Minutes of the Meeting of the STOCK Parish Council
held on 29/1/01 at 7.30 p.m. at the Village Hall

Present : All members of the Parish Council and Borough Councillor Stringer.
In the Chair : Councillor Mrs Johnson.
277 Minutes of the Meeting of 8/1/2001 Subject to the addition of the sentence "Cllr Mrs Williams gave a brief report on the latest meeting of the Village Hall Management Committee." to Minute 276 these were approved and signed by the Chairman as a true record
   Matters Arising:
278 (1) Traffic Calming :
Cllr Mrs Johnson and Elliott had attended the drop in meeting at the Borough Council and strongly expressed the Council's dissatisfaction with the decision to again re-prioritise traffic calming measures and stressed Stock's requirements. They also pointed out that the statistics regarding accidents were inaccurate as there had been 3 fatal accidents on the B1007 in the Parish in the last two years yet they were not shown. The Borough's officers blamed this on inaccurate Police information.
  (2) Buttsbury signpost :
Cllr Lusty reported that he had registered the appropriate plaint with the Small Claims Court and offered to represent the Council. His offer was accepted with thanks and it was agreed that he should be authorised to sign court papers as necessary in connection with this case.
  (3) New Doggie Bin :
The new bin had still not been emptied. Cllr Peacock mentioned that the new litter bin in Swan Lane had also not been emptied and the Acting Clerk undertook to pursue these matters with the Borough Council.
  (4) Stock Press :
The Acting Clerk reported that Stock Press had submitted a copy of their audited accounts as requested. It was felt that the fact that they had substantial reserves relative to their annual expenditure meant that the Council might wish to review the need for giving it an annual grant.
  (5) Grass Cutting Contract for 2001 Season
The Acting Clerk reported that the Cricket Club would meet next week to decide whether or not they wished to organise the gang mowing of the Common independently and he would accept the ELS tender, amended if necessary, after their meeting.
  (6) The Rural White Paper A Fair Deal for Rural Communities
The Chairman reported that she had attended the conference at Great Leighs on 26 January, organised by the EALC, to discuss the issues surrounding this proposed legislation. It had been extremely interesting with all Councils being in accord with this Council's views on affordable housing, rural policing and traffic controls etc. While the Police had no plans to revive the Village Bobby all the Parish Councils felt this was the only real solution to their problems. Lack of funding meant that it was unlikely to happen in the near future even if the Police agreed to reverse their policy. They had, however, plans to update their telephone system.The importance of using village post offices was stressed.
  (7)  Children's Summer Play Activities
Cllr Mrs Tully reported that she had booked the dates with both the Village Hall and the Borough Council as follows:
Picnic Play for the Under Fives - 7 August
Play in the Park for the 5-11's - 15 August
  (8) Chelmsford Borough Council Cultural Forum 25/1/01
Cllr Tant reported that he had attended this forum which was very much to establish a wish list for the promotion of Essex in general and Chelmsford in particular as cultural/sporting centres. He indicated his willingness to represent the Council at any future meetings.
  (9) Police and Community Consultative Group - Public Meeting 17/1/01
Cllr Lusty reported that he had attended this meeting which broadly confirmed the information conveyed by the Chairman in (6) above. Chelmsford had a policing ration of 1:1056 of the population compared to Southend's 1:688 but this reflected the lower crime rate in Chelmsford. It was some consolation that Stock's problems regarding anti-social teenagers were minor compared to those experienced on some of Chelmsford's estates.
  (10)  Pile of Rubbish - Dartmeet Corner of Mill Road/Mill Lane
The Acting Clerk reported that he had not written to the householders because they had replied to an earlier letter from Mrs Seaman to the effect that the rubbish was a result of their clearing the ditch fronting their property's Mill Road boundary. They had stated that they were going to see if the Borough Council would remove the rubbish. This had presumably been unsuccessful. Ownership of the land in question would be difficult to establish and screening the heap by laurels seemed a sensible measure as it did not interfere with the sight lines at the junction. It was agreed that no further action be taken but that the situation be kept under review particularly as some branches cut from their oak tree had be left on the verge.
  (11) Public Footpath (Ingatestone) - Proposed Footbridge over River Wid
Cllr Elliott reported that he had investigated Ingatestone Parish Council's suggested provision of a footpath bridge over the River Wid to replace the ford that had been dug out by the Rivers Authority some years ago. He had discussed the issues with the farmer concerned and it was agreed that Ingatestone Parish Council be informed that while the Council would support the reinstatement of the ford or even the provision of stepping stones they concurred with the farmer's view that the provision of a footbridge would constitute an enhancement of the old right of way that was not justified.
279 Best Value - Report of Sub-Committee
Cllr Peacock reported that they had met that morning and had principally discussed:
  (a) The siting of new play equipment
although the Common was the preferred site the problems regarding the lack of space and the conflict with cricket, especially the inherent danger to children from the hard ball when matches are in progress probably made expansion there impossible. An alternative was joint use on the School site and it was proposed to convene a meeting with the headteacher to discuss the viability of this idea. Cllr Tant's offer to assist in view of his experience in such matters was accepted.
  (b) He would be pursuing the furnishing of the Clerk's Office with surplus equipment from his workplace or elsewhere if necessary. The need to insure the office's contents independently was noted.
  (c) Meetings were to be held with representatives of Fyfield and Ramsden Parish Council to compare notes, ideas, experiences etc.
Dates of the next meetings of the Sub-Committee were
12 February;
12 March;
9 April; 14 May;
11 June and 16 July.
280 Village Hall Report
Cllr Mrs Williams reported that the late Pat Wolfenden's duties had been split amongst the Management Committee. There was a need to find a paid caretaker (approximately 7 hours per week). At present a rota of male volunteers was in place to ensure that the Hall is secured after late night lettings but additional volunteers would be welcomed as that would reduce the burden on all concerned. More lottery members were needed as this currently all but paid the interest on the loans. The Committee had agreed the list of Chairmen of the Parish Council would be placed in the lobby.
 281 General Correspondence
Greenwoods Farm, Crondon Park Lane

Parking of Three Lorries The Acting Clerk reported that, in consultation with the Chairman and in view of the short time-scale involved, he had conveyed the Council's strong objections to the Area Traffic Commissioners regarding a proposal to park three heavy vehicles belonging to Wells Transport, Wickford at the above farm. No reply had been received from the Borough Council to his query regarding the need for planning permission for such use.
282 Additional Street Lighting
The Borough Council had indicated that a small fund was available as "Parish Lighting Grants" to fund this but that it was up to Parishes to establish that there were no objections from householders likely to be affected by any new lights. It was more likely that approval would be given to lights that could be attached to existing telegraph poles etc. rather than requiring their own lighting columns. Although sites had been identified in Common Lane, Common Road and Mill Road (Bakers Field) it was agreed that members should look around the village to establish where lighting might be desirable. A priority list could then be established and neighbouring householders consulted as necessary.
283 Recycling in Stock A letter had been received from the Borough Council regarding the siting of recycling banks at the village hall and offering to meet to discuss the issues. It was felt that the Village Hall Management Committee were correct in wanting these banks sited in a relatively concealed position, as there were concerns that the small banks proposed would almost certainly be filled to overflowing very quickly and would need to be emptied very frequently if they were not to become an eyesore.
284 Chelmsford Community Transport Ltd
It was agreed that the Stock's 'bus service was adequate and that there was no need to take up the offer made by this Company.
285 Community Evening 1/5/01
It was agreed that Mr Doug Taffs and his wife should be nominated to attend the Mayor's reception in view of all the hard work they had undertaken to secure the construction of the new village hall.
286 Affordable Village Housing Seminar
Dedham - 27/2/01 It was agreed That Cllrs Mrs Johnson and Elliott should represent the Council at this seminar.
287 Planning Matters
Decision by the Borough Council
  1446/00 FULL B8 Storage, Crondon Hall Farm, Tye Green, Margaretting. REFUSED
  Applications Referred Before Meeting
  2145/01 FULL Enlarged car park, St Mary's Church, Buttsbury  
  38/01 FULL Two storey side extension, 24, Myln Meadow
(Cllr Peacock declared an interest in application 38/01 and took no part in the discussion or voting on it)  
  Meeting confirmed sub-committee's decisions - no objections in either case.

Applications Referred 
  42/01 FULL Mrs B. Woodward
Construction of one dwelling house. Land Adjacent to Church Green Cottage, High Street.  
  25/01 LBC  Mrs B. Woodward
Demolition of garden wall Church Green Cottage,
High Street With regard to these related applications the destruction of this prominent, ancient wall in the Conservation Area was strongly opposed as was the creation of another vehicular access in this part of the High Street which would cause additional danger - the adjacent land had had to obtain access via Back Lane when three houses were erected on it some 30 years ago; the house is felt to be too large for the site and would dominate its neighbours to the South by reason of its excessive roof height; and it is vital that the trees on this site are safeguarded.(Cllr Lusty declared an interest in applications 42/01 and 25/01 and took no part in the discussion or voting on them)  
  107/01 FULL Mr and Mrs K. Blackburn
Insertion of dormer and new pitched roof to an existing rear addition 39 Swan Lane.
No observations  
   114/01 FULL Crondon Park Club
Front entrance wall and gateway
Crondon Park Golf Club Entrance,Stock Road, Stock
Strong objections were raised to the erection to such a substantial, pretentious gateway in a prominent position in a rural area and at an approach to a Conservation Area.  
  151/01 FULL Dr G. Davies
New roof over existing double garage to allow formation of bedroom and shower room. 2 The Paddocks
No observations  
  119/01 FULL Mrs K West
Revised plans for new hotel and health spa Greenwoods, High Street.
Great concern was expressed over the way that this application did not set out in proper detail all the changes made to the original, approved proposals. No mention was made of the raised height to the basement which would lead to a change in the pitch of the roof making it less in keeping with the existing buildings, the fact that the plant room would now protrude above ground level, that there would be additional windows on the north elevation, that there would be a prominently situated electricity sub-station and bin store and additional banking to the west was proposed which could adversely adjacent trees. Furthermore it was felt that the proposed phased implementation of the car parking could be a prelude to a further extension of the premises which could claim that the second phase car parking would meet the needs of any such extension. It was understood that Borough Councillor Stringer would be taking up these points with the Borough Planner and the Council fully endorsed his action.  
  Tree Preservation Orders
The following tree preservation orders had been confirmed by the Borough Council:
  2000/27 The Bower and Cherry Tree Cottage, Downham Road - 4 English Oaks
  2000/54 32 Birch Lane - 1 Sessile Oak
  Order No. 2001/01 - 144 Mill Road - 1 Beech and 9 Oaks - had been made by them.
288 Accounts It was reported that the cheque raised in the sum of £9.99 in respect of the annual subscription to the NALC had been returned uncashed as they had made the request in error. A cheque payable to the EALC in the sum of £30.00 had been signed before the meeting in respect of the Chairman's attendance at the Rural White Paper Conference.
  Mr D. Lusty - reimbursement of cost of issuing claim in Small Claims Court 38.00
  Garden and Woodcraft Services - clearing tree, Thornton Place Pond 35.00
  Cheques were signed at the meeting for: Mr R. Seaman - Photocopying minutes 6.75
289 Date of Next Meeting - 26/2/2001  
290 Any other business
It was agreed that the Borough Council's attention should be drawn to the poor condition of Common Road and Well Lane that had been exacerbated by the wet weather. Mr Penton's request that the Council should arrange for the tree stump etc. near Thornton Place Pond to be rectified was noted but it was felt that action could not be taken until the site dried out.

Mr Jarvis' advice should be sought concerning the willow tree on The Common in front of Hawthorns.

The Acting Clerk undertook to place an order with Mr McAdam for the removal of the shrubs etc. growing in the verge/bank in Birch Lane opposite Orchard Cottage. Cllr Stringer reported that all the data had now been entered on computer in respect of the Village Appraisal and that Barry Woodgate was seeking volunteers to assist with the editing of the document, which it was hoped would be published in the Spring. The Acting Clerk undertook to write to the Borough Council concerning the loose Great Prestons Lane nameplate. Cllr Williams drew attention to the Millennium Map produced by Chignal which named all the fields, copses etc. in their Parish. It was agreed that a similar project in Stock would be supported if volunteers were forthcoming to carry out the research. It was agreed that the Acting Clerk should place an order with Mr M. Tant for the revarnishing/repair of the Parish Council's noticeboard and the Parish Map display case.

The Acting Clerk would ask the 'bus company to replace the timetable at the stop on the corner of Crondon Park Lane.

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