Minutes of a meeting of the OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 1st June 2022 in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
PRESENT Cllrs A Barnes (Chair), G Braeckman, M Caton, A Guney, J Hudson,
J Kavanagh, A Khan, L Prior, F Richards
ATTENDING Cllr P Jones
Mrs Ruth Clifford – Clerk
Mrs L Azure-Marxen – Committee & Project Support Officer
1 member of the public
66 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
67 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
68 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 20th April and 11th May 2022
The minutes from 20th April had a numbering issue which has already been corrected.
RESOLVED to accept the minutes of the meetings held on 20th April and 11th May 2022 as a true and accurate account.
69 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
502 Cllr Barnes circulated plaque mock-ups prior to the meeting and the comments will be discussed as part of the agenda
503 Cllr Barnes circulated photos of the coronation shelter. On inspection it was discovered that the shelter roof is in a poor condition and will need replacement. He is currently waiting for quotes on the work. It is expected it will be expensive to fix, so unless the roof needs to be replaced for safety reasons the repair will need to wait for next budget year. It is suggested to source grants or investigate crowd funding.
The office has discussed the noticeboard for Elms Farms and is yet to order it. Cllr Hudson will assist with designing the map showing the footpaths.
The Clerk has reported the hogweed to Essex County Council. The hogweed still needs more treatment so it will need follow up.
The office has reported the state of the footpath between Norman’s Court and High Lane to Cllr Ray Gooding and is still waiting on a response.
70 TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE CHAIR See attached
Cllr Barnes read out his Chair’s Report.
71 TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE PROJECT OFFICER See attached
72 TO RECEIVE INTERMENTS REPORT FROM THE CLERK
Memorial approved for Mr C Luckey and an additional inscription for Mr R Shervington.
73 TO APPROVE SPENDING £750 FROM THE MOUNTFITCHET GREEN RESERVE FUND TOWARDS THE FOOTBALL FENCE INSTALLATION
As highlighted in the project report the SMPC needs to cover 25% of the total costs of the fence installation before the application will be considered for a Football Foundation grant. The 25% comes to £1,750. £1,000 will be covered by the District Cllr Grant. The Committee needs to approve earmarking £750 of the remaining Mountfitchet Green reserve funds. Proposed by Cllr Khan and seconded by Cllr Caton, it was unanimously agreed
RESOLVED to approve earmarking £750 from the Mountfitchet Green reserve funds towards the football fence installation
74 TO RECEIVE UPDATE ON PLAYGROUND INSPECTIONS AND MAINTENANCE
Cllr Barnes handed out an example of the weekly playground inspection reports. These are very thorough and report on every item on all playgrounds, and Cllr Barnes found it difficult to communicate the information in a simple format. The Committee discussed creating a grading system for play equipment faults and any necessary remedial actions. It was agreed that the office will create a sheet with discussed information and circulate it to committee members.
75 TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON THE GARDENING AND GRASS CUTTING CONTRACTS
The report was discussed. Cllr Prior raised that she was disappointed that the hanging baskets, planters and beds had not been planted before the Queen’s Jubilee. It was explained that the delay in planting was due to the long bank holiday weekend falling on the days the gardening team operates in the village. Councillors agreed that the contract failed to deliver, and they expect better planning next year. This should be highlighted in the upcoming quarterly report.
Cllr Jones asked the Committee to consider sites for rewilding as part of the Council’s Climate Change efforts. This could mean less grass cutting of certain areas next year.
76 TO APPROVE SITES FOR POTENTIAL TREE PLANTING IN THE VILLAGE
Cllr Barnes and the Project Officer had met with Tom Moat from Essex Forest Initiative on the 21st April to discuss potential planting sites in the village. Printed maps of the sites were handed out to members. It was discussed how and when potential trees will be planted. The number and placement of the new trees will need public consultation and consultation with the grass cutting contractor. This will be done over the summer, so the trees can be planted in Autumn/Winter. It was agreed that the selected sites were all suitable for additional tree planting.
RESOLVED to approve the presented sites for potential tree planting, provided that the number and placement of trees will be consulted on.
77 TO APPROVE WORDING AND COSTS OF THE MEORIAL TREE PLAQUE
Cllr Barnes circulated mock-ups and costs to the committee members prior to the meeting. Proposed by Cllr Khan and seconded by Cllr M Caton it was unanimously
RESOLVED to approve the wording and costs of the 2nd mock-up of the memorial tree plaque, provided that funds are found.
Cllr Khan will talk to Cllr Melvin Caton on donating £150 for the engraving.
78 TO RECIVE AN UPDATE ON FOOTPATHS
Cllr Barnes thanked M Stiles for producing the footpath report.
Waymarkers for the permissive paths on Elms Farm were discussed. The office will talk to the landowners.
Footpath 23 has become overgrown, and a tree is blocking the path. The office will report this to Essex.
Cllr Braeckman raised that the footway by Five Acres, going towards Cambridge Road roundabout, is overgrown with moss which becomes slippery when wet. This will need reporting to Essex Highways.
79 MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR NEXT AGENDA
Meeting closed 8.58pm
69 The Clerk to chase on the hogweed on footpath 23
74 The office to produce a playground inspection document with information discussed at meeting
75 The committee members to consider sites for rewilding
78 The office to discuss waymarkers on Elm’s Farms with the landowners
The office to report overgrown and blocked footpath 23 to Essex Highways
The office to report slippery footpath by Five Acres to Essex Highways
Committee & Project Report Officer’s Report: Laila Azure-Marxen
Cemetery No updates
Play equipment: Mountfitchet Green
The disabled friendly swing had been installed but is still to be inspected before it can be used by residents. The seats and benches are ready to be installed as soon as possible.
The costs of installing the fence have unfortunately risen from £5,775 to £7,000 due to steel prices climbing. So, it is increasingly important to secure money for this elsewhere.
The application for the football fence grant is almost ready. I am still waiting on a few details before I can submit. I need proof of our lease agreement and the office have contacted UDC to provide this asap. To get the application considered SMPC also need to fund 25% of the costs – £1,750. The £1,000 District Cllr Grant will be used for this. As I need further evidence of funding, I recommend that the committee agrees to earmark £750 from the Mountfitchet Green reserve funds.
We are still waiting on the ordered items for Reeve Road and Wilkin’s Crescent.
The seats for Walson Way are ready to be installed as soon as possible.
Tree surgery I have asked Mercer tree services to Schedule the work.
Tree planting Cllr Barnes and I met with Tom Moat and his college from Essex Forest Initiative to discuss potential public open spaces suitable for tree planting. EFI are submitting applications for trees on each site. The applications are only to secure potential trees for the upcoming planting season. The final number of trees and their location will be decided through public consultations and consultation of our grass cutting contractor. The aim is to improve the sites, but still make them functional for recreation and grass cutting.
Planters I have received applications forms for installing planters from Highways. These will be submitted as soon as possible.
SUMMONS You are summoned to attend a meeting of the OPEN SPACES which will be held on Wednesday 28th July 2021 at 7.30pm in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted, Essex
1 To approve apologies for absence
2 To receive the minutes of the Open Spaces meeting held on 26th May 2021
3 To receive an update on progress since the last meeting
4 To receive the Chairman’s Report
5 To receive an update on Stansted In Bloom/Anglia In Bloom
a) Interments – to receive a report from the Clerk
b) Memorials – to consider the removal of clause 55.6 the Rules and Regulations relating to photographs/images on memorials
c) To receive an update on the cemetery extension project
a) To receive an update on Newman’s Plantation
b) To receive an update on tree surgery of the Parish Council trees
8 Elms Farm
a) To receive an update on Elms Farms public open space
b) To receive an update on the Elms Farms allotments
c) To consider a contribution from the allotment budget towards resurfacing the allotment carpark entrance
d) To receive an update on noticeboards
9 Play Equipment
a) To receive an update on Mountfitchet Green
b) To receive an update on Foresthall Park
c) To consider whether to continue with the proposal of a trim trail at Wilkin’s Crescent
d) To decide which play equipment to install at Reeve Road
10 Welcome Back Fund – To receive a report from the Clerk relating to the purchase of items such as picnic benches, seats etc.
11 To consider a request to install a gate opening onto the Birchalls public open space
12 To receive an update on footpaths
13 Matters to be considered for next agenda
Ruth Clifford, Clerk to the Council – 21th July 2021