HENHAM PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes (unapproved) Parish Council Meeting
Date: Thursday 7 December 2023
Venue: OSCA, Henham
Present: Chair N. Baker, Cllrs S. Lee, P. Franklin, Z. Rutterford, J. Leech, M. Fisher, C. Walker, G LeCount, District Cllr B. Donald and Clerk M. Dacey
Declaration of interests: The Chair reminded Councillors of their duty to declare any relevant personal or pecuniary interests.
- Apologies for Absence – District Cllr P Lees and County Cllr R. Gooding
- Approval of the Minutes of the Last Meeting
The minutes of the 5 October 2023 meeting was approved and signed by the Chair. The meeting scheduled for 2 November 2023 was cancelled due to the local flooding caused by Storm Ciaran.
- Matters Arising –
Cllr Francis has resigned due to moving out of the parish. The Parish Council thanks Cllr Francis for all his work as a councillor. The Parish Council welcomes Cllr Walker who is filling the position created some time ago (and before this year’s elections) by a prior councillor’s resignation.
- Reports and Recommendations
- Greens and Village Estate – Cllr. Baker:
- Greens damage – (1) Erosion – General greens erosion in the village causing other potholes. A review of the damage will be conducted in the spring. (2) Construction damage by Hollybank – Cllr Lee declared an interest and absented himself from any discussions. The shingle has now been colour matched, however, the greens remain damaged. Following a discussion, it was agreed the Chair would write to the owner of the property requesting repair to the greens now that the building works have been completed. (3) Building materials on Greens by York Cottage – it is noted that building materials that were on village greens have been removed, however there is damage to greens on the driveway. The Parish Council will monitor whilst works are still ongoing. (4) Driving over Greens – It was noted that there has been recent incidents of people driving over the greens and parking on the greens in the village, causing damage. Chair will write an article for the Dragon and will circulate a no parking letter to Cllrs to display on offending vehicles.
- Greens Bylaws – Legal advice now received, Chair to review over the coming months as the procedure for changing the bylaws is complicated.
- Coronation commemoration – A generous resident who is very skilled at ironmongery has kindly offered to design and make a sculpture to celebrate the coronation and will be making a start on this in the new year.
- Tree Inspection – Report awaited – Chair has chased for this. Pond tree work completed successfully 6/10/23.
- Church works – The Church has asked the developer to provide the Parish Council with its insurance documents which have now been provided. An update on the works by the PCC has previously been circulated to all councillors. Cllr Lee is liaising with the PCC regarding screening.
- Resurfacing The Row – The Row path falls within the ownership of the Henham Parish Council as it is part of the greens. Cllr Leech will review the damage.
Village ponds/Woodland – (a) It was previously agreed that that the Chair and Cllr Fisher would consider options for possibly creating two new ponds. The Parish Council also previously discussed the management of PC owned Woodland in Mill Road. (b) Essex Local Nature Recovery Strategy – Cllr Franklin attended a meeting on this and has circulated his meeting notes. There may be scope in considering how HPC could join this initiative to protect and increase local bio-diversity. Specifically moving forward with the woodland space opposite Hilltop yard and potentially in other locations around the Parish. Following a discussion, it was agreed that Cllr Franklin would liaise with ELNR regarding the woodland, Cllr Walker would liaise with the National Trust and Cllr Rutterford would liaise with our ecologist regarding suggestions for other entities which may like to take responsibility for the woodland.
Village Hall – (1) General – update by Cllr Fisher regarding some further works to the village hall, which have been put on hold whilst the historic subsidence insurance claim is ongoing. Following a discussion, Cllr Fisher proposed, seconded by Cllr LeCount, that in principle the Parish Council would be prepared to pay £4k for the rendering at the rear of the property, approved by Cllrs, Cllr Lee abstained. Clerk has paid the second instalment of the HPC grant (£2500) to the village hall. Concerns raised regarding visitor parking at village hall damaging greens, Cllr Fisher will raise this with the village hall committee. (2) Solicitors – have been instructed to review the ownership and responsibility for the village hall as the existing documentation is 100 years old and needs updating. A final report from our solicitors is due before Christmas (3) HPC Community Support Fund – Nothing to report other than first payment of £186 has been made to Henham Village Hall in respect of grant awarded to Dinky Dragons hall hire costs. Positive feedback from Dinky Dragons has been circulated to all Cllrs.
PCSO – The PCSO will be available to discuss any resident concerns in the village shop between 10am-1am on December 11. Everyone welcome.
Speedwatch – Nothing to report other than Cllr Walker and the Henham parish speedwatch coordinator met with other Essex parish Speedwatch coordinators on Monday 6th November 2023 at Stansted Mountfitchet Fire Station, it was a useful and well attended event. Cllr Walker provided an update and noted more volunteers are required to comply with insurance regulations and will place an article in the Dragon. Cllr Walker also explained data collected over the past 17 months and there was a discussion about potentially moving the Wood End Green sign to a more effective location.
Management of Pledgdon Green – (a) Ownership of Common Land – A resident has previously contacted Cllr Rutterford about a fallen bough/tree on the common land which has fallen on their property. Legal advice re ownership/responsibilities of the common land has established that the Parish Council is not responsible for the common land. Cllr Rutterford and Cllr Baker had a meeting to review the legal advice and will liaise with our solicitors seeking further clarification on a couple of points. (b) Conservation Area Status – Broxted Parish Council is exploring whether the Brick End Road area could become a Conservation Area and have asked whether Henham Parish Council would be interested in splitting the costs (initially £1,000- £1,500 plus VAT) into extending the proposed conservation area to include to the Pledgdon Green area. Following a discussion, it was agreed that Cllr Rutterford would consult with local residents in her capacity as a private individual before any decision is made by the Henham Parish Council.
Website – The new website is up and running https://henham-pc.gov.uk . The clerk has now set up each Cllr with a new gov.org email address. It was previously agreed that Cllrs would try out the new email system before deciding on a policy for email use. On the whole the majority of Cllrs are finding the new system easy to use, some external IT support will be provided to those Cllrs requiring assistance with setting it up.
Photography competition – The Parish Council thanks everyone for their entries, which were of a very high standard indeed. All entries were shown to councillors and judged on an anonymous basis. Following a discussion, it was agreed that the Winner for each category would receive a £50 Amazon voucher and the Runner Up a £20 Amazon Voucher, The Clerk will organise this. All entries will be published on the website. The winners for each category are:
- AGES 4-11 – Winner Olivia Hawker – Runner up Silas Rhodes
- AGES 12-18 – No entries received
- AGE 18 AND ABOVE – Winner Carli Pope – Runner up Vicki Bambridge
Village Broadband – Openreach and Gigaclear both have plans to bring Ultrafast Broadband to Village. Both intend to hold open days in the village in near future. The Parish Council has a responsibility to ensure residents are fully informed of both endeavours and have the information to make an informed decision that suits them: (1) Openreach – The Parish Council has been approached by Openreach regarding increasing broadband speeds – The UK Government has launched a campaign through DSIT to support rural communities who don’t currently have access to Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband, and where there are no current plans to build. They have made vouchers available to eligible residential and commercial premises which can be used towards the cost of providing the fibre infrastructure. The vouchers need to be pledged to a registered network build supplier. Openreach is one of the Government’s registered network build suppliers and have helped hundreds of local communities across the UK get high-speed broadband. So, in partnership with Government funding, Openreach could bring Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband to communities using these vouchers. The vouchers are free, but recipients are expected to order an Ultrafast Full Fibre Broadband service from a supplier of their choice once service is live, as part of the terms and conditions. Openreach held a well attended open day on 5th December 2023 in the village hall 12-3pm for residents. (2) Gigaclear – Cllr Franklin continues to chase Gigaclear to repair the damaged box on OML which residents have repaired at the own expense and are seeking recompense from Gigaclear (Complaint Case Number: 01370719). Gigaclear are currently in the village installing their infrastructure. The Chair has written to Gigaclear seeking assurance that damage to the greens will be repaired.
Airport Parking – Cllrs LeCount and Franklin attended a UDC meeting on 2/11/23 to discuss the problem of airport parking in our area. Cllr Rutterford previously informed Cllr Franklin that there are airport parking issues on Bedwell Road (in Elsenham parish) which is preventing a local farmer (based in Henham parish) from accessing his fields to harvest. This has been reported to UDC Enforcement team to investigate. However, if the vehicle is taxed and insured and not causing a “day to day” obstruction or parked where there is a parking restriction this is not an offence. UDC Planning enforcement will pursue unapproved car park sites. Stansted Airport have a £200k fund to help with this issue but UDC have to enable a procedure for obtaining and using it. Some communication links for residents and Parish Councils may be forthcoming, however, there was little of immediate assistance on offer to the Parishes’ adjoining the airport who suffer greatly from the off-airport parking scourge.
D Day June 2024 celebrations – A resident and his team have kindly volunteered to organise an event to be held on Saturday 22nd June 2024, 1940’s theme with a band, BBQ, army tanks. This event will not be run by the Parish Council nor will it have any responsibility other than to advise on Health and Safety aspects, which Cllr Franklin has kindly agreed to deal with. Following a discussion Cllrs agreed a contribution towards the event: £850 plus VAT for the band, £800 plus VAT for the toilet hire and £200 for the bins.
Christmas Tree – The Parish Council thanks the volunteers for their assistance with installing the village tree on 3 December. The Chair will organise dismantling the tree in the new year.
Stansted/Elsenham Surgery merger – All patients have received a direct communication from the surgery about the proposed merger. Update from Cllr LeCount who will circulate edited minutes from the latest patient liaison group meeting.
| To Whom
|School Lane bench repair
|Pond trees work
|Quarterly Working from Home allowance
|PA Knott (62241)
|Grass cut 4/10 & 18/10
|The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal
|4 x large poppies
|The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal
|PA Knott (62258)
|Final grass cut
|JRB Enterprise Ltd (26171)
|Dog poo bags
|HM Revenue & Customs
|Employer Tax payment
|SW Transport Planning Ltd (0123)
|Transport advice re Four Winds OML
|Henham Village Hall (#1012)
|HPC community grant towards Dinky Dragons Village Hall hire costs
|Ricki Shelsher (1095)
|Village window and signs cleaning
|Refund for internal auditor wine and village Christmas tree star
|BIT Solutions Limited (28575)
|IT fees for clerk’s website/email set up
Treasury Management Investment Policy and Strategy 2023/24 – Cllr Fisher- update Cllr Fisher has been researching the best interest paying accounts which comply with our investment policy. This is ongoing.
2023-2024 Accounts – Q1 Accounts for 23/24 have been submitted by the clerk to Cllr Fisher for review and approval.
2023-2024 Accounts – Q2 Accounts for 23/24 have been submitted by the clerk to Cllr Fisher for review and approval.
2024-2025 Draft Budget/Expenditure Forecast and Precept discussion for setting of Precept – deadline 19 January 2024. The Clerk distributed a draft budget and draft expenditure forecast to all councillors for their appraisal during November 2023. Councillors were previously advised by the clerk to consider the draft expenditure forecast for Henham for the 2023-2024 period and this would help them arrive at an income requirement for the coming financial year. Having increased the precept for two years running, the precept was held last year as the Parish Council was aware of the cost of living crisis. Following a discussion Cllr Fisher proposed that the precept is held this year at its current level, seconded by Cllr LeCount, approved nem con. Chair to write an article for the Dragon.
- Planning and Developments –
- UTT/23/0713/OP – Outline Planning Application, With All Matters Reserved Except Scale & Access, for the erection of up to 7 dwellings and associated work, Land West Of Old Mead Road The Parish Council previously objected to a previous application and have submitted an objection. This has been called in by District Cllr Lees. Nothing to report.
- UTT/23/1732/FUL – proposed Change of use of paddock to residential and construction of 3 no. residential dwellings, Tudor Hall Pledgdon Green. Cllr Rutterford declared an interest and absented herself from any discussions. This has been called in by District Cllr Lees. The Planning Sub Committee have submitted an objection with a further evidence submitted on 31/8/23. Nothing to report.
- UTT/23/2735/FUL – proposed residential development containing 7 no. dwellings along with access, carparking, landscaping and associated infrastructure, Land at Old Mead Road
- UTT/23/2901/HHF – proposed solar panels installed on main house and garage roof, The Old Stables Pledgdon Green Farm. Cllr Rutterford declared an interest and absented herself from any discussions.
Breaches: Continuing breaches at Cedar Cottage– Continuing breaches at Cedar Cottage– Cllr Lee declared an interest and absented himself from discussions. Nothing to report.
Investigation into alleged breach- alleged airport parking, at Railway car park, Old Mead Road District Cllr Lees to make further enquiries as to planning permission for parking. Nothing to report.
INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED BREACH- WITHOUT PLANNING PERMISSION, THE IMPORTATION OF WASTE MATERIAL AT LAND ADJACENT PENNINGTON HALL, HENHAM ROAD, ELSENHAM, BISHOPS STORTFORD, HERTFORDSHIRE, CM22 6DH – UDC’s Planning Enforcement Team has investigated a referral regarding the alleged breach of planning control at the above mentioned address, reference ENF/22/0043/C. The Council issued an enforcement notice which required the following actions to be carried out: a) Cease, and do not resume, the importation, depositing, sorting and spreading of waste material on the Land; b) Remove all the waste material and the earth bund located in the area hatched blue on the attached plan without redistribution within the existing site; c)Restore the land in the area hatched blue on the attached plan to its condition prior to the commencement of the unauthorised development. UDC confirm that compliance checks have been carried out to the property and the notice has largely been complied with. UDC has now closed the file. The notice will remain on the land hereafter.
Appeals: nothing to report
Developments: Mill Road Development : nothing to report.
Bloor – UTT/23/2063/DFO – nothing to report other than the next liaison meeting is in January, Cllr Franklin to attend.
- UTT/23/2316/CLP – Application Certificate of Lawfulness for an outbuilding in the rear garden of The Fuchsias, Old Mead Lane– Refused by UDC.
- UTT/23/1382/FUL – proposed erection of a new detached 4 bedroom dwelling, Four Winds Old Mead Lane – Cllr Franklin has withdrawn from meetings regarding this application on grounds of personal interest. Planning Sub Committee obtained the advice of our transport consultant and a traffic counter survey (equipment was subsequently vandalised) which has been submitted together with the Parish Council’s objection. The Chair previously asked our District Cllrs to call in this application. Our transport consultant has submitted a report of further transport objections – Refused by UDC
OMR-OML – Nothing to report other than Update from Cllr LeCount re recent HGV use of OMR and Toot Toot bridge. Elsenham Parish Council have confirmed they are not monitoring the waste lorries, however, it is noted the weight limit uphill on Grove Hill and the width limit on New Road and across Ugley Green are not enforced. A resident is looking into enforcing the weight limit along OMR. Cllr LeCount to attend a meeting with local residents in January 2024.
Mill Road/School Road yellow lines – Nothing to report.
Toot Toot bridge – Nothing to report.
Roads by Church – Essex Highways have now resurfaced the roads by the Church/Farm greens.
Residents are encouraged to also report any matters to Essex Highways direct via the Essex Highways web site www.essex.gov.uk/highways (details also on the Henham Website), as the more people who complain regarding Highways matters the more likely something will get done.
Residents are encouraged to report unsafe or dangerous parking in our village to: email@example.com Stansted Airport Limited operates a Freephone number for reporting suspected on-street airport related car parking. The Freephone number is: 0800 7312385
Sent/Received: resident re anti-social behaviour; printers re Dragon printing, Openreach re broadband
Planning Applications – see 4(iii) above
- Clerk – approximately 250 emails in October 2023 and November 2023.
- Waste and Minerals Development Issues – Nothing to report.
- SAW (Stop Stansted Expansion) – Cllr Franklin has volunteered to attend SAW meetings on behalf of the Parish Council, taking this role over from Cllr Rutterford. Cllrs agreed Cllr Franklin has authority to vote on behalf of the Parish Council. Cllr Franklin attended a meeting for SAW members on 29/11/23. There was a Q&A on the proposal to convert the organisation to a Trust and put it into “hibernation” with funds of about £90K.As there are no takers to replace the existing team there were no other realistic options tabled. The motion was carried nem com. In the future, over the next 5 years, local parish councils are expected to provide replacement trustees for the initial 5 who will be the current executive committee. The Trust objectives will mirror those of SAW and the funds would be available to fight any future undesirable expansion at the airport. Subject to trustee scrutiny. A members letter has now been circulated confirming the situation.
- Governance – The Parish Council Standing Orders and Financial Regulations have been circulated by the Clerk to all Councillors for review in the coming months.
- Local Plan –Documents related to the local plan can be found at: www.uttlesford.gov.uk/new-local-plan. Discuss draft Local Plan which has now been published on the UDC website. Chair’s letter regarding the incorrect allocation of 200 Bloor homes to Elsenham Parish has been sent to UDC and was acknowledged by UDC but unfortunately no amendments made to the published draft local plan. Elsenham Parish Council is supporting the fact that the 200 houses have been wrongly allocated to their parish. Sub-planning Committee has recommended to councillors that legal advice is sought now in readiness should UDC not reallocate the 200 homes in the Henham Parish, potential legal fees would be £1000-1500 plus VAT plus costs for a junior barrister for expert legal advice, this recommendation was agreed by Cllrs. There was also a discussion regarding SAW concerns raised in connection with areas within Countryside Protection Zone being included within the Local Plan, but it is the view of the Parish Council that our duty is towards our own residents and the protection of our village against spurious developments which is a huge risk should the Local Plan not be finalised.
- Henham SOV 100 Club draw –
J Franklin conducted the October draw. She drew from a black bag containing all current members lottery balls:
1st Prize Number 68 (Ken Sammons) £232
2nd Prize Number 112 (D Hattee) £112
3rd Prize Christmas Bonus Ball Accumulator £56 Cumulative total £616
Total funds received per draw were £800. Half will be paid in prizes plus the cumulative Christmas Bonus Ball with the balance of £400 paid to Henham Parish Council SOV Funds.
District Cllr B Donald conducted the November draw. She drew from a black bag containing all current members lottery ball:
1st Prize Number 114 (L Hands) £232
2nd Prize Number 10 (L Peake) £112
3rd Prize Christmas Bonus Ball Accumulator (J Channing) Cumulative total £672
Total funds received per draw were £800. Half will be paid in prizes plus the cumulative Christmas Bonus Ball with the balance of £400 paid to Henham Parish Council SOV Funds.
- Date of Next Meeting
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Thursday 1st February 2024, 7:30pm at OSCA. Everyone Welcome. There is no meeting in January 2024.
Mareike Dacey, Clerk