Minutes of Parish Council 27th November 2019

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

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

Chairman: Cllr Brian Butcher
Parish Councillors Present: Cllrs Harry Stone, David Short, John Gili-Ross, Bob Tyrrell, Murray Harlow, Andrew Savage, Jenny Church, Norma Smith and Phil Spencer
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough & County Councillors: Borough Councillors Dennis Willetts, Lewis Barber and Brian Jarvis
Present: 1 member of the public



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the Public

  Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Chris Stevenson


Questions from registered electors

  A local resident enquired about the council’s plans for tree planting in the area.

Cllr Spencer informed her that the Parish Council had this year adopted a Tree Removal and Replacement Policy. On land owned by the council as sole trustee seven trees have been lost in the last year and it is hoped that they will be reinstated over the winter months. The Council also agreed to sign up to the Woodland Trust’s Tree Charter at the September meeting and registration is continuing at present.

Cllr Gili-Ross advised the resident that the Council has to be careful where new trees are planted so as not to impede the work of the Handymen, but fortunately there are good people to advise us and one particular handyman has now completed his tree training.

Cllr Savage reminded her that the presence of the Friends of Hill House Wood committee members on the Council provides a direct link to the Woodland Trust which the Council is fortunate to have. In the woods, new Rowan trees are being planted in order to compensate for the disappointment of possibly losing ash trees from the ash dieback disease.

Borough Councillor Willetts informed the Council that Colchester Borough Council have 200,000 trees available for planting as part of the Colchester Woodland Project. Whenever requested, they are happy to provide trees as well as all the equipment needed to plant them to Parish Councils and Schools.


Declarations of Interest

  There were no declarations of interest.



  RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 23rd Oct 2019 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P7 Oct 2019)


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors

Borough Councillor Willetts reported:

  • General planning issues – there are currently 18 planning applications in West Bergholt. Cllr Willetts has “called in” the Treble Tile planning application 192732 so that it will automatically go to the CBC Planning Committee for discussion. The parking is the main issue with the application and the knock-on effect it will have on Colchester Road and School Lane.

    Cllr Gili-Ross then suggested that any permission awarded on that site should be on the proviso that a footpath is installed in front of the pub.

  • NEEB Holdings judicial review – The Planning Inspector’s refusal decision on NEEB Holdings planning application has been quashed by the Secretary of State, on the grounds that no consideration was given to Colchester’s 5-year housing supply. This will be referred back to the Planning Inspectorate for a complete re-examination and not to CBC, who still maintain their decision to refuse. Material considerations have now changed since the WB Neighbourhood Plan has been adopted, which means that evidence is only required of a 3 year housing supply instead, although the planners are unsure if the new inspector can take into account these new circumstances or has to go on the position at the time.

Borough Councillor Jarvis reported:

  • Locality Budget – there is just a month left to go on awarding grants from the Borough Councillors Locality Budget so if there are any clubs or organisations looking for a small grant they should contact Councillor Jarvis.

Borough Councillor Barber reported:

  • Highways – the footpath has been re-surfaced from the Hop House to Armoury Road following the recommendation to County Councillor Anne Brown. There was an issue halfway along the path with a water leak, but that is understood to have been repaired and the footpath has been completed.
  • Lexden Road Speed Survey – the results received during the summer were apparently “mean” figures provided by the wrong officer, but the correct figures are now being chased and will hopefully arrive soon.
  • Highway Rangers – this service has now been devolved from the Essex County Council to the Borough Council. In reality it will probably mean that the £80,000 which covers that service will be incorporated into an expansion of Colchester’s Neighbourhood Teams (formerly Zone Teams).
  • Fibre Network – Colchester will be investing £3.5 million into its fibre network, but this will not reach out to the rural areas, even though the Councillors did argue for a fairer distribution of the money especially to cover CCTV by playgrounds suffering from antisocial behaviour.
  • Secondary School Places – There is due to be a new secondary school built in North Colchester however the timetable has slipped by another year, hopefully once the new MP’s take their seats in parliament then it can be delivered as soon as possible.




Statement of accounts for Oct 2019 (Link to P7 Oct 19 Summary)

The final accounts for Oct 2019 were presented as follows:

58% of the way through the financial year. The Parish Council Account showed 99% income as the precept has been received in full, 44% general expenditure, 47% environment expenditure and 45% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totalled together. Figures include a £75 donation from the Toddler Group for the new playground equipment.



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

Payments List
November 2019
DD Barclays Charges/loyalty points (36.08 – 7.22) 28.86
DD Public Works Loan Loan repayment – John Lampon Hall 2684.13
DD ICO Renewal of Information Commissioner’s Office 35.00
GA19128 Apogee Neigh Plan Roadside Banners x 5 125.00
GA19129 J & M Payroll Services Nov – wages, tax & NI 5610.40
GA19130 J & M Payroll Services Payroll services 27.00
GA19131 Countrywide Poor’s Land grass cutting – Oct 165.00
GA19132 WBFC  Grass cutting – Oct 40.00
GA19133 Petty Cash Replenishment Petrol, postage, poppy wreath 77.41
GA19134 Cox Landscapes Timber and materials – Allotment Fence 14.57
GA19135 Brian Butcher Travel expenses and parking 74.60
GA19136 Ernest Doe Gas refill – patching of Heath 18.75
GA19137 Earth Anchors Ltd* Bench – Lorkin Daniell Field 796.80
GA19138 Earth Anchors Ltd* Bench anchor kit 70.80
GA19139 Jacqui Kibby Village Bulletin Editor – remuneration 180.00
GA19140 Kent Blaxill Manhole cover – devolution work 25.36
GA19141 Kent Blaxill Angle grinder and discs 173.98
GA19142 Ernest Doe Cables – LD playground, Tree saw 73.40
GA19143 Landscape Services Hedge cutting & flailing of Heath 600.00
GA19144 Braiswick Tyres Ltd Tube supply and fit 19.98
GA19145 Printerland Black toner and waste cartridge 161.99
GA19146 STC Contracts Ltd Supply, install and paint JL Hall external doors 888.00
GA19147 STC Contracts Ltd Social Club snooker room fire door 1020.00
GA19148 Survey Monkey Annual renewal – Advantage Plan 384.00
GA19149 Daniel Connal Prtn Provision of Health & Services 780.00
Tfr PC to Hall Account MUGA Electricity (Apr – Oct 19) 610.27
    Sub total 14,685.30
Tfr Hall to PC Account Wages – Nov -539.24
    TOTAL 14,146.06

NB. * Lorkin Daniell Field Charity bank account to pay for bench & fixings


To receive an update on the 2020-21 budget process

Cllr Savage gave a verbal update on the current budget process. There are various items which feed into the final Parish Council’s budget for 2020-21, such as the Orpen Memorial Hall Trustee’s budget and its potential projects and the Environment Committee’s project to rehabilitate the Lexden Road Pond. The Council’s Three-Year Plan will also need updating, but to summarise, the information is coming in and the figures are coming together.

Cllr Savage wished to thank the various committee’s for inviting him, as Responsible Finance Officer, to their recent meetings.



  The minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 20th November 2019 were received and the decisions made on following applications were noted (Link to Planning P8 Novc 2019):

  • Update on 191984 – 89 Chapel Road – Colchester Borough Council have already produced the planning officer’s report for the CBC Planning Committee meeting next Thursday 28th November, therefore no additional comments can be supplied. The Parish Council have previously objected to this application because of the scale in comparison to the neighbouring bungalow.

    Borough Cllr Lewis Barber will be speaking at the Town Hall meeting as he “called it in”, along with one of the Spring Lane residents for the allocated three minutes.

    ACTION – Clerk to send link of planning officer’s report to the resident and Cllr Barber, noting that although the Neighbourhood Plan has been stated as relevant, there is nothing quoted from it and overall it hasn’t done it justice. The Borough Council have adopted the WB Neigh Plan and should therefore adhere to it.

  • 192708 – 99 Colchester Road, CO6 3JX – Support – The Parish Council will support Colchester Borough Council’s position regarding the rear window proposed on this application where there is none currently.
  • 192732 – Treble Tile, Colchester Road, CO6 3JQ – Object – As background information, Punch Taverns have now sold the entire site. The new owners wish to retain the pub and try to make it viable. There is no intended tenant yet but they do wish to keep it as a going concern. There is no intention to turn the pub into flats. The new owners and the architect attended the WB Planning meeting in order to have an open discussion with the Committee and their presence was much appreciated.
    The Parish Council object to this application on the parking implications of the Public House not on the two dwellings proposed next to it. Essex County Council Parking Standards recommends 30 parking spaces for a pub of that size, this application has plans for only 9. The lack of parking will lead to issues on Colchester Road and School Lane, which is effectively a single-track road.

    It is over-intensification of the site, building too much on the existing car park with a resulting adverse impact on the viability of the existing commercial premises. This is considered contrary to the aims of Planning Policy PP1 of the CBC adopted West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan. If there was just one dwelling proposed, then that would enable more parking resulting in a more viable Public House. However, at the meeting, the Council was informed that this would not be financially viable for the developer. Although, where will the pub staff park? The Council support the retention of a commercial property in the village but parking will be a huge issue not only at school run times, but also during peak pub times, e.g. at weekends when the junior football takes place on the Poor’s Land or on parent’s evenings or when other night time events happen at the school.

    The site is inside the new settlement boundary so would be classed as infill, but the Neigh Plan does look for housing of a smaller scale, i.e. 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom houses, rather than 4-bedroom.

    To reiterate, the Parish Council would encourage the retention of the Public House as a commercial property in the village but cannot support the current plans due to the parking issues.

Cllr Tyrrell added that the neighbours of 89 Chapel Road had chosen a resident to speak at the CBC Planning Meeting on 28th November when the application will be discussed, Cllr Smith will be in attendance. Also, now that the Council has made its general comments to CBC in regard to the Treble Tile planning application it would be good if each Councillor also made their own comments. Finally, the Council is waiting to gain sight of the draft Section 106 Agreement with Hopkins Homes on the Colchester Road application following the Council’s recommendations and requests. The CBC planning meeting on the 12th Dec at which it was due to be discussed has been cancelled due to the General Election.

ACTION Clerk to chase Planning Officer on draft Section 106 Agreement




The minutes from the Environment Committee meeting held on 14th November 2019 were received. (Link to Environment P8 Nov 2019)

Cllr Gili-Ross reported to the Council that following a meeting he attended in West Bergholt with County Councillor Anne Brown, Highways and First Bus several issues were discussed.

  • Bus stop before Co Op – It was agreed to change the status of the bus stop on Chapel Road opposite the allotments so that it doesn’t become a waiting point, blocking the road with buses leaving their engines running.
  • School Bus parking on Lexden Road – First Bus will ask their drivers to move further down the road towards the Scout Hut so that the junction of Hall Road and Lexden Road is no longer blocked.
  • Hall Road Bus Stop on Lexden Road – following onsite discussions a Local Highways Panel Form has been submitted with County Cllr Brown’s and Borough Cllr Barber’s approval to move the bus stop a little further along the road onto a proper footpath.

Cllr Smith informed the Council that she had been looking at the completion of the Woodland Trust Tree Charter registration and the draft had gone to Cllr Spencer and the Clerk for their comments.

Cllr Short provided information on the potential project to rehabilitate the Lexden Road Pond. The issue is how to remove much of the water whilst the contractor uses his equipment to remove the silt. Cllr Short has agreed a trial pump out with a tanker from Colchester Skip Hire to establish whether the pond overflow works. It may be better to leave this project until the summer though, when the pond dries out. It will not happen before Christmas 2019 as there has just been too much rain. Will try the tanker experiment, then meet with the neighbouring residents of the pond once more to let them know the latest.

Thanks go to Cllrs Short and Spencer for all their hard work on this. It would be nice to do; however, it is not an emergency.


To receive the latest new playground accounts (Link to Playground Accounts Nov 19) and an update on progress.

Latest New Playground Equipment accounts show £1,602.78 in the bank account. However, the Council has received confirmation that it has been awarded a £5,000 CIF grant, £5,000 will be transferred from CBC from the Section 106 monies and £2,000 from the West Bergholt Charity Allotment Stall, bring the likely total for the new year to £13,602.78. The Orpen Players will also be sponsoring this cause during their next performance.

This means that the Council can enter Phase 2 of the plan, purchasing two more pieces of equipment, including an inclusive nest swing and undertake the re-painting of the current swings. Cllr Stone anticipates having the quotes ready for approval at the January Council meeting.



  To agree a working party to oversee a project to look at the re-surfacing of the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA).

The Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) is currently only used for tennis. The coaches feel it will need resurfacing next year and late Spring or early Summer is the ideal time. However, there are lots of things to think about before embarking on this e.g. does the Council wish for it to be properly multi-use incorporating other sports such as netball. If so, will this impact on the surfacing considered. Idea is to discuss these issues in a Working Party, but with the coaches and users involvement and bring back to the Council.

RESOLVED – Proposed by Cllr Butcher, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.

ACTION – Cllr Stone will create Terms of Reference ready for the February PC meeting.


Health & Well Being

  To agree a working party to look at West Bergholt Parish Council’s role in the Health & Well Being agenda.

There has been some debate as to the Council’s role in what is required. The intention to formalize a Working Party and seek advice from Danielle Frost (EALC) on the Terms of Reference.

RESOLVED – Proposed by Cllr Butcher, Cllr Stone seconded. All in favour. Working Party to consist of Cllrs Smith, Stevenson and Butcher with Terms of Reference to be drafted for the February meeting.


Council Documents

  To agree the West Bergholt Parish Council Equality Policy. (See link to WBPC Equality Policy)

This policy is a demonstration of the Council’s commitment to support diversity and equality. There is a separate policy relating to the Council’s role as an employer as detailed in 3c of the Policy.

RESOLVED – Proposed by Cllr Butcher, Cllr Harlow seconded. All in favour.


Council Diary Dates for 2020

  To agree the Parish Council’s meeting dates for 2020. (See link to Diary Dates 2020)

Cllr Spencer suggested that the Environment Committee met half an hour earlier, at 5pm instead of 5.30pm.

RESOLVED – Proposed by Cllr Butcher subject to that amendment, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.


Community Safety Plan

  To agree a working party to look establishing West Bergholt’s Community Safety Plan.

Have received no feedback from the Community Special Constables. Had hoped that they would be involved in drawing up the WB Community Safety Plan but it hasn’t happened, so it is proposed that the Council develop the plan and hope that by then the Special would have arrived, if not can present to the police.

Cllr Gili-Ross added a word of caution that with the election of the new Crime Commissioner next year the Special’s role and what they can do for us may change.

It was agreed that at least a Terms of Reference could be written and a call for volunteers following engagement with the community.

RESOLVED – It was proposed by Cllr Butcher to establish a Working Party and return with Terms of Reference to the Parish Council in February, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.



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

  • Chairman’s Day – BTB – 12th Nov 2019
    Excellent third and final day’s training as a Chairman, received presentation gavel.
  • SLCC/EALC Networking Day – LW – 14th Nov 2019
    Received presentations on Social Isolation, Dementia Friendly Communities, Employment Law and the ALCC union.


Items to Note

  1.  Correspondence Log – Nov 2019
    1. New EALC CEO – Charlene Slade from 1st Apr 2020
    2. Marks Tey Bridge closed from 13th Jan to Jul 2020
    3. Colchester Woodland Project has launched – trees will be available for Parish Councils & Schools to plant on their own land.
  2. Crime Statistics – Oct – Nov 2019
    1.  2 Crimes (Bike & Mobile Phone Theft)
  3. Essex Highways Highlights – Oct 2019
  4. Essex Warbler (RCCE) – Vol 27 – Nov 2019
  5. RCCE Oyster – Issue 44 – Autumn 2019
  6. Came & Co. Insurance – Council Matters – Autumn 2019
  7. RCCE Village Halls Update – October 2019
  8. EALC County Update – AGM Special – No. 191 – Sept 2019
  9. St Mary’s Newsletter – November 2019
  10. EALC County Update – No. 192 – October 2019
  11. SLCC Networking & Training Day – 14th Nov 2019
  12. Rural Communities Toolkit – CBC
  13. EALC – Legal Update – Issue No. 20 – Nov 2019
  14. Clerks & Councils Direct – Issue 126 – Nov 2019
  15. Clerk Magazine – Vol. 50 No. 6 – Nov 2019


Items for the next agenda – 22nd Jan 2019

  No additional items were suggested, except for the usual January meeting topics of the Three-Year Plan, budgets and precept approvals.


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 22nd January 2019 at 7.30pm in the John Lampon Hall (back hall), Lexden Rd, West Bergholt.
  Meeting closed at 9.13pm
Signed:                                               Date:                     Position on Council:


Skip to content