Parish Council Minutes 7 June 2018



Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Thursday 7 June 2018


The meeting opened at 7.30 pm.

Those present were the Chairman, Cllr S Wood and Cllrs T Betts, M Rist, M James and K Overall. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr T Deffley. Cllr C O’Brien has resigned from Walkern Parish Council with immediate effect.

The minutes of the previous meeting, having been circulated, were accepted as a correct record on the proposal of Cllr Rist and seconded by Cllr Betts.

Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Defibrillator (PAD) for Walkern: Due to refurbishment at Walkern Stores it was discussed that an alternative option of placing the defibrillator in the Recreation Ground with a solar panel might now be the best solution. The Clerk has obtained costings for this and will liaise with the Community Heartbeat Trust regarding the most suitable position to place it.

Action: The Clerk

Recreation Ground: All the play equipment has now been painted. Andrew Abrams will continue with the railings and benches as soon as possible.

Village Walkabout: This has been rescheduled for 14 June 2018 at 7.00 pm.

Election of Vice-Chairman

Due to Cllr O’Brien’s resignation the Chairman proposed that Cllr Deffley be elected Vice-Chairman in his absence. Cllr Deffley has previously agreed to take on this position. All agreed and Cllr Deffley was duly elected.

Declarations of Interest Relating to Items on the Agenda


Public Forum

A suggestion has been made to install a bike ramp at the sportsfield. Dan Head will contact the Clerk with more details.

Recreation Ground – Request to Hold a Cake Sale

A request has been made from a member of Walkern Guides to hold a cake sale at the Recreation Ground on Saturday 7 July 2018 to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust. The Clerk has checked with the Parish Council insurers and they are happy for this to take place if a Parish Councillor is present. Cllr Betts has offered to do this. The Chairman will put something on the Parish Council Facebook page with a request for cakes.

Action: Cllr Wood/Cllr Betts



Walkern Neighbourhood Plan (Referendum) – Update

The referendum process has started and a vote will be taken on 5 July 2018 at Walkern Sports and Community Centre when the village can vote to accept the Plan. Leaflets advertising this and the Walkern Neighbourhood Plan statement are being sent to every household in Walkern and posters put up around the village to inform residents. The documents from EHDC can be viewed at Clarks Garage and the United Reformed Church. All documents will be put onto the Walkern Parish Council website and the Chairman will put onto the Facebook page. A Q & A morning will be arranged at WSCC for anyone to come along to address any queries. The Parish Council unanimously voted to accept to the Walkern Neighbourhood Plan.

Action: Cllr Wood/Clerk

Land South of Froghall Lane – Update

The developers are currently working through the conditions attached to the approved planning applications with no building work commencing until the conditions have been addressed. Cllr Rist stated that it is difficult to get any comment from Fiona Dunning, planning officer attached to the development, when asked to respond to which reserved matters have been considered.

East Herts District Plan/Gresley Park (EOS) Consultation – Update

The Clerk has been contacted by Pigeon Investment Management, proposed developers of the above site, to request a meeting with the Parish Council to discuss the potential East of Stevenage development. The Parish Council declined as it is opposed to the proposed development and agreed to wait until the Inspector’s report has been published. The Chairman will attend the Master Planning meeting at EHDC on 2 July 2018, as well as the Aston Parish Council meeting on Monday 11 June. He will also seek an informal meeting with District Cllr Ken Crofton and EHDC Leader, Linda Haysey, to discuss further.

Action: Cllr Wood

Highways Matters

Speed Incentive Device: There is no further update at present.

School Drop Off Scheme: For the scheme to work, improvements need to be made to the crossing area at the bottom of the sportsfield, with hedging being removed also. Hertfordshire Highways will only consider spending money on the improvements if there is a guarantee that parents and children will use the scheme. It was agreed that this was something the Headteacher at Walkern School needs to confirm. Cllr Betts will speak to Chris O’Brien regarding further information about a Section 106 agreement relating to Yew Tree Close. There apparently is a small pot of money set aside for use in Walkern.

Action: Cllr Betts

Highways Report/Repairs/Issues: The white lining has been completed in Stevenage Road. Various pot holes have been marked for repairs. The work to the Winter’s Lane/Bockings junction, to restrict HGV’s travelling along Winter’s Lane to the High Street, has commenced.



WSCC – Update

A further meeting has taken place with Nigel Bennett and Jo Ransom. Cllr Wood, Cllr Betts and the Clerk being present, to discuss the new legal structure of WSCC going forward. Cllr Betts has contacted HAPTC for any advice. A user group meeting has been arranged for 27 June 2018.

Action: Cllr Betts

Parish Councillor Responsibilities/Roles Within the Parish Council Sub-Committees/Employment Contracts for PC Employees

It was agreed that Cllr Overall and Cllr Deffley would join the Executive Committee and Cllr Deffley would join the Planning Committee. Employment contracts are still to be completed.


Payments made since the last meeting:

Staff costs –                                                                                                                                         £1193.35

James Lungley -WPC Website (annual fee)                                                                            £ 120.00

Mr N Bennett – Wheelchair/pushchair access ramp by WSCC                                        £ 252.00

Zurich Insurance Co – annual PC insurance premium                                                         £1519.46

Luke Stokes Garden Maintenance – hedge cutting at Recreation Ground

(Recreation Ground Charity A/c)                                                                                                                £ 460.00

Walkern Parish Council – reimbursement for work at Recreation Ground

(Recreation Ground Charity A/c                                                                                                 £ 681.00

Mr N Bennett – installation of waste bins x 2 at Recreation Ground

(Recreation Ground Charity A/c)                                                                                                                £ 150.00


The above payments were ratified on the proposal of Cllr James and seconded by Cllr Overall.


End of Year Annual Return 2017/18:


The accounts, having been prepared by Cllr Betts, were sent to Brian Alexander of Tax Assist Accountants, who conducted the internal audit of the annual return for 2017/18. Cllr Betts presented the audit to the Parish Council for approval. This was proposed by Cllr Overall and seconded by Cllr James with all agreeing. The audit forms were duly signed by the Chairman and the Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer and will be sent to the auditors before the due date.

Action: The Clerk




Planning Applications received:


12/14 Winter’s Lane, Walkern Erection of a single detached dwelling and detached garage (outline approval reference 3/16/1855/OUT allowed on appeal) No objections.





Planning Applications granted:


105B High Street, Walkern                                           Single storey side and rear extension.


26-42 Aubries, Walkern                                                 Window replacement.




From a resident of Moors Ley suffering from allergies due to the long grass on the land at the rear of Moors Ley. She was advised to contact the landowner to request they cut the grass.

From a resident of Walkern keen to attend the User Group meeting at WSCC on 27 June 2018. She was advised to contact Nigel Bennett or Jo Ransom regarding this.

Schedule of Outstanding Items

A review of litter picking and road sweeping to be considered at the next meeting.

The grant to the United Reformed Church for churchyard maintenance is due.

Any Other Business

Cllr Wood will take over writing a resume of the minutes for the Walkern Journal each month.

The book exchange at the Recreation Ground is damaged, although not due to vandalism. The Clerk will contact Dan Head to arrange repair.

A resident of Winter’s Lane has complained about the hedge in Winter’s Lane belonging to the White Lion pub, which is overgrown. Despite requesting it be cut back it hasn’t been. Cllr Betts agreed to speak to the resident.

It was agreed the Clerk should write to Chris O’Brien to thank him for his work and commitment to Walkern Parish Council over the past few years.

The meeting ended at 9.40 pm.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 26 July 2018 commencing at 7.30 pm at the United Reformed Church hall.






Walkern Neighbourhood Plan

As part of the Government’s Localism Act, local communities can produce a Neighbourhood Pan to help guide development in their own area. A volunteer group produced a draft Neighbourhood Plan for Walkern Parish Council in 2016. Local consultation on the draft was then carried out in 2017.

The Walkern Neighbourhood Plan has since been scrutinised and comments taken into account in the final version. East Herts Council has agreed that the Plan is now at the Referendum Stage, with a ballot to be held on Thursday 5th July 2018 at the Walkern Sports and Community Centre.

The final version of the Plan and a General Information Statement from East Herts Council are now available for you to view at the United Reformed Church and Clark’s Garage.

East Herts Council will send all residents who are on the electoral roll a ballot card with one simple question for you to answer about the Plan. You can vote in person (or by proxy) at the Walkern Sports and Community Centre, or by postal vote. Postal and proxy vote application forms are available at or you can call East Herts Council on 01279 655261.

Have questions? On Sunday 1st July 2018, Walkern Parish Council, along with the Neighbourhood Planning Group, will be hosting a Question & Answer session at Walkern Sports and Community Centre between 10.30am and 1.30pm. Copies of the Neighbourhood Plan will be available for you to read. Please do come along as this will be an opportunity for you to find out more about the importance of your vote in this referendum and why Walkern Village needs you to say ‘YES’.

Michele Rist
Chair of the Walkern Neighbourhood Plan Group

To obtain more information about the Walkern Neighbourhood Plan, go to

Click on the links below to download the Plan and related documents:

001 Basic Conditions Document (September 2017)
002 Neighbourhood Plan Document (revised April 2018)
003 Household Results
004 Business Questionnaire
005 Additional Evidence 006 Consultation Statement

Minutes of the WPC Meeting 3 May 2018