Minutes of Parish Council 28th November 2012

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 28th November 2012 at 7.30p.m.

Chair John Gili-Ross
Parish Councillors Present Jenny Church, Bernard Colbron, Murray Harlow, Andrew Savage, Chris Stevenson, David Short, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell and Rachel Young
Parish Clerk Val Walsom
Borough Councillors Councillor Harrington, Councillor Willetts
Present:  Vicky Beckwith-Cole1 member of the public

Part I – Public

1. Receive Apologies

There were no apologies for absence.

2. Questions from registered electors

Chris Stevenson declared an interest in the bus service as an employee of ECC.

Chris Johnson advised that he has been appointed to the Colchester Bus Users Group Committee.  It was agreed that the Parish Council would forward to ECC Mr Johnson’s recommendations to revise the Sunday bus service to West Mersea with the advice that the PC is not aware of how the service is used by residents of West Bergholt.

Chris Johnson also advised that the Social Club has formed a new committee of which he is a member.  JG-R advised that the Social Club must have trustees.

3. Receive items for information not on the agenda, which in the opinion of the Chairman should be brought to the attention of the Council

  • Co-option of Phil Walby
    Having attended several PC meetings, it was proposed by JG-R, seconded by AS and approved by all present to co-opt Phil Walby onto the Parish Council.  He will join the Environment and Highways and Premises and Recreation working parties.
  • Vicky Beckwith-Cole, the new Hall Administrator, was introduced to members of the Parish Council.

4. Declarations of Interest

Chris Stevenson declared an interest in Item 2.

5. Minutes 

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Wednesday 24th October 2012 were approved and signed.

 6. Clerk’s Items to Note

a)   EALC Courses –       Health and Safety Course  – 6th December 2012

It was agreed to look for health and safety courses for the village handymen to attend.

b)   The PC has agreed to endorse the nomination of JG-R to NALC’s Small Councils Committee.

7. Report from Colchester Borough Council

Councillor Harrington reported the following:

  • CBC needs to know where the new dog bin will be sited in Hall Road.  DS will look at this.
  • Travel Plan – All parking restrictions put forward to the Parking Partnership were refused.  Councillor Hunt based his decision on an officer who said that the issues were based purely around the school.  He will visit the school to observe the problems.  Councillor Harrington is hoping that something positive will come out of this.  He will complete the Local Highways Panel request form to request the restrictions again in line with the Localism Act.
  • JG-R thanked the Borough Councillors for the grants they have made available for cycle racks and the rebound net.  Information about these projects to be forwarded to the Borough Councillors so that the money can be released.
  • Marcus Harrington congratulated the Fireworks committee, in particular Rachel Young, for a very successful event.

 8. Village Bulletin and Communications

Receive update from Village Bulletin Editor

The December edition will be delivered from 1st December.  The deliverers’ party has been organised for 27th January 2013 at 11a.m.  A presentation will be made to June Mayhew at the party.

BC is hoping to retire after the December edition has been published.  However, he advised that he would stay on for the next edition if a replacement editor is not found.  An advertisement for a new editor will be in the December edition.

Receive update from Village Communications Officer

Murray Harlow advised on the following:

  • The website will start migrating to its new site this week.
  • 56 businesses are now listed on the business directory.
  • It was agreed that advertisements will be included with the Village Bulletin on the website.  This will be trialled for a period free of charge.
  • MH explained about the Utility Warehouse Community Fundraising scheme whereby up to 5% of the value of bills paid by Utility Warehouse customers who have signed up to the scheme could go to PC funds.  More information is needed on this scheme.
  • It was agreed that a letter will be sent from the PC to all households to remind residents of the existence of our community broadband service supplied by County Broadband.

9. Finance

a)    Statement of Accounts for October 2012

The accounts for October were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 94% income, 45% general expenditure, 40% environment expenditure and 44% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 72% income and 48% expenditure.

b)   Draw cheques

It was proposed by AS and seconded by CS to make the following payments:

Payment Details Expense Purpose


Ernest Doe Chainsaw oil


Anglian Water Allotments water rates


Pinnacle Grass cutting


Inland Revenue PAYE


T&LC Removal of pond reeds


TCV Pond clearance


Landscape Services Hedge cutting


G Walls Environment purchases


CSH Skip for Allotments


V Walsom Laptop repairs


Chris Stevenson Neighbourhood Plan expenses


Andrew Savage Neighbourhood Plan refreshments


S J Andrews Electrical works


Mike’s Cleaning Cleaning


CBC Licence


Salary payments were made to Val Walsom, Gary Walls and Stephen Cook from the General Account and June Mayhew from the Hall Account.

[Click link to view Accounts – Summary Accounts October 2012]

c)    Update on Grants – Hall Car Park and Stage Lighting and Cycle racks     

The ECC Big Society Fund has approved a grant of £12,000 for refurbishing the hall car park.  This was very well received by the PC.  A survey of the car park for the drainage will be undertaken.  To ensure a good job is made of this project earmarked funding maybe added to the funding already available.  The Planning committee will undertake this project.

The grant application for stage lighting is nearly ready for submission.

Our Borough Councillors have agreed a grant of £500 for cycle racks from the Essex Community Foundation fund.  CS will source quotes.

d)   Budgets – to discuss budgets for 2013/2014 and likely CBC Financial Aid Level

Draft budgets for 2013/2014 were presented and discussed.  Financial aid from CBC is likely to be reduced to £500 from £8342 in 2011/2012 and £4202 in 2012/2013.

e)   Annual Rents/Rates – to discuss rents and rates for 2013/2014

The Halls budget will be based on a 5% increase in lettings charges.  Storage rents for Bluebells and the Orpen Players to be agreed.

Poors Land – It is thought that BHYFC would like 3 pitches on Poors Land all marked out to conform with EU FA regulations.  The Premises and Recreation Working party will meet with BHYFC to agree conditions.

f)    Savings and Investments update

The current position of all Accounts and Investments were presented.

10. Planning

a)    To approve comments and decisions for Planning Applications:

Planning Application No. 121928 – Orchard Cottage, Chapel Lane was supported with no comments.

Planning Application Nos. 122005 and 122006 – Bourne Farm, Bourne Barn Farm was supported with the comment that if planning permission is granted the new, dwelling should form part of the existing development and not be able to be sold separately in the future.

Planning decision for Church Cottage, Hall Road was to grant permission.

[Click link to view full report – Planning Committee November 2012 final report]

b)   Neighbourhood Plan – Event on 24th November 2012 – to discuss outcome of the event

Over 30 people attended.  It was a well organised meeting with the right mix of people.  Notes will be collated.  The next meeting will be held in the Church Hall on 13/12/12 at 7.30p.m.  A Steering Group will be constituted at the meeting and a project plan drawn up.

11. Environment and Highways

a)    Traffic Safety Plan update

A meeting has been arranged with Heathlands School governors for 04/12/12.

Following the introduction of the Localism Act the PC should be able to challenge the decision to reject all six parking restrictions put forward (see Borough Councillors report above)

Work on the footpath on Poors Land adjacent to School Lane is due to start next week.

Proposed work on the Church car park would be a major project for small gain.

b)   Tree on private land off Armoury Road – to discuss how to proceed

The Parish Council was reminded that a dangerous tree had been identified on private land adjacent to Armoury Rd.  The tree had been described as dangerous by a tree surgeon and pruning of two branches had been recommended.  A proposition had been made to the Parish Council that the work be undertaken and an attempt made to recoup the cost of approx. £350 from the landowner if and when the landowner had been identified for certain although this had not yet been possible despite strenuous efforts on the part of some members of the Parish Council.  A lengthy discussion took place as to whether the PC had powers to enter private land and make the tree safe.  In addition the tree has a Tree Preservation Order which required CBC to approve remedial work to make the tree safe.  A members vote took place concluding, by a majority decision, that Parish Council members did not have powers to enter private land and carry out the work and that such powers lie with CBC.  It was agreed to send a strong letter to CBC Planning and the TPO officer reminding them of the dangerous state of the tree and requesting they exercise their powers to make the tree safe.

c)    Allotments – to discuss proposed complaints procedure

Issues have been presented by a minority of plot holders.  It was agreed that complaints should be put in writing to the Clerk to be dealt with by the Parish Council.  Allotment holders will be advised of the new policy in the New Year.

d)   Tree on grass triangle at junction of Hall Road/Bures Road

It was agreed that JC would cut back a small oak tree on the grass triangle as it is interrupting the line of site for vehicles coming out onto the Bures Road.

e)   To discuss 2013/2014 budgets

Budgets have been provisionally agreed subject to the base rate tax set by CBC due in January 2013.

12. Premises and Recreation

a)    To discuss Orpen Hall kitchen repairs and refurbishments

The Clerk will write to the Structural Consultant dealing with the repairs to ask him to return all documents as no movement has been made on completing the work.  A new consultant will need to be found.

b)   To discuss toilets at the front of the hall

It was agreed that because of the constant need to make repairs to the toilets consideration will be given to refurbishing both the male and female toilets.

Items to Note

(a) EALC County Update Issue No. 111 – October 2012

(b) RCCE Village Halls and Community Buildings Update – October 2012

(c)  RCCE Oyster – Autumn 2012

(d) War Memorials Trust Bulletin – November 2012

(e) Clerks and Councils Direct – November 2012

(f)   Colchester Bus Station is Moving poster

Part II – In Committee

Matters taken in the absence of Press and Public (Public (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960) as the item contains exempt information as defined by the Local Government Act 1972 Sch. 12a Pt (1).

13. Appointment of Hall Administrator

Following a successful interview Vicky Beckwith-Cole has been appointed as the new Hall Administrator.  She will work for 10 hours per week commencing 1st December 2012.  June Mayhew has agreed to continue until the end of the year and will also act as relief for Vicky whilst she is on holiday or unwell.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 23rd January 2013 at 7.30p.m.

The meeting closed at 9.45p.m.

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