Minutes of Parish Council 26th November 2014

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

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

Chair John Gili-Ross
Parish Councillors Present Jenny Church, Murray Harlow, Rachel Howard, Rosemary James, Andrew Savage, Chris Stevenson, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell and Phil Walby
Parish Clerk Val Walsom
Borough Councillors Councillor Harrington, Councillor Willetts
Present: 3 members of the public who left after Item 2

Part I – Public

1.    Receive Apologies

Apologies were received from Brian Butcher

2.    Questions from registered electors

Resident of Armoury Road with regard to a Planning Application in Armoury Road.

CS advised that this Planning Application has been considered by the Planning Committee this month and the PC has decided to object to the application.

Councillor Harrington has spoken to the CBC Case Officer. Councillor Harrington is of the opinion that this application will not be approved and would have to be severely changed if there is any likelihood of it being approved in the future.  The resident was advised that anyone can make a planning application as many times as they like.

Martin Hopkin – provided an update on Scout Hut licence.  The paperwork is now with the Scouting Trust Corporation and it is hoped a decision will be made at the end of November.  The Scouts have confirmed the Licence is acceptable to them and cheques have been drawn for outstanding money owed.

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

JGR has been confirmed as Chair of the EALC for the next four years and restated that he will not be standing for Chair of the Parish Council next year.

4.    Declarations of Interest

Chris Stevenson declared an interest in Item 9 relating to Essex County Council Highways.

Bob Tyrrell declared an interest in a development off Lexden Road for which he is acting as architectural advisor.

Andrew Savage declared an interest in an item relating to the Car Park landscaping.

5.    Minutes

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

6.    Report for Colchester Borough Councillors

Councillor Harrington gave his reaction to the Boundary Commission Review.  If the recommendations are accepted the Parish would become part of a new Lexden and Braiswick Ward This is an urban ward and Councillor Harrington believes there could be conflict of interests with West Bergholt being rural.  MS would propose that all the northern rural village areas are divided into two wards.

JGR suggested that a Working Party is formed to respond to the Boundary Commission Review.  He suggested that the Working Party talks to members of Eight Ash Green Parish Council to get their views.  The consultation period runs until 12th January 2015.

Kinkhams Barn Planning Application – was a retrospective planning application and the building does not have the structure to contain the noise of the industry it is conducting and the application has been refused.  A lease has been granted on the premises for a business that is not under its planning condition terms of light industry.

Parking restrictions in New Church Road – this is ongoing.   County Councillor Eddie Johnson has the final decision, which should be made by Christmas with implementation in March if it is approved.  The 20mph zone will be decided in June next year.

From 1st December the Conservative Opposition leader of Colchester Borough Council will be Councillor Dennis Willetts.

7.    Resolution of Approval of Standards of Practice Scheme – Update of Policies and Procedures

EALC has been earmarked as the Pilot association to run the Standards of Practice Scheme. This scheme replaces the Quality Council scheme and will be run in three levels – Foundation Level, Quality Standard and Gold Standard.  By applying at this time there will be no charge to the Parish Council.

Changes to the Councils Standing Orders (recording of meetings) and Financial Regulations plus updating of various policies and processes had been circulated to Councillors and/or made available on the web site prior to the meeting.  These amendments were approved.

The following Resolutions 7a to 7d were agreed;

  1. West Bergholt Parish Council confirms at this meeting that items 1 to 15 is on the web site and items 16 to 22 has been achieved for Foundation Level.
  2. The Parish Council agreed to give delegated powers to the Chair and Clerk of West Bergholt Parish Council to submit applications for the Quality Standard and Gold Standard when these applications are completed. Specifically this would entail;
  3. For Quality Standard this would entail under this minute reference that 1 to 15 of the Foundation Level and 1 to 10 for Quality level is on the Council web site and the Council has achieved section 16-22 at Foundation level and 11 to 19 at Quality Standard level
  4. For Gold (if applied for) the Council confirms that the following documentation (items 1 to 15 for Foundation Level and 1 to 10 for Quality level and 1 and 2 for Gold Level) is on the Council web site and that a prepared statement (no more than 1 page each) has been prepared showing how the criteria (items 3 to 6) have been achieved at Gold level, sections 16 to 22 at Foundation level and 11 to 19 at Quality Standard level

All members of the Parish Council voted in favour of Resolutions 7a to 7d.

The Clerk will inform Councillors when/if each application is submitted.

8.    Finance

a)   Statement of Accounts for October 2014

The accounts for October 2014 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 93% income, 65% general expenditure, 50% environment expenditure and 60% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 50% income and 61% expenditure.

b)   Draw cheques

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

Payment Details Expense Purpose Amount
General Account
Landscape Services Hedge cutting 600.00
David Kingaby Website 264.00
CBC Clear hedge cuttings 240.00
Countrywide Grass cutting 220.00
Inland Revenue PAYE August 176.20
Ernest Doe Weed killer 74.95
M Donnelly Manure for Allotments 40.00
John Thrussell Hedge cutting for Allotments 108.00
Anglian Water Allotments 234.04
Anglian Water Allotments 16.95
Norhurst Landscapes Pond Clearing 190.00
Orpen Hall Account
S J Andrews PAT Testing 65.94
AtoZ Supplies First Aid box/Cleaning materials 135.57
G W Commercial Replace kitchen tap 69.12
Vicky Beckwith-Cole Cleaning materials 7.92
Mike’s Cleaning Serv Cleaning 540.00

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 October 2014]

c)   2015/2016 budgets and annual rents review

AS distributed the Annual Accounts/Investments.  Of interest there is over £10,000 in the Lorkin Daniell Account.

Proposed budgets for 2015/2016 were distributed.  Rents and Hire charges of the hall will remain the same as 2014/2015.

The proposed Precept increase is 2.5%.  However, CBC has advised that they are proposing a reduction of £460 on last year’s budget.  To make up this deficit the Precept increase would need to be 2.9%.  Approval of the budgets and Precept will be made in January 2015 when all figures have been received.

At a recent EALC training session it was advised by a County Monitoring Officer that Parish Councils should budget for a minimum of £1000 in respect to election expenses in 2015

d)   Orpen Hall Car Park – financial update

This will be covered under Item 10.

e)   Broadband update – ‘CIF Response’ Grant update

The Parish Council will not be considered for this grant.

f)   Scout Hut Licence and rent update

This was discussed at Item 2 above.

9.    Traffic Safety Plan

This was discussed at Item 2 above.

CS is going to write to the Planning Department about vehicles related to the building work in New Church Road causing severe hazards and obstructions.

10.   Update on Orpen Memorial car park project

Andrew Savage declared an interest in the item relating to the landscape company chosen to carry out work around the halls.

The final accounts have not been received.  Awaiting on the Project Manager to sign off final items as the area around the waste bins has a sunken kerb probably due to lorries.  This needs to be repaired.  The patch matching is unsatisfactory and it is going to be suggested that we ask for a reduction in costs because of this.

Quotes have been sought for landscaping around the halls.  Oak View Landscape’s quote of £5000 to carry out the required work which includes both soft and hard landscaping has been accepted.  It was proposed by CS, seconded by HS to appoint Oakview Landscapes to carry out the work.  All in favour with the exception of Murray Harlow and Andrew Savage abstained as he had declared an interest.

11.   Clerk’s Items to Note

  1. CBC – Voting has Changed – Individual Electoral Registration
  2. Local Government Boundary Commission – Electoral Review of Colchester: Draft recommendations
  3. CBC – Non-Domestic rates – Discretionary Relief Policy Consultation – As a registered charity the Orpen Memorial Hall is exempt from 80% of its annual rates

12.   Planning

a)   To approve comments and decisions for Planning Applications (Report from the Planning Committee meeting on 14th October 2014 were received)

Bob Tyrrell declared an interest in a development off Lexden Road for which he is acting as architectural advisor.

To approve comments for Planning Applications:

  • 146040 – Delmont, 47 Chapel Road – The PC supports the application with no comments.
  • 146122 – Land adjacent to Poplar Cottage, Spring Lane – The PC supports the application. The PC has no objection to a dwelling being constructed on the site but reserves its judgement on the final layout of the development, which should conform to the VDS as well as Borough Council requirements.
  • 146215 – Netherfield, Nayland Road – The PC supports the application.
  • 146301 (Resubmission of Planning Application No. 145642) – 9 Bradbrook Cottages, Armoury Road – The PC objected – The PC view remains unaltered, due to the lack of an adequate streetscape drawing and poor overall design, which is contrary the Village Design Guide. We are of the view that the current proposal is inappropriate, as it does not acknowledge or respect the existing streetscape.  As a result it could lead to poorly related built form, in contrast to the more spacious character of the established residential area.   (VDS DG3, DG8 and DG10 apply)
  • Murray Harlow expressed concerns about work taking place on a house in Chapel Lane. The Planning Committee will look into this.
      Other matters
  • Murray Harlow expressed concerns about work taking place on a house in Chapel Lane. The Planning Committee will look into this.
b)   Neighbourhood Plan – Report

The Steering Group is preparing for a further public consultation early next year.

13.   Environment and Highways

a)   Siting of the beacon

The Environment and Highways sub-committee recommended that the beacon is sited in the same position as it came down from on the Lorkin Daniell Field.  Other members of the PC suggested it is sited near the Village Sign.

HS proposed that the beacon is sited at the Lorkin Daniell Field, JC seconded.

CS made a counter proposal to site the beacon by the Village Sign, BT seconded.  4 councillors voted for counter proposal

2 councillors voted for the first proposal.

There was one abstention.

The beacon to be sited by the Village Sign.

b)   Tree and hedge planting at MacNally Mews

The land is still Common Land and as such it is not for the Parish Council to give the landowner advice.  There is no restriction of planting on Common Land.  An individual can also be a private owner of Common Land.  The landowner will be informed that in the Parish Councils opinion he is not contravening the covenant on the land.

14.   Premises and Recreation

There was a discussion about the nature and content of correspondence sent between Parish Councillors.  Councillors are minded to be respectful in terms of any communication sent.

15.   Communications

No report.

16.   War Memorial

Report from Working Party.

There is no grant available from the Community Initiative Fund so this needs to be reconsidered.

Items to Note

  • Bulletin – War Memorial Trust – November 2014
  • Clerks and Councils Direct – November 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 28th January 2015 at 7.30p.m.

The meeting closed at 9:50p.m.


Position on Parish Council:



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