Minutes of a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 25th May 2022 in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
PRESENT Cllr M Caton (Chair), Cllrs A Barnes, J Hudson, M Jessup, P Jones,
J Kavanagh, J O’Brien, L Prior, F Richards, G Sell and T Smith
ATTENDING Mrs Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk
Mrs Emma Philbrick – Trainee Deputy Clerk
District Councillor Melvin Caton
1 member of the press
1 member of the public
49 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Braeckman – Working, Cllr Guney – Working and Cllr Hogg – Holiday
Having been proposed by Cllr Jessup and seconded by Cllr O’Brien it was unanimously:
RESOLVED to accept the apologies for absence from Cllr Braeckman, Cllr Guney and Cllr Hogg.
One member of the public spoke regarding support from members in relation to the need for an NHS licensed pharmacy as close as possible to Stansted Surgery, Highways meetings in relation to Grove Hill and an email distributed by another member of the community. Public Participation Ends.
50 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
51 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE FULL COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 4TH MAY 2022 AND THE ANNUAL COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 11TH MAY 2022
RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 4th May 2022 and the Annual Council meeting held on 11th May 2022 as true and accurate accounts.
52 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS FROM THE LAST MEETING
53 TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE CHAIR – Attached
The member of the public asked if co-opted members would also be asked to have DBS checks and the Chair confirmed they would.
Cllr Prior asked if they would be expected to pay for the checks themselves? The Chair confirmed that they would be paid for by the Council.
54 TO RECEIVE THE DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORT
District Councillor Sell reported the following:
Their Annual Council meeting has taken place and the new Chair elected – Heather Asker.
The Full Council saw the formation of a new group – the Lib Dems and Green Alliance Group. It cements the close working relationship they have had but they will still keep their separate identity. District Cllr Caton will be the leader of the group.
Walpole Meadows – The District Council will be returning to full work at their London Road, Saffron Walden offices next week and the Waste Services team are now based in Little Canfield. District Cllrs Dean and Sell are pursing the 106 agreement for Walpole Meadows and are hoping for a visit from the S106 Officer.
Grove Hill – Communication has not been good between the parties and there have been meetings he hasn’t been made aware of. He has taken this up with Cty Cllr Gooding but is yet to receive a response.
He advised he has received a complaint from two residents of Spencer Close in relation to noise from Linden House. The Clerk advised that the Parish Council has no jurisdiction, and he would need to talk to Environmental Health at Uttlesford relating to this.
Cllr Jones commented that the Parish Council needs to pursue district performance on 106 agreements. It was reported in the Bishop’s Stortford Independent today that for 84 new houses in Bishop’s Stortford, a mix of 1-5 beds with 36% of them being affordable that they were getting a total 106 agreement of £2 million, £1 million of this for education which isn’t standard for an agreement and £124,00 for Sports & Leisure. If Stansted were given those level of sums, then we could start to build on it.
District Cllrs Sell and Caton agreed with these comments.
District Cllr Caton reported the following:
He completely agrees with the comments by Cllr Jones and the crucial difference between us and East Herts is that they have a Local Plan in place that has been approved where UDC haven’t had one approved since 2011. That is 10 years of operating without one and gives us little powers with developers. If we get our Local Plan in place it gives us more strength in arguments for better community gains.
Cllr Jones asked if there was any indication in the plan going forward and if Community Infrastructure Levy was going to be adopted?
District Cllr Sell commented that CIL has been talked about for sometime, and was originally rejected but that it would bring about benefits to the community. District Cllr Caton advised that it was complicated as the government keeps changing the taxation for developments. He is not confident that the system would be improved to benefit local councils and it is very much up in the air.
55 TO RECEIVE THE COUNTY COUNCILLOR REPORT – Not present
56 FINANCE – TO APPROVE THE LIST OF PAYMENTS
The Clerk asked for permission for a payment to the Ambulance Service for First Aid cover for the Jubilee Community Picnic for £360 to be added. Cllr Sell kindly offered to pay for this out of his New Homes Bonus and was thanked.
The Clerk advised that the payments and invoices had been checked by Cllr Jones and signed before the start of the meeting.
The list of payments was approved
57 TO RECEIVE THE FINAL INTERNAL AUDIT REPORT 2021-22
The report was circulated to members ahead of the meeting and no questions were asked. Cllr Caton commented that the report was very positive. Cllr O’Brien advised that they were very pleased with the report and although invoices were already being checked correctly, they have decided to up the anti and get a councillor to check the invoices and schedule at each meeting and sign both to confirm.
58 TO APPROVE THE YEAR END ACCOUNTS AT 31ST MARCH 2022
This was circulated to members ahead of the meeting.
Having been proposed by Cllr Jones and seconded by Cllr Jessup, it was unanimously:
RESOLVED To approve the year end accounts at 31st March 2022
59 TO CONSIDER THE ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENTS 2021/22
This had been circulated to members with the agenda.
Having answered “yes” to all the statements under Section 1 of the Annual Return for 2021/22, and having been proposed by Cllr Richards and seconded by Cllr O’Brien, it was unanimously:
RESOLVED that the Annual Governance Statement 2021/22 be signed.
60 TO CONSIDER THE ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS 2021/22
These had been circulated to members with the agenda.
Having been proposed by Cllr Jones and seconded by Cllr Sell it was unanimously:
RESOLVED to approve the Accounting Statements for year end to March 2022
61 TO CONSIDER THE LIST OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS
1 UTT/22/1165/FUL – LAND NORTH OF WATER LANE
Application to vary condition 11 (approved plans) of planning application UTT/19/2388/DFO (added under UTT/22/0948/NMA)
2 UTT/22/1170/FUL – EASTFIELD STABLES, MAY WALK
Relocation of the third of 3 buildings approved for construction under reference UTT/1282/93/FUL and the completion of the internal road also approved under the same reference.
We reiterate all our previous objections to development on this site. However, if officers are minded to approve, we would seek a condition requiring a physical barrier to be installed between the “Existing gravel drive” and May Walk. May Walk is well used by pedestrians and horse-riders and added traffic on that route, from this development, would be hazardous. The new road, already approved, should be the only access an egress from these properties.
3 UTT/22/1188/FUL – 3 EASTFIELD STABLES, MAY WALK
Erection of a single garage to the rear of plot 3
No objection to the garage provided it meets the criteria that it would not be located within the curtilage of the dwellinghouses and does not meet the requirements of Class E and Class F.
4 UTT/22/1234/LB – WIDDERSHINS, 30 BENTFIELD ROAD
Single storey rear extension and installation of a hot tub in the garden
5 UTT/22/1233/HHF – WIDDERRSHINS, 30 BENTFIELD ROAD
Single storey rear extension and installation of a hot tub in the garden
6 UTT/22/0504/HHF – THE CHERRIES, 2 GRANGE PLACE
First floor extension
No objection as long as the design and style are in keeping with the site.
62 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE FROM THE EVENTS WORKING GROUP
Cllr Caton gave the following update:
The Beacon lighting is taking place on Thursday 2nd June and the U3A Choir will be there. We have three young people and an adult who will be lighting it which was the agreement of the Working Group.
The Community Picnic for Saturday 4th June: a site visit with an events manager has taken place to discuss the layout of the site, the stage and toilets etc. Thanks to the Clerk, as of today we now have first aid cover to replace the company that had let us down. The Health and Safety Risk Assessments have been done and the Assessments from the food outlets are starting to be received. Banners and posters advertising the events were up and there will be a push on social media.
63 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE COMMITTEE AND SUB-COMMITTEE MEETINGS HELD ON 11TH MAY 2022
Having been proposed by Cllr Barnes and seconded by Cllr Richards, it was unanimously:
RESOLVED to receive the minutes of the Committee and Sub-Committee meetings held on 11th May 2022
63 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES MEETING HELD ON 18TH MAY 2022
The minutes of the meeting were received
64 TO APPROVE THE FOLLOWING REVISED POLICIES
a) General Communications and Social Media Policy
Cllr Caton advised that we need to add any other relevant policies that go with this one onto the bottom. She also commented to members that if they were going to adopt this policy then they need to remember that any decisions made need to be communicated by the office and not on social media by members such as grants as grants are awarded by the council. Members also need to speak to the office if they need to report anything such as street lights being out and not do this through social media.
Having been proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Jones, with 12 votes in favour and one abstention it was:
RESOLVED to approve the General Communications and Social Media Policy
b) Diversity Inclusion Equality Policy
Cllr Caton advised that she felt the following changes needed to be made:
1a – Paternity added
2e – should read review, monitor and assess regularly
3b – should say communicated and delivered
Having been proposed by Cllr Jessup and seconded by Cllr Jones, it was unanimously:
RESOLVED to approve the Diversity Inclusion Equality Policy with the above changes made.
c) Health & Safety Policy
Cllr Caton advised that the following clause should be added into section 1:
Ensure regular review of training needs and appropriate competencies of staff in respect of health and safety requirements and responsibilities
Having been proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Jessup, it was unanimously:
RESOLVED To approve the Health and Safety Policy with the additional clause added
65 TO CONSIDER ADOPTING THE DRAFT SAFEGUARDING POLICY
Having been proposed by Cllr Richards and seconded by Cllr O’Brien it was unanimously:
RESOLVED To adopt the draft Safeguarding Policy.
Meeting closed at 8.35pm
NO ACTION POINTS
Chair Maureen Caton
- The Local Plan Consultation has been further delayed – and it is now likely to be late summer before publication. The delay is to allow further work on the preferred development options – we are told.
- UDC are to use their building on Walpole Farm to relocate 20 staff – anticipated location for some time in June – the rest – 75% being let to local businesses.
- We are looking forward to meeting representatives of the Department for Work and Pensions again – this time to formally risk assess our premises at the Exchange – for them to operate from for 1 day a week. Peter Holt, the UDC Chief Executive, is supporting this proposal to work with Stansted Parish Council.
- We have confirmed we wish to discuss the terms of a lease with UDC for the maintenance and upkeep of Mountfitchet Green. There needs to be some negotiation on terms -but this is not a major obstacle at present.
The No Airport Parking signage is now installed on Mountfitchet Estate.
Thank you to MAG for funding this and District Councillors Caton and Khan for spear heading this action.
- Our Special Constable and PCSO have been a real benefit to the community. Recently, they have dealt promptly with anti-social behaviour and vandalism from a group of youths – mainly from the Bishop’s Stortford area. Some of these appear to have also attempted to de-stabilise our youth club activity – but thanks again to Special Constable Steve Dale and PCSO Alex Stewart this was thwarted and numbers attending the club continue to increase. I am now aware a young person has now been charged and bailed pending referral to CPS and with a resolution order not to enter the area of Uttlesford.
- Apart from lighting the Beacon and the Community Picnic to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – we will be hosting a group of visitors from our twin town of Rungis over that weekend of celebration. Our visitors will be staying with local families in the village and attending the Community Picnic.
We were hoping to get some road signs in place which featured our twinned with status – but this is now unlikely – but they will be with us for their next visit.
Finally, you should note that following the postponement of the sentencing of a former Parish Councillor – elected to this council a year ago –I consider the council- as do the government-need to illustrate our willingness to vet our own behaviour whilst in public office. I am suggesting through our safeguarding policy and procedure that we strongly encourage our councillors – of any party – including independents – to undertake an annual Disclosure and Barring check – as well as the expectation that individuals share immediately any matter that might affect their ongoing position within the council. Whilst I accept this is not necessarily a fool proof course of action for anyone intent on pursuing an inappropriate course of behaviour but a deterant – flagging up surveillance. Our training and expectations would be more than any council has at present.
I understand UDC are not currently considering instigating such a policy – as they do not see it as a fully preventative measure – let’s hope they do not have any problems – as it was an ex- District Councillor – who was elected to this council last May. Report Ends.
NOTICE OF MEETING You are summoned to attend a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL which will be held on Wednesday 25th May 2022 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 Full Council meeting held on 4th May 2022 and the Annual Council meeting held on 11th May 2022
4 To receive an update on action points from the last meeting
5 To receive a report from the Chair
6 To receive the District Councillors’ Report
7 To receive the County Councillor’s Report
8 Finance – To approve the list of payments – to be tabled at the meeting
9 To receive the Final Internal Audit Report 2021-22
10 To approve the Year End Accounts at 31st March 2022 – attached for members
11 To consider Annual Governance Statements 2021/22 – attached for members
12 To consider the Accounting Statements 2021/22 – attached for members
13 To consider the list of planning applications received– attached
14 To receive an update from the Events Working Group
15 To receive the minutes of the Committee and Sub-Committee meetings held on 11th May 2022
16 F&GP Committee – To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 18th May 2022
17 To approve the following revised policies (all attached for members):
- a) General Communications and Social Media Policy
- b) Diversity Inclusion Equality Policy
- c) Health & Safety Policy
18 To consider adopting the draft Safeguarding Policy – attached for members
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk – 19th May 2022