Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
Held in the John Lampon Hall on 27th July at 7.30 pm
|Parish Councillors Present:
|Brian Butcher, Jenny Church, Andrew Savage, John Gili-Ross, Murray Harlow, Philip Spencer, Harry Stone, Bob Tyrrell
|13 members of the public
1. Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the Public
Resolved – Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Cook.
2. 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)
A resident reported that she was concerned with the parking offences occurring on the zig zag lines outside the Co Op shop and feels something needs to be done before there is an accident.
A local child minder stated that there was a near miss during the school run while she was manoeuvring a double buggy and four children across, the driver completely ignored her and did not stop. She also fears that there will be an accident involving a child sooner or later.
Councillor Stevenson replied that from the Facebook Hub page it is clear that this is an ongoing concern. Borough Councillor Barber is working on getting the new “Park Safe” vehicle to the village. Parking on the zig zags should involve discussions with the police, but the near misses are concerning as there is a lot going on around the Co Op and Pharmacy area.
Councillor Stevenson stated that the village needs to move this forward with a combination of the 5 “E” s:
- Engagement with the community
- Encouragement to display better driver behaviour
- Education through information
- Enforcement via the Police etc.
- Engineering through new measures
The last on the list are the engineering measures as they will take 1-2 years to plan with the Highways Authority and require funding. If the village has to wait for them, then it could risk something happening in the meantime, so need to do the other measures.
Councillor Stone was instrumental in the first Traffic Safety Plan, bringing in the 20mph zone around the school, perhaps what is needed now is Part Two, working on the area around the Co Op. Councillor Stone would be happy to get a group of people together, along with some members of the Parish Council, Borough Cllr Barber and representatives from the school. As the Council are very keen to have a school governor involved in the Traffic Safety Plan.
Action – Councillor Stone to set up group
Councillor Gili-Ross reported that Essex Police are currently looking for 300 Specials and that would probably be the quickest way to enforcement. A special could be installed in 9 months fully trained.
A resident reported that they had been disappointed with the police’s reaction when he supplied them with photos of a van parking on the zig zags. Nothing was done or communicated back to him. He felt it was a very common occurrence, street furniture can be put up, but it has to be enforced.
Another resident reported about the parking on the double yellow lines in New Church Road and that one of the biggest problems is cars turning in resident’s driveways.
Councillor Stevenson stated that it was clear just from the comments that it is a very complex situation.
3. Declarations of Interest
Cllr Stevenson declared an interest in items relating to Essex County Council, particularly Highway issues.
Cllr Tyrrell declared an interest in item 10 – Planning, application number 161431.
Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 22nd June 2016 were approved and signed with no amendments.
5. Report from Colchester Borough Councillors
No report was received from Colchester Borough Councillors.
To receive an update from the Chairman of the West Bergholt Community Broadband Group
Roly Buss, the new chair of the WB Community Broadband Group, along with others members of the group, Aaron Williams and Tony Whotton, updated the Parish Council on their progress.
The group is made up of members with a tremendous amount of expertise in telecommunications and I.T., together with a huge range of technical knowledge and business experience. They were grateful to the Parish Council for setting them off in the right way, although they now have their own Terms of Reference and Constitution. They have all approached this with the principles of fairness, objectivity and inclusion on the village’s behalf.
Following the village presentations by County Broadband, Voneus and BT Open Reach, along with discussions with Superfast Essex there followed some very intense discussions of all the options. The group came to the unanimous decision that County Broadband was the best option for the village. A newsletter stating this recommendation has since been delivered to the village. BT was looked at in detail, but they would still be using the existing copper network and would require £96,000 before starting the job, although this has since come down to £60,000.
The group have since met with the director of County Broadband to find out when and where sign-ups will occur, the company expects work to commence Jan-Feb 2017. The Community Broadband Group expect to be in operation so long as they are needed, as there are always problems with installations. As it progresses, the group will be monitoring customer relations, providing information to the village and giving assistance to the less able (even if don’t require broadband, it could provide a cheaper phone service).
- Councillor Stevenson noted that the BT Open Reach price is coming down, especially if the school obtained a grant, however it is still not free.
- Buss reported that BT tend to look at where phone exchanges are, in West Bergholt’s case Fordham, rather than the demand from communities.
- Councillor Savage thanked the group for all they had done, stating that the Newsletter was very clear.
- Councillor Stevenson stated that the Parish Council were extremely enthusiastic about County Broadband’s supply of the village in previous years as it was the only one being offered, however this time as there are different suppliers interested, the Parish Council will remain neutral. He thanked the WB Community Broadband Group and hoped they would carry on the good work.
- Williams asked if it would be possible to obtain a grant from the Parish Council for t-shirts with their new logo on.
Action – Clerk to put that proposal on the Finance committee agenda in September
a) Statement of accounts for June 2016 (circulated at the meeting)
The final accounts for June 2016 were presented as follows:
The General Account showed 56% income, 35% general expenditure, 24% environment expenditure and 31% expenditure overall.
These figures will decrease once the insurance payments have been transferred from the General account to the Hall.
The Hall Account showed 41% income and 21% expenditure.
b) To approve cheques for signature in accordance with 2016/17 budget
Resolved – It was proposed by Cllr Savage and seconded by Cllr Stone to make the following payments, All in favour:
|Salary Payments to Mrs Walkingshaw, Mr Hewitt & Mr Harkness
|DD – CBC
|Tfr to Hall Acct
|Tfr to Hall Acct
|CBC Building Reg. Fee
|G P Allen
|Internal Audit Fee
|St Mary’s Church
|Emptying of litter/dog bins
|Attendance at meeting
|Website support services
|Office 365 Home Premium renewal
|Lees Cars Sales
|Focus MOT & Repairs
|Petty Cash Replenishment
|Law & Procedures Course – CS
|Water Tanks Allotment
|National Insurance & Tax
|Silicone Gel Playground
|WBPC Tabards & Safety Gloves
|Orpen Hall Account
|Salary Payment to Mrs Beckwith-Cole
|DD – Utility Warehouse
|Mobile, Broadband, MUGA Electricity
|DD – Col Skip Hire
|TLC Environmental Services
Action – Clerk to enquire about the possibility of the Council moving to electronic banking.
To receive an oral report into the second part of the working group’s activities
Cllr Stevenson reported that the Communications Working Party will now be turning its attention to a Community Forum in the Autumn, including members of the community linked to communications.
One of the actions of the Action Plan is to divide the village into its groups and make sure Councillors are attached to them. These linkages already exist, but need to be documented.
Action – Cllr Spencer to look at this next step over the summer.
9. Progress Report from Clerk (Appendix 2)
Clerk presented her report and update of outstanding actions.
- Community Day of Action Bid – unsuccessful this year
- Casual Vacancy – vote to take place at Parish Council meeting in September
- Heathlands PTA requested use of Poor’s Land – email sent giving permission
- Coppicing of tree in New Church Road – nearby resident informed
- Flooding issues around village – full list given to Borough Councillor Barber
- Potholes & Pavement issues – again list given to Cllr Barber
- Numbering on PC Minutes – agreed, Clerk will start new numbering in Jan 2017
To begin to compile a list of proposed ideas for spending the £350 prize money of the Essex Village of the Year competition
The following were some of the ideas brought forward:
- Adopt a grave
- Another bench
- Flower bed around the village sign
- Cover for the allotment stall
- “Village of the Year” signs as enter/exit the village
- Second plaque on the beacon, saying re-lit for Queen’s 90th
- Something special for those who contribute so much to the village – a “token” reward
A decision shall be made at the September meeting. If West Bergholt enters the competition next year, a different emphasis needs to be made. Where the overall winning entry had re-invented what they had lost i.e. shop and pub, West Bergholt are lucky enough to still have those things, however those links with local businesses need to be highlighted more.
Action – Clerk to put on September Agenda.
a) The minutes from the Planning Committee meeting held on 20th July 2016 (Appendix 3) were received and the decisions noted on the applications:
Cllr Tyrrell declared an interest in this first item:
- 161431 – St Clair, Bourne Road CO6 3EW – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
- 161602 – 105 Colchester Road CO6 3JX – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
- 161181 – Laborne, Chapel Lane CO6 3EF – Object – Many of the Parish Council’s initial concerns regarding the development’s layout and density have now been addressed. However, it still contravenes the CBC approved Village Design Statement, DG7 – the proposals are out of proportion with existing properties. As this indicates the Parish Council still has concerns regarding the height and the impact of the buildings on the neighbouring properties along the street, specifically the recently approved bungalow development at Homecroft. The Parish Council’s also has concerns regarding existing surface water run-off that currently affects No.1 Valley Crescent during heavy rain. The PC would like to see a condition to ensure any new development incorporates large SW storage tanks to prevent further SW flooding, also all hard paved areas onsite are to be permeable.
- 161659 – 43 Colchester Road CO6 3JQ – Observation – The Parish Council support this application with the proviso that obscured glass be used in the landing windows and that the ancient hedge be retained along the boundary with neighbouring property No. 45.
b) To agree the recommendations made by the Planning Committee at the meeting held on 20th July 2016 on applications:
- 161813 – 42 Albany Road CO6 3LD – Observation – The Parish Council supported this application previously whilst Colchester refused permission and believe that the changes requested by the Borough Council has now led to a deterioration in the design.
It was proposed to make these recommendations into decisions. All in favour.
c) To receive the timetable for the CBC Local Plan Consultations
Councillor Butcher reported that the Colchester Consultations have now been extended until the 16th September. He would encourage people to go along to the Consultation days and have a conversation with the Planners. The remaining dates are:
- Myland Parish Hall 28th July 4-8pm
- Greenstead Community Centre 30th July 10am-2pm
- Rowhedge Village Hall 2nd August 4-8pm
- Dedham Assembly Rooms 4th August 4-8pm
- Great Horkesley New Village Hall 10th August 4-8pm
d) An oral report on matters important for the parish with regards the CBC Local Plan and
e) Aspects to be considered when formulating the response from the Parish Council to Colchester Local Plan Consultation
Councillor Butcher has been through the draft Local Plan and highlighted those sections related to West Bergholt. There will be a Neighbourhood Plan meeting at the August WB Planning Meeting (Wed 17th Aug), at which Cllr Butcher will propose a draft response.
At present there are two policies that he would like to be changed:
- Reducing the number of units
- Increasing the number of business parks referred to as Local Economic Areas
From the document it can be seen that Colchester will be building 920 houses per year over the life of the plan until 2033, 8 per year in West Bergholt’s case. It should be noted that the village is able to plan well with Colchester, because it is engaged with them.
11. Neighbourhood Plan
a) To receive an oral report into the drafting of the Neighbourhood Plan
Councillor Stevenson reported that the Neighbourhood Plan is on version 24, although this is mainly contextual improvements now.
b) To receive an oral report on the timetable of activities for the forthcoming consultations into the draft plan
Councillor Stevenson informed the Council that West Bergholt are in tune with Colchester’s Local Plan, the borough’s reference to the village in the Plan stating that a Neighbourhood Plan will be produced, has endorsed its own process.
West Bergholt will be holding its own consultations in October with the written draft, exhibition boards and surveys. The group are looking at a synopsis that can be taken away, it is also in their interest to get as much feedback as possible. Colchester’s plan will probably take 9 months, but once out the other side West Bergholt could be the 3rd parish ready in the Borough. Currently requesting more help from Colchester, especially regarding mapping.
12. Environment and Highways
a) The minutes from the Environment Committee meeting held on 21st July 2016 were received.
Agenda item for next meeting – extending the Council’s use of a vehicle from a trial basis to a permanent situation.
13. Premises and Recreation
a) The minutes from the Premises Committee meeting held on 4th July 2016 were received. (Appendix 5)
b) To discuss the amended design of a ball net between the Lorkin Daniell Field and the gardens of the new development.
The new design has the posts set into the line of the hedge and is on a ratchet that can be lowered & furled up when not in use, then wound up on match days. The net is made of a dense mesh, the developer will be putting up all the money and installing it. WBFC have asked that the Parish Council pay for the replacement of the net in subsequent years, at a cost of £158, needed every 6 years. Cllr Stevenson suggested that the Council ask the developer for a commuted sum of £300 to cover the next 12 years.
Refused – The ball net was proposed by Cllr Harlow, seconded by Cllr Tyrrell. 4 Councillors voted in favour, 5 against, the item was therefore rejected by the Parish Council.
c) To discuss proposal by WBFC for part time use of the Clubhouse as a café.
A coffee shop idea is being raised in lots of areas of the village at this present time. This proposal submitted to the Parish Council is so outline that it requires more detail for proper consultation.
Action – Cllr Butcher will go back to WBFC to tell them that the proposal has been noted by the Parish Council, however it requests at least a minimum business plan, to be submitted in due course.
d) To discuss use of the Lorkin Daniell Field for training purposes of a junior football team on Thursday evenings.
Training of 7-13 year olds has already started on Thursday evenings between 5-6 o’clock. Around 30 children are being trained by sports coach appointed by WBFC.
The football club were under the impression that they didn’t need to ask for permission to hold this training, Councillor Butcher having looked at the club’s agreement felt they should have, however is now doing so on their behalf.
The Parish Council queried the wear & tear on the pitch as well as issues involving tidying up & litter clearance. Therefore, the Council are happy for the training to continue with the caveat that it will be for a trial period until October, when it will be reviewed as part of the lease renewal.
a) To note & feedback from the training undertaken during the last month by Councillors or the Clerk
The following training was undertaken in July by Councillors or the Clerk:
- Cllr Cook attended “Councillor Training Day 2” on 12th July 2016
- The Clerk attended “CILCA – Part 3 Finance” on 20th July 2016
Items to Note
(available on table at meeting)
- Correspondence Log – July 2016
- CBC Local Plan – Preferred Options
- RCCE Annual Review 2015-16
- EALC Legal Update – July 2016
- The Clerk – July 2016
- Clerk & Councils Direct – July 2016
- Crime Statistics – May 2016
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
Meeting closed at 9.30pm – Next meeting will be Wednesday 28th September at 7.30pm in John Lampon Hall, Lexden Road
Signed: Date: Position in Council: