Minutes of Parish Council 25th January 2017

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 25th January at 7.30 pm

Chair: Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present: Murray Harlow, Jenny Church, Harry Stone, Andrew Savage, Phil Spencer, John Gili-Ross, Bob Tyrrell, Brian Butcher, Phil Cook, Janet Crichton
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough Councillors: Cllr Brian Jarvis, Cllr Dennis Willetts, Cllr Lewis Barber
Present: 1 member of the public



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the Public

  Apologies were received from Jacqui Kibby

RESOLVED – All Parish Cllrs were present, so no apologies were required.


Questions from registered electors

  Gill Poole of the West Bergholt History Group asked the Council to consider providing some storage for some of the historical archives if there is any building work or alterations to occur at the Orpen Hall in the future.

The group had stored many of their documents in Bernard Colbron’s attic, however with his sad passing an alternative needs to be found.

Cllr Butcher asked if the group would like to think about what size and space they would be requiring. Also, what type of storage would they prefer?

A member of the group is currently scanning many of the documents. Cllr Stevenson suggested that if that was the case then they should talk to the Parish Council regarding the costs.

ACTION – Gill Poole will let the Council know once the History Group has looked at these questions.


Declarations of Interest

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



  RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 23rd November 2016 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P8 November 2016)


Introduction from new Village Bulletin Editor

  The new Village Bulletin Editor, Jacqui Kibby, was unable to make the meeting due to illness in her family.


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors


Borough Councillor Jarvis reported:

The Borough Councillors have provided grants from their Locality Budget for the following organisations:

  • Friends of the Old Church
  • Litter Warriors
  • WB Baby & Toddler Group
  • Bergholt Youth Group
  • WB Allotments

The Parish Council noted that they had been very generous.


Borough Councillor Barber reported:

  • That he has asked the Zone Wardens to road sweep Chitts Hill, in order to make the area constantly flooded by surface water less treacherous for residents.
  • There is a new app to access Colchester Borough Council facilities available on specific iPads throughout the borough, there is the possibility of installing one in the WB GP surgery.

ACTION – Cllr Barber will send the details of this to the Parish Clerk.




Statement of accounts for Nov/Dec 2016 (Link to P8-9 Nov-Dec 2016 Summary)

The final accounts for Nov/Dec 2016 were presented as follows:

75% of the way through the financial year. The General Account showed 97% income, 110% general expenditure, 71% environment expenditure and 98% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totaled together. Cllr Savage said that Cllrs should bear in mind these figures show two months combined. The Projects/Grants figure stands at 145% as payments have now been made for the toilet refurbishment, however this figure is deceptive as reserved earmarked funds have been transferred and used for much of the excess expenditure (as identified in the Projects box to the left-hand side of the Summary document).

The Hall Account showed 78% income and 54% expenditure.

Please note, no payments have been received from the Social Club this month, their debt now stands at £5106.09.



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

January 2017

General Account
DD CBC Garage Rent 50.08
Chq J & M Payroll Services Wages, Tax & NI 2489.52
GA170001 Countrywide Grass Cutting 151.00
GA170002 WBFC Grass Cutting 40.00
GA170003 J & M Payroll Services Payroll Services 27.00
GA170004 Arco 3 Posts for 20mph Signs 288.07
GA170005 Kent Blaxill Wood for Gazebo Repairs 55.70
GA170006 CBC Dog/Litter Bin Emptying 290.55
GA170007 RCCE Model Licence 35.00
GA170008 Kent Blaxill Wood for Office Shelves 32.86
GA170009 Laura Walkingshaw Petty Cash Replenishment 21.03
GA170010 Kent Blaxill Allotment Fence Repairs 21.55
GA170011 TCV Pond Clearance 720.00
GA170012 Jacqui Kibby Bulletin Editor 180.00
GA170013 Kent Blaxill Allotment Fencing 47.09
GA170014 Norhurst Landscapes Pond Clearance 280.00
Orpen Hall Account
DD Col Skip Hire Refuse Collection 135.94
DD CNG Gas – Dec 505.12
DD Utility Warehouse Mobile, Broadband, MUGA Electricity 115.50
Tfr Tfr to Gen Act Repaint & Repairs – Toilet Refurb 451.87
Tfr Tfr to Gen Act Wages 326.91
HA170001 Elanar Technical Services Boiler Repair 112.20
HA170002 John Gili-Ross Tap Fixings 21.16
HA170003 Zoe’s Cleaning Cleaning 720.00
HA170004 PRS for Music PRS & PPL Licences 2017 695.47
HA170005 Elanar Technical Services Boiler Repair & Thermostats 305.16
HA170006 Victoria Beckwith-Cole Light Bulbs 23.76


To approve the 2017/2018 Precept and Budgets based on three-year plan

The Hall Budget for 2017/18 was presented and proposed for agreement. (Link to Proposed 2017-18 Budget Sheets)

RESOLVED – The Council agreed the 2017/18 hall budget and increase in hall pricing. All in favour.

Cllr Savage then presented the Three-Year Plan and three budget sheets (see above) based on a Projects amount of £20,000, £25,000 and £30,000, respectively:

  • 20,000 – precept needed £75,342 – increase of £3.04 or 6% a year
  • 25,000 – precept needed £80,342 – increase of £6.82 or 13% a year
  • 30,000 – precept needed £85,342 – increase of £10.59 or 20% a year

Cllr Savage confirmed that the Finance Committee recommended the budget with the £25,000 figure and that this was the proposed new precept for consideration by the Council.

Cllr Harlow put forward an amended proposal that the £30,000 figure should be requested instead.

RESOLVED – After some debate, the amendment was voted upon and it was agreed by the Council to approve the £30,000 budget and request a precept of £85,342. 6 Cllrs were in favour, 3 against, 2 abstentions.

ACTION – Clerk to send off precept form to CBC tomorrow for £85,342



RESOLVED – The Council approved the electronic banking process (Link to Electronic Banking flow chart). Payments will now be made mainly using online banking rather than cheques. All in favour.



Councillors were reminded to submit their end of year expenses e.g. for travel and printing costs.





The remuneration for the Village Bulletin editor has been resumed as per the previously arrangement with Bernard Colbron. It was proposed that, in order to balance the Bulletin accounts, a 10% increase is required in revenue. (Link to Bulletin Pricing)

RESOLVED – The Council approved the 10% price increase to the Village Bulletin advertising charges. All in favour.


A verbal report was received from Cllr Stevenson on the recent meeting with Virgin Media.

An information meeting was held between members of the Parish Council and representatives from Virgin Media approximately two weeks ago. The Parish Council had had to prompt for this meeting as it had not been notified that the company was coming to the village until they started work. Virgin Media are supposed to be providing the Council with information to put on the website, although nothing has been received as yet. At the request of the Parish Council Virgin Media are to hold a village meeting. They have also asked for an available date at the Orpen Hall for a community event to meet with residents. Cllr Harlow, as Communications Officer, has tried calling their office every day to no avail to ascertain the dates of the village meeting.

At the recent meeting with Virgin Media, Cllr Gili-Ross requested their work schedule for the village, to which Virgin Media responded that they would be finished by April (that’s digging completed, not necessarily service availability).

There will be around 38 cabinets placed around the village and the Parish Council expressed its concern about the lack of consultation. However, as a utility company they do not have to ask anyone before starting work other than Essex County Council for a permit to start work on the highway.

Cllr Stone noted that it was disappointing that nothing has been heard from County Broadband either during this time, although it was Cllr Stevenson’s impression that a letter will be sent to all who have expressed an interest in receiving the fibre service from County Broadband.

Whilst, it is disappointing that the Parish Council has not been consulted by Virgin Media, on the positive side West Bergholt could be one of the first villages in Essex, outside of Epping Forest, to have fibre to the home, unlike those who have the Superfast Essex programme where it only goes as far as the BT cabinets.


Progress Report from Clerk

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

  • Chitts Hill (Heavy Vehicles) – Cllr Stevenson will send the Clerk a note to forward to Highways as at present a blue & white advisory sign is missing.
  • War Memorial – now have agreement from all three parties, Cllr Butcher will instruct the designer to go ahead with the construction of the waterproof cover.
  • 20mph Signs – Clerk to write to County Councillor Anne Brown to plead for a 20mph roundel to be applied to the tarmac.
  • Terms of Reference – Clerk to make the Premises Terms of Reference to equate to the Environment version.




The minutes from the Planning Committee meeting held on 21st Dec 2016 were received and the decisions made on following applications were noted (Link to Planning P9 Dec 16):

  • 162950 – 83 Colchester Road – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 162858- 149 Chapel Road – Object – The Parish Council are not against development on this site, but feel the design is out of scale with the surrounding buildings. The drawing does not show what part of the building is to be retained. So for all intents and purposes, this is a 100% new dwelling and the Borough Council’s policy therefore dictates the need for a street scene. The current plans contravene DG3, DG7 and DG8 of the CBC Approved Village Design Statement. The garden appears to be a smaller than the Borough Council recommended size for a four-bedroom house i.e. 100m2 (the site is only 280m2 in total). The parking is less than CBC standards and will require vehicles to reverse onto a main road
  • 163019 – St Mary’s Church, Hall Road – Support – The Parish Council would defer to the Borough Council’s policies on repairs to Listed Buildings, however it would support anything that helps to maintain the life of such a historic local building.
  • 163130 – 42 Albany Road – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.


The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 18th Jan 2017 were received and the decisions made on applications noted (Link to Planning P10 Jan 17):

  • 163142 – 4 Bourne Cottages, Bourne Road – Support – The Parish Council has no comment


RESOLVED – the Council agreed the following decisions on the new Planning Applications, these applications had been received after the Planning Committee had already met this month:

  • 162771 – Queen’s Head Pub – Observation – The Parish Council’s comments remain as previously submitted, however, it is noted that its concerns regarding the parking layout have been taken into account. The car parking provision now seems much more realistic.
    The Parish Council are concerned regarding the loss of the screening trees and hope that there is a way for the container to be sited without their removal.
  • 170141 – 9 Chapel Road – Support – The Parish Council has no comment


Neighbourhood Plan

  An oral report on the progress of the Neighbourhood Plan was received from Cllr Butcher.

Cllr Stevenson & Cllr Spencer have spent quite a lot of time analyzing the data from the latest questionnaire and this information will inform the next draft of the plan.

Meetings are diarized with Colchester Borough Council to make sure our Neighbourhood Plan keeps in step with Colchester’s Plan.

East Bergholt, which is of a similar size & proposed housing number to West Bergholt, used an independent planning expert to review their plan prior to submission and it is likely that West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan will similarly scrutinized. They also had a mix of Planning & Parish policies. Rachel Forkin, from CBC, recommended looking on the RICS neighbourhood plan examiner register.


Environment and Highways


The minutes from the Environment Committee meeting held on 12th Jan 2017 were received. (Link to Environment Jan 2017)

Cllr Gili-Ross wished to make three notes of thanks:

  • To the Handymen for all their hard work
  • To Cllr Church for all her work regarding the village ponds
  • To Cllr Spencer for his support as Vice-chair of the Environment Committee.


An update on the West Bergholt ponds was received.

The three village ponds have been cleared of excess vegetation and the debris will be removed very shortly.


A verbal update from the Traffic Safety Group was received from Cllr Stone.

The notes from the previous Traffic Safety Group meeting have been circulated to Councillors. (Link to Traffic Safety 05/01/17) The Trygve app is being well used, a Heathlands school governor has joined the Traffic Safety Group and the roadside banners are in production. The Parksafe vehicle also now comes through the village from time to time.

The Open Day to be held on the 25th Feb is expected to turn into more of a Workshop Event. This will be guided by the 5 “Es”, notices will be put up shortly. Slowly making progress. It is worth noting that the Police can only come if there is evidence, which is where the app can come in.

ACTION – Cllr Barber to send information to Cllr Gili-Ross


Premises and Recreation

  The minutes from the Premises Committee meeting held on 9th Jan 2017 were received. (Link to Premises Jan 17)

The Clerk queried item 7.1 regarding the use of the hall ladders, which do not need labelling “Do not use – property of WBPC”, but instead need disposing of and replacing. Cllr Gili-Ross recommended proper commercial ladders, which can then be safely used by the Handymen.

ACTION – Cllr Butcher to look into procuring commercial ladders



  It was noted that the following training was undertaken during the month of December by the Chair:

  • Advanced Councillor Day 2 – 06/12/17 – Cllr Stevenson


Items to Note (available on table at meeting)

  a)    Correspondence Log – Dec 2016/Jan 2017
  b)    Crime Statistics – Nov 2016


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 February at 7.30pm in the John Lampon Hall, Lexden Road
  Meeting closed at 9.21 pm
Signed: Date: Position on Council:


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