Theydon Bois Parish Council


Council Minutes 2003

Meeting of the Council held at 8 p.m.
on Thursday 27th November, 2003 in The Village Hall

Present: Cllrs J Eaton (Chair), R Glozier, P Gooch, M Hannibal,
M O'Connor, M Oliver, J Padfield, and W Shales

42. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllrs K Cushing, S Powell and
R Smith.

43. The Minutes of the meeting on 25th September, 2003 were confirmed as a correct record.

44. Matters Arising

44.1 Cllr Glozier reported that the schedule of routes for the grit lorries would remain the same as for last year in Theydon Bois. Council noted that the provision for grit bins would be discussed at the next Council Administration Meeting.

45. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

45.1 A letter from the Chairman of Theydon Bois Lawn Tennis Club, and letters from several other residents, in support of the Tennis Club facility and the proposed lighting of the tennis courts.

45.2 A letter from Inspector Paul Thompson at Epping Police station introducing himself as the permanent Police Inspector for the Section and setting out his objectives, including working in partnership with the Parish Council.

45.3 A letter circulated to Parents from the Head Teacher of Theydon Bois Primary School requesting that staff be approached in a calm and civil manner following several incidents where parents had failed to show due respect, particularly to the office staff. There has also been the ongoing problem with parking and several complaints have been received by the school about inconsiderate parking across residents' driveways

45.4 An extract from EFDC Committee Minutes regarding the intention to redevelop St. Margaret's Hospital in Epping. The main proposals are for a new community hospital building with modern facilities, a children's nursery, the safeguarding of land for future expansion needs, key worker housing, improved car parking and cycle parking facilities, and improved bus stand and waiting facilities.

45.5 A letter from Ian Willett, Head of Policy unit at EFDC, stating that the Parish Council's draft Remuneration Scheme had been forwarded to the Parish Remuneration Panel for approval.

45.6 A letter of thanks from Harry Memory of the Royal British Legion to the Parish Council for organising the cleaning of the War Memorial and to the unknown donor who paid for the work to be carried out.

45.7 Notification from the Royal British Legion that £2,833.68 was collected in Theydon Bois, £70 of which was donated by the Parish Council.

45.8 A letter from the Secretary of Theydon Bois Senior Club thanking the Parish Council for their donation of £125 towards their Christmas Party.

45.9 A letter of thanks from Joy Wainwright for the gift of flowers sent to her on the occasion of her eighty fifth birthday.

45.10 A media release from Epping Forest District Council announcing free parking at EFDC car parks on Saturdays in December and on Public Holidays over Christmas and the New Year.

45.11 A letter from Three Valleys Water informing the Parish Council that their Education Support Team had provided two complimentary in-school education days at Theydon Bois Primary School and provided every pupil with a refillable water bottle.

46. To Approve accounts and confirm payments

46.1 The accounts up to 20th November, 2003, having previously been circulated, were approved.

47. Planning

47.1 Cllr Eaton reported that he had attended a meeting at Essex County Council regarding the closure of the Youth Community Centre, which is due to be sold for development. The Youth Community Centres at both Theydon Bois and Buckhurst Hill are due for closure and there is a planned all new facility to be built in Loughton. At the meeting Cllr Eaton expressed his dismay at the lack of consultation with the residents of Theydon Bois.

Cllr Gooch stated that there appeared that little could be done as the decision has already been taken but the Parish Council had initiated a search on the land, which is unregistered, and will involve looking through the title deeds to look for any restrictive covenants. The Sale Notice indicated that the scout hut may be included in the sale and the Parish Council will take issue with Essex County Council regarding the content of the Notice.

47.2 Essex County Council are also considering selling the Wansfell College site, although no decision has yet been taken. It is hoped that the Corporation of London will oppose any such scheme.

47.3 Cllr Gooch reported that there had been twenty-three applications since the last public meeting. The most noteworthy are for shop front alterations at Tesco Express (at present One-Stop), a staff facility at the Golf Club and a revised application at 62 Theydon Park road to turn a bungalow into a house.

47.4 A reply had been received from EFDC Planning Department regarding a letter send by the Parish Council voicing concerns about loss of bungalows in the Village. The District Council intends to monitor the number of this type of application in the future as there is a need to maintain the current stock of smaller dwellings. This is in recognition of the needs of the ageing population, and the increasing affordability problems within the district. The District Council may therefore refuse planning permission for extensions to existing dwellings where the result will adversely affect the range and mix of dwellings available.

48. Stansted/M11 Corridor Development (Buchanan Report)

48.1 The Parish Council was asked to comment on the Buchanan Report at short notice and their reply will be appearing in full on the web site and in the December edition of the Village News. Aspects commented upon included Green Belt, traffic levels, London Underground train problems, and the M11and M25 motorways.

49. Environment

49.1 The Environment Committee Terms of Reference, having previously been circulated to all councillors, was adopted.

Resolved: That the Environment Committee Terms of Reference be adopted.
Proposed: Cllr Eaton Seconded: Cllr Gooch
Carried Unanimously

49.2 Cllr Eaton reported that Cllr Smith had attended a meeting of The Parish Passenger Transport Representatives. From September 2004 Essex County Council will provide free school transport for children of compulsory school age to their school subject to 2 miles for children under eight years old and 3 miles for those over eight years old.

49.3 EFDC have been contacted to supply a copy of their street cleaning schedule to the Parish Office.

50. Parking

50.1 Cllr Glozier reported that the Traffic Orders for Theydon Bois were still waiting to be processed by Essex County Council, where there is a backlog. Letters would shortly be sent out to residents in roads where it is proposed to introduce the one hour parking restrictions and they will have four weeks in which to object, should they wish to do so. It is now thought that the yellow lines will probably be in place by Easter time.
51. Village Strategic Plan

51.1 Cllr Padfield reported that the installation of CCTV was a top priority and particularly in the light of the increasing incidents of vandalism in the Village. Four firms had been asked to provide estimates, two of which are based in the Village. The project is a team effort in conjunction with the Village Association, Epping Forest District Council, the Police and the Safer Communities Group. It is anticipated that the cost will be between £15,000 and £20,000 and it is hoped that contributions will be made from organisations such as Epping Forest District Council.

52. Cemetery

52.1 Cllr Hannibal reported that the long hot summer has resulted in a number of plants dying in the Garden of Remembrance and replanting will be an issue for next summer. A number of headstones have become loose and these will be rechecked after a period of rain. The gardener has returned to light duties and in the meantime the weeds have been kept under control by members of the Cemetery Committee. The Committee would like to thank Barry Turner for his assistance in pruning the roses.

53. Emergency Response Group

53.1 Cllr Oliver reported that the Group met in October and as a result the Plan is now complete and will be distributed shortly. A number of villagers are included in the Plan because of their particular skills. A meeting of all these people will be held early next year.

54. Village News

54.1 Cllr Oliver reported that the preparation is now virtually complete for the new format, which will be adopted next year and will have a degree of colour. The last edition in the current format will be distributed in December and the first quarterly publication will be issued in March. Contracts have been sent to the two permanent sponsors for 2004. There is still room for one more sponsor and up to four advertisers per edition. The key to success will depend on receipt of contributions of interesting topical articles by residents and village organisations.

55. Flag

55.1 Cllr Padfield reported that the Parish Flag has recently been cleaned and repaired. It was considered that it would be appropriate to keep this flag for flying in the winter only and to order a new flag for flying in the summer. The cost would be £350. Ideally the flag should be maintained by washing it on a monthly basis.

Resolved: To purchase a new Parish Flag at a cost of approximately £350.
Proposed: Cllr Padfield Seconded: Cllr Eaton
Carried Unanimously

56. Microphones

56.1 The meeting had been conducted with the aid of microphones, which were considered at best only a limited success. We will endeavour to switch to the Poplar/Beech rooms for the next Public Meeting on a trial basis to see if this improves communication.

57. Lighting of the Christmas Tree

57.1 The Lighting of the Village Christmas Tree will take place at the Village Hall on Friday 5th December at 6.30 p.m. The lights will be switched on by Elspeth Bonds, Head Teacher at Theydon Bois Primary School. The Theydon Singers will be performing and mulled wine and mince pies will be available. This year's chosen charity is the Alzheimer's Society.

58. Reports from Representatives

58.1 Allotments

Cllr Glozier reported that a shed on the allotments had been set on fire and was symptomatic of the vandalism which is occurring in the Village.

58.2 Buxton Trust

Cllr Gooch reported that the Buxton Trust had won an award from the Essex Playing Fields Association for the Best Grounds in its category.

The grounds have been covered with a compost- based dressing which may temporarily make it extra muddy. The Football Club has reported ongoing problems with dogs fouling on the grounds, which are a health hazard. The Trust will prosecute owners who persist in allowing their dogs to fowl, the penalty for which can be up to £1,000.

The cut through from Sydney Road to Loughton Lane behind the Tennis Courts is in poor condition and remedial work is about to start, during which time it will be closed off.

58.3 Tree Strategy

Cllr Shales reported that discussions were still ongoing and sites were being looked at for planting Memorial Trees. Possible sites could be in selected streets, at the Cricket Club or in the Parish Council Cemetery. Epping Forest District Council can supply and plant each tree at a cost of £100 and a plaque would cost £40. The Parish Council and the Rural Preservation Society have pledged £500 each towards planting.


58.4 The Village Association

Cllr Oliver reported that the Hall continued to be well used. The heating system had been overhauled and additional radiators fitted. The cost of hiring the hall is to be increased. Cllr Padfield stated that skateboarding outside the Hall continued to be a problem despite putting up notices which state that it is not allowed. It was hoped to initiate dialogue with some of the youngsters in order to ascertain what provisions could be made for their activities. Cllr Glozier reported that many youngsters would like a skateboard park

58.5 Theydon Bois Primary School

Cllr Eaton read out a report from Cllr Powell. The school had held a Christmas Card Competition, which was judged by members of the Village News Committee. A winner and runner up had been chosen from each class. The overall winning entry is to be used as this year's Parish Council Christmas Card design. Every winner and runner up will have their design posted on the web site and the winning entry from each class will appear in the Village News.
Cllr Gooch stated that the Christmas Fayre would be taking place on Saturday 29th November 11.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.

58.6 War Memorial

Cllr Shales reported that the War Memorial had been cleaned in time for Remembrance Sunday on 9th November. He thanked the churchyard committee who maintain the area around the Memorial and had replanted it just before the Remembrance Day Service. Thanks were also expressed to the villager who wishes to remain anonymous who very kindly donated the entire cost of the cleaning of the Memorial.

58.7 Web Site

Jim Watts and Tony Mitchell, who run the web site, and Tony Ames, Editor of the Village News, will be giving a presentation at the Public Meeting in January.

58.8 Safer Communities Group

An evening advising on personal safety will be held at the Village Hall on 23rd January, 2004 for residents of the Village. All those over sixteen years old are welcome. Applications should be in writing and posted through the Parish Council letter box.

58.9 Horticultural Society

Cllr Padfield thanked Jane Turner and members of the Horticultural Society for their work in maintaining the planters by the shops.

58.10 Grass Verges

Following an article in the Village News requesting residents not to put rubbish sacks and blue boxes out too early some improvement has been made. However, those who persistently ignore this request will be contacted in writing.

58.11 Over 55 Senior Club

A report sent in by Cllr Smith indicated that £125 had been donated by the Parish Council towards the Club's Christmas Party. Numbers at the Club had risen by 50% since reducing the minimum age for membership.

The Chairman then took the opportunity of expressing his thanks to all the councillors for their help and support during the year.

59. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.

The following topics were raised by the Public:-

1. Concern was expressed over a report which had appeared in the Guardian newspaper attributing the damage to the Bus Shelter to youths who lived in the Village.

2. The opening of the new Vestry at St. Mary's Church had been well supported by Members of the Parish Council and other members of the Community.

3. Action is required to stop fly tipping in the lane leading down to the Old Foresters.

4. Dismay was expressed over the proposals by Essex County Council to sell the Youth Club site and possibly Wansfell College.

5. An objection was raised by the Rural Preservation Society regarding a planning application from Tesco associated with its new shop front.

6. A question was raised as to the value of installing CCTV in the Village. There was overwhelming support for the scheme after the Chairman asked for a show of hands for those in favour of having CCTV in the Village.

Top


Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 25th September, 2003 in The Village Hall

Present: Cllrs J Eaton (Chair), K Cushing, R Glozier, P Gooch, M Hannibal, M Oliver, J Padfield, S Powell, W Shales and R Smith

The Chairman noted with regret the passing of Sid Glozier, who was a prominent figure in horticultural circles and assisted the Parish Council by presiding over the judging for the Anglia in Bloom Best Front Gardens competition when it was reintroduced several years ago.

30. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr O'Connor.

31. The Minutes of the meeting on 31st July, 2003 were confirmed as a correct record.

32. Matters Arising

32.1 There were no matters arising.

33. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

33.1 A letter from Essex Air Ambulance thanking the Parish Council for their donation
of £50.

33.2 A letter from Epping Citizens Advice Bureau thanking the Parish Council for their donation of £225.

33.3 A letter from Essex Air Ambulance who are seeking voluntary representatives in each parish to assist in the monitoring of fundraising in the area.

33.4 A letter from the owners of Blunts Farm requesting that all references to the golf course development should be referred to as Parsonage Golf and not Blunts Farm Golf Course as the site was sold some time ago to Parsonage Golf Ltd.

33.5 A notice from Three Valleys Water detailing the closure of Theydon Road (from the High Road to Ivy Chimneys Road) for six weeks commencing 20th October, 2003.

33.6 An e-mail from EFDC stating that an urgent order had been raised to repair the pavement outside the entrance to the Baptist Church.

33.7 An e-mail from EFDC stating that the schedule for beginning the planting scheme at Frank Foster House was being investigated.

33.8 letter from Essex County Councillor Janet Whitehouse asking the Parish Council to consider providing grit bins and compiling a register of volunteers.

33.9 A letter from EFDC giving details about the new government regulations regarding Parish Council Members Remuneration Schemes.

34. To Approve accounts and confirm payments

34.1 The accounts up to 18th September, 2003, having previously been circulated, were approved.

34.2 Copped Hall had recently held open days in which the public could view certain areas inside the building for the first time. Volunteers from the Village are actively involved in this project and it was considered a very worthwhile cause.

Resolved: That the Parish Council make a donation to the Copped Hall Trust for £100.

Proposed: Cllr M Hannibal Seconded: Cllr W Shales
Carried Unanimously

34.3 Cllr Hannibal reported that the Council had decided to limit the Reserve Fund to approximately the amount of one year's precept. This would release funds for the Village Strategic Plan and other projects.

35. Planning

35.1 Cllr Gooch reported that there had been seventeen applications since the last public meeting.

35.2 The Parish Council continued to be concerned about the loss of bungalows in the village with permission regularly being sought for upper storey extensions. The concerns are loss of lower cost housing and change of appearance in the street scene, sometimes purely for speculative gain. It is the intention that members of the Planning Committee will meet with the appropriate authority within EFDC in order to discuss policy relating to this issue.

36. Environment

36.1 Cllr Smith reported that the Environmental Committee had met on 16th September. The draft Terms of Reference had been amended and copies sent to all members of the Council. It is intended that the final version will be adopted at the November Public Meeting.

36.2 It had been noted that there was subsidence in the road in Heath Drive. The matter had been reported to Cllr Glozier and the Highways Engineer for action.

36.3 The verges in Theydon Park Road and Blackacre Road have been re-laid by EFDC incorporating the use of a membrane underneath in order to limit the damage incurred by vehicles parking on the verges. This is a pilot scheme and may be introduced into other roads in due course. It is unsatisfactory that neither the Parish Council nor the residents in the roads concerned had been notified in advance of the work being carried out. Cllr Glozier stated that the Highways Department had not been aware of when the project was going to start as it was allocated as a grounds maintenance issue and as such came under the Environment Department.

36.4 It is planned to approach the Conservators of Epping Forest to look at the possibility of planting two rows of oak trees, one either side of the existing row of trees in the Avenue of Oaks.

36.5 Articles are to appear in the Village News requesting residents to cut back any overhanging foliage which encroaches over the pavements from their properties, and also asking that household refuse sacks and blue garden waste sacks are not put out on verges before the day of collection.

36.6 It was felt that the marks in the Best Kept Village Competition had been disappointing and inconsistent and Cllr Smith is to take up the matter with the organisers.

36.7 A letter has been sent to Head of Environmental Services at EFDC complaining about the poor level of service the Village receives in street cleaning.

36.8 EFDC agree in principle that something needs to be done about the lack of parking in Greylands but it is not a high priority.

36.9 EFDC had been contacted on various matters some months ago relating to the recycling areas, cutting back of tree foliage and street cleaning matters. No responses have been forthcoming and Cllr Glozier was asked to pursue these matters with District Council.

36.10 A letter had appeared in the 18th September edition of the Gazette from a resident in Thrifts Mead on environmental issues. The newspaper had given the letter prominence and published a photograph of the weeds growing from a drain in Thrifts Mead. A reply from the Parish Council has been submitted to the paper requesting that they give it equal prominence on the letters page.

37. Parking

37.1 Cllr Glozier responded to an earlier question from Cllr Smith regarding the role of the Parking Engineer. There is no single Parking Engineer but Highway Engineers or agency workers who cover parking, maintenance, traffic calming and restrictions. Traffic Orders were currently being processed by Essex County Council, where there is a backlog. Letters would shortly be sent out to residents in roads where it is proposed to introduce the one hour parking restrictions and they will have four weeks in which to object, should they wish to do so. The yellow lines will probably appear shortly after Christmas.

37.2 Cllr Gooch pointed out that the restrictions in and around Theydon Bois Primary School could be a problem for the teachers who drive to school as there is insufficient parking for them on site.

38. Village Strategic Plan

38.1 Cllr Cushing reported on the initiatives proposed by councillors to date, but still to be discussed and prioritised were as follows:-

Capital Projects

· Infra-red CCTV cameras to cover the village shopping area, Station Approach, the bus stop and Pond Area. Also CCTV coverage of the Playground and the Village Hall with mutual agreement over funding.

· Village Wardens to patrol public areas i.e. the Pond area, the Playground, bus shelter, etc. Develop with EFDC/Corporation of London/Police, traffic slowing initiatives for traffic moving through the Forest roads and village through roads and certain side roads.

· Develop improvement scheme for the shopping area to create a more attractive area.

· Work with the Corporation of London to examine the feasibility of planting two new lines of oak trees along the Avenue of Trees, either side of the existing lines, in accordance with the European Union's directive.

· Maximising the benefit of maintenance spending on Highways by closer links with EFDC/Essex County Council.

· Provide our own community bus.

· Enhance the Cemetery further by constructing a soft path (bark mulch) from the back of the cemetery along part of the hedge on the right (west) hand side and provide seating either by purchasing or sponsorship.

· Street name signs - some need repair, other need replacing.


Environmental Issues

· Create a positive link to the Village Tree Strategy to help improve the village environment.

· Improve public transport by encouraging operators to introduce more user friendly timetables.

· Household waste recycling by separating different materials.

Compliance Issues

· Noise pollution. Implementing the law against perpetual offenders.

· Campaign against the habit of many households of putting blue bags (garden waste) and black bags (household waste) out early, in some cases many days before collection.

· Campaign against inconsiderate parking; on grass verges and over dropped kerbs which affects the blind and disabled.

· Planning consent to include builders' obligation to protecting and re-instating grass verges.

Joint Liaison Initiatives

· Forge closer links with the Village Association to achieve joint initiatives for community gain, particularly with regard to youth.

· Aim to achieve greater community involvement in helping to improve the village well being.

· Invite villagers to input ideas for consideration for inclusion in Village Strategic Plan. This may involve periodic public meetings.

38.2 Cllr Powell commented that consideration should be given to including the provisions relating to the Disability & Discrimination Act which will affect access into the shops.

38.3 Cllr Gooch stated that it was important to get input from villagers. Other suggestions including upgrading the public conveniences, and expanding the pond area.

38.4 Cllr Padfield stated that it was important to protect what we have now and therefore CCTV should be a top priority. The Parish Council are currently obtaining quotes for installation.

39. Cemetery

39.1 Cllr Cushing reported that the committee had met on 13th August. The Handyman is still off sick and volunteers were sought for a couple of hours a week to help with weeding.

39.2 A number of headstones have become loose and owners were reminded that it was their responsibility to maintain them. However, in many instances the instability may have been caused by the extremely dry conditions and the committee will review the situation again after a period of heavy rain.

39.3 Cllr Cushing thanked Mr Perry Taylor for supplying and erecting a new sign for the cemetery. This was a good example of a member of the community using his professional skills for the benefit of the village.

39.4 Cllr Cushing was pleased to report that the Cemetery had scored maximum marks plus a bonus mark in the Best Kept Village Competition.

40. Reports from Representatives

40.1 Allotments

Cllr Glozier reported that Matthew O'Reilly, who has been cutting the uncultivated areas at no cost, will be unable to continue and therefore next spring it will be necessary to employ an outside contractor.

40.2 Theydon Bois Village News

Cllr Oliver reported that the Village News had been entered into the Rural Community Council of Essex magazine competition again this year. It was the poor marks received in this competition last year that has led to the revamping of the magazine and the subsequent award received in the Essex Association of Local Council magazine competition. Next year it is planned to issue the newsletter on a quarterly basis with some use of colour. James Sear Estate Agents and the Theydon Bois Balti House have agreed to become sponsors. The Village News is always looking for articles and villagers are asked to submit any items of interest to the Parish Office.

Cllr Eaton expressed his thanks to the Newsletter Group for their efforts in improving the magazine.

40.3 Buxton Trust

Cllr Smith reported that some plants in a private garden had been damaged by falling branches from a tree on Buxton Trust land. The owner had been fully reimbursed for the cost of replacing the plants. Cllr Eaton requested that Cllr Gooch rearrange the times of the football clubs matches on Remembrance Sunday, as had been the practice in previous years.

40.4 Village Green

Cllr Padfield reported that the Council was satisfied with the standard of grass cutting carried out by EFDC this year on the Green. It is planned to liaise with the Corporation of London to grow more wild flowers in the conservation area which is left uncut in the earlier part of the year. The footprint of the conservation area will be the same size as this year.

40.5 Community Safety Group

Cllr Glozier reported that the Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour Group and the Safer Communities Group have merged to become the Theydon Bois Community Safety Group. Funding had been secured for a Self-Defence Evening in the New Year which will be open to all residents, but numbers would be limited. It is also planned to hold a drug awareness evening in late spring or early summer aimed at helping parents recognise signs of abuse.

40.6 Tree Strategy

Cllr Shales reported that discussions were still ongoing at EFDC with regard to the types of trees to be planted. Concerns over the planting of fruit trees had been noted. The planting was due to take place over a five year period.

40.7 Limeslink

Cllr Powell reported that the official opening of the new surgery at The Limes which had been advertised in the Village News had been cancelled at short notice. No notification of the cancellation had been received by the Parish Council. Cllr Powell apologised to anyone who may have been inconvenienced by the cancellation.

40.8 The Village Association

Cllr Oliver reported that the Hall continued to be well used. The heating arrangements had been reviewed and additional radiators were due to be installed shortly. Youths had been using the car park for skateboarding and further incidents of youth nuisance had occurred in an around the Hall. Further security measures were being looked into.

40.9 Theydon Bois Primary School

Cllr Gooch reported that the SATS results for 11 year olds in English, Maths and Science were very impressive and were well above the national average in all three subjects. In English 98% achieved level 4 or above (national average 75%). In Maths 84% achieved level 4 or above (national average 73%). In Science 98% achieved level 4 or above (national average 87%).

40.10 War Memorial

Cllr Shales reported that the cleaning of the War Memorial is scheduled to begin shortly and is due to be completed by mid-October, after which time the borders will be replanted ready for Remembrance Sunday on 9th November. A villager who wishes to remain anonymous has very kindly donated the entire cost in order for the work to be carried out.

40.11 Christmas Tree

Cllr Eaton announced that the lighting of the Christmas Tree will take place on Friday 5th December at 6.30 p.m. outside the Village Hall.

41. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.

The following topics were raised by the Public:-

1. Dog owners had not been clearing away their dog's mess from the Buxton Trust playing field.
2. It had been noted that the tennis courts were little used during the day and therefore lighting them at night was unnecessary. CPRE had issued a publication 'Night Blight'.
3. The question was asked as to what constituted a citizen's arrest.
4. The cars parked along Poplar Row near the Playground were causing problems for children crossing the road to and from the Playground.
5. Several traffic signs in the Village were missing.
6. Re-instatement of old road signs.
7. The travellers encamped in Epping Lane.

TOP


Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 31st July, 2003 in The Village Hall

Present: Cllrs J Eaton (Chair), K Cushing, R Glozier, P Gooch, M Hannibal,
M O'Connor, J Padfield, S Powell and W Shales

15. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr Oliver and Cllr Smith.

16. The Minutes of the meeting on 22nd May, 2003 were confirmed as a correct record.

17. Matters Arising

17.1 Item 14. It has been established that the lane leading down to the Old Foresters Club is the responsibility of EFDC.

17.2 District Cllr Roy Newland to speak later in the meeting regarding the soil importation at Blunts Farm Golf Course.

17.3 Should Tottenham Hostspur Football Club be interested in purchasing land behind the station on the Old Foresters site we have had an assurance from Lambourne Parish Council, and other Parish Councils who opposed the proposals at Abridge, that we can count on their support against any similar proposals for a Football Academy in Theydon Bois.


18. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

18.1 A letter from Theydon Bois Village Association thanking the Parish Council for their donation of £1,650 towards upkeep of the Village Hall.

18.2 A letter from Essex Police asking the Parish Council to work with them to identify public spirited individuals who would be prepared to act as Special Constables in the Village, providing they meet the recruitment standards of the Special Constabulary.

18.3 A media release from Epping Forest District Council warning residents to beware of bogus contractors 'cold calling' at their property offering to tarmac driveways.

18.4 A media release from Epping Forest District Council advising that the pest control service was re-introduced on 1st July. Residents should call Environmental Health if they have a problem. There is no charge for rats and cockroaches but all other pests are chargeable.

18.5 A letter from Nick Eade, Head Forest Keeper at the Corporation of London thanking the Parish Council for their letter conveying their kind words and thoughts on his retirement.

19. To Approve accounts and confirm payments

19.1 The accounts up to 28th July, 2003, having previously been circulated, were approved.

19.2 A final draft of the Annual Accounts for the Year ended 31st March, 2003, having previously been circulated to Members, were submitted to the Council for approval and adoption. The Chairman thanked the clerk for her efforts in producing the end of year accounts.

Resolved: To approve and adopt the Annual Accounts for the Year ended 31st March, 2003.

Proposed: Cllr M Hannibal Seconded: Cllr J Padfield
Carried Unanimously

20. Standing Orders

20.1 A final draft of the revised Theydon Bois Parish Council Standing Orders, having previously been circulated to Members, was submitted to the Council for approval and adoption.

Resolved: To approve and adopt the Standing Orders as amended in Issue 4 dated 31/7/03.

Proposed: Cllr R Glozier Seconded Cllr J Padfield
Carried Unanimously

21. Planning

21.1 Cllr Gooch reported that the Parish Council continued to be concerned with the loss of bungalows in the village with permission regularly being granted by Epping Forest District Council for upper storey extensions.

21.2 The Parish Council had objected to an application for a telephone mast at Thrifts Hall Farm. It continued to be the policy of the Council to register its objection to this type of application.

21.3 An enforcement notice had been applied to stop the importation of materials on to the Blunts Farm site. Cllr Newland to provide further details later in the meeting.

22. Environment

22.1 Cllr Eaton read out a report by Cllr Smith In using the lane from Abridge to Hobbs Cross it has been noticed that two CCTV cameras have been positioned at different points along the road along with a notice about fly-tipping and penalties. It appears that EFDC are taking the initiative on car dumping and rubbish dumping in the surrounding district with a pilot scheme designed to deter offenders. Cllr Smith had been unable on several occasions to contact the people responsible in the Highways department to find out more about the scheme. He asked if Cllr Glozier, as portfolio holder for Highways and Engineering, if he could find out more about the scheme and keep the Council informed.

22.2 The Council refuse tip at Luxborough Lane, Chigwell now require proof of residence in the Epping Forest District Council area before being allowed onto the site. Without such proof it would cost £3 to enter. A refund can be obtained from Essex County Council on production of a receipt and proof of residence (i.e. Council Tax Bill, driving licence or utility bill). The reason for introducing this scheme is to recover some of the costs involved processing waste from people who do not live in the Essex area. A copy of the notice is being held by the Parish Clerk and an article will be contained about this matter in the forthcoming edition of the Village News. At present this scheme only affect Luxborough Lane but it is suggested that identification is carried when visiting any site as it appears that there was no pre-warning from Essex Council or Epping Forest District Council about this change.

22.3 Environmental Committee members have recently been sent drafts of the suggested Terms of Reference to be adopted by the Committee. This will be discussed at the next Environmental Committee meeting in mid-September, after which it is hoped that the finished article will be sent to all councillors prior to the Public Meeting at the end of September.

22.4 The overall winner of the Best Kept Village Competition was Coggeshall, with Great Bentley winning for the second year running in the category in which Theydon Bois was entered. The winner of the Best Kept Churchyard competition was Dengy. We expect to receive the full results and our marking in August, after which we will review what our strong points are, strengthen our weak points and consider changes in the competition itself. Cllr Smith stated that he still considers Theydon Bois to be one of the nicest villages in Essex.

22.5 The Green has looked very good this year and the designated conservation areas added to the overall appearance of the Green. It has been well managed and the Council has received compliments from the community.

22.6 Cllr Smith recorded his thanks to all those involved in making the planters look so good and also to all those who pick up litter.

23. Tree Strategy

23.1 Cllr Shales reported that the Tree Strategy Publication had now been distributed to all households in the Village and had been favourably received by residents. Cllrs Shales and Padfield had attended a seminar on housing development which showed the importance of maintaining the rural aspect of the village in association with Epping Forest Countrycare, Theydon Bois Rural Preservation Society, Corporation of London, the Tree Wardens and Chris Neiland. There are plans to have allocated sites for memorial trees and also fill in any gaps to improve the appearance of the street scene. The strategy is a five year plan and it is hoped that after the Parish Council elections next year that new councillors will carry on with what has been done up until now.

24. Cemetery

24.1 There has been an improvement to the standard of mowing at the cemetery and the gardener is keeping the area neat and tidy. Unfortunately, he has recently had an accident which will keep him out of action for some time. If anyone is able to deputise for him over the next couple of months would they please contact the Parish Clerk.

25. Litter

25.1 Cllr Eaton reminded those present that there was a litter pick on Saturday 2nd August and appealed for as many volunteers as possible.

26. Emergency Response Group

26.1 The Committee met in June and a number of improvements were agreed to our plan. Wansfell College has agreed to become a recovery centre for the village in the event of an emergency and this is seen as a big advantage for the village, A meeting will be held soon with those villagers who have special skills which have been identified as especially useful in the event of a disaster.

27. Reports from Representatives

27.1 Village News

Earlier this year Theydon Bois Parish Council took the decision to re-vamp its newsletter, which had been produced in its existing format for a number of years. A committee was formed consisting of three parish councillors, the parish clerk and the current editor. A plan of action was agreed which aimed for a period of evolution for 2003 with more changes to be made in 2004. In particular it is planned that the magazine will have more emphasis on village activities and local events to supplement reporting of the workings of the parish council.

Revisions began in April and the parish clerk, unbeknown to the newsletter committee, was so confident of the improvements that, with the agreement of the Chairman, she entered the April edition into a competition organised by the Essex Association of Local Councils.

Towards the end of June the parish council were advised that they had won the category for small councils magazines and Cllr Cushing and the Parish Clerk attended the AGM of the Association, where we were presented with a commemorative plaque by Baroness Platt of Writtle. We were very pleased to receive the award which is a very good start to the revamping of the village news. Hopefully this will help us in our aim to obtain sponsorship to fund further improvements.

27.2 Buxton Trust

At a special meeting convened to discuss the feelings of Trust members should the Tennis Club decide to apply for Planning Approval for Floodlighting the voting was 8 for and 1 against.

27.3 Parish Passenger Transport Representatives

A meeting was held on 30th May. Wendy Jackson has recently been appointed as Passenger Liaison Manager. A complaints form and system of handling complaints has been introduced. Complaint forms can be obtained from the Parish Clerk and complaints or suggestions will be reviewed with Wendy Jackson in due course.
The bus route 500 has been replaced by route 200 on Sundays with a revised timetable of no service to Romford. Weekdays are not affected.

27.4 Web Site

Cllr O'Connor reported there is an average of 2000 hits per month on the web site, with the news page still being the most popular. The web site and the Village News are always looking for new material. As a result of looking on the Web Site, an inner London School contacted Theydon Bois Primary School and as a result they have embarked on a joint project and two classes visited the village in early July. Many of the shops are on the web site and the Quality and Excellence Butchers now have carrier bags with the Theydon Bois web site address printed on them. Cllr O'Connor expressed her appreciation for the continued good work of Jim Watts in running the Web Site.

27.5 Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour Group

Cllr O'Connor reported that two members of the Group had visited the Primary School Years 5 and 6 and carried out a mini-youth audit to find out what the children wanted in terms of activities in the Village. Karate classes will be starting in the Village Hall in September for ages 5 years and upwards. Further details in the forthcoming newsletter.

Following the success of the safety course held last year, another course is planned to take place in the Village Hall for residents of Theydon Bois, which will be free of charge.

Abridge village had received funding for CCTV cameras, which has resulted in a reduction in crime. Installation of CCTV cameras will be considered by the Council in the coming months.

The Beatmobile recently held a home safety morning, which was well attended. The Beatmobile gives the opportunity for anyone with concerns to speak to the police in person and residents are encouraged to make use of it.

Cllr Glozier reported that Theydon Bois had been top of the list for making its own efforts and as a result had been given funding for the planned safety course. He expressed his appreciation to Cllr O'Connor for her work in moving ideas forward and in particular to Sarah Hannibal, a young person who had contributed a great deal of input.


27.6 Limeslink

Cllr Powell reported that a meeting is to be held on 5th August with an Open Meeting scheduled for 18th September.

27.7 Rural Preservation Society

Cllr Powell reported that there are changes in the Disability Discrimination Act which will affect access into buildings for the disabled. This may have implications for the Village shops. The Parish Council will take this new legislation into account when formulating the Strategic Plan for the Village. The notice board at The Bull PH is to be repaired.

27.8 The Village Association

Cllr Padfield reported that Hall bookings were very good which has put additional demands on the management team, who need more help in running the Hall. It is hoped to encourage more activities for youngsters in a joint initiative with the Parish Council.

There is still outstanding snagging to be done at the Village Hall and the paving is to be relayed starting 5th August, as it was not laid according to specification. It is planned to install another ramp at a drop off point from the car park to enable easier access for wheelchair users. Further radiators may be added as there is insufficient heat in winter.

27.9 Copped Hall Trust

There will be an Open Day on 31st August 2003 from 11.00 a.m. until 4.30 p.m.

27.10 Theydon Bois Primary School

Cllr Gooch reported that an article had recently been published in the Guardian about the progress of the school in recent years. The SATS results were not yet available, The Headteacher, Mrs Bonds, was confident about the improving reputation of the school.

27.11 War Memorial

Cllr Shales reported that the War Memorial was in need of an overhaul and enquiries were being made as to the possibility of obtaining a grant from the War Graves Commission, although this may prove difficult because although the church is listed, the memorial is not.

28. Talk given by District Cllr Roy Newland on the Blunts Farm Golf Course Development

Cllr Newland said that Epping Forest District Council had set up an Ad Hoc Committee to deal with the problems of Ongar Park and Blunts Farm Golf Courses. The Parish Council and the Rural Preservation Society had expressed considerable concern about the lorry movements pertaining to this development.

The decision notice for planning permission had been given in 2002, after finalising a legal agreement, for the development of the site as a golf course, subject to a number of conditions requiring prior approval of details before the commencement of the development. It had been agreed at the planning stage that in principle the Course should be constructed using imported material to create the contours and this could not now be reconsidered. However, it was considered reasonable to insist on further modifications to the submitted indicative earthworks plan to lessen importation and associated lorry movements. It was also considered that the estimation of quantities of imported materials should be checked against the approved drawings. Importation of hardcore onto the site had commenced and a substantial working area had been constructed which was in breach of the conditions and requirements of the legal agreement.

Several other conditions to be satisfied prior to construction of the site had not been met.

The Committee resolved to ensure that the requirements of the legal agreement and the conditions applied to the planning permission were applied vigorously and immediately, with any breach of the agreement and/or conditions being subject to appropriate action. If necessary, court proceedings to prevent excess lorry movements and the deposit of spoil on the site in excess of any importation materials specifically authorised.

It had been noted that the work had now stopped.

The Chairman thanked Cllr Newland for coming straight from a District Council meeting to the Parish Council meeting in order to speak on this topic.

29. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.

The following topics were raised by the Public:-

1. Establish who owns scout hut site and look into the possibility of buying the land so it cannot be lost to development in future. See if there is a restrictive covenant on the land.
2. Overhanging foliage on bridge coming from The Bull PH and on the opposite side from the bungalows in Thrifts Mead.
3. The footpath from the end of the bridge to the cemetery is in poor condition due to road works.
4. EFDC will be providing Electric Blanket Testing in the Village Hall on 4th September. Details on notice boards.
5. The speakers at the meeting were not heard. The possibility of microphones should be looked into.
6. A request for black sacks to be kept in the Parish Office for those who pick up litter, not just on litter pick days, but throughout the year. The Chairman thanked everyone who was involved in picking up litter in the Village.
7. Vandalised Footbridges

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Report on Parish Council Meeting

Annual General Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 22nd May, 2003 in The Village Hall

Present: Cllrs J Eaton (Chair), K Cushing, R Glozier, P Gooch, M Hannibal,
M O'Connor, M Oliver, S Powell, W Shales, R Smith

Prior to the commencement of the Agenda, the Chairman made a presentation of the Chairman's Rosebowl. This year there are joint winners, John Plume and Joy Wainwright.

John Plume has made a valuable contribution in the upkeep of St. Mary's Churchyard over many years and has been awarded commendations for his endeavours.

Joy Wainwright has served as both a District and Parish Councillor. She is a former Chairman of the Parish Council and Village Association. Amongst her involvement in many village societies, Joy Wainwright has made an outstanding contribution to the running of the Playground at Theydon and overseeing the arrangements for Open Gardens Day. She was also the founder of the Theydon Bois branch of Meals on Wheels.

1. To Elect the Chairman

There being no other nominations Cllr John Eaton was elected to remain as Chairman for the coming year.

2. To Elect the Vice Chairman

There being no other nominations Cllr Peter Gooch was elected to remain as Vice Chairman for the coming year.

3. Formation of sub-committees and representatives

It was noted that further discussion would take place regarding committees but it was anticipated that there would be few changes.

4. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr J Padfield.

5. The Minutes of the meeting on 27th March, 2003 were confirmed as a correct record.


6. Matters Arising

Arising from Minute reference 66.1 Cllr O'Connor reported that repairs to the Playground had been completed and a formal reopening ceremony had taken place on 17th May, which had been well attended.

7. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

7.1 An e-mail from a resident in Woburn Avenue saying how impressed they were with the grass cutting on the Green this year.

7.2 A letter from a resident in Coppice Row stating their disappointment that areas of the Village Green have been left uncut again this year.

7.3 A letter from Three Valleys Water stating that their water mains improvement scheme had now moved on to Epping and regretted the inconvenience caused to local people during the course of the work.

7.4 An e-mail from Guardian Newspapers apologising for adding the name of the Clerk on the bottom of a letter published in the letters page of the 17th April edition of the local newspaper.

7.5 A copy of Forest Focus, issued by the Corporation of London, containing articles of interest together with details of forthcoming events.

8. To Approve accounts and confirm payments

8.1 The accounts up to 19th May, 2003, having previously been circulated, were approved.

8.2 Cllr Hannibal reported that the internal auditor had identified that the Minutes for the previous financial year and for May 2002 had not been signed. This is in audit stipulation and in order to correct the omission the Minutes are required to be signed in Public.

Resolved: To retrospectively sign the Minutes and schedules of payments referred to therein of all the Public Meetings held in the year 2001/2002, and also for May 2002. Councillors confirm that approval as to their accuracy was previously given under the normal protocol of the Agenda item entitled 'To Confirm Minutes of the previous meeting' and therefore the Council authorises the current Chairman to sign the Minutes as a true record of the business transacted at that time.

Proposed: Cllr M Hannibal Seconded: Cllr R Glozier
Carried Unanimously


8.3 A duly completed audit form of The Annual Return for the year ended 31 March 2002, having previously been circulated, was presented for approval.

Resolved: Approval of a Statement of Assurance by the Council for the accounts for the year ended 31 March 2002 as supplied to the Auditors in the Annual Return.

Proposed: Cllr M Hannibal Seconded: Cllr R Glozier
Carried Unanimously

8.4 The Winged Fellowship Trust had made a 40th Anniversary appeal for donations.

Resolved: That the Parish Council make a donation to Winged Fellowship for £100.

Proposed: Cllr W Shales Seconded: Cllr K Cushing
Carried Unanimously

8.5 A letter had been received from Home Start Epping Forest requesting a donation.

Resolved: That the Parish Council make a donation to Home Start for £100.

Proposed: Cllr M O'Connor Seconded: Cllr M Hannibal
Carried Unanimously

9. Standing Orders

9.1 Cllr Eaton reported that the current standing orders were under review and it was anticipated that a final version would be ready for approval at the next Public meeting in July. Cllr Eaton thanked Cllr Hannibal and Cllr Smith for the time that they had spent on updating the document.

10. Planning

10.1 Cllr Gooch reported that there had been twelve applications since the last meeting, which were mostly for extensions. There were two of particular concern and which were both objected to: A mansard roof and rear conservatory at 17 Dukes Avenue (revised application), and the demolition and erection of a house at 39 Theydon Park Road, where it was considered that it would have a dominant impact on the street scene and in particular on the neighbouring bungalow.

10.2 Cllr Gooch made a statement regarding the rumours surrounding the land behind the station at Blunt's Farm. There had been a recent meeting in which a representatives of a consortium owning the land together with interested parties from the village met to discuss the idea of making provision for a football academy facility in addition to the Golf Club on the site. This would be with a view to approaching Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, who have recently had a planning application for a training ground in Abridge turned down. Cllr Gooch emphasised that matters were at a very early stage and the discussions were ongoing and may not result in a planning application.

11. Cemetery

11.1 Cllr Cushing reported that there had been further planting to finish the Garden of Remembrance and further requests for sponsored roses. The general appearance of the Cemetery has improved since the handyman had been employed. The cutting of the grass has not been entirely satisfactory and the contractor will be advised accordingly. There has been no fly-tipping recently. Once the Garden of Remembrance becomes more established it is planned to include it in Open Gardens Day in future years.

12. Allotments

12.1 Cllr Glozier reported that the new gate posts are due to be installed in the very near future.

13. Reports from Representatives

13.1 Tree Strategy

Cllr Shales reported that the Tree Strategy publication was nearing conclusion and it was anticipated that it would be available for distribution with the June newsletter. The distributors would be contacted first to ask their help in sending it round. The official launch is set for July and a talk is due to be held in the Village Hall. The publication includes information about trees, hedgerows and the Village Green and was a joint project between Epping Forest District Council, the Parish Council, the Corporation of London and the Rural Preservation Society.

Cllr Eaton expressed his pleasure in welcoming back Cllr Shales after his recent illness.

13.2 Limeslink

Cllr Powell reported that details of how to contact the surgery had appeared in the previous newsletter. The Limes Medical Centre also planned to publicise their objectives and Terms of Reference.

13.3 Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour Group

Cllr O'Connor reported that the group is made up of representatives from local residents, the Police, London Underground Police, local churches, a youth representative, the Corporation of London and a Member of the Parish Council. A karate instructor has expressed an interest in starting up a club for 5 year olds and over and after discussions with the Village Association a slot on a Tuesday afternoon has been allocated. The start date has yet to be confirmed with the instructor.

The Parish Council has written to Essex County Council voicing its concerns over the closure of the Youth Club in 2005 but it is felt that the help of local residents should be sought in fighting this proposal.

There is concern at the number of motorised scooters that are being used around the village. There are stringent legal requirements for riding go-peds in public and the police will enforce these. An article is due to appear in the June newsletter on this subject.

13.4 Theydon Bois Primary School

Cllr Gooch reported that the governors had been impressed with the school's progress and that they were well over-subscribed for September 2003.

13.5 District Council

Cllr Glozier reported that following the elections in May the Conservatives had gained one seat and the Independents had lost one seat. Cllr Roy Newland, from Theydon Bois, has been appointed to the Cabinet (Corporate Support Services) where he will join Cllr Glozier (Civil Engineering and Maintenance).

13.6 Emergency Response Group

Cllr Cushing reported that a meeting of the Group had taken place in April. The Plan had been reviewed by a senior police officer who lives in the village and he had come up with some new ideas which could be incorporated. The Plan is ongoing.

13.7 Village Association

Cllr Oliver reported that the Village Hall had had a very successful first year and approximately £16,000 had been generated from income over expenditure. The maintenance programme is ongoing and the Hall remains well managed by both volunteers and paid staff.

13.8 Best Kept Village Competition

Cllr Smith reported that the first round of judging has taken place and the next round is expected to be during the first week of June. It was hoped that the Village would do well as it had done so in the past, both in the Best Kept Churchyard and Best Kept Village Competitions. He commented that the work still being undertaken by Three Valleys Water was an eyesore. Cllr Smith is to be a judge elsewhere in Essex.

14. Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.

The following topics were raised by the Public

1. Caroline Law reiterated the point made by Cllr O'Connor about the regulations governing the use of motorised scooters or go-peds.

2. Joy Wainwright appealed for people to display posters for the Open Gardens Day further afield from the Village itself. There are twenty gardens on display this year, four of them new.

3. Carol Risdon expressed regret that there were not more people present at the meeting and asked that the meeting dates be published in the newsletter.

4. Janet Whitehouse requested that the Forest Focus magazine be made available on the new leaflet display which is to be put up in the Village Hall foyer.

5. Mr Llewelyn-Jones reported that there was a large amount of soil which had been left on the verge opposite the entrance to Thrifts Hall Farm. He was unsure whether it had been left there by Three Valleys Water or it was fly-tipping. He also raised the point that it would stop fly-tipping down the lane to the Old Foresters if a gate were to be installed. There was some doubt about who was responsible for the lane.

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Report on Parish Council Meeting

Bi-Monthly Council Meeting held at
8 pm on Thursday 27th March, 2003 in The Village Hall

Present: Cllrs J Eaton (Chair), K Cushing, R Glozier, M Hannibal,
M O'Connor, M Oliver, J Padfield, S Powell, W Shales,
R Smith

The Chairman reported the death of Ron Warren, who was a former president of the Rural Preservation Society. The Chairman asked that those present be upstanding for a minute's silence as a mark of respect.

60. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr P Gooch.

61. The Minutes of the meeting on 30th January, 2003 were confirmed as a correct record.

62. Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.

63. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

63.1 A letter received from Ian Warren thanking the Parish Council for their letter of sympathy on the death of his father.

63.2 The Parish Clerk reported that the Freedom of Information Act 2000 draft publication scheme that had been submitted by the Parish Council to the Information Commissioner had been approved for a period from February 2003 to February 2007.

63.3 A number of letters had been received regarding the commuter parking proposals.

63.4 Several letters of complaint had been received about the suspension of the Central Line and the replacement bus service.

63.5 There has been ongoing correspondence with the Tennis Club about the proposed lighting of the tennis courts.

63.6 Information received from the Essex Association of Local Councils regarding Fireworks. A Private Members Bill has been introduced in Parliament which includes provisions to ban the use of fireworks during anti-social hours, making the noisiest fireworks illegal, restricting the year-round sale of fireworks and imposing stricter rules on the training of those who give professional displays.

63.7 A nostalgia evening is to be held on Wednesday 2nd April 2003 at Theydon Bois Cricket Club.

63.8 The Epping Police and Community Consultative Group will be holding a meeting at Epping Hall, Epping on 16th April 2003 which will be open to everyone.

64. To Approve accounts and confirm payments

64.1 The accounts up to 24th March, 2003, having previously been circulated, were approved.

64.2 A letter had been received from Sarah Hannibal asking for financial assistance in raising the £2000 needed from fundraising and sponsorship in order to visit Uganda with the Guide Association on a Guiding Overseas Linked with Development trip. During the three to four week trip the guides will be training Young Leaders in the Brownie section programme on subjects including health, hygiene and personal development.

Resolved: That the Parish Council provide sponsorship in the sum of £100 for Sarah Hannibal to visit Uganda with the Guide Association on a Guiding Overseas Linked with Development project.

Proposed: Cllr John Eaton Seconded: Cllr Padfield
Carried Votes For: 9 Votes Against: 0 Abstentions: 1 (Mike Hannibal)

65. Planning

65.1 Cllr Shales reported that there had been 15`applications since the last meeting. The majority of these were for extensions and conservatories.

65.2 Three of the applications were objected to: a two storey rear extension, conservatory and roof alterations at 6 Harewood Hill; a two storey side extension with side dormer window at 26 Dukes Avenue and a replacement roof with mansard and erection of a full height conservatory at 17 Dukes Avenue.

65.3 Cllr Shales had recently attended two seminars on planning, one run by Epping Forest District Council and one by the Council for the Protection of Rural Essex.

66. Playground at Theydon

66.1 Cllr O'Connor reported that a letter had been received from the Playground at Theydon (PAT) which described the continued acts of vandalism which had made the equipment unsafe and left the committee with no option but to close the playground until repairs had been carried out.

The Parish Council fully supports the efforts of the PAT committee. An allowance has been made in the budget for anticipated insurance premium rises for the Playground for this financial year. The Council is willing to offer additional financial support to help combat vandalism in the Playground (no specific sum has been agreed) and every consideration will be given to their needs and requirements.

The Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour group has made contact with the police and the Community Safety Officer and asked for regular patrols by the police. PAT has also asked for their assistance and the police have responded to these requests. Signs have gone up at the Playground to inform anybody causing criminal damage can be in no doubt that they (PAT) will fully support a prosecution.

One-Stop have also been watchful in the sale of alcohol.

PAT have been very encouraged by the reaction of the community and feel that the village have pulled together on this issue and they do not feel they are working in isolation. Also, they have praised the police in their endeavours. However, it cannot be stressed enough that if anybody sees anyone enter the playground with intent to cause criminal damage then the police must be informed immediately.

An informal meeting has been arranged with two representatives from PAT, two from the Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour Group and two Parish Councillors to discuss the whole issue and to look at a way forward.

Repairs are now being carried out at the playground and it is anticipated that it will re-open on Saturday 29th March.

Cllr O'Connor stated that PAT deserve our support for all the hard work they do and the facilities they provide for the children of this community - so it cannot be overstated that all incidents must be reported.

The playground celebrates its tenth anniversary this year and the community wants to see it celebrate many more.

67. Village Strategic Plan

67.1 Cllr Cushing reported that the Parish Council has decided to prepare a strategic plan covering the next few years The plan will include improvements councillors consider should be made in the village. A committee will be set up to formulate and manage the plan.

The committee will identify financial resources of the Council, which are currently healthy because of financial prudence over the period of building the Village Hall. Other sources of finance, for example from EFDC, the Corporation of London and individuals will be explored together with non-financial resources i.e. individuals with specific skills.

Other bodies, such as the Village Association, Primary School, Churches and the Public, will be consulted as well as considering the ideas of other Parish Councillors.

The resulting plan will be implemented with the aid of partners such as Essex County Council, Epping Forest District Council and the Corporation of London and information about the plan will be published in the Parish Newsletter.

68. Cemetery

68.1 A Handyman has now been employed up at the Cemetery.

68.2 Further planting is to take place in the Garden of Remembrance.

Resolved: That the Parish Council agree that the sum of £100 be spent on planting at the Garden of Remembrance in the Cemetery.

Proposed: Cllr Cushing Seconded: Cllr Shales
Carried Unanimously

69. Reports from Representatives

69.1 Environment

Cllr Smith reported that visits from judges in the Best Kept Village Competition will take place in May and June. A letter is to be sent to the shopkeepers in the village requesting that they keep their shop fronts clean, tidy and free of litter. An article is to appear in the next newsletter asking everyone in the village to be vigilant about letter in effort to show the village at its best.

Cllr Shales reported that the Tree Strategy publication was due out next month.

69.2 Buxton Trust

Cllr Smith reported that, after liaising with the police, CCTV cameras had been installed on the playing fields and any vandals caught on film would be prosecuted. A meeting of the Buxton Trust is to be held in April.

69.3 Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour Group

The Beatmobile was not in attendance today (27th March) due to staff sickness. However, it is hoped that during the summer months there will be additional visits during the evenings, with the bus possibly being sited in a location other than the Village Hall car park. Discussions are still ongoing regarding these arrangements.


69.4 Community Safety Group

Cllr Glozier reported that the recent meeting of the Safer Communities Group had been poorly attended and in future the meeting should be more widely advertised. Cllr O'Connor stood in for the Chairman of the Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour Group. Government policy on Law and Order and ideas for the future were discussed. The meeting was productive and Cllr Glozier expressed his thanks to those who serve on the Group.

69.5 Limeslink

Further to the two recent public meetings at which Andrew Ashford from the Limes surgery and Aidan Thomas of Epping Forest Primary Care Trust gave talks, an article is to appear in the next newsletter setting out the process to follow when telephoning for an appointment at the surgery.

69.6 Web Site

Cllr O'Connor reported that Trevor Robert's February edition of a Month in Theydon Bois is now on the site. Loughton Historical Society are also on the site, for which they pay a fee. The prospectus for the Primary School also appears. One of the shops is ordering carrier bags with the name of their shop and the web site address printed on it.

Any information or articles for the web site would be welcomed, either by contacting the editor or the parish office.

69.7 Old People's Welfare

Cllr Smith reported that there was concern regarding the affordability of rates charged for hiring the Village Hall.

69.8 Village Association

Cllr Oliver reported that the Village Hall continued to be a popular venue and that congratulations should be expressed to those involved in managing and running the Hall. There continue to be some problems with snagging to the building and these are being addressed.

69.9 Rural Preservation Society

Cllr Powell reported that parts of the roof had been renewed at Copped Hall and visits by the public had re-started.
A request is to appear in the newsletter for photographs of Theydon Bois prior to 1960 for the Rural Preservation Society to add to its archives.

69.10 Village Shops

Cllr Powell reported about the loss of trade which has been suffered by the local shopkeepers following the suspension of the Central Line. Concerns had also been expressed about the proposed parking scheme. District Councillor Roy Newland has talked to shopkeepers about this issue. A leaflet issued by the Parish Council and circulated to all households had been distributed urging residents to Save our Shops by using them more frequently.

The following topics were raised by the Public

1. Joy Wainwright expressed her thanks to all those who had offered support during the difficult time PAT had been experiencing. The tenth anniversary of PAT is on 17th May.
2. Damage to the greensward on Piercing Hill following the Golf Club cutting the hedge.
3. The cost of hiring the Village Hall.
4. The way in which the repairs to the Viaduct have been managed by Essex County Council.
5. The blocked drains above the Viaduct.
6. The silt in the ditches on the Green and the inadequacy of the main drains causing a flood risk.
7. Three Valleys Water poor standard of making good after major works in the Village.
8. More should be done by the Corporation of London to remove litter from the forest.

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Report on Parish Council Meeting

Thursday 30th January 2003 in The Village Hall

Theydon Bois Parish Council Minutes
Bi-Monthly Council Meeting

Present: Cllrs J Eaton (Chair), R Glozier, P Gooch, M Hannibal,
M O'Connor, M Oliver, J Padfield, S Powell, W Shales

Apologies for absence were received and accepted from
Cllrs K Cushing and R Smith

The Minutes of the meeting on 28th November, 2002 were confirmed as a correct record.

Matters Arising

Cllr Eaton had contacted Tesco's Stores to find out their intentions as to retaining the post office facility currently in the One Stop shop, whose parent company, T&S Stores, Tesco's have now brought out. Their response was as follows:

"We have no plans to remove Post Office Counters from T&S Stores. We will be considering on a site by site basis which shops will be converted to Tesco's Express Stores. As part of this consideration we will look carefully at the facility currently on offer, including Post Offices before making decisions".

Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

Cllr Eaton had been in contact with Paul Sutton, Conservation and Environment Officer, at Epping Forest District Council regarding the setting up of a Conservation Areas and Local List of Buildings Scheme for Theydon Bois.

The Parish Clerk had complained to Epping Forest District Council about the unsatisfactory way the water board had signed and guarded their works.

Epping Forest Media Release regarding their idea to develop proposals for a new school and leisure centre in Epping on the current St. John's School site.

A letter from Lambourne Parish Council supporting the objections made by Theydon Bois Parish Council and Theydon Bois Rural Preservation Society regarding the Planning Application for creation of an earth bund at Theydon Hall, Abridge. Road. The application has now been withdrawn.

Letters from Epping Citizens Advice Bureau and Haven House Foundation for donations made by the Parish Council for £200 and £312.16 respectively. The latter was collected at Theydon Bois Lighting the Christmas Tree, organised by Cllr Shales.

To Approve accounts and confirm payments

The accounts up to 27th January, 2003, having previously been circulated, were approved.

Precept

Resolved: That the Parish Precept for 2003-2004 be set at £54,099.

Proposed: Cllr Hannibal Seconded: Cllr Padfield
Carried Unanimously

Cllr Padfield stated that he hoped that it was considered that the Parish Council represents good value for money.

Planning

Cllr Gooch reported that there had been 21`applications since the last meeting.

There were four applications of particular concern. Applications for detached houses at 24 Green Glade, and at the rear of 32 Theydon Park Road. A large extension at 8 Blackacre Road and the conversion of Fairytale Flowers into a restaurant. The Council objected strongly to all of the above.

Cllr Shales stated that an allegation had been made at the Planning Meeting on 2nd January about the way the application by the Tennis Club to install lighting had been handled during his Chairmanship of the Parish Council. Cllr Shales stated that this was not correct as all correspondence regarding the application had been dealt with promptly by himself and the then Clerk, Frank Jones. The application was withdrawn to allow further discussion. Cllr Shales offered members of the Council the opportunity to go through the file relating to the matter if they so wished.

Parking Forum

District Councillor Roy Newland gave a brief talk about the plans for parking restrictions in the Village. Cllr Newland provided a map which showed the roads which would be affected by the proposed one hour parking restrictions. A ban between 10 am and 11 am is proposed with adjacent roads then having a restriction between 11 am and 12 am. This would ensure efficient use of time for the Parking Enforcement Officers. Cllr Newland stated that the proposals had overwhelming support after consultation with residents and local businesses. It was, however, in interim solution and the areas with restrictions could be extended at a later date. The current proposals could take between 6 and 16 months to come into effect. Letters would be sent to the residents in all the roads to be affected by the restrictions in order to seek their views to ensure a consensus from a majority of those householders before any Order was published.

Litter

Cllr Eaton reported that he had received two letters from residents complaining about the amount of litter in the Village. It was reported that a visit by councillors to some of the local schools to give a talk on the subject was planned and that better value was needed from Epping Forest District Council with regard to road sweeping and rubbish collection. The next litter pick will be on Saturday 1st March 2003 at 9.30 am outside the Village Hall.

Cemetery

Cllr Hannibal report that during January a skip had been hired and members of the parish council worked to remove the rubbish fly-tipped at the cemetery last summer. The cemetery has been placed under regular surveillance to try to prevent a reoccurrence of this appalling behaviour. At next month's Cemetery Committee Meeting the possibility of keeping the main gates locked for much of the week to bar unauthorised access will be discussed.

As a result of the heavy rain in the autumn a number of gravestones became destabilised and these have now had been re-fixed.

An advertisement will be appearing in the forthcoming Parish Magazine to employ a caretaker for duties in the cemetery.

Freedom of Information Act Publication Scheme

A draft schedule prepared by Cllrs Cushing, Eaton and Smith had previously been circulated for approval.

Resolved: To accept the draft schedule on the Freedom of Information Act Publication Scheme in order that it can be submitted for approval by the Information Commissioner.

Proposed: Cllr Glozier Seconded: Cllr Gooch
Carried Unanimously

Parish Newsletter

Cllr Oliver reported that the newsletter had been entered into a competition and the feedback had highlighted that there was room for improvement. As a result, Cllrs Oliver, Powell and Cushing have produced a proposed format for a revamped magazine. After studying some of the winning entries from other local areas it became evident that their magazines were parish magazines rather than parish council magazines. Therefore it is intended that the new format will be more of a magazine for the village by the village. Tony Ames, the current editor, will have an expanded role and volunteers will be sought to help with articles. The new magazine will have links to the web site.

Cllr Eaton thanked Cllrs Oliver, Powell and Cushing for their detailed proposals.

Reports from Representatives

Allotments

Cllr Glozier reported that reinforced gate posts with a catch are required to ensure the allotments remain secure and the gate kept closed. Norman Riley has offered to undertake the work and Cllr Glozier expressed the Council's appreciation for his efforts. There is a broken stop-cock on the site. Cllr Glozier has approached the allotment holders to ask them to come up with proposals of how they would like to see things improved in the allotments in general.

Environment

Chris Willis is to undertake maintenance of the bus shelter opposite Fairytale Flowers.

Countrycare

Cllr Powell proposed that Norman Mead, an official speaker on the Stansted Airport Expansion Scheme, be invited to a public meeting at the Village Hall in the summer to speak about the implications of airport expansion might have on Theydon Bois. Councillors agreed and Councillor Powell will organise a date.

Limeslink

Cllr Powell reported that there was to be a major development at Epping in order to refurbish the surgery, with the addition of a new pharmacy attached which will open in May. There will be no parking spaces available while the work is being carried out and patients will have to use the car park at St. Margaret's Hospital. This development may have a detrimental impact on Theydon Bois Pharmacy.

Web Site

Cllr O'Connor reported that all the shops are now on the web site, together with a new page for the primary school. The site also has links the Wansfell College and the Cricket Club sites. The latest news page, diary pages and the shops were the most popular parts of the site at present. Trevor Roberts, the local history recorder, has produced articles entitled "The Month in Theydon Bois" and November and December's articles are currently available on the site. Cllr O'Connor produced print outs of parts of the web site which contained these articles, together with an overview of the shops, and these were made available to the public to look at. There are now around 180 people accessing the web site per month, up from the early days when there was 30-40 people using it. There will soon be a Guest Book on the site where people can leave their e-mail addresses. Articles are welcome through councillors or the parish clerk.

Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour Group

Cllr O'Connor reported that the Chairman of the group was stepping down due to work commitments and more volunteers were needed to come onto the Committee. The Safety Course for Woman had been a great success and Year 11 students in six local schools were being offered the course, which had been well received by the Head Teachers.

A talk had been arranged with the British Transport Police for 5th December but no-one had turned up to speak and the meeting was rescheduled for 23rd January. However, although the British Transport Police seemed keen to come and give the talk, they again failed to appear. The Vandalism and Anti-Social Behaviour Group will be writing to them to again press for the talk to take place.

Two members of the Group attended the Youth Club which was well attended by younger teenagers after the County Council had advertised the facility by posting leaflets in the local shops. However, there was a rumour that Essex County Council proposed to close the Youth Club and Cllr O'Connor suggested that the Village Association should be approached with a view to integrating some youth activities and clubs (e.g. Badminton) into using the Hall, if there was the availability. It was also planned to undertake a Youth Audit to see what the youngsters themselves would like.

The Beatmobile had been used less often in recent months and there is a risk that it could be lost if it does not have more visitors.

Cllr Glozier reported that there is to be a meeting in March of the Safer Communities Group.

Tree Strategy

Cllr Shales reported that the draft Tree Strategy Plan was nearing completion with a planting plan and selection of trees being arranged. A report was to be printed with the intention that every household should receive a copy. Epping Forest District Council had allocated a generous contribution for planting in the village, and funds had been forthcoming from the Rural Preservation Society, the Horticultural Society and other sponsorships in order to pay for the printing of the Report. There was however, a shortfall of £500 and Cllr Shales proposed that the Parish Council make the extra funds available to enable publishing to go ahead.
Cllrs Shales expressed his thanks to all those who had participated in surveying the roads. There have been some requests for an area to be allocated for Memorial Trees and this will be looked into. The Tree Strategy Committee is made up from representatives of the Parish Council, The Rural Preservation Society and Jane Turner, the Village Tree Warden.

Resolved: That the Parish Council provide £500 towards the cost of printing the Tree Strategy Report.

Proposed: Cllr Shales Seconded: Cllr Padfield
Carried Unanimously

The following topics were raised by the Public

A plea to support Theydon Bois Pharmacy in the light of the opening of a pharmacy at the Limeslink Practice in Epping.
Parking in Graylands/Loughton Lane.
Fly-tipping at the Cemetery.
Front Gardens Competition will be held on 29th June and new entries and more helpers will be welcomed.
Concerns over the possible closure of the Youth Centre.
Concerns over litter left behind after the rubbish collections.
The future of the Epping/Ongar railway line.

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Last Up dated: 4th December 2003