Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting
Held in the John Lampon Hall
Wednesday 24th April 2013 at 7p.m.
In the Chair: John Gili-Ross
Members Present: Jenny Church, Murray Harlow, Andrew Savage, David Short, Chris Stevenson, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell, Phil Walby, Rachel Young
Clerk: Val Walsom
Present: Councillor Harrington, Councillor Willetts,
45 members of the public
Apologies: No Apologies were received
Reports from the committees and the minutes of last year’s Annual Parish Meeting were distributed in a booklet.
Before the meeting started refreshments were served.
1. Welcome and introduction from the Chairman — Mr John Gili-Ross
John Gili-Ross welcomed all including Phil Walby onto the Parish Council.
The Neighbourhood Plan will advise where, how and when planning will go forward in our village. It will dictate strategy for many years to come.
The Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations were incredibly popular and something to remember.
John Gili-Ross thanked the members of the Parish Council, many of whom are also volunteers for a number of the village organisations. He also thanked Val Walsom, the Clerk, Gary Walls and Steve Cook, the Village Handymen and Vicky Beckwith-Cole, the new Hall Administrator for their hard work throughout the year.
Councillor Marcus Harrington commented that he was humbled by the work of volunteers. He also praised the work done by the Parish Councillors and made particular acknowledgement to John Gili-Ross for his hard work as Chair of the Parish Council.
Councillor Dennis Willetts spoke about the time Borough Councillors spend dealing with urban areas. These do not have Parish Councils and local support. He said that West Bergholt is fortunate to have a progressive and enthusiastic Parish Council. The Borough Councillor’s role is to take back views of Parish Councils to their Town Halls. He advised that black sacks and recycling sacks are due for delivery on 7th May. Councillor Willetts also spoke about the Localism Agenda which is heaping more powers onto Parish Councils.
2. Celebrating our Village Volunteers – John Gili-Ross
The main theme of this meeting was to thank the many volunteer organisations in the village who give up their time freely to support its residents. Volunteers were present from: Care Network; The Allotments Committee; Speed Watch, West Bergholt Gardeners Association, The Methodist Church, The Neighbourhood Plan Group, Snow Patrol, The Fireworks Committee, The Bergholt Youth Group and Friends of Hill House Wood.
3. Neighbourhood Plan – Shaping the Future of the Village – Chris Stephenson
Chris Stephenson, Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group gave a presentation on the process of creating a Neighbourhood Plan and advised that with the great selection of skills available from the residents of West Bergholt the village is deemed appropriate for producing the Plan to great effect. A questionnaire will be published in June’s edition of the Village Bulletin and it is hoped that the Neighbourhood Plan will be adopted in the spring of 2015.
4. Any issues raised from the floor
A resident said thank you for acknowledging the volunteers. The website and other means of communication could be used to promote more community led engagement at a lower level.
A resident advised that the village cannot continue to grow indefinitely.
It was agreed that this would be a good point for the Neighbourhood Plan.
5. Concluding Remarks
John Gili-Ross advised that Parish Councils are moving forward particularly in light of the Localism Act which should be driven by residents and local businesses. Training is important together with looking at best value.
A presentation was made to Bernard Colbron who has retired from the Parish Council after 12 years. He worked tirelessly as Chair of the Premises and Recreation Committee for much of that time. He will continue as Editor of the Village Bulletin.
The meeting closed at 8.45.m.