Minutes of Parish Council 22nd July 2020

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held via Zoom on Wed 22nd July 2020 at 7.30 pm

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



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the public

  No apologies were received.


West Bergholt Covid 19 Response

To receive an update on the latest WBPC COVID-19 developments
  • Lorkin Daniell Playground
    This is now open having had a refurbishment. It has been well received and residents are happy it is open again. There is signage throughout regarding the necessary COVID-19 precautions needed to use the playground.
  • COVID-19 Response Volunteers
    The Council asked Mervyn Donnelly, the West Bergholt COVID-19 Response Coordinator, to reflect on what has been happening over the past 4 months. Merv updated the council that there have only been 6 requests for assistance in the past month and none in the past 14 days. Assistance requests were dominated by help needed with shopping, the Post Office and pharmacy. 70% of volunteer activity was supporting those most vulnerable in our community. He has over 90 volunteers on record ready to start up again if required and in the meantime, he is willing to retain the role of coordinator and run a skeleton crew for contingency planning which is sensible.

Cllr Stevenson wanted to record the Parish Council’s appreciation for everything the volunteers had done over the past months and personally thank Merv for his commitment and hard work in the role of coordinator.

Borough Councillor Willetts wanted to know what the difference was between a skeleton and normal crew. Merv explained that his letter to all of the volunteers was open ended and that he would contact them if there was a local lockdown. They will have the option to opt out or stay connected. The skeleton crew will only be the senior element of the structure, Merv himself, the daily coordinators and the telephonists. The rest can stand down unless needed. During the worst weeks of the crisis although they ran a 24-hour response deadline, it would have coped with a 48-hour one, so even if volunteers are back at work in future months they can still help out.


Questions from registered electors

There were no questions from registered electors.


Declarations of Interest

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


Previous Minutes

  RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 24th June 2020 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P3 Jun 2020)


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors


Borough Councillor Barber reported:

  • Motorbike nuisance report – a resident had concerns about youngsters on motorbikes gathering at the Orpen Hall car park before racing around the village. Cllr Gili-Ross responded that he had been over a couple of times when alerted, but that they were just youths on bikes, being a little louder than usual but not abusing the field. They were aware they were being observed on the CCTV and that over time they will probably settle down.
  • Planning enforcement issue – Cllr Tyrrell had drawn a specific matter to the Borough Councillor’s attention. Planning had said that they cannot take enforcement issues into account when deciding on an application. Cllr Barber is trying to push for action, however there is currently only one member of staff working in enforcement at present.
  • Cycling funding – Cllr Barber met with County Cllr Anne Brown and other CBC North Colchester Councillors to discuss ways to encourage people to walk and cycle more in our area. Although schemes are advancing in the town centre, they made the point to County not to forget the rural areas and in West Bergholt’s case specifically the route to the train station. The Councillor felt the case would be strengthened if endorsed by the Parish Council. Cllr Stevenson responded that from his knowledge of the Governments Emergency Active Travel Fund (EATF) that projects had to be implemented before the end of the financial year and had to be radical in nature. The parish council would definitely press in the longer term for a village to town route but the fund available would not be able to create the sort of off-road facility people would be wanting. Cllr Smith made the point that lots of residents bought bikes during lockdown and would love to use them if they felt more confident about the traffic environment.
  • Unruly Dog – the Councillor has received reports of a dog regularly escaping from its home and attacking people or other dogs. This is now in the hands of the Police.


Borough Councillor Willetts reported:

  • Local Highways Panel – One of the Borough Councillors concerns is that the funding is being allocated to very expensive schemes e.g. in Myland. The LHP need to address small but effective schemes and an alternative method of funding or else the pre-allocated LHP budget will be spent before it has started. There needs to be a balance between traffic and cycling schemes.
  • Overgrown vegetation in Cooks Hall Road – vegetation is overgrowing the road from Newbridge Hill to Cooks Road. The landowner needs to be reminded of their statutory obligation to not allow foliage to overgrow the road and impact on vehicles.

ACTION – Clerk to write to the landowner to remind them.









Statement of accounts for June 2020 (Link to P3 Jun 20 Summary)

The final accounts for June 2020 were presented as follows:

25% of the way through the financial year. The Parish Council Account showed 49% income, 16% general expenditure, 13% environment expenditure and 15% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totaled together.

Bank Rec at £95,901.54 on 30th June 2020.

Queen’s Head railings payment came out of Ponds budget line and Reserves from last year’s projects.

  RESOLVED – To approve the July payments list in accordance with 2020-21 budget.

Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Harlow. All in favour.

PC Payments List – July 2020
PC20042 J & M Payroll Services July – wages, tax & NI 4528.61
PC20043 J & M Payroll Services Payroll services 27.00
PC20044 Countrywide Poor’s Land grass cutting – Jun 171.50
PC20045 WBFC  Grass cutting – LD Field 40.00
PC20046 Petty Cash Replenishment White paint – Poor’s & Heath 36.00
PC20047 Laura Walkingshaw 2 x finger posts – LD Field 135.80
PC20048 Howdens Gorilla glue 12.42
PC20049 Grasshopper Ltd Lawnmower parts 21.95
PC20050 Wave Poor’s Land (Mar-Jun) 10.56
DD Wave New Allotments (Mar-Jun) – undervalued meter reading submitted 17/07/20 304.83
PC20051 Kent Blaxill LD Field – Cement & Ballast 10.64
Tfr PC to Hall Account Maintenance Contribution 1500.00
Sub total 6,799.31
Tfr Trusts to PC Account Maintenance Costs -351.52
Tfr Hall to PC Account Wages – July -539.24
TOTAL 5,908.55
To approve the Finance Committee recommendation of a £4410 + VAT quote for the renovation of the Lexden Road pond

There is £4,000 in this year’s Projects for the work on the Lexden Road pond, Cllr Short managed to get a reduction in the above quote by £400, bringing the final quote to £4010.

RESOLVED – To approve quote for renovation of pond for £4010 + VAT.

Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Smith. All in favour.

To approve the Environment Committee recommendation of a £658 + VAT quote for the supply and installation of Bourne Road street signage.

This quote includes the poles, concrete, labour and clearance of the site. The money will be taken from the Devolution grant monies.

RESOLVED – To approve quote of £658 + VAT for the supply & installation of Bourne Road signage.

Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Gili-Ross. All in favour.

To agree to make one of the projects in the Neigh Plan Projects from this year’s 3-Year Plan the updating of the current WB website & making it more accessible.

Website accessibility comes into law in Sept, some work will need to be done on website in readiness for that. The website is about ready for an updated look anyway so it could be an opportunity to incorporate that into it. This will be a large and separate piece of work for Dave Kingaby, the webmaster, rather than just something he can do in his usual hours. It is proposed the money for this “project” could possibly come from the Neigh Plan Projects £8,500 in this year’s 3-Year Project list. Dave will provide us with a quote for this work in the near future.

RESOLVED – To agree to make the website accessibility and updating of the website a project from this year’s Neighbourhood Plan projects.

Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Smith. All in favour.



To note the following decisions made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee via their Zoom meeting of 15th July 2020 (see Planning Minutes P4 Jul 2020):
  • 201254 – 38 Albany Road, West Bergholt, CO6 3LB – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 201280 – Land adj.1 Whitehouse Cottages, Bourne Rd, CO6 3EW – Observation – As the location is within the settlement boundary the Parish Council support an extension to the property in principle. However, the council has concerns regarding the relative height of the extension in proportion to the adjacent bungalow across Chapel Lane. It is the dominance of the new dwelling on the summit of Chapel Lane, which rises to a peak at that point, and in relation to the scale of neighbouring properties that concerns the council. Please see PP10 of the CBC-adopted WB Neighbourhood Plan, specifically DG7, DG10 and DG13 of the Village Design Statement below. It is recommended that further thought is given to the design of the new dwelling including photo montages or illustrations showing the impact from a variety of views including Chapel Lane. The Parish Council also supports those concerns raised by the Highways authority in its comments of 13/07/20.
    • DG7 – Buildings must be in harmony with the surroundings in respect of materials, colour, texture, proportion and scale.
    • DG10 – Any infill development should reflect the character of the surrounding area and protect the amenity of neighbours. It should reinforce the uniformity of the street by reflecting the scale, mass, height, form, materials, fenestration and architectural details of its neighbours.
    • DG13 – New buildings should respect the height of buildings immediately adjacent.
To agree the following decision, based on the recommendation made by the Planning Committee via email on late planning application:
  • 201436 – Rookery Farm, Nayland Road CO6 3DE
  • 201437 – Rookery Farm, Nayland Road (Listed Building)

“Observation – The Parish Council would defer to the Borough Council’s greater knowledge of listed building planning applications.”

RESOLVED: Cllr Tyrrell proposed to agree the above comment, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.


Environment & Highways

To note the minutes of the Environment Committee from their meeting of the 9th July 2020 (see link to Environment Minutes P4 Jul 2020)

Cllr Gili-Ross drew the council’s attention to the proposed Strategic Environmental Action Plan. This has been a long held objective from the Parish Plan and Neighbourhood Plan, Cllr Spencer will use his knowledge and expertise in this field to draft a plan, put it to the Environment Committee for agreement then to the full council for approval.

Expenses-wise, the Poor’s Land gate onto Colchester Road is beyond repair and so will need replacing, the Handymen’s vehicle is due for its MOT and new finger posts have been purchased for the Lorkin Daniell Field which fold down on completely to allow better access for vehicles.

There has been an issue with parking on greenswards lately at the junction of Chapel Rd/Colchester Rd causing the area to need repair. The committee is looking at the cost of decorative fencing and grass seed.

Finally, with regards the proposed pathway alongside the MUGA, Cllr Short is currently obtaining quotes from 3 contractors, but it will need match funding either through the CIF or section 106.


Council Publicity


The WBPC Publicity Officer updated the council with the following posts this month:
  1. Plot holder at the allotments thanking the NHS in radishes
  2. The Parish Council’s £500 grant to WB Football Club
  3. Poster that the Lorkin Daniell Playground would remain closed for now
  4. Gazette interview that the tall echium plant growing at the allotments may be the tallest flower in the country. (leading to Cllr Smith now having a contact at the Gazette)
  5. Lorkin Daniell Playground – when it would re-open
  6. Lorkin Daniell Playground – the new equipment and now open
  7. Village Bulletin editor’s call for local articles (and specific messages to some contributors)
  8. Special Constable article on FAQs

Cllr Smith is starting to draw up a draft Publicity Plan, there is some work to do but hope to work out the best way to advertise what is happening to the majority of residents. People are already starting to recognise the Cllr in her role as “Norma Parish”.

It is also important to realise what a treasure trove of village archives that the website represents; it is a living history of what goes on in the village which will be useful for future generations whilst Facebook is a more dynamic and conversational outlet for news items.


Council Action Plan

To receive an update on 2020-21 Projects:

  • Hall Projects
    2 projects moving forwards:
    1. CCTV Upgrade – have received a quote for £2040 for EJ Vision, £1000 in Hall Projects money set aside and £1000 applied for from the SaferColchester grant scheme. They are processing the grant and hope to come back to us with a decision soon.
    2. JL Hall Redecoration – waiting for quotes to come in for redecorating the hall, however if we do not get funding in place the project will not go ahead.
  • Lorkin Daniell Play Equipment

Cllr Stone reported that he was sure the council had all seen the great new equipment recently installed, the nest and the rope snake swings. Playquip completed the installation of the new 2 items we ordered this week, they also put bounded mulch around the other swing sets. Cllr Stone spoke to the company whilst they were onsite about surfacing around the slide & mini-rotator, and repairing hole in wet pour around the tower and was pleased to report that they completed these as well at a discounted price of £900 (within the budget money already set aside).

£10,000 set aside in this year’s projects for the next phase, along with £5,000 of unclaimed Section 106 money, although the priority now is the path alongside the MUGA to allow disabled access, then will be ready for the final phase of the improvements.

A question was raised about the land at the back of the proposed Hopkins development site off Colchester Road. However, Cllr Stevenson reminded the council that the section 106 agreement has not been approved yet and so plans need to be on hold for now.

ACTION – Clerk to chase Planning Officer about the status of the section 106 agreement

ACTION – Clerk to chase County Cllr Anne Brown about the discussions with Essex Highways regarding the crossing.

  • Lexden Road Pond

Cllr Short reported that due to the hot weather the pond is currently almost empty of water making it an excellent time to do the renovation work. The contractor expects to start the third week of August. Cllrs Short and Stone will talk to the neighbours as before. Once it has been dredged then a regular maintenance plan can be implemented. No fish are visible at the moment, but there is a contingency plan for them if required.


Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA)

To note the commencement of the MUGA Working Party

Posters are being advertised to encourage those involved with the tennis and other sports clubs to join the MUGA Working Party. The terms of reference have been agreed, along with the amendment and Cllrs Stevenson, Stone and Spencer will be representing the Parish Council. A Zoom meeting has been arranged for mid-August.



  To note & receive feedback from the training/networking undertaken during the last month by Councillors or the Clerk.

  • CBC Clerk’s Forum – 9th July – LW

Clerk attended online CBC Clerk’s Forum. Test & Trace, Police priorities, Section 106, green waste update all discussed. Notes, Police priorities and Neighbourhood contacts all available for Councillors on the One Drive and circulated.


Items to Note

a.       Crime Statistics

22nd Jun – 19th Jul 2020, 3 crimes reported. 1 criminal damage, 1 damage to a vehicle and 1 attempted theft of vehicle.

Cllr Smith informed the council that a resident had concerns regarding items being moved in her garden, thinking perhaps that dubious individuals were looking for spare sets of keys to gain access to the property.

b.      New Model Code of Conduct – closing date 17/08/20.

Cllr Gili-Ross explained that the Local Government Association (LGA) have decided to consult on a new Model Code of Conduct. Last week at a meeting held by the EALC, which the CEO of the NALC attended, it was explained how underwhelmed the EALC was with the new Code of Conduct. It completely ignores the need for greater sanctions against Councillors who misbehave and expects each individual Monitoring Officer to implement locally, which will mean each District, Borough, County Council and Unitary Authority could have a different set of rules. The EALC would like to see sanctions which are uniform throughout the entire country and a governance board for the whole of Essex so that there is consistency across the county. Cllr Gili-Ross has filled in the forms and responded on behalf of the parish council.

ACTION – Clerk will circulate EALC email again.

c.       Bulletin – Advertising 8 page – £286.40 12 page – £427.12 plus VAT

Cllr Spencer informed the council that although there was no Spring edition of the Village Bulletin the editing team has put together an 8-page Coronavirus edition ready for September. The edition will be paid for from the Village Bulletin budget, however please bear in mind that until now the advertising costs have not been chased so far this year.


Items for the next agenda – 23rd September 2020

  No specific items at present.


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 23rd September 2020 at 7.30pm

(venue to be advised)

  Meeting closed at 20.52 pm
Signed: Date:                     Position on Council:


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