Minutes of a meeting of the WINDMILL SUB-COMMITTEE held at 7.00pm on Wednesday 1 December 2021 in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
PRESENT: Cllr J O’Brien (Chairman), Cllrs J Hudson, J Kavanagh and F Richards.
Mrs M Clark (co-trustee) and Mr R Thomas (Stansted Millers).
ATTENDING: Mrs R Clifford – Parish Clerk Cllr A Guney
264 TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Cllr M Caton and Mr T Owen
265 TO RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – none
266 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 13 NOVEMBER 2019
The minutes were accepted as a true and accurate record.
Under minute number 169 it was noted that the re-pointing work was yet to be completed – delayed due to the Cononavirus pandemic.
267 UPDATE FROM THE MILLERS ON MAINTENANCE:
Mr Thomas reported that, despite the Covid-19 lockdowns, the Millers had actually managed to achieve quite a lot of work on the Mill. During 2020 this included replacement of the old striking wheel, the removal and repair of 20 shutters, started the striking chain stand-off and part 1 of the overhaul of the striking gear. In 2021 the stand-off had been completed by installing steel bracing, the shutters were replaced, a broken tooth in the curb was replaced and part 2 of the striking gear overhaul took place. In addition, timbers had been purchased by the Council for the new stock clamps. The timber is seasoning and photographs were available. In response to a query, Mr Thomas confirmed that the striking chain now hangs clear of the building and is stowed out of reach when not in use.
The next inspection is due and will hopefully be completed before Christmas. The Chairman thanked Mr Thomas for his report and the Millers generally for their care of the Mill.
268 UPDATE FROM THE MILLERS ON FUND-RAISING AND ACCOUNTS:
Mr Thomas presented accounting statements for 2019, 2020 and the interim figures for 2021. The figures are slightly skewed by the fact that the grant for staging the Windmill Fete was received in one year but not spent until the following year (due to the pandemic).
The works outlined above totalled just short of £10,000 and a grant of £960 had been received from UDC towards the striking chain stand-off. The Windmill Fete had been a huge success in 2021, raising over £6,500. The next major expenditure will be the completion of the stock clamps – estimated at around £8,500. Dist Cllr Sell has already donated £450 from his New Homes Bonus allowance towards the cause. It may be that the balance of costs will have to be met from the Windmill Capital account.
The Chairman thanked all the volunteers who support the mill and commented on how fantastic the August Bank Holiday fete had been. He asked if the Millers would be staging Santa’s Grotto at the Mill this year? Mrs Clark confirmed that this would take place on Saturday 11th December from 1-5pm at a cost of £4 per child. There will be refreshments available and a raffle. The Clerk confirmed that she would ask the Council’s Communications Officer to publicise the event on social media.
Discussion turned to suggestions for further publicity such as projecting images onto the Mill as had been done during the first pandemic lockdown.
269 TO CONSIDER REPLACEMENT OF THE FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
The Clerk reported that the current system is no longer fit for purpose as it goes off on a regular basis – usually in the middle of the night and often more than once. This is disturbing for local residents but in particular for the Millers who are logged as the call-out people.
The Council’s fire maintenance company has been out to look and has quoted for a hard-wired system rather than Wifi. The Chairman described the differences between the systems and the advantages of this one which would cost £4,419 plus VAT.
It was agreed in principle that the system should be changed and the Clerk undertook to try to get more quotes for a similar specification. However, to date this has not proved straightforward as contractors don’t seem to like to quote for systems associated with heritage properties such as the Mill.
Meeting closed at 7.37pm.
NOTICE OF MEETING You are summoned to attend a meeting of the WINDMILL sub-committee to be held at 7.00pm on Wednesday 1st December 2021 in the Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex where the following business will be transacted:
1 To receive apologies for absence
2 To receive Declarations of Interest
3 To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 13th November 2019
4 Matters Arising
5 Update from the Millers on maintenance
6 Update from the Millers on fund-raising and accounts
7 To consider replacement of Windmill fire alarm system
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk – 25 November 2021