Date: Tuesday 17th September 2019 Venue: St Margaret’s Church and Community Centre.
Parish Committee. Joan Morgan Chair, Gary Newman Secretary, Richard Taylor Community Champion, Roger Turner Treasurer, Fabian Bullen Highways
Attendee’s: Peter Janke, Marion Janke, Anna Arend, Rosemary Nash, eron, Bars Bullen, Rhidian Morgan, Carol Collins, Peter Murry, Francis Murry.
Apologies. Cath Taylor, Richard Taylor, Peter Stock, Lesley Stock, Marion Tyrrell, Maggie Perry
Guests. Councillor Edward Oliver, and County Councillor Ray Gooding
Greetings & apologies: Joan Morgan opened the meeting by thanking all attendees and noting apologies.
Committee Members – Re-election:
Joan Morgan opened the meeting by stating that no committee nominations had been received and that all the committee members were duly re-elected.
Summary of the year’s village activities:
• The village sign is now one year old.
• The Meads. The fencing around the back of has been replaced at no cost to the village. • The land has been cleared and levelled thanks to George Draper. • The grass has been cut thanks to Howlands Farm • Rubbish Bins in the laybys on the Newport Road have been installed by the Uttlesford Rangers and are proving to be well used. • The Uttlesford Rangers have also completed the first phase of re-painting the white safety railings along the bank of Wicken Water. • The speed watch is still active as often as possible
Roger Turner gave a summary of the village expenditure for the year concluding that the village account is currently £1,380 in credit.
Main costs included the rubbish clearance from the back of the Meads, and the grass cutting of the verges.
Fabian reported no major updates in the last 12 months.
We are still pushing for a second VAS speed sign to the West of the village, but the report from the highways speed survey earlier this year indicated that the average speed through the village was still too high to warrant a VAS sign and the cost of the village funding the sign is cost prohibitive.
A danger spot, a drain cover, just outside the entrance to Howlands Farm, has been investigated by Essex Highways and deemed to be safe, despite a village resident suffering an ankle injury.
Update from Edward Oliver:
The local plan is making progress and the public objections have been noted by the inspectors.
Wicken Bonhunt is classed in the lower section for potential development due to the lack of public services. The only planning application to build 3 houses on the land at Ashcroft was rejected by the council. Plans have been submitted to develop some areas of Newport, and the village has now organised a “Fund the fight” campaign and has a target to raise around £70,000 to cover legal fees. The ownership of the potential travellers, site just outside Arkesden, has changed hands and some minor land clearance has taken place. It is not known who the new owner is and if they have any plans for the site
Update from Ray Gooding:
On the subject of the average speeds this continues to be an issue nationally because the average measure means that the higher speeds are negated by volume of slower traffic over a longer period of time. Locally this is a problem in Stansted where speeds as high as 70PMH have been recorded but with traffic reduced to a near standstill at peak times. Essex has secured government funding to improve the A120 and to improve the junctions on the M11 at both Harlow and Stanstead Airport. Spending on adult social care continues to increase across Essex, with more spending on adults with learning difficulties. Education is also a high priority with a drive to improve academic standards. Overall 90% of Essex schools are rated as Good or above. Other points discussed were: • Provision for young careers • An increase in the number of young children being home educated • Focus on providing educational support for young children excluded from school.
AOB The village will seek a Christmas Tree donation from a local supplier and the tree will again be decorated with lights.