January 2020 Minutes

Minutes of Meetings Uploaded on January 15, 2021



Held on Thursday, 16th January 2020 in the committee room of Tipps Cross Remembrance Hall.  

Commenced at 7.30pm.    

Members present:  Cllr T Bennett (Chairman), Cllr McCarthy, Cllr K Bennett, Cllr Keeble, Cllr Watley, Cllr Cannon, Cllr Lockhart, Cllr Clarke, Cllr Thomas and Cllr Dean. Susan Clapham (Parish Clerk) 

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


Mrs Nelson (RFO).



The minutes were signed as a correct record by the Chairman, with the following amendments: 

1146 – Cllr Lockhart had also tendered his apologies at the December meeting

1159 – Cllr Bennett was in no further discussions with Holmes & Hills LLP at this stage.



1175    OPEN FORUM 

Tracy Hinton attended the meeting as she was interested in becoming a Parish Cllr. The Clerk will process her application with BBC for co-option.


  • Damaged VAS sign (Hook End Road) – The sign had been hit by a vehicle and the Police had attended the scene. Cllr McCarthy had taken photographs, which the Clerk had forward to Cllr Wagland for ECC to a) process a claim against the driver, and b) organise repair to the VAS sign. Action: Pending ECC Highways action. 


1177 No items.



County Cllr Lesley Wagland reported on the following:

  • ECC had been dealing with the flooding issues addressed by the PC, this included Fingrith Hall Lane and the Green. Some of the gulleys had been cleaned and others planned.
  • ECC drafting its budget. More money had been allocated to Highways. Due to the heavy rain, reported pot hole problems were being dealt with by ECC. So far, there were a reported 300 more pot holes than had been budgeted for. Cllr Jakobsson confirmed that the particularly bad pot hole at Blackmore Road (Outings Lane junction) had now been fixed.  Cllr Keeble had taken photos of the severe pot holes down St Anne’s road which the Clerk had passed on to Cllr Wagland.
  • ECC is trialling the new road surfacing scheme with various Parish Councils. The tarmac top layer would need to be removed and new concrete laid. The tarmac breaks up far too easily in comparison and does more damage to vehicles tyres etc, especially at the edges of the road. Cllr’s Tom Bennett and Neil McCarthy had visited the Paddocks, Ingatestone to look at the new road surfacing and photos were provided to the Clerk should anyone wish to see them.
  • Safer Essex Partnership (SEP) is working in various areas where fatalities occur on our roads. She has trialled the ‘Driving with confidence’ driving course and highly recommends it. This would be particularly useful for older drivers and encourages safer driving. Further information can be found on ECC’s website.
  • Cllr McCarthy raised the subject of the 61 bus and the subsidy which is due to expire at the end of the summer. Five years ago, Doddinghurst and Blackmore PC’s got together with ECC to save this service. It was hoped that the subsidy would remain, and the service would not be placed under threat of termination. Cllr Wagland advised that she had already had a meeting with ECC Officials to discuss this service along with 71 and 351 bus services, which she would like to see remain.

Borough Cllr Roger Keeble reported on the following:

  • Cllr Keeble reported that after the recent heavy rainfall and flooding, three reported gullies had been cleared by ECC but one is broken on Nine Ashes Road, near the Village Hall and Red Rose Lane, and is still subject to flooding. Cllr Keeble suggests planned maintenance by ECC to avoid future ongoing problems. This would be more proactive than simply dealing with flooding issues after the event, especially in areas where recurring flooding occurs. Cllr Wagland advised that in terms of gullies, this was a particularly active year for overgrowth and subsequent leaf fall, which blocked the gullies and exacerbated the problem. ECC did not usually see as many problems as it had over the past year. Cllr Bennett also felt that the roads needed to be cleaned by farmers after clods of mud were left on the roads making the problem worse. Cllr Wagland agreed with this.
  • Cllr Keeble advised that BBC’s CVS (Community Voluntary Services) had booked a drop in event at St Laurence Church, Blackmore for 25th February and all Parishioners were welcome. Various information would be supplied covering IT know how, Citizens Advice, Home safety and security talks by the Emergency Services, etc. Further details can be obtained by Cllr Keeble or the Clerk. 
  • Cllr Keeble had reported fly tipping incidents with BBC at Hay Green Lane and St Annes Road which had been dealt with swiftly. BBC’s fly tipping department could not be faulted and always dealt with fly tipping problems promptly.

Meeting with BBC to discuss Double Taxation and the SLA (2012).

  • The Clerk had set up a meeting with Cllr Chris Hossack, Jonathan Stephenson (CEO) and Jacqueline VanMallaerts (Finance Director) at BBC for 21st January, 7.00pm at the Town Hall. There would be a preliminary meeting with the Clerk, RFO, Cllr’s Tom Bennett, Roger Keeble and Ken Bennett on Friday 17th January at 10.00am. Topics for the agenda included double taxation and the Service Level Agreement (dated 2012). 




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

£ Addressee Description


3,000.00 Unity Trust PC A/C 20343161 Online payments

     50.00 G C Cooper xmas lights electricity – kiln field

     60.00 Bits & Bytes Essex Ltd T.Lockhart – PC email account problems

     Inv. 304229

    40.00                          Essex Wildlife TrustMembership renewal

Direct bank transfer payments via Unity Trust:

S Clapham (wages)  £-

Mrs R Nelson £-

HMR&C– £-

Essex Pension Fund – £-


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.

1180   FINANCIAL REPORTS:  Financial Reports to 31st December 2019

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

In Mrs Nelson’s absence, Cllr Ken Bennett reported on the finance items. The Cheques were circulated for signing by Members and all in accordance with the finance reports circulated in advance by Mrs Nelson. 

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.


The precept and PC budget had been considered at the Policy & Resources (P&R) meeting on 9th January. The minutes of which had been circulated in advance to all members. 

  • Annual Budget 2020/2021 – The income and expenditure budgets were discussed, as circulated, and it was proposed by Cllr Ken Bennett that this be approved. This was seconded by Cllr Keeble and unanimously approved.
  • Annual Precept 2020/21 – The precept demand was discussed. It was proposed by Cllr Ken Bennett that the precept be raised from £54.87 to 57.75/Band D property to meet the annual budget. This included a 5.2% increase on last year. This was seconded by Cllr Keeble and unanimously approved. The Clerk will inform BBC of the precept demand.


Terry Smith advised that the next deadline is 20th January 2020. The Blackmore Music Festival had been cancelled this year the event had grown too big over the years, and there were concerns over handling such an event locally. 

Mr Smith advised that after 22 years he wished to step down from his role as Editor. He would be happy to do the next two editions, but after that wished to retire from the Magazine. Cllr Tom Bennett thanked him for his time and commitment to the magazine over the years and respected his decision. 


1183 PLANS

There had been a meeting of the Planning Committee on 14th January and copies of the reports and minutes had been circulated. Cllr Lockhart summarised his reports to the meeting.

Planning Applications:

19/01593/FUL & 19/01584/LBC – Laurences, The Green, Blackmore, CM4 0RT – Demolish existing rear conservatory and construct single storey oak framed rear/side garden room – No objections offered as the proposal does not detract from the heritage asset of the listed building. The design is sympathetic to the host property and is of a high standard of design. It complies with Ch.16 in the NPPF and CP1 (i), (ii) & (iii) in the Local Plan.

19/01743/FUL – The Briars, First Avenue, Hook End, CM15 0HL – Demolish conservatory, raise ridge and extend roof, add 2 rear dormers and two storey rear extension – No objections offered as the modest alteration to the front elevation would not be incongruous with the prevailing street scene and the rear extension and formers would not result in any visual harm or loss of light or privacy. It fully complies with CP1 (ii) in the Local Plan.

Cllr Lockhart had circulated copies of the CP1 ‘General Development Criteria’ information sheet.

‘Any development will need to satisfy all of the following:

  1. The proposal would not have an unacceptable detrimental impact on visual amenity, or the character and appearance of the surrounding area.
  2. The proposal would not have an unacceptable detrimental impact on the general amenities of nearby occupiers or the occupiers of the proposed development by way of overlooking, lack of privacy, overbearing effect or general disturbance.
  3. The proposal should be of a high standard of design and layout and should be compatible with its location and any surrounding development (and, in the case of alterations and extensions, with the exiting building), in terms of size, siting, scale, style, design and materials. 
  4. Means of access to the site for vehicles and pedestrians and parking and servicing arrangements are satisfactory.
  • Cllr Tom Bennett raised the problem with BBC’s lack of enforcement and lack of any updates being provided to the PC. He and Cllr Keeble will raise this with Cllr Chris Hosack at their meeting next Monday.
  • Langdon House, Blackmore (renovations and hard landscaping) – Cllr Keeble reported that Paulette (BBC) had visited Langdon House after receiving approval from the enforcement team. Pending further reports from her, Cllr Keeble will continue to chase BBC. 
  • Cllr Wagland had met with Cllr Hossack and enforcement was one of the topics discussed. BBC is currently recruiting people with the right skill set to tackle the problems and issues with enforcement and this was one of the things he hoped to improve.
  • Cllr Lockhart said that as far as he knew BBC had produced an enforcement policy approximately three years ago. He would locate this and circulate to all members.
  • Subject to further applications being received, the next Planning Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday 4th February 2020 at 5pm at Blackmore Village Hall.


1185 BBC’s Local Development Plan (LDP) 

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


There was a meeting of the Committee on 7th January, 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:
  • Future Committee meeting dates – It had been suggested by the POS Committee to meet during the daytime so that the Clerk could attend and give updates as well as type the minutes. The Clerk agreed to this. The next meeting is scheduled for 10.00am on Monday 10th February at Tipps Cross Remembrance Hall.

1186 Christmas lights (disputed invoice)

Joe Garcia of J G Electrics had so far refused to meet with the PC to resolve the issues regarding his increased charges. Action: Clerk to contact him again and will also draft a letter to him. 

1187 Recreation signs

Replacements in hand with Stuart Allen.

1188 USAAF Commemorative Service – 29th March 2020

Invitations had gone out to all dignitaries. An acceptance had been received from Jennifer Tolhurst, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, along with the protocol guidance from her office. The Clerk circulated copies to all members for information purposes. Finer details such as catering are being discussed between the Church and designated PC members.

1189 Village Hall – Subsidence

The Clerk had liaised with the PC’s Insurance Company and Legal Department for guidance. She had subsequently written to the Village Hall’s Underwriters advising that the trees in question did not belong to the Parish Council. The trees were on the other side of the fenced boundary and they may wish to contact ECC, who would have responsibility for the trees along the footpath. No further action required

1190 Waste bins (Blackmore)

Cllr Keeble advised that the smaller, older waste bins needed replacing. Clerk to add this item to the POS agenda for consideration.

1191 PC website migration 

Cllr McCarthy had temporarily set up a free hosting facility whilst long term contractors were being considered, and the Clerk was investigating a domain name. All traffic had been diverted to:

  • Wi-Fi signal booster – Tracy Hinton had provided a quotation of £199.00 for a wi-fi booster reaching the Committee Room. Approval was proposed by Cllr Watley and unanimously agreed. Action: Tracy Hinton to proceed with installation and will organise this with the Clerk.

1192 Litter Pick (Spring Clean)

The POS Committee had cancelled the Blackmore litter pick scheduled for 25th January 2020 due to a lack of availability. A new date of 21st March had been agreed by the POS Committee, when it was hoped there would be better weather. 

1193 Planters (Mill Lane)

Approval of the expenditure of £698 for the two replacement recycled plastic planters had been recommended by the POS Committee.  This was proposed by Cllr Watley and unanimously approved. Action: Clerk to place the order to coincide with the re-planting in the Spring/Summer. Clerk to liaise and arrange with Matthews Plants. (Planter Supplier: Marmax Products). Note: These planters would be the same as the replacements at Watsons Corner, Wyatts Green junction.

1194 Street lighting, Blackmore

An estimate had been provided by AJE Electrical Contractors of £116.00 to repair the 2 street lights (lamp replacements only). Approval was proposed by Cllr Cannon and unanimously agreed. 

1195 Village speeding (Nine Ashes Road by the School and past the Co-Op and the Green).

Traffic and obstructive parking, along with speeding through the village, remained a problem, causing concerns over pedestrian safety. Cllr Wagland was asked whether a 20MPH restriction could be implemented in the area. Cllr Wagland advised that this was something that SEP (Safer Essex Partnership) and Cllr John Cloake dealt with. There is guidance available for 20MPH restrictions and she would provide this to the Clerk for dissemination. Also, Dan Cannon, the Enforcement Officer at BBC could be contacted for advice.

Cllr Wagland advised that the SEP programme dealing with this is called ‘3PR’. The scheme creates a no parking zone, known as a ‘3PR zone,‘ around areas such as schools. 3PR stands for the 3 Parking Rules: Care, Caution and Consideration. Parents and carers are encouraged to avoid entering this area by car but instead, they are asked to walk or cycle in, or park a short distance away. This might be worth investigating. However, it was also noted that when parents were encouraged to use the Village Hall car park and walk through the walkway into the school, parents were still parking outside the school on the double yellow lines and dropping their children off. Enforcement of any kind was always the issue making it difficult to uphold.

Cllr Cannon reported that during a recent speed watch, 10 people had been caught speeding outside the School in that short period of time and outside of busy rush hours. 


1196 The Clerk and Cllr Keeble will be attending the free ‘Unauthorised Encampment Briefing’ at EALC on 5th Febraury. The briefing is being given by Sgt. Paul Downes, who leads the Gypsy Traveller and Rural Engagement Team, and Steve Andrews, from the Essex County Wide Traveller Unit.  It will cover topics such as responsibility and decision making principles as well as prevention methods. 


Parks & Open Spaces   10.2.2020 10.00am   Tipps X Remembrance Hall

Planning  4.2.2020 5.00pm   Blackmore Village Hall

Parish Council: 20.2.2020 7.30pm   Tipps X Remembrance Hall



1198 Crime rates – Terry Smith reported on the article he had read relating to crime rates and statistics. He had noted that the Essex rates were pretty appalling. He has further information should anyone wish to see this.

1199 Change to the BBC orange recycling bags – This was being changed over to re-useable hessian sacks. Pending further information from BBC.

1200 Enquiry (Dog Show September 2021) – Cllr Cannon had received an enquiry to hold a prestigious dog show at the Blackmore Village Hall and Millennium field, which was to be used as an outside walking area, in September 2021. The applicant had also asked if a reduced rate could be considered. This was referred to the February POS Committee for further consideration.

END: There being no further business, the Meeting was closed by the Chairman at 9.05 pm


(Chairman):___________________________________   Date: __________________________