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Parish Council Minutes 2008

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Theydon Bois Parish Council

Meeting of the Council held at

8 pm on Thursday 27th November, 2008

Present:      Councillors Jones (Chair), Berry, Dodman, Emmett, Gooch, Hammond, Hannibal, Philip, Sowerby, Purkiss and Vincent.

50.   Chairman’s Welcome
51.   Apologies for absence.  There were no apologies for absence.
52.   The Minutes of the meeting held on 25th September, 2008 were confirmed as a correct record.
53.   Declarations of Interest. 53.1     Cllr Emmett declared a personal interest in item 7.1 on the Agenda by virtue of the fact that he lives adjacent to one of the proposed Gypsy and Traveller sites.  He also stated that he was a member of TBAG and the South Theydon Bois Residents Association.53.2     Cllrs Dodman and Sowerby declared a personal interested in item 7.1 on the Agenda by virtue of the fact that they are members of TBAG.53.3     Cllr Jones declared a personal interest in item 7.1 on the Agenda by virtue of the fact that her husband is a partner in Foskett Marr Gadsby and Head who are the solicitors the Parish Council are considering in joining other groups to give instructions to in relation to the Gypsy and Traveller Consultation.53.4     Cllrs Dodman and Berry declared a personal interest in item 11.1 on the Agenda by virtue of the fact that they live in Theydon Park Road.54.   Public Participation session with respect to items on the Agenda54.1     There were no questions or comments.55.   Correspondence

55.1     The Clerk Reported on the following (copies appended to these Minutes):

    1.             (a)        Letter from Theydon Bois Youth Club Committee requesting financial                            assistance.            (b)        Letter from Deputy Churchwarden, St. Mary’s Church.            (c)        Request for funding from Open Spaces Society.
    2.             (d)        Note of thanks from Royal British Legion for Parish Council                                          donation.
 

56.   Gypsy and Travellers Sites Consultation56.1     Cllr Gooch reported that the Parish Council’s policy on the Gypsy & Travellers Consultation is as follows:
“The policy of Theydon Bois Parish Council with regard to the Consultation on Options: Development Plan Provision for Gypsies and Travellers in Epping Forest District is that the location of the two proposed sites is unacceptable. Both locations are Green Field sites in the Metropolitan Green Belt; we would resist any relaxation of Green Belt policy that would allow any inappropriate development. Both sites, 20b and 20c border a Protected Lane, would be accessed via a dangerous unlit road and are too close to the motorway.”
56.2     The Council is considering joining other interested parties in seeking legal advice to stop the process altogether and have agreed in principle to release funds to obtain professional advice.  The Council is also in discussion with other Parish and Town Councils.
56.3     A further option is to concentrate on resisting the sites specifically identified in Theydon Bois.  Cllr Gooch asked for a show of hands from residents if they would be in favour of the Parish Council releasing funds to fight the proposals.   The vote was overwhelmingly in favour.
56.4     Cllr Gooch stated that the Council was considering making £1,000 available initially for legal advice regarding the merits of a Judicial Review, subject to other Parish and Town Councils also participating.
56.5     Cllr Gooch stated that EFDC had had difficulties with the printing of the consultation documents which had resulted in a delay in distribution.  The Parish Council will be contacting EFDC to seek a further extension on the consultation deadline, which has already been extended once to 6th February 2009.
56.6     Cllr Jones then suspended the meeting at that juncture to allow residents to speak on this item on the Agenda.
Points raised were as follows:-
Poor highway access to the sites in Theydon Bois.
Proximity to the motorway.
The Dark Skies policy in Theydon Bois.
The prospect of European travellers from outside the UK using the sites.
Information available on the TBAG website regarding the Consultation.
A sub-committee should be formed including all interested parties in the Village and the Parish Council.
Once sites were identified a formal planning application would have to be made.
Coopersale Lane has Quiet Lane status.
Issues surrounding compulsory purchase.
Delay tactics could stall the process.
The questionnaire was difficult to fill in and residents may need guidance.
Those filling in the petition on the TBAG web site could also submit a questionnaire as individuals.
Involvement by the local paper in giving the consultation a higher profile.
Organisation of fund raising events for legal fees.
The document appears flawed in several respects, including the wrong address being given for the sites in Theydon Bois.56.7     Cllr Jones reported that the Parish Council has arranged further meetings regarding the Consultation and the subject will be on forthcoming Agendas of Public Meetings and Planning Committee meetings. There are links to the Consultation documents on the Village Website.56.8     It was agreed that all groups should work together and a core group comprising representatives from each group should form a joint committee.
57.   Finance57.1     The accounts up to 20th November 2008, having been previously circulated, were approved.57.2     Cllr Dodman reported that the Council were looking into updating the accounting software in the office.  A new internal auditor was to be appointed.  In October, due to the banking crisis, new investment accounts had been set up with Barclays and the Co-operative Bank to split investments three ways with COIF as Council investments were not covered by the Government’s £50K guarantee scheme.58.   Youth Provision 58.1     Further to item 55.1(a) above, Cllr Hammond reported that Essex Boys Clubs had provided a great deal of advice in setting up the new Theydon Youth Committee.  The Youth Club would be meeting on Tuesday evenings in the Church Hall.  Volunteers and First Aiders were being sought.  Financial assistance would be required in set up costs for St. John’s Ambulance training and insurance.Resolved:       The Parish Council will give a grant of £1,000 to Theydon Youth, subject to sight of their Constitution and confirmation of the opening of their bank account.Proposed:         Cllr Hammond  Seconded:        Cllr Berry
Carried Unanimously59.   Planning59.1     Cllr Gooch reported that there had been twenty seven applications since the last Public Meeting.  Of particular concern were the conversion of a bungalow to a large house at 39 Theydon Park Road and a very modern house to replace a bungalow at 3 The Weind.  The Parish Council is concerned that the appropriate dwelling mix is not being monitored by EFDC.60.   Highways & Environment60.1     ParkingCllr Vincent reported that following the minimum legal requirements for consultation undertaken by Essex Highways prior to the Traffic Orders for Theydon Park Road being implemented, when most residents were unaware of the proposals, a small number of residents in the road have no access to off street parking.  They are therefore resorting to parking their vehicles in the nearby roads that are currently un-regulated.  This has further reduced the parking opportunities for the people living in those roads and as a result residents from one street are now demanding yellow lines.Following a meeting between Members of the Parish Council parking sub-committee, District Councillors and Essex Highways it was accepted that something needed to be done.  As a result, the Parish Council has carried out a proper consultation by way of a questionnaire delivered to every household in the road in order to ascertain the majority view. Three options are available: (a) to keep current restrictions, (b) to remove all restrictions or (c) to retain part and remove part, from a point identified through the questionnaire.  Nothing in the questionnaire will change the double yellow lines.  All residents of the road are urged to complete and return the questionnaire.60.2     Highway IssuesCllr Purkiss stated that kerb lining was due to take place on The Green and in Forest Drive.
A Traffic Order has been agreed to provide three more parking spaces outside the shops in Forest Drive. 61.   Communications 61.1     Cllr Jones reported the Parish Council surgeries were continuing on the first Monday of every month at the Village Hall 5.30 p.m. until 7.00 p.m. when two or three councillors would be available to answer questions from residents.  A question and answer section based on some of the queries already raised at the surgeries would be published in the Village News in December.
62.   Christmas Tree Lighting Event 62.1     Cllr Philip reported that the event would take place on Friday 5th December at 6.30 p.m. when the lights would be switched on by the Villager of the Year.  The format for the evening would be different from previous years.
63.   Reports from Representatives63.1     Stansted ExpansionCllr Berry reported that Stop Stansted Expansion felt that the Government’s twin-tracking approach to the Inquiry was compromising their ability to respond in depth.  Norman Mead, the Deputy Chairman of Stop Stansted Expansion, has recently passed away and the Parish Council has conveyed its condolences.63.2     Buxton TrustCllr Hannibal stated that at the bi-annual meeting with the Cricket and Tennis Clubs it had been reported that there was a vibrant youth section in each group.  On the financial side, income from investments had fallen and it was difficult to balance income with outgoings.64.   Suspension of the Parish Council Meeting to allow Local Government Electors to speak on items on the Agenda and of local importance.

64.1     Mrs Wainwright issued a reminder regarding PAT Santa’s Grotto event on Saturday 6th December 12.00 until 3.00 p.m.

64.2     Comment regarding the Constitution of the Theydon Youth Committee.   Cllr Hammond stated that if it were ever disbanded any remaining funds would be given to the Parish Council.

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Theydon Bois Parish Council

Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 25th September, 2008 in the Village Hall

Present:      Councillors Jones (Chair), Berry, Dodman, Emmett, Gooch, Hammond, Hannibal, Sowerby and Purkiss.

34.   Apologies for absence.  Apologies were received from Councillor
Vincent.  Cllr Philip was in attendance at a District Council meeting but was hoping to join the meeting later.

35.   The Minutes of the meeting held on 31st July, 2008 were confirmed as a correct record.

36.   Declarations of Interest.

36.1     Cllr Hammond declared an interest in item 6 (correspondence) as some of the letters involved members of his family.  He also declared and interest in item 12 (Cemetery) on the Agenda as one of the estimates for work at the Cemetery was supplied by a member of his family.

36.2     Cllr Hammond made a statement that the only connection he had with Mr. Newman, owner of Blunts Farm, was that he had eaten and paid for a meal at Blakes Restaurant, which is also owned by Mr. Newman.

36.3     Cllrs Dodman and Sowerby declared a personal interest in item 6 on the agenda as one of the items of correspondence called for their resignation.

37.   Public Participation session with respect to items on the Agenda

37.1     With regard to the Correspondence item on the agenda a resident sought assurance that Councillors would not use information they were privy to as Parish Councillors for other purposes.  Cllr Hannibal stated that it was not necessary for them to give such an assurance at the meeting as Councillors had already done so by signing up to the Code of Conduct.

37.2     Mr Jackson sought clarification from Cllr Hammond regarding his earlier Declaration of Interest regarding his relationship with Mr. Newman.

37.3     A question was raised regarding the signing off of the accounts for 2002-2007.

38.   Correspondence
Cllr Hammond withdrew prior to the Clerk’s report.  The Clerk reported on the following:-

38.1     A statement from TfL as follows:
“LU and TfL are working to develop a long term strategy on car parks across the network.  TfL is conducting a car park usage survey which is expected to be complete in autumn this year.  Progress on proposals across the Tube network will follow completion of this review and agreement of the strategy.

LU has had preliminary discussions with EFDC about car parking at Theydon Bois.  We will brief officers at the Council on the outcome of the review.  Any proposals for Theydon Bois would have to take into account the impact on local road congestion and would require funding – and a business case for funding. 

The flyer proposing a new car park in Theydon Bois has not been produced by TfL, this is not a TfL initiative and the proposed site is not TfL land.”

This statement was made following a public meeting called by the developers of Blunts Farm with proposals for a 309 space commuter car park on the Old Foresters site.

38.2     Notification from Essex Highways regarding a road closure of the Abridge Road for five days beginning on 26th September.

38.3     An EFDC press release regarding the Safer Communities Partnership three year plan which will identify key problems in the district and set priorities for action, including targets to reduce crime, disorder and improve community safety.

38.4     An EFDC press release giving notice of Electric Blanket testing in Epping and Loughton during October.

38.5     An EFDC press release seeking nominations for Citizens of the Year 2009.

38.6     An EFDC press release giving notification of the Safer Communities Team week of activities from 13-17 October as part of the Home Office-led initiative – ‘Not in My Neighbourhood Week’.  One of the activities will be graffiti removal.

38.9     Notification from the Woodland Trust of the annual planting day at Theydon Bois on 25th October  from 11.00 a.m. until 3.00 p.m. at the Abridge Road site.

38.10   A Letter from Stop Stansted Expansion seeking views on the second runway plans to be sent to Uttlesford District Council by 26th September.

38.11   A letter from Mrs Wainwright expressing concern regarding the loss of our dedicated street cleaner provided by EFDC in the Village and asking the Parish Council to consider employing our own cleaner.

38.12   A letter from the Citizens Advice Bureau advising of the merger of the Epping, Loughton and Waltham Abbey branches and their respective Outreach Centres.  CAB will continue to operate from all three locations and their respective Outreach Centres.

38.13   A letter from Epping Forest County Care advising that a volunteer from Theydon Bois has come forward as a prospective tree warden and seeking the Council’s endorsement for a third warden in the Village.

38.14   A letter from a resident in Forest Drive seeking assurance regarding the Annual Audit following a delay in signing off the accounts for 2002-2007.

38.15   A statement from the Parish Council in response to the letter in 38.12 above which reads:

The Accounts for all years have been properly prepared, audited by our internal auditor and provided to the external auditor for auditing.  All our accounts have been approved by the internal auditor before being provided to the external auditor.  Our internal auditor is an independent person who we contract for this task and the external auditor is appointed by the District Council.   The external auditor, Lubbock Fine, requested further information for the year 2000/1 which was provided and 2001/2 which we could not provide in full detail following a change of clerk and loss of the relevant paper work supporting those accounts.   It has not been apparent to either of the auditors, nor from the numerous efforts of Councilors investigating the accounts, whether there is in fact any discrepancy, or at least one of any relative substance, or whether it has arisen from an accounting presentational quirk.  The amounts involved were relatively small at £1,690 in relation to the total build costs for the Village Hall.  It has taken many years in obtaining responses from the external auditor, conducting further investigation and re-presenting the already approved and internally audited accounts.    The external auditor had signed off on the accounts for 2000/1 and has now finally signed off on 2001/2, both years being signed off as originally presented to them.  No subsequent years accounts required the provision of further information but they could not be signed off until the earlier accounts were signed off.

We will continue to follow our Financial Orders for preparing and auditing the accounts and have no reason to believe that each year will not be audited and signed off in the normal course of business.

38.16   A letter from Mrs Joyce Hammond dated 11th September regarding a letter she wrote on behalf of her father which was published in the Guardian newspaper.

38.17   A letter from Mrs Thea Buisson dated 13th September regarding events following the letters printed in the Guardian written by members of her family.  Mrs Buisson called for the resignations of Cllrs Dodman and Sowerby due to conflict of interests in being both members of the Parish Council and TBAG and misuse of the Electoral Register.

38.18   A letter from the Parish Council to Mrs Buisson acknowledging her letter and giving notification that it had been forward to Ian Willett, Registration Officer at EFDC, for his comments regarding the alleged breach of use of the Electoral Register.

38.19   A letter from the Parish Council to Ian Willet at EFDC passing on a copy of the correspondence of 38.17 above and seeking his comments.

38.20   A statement dated 18th September from Cllrs Berry, Dodman, Emmett, Sowerby and Vincent clarifying their respective positions as independent Parish Councillors and, in the case of Cllrs Dodman, Emmett and Sowerby, as members of TBAG.  Cllr Sowerby apologised to Mr Parker for any distress caused by calling on him personally.  Cllrs Sowerby and Dodman do not intend to resign.

38.21   A letter from Ian Willett dated 24th September in response to the allegations of misuse of the Electoral Register by Cllrs Dodman and Sowerby.  Having investigated the matter he concluded that there was no case to answer in respect of misuse of the Electoral Register.  Regarding conflict of interest he stated that it would be difficult to distinguish between two individuals who are members of the Action Group and Councillors.  As Councillors they are on record as also being members of the Action group and any breach of the Regulations is far from clear.  It remains the prerogative of those members as to whether to resign or not.

38.22   An e-mail from Mr McKelvey to the Parish Council dated 31st August regarding TBAG and seeking confirmation about the relationship between the authors of the letters which appeared in the Guardian and Cllr Hammond.

38.23   A letter from the Parish Council to Mr McKelvey in response to his e-mail stating that his questions should be directed to Cllr Hammond as it would not be appropriate for the Parish Council to responds on his behalf to enquiries regarding his family.

39.   Standing Orders

39.1     Cllr Hannibal reported that the Standing Orders had been updated and the necessary changes to reflect the new format of Public Meetings included.

Resolved:        To approve and adopt the draft Standing Orders as amended for Issue 8.

Proposed:         Cllr Hannibal                Seconded:        Cllr Gooch
Carried Unanimously

40.   Finance

40.1     The accounts up to 18th September 2008, having been previously circulated, were approved.

40.2     Cllr Dodman reported that in the process of preparing the Annual Accounts year-end 2008 for the auditors, internal and external, a couple of small anomalies had surfaced. Largely carried over, the internal auditor has now agreed that a liability of £81.64 in payroll taxes and an asset of £118.34 in VAT can be written off and this has now been done. A presentational error in our equity balance has also now been corrected which now gives us a correct retained earnings figure as at 18th September of £57,278.30.

40.3     The internal auditors’ report has now been received and circulated to Members and his comments were duly noted.

 

41.   Youth Provision/Village Green Application

41.1     Cllr Hammond reported that the QC had prepared a detailed response for the Parish Council to send to Essex County Council regarding proposals for the land in Essex County Council ownership at the Scout Hut site.  This has now been forwarded and a reply is awaited.  How they respond will affect whether or not to pursue the Village Green application.

41.2     In the meantime a constructive meeting arranged by Cllr Vincent had been held with Gerry Smith of Essex Boys Clubs and proposals drawn up to run a youth club for boys and girls.  Volunteers are sought for Tuesday and Friday evenings, subject to CRB checks, and a meeting has been arranged for 14th October to discuss the running of the Club.  The Tuesday club would be run from St. Mary’s church hall and the Friday club at the Scout Hut and there would be an upper age limit of 13 years.  At least ten volunteers would be needed to get the project off the ground.

42.   Planning

42.1     Cllr Gooch reported that there had been fifteen applications since the last Public Meeting, of which the Parish Council objected to six.  Four of these relate to alterations at 57 Morgan Crescent, including converting a garage into a room and further extensions to the original rooms.  There were also objections for the erection of garden buildings at 27 Piercing Hill and the conversion of a bungalow to a large house at 44 Theydon Park Road.

42.2     The planning application for the former Wine Rack to be turned into a restaurant has been refused by EFDC and there is now a rumour that it may become and undertakers

42.3     Cllr Gooch reported that there was nothing to report regarding Blunts Farm other than that there was a meeting arranged for Friday 26th September between the Parish Council, EFDC, Eleanor Laing M.P. and Theydon Bois Rural Preservation Society to discuss the recent cancelled motocross and rave events on the site and the current situation regarding the Enforcement Notices .

43.   Highways & Environment

43.1     Parking

Cllr Dodman reported that since the last public meeting the Parking sub-committee have twice met with members of the District Council. We have had an opportunity to compare the comments received by Essex County Council as part of their consultation process and the more recent correspondence, which was a Parish Council initiative. There is a majority in all locations in favour of the proposed parking restrictions. Locations where no objections have been received would ordinarily be implemented forthwith. District Council members in the identified areas are requested to consider the comments made in respect of the proposed TROs, whether objected to or not, and let the Civil Engineering and Maintenance Portfolio Holder know their views and in particular whether they support, object to or request a change to the proposed TRO. These will be collated for consideration by the Portfolio Holder. Once received, the outcomes will be considered by the County Council Portfolio Holder, Councillor Norman Hume, and a final decision made. The portfolio holder will consider implementing all TRO’s apart from the changes in times on Orchard Drive and Heath Drive.

The following is a quote taken directly from the Government’s Planning Policy Portal and is a guide to proposed changes to the planning system which have not yet taken effect.
‘More and more householders are laying hard surfaces over front gardens to provide off-road parking. At present there are no restrictions on a householder's ability to do so. Hard surfaces lead to accelerated run-off of surface water, which can overload sewerage systems in more urban areas. This problem is likely to intensify as climate change produces more torrential downpours.’

The Government intends, therefore, to require that paving installed using permitted development rights does not make this problem worse.  In future paving in front gardens will not be permitted development rights unless the surface allows the water to drain away naturally. This can be achieved in a number of ways - most simply by ensuring that water runs off to an unpaved area such as a garden border. Additional guidance on how to do this will be available on the Portal before the changes come into force.’

43.2     Highway Issues

Cllr Purkiss stated that he concurred with the correspondence from Mrs Wainwright regarding the loss of the dedicated street cleaner and he had been in contact with John Gilbert, Environmental Services EFDC, regarding the matter. Sita’s contract with EFDC did not specify the use of a dedicated street cleaner with barrow and budget constraints had led them to review this type of service. As long as standards were maintained as set out in the contract EFDC would not intervene. However, EFDC would introduce the Parish to Sita should they so wish in order to establish the cost to the parish of providing an increased level of service i.e. an operator with a barrow for so many days of the week.

Work on the lifting of existing granite kerbs and re-setting is currently underway in Coppice Row with the re-making of the footways to follow.  In addition, Highways are due to re-plane the road between the shops up to the junction of Buxton Road in mid October with the re-making of the footways between the junctions of Buxton Road and Elizabeth Drive to be done in November. It has been agreed with Highways that the road “The Green” between Poplar Row and Green View Cottages will be completely refurbished in November.

The hedge line in Piercing Hill along the Church side between the crossroads at the junction of Coppice Row and Morgan Crescent is to be cut back.  Pilot holes are to be drilled in the footway on the Viaduct by the existing concrete bus shelter next week to determine what type of new wooden shelter can be erected to replace the old one. Bike racks are to be installed outside Premier Valet.

The Wheeler family, who used to live in Green View Cottages on The Green, have agreed to purchase a bench with a plaque as a memorial to their parents and this is due to be installed outside the former “Wine Rack” in late November.

A £1m Highways Initiative has been launched by Norman Hume, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Essex Highways, which will enable Parish Councils to apply for funding designated projects up to the value of £25K. We have bid for more lay-by parking in lower Theydon Park Road to assist in off-street parking, further tactile paving at selected Junctions in the Village and raised stands at Bus Stops to assist with disabled access to and from buses.


44.   Cemetery
44.1     Cllr Hammond reported that at a recent meeting of the Cemetery Committee three estimates to improve the pathway in the Garden of Remembrance and upgrade the shed and storage bin area in the main Cemetery had been discussed.  General garden maintenance work had fallen behind and this was now being addressed and further planting in the front flower bed in the Garden of Remembrance was planned. 

44.2     Fiona Dodd has taken over the role of Burial Supervisor from George Gardner, who retired recently.  All the burial records have been recorded by hand in the past and it is planned for Mrs Dodd to transfer and maintain the old and new data into a database using new computer software.

44.3     Cllr Hammond reported that Cllr Dodman, who originally designed the Garden of Remembrance, had pointed out that the path was originally bonded.  It was decided to get further quotes and information on the merits of using a bonded material for the path. Cllr Hammond pointed out that this was likely to add considerably to the cost and delay the works which had been planned to be carried out in October.

44.4     The dedicated street cleaner had also been clearing bins at the Cemetery but now he has been withdrawn from the Village by Sita this service is no longer available.

44.5     The budget for the Cemetery is on target for the year.
Resolved:       To approve the recommendation of the Cemetery Committee to carry out works to the bin and shed areas up to a cost of £1,500 plus VAT.

Proposed;        Cllr Hannibal                Seconded:        Cllr Sowerby   
Carried Unanimously
Cllr Hammond did not vote as he had previously declared an interest.


45.   Communications
45.1     Cllr Emmett reported that Village News continued to be well received.  He thanked the editorial and production team for making the magazine so successful.

45.2     Cllr Emmett reported that two surgeries had been held to date and were well attended.  The next surgery would be held on 6th October between 5.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. at the Village Hall and residents were encouraged to attend with any questions they might have.

45.3     An overall communications plan was been prepared and further details would be available at the November public meeting.


46.   Stansted Expansion
46.1     Cllr Berry reported that in response to the letter read out by the Clerk under

Correspondence, a draft letter had been prepared for consideration by councillors setting out the views of the Council.
Cllr Philip joined the meeting at this juncture.

Resolved:        To approve the draft letter before the Council to Uttlesford District Council in response to a request by Stop Stansted Expansion to write with the Parish Council’s views on the second runway plans by the 26th September.

Proposed:         Cllr Berry         Seconded:        Cllr Gooch
Carried Unanimously
          .
47.   CCTV
47.1     Cllr Emmett reported that the status of the CCTV equipment and costings had been clarified.  One camera is not working properly and this is being rectified. A meeting had been held with Theydon Security and further enhancements to the equipment are planned.  Monthly reports are to be provided by Theydon Security as to what maintenance has been carried out and the use made of the equipment.  The police and other parties who require a download should go direct to Theydon Security with their request.


48.   Reports from Representatives
48.1     There were no reports from Representatives.

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

49.1     Request for an update regarding the situation at 2 Theydon Park Road.  Cllr Gooch reported that the property was on short term let and Planning Enforcement had been informed that it was being used as a pet boarding house.  If the lease is renewed EFDC will seek submission for a planning application to retain it for such a use.  It was thought that the site was owned by a developer.

49.2     Further concern was expressed regarding the loss of the dedicated street cleaner and the effect this would have on the Parish’s entry into the Best Kept Village Competition.  Cllr Philip advised that he had spoken to the Portfolio Holder and the matter was being further investigated.

49.3     Further comments regarding the items of correspondence read out by the Clerk concerning Cllrs Hammond, Dodman and Sowerby.

49.4     Comments regarding the Village Green application and ways of raising money to fund the reopening of the Youth Club, possibly by way of a Public Works Loan.

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Theydon Bois Parish Council

Minutes of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 28th July, 2008 in the Village Hall

Prior to commencement of the Agenda, a presentation was given by Peter Sanders, Chairman, Stop Stansted Expansion followed by a question and answer session.

A presentation was made by Cllr Hammond, Chairman of the Cemetery Committee, to George Gardner, former Parish Council Burial Supervisor, who retired in June.

Present:      Councillors Berry, Dodman, Emmett, Gooch, Hammond, Hannibal and Sowerby

17.   Apologies for absence.  Apologies were received from Councillors
Jones, Philip, Purkiss, and Vincent.

18.   The Minutes of the meeting held on 15th May, 2008 were confirmed as a correct record.

19.   Declarations of Interest.  There were no declarations of interest.

20.   Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

20.1     A letter from four children at Theydon Bois Primary School addressed to the Chairman concerned about the environmental impact of using plastic shopping bags.

20.2     A letter from Marion Mellis, who has been running the Day Club at Robert Daniels Court for a number of years, advising that she will be retiring at Christmas and appealing for other volunteers to come forward to help keep the Club running.

20.3     A letter of thanks from Essex Air Ambulance thanking the Parish Council for  their donation of £165.

20.4     A letter of thanks from St. Clare Hospice thanking the Parish Council for their donation of £330 to assist towards insurance costs.

21.   Finance

21.1     The accounts up to 23rd July 2008, having been previously circulated, were approved.

21.2     Cllr Dodman reported that the draft Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st March, 2008 had been circulated to Members for their consideration.

Resolved:       To approve and adopt the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st March, 2008.

Proposed:         Cllr Dodman                 Seconded:        Cllr Hannibal
Carried unanimously

21.3     Cllr Dodman reported that a draft copy of the Annual Return for the year ended 31st March, 2008 had been circulated to Members for their consideration.

Resolved:       To approve the completed Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement as set out in Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Return Form for the year ending 31st March 2008. 

Proposed:         Cllr Dodman                 Seconded:        Cllr Hannibal

21.4     Cllr Dodman reported that the Annual Accounts for 2002-2007 had been signed off by the Auditor.

22.   Standing Orders

22.1     Cllr Hannibal advised that the current Standing Orders were under review but due to a number of Councillors being away on holiday any revisions would be voted on at the September Public Meeting.

23.   Change in Format of future Public Meetings

23.1     The Clerk reported that starting at the next Public Meeting to be held on 25th September there will be an additional Agenda item included at the beginning of the meeting after Declarations of Interest in order to allow members of the public to make comments on any of the items which appear on the Agenda for that meeting.   The period of time allowed for this and for individuals to speak may be limited at the discretion of the Chairperson.  These comments will allow councillors to take into account the views of residents before considering items on the Agenda.  There will also be an opportunity at the end of the meeting for members of the public to make comments on items which do not appear on the agenda for that meeting.

24.   Highways & Environment

24.1     Parking

Cllr Dodman reported that the parking subcommittee has collated all of the parking related correspondence received by TBPC since 2003, and some more recent letters from residents sent to Essex CC, both in reply to the consultation process and more general correspondence.

Since 2003 we have received letters or emails from 53 residents supporting the introduction of parking restrictions and 11 writing in support of residents permits.

Conversely there have been 33 residents writing in opposition to the introduction of parking restrictions.

These figures do not include duplicate correspondence from the same dwelling.

We have also not included petitions in these numbers, as they are often duplications. We have also received however a 76-signature petition from residents in Forest Drive supporting restrictions, a 92-signature petition opposing restrictions in Theydon Park Road and a 39-signature petition opposing restrictions in Woodland Way and Heath Drive.

In the June issue of the Village News, we informed residents in roads that had scheduled parking restrictions that were yet to be ratified, a second opportunity to comment. Although the formal consultation process by ECC had closed, our ward District councillors, whose responsibility it is to ratify the restrictions, welcomed the opportunity to give residents another chance to comment.

The results were as follows;

Baldocks Road (32 homes) 4 supporting & 1 opposing.
Harewood Hill (26 Homes) 2 supporting & 1 opposing.
Purlieu Way (49 Homes) 6 supporting, 3 wanting residents permits & 1 opposing.
The Weind (20 Homes) 2 supporting & 2 opposing.

We could assume that residents that offered no comment are in favour of the restrictions, whichever way we look at the responses it seems clear, in all but the Weind, that residents in these roads welcome the restrictions.  All of the correspondence will now be passed to Cllrs. Frankel and Philip. I am sure they will give the situation their priority as soon as the holiday season is over, as the delay in the ratification of these roads is holding up some of the other implementations.

We are also looking more closely at the timings of the restrictions. We are concerned about the scheduled change on the timing on Orchard and Heath Drive, we will pass residents concerns on to the District Councillors.

We have now started receiving complaints about commuter parking from residents in Blackacre Road, Green Glade / Pakes Way and Hornbeam Road. We have to stress at this point that once parking restrictions are ratified it is very difficult to reverse any decisions, residents should be clear about the advantages and disadvantages of parking restrictions before requesting them.

Since May we have written to TfL about commuter parking, Essex CC about the fine-tuning of some of the existing restrictions, and EFDC about Bank Holiday Enforcement. We have also, subsequent to articles written in the Epping Forest Guardian, written to each of the shopkeepers and businesses in Forest Drive, Coppice Row and Station Approach.

TfL have confirmed that Central Line car parking in the area is running at 120% capacity. They confirm that ‘A larger car park would encourage more cars as the demand increases to fill the capacity. Anything that causes trains to fill near the end of the line needs to be considered very carefully.’

The area of land TfL own on the westbound side of the tracks would only accommodate 10-12 cars and therefore would not be cost effective to develop. It would also be difficult for them to extend the parking on any areas of land they own on the eastbound side of the tracks.

EFDC have today agreed to trial non enforcement of the one hour parking restrictions on single yellow lines during the next bank holiday in August. He will be seeking feedback from residents, if it was decided that a more long term non enforcement would be desired, that would probably involve a new Traffic Regulation Order’s which are expensive to implement.

I am sure residents can appreciate this is quite an emotive issue and there is no clear solution that would suit all. Interestingly, one resident who originally wrote opposing restrictions now supports them.  Comments from residents on this subject are most welcome.

Cllr Dodman read out a letter from the Chairman, Cllr Sue Jones, to Eric Pickles, MP for Brentwood and Ongar, responding to an article in the Guardian newspaper in which he suggested TfL extend their car parking facilities at Theydon Bois Station.

24.2     Highway Issues

Cllr Hannibal reported on behalf of Cllr Purkiss that Essex have recently completed a section of frost shattered road at the bottom of the Avenue of Trees, which involved a road closure from 21st July, and included in the job the patching round of two manhole covers in Coppice Row opposite Tesco.

Essex should continue soon with the lifting of sections of kerb and the digging up and re-instatement of the footway between Phillips the Butcher and the top end of the Church Hall. Tactiles should be going down at the Barn Mead and Orchard Drive crossings. Not all kerbs will be lifted but, for example, where it is flush with the road outside the Queen Victoria car park these and other sections are to be re-done and granite will be re-instated where it is in use.

Hopefully later in September Essex will dig up and re-make the section of footway from Buxton Road to Elizabeth Drive and re-plane the section of road in Forest Drive from where they finished outside the Heights to Buxton Road. This will then be re-lined but may be subject to when the new parking restrictions for increasing waiting time to 2hours and the agreed reduction in lengths of double yellow lines come into force. We are also seeking to persuade Highways to re-plane further up Forest Drive, at least to Junction of Elizabeth Drive.

Essex Highways have agreed to completely re-make the road along the Green from Poplar Row to outside Green View Cottages. No date has yet been set and we are pursuing this as the year is slipping by.

In Hornbeam Road, Hornbeam Close and Purlieu Way sections of suction kerbs have been re-instated.

Bike racks outside the shops have been agreed with Highways and we are awaiting a decision on the type to be installed, which will probably be U- shaped bars set in the ground. However, we will need to decide suitable positions for them, possibly close to the litter bins outside Fosters Long Ling.

Highways continue to be in disarray and understaffed and under funded, but at least with David Forkin in charge the chaos is organised. 

24.3     Bus Shelter

Cllr Hannibal reported on behalf of Cllr Purkiss that the asbestos roof from the Bus Shelter on the Viaduct has been removed and we await the Essex County Council Bridge Inspector’s decision of how he will allow a “structure” to be placed on the Viaduct. Apparently, they have had a similar situation in Kent but this does not seem to provide an easy solution.  When they agree on how it can be fixed to the bridge it will determine what type of Shelter we can put there. We have a brochure and the whole Council can then determine the shelter type.

24.4     Zebra Crossing and Speeding Issues

Cllr Hannibal reported on behalf of Cllr Vincent that the issue regarding the pedestrian crossing flooding has been reported to Essex County Council who have replied that they will look into the problem and report back in due course as to what can be done.

Regarding speeding vehicles in Loughton Lane, Cllr Purkiss and Cllr Vincent met with police and they and Highways have agreed that a review of vehicle speeds will commence in the next few weeks. Once those results have been analysed, the Parish Council will talk with them again and will look at the best way forward.

25.   Planning

25.1     Cllr Gooch reported that there had been thirty five applications since the last Public Meeting. 

25.2     Of particular concern were the application for redevelopment at 2 Theydon Park Road, the application for a very modern house to replace a bungalow at 3 The Weind and a detached annex for a disabled person at 56 Theydon Park Road.  The latter application is a sensitive issue but the Parish Council objected as it would be an infringement in the Green Belt.  An application to development the former Caretaker’s House on the Wansfell College site was not objected to as it is of a similar size to the former house and in keeping with the area.  However the Planning Committee has suggested conditions be applied in order to protect the neighbours.

 

25.3     Christina Joaquin from the Woodland Trust gave a short presentation to TBPC last week about their plans for a sculptural land form at the Woodland Trust site on the Abridge Road.  Plans are available to view on the TBPC notice board in the foyer.  They are planning to dig a pond and rather than export the resultant soil/clay from the site they have decided to commission a “landform”.  The idea was provisionally well received by councillors.

26.   Communications

26.1     Cllr Emmett reported that a new Communications Committee had been set up, consisting of Cllrs Emmett, Jones, Sowerby and Hannibal, with the aim of improving communications in general to both residents and other bodies including local authorities, associations, the media and other relevant organisations.  The scope and activities of the Committee will be agreed at their next meeting and will be reported on at the next Public Meeting in September.

26.2     Cllr Emmett reported that Parish Council Surgeries are to be trialled on the first Monday of every month between 5.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. at the Village Hall, starting on Monday 1st August.  Two Parish Councillors will be present to address comments and criticisms from residents on a one to one basis.

26.3     Cllr Sowerby reported that following a review of costs of printing Village News estimates had been obtained from three companies and Precision Printing had been chosen to take over the contract from Metloc.  This would produce a saving of over £300 per quarter.  In addition, new sponsorship has been secured.

26.4     Cllr Sowerby reported that it was planned to further utilise the web site as an information forum to strengthen communications.

27.   Youth Provision/Village Green Application

27.1     Cllr Hammond reported that investigations were ongoing as to how best to occupy the youth of the Village. Further discussions were taking place with the QC regarding the purchase or lease of the Youth Centre and the course of action to take in responding to Essex County Council.  Ideas regarding the running of a Youth Centre had been discussed, including the possible setting up of a charitable trust, volunteers to run it and using resources from the Village.

28.   CCTV

28.1     Cllr Emmett reported that Cllr Vincent had compiled a dossier relating to the current situation regarding CCTV surveillance in the Village.  This included the sites of the cameras, coverage, grants, expenditure and contracts.  A meeting had taken place with other users i.e. Buxton Trust, PAT and the Village Association and a meeting is due to take place shortly with Theydon Security.

29.   Avenue of Trees

29.1     Cllr Dodman reported that following on from a site visit to the Avenue of Trees along Loughton Lane by the Epping Forest and Commons Committee in March 2007 the Superintendent of Epping Forest was asked to prepare options and consult with the residents of Theydon Bois about the future of the Oak avenue.  Eight options were prepared and presented by the Superintendent at a public Parish Council meeting on 31st January 2008.  Two further options were suggested at that meeting and were then offered for consideration. On 18th February further consultation was conducted and interested parties were given the opportunity to vote on one of ten options:

Option 1 was to remove and replace all existing Oaks in a single exercise.
Option 2 was to Plant a new line of Oaks outside existing line to create a wider avenue and remove existing trees over time as required.
Option 3 was to create a new avenue away from the road on either north or south side.
Option 4 was a sequential "wave" felling and replacement programme.
Option 5 was to plant an additional avenue of trees perpendicular to the existing avenue.
Option 6 was to plant additional avenues along The Green southern edge and removal of existing Oaks as required.
Option 7 was to retain existing avenue and manage as required create new group planting around Theydon Bois Green.
Option 8 was to remove the north avenue of trees and re-route path with new south side row of trees.
Option A was to allow the Avenue to diminish and left as a green open space, and the road between the avenue closed to all vehicular traffic.
Option B was that as existing trees die replace with new trees, and the road between the avenue closed to vehicular traffic.

112 responses were received the results were as follows:

 

Option 1           4          3%
Option 2           70        53%
Option 3           4          3%
Option 4           8          6%
Option 5           4          3%
Option 6           1          1%
Option 7           6          4%
Option 8           6          4%
Option A          10        7%
Option B          22        16%

 

The proposal to plant 60 oak trees as per option 2, the clear favourite, was agreed on 7th July at a meeting of the Epping Forest and Commons committee at the Guild Hall. It is intended that planting will commence during the winter of 2009-2010. It is proposed that large trees will be planted that would be supported by a root anchor system. This will help secure the trees, reduce vandalism and look more in keeping with the landscape of the Green. Some trees will be felled over the next five years but it is hoped that the healthier larger specimens would remain for the next 20 years. The cost of £15,600, which includes two years of after care watering, would be met from the Epping Forest local budget. It was noted however by Cllrs Dodman and Purkiss, who attended the Guild Hall Meeting (but as is normal practice were not allowed to speak) that a number of Verderers said that the Parish Council should be approached to help fund the project.

The Parish Council will remain in communication with the City of London and the new superintendent Mr Paul Thompson, who commences his post on 1st September, to ensure that this iconic feature of our village is maintained and preserved for future generations.

30.   Best Kept Village Competition 2008 Results

30.1     The Clerk reported that the Village had been awarded runner-up in Class 2 in the Best Kept Village Competition.  Class 2 comprises villages with a population of 2000 to 5000 and the winner was West Bergholt.  Overall winner for Best Kept Village of the Year in Essex was Langham.

31.   Village Design Statement

31.1     Cllr Emmett reported that the data from the questionnaire had been analysed and it was hoped that a publication could be produced and put on the web site by Christmas.  In the meantime EFDC had advised that in order for the Design Statement to be adopted they would have to approve it first and it would have to fit in with the Local Development Framework, which has not yet been completed.

32.   Reports from Representatives

32.1     Litter Picks

Cllr Dodman advised that the Litter Pick due to take place on Saturday 30th July has had to be cancelled as no councillors will be available due to holidays and other commitments.

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

33.1     A question was asked about the planning application to turn the former Wine Rack into a restaurant and the parking implications.

33.2     A number of questions arose regarding the parking restrictions, including problems in Theydon Park Road, Blackacre Road and the possibility of permits for residents who have no parking facilities.

33.3     Concerns were raised about the rumours of the construction and use of a motor cross facility on the Blunts Farm site.

33.4     A question about the TREK facility and when the site will be cleared.  TBPC will write to EFDC regarding this.
33.5     The dangers of the deep water-filled pits.  TBPC will chase the Health & Safety Executive regarding this.

 

33.4     A request to find a volunteer to continue running the Luncheon Club as the elderly residents relied on it to get out and about and meet other people.

 

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Theydon Bois Parish Council

Annual Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 15th May, 2008 at The Village Hall

Present:      Cllrs J. Berry, J Dodman, M Emmett, M Hannibal, S Jones,
                   A Purkiss, S Sowerby and P Vincent

1.     Election of Chairman
1.1 There being no other nominations Cllr Sue Jones was duly elected as Chairman for the coming year.
Proposed:         Cllr Sowerby                Seconded:        Cllr Hannibal
Carried Unanimously


2.     Declaration of Acceptance of Office

2.1   Cllr Jones duly signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Chairman for
2008-2009.


3.     Appointment of Vice-Chairman
3.1 There being no other nominations Cllr Dodman was appointed as Vice-Chairman for the coming year.
Proposed:  Cllr Jones                Seconded: Cllr Berry
Carried Unanimously

4.     Formation of Committees and appointment of representatives4.1       The draft list for 2008-2009, having previously been circulated, was agreed.  A copy is appended hereto.

5.     Apologies for absence.  Apologies were received from Cllrs Gooch, Hammond and Philip.


6.     The Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting held on 24th April, 2008 were confirmed as a correct record.


7.     Declarations of Interest
7.1       There were no declarations of interest for any of the items on the Agenda.


8.     Correspondence  The Clerk reported on the following:-
8.1       Confirmation from Stop Stansted Expansion that their Chairman, Peter Sanders, will be giving a presentation at the next Parish Council Public Meeting on 31st July.

8.2       An e-mail from District Councillor Roland Frankel offering good wishes and support to the newly elected Parish Council.   In addition, he commented that in his opinion the wild flower areas on the Green are unsightly and unnecessary.

8.3       A letter of thanks from Theydon Bois Primary School thanking the Parish Council for  their donation of £120 towards the cost of materials for the Craft Club.

8.4       A letter of thanks from Playground at Theydon thanking the Parish Council for their donation of £1,000 to assist towards insurance costs.

8.5       Several letters both in support of, and in opposition to, the new Parking Restrictions.

9.     Finance
9.1       The accounts up to 7th May 2008, having previously been circulated, were approved.

10.   Standing Orders
10.1     In accordance with Standing Orders Issue 6 dated 27/7/06 the Standing Orders are a formal Agenda item at the Annual Meeting of the Council for the purposes of review and amendment as required.  Cllr Hannibal reported that the review would be postponed until the newly elected councillors had had an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the Standing Orders and to let him know if they thought any alterations were necessary prior to the next Administration Meeting in order that any changes could be adopted at the July Public Meeting. 


11.   Planning
11.1     Cllr Jones reported that there had been twelve applications since the Annual Parish Meeting in March.  The Planning Committee had objected to five, the most notable being the alterations and extension to house No. 2 at Theydon Towers which was unacceptably large and in the Green Belt, and the application at 2 Theydon Park Road for two pairs of semi-detached houses.  This application has since been withdrawn.
11.2     Cllr Jones reported portacabins had been installed on the site of the Old Foresters.  Enforcement officers at EFDC have been informed but the owners have been given two months in which to submit a planning application, during which time EFDC considered it unreasonable for them to insist on removal of the portacabins.

12.   Parking Restrictions
12.1     Cllr Dodman reported that a new sub-committee of the Highways & Environment Committee had been set up in order to look into the consequences of the new Parking Restrictions.  An update on the key points regarding the restrictions are to be published in the June edition of Village News.  There are to be increased parking spaces by the shops by reducing the length of the double yellow lines with an increase of the time allowed from one to two hours.  In the meantime, contact is to be made with Transport for London in order look into the possibility of increasing parking availability at the Station.

12.2     Permits are available for a fee for workman carrying out contracts in affected roads and parents were reminded that parking is available in the Village Hall car park for pupils who attend Theydon Bois Primary School.

12.3     Broken yellow lines where contractors have been unable to complete lines are enforceable by traffic wardens, as are Bank Holidays.  The Parish Council feels restrictions on Bank holidays is unacceptable and will be seeking to have this rescinded.

12.4     Cllr Jones reported that an article in the Guardian newspaper published on 15th May quoting Essex County Cllr Norman Hume as saying that there would be a full Parking review in Theydon Bois was being denied by his office.  The Parish Council is seeking clarification.   

13.   Village Design Statement
13.1     Cllr Emmett reported that progress was on schedule and it was hoped that the final document would be published by the end of 2008.  Some 400 residents had completed the questionnaire and these had been analysed and would be appearing on the web site shortly.   A photoshoot had taken place on 3rd May but any submissions after this date would still be accepted until the end of May.  Further funding would be required to complete the project and appeals would be made for further assistance.

14.   Litter Picks
14.1     Cllr Jones reported that the litter picks that are held on the first Saturday of every month at 9.00 a.m. from the Village Hall would be continuing under the auspices of former councillor John Eaton.  New volunteers are always needed in order to keep the village tidy and equipment is provided.  Cllr Jones stated that the Parish Council were grateful to John Eaton for continuing to lead the Litter Picks.

15.   Reports from Representatives

15.1     Tesco
Cllr Purkiss reported that Tesco had erected a very large sign along the flank wall by the Tesco parking spaces without planning permission.  He had contacted Tesco Head Office and they have removed it.

16.   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.         A question was raised about when the dilapidated bus shelter on the Viaduct was going to be replaced.  Cllr Purkiss investigating.

2.         A question as to why the bench outside the newsagents had been put back on the other side of the road following the refurbishment of the pavements.  Cllr Purkiss replied that this was at the request of the shopkeepers.

3.         Concern about the drainage problem at the zebra crossing during periods of heavy rain.

4.         An expression of appreciation from PAT for the financial support given towards insurance costs at the Playground.

5.         Concerns about the short length of time (20 mins) allowed in the Tesco parking spaces.  Parish Council to approach Tesco to seek extension of time limit.

6.         Comments regarding the parking restrictions in general and along the Avenue of Tress in particular.

7.         Cllr Purkiss mentioned the recent road traffic accident in Loughton Lane which resulted in a fatality.  Speeding is a major issue and he will be meeting with Inspector Fox and Trevor Stubbington on site in Loughton Lane in the near future to discuss ways to address the problem.  The accident statistics for Loughton Lane are high and a particular concern is pupils walking to and from Davenant school.

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Theydon Bois Parish Council


Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 24th April, 2008 in the Village Hall

Prior to commencement of the Agenda the Chairman presented Cllr Oliver, who is standing down at the forthcoming election, an engraved glass in recognition of his time spent on the Council.

He then invited Roy Newland to give an update on the latest position regarding the Village Green Registration at the Youth Club site

Mr Newland gave a brief history of the site and stated that in January 2004 Essex County Council (ECC) considered the Youth Centre site surplus to requirements and sought outline planning permission, which was objected to by Theydon Bois Parish Council and refused by Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) in July 2004. Mr Newland was aware that a Village Green application could prevent development of the site and he then applied to register the open land surrounding the building as a Village Green, citing one of the criteria that it had been in community use for more than 20 years. ECC were the only objectors to this application.

ECC lodged an appeal against the refusal for planning permission in October 2005, and a four day Public Inquiry was held in January 2006, where the Inspector, against expectations, decided in favour of ECC. However, ECC were unable to further the development because of the Village Green application and the protracted legal process whereby people involved in the ‘Traps Ground’ case went to the House of Lords and overturned the Court of Appeal’s ruling. A date for the Inquiry was set for 7, 8 and 9 May 2008 but unfortunately neither Mr Newland, nor his barrister, were available for those dates and new dates are to be set. Up until now Mr Newland’s barrister has been giving advice pro bono but any further advice will be charged for, albeit at a reduced fee.

If the Village Green application fails it will mean ECC can develop the site at will, subject to obtaining full planning permission. If the application is successful the community will have the right to use the land for public open space but not the Youth Club building itself, nor the Scout building, which will mean negotiating with ECC for its use.

ECC have recently made a proposition regarding the site and the Youth Facility and Scout Hut buildings and requested that the Village Green application be deferred whilst negotiations continue.

 


Cllr Glozier thanked Mr Newland and then formally opened the Meeting.

Present: Councillors R Glozier (Chair), S Jones, J Eaton, P Hammond, M Hannibal, M Oliver, J Padfield, and A Purkiss.

86. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Councillors
K Cushing, P Gooch and M Hayday.

87. The Minutes of the meeting held on 27th March 2008 were confirmed as a correct record.

88. Declarations of Interest. There were no declarations of interest.

89. Youth Facility

89.1 Cllr Hammond stated that the main reason he had joined the Parish Council was to help the youth of the Village. A Youth Survey had been carried out via the Village News and the results had shown a need to make provision for young people to meet up.

89.2 Mr Newland pointed out that strong representations had been made for the last four years to ECC to provide for the youth of the Village, ever since they announced the closure of the Youth Club.

89.3 Cllr Hammond reported that the Village Green application had been made personally by Mr Newland who had had progressed the application giving a great deal of time and putting himself personally at risk of incurring legal costs. Any fees incurred from now on should be the responsibility of the Parish Council.

89.4 Firstly, whilst it was felt that there was a good chance of being successful in the Village Green application, nothing is certain and there is a risk of failure. Earlier negotiations had failed when ECC refused a tentative offer of £70,000 for the site, stating that £1M would be the sum they would be looking for. It was clear that ECC would prefer not to incur substantial legal fees associated with the Inquiry and were keen to have the Village Green application removed. Should their offer be accepted, they would be willing to offer a two year lease on the Youth Club building whilst the conveyance was finalised. In return for the Village Green application being withdrawn completely ECC were offering to transfer the land and the building to the community for £1. Similarly, the Scout Hut and surrounding land would also be given freehold for £1. In addition, the ECC housing development area of the site would be restricted to a maximum of three houses only, by way of covenant.

89.5 Cllr Hammond stated that there were a number of possible outcomes:

89.6 If the Village Green application was successful the community would have use of the land forever. However, all the land and the Youth Centre and Scout Hut buildings would still be owned by ECC.

89.7 The second eventuality was if the Village Green application is not successful. In that case up to ten houses could be built on the site, the Youth Centre would be lost and the scouts would have to renegotiate with ECC when the lease on their building expired.

89.8 Thirdly, the Youth Club could reopen within the next few months, subject to surveying the state of repair of the inside of the building. The Scout Hut and Youth Club buildings, together with the agreed adjoining areas of land would be secured for the community. The disadvantages are that three houses would be built within three years and the responsibility of ownership of the remaining site buildings would fall to the Parish Council.

89.9 Cllr Hammond pointed out that the land has been maintained by the community in the interim and will continue to be so.

89.10 Due to the suddenness of the ECC proposals urgent legal advice would have to be sought but with local elections on 1st May it would be up to the incoming Council to make any decisions regarding ECC’s offer. In the meantime, it was prudent to ensure that any legal expenses incurred by Mr Newland would be met by the Parish Council.

89.11 Cllr Purkiss expressed thanks to everyone involved in the Youth Club petition which had been available at The Bookshop. He stated that this had been a key factor in ECC coming up with the current proposal. He also stated that the Parish Council belonged to the Open Spaces Society, which defends the development of open land. He stated that whilst it was difficult to accept any housing on the site, there was a risk in pursuing the Village Green application and the ECC offer may be an acceptable compromise.

89.12 Cllr Hammond stated that to obtain the freehold of both the Youth Club and Scout Hut buildings had to be beneficial to the community as a whole. The ultimate aim would be to reopen the Youth Club for the youngsters and hold events there, including breakfast and after school clubs. The facility would be run by volunteers.

89.13 Cllr Eaton stated that the process of securing the youth club had begun many years previously and it was evident that youngsters needed a place to meet. He fully supported the proposed motions.

89.14 Cllr Jones stated that whilst the planning committee always tried to defend green spaces this was an exceptional circumstance and three houses would be more acceptable than a possible ten and therefore she supported the motions.

89.15 Cllr Hannibal stated that he supported the motions, which would apply for an interim period until the new Council could take further decisions.

89.16 Cllr Glozier stated that this meeting was necessary as public money may have be spent on legal fees before the next Council was sworn in on 15th May, in addition to the opportunity to update residents on the current position in the interest of openness and transparency.

89.17 The following motions were then put to the Members:

Resolved:

1. This Parish Council authorises Cllr Hammond and Cllr Purkiss, (or such other Councillor(s) designated by the Council), to continue negotiations with Essex County Council for the eventual transfer of the freehold of land, that includes the Youth Club and Scout buildings and the adjacent areas, to the Parish Council for a nominal fee.

Proposed: Cllr Jones Seconded: Cllr Hannibal
Carried Unanimously

Resolved:

2. When negotiations are complete the new Parish Council will consider a public consultation process for fully informing and obtaining views from residents to facilitate the new Parish Council making an ultimate decision for the good of the village.

Proposed: Cllr Jones Seconded: Cllr Hannibal
Carried Unanimously

Resolved:

3. This Parish Council authorises the expenditure of up to £1,500 for legal and surveying costs in connection with such an acquisition and/or the Village Green Application. The sum of £1,500 has presently been partly incurred and the remaining balance is provided only in case of need before the new Parish Council is able to have a public meeting for any further resolution. This sum will be met from reserves and any further expenditure shall be at the discretion of the new Parish Council.

Proposed: Cllr Jones Seconded: Cllr Hannibal
Carried Unanimously

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

90.1 District Councillor Kay Rush stated that in her view the offer was the best possible compromise. She voiced concern regarding the short notice of the meeting as she had in her possession a copy of a letter to the W.I. dated 2nd April from ECC Youth Services referring to an offer made to the Parish Council regarding the site. Cllr Hammond responded stating that talks had been ongoing with ECC for some time but no formal offer, with the latest accompanying maps, had been available until 22nd April. Cllr Rush supported motion 3.

90.2 District Councillor Frankel mentioned the Quirk Review which relates to community management and ownership of assets. He supported motion 3 and also favoured pursing the Village Green application.

90.3 Jim Watts of Theydon Bois & District Rural Preservation Society stated that it would be of concern to the Society to erect three houses on the site and the detail of the proposals would have to be carefully scrutinised.

90.4 A number of residents stated that they would favour accepting the proposals and reopening the Youth Club building for the youth of the Village. Other residents were opposed to the reopening of the Youth facility as before it closed down there had been acts of vandalism and nuisance youths causing trouble. There was a lack of supervision and the police had not provided an adequate response.

90.5 Further questions were raised about how the facility could be run Cllr Glozier stated that the Youth Club would probably be owned and maintained by the Parish Council but it would be run by volunteers as a Village facility. Membership could be confined to the youngsters from Theydon Bois only. The Box in Epping was an example of how the future facility could work. Grants and help from Youth Organisations would be available and it could be run by a qualified Youth Worker.

90.6 A resident raised the question of the areas of ownership of the site after the construction of Maple Close.

90.7 A question was raised regarding the timing of withdrawal of the Village Green registration should the ECC proposal be acceptable.

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Theydon Bois Parish Council

Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 27th March, 2008 in the Village Hall


Present: Councillors R Glozier (Chair), S Jones, J Eaton, J Padfield, K Cushing,
M Hannibal and A Purkiss.

Prior to commencement of the Agenda, the Chairman announced that this year’s winner of the annual award of the Chairman’s Rose Bowl was Paul Argent. The award was made in recognition of Mr Argent’s contribution to village life over many years, including his work with Cubs & Beavers, as a Junior Church Leader and for his involvement with the Music Society. Tribute was made to Mr Argent for his willingness to help with litter picks and other village activities and more recently for his work in support of the re-opening of the Youth Club site & the proposed village green application to secure the site for the future use of the village. Mr Argent accepted the award on behalf of himself and his mother, Doreen Argent who had been at the centre of village life for over 40 years

71. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Councillors
M Oliver, P Hammond, M Hayday & P Gooch. Cllr Glozier mentioned that Graham Hayday, the father of Cllr M Hayday had been taken ill suddenly hence Cllr Hayday was unable to attend the meeting and that best wishes were sent by the members of the Parish Council to Mr Hayday for a speedy recovery.

72. The Minutes of the meeting held on 31st January, 2008 were confirmed as a correct record.

73. Declarations of Interest. There were no declarations of interest.

74. Correspondence The Clerk reported on the following:-

74.1 A letter sent to the M25 Widening Project Leader at the Highways Agency expressing concern about the potential increase in traffic during the proposed works to widen the M25 from junctions 27 to 30, and with a request that the Parish Council be consulted on all proposed alleviation measures.

74.2 The Clerk reported that three letters of complaint had been received regarding the proposed parking restrictions. One of these letters, from a concerned resident of Theydon Park Road whose property does not have the benefit of off-street parking, was read out.

74.3 A letter sent in reply to the above resident explaining that the Parish Council had requested that Essex County Council should consider parking restrictions following repeated requests from residents to take action against the problems arising from commuter parking in the village.

74..4 A letter sent to Essex Highways Area Office West requesting that corrective measures be adopted immediately to alleviate the effect of the parking restrictions on those properties in Theydon Park Road without the benefit of off-street parking.

74.5 A media release issued by Epping Forest District Council regarding the underage sales telephone hotline which has been set up to make it easier for people to report the illegal sale of age-restricted goods to young people who are not old enough to buy them. These goods include alcohol, tobacco, knives, fireworks and aerosols such as spray paint. Further information can be obtained from the Safer Communities Team on 01992 564272.

74.6 An email from Stop Stansted Expansion confirming that they will be sending a speaker to the Public Meeting on 31 July.

74.7 A letter from Essex County Council informing the Parish Transport Representative of the changes that are being made to the provision of concessionary Bus Passes. The District Councils feel that they are not receiving sufficient funding to meet the full costs of the present scheme and so with effect from 1st April 2008 concessionary pass holders will only be able to travel free from 09.30 until 23.00.

74.8 A media release issued by Epping Forest District Council stating that Essex Police announced at the Overview & Scrutiny meeting on 6th March that they have achieved their targets and reduced crime in the District by 10%, and that the Epping Forest Crime & Disorder Partnership has been able to assist Essex Police within their working partnership.

75. Finance

75.1 The accounts up to 19th March, having been previously circulated, were approved.

75.2 Cllr Cushing referred to his report at the previous meeting on 31st January when he had reported that the budget for 2008 is on target with a possible small surplus left over, and further reported the likelihood of a surplus is looking even stronger due to the increase in cemetery income although this cannot yet be confirmed.

76. Parish & Town Council Remuneration Scheme

76.1 Cllr Hannibal explained that communication had been received from Epping Forest District Council regarding the review of the Remuneration Scheme and with a request for adoption of the Report of the Parish Remuneration Panel for Epping Forest District dated February 2008. Cllr Hannibal explained that Parish Councillors are entitled to receive payments in the form of allowances & expenses to compensate them for the work they do but reiterated that the members of the present Parish Council do not make any such claims.

Resolved: That this Council accepts the Epping Forest District Council report dated February 2008 and adopts the Parish Remuneration Scheme arrangements for Theydon Bois reported therein.

Proposed: Cllr Hannibal Seconded: Cllr Glozier
Carried unanimously

77. Planning

77.1 Cllr Jones reported that there had been twenty two applications since the last Public Meeting. The Planning Committee had objected to ten of these applications.

77.2 Cllr Jones reported that several residents had expressed concern about the development at Theydon Lodge and that she had been assured by EFDC that the present work was being implemented under the planning consent which had been granted on appeal or at the developer’s own risk. Specifically the work which had commenced with regard to the proposed garage was not progressing.

77.3 Cllr Jones reported that the Planning Committee had been disappointed to learn of the successful appeal against the refusal of EFDC to approve a reserved matters application for a proposed dwelling in the rear garden of 64 Morgan Crescent. The same Inspector’s earlier decision had made it clear that any new build was expected to be a bungalow and it was therefore surprising to learn that he had subsequently allowed the appeal for a substantial four bedroom detached house. Cllr Jones reported that a letter of complaint had been sent to the Quality Assurance Unit of the Planning Inspectorate requesting a review of the Inspector’s later inconsistent decision.

77.4 Cllr Jones reported that with reference to the Trek Highways site, enforcement notices had been upheld and were due to be complied with by 6th March. EFDC cannot take further proceedings until after that date but have confirmed that they have already written to Trek Highways reminding them of the requirement to vacate the site. EFDC are monitoring the situation closely.

77.5 Cllr Jones reported that in response to public requests the Parish Council have reached agreement with the Village Association to facilitate the public display of any major planning applications in the entrance foyer of the village hall. The finer detail remains to be agreed but the intention is that any major planning applications will be open for public view Monday-Friday usually during opening hours of the Village Hall. Cllr Jones reiterated that plans are always available for public view by prior appointment with the Parish Office as it is acknowledged that it is difficult for some residents to view plans at EFDC.

78. Highways & Environment

78.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that Mr Riley had agreed a reasonable price to supply six replacement planters for the village centre and that EFDC had refurbished the benches which will be returned to their previous locations.

Resolved: This Council approves the purchase of 6 replacement planters in the Village Centre at a cost of £300 each.

Proposed: Cllr Purkiss Seconded: Cllr Eaton
Carried unanimously

78.2 Cllr Purkiss reported that talks between the shopkeepers are ongoing in relation to the proposed resurfacing of the private areas of the pavements in front of the shops.

78.3 Cllr Purkiss reported that monies set aside for pavement improvements would be used for improvements to the section between Buxton Road & Forest Drive.

78.4 Cllr Purkiss reported that work was due to commence on improvements to Baldocks Road and that the relevant funds would come out of this year’s Highways budget. It had been agreed with Essex County Council that work would also commence on The Green but due to lack of funding Essex CC had now placed the work on hold. Cllr Purkiss reported that he and Cllr Hammond were due to attend a meeting with County Cllr Hume on 28th March and they would be pressing for the relevant funds to be ring-fenced as next year’s Highways budget is due to be slashed by 2/3.

79. Parking

79.1 Cllr Glozier reiterated that the Parish Council has no powers in relation to Highways. The Parish Council acts as a conduit for resident’s requests which it passes on to Essex County Council Highways department. It is then for the Highways department to devise a scheme which attempts to meet resident’s needs. When they have done so it is residents not the Parish Council whom are invited to comment, and the decision as to the final scheme is made by the District Council who take into account the comments of residents.

80. Cemetery

80.1 Cllr Cushing reported that during the term of this Parish Council the Cemetery has been managed by the Cemetery Committee comprising Cllrs Eaton, Hammond & himself. However day to day tasks have been undertaken by the Burial Supervisor, George Gardner, a local resident who has undertaken this important work on behalf of the village for many years. Mr Gardner has advised the Cemetery Committee that he wishes to retire as soon as a replacement can be found. The vacancy of Burial Supervisor has been advertised and so far the Parish Council has received one application from a local person. At present the Cemetery records are held manually but they are in the process of being computerised with the assistance of Richard Crone who has offered to set up the necessary database.

80.2 Cllr Cushing reported that the Cemetery Committee meets annually in February and the burial fees are compared with those of similar nearby cemeteries. If these are found to be broadly in line with similar cemeteries then the fees are generally increased by inflation only. As a result of this year’s comparison exercise it was noted that it is the practice of some other cemeteries to publish the schedule of fees such that residents fees are stated to be one third of the fees shown, rather than setting out the fees with a postscript stating that the published fees must be multiplied by three times for non-residents. Cllr Cushing reported that the Cemetery Committee had decided that in future the former method would be adopted and the table of fees and charges for Theydon Bois Cemetery for 2008/2009 had been issued on this basis.

Resolved: This Council endorses the rise in burial fees recommended by the Cemetery Committee for the year 2008-2009.

Proposed: Cllr Cushing Seconded: Cllr Eaton

Carried Unanimously

81. Allotments

81.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that the present allotment income barely matches expenditure given that the rents paid by the allotment holders include the supply of water and manure. Having canvassed allotment holders it had been decided to increase rents by £5. The revised rent will be £25 for one plot and £35 for two plots.

Resolved: This Council endorses the rise in allotment fees recommended by the Allotment Committee for the year 2008-2009.

Proposer: Cllr Purkiss Seconder: Cllr Hannibal

Carried unanimously

82. Village Design Statement

82.1 Cllr Eaton reported that Theydon Bois Village Design Statement Association were preparing for the Photoshoot Day on 3rd May and would be publicising the event shortly. The Primary School had been invited to join in but for organisational reasons the Headmistress has advised that her preference is for the children to undertake this project during the week preceding the event. The Village Design Statement brochure will include a section written from the perspective of a child.

82.2 Cllr Glozier reiterated that it was to be hoped that as many villagers as possible would participate in the Photoshoot Day.

83. Reports from Representatives

There were none.

84. Vote of Thanks to Councillors

84.1 Cllr Glozier expressed his thanks to all the present members of the Parish Council for their service over the last term. In particular he thanked those Councillors standing down at the next election and showed the presentation glass that each of them would receive. He also especially thanked Councillor Sue Jones for her valuable support as Vice-Chairman.

84.2 Cllr Jones expressed her thanks to Cllr Glozier on behalf of the present members of the Parish Council for the work he had undertaken as Chairman during this term.

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

85.1 A resident raised concern about the effect of the new parking restrictions on the residents of Theydon Park Road. Cllr Glozier reiterated that any technical enquiries should be addressed to West Essex Area Highways department.

85.2 County Cllr Whitehouse requested clarification as to the reason for the Youth Club Petition which has been advertised in the village. Cllr Purkiss explained that the petition has been organised by local residents as one means of pressurising Essex County Council to offer a compromise solution. Cllr Glozier reiterated that there is a two stage process: - firstly the need to make the case for a Youth Centre facility and secondly to secure the transfer of the Youth Club site to the Parish with a view to the Community taking responsibility for the operation of a Youth Club facility, to be run on a voluntary basis but, hopefully, with grant aid. County Cllr Whitehouse queried whether negotiations would be difficult given that the Youth Club site had been previously offered to the Parish. Cllr Eaton stressed that the previous offer was not viable as Essex County Council had been seeking £1m for the transfer of the site to the Parish.

85.3 A resident queried how the surplus funds in relation to the precept would be used. Cllr Cushing explained that the Parish Council is required to carry forward a minimum of one years’ precept. Funds are earmarked for possible village initiatives, for example, a donation to the Woodland Trust, refurbishing the planters in the village centre or for highways improvements under the matched funding scheme negotiated by Cllrs Purkiss and Hammond with Essex County Council. Cllr Glozier mentioned that as the budget for next year had already been set any surplus could not be taken off that year’s precept but it would be for the next Parish Council to determine future plans.

85.4 A resident queried whether the result of the City of London’s consultation process regarding the future of the Avenue of Trees was available, and also queried why members of the Parish Council had approached County Cllr Spencer in relation to one of the proposals for the Avenue which would involve the closure of the Avenue to traffic. The resident expressed concern about the possible traffic implications of this particular proposal. Cllr Purkiss explained that the proposal had been referred to County Cllr Spencer so that he could establish the viability of the proposal with the Highways Department and not to secure his support for that particular option. Cllr Glozier reiterated that the Open Spaces Committee of the City of London would take the final decision as to which option would be chosen, and it is to be assumed that the consultation will be ongoing. Cllr Cushing mentioned that the option to which the resident referred was the view of one Councillor, and was offered only as an additional option for consideration.

85.5 A resident expressed her thanks to the present Parish Council for all their work over the past term.

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Meeting of the Council held at
8 pm on Thursday 31st January, 2008 at The Village Hall

Prior to commencement of the Agenda Mat Roberts, Superintendent of Epping Forest, City of London (Open Spaces) gave a presentation regarding options for the future of the Avenue of Trees. This was followed by a question and answer session

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

58. Apologies for absence. Apologies were received from Cllr Hayday

59. The Minutes of the meeting held on 29th November 2007, having previously been circulated to members, were confirmed as a correct record.

60. Declarations of Interest

60.1 There were no declarations of interest for any of the items on the Agenda.

61. Correspondence

The Clerk reported on the following:-

61.1 A media release issued by EFDC regarding their on-line questionnaire seeking views from residents regarding crime and disorder in the district in order to identify priorities for the District’s first strategic assessment, due for completion in April.

61.2 A letter from St. Clare Hospice thanking the Parish Council for the donation of £500 which was collected at the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and the following morning at the Village Centre.

62. Finance

62.1 The accounts up to 24th January 2008 were approved.

62.2 Cllr Cushing reported that he, together with the Clerk and Chairman, had prepared a draft budget which was then submitted for amendments and approval at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held in December. It is anticipated that the budget for year end 2008 is on target with a possible small surplus of £400 left over. The cemetery income is difficult to predict but will exceed expectation by approximately £2,000. Salary expenditure is down due to staff shortages. There have been exceptional items of income and expenditure relating to fencing at the Buxton Trust grounds, CCTV and renewal of the bus shelter on the bridge.

62.3 For 2008-09 it is planned to make some environmental improvements by purchasing new dog bins and refurbishing the path in the Garden of Remembrance. It has been agreed with The Village Association that the Parish Council will no longer make an annual donation but will consider funding specific items on request.

62.4 Financial standing orders require retention of the equivalent of one year’s precept. £17,000 has been earmarked for expenditure during 2008-09. Elections in May are anticipated to cost £2,700, of which £2,000 will be taken from reserves and £700 from the year’s budget. In future annual budgets will include £700 for elections. The remainder has been earmarked for Highway improvements, the Woodland Trust and refurbishment or replacement of the Planters in the Village Centre.

62.5 For 2008-2009 it is proposed to increase the Precept by £360, which is approximately 1.35% of the normal precept (excluding the Public Works Loan) or 20p per household.

Resolved: That the Parish Precept for 2008-2009 be set at £61,936.

Proposed: Cllr Cushing Seconded: Cllr Glozier
Carried unanimously

62.6 Cllr Glozier thanked Cllr Cushing and the Clerk for preparing the budget.

63. Planning

63.1 Cllr Jones reported that there had been twenty-one applications since the last meeting, of which the Committee had objected to five.

63.2 Cllr Jones also reported that the Parish Council had spoken against the application for an extension at 19 Heath Drive, a property which is on the Local List, at the EFDC Plans B Committee meeting. Theydon Bois Rural Preservation Society and District Councillor Kay Rush also spoke against the application. After a split vote, the application was subsequently deferred to the District Development Control Committee.

63.3 The application for demolition of Theydon Lodge has been refused by EFDC. It is hoped that the applicant will not lodge an Appeal.

63.4 Cllr Jones is in regular contact with Stephan Solon at EFDC regarding the Blunts Farm site. EFDC are pursuing the developers to take action regarding filling in the pits but there is disagreement over the methodology statement.

63.5 The Wansfell College Inquiry took place in December and a decision is expected soon.

64. Highways & Environment

64.1 Cllr Purkiss reported that work was due to commence on improvements to Baldocks Road from Woodland Way down to the junction at Purlieu Way, including resetting the kerbs. It was also hoped that work on The Green would be completed before 1st April.

64.2 Cllr Purkiss reported that the public area of the pavements by the shops had been resurfaced before Christmas. It had been hoped to include the private areas owned by the shopkeepers at the same time, with matched funding from the Parish Council, but unfortunately agreement could not be reached in time before commencement of the works by May Gurney. It is hoped that agreement will be reached and the private areas can be resurfaced in the future.

64.3 Cllr Hammond reported that following discussions with Spencer Brooks, Essex Highways, it had been agreed to include additional roads in the parking restriction programme. The Traffic Orders have been published and it is hoped that the painting of the yellow lines will commence soon.

65. Police

65.1 Cllr Glozier reported that as well as the regular Liaison Meetings an additional meeting had been held with the Police on 5th December. The Parish Council and Village Association presented a list of complaints, including lack of police response. As a result, it was promised that there would be more regular patrols attending the Village, including the Village Hall, and regular feedback regarding arrests. The Beatmobile is going to be parked in the lay-by by The Heights where it is considered to be more accessible and not at the Village Hall.

66. CCTV

66.1 Cllr Glozier reported that improvements were ongoing and EFDC Crime & Disorder Partnership had provided a grant, which has been match-funded by the Parish Council, for equipment by the Station, Village Centre and Village Hall. There is further coverage at the Cricket and Tennis Clubs.

67. Village Design Statement

67.1 Cllr Eaton reported that 31st January was the deadline for returning questionnaires in order to be included in the draw for a voucher at the shops. However, questionnaires would still be accepted after that date. Approximately 200 had been received to date, and all those received would be analysed. A photo shoot is due to take place on 3rd May, after which a brochure will be produced for publication in October/November. Cllr Eaton thanked Jacqueline Dodman, Mike Emmett and Diane Gillespie and all those who were helping to produce the document.

68. Emergency Response

68.1 Cllr Cushing reported that the Parish Council had set up an Emergency Response Plan four years ago. It included a list of key personnel, contact numbers and premises which could be used in the event of a major emergency. Since setting up the Plan it has been expanded to include contingency plans in the event of a bomb in London with people being evacuated out of the City on the trains. The latest eventuality which must be included is for a pandemic and the Plan is currently being updated to include key tasks of the Burial Supervisor and the Parish Clerk.

69. Reports from Representatives

69.1 Buxton Trust

Cllr Hannibal reported that as a result of the Buxton Trust winning the Best Kept Playing Fields competition Ernest Doe had donated £300 to the Trust.

69.2 Youth Club

Cllr Hammond reported that registration of the outside area at the Youth Centre for Village Green status was ongoing. It is hoped that the building can be purchased for the Youth of the Village. The Murray Hall in Borders Lane, which was supposed to include a youth centre, is not fit for purpose and has been closed for weeks due to damage. A youth bus attends Theydon Bois Green on some occasions but its presence is not advertised.

69.3 Village News

Cllr Oliver confirmed that the deadline for submission of articles for the March edition of Village News is 14th February 2008.

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. Concerns regarding the poor state of pavements in the Village, which have lead to pedestrians falling over.

2. The Neighbourhood Watch Co-Ordinator pointed out that the EFDC Crime and Disorder questionnaire referred to in 61.1 above was very difficult to follow.

3. PAT is holding an Easter Egg Hung on March 8th.

4. Concern regarding the poor state of some of the verges due to inconsiderate motorists. The verges by Darlingtons Garage are in a particularly bad state.

5. A resident commented that the overspill parking at the station is dangerous. Cllr Purkiss stated British Transport Police are aware.

6 Concern regarding the inconsiderate parking by commuters on pavements, damaging kerbs and blocking driveways.

7. It was observed that when the parking restrictions come into force the Village Hall car park will be vulnerable to commuter parking.

 

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