Minutes of Parish Council 24th September 2014

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 24th September 2014 at 7.30p.m.

Chair John Gili-Ross
Parish Councillors Present Jenny Church, Murray Harlow, Rachel Howard, Rosemary James, Andrew Savage, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell and Phil Walby
Parish Clerk Val Walsom
Borough Councillors Councillor Harrington and Councillor Willetts
Present: Brian Butcher and 1 member of the public

Part I – Public

1.    Receive Apologies

Apologies were received from Chris Stevenson.

David Short has sadly resigned from the Parish Council.  A notice is on the notice board for a replacement Councillor.  As yet nobody has come forward so we will be in a position to co-opt.

2.    Questions from registered electors

David Kay – Scout Licence Update – this is progressing slowly because of a slight delay but he will keep the PC informed.

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

The Police have advised that their presence at local meetings will cease, including Neighbourhood Action Panel meetings.  They will hold neighbourhood meetings but we are unsure as to the format these will take.  A PCSO will have to attend communities at least every 8 weeks.

4.    Declarations of Interest

There are no declarations of interest.

5.    Minutes

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 23rd July 2014 were approved and signed.

6.    Report for Colchester Borough Councillors

Councillor Harrington gave the following report:

CS sent an email to the Planning Department regarding details of a pre application enquiries for Homecroft, Valley View.  MH is concerned about the delay in any response to the query.  As yet there is no information available to the public.  Agricultural activities on the land have also been queried.

This week a pre application enquiry has been made.  Jane Sealy is the case officer and has been made aware of the delay in response to the original Parish Council enquiry.

7.    Finance

a)   Statement of Accounts for July/August 2014

The accounts for July/August 2014 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 46% income, 59% general expenditure, 30% environment expenditure and 49% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 34% income and 33% expenditure.

b)   Draw cheques

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

Payment Details Expense Purpose Amount
General Account
Groupbridge Ltd Car park resurfacing 2,4864.49
C Stevenson Laptop for Planning committee 479.97
I Beckwith MUGA and grass cutting 202.38
Anglian Water Water rates 85.76
Countrywide Grass cutting 220.00
CBC Orpen Hall Licence 70.00
Inland Revenue PAYE August 176.00
Paul Cutler Tree work Poors Land 180.00
Mail Boxes Etc Village Bulletin 640.00
Anglia Inspection Serv. Play park inspection 144.00
Ernest Doe Chain 27.35
Inland Revenue PAYE September 176.20
West Bergholt FC Grass cutting 216.00
EALC Courses 134.00
Groupbridge Ltd Car park resurfacing 34,123.87
 Orpen Hall Account
Colchester Skip Hire Bin emptying 184.32
I M Beckwith Redecoration preparation 100.19
Elanar Technical Boiler repairs 427.04
S J Andrews 5 Year electrical Inspection 552.00
Mike’s Cleaning Serv Cleaning August 540.00
Elanar Technical New boiler for Social Club 1,021.68
Vicky Beckwith-Cole Padlock and cleaning materials 13.93
JCH Contracts Hall decorating 3,090.00
Mike’s Cleaning Serv Cleaning September 594.00
Groupbridge Ltd Car park resurfacing 15,000.00

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

[Click to view Summary Accounts – Summary Accounts July August 2014]

The Payment to Groupbridge Ltd will be withheld until clarification of some work to be completed.

c)   Neighbourhood Plan – Grant update

A grant of £3,051 has been approved and we await receipt of the funding into the bank account.

d)   Orpen Hall Car Park – financial update

The latest payment is being withheld awaiting clarification of some work to be completed.

e)   Broadband update – ‘CIF Response’ Grant update

Our expression of interest has been rejected because of the Superfast Essex broadband project.  ECC were not aware of the background of why we are applying for the grant and will look into the matter further now that they have been made aware that West Bergholt will be waiting until 2016 for Superfast Broadband.

Councillor Brown has asked for the Councillor responsible for Superfast Broadband to visit the Parish Council.  However, the CIO is unlikely to have time to visit but the Project Manager may.  It was suggested that should this meeting take place it should be opened up to the village.

Councillor Brown will be asked if it would be possible to have the Portfolio holder and Project Manager available to speak to the village.

f)   Scout Hut Licence and rent update

See Item 2 above.

g)   Social Club – overdue payments

PW and HS have met with Bernard Sanach to discuss the overdue payments.  Since then the rent has been paid to July 2014.  Mr Sanach has advised that he believes he can get cheaper insurance elsewhere.  The PC will ask for further information on this.  All outstanding monies will be paid in October and they have agreed to set up a Direct Debit to pay the rent.  It would appear that Mr Sanach is responsible for paying the bills.  We need assurance that the Social Club will be able keep up to date with the payments they owe and that the current situation does not continue.

Better use of the facility for the whole village was discussed.

8.    Traffic Safety Plan

The consultation period resulted in 17 objections from residents.  The PC has responded to say that they are in favour of continuing with the project.

A site meeting may be arranged with Councillor Brown, Councillor Bass (Portfolio Holder for Highways) and JGR.

9.    Update on Orpen Memorial car park project

  • The final finance is being agreed.
  • It has been suggested that village organisations may like to get involved with planting around the hall.
  • Ivor Beckwith has been asked to do some paving work by the boiler room door.  He will also quote to install a ramp and rail at the emergency exit door of the John Lampon Hall.
  • Posts between the car park and the field to be moved towards the car park to stop cars parking in this area.
  • The Environment and Highways Committee have a number of issues namely:
    • Loss of parking spaces
    • The damp course has been compromised
    • Puddling will be dangerous in the winter when the water freezes
    • Planting may be an issue
    • No recycling bins
    • Drains may be a danger to children – getting their fingers trapped
    • There are small stones in the area Bluebells use

Some of these issues will be covered during the snagging process.  Others will be revisited at the end of 12 months.

10.   Clerk’s Items to Note

a)   Data Protection obligations

EALC has asked that Parish Councils confirm that they are aware of the guidelines about publishing photos, for example, those taken at village events.  The Parish Council will advise members of the public of any intentions to take photos at events through the website, on posters etc.

11.   Planning

a)   To approve comments and decisions for Planning Applications (Reports from the Planning Committee’s meetings on 19th August and 17th September 2014 were received):

To approve comments for Planning Applications:

  • 145373 – 124 Lexden Road – The PC had no observations.
  • 145415 – 91 Chapel Road – The PC objects to the application – The PC has reservations as to the look, appearance and design presented in the application. It is accepted that a larger dwelling could be accommodated on this site, but the proposals submitted will have a considerable impact on the street scene, and the balance between the adjacent properties and the proposed new house looks wrong.  The drawings are poorly reproduced so it is difficult to address the small bungalow in height on the left and also the new house on the right, and not dominate the streetscape.  Also, the property to the rear is lower, as the ground level slopes down, so the new house will be very dominant.  A simple single storey property with rooms totally in the roof, would be an alternative or the house should be built slightly into the ground as has the house adjacent.  Policies DG7 and DG1 in the VDS refer,
  • 145501 – 2 Hall Farm Cottages, Hall Road – The PC made the following observations – The PC notes the reasons for the original refusal and would be happy to support an extension as long as the original reasons for refusal can be overcome in terms of preserving the character of the original dwelling.
  • 145620 – Kinckhams Barns, Bures Road – The PC made the following observations – The PC notes the concern raised by adjacent residents and requests that should the Borough Council grant planning permission that noise and disturbance are contained within national guidelines.  It also request that further changes to the activities covered by the change of use class order are subject to a separate assessment or further application.
  • 145642 – 9 Bradbrook Cottages, Armoury Road – The PC objects to the application – It is not possible to ascertain how the proposals complement the existing housing in this area.  No street scene plan has been provided and this is an important omission given that it is a new development.  It is clear that the proposals will have a substantial effect on the existing streetscape.  Without this information we must object to the application.  Policy DG8 in the VDS refers.
  • 145826 – Field View House, 8a Hall Road – The PC made the following observations – We have no objections but are disappointed that there were no street scenes drawings as required in the VDS Policy DG8.
  • 145876 – 47 Chapel Road – The PC made the following observations – We have no objections but we are disappointed that there were no contextual drawings showing adjacent property views as required in the VDS Policy DG8.
  • 145818 – 18 Mumford Close – The PC made the following observations – We have no objections but we are disappointed that there were no street scenes drawings as required in the VDS Policy DG8.
  • 145256/145257/145259 – Bourne Barn Farm, Bourne Road – The PC made the following observations – In view of the nature of the existing building and the work in question, it is minded to accept the Borough Planning Service’s lead in these instances.
  • 145408 – 12 Albany Close – The PC objects to this application because the street scene would be adversely affected by the proposals.  The two storey front extension should be subservient to the main dwelling and not extended out to the sake line as the neighbouring property.
  • CBC Local Planning consultations:  The Planning Committee will join forces with the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group to meet CBC on matters arising from the latest consultations on the sustainability appraisals and call for new housing sites to be submitted to the Borough Council.
  • The PC has been made aware of possible development near Valley View.  It was resolved to enquire about this to the Borough Council
  • Meeting attended by JGR/BB at CBC Planning Department about how they process plans, how they are moving forward and Neighbourhood Plans.  It was a very well attended and very worthwhile meeting.
Other matters
b)   Neighbourhood Plan – Report

The grant application has been approved.

The Steering Group is very close to finishing the evidence gathering.

A meeting between CBC contact, AS and BB took place earlier in the evening.  The Local Plan for Colchester is being revised.  Call for sites will be determined in October, which will determine any proposed building works in West Bergholt.  A questionnaire will be received shortly from CBC.

12.   Environment and Highways

a)   Chair of sub-committee

The work carried out by David Short has been recognised by the sub-committee.  He has passed this information to sub-committee members for future reference.

b)   Work schedule for village environs

Schedules of Work have been produced for Ivor Beckwith and Steve Cook.

c)   Community litter pick

The litter pick will take place on 18th October.  RH will co-ordinate this and will be writing to organisations within the village for help.

13.   Premises and Recreation

a)   Disposal of piano in the hall

The piano seems to be redundant and it was agreed to re home it.

b)   Methodist Church grounds

The Methodist Church has made a request for help from the PC with clearing their grounds.  HS agreed to speak to a representative and it was agreed to offer 5 hours of the Village Handyman’s time.

c)   Sub-committee contact lists

A list has been published and should be added to as and when new contacts are known.

Other Issues

Cleaning is not up to the standard it was.  It was agreed to give the contractor 3 months to improve following which time an official warning will be issued.

A request has been received from a circus to visit the village.  More information is needed before a decision is made.

HS will advise how much the school would have to pay to use the MUGA on a regular basis.

The PC did not agree to a sign being erected at the entrance to the school to advise delivery drivers not to use the access road during peak times.

14.   Communications

Hub communication is growing.  Facebook is becoming the preferred communication method.

The monthly report from David Kingaby has been circulated.

15.   War Memorial

Report from Working Party

A resident had agreed to pledge £100 following the item in the bulletin.

The criteria for the CIF fund was not met.  It is unlikely that we will meet the criteria necessary for a grant from the Heritage Fund without using the memorial as an educational project.  AS will make further investigations.

The possibility of contacting village organisations was explored and further information will be published in the Village Bulletin.

Items to Note

a)   EALC – County Update – Annual Report

b)   Clerks and Councils Direct – September 2014

c)   LCR – Autumn 2014

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 matters discussed.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 22nd October 2014 at 7.30p.m.

The meeting closed at 9:25p.m.

Signed:Position on Parish Council: Date:


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