Braiswick Residents’ Association
email: ku.oc.evil|cesarb#ku.oc.evil|cesarb

Draft minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at Colchester Golf Club
on Tuesday 13 November 2012 at 8pm.
To be approved at next AGM in 2013.

Present 70 members, Cllrs Anne Turrell, Martin Goss and Steve Greenhill and PC Steve Walsom

1 Welcome and Apologies

Chairman John Spurr welcomed members and read the Notice of the Meeting. He advised that apologies had been received from Mr and Mrs Luke Vernon, Mr and Mrs Bill Baunell, Mr and Mrs Ken, Mr Doug Beechcroft, Ms Anne Wilkinson, Mr and Mrs Elven, Mr Colin Stallwood, Mr and Mrs Owen and Mr Colin Hyoms.

Election of Officers and Committee

Before the minutes were read, John Spurr proposed to move to the Election of Officers and Committee. He thanked Ann Wilkinson for her work as the Association’s Secretary and proposed Alexandria Lee as the incoming Secretary.

Our President John Bentley and Chairman John Spurr have agreed to stand again, but John Spurr is expecting to hand over the reins as chairman during the year.

Our Treasurer, Ann Spurr, of many years is looking to step down and return to being a member of the committee. Her proposed successor is Colin Hyoms, who is currently unwell. Upon his return to full health Ann will step down and Colin will undertake the Treasurer’s duties.

Chris Law has agreed to fill the vacant post of Vice Chairman and both Leonie Taylor and Stephen Pitt have agreed to stand on the committee for another year. John Jeffries has also agreed to be seconded for a period of time.

Janice Hyoms and Robert Waites have both agreed to stand for the committee.

Mr Spurr asked that in view of the various movements anticipated during the coming year that the membership would agree to a modest, although temporary, increase in the management team, should the proposals be accepted.

John Spurr asked for a show of hands to confirm these appointments.

All proposed changes were carried unanimously.

2 Minutes of the last AGM
Chairman read the Minutes of the last AGM and there being no matters arising Leonie Taylor proposed acceptance of the Minutes which Mervyn Jones seconded, The Minutes were approved and signed.

3 Hon Treasurer’s Report
Mrs Ann Spurr presented the accounts for the year ended 30 April 2012 and recommended that the subscription of £2 per household be continued for another year. 67 households paid £134 in subscriptions, an increase of 9 on last year.
Accumulated fund £2063.38 after expenses of £54.48, down £22 on last year.
Balances at Lloyds Bank current account £294.24 deposit account £1769.33.
Ann thanked the honorary auditor, Philip Holroyd for his help.
Mark Cole proposed acceptance of the Accounts, which Chris Law seconded. Accounts were approved.

4 Chairman / Hon Secretary’s Report
Your Chairman and Treasurer have attended all the various open days regarding the Mile End developments and presentations by both the developers and the Mile End Council, and the proposed changes to North Station, eventually put on hold.
Chris Law was involved with the 9 acres of land eventually sold to the Essex County Council. They have no current plans but it has potential for school development and Chris will keep an eye on future proposals.
Your President, John Bentley has been involved in local planning permission, as has your Chairman in respect of the proposed redevelopment of 17 Bakers Lane from a bungalow to a 4 bedroom detached house. All near neighbours have accepted the proposed plans, especially since the footprint of the proposed development has been moved off the boundary line.
Our most important success has been the upgrade of local broadband to Infinity. This is due to the efforts of Members registering their votes on the BTs website and the correspondence between the Committee and BT’s CEO regarding the very poor broadband in our area.
Anne Wilkinson, our very own ‘Braiswick Queen of Pot Holes’ has continued to wage war on Highways and has been successful in repairs to Bakers Lane and, after a very long campaign, the successfully repaired potholes here at the Golf Club. We continue our fight regarding potholes and another inspection is due in January/February.
We continue in our efforts for the Refuge to be made in Tufnell Way and this should be started very soon as the building is more or less complete at Braiswick View.
The removal of the ‘No Excuses for Poor Driving’ sign is down to the efforts of all our members and councillors.
Disappointingly we were unable to set up a local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme due to lack of interest.
We were unable to secure salt bins for Braiswick. Our efforts fell on deaf ears at County Hall in part due to horrendous red tape.
Bakers Lane is still awaiting the upgrade of the bridge, promised in August. We hope at that time the road will also be resurfaced so that it is able to carry the high volume of traffic that it is subject to on a daily basis.
John Spurr concluded his report by thanking all the Committee Members and Officers or all their contributions and welcoming the new blood to your Committee. John proposed moving directly to item 6.

5 Election of Officers and Committee
Previously raised.

6 Ward Councillors
Cllr Turrell addressed the members on general matters relating to Colchester as a whole
• The 4-day weekly collections have had no complaints from Braiswick residents. Overall it has improved the service and saved much needed money.
• New Braiswick Park has been accepted into the Myland Parish Council
• Essex County Council have advised that they only repair potholes on their land, which falls between the white lines and not the verges. Anne advised the pothole situation is bad all over Essex and despite and extra £11m being put into the budget this doesn’t seem to have made much of a different. It is important to keep on at the Council as persistence if the key. Anne also advised that the council have stopped marking potholes with red lines.
• Anne advised the sign at Achnacone Drive had been removed, as advised earlier. The resident of the corner house owned the land but the Council, regardless of the fact that the Council does have Highways Rights, had not contacted the owner.
• Cllr Turrell advised to contact her directly if any problems occur in the future.
Cllr Martin Goss addressed the meeting:
• Mersea Homes Application – Martin advised the Government have written to ECC and advised that under no circumstances is the council to make a decision. This leaves the council with only 2 options – to reject or submit and recommendation to the Government. The second option would see the application go to Eric Pickles and then our best hope from there is that it would go to Public Enquiry Committee and other professional bodies would then be involved. The less favoured option is that it would go to a Planning Committee for a decision to be made. Martin asked member who hadn’t yet objected/commented on the application to please do so ASAP. ECC Planning department have already gone back to Mersea Homes with a slew of questions, especially regarding the North Station and modal shift figures they are quoting.
• Regarding the traffic refuge at Tufnel Way, Martin advised this will happen but had been delayed due to errors in the legal agreement with ECC. Money will come from the developer and now that all houses have been built and sold final works are being completed.
• Graffiti is an ongoing problem, especially around the allotments. Some arrests have been made recently. Martin has been trained to remove graffiti and keeps a kit in the boot of his car so he can remove graffiti when he finds it.
• There was a litter pick in Bakers Lane at the weekend. Road signs have also been cleaned.

Councillors then took questions
• Chris Law requested details on the requirements for filling in potholes. These will be provided. Cllr Turrell confirmed filling in potholes is not something local residents can do due to Health and Safety regulations.
• A query was raised regarding damage caused to vehicles by potholes. Scott Greenhill is currently involved in a claim against the Council so any residents are advised to contact him regarding adding their claim to the existing one. There are details on the ECC website regarding their insurance and making a claim regarding vehicle damage.
• Some Members queried why the introduction of Infinity had not made a difference to local Broadband speeds. It was advised that the two are different services and in order to achieve the higher Infinity speeds then residents must sign up for a relevant package with a provider. Cllr Turrell advise that the Council Scheme had been put back a bit as the company they were dealing with have been bought out by Sky.
• A member queried with regard to Bakers Lane and whether speed limitation devices could be put in to make it safer. Cllr Turrell advised that speed bumps are not a favoured solution. Colin Ellis advised he has been dealing with the Highways Agency regarding the speed limit in Bakers Lane and that in fact the 60 mph limit midway is incorrect and it should be 30mph the entire route. Martin Goss is also dealing with this matter.
• Member Lesley from Flaggs advised she had been told by a BT Engineer that BT had turned down the main broadband speed to try and encourage residents to sign up to Infinity.
• Martin advised on the Spring Lane bridge replacement delays. ECC had outsourced their Highway Maintenance to Ringway Jacobs for a 10-year contract. This involved the contract management team reapplying for their old jobs, which is a current process. This had put the Bridgework onto a back burner but this is now expected to proceed in early 2013.
• A cycle path down Bakers Lane is looking to be actioned during 2014.
• Martin will chase up regarding the speed signs in Bakers Lane.
• Colin queried regarding tidying up the footpath by the bridge at Bakers Lane and Martin advised this can be done by anyone but at their own risk, taking appropriate care.
• Bruce queried what we could do to reduce the density of the proposed development at Mile End, potentially applying TPOs and hedgerow protections. Confirmed that there are existing TPOs covering the proposed development and Scott Greenhill will confirm with the Officer, Dale Keeble, what the rules are for new TPOs. Rob Waites advised that TPOs can be overridden by planning consent.
• Mark queried Martin on the amount of work required by Colchester Borough Council for work on trees covered by TPOs. Martin is to investigate why there is an excessive amount of paperwork but advised there is only one tree Officer, Liam McCarry, in Colchester. Martin advised that jobs are not being backfilled, with 25% of the budget coming from the Council and the remainder from the Government.
Martin advised that although hedgerows are protected that it was relatively easy for a developer to remove them and simply pay an appropriate fine. Similarly, trees are valued and an appropriate fine is levied if there is damage, which then has to be plowed back into the planting plan in the development.
• A query was raised regarding overhanging branches near the substation on Bakers Lane. Martin advised he will look at this and get it reported to the Council if appropriate.
• A query regarding the Northern Approach, NAR 3 community stadium extension has been delayed. This work will start Spring 2012/end March. Delay caused due to new contract negotiations. NAR2 (bus lane) will go into planning next year with £3m in the budget.
• Martin confirmed that the bus stops in Tufnell Way are now set with the locations marked on the pavement. It was requested a change to this location, which Martin will pass along, but he advised it is at such an advanced stage that it may not be possible to change it.
• A member queried whether it would be possible to extend the yellow lines at the top of Fernlea to help with problem parking and Martin advised he will ask but this had previously been refused as the existing yellow lines were deemed to be acceptable. Martin advised that if your driveway is blocked then this is a police matter and police can ticket vehicles that are breaking the law. Similarly if a vehicle is blocking a pavement and making it impossible for a wheelchair or pram to pass safely then this is also a police matter. Unfortunately these are not top priorities for the police. It is also not an offence to park on grass verges unless causing damage, in which case it is also a police matter.
• The issue of rubbish collections in Bergholt Road, with rubbish bags being piled up on the pavement by the collectors and causing a hazard/obstacle was raised. Scott Greenhill confirmed this is a practice called ‘pulling forward’, which works in some areas but not in others. Scott advised this issue has already been raised and taken on board. Scott will report and ask the teams to stop doing this.
John Spurr thanked the Councillors.

7 Community Police Officer
PC Steve Walsom advised that subsequent to changes in March the Blueprint had been put in place involved Officers being moved around and changes to the way they police. This Blueprint has been tried in other forces and had not worked. Having been tried in Colchester they are due for more changes in January where the plan will be re-tweaked. PC Walsom advised he would be finding out tomorrow what the new moves are to be.
Crime in Braiswick is very low compared to other areas, in the whole year there have been only 44 incidents reported, of which only 13 were crimes – this figure does not include the new development.
Only a couple of burglaries have been reported in the area but they are on the increase in Colchester with some success in making arrests. The cuts in effect are causing local policing to suffer but they are doing what they can.
A PCSO covers our area but has been integrated into a team, which covers Braiswick, Mile End, St Johns and Highwoods. There are also likely to be changes there with those leaving not being replaced.
A question was raised regarding parking and he confirmed what had been previously said.
PC Walsom advised that 2 men had been arrested trying to enter vehicles, thanks to a local resident reporting it. He advised all members and residents to ensure their vehicle are kept locked at all times.
A query was raised regarding crime figures in New Braiswick Park and he advised there are graffiti issues but the bulk of their work is ‘Domestic’ type incidents.
John Spurr thanked PC Walsom for attending.

8 General Open Discussion
Chairman stated he was pleased to see new blood and thanked Ann for her two years of hard work. He is delighted to see Mark back with his thrusting questions.

There being no further matters John Spurr thanked the Golf Club for the use of their premises and the bar staff for their work, Members for attending and the Committee for all their hard work.

Meeting closed at 9.30pm.

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