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):
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 3 September 2019
The Chairman, Cllr Bowtle welcomed those present to the meeting. Four members of the public were in attendance.
Work has started to improve the Play Area; some repairs have already been carried out and a new nest swing will be installed very soon to replace the old one which was damaged beyond repair. The Parish Council has applied for funding to replace much of the safety surfacing with bonded mulch, we hope this application will be successful, we will know the outcome at the end of September.
The Parish Council is still receiving a number of complaints about overgrown hedges. Residents are reminded that any hedges, trees or shrubbery overhanging the footpaths or roads is the responsibility of land owner and would respectfully ask residents to cut them back for the safety of pedestrians.
Remembrance Day - before the Service of Remembrance, Birch Memorial Hall will be open from 9.30am serving light refreshments. This is organised by Birch Parish Council and we look forward to seeing you.
Community Speed Watch (CSW) - following a number of complaints about speeding through the village the Parish Council is considering joining CSW, however we need volunteers from the community that are prepared to take part. If you are interested please contact either the Clerk or any Parish Councillor. Information can be found at www.saferessexroads.org under Police/Community. Volunteers will need to undertake some training which will be provided.
A number of highway problems such as missing sign posts, pot holes/collapsed manhole covers etc were reported and you are reminded that anyone can report these via the Essex County Council's website: www.essex.gov.uk, they use an interactive map of the area which is very easy to use.
The Parish Council has developed an Emergency Plan in conjunction with Colchester Borough Council which will enable the community to respond to a major incident/emergency whilst awaiting the assistance of the Emergency Services or Colchester Borough Council. Copies will be held by the Parish Clerk, Parish Councillors and Colchester Borough Council. A copy will also be available on the Parish Council website.
Following a report of a robbery at Birch Primary School, we would like to remind residents to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police, especially now the nights are drawing in.
The next meeting of Birch Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 1 October 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 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