Minutes of Parish Council 28th October 2015

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 28th October 2015 at 7.30 pm

Chair: Andrew Savage
Parish Councillors Present: Brian Butcher, Bob Tyrrell, Murray Harlow, Jenny Church, Rosemary James and Harry Stone
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough Councillors: Councillor Harrington, Councillor Willets, Councillor Brian Jarvis
Present: 3 members of the public

Part I – Public

1.    Receive Apologies

Apologies were received from Chris Stevenson and John Gili-Ross.

2.    Questions from registered electors

No items were brought forward.

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

No declarations of interest.

5.    Minutes

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 23rd September 2015 were approved and signed with no amendments. However, it was noted that the Terms of Reference for the Premises and Environment sub-committees will not be ready for approval at this meeting following the resignation of Phil Walby, former Premises Chair.

6.    Report for Colchester Borough Councillors

Councillor Willetts –

Councillor Willetts reported on the 28/10/15 Parliament approved the recommendations of the Boundary Commission that will result in the re-organisation of the Colchester wards, creating 51 wards rather than 60. The changes will come into effect on the 5th May 2016, in this area creating the new Lexden & Braiswick Ward incorporating West Bergholt, Eight Ash Green, Aldham, Braiswick and Lexden. The new ward will have a mix of rural and urban issues, but should not impact too much on West Bergholt Parish Council.

Councillor Harrington –

Councillor Harrington reported on several issues:

  • The Councillor has reported the garden of 30 New Church Road to the Borough Council and an Enforcement Officer will be visiting soon. The garden is very overgrown and has been impinging on its neighbours properties,
  • Regarding the flooding at Chitts Hill – this has been reported to Essex Highways.
  • Also, with reference to the hedges that overhang the road along Chitts Hill, the Parish Clerk needs to check whether letters have been written to the relevant householders.
  • The Community Budget is currently being spent, there are funds to buy a wheelie bin, the Bergholt Youth Group has requested some additional equipment and the Toddler Group has asked for some funding towards a new slide. There still remains approx. £500.
  • The Councillor also reported that Councillor Brian Jarvis, in attendance, will be one of the candidates due for election in May.
  • Homecroft – Councillor Willets had called the application in, however due to illness Councillor Harrington stood in place for him, asking the planning officer to overturn the planning decision. BT represented the neighbours and it was decided that as the decision took no account of the Village Design Statement the matter was not approved, but was instead deferred. Looking at the bigger picture the Borough Planning Committee noted that the planning department are failing to adhere to the VDS and the result sends a clear statement that this village’s VDS should be taken into account when planning applications are submitted. This is good timing as the Parish Council’s Planning Committee will be meeting a senior planning officer on 6th Nov 2015.

7.    Co-option – Update and first personal statement

The Parish Council received Phil Walby’s resignation on 24th October 2015. The Parish Clerk has informed Colchester Borough Council, who will notify the public and ask the parish if they request an election. The notice of vacancy will be advertised for 14 days, this will end prior to the Nov 25th Parish Council Meeting and will mean 2 positions will be available for the co-option candidates to fill. Guidelines have been issued to the candidates on their personal statements, which will be read at the November meeting.

A candidate, who will be away during the November Parish Council Meeting, read his personal statement to the council. It will be re-read during the November meeting again by the Chairman.

8.    Finance

a) Statement of Accounts for Sept 2015

The final accounts for Sept 2015 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 47% income, 29% general expenditure, 46% environment expenditure and 34% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 54% income and 36% expenditure.

b) Draw cheques

It was proposed by HS and seconded by JC to make the following payments, All in favour:

Oct 2015

General Account
Salary Payment to Mrs Walkingshaw and Dave Hewitt
Countrywide Grass Cutting 145.00
Identilabel Engraved Plaque for Beacon 76.20
AIS Play park Inspection 150.00
Laura Walkingshaw Licence for 12Pay Software 79.20
Printerland Replacement Cartridges 178.75
EALC Delegate Lunch – CS 3.00
EALC Training – BB 70.00
KingServ Website 264.00
PKF Littlejohn Annual Audit 480.00
CBC Elections Department 907.77
CBC Grey Sacks 20.00
Harry Stone Delivery of Neighbourhood Plan 100.00
A-Z Supplies 10 Reams of Paper 35.98
Laura Walkingshaw Admin Expenses 21.91
Dave Hewitt Expenses 55.57
HMRC Tax & National Insurance 163.87
Chris Stevenson Expenses 432.43
Orpen Hall Account
Salary Payment to Mrs Beckwith-Cole
Zoe’s Cleaning Cleaning 720.00
A-Z Supplies Cleaning Products 53.94
V Beckwith-Cole Cleaning Supplies 12.87
Phil Walby Refund for Party 30.00

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

c) Confirm £5000 recorded as earmarked roof funds 2014-15

It was agreed by the Parish Council to transfer £5000 from the un-earmarked balance of £8412.47 to the earmarked roof funds 2014-15, All in favour.

d) Scout Hut and Football Club rent review

Scout Hut rent review is due Oct 2015 to make the decision prior to 31st May 2016 for June 2017, they currently pay £260/yr.

Football Club rent review is due Oct 2015 for 1 June 2016, they currently pay rent for Pavilion £50 & a donation for Lorkin Daniell Field £400.

e) CIF Update

AS received two quotes for the Orpen Hall toilet re-fitting and sought support from Borough Councillor Harrington. The application has been submitted and is awaiting reply. Applied for £4500.00 – match funding. Have also approached Fay Mathers, responsible for the Section 106 monies and if need more may need to approach the Borough Councillors. Should hear in November, AS will update the council as soon as he hears anything. Councillor Harrington stated that he could put a hold on £500 of the Community Budget, as long as have approval from ECC (CIF) and can provide proof.

[Click to view: Summary Accounts September 2015]

9.    Clerk’s Items to Note

Attached Clerk’s Report

10.   Training Courses

a) Council Finance – Laura Walkingshaw

b) New Clerks Course – Laura Walkingshaw

11.   Planning

a) To note the decisions made on Planning Applications at the Planning Committee held on 21st October 2015:

  • 152147 – 9 Albany Road – Observation – The planning application supplied no street scene, please refer to DG8 on the Village Design Statement, making it difficult to put the development in context with adjacent properties.

b) Feedback from CBC Planning Meeting

Much of the meeting has been covered by Councillor Harrington’s report. BT made a two minute succinct statement on behalf of the neighbours, noting how the planners had ignored the Parish’s VDS. The application’s decision has been deferred.

c) Neighbourhood Plan – Report

The Neighbourhood Plan AGM will be held on Wed 4th Nov.

12.   Environment and Highways

a) Parish hedges & heath – Agreement required

It was proposed to engage Landscape Services to cut parish hedges & heath. Two days of cutting are required around the allotments, Orpen Hall and Poor’s Field and will cost approx. £700, which is why the agreement of the whole Parish Council is required. All in favour.

£200 will be paid to CBC for street cleaning afterwards, AS suggested to the Borough Councillors that they insist other Parish Councils clear up like West Bergholt as a way to generate more funds.

b) Grass & hedge trimming around Scout Hut – Agreement required

It was proposed to engage the handyman’s services to trim the grass & hedge around the Scout Hut, All in favour. RJ to inform Dave Hewitt.

c) Playground equipment – Update

HS reported that PW was in touch with Playequip prior to resigning. None of their work is under guarantee, however they did agree that some of the splitting was excessive and will fix some parts as a courtesy. Ivor will repair and infill around the roundabout. This item has to be handed from the Premises sub-committee to the Environment sub-committee.

d) Advertise for temporary handyman – Agreement required

It was proposed to advertise for a temporary handyman, All in favour. The committee await JG-R’s return to place the advert. It was noted that two people had previously expressed an interest in the handyman position and that they should be made aware of any advert placed on the notice board or website.

13.   Premises and Recreation

a) Hall Cleaning – Update

Zoe’s Cleaning has been employed to clean the Hall on a three month contract, it is hoped to roll this onto a year as the feedback from users so far is that she has been doing an excellent job. The agreement once written, will be one that explicitly states the contract will be market-tested each year to ensure the best value/quality for money.

b) Lorkin Daniell Grass Cutting – Update

Letter has been sent to WBFC. Representatives from the Football Club were at the Premises committee meeting and are in agreement in principle, but have to take it to their committee for approval. There is a plan for where they need to cut – the details of who cuts the rest needs to be filled in.

14.   Communications

a) Working Party required to look into communications & parish organisations – party to consist of Chair, 2 Vice Chair, Communications Rep and 1 other volunteer – Ratification required.

JC proposed to ratify the working party, BB seconded. All in favour.

Communications used to come under the Premises remit, however now need to expand to encourage village engagement, improving the links with organisations in the village. BB stated that the respective Chair’s need to sort out the Terms of References. Need to be looking for volunteers from other village groups, like the Neighbourhood Plan, it doesn’t need to be made up solely of Parish Councillors. JC noted that communications is a two-way thing and this needs to be remembered.

b) Website Report – Update

Dave Kingaby writes a report on the website every month, summarising usage and listing actions or questions for the Parish Council. MH to co-ordinate with the working party group to answer the questions on behalf of the Parish Council.

Items to Note

  1. RCCE – Oyster – Autumn 2015
  2. Glasdon Catalogue – Bins, Benches etc.
  3. EALC- Calendar of Events 2015 and 2016
  4. Crime Statistics – Sept 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).

a) Annual review for staff each October

Agreement was sought to make sure all staff are on salary bands. Parish Clerk to locate Appraisal Forms, for staff reviews in October, these are to be linked to salary for implementation in the following April. It was agreed in principle.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 25th November 2015 at 7.30 pm

The meeting closed at 8.45 pm.



Signed:                            Date:                              Position on Parish Council

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