Minutes of Parish Council 23rd September 2015

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 23rd September 2015 at 7.30p.m.

Chair: Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present: Brian Butcher, Bob Tyrrell, John Gili-Ross, Murray Harlow, Jenny Church, Rosemary James, Andrew Savage, Harry Stone and Phil Walby
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough Councillors: Councillor Harrington,
Present: 9 members of the public

Part I – Public

1.   Receive Apologies

Apologies were received from Councillor Willetts.

2.   Questions from registered electors

Laurie Hemmings – Mr Hemmings brought to the Council’s attention the Colchester Borough Council Planning Meeting on Oct 1st regarding the development at Homecroft, Chapel Lane, West Bergholt. Mr Hemmings stated that he was disappointed that the amended plans have not changed on two major points. Firstly, that the position of the property on Plot 1 still dangerously overhangs Chapel Lane, coming right up to the edge of the road, leaving no space for pedestrians. Secondly, that there is not enough provision for parking, which will result in the new residents parking in Chapel Lane, which being very narrow will cause problems.

Pat Kay – Mrs Kay wanted to re-iterate Mr Hemmings points with regards the parking and the position of Plot 1, which she felt was too big for the site. She also added that the natural hedge has been grubbed out in preparation for building and has been replaced by a picket fence. Mrs Kay felt this was not appropriate and that the hedge and street light should be put back in place.

Chris Stevenson stated that the Parish Council had objected to the proposal and that the development was not in keeping with the area. The proposal was recommended by CBC officers for approval, but this was subject to agreement by the Borough Council’s Planning Committee

Councillor Harrington stated that Councillor Willetts had “called in” the decision originally made by the Borough planners, which had resulted in a meeting of the Planning Committee on Thurs 1st Oct at 6pm at the Town Hall and will be on the agenda as item 4. Councillor Harrington as a substitute member of said Planning Committee shall approach the meeting with an open mind. The result will be determined that evening and as many as possible are advised to attend to provide the feeling of satisfaction or objection to the application. However, just one person will be allowed to speak opposing the application for 3 minutes and those opposed are advised to speak to Councillor Willetts with regards who that person is. The oppositions must be made on genuine planning considerations, not emotional grounds.

Bob Tyrrell stated that he would have expected a full accurate survey to have been produced of the development, not sketches.

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

No items were brought forward.

4.   Declarations of Interest

Chris Stevenson declared an interest in items relating to Essex County Council, particularly Highway issues.

5.   Minutes

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 22nd July 2015 were approved and signed with no amendments.

6.     Report for Colchester Borough Councillors

Councillor Harrington gave the following report:

2 Donard Drive – Planning Application – A query had been brought to the Councillor as to whether the development of this application was taking place within its legal boundaries. Councillor Harrington has since obtained the land registry details and can confirm that it is within its boundaries and will be ultimately softened by a replacement hedge. The Parish Council had objected to the proposal and Councillor Harrington did remind the Council to highlight such problems to him as he is able to “call in” such applications for further discussion.

7.     Co-option – New Councillor Procedure

Copies of the New Councillor Procedure had been given to both the Councillors and the candidates as a way to make the way the process works transparent. These documents recommend how to fill the current vacancy and provide a timetable of events, giving the candidates a chance to see the workings of the Parish Council. No questions were brought forward to the meeting. Harry Stone proposed the Council accepts the procedure, Andrew Savage seconded – All in favour. All publicity to seek a new Councillor will now be withdrawn.

8.     Finance

a) Statement of Accounts for July 2015

The final accounts for June 2015 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 47% income, 25% general expenditure, 37% environment expenditure and 29% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 46% income and 26% expenditure.

b) Draw cheques

It was proposed by Chris Stevenson and seconded by John Gili-Ross to make the following payments, All in favour:

Aug 2015

General Account
Salary Payment to Mrs Walkingshaw and Dave Hewitt
Countrywide Grass Cutting 145.00
I M Beckwith Mowing, Strimming, Hedge Cutting,Trees 155.90
David Hewitt Keys & Fuel 16.65
Anglian Water Allotments 88.56
Anglian Water Poors Land 14.26
Orpen Hall Account
Salary Payment to Mrs Beckwith-Cole
Mike’s Cleaning Cleaning 675.00
V Beckwith-Cole Cleaning Products 9.14
I M Beckwith Unblocking Drain 25.00
V Beckwith-Cole Chair Clips Box and Dustpan & Brushes 13.98

Sept 2015

General Account
Salary Payment to Mrs Walkingshaw and Dave Hewitt
T  Claydon Allotments –  Frame for Notice Board 64.93
T Claydon Allotments –  Shed Alarm 15.16
Printerland Black Toner Cartridge 45.00
Countrywide Grass Cutting 145.00
Ernest Doe Grip for Hedge Trimmer 10.81
Mail Boxes Village Bulletin 655.00
EALC New Clerks Training 47.00
EALC Council Finance Training 47.00
I M Beckwith Lorkin Daniel Playground 975.95
T Claydon Allotments – Water Tank Piping 134.69
D Hewitt Petrol & Mileage – August 13.84
A-Z Supplies Copier Paper, Storage Boxes 86.26
D Hewitt Petrol & Mileage – September 12.81
Orpen Hall Account
Salary Payment to Mrs Beckwith-Cole
Roberts Cleaning Services Window Cleaning 35.00
Elanar Technical Services Gas Boilers Service 266.84
Mike’s Cleaning Services Cleaning – August 594.00
Mike’s Cleaning Services Floor Maintenance 575.00
I M Beckwith Dado Rail in JL Hall 500.00
Colchester Borough Council Licence Fee 70.00
Mike’s Cleaning Services Cleaning – September 648.00
A-Z Supplies Kettle, Suma Descale 110.36
V Beckwith-Cole Expenses: 2 remotes, box, doorstops 47.96

Salary payments were made to Laura Walkingshaw and Dave Hewitt from the General Account and Vicky Beckwith-Cole from the Hall Account.

[Click to view: Summary Accounts August 2015]

9.     Clerk’s Items to Note

a) Local Council Award Scheme – Foundation Award

The Clerk showed the Parish Council the framed Award, which will now be put up in the Orpen Hall.

b) Notice of Review of Polling Districts

The Parish Council agreed that West Bergholt’s John Lampon Hall should remain a polling place after the review of polling districts and places takes place. The Clerk will feed back that decision to the Borough Council.

c) Welcome Pack – Murray Harlow

Murray Harlow and the Clerk are in the process of creating a Welcome Pack for new residents of the village. This information is also available on the village website. The Parish Council agreed that the information must be kept up to date and there was a need to identify new residents.

10.    Training Courses

a) ILCA – Introduction to Local Council Administration – Laura Walkingshaw

The Parish Clerk obtained her first certificate of achievement on this course – in the Introduction and Core Roles module.

b) Bullying & Harassment – John Gili-Ross

John Gili-Ross attended a Bullying & Harassment course and a course on the General Power of Competence. The GPC is a powerful piece of legislation which (if Councils meet the criteria) will mean that they can approach Borough or County Councils and seek to provide any service currently provided by upper tier Councils. Two things are needed to meet the criteria, firstly, a qualified Clerk (by CILCA or University means) and secondly, 60% of Councillors have to have been elected, both of which are also needed to obtain the Gold Local Council Award.

11.    Planning

a) Approval of Terms of Reference

Planning Committee agreed to keep current Terms of Reference.

b) To note the decisions made on Planning Applications at the Planning Committee held on 19th August 2015:

  • 151470 – 45-47 Lexden Road – Observation – The Parish Council has no particular comment to make and would look to the Borough Council to discharge in line with their policies.
  • 151501 – Peartree Cottage, 93 Albany Road – Support – The Parish Council is happy as long as there is the space to accommodate two cars on the forecourt of the front garden.
  • 151552 – Alcrofts Lodge, Bures Road – Observation – The Parish Council suggest that approval should be dependent on there being no structures built within the garden area, currently or in the future.
  • 151469 – Land north of Poplar Cottage, Spring Lane – Object – The Parish Council would like to state that the dwelling is out of keeping with the surrounding properties and has no context in what is an historic back lane. The proposal is not compliant with the Adopted Village Design Statement. Specifically Policies DG7, DG8, DG9, DG10, DG17, and DG18.
  • 151630 – 12 Newbridge Hill – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 151722 – 15 Armoury Road – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.

c) To note the decisions made on Planning Applications at the Planning Committee held on 16th September 2015:

  • 151741 – 54 Valley Crescent – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 151925 – Alcrofts Farm, Bures Road – Observation – If the Borough Council are minded to approve, then the Parish Council would request that the appropriate conditions are imposed so the building cannot be sold separately.
  • 151959 – Alcrofts Farm, Bures Road- Observation – The Parish Council are happy with the decision of the conservation officer, subject to the condition that the building can only be used as an annex to the main property.
  • 151964 – 119 Colchester Road – —– – The Parish Council does not object.

d) To approve comments on Planning Applications:

  • 152014 – 31 Albany Road – Object – The Parish Council once again object to the extension on the lines of the mass of the side elevation and the lack of a street scene, please refer to DG7 & DG8 of Village Design Statement. Also, the Borough Council’s reasons for refusal have brought the parking issues to the Council’s attention, please refer to DG35 & DG36 of the VDS.

Andrew Savage recommended for approval, Brian Butcher seconded. All in favour.

Councillor Harrington noted that he was happy to take up any Planning case where the council feels it is not being fully notified. The Planning Committee stated that they are constantly requesting the Borough Council to insist that applications provide street scenes in order to give context to their surroundings.

e) Neighbourhood Plan – Report

Brian Butcher informed the Parish Council that all the questionnaires had now been returned and almost all have been inputted into Survey Monkey for data analysis. The next stage is the RCCE housing survey, with which a freepost envelope will be provided to aid their return. A Draft Memorandum of Understanding has been written with Colchester Borough Council. Sub-groups have been formed to draft up parts of the Neighbourhood Plan. BB, AS, BT, CS & BB attended a meeting with Rachel Forkin (CBC Planner) and gained a greater understand the process.

Chris Stevenson stated that the plan would be written and drafted now, ready for spring/summer next year. A Neighbourhood Plan cannot be without development, but either the Borough Council or the community will have their say and ultimately a village referendum is better for the community than it being imposed from elsewhere. Although, the point was made that the plan is not solely about housing or planning.

12.    Environment and Highways

a) Terms of Reference

Both John Gili-Ross & Phil Walby have agreed to revise their committee’s terms of reference. These have been sent around to members for amendment at the next committee meetings and will then be forwarded to next Parish Council Meeting for approval.

b) Practice Net

John Gili-Ross observed that the practice net that had been given to the parish was broken and is in need of replacement. A wheelie-bin is to be placed by the net to halt the amount of litter left in the area. If this works, then a permanent bin will be placed in its stead.

c) Highways

The Parish Council has been informed that micro-surfacing will take place in Chapel Road, Queens Road, Chapel Lane and New Church Road in the two weeks of October. The parish is glad of the attention to its roads, but the lack of communication is a problem. Chris Stevenson has spoken to the County Council about this issue informally. Heathlands School has been informed to notify parents, with regards parking. On that issue, Harry Stone & Chris Stevenson will attend a meeting on Friday 25th September with the Headmaster to discuss the traffic safety plan.

d) Bus Services

Essex County Council is undertaking a Bus Review of its contracted services which serve the village and would like passenger’s opinions. Notices have been put up around the village.

13.    Premises and Recreation

a) Playground Inspection

Phil Walby & John Gili-Ross met with the Health & Safety Inspector. He noted that the faults had been rectified from last year, there are some new issues, some fairly urgent and some not so. There is room for an extra swing on the toddler frame. A couple of concrete and wood parts need replacing and some money is available for this.

b) Applying for CIF Grant

The Parish Council is applying for a CIF Grant for the renovation of Ladies and Gents toilets in the Orpen Hall. Bob Tyrrell provided the plan and scope of work. Andrew Savage has spoken to 3 builders for quotes. The quotes are needed to get through the Grant process, the next stage of which is due the 2nd week in October, after that a more detailed quote will be sought.

The Parish Council questioned Councillor Harrington on the procedure to apply for the £2,000 Borough Councillors fund. Councillor Harrington stated that £500 of which had already been allocated and that it was on a first come, first served basis. Applications should be in by February 2016 at the latest.

Items to Note

a) SLCC – The Clerk – Sept 2015
b) Clerks & Councils Direct – Sept 2015
c) Local Community Liaison Update – Bradwell Site
d) SLCC – Notice of Annual General Meeting 16th Oct
e) The Essex Playing Field – Summer 2015
f) EALC- Calendar of Events 2015

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).

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 28th October 2015 at 7.30 pm

The meeting closed at 8.30 pm.



Signed:                            Date:                              Position on Parish Council

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