Minutes of Parish Council 27th March 2013

 Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 27th March 2013 at 7.30p.m.

Chair John Gili-Ross
Parish Councillors Present Jenny Church, Bernard Colbron, Murray Harlow, Andrew Savage, David Short, Chris Stevenson, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell, Phil Walby.
Parish Clerk Val Walsom
Borough Councillors Councillor Harrington
Present: 2 members of the public

Part I – Public

1. Receive Apologies

Apologies were received from Rachel Young and Councillor Willetts.

2. Questions from registered electors

Residents from the cul-de-sac of bungalows in Pirie Road ask for help to change the numbering system in their road which creates confusion for delivery drivers.  Cllr Harrington agreed to pursue this with the Borough Council.  The residents also complained about inconsiderate parking at the junction of the cul-de-sac with Pirie Road.  The North East Essex Parking Partnership will be asked to review this.

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

  • JG-R discussed the document Understanding the Community Right to Bid.  It was agreed that the Right to Build will be left to the Neighbourhood Planning Group for discussion.
    A list of community assets had been drawn up.  It was agreed that some areas of land owned by CBC should be considered for asset transfer to the Parish Council and to list the shops, pubs, Cricket Club and the pond in Hall Road as “Community Assets”.
  • Bernard Colbron has decided to retire from the Parish Council so that he can pursue his other village interests.  After over 12 years on the Parish Council he will be greatly missed as a valued member and Chair of the Premises and Recreation committee.

4. Declarations of Interest

Harry Stone declared an interest in a Planning Application (Item 9).  Chris Stevenson declared an interest in discussions relating to highways (Item 11).

5. Minutes

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Wednesday 27th February 2013 were approved and signed.

6. Finance

a)    Statement of Accounts for February 2013

The accounts for February 2013 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 96% income, 63% general expenditure, 88% environment expenditure and 71% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 101% income and 73% expenditure.

b)   Draw cheques

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

Payment Details Expense Purpose


Mail Boxes Etc Village Bulletin


Murray Harlow Ink cartridge/Mileage


WB Methodist Church Donation


Inland Revenue PAYE


V Walsom Domain Renewal


Andrew Savage Ink cartridge


Mike’s Cleaning Cleaning


RCCE Membership


AtoZ Paper towels


V Beckwith-Cole Keys/lamps


Roberts Cleaning Window cleaning


EKB Contracts Replace lamps


V Beckwith-Cole Green sacks/cleaning materials


B Colbron Answer phone for Hall Administrator


Salary payments were made to Val Walsom, Gary Walls and Stephen Cook from the General Account and Vicky Beckwith-Cole from the Hall Account.

[Click to view Accounts – Summary Accounts March 2013]

c)    Update on Grants – Hall Car Park and Stage Lighting and Cycle racks
  • See item 10 below.
  • The grant for Stage Lighting has been submitted.  It may be about 12 weeks before a decision is made.
  • The cycle racks are now ready for delivery.
d)   Scout Hut rent update

A member of the Executive Committee for the Scout Group sent an email to the Parish Council asking for the background behind the substantial increase to the Scout Hut licence fee.  This is first time in many years that the fee could be reviewed and changed and is much less than a commercial rate for the facilities amounting to c. £5 a week.

e)   Social Club rent and payments due

Rent for the Social Club has been paid to the end of March 2013 and payments for the gas supply to December 2012.  The Social Club is still disputing how we are calculating the gas payments due.  The Clerk will again try to clarify the situation for them.

f)    Section 106 Cash Income by Ward

The latest position relating to West Bergholt had been received.  This was discussed.  Any available funding would be for community projects.

7. Clerk’s Items to Note

a)    EALC Courses
  • Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Workshop – 19/04/13
  • Law and Procedures Course – 25/04/13
  • The Localism Agenda Planning – 01/05/13
b)   Essex Highways
  • New Interactive Public Rights of Way map and Briefing note
c)     ECC – Temporary Closures
  • Chitts Hill Level Crossing in April and May
d)    To discuss the format of the Annual Parish Meeting:

This year’s Annual Parish Meeting will be held on 24th April at 7p.m.   It was agreed that this will be an informal opportunity to thank the volunteers of the village.  Invitations will be sent out and refreshments provided.  The Neighbourhood Plan Group will be asked to make a short presentation.

8. Report from Colchester Borough Council

Councillor Harrington reported the following:

  • Essex County Highways have filled in some of the potholes in the village but he is chasing for further repairs in Cooks Hall Lane.
  • (Chris Stevenson declared an interest for this item)  The Local Highways Panel has organised funding for the Highways Rangers.  Parish Councils need to contact Highways Rangers with a plan of works.

9. Village Bulletin and Communications

a)    Receive update from Village Bulletin Editor

The March edition has been delivered.

b)     To discuss resignation of Editor and appointment of replacement

BC advised that he would like to continue as Editor for the time being.  A resident who has made enquiries about the future of the Bulletin will be advised of this.

c)  Receive update from Village Communications Officer

MH advised that the Website is being visited more often but the football clubs are the main contributors of news items.

10. Planning

a)    To approve comments and decisions for Planning Applications (Report from the Planning Committee’s meeting on 20th February 2013 was received):

Harry Stone declared an interest in Application No. 130482.

130223 – 66 Lexden Road – Supported with no comments

130379 – 72 Chapel Road – Supported with no comments

130388 – Happi Paws Home Boarding, Homeleigh, Nayland Road – Supported with no comments

130397 – The Old Rectory, Cooks Hall Lane – Observations

130482 – Myre, Chapel Lane – Observations.

[Click to review full report – Planning Committee March 2013 final report ver 1]

b)   Project plan for resurfacing car park

CS distributed the Project Plan.  The quotations received are within the budget allocated.  The bottle and clothing banks need to be considered.  A full specification will be brought to the next Parish Council meeting.

c)    CBC Local Plan Review

Guidance is on the website.  The review is looking at bringing CBC’s Local Plan in line with the National Planning Policy Framework.

d)   Neighbourhood Plan
  • Members of the Neighbourhood Planning Group attended a workshop run by RCCE which was excellent.
  • CBC has been formerly advised that a Neighbourhood Plan is to be produced.  CBC needs to approve the proposed Parish area.  This will be discussed by CBC at a meeting scheduled for June.
  • The focus of the Neighbourhood Plan Group is now turning to the household questionnaire to be distributed in the June edition of the Village Bulletin.

CS advised that, to benefit from maps available to the PC, mapping software needs to be purchased at a cost of up to £450.  This will be discussed by the Finance working party.

11. Environment and Highways

a)   To discuss grass cutting contract for 2013/2014

It was agreed that Countrywide will be contracted to cut the grass this year.  This is the company used by Heathlands Primary School and will make co-ordinating grass cutting and line marking much easier.

b)   To discuss use of Poors Land for a running club

It was agreed that a Running Club could use the field for 2 sessions per week free of charge for a trial period.  This will be reviewed after 3 months.

c)    To discuss HGV and buses using Chitts Hill and Newbridge Hill

The legal position regarding HGVs and buses using the bridge at the bottom of Newbridge Hill is to be sought.

d)   To discuss outcomes of Tree Course

DS and Gary Walls attended a tree course at Writtle College which was really interesting and useful.  The course qualified DS and Gary Walls to identify unsafe trees and make the necessary arrangements to make them safe.  Trees not on Parish Land will need to be passed on for action.
A cherry tree at the front of the Orpen Memorial Hall needs to be cut down, subject to there being no TPO on it.  The possibility of replacing all the Cherry Trees with saplings will be explored.
It is good practice to complete an annual inspection of all trees on Parish land.

12. Premises and Recreation

a)     To discuss Orpen Hall kitchen repairs and refurbishments

Outline quotes have been received from interested parties.  These will be discussed by the working party and a full specification will be presented at the next PC meeting.

b)     To discuss toilets at the front of the hall

Quotes to refurbish the toilets are being sought.

c)     To discuss CBC request for Recycling Exhibition Caravan to be allowed to use the Orpen Hall car park

CBC has requested that a recycling exhibition can use the Orpen Hall car park on 3 dates – in May, August and November.  It was agreed that August would not be possible due to the car park resurfacing.

A post box for the hall is to be considered.

Items to Note

  1. EALC – Country Update – February 2013
  2. Essex Heritage News – Summer 2012
  3. Clerks and Councils Direct – March 2013
  4. Essex Playing Field Magazine – Winter 2012/2013
  5. LCR – Spring 2013-04-02 Plantscape News Product Catalogue – 2013/2013

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).

There were no items to discuss

Date of Next Meeting

Annual Parish Meeting – Wednesday 24th April 2013 at 7.00p.m. followed by Parish Council Meeting

The meeting closed at 9.50p.m.

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