Minutes of Parish Council 22nd June 2016

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the Orpen Hall on 22nd June at 7.30 pm

Chair: Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present: Brian Butcher, Jenny Church, Andrew Savage, John Gili-Ross, Murray Harlow, Philip Spencer, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough Councillors: Councillor Willetts, Councillor Barber (arrived at item 6c)
Present: 2 members of the public

1.    Receive apologies and welcome to the Public

Resolved – Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Cook.

2.    Questions from registered electors

No questions were received from registered electors.

3.    Declarations of Interest

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

4.    Minutes

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 25th May 2016 were approved and signed with no amendments.

5.    Constitution

a.   To confirm Chairs & Vice chairs of the Premises, Environment, Planning & Finance Committees

It was confirmed that the following Chairs & Vice Chairs had been elected:

Committee Chair Vice Chair
Premises Cllr Brian Butcher Cllr Murray Harlow
Environment Cllr John Gili-Ross Cllr Phil Spencer
Planning Cllr Bob Tyrrell Cllr Brian Butcher
Finance Cllr Andrew Savage Cllr Chris Stevenson

6.    Finance

a.   Statement of Accounts for May 2016 (circulated at the meeting)

The final accounts for May 2016 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 55% income, 25% general expenditure, 18% environment expenditure and 23% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 16% income and 15% expenditure.

b.   To approve cheques for signature in accordance with 2016/17 budget

Resolved – It was proposed by Cllr Harlow and seconded by Cllr Gili-Ross to make the following payments, All in favour:

June 2016
General Account
Salary Payments to Mrs Walkingshaw, Mr Hewitt & Mr Harkness
DD – CBC Garage Rent 50.08
Transfer to Hall Account VAT Return 817.14
Transfer to Hall Account MUGA Electricity 103.58
Mail Boxes Village Bulletin Printing 655.00
Zurich Municipal Insurance 2118.80
Countrywide Grass Cutting 151.00
EALC Councillor Training 75.00
Laura Walkingshaw Petty Cash Replenishment 92.10
WBFC Grass Cutting 40.00
David Short QEII Expenses 71.55
Essex Playing Fields Assoc. Membership 30.00
A-Z Educational Supplies A4 Paper 3 bxs 53.96
Victoria Beckwith-Cole MUGA Expenses 289.20
RCCE Membership 96.00
David Hewitt Fuel Expenses 28.13
HMRC National Insurance & Tax 281.17
St Mary’s Church Room Hire 12.00
Orpen Hall Account
Salary Payment to Mrs Beckwith-Cole
DD – Utility Warehouse Mobile, Broadband, MUGA Electricity 62.83
DD – Col Skip Hire Rubbish Skip 110.21
DD – Eon Electricity 494.63
DD – CNG Gas 134.61
Transfer to General Account Toilet Refurb – CBC Fee 155.69
A-Z Educational Supplies Cleaning Materials 196.12
Zoe’s Cleaning Cleaning 864.00
David Hewitt Expenses 20.13

Councillor Barber entered the meeting at this point.

c.   To agree Section 1 of the 2015/16 Annual Return, the Annual Governance Statement.

Resolved – 9 Councillors agreed to Section 1 of the 2015/16 Annual Return, there was one abstention, Section 1 agreed.

d.   To agree Section 2 of the 2015/16 Annual Return, the Accounting Statements for 2015/16.

Resolved – 9 Councillors agreed to Section 1 of the 2015/16 Annual Return, there was one abstention, Section 2 agreed.

e.   To agree the money available for the toilet refurbishment of the Orpen Hall.

Cllr Butcher presented his Tender Evaluation Report. It had been hoped that the cost of the toilet refurbishment would come to near £25,000, however the spec had changed, with the materials now being used of a much better quality and longer lasting.

Cllr Butcher explained that it was his and the Finance Committee’s recommendation that Contractor A’s Option 2 (resin flooring) was to be chosen at a cost of £37,591 + VAT. However, following discussion by the full Council and was decided that Option 1 (anti-slip tiles) would be the better choice, at a cost of £34,591 + VAT.

Resolved – It was proposed to spend £34,579 + VAT on the toilet refurbishment, 9 Councillors in favour, Cllr Harlow against. Proposal agreed.

f.   Full Council approval of ‘virement’ transfer from Earmarked Roof Fund to new Earmarked Toilet Refurbishment Fund

Cllr Savage laid out the following financial statement to the council:

As VAT will be claimed back, the total figure needed can be taken as £34,579.

Sources: £
CIF (ECC) 4,500
Section 106 (CBC) 2,831
Borough Councillors 500
Orpen Bequest (Trustees) 4,000
Grants/Projects Budget 5,769

Therefore, a ‘virement’ transfer of £20,000 is needed from the £45,000 amount currently earmarked for the roof.

Resolved – Cllr Savage proposed to approve a ‘virement’ transfer of £20,000 from the Earmarked Roof Fund to the new Earmarked Toilet Refurbishment Fund, Cllr Harlow seconded. All in favour.

Action – to discuss renaming of the term “Earmarked” at the next Finance Meeting, Clerk to add to agenda.

g.   To agree the choice of contractor to be issued with a letter of intent, chosen by tender, to complete the toilet refurbishment of the Orpen Hall.

Cllr Butcher returned to his evaluation report on the contractors invited to tender:

  • Three contractors were invited to tender. A, B and C having been pre-selected and who advised they would welcome the opportunity to tender.
  • The tenderers were advised the contract is to be let under the terms of JCT Minor Building Works with 28-day payment terms, with a start date no earlier than 16th July and completion no later than 29th August 2016.
  • Contractor C did not return a tender, advising verbally on the day of tender return, being extended by seven days beyond that originally scheduled for all three, that cash flow and programming meant they could not comply with the conditions of the contract.
  • Option 1 is for anti-slip tiles, Option 2 for resin flooring:

Option 1: Contractor A – base + VAT, Contractor B – Contractor A plus £4578 + VAT

Option 2: Contractor A – base plus £3012 + VAT, Contractor B – Contractor A plus £4278 + VAT

  • The closeness of the tenders can be considered as a representation of the true value of the works and the lack of a third tender is not considered any cause for concern.
  • It is recommended that the contract for the works be let to Contractor A to undertake the work including Option 1 (which equates to a total of £34,579 + vat) with a letter of intent, for a sum not exceeding £6000 plus VAT, be immediately issued to Contractor A whilst a pre-contract meeting is arranged to complete the contract formalities, with the formal exchange of contract documentation thereafter subject to agreement.

However, concerns were raised that there was not a penalty clause put in place if the refurbishment runs over its 29th August deadline.

Resolved – Cllr Butcher proposed to award Contractor A (Option 1) the tender, Cllr Tyrrell seconded, 9 Councillors were in favour, Cllr Harlow against. Proposal agreed.

Contractor A, Ponder Construction, will be awarded the tender for refurbishing the Orpen Hall toilets and a letter of intent will be duly sent out to them whilst the finalisation of matters takes place.

Thanks were offered to Cllr Butcher and the Premises Committee for all their hard work on this matter.

h.   To confirm the pay increase to staff as per National Joint Council for Local Government Services notification.

Resolved – Cllr Savage proposed to confirm the pay increase to all staff, Cllr Stevenson seconded, All in favour. The increase will be backdated from 1/4/16 as per the National Joint Council for Local Government Services guidance.

7.    Report from Colchester Borough Councillors

Councillor Barber reported:

  • He has been in contact with North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP). They are about to deploy a “Park Safe” vehicle, once procured in the Autumn, it should be patrolling near the Co Op and along New Church Road by Heathlands Primary School on a regular basis.
  • Drainage Issues/Potholes – Cllr Barber will be going around the village on Fri 24th June looking at highways and drainage issues, especially the large pothole at the junction of Armoury Road and the poor drainage at Bradbrook Cottages.
  • The Councillor enquired about the Neighbourhood Plan. Cllr Stevenson stated that the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group were working closely with CBC, specifically Rachel Forkin. The Local Planning Committee will meet on 5th July, although they will publish the plan in advance.
  • With regards 91 Chapel Road, many thanks were offered to Cllr Tyrrell for his contribution and a reminder that the Village Design Statement will form part of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Councillor Willetts reported:

  • 91 Chapel Road – good to see the Parish Council’s and neighbour’s concerns being taken seriously. It was not a complete win, but the officers will have to go back for a re-design, which is good to see.
  • Laborne – Cllr Willets has “called” this planning application in to Colchester’s Planning committee. It has a target date of 7th July, but is not on the CBC agenda for the 30th June, so will expect it to be later in July.
  • There have been three issues in the municipal housing in West Bergholt over the last month, which is high and something to keep an eye on.
  • Still no agenda available for the CBC Local Plan meeting on 5th July. It is unfortunate that the consultation period runs for 6 weeks over the summer holidays as ample time is needed to go away and study it, however the timing is out of the general control of the Council.
  • There appears to be a higher flow of traffic along Argents Lane as people seen to still be filtering through the Crown Interchange rather than J28 of the A12. May need to be pro-active and measure this during the summer to see whether an improvement in the signage might help with the reduction of traffic. The problem is not from vehicles from West Bergholt, but from further afield.

Cllr Stevenson reported that traffic surveys were done at the time and also that Chris Arnold from Great Horkesley had contacted him concerned that greater numbers of vehicles seemingly passing through their area since the opening of J28. Great Horkesley is currently undertaking a matching registrations survey as the only way of proving this is by data.

8.    Communications

a.   To approve the Community Engagement Policy & Strategy

Resolved – Cllr Spencer proposed to approve the new Community Engagement Policy & Strategy, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.

Action – Cllr Spencer to add another column for monitoring the actions required and will take the role of checking them.

Cllr Stevenson clarified that this was just the Parish Council’s side of the work needed, the second part is the improvement of communication between the various village groups.

9.    Progress Report from Clerk

Clerk presented her report and update of outstanding actions:

  • Apr 16 – 9c: RCCE Essex Village of the Year – Judges to visit between 10-11am on 30th June for 2nd round of competition. Cllr Stone to arrange for representatives from Bluebells (Diana Woodgate & trundle bus of children), Heathlands School (Rachel Hopkins & members of School Council) and Bergholt Youth Group (Jamie Bowden) to be present. Clerk to arrange Church hall. Cllr Stevenson to arrange audio facilities and slideshow presentation.
  • Jun 4 – email: Heathlands PTA – Clerk has received 3 requests for use of the Poor’s Land for the Summer Fayre and the annual Firework Display from the PTA. Agreed by the Trustees to let PTA use the vehicular access to the gated entrance of the school via the Poor’s Field for the Summer Fayre on 1st July 2016 and the Poor’s Land for the annual Firework Display.

All they ask is that no damage is done to the newly seeded or soft area and that if the area is churned up by vehicles that the PTA will reimburse the Council for the cost of re-seeding. However, as these areas are well away from the route into the school this should not be an issue.

10.   Planning

a.   The minutes from the Planning Committee meeting held on 15th June 2016 were received and the decisions noted on the applications:

  • 161229 – 17 Lexden Road CO6 3BT – Observation – The Parish Council have no objection to the conversion, except to bring to the attention of the Borough Council the dormer windows which overlook a neighbouring garden. The Council would recommend obscure glass in those windows to maintain the neighbour’s privacy.
  • 161322 – Lynton, The Crescent CO6 3DA – Object – The Parish Council have no objection to the property being extended, but cannot comment as the plans give no context to the neighbouring property. There is a lack of information in the plans which make it difficult to judge the impact on the neighbour to the right. Please refer to DG7 & DG8 of CBC approved Village Design Statement.
  • 161473 – 39 Lexden Road CO6 3BW – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 161374 – 50 Mumford Road CO6 3BL – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.

b.   To receive an update from the Planning Committee Chair on the Colchester Borough Council Planning Committee meeting of 9th June 2016, regarding 91 Chapel Road.

This item was covered by the Borough Councillors earlier in the meeting. Cllr Tyrrell reported that the Planning Officers had not paid attention to the Village Design Statement yet again, Cllr Jarvis of CBC argued for the strength of the Village Design Statement.

11.   Environment and Highways

  1. The minutes from the Environment Committee meeting held on 12th May 2016 were received.

12.   Premises and Recreation

  1. The minutes from the Premises Committee meeting held on 6th June 2016 were received.

13.   Information Exchange/Items from Councillors to be added to the next agenda (maximum time allowed for this item is 10 minutes)


  • Congratulations were offered to the Allotments Committee on their very successful produce stall as they have reached the £1000 mark in donations.


  • Dealing with a query about the reinstatement of the Poors Land which is simply untrue.
  • Notification that both Handymen will be holiday at the same time next week whilst unfortunately the grass is growing very quickly in the showery weather.
  • AS sorting out the planning application for the storage container at the back of the WBFC clubhouse. The application will be for a change of use and there will be a fee of £192.50. AS & CS will be putting the planning application together.
  • The CIF fund of £2 million has not been cut, councils can apply for £15-20,000 grants. There are grants available for pond refurbishments.


  • Meeting planned for Wed 29th with WBFC, after holidays, to look at several issues.
  • Work is progressing on agreement between BHYFC, WBFC & the Parish Council regarding the under 6’s football training on the Lorkin Daniell field.
  • BB & JG-R to meet to discuss the Terms of Reference relating to the Premises/Envrnmt Committees.
  • Have put a call out for missing Hall tables, but none have been returned so far.
  • Cigarette butts outside the Social Club becoming an issue
  • Storage wise, the Flower Club now have their cupboard situated in the upstairs meeting room. The Orpen Players are having their sort out of their garage on Sat 25th June.


  • 3 items have gone out on the website, 2 providers have held meetings with the village. Open Reach is due on Fri 27th June.
  • 6-7 people have joined the core team (including CS, MH & HS) of the Community Broadband Group, which will review offers and information.
  • Have not heard from Virgin yet.
  • County Broadband now have the 35% interest they needed, but have to turn that into actual contracts.

Neighbourhood Plan:

  • Seeking volunteers from the NP Steering Group for the various parts of the consultation.

14.   Training

a)   To note & feedback from the training undertaken during the last month by Councillors or the Clerk

The following training was undertaken in June by Councillors or the Clerk:

  • Cllr Stevenson attended “General Power of Competence” on 7th June 2016

Action – the Clerk will circulate around the notes she has on this training module.

  • Cllr Cook & Cllr Spencer attended “Councillor Training Day 1” on 14th June 2016
  • Cllr Spencer then attended “Councillor Training Day 2” on 21st June 2016
  • The Clerk attended “CILCA – Part 2 (cont.) Law & Procedures” on 22nd June 2016

Action – Due to the lateness of the meeting the Clerk will add these training courses to July’s agenda so the feedback can then be received in detail.

Items to Note

(available on table at meeting)

  1. Essex Heritage News – Spring 2016
  2. Essex Rural Partnership – Issue 44 Apr 2016
  3. Essex Rural Partnership – Issue 45 May 2016
  4. EALC County Update – No. 136 Apr/May 2016
  5. EALC Legal Update – June 2016
  6. LCR – Summer 2016
  7. Crime Statistics – April 2016

Date of Next Meeting

Meeting closed at 9.45pm – Next meeting will be Wednesday 27th July 2016 at 7.30pm in John Lampon Hall, Lexden Road

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).

  1. To agree a permanent contract for the second handyman.

Resolved it was agreed by the full council to award a permanent contract to the second handyman after a successful trial period.



Signed:                                                         Date:                               Position in Council:

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