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 2018
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):
Provisional dates for 2019 are as follows:
The Council does not meet in August
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.
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 September 2018.
All Councillors were present for the September meeting. Also in attendance were Borough Cllr Jackie Maclean and three members of the public.
The Council has received a planning application on 4th September with regard to St Peter's Church. The applicant would like to demolish the majority of the south aisle of the Church and to renovate the retained building envelope and to convert into a large family home including new raft foundation, partial mezzanine and new floors to tower.
Responses are required by the 24 September, however it was registered at the Borough Council on 29 July. The public and Councillors agreed that this did not give long enough for residents to become aware of the application and to prepare their responses.
The Council will respond with the same planning comments as previously and to include what they would like to see happen to the Church site as follows: demolish the Church to a certain level and to provide a memorial garden. It was agreed that it is inappropriate to have a large family home in an open churchyard which should be a place of quite where residents can pay respect to their loved ones.
Locum Clerk Angela Balcombe has been appointed as the Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer to the Parish Council.
Councillors continue to carry out work around the Parish, including litter picking. 30 bags of rubbish were collected recently for the Zone Warden to collect. Some of the rubbish had been identified as coming from an Eight Ash Green resident and they have been prosecuted for fly-tipping.
The Chair, Cllr Bowtle, wished to record the Council's thanks to Mr Bowtle and Cllr Ninnim for all the litter picking they continue to do plus doing the work to the hall floor.
The next meeting of Birch Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 2 October 2018, 7.30pm at Birch Memorial Hall, all are welcome.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS
Press release following the meeting held on 3 July 2018.
The Birch Conservation Area Consultation was the main item of discussion at this month's Parish Council meeting. Two comprehensive responses were received and the Parish Council agreed to use these as the Council's official response to Colchester Borough Council.
The Council was informed that the Birch Church Public Inquiry will not proceed, however there is still no information on the future of the church building.
The owner of the Angel at Heckford and his son attended the meeting to give an update on the plans to extend the pub and restaurant. Two applications had been submitted to the Borough Council but both were rejected. A new application has recently been submitted to extend the pub and restaurant and to provide offices at the rear of the building. The owner explained that he wanted the pub to be a local pub run by local people. Councillors were supportive of the plans and it was agreed that the Parish Council would write to the Borough Council Planning Committee suggesting that they could be more positive in their response to the recent application.
The annual RoSPA safety inspection has just been carried out and most of the repair work has now been done.
Councillors continue to carry out work around the Parish, road signs have been cleaned, debris and undergrowth cleared at Birch Park. The Zone Wardens, in particular Mr Gary Cole, continue to do an excellent job around the Parish.
The next meeting of Birch Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 4 September 2018.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS
Press Release following the Meeting held on 10th April 2018.
At the recent meeting of Birch Parish Council the following items were discussed and agreed:
The Parish Council wish to pass on their sincere condolences to the family of Alan Condron, Clerk to the Parish Council, who sadly passed away on 9th April 2018. Alan served as Parish Clerk for many years, always with great diligence and efficiency despite recent illnesses. His contribution to the Council work will be greatly missed.
The inquiry into St. Peter's church is opening on 9th October 2018. As yet no venue has been named by the Inspector. It is expected that this could last for three weeks.
There were two planning applications discussed. No further action was considered necessary by the Parish Council.
There are still various Highways issues outstanding which continue to be followed up by Cllr. Bentley. These include signposts, traffic signs and fences. Also the issue of traffic speed along Mill Lane and Birch Street, plus the condition of the footpath between Birch Gallery and the School.
Next Energy have instigated a project to install solar panels to the Village Hall. However, Colchester Borough Council are currently conducting a consultation relevant to Birch Conservation Area, the outcome of which may affect any decision made with regard to solar panels.
The Colchester Borough Zone Wardens, led by Gary Cole, continue to provide an excellent service, keeping the village clear of litter and fly tipping. Recent fly tipping has led to identification of the culprits and the Council take this very seriously. Fly tippers can be fined or even prosecuted - BE AWARE.
A litter pick will be carried out on Thursday 12th April. Throughout the summer the Wardens will also carry out a programme to maintain the village benches and notice boards.
Dates for 2018 for the attended refuse freighter can be found on the Home page of this website.
In May, all Parish Councillor positions are up for election. All current Councillor nominations have been agreed and accepted.
The next Parish Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday 8th May 2018 at 7.30 p.m. at Birch Memorial Hall. This meeting will include the AGM.
Due to the death of the Parish Clerk, the Clerk position is currently vacant.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS