Minutes of Parish Council 24th February 2021

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held via Zoom on Wed 24th February 2021 at 7.30 pm

Chairman: Cllr Chris Stevenson
Parish Councillors Present: Cllrs John Gili-Ross, Bob Tyrrell, Brian Butcher, Murray Harlow, Jenny Church, Norma Smith, Harry Stone, David Short, Phil Spencer, Andrew Savage
Parish Clerk: Laura Walkingshaw
Borough & County Councillors: No Borough Councillors were in attendance
Present: No members of the public



Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the public

  Borough Councillors Lewis Barber, Dennis Willetts & Brian Jarvis have sent their apologies. They are attending Colchester Borough Council’s (CBC) Budget meeting.


West Bergholt Covid-19 Response

  The Care Network has been awarded a £500 grant from Essex County Council for the work it has done in supporting the community throughout Covid.  Particularly thanks also go to John, Mervyn and plenty more volunteers giving up their time to marshal for the vaccinations at the surgery and for clearing the snow, sometimes from 6.00am. The surgery has done a fantastic job, vaccinating large numbers throughout the weekends.

Cllr Gili-Ross suggested that anyone who has received their first vaccination, should now book their second via the NHS booking site, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/


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 January 2021 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P10 Jan 2021)


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors


Report submitted in advance of the meeting from Cllrs Dennis Willetts, Lewis Barber and Brian Jarvis:

  • Good news that the County is investing £7.2m in Essex’s Local Highways Panel (LHP), which will assist in tackling some of our issues, such as road safety, more promptly. CBC are also voting on more money for Colchester’s LHP this evening.
  • Argents Lane has been swept. We are waiting for a member of the flooding team to come down to investigate the site to hopefully start the process of tackling the worsening problem of flooding. They have a backlog so it may be a few weeks before they can attend.
  • Bakers Lane works have now completed.
  • The blue bridge has had some of the worst footway and carriageway defects repaired. We are waiting for the more structural repairs to be completed.
  • We would like to extend our gratitude to the volunteers and staff who assisted with vaccinations locally. Uptake remains above expectations into the high 90%s.

ACTION – Clerk will inform Borough Cllrs about waste at the entrance to wildlife area off A12.




Statement of accounts for Jan 2021 (Link to P10 Jan 21 Summary)

The final accounts for Jan 2021 were presented as follows:

83% of the way through the financial year. The Parish Council Account showed 97% income, 57% general expenditure, 50% environment expenditure and 55% expenditure overall, when the categories of general expenditure & environment are totaled together.

Bank Rec at £95,764.78 on 31st January 2021



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

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


PC Payments List – Feb 2021
DD Barclays Bank charges (9.50 – 0.60) 8.90
SO J & M Payroll Services Feb – wages, tax & NI 4500.00
SO J & M Payroll Services Feb – wages, tax & NI -15.50
PC20130 Adrian Leach Control barriers – LD Field & Mumford Bq 814.80
PC20131 Nigel Weall 7 snow shovels 73.50
PC20133 J & M Payroll Services Payroll services 27.00
PC20134 Countrywide Grass cutting Feb – Poor’s Land 171.50
PC20135 WBFC Grass cutting Feb – LD Field 40.00
PC20136 Petty Cash Replenishment Petrol x 2 50.02
PC20137 CBC Emptying of dog/litter bins – 04/20-03/21 1383.20
PC20138 Gritbins.co.uk Heavy duty grit spreader 183.17
PC20139 Kent Blaxill Nitrile gloves 15.59
PC20140 Travis Perkins Tools: crowbar chisel & sledgehammer 53.75
PC20141 Travis Perkins Rigger gloves & blue rope 18.42
PC20142 Andrew Savage Expenses – ink cartridges 17.91
Chq 104284 SSAFA Donation from unused VE Day CBC grant 200.00
Tfr PC to Hall Account CSH excess cost for litter picked waste 7.84




To agree the Finance Committee’s recommendation of D.A. Page Landscapes & Fencing Ltd to undertake the new pathway alongside the MUGA to the playground for £4,125 plus VAT, following receipt of the Emergency CIF grant.

Cllr Short informed the Council that this was the cheapest quote, who he met with again today. The contractor seems very competent and Cllr Short is confident that it can go ahead with no problems. The Finance Committee had looked over all of the information provided by Cllr Short and agreed to recommend D.A. Page Landscapes for approval by the full council.

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

ACTION – Clerk to inform D.A. Page Landscapes that their quote of £4,125 + VAT has been approved.




To note the following decisions made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee via their Zoom meeting of 17th Feb 2021: (see link to Planning Minutes P11 Feb 2021):

  • 210192 – 16 Newbridge Hill, West Bergholt, CO6 3ER -Object – The Parish Council has no objection in principle to a front facing extension to this property, however it does not fulfill DG3 of the West Bergholt Village Design Statement, part of the CBC adopted Neighbourhood Plan Planning Policy PP10.
    DG3 – General Design – all proposed new build and extensions must enhance the area and make a positive architectural contribution.
    Whilst there would be no objection to an appropriate extension at the front (should the applicant be minded to redesign), a street scene would be useful, picking up adjacent properties as the property is on a hill. (DG8)
  • 210196 – 9 Bradbrook Cottages, Armoury Road, CO6 3JW – Object – The Parish Council objects to the application in respect that it does not meet the basic principles of DG10 and DG15 of the West Bergholt Village Design Statement, part of the CBC adopted Neighbourhood Plan Planning Policy PP10. The proposed prominent front elevation is totally out of keeping with the existing street vernacular.
    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.
    DG15: Infill – developments should be modest in proportion and in scale with surrounding properties. They should not dominate. Their architectural style and finishes should be compatible and vernacular. Any infill should comply with Infill SPD.
  • ESS/11/21/COL – Colchester Skip Hire, Packards Lane, CO6 3AH – Object – West Bergholt Parish Council would support Wormingford Parish Council wholeheartedly in their objection in respect that the earlier operating hours will impact on West Bergholt. When granted planning permission previously the Council believed it was on the understanding that there would be no additional applications for earlier times or increased HGV movements.
  • 210343 – Scarletts, Scarletts Chase, CO6 3DH (agricultural) – Support – The Parish Council has no objection to this application, subject to approval conditional on limiting future use (removal of Permitted Development rights) in the light of a previous conversion in the village of an “almost new barn” into a timber store and then a trampoline centre.
  • 210280 – Land adj. 18 Bradbrook Cottages, CO6 3JW – Object – The Parish Council has no objection in principle as this application has the same footprint as previously approved, however there is concern regarding the parking. There appears to be no parking for the donor house (18 Bradbrook), thus the Council would ask what provision has been made in this respect. Also, the Council has concerns about the large size of the 2nd floor window, please see DG3 of the West Bergholt Village Design Statement, part of the CBC adopted Neighbourhood Plan Planning Policy PP10.
    DG3 – General Design – all proposed new build and extensions must enhance the area and make a positive architectural contribution.
    Instead, the Council would recommend that in order to mirror the other end of the terrace a smaller window, such as their circular one, would be more appropriate.


To agree the following recommendations made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee via their Zoom meeting of 17th February 2021 as PC decisions (see link to Planning Minutes P11 Feb 21):

  • 210384 – Box Cottage, The Avenue, CO6 3HD – Object – The Parish Council has no objection in principle but would like to see a different window arrangement on the first-floor extension at the rear to avoid overlooking the neighbours. With regards the annex, the Council is content, subject to approval being conditional on the annex only ever being occupied by a family member or carer for the main house and that it is not sold or let separately to the applicant’s main property.

RESOLVED – Cllr Tyrrell proposed to agree the above comments, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk to submit agreed comment to CBC Planning Portal


To discuss the naming of three new streets which will be created as part of the Hopkins Homes development.

The Parish Council received an email from the CBC Street Naming team, who have asked for name suggestions for the three new streets which will be part of the Hopkins Homes development off Colchester Road. The names should be in keeping with the land’s history or the history of the local area. Several different names have been suggested by members of the Parish Council.

ACTION – Clerk to compile a list of all the suggestions and recirculate to Council members.


Environment & Highways


To note the minutes of the Environment Committee from their meeting of the 11th February 2021 (see link to Environment Minutes P11 Feb 2021)

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

  • There has been hedging and ditch work undertaken along Colchester Road near the village sign by ECC contractors, which the Handymen will be tidying soon. Unfortunately, some of the hedges were lost, however they have completed good work on the ditches and intend to put back the screen to stop debris blocking the drain near the back of Armoury Close which was well-informed.

ACTION – Cllr Gili-Ross asked the Clerk to request the gullies (as opposed to drains) be cleared by Highways along Colchester Road from Armoury Road to Hop House.


To agree the Environment Committee’s recommendation for the removal and replanting of the new hedge at the Queen’s Head Pond to the opposite side, along the wall.

RESOLVED – Proposed by Cllr Gili-Ross, seconded by Cllr Short. All in favour.

ACTION –Cllr Spencer will visit the nearest property concerned to discuss the move in advance of replanting.


To agree the Environment Committee’s recommendation for the Lorkin Daniell hedge to remain a consistent height throughout its length as it currently is, with no additional cutting required.

The full council agreed unanimously with this recommendation and to follow the approved plan regarding the hedge’s growth. This will be at a practical, continuous height, based on the maximum height the hedge flailer can reach during its annual cut in October as that height protects the neighbouring houses from stray footballs from the field. Finally, the Council would reiterate to the residents that under no circumstances should there be any unauthorised trimming of the playground side of the hedge or its top.

RESOLVED – Proposed by Cllr Gili-Ross, seconded by Cllr Spencer. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk to reply to the residents of Henderson Place who raised this query.


Council Documents


To review and ratify West Bergholt Parish Council’s:

(See links to WBPC Council Documents)

ACTION – Clerk to make a few minor amendments to four of these policies.

RESOLVED – It was proposed to approve all five policies with the said amendments by Cllr Stevenson, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.


Council Publicity


The WBPC Publicity Officer updated the council with the following posts:

Date Publicity Reaction
28/1 Alerting residents to avoid the surgery area due to the Sat vaccination programme. Re-posted a reminder on the 29th Hub – 27 likes 18 comments
30/1 A thank you from John Gili Ross & the vaccination marshalling volunteers to residents for to all their support of coffee etc Hub – 131 likes 13 comments
4/2 Shed break-ins on the allotment Hub – 30 likes 6 comments
6/2 Request for help clearing snow for the Sat vaccination programme at the surgery Hub – 25 likes 22 comments

Successful take up

10/2 Snow & ice disruption to refuse collections Hub – 4 likes


Council Action Plan


To receive an update on 2020-21 Projects:

The Council Projects for 2020-21 are progressing as follows (only change noted in yellow):

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 £7909.14 £590.86 spent on website migration
Grants: (awarded by the Parish Council) £1,000 £500 awarded
TOTAL £31,000


MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area)


To note receipt of the MUGA resurfacing tenders following the closing date of 22nd Feb 2021.

Six companies have submitted their tender documents. They will now be forwarded to the MUGA Working Party for discussion in early March, then onto the Finance Advisory Committee for their recommendation to the full council meeting on Wed 24th March.

Occurring to the government’s “roadmap out of lockdown” the re-opening of tennis is due, at the earliest, from the end of March.


Talking Benches


To agree in principle to the Talking Benches project as outlined in the information paper, prior to submission to the local Facebook Hub for resident feedback. (See link to Talking Benches Information Paper)

Cllr Butcher referred the Council to the information paper which he had provided, this also pictured photos of benches purchased by other authorities, showing this is not an idea unique to West Bergholt. In fact, just today, the Council had been informed by CBC that Colchester Rotary Club would like to pay for a Friendly Bench somewhere in the borough.

The details about the project, i.e., where to put the benches, what they will be made of and who pays, will come back to the Council at a later date, for now this is an agreement in principle. If agreed then Cllr Smith, as “Norma Parish” will put something on the Hub to gauge local residents’ enthusiasm.

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

ACTION – Cllr Butcher to discuss with Cllr Smith the details needed for the local Hub Facebook post.




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

  • Learning Disability Awareness – BTB – 8th Feb 21
    Cllr Butcher noted this was an interesting workshop, which others should attend if they wish. It discussed how to be aware of the nature and different types of disabilities.
  • Climate Crisis Conference – BT & CS – 28th Jan 21
    Cllrs Tyrrell & Stevenson reported that this EALC conference was splendid, an excellent half day covering a huge number of topics and with presentations from lots of Parish Councils who are not actually undertaking any different initiatives to WBPC but are noting them in a Sustainable Action Plan.

ACTION – Clerk to recirculate presentations to the full council.


Climate Working Party


To agree the establishment of a Climate Working Party and to agree Council members.

Following attendance at the excellent EALC Climate Crisis Conference, Cllrs Stevenson & Tyrrell considered that with some many initiatives open to communities to play their part in carbon recursion now was the time to formulate an action plan. Such an action plan would be a logical development of the Council’s work and would be reflected in its prospective Quality Gold Council application, where we should aim to create a Sustainable Action Plan, much of which we are already doing.  The creation of a Working Party made up of Councillors and interested residents would enable us to do this in a measured way.

RESOLVED – Proposed by Cllr Stevenson, seconded by Cllr Smith. All in favour.

RESOLVED – The Parish Councillors who volunteered for this Working Party are Cllrs Tyrrell, Stevenson, Butcher, Spencer, Smith, and Stone.

ACTION – The Councillors will draft a Terms of Reference for this Working Party and bring it back to a future meeting.


Items to Note

  1. Departure of Reverend Mandy
    Rev. Mandy is leaving the St Mary the Virgin Church, West Bergholt. The Parish Council would note their appreciation for everything she has done for West Bergholt and wish her & her husband well for the future. ACTION – Clerk to forward message to St. Mary’s.
  2. Response to NALC/EALC on end of remote meetings
    The Government’s current legislation on holding remote meetings for councils ceases in May 2021 and there is no intention to extend it. Cllrs want the legislation to be changed to move into the 21st Century, whether meetings are held remotely or in a hybrid manner providing more accessibility and creating less of an environment impact. ACTION – Chairman will be writing to our two local MPs.
  3. Crime Statistics – 25th Jan – 14th Feb 2021, no crimes reported.
  4. Adding Argent’s Lane to Highway’s future gritting routes.
    The Council received an email from Borough Councillor Lewis Barber stating that he would support any action to add Argent’s Lane to the gritting routes. He asked that we write to Anne Brown to back up his suggestion, however, Cllr Spencer stated that the road is simply too narrow, and the salt will only go into the hedge. It is a good idea, but maybe not the most practical. ACTION – Clerk to forward this information to Borough Cllr Barber.
  5. Grant application received from the Friends of the Old Church – will be discussed at next cycle of meetings.
  6. The Council noted the sad passing of Bernie Sanach of West Bergholt Social Club. His funeral will be held on Tues 30th March, donations can be made via Co Op online to St Helena’s Hospice and EACH (East Anglian Children’s Hospice). ACTION – Clerk to send a card to his wife on behalf of WBPC.


Items for the next agenda – 24th March 2021

  • Agree internal auditor
  • Agree MUGA tender
  • Review Grant Policy & Complaints Procedure
  • Agree Asset Register


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 items were discussed.


Date of Next Meeting

  The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Wednesday 24th March 2021 at 7.30pm

(via Zoom)

  Meeting closed at 8.45 pm


Date:                     Position on Council:


Skip to content