Minutes of Parish Council 26th October 2016

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 26th October at 7.30 pm

Chair: Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present: Murray Harlow, Jenny Church, Harry Stone, Andrew Savage, Janet Crichton, Phil Spencer, Phil Cook, Bob Tyrrell, Brian Butcher
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough Councillors: Cllr Brian Jarvis, Cllr Lewis Barber
Present: 9 members of the public



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the Public

Apologies were received from Cllr Gili-Ross

RESOLVED – that the apologies be accepted.


Questions from registered electors

(maximum time allowed for this item is 15 minutes – please inform the Clerk if you wish to speak prior to the meeting commencing)
2a Nicole Long – representative of the Friends of St Mary’s Old Church came to ask support for what is the oldest building in the village, the St Mary’s Old Church. The old church was the centre of worship and community life until the new church was opened in 1904. It was still used for summer services and weddings, but in 1975 it was declared redundant and placed in the care of what is now the CCT (Churches Conservation Trust). It is still a consecrated building and there are 6 Sunday services a year, Weddings, Blessings and of course, the popular Christmas Carol Service. The Church is opened every day and last year reported visitor numbers reached 17,000.

Mrs. Henderson left the Church a considerable amount of money for decorating the interior (to remedy the loose plaster & flaking paint) However, the CCT were concerned that the building should be water-tight before the work commences and have drawn up plans to do this, equating to £100,000 of work. The Trust have secured funding of most it, but there will be a short fall of £10,000 which they want to be raised locally. The Friends already have £2,000 from previous events, which leaves £8,000 to be found.

The Friends are about to start a fundraising campaign, appeal letters will be delivered to every house in the village within the next week and so would like to ask the Parish Council if they will support the cause in any way they can.

Their first event will be a Table Top Sale in the Orpen Hall on Saturday 19th November and they hoped the Parish Council would re-fund the booking fee for that and for another event early next year.

RESOLVED – Parish Council to waive the booking fee and refund it as a donation.

The Parish Council would also be happy to do plenty of advertising for their campaign and will bear the Friends in mind when they consider their grant allocations in Feb/March next year, so long as this is within the Council’s standing orders and regulatory scope. Approaching the Borough Councillors, with regards to the Borough Councillor Fund, would also be recommended.


Declarations of Interest

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



RESOLVED – that the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 28th September 2016 be approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments.


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors

5a Borough Councillor Barber reported:

  • Regarding the changes to rural waste collection query from Cllr Stevenson, Cllr Barber was not aware of any changes, but will be checking at the next CBC Scrutiny meeting.
  • Weekly Waste Collections – there are proposals to end the weekly waste collections, having fortnightly collections instead of a maximum of 3 black bags, with fines for those who go over the limit. Our local Borough Councillors are against these proposals and will continue to fight against them at Colchester Council. These measures have been driven by environmental pressures as Colchester came second bottom in Essex for waste management, just above Tendring.
  • Armoury Road – owned by Colchester Borough Homes, the Councillor is continuing to push for adoption of this road by Essex Highways. If they can secure the investment to bring the road up to scratch, then it can be adopted. He is currently trying to get the residents to sign up to this plan.
  • Traffic Safety Group – Working with Parish Councillors and residents. Have made steady progress so far. The app “Trygve” has proved to be an excellent way of collating evidence. Hoping to have an Open Day in February to raise awareness. Many thanks to the Parish Council & residents for their hard work so far.


Village Bulletin Quiz

Cllr Stevenson presented the Village Quiz proceeds of £336 to Will Owen, the Parkinson’s UK (Colchester) representative and thanked the organisers for all their hard work. A photo of the presentation was taken for the westbergholt.net website.



7a Statement of accounts for Sept 2016 (circulated at the meeting)

The final accounts for Sept 2016 were presented as follows:

The General Account showed 95% income, 55% general expenditure, 47% environment expenditure and 51% expenditure overall.

The Hall Account showed 67% income and 35% expenditure.

It was noted that there has been no payment from the West Bergholt Social Club for water, rates, insurance or waste removal in this current financial year. There has also been no rent paid since June 2016, the current outstanding amount stands at £3,697.58.

7b RESOLVED – To approve the following cheques for payment and signature in accordance with 2016/17 budget:



October 2016

General Account
DD – CBC Garage Rent 50.08
Laura Walkingshaw Expenses for Neigh Plan Exhibition 289.42
Countrywide Grass Cutting 151.00
CBC Dog & Litter Bins 290.55
Printerland Toner & Drum Unit 196.96
Parkinson’s UK (Colchester) Village Quiz 336.00
Laura Walkingshaw Petty Cash Replenishment 27.71
WBFC Grass Cutting 40.00
PKF Littlejohn LLP External Audit Fees 360.00
J & M Payroll Services Staff Wages & HMRC 2792.28
J & M Payroll Services Payroll Services – Sept 27.00
J & M Payroll Services Payroll Services – Oct 27.00
Brian Butcher Neigh Plan Expenses 466.46
EALC Training – Advanced Cllr Day – CS 75.00
QMS Beacon 291.95
KingServ Website Services 264.00
David Hewitt Expenses (Benches & Garage) 195.39
Orpen Hall Account
DD – Col Skip Hire Rubbish Skip 147.31
DD – Utility Warehouse Mobile, Broadband, MUGA Electricity 67.04
Howdens Hinge for JL Hall 14.16
The Fire Extinguisher Man Fire Extinguisher Service 169.74
Howdens Screws for JL Hall 8.40
Howdens Items for Garage Divider 20.40
Howdens Items for Garage Divider 2.93
Tfr to Gen Act Wages 326.91
Tfr to Gen Act DH Expenses & Time – Door & Divider 153.95
Zoe’s Cleaning Cleaning 756.00
Victoria Beckwith-Cole Expenses 6.99
Kent Blaxill Syphon for JL Toilet 28.04


7c Proposed Precept Capping Plan

There is currently a consultation being undertaken to propose that any Parish Council Precept increase over 2% would require a local referendum. A draft response letter to these plans which had been previously circulated to Councillors, no amendments were required, was approved.

RESOLVED –To confirm the Parish Council’s response letter to the proposed Precept capping plan.

ACTION – Clerk to send the Borough Councillors a copy of the proposals and West Bergholt Parish Council’s response.

7d It was noted that, now the Orpen Hall toilet refurbishment is nearing its end, the Finance Committee are currently ensuring all sources of funding are being accumulated. The final figures will be reported at the next meeting.



The new Village Bulletin editor was announced as Jacqui Kibby, she will be using the email address of [email protected].The Parish Council wishes her every success in her new role.

ACTION – Cllr Stevenson to provide the webmaster with Jacqui’s contact phone no.

ACTION – Clerk to provide Jacqui with the printer, Steven Sleigh’s contact details.

The deadline for the next Bulletin is 01/11/16.


Progress Report from Clerk

Clerk presented her report and an update of the outstanding actions were:

  • 7.5T Vehicles on Argents Lane – have submitted FOI, due 23/11
  • War Memorial – discussions are being held between the Managements
  • Electronic Banking – Barclays are working on it, mandates to be signed
  • 20mph Signs – looking to erect on Trustee’s Land, no “zone” on sign
  • Hall Flower Beds – Clerk will put out some dates
  • Village Fete Working Party – meeting to be held on 14th Nov
  • Tree Survey –  has asked for other PC’s, awaiting reply



10a The minutes from the Planning Committee meeting held on 19th October 2016 were received and the decision noted on the following application:

  • 162249 – Whitehouse Farm, Whitehouse Lane – Object – The Parish Council reiterate the comments which it made previously in regards to the earlier application 151364: “The property is clearly outside the village envelope. The Parish Council fully supports CBC policy that there should be no additional dwellings outside the village envelope”. The Parish Council believe this is still in line with the current CBC policy and its previous decision. The proposal is also against the emerging Neighbourhood Plan.
10b The following recommendations were made by the Planning Committee at the meeting held on 19th October 2016:

  • 162598 – 103 Chitts Hill – Support – The Parish Council has no comment
  • 162556 – Pattens Yard – Application Withdrawn

RESOLVED – to make these recommendations into decisions.

10c Planning Application 161891 (Storage Container) – The planning application was for a “Change of Use”, which the Planning Officer appears happy with, however not with the actual building or storage unit.

RESOLVED – to formally withdraw the planning application, rather than have it refused.

ACTION – Clerk to withdraw the application and to formally arrange for the Councillors to meet the Planner for her advice on the next steps.


Neighbourhood Plan

An oral report following the recent consultations of the draft neighbourhood plan was received. Cllr Stevenson took the formal opportunity to thank everyone involved for two very good days of exhibition, with 400-500 people attending. That was the informal consultation, a second formal consultation will be needed next year once the lines of the planned areas have been drawn onto the maps. Two more sites have since come forward from landowners and a figure of 100-150 dwellings minimum has come from new CBC documentation.

ACTION – Cllr Butcher will check this figure with Rachel Forkin of CBC and Borough Cllr Barber will also check & report back.

50 questionnaires were completed during the exhibitions, 53 postcard comments written, approximately 40 questionnaires have been returned to the Co-op and 50 Survey Monkey surveys have been completed so far.

ACTION – Cllr Stevenson to put something out on the website to remind people

The date of the next meeting is Wed 2nd Nov at 7.30pm in the John Lampon Hall.


Environment and Highways

12a The minutes from the Environment Committee meeting held on 13th Oct 2016 were received.

Cllr Spencer informed the Council that TCV have agreed to work on the village’s ponds in early January next year. It will involve around 4 days’ work, 2 days at Hall Road and one each at the Lexden Road & Queens Road ponds, costing approximately £800.

12b A verbal update from the representative of the Traffic Safety Group was received.

Cllr Stone reported that the Traffic Safety Group had had another meeting and that the Trygve app was now being used to regularly report bad parking & traffic incidents. The notices used previously in New Church Road are going to be used again, with repeat offenders being reported to the Parking Partnership. Trygve will provide the evidence and give data on problem hot spots. There will be an open day on 25th February, as stated earlier by Borough Cllr Barber, as part of the 5E’s programme.

ACTION – Cllr Stevenson will ask Dave Kingaby to put a link on westbergholt.net


Premises and Recreation

The minutes from the Premises Committee meeting held on 10th Oct 2016 were received.

Cllr Butcher thanked Cllr Harlow for chairing the meeting in his absence.



An oral report from the recent meetings with St Mary the Virgin’s Church, regarding the future of their churchyard was received.

Cllr Stevenson updated the Council that he, Cllr Stone & Cllr Harlow have met with the Church representatives twice now, discussing the likely closure of the churchyard inside the next two years. The implications for the Parish Council are twofold; it will have to pick up the future maintenance of the site and there will be a need to examine for a new burial ground. However, before they get to that stage there is the possibility of extending the size of the existing churchyard. It’s not just a West Bergholt problem, Neighbourhood Plans nationwide are being encouraged to think about planning for new burial grounds. A lot of people in this village have relatives there or will want to be buried here so it warrants research, although the closure will not affect the interment of cremations or similar. Cllr Stone reported that they had asked the Church to provide an indication of how much it costs to maintain the churchyard and the plans of the churchyard giving an indication of which parts are consecrated. Volunteers from “Grave Concern” are currently looking after some of the neglected plots and the Church has received a bequest which will provide some money for a few years. The Councillors and the Church have agreed to meet quarterly and create an action plan. Cllr Spencer would like to be included in those discussions.



It was noted that the following training was undertaken during the month of October by the Clerk:

  • VAT Course – 06/10/16 – LW


Items to Note (available on table at meeting)

  1. Correspondence Log – Oct 2016
  2. Essex Rural Partnership – Issue 48 Sept 16
  3. EALC County Update – Oct 2016
  4. Thank you card from Mrs Brown
  5. Zone 4 Warden Information Pack
  6. Crime Statistics – Aug 2016
  7. EALC Legal Update – Oct 2016
  8. RCCE- Neighbourhood Plan Coffee Mornings
17 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).
No items were discussed.


Date of Next Meeting

Next meeting will be held on Wednesday 23rd November at 7.30pm in the John Lampon Hall, Lexden Road
Meeting closed at 9.04pm


Signed: Date: Position on Council:


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