Environment & Highways – 9th May 2019

Environment & Highways – 9th May 2019

The Environment & Highways Sub-Committee of West Bergholt Parish Council met on 9th May and discussed Swift boxes, ponds, heath, allotments, handymen and the playground & village of the year projects.

Environment & Highways Report

Committee Meeting held on Thursday 9th May 2019 in Social Club meeting room

Committee members present Philip Spencer, Jenny Church, Murray Harlow, Harry Stone, David Short, Norma Smith
Apologies John Gili Ross

In attendance – Laura Walkingshaw (Parish Clerk) and 3 village residents.



  The committee members welcomed Norma Smith as a new parish councillor.


Election of Chairperson and vice chairperson

  John Gili Ross was nominated by Phil Spencer, seconded by Jenny Church and voted in by all members.

It was agreed to have 2 vice chairpersons.

Phil Spencer nominated by Jenny Church, seconded by David Short and voted in by all present.

Harry Stone nominated by David Short, seconded by Norma Smith and voted in by all members.



Placement of swift boxes in the village

(item moved up the agenda as resident had to leave swiftly afterwards)

  Claire Rodie introduced herself and explained the West Bergholt Swift Project, whose purpose is to erect swift boxes throughout the village to encourage swifts into the area. Swifts are very clean birds, who eat their own mess and do everything on the wing, except when nesting for 10 weeks in the Summer only. The boxes need to be attached to buildings and some villagers have already volunteered to take part. Sound devices would need to be put into the boxes at the beginning of the project to encourage swifts to use the new boxes, these would play the swift’s call for a couple of hours in the mornings & evenings just during those 10 weeks. A minimum of 3 boxes are needed at a cost of £52.50 + £50 for sound device. For larger buildings such as the School and Hall 3 woodcrete boxes would be needed at a cost of £105 + £50 + 7.50 delivery, making a total of £162.50. Full information is available on the nhbs.com website. Claire is currently seeking funding from a variety of bodies. She is aiming to begin the project in July with a 3-week lead time ordering. Claire asked for permission to attach boxes to the field side of the John Lampon Hall, hoping that Council involvement would encourage more residents to take part. This needs to be referred to Premises Committee. Phil agreed to write to Premises. PS


Village Ponds

  1. Queen’s Road Pond- well filled with water. Agreed to transplant Water plantains from Hall Road pond. Quote for replacement railings has been received and sent to Finance Committee.
  1. Lexden Road Pond – This will need dredging and a quote will be needed. Propose to leave this until wintertime. The silver birch on the island will be revived in the Autumn.



  1. Bollards that need replacing will be done by Ivor.
  1. The potholes on the tarmac path will need repairing. A patching job is needed which is probably for the Handymen.


Traffic Hazard at Junction of Hall Road and Lexden Road.

  1. The owners of the High Trees will be requested again to have the trees trimmed down. They are now obscuring a traffic sign as well.
  1. The school buses need to park further down Lexden Road away from the Hall Road junction. Suggest contact with Cllr Lewis Barber.


Allotment Report

  The handymen have been grass cutting the main avenues. More could be done by bonfire area.

First bonfire of the year went well with no complaints.

There have been recommendations from the audit of the allotments. An allotment meeting will need to be held soon as next scheduled one not until July.


Handymen Report

  1. Grips have been dug along the ditch in New Church Road.
  1. Norma reported the following issues:
    1. Trip hazard by the rubbish bin in New Church Road by allotments.
    2. Gates to allotments need attention as sticking.
    3. Trip hazard by Poor’s land double gates, metal sticking up.
    4. Corner of Pirie Road/Chapel Road there is a broken plastic drain cover – trip hazard.
Handy men & PS


Ditch along New Church Road

  The problem with rainwater run-off should be investigated by ECC. Awaiting a planned meeting including Councillor Anne Brown.


Footpath along Colchester Road from Hop House to Armoury Road

  Understand that Cllr Lewis Barber is dealing with this.


Playground Equipment.

  The village survey re. new play equipment finishes tomorrow. Over 100 responses have been received so far. The results will be analysed then a report will be published.


Essex Village of the Year

  The judges will be visiting next Thursday. Harry and the team will meet with them. HS


  1. David enquired about the Joint Steering Group meetings with the Social Club. There is a meeting next week. Laura will send minutes of the last meeting.
  1. School litter picking went really well on the 5th April – children were really keen, Harry to find out if school would like any help with their own equipment or mentoring with this from the Litter Warriors.
  1. Last bus stop in Lexden Road – a resident asked about the sloping narrow grass area. There is nothing the Parish council can do about changing this. The previous bus stop will soon have a bus shelter. This could be a more appropriate alighting point.
  1. Additional roles:
    1. Transport Officer – Norma is prepared to take on this role.
    2. Footpath Officer – John Gili Ross.
  1. A resident raised the issue re: holes in the hedging along the LD field adjacent to Henderson Place. Also, issues around the noise and disturbance from teenagers at night in that area. When we have a Special Constable perhaps this could be something for them to monitor. Harry will raise this at the Joint Steering Committee.
  1. Harry has followed up the issue of parents leaving car engines running whilst waiting to pick up children from Heathlands School.

Date of next meeting Thursday 13th June 2019 at 5.30pm in the Social Club Meeting Room.