Theydon Bois Parish Council

Council Minutes 2004

Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 25th November, 2004 in the Village Hall

Present: Councillors J Eaton (Chair), R Glozier, P Gooch, M Hannibal, M Hayday,
S Jones, M Oliver and J Padfield

40. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Councillors Cushing, Hammond and Purkiss

41. The Minutes of the meeting held on 30th September, 2004 were confirmed as a correct record.

42. Matters Arising

42.1 Pertaining to minute references 30.4 and 39.5 the clerk read out a letter which had been sent by the Parish Council to John Scott, Deputy Chief Executive at EFDC, about the apparent lack of concern regarding lorry movements into Parsonage Golf. An acknowledgement has been received and a more detailed reply is awaited.

43. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

43.1 Notification from Theydon Bois Rural Preservation Society regarding the petition handed in to Parliament by Eleanor Laing, MP urging the Government to review the research on which plans for large scale new housing in the Epping Forest District are based and to confirm that the principle of protecting the Green Belt be upheld. Thanks were expressed to all those who helped distribute and collect the sheets.

43.2 An extract from 'About Theydon' by David Phillipson, published in 1977, which makes reference to the history of the Village Halls and the site of the Youth Club.

43.3 Several letters expressing concern about the proposed change to the use of Wheely Bins instead of the black sack refuse collection system.

43.4 The attempted theft of a car in Baldocks Road after the keys had been stolen from the house the previous week. The owners were working in their garden when the keys were stolen.

43.5 Litter picks will now commence at 9.00 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month.

43.6 Thanks from the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal for the donation of £75 from the Parish Council.

43.7 Thanks from Theydon Bois Senior Club for the £125 donation towards their Christmas Party.

44. Finance

44.1 The accounts up to 17th November, 2004 having been previously circulated were approved.

45. Planning

45.1 Cllr Gooch reported that there had been ten applications since the Public Meeting in September. The application of most concern was at 57 Morgan Crescent for demolition of the existing detached house and the erection of two pairs of four bedroom semi-detached houses. The Parish Council has objected to this application in the strongest possible terms.

45.2 The Chairman invited former District Councillor Roy Newland to address the meeting from the floor to give an update on the current position with regard to the Youth Centre. Essex County Council has lodged an appeal against the application to register the site as a Village Green and a Public Enquiry will be launched. The service of a barrister has been obtained at no cost to the Parish Council, and he has advised that the basis of the appeal is weak. Should their appeal fail and the land is eventually registered as a Village Green, any planning permission granted to Essex County council for developing the site in the interim will become null and void and the site would therefore become worthless to the County Council. No timescale has yet been set for a Public Enquiry.

46. Youth Initiatives

46.1 Cllr Padfield reported on the recent meeting of the Youth Initiatives Committee. The Youth Audit had been carried and the results analysed. Cllr Hayday had done a lot of work in producing the questionnaire and interpreting the results. 47 replies were received and the most poplar request was for a Café/Bar. Skateboarding was fourth. It was felt that with the disappointing number of respondents that it may not be representative of the Village as a whole, or possibly many were already content with current provisions. It now had to be decided as to how much time and resources be dedicated to youth provision.

46.2 It was planned to hold a meeting in mid-January to bring together organisers that were already involved in youth activities in order to co-ordinate and promote existing facilities.

46.3 Consideration was being given to providing activities at the Village Hall during late afternoon/early evening.

46.4 If a suitable site could be found a general purpose activity area could be considered. Conversion of the toilet block on the Green was also being considered.

46.5 It was felt that Essex County Council had failed the Village on Youth Issues. The current Youth Bus which comes to the Village once a week during term time was considered wholly inadequate, and in reality was a mini-bus with an awning and inappropriate during the cold weather. No publicity for the Bus had been provided by County Council.

46.6 Recently the police had been in closer contact with the Parish Council and residents were urged to report any incidents to the Police to obtain a crime number, which should then be passed to the Parish Clerk for inclusion in a Dossier.

47. CCTV

47.1 Cllr Gooch reported that CCTV equipment for the Buxton Trust Ground had been ordered and it was anticipated that it would be fitted before Christmas. The system was the same as that which is installed at the Village Hall and Village Centre and has the facility to be linked up to the existing system, if required at a later date. The Parish Council is providing £5,000, the Tennis Club £4,000 and the Buxton Trust £3,000. One camera will be sited by the tennis courts and the other at the Cricket Club Clubhouse, which will cover the sports field and a large part of the Allotments.

48. Highways & Environment

48.1 Cllr Eaton reported that the new fingerpost sign at the junction of Coopersale Lane and the Abridge Road had been erected. The entire cost had been met by a donation from Miss Hudson of Coopersale Lane.

48.2 A working party of five parish councillors and the parish clerk had planted daffodil and tulip bulbs in the ten planters on the platforms at Theydon Bois Station.

48.3 Cllr Glozier reported that Cllr Purkiss had organised with EFDC the resurfacing of the entire corner around the zebra crossing and The Bull Public House. The work is due to be carried out next spring.

48.4 Cllr Glozier reported that planning permission granted to Parsonage Golf had been authorised by the Government Inspector. EFDC had brought pressure to bear on the Police regarding the weight of the lorries transporting spoil onto the site. Spot checks are now being carried out at Abridge and some lorries are being sent to the Weigh Bridge at Harlow for verification.

48.5 Cllr Oliver asked when the new once hour Parking Restrictions would come into effect. Cllr Glozier stated that all the paperwork was now in place and it was anticipated that the road painting and erection of signs would be carried out in early spring.

49. Allotments

49.1 Cllr Glozier reported that the appearance of the allotments had drastically improved with the large amount of work that had gone into clearance.

49.2 There had been a meeting of the Allotment holders and a number of issues had been discussed, including the discontinuance of rotavation, encouragement of uptake by new holders, changing the 'no dogs' rule to 'dogs on a lead'. It is also planned that the Allotment holders will arrange a barbeque next summer.

50 Community Transport Scheme

50.1 Cllr Glozier reported that the Parish Council had jointed the Scheme for a trial period of two years. The bus runs on Mondays and Fridays and runs through Abridge, Chigwell, Debden and Epping. The route could be flexible, depending upon demand. It may be possible to request a stop at St. Margaret's Hospital. There are two buses which run simultaneously in opposite directions.

50.2 Cllr Eaton pointed out that there should be more than one stop off point in Theydon Bois and Epping and feedback would be needed from users to ensure that it was user friendly.

51. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

51.1 Cllr Jones issued a reminder that the ceremony will take place on Friday 3rd December 2004 at 6.30 p.m. The Chairman's chosen charity for this year is to be Multiple Sclerosis. Mince pies and mulled wine will be available and Father Christmas is to be in attendance.

52. Reports from Representatives

52.1 Forest Forum

Cllr Hannibal reported on a meeting held on 2nd November.

An update had been given on the progress of producing a Heritage Interpretation Plan for the Forest and a draft is being prepared.

With regard to mobile telecommunication masts the Conservators take the view that, rather than automatically objecting to applications, they demand that the telecommunication companies work together as a consortium and share equipment, keeping the number of masts for good coverage to an absolute minimum, in order to have any chance of erecting masts on land owned by the Conservators.

A Transport Strategy is being formulated and will be completed by July 2005. It includes the concept of 'gateways' into the Forest giving drivers the sense of entering a special area to encourage care be taken with regard to speed.

Epping Forest is currently a candidate for Special Area of Conservation Status under the EU Habitats Directive.

The public consultation exercise regarding buffer land access to part of the Copped Hall Park, Woodredon and Warlies Park Estates has been completed. The proposals include opening up certain areas for unrestricted access on foot and also creating some permissible horse riding routes. One major area of concern is the potential disturbance to wildlife.

The concept of the Green Arc was discussed. It focuses on the area to the north and east of London and looks for opportunities to expand existing green space sites and create links between them. The Green Arc provides environmental enhancement while the Green Belt affords planning protection.

Epping Forest has been awarded a Green Flag and Green Heritage accreditation. The judges commented favourably on the management of the Forest and were placed in the top scoring category. Cllr Hannibal commented that this was the first time he had attended a Forest Forum meeting and was impressed by the professionalism of the management.

52.2 Buxton Trust

Cllr Gooch reported on the meeting held on 11th October.

Dog fouling on the field was still a problem caused by a minority of owners failing to pick up mess. It was agreed to erect new signs warning owners that they would be prosecuted. When the proposed new CCTV system is erected evidence will be recorded and prosecutions will be made.

The Cricket Club roof is currently being replaced and the cost has been higher than expected. The Buxton Trust has provided the Cricket Club with a 5 year loan in order to complete the works.

The Tennis Club hosted a visit from players from Hanover during the summer.

52.3 Village News

Cllr Oliver reported that the deadline for copy for the December edition was imminent. The judging of the Christmas card competition by the Primary School had been arranged and winning entries would be printed in the Village News as well as appearing on the Web Site.

52.4 RSS14 (formerly RPG14)

Cllr Glozier reported that the Consultation period on the report compiled by the East of England Regional Assembly for the proposed large scale housing programme in the region is to begin in mid-December and runs until March 2005. An exhibition will be staged at the EFDC Civic Offices in Epping. The Regional Assembly's role is to make recommendations to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. The final decision lies with the Government.

52.5 Trafalgar Day

Cllr Eaton reported that Peter Simmance was to lead a Committee to organise an event for Trafalgar Day weekend in October 2005.

52.6 Police

The Chairman then asked District Cllr Janet Whitehouse to report on the meeting held at EFDC with Peter Coltman, Chief Superintendent and Divisional Commander, Harlow Division, Essex Police. Dispersal Orders (ASBOs) had been placed on Loughton and Buckhurst Hill Stations, North Weald and Waltham Abbey. It was recognised that Dispersal Orders at stations could result in moving the problems further down the Central Line e.g. Debden and Theydon Bois. A question was asked as to whether the police were consulted when Youth Clubs were closed down and he affirmed that this was the case. He also pointed out that there was a shortage of police in the division, largely due to the high cost of housing in the area. More administrative staff were needed.

A current White Paper sets out the need for more partnership between the police, local people and neighbourhood watch schemes.

Cllr Hayday asked Cllr Whitehouse to explain to those present what a Dispersal Order was. She advised that it applied to any sort of anti-social behaviour and could be referred to persons of any age, not just young people. It could apply to an individual or group and relates to being prohibited from being present at a specific place at certain times and can apply for up to six months.

53. 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. Trevor Roberts reminded those present of the Playground at Theydon Christmas Fair to be held on Saturday 11th December between 1.00 p.m. and 3.00 p.m. at the Playground.

2. A complaint was made about the trench dug by the Electricity Companies in Orchard Drive which had been left open and had not been worked on since 25th October. The matter has already been raised with the authorities by the Clerk.

3. Jane Turner advised that a 40% Crown Reduction was to take place on the Poplar Tree situated at the Bull Public House.

4. A question was raised as to the efficacy of the CCTV system which had been installed at the Village Hall and Village Centre this year. Cllr Gooch responded by saying that it was considered too early to make a judgement at this stage. Cllr Glozier stated that the police would be passing on reports to the CPS and it was up to them whether or not to prosecute.

5. Concern was raised regarding the effect the development at Parsonage Golf would have on the public rights of way and footpaths over the site.

6. Paul Argent thanked all those concerned for their ongoing efforts to save the Youth Club for Community Use.

7. The Public agreed that they could hear the speakers better by holding this meeting in the Poplar/Beech rooms.

The Chairman closed the meeting by expressing his thanks to all the Councillors for their work for the community and to Cllr Gooch, as Deputy Chairman, and to the Clerk. He wished everyone a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

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Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 30th September, 2004 in the Village Hall

The Chairman reported on the death of Malcolm 'Harry' Harris who passed away on 25th September. Harry had been employed by the Parish Council as a cemetery assistant for the past two years.

Present: Councillors J Eaton (Chair), K Cushing, M Hannibal, M Hayday, S Jones,
M Oliver and A Purkiss

27. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Councillors Glozier, Gooch, Hammond and Padfield

28. The Minutes of the meeting held on 29th July, 2004 were confirmed as a correct record.

29. Matters Arising

29.1 There were no matters arising.

30. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

30.1 A letter from Lambert Smith Hampton, property agents for Essex County Council, offering the Wansfell College site to the Parish Council on terms to be agreed. The offer is open for six weeks from 27th August 2004 and after that period the site will be placed on the open market. Offers will be sought in excess of £2.5m.

30.2 A notice from the Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign regarding Night Flight Consultation. The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently commenced a consultation on 'Night Flying Restrictions at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted'. Stop Stansted Expansion has prepared a briefing note on appropriate points to make for anyone responding to the Dft consultation and may be useful for anyone considering the key points to make in response to Dft.

30.3 A letter from the Corporation of London seeking comments from interested parties regarding the Public Consultation on increasing public access to their Buffer Land on the northernmost fringes of Epping Forest.

30.4 Several letters from residents raising serious concerns about the lorry movements into Parsonage Golf, particularly with regard to the damage to highways and the fatal accidents which have occurred recently along the Abridge Road.

31. Finance

31.1 The accounts up to 22nd September, 2004 having been previously circulated were approved.

32. Planning

32.1 The Clerk reported that there had been twenty four applications since the Public Meeting in July. A number of these had been for conservatories and loft conversions.

32.2 Roy Newland has applied to have the Youth Centre site designated as a Village Green for community use and is waiting to see if Essex County Council objects to the application.

32.3 The Clerk read a report submitted by Clllr Glozier regarding Station Hill. The Parish Council has requested confirmation that the road between the old level-crossing site and the Abridge road be named 'Station Hill' and that a road sign can be erected to that effect. London Transport has notified the District Council of their wish to apply for a 'Road Stoppage Order' for this short stretch. Their reason is to prevent fly-tipping by blocking the access by means of a gate or bollards

Pedestrian access would not be affected and all bona-fide users would have to be accommodated. Agreement would be required from Mr R Llewelyn-Jones, who owns the land either side, and he would need to see more specific details.

The procedure to obtain a stoppage order is complicated and lengthy, involving a public hearing before Magistrates. An objection at this stage from a land owner or the Parish Council would stop the application in its tracks. District Council has indicated that it has no objection in principle and welcomes any scheme which would reduce fly tipping.

32.4 In the absence of Cllr Gooch, the report on Regional Planning Guidance 14 will be held over until the next Public Meeting in November.

33. Youth Initiatives

33.1 The Clerk reported that the youth audit questionnaire had been circulated with the latest newsletter and so far the response had been encouraging. The closing date for return of the forms is 18th October 2004.

33.2 Cllr Eaton thanked Jim Watts for enabling that the questionnaire could be completed via the Village Web site.

34. Police

34.1 Cllr Eaton reported on the meeting which had been arranged by Janet Whitehouse with the Chairman of the Police Authority, Robert Chambers. The meeting had been called because of the growing concern about lack of response by the police to call outs, both locally and by dialling 999. Letters of concern sent to senior officers had not received replies. There is a lack of police presence on the streets. Mr Chambers promised to investigate and send a written reply.

34.2 Skateboarding is continuing to be a problem at the Village Hall with the result that litter is also becoming a problem.

35. Highways & Environment

35.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that consent has been obtained by EFDC Highways to replace the dilapidated metal sign at the junction of Coopersale Lane and the Abridge Road and reinstate the oak fingerpost sign which had originally stood there. A quote in the sum of £595.00 has been obtained and a resident of Theydon Bois has kindly volunteered to pay the entire cost.

35.2 Consideration would be given by the Council in the future to installing a further fingerpost sign at the junction of Piercing Hill and Coppice Row.

Resolved: A new fingerpost sign is to be reinstated at the junction of Coopersale Lane and the Abridge Road at no cost to the Council. In order to encourage visitors to the area and reinstate a sign which was part of the village's attractiveness, bringing an enhancement to the immediate vicinity, the Council agrees to fund the ongoing maintenance of the fingerpost sign, which is not expected to be more than £100 maximum per annum.
(Section 144 of the Local Government Act 1972)

Proposed: Cllr Purkiss Seconded: Cllr Hannibal
Carried Unanimously

36. Allotments

36.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that John Edsall, an allotment holder, had been killed in a motorcycle accident on the Abridge Road. Mr Edsall had recently undertaken a substantial amount of work in clearing debris from the allotments with Cllr Purkiss and other allotment holders.

36.2 Two skip loads of metal and other rubbish had been removed from the Allotments at no cost to the Council.

36.3 Further clearing was planned behind the Cricket Pavilion and consideration would be given to replacing areas of fencing along the perimeter with the Cricket Club and the possibility of installing CCTV cameras.

36.4 A meeting of Allotments Holders is to take place on 19th October at the Cricket Club.
36.5 The Deed of Gift which provides proof that the Parish Council own the Allotments had been located. Cllr Eaton thanked Jill Oakley and Joy Wainwright in their endeavours to find the documents in the archives at the Village Hall.

37. Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

37.1 Cllr Jones reported that the format for the ceremony this year would be slightly different inasmuch as more of it would take place inside the Village Hall, rather than on the steps outside. The Chairman has yet to choose his preferred charity. The ceremony will take place on Friday 3rd December 2004 at 6.30 p.m.

38. Reports from Representatives

38.1 Community Transport Grant Application - Epping Cluster

Cllr Jones read a report by Cllr Glozier regarding the Community Transport Grant Application.

The service will be on a two days a week basis and will be a week day, daytime service. Any new service needs to compliment current bus and underground routes, not duplicate them. It would be appropriate to ask such groups as the Seniors Club for their views on routes and how often they would be likely to use the service.

Cllr Hannibal stated that if there was sufficient demand the scheme would be good value for money.

Payment to join the scheme is required by 31st October 2004 and a meeting will be held prior to this to finalise routes. Councillors Cushing, Hayday and Jones were appointed as representatives to oversee the scheme and provide input on suitable routes. Once running, demand should be monitored.

Resolved: This Council agrees to join the Community Transport Scheme (on a trial basis) at a cost of £472.35 for this financial year and £472.35 for the financial year 2005-06, subject to agreement of routes.

Proposed: Cllr Cushing Seconded: Cllr Eaton
Carried Unanimously

38.2 Local Council Liaison

Cllr Hayday reported that he had attended a meeting hosted by Lambourne Parish Council regarding problems with Travellers. Community policing was also discussed.

38.3 Robert Daniels Court

Cllr Cushing reported that problems had been encountered by residents living in the vicinity of Robert Daniels Court with the current building works being undertaken there. Problems included temporary fencing encroaching onto the footpath, lorry movements along the narrow road in Thrifts Mead and the erection of an unsightly temporary site office.

38.4 Safer Communities Group

Cllr Hayday reported that it was intended for the Safer Communities Group to have closer links with the Youth Initiatives Committee with a view to a possible merging of the two groups.

38.5 Village News

Cllr Eaton appealed for new volunteers to distribute the Village News on a quarterly basis.

39. 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 regarding the building works being undertaken at Robert Daniels Court. Cllr Cushing and District Councillor Knapman agreed to meet on site the following day to address the problems.

2. Peter Newton invited villagers to sign a petition which is to be presented to Parliament by Eleanor Laing MP against the proposals for the building of 18,600 new homes in the District.

3. Eileen Johnson has presented the Parish Council with a block a gavel which had originally been presented to Theydon Bois Floral Club by Miss Mary Dickerson in September 1979.

4. Anger was expressed by several residents at the lack of police response to call outs.

5. The situation regarding lorry movements into Parsonage Golf raised a number of issues. Namely, the damage which so many heavy lorries will do to the roads and in particular on the weight restricted bridges at Abridge and Theydon Bois. Safety issues regarding debris from these vehicles falling onto the road. There have been a number of serious accidents on the Abridge Road in recent weeks. Apparent indifference to these problems by EFDC and Essex County Council.

6. Speeding traffic issues in Loughton Lane.

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Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 29th July, 2004 in The Village Hall

Present: Cllrs J Eaton (Chair), K Cushing, R Glozier, P Gooch,
P Hammond, M Hannibal, M Hayday, S Jones, J Padfield, A Purkiss

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

16. The Minutes of the meeting held on 24th June, 2004 were confirmed as a correct record.

17. Matters Arising

17.1 There were no matters arising.

18. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

18.1 Notification from EFDC that the consultation period regarding the alterations to the Local Plan consultative document had been extended. Copies of the document are available from the Parish Office.

18.2 A letter from EFDC Crime Reduction Department together with information packs informing all resident of how to stay safe, whether it be in the home or in the general community. Copies of the information packs are available in the Parish Office.

18.3 Letters of thanks have been received from Playground at Theydon, the Winged Fellowship Trust and Epping Forest Citizens Advice Bureau for donations given to them by the Parish Council.

18.4 A letter from Essex County Councillor Janet Whitehouse regarding the lack of police response. A meeting is to be arranged by Cllr Whitehouse with Cllr Robert Chambers, chairman of the Police Authority, to make him aware of the dissatisfaction. The Parish Council will also be attending the meeting.

18.5 Notification of an Aviation Campaigners' Seminar to be held in London in September.

19. Finance

19.1 The accounts up to 20th July, 2004 having been previously circulated were approved.

19.2 A final draft of the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2004, having previously been circulated to Members, were submitted to the Council for approval and adoption.

Resolved: To approve and adopt the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st March, 2004.

Proposed: Cllr M Hannibal Seconded: Cllr K Cushing
Carried Unanimously

20. Planning

20.1 Cllr Gooch stated that there had been fourteen applications since the Public Meeting in May. These included an application by Tesco for an externally illuminated sign and a telephone mast at Theydon Hall Farm.

20.2 Cllr Eaton reported on the District Council Planning meeting concerning Essex County Council's application for permission to build houses on the Youth Centre site. Cllr Eaton spoke on behalf of the Parish Council and Jim Watts on behalf of the Rural Preservation Society against the application. There were a number of supporters in the public gallery. The application was turned down on the grounds that there had not been a sufficient assessment of requirements for youth in the village and the case had not been proved that it was surplus to requirements..

20.3 A letter had been received from Cllr Janet Whitehouse, who had been told by the county officer dealing with the Youth Centre that the site would be offered for sale to the Parish or community groups at a discount before being placed on the open market. If there were any plans to acquire the building those leading the project must be in a position to respond quickly when county gets to the stage of offering the site.

20.4 Cllr Eaton reported that concerns had been raised regarding the number of lorries containing spoil entering Parsonage Golf. On investigation, it would appear that there has not been a breach of Planning Regulations, although doubts were expressed about the weight of the lorries passing over the bridges at Theydon Bois and Abridge. It was concluded insufficient restrictions had been put in place regarding lorry movements at the planning stage.

21. Youth Initiatives

21.1 Cllr Eaton explained that a Youth Initiatives Committee had evolved as a result of meetings of the Skateboard Group. The Committee did not at present have a Chairman, but as Cllr Padfield had played a leading role in the evolution of the Committee he was asked if he would become the Chairman, to which he duly agreed.

21.2 Cllr Padfield reported that the Committee had a difficult task ahead in tackling the issues involved. These included continued unauthorised use of the Village Hall car park by skateboarders, anti-social behaviour and lack of police response. The installation of CCTV had been successful in recording clear images of incidents at the Village Hall and Village Centre. There had already been three meetings with parents, including two with youngsters with a further meeting scheduled for next week. A meeting had taken place with the Corporation of London, who were agreeable in principle to support the Parish Council in their efforts to provide a facility for youth in the Village.

21.3 Consideration was being given to preparing a youth audit by way of a questionnaire to find out what the youngsters would like to see by way of provision. The 12-16 years olds would be the age group targeted. The community leisure officer from EFDC would assist in arranging this youth audit.

21.4 Whatever the outcome, is will be essential to secure a large number of villagers who would be in favour of any proposals.

22. CCTV

22.1 Cllr Gooch reported that a computer had been ordered so enable broadband to be connected to the monitoring equipment at the Village Hall at a cost of £612.00 including VAT. Connection of a new line at Craft Lines by BT would be £99.00. It was anticipated that the annual running costs of running broadband from Craft Lines to the Village Hall would be approximately £650.00.

22.2 Cllr Eaton asked if Members agreed that this expenditure was acceptable, to which everyone agreed.

23. Highways & Environment

23.1 Cllr Eaton stated that following Theydon Bois winning the RCCE's Best Kept Village Competition and being runner up in the Village of the Year competition, he would like to thank all those volunteers who help to keep the village looking tidy and attractive. Special mention went to the litter pickers and the Horticultural Society for tending the planters around the shops.

23.2 The clerk reported that in many of the sections on the marking sheet Theydon Bois had received 9 out of 10, with 10 marks going to the Village Hall.

23.3 Cllr Purkiss reported that some success had been achieved in replacing road signs and kerb stones around the Village and mechanical road sweepers had been more in evidence.

23.4 Cllr Purkiss reported that a meeting had taken place with Loughton Town Council to discuss issues of mutual interest. Loughton were planning to provide a new burial ground in Loughton Lane by Davenant Foundation School, which would help in creating a buffer between Loughton and Theydon Bois. This would be beneficial in the light of Government proposals for large scale housing development in the area. Further meetings with Loughton Town Council are planned for the future.

24. Allotments

24.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that steps were being taken to tidy up the general appearance of the allotments in order to encourage more people to become holders. Arrangements were being made to trim the foliage on the perimeter and cut the grass more frequently. Vandalism was an ongoing issue.

25. Reports from Representatives

25.1 Cllr Cushing reported that the meeting with Loughton Town Council had been productive and useful contacts had been made. Loughton do not want to join up with Theydon Bois, just as Theydon Bois wants to keep separate and retain its own identity.

25.2 Cllr Cushing reported that he and the Clerk had attended a Local Council Liaison Committee meeting at EFDC Council offices. The meeting was not run efficiently. However, two items on the agenda had been of particular interest. The first was a speaker from Essex County Council who explained that all roads in the county were allocated the same maintenance budget according to their distance. It was pointed out that it would be more beneficial that the more heavily used roads should receive a larger allocation than those roads in outlying areas that were used considerably less. Secondly, conservation areas and buildings of local interest were being documented, including those in Theydon Bois.

26. 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. Joy Wainwright expressed her delight that Theydon Bois had won the Best Kept Village competition. The controversy surrounding the sale of the Youth Club was a major issue and she appealed to elder members of the community for any information they had regarding the history of the site.

2. Jim Watts stated that Essex County Council would be challenged on their lack of assessment for the need for youth facilities and the site being available for community use.

3. Several residents who live near the youth club and the public toilets complained of vandalism and anti-social behaviour

4. The Chairman asked the public if the new microphone system used at the meeting had been successful, to which everyone present agreed.

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Meeting of the Council held at
8 p.m. on Thursday 27th May, 2004 in The Village Hall

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

87. Apologies for absence. All councillors were in attendance.

88. The Minutes of the meeting held on 25th March, 2004 were confirmed as a correct record.

89. Matters Arising

89.1 There were no matters arising.

90. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

90.1 A letter from a resident in Piercing Hill who was organising a preliminary meeting of interested parties to discuss in open forum views and ideas on what might be done regarding the closure of Wansfell College. The meeting was held on 12th May at the College.

90.2 Committee Minutes from Epping Forest District Council regarding major developments planned for underground stations in the District. These included enhancement and refurbishment work to be undertaken for Theydon Bois station in 2006 with a further three refurbishments planned following the initial work before 2031.

90.3 A media release from Epping Forest District Council offering their apologies to residents in the District following delays in the delivery of new domestic and garden refuse sacks. The new garden sacks are more expensive than the blue version they replace and rather than add significant costs to the Council Tax, the first roll of 20 to each household will be free of charge with further supplies available at designated outlets for a small fee.

91. To Approve accounts and confirm payments

91.1 The accounts up to 20th May, 2004, having previously been circulated, were approved.

92. Planning

92.1 Cllr Gooch reported that there had been fifteen applications since the last public meeting. Among those objected to were at 8 Blackacre Road, 46 Woodland Way, 12 Hill Road, 52 Purlieu Way and 57 Morgan Crescent. There appeared to be a trend for two storey extensions as opposed to single storey.

92.2 It had been ascertained from the Land Registry that the land at the Allotments was unregistered. Upon further investigation by going through old Parish Council records the land had been passed by Gerald Buxton as a Deed of Gift to the Parish Council in 1931. Barclays Bank in Epping has been contacted as it is thought that they have custody of the Deeds.

93. Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign

93.1 Cllr Eaton highlighted the objectives of the Campaign and pointed out that for those interested in joining the campaign literature was available at the back of the Hall.

94. CCTV

94.1 Cllr Padfield reported that the CCTV system was up and running and the official launch had taken place when the stakeholders had had the opportunity of viewing images from the cameras. The project was within budget.

94.2 Arrangements were to be made in order to monitor the equipment from one central location at the Village Hall for ease of access. In the longer term the District may be monitored by the Police from their own Central Control.

94.3 Cllr Gooch reported that the Tennis Club, Cricket Club and Allotments had all suffered from acts of vandalism this year and concerns had been raised that installation of CCTV in the Village centre may push the vandalism problem into outlying roads. Therefore consideration had been given to extending the CCTV project to cover the Tennis Club, Cricket Club and Allotments, if practicable. There was approximately £5,000 left in the budget allocated for CCTV which had not yet been spent.

Resolved: The Parish Council will make a contribution of up to £5,000 towards the cost of the installation of CCTV equipment on the Buxton Fields in order to provide coverage for the Tennis Club, Cricket Club and the Allotments.
Cllr Smith declared a non-prejudicial interest and did not vote.

Proposed: Cllr Shales Seconded: Cllr Padfield
For: 10 Against: 0
Motion Carried.


95. Elections

95.1 Cllr Eaton announced that the Parish Council election had been uncontested. The new Councillors from 10th June will be Peter Hammond, Matthew Hayday, Susan Jones and Anthony Purkiss.

96. Tennis Club Planning Application

96.1 Cllrs Glozier and Cushing declared an interest and left the room before this item was discussed and voted upon.

96.2 Cllr Gooch reported that the Tennis Club had been seeking to install lighting of the courts for a number of years. The importance of this application was such that it was brought before full Council. The Council had to consider the benefits to the Tennis Club and its members against the impact on the neighbouring properties of twelve 8M high floodlights.

96.3 Cllr Gooch stated that he had some sympathy with the Tennis Club and its ambitions to improve and move forward. However, there had been a considerable number of objections from residents in the neighbouring roads. On balance he felt that the benefits for the Tennis Club in erecting floodlighting did not outweigh the impact on the surrounding residents and the environment.

96.4 Cllr Oliver stated that he was in favour of the application as it would be beneficial to the Village as a whole and particularly for the youngsters. The Club had moderated its proposals with regard to lighting times and if there was no demand the lights would not be on.

96.5 Cllr Padfield agreed with the statement by Cllr Oliver and felt that it was in the interests of the Village to develop and improve facilities.

96.6 Cllr Shales was in favour of the application as it would benefit the Village as a whole.

96.7 Cllr Powell was not in favour of the application as the impact on the neighbouring Villagers outweighs the needs of the members of the Tennis Club. Increasing the numbers of youngsters at the Tennis Club would not reduce the vandalism in the Village.

96.8 Cllr Hannibal stated that he thought the application was reasonable but felt that the impact on the surrounding area would not be justifiable. Therefore he reluctantly was opposed to the application.

96.9 Cllr O'Connor stated that although she was fully supportive of the Tennis Club as indicated by her previous support when the Club applied for lottery funding, this planning application would adversely affect the quality of life for a significant number of residents and would set a dangerous precedent.

96.10 Cllr Smith stated that the application was an imposition on the Village and an uncaring submission. Floodlighting would be damaging to the environment and urbanise a small rural community for the benefit of a minority. Cllr Smith requested that the names of Members voting for or against be documented in the Minutes.

The Chairman asked Members of the Council to vote for or against the application.

Those for:: 3 (Cllrs Oliver, Padfield and Shales)
Those against: 6 (Cllrs Eaton, Gooch, Hannibal, O'Connor, Powell and Smith)

This Agenda item having been concluded Cllrs Cushing and Glozier rejoined the meeting.

97. Standing Orders

97.1 Cllr Smith asked the Chairman if he could raise a query regarding Standing Orders, which the Chairman duly allowed.

97.2 Cllr Smith pointed out that in accordance with Clause 28(i) of the Standing Orders Cllr Glozier should state whether he intended to deviate from Parish Council policy at District Council regarding the Tennis Club Planning application for floodlights.

97.3 Cllr Glozier responded by stating that District Council policy prevented him from discussing the application prior to the District Council meeting. If he did so then he could be reported to the Standards Board.

97.4 Cllr Smith produced a newspaper article strongly criticising the Leader of Epping Forest District Council regarding a decision he had taken regarding a voting issue.

97.5 Cllr Eaton stated that Parish Council Standing Orders and guidelines for District Councillors were in conflict with each other and the matter would be taken up with Epping Forest District Council.

98. Reports from Representatives

98.1 Wansfell College

Cllr Shales reported that he had attended a meeting at the College organised by Tom Hardy, a resident of Piercing Hill. 26 people were in attendance. The college will close at the end of August and there are concerns that the site could become the target of squatters and vandals. At present Essex County Council have not formally decided the building is surplus to requirements, although an estate agent has been instructed to 'explore the sale'.

Practically all the trees on the site have had Tree Preservation Orders put on them. The pergola is listed Grade II but the college buildings are not listed. The 1876 Open Space Act covers the site and the Epping Forest Act covers the area within 100 ft of the Forest. There are covenants on the Deeds.

The meeting concluded that a Business Plan be drawn up by Tom Hardy and other residents of Piercing Hill and that it be presented at the next meeting of the group, probably in June. It is suggested that a consortium of residents and other interested parties try to purchase the College from Essex County Council and set up a company with shares to raise the capital.


99. Parsonage Golf

99.1 It is expected that an Agreement will be signed shortly with the Ministry of Transport allowing the lorries to come off the M11, up the slip road through the Works Unit along Coopersale Lane, cross directly across Coopersale Lane and onto the site. This will avoid lorries coming through Abridge and up the Abridge Road to Theydon Bois.

99.2 Construction will take two to three years. A later start in working hours is being negotiated as complaints have been received from residents at Parsonage Farm residential units. Chris Neilan and David Walmsley from Epping Forest District Council will be liaising with a nominated councillor from the Parish Council. Mr Walmsley is an Enforcement Officer.

100. Vote of thanks to Councillors

100.1 Cllrs Eaton thanked all the Councillors for giving of their free time for the benefit of the community of Theydon Bois.

100.2. Presentations were made to Cllr Smith who had served twenty years on the Council and was a former Chairman, Cllr O'Connor who had served eight years on the Council, Cllr Shales who had served four years and was a former Chairman, and Cllr Powell, who had served four years.

100.3 Cllr Gooch thanked Cllr Eaton for his Chairmanship over the past two years.

101. 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. Representatives and supporters of the Tennis Club spoke in favour of the lighting application.

2. Members of the Public, a representative of the Loughton Astronomical Society and a resident who adjoined Ongar Tennis Club spoke against the application.

3. Jill Oakley, a former Clerk to the Council, thought that the Deeds to the Allotments may be held at the County Records Office.

4. Epping Forest District Council did not empty the bottle banks frequently enough.

5. Jane Turner, Tree Warden, had approached the Corporation of London seeking to get them to plant replacement trees in the Avenue of Trees.

6. Joy Wainwright appealed for volunteer helpers for Open Gardens Day on 27th June. Profits will go towards Playground at Theydon.

7. A member of the public thanked the Members for their good work over the past four years.

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Meeting of the Council held at
8 p.m. on Thursday 25th March, 2004 in The Village Hall

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

71. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr Hannibal.

72. The Minutes of the meeting held on 29th January, 2004 were confirmed as a correct record.

73. Matters Arising

73.1 Cllr Smith reported that Epping Forest District Council had finally responded to several letters regarding street cleaning, but were not yet in a position to supply a cleaning schedule as it was currently being updated. Epping Forest District Council had recently resurrected their Parish Month Working schedule and it was suggested that the clerk should submit a list of requirements regarding litter clearance, pot holes etc and monitor the results.

73.2 Cllr Glozier reported that following complaints from residents about the condition of the verges in Graylands an area of about 18 inches in width had been tarmaced over. A compromise had to be reached between those who wanted to retain grassed areas and those who would prefer to have extra parking space. A request had been made to District Council to paint double yellow lines on the corner of Graylands and Loughton Lane as drivers persistently parked their cars dangerously close to the junction obscuring sight lines.

73.3 Cllr Eaton reported that a dossier of incidents of vandalism in the Village, together with in some cases, names of those who were witnessed as being responsible, was being compiled. .

74. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

74.1 A letter from a resident in Hornbeam Road expressing their concern about the increasing vandalism in the Village and highlighting the scheme in place in North Weald, designating it as an anti-social behaviour zone, giving the police more powers to deal with problem youths. The writer was very pleased that we will soon have CCTV cameras in operation in the Village.

74.2 A letter from Essex Police Authority seeking volunteers from the public to sit on police misconduct panel hearings.

74.3 A letter from District Cllr Glozier stating that he had requested Highways Dept to consider applying for a Road Traffic Order to put double yellow lines around the junction of Graylands and Loughton Lane.

74.4 An article in the Corporation of London's Forest Focus magazine reporting that a number of people had been prosecuted through enforcement of a number of byelaws laid down by Acts of Parliament. The names of those successfully prosecuted, the charges and the amounts for which they were fined were printed in the publication.

75. To Approve accounts and confirm payments

75.1 The accounts up to 18th March, 2004, having previously been circulated, were approved

76. Planning

76.1 Cllr Gooch reported that there had been fourteen applications since the last public meeting. One of the most controversial was at 62 Theydon Park Road where a third application had been received to convert this particular two bedroom bungalow into a five bedroom house. The Parish Council will continue to resist conversions of this type. Correspondence was being exchanged between District and County regarding the impending closure of the Youth Club in Loughton Lane. Cllr Glozier reported that Epping Forest District Council had placed tree preservation orders around the site, despite objections from Essex County Council.

77. Essex County Council Realisation of Assets

77.1 Cllr Eaton reported that a meeting had taken place this week of the Essex County Council Scrutiny Committee, which was attended by Robert Glozier, Janet Whitehouse and the Governors of Wansfell College. However, the decision to close the College was upheld. The Parish Council has written to the Lord Hanningfield, Leader of Essex County Council regarding the lack of consultation at local level. Eleanor Laing, MP is to raise the issue with Alan Johnson MP, Minister for Lifelong Learning.

77.2 Cllrs Eaton and Gooch had also attended a meeting regarding the Roding Centre in Buckhurst Hill which is also earmarked for closure by Essex County Council. Buckhurst Hill Parish Council has suggested that both Parish Councils should join forces in fighting these closures.


78. Eastern Region Development

78.1 Cllr Shales reported that he had attended a meeting regarding Eastern Region Development. The original areas and number of houses designated for expansion have increased considerably since the initial numbers were published. The Epping Forest area can now expect up to 20,000 new homes, with West Essex as a whole up to 39,000 homes. Areas affected include Stansted, Harlow, Cambridge, Stevenage and Peterborough. It had still not been made clear as to why so many new homes were necessary. Many of these new residents were likely to want to work in London and the transport system as it stands is inadequate to cope with the current levels of commuters.

78.2 Public Consultation has been delayed until 2005 with a decision expected in 2006.

79. CCTV

79.1 Cllr Padfield reported that the installation of CCTV would be completed by the end of May. A £5,000 grant had been received from Epping Forest District Council and the project was within budget.

79.2 The five cameras would cover the Village Hall, shops, playground and pond areas. Consideration was being given to extending the project to cover the Tennis Club, Cricket Club and Allotments if practicable.

79.3 A small number of residents had voiced concern about the intrusiveness of cameras recording activity on their property. Due to the sophisticated nature of the equipment these residents could rest assured that their properties could be excluded from being recorded. They would be invited to view the equipment when it was up and running to satisfy themselves that their privacy was not being invaded.

79.4 Cllr Padfield thanked all those councillors who participated in this complex project, which had involved a high degree of technology.

80. Cemetery

80.1 Cllr Cushing reported that a working party had been organised for Wednesday 31st March at 10.00 a.m up at the Cemetery and volunteers would be welcome.

80.2 The committee had reviewed charges and looked at prices charged at other cemeteries. As a result it was considered that an average rise of approximately 3% across the range of fees was appropriate for 2004-2005.

Resolved: This Council endorses the rise in burial fees recommended by the Cemetery Committee for the year 2004-2005.

Proposed: Cllr Cushing Seconded: Cllr Padfield
Carried Unanimously


81. Allotments

81.1 Cllr Glozier reported there had been a considerable increase in vandalism of late and many sheds had been severely damaged. Allotment holders had been written to and the police were aware of the situation. Consideration would be given to install CCTV to cover the area, if it were practicably possible.

81.2 The allotments are an important Village asset and in order to encourage more people to rent an allotment an advertisement had appeared in the latest edition of the Village News to encourage people to rent a plot.

81.3 The cost of renting an allotment had not risen for some years. In previous years the grass cutting had been provided free of charge but for this year it would be necessary to pay a contractor. As a result there would have to be a rise in renting a plot, due to the increased running costs.

Resolved: The Allotment rents for 2004-2005 will rise to £16 per plot with a 50% reduction for senior citizens.

Proposed; Cllr Glozier Seconded: Cllr Powell
Carried Unanimously

82. Public Conveniences

82.1 Cllr Eaton reported that Epping Forest District Council proposed to close the toilets on the Green with a view to demolishing them, but had given the Parish Council the option to retain them and maintain them at their own expense. The Chairman asked the public to speak at the end of the meeting if they had any views on the subject. The Parish Council was not prepared to commit to taking on the task at this point due to the impending election. A letter has been sent to Epping Forest District Council informing them of this decision and asking them to inform the Parish Council before they demolish the building so that the question of running the toilets can be revisited.

83. Tree Strategy

83.1 Cllr Shales reported that the first phase of planting had been carried out, including some planting of memorial trees, and had been well received. The second phase would begin towards the end of the year. He thanked Epping Forest District Council, the Parish Council, the Horticultural Society and Rural Preservation Society for their support.

84. Epping Forest District Museum

84.1 Cllr Shales urged the public to use the Museum, which is situated in Sun Street, Waltham Abbey. The Museum holds lectures and there are two new exhibitions and many items of interest for children.

85. Reports from Representatives

85.1 Environment

Cllr Smith reported on the Bus Passenger Transport Scheme. An initiative had been launched to form a consortium with other surrounding town and parish councils to provide bus transport for the elderly and infirm. This would enable them to attend hospital appointments, trips to the shops etc. Each council would have the opportunity to apply for a £10,000 grant towards the scheme, which would mean a combined total of £70,000 to run the scheme. Both volunteer and paid drivers would need to be recruited and tested. The cost to the passenger would be considerably less than ordering a taxi.. A survey may need to be undertaken to establish residents' transport requirements. The idea for the scheme is in its early stages and further news is awaited.

85.2 Community Safety Group

Cllr O'Connor reported that the Group were due to meet on 1st April and drug awareness would be on the agenda. It was also hoped to hold a public meeting regarding the new Anti-Social Behaviour Orders in order to inform the public about their relevance.

David Stone of Essex County Council Youth Services had approached the Parish Council to arrange a meeting to discuss future provision for youth in the Village.

A Government initiative had been launched called the Make Space Campaign which was aimed at forming clubs for 11-16 year olds, which appeared to be at odds with the impending closure of the Youth Centre in Theydon Bois.

Anti-social behaviour is increasing in the Village and a dossier of incidents is being kept in the Parish Office.

86. 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. Joy Wainwright offered her congratulations on the latest edition of the Village News. She also appealed for volunteers and new gardens for Open Gardens Day on 27th June. Profits will go towards Playground at Theydon.

2. A resident reported that the baby clinic run from St. Mary's church hall had been closed.

3. District Cllr Roy Newland reported that a legal challenge was to be mounted regarding the closure of the Youth Centre and appealed for anyone who had knowledge of the chronological history of the site to contact him.

4. Jim Watts reported that a window at Theydon Gallery in Loughton Lane had been broken and the culprit identified and arrested. The file is currently with the CPS.

5. Anthony Purkiss reported that new white lines had been painted on the Epping New Road, yet the road itself was in poor repair and needed relaying, which was not an efficient use of resources.

6. Peter Newton suggested that in the summer if the toilets on the Green were closed special arrangements could be made in advance with the pubs or Village Hall for visiting schools or organised groups.

7. Thanks were expressed to the Parish Council for their support of Wansfell College.

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Meeting of the Council held at
8 p.m. on Thursday 29th January, 2004 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 reported the death of Graham Lavender, who was a prominent member of the village scouts and churchwarden at St Mary's. He had made a large contribution to community life in the Village.

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

61. The Minutes of the meeting held on 27th November, 2003 were confirmed as a correct record.

62. Matters Arising

62.1 Cllr Smith reported that Epping Forest District Council had still not supplied a street-cleaning schedule and another letter of reminder would be sent out.

62.2 In view of the difficulties involved and the cost it was viewed that no further grit bins were required in the Village.

62.3 Essex County Council to be informed of our requirements for youth facilities in the Village.

62.4 Cllr Eaton congratulated all those involved in producing the Christmas edition of the Village News. He had received a number of favourable comments from the public.

62.5 Cllr Glozier reported that due to the poor state of the verges in Graylands an area of about 18 inches in width was to be tarmaced over.


63. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

63.1 A letter from the Stop Stansted Expansion Campaign requesting to attend a Public Parish Council meeting in order to make a presentation and answer questions. A date has provisionally been arranged for 25th March, prior to the Annual Parish Meeting.

63.2 A letter from Caroline Law, Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, stating that after six years in the job she would be standing down as of 29th February, 2004. Until a successor is appointed all Neighbourhood Watch enquiries should be addressed to Tony Ellis, Crime Reduction Officer at Epping Police Station. Cllr Eaton expressed his thanks to Mrs Law for all her hard work in her role as Co-ordinator and asked for a volunteer to take over from her.

63.3 Several letters, including a petition letter, about the unsatisfactory state of the verges in Graylands.

63.4 A public notice, plan and order from Epping Forest District Council regarding the extension of the 30 m.p.h. speed limit in Coppice Row (B172) by 115 metres from its current position up towards the 'Old Orleans' roundabout. This is to permit enhancement of the signing to better highlight the start of the speed limit.

63.4 A media release from Epping Forest District Council stating their dismay regarding the latest proposals in the Regional Planning Guidance for 18,600 new homes to be built in the area and questioning why so many homes are necessary.

63.5 A media release from Epping Forest District Council warning residents of bogus doorstep traders selling burglar alarms.

63.6 A letter from the Chairman of the Epping Forest Branch of the Alzheimer's Society thanking the Parish Council for raising £428 on behalf of the Society at the Christmas collection. The money is to be spent on providing services for people with dementia and their families in the Epping Forest area.

64. To Approve accounts and confirm payments

64.1 The accounts up to 21st January, 2004, having previously been circulated, were approved. Cllr Hannibal pointed out that the September instalment of the Public Works Loan interest of £17,490.62 had yet to be posted in the accounts.

64.2 Cllr Eaton stated that the Finance and General Purposes Committee had decided to raise the Precept in order to fund the installation and running costs of CCTV cameras, repairs as a result of vandalism and other Village initiatives. The normal Precept (excluding the Public Works Loan of £34,000) for 2004-05 would be raised by £2,473 to £21,591. This would mean a rise of 12.93% or £1.50 per household.

Cllr Smith stated that he was against raising the Precept as the Village Association had a surplus of funds and suggested that, in view of the fact that the Parish Council carries the Public Works Loan for the Village Hall, paid for out of the Community Purse, the Association pay back to the Parish Council a sum of up to £6,000 per annum.

Cllr Padfield confirmed that the Village Association had been more successful than originally envisaged but costs had risen considerably and it was necessary to have a substantial contingency fund for the Village Hall. Snagging was still being carried out. It was hoped that the relationship between the Village Association and the Parish Council would be a partnership as is currently happening with CCTV and support for youth in the village. Once the VA had consolidated their position consideration would be given to donating funds to the Parish Council.

Cllr Hannibal stated that setting the budget was based on facts and therefore reliance could not be placed on an expectation that the Village Association should make a payment to the Parish Council during the next financial year.

Cllr Glozier stated that while the Village Association could make a contribution towards joint projects with the Parish Council the Council needed sufficient funds of its own from the public purse. He therefore urged councillors to give their consent for the Precept.

Resolved: That the Parish Precept for 2004-2005 be set at £56,572.
Proposed: Cllr Hannibal Seconded: Cllr Gooch
Those in favour: 9 Those against: 1 (Cllr Smith)
Motion Carried.

65. Planning

65.1 Cllr Gooch reported that there had been eighteen applications since the last public meeting. The most controversial was the outline planning application from Essex County Council on the site of the Youth Centre off Loughton Lane. The Parish Council is strongly opposed to the proposals in the application, which would mean the loss of not only the Youth Centre amenity but the green space facility used by the scouts, together with substantial loss of parking for the Scout Hut. The access road is not suitable to service the proposed ten houses. Cllr Gooch urged all concerned villagers to object. Should Epping Forest District Council decide to approve the application then the Parish Council will be seeking substantial compensation for loss of the amenity in order to fund a scheme for youth development. The site is currently for sale in excess of £1.1million. Essex County Council will be asked to reconsider their decision so that the land can be used for the benefit of the Village.

Cllr Glozier stated that the alternatives for youngsters offered by the County Council were to bus in teenagers to the new Youth Centre in Loughton, which has yet to be built, or provide a travelling bus facility which visits outlying villages. Neither of these options was considered satisfactory.

66. Environment

66.1 Cllr Smith reported that Cllrs Gooch, Shales and Smith had supplied feedback that EFDC had requested on their Local Plan Review questionnaire. Items included housing, shops, transport, green belt and glass houses.

66.2 Cllrs Eaton, Smith and Glozier had attended an Epping Forest District Council consultation forum with focus groups, which included people first and e-government, community wellbeing, planning, affordable housing, environmental protection and leisure.
Cllrs Eaton and Smith took part in the finance group and Cllr Glozier headed the civil engineering and maintenance group.

67. Standing Orders

67.1 Cllr Eaton reported that the proposed change to standing orders on the Agenda was now not required.

68. Village Strategic Plan

68.1 Cllr Padfield reported that an audit group comprising of Cllrs Gooch (chairman), Cushing and Smith had been set up to look at the quotes obtained for the purchase and installation of CCTV equipment in the village. The group will report back with their findings before a preferred supplier is chosen. The best specification was proving difficult to finalise in this complex area of technology.

The project is a team effort in conjunction with the Village Association, Epping Forest District Council, the Police and the Safer Communities Group. The Parish Council would be seeking a grant from Epping Forest District Council. The Village Association anticipated that they would be spending about £7,000 to cover the Village Hall and the cost to the Parish Council to cover the shops, playground and pond would be up to £17,000.

Cllr Gooch reported that the audit committee for CCTV had narrowed the field down to two potential suppliers but there were some differences in the specifications, which had to be addressed, although both companies were supplying the same technology. It was important to ensure that the Council obtained best value in equipment, installation and on-going maintenance costs. It was anticipated that the committee would meet once more and then be in a position to make its recommendations.

Resolved: This Council, in accordance with its powers authorises the following expenditure, which in the opinion of this Council is in the interests of the village and its inhabitant, expenditure not exceeding £25,000 (excluding VAT) on the supply and installation of CCTV equipment.
Proposer: Cllr Oliver Seconded: Cllr Shales
Carried Unanimously

69. Reports from Representatives

69.1 Cemetery

Cllr Cushing reported that the Committee were due to meet shortly. It was also planned to check the headstones for safety and meet with the grass cutting contractors. Currently the cemetery was not on target to meet its budget forecast for income for the year.


69.2 Emergency Response Group

The Plan has now been completed and sent to the Emergency Planning Officer at Epping Forest District Council for comment. In view of the fact that Wansfell College may be under threat of closure Frank Foster House has been identified as a possible alternative site for the Emergency Recovery Group Headquarters. An Emergency Planning Exercise is to be held at Epping Forest District Council offices on 29th March.

69.3 Buxton Trust

Cllr Smith reported that the next meeting was due in April.

69.4 Countrycare

Cllr Powell reported that in response to Essex County Council's review of its assets, the Parish Council would be writing to the principal of Wansfell College in order to obtain a list of priorities to help keep it open.

69.5 Tree Strategy

Cllr Shales reported that first round of planting would take place in February and would be planted where there is already a shortage of trees. Many residents had expressed an interest in the Memorial Tree scheme. Cllr Shales expressed his thanks to Jane Turner in her role as tree warden, to Peter Newton from the Rural Preservation Society and Cllr Padfield for their input into the Tree Strategy programme.

69.6 Village News

Cllr Oliver reported that the magazine was currently running over budget due to the extra printing costs involved in the additional number of pages of recent editions. However, as from March the Village News will appear quarterly and will have sponsorship. Articles and newsworthy items from residents are very welcome.

69.7 Allotments

Cllr Glozier reported that several of the sheds had been broken into the previous evening. Several youths were seen on the allotments and when questioned by one of the allotment holders he was threatened with violence. This coincides with other recent incidents of increased vandalism in the village. Those reported to the Parish Office are being logged.

69.8 Public Toilets

Cllr Glozier reported that as part of a cost cutting exercise Epping Forest District Council were considering passing the responsibility of running the toilets on the Green to the Parish Council, or alternatively demolishing the building altogether.

69.9 Parking

Cllr Glozier reported that the traffic orders had come through for the one hour parking restrictions and that, subject to consultation with residents, the lines would appear in the Spring.

70. 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. Support was expressed for the installation of CCTV cameras around the Village.

2. Concerns were raised over the sale of the Youth Club site by Essex County Council and their outline planning application proposals. . The proposals would not only mean the loss of a community asset but also impact heavily on the Scout Hut in terms of parking and loss of space for outdoor activities. Cllr Gooch asked that as many villagers as possible should write to Epping Forest District Council opposing the application. To this end, a draft letter of objection with suggested wording would be posted on the web-site

3. Anger was expressed about the lack of consultation afforded by Essex County Council to the Parish Council regarding the closure of the Youth Club.

4. The Local History Recorder's latest report is available in the Parish Office. Cllr Eaton expressed his thanks to Trevor Roberts for supplying the information.

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Last Up dated: 9th December 2004