Minutes of Parish Council 26th February 2014

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 26th February 2014 at 7.30p.m.

Chair John Gili-Ross
Parish Councillors Present Jenny Church, Murray Harlow, Rachel Howard, Rosemary James, David Short, Chris Stevenson, Harry Stone and Bob Tyrrell,
Parish Clerk Val Walsom
Borough Councillors Councillor Harrington, Councillor Willetts
Present: Vicky Beckwith-Cole, Brian Butcher and 2 Members of the Public, Gerry Dolden – Project Manager for Car park resurfacing

Part I – Public

1.    Receive Apologies

Apologies were received from Andrew Savage and Phil Walby

2.    Questions from registered electors

No questions were received.

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

Albany Waste HGV tanker vehicles are operating out of premises in Packards Lane, Wormingford.  They have applied for an Operators’ License.  Councillor Harrington and Chris Stevenson will investigate.

4.    Declarations of Interest

Chris Stevenson declared an interest in Items 9 and 13 relating to Highways.

5.    Minutes

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Wednesday 22nd January 2014 were approved and signed.

6.    Update on Orpen Memorial Hall Car Park Project

Details of the layout and programme for the car park project were presented by Gerry Dolden of G Dolden Associates, the Project Manager.  The work will be completed in two phases with the left hand side of the hall being phase 1, which will start on 7th April, to be completed by 21st April.  Phase 2 should be completed by 1st May.  The road markings could be completed during a weekend to avoid disruption.

Users of the halls will be contacted and details of the project relayed to them giving them an opportunity to ask any relevant questions before the project begins.

7.    Report for Colchester Borough Councillors

Councillor Harrington gave the following report:

A resident in Lexden Road with dementia has been coerced by a cold caller to sign up for extensive work at his property involving a large amount of money.  MH has been able to sort this out but residents should be wary.

Investigations with CBC Planning department about contextual elevations forming part of a planning application, which is a requirement of the Village Design Statement, has revealed that the VDS carries no weight.  Validation requirements on plans set nationally state that contextual elevations and street scenes are not a requirement.  Statutory law set by Parliament cannot be trumped by a VDS.  This example provides a lesson to be learnt.  CBC Development department should ensure that everything on a VDS must be a statutory requirement.

The kebab stall set up in the Queens Head car park needs planning permission.  The application has now been logged.  Food Standards have visited the stall.  The PC will be able to make its comments when the retrospective planning application is received.  MH has received more comments in favour of the stall than against.

8.    Finance

a)   Statement of Accounts for January 2014

The accounts for January 2014 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 97% income, 58% general expenditure, 78% environment expenditure and 66% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 85% income and 84% expenditure.

b)   Draw cheques

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

Payment Details Expense Purpose Amount
General Account
Chris Stevenson Ink cartridge 84.98
Anglian Water Rates – Allotments/Poors Land 147.38
Countrywide Grass cutting 220.00
Harry Stone Ink cartridge/stamps 14.99
Gary Walls Petrol 12.65
Inland Revenue Tax/NI 259.91
Andrew Savage Neighbourhood Plan 2.97
Chris Stevenson Neighbourhood Plan 88.45
UK Webhosting Ltd Hostroute 79.68
V Walsom 2 laptops 893.30
Orpen Hall Account
Mike’s Cleaning Cleaning 500.00
Elanar Technical Boiler repairs 106.85
Marks Tey Radio Hearing look repair 108.00
AtoZ Supplies Cleaning materials 54.06
G Walls Items for hall 23.09
Vicky Beckwith-Cole Freezer 79.99

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 Summary Accounts – Summary Accounts January 2014.]

c)   Orpen Memorial Hall hire charges

2014/2015 hire charges for the Orpen Memorial and John Lampon halls were presented.  Vicky Beckwith-Cole has carried out an analysis comparing charges of some other local halls.  The Orpen Memorial hall charges are cheaper than most of them.

It was agreed to accept the proposals with the proviso that costs for regular high use users would be negotiable.

d)   County Broadband update

County Broadband has advised that to take West Bergholt to the next step an investment of £10,000 is needed in order for the village to receive high speed broadband.  More information is needed about this.  JGR advised that we are not on the Superfast Essex broadband project list awarded to BT. This means we are unlikely to be provided with fibre connection to the village until after 2016 if at all.  MH agreed to draw up a petition requesting an earlier date for fibre to be sent to ECC and BT.

e)   Scout Hut Licence and rent update

The Parish Council as Trustees for the land has received confirmation that it is not responsible for any public liability in relation to sub-letting by the Scouts.  The Scouts Trust lawyers have requested sight of the original advice received from the Charity Commission about changing from a Lease to a Licence even though the Parish Councillors solicitor has advised this should be the ST responsibility.  The Clerk will again review archived files to see if this information can be found.  If found it is assumed the Scouts will sign the Licence Agreement.

f)   CBC SOS Bus – Donation request

It was agreed to make a donation of £200 to the CBC SOS Bus, which relies on such funding to keep it running.

g)   Fish and Chip bar hire charge

It was agreed to accept a charge of £10 per week offered by the Fish and Chip bar for use of the car park one evening a week.

9.    Traffic Safety Plan

Work has started on the kerbing on New Church Road and is going well.  The kerbing, which is being done to improve the line of sight from the footbath leading to Mumford Close, whilst not part of the original scheme will assist in improving safety at this point.  Residents were briefed about this before the work started.  All works are due to be completed by the end of March.  We are still awaiting the result of the 20mph survey.

10.   Clerk’s Items to Note

a)   Review of Standing Orders

Amendments to NALC’s Model Standing Orders were agreed.  It was agreed that the Planning Committee will be given delegated authority to comment on planning decisions to ensure CBC planning timelines can be met.  Operational Terms of Reference for each sub-committee will be drawn up.

b)   RCCE Best Kept Village Competition

It was agreed that the Parish Council would not enter this year but plan for entry into next year’s competition.

c)   CCVS – Colchester Community Transport services

Review of Colchester community transport scheme.

d)   Attended Freighter Service

The service will be available in the Orpen Memorial Hall car park between 11am and 12noon on 3rd May, 28th June and 23rd August.  It was noted that the date in May, may have to be moved if the car park isn’t ready.

11.   Village Communications

a)   Website report
i)  To review annual payment to webmaster

Dave Kingaby has requested a review of his annual charges.  It was agreed that to keep the charges at a similar level Dave Kingaby would accept the limitations of contributors and continue to enhance the content as much as he reasonably could.

ii) To discuss outstanding issues from the website report

There was no report.

b)   Receive update from Village Communications Officer

There was no report.

12.   Planning

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

140319 – 15 Granville Close – Observations – The Borough Council will need to satisfy itself that this proposal does not contravene existing policies covering an extension which builds up to the line of an adjacent property boundary. (VDS DG11 and VDS DG13 refer)

140322 – 112 Colchester Road – Object – This proposal is considered to represent over-development of the existing building footprint and is contrary to VDS DG14 (dormer windows) and VDS DG16 (roof-scape).

140381 – Delmont, Hall Road – Observations – We understand that this proposal may change so judgement is reserved at this stage.  The current plans would however be broadly acceptable.

140447 – 81 Colchester Road – Object – This proposal does not make a positive contribution to the existing streetscape and does not appear to be in harmony with the surrounding area. (VDS DG3 & DG7)

Prior to consideration of the above applications, the Chair revealed outline plans for informal comment on a proposed planning application relating to his own dwelling.  This was discussed by other committee members.

b)   Neighbourhood Plan – Report

A successful meeting was held last week introducing about 30 people to the Neighbourhood Plan.  Areas for discussion included evidence gathering, policies and next steps.  Some good leads were made.

13.   Environment and Highways

a)   Flooding Armoury Road/Colchester Road

Awaiting the outcome of a meeting due to take place.

b)   Allotments – To discuss payment for use of the rotovator

Mr Wayne has agreed to rotovate allotments at a charge of £10 per hour.  Allotment holders will be charged per square metre.

c)   Reinstatement of Poors Land and footpath

This is still being investigated and there has been no movement since the previous meeting.

d)   To discuss Gary Walls’ resignation

Gary Walls has resigned, effective from the end of March.  Steve Cook will continue at 8 hours per week with any additional hours paid as overtime at the basic rate.  This will be for a trial period of 3 months.

Other issues

CS advised that the vehicular restrictions over Newbridge are an environmental restriction.  The bridge is not weak since it was strengthened several years ago.

14.   War Memorial

An on site meeting has been arranged with the relevant landowner of the Trumans development on 12th March.

15.   Premises and Recreation

a)   To discuss purchase of chairs and storage trolleys

Val Walsom and Vicky Beckwith-Cole have forwarded proposals to Councillor Harrington to purchase 108 chairs with storage trolley for the Orpen Hall and 40 chairs with trolley for the John Lampon Hall at a cost of just over £4000.  We are awaiting the outcome of the Borough Locality Grant of £2000 before placing the order.

16.   Emergency Planning

Following a meeting attended by JG-R and HS it was agreed that a village Emergency Plan should be drawn up.  This should include a list of vulnerable residents within the village.   HS, PW, MH and RH agreed to help draw up the list.

Items to Note

There were not items to note.

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 to discuss.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 26th March 2014 at 7.30p.m.

The meeting closed at 9:45p.m.




Signed:Position on Parish Council: Date:


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