Minutes of Parish Council 25th October 2017

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 25th October 2017 at 7.30 pm

Chair: Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present: Andrew Savage, Brian Butcher, Bob Tyrrell, John Gili-Ross, Murray Harlow, Jenny Church, David Short and Harry Stone
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough & County Councillors: Cllr Lewis Barber, Cllr Brian Jarvis, Cllr Dennis Willetts
Present: 7 members of the public



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the Public

  RESOLVED – Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Crichton & Cllr Spencer.


Questions from registered electors

  There were no questions received from registered electors.


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 27th September 2017 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P6 Sept 2017)


Report from Colchester Borough & Essex County Councillors

  Borough Councillor Lewis Barber reported:

  • Speculative Gladman development application – the Councillor is naturally against this. 100 homes outside of the village envelope, not in the Neighbourhood Plan or Local Plan process. Very much against the application using the argument that there is an emerging Local & Neighbourhood Plan. As with the Gladman application for Braiswick, the Borough Councillors will be putting a brochure out to encourage residents to give CBC their views when required.

Borough Councillor Brian Jarvis reported:

  • West Bergholt Methodist Church – repairs to the ceiling have now been completed by match-funding from the CBC Locality Budget. It is much improved, and the work is highly satisfactory.
  • Odeon Cinema – the new application has now gone through for the Odeon Cinema, which will be a mixture of cinema, residential, & underground parking. Very in favour of bringing more residential developments into the centre of town making it a more attractive place to live.
  • All three Borough Councillors are opposed to the Gladman Homes proposal.

Borough Councillor Dennis Willets had nothing to report.



a) Statement of accounts for Sept 2017 (Link to P6 Sept 17 Summary)

The final accounts for Sept 2017 were presented as follows:

50% of the way through the financial year.

The General Account showed 98% income, 32% general expenditure, 41% environment expenditure and 34% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totalled together.

The Hall Account showed 40% income and 47% expenditure.

b) Payments
  RESOLVED – To approve the following payments in accordance with 2017-18 budget. Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Stevenson. All in favour.

October 2017

General Account
DD CBC Garage Rent 50.58
GA170144 EALC Training – Cemetery Mgt Course 100.00
GA170145 L & M Sturdy Garages Garage – Storage Unit 3280.00
GA170146 J & M Payroll Services Oct – Wages, Tax & NI 4312.85
GA170147 WBFC Grass Cutting – Oct 40.00
GA170148 J & M Payroll Services Payroll Services – September 27.00
GA170149 Countrywide Grass Cutting – Oct 155.50
GA170150 Laura Walkingshaw Anglian Water Payment (not DD), Collins Skip Hire 330.11
GA170151 L & M Sturdy Garages Eaves Filler 96.00
GA170152 Cox Landscapes Fencing – Straps 18.00
GA170153 Ernest Doe Trimmerline & Oil 113.00
GA170154 Kent Blaxill Plywood – Storage Unit 144.96
GA170155 Kent Blaxill Plywood, Timber, Manhole Cover 178.25
GA170156 Kent Blaxill Plywood, Timber – Storage Unit 201.60
GA170157 Howdens Various Screws – Storage Unit 13.06
GA170158 CBC Emptying of Litter/Dog Bins (Apr-Dec) 871.65
GA170159 Methodist Church Annual Rental for Bus Stop 115.00
GA170160 Howdens Silicone – Storage Unit 1.19
GA170161 Printerland Toner – Bk, Mg, Cy & Yw 210.46
GA170162 I M Beckwith New Post for Poor’s Land 375.00
GA170163 Petty Cash Replenishment – L Walkingshaw Petrol, Oil, Key, Drain Cover, Piping 91.79
Tfr Gen to Hall Account VAT Return Transfer 624.38
Tfr Gen to Hall Account 1 box of A4 Paper 16.49
Orpen Hall Account
DD Col Skip Hire Refuse Collection – Sept 145.92
DD CNG Gas – Sept 124.35
DD Utility Warehouse Oct – Mobile, Broadbd, MUGA Electricity 69.75
HA170052 Victoria Beckwith-Cole Hooks 10.76
HA170053 Zoe O Connor Hall Cleaning 900.00
HA170054 EKB Contracts (SJ Andrews) Wall Light Replacement 70.08
HA170055 EKB Contracts (SJ Andrews) John Lampon Hall Lights 533.28
Tfr Hall to Gen Account Kent Blaxill – Manhole Cover 16.22
Tfr Hall to Gen Account Wages 506.65
c) To approve a bid to the Local Services Fund for a new post of Village Warden and the Council’s financial contribution to part-fund.
  RESOLUTION – To apply for £15,000 (£5,000 per annum for the next 3 years) from the Local Services Fund, match funded by the Parish Council for approximately £6,000. Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Stone. All in favour.

The proposed project is to employ a Village Warden to take on all the services that ECC and CBC do not have the resources to get done very promptly anymore.



a) The minutes from the Planning Committee meeting held on the 18th October 2017 were received and the decisions made on following applications were noted (Link to Planning P7 Oct 17)
  • 170994 – Roundwood, Lexden Road, CO6 3BX – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 172564 – 87 Albany Road, CO6 3LD – Observation – Albany Road is an interesting and eclectic mix of house and bungalows built over the past 80 years. The Parish Council feel this is a missed opportunity to improve the property. Whilst we are not against the principle of a first-floor extension to the bungalow together with a single storey side extension, we wish to make the following observations:
    • As the property is in a prominent location on the junction of Albany Road and Erle Harvard Road, we are concerned at the overall proportions of the proposals.
    • The front elevation is uninspiring, the first-floor window is small and lost in a sea of render with a similar effect caused by a large area of render on the rear elevation.
    • The elevation to Earl Harvard is again a large area of render and roof tiles. There needs to be some articulation to break up this mass? We therefore believe that the above matters should be addressed so that the proposals result in elevations with smaller expanses of render.
    • As there were no street scenes provided we were unable to compare the proposals with both the adjacent building and the one on the other side of Erle Harvard Road.
    • Therefore, the Parish Council feel that the proposal should not be approved as currently designed.
b) The recommendation from the Planning Committee meeting held on the 18th October 2017 for late planning application was discussed for approval by the Council:
  • 172025 – Whitehouse Farm, Whitehouse Lance, CO6 3EW – Observation – “The Parish Council would defer to the Borough Council’s greater knowledge in these matters on the basis that approval for this application was only given on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.”

RESOLVED to approve the recommendation of the Planning Committee. Proposed by Cllr Tyrrell, seconded by Cllr Harlow. All in favour.

c) To discuss the consultation by Gladman Homes at a site off Colchester Road in West Bergholt
  The Chairman noted a lack of engagement from Gladman on their interest in developing this site with the Parish Council – instead an advert appeared in the Essex County Standard on Friday 20th October and a “without prejudice” letter was delivered to Cllr Stevenson (as Chair of PC) and Cllr Tyrrell (as Chair of Planning). The letter requested a meeting with the Parish Council.

The Parish Council has already posted a news item on westbergholt.net and the Facebook Hub to alert the community. The Neighbourhood Plan has previously identified a preferred location for housing at the autumn 2016 consultations and the same site has been include in CBC’s emerging Local Plan documents. Overall this is considered a purely speculative proposal. It was noted however there is nothing to stop a landowner or developer proposing developments at any time, although it will normally be refused if it is not in an existing Local Plan. It was noted that speculative developments would be easier to defend against when both plans are adopted. If it becomes a planning application, then the Parish Council and CBC would object.

  • A resident enquired if this would mean that the 120 allotted houses in the draft Local Plan would be added to the 97 proposed by Gladman Homes, making 217 in total – Cllr Willetts clarified that this would not be the case, as the CBC Local Plan policy is for 120 homes in West Bergholt over the next 15 years.
  • Another resident having previously no knowledge of the process, felt reassured that the Parish and Borough Councils are against the proposal – Cllr Stevenson asked the resident to spread the word to friends & neighbours to raise objections through the online portal and copy to the Parish Clerk at [email protected]. If this proposal becomes a planning application, then the Parish Council will oppose along with Colchester Borough Council.
  • If a planning application is submitted and then refused, Borough Cllr Barber thought that Gladman were highly likely to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and advised people to be prepared for this and not to panic. Using the example currently off Bakers Lane in Braiswick (CBC PA 170200) it has taken a year to reach the appeal stage so this may hang over West Bergholt for a while as there is no timescale on their application.

RESOLUTION – Parish Council agreed to meet with Gladman Developments.

At this meeting the council will be able to explain what the Neighbourhood Plan has identified and the views of the local people. It will be the same type of meeting that the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group has held with all prospective developers over the past 12 months.


Environment and Highways

a) The minutes from the Environment Committee meeting held on 12th October 2017 were received. (Link to Environment P7 Oct 2017)

Cllr Stevenson wished to thank Cllr Gili-Ross and the Handymen for all their work on the new storage unit on behalf of the entire council.

Cllr Gili-Ross reported:

  • that the Orpen Players had moved in over the weekend
  • the ramp is in, but the rest of the cement work has not been completed yet – awaiting reasonable quotes
  • there is a temporary gate in place, hanging on the wall of WBFC’s clubhouse following discussions with them.
  • Bluebells are moving into the right-hand garage tomorrow and BYG will share with the Parish Council in the left-hand garage.
  • The spend is currently well within budget at around £5,000, although there is still some work to be done.

A discussion followed regarding the Borough Councillors Locality Budget and whether it could be used to screen the entry barrier on the heath with hawthorn and perhaps provide a sign to identify Heathlands School. However, Cllr Jarvis stated that the money must be used for something supported by and of use to the whole community. The Practice Goal on the Lorkin Daniell Field was instead suggested.

ACTION – The Environment sub-committee will be responsible for submitting a request to CBC Cllrs once they have all the quotes.

Cllr Stone will be contacting the school once they are back from half term regarding the positioning of the new memorial bench.

The Clerk wanted it clarified that item 8 on the Environment Minutes was for information only and that the Council did not carry out the work.

b) The minutes from the Traffic Safety Group meeting held on 28th September 2017 were received.

(Link to Traffic Safety Notes Sept 17)

Cllr Stone then provided a verbal update, stating that parking seemed slightly better with not so many problems recorded at the Co Op or on the Trygve app.

The group had reviewed the traffic situation with the school at a recent meeting and during the discussions the school suggested that the Parish Council nominate an associate governor. It was agreed that this would probably be Cllr Stone or Cllr Stevenson, after a discussion it was agreed that Cllr Stone would take up the offer.

Regarding the “no parking” banners, Cllr Gili-Ross suggested that these should be moved around the village periodically, rotating them at trouble hot spots around the village rather than purchasing more. Although some with different designs, possibly created by the children would be good. The handymen will have more time to move the banners now winter approaches. Cllr Stone said that this was indeed the plan.

Parking on Sat Nov 4th – be aware that there will be parking issues on the night of the Heathlands Firework Display. The PTA Firework Committee intends to delivery leaflets to the neighbours of the heath advising them of the event.


Premises and Recreation

  The minutes from the Premises Committee meeting held on 2nd Oct 2017 were received. (Link to Premises P7 Oct 17)


Community Special Constables

  Cllr Butcher updated the Council on the steps needed to make progress on Resolution 17/107 to agree in principle to proceed with a Community Special Constable.

The council will continue to move the initiative onwards. Although the initial costings were for £2,000-£2,500 Essex Police will now provide the materials to recruit so the costs have now come down.

Cllr Harlow will join Cllr Butcher on this project to drive it forward.

Cllr Gili-Ross stated that obtaining a Special should be a top priority and that the council now have to identify a likely candidate. There is no age limit and it could be anyone with a variety of skill sets. Hopefully, the Borough Councillors can put something out to residents in their next newsletter. Cllr Barber agreed that if anyone came forward he would direct them towards Cllr Butcher.


  • A resident, with experience in this sector, was asked by the chair if he could contribute to this discussion. This was granted. He thought that managing the public expectation of the Special Constable will be important. Need to make it clear what the average hours will be and what they will be expected to do. Also, bear in mind that the Special will need to spend time on admin, which will also have to come out of those hours as well.


Mobile Library Consultation


A reminder of the closing date of the consultation on 6th November 2017 and could all submit their responses.

Cllr Stevenson had previously circulated some principles for the Parish Council response.

After some discussion the following points were agreed:

1.    That if the choice is between a 3 and 4-week service, rather than the current fortnightly one, the Parish Council would choose the 3-week service, however if it goes to 4 weeks it would request 2 stopping sites.

2.    And that the Lexden Road site would be the main site, if West Bergholt only gets one, as it is the most well used & attracts a lot of families at the end of the school day. Chapel Road would be the second site, if two available, in order to cut down the walking distance for older people.

3.    And that the vehicle should be located at Lexden Road for a minimum of an hour and continue to be timetabled to coincide with the end of the school day. There is however still a large reduction from a waiting time of 2¼ hours to just 1 hour.

4.    The Orpen Hall Car park is available and would also be offered as a convenient place for the Mobile Library to park.

and the council agreed that they should be given to the Clerk for submission.


RESOLUTION – The Council agreed the points above as the Council’s principle points of response. All in favour

ACTION – Clerk to respond to ECC Mobile Library Consultation



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

  • RCCE Village Buildings Conference – Cllr Butcher
  • Town & Parish Clerk’s Forum at CBC – Clerk

ACTION – Clerk to book Cllr Stone on the Highway’s Briefing on 3rd Nov.


Items to Note (available on table at meeting)

a) Crime Statistics – Aug 2017 (12 Crimes)
b) Correspondence Log – Oct 2017

  • Willow by Queen’s Road Pond

ACTION – Clerk to respond with Cllr Spencer.

  • Heathlands School

ACTION – Clerk to respond, confirming that Cllr Stone will be filling the post of Associate Governor.

  • Streetlights Chapel Road – Erle Havard Alley

ACTION – Parish Council to pursue, through Clerk, with Borough Cllr Barber to Colchester Borough Homes.

  • WWI Commemoration

ACTION – Clerk to add to Parish Council Agenda in readiness of the 2018 commemorative 100-year events.

17/138 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 matters discussed


Date of Next Meeting

  Parish Council Meeting, Wed 22nd November at 7.30pm in John Lampon Hall, Lexden Rd, West Bergholt
  Meeting closed at 9.11pm
Signed: Date: Position on Council:


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