Birch Village SignMeetings

All meetings of Birch Parish Council are open to the public and the Council particularly welcomes the attendance of residents in the Parish. At meetings, members of the public may ask questions relating to the work and services of the Council. Questions cannot always be answered immediately but will be dealt with appropriately.

Anyone wishing to have an item placed on the agenda for discussion at a Parish Council meeting should notify the Clerk not less than seven days prior to the meeting.

Parish Council Meetings in 2017

Meetings are usually held on the first Tuesday of each month except in August when the Council does not meet.

Meetings are held in Birch Memorial Hall, starting at 7-30pm.

Meetings are scheduled to take place on the following dates (subject to the timing of Bank Holidays and elections):

May 2nd (includes Annual General Meeting)
June 6th
July 4th

The Council does not meet in August
September 5th
October 3rd
November 7th
December 5th

Press Releases

After each meeting the Parish Council issues a press release summarising the discussions and decisions taken at that meeting. The texts of recent press releases are reproduced below.

4th April 2017 • 7th March 2017 • 7th February 2017 • 3rd January 2017

The formal minutes of a meeting are not available until they have been approved at the next meeting of the Council. Approved minutes of previous meetings are available as downloads, in MS Word format, from the Minutes page of this website.

Press Release following the Meeting held on 4th April 2017.

There were three planning items discussed this month but no further action was considered necessary by the Parish Council. Discussion regarding the use of the old Birch Surgery building for community use did not come up with any constructive affordable ideas. The premises are ideally suited for any scheme involving a community use. Interested parties should contact the agents Strutt & Parker.

Mr Ninnim collected seven bags of rubbish during March as part of the Birch Parish Council 'Keep Birch Tidy' campaign. The rest of the bramble hedge at the Play Area has been strimmed.

Caroline Law is taking over from Gary Cole as the main Zone Warden contact from April and details of how to contact her can be found on the contact page of this website.

A much stronger stance will be taken up regarding litter and bad parking in the village.

It was reported that new rules regarding weekly waste collection will be sent out to all residents by CBC very shortly.

Cllr Bentley has in hand the flooding issue at Heckford Bridge and the urgent need for an improvement to the Warren Lane/Maldon Road junction.

The new surface on the overspill car parking area at the Village Hall has now been completed and welcomed as a major improvement by users of the Hall.

The Village Hall Annual Accounts were reviewed by the Parish Council and found to be in good order.

The Parish Council has received a number of positive feedback comments regarding the grass cutting by the new contractor.

Details of how to register for ECC Superfast broadband initiative are still available on www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext . Residents are recommended to have a look to see if they already qualify for the new faster service.

The meeting agreed to renew CBC litter pick up and bin emptying service at the Play Area for another year.

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 2nd May at 7-30 pm. (This meeting will include the AGM).

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

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Press Release following the Meeting held on 7th March 2017.

There were no new planning items to discuss this month.

A litter pick organised by the Zone Wardens was held on 1st March. It was nice to see a number of new residents turn out to support the regular volunteers. Over 40 bags of rubbish were collected.

Mr Ninnim also collected a number of additional bags of rubbish from the road verges during February as part of Birch Parish Council's 'Keep Birch Tidy' Campaign.

Work to tarmac the overspill car parking area at the Village Hall was delayed due to the weather but has now been completed.

The TVCA would still like to hear from residents interested in having training on how to use the Parish Defibrillators. The Parish Council agreed to make a donation of £250 towards the First Responders who cover Birch to help purchase necessary equipment.

A post that supports the chain fence at the War Memorial has been damaged and details have been passed on to the land owner for repair.

Following recent complaints residents are reminded that for public safety reasons dogs should be kept on a lead when being exercised. This applies to all residents who are responsible for the animal concerned, be it walkers, cyclists or horse riders.

It was decided not to enter the Essex Best Kept Village Competition 2017.

Details of how to register for ECC Superfast broadband initiative are still available on www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext . Residents are recommended to have a look to see if they already qualify for the new faster service.

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 4th April at 7.30 pm. (This meeting will include the End Year Meeting).

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

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Press Release following the Meeting held on 7th February 2017.

There were three planning items to discuss this month but no further action was considered necessary by the Parish Council at this time.

An updated development proposal for St Peter's Church has been submitted by the developer in preparation for the public inquiry sometime in 2017. The date for the inquiry has still not been fixed but the inquiry is unlikely to take place before late summer.

Parking warning notices have been issued by the Zone Wardens to owners of vehicles parked opposite the gates adjacent to the play area field.

A litter pick organised by the Zone Wardens will be held between 12pm and 2pm on Wednesday 1st March. Anyone interested in helping on the day should meet at the Village Hall. Equipment will be provided. Mr Ninnim has collected 11 bags of rubbish from the road verges during January on behalf of the Parish Council.

The football goal posts will be repositioned as soon as possible to allow the grass area of the goal mouths to grow back. This work has been delayed as the spare sockets to reposition the posts are proving difficult to locate.

Work to tarmac the overspill car parking area at the Village Hall has started and should be completed within a couple of weeks.

It was agreed that a tarmac walkway would be installed at the Luard Way entrance to the Play Area and that the surface of the Basketball Court would be replaced.

A number of the pedal openers on the dog bins are not working and this has been reported to the Zone Wardens for action. Unfortunately CBC cannot justify making funds available to meet the cost of repairs.

The Highways Dept are taking actions on a number of the Parish Bridleways and Footpaths to rectify blockages, surface problems, overgrown hedges etc. The flooding issues near Bockingham Hall and the junction of Birch Park and the Maldon Road have been passed to Cllr Bentley to discuss with the Highways Dept.

It was agreed that the Birch & Layer Breton Woman's Institute could plant bulbs at Pudding Lane Green to mark their 100th anniversary.

Further training for any residents and also local clubs who use the Village Hall on how to use the Parish Defibrillators is being provided by the TVCA. Details will be posted on the website.

Details of how to register for ECC Superfast broadband initiative can be 0found on www.superfastessex.org/whatshappeningnext Residents are recommended to have a look to see if they already qualify for the new faster service.

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 7th March at 7.30 pm.

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

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Press Release following the Meeting held on 3rd January 2017.

There were two Planning items to discuss this month. One was an extension at Palmers Cottage, Blind Lane, on which no further action was considered necessary by the Parish Council at this time. With regard to an extension to Ivy lodge, Garlands Road, this was referred to Cllr Ellis by Cllr Bentley to investigate further as concerns were expressed regarding previous restrictions on further development of the property.

It has been decided by CBC that no new houses will be built behind the old Birch Surgery because of the reduction in local community infrastructure during recent years.

Anti-social behaviour at Greenfield Houses and the Play Area has been looked into by Colchester Borough Homes, the Police, CBC Wardens and residents, co-ordinated by Cllr Ellis. Initial steps have been taken to improve the situation and continued monitoring will take place during the coming months.

An updated development proposal for St Peters Church has been submitted by the developer in preparation for the Public Inquiry sometime in 2017. The date of the Inquiry has still not been fixed but is unlikely to take place until late summer.

Quotes are being obtained to resurface the entrance path into the Play Area, as far as the Wildlife Area, which often gets muddy and full of surface water. A further quote will be obtained as to how much it will cost to refurbish the surface of the basket ball court.

An application has been made to the Ward Councillors for £250 to purchase a new freezer for the Village Hall from the CBC Locality Funding Allocation.

The Parish Notice Boards have been repainted and consideration is being given to removing the board at Hardy's Green which has not been used for many years. Any residents that have an objection to this board being removed should notify the Parish Clerk or member of the Parish Council.

The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 7th February at 7.30 pm.

PRESS RELEASE ENDS

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