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 2019
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):
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 2nd July 2019.
The Chairman, Cllr Bowtle, welcomed Borough Cllr Maclean and four members of the public to the Meeting.
As no election had been called to fill the casual vacancy, Mr Peter Sherlock was co-opted as Parish Councillor for Birch. Cllr Sherlock signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and was welcomed to the meeting.
The Parish Council has received a number of complaints about overgrown hedges. Residents are reminded that any hedges, trees or shrubbery overhanging the footpaths is the responsibility of landowners and would respectfully ask residents to cut them back for the safety of pedestrians.
There has been some activity on social media about speeding in Birch. The Parish Council has contacted the police and requested that speed checks are carried out.
The Parish Council does not meet in August, therefore the next meeting of Birch Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 3 September 2019, 7.30pm at Birch Memorial Hall. There is always a slot on the agenda for the public to speak or ask questions or you are welcome to come along and just listen. We look forward to seeing you.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS
Press release following the meeting held on 7th May 2019.
The Chairman, Cllr Bowtle, welcomed District Cllr Ellis and two members of the public to the Annual Council Meeting.
Cllr Bowtle was nominated as Chairman for 2019/20, this was unanimously agreed. Cllr Boyce was elected as Vice-Chairman this was also unanimously agreed.
Due to the recent resignation of Cllr Gidlow there is currently a vacancy for a parish councillor. The position will be formally advertised and if no election is called for the Council must co-opt to fill the vacancy.
The Annual Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2019 were signed off by the Council. A copy of the completed Annual Return will be published on this website. The Annual Report was also signed off by the Council and will be published on this website.
Councillors were appointed to the following areas of interest: Village Hall/General Village Matters - Cllr Bowtle; Colchester Association of Local Councils - Cllr Boyce; Emergency Officer - Cllr Walsh; Highways Officer - Cllr Campion; Play Area - Cllr Ninnim and Wildlife/Footpaths - Cllr Ninnim.
The next meeting of Birch Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 4 June 2019, 7.30pm at Birch Memorial Hall. There is always a slot on the agenda for the public to speak or ask questions or you are welcome to come along and just listen. We look forward to meeting you.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS
Press release following the meeting held on 2nd April 2019.
The Chairman, Cllr Bowtle, welcomed those present to the meeting which included District Cllr Ellis, Gary Cole - Zone Warden CBC and four members of the public.
Gary Cole reported that eleven Colchester Parish Councils, including Birch, were taking part in the Great British Spring Clean. Fly-tipping is still an issue; out of 8 recent fly-tips, 2 had enough evidence to prosecute, these were town centre businesses and both were fined. It was agreed that the Zone Wardens deserve huge thanks and appreciation for the excellent work they do.
Members of the public raised the issue of the changes to recycling restrictions of plastics, although this was considered a national environmental issue, residents are finding it difficult to find local information on what they can and cannot recycle. It was suggested that the Borough Council could do more to publicise the details as the information on the recycling calendar is minimal.
The Parish Council agreed to continue the litter collecting service with the Borough Council for another year and signed the agreement for 2019/20.
Potholes and road defects are regularly reported at Parish Council meetings. They can be reported directly on the ECC website at www.essex.gov.uk and follow the Report It link on the right-hand side. Potholes can also be reported to the Clerk but please give an accurate description of the location.
The next meeting of Birch Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 7th May 2019, 8pm at Birch Memorial Hall. This will be preceded by the Annual Assembly at 7.30pm. The Annual Assembly is a meeting for residents, you can hear reports of the Parish Council's activities over the previous year and a summary of the annual accounts will also be available. We look forward to seeing you there.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS
Press release following the meeting held on 5th March 2019.
The Chairman, Cllr Bowtle, welcomed those present to the meeting.
Cllr Kevin Bentley and two members of the public joined the Parish Council for the March Parish Council meeting. Members of the public are warmly invited to attend the Parish Council meetings; there is a slot on the agenda where you can ask the Council any questions or raise any matters relating to Birch. We will do our best to answer any questions you may have or if it's something that requires the Council to make a decision we will include it on the next agenda. You do not have to stay for the whole meeting although of course, you are more than welcome to do so.
There is still no further news on the St Peter's Church planning application which will be decided at a committee meeting of Colchester Borough Council.
Play Area - the Council is considering refurbishing the play area. A number of low risk repairs are needed plus new safety surfacing. The cost is likely to be in the region of £12,000 and the Council will be applying for funding to help cover the costs.
Litter - Councillors continue to collect rubbish from the area and work closely with our Colchester Zone Warden, Gary Cole, who does a great job arranging for any fly-tipping to be cleared away promptly.
The next meeting of Birch Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 2 April 2019, at 7.30pm in Birch Memorial Hall. We look forward to seeing you there.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS