Minutes of Parish Council 22nd April 2015

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 22nd April 2015 at 7.30p.m.

Chair John Gili-Ross
Parish Councillors Present Brian Butcher, Jenny Church, Murray Harlow, Rosemary James, Andrew Savage, Chris Stevenson, Bob Tyrrell and Phil Walby
Parish Clerk Val Walsom
Borough Councillors Councillor Harrington and Councillor Willetts
Present: 5 members of the public


Part I – Public

1.    Receive Apologies

Apologies were received from Harry Stone.

2.    Questions from registered electors

Freddie Cornes from Colchester Road asked the PC if they could take action against speeding drivers along Colchester Road which has a 30mph limit.

The PC will consider this request.  The PC does not have major control over speeding but it support the Speedwatch team who will be asked to concentrate on this area.  Colchester Skip Hire drivers are often seen allegedly speeding and on the phone at the same time.  Evidence needs to be gathered e.g. licence plate and photos of vehicles.

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 Highways issues.

Andrew Savage declared an interest on a Planning item.

5.    Minutes

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 25th February 2015 were approved and signed with no amendments.

6.    Report for Colchester Borough Councillors

Councillor Harrington gave the following report:

The findings of the Boundary Commission consultation has put together a Ward which in Councillor Harrington’s view has failed West Bergholt  The Lexden and Braiswick Ward includes, West Bergholt, Eight Ash Green, Braiswick, Aldham and Lexden.

Highways Department:  Occasionally this goes well i.e. Repairs to Chitts Hill and now a part of the footpath along Bures Road thanks to influence from Councillor Anne Brown.

7.    Finance

a)   Statement of Accounts for March 2015

The final accounts for 2014/2015 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 102% income, 104% general expenditure, 67% environment expenditure and 91% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 113% income and 94% expenditure.

John Gili-Ross thanked everyone for their input into producing the accounts and working towards ensuring the PC is in a healthy position.

b)   Draw cheques

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

Payment Details Expense Purpose Amount
General Account
Brian Butcher Display boards for NP 535.00
Tanks Direct Water tanks for Allotments 324.00
CBC Empty dog bins – quarterly bill 343.20
Inland Revenue Tax 176.00
Brian Butcher Printing for NP  75.00
Countrywide Grass cutting 145.00
Collier and Catchpole Cement and Ballast  28.72
Ernest Doe Repairs to lawn mower 123.13
CALC Subscription  35.00
EALC EALC/NALC Subscription 551.00
John Gili-Ross Flyers for NP  50.00
Orpen Hall Account
Mike’s Cleaning Cleaning 621.00
S J Andrews New outside lighting 583.40
Robert’s Cleaning Service Window cleaning  30.00
CBC Annual Rates 192.27
Anglian Water Water Rates 590.16

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 March 2015]

c)   Funding request from West Bergholt Community First Responders

A request has been received from a member of West Bergholt Community First Responders for the PC to fund a fully kitted defibrillator bag solely for the use of West Bergholt.  Currently the equipment is shared with Fordham.

A stipulation of any funding is that should the First Responders group fold the bag would become the property of the Parish Council.  We need to check that the person requesting this funding has been appropriately trained and that it is necessary to purchase another kit.  PH believes that the person running the First Responders in Fordham is covering West Bergholt and that this has always been an adequate cover for both villages.

It was agreed that the PC needs more information before making a decision.

d)   Annual Audit of accounts

The 2014/2015 accounts are currently with GP Allen for the Internal Audit before being sent to the Auditors by 8th June.

8.    Personnel Sub-Committee

Update of Clerk Recruitment Process

Six very strong candidates have been interviewed and a decision will be made by the end of the month.  The name of the person chosen will be passed to the Clerk who will hold this information until the meeting following the Election when the successful candidate and members of the Parish Council will be informed.

9.    Traffic Safety Plan

Chris Stevenson declared an interest in this item.

Essex County Council Highways has started making repairs to roads around the village.  The roads will then be skimmed before the parking restriction lines are laid.  The time scale for this is not known by the Parish Council.  The 20mph restrictions are about to be signed off by ECC.

10.   Clerk’s Items to Note

a)   Forthcoming Parish Council Election

There will be an election this year as there are 12 candidates for the 11 positions.  After the election all elected Parish Councillors will need to sign the Declaration of Office, complete the Register of Interests on line and submit the Election Expenses claim form even if it is a Nil return.

b)   Statutory change to first Parish Council meeting date following an Election

The first Parish Council meeting needs to be held within 14 days of the Election.  Therefore, the meeting in May will be held on Wednesday 20th May 2015.

c)   Process reminder of Election of Chair, Vice Chair and committee membership for May Parish Council meeting

The first meeting of the Parish Council will be the Annual Parish Council meeting to elect the Chair, Vice Chair and seek indications for committee membership.  Nomination documents will be sent to all elected Councillors which should be completed and sent to the Clerk prior to the 20th May.

d)   Local Government Boundary Commission for implementation May 2016

This was covered in Item 6 above.

e)   EALC – Local Council Awards – Does the Parish Council want a formal presentation of the Certificate

Councillor Harrington suggested that the Quality Council Certificate could be presented by the Mayor.  He will look into this.

11.   Planning

a)   To note decisions for Planning Applications

Decisions made at the Planning Committee meeting held on 15th April 2015:

Planning Application:

  • 150510 – 10 Garling Walk – Supported with no comments
  • 150558 – 18 Valley Crescent – Supported with no comments
  • 150626 – 2 The Retreat – Supported with no comments

To approve comments on Planning Applications:

It was proposed by CS, seconded by JC and approved by all to approve the following comments:

  • 150662 – 49 Lexden Road – Objected with the following comments: No street scene drawings were provided but the extension disrupts the existing street scene and the spacing between the properties in this part of Lexden Road at first floor level.  This is contrary to VDS Policy DG7 & DG8 & DG12.
  • 150677 – 11 Colchester Road – Supported with no comments

b)   Neighbourhood Plan – Report

There has been a very good response to the Neighbourhood Plan exhibitions held on 2 Saturdays in April including representatives from neighbouring councils who are at various stages of producing their own plans.  We have had close to 200 responses to the questionnaires and are hoping for more.  These will take a long time to analyse.

The Borough Council has been engaged in the NP production as necessary.

Residents have commented on the professionalism of the exhibitions.

John Gili-Ross was invited with other Parish Council representatives to view a bio-digester plant in Stoke by Nayland.  These are used to produce energy using waste materials.  Wormingford PC are considering such a scheme within a planning application on one of its farms, which could have some impact to West Bergholt i.e. traffic movement.

12.   Environment and Highways

a)   The Beacon

The post has been erected in its correct location by the village sign.

b)   Suggested footpath along Nayland Road

Would it be possible to have this included as a specific proposal in the Neighbourhood Plan?  It was suggested that a Footways Plan is drawn up by the PC to be put forward to the Local Highways Panel for review and possible funding, and should also be included in the Neighbourhood Plan.

13.   Premises and Recreation

There was nothing to report.

14.   Communications

a)   Update on County Broadband

MH asked for an update following the explanation at the Annual Parish Meeting with regard to Superfast Essex not considering West Bergholt because it already has County Broadband as a provider.

John Gili-Ross explained that the reason Superfast Essex does not include West Bergholt within its Phase 1 and Phase 2a plans is because of the stated cost of delivering fibre to the village and not because County Broadband provides service into the village.  JGR has on many occasions questioned the accuracy of BT’s records for the village, which underpin the reasons given for the village not being included in the current implementation phases of Superfast Essex.

Items to Note

  • Clerks and Councils Direct – March 2015
  • LCR – Spring 2015
  • The Essex Playing Field – Spring 2015
  • Plantscape/Urbanscape brochure and CD

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.

The presentation of an engraved pewter tankard was made to John Gili-Ross “for services to West Bergholt” as this is his last meeting as Chair of West Bergholt Parish Council.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 20th May 2015 at 7.30pm – Annual Parish Council Meeting followed by Parish Council Meeting.

The meeting closed at 8:55pm.



Signed:                            Date:                              Position on Parish Council


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