Minutes November 2023

Minutes of the meeting held 7th November 2023, 7.15 pm at the Village Hall
Present: Councillors Kelly, Klimowicz, Lehmann, Pope and Sargisson.
In attendance: Mrs J Pettitt (clerk), and 4 members of the public
The chair opened the meeting at 7.15 pm
1. To receive and accept apologies for absence.
Apologies were received and accepted from Councillor Jolly.
2. To receive declarations of interest.
a) To receive declarations of interest from councillors on items on the agenda
b) To receive written requests for dispensations for declarable interests
c) To grant any requests for dispensation as appropriate.
No declarations or requests for dispensation received.
3. To confirm the minutes of the Albury Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 3rd October 2023
Resolved, proposed Cllr Klimowicz, seconded Cllr Kelly the councillors agreed the minutes are a true and accurate record of the proceedings. Unanimously agreed.
4. To receive reports on actions agreed at the last council meeting
A request for removal of items from the allotments and adjacent land was complied with.
The company that mows the grass at the village hall has cut the hedge.
Legal advice was requested regarding trustee responsibilities but no response was received.
Speeding reminders were posted on the village and school Facebook pages and in the newsletter.
Update from Clarion Housing (see item 13)
5. Councillors to sign printed copies of Standing Orders, Code of Conduct and Financial Regulations circulated prior to the meeting
All of the above-mentioned documents were read by the councillors prior to the meeting and copies were signed at the meeting.
6. To receive petitions, comments and questions from the public
Residents asked how the Bishop’s Stortford Community Football Club gained use of the Dole Field. They said the club appears to have assumed control and uses the field for many hours on Saturdays and Sundays. They said cars of players and supporters have churned up the field and often block private driveways, players retrieve balls from private gardens throughout matches without permission, and some players have been seen urinating at the edge of the field and up garden fences.
The chair reminded the residents that the parish council has no jurisdiction over the field but agreed to outline these and previous complaints in a letter to the trustees of the Dole Field and the football club.
7. To consider planning applications.
APPLICATION: 3/23/1969/HH PROPOSAL: Enclosure of carport, single-storey front extension to garage to form workshop, conversion of the detached garage and car port into an annex, installation of 1 roof light window and PV array to the roof, new gable addition to the rear roof and insert rear sliding doors. AT: The Homestead Clapgate Albury. No comment.
APPLICATION: 3/23/1883/HH PROPOSAL: Removal of front porch and rear conservatory. Erection of two-storey front extension and part two part single-storey rear extension. Installation of rear flat roof light window, new first-floor side windows and alterations to fenestration. AT: 1 Barncroft Albury. No comment.
APPLICATION: 3/23/1826/HH PROPOSAL: Removal of existing front and side porches. Construction of two storey side extension and single-storey front porch. Installation of four rear roof light windows. AT: Malting Cottage Upwick Green Albury. No comment.
8. To agree the amount of an annual donation to Stansted Airport Watch
Our annual standing order ceased when we changed banks and it was agreed to restart this with an amount of £200 per year.
Resolved, proposed Cllr Klimowicz, seconded Cllr Lehmann, to set up an annual donation of £200 to Stansted Airport Watch. Unanimously agreed.
9. To receive statements, bank reconciliation and financial summary
These were received by the Council and found to be satisfactory.
Balance at 3/10/2023                           £12283.59
Payments: 3/10/23 EHC play area inspection                  -£63.78
4/10/23 HAPTC councillor training                  -£30.00
9/10/23 Hanbury Group for cameras and lights           -£1437.60
10/10/23 Stort Blinds balance payment              -£3225.00
13/10/23 Albury Village Hall Stort Blinds deposit      -£3230.00
13/10/23 Grant to BSCFC for Dole Field clubhouse -£10717.00
19/10/23 HAPTC Councillor Training               -£85.00
30/10/23 R Murdoch for sign plants      -£21.00
3/11/23  CHBT Node 1453 annual subs    -£151.20
3/11/23  E-scapes village hall mowing October      -£200.00
13/10/23 EHC UKSPF grant  +£30694.17
Available balance at 7/11/2023                   £23817.18
10. To agree payments due.
£300 for the village hall hedge cutting.
Resolved, proposed Cllr Klimowicz, seconded Cllr Lehmann, that this amount be paid to E-scapes. Unanimously agreed.
11. To discuss the budget forecast for the next year in order to agree next year’s precept
The balance of £23,817 shown above includes a grant of £13,400 for the hall patio refurbishment and £3,700 for the rest of this financial year’s expenditure. Therefore, we expect to have approximately £6700 and a VAT reclaim of £2300, making a total of £9,000 to carry forward. Therefore, the councillors agreed to request a precept of £10,000, the same as for last year.
Resolved, proposed Cllr Klimowicz, seconded Cllr Kelly, that the precept should be set at £10,000.00 Unanimously agreed.
12. To receive the clerk’s report (for information only)
13. To discuss any update from Clarion Housing regarding issues at The Bourne
Clarion called to say they were planning to visit The Bourne in October and would then provide an update. This has not been received as yet.
Action: The clerk will follow up.
14. To discuss the progress of reinstating the Albury Parochial Charities
HMRC requested governing documents and these were sent to them on 5th October 2023. Barclays closed the charities account and issued a cheque for £9,503.97.
A new Albury Parochial Charities bank account is being opened with Lloyds Bank.
Barclays declined to pay the cheque once banked. We are trying to establish the reason.
15. To discuss the progress of a request for funds to improve lighting, security and patios at the village hall
A grant of £30694.17 was received from East Herts on 13/10/23. £10717 was donated to the Bishops Stortford Community Football Club to cover some of their costs for renovating the Dole Field clubhouse.
The lights and cameras have been installed and the patio is being repaired in December.
16. To suggest dates for a meeting with HCC, Highways, East Herts Police and other parishes to discuss speeding issues
Before such a meeting takes place, an audit of roads, speed limits, road signs and where we have paths and no paths should be undertaken by all parishes interested in attending. We should also press for 20 MPH speed limits outside all village schools.
Action: The chair will email Stocking Pelham, Furneux Pelham, Little Hadham and Berden parish councils to gauge their thoughts.
17. To discuss information received from the Environment Agency regarding clearance of the River Ash
Historically, land owners adjacent to the river have dug out the river.
Action: The clerk will ask Robert Barclay if this is something he can organise.
18. To suggest agenda items for the next Parish Council meeting to be held Tuesday 9th January 2024
Parochial Charities update, discuss becoming a trustee of The Dole Field, creating a new parish plan, white railing repairs, River Ash cleaning, village sign area clearance schedule, purchase of strimmer, find out about licence for Anthropos, complete the precept form
The chair closed the meeting at 8.30 pm