Minutes of a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 29th January 2022 in the Day Centre, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex.
Cllr M Caton (Chair), Cllrs A Barnes, G Braeckman, A Guney, J Hogg, J Hudson, M Jessup, J Kavanagh, A Khan, J O’Brien, L Prior, F Richards and G Sell.
Mrs Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk
Mrs Emma Philbrick – Trainee Deputy Clerk
Mr Dan Schlanker – Communications Officer – Via Zoom
Mrs Laila Azure-Marxen – Committee and Project Support Officer – Via Zoom
District Cllrs M Caton and A Dean – Via Zoom
1 member of the press – Via Zoom
1 member of the public in person
3 members of the public via zoom
295 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Smith as his new baby is still in hospital
Having been proposed by Cllr Richards and seconded by Cllr O’Brien it was:
RESOLVED to accept the apologies of Cllr Smith.
This was unanimously agreed
One member of the public spoke regarding the review of the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment and the survey currently available online. He urged everyone to respond to the survey and to sign his petition.
Discussions took place amongst members regarding the reduced hours that the current village pharmacy was working due to being short staffed and Cllr Sell asked if it was worth writing to Boots head office and explain the importance of their branch in the village and the need for it to be fully staffed so that their normal working hours could be re-instated. Cllr Caton agreed that this would be a good idea as they need to recruit staff to ensure a good service.
The member of the public urged the Parish Council to not write to Boots as he felt they had made their choice and had chosen to penalise the village. Cllr Sell disagreed with this statement as he said that the Parish Council was there to represent residents and do what’s best for Stansted and this was to make contact with Boots. Cllr Khan also advised that he objected to these comments as they are a business, and this branch was a franchise who was providing a service. He asked if the owner of the franchise could be contacted also. Cllr Caton pointed out that they would be expected to show the PNA that they have tried to communicate.
Cllr Caton asked for a show of hands, and it was unanimously agreed that the Parish Council would contact Boots regarding the issues.
Public Participation Ends.
296 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Cllr Braeckman – Has an interest in three of the Call for Sites
Cllr O’Brien – Knows the landowner of two of the Call for Sites
297 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE FULL COUNCIL MEETINGS ON 17TH NOVEMBER AND 15TH DECEMBER 2021 AND TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL FULL COUNCIL MEETING ON 5TH JANUARY 2022
Full Council – 17th November 2021:
247 – Cllr Prior asked for an amendment to be made to the wording of the resolution as she believed that full details of the waiting restriction requests would be sent round to all members. Cllr Sell advised that it was his understanding that all requests would be submitted, and we would not wait for the outcome of the Walson Way consultation. The Clerk confirmed that she had submitted an application for all those agreed that were not to go for consultation.
RESOLVED to accept the minutes of the Full Council meetings on 17th November and 15th December 2021 and the minutes of the Special Full Council meeting on 5th January 2022 as true and accurate accounts.
298 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE SINCE THE LAST MEETING
All action points completed
299 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – Attached
Cllr Sell advised regarding the Queen Jubilee suggestions that he had previously mentioned a time capsule as Bishops Stortford were also doing this. He also asked if the Events Group being considered would be open to the public? The Chairman said that this will be considered.
300 DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORT
This was circulated ahead of the meeting
Cllr Sell confirmed that Uttlesford District Council would occupy their new hub at Walpole Meadows in the next two months. He had been advised that the first floor would be occupied by a ladies’ only gym. Cllr Kavanagh asked if the gym would be open to customers or Council staff only and Cllr Sell confirmed this would be for customers. Cllr Prior asked how the council could allow a ladies’ only gym and why this couldn’t be a gym for everyone with ladies only sessions instead? What consultation had taken place? Cllr Sell advised that he would feed these concerns back to Uttlesford. Cllr Khan advised that he believed that this wouldn’t be a ladies gym but hired out to a ladies fitness instructor for classes. This would be looked into.
Cllr Khan reported that good news that the Highways Rangers had been out on Walson Way today sorting hedges. He had received great feedback from residents regarding this.
Cllr Hogg advised that he was confused as to why Uttlesford were using the new building on Walson Way as their new hub as this was part of the community benefit offered by the developers. It had huge potential and was being taken away from the community. It was agreed that Cllr Khan would take this up with UDC and that Cllr Caton and the Clerk would take this up with the Chief Executive of UDC, Peter Holt, at their meeting on Monday.
301 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT
This item was deferred until later on in the meeting if Cty Cllr Gooding arrives. He advised he would be late due to another meeting he was attending beforehand.
302 FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE – TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS HELD ON 1ST DECEMBER 2021 AND 12TH JANUARY 2022
The Clerk advised that requested amendments had been received from Cllr Kavanagh to the minutes and these had been done. Cllr Prior asked for an amendment to the wording of the resolution of item 294 of 12th January 2022.
RESOLVED to accept the minutes of the meetings held on 1st December 2021 and 12th January 2022 as a true and accurate account subject to the mentioned amendments being made.
303 TO APPROVE THE DRAFT BUDGET FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2022/23
The draft budget and a spreadsheet relating to the Precept had been circulated to all members with the agenda. The F&GP minutes had also been circulated and detailed the discussion held at that meeting. Cllr O’Brien referred to the various documents and the Clerk gave some further detail on various additional points:
- The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – No decision has yet been taken by members on how to commemorate this event. Suggestions to date include a time capsule, lighting a beacon and planting a tree. The beacon and tree would cost in the region of £500 each but costs of a time capsule have not yet been investigated. The Clerk considered that once decisions had been taken, these could be funded by the Council’s Free Reserve.
- Members would recall that the Link Committee had asked the council to consider an increased contribution towards its costs. Various queries had been raised and sent to the committee and their responses circulated for consideration. Further questions were asked at the meeting but having been proposed by Cllr Richards and seconded by Cllr Hogg, having 9 votes in favour and 4 abstentions it was:
RESOLVED to go forward with the proposal to increase the funding for the Link.
Cllr O’Brien then proposed that the draft budget as circulated be accepted by the Council.
Cllr Khan stated that with the present economic climate and climbing rate of inflation, he would not be able to support any increase in the Precept. Cllr Sell considered this would not be an option as the Council’s own costs are increasing. Staff salaries need to reflect an increase in inflation in order to make sure they are not worse off and finally the Council has few discretionary items, and it is not clear what service could be cut to prevent an increase. Cllr Prior stated she could not support an increase in staffing hours as others in the community are losing their jobs and the Council should lead by example. In response to Cllr Hogg, the Clerk confirmed that the accounts are reviewed every month in order to pick up any potential over or under spends and the auditors praises the sound finances.
Having been seconded by Cllr Jessup and with 10 votes in favour and 3 abstentions it was:
RESOLVED to accept the draft budget for the financial year 2022/23
304 TO SET THE PRECEPT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2022/23
Cllr O’Brien explained that a 2% increase on the Precept was the starting point for the Council’s discussions. A 0% increase having been rejected by the Finance Committee. However, the ongoing search for land for burials would require an increase of expenditure – up to £40,000 potentially. The F&GP Committee considered this could be raised at a rate of £10,000 per annum starting in 2022/23. If this figure was added to the budget just agreed, it would result in an increase of 4.48% or 11p per week for a Band D household.
Having been proposed by Cllr O’Brien and seconded by Cllr Hogg, having received 9 votes in favour, 3 abstentions and 1 against it was:
RESOLVED that having set a budget with a 2% increase, a further £10,000 would be added and earmarked for the cemetery resulting in setting the Precept for the financial year 2022/23 at £433,231.
305 TO CONSIDER THE FULL COUNCIL’S COMMENTS RELATING TO THE UDC CALL FOR SITES DOCUMENT AS DISCUSSED AT THE SPECIAL FULL COUNCIL ON 5TH JANUARY 2022
The list of Call for Sites was discussed at the recent Special Full Council and the Council’s agreed comments were circulated to the members prior to the meeting. As no further comments were received the Call for Sites document was approved.
306 FINANCE – TO APPROVE THE LIST OF PAYMENTS – Approved
307 TO CONSIDER THE LIST OF PLANNING APPLICATIONS
1 UTT/21/3688/HHF – 7 PARK ROAD
Proposed raised ridge with accommodation within loft space and house remodel
2 UTT/21/3682/HHF – 19 BLYTHWOOD GARDENS
Single storey front extension, two storey side extension, single storey rear extension
3 UTT/22/0029/LB – 40 BENTFIELD END CAUSEWAY
Remove redundant door on east facing elevation. Remove door frame and block doorway with matching bricks in the existing Flemish bonding. Addition of new front door to porch entryway. Existing period door to be retained in situ.
4 UTT/21/3484/HHF – 17 MOUNT DRIVE
Single storey rear extension
5 UTT/22/0069/LB – BENTFIELD COTTAGE, 3 BENTFIELD ROAD
New insulation and external finishes, replacement windows and secondary glazing
The Parish Council supports this application
6 UTT/21/3487/HHF – 2 MAITLAND ROAD
Single storey side extension to replace the existing utility room, Replacement of rear conservatory with solid brick extension and tiled roof. Front door to be relocated and a new canopy roof installed.
308 TO CONSIDER THE TEXT AND POLICIES IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN
The Chair of the Neighbourhood Development Plan group, Peter Jones, explained that good progress had been made so far but there was still more work that needed to be done especially for the Development chapter. Cllr Caton advised that it would be useful if responses were received when documents were sent out. She believes that the Plan needs to be very clear on what community gains we want such as a Cemetery and recreation sports and facilities.
Cllr Khan thanked Peter for all of his hard work so far and asked what chapters he believed needed more work and further consultation. Peter advised that a lot of feedback had been received so far and he had replied individually to all residents who had responded but this was still only a fraction of the population of Stansted albeit more than those who had previously responded.
Peter confirmed that his comments made above would be circulated to all members via email and requested that any further comments be submitted to himself and the Clerk ahead of the next working group meeting on 2nd February. The final draft of the NDP will go to an additional Full Council meeting on 23rd February with this as the sole agenda item.
309 BRANDING – TO CONSIDER THE REVISED BRANDING SCHEME BASED ON COMMENTS RECEIVED FROM MEMBERS IN APRIL 2021
Laila talked through the branding scheme and how it had progressed based on the comments received in April 2021. Cllr Khan thanked Laila for doing a great job and also to Dan as the Council’s social media had improved no-end since he started in his role. Cllr Prior had emailed a list of questions prior to the meeting which had been answered. Dan demonstrated to the meeting what the logo would like on social media.
Having been proposed by Cllr Khan and seconded by Cllr Guney, having received 10 votes in favour, 2 abstentions and 1 vote against it was:
RESOLVED to go ahead with the first logo demonstrated on Facebook instead of the shield.
Having been proposed by Cllr Richards and seconded by Cllr Braeckman, having received 11 votes in favour, 1 abstention and 1 vote against it was:
RESOLVED to go ahead with the branding scheme option 2.
310 POLICIES – TO SET UP A WORKING GROUP TO REVIEW THE COUNCIL’S POLICIES
The Chair asked for members to volunteer to be on a working group to review all of the Council’s policies as and when required. Cllrs Braeckman, Guney and Richards put themselves forward for this.
311 OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE – TO ACCEPT THE MIUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 24TH NOVEMBER 2021
RESOLVED to accept the minutes of the meeting held on 24th November 2021
312 WINDMILL SUB-COMMITTEE – TO ACCEPT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 1ST DECEMBER 2021
RESOLVED to accept the minutes of the meeting held on 1st December 2021
Meeting closed at 9.52pm
PP Write to Boots regarding issues
300 Cllr Sell to feedback concerns to UDC regarding a ladies only gym
300 Cllr Khan to discuss the use of the commercial building with UDC and Cllr Caton and the Clerk to raise with the UDC Chief Executive.
Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment:
We challenged the arrangements and timing of the public survey of residents’ views and needs in relation to the delivery of our local pharmaceutical service – we felt we had lost at least 10 days visibility with it commencing on December 24th 2021. The public promotion of the survey has also been low key to say the least, requiring ourselves to promote this with our neighboring Parishes, and residents undertaking a second petition lobbying for a second pharmacy and publicising the survey. We have however, had the survey extended by a week – so until 31st January 2022.
The concern is that there is a gap in the availability and delivery of licensed dispensing pharmaceutical services; with one small dispensing licensed pharmacy in the village, at the top of a steep hill, some way away from the GP surgery. This issue has to be addressed and acknowledged by the Uttlesford and Essex Health and Wellbeing Boards in their assessments of the pharmaceutical needs locally to enable the NHS to support any application for a second dispensing licence. Residents also need to ensure their needs are highlighted in their response to the survey…
Meeting with the UDC Chief Executive:
The Clerk and myself will be meeting Peter Holt, via Zoom, along with other South Parish Council Clerks and Chairmen on Monday January 24th at 6.30. Any issues councillors wish me to raise at this meeting need to be submitted to me as soon as possible.
Whilst we have had some positive feedback from UDC in relation to our submission for a £40 capital grant to go towards some refurbishment of the Day Centre building – this still remains unconfirmed. I realize this has been chased by District Councilors but is not acceptable from an authority that has requested a reimagined service and is sitting on an unused budget from the previous Day Centre Service provision allocation.
We have volunteers ready to plant tress on Newman’s Plantation on the 15th and 22nd January. This work is part of the Essex Forest Initiative to plant 300 trees locally. We shall also be giving away various species of surplus trees to residents for them to plant in their gardens – each household may take up to three trees. We will be at Newman’s Plantation from 10 am until 1pm on January 22nd.
Library Open Day:
The Essex Library service is planning a Super Heroes Day on February 19th where there will be an opportunity for young and old to dress up as their favourite super hero, have refreshments prepared by Touchpoint in the Day Centre, meet the various representatives of the fire and paramedic and police service, join in activities – as well as choose/ return a book or join the library. Put the date in your diaries.
Forest Hall School:
During our discussions with the Head in relation to the Youth Council, we also raised the possibility of future partnership working with specific focus on sports facilities. The Head confirmed that he would be happy to be involved in discussions with the Parish Council going forward relating to such provision.
The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations:
The Council has yet to agree how we will commemorate HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June. Suggestions received so far include planting a tree and lighting a beacon. If we go ahead with both of these, the likely maximum cost is £2,000. When discussing the budget later in this meeting, you will be asked whether you wish to proceed with the costs being met from the Council’s free reserves and NOT added to the precept.
To assist with the planning of this and any future agreed celebrations we are considering setting up an Events Planning Group. I would be grateful if anyone wishing to participate in such a group would contact and discuss further with me. REPORT ENDS.
NOTICE OF MEETING You are summoned to attend a meeting of the FULL COUNCIL which will be held on Wednesday 19th January 2022 at 7.30pm in The Day Centre, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted, Essex where the following business will be transacted:
1 To approve apologies for absence
Adjourn for public participation
2 To receive declarations of interest
3 To receive the minutes of the Full Council meetings held on 17th November and 15th December 2021 and to receive the minutes of the Special Full Council meeting held on 5th January 2022.
4 To receive an update on progress since the last meeting
5 To receive the Chairman’s Report
6 To receive the District Councillors’ Report
7 To receive the County Councillor’s Report
8 Finance and General Purposes Committee – to receive the minutes of the meetings held on 1st Dec 2021 and 12th January 2022
9 To approve the draft budget for the financial year 2022/23 – attached for members
10 To set the precept for the financial year 2022/23 – attached for members
11 To consider the Council’s comments relating to the UDC Call For Sites document as discussed at the Special Full Council on 5th January 2022. – attached for members
12 Finance – To approve the list of payments – to be tabled at the meeting
13 To consider the list of planning applications received– attached
14 To consider the text and policies in the Neighbourhood Development Plan – previously circulated
15 Branding – To consider the revised branding scheme based on comments received from members in April 2021 – previously circulated
16 Policies – To set up a working group to review the Council’s policies as and when required
17 Open Spaces Committee – To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 24th Nov 2021
18 Windmill Sub-Committee – To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 1st Dec 2021
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk – 13 January 2022