Minutes of Parish Council 24th June 2015

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 24th June 2015 at 7.30p.m.

Chair Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present John Gili-Ross, Jenny Church, Murray Harlow, Rosemary James, Andrew Savage, Chris Stevenson, Harry Stone, Rachel Howard and Phil Walby
Parish Clerk LauraWalkingshaw
Val Walsom – outgoing Clerk
Borough Councillors Councillor Harrington and Councillor Willetts
Present: 2 members of the public

Part I – Public

1.    Receive Apologies

Apologies were received from Brian Butcher and Bob Tyrrell.

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

No items were brought forward.

John Gili-Ross handed over the Chair’s Badge of Office to Chris Stevenson.

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 20th May 2015 were approved and signed with no amendments.

6.    Report for Colchester Borough Councillors

Councillor Harrington gave the following report:

The Community Budget has been restored to Borough Councillors and with that in mind Councillor Harrington would invite applications. £2000 is available. The deadline for applications is Feb 2016 although items for consideration should be brought to the Borough Councillor’s attention long before this time.

Local Council Award Scheme – with regards to the presentation of the award, Councillor Harrington is awaiting further information from the PC.

Planning Application 13 Church Close –Cllr Harrington reported that some neighbours had not been notified or that the notification had somehow gone astray. Following a joint meeting with the residents attended by himself and the Chairman of the Parish Council, a review of the way that the application was handled was requested and has now been undertaken at CBC and Cllr Harrington is in receipt of a report. Part of the report is critical of the way in which the Parish Council may be responding to applications, with the suggestion that this is not objective. A robust response is being prepared by the Chair of West Bergholt Parish Council.

The Councillor reported that Essex County Council Highways department has done a very good job on the whole, with only one or two complaints over minor matters. The Councillor was disappointed with the bright, yellow colour of the double lines, having had assurances that they would be thin and primrose in colour, however, New Church Road will be resurfaced later in the year and so the lines can be repainted in the correct colour at that time.

Councillor Willetts gave the following report:

County Council issue from Anne Brown with regards the School Transport Policy for all new Year 7 pupils starting secondary school in the autumn. A legal challenge to the County Council concerning the secondary school transport policy found it was not being fairly applied across the county and has forced a review of transport in the Colchester and Tendring areas. Children will no longer be entitled to transport to previously-thought of catchment schools, but instead be offered transport on a distance-basis to their nearest school. All new applicants to secondary school now have to agree to the newly-revised Transport Policy when applying for their place. Unfortunately, West Bergholt falls right on the border line, meaning some children will receive transport to Stanway School, whilst others to St Helena School. Siblings will now not automatically follow older children. Anne Brown received a letter from a resident asking for a delay in the policy or an amnesty, however unfortunately this was rejected. The Councillor stated the there is no real resolution to the problem, however parents are more aware of the issue than previously. This does not affect low-income families, for which there is a different set of rules laid out by the government.

7.    Traffic Safety Plan

Chris Stevenson declared an interest in this item.

Highways – Road repair work. It was noted that the Highways Department had corresponded with a resident in Queens Road reassuring them that the patching of the road surface was only the first stage in the process and that the following roads: Queens Road, Whitehouse Road, New Church Road, School Lane and Chapel Road, will be resurfaced in early October. The Parish Council queried why they had not directly been informed. It was agreed that the Clerk write to the Highway Department asking that they be notified of such works in the future.

Traffic Safety Plan Working Party (TSP) – It was agreed that the TSP Working Party, J G-R, MH, RJ & HS, should ask questions of Sonia Church of Essex Highways with regards the timing of the resurfacing & the yellow lines, they will also query the signage informing the public what the single yellow lines mean.

Enforcement – A leaflet has been produced to remind car owners who park on the double yellow lines not to do so. It was proposed for Parish Council members to put these on illegally parked cars and keep a note of the time, date and registration numbers. HS is happy to collate the information   gathered. The Parish Council has also received correspondence from a NEPP (North Essex Parking Partnership) Enforcement Officer stating that they are happy to come and monitor the situation if needed.

20 mph Zone – The PC is still awaiting a response to their questions concerning the 20 mile per hour zone along New Church Road and School Lane. It was the opinion of the PC that the zone was needed not only because of possible speeding problems, but to raise awareness of the presence of children crossing the road. It was anticipated that the red patches identifying the entrance to the zone would be reinstated after the resurfacing in October and that a sign could be added to reinforce the zone. The PC agreed that a child’s drawing from pupils at Heathlands would be appropriate under the 20 speed limit sign, to reiterate its closeness. The school would be approached in the new academic year when the traffic matters are more complete, perhaps with a view to hold a competition for the pupil’s drawings.  It would also be necessary to approach the Highways Department to seek their support for the use of such a sign.

8.    Finance

a)   To note Election of Chair

Andrew Savage was elected as Chair.

b)   Statement of Accounts for May 2015

The final accounts for May 2015 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 47% income, 6% general expenditure, 9% environment expenditure and 7% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 27% income and 12% expenditure.

c)   Draw cheques

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

Payment Details Expense Purpose Amount
General Account
Zurich Management Insurance 2541.54
Laura Walkingshaw Printer Cartridges 19.99
Countrywide Grass cutting 145.00
Norhurst Landscapes Allotment Ditch 760.00
EALC Power of Comp. Course – J G-R 47.00
Playquip Payground Base 2490.00
Mail Boxes Printing Village Bulletin 655.00
Inland Revenue Salary Tax & NI 202.00
R.C.C.E. Annual Membership 96.00
GP Allen Accountants Internal Audit 288.00
A-Z Supplies Stationery 40.23
Orpen Hall Account
Mike’s Cleaning Cleaning 648.00
A-Z SuppliesVicky Beckwith-Cole

A-Z Supplies

Hall SuppliesSoap

Cleaning Materials



Roberts Cleaning Window Cleaning 30.00

Salary payments were made to Val Walsom, Laura Walkingshaw and Stephen Cook from the General Account and Vicky Beckwith-Cole from the Hall Account.

AS proposed that the Lorkin Daniell Field Charity Account would contribute to the Playground Base expense – the PC agreed.

[Click to view: Summary Accounts May 2015]

d)   Approve Audited Accounts

The Audited Accounts for 2014/2015 were approved by the PC and then signed by CDS & AS.

e)   IT and Office equipment for Clerk & Planning Committee

It was agreed by the PC to purchase a Laser Printer for the new Parish Clerk and a Laptop for the Planning Committee.

f)   Register of Interests

Eight Councillor’s Register of Interest Forms have been submitted, MH, RH & PW to complete their forms and return them to the Parish Clerk.

9.    Clerk’s Items to Note

a)   Local Community Action Panels North Colchester Zone 3

JG-R explained to the PC that this panel replaces the Neighbourhood Action Panels. JG-R chairs this new panel, with Borough Councillor D Willetts in regular attendance along with other Ward Councillors. JG-R requested Dave Kingaby to put the dates onto the Parish website and on social media.

b)   Essex County Council and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – Joint Replacement Waste Local Plan – Revised Preferred Approach June 2015

c)   Rural Community Council of Essex Annual Review 2014-2015

d)   Bradwell Legacy Partnership – Action Plan

10.   Planning

a)   To note Election of Chair

Bob Tyrrell was elected as Chairman, Brian Butcher as Vice-Chairman.

b)   To note the decisions made on Planning Applications at the Planning Committee held on 15th July 2015:

  • 150995 – Hawthorns, Bourne Road – Object – The Parish Council does not have an objection in principle to an extension to the property, however the current application is not compliant with the Adopted Village Design Statement. Specifically Policies DG3, DG7, DG8, DG16, DG17, DG18, DG25 and DG26. We appreciate that contemporary design is always subjective, however there is an in balance between old and new, especially the juxtaposition of a “chalet bungalow” to the extension. The proposal is also out of keeping with the area and street scene.
  • 151075 – Rose Cottage, The Avenue – Observation – The Parish Council would look to the Borough Council to ensure that conditions are correctly discharged.
  • 151039 – 92 Mumford Road – Support – The Parish Council is concerned with the forward projection and the relationship with neighbouring properties. As there is no street scene (VDS policy DG8), we are unable to comment further.
  • 150969 – Lansdowne, White Hart Lane – Observation – This application is poorly presented and as there is no street scene provided it not compliance with DG8 of the Village Design Statement. We are unable to comment on the proposed garage as it is not shown on the plans.

c)   To approve recommendations on Planning Applications discussed at the Planning Committee meeting held on 15th uly 2015:

  • 150840 – 23 Albany Road – Observation – The quality of the application information is poor and if it were for anything other than converting a pitch roof we would consider it an unacceptable standard of drawing.
  • 150972 – Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club, Wormingford – Observation – Unable to adequately respond to this application due to the lack of information on the timings and number of flights and how the aircraft’s noise would be monitored.
  • 151036 – Alcrofts Lodge, Bures Road – Observation – The Parish Council would look to the Borough Council’s planning department to follow their own policies with regards this application. The Parish Council can neither support nor object as it does not know their policies in relation to this matter.
  • 151130/151165/151169 – The White Hart, Nayland Road – Observation – The Parish Council generally is happy with the proposed signing changes but would defer to the Borough Council to ensure the property’s listed building status was properly adhered to and would bow to the skills and knowledge of their conservation experts.

The recommendations were approved by the PC.

11.   Environment and Highways

a)   To note Election of Chair

John Gili-Ross was elected as Chair.

b)   Footpath Officer

John Gili-Ross was elected Footpath Officer.

c)   Transport Representative

Harry Stone was elected Transport Representative.

d)   Tree Preservation Representative

Phil Walby was elected Tree Preservation Representative.

e)   Purchase of garden blower

It was agreed by the PC to purchase a garden blower.

f)   Employment of a Temporary Worker

It was raised that a temporary worker, possibly a student back from university, could be employed during the peak summer months to perform some of the lighter jobs in the parish, eg. litter picking. JG-R will investigate this further and AS was tasked with ascertaining rates of pay, training and job description.

12.   Premises and Recreation

a)   To note Election of Chair

Phil Walby was elected as Chair

Items to Note

  1. Home-start Colchester
  2. St Helena Hospice – My Care choices

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).

It was agreed that the notes from the Finance & General Purpose Meetings were to be circulated regularly, but not to be uploaded to the Parish website.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 22nd July 2015 at 7.30pm

The meeting closed at 8.50pm.




Signed:                            Date:                              Position on Parish Council

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