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 2nd October 2018.
All Councillors were present for the September meeting. Also in attendance were Cllr Jackie Maclean and one member of the public.
The St Peter's Church planning applications will be decided at a committee meeting of Colchester Borough Council. No date has yet been set for this meeting but residents who object to the proposal to build a large family home in an open churchyard are encouraged to attend the meeting to voice their concerns. A representative from the Parish Council will attend to give the Council's objections.
The Parish Council has submitted an expression of interest to be included in a trial where Essex County Council are offering to devolve minor highways services to parish councils. The services could include such matters as grass cutting and special verge maintenance, weed control, tree and hedge cutting, minor repairs to footways, installing and maintaining signs, winter salt bags scheme, maintaining bus stop flags and shelters, and maintenance of Public Rights of Way.
The Council is working on the production of an Emergency Plan. A draft plan has been prepared and circulated to councillors for comments. This will be discussed at the next meeting.
Councillors continue to carry out work around the Parish, including inspecting the play area, looking at planning applications and litter picking; 21 bags of rubbish were collected recently for the Zone Warden to collect.
The next meeting of Birch Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 6 November 2018, 7.30pm at Birch Memorial Hall. The budget/precept for 2019/20 will be presented to the Council at this meeting. All are welcome.
PRESS RELEASE ENDS
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