The village of Birch lies about four and a half miles south west of Colchester in the county of Essex. The civil parish of Birch comes within the administrative area of the Borough of Colchester.
On this site you will find information about Birch Parish Council, its Councillors, meetings, the Parish boundary (with maps) and Policies & Procedures.
As a service to the local community, you will find here also information about local organisations, activities and amenities for which the Parish Council is not responsible and for which it cannot, therefore, accept any liability.
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'Tommy' Wayman, a well-known long-time resident of Birch and former Parish Councillor passed away peacefully at home on 17th July. A respected member of our community, Tommy had a very detailed knowledge of the history of Birch and for decades took an active part in the life of the village, His funeral is to be held on Friday 25th August at 11-00 am at Colchester Crematorium. This will be followed by a wake at the Hare & Hounds at Layer Breton (CO2 0PN) at which friends and local residents will be welcome.
Next Parish Council Meeting - Tuesday, 5th September 2017
The Parish Council does not meet in August. The next meeting of Birch Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 5th September at 7-30pm, in Birch Memorial Hall. The Agenda Notice for the meeting is available as a download from the Minutes & Agendas page.
Information Session about Roadworks - Thursday 24th August
Highways England is holding mobile information sessions about roadworks in our area. This is about a package of works to maintain and improve the road network in this area. A programme of road and structural improvements will occur near the areas of Cambridge, Suffolk and Essex along the A11, A14, A12 and A120. Work includes: road paving and waterproofing, bridge repair and installing new road markings, lighting and signs.
You can visit a Mobile Visitor Centre to learn more about upcoming highway improvement work. Highways England and Jacobs staff and contractors will be on hand to answer questions.
The Mobile Visitor Centre will be at Colchester on Thursday, August 24th from 9.00am to 5.30p.m. at 12 Lion Walk, in the town centre.
Parish Council Meeting held on 4th July 2017
A Press Release summarising matters discussed at the meeting held on 4th July is available on the Meetings page of this website.
Recycling and Refuse Collections in Birch - Changes w.e.f. 20th June
Colchester Borough Council has introduced major changes in recycling and refuse collections. From 20th June 2017 the arrangements for Birch residents are as follows:
Key changes to black bag (i.e. non-recyclable) waste collections:
- Black bag (i.e. non-recyclable) waste is now collected only fortnightly.
- There is a limit of 3 black bags of rubbish per household, per collection.
- There will be no free issue of black bags. Residents have to supply their own.
The normal collection day in Birch continues to be Tuesday and food waste continues to be collected weekly.
In 'blue weeks' there are collections of black bag waste and of glass and cans for recycling.
In 'green weeks' there are recycling collections of paper and card, clothes and textiles, mixed plastics and garden waste.
As Birch residents are not being issues with wheelie bins, each household is entitled to free issue of up to four new garden waste sacks. These are not issued automatically. Residents need to apply for a voucher which can be redeemed at one of the local distribution points. Vouchers can be applied for on-line on Colchester Borough Council's website at www.colchester.gov.uk/recycling or by telephoning Customer Services on 01206-282700.
Clear Recycling Sacks - Additional Supplies
On the first Tuesday of each month our Zone Warden, Caroline Law (Mob: 07507-647373), will be outside Birch Memorial Hall, from 9-00am for about an hour, to issue clear recycling sacks to those who need them. These sacks are supplied by Colchester Borough Council, free of charge, for the purposes of its regular kerbside recycling collections. The Council is keen to encourage the highest possible level of recycling both for the protection of the environment and to reduce the costs of landfill refuse disposal.
Attended Refuse Freighter Scheme
The next refuse freighter visit to Birch and Layer Breton is scheduled for Saturday 26th August.
- Luard Way, Birch: 9-30am to 10-45am.
- St Mary's Church car park, Layer Breton: 11-00am to 12 noon.
The service is provided for small loads from domestic properties, so that you can dispose of bulky items not normally collected with household waste. Green garden waste should be brought separately (to be composted). No fridges, freezers or other electrical goods, no hazardous waste such as asbestos, batteries, liquids or gas bottles, and no commercial refuse.
Year End Report - for the Year to 31st March 2017
A report on the concerns and activities of Birch Parish Council during the year ended 31st March 2017 can be viewed on the page Year End Report.
Support for Older People and Informal Carers
Community Agents Essex is a countywide network of agents and volunteers who support older people and informal carers to find and develop independent living solutions from within their local community.
The network of agents and volunteers supports independence by reducing isolation and providing support with daily living skills and aids. Agents can help with things like paperwork and offer advice on matters such as benefits, mobility aids and adaptations. If you are unsure about where to turn or who to ask, agents can guide you in the right direction. They aim to keep you safe, happy and well within your own home. They can visit you in your own home to discuss your needs and agree the best courses of action that are right for you.
Tiptree Heath - A Local Place to Visit and Enjoy
Just south of Tiptree, on the left side of the B1022 road as you head south, is Tiptree Heath, the largest heathland in Essex. It has a car park and there is no charge for visiting and exploring the 61 acres of mixed habitats which are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Tiptree Heath features two ponds, a stream and stretches of woodland which enclose nearly 30 acres of open heathland.
Every Wednesday at 10-30 am there is a 'Health Walk' which lasts for about an hour. Anyone is very welcome to turn up and join the walk. In addition, wildlife walks are arranged from March to November.
For more information about Tiptree Heath, and the events and activities there, visit the website www.tiptreeheath.co.uk or contact the Warden on 07842-110051.
Defibrillators in Birch and Layer Breton
The Three Villages Community Association (TVCA) has installed two public access defibrillators, one in Birch and one in Layer Breton.
Defibrillators improve chances of surviving a cardiac arrest. More and more are being placed in community locations to be used before arrival of a paramedic or ambulance. Less than 5% of people survive cardiac arrest with CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) alone but the odds are greatly improved, up to 50%, with the prompt use of a defibrillator and effective CPR.
The latest Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are now built specifically for any person to use, not necessarily someone who has had training. Our local defibrillators, which are portable, are located at:
• Birch Memorial Hall, Birch Street. Birch, CO2 0LZ
(located by the main entrance to the hall)
• The Hare and Hounds Public House, Layer Breton, CO2 0PN
(located in the garden; access through door to the left of the building)
The TVCA has already run some training sessions in the Memorial Hall so that village clubs and individuals can practice CPR and familiarise themselves with the AEDs. However you can use a defibrillator without having received training. The equipment provides step by step verbal instructions on what you need to do and will "talk you through" the procedure.
The TVCA is happy to provide further training sessions should any clubs or individuals wish to see the training video and learn how to do CPR.
Birch Church Public Inquiry
In early February 2017 the matter of the Public Inquiry, about the Church Commissioners' Draft Pastoral Scheme to demolish Birch Church, was referred back to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. As at 12th May the Church Commissioners had heard nothing from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). With the calling of a General Election the Commissioners are not expecting to hear anything further from the Secretary of State or the DCLG for some months. One can only conclude that there is no prospect of the Inquiry going ahead in September as had been planned.
Power Cuts - Reporting, and Getting Information About Them
Many Birch residents rely on overhead power lines for their electricity supply. From time to time extreme weather conditions and other incidents lead to power cuts in our locality.
There is now a new three-digit telephone number, 105, which can be used to report or get information about power cuts. You can also call 105 to report damage to electricity power lines and substations. The 105 number is free of charge and will put you through to UK Power Networks, the electricity network operator for London, the East and South East of England. 105 can be called from most landlines and mobile phones.
Alternatively you can report or get information about power cuts by calling UK Power Networks on their freephone number 0800-316-3105.
It is important to be aware that cordless 'phones do not work when there is no mains power. During a power cut you will need to use a corded landline or mobile 'phone to call 105 or 0800-316-3105.
Birch Parish Council Information
On this site you will find information about:
– The Responsibilities and Work of Birch Parish Council
– Parish Councillors and the Parish Clerk
– Dates of Birch Parish Council Meetings
– Press Releases issued by the Council after meetings
– Minutes and Agendas of Council meetings
– Year End Report for the year ending 31st March 2016.
– Boundary and Maps of Birch Civil Parish
– The Council's Policies and Procedures
Birch Parish Council Annual Accounts and Returns
The Council's Accounts for the Year Ended 31st March 2016 are available for viewing or download in PDF format by using this link Annual Accounts 2015/16 Also available for viewing or download in PDF format are the Annual Accounts 2015/16 - Bank Reconciliation Details
The Council's Annual return for the year ended 31 March 2016 is available for viewing or download in PDF format by using this link Annual return 2015/16. The return contains four sections:
Section 1 - Annual governance statement 2015/16
Section 2 - Accounting statements 2015/16
Section 3 - External auditor certificate and report 2015/16 Certificate
Annual internal audit report 2015/16
Other Local Information
The site also carries information about:
– The Village Hall
– Borough Councillors for the Marks Tey and Layer Ward
– Colchester Borough Council Zone Wardens for Birch
– Policing and Crime Prevention
– The Three Villages Community Association (TVCA)
– Websites with local content.
Monthly Newsletter: 'Parish News'
This monthly magazine goes to every home and is produced independently of Birch Parish Council. It provides useful information on the many local community social events and carries Council notices, press releases and other information. In addition to a range of articles including our countryside, food and local history, Parish News carries a range of over 40 local commercial advertisements.
For further information and contact details, see www.bretonheath.me.uk/parnews.htm
Bus Service between Birch and Colchester
Service 92 is operated by Hedingham Buses with the financial support of Essex County Council.
As at September 2016, bus times to and from Colchester High Street are as shown in the abridged table below.
It is recommended that before travelling you check whether there have been any timetable changes by visiting the Hedingham Buses website at www.hedingham.co.uk
BIRCH to COLCHESTER
|Monday to Friday, except public holidays|
|Birch Street, Mill Lane||08:05||09:27||10:52||12:52||13:52||15:52||17:02|
|Colchester, High Street||08:25||09:47||11:12||13:12||14:12||16:12||17:22|
|Birch Street, Mill Lane||10:25||12:25||15:25|
|Colchester, High Street||10:44||12:44||15:44|
COLCHESTER to BIRCH
|Monday to Friday, except public holidays|
|Colchester, High Street [DC]||08:25||09:47||11:12||13:12||14:12||16:12||17:22|
|Birch Street, opp Mill Lane||08:55||10:12||11:42||13:42||14:42||16:42||17:55|
|Colchester, Osborne Street [AA]||09:30||11:30||16:15|
|Colchester, Crouch Street [DA]||09:33||11:33||16:18|
|Birch Street, opp Mill Lane||09:48||11:48||16:33|
Disclaimer of Legal Liability
Information on this website is given in good faith, but Birch Parish Council does not accept any liability for the accuracy or reliability of such information. References on this website to other organisations, individuals or businesses do not imply any endorsement, approval or recommendation of them by the Parish Council.
This site has links to external websites. Birch Parish Council has no control over third party websites or services and is not responsible for their content. The existence of a link here to an external website does not imply endorsement or approval by the Council which accepts no liability for loss or damage arising from reliance on the content of external websites.