Minutes of Parish Council 24th June 2020

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held via Zoom on Wed 24th June 2020 at 7.30 pm

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



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the public

  Apologies were received from Cllr Brian Butcher and Borough Councillors Barber & Willetts.


West Bergholt Covid 19 Response


To receive an update on the latest WBPC Covid 19 developments

  • Covid-19 Response Volunteers – Cllr Stevenson stated that he had received a full report from Mervyn Donnelly, Covid-19 Response Coordinator. From the 29th March when the volunteers started, there have been 67 contacts, 28 for shopping, 10 for the pharmacy, 7 for the Post Office, 2 phone buddy requests, 7 miscellaneous and 11 general enquiries. 2 new volunteers have begun, with most requests being fulfilled in less than 12 hours. Enquiries have tailed off in the last 10 days.

    There will be a photo and an article on the WB Covid-19 Response Volunteers in the September Village Bulletin, which Merv has forwarded to Cllr Smith. It is expected that the network will be reduced down to a skeleton crew over the summer months, but volunteers will be asked if their details can remain on the database in case there is a second spike in the coming months or over the winter.

    Chairman, Chris Stevenson reiterated what a splendid job the volunteers had done and that although there had been concerns, there had been no issues with payments. It shows what a great village we live in, as we don’t believe that anyone was left behind unaided. Very much appreciate the work of Merv and the volunteers. Cllr Stone reported to the Council that the Care Network Committee are currently looking at ways of restarting the Care Network transport service. Cllr Smith commented that with elderly residents possibly feeling disorientated and lacking in confidence after lockdown, the Care Network could be a lifeline.

  • Bear Men – a resident recently contacted the Parish Council regarding some way to commemorate the work of the “Bear Men” of the village, who kept spirits high with their daily bear displays.
    ACTION – Cllrs Smith & Tyrrell will work on this together.
  • Lorkin Daniell Playground re-opening – government guidance now advises re-opening of the playgrounds once more from July 4th. However, Playquip, who have been on lockdown and unable to work since March will be starting on the new equipment installations from Mon 6th July. Hopefully NALC (National Association of Local Councils) will release guidance on this as soon as possible.
    RESOLUTION – Council agreed to re-open the playground from Sat 4th July 2020.
    ACTION – Clerk will create two notices firstly telling residents that the playground is open, but they must follow the guidelines and secondly that the playground is unfortunately closed from Mon 6th July for refurbishment. Cllr Smith will share this on the local Facebook Hub.
  • MUGA – updated government guidance now means the second net can be reinstalled, new notices have come out from the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) and the risk assessment will need updating.
    ACTION – Clerk to update risk assessment and notices.


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 27th May 2020 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P2 May 2020)


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors

Borough Councillor Jarvis reported:

  • Locality Budget – open for all proposals now, not just Covid-19 crisis related.
  • Two major planning applications – Both have been approved recently. One is for 100 homes on Mersea Island, the other site is by Brook Street near Colchester town centre. These houses were part of the Local Plan and all add towards the 920 houses/year which Colchester will need to achieve subject to the Local Plan being approved.
  • Broadband – Cllr Harlow asked if the Borough Council are putting pressure on BT to provide broadband for all in West Bergholt? Cllr Stevenson responded that we currently have three broadband suppliers in the village, BT, County Broadband and Virgin and that it is unlikely that BT will come back now that Virgin have been in the village. Unfortunately, it is likely that there will be patches that are not covered.
    ACTION Borough Cllr Jarvis said he would try to find out if there was any new information.




Statement of accounts for May 2020 (Link to P2 May 20 Summary)

The final accounts for May 2020 were presented as follows:

17% of the way through the financial year. The Parish Council Account showed 49% income, 11% general expenditure, 6% environment expenditure and 10% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totaled together.

Bank Rec at £103,363.00





RESOLVED – To approve the June payments list in accordance with 2019-20 budget.

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

PC Payments List – June 2020
DD Barclays Charges/loyalty points – June 0.00
GA19058 SLCC Training seminar Sept 2019 40.00
PC20032 J & M Payroll Services June – wages, tax & NI 4457.15
PC20033 J & M Payroll Services Payroll services 27.00
PC20034 Countrywide Poor’s Land grass cutting – Jun 171.50
PC20035 WBFC Grass cutting – LD Field 40.00
PC20036 Petty Cash Replenishment Portable saw, petrol 47.09
PC20037 Laura Walkingshaw Adobe & Microsoft 365 annual renewals 101.13
PC20038 Quality Metalwork Services Queen’s Head Pond railings 2970.00
PC20039 Atlas Signs Coronavirus A5 4pp leaflets x 1500 120.00
PC20040 Printerland Toner for hall and PC 276.58
PC20041 EALC Risk Assessment Webinar – LW 48.00
Sub total 8298.45
Tfr Hall to PC Account Wages – Jun -539.24
Tfr Hall to PC Account Toner HP953 4 cartridges -77.56
TOTAL 7681.65


To agree the Finance Committee recommendation for an ongoing standing order to J & M Payroll for £4,500 each month

RESOLVED – To approve ongoing standing order to J & M Payroll for £4,500 each month.

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

ACTION – Clerk to write letter to bank, for circulation to Cllrs Savage and Stevenson for signing before sending to Barclays.




To note the following decision made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee via their Zoom meeting of 17th June 2020 (see Planning Minutes P3 Jun 2020):

  • 201038 – Cooks Hall Barn, Cooks Hall Road, West Bergholt CO6 3EY – Object – New builds are not allowed outside the settlement boundary. It is against Colchester Borough Council policy and Planning Policy PP9 of the CBC-adopted West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan. The Council would also direct the applicant to CBC’s recent Refusal Decision of Planning Application 192968, which reasons for refusal include both CBC’s Local Plan policies and those of the NPPF.


To agree the following decision, based on the recommendation made by the Planning Committee via email on late planning application:

  • 201224 – Land adj. to Garden House, Queens Road, West Bergholt CO6 3HG – Observation – West Bergholt Parish Council would reiterate its previous observation:

The Parish Council would like to make an observation on the lack of usable amenity space left for both dwellings. Could the plans be altered to incorporate more amenity space? The Council would also like to be assured of the ridge height of the new dwelling before full application approval is given, by requesting that the dimensions be provided by the architect from the lowest ground level (back of footpath).

RESOLVED: Cllr Stevenson proposed to agree the above comment, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.

It was also noted that a letter had been sent to County Councillor Anne Brown regarding the need for a crossing at prospective Neighbourhood Plan developments on Colchester Road. The 85th percentile speed has been calculated from surveys to be over 40mph, at this level it has been recommended that the Local Highways Panel (LHP) look to devise schemes which keep speeds nearer to the speed limit of 30mph, otherwise the new developments will not be sustainable without addressing this problem. Cllr Brown has arranged a meeting with Highways to discuss putting something in the section 106 agreement (which is the legal agreement, linked to planning permission, between a developer and the borough council). When drafted the Parish Council does not normally get sight of these agreements, however it is reasonable that the council should.

Cllr Stevenson has also drafted a letter to the Leader of CBC Council, Mark Cory, expressing the concerns of the Finance Committee that money in the section 106 “pot” for Leisure Services linked to a new build in West Bergholt has been spent in another parish. The Parish Council have asked for sight of the policy linked to the spending of section 106 monies and where the oversight and guidance checks take place at a local level.

ACTION – Clerk to copy Borough Cllr Jarvis in on the letter to Mark Cory.


Environment & Highways


To note the minutes of the Environment Committee from their meeting of the 11th June 2020 (see link to Environment Minutes P3 Jun 2020)

Nigel, the handyman, has been painting the metal barriers on the Heath and Poor’s Land.

There is concern on the footway from the Brewery, Cllr Smith is looking into this.


Council Publicity

The WBPC Publicity Officer updated the council with the following:

  • 06/06/20 – new pond railings with a picture – 82 likes & 13 comments
  • 12/06/20 – cakes for Parish Clerk with photo = 42 likes & 6 comments
  • 16/06/20 – swift boxes on the hall with a picture – 19 likes
  • 19/06/20 – new post – requesting people to contribute to the Sept edition of the Village Bulletin magazine. Deadline 1st August. (Cllr Smith has also directly messaged 7 key people who have been active to encourage them to contribute)
  • 22/06/20 – also new – planned painting work on Heath and Poor’s Land.

Cllr Smith stated that she had been quite active in the first month of the new role and wanted to keep each post positive. Over time it should start to help residents see what the council does.

Also looking at Dave Kingaby’s action points on his monthly website report, it’s clear that some points have been on the list for a while, therefore it will be a good idea to map out the current situation in communication terms and where the council wants to be in the future. Cllr Smith will work on this.

Cllr Stevenson thanked Cllr Smith for all her hard work so far.



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

CALC Meeting – Thurs 18th June – CS & JGR

Received a talk from Highways on the A133 & A120 link road and rapid transit route. The one garden community that is going ahead on the CBC Local Plan is on the Tendring/Colchester boundary. Highways revealed the preferred route and the next stages. The details were well received by those present.

Laura Chase (CBC) spoke to members regarding the next steps of the Local Plan now that some parts of Section 1 have been queried (thrown out?!) by the inspector. Colchester will have a build rate of 920 houses a year. CBC Officers continue to work on Section 2 of the plan.

Noted the appointment of a new CALC Secretary/Treasurer, Petra Palfreyman will replace Kevin Money. Cllr Stevenson was elected a new Governance member and as Cllr Walker is retiring, Cllr Mannion was elected the EALC exec. Member.

Risk Assessment Webinar – Fri 19th June – LW

Good webinar for preparing to re-open the hall. Confirmed that the council is working on the right track, in fact the other attending councils asked for sight of our Covid Agreement.


Items to Note

  1. Crime Statistics – 25th May – 21st Jun 2020, 4 crimes reported. 1 burglary from a business and 3 thefts from motor vehicles.
  2. Clerk on annual leave from Friday 26th June to Wed 1st July (inclusive)


Items for the next agenda – 22nd July 2020

  No items at present, apart from the usual business.


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 July 2020 at 7.30pm

(venue to be advised)

  Meeting closed at 8.33 pm

Date:                     Position on Council:


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