Minutes of Parish Council 24th July 2019

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 24th July 2019 at 7.30 pm

Chairman: Cllr Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present: Cllrs Harry Stone, Brian Butcher, John Gili-Ross, David Short, Norma Smith, Murray Harlow, Andrew Savage and Bob Tyrrell
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough & County Councillors: Borough Councillors Dennis Willetts and Brian Jarvis
Present: Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Jane Gardner – no members of the public



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the Public

  Cllrs Phil Spencer, Jenny Church and Borough Councillor Lewis Barber.


Public Question and Answer Session

Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Jane Gardner spoke on crime & community safety

Deputy Commissioner Gardner was pleased to inform the Council of the increase in officer numbers since she last spoke at West Bergholt. 150 new officers have been put into the Community Policing Teams as the public asked for “more local, visible and accessible policing” as their number 1 priority. This year with higher funding from the council tax precept and match funding from the government there should be another 215 officers going into Community Policing.

  • The public should start seeing more police about and with the launching of the “town teams” they should be more visible on the streets.
  • 21 officers have also been added to the Roads Policing team.
  • 20 officers to work specifically on young people’s issues.
  • The Gypsy/Traveller team have been very successful, decreasing incidents by 50%. If there is any criminal activity in Essex related to travelers then they will be moved on quickly, with stolen heavy plant recovered and caravans seized if need be. This team will double next year.
  • Business crime now has some dedicated officers, who can identify hotspots to the town teams. 20 officers will be very focused on that as well as knife crime officers. This is a very important issue nationally and Essex want to use the money locally very carefully. Can be a lot more proactive than reactive.

Overall, the force is growing for the first time in many years.

Since the last visit to West Bergholt, have developed the “Fire and Rescue Plan” (copies given to the Clerk if the public would like them). This plan considered what the priorities are for that service and whilst it had been centralized previously, community safety is now considered better in fire stations and so the administration is currently pushing things back out to them.

The Deputy Commissioner would like to thank the Parish Council for the support of its Special Constables whilst in training and it was great to see Councillors at the Attestation Ceremonies.

There then followed a question and answer session regarding:

  • Sharing of information: The PFCC has introduced a newsletter if you wish to subscribe go to the website at https://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/
  • Solve Rate: Deputy Commissioner Gardener was very honest, that the solve rate in Essex and across the country is terrible. In Essex it is currently 14.3%, that is a fall by 20%. When the force is stretched, the result tends to be a phone call and the provision of a crime number only. Things are improving; however, she would like to see them up in the high 80’s.
  • Gap between attestation and the Parish Council meeting the Special Constable: Good if the local area is part of their training, however there are some things which they need to encounter to gain independence which can only be done elsewhere. Will check with Les the Special’s coordinator.
  • Travellers at Aldham for 7 days resulting in the local community having to clean up afterwards, any way to move them on quicker: Currently the police do not have the powers to move them on quickly, changes in legislation are required and these can only come from lobbying MPs. However, if there is criminal activity then Essex Police can use Section 61. The only other power available is Section 62, which moves them to a transit site, however there are none in Essex and no community currently wants one established in their area.
  • Precept: Essex has had a historically low precept increase so that the last two years has felt big, but merely redressing the balance. The number of police per head was low, but that has increased. When it comes to precept rises, they like to undertake two steps:
    1. Check in with the public, what are priorities?
    2. This is what you will get for the money
  • Essex now has the largest Special Constabulary (512) outside of London.
  • The Council then thanked the Deputy Commissioner for attending and for leaving several copies of the Police and Crime Plan 2016-20 for the Clerk to hold for any interested members of the public.


Questions from registered electors

          There were no questions from registered electors


Declarations of Interest

  DECLARED – Cllr Stevenson declared an interest in matters linked to Essex Highways



  RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 26th June 2019 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P3 Jun 2019)


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors

Cllr Jarvis reported:

  • Waste Recycling Team – experiencing a certain amount of loader fatigue at the moment, some pick-up times for waste collection have been difficult to fulfill. Unfortunately, some will be delayed, and priority will be given to the food waste recycling.
  • Chitts Hill Development – the CBC Planning Committee agreed to move the access back 17m from the rail level crossing in order to reduce the future queues.

Cllr Willetts reported:

  • Waste Recycling Team – The teams previously voted whether to work an 8-hour 5-day week or a 10-hour 4-day week. The 4-day week was agreed, however during the hot weather that 10 hours has been extremely challenging and has resulted in a high sickness rate. However, if they changed it now then it would mean alterations to the Summer recycling calendar.
  • Quality Award – apologies to the Parish Council representatives who had to sit through a rather long CBC Council session, however the Borough Councillors were very proud to see the Parish Council receive its award.
  • 179 Colchester Road – this planning appeal for two houses has been worryingly upheld by the Planning Inspectorate, although it had been refused by CBC and objected to the WBPC. It was a perverse decision by the Inspector, stating that the proposal “looked okay” when it could open the floodgates to all sorts of applications outside the settlement boundary. The borough council is extremely disappointed by the inspector’s cavalier approach.




Statement of accounts for June 2019 (Link to P3 Jun Summary)

The final accounts for June 2019 were presented as follows:

25% of the way through the financial year. The Parish Council Account showed 47% income, 22% general expenditure, 18% environment expenditure and 21% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totalled together.



RESOLVED – To approve the payments in accordance with 2019-20 budget. Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Stone. All in favour.

Payments List

Parish Council Account – July 2019
DD Barclays Charges/loyalty points (9.05 – 1.81) 7.24
GA19059 J & M Payroll Services July – wages, tax & NI 4,408.75
GA19060 J & M Payroll Services Payroll services 27.00
GA19061 Countrywide Poor’s Land grass cutting – July 165.00
GA19062 EALC Training – Village Halls (BTB) 132.00
GA19063 Kent Blaxill Safety Boots – MH 28.50
GA19064 WBFC  Grass cutting – Jul 40.00
GA19065 RCCE Parish Council Membership 2019-20 105.60
GA19066 CBC Emptying of Dog/Litter Bins – Jul-Sept 19 345.80
GA19067 Ernest Doe Rotavator Service – Allotments 60.79
GA19068 Ernest Doe Autocut Head Bump – Allotments 32.50
GA19069 Petty Cash Replenishment Petrol x 2, Neigh Plan Stall at Fete 88.95
GA19070 Brian Butcher Travel Expenses 42.60
GA19072 Norma Smith Travel & Printing Expenses 187.70
GA19073 T&LC Trees on Heath 1,800.00
GA19074 KingServ Web Support Services – Aug-Oct 19 264.00
GA19075 I M Beckwith Hall Borders (from Upgrading Orpen Hall) 300.00
GA19076 Laura Walkingshaw Adobe Export PDF – Annual 21.14
Sub total 8057.57
Tfr Hall to PC Account Wages – Jul -539.24
TOTAL 7518.33


RESOLVED – To approve the appointment of a quantity surveyor to undertake a full survey of the Methodist Church and Hall at a cost of up to £1,000.

Cllr Savage proposed, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.


RESOLVED – To approve an application for a CIF grant of £5,000 for inclusive play equipment for the Lorkin Daniell playground improvements

Cllr Stone proposed, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.




The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 23rd July 2019 were received and the decisions made on following applications were noted (Link to Planning P4 Jul 2019):

  • 191687 – Orchard Cottage, Chapel Lane, CO6 3EF – Object – The Council believes that the first floor should be set back by 1 metre, however it is aware that these revisions are in the process of being submitted by the applicant.
  • 191865 – Highfield Farm, Fordham Road CO6 3DP – Observation – The Parish Council would defer to the Borough Council’s greater knowledge concerning the alterations of listed buildings.
  • 191252 – 37 Pirie Road, CO6 3TA – Amended Plans – Object – The Parish Council would reiterate its previous comment: With the garage being converted and the only existing parking space being reduced to 4.5m in depth as a result of the proposed extension, no suitable off-street parking is proposed. As the property is located in an area where there are severe parking issues (so much so that people regularly park on the pavements and the adjacent green open space) the Parish Council objects to this application and considers it contrary to the West Bergholt Village Design Statement  policies DG35 and DG36 adopted by CBC. Even with the amended plans, parking is still a major issue with the loss of a parking space being unacceptable whilst parking is still occurring on the neighbouring greensward.


Neighbourhood Plan

To discuss the activities required to support the Neighbourhood Plan referendum

Referendum is the 19th September 2019. Ballot papers etc. will be posted out in early August. Would be good if the roadside banners were up and A5 flyers were delivered in the first 10 days of September. Important for people to vote. Need to reinforce the message but subject to the electoral limitations.

ACTION – need an article in the Village Bulletin – Cllrs Butcher and Tyrrell to organize

ACTION – Clerk to send them the latest advice from the Bulletin editor on submitting articles.

ACTION – Cllrs Spencer & Harlow to sort out its position in the Bulletin at the next Bulletin meeting.




The minutes from the Environment Committee meeting held on 18th July 2019 were received. (Link to Environment P4 Jul 2019)

Devolution Project – whilst using digger for item 3 below (flood prevention scheme on New Church Road) the handymen will shape the mound next to the Football Clubhouse for the older children to use with their bikes. Cllr Stone will advise WBFC. It will depend on the children’s behaviour if this will remain a permanent feature or not. Also, on Devolution, the quarterly report has been sent to Essex and Cllr Short has been in contact with Ringway Jacobs via the buddy scheme.

Footpaths in need of repair – County Councillor Anne Brown has requested a list of the worst footpaths in the village which need repairing. Suggestions included:

  • Colchester Road – Armoury Road to the Maltings
  • Colchester Road – the blue bridge area
  • Lexden Road – outside the Scout Hut
  • Bures Road – White Hart to Hall Road
  • Garling Walk

ACTION – Clerk will compile list from these and circulate, before sending to Cllr Brown.


To receive an update on the Lorkin Daniell Playground Equipment refurbishment

Cone Climber should be installed next week (w/c 26th July).

Playground Advisory Group now consists of Cllrs Short, Stone and Gili-Ross, along with four people from the original group. Carol Baldwin has been asked to return as chairperson for the next 3 months

As indicated in item 19/115d Phase 2 will be looked at later this year, including application for another CIF grant for swings and other inclusive play items.


To receive an update on the flood prevention scheme of New Church Road/School Lane area

The Parish Council will be hiring a digger for the week commencing 29th July to clear the ditches near to the junction. Essex County Council will then be installing new gullies to feed into the bottom of the ditches in the middle of August. There will be disruption on that corner of New Church Road during that time.


Premises and Recreation


The minutes from the Premises Committee meeting held on 1st July 2019 were received. (Link to Premises P4 Jul 2019)

ACTION – a photo of the National Lottery plaque in the Social Club’s new disabled toilet facilities is required and needs to be sent to the grant’s website.

Note – the next Joint Steering Group will be held in September.

Reminder – VE Day celebrations on the weekend of the 8-9th May 2020.


To receive an update on the Village Fete held on 13th July 2019

Village Fete was very successful, with the Football Tournament and 5- & 1-mile runs also being held that morning. Receipts and payments still being finalised; however, it currently looks like there is approximately £900 to be carried forward to next year’s Fete. There will be a debrief in the Autumn to decide on the format for 2020.

Kind donations for new playground equipment taken that day amounted to £1,591.91. Many thanks to the following organisations:

West Bergholt Gardener’s Association 350.00
Playground Advisory Group BBQ 844.78
Bluebell’s Prosecco Bar 70.00
Amelia & Sienna’s Stall 72.02
West Bergholt Allotments 255.11
Total towards new playground equipment 1,591.91



  The training/networking undertaken was noted during the last month by Councillors or the Clerk and feedback provided:

  • CBC Clerk’s Forum – LW – 3rd Jul 2019
  • Councillor Training Days 1 & 2 – NS – 9th & 15th Jul 2019
  • Allotment Course – NS – 10th Jul 2019
  • CBC Quality Award Presentation – 17th Jul 2019
  • Chairman’s Day 3 – BTB – 24th Jul 2019


Items to Note

  1. Correspondence Log – Jul 2019
  2. Crime Statistics – 17th Jun – 14th Jul 2019 (3 Crimes)
  3. The Clerk – Vol 50 No 4 – Jul 2019
  4. Clerks & Councils Direct – Issue 124 – Jul 2019
  5. EALC – Legal Update – Issue No. 16 – Jul 2019
  6. Essex Highways Highlights – Jun 2019
  7. Essex Warbler (RCCE) – Vol 23 – Jul 2019


Items for the next agenda – 25th Sept

  • Budget’s reminder
  • NALC Tree Charter including 30th Nov Tree Charter Day
  • Wildflower verges/areas
  • Parish Council Surgeries


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

  The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Wednesday 25th September 2019 at 7.30pm in the John Lampon Hall (back hall), Lexden Rd, West Bergholt.
  Meeting closed at 8.55 pm
Signed:                                                                         Date:                      Position on Council:


Skip to content