Annual Parish Meeting | 21 April 2016 at 7:30pm
- Committee Group: Annual Parish Meeting
STANWAY RESIDENTS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
THURSDAY, 21ST APRIL 2016
IN THE VICTORY HALL, VILLA ROAD, STANWAY
1. Attendance and Apologies for Absence
2. Minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting
3. Matters Arising from the Minutes of 16th April 2015
4. PARISH COUNCIL Chairman’s Report INCLUDING Burial Ground, Multi Purpose Games Area and Policy and Finance Committees Update
5. PLANNING COMMITTEE UPDATE
6. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN SUB COMMITTEE Update
7. COMMUNITY EVENTS AND RECREATION AREAS COMMITTEES UPDATES
8. Village Hall Management Committee Chairman’s Report
9. Stanway residents association report
10. Stanway scout group report
11. Residents Forum
BREAK FOR REFRESHMENTS
PRESENTATION BY SIR BOB RUSSELL, COLCHESTER’S HIGH STEWARD
Cllr Gill Collings
Chairman of Stanway Parish Council
11TH April 2016
STANWAY PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
Held on Thursday, 21st April 2016
At 7.30pm at the VICTORY HALL
1. Attendance and Apologies for Absence
The following Parish Councillors were in attendance: – Cllrs G M Collings (Parish Council Chairman), D Bloomfield, D Chambers, D Fowles, S F Mann, T J Manning, P Rogers, D Simpson, C M Spademan, J Spademan and C Sutton.
The following Borough Councillors were in attendance: –
Apologies for absence were received from: – Cllrs J Cartwright and J R Norton, Ann Longman, Stanway Village Hall Management committee and Steve Hunt, Stanway Residents Association.
Also in attendance: – Colleen Moss, Parish Clerk, Mr Robert Wopling, Stanway Residents Association and 1st Stanway Scout Group and 5 members of the Public.
The Chairman advised that Sir Bob Russell would be arriving at about 8pm, as he was lighting the beacon to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday.
The Chairman wished the Queen a Happy 90th Birthday, on behalf of Stanway Parish Council.
2. Minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting
PROPOSED Cllr G M Collings SECONDED Cllr D Bloomfield and unanimously RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting held on 16th April 2015.
The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 16th April 2015 were then signed by the Chairman as a true record.
3. Matters arising from the Minutes of 16th April 2015
* Minute 6, MacDonald’s 24 hour opening and litter issues. The resident asked what area MacDonalds monitor and collect litter from.
The Chairman advised that the exact area was not known, but it is known to be a large area that is checked and litter picked frequently during the day. The Parish Council have been in touch with MacDonalds about this issue and will do so again as necessary.
* Minute 9, Residents Forum broken drain cover at the junction of Chapel Road and Villa Road. The resident thanked the Parish Council for getting the drain cover fixed.
4. Parish Council Chairman’s Report
(Including Burial Ground, Multi Purpose Games Area, and Policy and Finance committee updates)
Cllr G M Collings, Parish Council Chairman, gave the following report:
During this past year we had several Councillors who resigned from the Council and we have been able to co-opt one new Councillor but we still have a vacant seat on full council.
I reported last year that the Multi Purpose Games Area ticks along although we have had to close one of the courts because the ground has subsided and this must be remedied before play can resume. Unfortunately, it has still not been remedied, but this is not due to our being slow, but due to the slowness of how our Insurance Company works! Thanks to Keith & Dave from the Stanway Rovers who help to keep the courts maintained.
The Burial Ground, which begun life under our previous Chairman, Colin Lax, now has another bench thanks to a resident of Stanway. We have also had some Memorial Bricks placed in the Memorial Wall. Whilst the Burial Ground is a natural area it does have to be tidy, I thank Colin for the work he does in order to keep the pathways clear as it is amazing how quickly weeds grow! Colin has also replaced a tree that unfortunately died and we have planted several more trees that we were given by the Borough Council. We did have a problem during the very bad weather with a homeless person who slept on the bench, and unfortunately left rubbish behind, but thanks must go to our Maintenance Worker who went most days to clear this up for us. The gentleman has now moved on. I am pleased to announce that re-seeding of the Meadow Area is due to start very soon.
The Policy & Finance committee is an interesting committee to work on all matters financial and I am pleased to say that again this year there is no rise in the Parish Council portion of the Council Tax. On this committee this year we have managed to sort out many of our policies and I would like to personally thank Cllr Jennifer Cartwright who has pointed us into the right area to look at policies. All our policies are on the Parish web site. Recently we have discussed at length the necessity of employing another Clerk’s Assistant and there is now an advertisement on our notice boards giving the full details of the position. Why may you wonder is it necessary to have a second Clerk’s Assistant. This is due to the increasing workload on our Parish Clerk.
My thanks to Amanda Ward our Clerk’s Assistant for the work she does with the Planning Committee, Recreation Areas Committee and Community Events committee.
I would also like to thank my fellow Councillors for their support in the past year.
No Parish Council could continue without a Parish Clerk and our Council is no exception. I am extremely grateful for Colleen who makes my role as Chairman a relatively easy one, she is always there to give me advice and help out when I cannot find an email that is important! Thank you seems inadequate, but thank you Colleen for all you do for the Parish Council.
5. Parish Council’s Planning Committee Update
Cllr S F Mann, Parish Council Planning Committee Chairman, gave the following report:
The Planning Committee meets twice a month and currently has a contingent of 7 members who deliberate and comment on applications affecting the Parish. Agendas for meetings are posted on the Parish Council Website and notice boards. Members of the public are also welcome to attend to listen to proceedings or to air their views on any specific agenda item.
We sometimes put out invitations to guests who have requested to come along to speak – typically regarding one of the proposed developments they are involved with in the Parish – or individuals or groups of local residents who may have an issue they feel pertains to planning and of which they wish to make us more aware.
Yet again, we have had another busy year considering and commenting on a wide range of applications, from small domestic extensions to commercial considerations, up to major schemes which affect the parish of Stanway as a whole.
After last year’s decision to refuse planning for the ‘Stane Park’ development of mainly eating establishments (opposite the Sainsbury’s supermarket on London Road) Colchester Borough Council earlier this year then refused permission for the proposed ‘Tollgate Village’ development opposite the Tollgate Centre off Tollgate Road, after a split vote at the first meeting at the Town Hall late last year.
As many people will be aware, residential development in Stanway – and in particular Tollgate – is moving ahead at a pace. Developments around the Western Bypass and Lakelands areas are continuing to come on stream and are being developed and works at Wyvern Farm on London Road are well underway. We see planning applications for either entire parcels of land or amendments to previously applied for parcels of land on a fairly regular basis. Whilst it is inevitable that residential development in Stanway will continue to expand, we as a Parish Council Planning Committee do seek to discuss various concerns we have with the developers’ representatives at an early stage, hopefully to be able to influence their thinking to provide a more appealing and harmonious community feel to their schemes.
This is not the only residential development in Stanway. The scheme at the ‘Railway Sidings’ on Halstead Road and the Alleypond development on London Road are progressing and we have been involved trying to make sure conditions applied by Colchester Borough planners are adhered to.
Many of you will have seen the blue site hoardings at the new roundabout at the junction of Warren Lane and the Western Bypass. This will be the first phase of the next tranche of housing, stretching from there, behind Dyers Road and eventually along to Fiveways Fruit Farm. We will continue to monitor and comment on the proposals for these parcels of land as and when they are put forward.
The continuing number of individual planning applications for things such as extensions is indicative of several things. Firstly, local residents are feeling there is sufficient confidence in the economic climate for them to plan to extend or upgrade their houses but it is also symptomatic of the fact that not only is the demographic of the area trending towards established families living locally but that they feel that Stanway is a place where they wish to live, bring up families and partake in the facilities and ethos of the local community. This can only be a good thing as it promotes longer term stability and growth in the area.
We are still seeing applications for commercial ventures, in particular around the sites on the Peartree Road/Fiveways area. We are mindful of the possible impact businesses may have on the surrounding houses, so we seek to make sure that, whilst these businesses are encouraged, any conditions applied by Colchester Borough Council are adhered to and, where sought to be later overturned by that business, are opposed by us, in order that balance is maintained between their operations and the amenity of the neighbouring residents.
We understand that an appeal is being lodged regarding the decision on the Tollgate Village application and there will also be an application soon in respect of extensive work to Stanway School.
A resident asked what Planning Gain has the Parish Council had over the last two years.
Cllr S F Mann advised that he was not sure he had the answer to this.
Cllr T J Manning advised that approximately £1 million of Planning Gain has been out aside for the new Community centre near the Western Bypass and the refurbishment of the Village Hall.
The resident asked how many acres of land are near the Western Bypass.
Cllr T J Manning advised 5-7 acres.
The resident advised that the figure was far more and that he had previously provided relevant paperwork to Cllr Manning.
Another resident asked about the Planning committee’s meetings with Mark Russell.
Cllr S F Mann advised that these no longer take place and that the committee now have meetings with Vincent Pearce, CBC. They have had 2-3 meetings and another is due in the next few weeks.
6. Neighbourhood Plan Sub Committee Update
Cllr J Spademan, Neighbourhood Plan sub committee Chairman, gave the following report:
The Neighbourhood Plan has been progressing for some time, it is becoming clearer that the need for such is more important as time goes by. With a Neighbourhood Plan in place Stanway will have more influence on how future changes can come about.
The Neighbourhood Plan has to have every group involved to ensure their needs are represented in the plan. Future planning applications will have to fit into what we have voted into place to be considered.
The Chairman gave out a plea that if anyone wished to be involved with the Neighbourhood Plan that they please contact us.
7. Community Events and Recreation Areas Committee Updates
Cllr C M Spademan, Community Events and Recreation Areas committee chairman, advised that she had the pleasure of being Chairman of three committees and will report on two. Cllr C M Spademan then gave the following reports:
This year the Community Events committee held various events with various results.
Last year we held an event to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the end of WWII where families could come together and enjoy old fashioned games and have an old fashioned tea party with the obligatory jelly!
The next event which was “Did you jive in 55” unfortunately had to be cancelled, due to lack of support. For the whole of Stanway we didn’t sell a single ticket; we only had a few reserved tickets and even then when we telephoned the Stanway Residents to apologise there were people then saying they would not be able to make the evening anyhow.
After Christmas was the success event, where we had the “Smile it’s a Party” give a puppet show for the children and each child that came along, received a goody bag.
Finally we had a Quiz Night in February and those who came along had a fantastic night’s entertainment.
It is very discouraging to put on events then they are not well attended. We have looked at how we can better advertise and promote our events, but the reality is that we are a very small committee and are limited by our availability.
Throughout the year, the committee has worked hard in looking after the play areas in Silver Witch Green and Lucy Lane South, reporting any problems and dealing with them as appropriate. For example replacing the swing seats after they were reported faulty.
We are looking to repaint the play areas this year when the better weather gets here, so that will be something to look forward to, as it has been recognised that they are a valuable asset for Stanway.
Another responsibility for the committee is the Youth Garden situated behind the Library. This facility has had a mixed history, with reckless damage being done to the equipment and having on going issues with vandalism. It has been closely monitored by the committee members and we have our own Maintenance Worker, who also goes on a regular basis and inspects the site, but apart from one incident that needed the Police on the whole the Garden is somewhere that the youth can use and at the moment things are well looked after.
Again looking forward, it is hoped to make the Garden more ascetically pleasing by replacing the fence panelling and fitting a new metal mesh fence.
8. Village Hall Management Committee Chairman’s Report
In the absence of Mrs Ann Longman, Village Hall Management Committee Chairman, the Chairman read the following report:
Firstly I would like to record our sadness at the loss of George Gosling just before Christmas. George has been one of the mainstays of our committee having been Treasurer for many, many years. George was very much a “by the book” person but Teresa, our Secretary, had begun to lead George into the modern world especially that of on-line banking. George we all miss you tremendously.
Having reread my report from last April I am pleased to be able to report progress in the upgrading of the Village Hall. This is tinged with sadness that the progress that has been made with the CDF grant to complete the internal works is still not a lot further on than last year. It is with great frustration that although the plans have been drawn up and I hope you would agree that it would make the Village Hall the envy of many villages it is taking so long to get to the point of knowing when the works may (if they ever do) start!!
The guttering, windows and doors of the hall have all been replaced – there is still an issue with the front door but the suppliers are endeavouring to make sure we have a front door that is suitable for purpose.
We are still a very small committee and my thanks must go to all the committee members especially the exceptional work of our Secretary Teresa Baines who has worked tirelessly for the halls and also to Robert Wopling who has been involved with Teresa and the Parish Council with the CDF. Thanks also to Carol Hardisty our booking clerk and to John Norton for his help especially with our water costs. Our bookings are still very healthy although the Saturdays are not as well used as they used to be.
Our 2 caretakers continue to work hard in keeping the halls in top order for all the hirers.
9. Stanway Residents Association Report
In the absence of Mr Steve Hunt, Stanway Residents Association Chairman, Mr Bob Wopling gave the following report:
Records determine that the Stanway Residents Association was created in 1964, thus making it one of the oldest in Essex. Some associations meet to address one specific issue (and quite often some major and controversial local issue is the stimulus to form an association), while others address a wider spectrum of matters. They raise awareness of issues door to door. However, it is difficult to get people to take on volunteer roles.
The Residents Association is working with the Parish Council and Ward Borough Councillors for the betterment of Stanway.
The Association has taken on litter picking in various specific areas of Stanway, including the Follys. They have ran Quiz Nights to raise funds, but membership of the Association is free. They hold meetings in people’s houses to save on hall hire costs.
The Association regularly publishes information and would like to be included in the Parish Council Newsletters.
The Association is concerned about the amount of development in Stanway and the lack of infrastructure to go with it.
The Association has for many years been a paid member of NORA, the National Organisation of Residents Associations which allows the Association members to be regularly updated with issues reported from other Residents Associations around the country which might affect or be relevant to Stanway plus any new or current legislation that may also be relevant to the aims of the Stanway Residents Association.
10. 1st Stanway Scout Group Report
Mr Robert Wopling gave the following report:
The Stanway Scout Group started in 1917 and is one of 16 such groups in Colchester North District, whose catchment runs from 1st Gt Tey, in the West through the adjoining Northern Villages, to the 1st Lawford in the East involving some 288 Beavers age range 6 – 8 years, 370 Cubs age range 8 – 10 ½ years, 262 Scouts age range 10 ½ – 14 ½, 111 Explorer Scouts age range 14 ½ to 16 ½ and 219 adults and leaders, associated with Scout Groups occupying 5 nights of the week plus the occasional weekend. The Stanway Group comprises 2 Beaver Colonies, 2 Cub Packs and 1 Scout Troop plus an interest list of persons waiting to join when they become of age.
It is joined by a similar number in Colchester Estuary Scouts, which together form the Colchester Scouting interest.
During the week days, the HQ building is occupied by the Grove Pre-School Stanway Group, who have been with us in excess of 25 years.
In addition, the Stanway Group hosts the 2 porta-cabins belonging to the Colchester Scout and Guide shops where persons are able to purchase their uniforms, badges, kneckers, proficiency certificates, tents, camping equipment etc. The shop is open both Friday evening and Saturday morning.
Another event hosted at the HQ, is the monthly meeting for Young Leader Training, which forms the bedrock of our future leaders and some are also involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
The headquarters building, owned by the Scout group, but on a site leased from Essex County Council courtesy of the Stanway Academy Schools Federation, has pre 1971 MOD usage, and is formed from 2 buildings co joined down the lateral centre and supported by 3 pillars and structure at both ends, covering the normal offices and storage space. This format provides for a useful building of 29m length x 12 m width, space that is envied by many of the end users.
The interior of the building gained a thorough redecoration internally during 2013- 2014 (not generally seen by the public) and this was followed by the refurbishment of the exterior during the spring of 2015, whereby aided by a grant from the Essex Communities Initiatives fund of £5000, kindly supported by the Stanway Parish Council, local councillors and CBC CI, the external green coloured sand render was totally removed from the wooden skeleton and replaced by glass fibre insulation batts inserted between the vertical timbers, then covered by building paper, which was covered by the black coated feather edged barge boards. The loft was also treated, generously donated, to a layer of glass fibre insulation.
The existing windows and doors, all suffering the ravages of time were removed and replaced by new double glazed white finished UPVC units. This has also enhanced the security of the building which now has exterior lights automatically switching on at dusk.
The refurb was achieved during the period of the Easter holiday and aided by some 49 members of the Scout group, including the young person’s being in charge of the refreshments, parents and leaders, and also members of the Community Payback Scheme. The project involvement proved very beneficial, not only in the completion of the works, but possibly the greater benefit by far was the resulting team spirit that was established. There have been many words of praise in the transformation of the building and also has gained a healthy reduction in the heating bill.
Currently, with aid of a further grant from the Essex Community Initiatives Fund, Scout Group Funding and Scout District support, we are waiting for contractors to level out, compact and cover coat the surface of the car park which has been held back over the winter months by reason of the amount of surface water that collects. The Lease end in 2019 and we are currently looking for suitable plots of land in Stanway.
With all of the new properties being built in Stanway, and with the proximity to the local schools, we see a strong growth in Scouting which may yet see a 2nd Stanway group emerging in the near future. The Scouts are already at capacity and have a waiting list for membership.
Come and join us.
The Chairman advised that Scouting is a worthwhile thing and thanked Mr Wopling for the work that the Scout Groups are doing with our youngsters.
10. Residents Forum
A resident advised that Planning/Development had increased in Stanway and at the 2014 Annual Parish Meeting, they had raised an enquiry regarding school spaces. The two Primary Schools are at capacity and the Stanway School are looking at their intake. In 1980 Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the school was started and Phase 2 is looking at putting permanent structures in place of the
demountable classrooms. In the 1990’s the Parish Council keep to the Planning Conditions for keeping the existing demountables, not for new ones. The Parish Council needs to be aware and to find out what provision is being made for schools. In 2014 plans show a school behind the Tollgate Shops. The resident has heard that an Academy School is being put on the site and that it will be run by the local churches.
Cllr S F Mann advised that the Planning committee is pushing for the trigger point for the school to be built. Dwellings – built or occupied. The committee is very aware that the trigger point is coming up. The committee is not aware of the planning for the portakabins at the School, but Cllr Mann supports the view that there is a need for permanent provision.
The resident asked if the old empty Heath School site would be considered for a new school.
Cllr S F Mann advised that it would be a logical place for a school, but we cannot dictate this. There is however, a need to know what is being done.
The resident asked if Section 106 funds from the developments on the London Road would be for Primary and Secondary Education.
Cllr T J Manning advised that this was being brought up with Vincent Pearce, CBC.
Another resident asked if there was any information regarding the plans for improvements to the A12 junction.
The Chairman advised that nothing had been heard yet.
Cllr T J Manning advised that this was all in with the Tollgate development.
Cllr D Chambers advised that this was also included in the Stane Park redevelopment, but this application was rejected by the Borough Council.
Another resident asked about the Warren Lane junction with Maldon Road.
Cllr P Rogers advised that he hesitated to say that County Cllr Kevin Bentley has funds for improvements to the junction and a slip road for the Zoo.
Another resident asked what is being done about the drains in Stanway and the flooding issues. The Parish Council must have some influence with the Borough and County Councils.
The Chairman advised that drains are the County Council’s responsibility and that there is more flooding and more potholes. Issues are reported to the County Council on a regular basis.
The resident advised that funds would be better spent on repairing potholes than the Cycle Path works in Winstree Road and asked who had authorised these works.
The Chairman advised that this was carried out by Essex County Council Highways.
Cllr S F Mann advised that consultation had taken place.
Cllr Mann also advised that on the other side of the Sainsbury’s roundabout in London Road, Persimmons have agreed to install something to take the water away. It appears to be the same old suspects happening again and again. Please advise any issues to Councillors, but the usual answer as to why nothing can be done is budget issues. The Parish Council is doing what we can.
Another resident asked if anything was being done for ‘Clean Up for the Queen’ and if the Scouts could do something.
Mr Wopling replied that there was a need for adult volunteers in ratio to child volunteers, as a safety issue and this is hard to make happen.
The Chairman advised that there was a general problem with getting volunteers to do things, people are just not interested.
Cllr D Simpson advised that the Health and Safety Executive set the guidelines, but the decisions lie with the people responsible for carrying out the tasks.
The Chairman advised that she would like to see more things being done in Stanway, but it is difficult to get people involved.
There being no further questions the Chairman thanked residents for their participation.
At this point refreshments were served.
11. Presentation by Sir Bob Russell, Colchester’s High Steward
Cllr G M Collings, Parish Council Chairman welcomed Sir Bob Russell and invited him to address the meeting.
In conclusion of the evening, the Chairman thanked all those who had attended, together with Sir Bob Russell for his interesting and informative presentation and the meeting closed at 9.20pm.