Minutes Of The Annual Parish Meeting
Held On Wednesday 27th April 2005
At Stock Primary School At 7.30pm.

Present: Cllrs. Johnson, Williams, Elliott, Lusty, Tully, Easton & Otter
In The Chair Cllr. Peacock
Minute Secretary Lorraine Green
Also Present: Chelmsford Borough Councillor Ian Grundy and 16 Members of the Public
Apologies for Absence Cllr. Lewis

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
The Minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting, having been previously circulated, were then duly signed as a true record of events. All agreed.
The Chairman advised that due to changes in the School Governor Appointing System the Parish Council no longer appointed a School Governor. The Chairman reported that Peter Bentley was still active as a School Governor butthat he did not have to give the Parish Council a report, as it was no longer Parish Council nominated business.
The Chairman reported that Neighbourhood Watch was now active in the village and that Stan Elgar was the Co-ordinator.
The Chairman reported that Keith Blackburn had taken on the position of Tree Warden for the village and thanked him for his work.
The Chairman reported that the new Doctors Surgery was now in progress and advised that work had been delayed due to drainage problems, which had now been resolved.
The Chairman discussed the following report, which had been prepared and circulated.
Council Membership
After many years as Chair of the Council, Sally Johnson decided not to stand for re-election at the AGM in May 2004. We are very grateful to Sally for all her hard work on behalf of the village and I am most grateful that she agreed to carry on as Vice Chair.
The Council continues to receive numerous planning applications for review and comment. Under a process called 'delegated powers', some plans are reviewed by the clerk who seeks the advice of three councillors. However, this year we have adopted an approach of automatically putting plans, which meet certain criteria, before the full Council. These include new build and re-build, commercial, conservation area and green belt. We continue to make comments to Chelmsford Borough Council in an effort to maintain the village appearance, but are surprised by many of the developments that end up being approved.
Local Amenities
Work to improve the drainage of The Common has been completed this year and work to improve the road outside The Almshouses and the car park next to All Saints' church should commence shortly.
A new Council notice board has been procured for The Square and, subject to Borough Council approval, new notice boards for Back Lane, The Common and next to the library should be installed this year.
The Council have been in discussion with The Woodland Trust on the possibility of purchasing The Larches in Swan Lane to preserve the woods.
Keith Blackburn has kindly volunteered to be our Tree Warden. This Borough Council initiative aims to improve tree preservation and appropriate planting and Keith has already been very active in this role.
An order has been placed for new play equipment on The Common, which should be installed before the summer.
The annual 'bin-it' day is scheduled for Saturday 7th May at 10:00, starting at The Common. A skip, litter pickers, gloves and bin bags will be provided. Please come and help tidy the Village in preparation for the visit of the judges for this year's Best Kept Village Competition.
This year we welcomed PC Adrian Elmer as our community police officer. Adrian has been active in getting to know the area and his monthly 'surgeries' held in the Tea Rooms have been very popular and successful.
Traffic Management
Progress on completing the High Street work has been hindered by personnel changes in the Borough Council and more recently by the complete transfer of responsibilities to Essex County Council. This has been raised with the leader of the Borough Council and we have now established links to the new organisation.
An HGV 'origin and destination survey' was carried out last year and we have reviewed the results. The conclusions showed that the majority of vehicles are legitimately using the B1007 between the Billericay and Chelmsford areas, rather than 'rat running' to avoid the A127/A130/A12.
PC Elmer has also been checking vehicle speeds in the area and has warned a number of drivers, most of who turned out to be local!
Our next steps are to re-visit the original proposition that the new A130 would provide a significant improvement in the Village traffic situation.
Village Plan
We have been working with the Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) on the process to develop a village plan. This is a natural follow-up to the Millennium Survey and is intended to be a community led activity to develop plans for the most important aspects of the village. A planning workshop will be held on Thursday 12th May at 7PM in Stock Primary School and all parishioners are encouraged to participate.
If we are successful with this plan, we can then move on to a Village Design Statement, which has the potential to be adopted by the Borough Council as a planning guideline for the area.
In closing, I would like to thank Lorraine Green, our clerk, for all her hard work; the council members for their efforts and support; Ian Grundy for representing the constituency as a Chelmsford Borough Councillor; Roger Watling, for managing the Village website; and the members of the public who attend our meetings.
The Chairman reported that in the near future there would be a Parish Councillor vacancy and that the Parish Council would be discussing the matter with Chelmsford Borough Council in order to start the official process.
The Chairman commented on the endless amount of building work that was taking place in the village and also discussed the procedure for discussing planning applications to the parishioners.
The Chairman advised that a new noticeboard would soon be erected outside the newsagents.
The Chairman read out the following report that had been prepared by the Trustee, Mr Barry Woodgate.
Again, as in the previous year we have had full occupancy of the four cottages.
The hedges to the roadside of the houses were ruthlessly trimmed but as expected have fully recovered and it is hoped to keep these to the same level in the future. It not only helps to keep the cost down but we feel improves the view of the cottages.
The road fronting the houses is in desperate need of repair and I understand that the Parish Council has this in hand.
The accounts for previous years and also up to March 2005 have been completed and after a long search Mr Alex Smith has kindly offered to oversee the accounts. The previous auditor did not wish to continue but his contribution has been much appreciated. The overall financial position of the Charity is sound but thought needs to be given to refurbishing the bathrooms and kitchens, which clearly will be an expensive undertaking.
The continued support of the Parish Council is much appreciated.
Barry and Eija Woodgate are to live in Portugal and therefore are unable to continue as Trustees. However, Tony and Diane Barker have most kindly offered to take over and this is much appreciated. The handover will take place at the end of April 2005.
The Chairman said that the Parish Council were extremely thankful to Barry and Eija Woodgate for their help in being Trustees of the Charity and expressed thanks to Tony and Diane Barker for agreeing to take on the role. It was agreed that the Clerk should write to both couples thanking them.
A parishioner asked when P.C. Elmer held his surgeries. The Chairman advised that it is advertised in Stock Press and in the newsagents but that he would get the information for the parishioner.
It was reported that Essex County Council appear to be completely negative on the whole traffic issue for the village. It was suggested that a public meeting be called with the traffic engineers in attendance so that the matter could be discussed. The Chairman said that the time may now be right to get the new people at Essex County Council involved with the matter especially if sufficient momentum could be gained from the community through the Village Plan to show the support of the village. The Chairman discussed the recent traffic matters and explained his frustrations on the lack of progress. It was reported that the village cannot have gates as buses go through the village but a parishioner advised that other villages had gates that were on a bus route. The Chairman advised that these were unclassified roads with bus routes going through.
The Chairman discussed the Village Plan and advised that RCCE have confidence that Essex County Council and Chelmsford Borough Council will take notice of it once implemented. The Chairman advised that having a Village Design Statement and Village Plan would hopefully be very effective in engaging local government, but that it needed sufficient community support and adoption to drive through the plans.
Keith Blackburn, the new Tree Warden, reported that he had written an article in Stock Press regarding value of trees to the environment. Mr Blackburn reported that there was a tree planting/hedge planting scheme in place and that he would welcome suggestions where trees/hedges could be planted to improve the environment. Mr Blackburn also reported that the Neighbourhood Environmental Action Team (NEAT) were giving a grant to plant bulbs in public places. Mr Blackburn suggested planting them on grass verges outside houses and asked for parishioners to give him any other ideas they had in order that he could take advantage of the grant and improve the look of the village.
Cllr. Johnson thanked the Chairman for his work over the last year and said that there had been a number of practical improvements to the Council since Cllr. Peacock had been Chairman.
The Chairman thanked everyone for coming; the meeting closed at 8.31pm.
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