Minutes of Parish Council 28th October 2020

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held via Zoom on Wed 28th October 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 Dennis Willetts & Lewis Barber
Present: Three members of the public



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the public

  Apologies were received from Borough Councillor Brian Jarvis


West Bergholt Covid 19 Response


To receive an update on the latest WBPC COVID-19 developments

  • Half-term Emergency Food Bank Fund – offer to organisations to apply for a grant from ECC, processed by the EALC. The fund has received 40 applications already, it is on a first come, first served basis and the money is released quickly. The Parish Council has put a link to this on its website and on the local Facebook Hub.
  • High Tier – with Essex now in the second Tier, some of the few activities taking place at the Orpen Hall, such as Badminton and Indoor Bowls, have now had to cease.


Questions from registered electors

Question on Colchester Road issues:

A resident who lives on Colchester Road, near the Poor’s Land wanted to ask the Council what measures were being undertaken to fix the speeding issues along that road. He understands that there is a drive to put a crossing in but is concerned that opportunities are being missed to reduce the speeding by drivers on Colchester Road. He was also concerned that the proposed crossing is in the wrong place, near a bend in the road, not giving cars the chance to slow down for those pedestrians using the crossing. He also wanted to draw the Council’s attention to the growing parking problem along the road, especially as much of the parking is taking place where the proposed access points to the new developments sites are, which he thinks will result in a serious accident.

Cllr Stevenson replied that any measures would help the speeding issues, even signs, in fact it would be good to throw everything at this. Borough Cllr Barber was instrumental in getting speed surveys undertaken in that area on behalf of the Local Highways Panel (LHP), however things have now changed due to the staggered drop off times at the school due to Covid-19 and the development of the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) sites. So, there is now a combination of school parking, traffic issues and the old problem of speeding.

Have now held two meetings with Highways and County Cllr Anne Brown to discuss the various issues and more speed surveys are now proposed by the LHP at different points along the road. In parallel, Cllrs Stevenson and Stone are in contact with the Headteacher at Heathlands School to ask parents not to park on Colchester Road, they are hoping to stop the 6-7 cars who park there regularly, and aid the development of a School Travel Plan. Also, the NP Development sites, are coming through as several different planning applications, which is frustrating but quite normal. So, there is progression on all 3 fronts, none of which will be a quick fix, however the Parish, Borough and County Councillors are all working together to find solutions.

Cllr Stone noted that the closure of the Treble Tile pub car park, although not an excuse, was possibly one of the reasons for the increase in parking as lots of parents previously used those spaces during drop off times. The parking for the youth football club on Sat/Sun mornings is also a lot worse than it was, which the resident agreed with, however he reported that the traffic on the road was a lot less at weekends and not as concentrated time wise as it is with the school drop off times.

Cllr Stevenson finished the discussion by stating that people need to be persuaded and educated not to park there. Hopefully, this can be addressed in the next school prospectus, showing parents the other alternative parking places, such as the Orpen Hall car park. The football club too can be directed to park elsewhere.

Question on item 20/121e of the agenda:

A resident asked if the proposed feasibility study for the new crossing on Colchester Road was an appropriate use of the Locality Budget. This question was addressed under item 20/121e, but Borough Cllr Willetts confirmed that it was an appropriate use as the conditions for that grant state that it must be used for the whole community and so long as there were no ongoing maintenance costs, both of which the survey would fulfill.


Declarations of Interest

  DECLARED – Cllr Stevenson declared an interest in all matters linked to Essex Highways. Cllr Gili-Ross declared an interest in item 20/121c regarding the Emergency CIF grant.


Previous Minutes

  RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 23rd September 2020 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P6 Sept 2020)


Presentation by Friends of the Old Church

The Parish Council then received a very interesting talk from Chris Betts, of the Friends of the Old Church, on the recent renovation work to the Church. The slides and a commentary to accompany them is available on the westbergholt.net website at the link (https://westbergholt-pc.gov.uk/remembrance-old-church-update).

The redecoration work is now finished although there are now other projects which the Friends would like to undertake, such as installing a w.c. for the use of those attending longer functions such as weddings.

Cllr Stevenson stated that the village was lucky to have the Friends to look after the Church and continue to give it another lease of life. The Friends in turn thanked the Parish Council for its grant and contributions in the past.


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors

Borough Councillor Willetts reported:

  • Covid-19 support activities – The pandemic has had serious implications on this year’s budget. It was thought that the government would reimburse Colchester Borough Council (CBC), however it appears now that it will only reimburse for municipal funds such as parking. Those parts of the council which are regarded as running as businesses, such as the Events, Heating and Housing companies, will not be reimburse. This may therefore affect the availability of the Locality Budget next year as money will be tight.
  • Road closures – Chitts Hill is due to close for work on 6th Nov and Bakers Lane from the 9th Nov. The bridge on Bakers Lane requires new tarmac yet again. Roads are top of the list in regard to West Bergholt, there are some real problems which need to be looked at, with a lot more cars on the road, what needs to be avoided is making a race track for people to speed on to reach Colchester. It is an increasing problem here and everywhere. Cllr Stevenson reported that Colchester Road is actually a B-road, and everyone (ECC, CBC & WBPC) is working hard to find solutions, including Colchester’s Planning Officers.

Borough Councillor Barber reported:

  • 67 Braiswick Planning Application – Application for 27 dwellings, refused by CBC, has been granted on appeal. Costs have in fact been awarded against CBC and so there will be an internal investigation to find out what went wrong.
  • Covid-19 Restrictions – Essex (except for Thurrock & Southend) requested to be put into Tier 2 restrictions (at time of meeting). There is a team at CBC now looking at what the metrics are for the county to get out of it into Tier 1 and what the exit plan is after that. Hopefully, the medical evidence will stop the area going into Tier 3, by comparison the numbers of cases are rising in Thurrock which remained in Tier 1.




Statement of accounts for Sept 2020 (Link to P6 Sept 20 Summary)

The final accounts for Sept 2020 were presented as follows:

50% of the way through the financial year. The Parish Council Account showed 97% income, 37% general expenditure, 31% environment expenditure and 36% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totaled together.

Bank Rec at £116,100.11 on 30th September 2020.



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

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

PC Payments List – Oct 2020
DD Barclays Bank charges (9.80 – 0.66) 9.14
DD ICO Data Protection – renewal fee 35.00
SO J & M Payroll Services Oct – wages, tax & NI 4,496.74
PC20080 J & M Payroll Services Payroll services 27.00
PC20081 Countrywide Grass cutting Oct – Poor’s Land 171.50
PC20082 WBFC  Grass cutting Oct – LD Field 40.00
PC20083 Petty Cash Replenishment 4 x First Class stamps 3.04
PC20084 KingServ Web support services x 2 (Jul-Dec 20) 528.00
PC20085 Cllr Norma Smith Bears of Bergholt book 8.00
Chq 104282 British Legion Poppy Appeal Wreath for Remembrance Day 40.00
PC20087 Atlas Signs Village Bulletin printing – Sept 20 512.54
PC20088 Kent Blaxill Rivets & drill bit 11.42
PC20089 Methodist Church Annual rent for bus shelter 115.00
Tfr PC to Hall Account 2 x boxes A4 paper 30.98
Tfr Hall to PC Account Wages – Oct -553.86


To approve an application for a £2,843.80 Emergency CIF Grant for an all-weather path to allow access for all onto the Lorkin Daniell Playing Field.

Cllr Gili-Ross declared an interest again at this item at this point.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve the application to the Emergency CIF grant, seconded by Cllr Stone. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk will send the appropriate details to the EALC


To approve the Finance Committee’s recommendation of the westbergholt.net website migration cost of c.£500, which includes compliance with the latest accessibility laws.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve the Finance Committee’s recommendation of the westbergholt.net website migration cost of c.£500, seconded by Cllr Butcher. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk will let Dave Kingaby know.


To approve an application to the County & Borough Cllrs Locality Budgets for a survey/feasibility study into the proposed crossing on Colchester Road.

AMENDMENT – Cllr Stevenson first proposed an amendment to the item. The amendment suggested was:

To approve an application to the County & Borough Cllrs Locality or other Budgets for a survey/feasibility study into the proposed crossing on Colchester Road.

RESOLVED – All in favour of the above amendment.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve an application to the County and Borough Cllrs, seconded by Cllr Stevenson. All in favour.

Borough Cllr Willetts clarified at this stage that the Locality Budget can be used for anything of value to the local community so long as it incurs no reoccurring costs such as maintenance.

ACTION – Clerk will check with Borough Cllr Jarvis if there is any money left in this year’s Locality Budget.




To note the following decisions made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee via their Zoom meeting of 21st October 2020 (see Planning Minutes P7 Oct 2020):

  • 202080 – 83 Chapel Road, CO6 3HL – Object – The Parish council are not against a two-storey extension to a property in the West Bergholt Character Area in principle, however due to the scale of this particular extension it was felt to be at odds with PP5 of the CBC-adopted West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan.
    PP5 – The “Character Area” designated on Map PP5, which reflects the built local distinctiveness of Essex’s heritage, will be protected from degradation. Development proposals will be expected to respect its features and character in relation to the scale, design and setting of any development.
    At present the extension is too large.  It would be acceptable if its length did not exceed that of the existing rear projection of the building. There are also three other matters which the Council would like to see resolved:
    1)          In the proposal, part of the garage guttering overhangs the neighbour’s property at 81 Chapel Road. The garage should be rotated away from the boundary so it runs parallel instead (say 300mm within their boundary), so that neither the fascia nor guttering will overhang.
    2)          The property at 85 Chapel Road will be overlooked from the windows on the new landing and bedroom 4 of the proposed extension. The council would ask that the planners consider the use of obscured/frosted glass in the first-floor landing window and the lower half of the bedroom 4 window.
    3)          The height of the proposed pent-roofed garden store, which is to be sited at back of pavement, should be reduced below the height of the boundary fence, especially from a listed building aesthetic viewpoint as it would otherwise be seen by passing residents.
    Finally, the Parish Council would, as always, defer to the Borough Council’s greater knowledge on the development of Listed Buildings.
  • 202081– 83 Chapel Road, CO6 3HL (Listed Building application) – as above.
  • 202109 – 6 Hall Road, CO6 3DS – Observation – The Parish Council would refer to PP10 of the CBC-adopted West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan, specially the statement that:
    “Planning applications must show contextually the impact of their proposals on adjacent buildings by means of adequately detailed plans with accurate street elevations to avoid unacceptable adverse impact upon the amenities of the occupiers of nearby residential properties.”
    At present there is a lack of information on the impact that the proposed two storey extension would have on both the adjoining and adjacent neighbouring properties. It appears that the proposed extension will extend beyond the 45-degree sight lines from the neighbouring property’s rear windows. The Parish Council would suggest that the depth of the extension at first floor should be reduced by about 2m (the ground floor is fine) so as to respect the vision splays and avoid the  adverse impact it would have on the adjoining property.


Environment & Highways


To note the minutes of the Environment Committee from their meeting of the 8th Oct 2020 (see link to Environment Minutes P7 Oct 2020)

Cllr Gili-Ross reported on the latest Environment Committee updates:

  • Annual hedge cutting – The Committee would like to formally thank the contractor for doing such a fantastic job and thank all of the Cllrs involved in setting it up.
  • Lexden Road pond Following the dredging work, this pond has gone from strength to strength, deepening as the water refills it and with no appearance of scum.
  • New Church Road – the road surface is starting to break up, particularly around the parking red bands. Cllr Stone reported that he is also worried about the single yellow line markings wearing away. County Councillor Anne Brown copied the Parish Council in on an email checking when that road will be resurfaced and is due to hear from Highways next week.
  • Strategic Plan – Cllr Spencer is well on his way to completing the Environment Strategic Plan. He intends to undertake some soil sampling of the Heath in order to create a baseline for future monitoring. The plan will be ready for the next PC meeting in November.


Council Publicity

The WBPC Publicity Officer reported that it had been a quiet month, but updated the council with the following posts:

  1. Joint letter from the School and PC to parents regarding considerate parking. A local resident is now starting a group concerned about this matter.
  2. Free computer training available from CBC. The publicity officer forwarded the information to a resident who had previously enquired about this type of training.
  3. Video of the WB Bear Man, which appeared on the One Show.
  4. Photo of the latest Litter Warrior’s litter picked rubbish bags, which gets the message out so succinctly. 49 likes, 15 comments (mainly thank you) and one resident who would like to join the group.
  5. Bulletin back issues have now been sent from the editor to Dave K for the website, however we are still missing some older editions on the website.

ACTION – Cllr Stevenson will check his collection and report back to Cllr Smith.


Council Action Plan

To receive an update on 2020-21 Projects:

The Council Projects for 2020-21 are progressing as follows:

Orpen Memorial Hall projects £6,000 £2,000 CCTV Done
Lexden Road Pond renovation £4,000 Done
Historical Honour Board £1,500
Play Equipment – Lorkin Daniell Field £10,000 £2,000 aside for pathway
Neighbourhood Plan Action Plan / Infrastructure projects £8,500 c.£500 website migration
Grants: (awarded by the Parish Council) £1,000 £500 awarded
TOTAL £31,000



MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area)

The minutes of the MUGA Working Party’s meeting of 13th Aug 2020 were noted. There will be another meeting on 5th Nov 2020. Cllr Stevenson circulated a paper on the MUGA to the Finance Committee requesting any comments to be sent to him prior to that meeting, following which the paper will be circulated to all Cllrs.



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

  • EALC AGM – CS, JGR, BTB – 24th Sept 2020
    Cllr Butcher reported that it was a well-attended, well-run event, with democracy in action. Very enjoyable.
  • EALC Health & Well Being Forum – NS – 29th Sept 2020
    Cllr Smith stated that this was a repeat of the previous training which she had attended. The plan can be revamped at any time, especially with Covid-19. It is currently with Cllr Stevenson for comment, who stated that it is a living document which doesn’t need to be entirely Covid-related, however there are no clubs taking place at present so it is rather difficult.
  • CBC Clerks Forum – LW – 15th Oct 2020
    Useful meeting, the Clerk has already reported any items of note back to the Council in regards to the Safer Rural Communities Fund currently available, the 66 Special Constables now working in Colchester and the update of the CBC website which is taking place over the next few months.
  • RCCE AGM – BTB – 21st Oct 2020
    Cllr Butcher informed the council that this event did not flow quite as well as the EALC one and the voting was rather antiquated in comparison, however there was a presentation by Prof Jules Pretty on the Climate Crisis which was the most interesting part of the event.


Items to Note

  1. Crime Statistics – 21st Sept – 25th Oct 2020, no crimes reported.
  2. Remembrance Wreath – Cllr Butcher will be representing the Parish Council.
  3. Meeting at Heathlands – Notes from the meeting have gone out to all Cllrs, it was good of the Headteacher to give the PC an hour of her time when things are so busy. There will be another meeting before the end of term.
  4. Planning White Paper consultation response – The response from the Parish Council is due to be submitted tomorrow. Cllr Smith asked if “holistic view” could be incorporated in the document as with more than one developer playing their part in our Neighbourhood Plan a holistic view is what is required.
    ACTION – Cllr Butcher will add that in, and the Clerk will submit tomorrow.
  5. WB Allotment Association – Terry Claydon has sadly resigned as chairman. The Parish Council would like to record their thanks for his hard work during the past 10 years and will write him a letter of appreciation. The Association will be looking for a new chairman and likely to appoint at their next meeting on the 12th November 2020.
    ACTION – Cllr Stevenson will write to Terry.


Items for the next agenda – 25th November 2020

  • Invite to be sent to Hayley Howe (PCSO)
  • Budgets 2021-22 – ensure Hall & Environment Committees invite the RFO to attend.
  • WBPC Strategic Environment Plan
  • MUGA
  • Trustee meeting to follow PC meeting.


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 November 2020 at 7.30 pm (via Zoom)
  Meeting closed at 9.07 pm
Signed: Date:                     Position on Council:


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