Minutes of Parish Council Meeting – 24th April 2024

D-Day 80th Anniversary Flag

A brief summary of key elements of the PC meeting on 24th April 2024.  At this meeting, as well as routine matters, they:

  • Agreed to install a wall-mounted flagpole at Orpen Hall in time to commemorate the 80th D-Day Anniversary in June,
  • Discussed 3 planning applications (Hall Road, Colchester Road & Cooks Hall Road),
  • Signed off the council’s 2023/24 year-end Accounts, and
  • Agreed contractor to make changes to the fire exits on the John Lampon Hall in order to facilitate the upcoming Community Hub development.

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting

Held on Wed 24th April 2024 at 6.30pm in the Orpen Memorial Hall, CO6 3BW

Chair:Cllr Brian Butcher
Parish Councillors:Cllrs David Short, John Gili-Ross, James Owers, Katie Pulford, Harry Stone, Andrew Savage, Manya Barrow, Paul Chamberlain
Also in attendance:Laura Walkingshaw (Parish Clerk),
City & County Cllrs:None
Members of the public:No members of the public

24/55      Receive /accept apologies and welcome to the public.

Apologies were received from Cllrs Tyrrell and Cullis. Apologies also received from City Councillor Sara Naylor.

24/56      Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

24/57      Previous Minutes & Actions

RESOLVED – the Minutes of the Parish Council (PC) meeting held on Wed 27th March 2024 were approved and signed by the Chairman, with no amendments. (See link to PC Minutes P12 March 2024)

24/58      Questions from registered electors

There were no questions from registered electors.

24/59      Report from Colchester City & Essex County Councillors

No report was received from Colchester City or Essex County Councillors.

24/60      Planning

240331 Barns at, Hall Road, West Bergholt

Application for approval of details reserved by conditions 3,5,7, 13,14,15 (213344)

West Bergholt Planning Committee defers to the expertise of Colchester City Council Planning department on all conditions of this application but would note that the Construction Management Plan has taken no account of plant vehicles manoeuvring in an area known for its notable off-road parking by people visiting Hillhouse Woods, or St Mary’s Old Church, and it neither mentions nor proposes the use of a banksman. Also, it makes no reference to the increased risk to other road users by construction vehicles using what is in the main a single-track road with no passing places, it does not propose any construction vehicle control measures.

Decision: N/A

240565 Old Rectory Lodge, Cooks Hall Road, CO6 3EX

Replacement of existing house with annexe to replace detached garage.

Comment: Having considered all the details of this application, the Parish Council has decided to support the application subject to approval being conditional on the annexe only being used solely by people associated with, and users of, the main dwelling, and that it is not sold or let separately to the applicant’s main property.

Decision: Support

240651 Land south of West Bergholt Cricket Club, Colchester Road  

Application for approval of reserved matters following outline   approval 201686 – erection of 18no. dwellings.

Comment: Having considered all the details of this application, the Parish Council has decided to Support the application, subject to the application being fully in accordance with the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan.

Decision: Support

24/61      Environment & Highways

The minutes of the 11th April 24 meeting were noted.

b)    To discuss and agree the flagpole arrangements for the upcoming D-Day event in June.

Discussions included whether the PC wanted to commemorate this event or not, if the PC bought a flag, would it also purchase an extra one and donate it to Heathlands School, as they have their own flagpole. However, with the PC’s own flagpole damaged beyond repair during Storm Eunice, the PC also discussed the options of a replacement flagpole for which quotes indicate this could cost up to £2,000. Sponsorship for that option may be considered at a later date.

RESOLVED – Cllr Butcher proposed that the PC purchases 2 D-Day commemorative flags (one to be donated to Heathlands School) and wall mounted flagpole holder. Cllr Short seconded. All in favour.

ACTION – Cllr Gili-Ross to identify the correct design & model and send the information onto the Clerk for payment.

24/62      Finance

a)    Statement of accounts for Mar 24

The final accounts for Mar 24 (100% through the financial year) were presented as follows: (See link to PC Accounts P12 Mar 2024)

Receipts at 100%, General Expenditure 83%, Environment Expenditure 86%, Overall Expenditure 83%

Bank Rec at £115,576.57.

One item was taken out of the reserves and shown on the Projects & Reserves sheet this month. Payment for the new railings to one side of the Lorkin Daniell playpark. The monies that have not been spent in the Projects line item (for the WB Community Hub etc.) will be forwarded into the 2024-25 Reserves for future spending.

b)    Payments

RESOLVED – to approve the April 24 payments list in accordance with the 2024-25 budget as listed below. Proposed by Cllr Savage, seconded by Cllr Stone. All in favour.

April 2024
DDBarclaysBank charges – loyalty reward (10.00 – 0.30)9.70
DDPublic Works LoanPWLB repayment (May)2,684.13
SOJ & M Payroll ServicesApr – wages, tax & NI5,500.00
PC24001J & M Payroll ServicesApr – wages tax & NI1,804.96
PC24002J & M Payroll ServicesPayroll services – Apr48.00
PC24003WBFCGrass cutting Apr – LD Field50.00
PC24004CountrywideGrass cutting Apr – Poor’s Land209.00
PC24005Laura WalkingshawStationery, Bee Squared project, chainsaw items, battery403.06
PC24006John Gili-RossProtective visors x 215.98
PC24007EALCEALC/NALC affiliation fees 2024-25 (508.46/206.36)714.82
PC24008Bob TyrellInk cartridges56.47
PC24009TBS HygieneDog & Litter bin emptying 08/04 – 26/04210.00
PC24010Petty CashPetrol & Diesel44.47
PC24011John Gili-RossCut-off wheels – Handymen tools8.00
PC24012PrinterlandExtra high-capacity yellow toner (8,000 pgs)238.80
PC24013Laura WalkingshawWHUK server mthly fee, Zoom yrly renewal, hook tape193.71
PC24014Apogee PrintVinyl patches for APM banners (x 12)30.00
PC24015KingServWebsite support services (May-Jul 2024)450.00
PC24016Victoria Beckwith-ColeExpenses for APM77.15
PC24017Mrs J StobartInternal audit for year-end 31st Mar 2024245.00
TfrPC to Hall accountCSH Allotment Skip Hire220.00

c)     To agree to the quote for the demolition & moving of the JL Hall fire escape doors in readiness of the Parish Council’s WB Community Hub project.

The fire escape doors need to be moved in readiness for the construction of the Parish Council’s WB Community Hub to the side of the JL Hall.

The hope is to get them moved during the May half term so as not to affect Bluebells Preschool hall hire during termtime. The PC sought quotes from four contractors, however only one came back to us with a price. The contractor has been used by the PC previously and it has been happy with the quality of their work and price.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed approval of the £4,972.00 + VAT quote for the demolition and moving of the John Lampon Hall fire escape doors, Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour.

ACTION – Clerk to instruct the contractor and Cllr Savage to project manage.

The AGAR is the Annual Governance and Accountability Return, which is submitted to the external auditor of Parish Council’s PKF Littlejohn.

The Annual Internal Audit took place on 18th April and the auditor signed the AGAR Internal Audit Report with no issues raised. The PC has now also received her 8-page more detailed internal audit report for 2023/24. As stated above there were no issues found, but there is one recommendation highlighted to Council in regard to the insurance. Some insurance replacement costs on the asset register exceed the policy cover, so they need to be increased or reviewed before the next renewal in June 2024.

The Clerk needs to check with Zurich Insurance whether, if an asset needs replacing, will it be with a like-for-like value or just to the amount covered on the policy. An alternative might be to go through the insurance column of the asset register and decide that some repeated items, such as benches, should have a 0-value next to them as they are unlikely to all be damaged at once.

ACTION – Clerk and Cllr Savage to look at this and then bring back an option to the next PC meeting in advance of the annual insurance renewal.

Income more than last year as more VAT refunds made. Expenditure less than last year as fewer major projects undertaken.

RESOLVED – Cllr Savage proposed to approve the WBPC Annual Accounts 2023-24. Cllr Butcher seconded. All in favour. Cllrs Butcher and Savage then signed the 2023-24 accounts.

24/63      Items for Next Agenda (22nd May 2024 – Annual Meeting of Parish Council)

  • Elect a Chair and Vice Chair
  • Appoint an RFO
  • Reaffirm Committees memberships
  • Renew Standing Orders (need amending), Financial Regulations, Committee’s Terms of Reference etc.
  • Renew General Power of Competence
  • Approval of Sections 1 and 2 of AGAR
  • Annual insurance renewal

24/64      In Committee

To discuss changes to the Handymen workforce and arrangements in place for continuity.

Village Handyman, Nigel Weall, has given his resignation and so his replacement will need to be found. He has kindly provided the PC with three months’ notice, so he can complete some outstanding jobs during that time and the PC can take the time to find & recruit the right candidate.

ACTION – Clerk to send Cllr Gili-Ross details of the Village Handyman’s role and rate of pay. She also needs to check that he has no outstanding banked or holiday hours by July. If no candidate is found by 16th May the vacancy will be posted on the WB Facebook Hub.

24/65      Date of Next Meeting

The next full council meeting will be the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council to be held on Wed 22nd May at 7.30pm, in the John Lampon Hall, Orpen Memorial Hall, Lexden Rd, CO6 3BW.

The meeting closed at 18:57pm.

Signed:                                                                                Date:

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