Minutes of Parish Council 25th May 2022

Minutes of meeting

A brief summary of the key elements of the PC meeting on 25th May 2022. As well as receiving regular reports they discussed:

  • Appointment of Chair, Vice Chairs and committees,
  • Message of appreciation to outgoing Chair,
  • Audit & insurance,
  • Parish Council’s response to proposed National Grid pylons,
  • Queen’s Green Canopy & other Jubilee matters,
  • Parish Council email plans.

Official minutes are below:

Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council

Held on Wed 25th May 2022 at 7.30 pm in the John Lampon Hall, Orpen Hall

Chairman:Cllr Chris Stevenson, Cllr Brian Butcher
Parish Councillors Present:Cllrs Bob Tyrrell, Joel Fayers, David Short, Andrew Savage, Harry Stone, John Gili-Ross, Manya Barrow and James Owers
Parish ClerkLaura Walkingshaw
Borough & County Councillors:None
Present:2 members of the public

22/66           Election of Chairman

Cllr Brian Butcher stated his wish to stand as Chairman of West Bergholt Parish Council and previously supplied members with a statement of intent, Cllr Savage proposed, Cllr Stone seconded. All in favour.

RESOLVED – Cllr Brian Butcher elected Chairman of West Bergholt Parish Council.

22/67           Receipt of the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office

RESOLVED – Cllr Butcher then signed the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

22/68           Thanks to the outgoing Chairman

Cllr Stone then gave a message of thanks to Cllr Stevenson for all his hard work as Chairman of the Parish Council for the last seven years and presented him with his gift (a spade) and card:

It is my privilege to say a few words to mark your retirement.

In your email of 19th April, you made us aware of your intention to resign from being Chair after 7 years in the job, and although mentioned at the Annual Parish Meeting, we would have recognised your leaving the role and the contribution you have made then, but Covid prevented this.

What I am about to say is not intended to frighten the life out of you Brian but being Chair can be an arduous task and your example will be a hard act to follow.

The Chair is the public face of the PC – you are the figurehead, you promote the Council, you can be the peacemaker, and you deal with the complaints.  On the positive side you meet with interesting people from other Councils and organisations.  You have carried out all these duties with distinction.

Under your leadership, and with the help of Laura, we are now recognised as one of the best run Parish Councils in Essex.  As councillors we have enjoyed the direction you have given to the Council and your firm and professional leadership.  In particular we thank you for your magnificent effort in spearheading the achievement of the acceptance of the Neighbourhood Plan.

I shall miss you; the Council will miss you, and it may not realise it but the whole village will miss you.  We all wish you well in your retirement both from Chair of the Council and your employment.

We hope this token recognises all you have done, gives you many happy hours digging on your allotment and means that Laura won’t have to write a letter warning that you have to do more to keep your weeds under control.

Cllr Stevenson then gave his thanks to all, saying it had been a pleasure and a privilege to serve as Chairman and thanking all Cllrs past and present, the Clerk and her staff and the Handymen for their support over the years. Cllr Stevenson listed the completion of the WB Neighbourhood Plan as one of his proudest moments as Chairman and remarked he was pleased that there is a competent person to take over. Photos were then taken, and a card and gift presented to the outgoing Chairman.

22/69           Election of Vice Chairmen

Cllr Harry Stone stated he wished to stand as Vice Chairman of West Bergholt Parish Council and previously supplied members with a statement of intent, Cllr Savage proposed, Cllr Stevenson seconded. All in favour.

RESOLVED – Cllr Harry Stone elected Vice Chairman of West Bergholt Parish Council.

Cllr Bob Tyrrell stated he wished to stand as Vice Chairman of West Bergholt Parish Council and previously supplied members with a statement of intent, Cllr Fayers proposed, Cllr Owers seconded. All in favour.

RESOLVED – Cllr Bob Tyrrell elected Vice Chairman of West Bergholt Parish Council.

22/70           Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the public

No Councillors were absent, so no apologies were necessary.

22/71           Questions from registered electors

There were no questions received from registered electors.

22/72           Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest, except that Cllr Stevenson notified the Council that he has been spending time with the pressure group against the National Grid proposals of item 22/77b.

22/73           Previous Minutes

RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 27th April 2022 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (See link to PC Minutes P1 Apr 22)

22/74           Report from Colchester Borough and Essex County Councillors

Apologies were also received from Borough Councillors Barber, Willetts & Leatherdale, meaning there were no reports received from the Borough or County Councillors.

22/75           Constitution

a)   To appoint a Responsible Finance Officer (RFO)

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage was re-appointed the Responsible Finance Officer for West Bergholt Parish Council.

b)   To appoint members to the Council’s standing committees and external bodies:

Planning Committee:Environment Committee:Finance Committee:
Bob TyrrellJohn Gili-Ross (Chairman)Andrew Savage (as RFO)
Brian ButcherHarry StoneBrian Butcher (as PC Chairman)
Andrew SavageDavid ShortHarry Stone (as Vice Chairman)
Joel FayersManya BarrowJohn Gili-Ross (as Env. Chairman)
Chris StevensonJames OwersBob Tyrrell (as Vice Chairman)
  Chairperson of OHMC (TBD)
Staffing Sub-committee:Climate Emergency Working Party:
Brian Butcher (as PC Chairman)Bob Tyrrell
Andrew Savage (as RFO)Chris Stevenson
John Gili-Ross (as Environment Chairman)Joel Fayers
1st Reserve – Harry Stone (as Vice Chair)Andrew Savage

Reporting direct to Environment Committee:
(Elected by Environment Committee)

  • Public Rights of Way representative – To be decided at the next Environment meeting
  • Public transport representative – Manya Barrow

Reporting direct to PC:

  • EALC – John Gili-Ross
  • CALC – Brian Butcher as Chairman of WBPC (John Gili-Ross – CALC Chairman)
  • Local Highways Panel – John Gili-Ross (appointed by CALC)
  • Police, Fire & Crime Panel – John Gili-Ross
  • Playground Advisory Group – Harry Stone, David Short
  • Traffic Safety Group – Harry Stone, Chris Stevenson
  • Village Bulletin editorial board – Manya Barrow
  • Publicity Officer – Joel Fayers
  • Heathlands School liaison – Harry Stone, Brian Butcher
  • St Mary’s Church liaison – Brian Butcher, Chris Stevenson, Harry Stone
  • Colchester Road Crossing representative – Chris Stevenson
  • Neighbourhood Plan & Village Design Statement review – Chris Stevenson
  • National Grid Consultation – Chris Stevenson
  • Hopkins Field Development representative – Bob Tyrrell

RESOLVED – It was agreed that neither the MUGA or Communication Working Parties were still required and so they will be discontinued. However, a small Working Party will be needed to be established in order to discuss the future of the 3-acre field which Hopkins Homes will be giving to the PC in March next year. The details of this Working Party will come back to the June Parish Council meeting.

c)    To remind Councillors to update their Register of Members’ interests, if necessary.

A reminder to Councillors to keep their Register of Member’s interests.

d)   To review and ratify West Bergholt Parish Council’s Standing Orders – one amendment proposed

One amendment proposed to allow the chair to be an ex officio member of all the Council’s standing committees, with full voting rights.

RESOLVED – The addition of item 4e to the Standing Orders was agreed as proposed by Cllr Gili-Ross, seconded by Cllr Butcher. All in favour.

e)    To review and ratify West Bergholt Parish Council’s Financial Regulations – no change proposed from previous

RESOLVED – no change to the Financial Regulations as proposed by Cllr Gili-Ross, seconded by Cllr Savage, All in favour.

f)    To review and ratify West Bergholt Parish Council’s Committee Terms of Reference (Planning & Environment) – no change proposed from previous

RESOLVED – Cllr Tyrrell, proposed to agree no changes to the Planning Terms of Reference, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.

RESOLVED – It was agreed to defer the review of the Environment Terms of Reference to the next meeting, once the Committee has had an opportunity to review and bring back to the PC meeting – as proposed by Cllr Gili-Ross, seconded by Cllr Stone. All in favour.

g)    To review and ratify West Bergholt Parish Council’s Code of Conduct – no change proposed from previous

RESOLVED – Cllr Butcher proposed to agree the unchanged Code of Conduct, Cllr Gili-Ross seconded. All in favour.

22/76           Finance

a)   Statement of accounts for April 2022

The final accounts for Apr 22 (8.3% through financial year) were presented as follows: (See link to PC Accounts P1 Apr 22).

Receipts at 49%, General Expenditure 7%, Environment Expenditure 7%, Overall Expenditure 7%. Bank Rec at £ 144,142.66 on 30th April 2022.

b)   Payments

RESOLVED – To approve the May payments list in accordance with 2022-23 budget. Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Stevenson. All in favour.

Payments List May 2022
DDBarclaysBank charges (13.21-0.95)12.26
SOJ & M Payroll ServicesMay – wages, tax & NI4500.00
PC22023J & M Payroll ServicesMay – wages tax & NI532.70
PC22024J & M Payroll ServicesPayroll services27.00
PC22025WBFCGrass cutting May – LD Field50.00
PC22026CountrywideGrass cutting May – Poor’s Land186.00
PC22027Petty Cash – LWPetrol24.39
PC22028Writtle CollegeTree inspection course 16 June – SF165.00
PC22029Writtle CollegePA1 and PA6 courses 27 & 29 June – SF520.00
PC22030Nigel WeallBuilding materials – plinth base156.04
PC22031Nigel WeallBalast – plinth29.00
PC22032RCCETreasurer training 9 June – AS60.00
PC22033Envirosigns2 A3 Jubilee signs72.00
PC22034Atlas SignsVillage Bulletin printing – Spring 221026.48
PC22035Ingleton WoodProfessional services – solar & WC project540.00
PC22036Jan StobartInternal audit 2022195.00
PC22037AIS Anglia Inspection ServicesLorkin Daniell playpark inspection168.00
PC22038Laura WalkingshawRoundup weedkiller, rust remover, gmail132.32
PC22039Jacqui Kibby (Scorpius Books)Bulletin Editor remuneration – Summer 22180.00
PC22040DEC Ukraine FundMonies raised from Charity Quiz385.00
PC22041TLC Environmental ServicesR & D survey of Social Club toilets & corridor540.00
PC22042Kent BlaxillBuilding materials – plinth367.85

c)    To agree to the 2021-22 additions to the Parish Council’s asset register.

£116,813 last year, some items removed and some added, including the MUGA resurfacing making a new asset register total of £137,104.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed that the Council agreed that new total, Cllr Short seconded. All in favour.

d)   To note the Internal Auditor’s report

Internal Auditor checked through the Parish Council’s accounts and documentation on the 4th May. She was happy with the internal controls of the Council; she signed the Internal Auditor’s section of the AGAR. Her report was noted by the Council, with just two matters to draw to the members attention on Insurance and Staff Appraisals:

  • Insurance – replacement cost column to be added to the asset register.
  • Staff Appraisals – annual check-in needed. The suggestion was that all 5 members of staff be met the same way with Cllr Butcher undertaking informal appraisals, providing a one page formal record at the end of it. ECC have abandoned formal appraisals, but it is good practice to have a conversation with a line manager from time to time.

Cllr Stevenson also reported the auditor’s advice back to the rest of the Council on Parish Council/Sole Trustee responsibilities. She advised at a recent meeting that the Sole Trust (of any of the Council’s five charities) can agree for the Parish Council to undertake a project on their land and as the project sponsors can designate powers to the Parish Council.

e)    To agree Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2021/22 by members of West Bergholt Parish Council

RESOLVED – Annual Governance Statement was read out by Cllr Savage. He then proposed that the Council agree Section 1 of the AGAR, Cllr Tyrrell seconded, All in favour. Section 1 was then signed by Clerk and Chairman of the meeting.

f)    To agree Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2021/22 for West Bergholt Parish Council

RESOLVED – Accounting Statements for 2021/22 were shown to the Council by Cllr Savage. He then proposed that the Council agree Section 2 of the AGAR, Cllr Stevenson seconded, All in favour. Section 2 was then signed by the Chairman of the meeting, having previously been signed by the RFO, Cllr Savage.

g)    To agree the renewal of the Council’s insurance policy

Quote had been received from Gallagher, the Council’s current insurers. It was a 20% increase on last year’s payment, however it is due for renewal at the end of May so even though some adjustments of the asset register will be required it was decided to agree to this price for a single year , rather than the usual 3-year Long Term Agreement and use the next year to investigate the market for a more competitive price.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to agree the £3,319.85 quote from Gallagher for a one-year premium, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.

h)    To note the Charity Quiz donation of £385, plus £40 from the Orpen Players pantomime, for the DEC Red Cross Ukraine appeal.


22/77           Planning

a)   To agree the following recommendations made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee via email:

221018 Alcrofts Farm, Bures Road – OBSERVATION – The Parish Council would defer to the Borough Council’s greater knowledge on the development of listed buildings

221019 Alcrofts Farm, Bures Road (Listed Building) – OBSERVATION – The Parish Council would defer to the Borough Council’s greater knowledge on the development of listed buildings.

221134 12 Colchester Road – OBSERVATION – The Parish Council is happy with an extension to this property, but it does have concerns that the cart lodge and road in the rear garden will cause a potential problem for neighbours, from the noise generated by vehicles coming and going late at night adjacent to the rear garden of No. 10.

221042 Newbridge Mill Farm, Newbridge Hill – OBJECTION – The Parish Council is happy to defer to Essex Highways greater knowledge in relation to this planning application as it has reservations over the width of Newbridge Hill at that point and the problems that large farm vehicles may have accessing and exiting there. However, the Parish Council objects because it has concerns at the loss of hedgerow and trees due to this application, and it would like to see a drawing showing the amount of loss and a proposed replacement plan.

221094 52 Valley Crescent, West Bergholt, CO6 3ED – OBJECTION – The Parish Council objects to this application, however it would support it, if the 2 parking spaces at the front each meet the minimum required size.

 RESOLVED – Cllr Tyrrell proposed the Council accept these recommendations as decisions, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.

b)   To agree WBPC’s principal areas of concern in response to National Grid’s consultation on the East Anglia Green Energy Enablement (GREEN) and delegate authority to Cllr Stevenson to draft and circulate to Cllrs for comment, before having the response signed off at the Planning Committee on June 15th

Cllr Stevenson had previously circulated his report on the Outline and principles of WBPC’s response to members, for which members thanked him for his hard work. If the Council approves the draft, it will still give the Council three weeks for quite specific West Bergholt concerns to come back to the Planning Committee on the 15th June, ready for the submission deadline of the 16th June.

This is a strategic principled response, anything West Bergholt orientated can be put into the consultation response form. Need to ensure it will also go to our local MP Bernard Jenkin, Cllr Gili-Ross will also be sending the report around to all of the CALC (Colchester Association of Local Council’s) members.

RESOLVED – Cllr Stevenson proposed to agree the draft, Cllr Stone seconded. All in favour.

RESOLVED – Cllr Butcher proposed to delegate authority to the Planning Committee for the final response, Cllr Barrow seconded. All in favour.

22/78           Environment & Highways

h)     To note the minutes of the Environment Committee from their meeting of the 12th May 2022 (see link to Environment P2 May 22)

The Environment Committee is currently working it way through the various Jubilee functions which require its attention as noted in the minutes of its meeting.

The Committee are also looking into the storage area in the garage at present and will bring a report on its recommendations back to the full council once prepared. Cllr Butcher reminded members that any review of the storage requirements should have due regard to the 25% use of the current Environment store by BYG and the concerns raised previously about potentially dangerous materials etc. being stored there.

22/79           Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

i)     To note the various Parish Council plans for the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

Summary of the Parish Council’s plans:

Queen’s Green Canopy

The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”. West Bergholt Parish Council will be planting trees in three areas, with the support of Colchester Borough Council, village organisations and businesses.

In front of the Orpen Memorial Hall

4 ornamental pear trees (Pyrus calleryana) have been planted to replace the diseased ornamental cherries originally planted for her majesty’s coronation. These trees have been sponsored by Oak View Landscapes, WB Allotment Association, WB Gardeners’ Association, and the Parish Council. The official Queen’s Green Canopy plaque will be mounted on a plinth beside these trees.

On the Poor’s Land

2 Pin Oaks (Quercus palustris) are to be donated by the Mayor of Colchester and planted on the Poor’s Land. There will be a tree planting ceremony on Friday 27th May at 2.15pm when the Mayor & Mayoress will attend, as well as members of the Parish Council along with children and staff from Heathlands School.

By the Lorkin Daniell Playground

2 trees will be planted by the children’s playground on the Lorkin Daniell Field, donated by Scissorhands Hairdressers and Tree & Lawn Company.

Lighting of the Jubilee Beacon

Thursday 2nd June at 9.45pm

The beacon lighting will take place on the Orpen Memorial Hall car park, Lexden Road, CO6 3BW, near the tennis courts at 9.45pm in co-ordination with other beacons throughout the country. Refreshments will be available in West Bergholt Social Club on the evening, all are welcome.

Jubilee Festival

Saturday 4th June from 12noon – 8pm

Festival of sport and fun to take place in the Orpen Memorial Hall and Lorkin Daniell Field, Lexden Road, CO6 3BW. Stalls, DJ, Inflatables, Royal Craft Show in John Lampon Hall, indoor bowls demonstration in the Orpen Hall, U11’s football & cricket skills sessions, tennis competition, Vocal Zones choir, Trampette taster sessions, live music, hog roast, BBQ, pizza, tea & cakes, free afternoon tea offered to all over 70.

12.00 – 2K Fun Run for U16’s
12.55 – Spitfire flypast
2.00 – New zip wire unveiled
2.15 – Queen’s Green Canopy tree plaques unveiled
4.00 – Raffle draw and prize presentations
4.15 – 8.30 Live bands play

22/80           PC Emails

j)    To appoint / delegate authority to a Working Party/Task Group to make a decision by the end of May in regard to the Parish Council’s email addresses and bring long-term proposals back to the June PC meeting

Cllr Butcher stated that, like many other members, he didn’t fully understand the complexities of the Council email addresses and so it was suggested that those with the knowledge make the decision.

RESOLVED – Cllr Owers, the Clerk and Dave Kingaby to make a decision in the short term and then bring back the long-term proposals to the June meeting. All in favour.

22/81           Training/Networking Events

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

  • Councillor Training Day 1 – MB – 23rd May 22 – Cllr Barrow reported that this was a very informative course, where it was good to meet members from other Councils experiencing different problems.

22/82           Items to Note

  • Crime Statistics – 3 Crimes reported since the last meeting. 2 criminal damage to residences and 1 theft of £50,000 of copper wire and fibre.
  • Colchester is now a city.

22/83           Items for next agenda (June 2022)

  • Working Party for the Hopkins Homes field
  • Care Network
  • PC Emails
  • Finance Committee terms of reference

22/84           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).

There were no matters held in committee.

22/85           Date of Next Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Wednesday 22nd June 2022 at 7.30pm in the John Lampon Hall, Orpen Memorial Hall, Lexden Road, CO6 3BW.

Meeting closed at 9.50pm

Signed:                            Date:                     Position on Council:

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