Braiswick Residents' Association
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Draft Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at Colchester Golf Club on Tuesday 11th November 2014 at 8 p.m. To be approved at AGM 2015.

Present 64 members, Cllrs Anne Turrell and Dominic Graham, and PC Steve Walsom.

1 Welcome and Apologies
Rob Waites as Chairman welcomed Members and read the Notice of the Meeting.
Chris Law advised that apologies had been received from Dennis and Sheila Brown, Olive Hazel and Robert and Jordee Mitchell, and Stephen Pitt will be arriving late due to an emergency work commitment.
Rob Waites advised the meeting that if anyone is present who is not a member then they can join tonight and if they would like to see Colin Hyoms our Hon Treasurer he would be pleased to take their subscription which will remain at the nominal sum of £2 per household and that only fully paid up members can vote at any meeting of the Association.
Rob Waites also informed the meeting of the sad death of Mark Cole earlier this year. Mark was for many years the Hon Secretary of the Association and is greatly missed by those who knew him.

2 Minutes of the last AGM
Copies of the Minutes of the 2013 AGM were distributed to all members prior to the meeting and there being no matters arising John Jeffery proposed acceptance of the Minutes which John Bentley seconded. The Minutes were approved by a vote of hands and signed.

3 Hon Treasurer’s Report.
Colin Hyoms presented the accounts for the year ended 30 April 2014, of which a copy was distributed to all members present.
The accounts showed that 70 households paid £143 in subscription, 6 more than last year (2012/2013).
Accumulated fund of £2,045.73 as at 30th April 2014. Expenses for the year were £221.58 an increase of £152.95 on the previous year due to the purchase of 2 Salt Bins; however there was a slight decrease in the cost of printing, postage and stationary.
Balances at Lloyds Bank current account £275.03 deposit account £1,770.70.
Mark Irvine proposed acceptance of the Accounts which John Jeffery seconded.
Accounts were approved by a vote of hands.

4 Hon Chairman/Secretary’s Report
The Chairman Rob Waites gave a brief report of the main issues arising over the past year.
• (A) The past year has seen the continuation of work by developers to design and seek approval for major schemes affecting Braiswick and the surrounding areas.
• (B) The Chesterwell development proposed between Mile End, Bergholt Road and up to the A12 border has received planning consent from Colchester Borough Council subject to 86 conditions which the developers and their agents are currently working through in conjunction with Colchester Borough Council. It is believed that work will start early in 2016 at the northern end of the site with no information as yet on the programme so far as the southern part of the site is concerned. No doubt our Colchester Borough Councillors here tonight will be able to provide an update on this
• (C) The other major development proposal affecting Braiswick is the new school on land adjoining Apprentice Drive and Fernlea. At the time of our AGM last year and as shown at the public consultations held in November 2013, Essex County Council proposed to take all access for the school (apart from limited maintenance and emergency vehicles) from Apprentice Drive. Subsequently in an ’about face’ which caused consternation and anger amongst Fernlea residents, ECC revised the proposals to exit all traffic from the school through Fernlea.
• During the public consultation period, the Association formally commented to Essex County Council on aspects of the proposals felt to be detrimental to residents. In addition many members made their own representations in accordance with personal views. The emergence of the’ Fernlea Residents Action Group’ also gave directly affected residents with strongly held views on the proposals a vehicle to express these as a group as well as individual opinions.
• Despite overwhelming opposition evidenced by the responses received by Essex County Council to the revised proposals presented at the public consultation in January 2014, this later scheme was submitted to the ECC Planning Committee who proceeded to grant full planning permission. This was subject to conditions which in the view of affected residents did little or nothing to remove or mitigate the worst of the detriment created.
• Some Fernlea residents have taken legal advice on whether to pursue a request for leave to seek a judicial review of the County Council’s decision to grant itself planning consent for the school proposals. I can now report that papers have been prepared on behalf of a Fernlea resident and were filed in the High Court on the 6th November 2014 with notice being served on ECC immediately afterwards.
• As things stand it is the intention of the County Council and its agents to have the school operational in the autumn of 2015. The ‘Learning Pathways Trust’, the educational trust who will be running the school, has advised that it plans to hold public meetings later in November 2014 to present the educational aims and ethos of the trust.
• (D) Changing the subject but another source of annoyance for many residents is the on-going saga of the works to the Spring Lane/Bakers Lane Bridge. It now looks eminently likely that the bridge will not reopen until the New Year. Reasons given for the continuing delay have included worse than expected ground conditions, unknown cables and bad weather. There are other well recorded issues affecting Spring Lane/Bakers Lane including the condition of the road surface, drainage and revised speed signage. The Association will, through our elected Borough Council and County Council representatives, continue to pursue these issues.
• (E) The worsening problem of traffic at the North Station roundabout continues to be a concern. Matters can only deteriorate further with development at Chesterwell, the continuing works on the former Severalls site and potential school traffic to the proposed new Braiswick School. A lot of hope is being pinned on the forth-coming park and ride scheme. However it remains to be seen whether conditions at the North Station roundabout will actually be improved by the scheme in view of the construction of thousands of new houses in the so-called Colchester Northern Growth area and the many additional car journeys across town which will not be reduced by the existence of ‘ park and ride’.
• (F) Crime is an issue which thankfully has had a very low impact on Braiswick for as long as most people can remember. However there have been several cases of criminal activity in the past couple of months with one in the Fernlea area, a break-in, only a few days ago. This is the 4th reported case of criminal activity that we are aware of in Fernlea within the last couple of months i.e. a car broken into, bay trees stolen from a garden, a previous burglary, all in addition to the recent burglary of a bungalow elsewhere in Braiswick. It is understood that there has also been a recent theft of a car from a house in Keepers Green. The Association Secretary, Chris Law, has recently sent out details by email of how residents can report information to the police on any suspicious activity they have recently witnessed. We will also endeavour to provide links on the Association web-site to useful crime prevention sites.
• (G) The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has already proposed to reduce the number of councillors to 51 and to split the borough into 17 wards each served by three elected representatives. To implement this it now further proposes splitting Mile End and Braiswick and linking Braiswick with Lexden. A 12-week consultation period is in progress and will run until January 12, 2015.
• A decision will be made next March 2015, and the changes will be implemented in May 2016. Our councillors may wish to comment on this proposal.
• (H) In connection with public footpaths, as many of you may know, Essex County Council has received applications from the Golf Club to divert sections of footpaths number 37 and 40. There has been correspondence on this with our councillors and I’m sure they will be able to provide an update on the current situation in this respect.
• (I) In respect of domestic issues, the Executive Committee has continued to meet regularly to transact the business of the Association and to discuss and review local matters. In between meetings members of the committee are in regular email contact to deal with issues as they arise.
• (J) Last year we reported that, at the time of the AGM, we had no nominations for the posts of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Honorary Secretary. However on the night we were able to fill all positions for Executive Committee members. In accordance with the rules of the Association the vacancies for Chairman and Honorary Secretary were filled at the meeting of the Executive Committee held on 12 December 2013 as follows:
• Chairman: Robert Waites
• Honorary Secretary: Chris Law
• It was further decided that the post of Vice–Chairman would remain unfilled for the time being.
• As always, we welcome more nominations for committee members and officers.
• (K) Close liaison with your elected representatives on CBC and ECC continues to be a regular feature of the role of the committee together with, when required, direct approaches to relevant officers of the local authorities. It is appropriate here to put on record our appreciation of the time and effort our Councillors put in for the benefit of the community. Even if we do not, as individuals, agree with them on every issue, there is no doubting their commitment and hard work.
• (L) Members of the Executive Committee have continued to undertaken specific responsibilities in the last year.
• Our President, John Bentley continues his scrutiny of planning applications which may affect the Braiswick area, alerting other members of the committee to any on which they may wish to comment. He also continues to manage the Braiswick Residents’ Association web-site. The web-site is a useful source of information and news relevant to Braiswick. It contains links to other organisations and sources of information, a record of all committee meeting minutes and a quick way to leave a message or comments on any matter for the committee’s attention. We are always looking for ways to improve the usefulness of the site for members so if there are any suggestions in this respect we would be pleased to consider them.
• Chris Law, who has been our Honorary Secretary for the past year, continues to be the Association’s representative as Vice-Chairman of the working party set up by the Myland Community Council to prepare the draft Myland & Braiswick Neighbourhood Plan. He will provide a brief update on the situation later in the meeting.
• (M) Other issues which committee members have been involved with either in support of your elected councillors or directly with CBC and ECC have been for example:
• (i) Continuation in the push for the re-provisioning of ‘lost’ roadside salt bins at strategic points. In the event the Executive Committee resolved to purchase 2 number salt bins to replace ones damaged and/or removed in Fernlea. Salt for these will be provided by Essex County Council via our ward councillor for distribution to residents who will fill the bins.
• (ii) Commuter parking at the top of Fernlea. On being raised with the appropriate authorities we were informed that this had been investigated by the North East Essex Parking Partnership who had concluded that the problem did not score highly enough in terms of accident statistics, speed and traffic flow to justify an extension of the current yellow lining and parking restrictions. The possibility of school traffic from the new Braiswick School will affect the Fernlea/ Braiswick junction adversely and this item may well have to be reconsidered by the authorities.
• (iii) Works in conjunction with improvement to facilities at Lexden Wood Golf Club and the effect on drainage and road condition in Bakers Lane and disturbance to residents.
• May I have a proposal for the formal adoption of the report?
• John Jeffery proposed adoption of the report and Diane Fulford seconded

5 Election of Officers and Committee
President and Vice-President
The Rules of the Association provide for the election of a President and Vice-President. These officers are non-voting members of the Committee but by virtue of the fact that they are usually long-standing supporters of the Association are able to offer the Executive Committee the benefit of many years experience and knowledge of the area and its issues. The candidate for the post of President John Bentley most certainly fulfils this requirement being both a former Chairmen of the Association and the current President. It has thus been proposed that JohnBentley be re-elected as President for the forthcoming year. This appointment were confirmed by a full show of hands - no one against.
John Spurr the current Vice President does not wish to stand as a candidate for this post this year due to ill health and there being no other nominations the position remains vacant.
Other Officers
We currently have no nominations for the positions of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Hon-Secretary and Hon-Treasurer. So far as these positions are concerned Rob Waites has agreed to stand again as Chairman, Chris Law has agreed to stand again as Hon Secretary and Colin Hyoms has agreed to stand again as Hon Treasurer. These appointments were confirmed by a full show of hands - no one against.
Executive Committee
The Rules of the Association provide for a total of 7 voting members of the committee including officers. At present we have 3 members of the previous committee who have agreed to stand again for re-election:- Janice Hyoms, John Jeffery and Stephen Pitt.. There being no other nominations tonight i can declare that these persons are elected unopposed. These appointments were confirmed by a full show of hands - no one against.

6 Myland and Braiswick Neighbourhood Plan
Chris Law advised the meeting that for the past 2 years he has been the Association's representative as Vice Chairman of the working group set up by the Myland Community Council to prepare and deliver the Myland and Braiswick Neighbourhood Plan (M&BNP)
The NP Working Group is made up of 3 or 4 Myland Councillors, Chris Law from your Residents Association and 2 or 3 residents and meets every 4 weeks in addition there has also been a couple of all day sessions
The objective of the working group is to engage with the community in order to lead on the development of a tangible & viable M&B NP. To guide the plan through independent inspection, the subsequent referendum and adoption by CBC.
At last years AGM we invited Pete Hewitt the MCC Chairman and the NP working group Chairman to address our members on Neighbourhood planning.
The comments we received from members who attended last years AGM were that the presentation was very good and informative but perhaps a little too lengthy. so i will endeavour to give you all only a brief update.
In November 2013 we embarked on the community engagement via a questionnaire that was delivered via The Mylander Magazine to the whole community including Braiswick. There was also an on-line version on the Myland Community Council website."
5500 questionnaires were distributed each with a stamped addressed return envelope.
We received a 15% return rate which was considered pretty good for this type of exercise. There were also additional on-line responses downloaded to the MCC web-site. Within Braiswick the return rate was actually 21%.
Once the questionnaires were processed and separated into the 12 various neighbourhood areas the responses were then analysed This was carried out by the working group with assistance from the Community Clerk
The next stage was to conduct a Business Survey and this was circulated in April 2014. but the response has been very poor. Of the 27 businesses identified in Braiswick only 2 were returned
Meetings have taken place with Sarah Pullin Planning Policy Officer of CBC with both Pete Hewitt and myself in attendance.
A copy of the 1st Exposure Draft of the M&B NP has been submitted to CBC's Sarah Pullin to receive an initial response and at he same time placed on the MCC and BRA websites to obtain feedback from residents and colleagues.
The Draft comprises an Executive Summary and the Main Body.
Within the Executive Summary is a description of The Introduction, The Vision & The Principal Polices.
The Plan does not challenge future developments with Planning Permission.
It provides a vision for future for the period 2015 to 2030 with review points at 2020 and 2025.
The Principal Policies are:-Housing, Education, Employment, The Environment, Social Amenity, Sport & Leisure and Roads & Transport which are all highlighted in the Main Body.
We have drafted a timeline of action stages including independent inspection and final consultations and approvals and It is anticipated that the final version of the plan will be published in April 2015 for public referendum.

7 Ward Councillors
Cllr Anne Turrell (AT) apologised for the absence of Martin Goss as he is on honeymoon and then addressed members on general matters relating to Colchester as a whole.
• AT has resigned as leader Colchester Borough Council but is now deputy leader.
• AT has had to walk a tightrope on the issue of the New Braiswick primary school but has endeavoured to answer all questions raised by the community.
• The bus stops at North Station are being closed off to install new Park and Ride bus lane and convert to 3 lanes under the bridge heading towards Wickes DIY. The work will be carried outside of peak hours and should be completed by Xmas 2014 with no work over the holiday period.3 lanes should be open in January 2015.
• The Park and Ride is due to open in April 2015 with the NAR link road open sooner possibly ie Jan 2015.
Councillor AT then took questions
• John Jeffery stated that ECC are saying Bakers Lane will be open 15th December 2014 but it doesn't look like it will be.- AT will raise with Highways.
• Chris Law mention that several residents have walked down to the Bakers Lane/Spring Lane road bridge but there are seldom any workers there - AT will raise with Highways
• John Jeffery asked how can they get 3 lanes of traffic under the North Station Bridge - AT said they she too didn't understand how but ECC have produced a detail to demonstrate.
• John Jeffery asked what are the details of the contract for the replacement of Bakers Lane/Spring Lane bridge ie damages for delay etc - AT will try to find out the details.
• Diane Fulford asked when the last section of the NAR will be open. - AT stated hopefully January 2015
• Anne Spur asked when the Tufnell Way refuge be carried out - AT will try and find out
• Mark Vipond asked whether Bakers Lane will be repaired and resurfaced before it is reopened, - AT will raise with Highways
• Chris Law asked if the speed signage in Bakers Lane will be corrected before it reopens - AT will raise with Highways
• Cathy Brooks stated they have not heard any reports of Bakers Lane being resurfaced - AT will raise with Highways
• David Croger asked for details of the movements of earth to the Lexden Wood Golf Club - AT will try to find out.
Cllr Dominic Graham addressed the members advising
• DG read out a letter from Jason Botelho Public Rights of Way Inspector in respect of Footpath changes and will keep an eye on it.
• DG mentioned that only 24 out of 130,000 people responded to the petion regarding the proposed New Boundary Changes. If it proceeds Braiswick will join with Lexden, West Bergholt, Eight Ash Green, and Aldham.

8 Community Police Officer
PC Steve Walsom advised that the Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been restructured twice this year, the last being in September 2014. They have now moved from Ipswich Road to the Garrison loosing cars in the process due to the Government cuts
Crime in Braiswick is still very low despite the recent occurrences.
Since 1st January 2014 the Crime Figures for Braiswick are:-
Burglaries - Dwellings 5No with 3 No being in the last 2 months.
Burglaries - Others 4 No
Motor Vehicle Theft ie stolen 2 No
Motor Vehicle Broken into 2 No
Criminal Damage 1 No
Other Thefts 3 No.
This is a total of 17 which is still very low whereas the rest of Colchester has increased significantly ie Mile End has had 650 since 1st January 2014
There are a lot of Shed Burglaries and it is important to fit secure locks and keep locked.
Chris Law asked if there are any Neighbourhood Watch schemes set up in Braiswick - SW is not aware of any but we need to speak to Angie Watts.
Most of the Burglaries to dwellings are carried out during the daytime when houses are empty - not at night. We all need to be more vigilant.
There is no evidence to suggest an increase in crime due to the street lights being turned off.
Call 101 to contact the Police. Call 999 if a crime is taking place.

9 General Open Discussion
Anne Turrell thanked the BRA Committee for their hard work and praised them for close relationship that they have with the County and Borough Councillors to ensure that all issues affecting the residents of Braiswick are brought to their attention.

10 Close of Meeting
There being no further matters Rob Waites thanked all of our Guest Speakers for attending and providing a comprehensive and informative address, the Golf Club for the use of their premises and the bar staff for their work, Members for attending and the Executive Committee for all their hard work.

Meeting closed at 9.30 pm

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