Minutes of Parish Council 22nd February 2017

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 22nd February at 7.30 pm

Chair: Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present: Phil Spencer, Bob Tyrrell, Brian Butcher, Andrew Savage, Harry Stone, John Gili-Ross, Murray Harlow, Jenny Church, Janet Crichton
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough Councillors: None in attendance
Present: 7 members of the public



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the Public

  Apologies were received from Cllr Phil Cook, Borough Cllrs Lewis Barber, Dennis Willetts & Brian Jarvis

RESOLVED –To accept the apologies of the absent Councillors.


Questions from registered electors


Chris Gilbert – regarding the surface water flooding at Chitts Hill.

Ms Gilbert came as a representative of the 10 homes on the West Bergholt side of Chitts Hill, prior to the level crossing. There has been a problem of a constant flow of surface water from the road by the railway across the front of their properties for approximately the last four years, during which time they have been in contact with the County Council.

However, lately the situation has become much more dirty & messy, causing pot holes and ice hazards during the recent cold spell. The group have recorded the details and asked for support from both the Borough & County Councils, although they are well aware of budget restrictions. There has been a site meeting attended by the residents, Borough Councillor Lewis Barber and County Councillor Anne Brown and a letter from Essex County Council acknowledges the need for a project to divert the water flow. Ms Gilbert now has an appointment at County Hall to meet with the relevant Cabinet Member on the 14th March. Parish Councillor Brian Butcher will be supporting her at that meeting, as will Cllr Brown, hopefully to push for the funding of a solution in the 2017/18 budget. Although the project may end up being designed one year and then implemented the following.

Ms Gilbert was in attendance to gain support from the Parish Council. The Clerk provided the group with the land registry details of the copse to the left of the level crossing as they requested.

Cllr Barber had asked for the road in front of their houses to be cleaned with the road sweeper to remove some of the silt and debris which has built up, although this has not occurred yet.

ACTION – Clerk to send a reminder to Cllr Gili-Ross who will check this is on the Action List of the Zone Wardens.

ACTION – Cllr Butcher will meet with Chris Gilbert prior to the meeting at County Hall and requested some up to date photos of the area.


Joshua Obeng-Nyarko – Chitts Hill

In relation to the matter above, Mr Obeng-Nyarko came to ask the Council about a sign for the level crossing requesting drivers to turn off their engines whilst waiting for the trains to pass, lowering noise & pollution levels for residents.

Cllr Gili-Ross advised the group to decide where they would like such a sign placed as doing it themselves and situating it on private land might be a better solution than approaching Essex County Council as the parish recently found when erecting the 20mph signs around the school. He also warned them that one sign may not be sufficient.

ACTION – Clerk will make enquiries re: the sign requested by Chitts Hill residents.


Declarations of Interest

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

Cllr Tyrrell declared an interest in item 17/26 – Planning Application 170224.



  RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 25th January 2017 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P10 January 2017)


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors

  No report was received from the Borough Councillors this month.




Statement of accounts for Jan 2017 (Link to P10 Jan 17 Summary)

The final accounts for Jan 2017 were presented as follows:

83% of the way through the financial year. The General Account showed 97% income, 107% general expenditure, 78% environment expenditure and 99% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totaled together.

The 107% figure is down from 110% as many of the grants for the recent projects have now been received as detailed in the Projects box on the left of the Summary sheet.

The Hall Account showed 101% income and 63% expenditure. The council will be transferring the £5041.74 interest on the Public Works Loan (which paid for the John Lampon Hall) from the Hall account to the General account before the end of the financial year.

Please note, payment was received from the Social Club on 30th January 2017 for £5106.09.



  RESOLVED – To approve the following cheques for payment and signature in accordance with 2016/17 budget. All in favour.


February 2017

General Account

DD CBC Garage Rent 50.08
Chq 104274 J & M Payroll Services Wages, Tax & NI 2711.58
GA170015 Laura Walkingshaw Petty Cash Replenishment 84.57
GA170016 WBFC Grass Cutting 40.00
GA170017 J & M Payroll Services Payroll Services – Jan 27.00
GA170018 Apogee 4 x Road Safety Banners 100.00
GA170019 Printerland Toner Cartridges 176.35
GA170020 Harry Stone Expenses – Toner 10.00
GA170021 Countrywide Grass Cutting 151.00
GA170022 Susan Leng Bulletin Thankyou Event 33.28
GA170023 EALC Training – Local Council Briefing 160.00
GA170024 SLCC Membership 2017/18 139.00
GA170025 Laura Walkingshaw Expenses – Website Domain 85.68

Orpen Hall Account

DD Col Skip Hire Refuse Collection 136.87
DD CNG Gas – Jan 611.58
DD Utility Warehouse Mobile, Broadband, MUGA Electricity 69.66
Tfr Tfr to Gen Act Wages 326.91
HA170007 GW Commercial Heating Ltd Repair to Damaged Piping 170.11
HA170008 Victoria Beckwith-Cole Expenses – Keys for Handymen 22.00
HA170009 Kent Blaxill Ladder 124.80
HA170010 Zoe O’Connor Cleaning 756.00
HA170011 Elanar Technical Services Ltd Thermostat Repairs 135.60
HA170012 David Hewitt Expenses – Fuses 22.20
HA170013 RCCE Village Hall Membership 60.00


To approve the recommendation from the Finance Committee to donate £500 to the Friends of the Old Church towards their restoration fund. (link to Item 17_23c Legal Background)

As a historic building the Parish Council have the power to donate to the Friends of the Old Church’s restoration fund.

Cllr Harlow declared an interest in the Church at this point and took no part in the voting.

RESOLVED – It was agreed by the rest of the Councillors present to approve the recommendation to donate £500 to the Friends of the Old Church and present the cheque at next month’s Parish Council meeting.


Progress Report from Clerk

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

  • Argents Lane – Signage for heavy vehicles – Clerk to inform the resident who initially queried this item that the order is legal, the advanced signage in place, enforcement is the only outstanding issue.
  • War Memorial – Cllr Butcher has instructed Phil Chatfield with the construction of the War Memorial cover, this process could take 3 months. Clerk to update two management companies of the latest information.
  • Precept Form – Clerk to send calculations to Cllr Tyrrell to clarify the £85,342 precept request figure.




To discuss ideas for the Annual Parish Meeting to be held on 26th April 2017

Wednesday 26th April in the Orpen Hall. Possible ideas include:

  • Village Bulletin – new look? Quest for more volunteer committee members.
  • Neighbourhood Plan – consultation due after this date, but may have some pre-consultation documents ready.
  • Reports from Chairs of Committees, including Finance, as this year the APM will be held after the end of the financial year.
  • Village Fete
  • Any groups – bowls, scouts, cricket club, whoever
  • Friends of the Old Church – update on events
  • Whether there is local interest to initiate a parish War Memorial from funds raised by public subscription.
  • Traffic & Road Safety update
  • A120 consultation
  • Broadband
  • PCC Consultation bringing together the Police and Fire services

ACTION – Cllr Gili-Ross will provide the Clerk with the relevant Police contact details.




The minutes from the Planning Committee meeting held on the 15th Feb 2017 were received and the decisions made on following applications were noted (Link to Planning P11 Feb 17):

  • 170200 – Land off Bakers Lane, Colchester – Object – It has been brought to the Committee’s attention that these plans do not meet the recently approved & adopted Myland & Braiswick Neighbourhood Plan, therefore West Bergholt Parish Council cannot support the application.
  • 170224 – The Barn, Hill House Farm, 157 Colchester Road – Observation – The Parish Council is minded to make the following observations and not support the application due the currently limited details submitted. The Planning Committee is also concerned about the following issues:
    • Highway access/traffic movements – the daily access of potentially 120 vehicle movements to and from the site along a private road connected to the public highway. It is anticipated that the Highways Authority will be consulted on this matter.
    • Noise – the noise from up to 30 dogs a day in the stable and also exercised in the open-air ménage, as the Committee were verbally informed by the Applicants at the meeting would be the case, having regard to the close proximity to neighbouring properties.
    • If Colchester Borough Council are minded to approve this application then the Parish Council believe that it should be for a limited period with restrictions on the opening times, number of dogs and vehicle movements.


Environment and Highways


The minutes from the Environment Committee meeting held on 9th Feb 2017 were received. (Link to Environment Feb 2017)

Cllr Gili-Ross informed the council that the Handyman was back at work, but still not up to full strength after his foot injury.


A verbal update from the Traffic Safety Group was received from Cllr Stone. (Link to Traffic Safety 02/02/17)

Cllr Stone informed the council of the progress of the Village Road Safety Event to be held this Saturday, 25th February, in the John Lampon Hall between 11am-1pm.

He and other volunteers handed out leaflets at the Co Op last weekend and noted all those parked illegally around that area. He has also informed all the businesses which had company vehicles parked on the zig zag lines lately and the majority have been apologetic as well as grateful for the information.

Cllr Stone was surprised at the number of people who come to the Co Op & chemists from outside of the village. Also, a school governor has now joined the Traffic Safety Group which will help with communication as 35% of the pupils again come from outside the village.

It is hoped that the results of the Trygve app will provide a wealth of information for discussion on Saturday and highlight the hotspot areas.


Premises and Recreation

  The minutes from the Premises Committee meeting held on 6th February 2017 were received. (Link to Premises Feb 17)



  It was noted that the following training was undertaken during the last month by the Clerk or Councillors:

  • None undertaken this month


Items to Note (available on table at meeting)

  a)    Correspondence Log – Feb 2017
  b)    Crime Statistics – Dec 2016
17/31 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 22nd March 2017 at 7.30pm in the John Lampon Hall, Lexden Road
  Meeting closed at 8.24 pm
Signed: Date: Position on Council:


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