Minutes of Parish Council 24th March 2021

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held via Zoom on Wed 24th March 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:Borough Councillor Lewis Barber
Present:David Hewitt (WBPC Handyman), Dave Kingaby (westbergholt.org webmaster) & 1 member of the public


Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the public


Apologies were received from Borough Councillor Dennis Willetts, who had connectivity issues and Borough Councillor Brian Jarvis, who has now moved to Suffolk.

ACTION – Send a thank you to Cllr Jarvis for all his dedication to the Parish over the years.


Thank you


Chairman, Cllr Stevenson, thanked David Hewitt on his retirement for all his hard work as handyman to West Bergholt Parish Council. His work for the Council, since 2015 has been excellent. Anything thought to be beyond repair could be refurbished by him and brought back into service. Dependable, hardworking and a pleasure to work with, the Council will miss his skills.

Cllr Stevenson then noted the presentation of a Meal for Two voucher for David arranged at the Queen’s Head Pub once it re-opens after April 12th 2021.


West Bergholt Covid-19 Response


  • The vaccinations at the West Bergholt Surgery continue, with the marshalling noted as very organised. A thanks once again to the volunteers giving up their time there.
  • The Care Network Volunteers have not been too busy, which is good news.
  • Remote meetings – the Council is waiting to see if the Coronavirus Act, specifically the part relating to allowing remote Council meetings, will be extended.


Questions from registered electors


There were no questions received 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 February 2021 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P11 Feb 2021)


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors


Borough Councillor Barber reported:

  • PA202544 – 30 New Church Road – the revised plans have come in for this application of two houses on the site of number 30. Cllr Tyrrell asked the Borough Cllr to “call in” this application as the amended plans were not very different from the original ones which both neighbouring residents and the Parish Council objected to.
  • Superfast Essex Survey – the Borough Cllr thought it would be useful for this survey, regarding the patchiness of some area’s broadband service, to be advertised locally and would encourage everyone to reply in order to improve the service to the village. http://www.superfastessex.org/broadbandsurvey
  • Greensward at Pirie Rd/Erle Havard – the Cllr has asked for an update from Colchester Borough Council (CBC) on the Parish Council’s request to takeover and maintain this greensward.
  • Section 106 Contributions – Simon Cairns (CBC) is dealing with the contributions from the Neighbourhood Plan developments along Colchester Road.
  • Mumford & Bourne Road resurfacing – parts of Mumford Road footpath have recently been resurfaced and the Bourne Road works are due start soon. Cllr Gili-Ross expressed the Parish Council’s surprise in these works and asked if the Borough Cllr could ask County Cllr Anne Brown when the footpath outside the Scout Hut and the one leading out of the village, which have both been on the priority list for a while, would be completed. There appeared to be no logic in Essex Highways action to resurface Mumford & Bourne Road.
  • Colchester Road Parking – the Borough Cllr has received an email from a resident on the parking concerns along Colchester Road. He will be replying.





Statement of accounts for Feb 2021 (Link to P11 Feb 2021 Summary)

The final accounts for Feb 2021 were presented as follows:

Receipts at 97%, General Expenditure 61%, Environment Expenditure 60%, Overall Expenditure 60%

Bank Rec at £ 90,051.25

The Parish Council receipts are unlikely to go up any higher than 97% this financial year as it is not due to receive any more income before the end of March now. This is lower than expected as there have been no Village Bulletin advertising receipts this year, with only one edition published, due to delivery issues caused by the pandemic.




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

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

PC Payments List – Mar 2021



Bank charges (8.00 – 0.30)



J & M Payroll Services

Mar – wages, tax & NI



J & M Payroll Services

Mar – wages, tax & NI



J & M Payroll Services

Payroll services




Grass cutting Mar – Poor’s Land




Grass cutting Mar – LD Field



Petty Cash Replenishment

Wood & tape measure (Wickes), petrol



Kent Blaxill

Fixing band – repairs to Lexden Rd sign



Kent Blaxill

Clear PSE treatment – repairs to sign



Ernest Doe

Tools – hook, blades & hacksaw blades




Poor’s Land – water bill (Dec 20 – Mar 21)




Training – youth engagement – BTB




Training – co-option & election – LW




Training – co-option & election – CS



A-Z Supplies




Laura Walkingshaw

TSO Website hosting (£84 – £77 refund)



DA Page Landscapes

Path on LD Field




Membership 2021-22



Kent Blaxill

Gloves, primer & paint – railings



Kent Blaxill

Tap key, tape, hose clips, brush set




Domain transfer



Colin Waylen

Allotments – pipes



Friends of Old Church

Grant from WBPC – if agreed under item 21/46 f




To agree the Finance Committee’s recommendation of ETC Sports Surfaces tender 1 (tarmac) to undertake the resurfacing of the tennis courts for £18,790 plus VAT, using the earmarked MUGA reserves 2013-2020 and section 106 Leisure Services funds.

The money available for this project is £11,523.35 in the Council reserves, saved from the tennis court hiring from 2013-20 and the monies passed to the PC when the Millennium Club ceased operating, as well as up to £25,837.79 from Section 106 Leisure Services, so looking approximately at £37,000 in total.

Two tenders were sought from the contractors, one for a polymeric surface (for multiple sports usage) and one for tarmac (which would be mainly used for tennis). Seven tenders were returned and examined. The MUGA working group looked to rule out the polymeric as on receipt of the tenders as it was considered out of the price range and agreed to pursue the tarmac option (tender 1). They were happy with the two lowest tenders and the details provided in those tenders. It was agreed to check the possible start date with the lowest tender, this was confirmed as possibly the w/c 6th April, with two weeks to complete the job then leave tarmac surface to cure for 3-4 weeks before applying the colour spray, so resulting in re-opening the MUGA with its new surface on 17th May. The Working Party therefore recommended the ETC Sports Surfaces tender (tender 1) at £18,790.00 to the Finance Committee. Finance Committee also agreed and recommended the ETC tender 1 quote.

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

ACTION – Clerk to inform E.T.C Sports Surfaces that their tender 1 (tarmac) quote of £18,790 + VAT has been approved.



To approve the appointment of Jan Stobart as the Parish Council’s internal auditor for the 2020-21 end of year accounts.

Received a quote from Jan Stobart for £185 for a full day on the 26th April 2021, either at the Clerk’s house or remotely, to audit the PC accounts & processes.

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



To agree the 2020-21 additions to the Parish Council’s asset register.

The WBPC Schedule of Assets document was shared with members of the Council, detailing an increase of £14,021.28 of assets in the 2020-21 financial year, mainly due to purchasing the new playground equipment for the Lorkin Daniell Field, to a total of £116,813 in assets. This document is prepared in advance of submission to the external auditor of the AGAR (Annual Governance & Accountability Return).

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



To approve the Finance Committee’s recommendation of a £500 grant to the Friends of the Old Church.

Out of the £1,000 put aside for PC Grants, only the grant of £500 to WB Football Club has been awarded in this financial year so far, leaving £500 remaining. The Friends of the Old Church have now applied for a £500 grant for grass cutting to the front of the Old Church as they have been unable to raise funds this year in the usual manner due to the pandemic.

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

ACTION – Clerk to inform the Friends of the Old Church of the approval of this grant, and also to make it clear that this is a one-off grant to enable them to get things back on track, rather than an ongoing commitment for the Council to pay for their grass cutting.




To note the following decisions made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee via their Zoom meeting of 17th Mar 2021: (see link to Planning Minutes P12 Mar 2021):

  • 210460 – 8 Newbridge Hill, CO6 3ER – Object – The Parish Council objects to the proposed flat roof extension, which would be clearly visible from the public highway and would refer to the CBC adopted West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan, specifically Planning Policy PP10 which states “all new development should be of a high-quality design”. It would therefore advise that an application with a tiled pitch roof would be more likely to find favour with the Parish Council.
  • 210550 – 2 Ormonde Close, CO6 3LF – Object – The Parish Council objects to the proposed flat roof extension, which would be clearly visible from the public highway and would refer to the CBC adopted West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan, specifically Planning Policy PP10 which states “all new development should be of a high-quality design”. It would therefore advise that an application with a tiled pitch roof would be more likely to find favour with the Parish Council.
  • 210568 – 2 The Retreat, CO6 3HN – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 210551 – 29 Chapel Road, CO6 3JB – Support – The Parish Council would only comment that the rear bedroom window is of an excessive size and does not sit in harmony with the rear elevation.


Environment & Highways



To note the minutes of the Environment Committee from their meeting of the 11th March 2021 (see link to Environment Minutes P12 Mar 2021)

There are concerns regarding the longevity of Handyman’s vehicle. A quick assessment of the suspension & exhaust has highlighted problems, if they can be resolved then it may pass this year’s MOT in the Summer, however the Committee will need to plan accordingly for repairs or replacement.



To receive an update on the Lorkin Daniell Field new pathway project

The new pathway has been completed on the Lorkin Daniell Field to the playground with lots of positive comments received from the community. Grass seed has been sown to tidy up the edges and the bollards needed a bit of work to fix, but a good job all in all. The old bollards will need replacing with two new ones, like those near the gazebo, in the near future.


Council Documents


To review and ratify West Bergholt Parish Council’s:

  • Complaints Procedure
  • Grant Awarding Policy

(See link to WBPC Policies)

One typo was found in Grants Awards Policy under item 5 which the Clerk will amend. Also, Cllr Gili-Ross suggested changing the “Review March 2021” date on the document to “Review Annually”, which would save time updating on the website, but otherwise there were no issues with these documents.

RESOLVED – It was proposed to approve both policies by Cllr Stevenson, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.


Council Publicity



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



Likes & Comments


Talking benches & asking residents for ideas on locations

81 likes 32 comments


Article from the Gazette regarding writing local articles



New path to children’s play area by MUGA

182 likes 16 comments


Superfast Essex broadband survey

1 like


Village Bulletin is back so asking for contributors

7 likes 1 comment


Active Essex Easter poster




To discuss the draft Publicity Plan Draft Publicity Plan

Dave Kingaby, webmaster of westbergholt.org, joined the meeting at this point. Cllr Smith has written a draft publicity plan, which has some points in need of discussion by the full Council.

  • Is the WBPC Facebook page still worth keeping, bearing in mind how popular the local WB Facebook Hub is? – Dave explained that the Hub goes beyond the boundaries of the village with some 5.4 thousand members, which can dilute any local messages as so large. Also, there is a procedural reason for keeping it, he cannot publish directly onto the Hub from the website and so needs the WBPC Facebook page as a complete record of what is published. It also has 931 members, which is a quarter of the village. It was therefore decided that keeping the WBPC Facebook page was a good idea.
  • Do we want upcoming events listed in the Publicity Plan? This was again agreed as then they can be put on Facebook as “events” in advance of them happening, to stir up more interest.
  • Need to consider how to make contact with the Clubs post-COVID-19 to discuss how they use the website for publicity. Cllr Smith will be attending the Hall User Group Meeting tomorrow evening and so will explain directly to them how to go about it.

Cllr Smith reported that she had received some good feedback in her role as “Norma Parish” since becoming publicity officer. Residents are more aware of what the Parish Council do and feel more involved as a consequence e.g., where to put the potential Friendly Benches.

ACTION – Cllr Smith will update the plan after upcoming Hall User Group meeting.


Council Action Plan


CS or AS

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


£2,000 CCTV Done


Lexden Road Pond renovation




Historical Honour Board




Play Equipment – Lorkin Daniell Field


£2,000 aside for pathway

will be £8,000

Neighbourhood Plan Action Plan / Infrastructure projects


£590.86 + £282 for pathway

will be £7,627.14

Grants: (awarded by the Parish Council)


£500 (WBFC) + £500 (Old Church)

will be £0.00





MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area)



To note that due to the resurfacing the tennis courts will remain closed after lockdown until at least the week commencing 17th May 2021.

The handymen will blow the surface of the MUGA clear of debris this week in readiness of the re-surfacing. Publicity will be needed in advance of the re-opening.

ACTION – Clerk to inform Cllr Smith when the work starts and finishes so that she can let residents know.



To approve the tennis court hire costs of £5.25 per court per hour and £1 per 30 mins for floodlight tokens.

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


Talking Benches (Friendly Benches)


To note the feedback on the West Bergholt Facebook Hub for the Friendly Benches project and an update on progress.

Received a positive reaction on the Hub following the Feb PC agreement in principle. Have found a recycled plastic company that makes benches, ones with arms were decided to be easier for those with disabilities and have received some prices. Funding is hoped to come from a Microgrant, a donation and possibly from the Charity Allotment Stall, but not confirmed as yet. The new benches will all be on PC/Trust land at present. Have agreed a draft form of words for the plaques, which will identify them as Friendly Benches.

ACTION – Cllr Butcher will circulate the wording of the plaques to all members.


Climate Working Party


To note the inaugural meeting by Council members of the Climate Crisis Working Party

Inaugural meeting booked for Thurs 15th April 2021, this will be for Parish Council members only in order to get things organised ready for residents to join soon after. Cllr Butcher will be standing down from this Committee as there are already plenty of PC members.




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

  • Street Tag – NS & BTB – 9th Mar 21

This CBC initiative, attended by Cllrs Smith & Butcher, will identify different sites/places as tags, which can be picked up by mobile phones. It starts on 29th March and residents can accrue points by tagging as many sites as possible. Those at the top of the list gain prizes and every three months it resets to zero. Events, such as the Village Fete, can also be tagged and are worth bonus points. Cllr Butcher has already emailed the notes from the Street Tag meeting to PC members.

  • CALC Meeting – CS – 18th Mar 21 (Annual Parish Meeting)

Cllr Stevenson attended this meeting, chaired by Cllr Gili-Ross, which discussed the possible ending of remote meetings amongst other items. Councils have been encouraged to contact their MPs in regard to the continuation of the Coronavirus Act specifically the ending of virtual meetings. Also, there are concerns with the impact this may have on the Annual Parish Meeting, which is held for residents of the parish each year. The Annual Parish Meeting must be held between 1 Mar and 1 Jun, West Bergholt Parish Council’s was booked for 28th Apr and the Council has heard from NALC that it can be held virtually this year, but the number of residents that would attend if held that way is doubtful. However, Halls cannot reopen until the 17th of May and even then, they are required to remain at 25% capacity until June 21st so open attendance at a physical Annual Parish Meeting is unobtainable.

RESOLVED – West Bergholt Parish Council therefore agreed not to hold the Annual Parish Meeting in 2021.


Items to Note


  1. Crime Statistics – 15th Feb – 21st Mar 2021, no crimes reported.
  2. Highways Devolution Project – confirmation was required to continue with this project into 2021-2022. RESOLVED – All in favour of signing the new agreement and continuing.
  3. Police overtime email – Cllr Stone enquired if it was a good idea to consider this for the parking issues in West Bergholt. However, Cllr Gili-Ross explained that the police do not have the power to enforce general parking violations, that is NEPP’s (North Essex Parking Partnership) role. Cllr Stone understood and added that after Easter the school will be working on a coordinated approach to the parking issues, which may ease the problem.
  4. Balls on the Heath/Village Green. ACTION – Clerk to write to school to ask that no ball games be allowed on the Heath.


Items for the next agenda – 28th April 2021


  • Agree earmarked reserves.
  • Neighbourhood Plan Implementation Plan
  • Invite County Councillor Anne Brown & Borough Councillor Brian Jarvis


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 28th April 2021 at 7.30pm (via Zoom), as there will be no Annual Parish Meeting.


Meeting closed at 9.15 pm


Date:                     Position on Council:

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