April 2020 Minutes – no meeting in March (Covid)

Minutes of Meetings Uploaded on January 21, 2021



of the Ordinary Meeting of the Blackmore, Hook End & 

Wyatts Green Parish Council held on  

THURSDAY 16th April 2020 at 11.00am (via Zoom Conference)

Members present: Cllr T Bennett (Chairman), Cllr R Keeble (Vice Chairman), Cllr N McCarthy, 

Cllr K Bennett, Cllr A Watley, Cllr T Lockhart, Cllr H Cannon, Cllr T Thomas, Cllr V Dean, Cllr J Clarke.

Susan Clapham (Parish Clerk) and Rosemarie Nelson (RFO).


Cllr T Lennon.

1230 APPROVAL OF MINUTES – 20.2.2020.

The minutes were signed as a correct record by the Clerk, on the Chairman’s behalf.

 (March meeting cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak).


Allotment – Cllr’s T Bennett, A Watley and R Keeble.


1232 OPEN FORUM (for Public Attendees) 

None registered with the Clerk. It was agreed that Members of the public and press were still 

Permitted and requests should be made to the Clerk. They would be invited to participate via 

Zoom and given the opportunity to speak during the first 15 minutes of the meeting in the usual 

Way and in accordance with the Parish Council’s Standing Orders.





Enquiry from Blackmore School – Pool grant – Clerk had advised the Admin Team at the School that they would be contacted once the Grant is made available (possibly after lockdown). Mrs Nelson advised that the last grant was paid to the School in May/June 2019, and would usually be paid to the School ahead of the summer period. Cllr K Bennett reminded the meeting that this was originally given to allow members of the Parish to utilise the pool during the summer holidays. It was proposed by Cllr McCarthy and unanimously approved that the grant would still be awarded to cover the Pool’s maintenance costs. The Clerk will contact the School Admin to advise this and based on the previous terms of the award, would look forward to receiving the pool opening dates ahead of the summer holiday period.


        Cllr Keeble reported on the following:

  • The trees were being trimmed away from overhead power cables at Redrose Lane.

There were fears that unnecessary work was being actioned on behalf of the land

Owners/developers during the lockdown period. However, this was not the case. The work being carried out was necessary and was on behalf of UK Power Co.

  • Jonathan Stephenson, BBC’s CEO was giving regular Covid-19 updates to Borough Members and weekly conference meetings were being held.
  • The BBC green waste collections had temporarily ceased. However, these had been reinstated on 14.4.2020. The glass recycling collections were still suspended.
  • The voluntary service at St Laurence Church, Blackmore, was working very well and was well used.
  • Deal Tree Doctor’s surgery were busy delivering prescriptions to vulnerable members of the Community or those self-isolating. 

No. 61 bus service ceased – Awaiting updates from Cllr Wagland/ECC, as to when the new

tender process would commence. The Clerk had relayed feedback from Cllr Keeble and local residents asking whether a slightly revised timetable could be considered to include 

school runs to and from Brentwood schools. Cllr Wagland had advised that the best time to

discuss this would be at the procurement stage and she was happy to support it as she had already been in dialogue with residents about this. 

Temporary 61 emergency service in place – The service had been temporarily picked up by Essex Suffolk Dart who were using a 16 seater mini bus, and a reduced time table (which can be viewed on the PC website and Facebook page) was being operated.


1236 Finance – Payments made online:

S Clapham – £-

HMR&C – £-

Pension – £-

R Nelson – £-

MDL (grass)  – £453.29

Kelhatch Press – £1,560 (printing of the March Herald magazine)

S Clapham – £-  Clerk’s travelling expenses

T Bennett – £18.00 – refund for an over-payment of allotment fees

MDL – £31.20 – outstanding invoice 

Zoom’ Online Conferencing has been set up and the budget approved was approx. £12.99/month. All future PC meetings will be held remotely until further Govt. advice – reimbursed to N McCarthy – £143.88 – Total annual fee and set up fees.

Payments made by credit card (as approved by Cllr’s T Bennett, K Bennett, McCarthy, the Clerk & RFO):

Amazon – purchase of two tablets – £179.98 


Mrs Nelson advised that the first half of the precept, totalling £43,165, had been received into the Bank account from BBC.

1237 Financial Report to 31st March 2020

Mrs Nelson reported on the financial reports as distributed prior to the meeting. All approved, no amendments.

Cllr K Bennett advised (via email) that the PC had finished the year with below budget expenditure which could be used for some of the following items:

  1. To set up part of the agreed Tree Fund.
  2. To increase the LDP legal provision.
  3. To help the planter replacement programme.
  4. To help the Christmas lights reserve.
  5. To prepare for the likely rebates necessary to Tipps Cross and Blackmore Village Halls due to the shutdowns, as well as reductions in the Herald adverts.

This list is not exclusive and Members of the POS Committee were invited to submit project ideas so money could be allocated.

1238 Financial Powers Internal Audit – The June audit has been deferred and will be scheduled later in the year due to Covid-19 Government legislation. This can be completed electronically if need be. Mrs Nelson advised that she would still prepare the paperwork in the usual way in readiness of the audit being carried out.


Review of salaries/fees:

Review of the Clerk’s salaryThe Clerk is still waiting for receipt of the NALC salary scales. 


Review of the RFO’s salary – It was proposed by Cllr K Bennett and unanimously approved that Mrs Nelson receive an annual pay increase. Cllr Bennett will pass on the details to the RFO and the Clerk.

Review of Terry Smith’s rate (Herald magazine Editor) – It was proposed by Cllr K Bennett and unanimously approved that Mr Smith receive an annual increase. Cllr Bennett will pass on the details to the RFO and the Clerk.


Review of charges – It was proposed by Cllr K Bennett and unanimously approved as follows:

Rent payable to Blackmore Parochial Trust (for W Hobbs field) – Increased from £2240 to £2280 (increase of 1.8%, same as last year).

Cricket fees – From £2600 to £2700 (increase of 3.8%, last year 4%).

Football fees – From £650 to £675 (increase of 3.8%, last year 4%).

Tipps Cross Admin Fee – £7200 to £7400 (increase of 2.8%, last year 2.9%).

Parish Mini Bus 

The bus is currently out of use and garaged due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

The following items were considered and it was proposed by Cllr T Bennett and unanimously approved that the Clerk would action the following:

  • MOT due 5th May – This will be carried out with the annual service after the lockdown period.
  • TAX due 1st May – Make a SORN declaration with the DVLA until such time that the bus will be back in use and will be taxed.
  • Insurance due 3rd May – The Clerk will renew the insurance and request Bank details for an online payment to be made to the Insurers.
  • RAC breakdown due 4th June – this will be reviewed nearer the time and will be based on the latest Govt. regulations and whether the bus is back on the road at that time. 

Parish Council Insurance

Renewal date is 1st June – Clerk has asked for renewal documents via email for review. 



  Temporarily suspended until further notice. The Parish Council’s Facebook page and website will be regularly updated with PC news and information.



1240 Planning applications were dealt with by Committee Members, and the Planning Committee Chairman emailed the reports to the BBC Planning Department. The reports were approved without amendment.


26th February Committee meeting:

20/00187/FUL – Trees, Wrights Lane, Wyatts Green. CM15 0QA – No objections.

20/00168/FUL – Wells Farm House, Redrose Lane, Blackmore. CM4 0QS – Objections raised (refer to committee report)

19/01724/LBC – Lundishes, The Green, Blackmore, CM4 0QH – No objections.

20/00156/FUL – White Gates, Hook End Road, CM15 0NR – No objections.

20/00008/FUL – Meadvale, Chelmsford Road, Blackmore, CM4 0SD – Objections raised (refer to committee report)

18th March – meeting cancelled – applications considered remotely

20/00347/FUL – Bluebells, Second Avenue, Hook End, CM15 0HH – Objections raised (refer to committee report)

20/00398/FUL – Quince Hall Farm, Chelmsford Road, Blackmore. CM4 0PZ – No objections

20/00285/FUL – Brambles, Blackmore Road, Hook End, CM15 0DT – No objections



The March meeting, along with future Committee meetings are suspended for the time being. Meetings will be scheduled remotely as and when required. The Council considered the following items of business:

1241 USAAF Commemorative plaque 

The Commemoration service was postponed and all dignitaries notified. It will be reviewed and rescheduled at later date when it is deemed safe to do so.


1242 Litter Pick (Spring Clean) 21st March 2020

Cancelled due to Covid-19 legislation.

1243 Summer Planting (planters)

The Clerk had spoken with Matthew from Matthews Plants to enquire if they were open and carrying out Parish re-planting. Matthew advised that with a lack of staff they were extremely busy fulfilling online orders. However, he envisaged being able to undertake the parish planting in June and would contact the Clerk nearer the time. 

Cllr Watley suggested planting spring bulbs later in Autumn on the Village Green.

Cllr Keeble suggested re-seeding some of the bald patches below the trees on the Green – Clerk to contact MDL to enquire when the best time to do this would be and obtain pricing.

Cllr Keeble suggested planting a few smaller trees on the Green – Clerk to contact Alan Marsh, BBC for suitable suggestions. It was suggested that established trees be purchased.


1244 Wooden pedestrian bridge at Service Lane, Blackmore

Cllr Keeble reported that the foot bridge was damaged and in need of repair/removal. It was thought that this bridge had been installed by a local resident and not by the PC. As the bridge was very well used, the Clerk was asked to obtain a quote for repair from Total Landscapes so that it could be considered in more detail. Cllr Cannon would also enquire with local’s if they would consider repairing it if the PC supplied the materials. Both options to be considered at the next meeting. 

1245 Bins (Blackmore)

Cllr Keeble had provided the Clerk with details of the open bins which needed replacing with

Closed lidded bins, fit for dual purpose. Clerk to obtain prices from Glasdon for May meeting.

1246 CLERK’S REPORT (Governance)

The Annual Meeting – postponed due to Covid-19 and Government legislation removing the statutory requirement to hold the Annual Meeting. All seats and Committees remain the same for the time being.

Parish and Borough Local Elections – deferred to 2021 due to Covid-19 and current Government legislation. Seats remain the same.

Parishioner of the Year – Suggestion to move this to the end of the year when safe to do so.


1247 Date of next Conference meeting scheduled for 21st May 2020 at 11am via Zoom.        


1248 Cllr Keeble had received complaints from local residents regarding cyclists coming into the village from London during the lockdown period. It was unclear how this was going to be policed/enforced. It was reliant upon people adhering to the social distancing rules advised by Govt.

1249 Cllr Keeble had reported to Cllr Lesley Wagland, ECC, the severe pot holes and defects to the carriageway as well as to the resident’s own driveway at ‘The Gables’, Nine Ashes Road –  pending an update from ECC.

END: There being no further business, the meeting was closed by the Chairman at 11.55am.