Minutes of Parish Council 27th July 2022

Minutes of meeting

A brief summary of the key elements of the PC meeting on 27th July 2022. As well as receiving regular reports they discussed:

  • Funding of projects for the Orpen Memorial Hall.
  • Grant to Orpen players.
  • Chair & Vice-Chair for Planning.
  • Options for the care of a Green Area proposed as part of a development.
  • An increase in littering.
  • Mumford Oak wildlife area.
  • Funding of new Parish Office.
  • Actions in addressing Climate Emergency.

More details on all of these in the official minutes below:

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held on Wed 27th July 2022 at 7.30 pm in the John Lampon Hall, Orpen Hall

Chairman:Cllr Brian Butcher
Parish Councillors Present:Cllrs Chris Stevenson, John Gili-Ross, Andrew Savage, Harry Stone, Joel Fayers and Bob Tyrrell
Parish ClerkLaura Walkingshaw
Borough & County Councillors:None present
Present:3 members of the public

22/101         Receive/accept apologies and welcome to the public

RESOLVED – Apologies were received and accepted from Cllrs Owers, Short and Barrow.

Please note item 22/111b will now be discussed under item 22/116, in committee, after the public session as it involves a tendering process.

22/102         Questions from registered electors

There were no questions received from registered electors.

22/103         Declarations of Interest

Cllr Gili-Ross declared an interest in item 22/107 planning application 221704.

22/104         Previous Minutes

RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 22nd June 2022 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (See link to PC Minutes P3 Jun 22)

22/105         Report from Colchester Borough and Essex County Councillors

There was no report received from the Borough or County Councillors.

22/106         Finance

a)   Statement of accounts for June 2022

The final accounts for June 22 (25% through financial year) were presented as follows: (See link to PC Accounts P3 Jun 22)

Receipts at 50%, General Expenditure 20%, Environment Expenditure 19%, Overall Expenditure 20%. Bank Rec at £ 126,991.08 on 30th June 2022.

b)   Payments

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

Payments List Jul 22
PC22057George BrownsRepairs to Kubota (from June Payments List)699.23
DDBarclaysBank charges (13.60 – 1.02)12.58
PC22064Writtle University CollegeAdditional fee PA6AW course – SF85.00
SOJ & M Payroll ServicesJuly – wages, tax & NI4,500.00
PC22065J & M Payroll ServicesJuly – wages tax & NI121.85
PC22066J & M Payroll ServicesPayroll services27.00
PC22067WBFCGrass cutting Jul – LD Field50.00
PC22068CountrywideGrass cutting Jul – Poor’s Land186.00
PC22069Petty Cash – LWPostage, petrol & diesel67.24
PC22070KingServWebsite support services: May-Oct 22 (2 invoices)900.00
PC22071Grasshopper LtdStihl BG86C Blower330.00
PC22072ArcoCargo Shorts x 338.30
PC22073RCCEAnnual PC membership 2022-2023105.60
PC22074EALCCllr Training Day 1 – JO108.00
PC22075The Conservation Volunteers (TCV)Work on Hall Road Pond312.00
Chq 104295DVLAVehicle tax 12 mths – KJ55 DME truck290.00
PC22076CountrywideFootball pitch alterations1470.00
PC22077WaveWater bill allotments Sep 21 – Jun 2221.98
PC22078Simon ForresterTravel expenses to Writtle College x 4130.00
PC22079Plastecowood LtdArmed bench – friendly bench for Village Grn564.00
PC22080Laura WalkingshawWoodstain x 3, pump, Adobe & Microsoft renewal284.72
PC22081Printerland*Xerox WorkCentre 6515DN & toners810.40
DCGreat Bentley PC to WBPCBACs payment for Xerox printer-810.40
PC22082Cardinus Risk Mgt Ltd **Revaluation report of Orpen Hall156.00
PC22083Brian ButcherMemory stick – data for Police15.00
PC22084BCMT Autocentre LtdMOT and work to PC truck619.93
PC22085Orpen PlayersGrant from PC (if item 22/106d approved)500.00

* Cost of printer reimbursed by Great Bentley Parish Council with a net zero impact on WBPC budget.

** Approval subject to Cllr Tyrrell being content with the Cardinus report

c)    To agree to transfer the £11,542.42 in PC Reserves “Ringfenced Orpen Memorial Hall projects” to the Hall Reserves account for use by the Orpen Memorial Hall Trust for those projects previously agreed by the PC in the Three-Year Plan.

AMENDMENT – Cllr Savage put forward an amendment to item 22/106c, proposing:

“To agree to transfer £5,000.00 in PC Reserves held under “Ringfenced Orpen Memorial Hall projects” to the Hall Reserves account for use by the Orpen Memorial Hall Trust for those projects previously agreed by the PC in the Three-Year Plan and in addition £500 from 2022-23 PC Projects Climate Change Initiative”

Summer projects previously listed in the Three-Year Plan are:

  • New floor for the Orpen Hall disabled toilet (c. £1100.00)
  • Hive thermostat installation in OH, JL Hall & SC (c. £1100.00)
  • Refinish to the John Lampon Hall floor (c. £2300.00)
  • New hall sign to front of the building (c. £1000.00)

He proposes that if the Parish Council restricts to this amount, then there is still money available for other small Hall Projects in the Reserves, but they will require match funding. That match funding may even be a contribution from the Orpen Memorial Hall bank account.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed the Council agree his amendment, Cllr Tyrrell seconded. All in favour.

d)   To approve the £500 grant application to the Parish Council from the Orpen Players, for a replacement keyboard

The Parish Council received a grant application from the Orpen Players for £500. The Players have struggled during Covid however the Council does not fund day to day expenditure, but the grant for a keyboard to replace the old piano, which required updating, was perfectly acceptable.  

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve the grant payment of £500 to the Orpen Players, Cllr Stone seconded. All in favour.

22/107         Planning

a)   To note the appointment by the Planning Committee of Cllr Tyrrell as Chairman and Cllr Fayers as Vice Chair

Cllr Tyrrell was appointed Chairman of the Planning Committee at the last meeting.

Cllr Fayers was appointed Vice Chair of the Planning Committee at the same meeting.

b)   To note the following decisions made by the West Bergholt Parish Council Planning Committee at their meeting of 20th July 2022 (see link to Planning P4 Jul 2022):

220727 – 30 New Church Road, West Bergholt, CO6 3JE – OBSERVATION – already submitted -The Parish Council notes that the revised drawings appear to address most of its previous concerns and comments, therefore the PC has no objections. However, it would like a condition attached to the approval that the land marked in blue is to be maintained and not allowed to become overgrown.

221574 – Land off, Colchester Road, West Bergholt – OBSERVATION – The Parish Council would defer this matter to the expertise of Colchester Borough Council.

221641 – The White Hart, Nayland Road, West Bergholt, CO6 3DD – OBSERVATION – As a listed building, the Parish Council would defer to Colchester Borough Council’s greater knowledge in these matters.

221666 – The White Hart, Nayland Road, West Bergholt, CO6 3DD – OBSERVATION – As a listed building, the Parish Council would defer to Colchester Borough Council’s greater knowledge in these matters.

221704 – 67 Mumford Road, West Bergholt, CO6 3BL – SUPPORT – The Parish Council has no comment.

ESS/11/21/COL/APP – Appeal Notification – APP/Z1585/W/22/3297769 CSH – No comment required; this is simply notification of the appeal on an application which the Parish Council has previously commented on.

Two queries were raised as these minutes were discussed:

  • 220727 – Is there a possibility that the Parish Council could take ownership of the green area to the back of this development on Mumford Close?

ACTION – Clerk to see if it is listed on the asset register, find the title number and then contact the Borough Councillors to request how the PC might go about acquiring it.

  • 221641 – Cllr Gili-Ross asked the Planning Committee if the Parish Council had a policy on illuminated signs. Possibly this could be discussed as part of the Neighbourhood Plan amendments.

ACTION – Clerk to send the two prospective Parish Councillors present a copy of the WB Neighbourhood Plan and Village Design Statement.

c)    To agree that the Planning Committee should review the Neighbourhood Plan, following the Local Plan approval and the recent NALC seminar attended by Cllrs Tyrrell and Stevenson, then seek ratification from the PC for any amendments

Cllrs Stevenson & Tyrrell attended a seminar from NALC (National Association of Local Councils) which laid out how current Neighbourhood Plans can be amended with either minor (through the Borough Council) or major changes (which would entail a rewrite of the Neigh Plan and require another inspection & referendum).

Now that Colchester’s Local Plan section 2 has been approved it cements the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan, but small amendments will be required to it. It was noted that Cllr Stevenson is unable to complete this work as a Parish Councillor, however the Council were happy for him to continue work on the policies in a non-Councillor role.

RESOLVED – Cllr Butcher proposed to agree to the review, Cllr Tyrrell seconded. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk to also send the prospective Parish Councillors the presentation slides from the NALC seminar

22/108         Environment & Highways

a)   To receive a verbal update from the Chairman of the Environment Committee as no meeting was held in July 2022

The Environment Committee were not quorate this month and so no meeting was held.

  • The Handymen have been working very hard at watering both the new hedge planting and all of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee commemorative trees. The Council thanks the Handymen for all their hard work.
  • Litter has already increased since the start of the school holidays.

ACTION – Message to be put on local Facebook Hub to request parents to ensure their children put their rubbish in a bin or bring it home.

  • Matt is back on light duties, but not much grass cutting is happening due to the weather.
  • Plans are in place to tape off an area near the Mumford Oak to restrict cutting and allow a wildlife area to develop.

ACTION – Signs are to be erected to let residents understand what is planned and a message on the Facebook Hub to request the public NOT to throw wildflower seeds there as it has been found by other Councils that it isn’t helpful to have them unnaturally added to a wild area.

  • Jubilee bunting needs to be removed now.

ACTION – Clerk to inform Hall Maintenance man.

  • Handymen’s truck went in for it’s MOT and failed, all necessary improvements made to pass the MOT and get through the next year. The truck is now back on the road again.

b)   To approve the Colchester Borough Council dog/litter bin emptying agreement with WBPC for 2022-23

Cllr Butcher had previously circulated an email to members summing up the current position with the CBC bin contract, explaining the different prices over previous years and how the current costs are made up. The Parish Council will need to pay someone to empty the bins whether it is CBC or Colchester Skip Hire, and the Handymen are too busy already to add the bin collection to their schedule.

Cllr Fayers asked if the Parish Council could purchase mixed recycling bins, however the Clerk informed him that CBC are not currently able to collect from such bins at present. Also, Cllr Gili-Ross expressed his hope that one of the aims of the Climate Working Party would be to persuade local shops to stop selling single use plastic.

RESOLVED – Cllr Butcher proposed to agree to the 2022-23 CBC contract, Cllr Savage seconded. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk to sign and send to Colchester Borough Council, but to also insist that they inform us of the 2023-24 charges in November to enable the Parish Council to budget & precept accordingly, or for alternative collection arrangements for 23/24 to be considered.

22/109         Council email addresses

To approve the recommendations in Cllr Owers’ report on the changes required to Councillor email addresses (see link to Report on email addresses)

Cllr Owers report was then discussed by the Council in his absence. Google is about to start charging for the current .net email addresses and so in the interim the Council proposes to move to .org email addresses until a request for .gov emails is granted (approximately 2 months).

Councillors were asked to vote on:

Cllr Gili-Ross queried how the replies from the forwarded emails to say Environment@ would work as the responses would then come from his private email address defeating the purpose of data protection, however it was explained that this was the interim measure and that a separate server would soon be in operation which Cllrs would log into to access their emails with its own storage system.

RESOLVED – Cllr Butcher proposed to accept what Cllr Owers had laid out in his report and agree to review its operation by December, Cllr Gili-Ross seconded. All in favour.

22/110         Council Documents

a)   To review and ratify all documents linked to WBPC’s Information & Data Protection Policy (no changes recommended) (see link to List of Data Protection Documents)

The Clerk had previously circulated the list of Data Protection Documents. Only one, the Social Media & Electronic Communication Policy, will require amendments, however the details will be dependent on the changes to the Councillor email addresses and server (item 22/109) so the amendments can wait until that piece of work is completed first.

RESOLVED – Cllr Butcher proposed to agree all the current documents linked to WBPC’s Information & Data Protection Policy, Cllr Stone seconded. All in favour.

b)   To agree the amended Playground Advisory Group terms of reference (see link to Playground Advisory Group ToR)

Playground Advisory Group have recently resat for the first time since Covid and so an update of the group’s 2018 terms of reference was thought to be appropriate. Cllr Butcher is keen to see the Lorkin Daniell Playground all inclusive.

Only one query was raised on the last line:

“Members should note that whilst every effort will be made to implement the plans agreed by the Advisory Group this ultimately will be constrained by the amount of funding raised/available.”

and an alternative suggested:

“Members should note that whilst every effort will be made to implement the plans agreed by the Advisory Group these will need the approval of the Lorkin Daniell Playing Field Trust and the Parish Council, and ultimately constrained by the amount of funding raised/available.”

RESOLVED – Cllr Butcher proposed to agree the amended Playground Advisory Group terms of reference with the alternative suggestion, Cllr Stone seconded. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk to send Emergency CIF application form to Cllr Stone for the replacement swing rocker

22/111         Parish Office

To note the section 106 monies proposed by CBC which will be dedicated to the Parish Office project

The Clerk received advice from Mark Healey (CBC Community Enabling Officer), in relation to the Hopkins Homes planning reference 191997, that the CBC agreed approach would be to split the community contribution 50/50 with an award of £36,855.46 to Orpen Hall and the same amount to St Mary’s Church. Once the tender for the Parish Office architecture firm is agreed later in this meeting, Cllr Butcher would like to have a meeting with them and then with Mark Healey in early September to discuss further.

ACTION – Clerk & RFO to check if CIF application applicable for the Parish Office project.

22/112         Climate Emergency

The Parish Council declared a Climate Emergency in January 2022. To agree that the Parish Council will now seek to make improvements, as and where practicable, to substantially improve the overall levels of insulation to the Orpen Hall complex, managed by the OMHT on behalf of the Council, as sole Trustee. In that regard the PC will seek to achieve Passive Standards* by 2030. The PC will also be making similar recommendations in its comments on all Planning applications, be they new builds and extensions.

*Passive Standards seek to make buildings in which thermal comfort is required be achieved solely by post-heating or post-cooling of the fresh air mass, which means very little heating is required, for example warming the incoming air, rather than requiring a full traditional heating system.

Cllr Tyrrell explained his proposal to the Council. Cllr Savage highlighted the fact that the statement clearly defines that it is what the Council is aiming to do “where practical” and as far as planning applications are concerned the Planning Committee will be able to come up with a standard phrase to add to each application.

RESOLVED – Cllr Gili-Ross proposed to agree the item above, Cllr Stevenson seconded. All in favour.

22/113         Training/Networking Events

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

  • PA1 & PA6AW at Writtle College – Simon Forrester – 27th & 29th June 22 – passed, licence issued.
  • Enovert AGM – 5th July 22 – Clerk (LW)
  • Cllr Training Days 1 & 2 – Cllr Owers – 12th & 23rd July 22 – Cllr Owers sent the Clerk a positive review of these training days to read out in the meeting.

ACTION – Clerk to send that review to the EALC

  • CBC Clerk’s Forum – 14th July 22 – Clerk (LW)
  • EALC Climate Course – Module 6 Built Environment – Cllr Tyrrell & Clerk – 26th July 22

22/114         Items to Note

  • Crime Statistics – 3 crimes reported in the last month, damage to vehicle, theft from vehicle, burglary from outbuilding.
  • Local ECC Member nomination for Heathlands School governor – Members unsure whether the role can be filled by a Parish Councillor?

ACTION – Clerk to check with Cllr Barber to be sure.

  • Email from resident re: Hopkins entrance – Cllr Barber is following up with CBC Planning Enforcement.
  • Notes from Cllr Tyrrell’s meeting with Hopkins re: 3-acre field – this is the new recreation field which will lie at the back of the new Hopkins estate. There is a draft document coming out shortly to define ownership to the Parish Council, but Cllr Gili-Ross would suggest the need for Hopkins to provide the Conveyance very soon. This item needs to be pushed forward and from September representative from Finance, Planning, Environment and the potential users will be meeting to discuss the details.
  • Cllr Stevenson’s resignation – Cllr Stevenson has now resigned from the Parish Council and all members thanked him again for all of his hard work over the years as both Councillor and Chairman of the Parish Council. He will continue to be involved in some projects in a non-Councillor role for which the Council is grateful for his expertise.

22/115         Items for next agenda (Sept 2022)

  • Co-option of new Councillors
  • Finance Terms of Reference
  • Parish Council Christmas Tree
  • Zebra Crossing
  • Neighbourhood Plan Action Plan
  • Appointment of the Clerk’s Assistant
  • Care Network

22/116         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).

The members of the public then left, and Councillors discussed the following:

To agree to the recommendation of Cllrs Tyrrell & Savage to appoint architectural support as per the report on the fee tenders received for the Parish Office (see previous link to Parish Office Report)

Five local companies asked to tender as architectural support for the Parish Office, subject to grant funding. Four submitted their tenders, one declined on this occasion. Reading Cllrs Tyrrell and Savage’s report the proposal was to award Mclean Architectural Ltd the tender for the Parish Office on this occasion.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to agree the awarding to Mclean Architectural Ltd, Cllr Gili-Ross seconded. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk to inform all four companies of the result.

22/117         Date of Next Meeting

The next Meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Wednesday 28th September 2022 at 7.30pm in the John Lampon Hall, Orpen Memorial Hall, Lexden Road, CO6 3BW.

Meeting closed at 9.36pm

Signed:                            Date:                     Position on Council:

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