February 2020 – no meeting in March (Covid)

Minutes of Meetings Uploaded on January 15, 2021



Held on Thursday, 17th February 2020 in the committee room of Blackmore Village Hall.  

Commenced at 7.30pm.    

Members present:  Cllr Roger Keeble (Acting Chairman), Cllr Ken Bennett, Cllr Andrew Watley, Cllr Tom Lennon, and Cllr Vic Dean. Susan Clapham (Parish Clerk), Rosemarie Nelson (RFO). The Clerk confirmed the meeting was quorate.

Other attendees: Terry Smith (Herald Magazine Editor), Borough Cllr Peter Jakobsson, County Cllr Lesley Wagland.


Cllr Tom Bennett, Cllr Neil McCarthy, Cllr Terry Lockhart, Cllr Helen Cannon, Cllr Tracy Thomas, Cllr Joe Clarke.



The minutes were signed as a correct record by the Chairman.



1204    OPEN FORUM 

No public attendees. No representations made.


  • The Clerk and Cllr Keeble reported on the recent ‘Illegal Traveller Incursion’ briefing at EALC which they had attended. The Clerk will circulate guidance notes shortly.
  • BBC had replied regarding co-option ahead of the Local Elections in May – The PC cannot co-opt this close to the Elections. Tracy Hinton will therefore be ‘elected’ on 7th May. BBC will organise an information meeting sometime in March (TBC) which all Clerks are asked to attend. The Clerk handed out to Members a copy of BBC’s Election Candidates Guidance Notes.


1206 The next EALC and NALC Lobby Day, which is held in Parliament annually, will be held on 10th March. Any matters critical to the Sector and to Essex are to be forwarded to EALC via the Clerk no later than 2nd March.

1207 The Clerk read out an email from BBC relating to the orange recycling sack changeover. They advised that the recycling collection changes was still in draft format and will be published in full from the 2nd week in March. This will be an A5 leaflet posted to all properties within their Council Tax bill. The recycling collections will be changing this summer.

1208 The Clerk handed out an information leaflet relating to Stansted Airport CEO’s report regarding its planning application. Copies can be obtained from the Clerk.

1209 Bus Passenger meeting Monday 16th March – 10-12am, BBC Chambers – Cllr Wagland will forward a copy of the presentation and papers.



County Cllr Lesley Wagland reported on the following:

  • Cllr Wagland and Cllr Keeble had met with local residents to discuss school transport. Blackmore does not get free transport to Shenfield or Brentwood Schools, only Ongar, as its nearest catchment. Cllr Wagland will put forward the resident’s concerns to Cllr Ray Gooding (Transport Cabinet Member). However, there was a 2014 Consultation outlining the new school transport policy changes. When schools became Academy’s, they had more control to set their own catchment area and our Parish at that time, was the only area that had a choice of four catchment schools. Cllr Wagland advised that parents can contact ECC to locate their specific catchment. She also advised that the 61 bus is a cheaper transport option than the school bus. 
  • Cllr Wagland has been given a parish budget of £10,000 in the new budget to give grants to local parish causes. She can be contacted for further details.
  • Heavy rain is causing severe pot holes and flooding issues which ECC is trying to deal with. She has been following up the severe pot hole in Tipps Cross Mead. She also reported that the gullies are regularly being cleaned to help alleviate the flooding problems on a daily basis. 
  • Cllr Wagland is still liaising with ECC regarding the defective VAS sign on Hook End road after the RTA as well as the defective VAS by the Primary School, as reported by Cllr Keeble and local residents.

Borough Cllr Roger Keeble reported on the following:

  • There are still several areas affected by flooding due to the heavy rainfall we have recently experienced. Areas affected are the Pond and Nine Ashes Road by Redrose Lane and the Village Hall. Cllr Wagland advised that if the flooding drains within 24 hours, this is considered normal. If longer, then it needs reporting. ECC cannot clear the gullies on other people’s land, only on Highways. She said that Nine Ashes Road and Redrose Lane are susceptible to flooding. ECC have already cleared three gullies in the area and it did temporarily dry out. However, with the unprecedented rainfall, road users will have to be mindful of the road conditions. Any drainage schemes and investigative work is huge and very time consuming and takes time to sort out.
  • Cllr Keeble advised that the resident of Langdon House, Church street, want to remove the trees on the other side of the boundary fence at the bottom of his garden. BBC are looking into this along with any materials being used on the renovations.
  • Cllr Keeble has reported the depression in the road by the garage, Blackmore.




ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT – The Clerk presented the following payment schedules and cheques requiring three Member signatures:

£ Addressee Description


5,000.00 Unity Trust PC A/C 20343161 Online payments

   259.00 Bits & Bytes Essex Ltd Inv.304241, wi fi booter & setup

   882.96                         BBCInv.100321281, Bins. 1 Oct-31 Dec’19

   384.00 Town & Country Landscape Co.Ltd inv.12.2.20.remove fallen tree, Mill Lane Play area

   450.00 Total Landscape Co. 1. £25 – remove broken fence at SoapHouse,

2. £250 – replace above fence

3. £175 – install new pond notice board

Direct bank transfer payments via Unity Trust:

S Clapham (wages)  £-

Mrs R Nelson £-

HMR&C– £-

Essex Pension Fund – £-

TX Office Rent £250.00

David Adamson £478 (to install commemorative plaque inside the Church)

Village CCTV contribution £182.40

Andy Elmes £116.00 (To replace two light fittings to the street lighting, Blackmore as owned by the PC)


It was RESOLVED that:

  1. The statutory basis for this item be noted as the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015;
  2. The List of Payments is approved as presented in the schedule.

1212   FINANCIAL REPORTS:  Financial Reports to 31st January 2020

In accordance with the reports distributed prior to the meeting which were approved and accepted, the following reports were given.  

Mrs Nelson reported on the finance items. It had been a quiet month. The tree and hedge work had been completed. She mentioned that the Herald magazine adverts were approximately £200 down from this time last year but Eileen Smith always chases for timely payments so more income was expected. The Cheques were circulated for signing by Members and all in accordance with the finance reports circulated in advance by Mrs Nelson. 

Cllr Ken Bennett advised that up to ten months of the recreation budget has been spent and there are some expensive expenditure proposals pending. Cllr Watley advised that these projects were for consideration only, at this stage no money had been committed. He also advised that as the February POS meeting was only just quorate, the items had been deferred to the March meeting when it was hoped more members would be present. However, these projects, if approved, would not come to fruition until the new financial year (April 2020 onwards). 

Receipts: Nil.

It was RESOLVED that:

  1. the statutory basis for this item be noted as the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015; and,

The Financial Report be noted with no other action necessary.


Double Taxation issues – Meeting held with Chris Hossack and the new CEO and Finance Director at BBC Offices on 21.1.2020 – BPC will be the pilot case, BBC will look into the services offered to the PC, and other PC’s across the Borough, to establish if financial assistance can be given and a revised SLA will be drafted, replacing the 2012 version. Copy of meeting notes circulated to all Members.

To review/approve the following:

  • The full Standing Orders for Local Councils, as adopted in July 2016 and the condensed Standing Orders used as a reference guide at meetings, as adopted 2004 and updated in 2007, were reviewed by the Council.  Cllr Lennon proposed, Cllr Watley seconded and it was unanimously agreed that these are approved without amendment.
  • The Financial Regulations for Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green Parish Council, as adopted by the Council in 2011 and updated in 2106 were reviewed by the Council.    These detail the methods by which the Council’s financial matters are administered and regulated.    Cllr Dean proposed, Cllr Keeble seconded and it was unanimously agreed that these are approved without amendment.
  • The Council’s systems of internal control, including the arrangements for the management of risk, were reviewed and considered to be both effective and adequate.
  • The Treasurer and Cllr. Bennett reported on the quality of service provided by the Internal Auditor, Mr Trevor Brown CPFA.  The Council reviewed the effectiveness of the Internal Auditor and Cllr Dean proposed, Cllr Lennon seconded and it was unanimously agreed that he be reappointed as auditor for the financial year 2019/20.


Terry Smith advised that the owner of Kelhatch Printing had recently gone into hospital for an operation so the Magazine may be slightly late, by approximately one week. 


1215 PLANS

There had been a meeting of the Planning Committee on 4th February and copies of the reports and minutes had been circulated. Cllr Lockhart’s summary in his report was duly noted and approved.

Planning Applications:

20/00131/FUL – 1A Plovers Mead, Wyatts Green, CM15 0PR  – Part two storey, part first floor rear extensions. Pitched roof to existing side elevation. Alterations to fenestration to include new window to side elevation and Velux rooflight to rear elevation – No objections offered as the proposal is in keeping with the host property and would not result in any detrimental harm to the amenity to adjoining occupiers. It complies with the NPPF, CP1 (i), (ii) & (iii) in the Local Plan. Any approval notice should include a condition that the new windows to the bathroom and en suite on the flank walls should be obscure glazed.


  • Subject to further applications being received, the next Planning Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday 26th February 2020 at 5pm at Blackmore Village Hall.


1217 BBC’s Local Development Plan (LDP) 

  • No new reports. The LDP is in BBC’s hands.


There was a meeting of the Committee on 10th February, and copies of the minutes were distributed by the Clerk prior to the meeting.  

  • The Council received and accepted the Committee meeting minutes and discussions took place relating to the following items:

1218 Christmas lights (disputed invoice)

It had been agreed that the PC would settle the disputed invoice with JG Electrics. The PC did not agree with Mr Garcia’s additional costs but the PC wished to avoid further protracted ‘discussions’ after his refusal to meet with the Parish Council to discuss and resolve the issues. The Clerk had posted a cheque in full and final settlement.

1219 Recreation signs

Replacements in hand with Stuart Allen.

1220 USAAF Commemorative Service – 29th March 2020

A catering budget for the buffet lunch was discussed and £250 was proposed by Cllr Watley, which was unanimously approved. Mrs Nelson would also make a velvet ‘unveiling’ curtain for the plaque as the PC felt it would be appropriate to have one. This would be discussed with the Church at its next meeting. 

1221 Waste bins (Blackmore)

POS Committee drafting an updated list of bins within the Parish. The Clerk will then forward this to BBC for consideration where its applied charges are concerned.

1222 PC website migration 

  • Wi-Fi signal booster – Tracy Hinton has installed this and a cheque raised for payment.

1223 Litter Pick (Spring Clean) 21st March 2020

The Clerk has ordered 16 new heavy-duty litter pickers. These are also magnetic which should help with collecting cans etc. Expenditure was approved totalling £43.96.

1224 Planters (Mill Lane)

Two new recycled ‘Marmax’ planters will be ordered to coincide with the summer planting by Matthews Plants.

1225 Village speeding (Nine Ashes Road by the School and past the Co-Op and the Green).

The 20MPH to be investigated and pursued with ECC.


1226 The damaged Soaphouse footpath fence has now been replaced at a cost of £250 by Total Landscapes.

The Clerk had reported a fallen tree within the Mill Lane play area. She had instructed John Sharpe to deal with it and remove it which he did immediately (invoice pending).

The Church confirmed that it had the new rates from MDL for the new gras cutting regime. As agreed, the Church will be paying for all future grass cuts and MDL will invoice the Church directly as the PC is not permitted to pay for any Ecclesiastical services/funding.


Parks & Open Spaces   17.3.2020 10.00am   Tipps X Remembrance Hall

Planning  26.2.2020 5.00pm   Blackmore Village Hall

Parish Council: 19.3.2020 7.30pm   Tipps X Remembrance Hall



1228 Chat benches – Cllr Keeble has applied for a ‘chat bench’ with BBC under their new scheme. This is a bench that will be installed and encourages people to sit and chat to each other and is hoped will help the lonely and more vulnerable members of the Community to engage. Cllr Keeble suggests the pond as a suitable location if one was gifted by BBC.

1229 Trees by the Tennis Club – The Tennis Club had contacted Cllr Keeble to enquire if the perimeter trees could be cut and reduced in height as it created a shadow over the side of the court and stopped any ground frost from defrosting. John Sharpe had looked at the trees and quoted £600-£800 to do this and it was agreed that it would be reviewed and considered after the imminent nesting season.

END: There being no further business, the Meeting was closed by the Chairman at 9.00 pm


(Chairman):___________________________________   Date: __________________________