RESOLVED to set the precept for the financial year 2021/22 at £414,932.00. Band D £122.40.
This was unanimously agreed
Meeting closed 9.05pm. No action points
NOTICE OF MEETING
You are summoned to attend a virtual meeting of the COUNCIL which will be held on Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 7.30pm, using the Zoom platform.
1 To receive apologies for absence
Adjourn for public participation
2 To receive declarations of interest
3 To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 16th December 2020
4 Matters arising and action points
5 Chairman’s Report
6 District Councillors’ Report (if available)
7 County Councillor’s Report (if available)
8 F&GP Committee – To approve minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2021
9 Open Spaces Committee – To approve minutes of the meeting held on 20th January 2021 – To follow
10 Finance – Payments for authorisation – To follow
11 Planning applications received for comment – attached
12 To agree the Council’s policy on General (Free) Reserves
13 To approve the draft budget for the financial year 2021/22 – To follow
14 To set the precept for the financial year 2021/22
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk -21 January 2021
The press and public are welcome to attend all meetings of the Parish Council and its committees.
This meeting will be held using the Zoom platform so if any members of the press or public would like to attend then for an invitation please send your email to email@example.com by 5pm on Tuesday 26th January 2021