Minutes of Parish Council 28th April 2021

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held via Zoom on Wed 28th Apr 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 Councillors Brian Jarvis & Lewis Barber County Councillor Anne Brown
Present:1 member of the public


HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh


1 minute silence and short statement from the chairman on the passing of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Cllr Stevenson stated that not only would Prince Philip’s legacy be remembered in the many ways already reported in the press, but that he had also been an ever-present support to the queen and member of the royal family for as long as any of us can remember, providing huge stability for the county. He also remarked on a West Bergholt connection, Richard Stone who resides in the village, has painted both HRH the Queen and Prince Philip in the past.


Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the public


Borough Councillor Dennis Willetts


Thank you


To thank County Councillor Anne Brown and Borough Councillor Brian Jarvis for all their support and hard work for West Bergholt.

Cllr Stevenson thanked both Cllrs Brown and Jarvis for all their support over the years and that we would miss seeing them at our Parish and Annual meetings.

He continued stating that Cllr Jarvis had been very supportive on Planning issues and was very knowledgeable about the village, whilst Cllr Brown was equally supportive especially on Highways issues and many County Council matters.

Cllr Jarvis wished to be remembered having supported a number of really worthwhile causes with use of the Locality Budget (e.g., BH Youth Football Club, Litter Warriors, new play equipment, WB Toddler Group) which he hoped had made a real difference.

Cllr Brown remarked that West Bergholt was a special village, and of the 17 Parishes in her area it was the one which she looked towards to see the standard, mainly achieved by how well the council works together.

Cllr Gili-Ross, following his many years as chairman of the Parish Council, also wished to thank the Councillors. Cllr Jarvis for his work in so many other areas such as the Neighbourhood Action Panel – LCAPS, and his support of everything good in North Colchester. The balance he maintained between Borough Councillor and the Parish very much appreciated.

He also thanked Cllr Brown from all Essex communities on behalf of the EALC (Essex Association of Local Councils) having been on the decision panel for all funding of the CIF (Communities Initiative Fund) with a forcefulness & opinion which was always balanced, and which has benefitted so many communities.


West Bergholt Covid-19 Response


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

  • Council meetings will no longer be permitted via Zoom after 7th May and so members will need to meet in person again soon. See item 21/78a for further discussion of this topic.
  • Have a new revised Covid agreement for those hiring the fields on Trust land.
  • Cllr Brown wanted to add that a Suffolk County Councillor who attends the Nayland Surgery which is also run by the Creffield Medical Group, was greatly impressed at how well West Bergholt volunteers have jumped into action for the vaccination programme and wished to pass on well-deserved thanks.


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 March 2021 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (Link to Minutes P12 March 2021)


Report from Colchester Borough Councillors


Borough Councillor Barber reported:

  • PA 210787 Fish & Chip shop application – thank you to the WB Planning Committee for letting him attend their meeting. He can confirm that Cllr Willetts has now called this application in on Environmental Health grounds (smell, noise, times) however Cllr Barber still has concerns mainly around parking and traffic issues and hopes to call it in again (if possible) on those additional grounds.
  • Recycling bags – will be delivered to residents until 7th May. If nothing received, then residents can notify CBC via a report it tool and they will be then delivered by 21st May latest. First sack of blue textile bags is free and then will need to be purchased from Essex Textiles. Cllr Stevenson noted that West Bergholt is highly motivated when it came to recycling, but it is a shame when residents have to pay for bags as it puts obstacles in the way.
  • Section 2 analysis of the Local Plan – Cllr Barber has not seen anything yet that would have a direct impact on West Bergholt, but will let us know if he did.





Statement of accounts for Mar 2021 (Link to P12 Mar 2021 Summary)

The final accounts for Mar 2021 were presented as follows:

Receipts at 97%, General Expenditure 70%, Environment Expenditure 63%, Overall Expenditure 68%

Bank Rec at £ 84,715.62




RESOLVED – To approve the April payments list in accordance with 2021-22 budget.

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

PC Payments List – Apr 2021



Bank charges



J & M Payroll Services

Apr – wages, tax & NI



J & M Payroll Services

Apr – wages, tax & NI



Shed Centre

8’ x 6’ shed – New Allotments



J & M Payroll Services

Payroll services – end of year processing



Petty Cash Replenishment

Petrol, sand, ballast, stamps



Kent Blaxill

Bucket, sponge, ranging line 30m



Cox Landscapes

Yard sales



Rix Motor Engineering

Repairs to Focus




2021/22 affiliation fees (EALC & NALC)




Website services – May-Jul 2021




Grass cutting Apr – LD Field




Grass cutting Apr – Poor’s Land



John Gili-Ross

Zoom renewal



Norhurst Landscapes

Shed base – New Allotments




CS – Youth Engagement Conf. – 28/04



Laura Walkingshaw

Chairman’s Fund




To approve Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2020/21 of the Annual Return

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2020/21 of the Annual Return. Cllr Harlow seconded. All in favour.



To agree Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2020/21 of the Annual Return

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve Section 2 – the Accounting Statements 2020/21 of the Annual Return. Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour. Section 2 was then signed.

ACTION – The Public Rights Notice will be put up on the notice board on Mon 14th June until Fri 23rd July 2021.



To note the end of year accounts (2020/21) for the Village Bulletin, MUGA and New Playground.

Village Bulletin Accounts

Receipts £0.00, Payments £787.12, Overall -£787.12

Receipts variance -£3,235.50 on 2019-20, Payments variance -£3,286.40 on 2019-20

MUGA Accounts

Receipts £940.01, Payments £350.24, Overall £589.77

Receipts variance -£658.04 on 2019-20, Payments variance -£644.22 on 2019-20

New Playground Accounts

Receipts £10,000 from PC Projects 2020-21. Overall receipts at £35,078.40

Payments £15,505.10 on new equipment & pathway. Overall payments at £26,805.72

Total monies remaining £8,272.68 (to be earmarked).

Reserves & earmarked figures will be discussed and agreed next month.





To note the following decisions made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee via their Zoom meeting of 21st Apr 2021 (see link to Planning Minutes P1 Apr 2021):

  • 202544 – 30 New Church Road, CO6 3JE (revised plans) – Object – The Parish Council has examined the revised drawings as submitted on 19/03/2021. The Parish Council remain of the view that the design/application is contrary to its adopted Neighbourhood Plan. We have noted the minor changes, unfortunately, they fall short of addressing our main concerns, so the application as proposed should be refused.
    1. The spacing between the proposed properties is still contrary to the Borough Council’s Supplementary Planning Document Backland and Infill (Adopted Sept 2009 and revised Dec 2010).
    2. Parking to the front of the site is very tight and contrary to the Essex Design Guide also the Village Design Statement policy DG35, as it will have an adverse effect on the adjacent properties.
    3. The application is also contrary to CBC Development Plan Core Strategy. New development should respect and enhance the character of the site, its context and surroundings area.
    The Parish Council is still of the opinion that the site is only suitable for a single dwelling as previous (now semi demolished) or a pair of semidetached houses (as adjacent) with a 2.5m spacing from each of the boundaries generally in keeping with other properties in New Church Road, and the existing urban grain. These proposals will result in 2no large, urban houses totally out of keeping in a semi-rural road in the heart of our village.
  • 210787 – 87 Colchester Road, CO6 3JU (Ash’s Store) – Object – The Parish Council objects to this application for a part change of use due to the likely impact on the community in terms of increased traffic, issues with parking, noise, odours and disturbance and litter. The application is not accompanied with any statement of need for the proposal and lacks any information relating to these concerns. No mitigation is provided to deal with these all too obvious concerns. In addition, the times of operation are unacceptable particularly the late evening operating times which will attract additional traffic and cause disturbance to nearby residential properties. Overall, the application does not comply with PP14 of the CBC-adopted West Bergholt Neighbourhood: PP14: Expansion of Employment Sites – Proposals to upgrade or extend existing employment sites will be supported provided that:
    • the impact on the amenities enjoyed by occupants of nearby properties is acceptable; and
    • they do not compromise the character of the area or openness of the countryside; and
    • where appropriate, they satisfactorily demonstrate expected traffic impact is acceptable in terms of highway safety and the amenity of nearby residents.

This application has not demonstrated any thought or mitigating measures to limit the impact on nearby residents in regard to:

    • road safety with the proximity of an already dangerous junction at Armoury Road,
    • lack of parking provision for passing trade,
    • noise concerns, potential public nuisance from loitering and light pollution caused by the excessive opening hours, 
    • and increased litter.

The Council would also note that the potential positioning of the large flume is almost adjacent to 85 Colchester Road, whilst there is ample room to move it away from this neighbour and further into the grounds of 87 Colchester Road itself.

  • 210756 – Hill House Farm, 157 Colchester Road, CO6 3JX – Object – The Parish Council objects to this application due to the excessive size and height of the annex, and its proximity to a Grade II listed building the Council has no objection to an annex in principle on this site and would support if it was smaller in size, as normally approved in the village.
    However, if the Borough Council is minded to approve this application, then the Parish Council would ask that approval is conditional on the annex only being occupied by dependent relatives and that it is not sold or let separately to the applicant’s main property.
  • 210757 – Hill House Fm, 157 Colchester Road, CO6 3JX (Listed) – Object – As above.
  • 210871 – 71 Chapel Road, CO6 3JA – Support – The Parish Council has no comment.
  • 210915 – 8 Hop House, Colchester Road, CO6 3NW – Support – The Parish Council supports this application in principle but would defer to Colchester Borough Council’s greater knowledge in regards to listed building applications.
  • 210916 – 8 Hop House, Colchester Road, CO6 3NW (Listed) – Support – As above.



To approve the following recommendations made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee via their Zoom meeting of 21st Apr 2021 (see link to Planning Minutes P1 Apr 2021):

  • 210682 – One, Whitehouse Lane, CO6 3ET – Object – The property is on one of the main access roads to the village. The Parish Council would refer to PP6 of the CBC-adopted West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan:

PP6 Trees & Hedgerows: Development proposals which conserve trees and/or hedgerows will be supported. Where development proposals would necessitate the loss of such features, appropriate mitigation will be supported, subject to there being no protective designations in place. 

The Council would support this application if the applicant left the existing hedge in situ and erected the new fence say 1m behind it.

  • 210909 – 16 Mumford Road, CO6 3HU – Object – The Parish Council object due to the overpowering nature of the workshop’s excessive size, which will be visible from the road, but would approve if it was smaller in size.
  • 210980 – 83 Chapel Road, CO6 3HL – Support – Noting the Parish Council’s previous comments in regard to this property, the Council would assume that full account has been taken of CBC’s Conservation Officer’s advice and therefore would defer to their greater knowledge of listed building applications.
  • 210981 – 83 Chapel Road, CO6 3HL (Listed) – Support – As above.

RESOLVED – Cllr Tyrrell proposed to agree these recommendations, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.



To agree the suggested new road names for the Hopkins Homes development on Colchester Road

New road names for the Hopkins Homes development as suggested by CBC’s streetnaming team are William Sims Close and Frederick Sims Mews.

Background: The village by the 19th century already had a fee-paying school, but nothing for the poor. The vicar at the time, Reverend William Sims, had already applied to the Church of England for funding for the building of a school for the poor, but by 1833 he had raised only £55 of the £300 needed and appealed again. By then the village had grown in numbers and more money was needed for a larger school than originally planned. However, William Sims died before he could see the fruits of his labour. Fortunately, the next vicar, his son, Frederick Sims, was able to raise £400 by public subscription. The school was built on the Heath and two cottages were made alongside it: one for the schoolmaster and his wife and the other to be let out with the rent going towards the upkeep of the school. The school was initially built to accommodate 200 pupils, and the opening ceremony was held at the parish church during the Sunday Eucharist.

RESOLVED – Cllr Stevenson proposed to agree these suggested names, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk to send Cllr Smith the background history of these names.


Environment & Highways



To note the minutes of the Environment Committee from their meeting of the 8th April 2021 (see link to Environment Minutes P1 Apr 2021)

Cllr Gili-Ross stated that almost all to do with the Environment Committee was covered by the minutes except:

  • Speeding on B1508 from Braiswick – a letter had been received from a resident raising concerns around speeding cars leaving Braiswick and entering the village. A reply was sent stating that the Parish Council has always wanted the issue addressed and completely agree it should be a lower speed limit than 60mph, Cllr Stevenson reported that it should be a more gradual 30-40-30mph, rather than 30-60-30mph. It is hoped that the upcoming local elections may make a difference in regard to who we can petition for greater speed restrictions, it is something for the next Highways County Council portfolio holder.  
  • LHP (Local Highways Panel) change to policy on VAS & SIDS (Vehicle Activated Signs) for speeding – suggesting that if Parish Councils can pay/place them even if they do not meet the County Council’s criteria. The barriers are being removed so that if a parish have decided they want one or want to move one then there is more flexibility to enable this. Cllr Gili-Ross also noted at this point that with County Cllr Anne Brown no longer standing on the LHP it is hoped that someone just as parish-orientated as her takes over in that role.



To note the renewal of the Highways Devolution Project agreement for 2021-22



Council Documents


To review and approve the Neighbourhood Plan Implementation Action Plan (See link to WBPC Policies)

The Implementation Action Plan has been circulated, and comments/amendments noted. Cllr Stevenson would draw members attention to the doing word associated with each action, i.e. if it says “identify” and a Cllr has identified then that action is completed, there is no need to wait for the rest of it to be completed.

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

ACTION – Please notify the Clerk when actions are completed.


Council Publicity


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





Still time to do your Census reminder

1 like


Photo of litter pick bags at blue bridge

91 likes 21 comments


Census reminder as lack of response

2 likes 40 comments


Street Tag App



Youth Group for new Garden Community



Photo of litter pick bags following monthly pick



Visitors to your door chasing the Census

1 like 1 comment


Advertising Police visit at the Co-op (Unfortunately they didn’t show up)

3 likes 7 comments


Argents Lane road closure

6 likes 11 comments


Advertising the reopening of the Ladies Badminton group at the hall

2 likes 2 comments

ACTION – Clerk to write to the Police District Commander to inform him that this was the second time that the Police have not turned up to their Street Greet and it would be appreciated if they could let us know in advance if they will be attending.


Council Action Plan

CS or AS

To note the West Bergholt Parish Council’s 2021-22 Projects which have been added to the Council Action Plan:

2020-21 Outstanding projects (funds to be earmarked):



Orpen Memorial Hall projects*:

£ 4,000

Repainting JL Hall

requiring match funding

Installing ceiling fans

Replacement card tables

Curtains to hide stored tables & chairs

New signboard at front of Hall

Historical honour board

£ 1,500

Play Equipment – Lorkin Daniell Field

£ 8,000

Neighbourhood Plan implementation projects

£ 7,627.14

2021-22 Projects (in addition to above):

Orpen Memorial Hall projects*:


Upgrading of disabled toilet in the Orpen Hall

may require match funding

Tile canopies at the front of the Orpen Hall

Various small improvement projects

Eco-toilet on Lorkin Daniell Field

£ 6,000

Neighbourhood Plan implementation projects*

£ 1,000

Lexden Road Pond boardwalk / Dipping platform

£ 3,000

Environmental projects

£ 1,000




£ 1,000

Projects/Grants TOTAL

£ 22,000


MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area)


To note the signing of the MUGA resurfacing contract and the start/possible finish dates of the work.

Contract now signed, just waiting for details of compound from ETC. Tennis courts will be open for the next month until the resurfacing begins. Resurfacing due to take place from Mon 7th June until Mon 19th July. Grand reopening will take place at Village Fete on Sat 24th July.

ACTION – Clerk to notify Chairman of MUGA Working Party of the contract and dates.

ACTION – Please ensure photos are taken at different stages of the resurfacing. Cllr Smith to publicise resurfacing nearer the time on the Hub.


Friendly Benches


To note the receipt of an ECC Microgrant of £447 for a Friendly Bench and receive an update from Cllr Butcher.

Have now received the microgrant for one bench and confirmation from the WB Allotment Association that the Charity Stall will fund another. All down to the details now. Looking at which of the existing benches will need plaques. Would like all new benches to have arms to aid those less-able, however where there are no benches with arms the Council will use the most appropriate existing benches. Will dovetail the benches with the village walks (available on westbergholt.org) and hope that a map of the sites will be available in the next couple of weeks.

ACTION – Clerk to write to ECC to say thank you for the microgrant.


Climate Working Party


To note the provisional date for a community Climate Change workshop event on 10th July 2021.

The Council members of this Working Party have met a couple of times now and have provisionally booked the 10th July for a workshop event for interested residents. The members discussed a priority list of actions which the PC can follow in order to set the example. Some are small, but some are big and have cost implications, will need to plan ahead for the PC’s own land and buildings as some will need a start-up fund. Cllr Stevenson would encourage all members to read the Essex County Council Climate findings.


Methodist Chapel


To note receipt of the WW1 & WW2 memorial plaques from the Methodist Chapel prior to the sale completion, for appropriate relocation by WBPC to elsewhere in the community.

After receiving a letter from the Methodists confirming that they would like the PC to look after the memorial plaques, they have been removed from the Chapel and are currently in safe keeping until a permanent position is found.




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

  • Co-option & Elections – CS & LW – 19th Apr 21

Good training course, although much of it the Chairman and Clerk were already aware of. Good point made in regard to encouraging residents to join PC sub-committees and working parties in order to demystify council workings and enthuse future Parish Councillors.

ACTION – Clerk to send presentation slides around to all Councillors.

  • Youth Engagement Conference – CS & BTB – 28th Apr 21

Councillor Butcher attended the EALC Youth Engagement Conference on 28th April and reported its benefits, and suggested:

  1. Contacting BYG to see if the PC can help via Essex Youth Services and remote working via Essex Active in getting the group meeting again.
  2. Placing an entry on the Hub asking if younger members of WB wanted to come forward and tell us how they can help drive WB forward as we come out of lockdown.
  3. Contacting Sport England who have a support programme and funding for encouraging healthy life/response to returning to a coronavirus safe way of life via sport if an opportunity comes forward.
  4. Encouraging youth engagement by posting on the Hub a short inspirational video by a young Councillor from Witham.
    ACTION – BTB to give link to NS to view.
  5. As climate change was said to be the most important issue to youths BYG/the School/Scouts etc. should be invited to join the Climate Working Party.
  6. Visiting NALC web site as they have a dedicated web page for young people as youth encouragement is a current NALC campaign, hence today’s conference.
  7. ‘you don’t have to be retired to make a difference’ is a good PC strap line.
  8. When posting on the Hub to encourage youth engagement make it ‘easy’ keep it short and easy to respond to, make the post relevant and interesting and make the Hub the most reliable source of information.
  9. One recent PC campaign noted was the championing of the RSPB birdwatching week.
  10. The PC consider one Councillor become a Youth Engagement Councillor to champion youth engagement.


Items to Note


  1. Judgement on remote meetings – 4pm today
    It has been announced that the High Court has ruled against Lawyers in the Local Government (LLG), Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) and Hertfordshire County Council in their bid to enable local (parish & town) councils to continue meeting remotely. Therefore, WB Parish Council can no longer hold remote meetings after May 7th, but will instead have to meet in person. However, village halls are not allowed to reopen until May 17th so the Environment Committee meeting will be the first affected on May 13th (they have since agreed to meet outside the hall under the gazebo), then the Planning Committee on the May 19th, followed by the PC meeting on May 26th.

    Meetings only need to be quorate (in WBPC’s case that means 4 Councillors must be in attendance), so some members may wish to still join the meeting remotely if they feel uncomfortable, however only those in attendance will be allowed to vote on items discussed. The WB Planning meeting can be a template for other PC meetings; perhaps the public could also join via Zoom, spacing of the attendees will need to be considered and the doors open for ventilation. Cleaning will need to take place afterwards, prior to Bluebells using the rooms the next morning and so meetings may need to be held earlier e.g. 5pm so that the cleaner has time to clean in between users.

  2. Crime Statistics – 22nd Mar – 25th Apr 2021, 1 crime reported – theft of large amount of Wild Garlic from Woodland Trust as owners of Hillhouse Wood.


Items for the next agenda – 26th May 2021 Annual Meeting of Parish Council


  • Election of Chairman
  • Confirmation of PC committee members
  • Review & ratify WBPC standing orders & financial regulations
  • Agree earmarked reserves


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).


To note the increase in the Clerk’s working hours from 36 to 37hrs/wk as per the 2021/22 budget



Date of Next Meeting


The next meeting of the Parish Council (Annual Meeting of the Parish Council) will be held on Wednesday 26th May 2021 at 7.30pm in the Orpen Memorial Hall.


Meeting closed at 9.30pm


Date:                     Position on Council:

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