LITTLE CLACTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE
YOUTH AND COMMUNITY CENTRE ON MONDAY,
3rd April 2017 AT 7.00 PM
Chairperson: J Cutting
Councillors: M Balbirnie, P De Vaux Balbirnie, D Botterell, L Gray, M Reed, H Smith, R Smith, J Smith-Daye, J Taylor, B Ward.
Tendring District Councillors Mike Brown
Essex County Councillor Andy Erskine
Clerk: Mrs G Loach
Residents were given time to speak before the meeting began.
- CO-OPTION OF NEW COUNCILLORS
New councillors Jo Taylor and Danny Botterell were co-opted and signed their Declaration of Acceptance in front of all.
Apologies were received this month from Councillors J Rowland and S Rowland, District Councillor J Bray.
- CIRCULATION AND CONTENTS OF MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING.
The minutes were agreed by all and signed by the Chairman as a true record of the meeting on the 6th March.
- URGENT MATTERS ARISING
- CHAIRMANS REPORT
The Chairman reported that UK Power had finished the Harwich Road lights. The shop keeper was pleased.
Tendring District Council were contacted via the Facebook link on the new website. A resident had complained about a vehicle parked in a bus stop in Harwich Road. A parking officer came to add a considerate parking notice on the vehicle, it was moved within 2 days.
The bus shelter has been repaired in the village, and the contractor is now painting the planters and the seats and gate are to be done.
Quotes for the height barriers at Parish Fields have been received. The amounts were £3000 plus VAT or £1800 plus VAT. The quote for £1800 has been chosen, all agreed.
The Business Group met about the boards in the village. One quote was sent to the insurance group re: claim, the other will be our cost, for the middle of the village.
The Traveller Law of trespass was presented at the EALC by Councillor Belgrove from Arlesford, and District Councillor Talbot was present. A slight amendment to the wording was made but then it was agreed unanimously. The EALC and NALC are to lobby MPS.
The monthly maintenance of Millennium Green is to be done by Graham Bush in addition to the 4 cuts per year by Kendall’s. This will make it more manageable.
A letter has been received from MP D Carswell. It includes a letter from Essex County Council saying that the broken keep left sign is suitable in their view. Another letter states that we havent specified a location, and suggests that we use their website! We have logged this on the website many times and specifics have also been supplied previously.
The Chairman asked Essex County Councillor Erskine to look into this matter. The Chairman also asked Councillor Erskine if we could add signage on the greensward ‘please drive carefully through our village’. Councillor Erskine said no, Highways need to put them up. The Local Highways Panel must be involved. He said to put it to the LHP and they will consider it, if agreed, they will do it. He said having streetlights up indicate a 30mph. speed limit.
- MATTERS BROUGHT FORWARD
Councillor De Vaux Balbirnie reported an abandoned car in Elm Road. The Chairman suggested that he contact Tendring District Council abandoned vehicle department.
Councillor R Smith reported road works in Holland Road, he wasn’t sure what theywere repairing, but suggested it may be cables going in. He had nothing else to report.
- POLICE/CRIME REPORT
Councillor J Rowlands left a report which the Chairman read out, stating that there were 15 crimes reported for January, including anti-social behaviour and violence. She welcomed the new Councillors and wished them well. The Essex Crime Messenger service was recommended to all.
Councillor M Reed reported that a camera can be borrowed from the Police. He said he was starting it up again. The New Councillor D Botterell offered to take it on and proceed from Councillor Reed.
- WORKING PARTY REPORTS
(a)Maintenance and Services
Councillor S Rowland and Councillor M Reed washed down all planters and benches in the village, and they thanked Ray Smee for the Water supply.
Councillor S Rowland queried the grass cutting contract, as no cuts were seen to be done in March, although it had been dry. He said that contractors cannot get away with being paid and doing nothing. The contract expires at the end of the year, we can look into improving the service then. The Chairman asked the Clerk if she had contacted Kendal’s and the Clerk said yes, and they had said that they didn’t cut areas with daffodils and spring flowers, but would come back in a couple of weeks after they had died down. They are to email back from the latest email sent. The Chairman stated that we should monitor it. Councillor M Reed said that they had cut the grass near to where he lives.
Councillor M Balbirnie suggested that the Council made a donation towards flowers to Mrs Cutting who had bought flowers and filled all the village planters during the previous year. Councillor R Smith proposed, Councillor L Gray seconded and all agreed.
(b) Street lights
Councillor M Reed reported that some lights were still out including the one covered with ivy at Brays. A full inspection is to be done this week. Once reported on the website, they cannot be reported again. The ECC lights are not being fixed. Councillors M Reed and S Rowlands have been through the village cleaning all the signs etc. which should be ECC responsibility.
Councillor Gray had spoken to a resident, Mr Sealey from Harwich Road, who had undertaken some research about the footpath origins and documents and maps had been found showing the footpath in 1899, 1909 and 1959. A member of the Highways department at Essex County Council stated that the footway was burial walkway to St. Michael’s Church.
The Parish Council was asked to write to Sarah Potter (footpaths) Member – Highways to ask for a meeting regarding the footpath in Harwich Road. There were originally large ditches along the front and trees lining it. The tenants in the properties had pulled down all the trees and filled the ditches. The Land Registry Office has information about this. The District Surveyor is Mr Norfolk, and he should be contacted about the ditches being filled in. The Parish Council owns the footpath as it was left in perpetuity. The trees were masking the space, it looks more like 25 foot across.
(d) Planning and Development
Councillor M Reed reported on the following:
|21 Clapgate Drive CO16 9PP.||Demolish garage and erect single storey extension.
|LENGDORF Bertram Avenue CO16 9RG.||Addition of first floor accommodation, car port and external works.
Loss of light, privacy (rear balcony) and out of character with neighbouring properties, in the middle of a line of bungalows which are offset to allow privacy. Please note comments of Objection from neighbouring properties.
|Land adjacent 15 Weeley Road CO16 9EN.||Erection of two new Houses.
|Bovis Hall St Osyth Road CO16 9DJ.||Removal of attached hoods within inglenook fireplaces and to fit pot hanger cowel to external chimneys.
To be decided by LBC Officer.
|17/00467/HHPNOT (HouseHolder Prior NOTification)||3 Springfield Meadows CO16 9EB||Erection of Edwardian style conservatory to rear.
|17/00437/DETAIL Variation of conditions 1, 4, 8 of planning Application 16/00843/DETAIL to vary drawing No PO1G to PO1H to allow for brickwork walls and adjustment to windows and doors.
Conditions as approved 16/00843/DETAIL.
|Land adjacent 2-4 St Osyth Road CO16 9RP.||1 to comply with approved drawings P01G and Po1B.
4 No unbound materials within 6 metres of boundary within vehicular access.
8 To comply with approved landscaping and maintained for a minimum period of five years from planting. Any plant which is found to be dying or diseased to be replaced within that time.
We prefer the original render and paint finish (additional insulation benefits) as it would be sympathetic to the houses to which it is adjacent, condition 1.
We have confusion over the shingle driveway which is directly on the boundary of the property, condition 4.
The drawings show no difference in the landscaping so why is the condition 8 to be varied?
|17/00453/OUT||Land South of Centenary Way, Clacton||Recommend refusal Full statement at end of minutes as attachment.|
|Meadowview Park St Osyth Road.||Creation of additional visitor parking spaces.
|10 St Osyth Road East CO16 9PH.||Proposed loft conversion with 3 pitched roof dormers.
|Telstar Nurseries Holland Road CO16 9QG.||Erection of agricultural building to house new biomass boiler.
Councillor M Reed read out the determinations made by the Planning Group above and all agreed.
The Clerk was asked to request a deferral for Crack Stakes Farm, as the Planning group did not have time to discuss it as only came in to the Office today.
Councillor De Vaux Balbirnie asked District Councillor Brown to ‘keep an eye on it ‘, so that it doesn’t go through on delegated powers, and to call it in if passed.
A resident enquired about the 8 bungalows going in Betts Green Road, and a TPO report, which they were waiting for. Bats were discovered in the trees. The Chairman reported that the Parish had refused the bungalows due to cramping and out of character. The Clerk was asked to write to TDC Planning Department to enquire about the progress of the application in the light of bat discovery etc. Another resident was threatened with Gypsies if the application wasn’t agreed on. The road is sinking.
36 Holland Road application only had one comment lodged by residents. Why no Parish council comment?
The parish is to look into the conditions including drainage. Also, 90 Holland Road – the property had been sold and the pond and trees are being removed or ruined. Councillor M Reed reported this to TDC and the contractors have to apply to remove a pond. The issues are being looked at, TDC are getting the information and it is not feeding through to the Parish regarding applications. The Chairman was worried about the Planning Department but more hopeful about TDALC.
iii) Local Plan
Councillor M Reed had nothing to report.
iv) Neighbourhood Plan
Nothing to report, until local plan done.
The Chairman reported that the website was up and running and he was happy with it. Councillor De Vaux Balbirnie mentioned the Village Hall story wasn’t showing yet. A resident, Mr Bellamy enquired whether the scrolling headline could be put back. The Clerk is to make enquires.
Councillor M Reed reported that the traveller issues were being progressed. A lack of police on the beat was reported to the Police Commissioner. Some villages were concerned with public place drug taking. Mobile phones (iPhones) have been given to the police now. Overall, it was felt that the Commissioner is not in touch with issues on the Street, or even parish councillor level. Councillor M Reed did not believe that the phones will help. There are people trafficking worries. If worried, dial 101 to get a crime number. Internet crime is a big issue now. Questions from the parishes were the same; all want to see more police presence on the street. Parishes were asking to be listened to. The Police/Fire Fighter image is to be looked at.
- PARISH FIELDS COMPLEX
The Chairman reported that Parish Fields was running well at present. The Youth and Community Hall was being rented on a regular basis. The final phase of Pavilion work is being actioned. The gate is to be left open Monday-Friday day times and weekends when busy and in use.
- VILLAGE HALL
Councillor De Vaux Balbirnie reported that drug users and vandals were keeping away at present. The RCCE magazine ‘Oyster’ had a full page spread about the Village Hall and its improvements.
- MILLENNIUM GREEN
Councillor M Balbirnie reported that the green was looking good with daffodils and spring flowers, and the pond had fish now.
Essex County Councillor Erskine reported that the Local Highways Panel had sat and signed off all items for next year. Bus shelters had been agreed to be done, but don’t know when. He reported that 160% of the allotted budget had been spent and 140% of the 2017/18 budget had already been spent too. There is not enough money in the pot.
- TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL
District Councillor Brown reported that a traffic survey had been done with Police radar.
He said that there had been a diktat on Councillors in independent parties, they were now called the Non-Aligned Group. The Boundary changes were mentioned. The Sladbury Lane travellers were reported, but he had no further news from it.
|UK Power Networks||Power outage 7th April|
|Greenbarnes||Notice Board Brochure|
|Frinton Festival||Opening Concert Advert|
|Norris & Fisher||Local Council Insurance offer|
|Essex Streetworks Team||Road Closure – Holland Road ( by email)|
- FINANCE AND CHEQUES AUTHORISATION
The up to date balances of the Councils funds were noted.
|A & J Lighting Solutions||201.54|
|G R Harrison ( Christmas lights)||1,072.25|
|Britton Engineering Services Ltd (Gate repair)||2,784.00|
|A Harman (Maint. Bus shelter)
|Kendall Plus (incl. Mill Green)||820.43|
|Bank Charges (Mar)||15.45|
- ITEMS DEEMED URGENT BY THE CHAIRMAN
The Chairman is to look into the Christmas lights, they seem very expensive – new ones each year would be cheaper. Kendall Plus were also being looked at currently.
The Chairman reported that the Clerk will email out information about the boundary changes, can all Councillors have a look and let him know if they have any worries.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9pm.
The next meeting will be held at the Youth and Community Centre at 7.30pm on Monday, 8th May 2017
8th May 2017
LITTLE CLACTON PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING HELD AT THE
YOUTH AND COMMUNITY CENTRE ON MONDAY,
3rd APRIL 2017 AT 9.05 PM
Councillor John Cutting in the Chair
Councillors Mrs M Balbirnie, P De Vaux Balbirnie, D Botterell, J Smith-Daye, L Gray, M Reed, Mrs H Smith, R Smith, Miss J Taylor and Mr B Ward,
District Councillor Brown
County Councillor A. Erskine
Apologies: Councillors Mrs J Rowland, S Rowland, District Councillor Bray.
- CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT
Well what a difference a year makes, and how busy we have been. In that time the Parish Council has taken the decision to upgrade our dated and cost sapping street lights to a modern LED system. This system will pay for itself in 5 years through minimal maintenance and low running costs and so therefore long term be a huge saving for the Parishioners as well as being environmentally friendly.
The Parish Council has started a repair and repaint of the street furniture in the Village which will lead to a noticeable difference to the general look of the Village.
We have been actively engaged in the lobbying of ECC and the Highways department to repair our disgusting pavements and keep left signs throughout the Village. This has been an ongoing concern to the Council. We have lobbied our MP, ECC, County Councillors, District Councillors and the heads of Government related departments, all to no avail as ECC and highways say, as far as they are concerned the problem is not a priority and that there is no cash available. Well as far as we are concerned, we are not satisfied with that answer, and I can assure all parishioners that I will not let this go until something is done.
In the last year, we have had a situation with travellers cutting the locks and setting up on the Harold Lilly Playing Fields. Only strong action by the Parish Council and with a member of the public blocking them in all night, forced the travellers to abandon the field and leave the following morning.
In another incident with travellers in our Village, they moved onto the farmer’s field to the rear of Ley’s Drive. That took a little longer but the owners managed to get them off after about a week.
The Village Hall is going from strength to strength with a lot of hard work being done by Peter Balbirnie and the Village Hall committee with the full support of the Parish Council.
Dividends are now taking place at Millennium Green with the new pond, and the planting getting established. That’s all down to Mavis Balbirnie and her committee with the help of volunteers, again fully supported by the Parish Council.
The responsibility to maintain many of the trees in Village lies with the Parish Council and we have taken on that responsibility and have service the trees in Harwich Rd, The Jubilee Oak, and on the Memorial Green.
Planning as always can be an emotive and a contentious issue, and still with no Local Plan in place from TDC, then battles will continue. It was due to no Local Plan being in place that we lost our long hard and justified fight against the 98 properties of the street development. The blame for that defeat lies firmly at the feet of TDC. It was because of that result that Cllr Jacqui Lovell resigned, as she had no faith in TDC to defend the people. We also last another councillor Cllr Diane Reed due to her huge workload outside the Parish Council. I would like to thank them for all their input and wish them all the best in the future.
Parish fields pavilion upgrade is now in its final phase and the Village should be thankful to all the hard work Ray Bellamy and his team have put in to keep it viable with its running on a day by day basis.
I would now like to thank my fellow councillors for all their hard work and input throughout the year.
I would like to also thank my Vice Chair Mavis Balbirnie for her constant support. Also, our Essex County Councillor Andy Erskine along with our District Councillors Jeff Bray and Mike Brown all who have taken a full interest in the Parish of Little Clacton.
Finally, on behalf of all the councillors I would like to thank our Clerk Ginette Loach for all her work, for without her I don’t know where we would be.
Residents of Little Clacton can be assured that this Council has, and will fight for the best interest for the Village. Many issues regarding the Village are out of our control but that does not mean we will not fight all the way for the best interest for the Village.
- REPORT FROM REPRESENTATIVES
(a) LITTLE CLACTON VILLAGE HALL
I am very pleased to report that the Village and Playing Field continue to be used on a regular basis and the hire fees provide the financial support for the maintenance which is ongoing. Thanks must go to our booking secretary who works hard to keep on top of the booking orders coming in.
It is also thanks to the hard working Committee, as well as the Caretaker and Cleaner who provide vital services in keeping the building maintained and cleaned.
With Grants, we have renewed windows and doors throughout the Village Hall, and renewed the flat roof above the porch, meeting room and kitchen which was needed to weatherproof those parts of the building.
We have completed the children’s play area, which was covered by Grant money, and Section 106 money has funded hard wearing seats and litter bins which have been distributed around the outside of the play area and within the playing field.
The bulbs and whips on the playing field are flourishing and, at the moment, we are considering options to drain the field to come up with a satisfactory solution so that the various sports can take place as, at the moment, it is very boggy and will not take the increased wear that sports would entail. Drainage was put in near the play area so that we no longer have puddles form in that area and we have replaced the concrete along the side of the play area which had broken up.
Although we have not had so much trouble with vandalism since updating the CCTV system, we are considering upgrading this to HD to improve night vision as unfortunately the pictures lack clarity and are not always satisfactory. We are considering applying for a grant for this work in the near future.
We did have a group of Travellers break into the playing field last summer but, as the police could see clearly from CCTV who the instigators were, as it was still daylight, they were taken into custody and the police brokered a deal whereby the Travellers would be released from custody if they promised to move on the following morning. It is thanks to residents and local people who stayed at the entrance all night in cars to ensure that no further caravans arrived and fortunately in the morning they left as promised.
The village celebrated the Queens 90th Birthday in May of last year with an event that saw the Pre-School children each receive a commemorative coin presented by Bonnie Hill, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex. The children had entertainment laid on and a fantastic buffet was provided for those who attended. Our thanks to LCPC for your support (including financial) which helped us to organize this historic event and also for your financial assistance in helping Engaines School purchase commemorative coins for these children as well.
Fundraising is to be stepped up this year and a Barn Dance has been planned for later in the year with other events hopefully taking place in the next few months.
As Chairman of the Little Clacton Village Hall & Harold Lilley Playing Field Trust I am very pleased with what we have achieved, especially through grants, and would like to thank Little Clacton Parish Council for the help and support you have given and look forward to another successful year.
2(b) MEADOW MILLENNIUM GREEN
The last year has been a busy one both during and following completion of the major project which has seen the Millennium Green transformed into an area of natural beauty which can be enjoyed by all.
My thanks must go to the Committee and to our Parish Chairman who all took part in clearing the area of nettles and weeds and planting the whips which all appear to have taken and are now showing above the sleeves. The spring flowers are blooming and the pond has welcomed a pair of ducks, with a heron recently landing to survey the area. The moles also play an important part in our eco system and have been having a field day (excuse the pun) judging by the number of mole hills. Also, there is a lot of wild life activity in the copse and we hope that the bird boxes that the Pre-School children helped to install will become home to some of our local birds.
We installed a new owl post and now that the local pigeons and doves have moved away, following the removal of the original box, we hope that David Wilkin, the local owl man, will be able to re-introduce another owl box which will hopefully bring back the owls.
There has been an increase in visitors to the area and those I have spoken to have said what a difference the changes have made and they feel safe walking through as the MG has now been opened up and is visually more acceptable.
We still require the furniture such as seats, tables and bins and, whilst this has not been discussed recently, I have been contacted by the Big Society who still have funds available so I am hoping that we will be successful.
On behalf of the MG Committee, I would like to thank the Parish Chairman who has given his time to help at the MG and all those who have helped in whatever way over the last year.
Special thanks must go to the Parish Council who have continued to take up the annual funding for the grass and hedge maintenance. This has been of great help but, as I pointed out when I took on the position as Chairman of the MG, I hope one day that it will have sufficient funds through fundraising to help pay towards its upkeep.
This area is very special not only to me but all those who are volunteers and enjoy spending time to maintain the meadow. I am sure that this little area of natural meadowland is also very important to all the residents of the village and visitors who enjoy the peace and quiet that it provides.
2(c) PARISH FIELDS
Another busy year at Plough Corner, with all facilities being used on a regular basis.
Income from use of the playing field and Youth and Community Hall enables Parish Fields to be self-financing regarding day to day maintenance.
The tennis court and all weather playing surface continue to be available free of charge to local residents.
The pavilion extension and upgrade now provides 8 changing rooms with showers and toilettes for adults, officials changing room, girls changing room and boys changing room all with own facilities.
Two Classic Car shows were held, organized by Clacton Classic Car Club and these are a highlight of the years activities.
The new Car Boot format increased the number of sellers and visitors. We wish to record our grateful thanks to the local Relay for Life organisers for their help in manning the gate and also car parking arrangements. Cancer Research UK held a very successful Relay for Life weekend which raised record funds for this very deserving charity. There were some issues raised by local residents and these will be resolved for the 2017 Event.
The Youth and Community Hall has seen a further increase in the number of users which now include two camera clubs, two art groups, two yoga groups, a bridge club, choir and band practice, a Tiny talk post-natal group, weight watchers and commercial driver training.
The hall is also used for Coin and Stamp fairs as well as other organisations for seasonal fairs and quiz nights and committee meetings.
After the first year I did consider not attending the meetings but a new vibe has been going through with positive results and a more unified feeling that we, at the lower levels, can make a change if we persevere.
2(d) TENDRING DISTRICT COUNCIL
No annual report left.
2(e) ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL
Essex County Councillor Erskine did not leave a report.
REPORTS ON WORKING PARTIES
(1) MAINTENANCE AND SERVICES
This year has seen a vast improvement to the village, with all the benches and bus shelters now refurbished and painted.
Approval has been given to replace the bench at Dead Lane, and an estimate for the bench will soon be with the Parish Council. We will need to ask Mr. Harmon for a price to site the bench, and then we ought to be in a position where everything is looking neat and tidy.
The planters have all been painted, leaving only the Jubilee seat, which will be done this spring.
Approval has now been given for a beautiful new Village Green Notice Board, to replace the somewhat commercial looking pair we currently have, a matching notice board will be placed at the entrance to the Parish Fields, and we hope to replace the ones at Tan Land and Meadowview during the year.
All this has been paid for within the budget for maintenance.
All Parish lights have now been converted to LED leading to fewer failures reported and hoods fitted when requested by the residents. The new lights brighten up and modernises the Village with subsequent savings for future years and benefits to the environment. It is pleasing to see that ECC are now following our lead albeit slowly.
(3) FOOTPATHS -no report
(4) CRIME PREVENTION
This has been our first full year without our PCCO, and disturbingly our crime figures have increased by over 50 percent.
The year previously saw 102 crimes in total, the majority being Anti-Social Behaviour at just over 34%. This year for the same period we have had 157 crimes reported, with ASB still being the highest percentage at just over 25% but coming in at just over 20% is an increase in Violence and Sexual offences.
There is a spreadsheet of the last two years detailing all the crimes and percentages.
The PCCOs were undoubtedly advantageous to all villages, and must account for the huge increase in crime we have experienced in our village.
Clacton Police Station, in line with most other stations is now only open between the hours of 9-5pm, but at least we still have a Police Station unlike some areas where thy have been closed, and crime naturally increased.
With that said, our village still remains relatively low in crime, with the figures for Clacton Town Centre at over 300 crimes per month.
There is nothing to report this year, it is impossible to get anywhere with local issues. Even County and District help has resulted in little progress.
- ITEMS RAISED BY RESIDENTS
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Chairman gave his thanks to all the Councillors. He said although Parish work can be a frustration, the new councillors should be mindful to not get too involved with individual matters, but to ask for help from the other Council members if needed.
There being no further business, The Chairman closed the meeting at 9:25pm
8th May 2017