Minutes of Parish Council 27th February 2019

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held in the John Lampon Hall on 27th February 2019 at 7.30 pm

Chair: Cllr Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present: Cllrs Andrew Savage, Jenny Church, Brian Butcher, Phil Spencer, Bob Tyrrell, Harry Stone, David Short and Murray Harlow
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough & County Councillors: Borough Councillor Dennis Willetts
Present: 12 members of the public



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the Public

  RESOLVED – Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Gili-Ross and Borough Councillors Barber & Jarvis.


Questions from registered electors

  The chairman of the Playground Advisory Group addressed the council. He reported that although originally thought to be a three-phase project of £80,000, the group have now received estimates of around £55,000 for a two-year plan. So far, the playground fund has received £10,000 from the CIF (Community Initiatives Fund), £5,000 has been applied for from CBC’s Section 106 monies and there will be a future donation of £2,000 from the Charity Allotment Stall.

Come the new financial year in April they will be seeking more grants as they become available and propose to do some Crowd Funding, setting a target of £10,000. They wish to identify a specific piece of equipment in their Crowd Funding, a zip wire, which topped the polls with children in the online survey.

The group already have several plans from different suppliers, but need some more showing the placement of various pieces of equipment.

Cllr Stone reminded the council that this item will be discussed later in the agenda under item 19/28d.

Cllr Savage, as the Responsible Finance Officer, wished to remind the group that the CIF grant required match funding, i.e. £5,000 from CBC and £5,000 from the community and that it must be spent on the specific items listed on the application form, which included the zip wire. Therefore, he would recommend that the Crowd Funding call to arms was more generic in its description.

Cllr Stevenson requested that he and Cllr Stone had sight of the publicity wording before it is made public. He also expressed a preference for the crowd funding publicity to be broader in its appeal and to reference the need for funding for the package of playground equipment and not just one element. He also drew attention to the fact that the CIF grant application was for a zip wire amongst other matters.

The Crowd Funding organisation is the same as that used by the residents at the Maltings for the BT Broadband project and so is a tried and tested company. The plans will be available for discussion at next month’s Trustees meeting on the 27th March.


Declarations of Interest

  DECLARED – Cllr Stevenson declared an interest in all matters relating to Essex County Council, specifically Highways.





RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 23rd January 2019 were approved and signed by the Chairman of the meeting, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P10 Jan 2019)


Methodist Church and Hall, Chapel Road

  Discussion item on the sale of the Methodist Church and Hall. (Link to Methodist Church Information Paper)

Cllr Butcher introduced the Information Paper produced by himself and Cllr Savage.

The Church, the Hall and hard standing are freehold. The rest, i.e. the grass where headstones were moved from previously to make maintenance easier, is leasehold – this will restrict what can take place in that area.

The Council has not undertaken a building survey as yet but looking at it with the experience available from members, it will take a large sum of money to bring it up to scratch. There is a need to look at who might hire the hall and whether that covers the cost to purchase, improvements and the long-term running costs. The John Lampon Hall at the Orpen Memorial Hall complex is not self-funding at the moment and some question whether the addition of another hall will impact hiring rates even more. Someone would need to run the bookings such as another Hall Administrator or an Assistant Clerk.

The funding needs to be considered, interest rates are currently low, and a Public Works Loan would be possible, but the “mortgage” alone would be an estimated £23,000 a year for 25 years, equivalent to the Projects/Grants budgets which the council spend every year at the moment. Funding would not be entered into lightly and would need to be carefully thought through. Also, to gain the funding, the Public Works Loan Board would expect significant interest demonstrated by residents, a Parish Poll or Referendum may be required but this was something the PC would need to take advice on as there may be other ways of demonstrating support.

The above is on the assumption that the council did it alone, however there may be competition for the site, or it could be a collaborative venture between interested parties.

A resident, who currently looks after the Methodist Hall bookings, reported that the hall is currently being used 5 mornings a week and generates about £100/week income. However, it would be difficult to fit those activities elsewhere in the village at the moment.

The hall appears to be the most useful part of the plot, which also has a car park, perhaps it could be sold separately? However, it is worth remembering that there is still an active graveyard on the right-hand side of it which still has burial plots reserved for residents.

Another resident expressed his interest in running a community café/lending library providing work experience for local young people. It would require a change of use, but not too great a change, however, he would ideally look to lease the hall from the council.

Cllr Stevenson’s concluding remarks were that the council can use the precept for revenue projects, but a clear case is needed and so a poll might provide the necessary feedback. The council elections in May might be a good time to hold it.

RESOLUTION – The council to agree to pursue an interest in the various options available to purchase of the Methodist Church & Hall and to look further into the practical/financial requirements that would entail.

Cllr Stevenson proposed to agree this resolution, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors

  Borough Councillor Willetts reported:

  • CBC Budgets – happy to confirm that CBC have now agreed their budgets for the year which includes the Parish Council’s precept. The council tax bills should be out soon.
  • Neighbourhood Plan – the consultation closes on 5th March and the parish is therefore moving closer to both its approval and to accessing the 25% of any CIL from future developments in the village.
  • Colchester Town or City debate – Cllr Willetts thought that the City slogan was a good idea for tourism, but not strictly true.
  • Local Highways Panel – meets in two weeks’ time. The application for a speeding control on Colchester Road appears to have disappeared (the one which was placed by the Treble Tile is assumed to have been put there by a developer). Have now re-done the application and put it back in the system.
  • Bus Stop in front of Truman Building – when asked, the Borough Cllr informed the council that the work about to commence could not be for the new shelter as the money has not been signed off by the LHP yet. Post meeting note: the bus stop and shelter have been approved by the LHP.




Statement of accounts for Jan 2019 (Link to P10 Jan Summary)

The final accounts for January 2019 were presented as follows:

83% of the way through the financial year. The Parish Council Account showed 97% income,73% general expenditure, 74% environment expenditure and 73% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totalled together.



RESOLVED – To approve the payments in accordance with 2018-19 budget. Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Stone. All in favour.Payments List
Feb 2019
Parish Council Account
GA18197 Writtle College Course – Tree Survey – NW 160.00
GA18198 J & M Payroll Services Feb – Wages, Tax & NI 4266.21
GA18199 Countrywide Grass Cutting – Feb 158.50
GA18200 J & M Payroll Services Payroll Services – Jan 27.00
GA18201 WBFC Grass Cutting – Feb 40.00
GA18202 Petty Cash Reimbursemt. (LW) Drill bit, tap, Petrol, Oil 100.00
GA18203 Brian Butcher Expenses – Parking 6.50
GA18204 Alison Eardley Consulting 3 Days – Neighbourhood Plan 1386.00
GA18205 Travis Perkins Guttering & Ranging Line 10.63
GA18206 Ingleton Wood Roof Consultancy Work 1200.00
GA18207 Printerland Cy, Mg & Yw High Capacity Toner 511.80
GA18208 Printerland B High Capacity Toner 127.49
GA18209 Cox Landscapes Postmix – LD Field Bollards 90.48
GA18210 Jacqui Kibby Bulletin Editor Remuneration 180.00
GA18211 David Hewitt Wiper Blades – Council vehicle 12.28
GA18212 Laura Walkingshaw Website plan (2yrs) & domain, land registry 110.81
GA18213 Anglian Inspection Services ROSPA Playground Inspection 150.00
GA18214 Tree & Lawn Company Tree removal – Lorkin Daniell Field 600.00
GA18215 A-Z Supplies Stationery 16.19
GA18216 George Browns Ride-On Mower Service 486.94
GA18217 Andrew Savage Printing Expenses 13.28
GA18218 Littlethorpe Eaton Bus Shelter 6624.00
DD Barclays Charges/Loyalty Points (16.72 – 3.35) 13.37
Tfr PC to Hall Account Stationery 53.31
Feb 2019
Orpen Hall Account
DD Colchester Skip Hire Waste removal – Jan 162.66
DD Eon Electricity – Jan 235.50
DD CNG Gas – Jan 582.56
DD Utility Warehouse Mobile, Electricity (MUGA) – Feb 74.54
DD Barclays Charges/Loyalty Points (10.65 – 2.13) 8.52
HA18057 RCCE Village Hall Membership 2019 60.00
HA18058 A-Z Supplies Stationery & Hand Towels 33.29
HA18059 Victoria Beckwith-Cole Keys, Diary, Spoons & Cleaning Items 34.36
HA18060 Zoe’s Cleaning Hall Cleaning – Feb 972.00
HA18061 A-Z Supplies Kettle, Dustpans, Stationery 157.30
HA18062 I M Beckwith Hall maintenance 194.29
Tfr Hall to PC Account Wages – Feb 525.56


To remind Councillors to submit their end of year expenses forms (signed)

Cllr Savage reminded councillors to please submit their end of year expenses forms to the Clerk and ensure they are signed.


To agree the £710+VAT cost to remove a tree and reduce the hedge in the playground area of the Lorkin Daniell Field as recommended by the Finance Committee

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to agree the quote, Cllr Spencer seconded. All in favour.


To approve the Parish Council’s grant awards for 2018-19 as recommended by the Finance Committee.

The following three applications have been received:

West Bergholt Cricket Club

£500 – for safety equipment to rebuild the youth part of the club once more.

RESOLVED – Recommended for approval by the Finance Committee. Cllr Savage therefore proposed to agree grant, Cllr Short seconded. All in favour.

Jogging Made Easy (West Bergholt)

£300 – to set up a running club, rent of WBFC clubhouse, website, training and equipment, for use by the residents of West Bergholt.

RESOLVED – Finance Committee postponed recommendation until receipt of more details. Invoices and information received. Cllr Spencer proposed approval, Cllr Stone seconded. 8/9 in favour.

St Mary’s Church

£500 – to support the work of the 3 Parishes Family Worker.

The Council provided a similar grant last year and the Grant Awarding policy states that “ongoing commitment will not be supported”, however this was a late application which missed this month’s Finance Committee, therefore the decision will be delayed until next month’s council meeting once Finance have looked at it in detail.

ACTION – Defer to Finance Committee as submitted late.


To approve the Countrywide Grounds Maintenance contract for Apr 2019 – Mar 2020 for £1650.00 + VAT as recommended by the Finance Committee.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve the contract, subject to the company cutting the extra part of the field for the same price, Cllr Spence seconded. All in favour.

ACTION Clerk to inform company and check extra area is agreed.


To agree the appointment of an internal auditor, as recommended by the RCCE, for the Parish Council and Trust accounts.

With more extensive internal reports required for both the Parish Council and for the five Trusts in their care, an internal auditor has been recommended by the RCCE.

The Clerk has received two quotes, one for the council’s internal audit and the other for both the examination of the 5 trust funds and a health check of the charities’ processes. These quotes are more or less equivalent to previous internal audit costs.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve Jan Stobart as internal auditor, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.




The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 20th February 2019 were received and the decisions made on following applications were noted (Link to Planning P11 Feb 2019):

  • 182231 – 149 Chapel Road, CO6 3EZ (Amended Plans) – Object – The Parish Council reiterates its earlier view: “The Parish Council agree that a larger dwelling on this plot is acceptable, however in view of its dominant position on the corner of a busy junction this proposal is visually too wide and the roof pitch too shallow for the floor plan, out of keeping locally. The Council would suggest that the roof could be double pitched, with one being offset in order to minimise its impact.”
  • 190230 – 22 Mumford Road, CO6 3HU – Observation – The Parish Council has no particular comment except to note that the depth of the extension is 6.6m, rather than the permitted 6m.
  • 190240 – 90 Mumford Road, CO6 3BN – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 190344 – Farmhouse Rookery Farm, Nayland Road, CO6 3DE – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 190345 – Farmhouse Rookery Farm, Nayland Road, CO6 3DE – Observation – The Parish Council would defer to the Borough Council’s greater knowledge of Listed Building applications.


To receive an update from Cllr Butcher on the Appeal Hearing of PA 170839, land north of the White Hart Pub.

Cllr Butcher attended the appeal hearing on 5th Feb requested by Punch Taverns for a proposed 10 dwellings behind the White Hart. He reported that present at the hearing were Punch Tavern reps, 2 residents, Borough Councillor Lewis Barber and reps from Gladman Homes. He took a prepared statement to read out, however was in fact allowed to speak throughout the day, which meant that he could bring up the Reg 16 WB Neighbourhood Plan document and state the policies. Punch did not think that the Neighbourhood Plan was a material consideration, but Cllr Butcher made the point that Punch had not even responded to the Regulation 14 consultation. There was a debate over the number of infill homes that the village has had in recent years and having consulted the Clerk the Councillor was able to report that there had been 24 windfall sites over the last three years.

Cllr Stevenson expressed the council’s thanks to Cllr Butcher for attending and representing WBPC at the hearing.


Council Documents


To review and ratify the current West Bergholt Parish Council Grant Award, Health & Safety and Lone Worker Policies (Link to current WBPC Grant Award, Health & Safety and Lone Worker Policies)

RESOLVED – The council reviewed and agreed to ratify the current Health & Safety and Lone Worker Policies. Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Butcher. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk to obtain signed agreement that these two policies have been read by staff & Councillors.

ACTION – With regards the WBPC Grant Award Policy, an amendment is required. Cllr Savage to work with Clerk and then bring to March meeting for ratification.


To agree the updated West Bergholt Risk Management Scheme (Link to WB Risk Management Scheme v.2)

ACTION – Clerk to add “the use of Council equipment” as a risk to employees

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve the Risk Management Scheme, with the above addition, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.


To approve the updated West Bergholt Publication Scheme (Link to WBPC Publication Scheme v.2)

RESOLVEDCllr Savage proposed to approve the Publication Scheme, Cllr Stevenson seconded. All in favour.


To approve the West Bergholt Tree Removal & Replacement Policy (Link to WBPC Tree Removal & Replacement Policy)

RESOLVEDCllr Spencer proposed to approve the Tree Policy, Cllr Short seconded. All in favour.




The minutes from the Environment Committee meeting held on 14th February 2019 were received. (Link to Environment P11 Feb 2019)

Cllr Spencer informed the council that the cutting of all the hedges will be completed by March 1st, whilst the trimming of the Gorse on the Heath will now have to wait until next year.


To note receipt of the Lorkin Daniell Playground Inspection Report 2019

Playground Inspection Report was received with no high-risk issues, just a few minor maintenance items. Clerk was confused over where to order the replacement carabiners from.

ACTION – Clerk to contact Anglian Inspection Services for their assistance.


To approve the Highways Devolution grant agreement with ECC

This devolution scheme is being administered by the EALC (Essex Association of Local Councils), it involves the parish council taking responsibility for some of the smaller Highways jobs, such as sign cleaning, many of which the council is already doing. It should mean that jobs will be acted on more quickly when reported to us.

ACTION – Clerk to ensure that the Health & Safety guidelines are in a folder for the Handymen and that they sign that they have read them.

ACTION – Clerk to also print a copy for the Council, ensure that they have read them and realise where their responsibilities lie.

There were just two queries with the Agreement:

  1. That the schedule is in fact more of a list of what is expected from us, rather than the menu that should be adhered to.
  2. The Contract defines WBPC as the Recipient whilst Schedule 1 and 2 uses the word Council, this is inconsistent and should be brought to the attention of ECC.

RESOLVED – Cllr Stone proposed that the council approve the agreement, with those queries raised with ECC, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour. The chairman, Cllr Stevenson then signed the agreement.

ACTION – Clerk to send back signed agreement with queries.


To discuss the ideas for the new playground equipment on the Lorkin Daniell Field

Cllr Stone reported that the Playground Advisory Group have now met with many different companies and have five plans in total. There is another advisory group meeting this month and then the latest ideas can be discussed at the Trustees meeting on 27th March.

It was suggested that the council seeks more feedback from residents before they purchase equipment and would like suggestions on these items from the Playground Advisory Group.


Premises and Recreation

  The minutes from the Premises Committee meeting held on 4th February 2019 were received. (Link to Premises P11 Feb 2019)


Annual Parish Meeting 2019


To discuss any ideas for the Annual Parish Meeting on Wed 24th April 2019

Ideas so far include:

  • School Council or Heathlands in some form
  • Hill House Wood – achievements in past year
  • Orpen Players – 70 years
  • Playground Advisory Group – update on progress
  • Newly established Film Club
  • Notice of Poll is out that day so could draw people’s attention to it and can at least say whether it will be contested election or not.
  • Cricket Club
  • Grant Awarding will take place (presentation cheques required)

ACTION – Clerk to ask webmaster to put a news item out giving residents the opportunity to voice any ideas they may have.

Cllr Savage also added that the Clerk should display her CiLCA qualification certificate at the meeting.




Report from the Communications Officer on the Village Bulletin Thank You event (Sun 24th Feb) and reiteration of thanks to all the volunteers

Cllr Harlow reported that there had been a small number of volunteers came the event and that the Bulletin Editor, Jacqui Kibby, also attended. Chairman, Chris Stevenson, thanked all of the volunteers for their hard work in distributing the magazine and thanked the Hall Administrator, Victoria Beckwith-Cole, for her work organising the refreshments.

The volunteers are happy with all the recent changes to the Bulletin, including colour and apparently the forthcoming March edition will contain even more innovations.



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

  • Highways Devolution Briefing – 4th Feb – DS
  • Attestation Ceremony – 25th Feb – CS & BTB

Cllr Butcher reported that he and Cllr Stevenson attended the Attestation Ceremony of the future West Bergholt Special Constable at the Police Headquarters in Chelmsford. The Deputy Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner was in attendance whilst the recruits swore an oath before a JP and then received their warrant cards. The Special Constable will now be able to work alongside other serving officers whilst they earn their independence in anything from 3 to 24 months.

A second West Bergholt Special Constable is undergoing training at present and is due to be Attested at the end of June.


Items to Note

  1. Correspondence Log – Feb 2019
    • Cycle Event Complaint – Clerk to write to Club & Social Club
  2. Crime Statistics – 24th Jan – 17th Feb 2019 – 3 crimes reported

Available on table at meeting:

  1. RCCE – Essex Warbler – Vol. 18 – Feb 2019
  2. EALC – Legal Update – No. 11 – Feb 2019
  3. Essex Highways – Highways Highlights – Jan 2019
  4. LCR – Magazine of NALC – Winter 2019
  5. NALC Funding Bulletin – 15/02/19


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

  Next Parish Council Meeting, Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 7.30pm in John Lampon Hall, Lexden Rd, West Bergholt
  Meeting closed at 21.50pm
Signed: Date: Position on Council:


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