AGM 2016 Minutes

Braiswick Residents’ Association

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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at Colchester Golf Club on Tuesday 15 November 2016 at 8.00 pm.
Present 44 members, Cllr Anne Turrell, Cllr Brian Jarvis, Cllr Lewis Barber, Cllr Dennis Willetts, Cllr Sue Lissimore.

1. Welcome and apologies

Stephen Pitt (Chairman 2015/16) welcomed members and guests to the meeting
(Apologies had been received from Leonie Taylor, Jane Patey, Chris & Lois Pertee)

2. Minutes of last AGM

Stephen said that the Minutes of last year’s AGM had been placed on the Association website. Electronic copies had been distributed to those members for whom the Association held an email address. Hard copies were also available on the night. There being no matters arising or comments on the Minutes they were approved by a show of hands and signed by the Chairman.

3. Hon. Treasurers report

Copies of the accounts for the year ending 30 April 2016 were available on each table at the meeting and would also be appended to the minutes of the 2016 AGM. The Hon. Treasurer, Colin Hyoms, ran through the figures for the past financial year.

Balance in the Current account at year end was £462.52 (£381.11 previous year)
Balance in the Deposit Account at year end was £1,772.26 (£1,771.48 previous year)

Colin Hyoms thanked Phil Holroyd FCA for once again preparing the accounts.

There being no questions from members, the accounts were approved unopposed.

4. Chairman’s report

Stephen Pitt reported on events and issues affecting the area over the last year as summarised below:

• Stephen thanked his colleagues on the committee for their work during the past year. They had had periodic meetings and had kept in regular touch, raising and discussing issues as they arose, via email.

• The Association was represented on regular liaison meetings held at the new Braiswick Primary School with the Head teacher and Site Manager. Also attending were a representative each from Fernlea and Apprentice Drive and Martin Goss (Ward Councillor for New Braiswick Park). The purpose of the meetings was to deal with issues affecting the local area and to build a good working relationship between the school and residents for mutual benefit.

• A public consultation exercise was carried out in Fernlea by the Association concerning implementation of a 20 mph scheme. The proposal was overwhelmingly supported by residents of Fernlea and the courts and roads there off. The scheme has been validated by the Local Highways Partnership and is being put forward for funding at its March 2017 meeting. Anne Turrell has asked that if the current programme slips, Fernlea be considered for advancement.

• The emerging ‘Local Plan’ for Colchester 2017-2033. Following the earlier ‘call for sites’ exercise, Colchester Borough Council issued its draft Local Plan and preferred options for development sites in the summer with a closing date for comments of September 2016. The proposals included 3 housing sites in Braiswick. The Committee of the Association was of the opinion that development of the 3 sites would have a significant detrimental impact on adjoining properties and Braiswick in general and thus submitted objections. The Council will publish its final version of the plan in February/ March 2017 which will be submitted to the Secretary of State for approval.

• Myland & Braiswick Neighbourhood Plan. Chris Law has been the Association’s representative on the Working Party putting together this plan. It has been approved by residents in the recent referendum and adopted by Colchester Borough Council. It now forms part of the statutory development plan for the area and also sets out residents’ aspirations for provision of amenities and community faculties. It must be taken into account when the Council determines any future planning application in Braiswick.

• Pressure continues to be applied in conjunction with our local councillors to improving the highways situation in respect of potholes.

• Section 106 funds. Pressure also continues to be applied (including press coverage) to get Essex County Council to fulfil the planning requirement for a pedestrian refuge at the top of Tufnell Way. Section 106 monies were obtained from the developer of New Braiswick Park for this purpose. Despite this it appears that the road junction has not been constructed wide enough to allow buses to make the turn from the Bergholt Road.

• Footpath diversions across the golf course have been proposed by Colchester Golf Club on the grounds of the safety of walkers. The proposals have been disputed by regular users of the footpaths who allege that the diversions are actually less safe. The Association has asked the Golf Club and Essex County Council to fully consider the views of these users and currently are waiting for confirmation of a meeting with Golf Club management to discuss the issue. The implementation of the diversion is currently in abeyance.

• Commuter parking in the main Braiswick road and at the top of Fernlea. A growing problem and it is understood that the Golf Club has recently put in an application to the North Essex Parking Partnership for parking restrictions across the Golf Club frontage. The Association is suggesting that additional parking restrictions be considered at the top of Fernlea in view of the potential danger to traffic trying to turn into Fernlea from the main road and not being able to.

That concluded the annual report of the Chairman.

There being no comments or questions on the report it was approved by a show of hands of the residents attending.

5. Election of Officers and Committee

In recommending on behalf of the Committee that the membership reappoint John Bentley as President of the Association, Stephen Pitt mentioned John’s long record of service to the Association. His appointment was proposed by Rob Waites and seconded by Stephen Pitt. The meeting unanimously approved the appointment by a show of hands.

The reappointment of Stephen Pitt as chairman for 2016/17 was proposed by Rob Waites and seconded by John Spurr. There being no other nominations, the appointment was confirmed by a show of hands.

Honorary Secretary
Rob Waites was proposed for the post of Honorary Secretary by Stephen Pitt and seconded by David Meghan.
There being no other nominations the appointment was confirmed by a show of hands.

Honorary Treasurer
Colin Hyoms was proposed for the post of Honorary Treasurer by Stephen Pitt and seconded by David Meghan. There being no other nominations the appointment was confirmed by a show of hands.

Executive Committee
With the appointment of the three officers of the Association, there remained 4 available executive committee posts.
David Meghan, John Jeffery, Janice Hyoms and Trevor Welham having agreed to stand again and there being no other nominations, they were returned unopposed.

6. County & Borough Councillors

a. Councillor Anne Turrell (Essex County Council Mile End Division) discussed the following issues:

• Park & Ride will be stopping at the Hospital from January 2017. Also the service will be free on the first Saturday in December.

• Tufnell Way pedestrian refuge. Anne has obtained agreement for the Section 106 money originally provided to be reallocated back to the refuge project from where it had been diverted. Council officers had stated that the refuge could not be provided due to the needs of buses; however Anne has got them to look at alternative solutions.

• Golf Club footpath diversion :– Anne has walked this several times with all the parties. It is currently on hold pending further discussions.

• New Local Plan:-Anne confirmed that she had objected to the inclusion of the 3 Braiswick sites in the ‘preferred options’.

• Parked cars overhanging pavement in Bergholt Road: - Anne has raised this with both the police and the Local Parking Partnership. Although an obstruction is being caused to the pavement the Police say that this is not a priority. Similarly the Parking Partnership say they can’t deal with the matter as the cars are not wholly on public land and they would have to enter onto private property to serve a ticket. She has asked for their advice on what more can be done.

• 20mph scheme Fernlea: – the situation is as stated by Stephen Pitt in his report. Hopefully the scheme will be implemented sometime in 2017/18.

• Commuter parking in Braiswick: – Anne said that Parking Partnership is reluctant to impose any restrictions to parking in the main road as they feel it would just push the parking further down the road. However she is more hopeful that additional protection could be provided at the Fernlea/ main road junction.

Anne dealt with the following questions and comments:

i. Pot holes in Baker’s Lane:- Anne said that ECC did not rate them as deep enough to currently warrant works
ii. Overhanging hedges in Baker’s Lane: - these are the responsibility of the owners of the properties adjoining the road
iii. In connection with commuter parking a comment was made from the floor that although yellow lines may simply push parking further down the road there has to be a limit on the distance drivers will be prepared to walk. Anne said she would make enquiries about this and keep pushing for restrictions in the main road.

b. Councillor Brian Jarvis (Colchester Borough Council Lexden and Braiswick Ward) discussed the following issues:

• Dog fouling – a pre-notified question. Brian has spoken to the Colchester Council Zone Manager and was informed about a change in the regulations from 31 October 2016. Until that date only Enforcement Officers could enforce dog fouling fines. Now additional officers of the Council will be empowered to issue fines. Residents should record the time, date and place of any instances they see for the area to be targeted by such officers. Brian said he was happy to receive reports with these details for passing on. The Zone Manager felt there were insufficient penalty warning signs and Brian has asked him to arrange for more to be displayed. *

• Locality Budget of £2000:- allocated to each councillor to be spent on community projects in their ward (not just Braiswick). Brian asked for ideas from residents with the caveat that any supported project or activity must not result in ongoing maintenance costs on the council and must be of benefit to the community.

• Queen Street redevelopment: – work for the proposed Curzon Cinema development in Roman House is now on site. It is part of a redevelopment that will include a new hotel and student’s accommodation. The cinema should be open in 2017.

Brian dealt with the following question:

Could an example be given of the sort of scheme which would be deemed appropriate use of the community grant? Brian gave 3 examples – provision of storage sheds at Lexden Springs School, chairs for Lexden Church which hosts many community based groups and activities and for equipment in the single mother’s home in London Road.

c. Councillor Lewis Barber (Colchester Borough Council Lexden & Braiswick Ward) discussed the following issues:

He hoped to call on those homes to discuss local issues which he hasn’t been able to yet due to the logistics of the enlarged ward.

• Local Plan:- – he objected to the Braiswick sites put forward in the proposed new Local Plan ‘preferred options’ . He was also concerned with the problems of congestion and lack of infrastructure reflecting the concerns expressed to him by residents. He is due to meet with the ECC Portfolio Holder to discuss congestion issues.

• Waste collection: - Councillors are being consulted on proposed changes to waste collection. Proposals include fortnightly collections of household rubbish and possible fines for putting out more than 3 black bags of rubbish per fortnight. There is also a suggestion that following consultations, different areas may have different collection arrangements. Lewis thinks that these proposals would push up costs, not be practical and do little or nothing to improve recycling rates. They may even lead to more fly-tipping.

Lewis dealt with the following questions and comments which all related to waste collection:

i A question was asked as to whether the ‘black bag’ allowance would be related to household size? Lewis replied in the negative – it appeared to be the same no matter whether there were 2 or even 12 occupants.

ii. A comment was made that more and more frequent information should be given on the costs of black bag collection and of recycling rather than disposal - education might be better than the ‘big stick’. Lewis agreed and said that he was pushing this point and would raise it at the next Council Scrutiny Panel.

iii. In response to a question he confirmed that green and paper waste collection would not alter.

iv. Lewis agreed that the use of wheelie bins in locations where there is no rear access except through the house is problematic, could give problems to elderly and infirm residents and were unsightly stored at the front of houses.

v. In response to a question about collections for those residents who have health problems who may require more than 3 black bags per fortnight, Lewis said that this has been brought up at the Council Scrutiny Panel and was potentially a real problem.

d. Councillor Dennis Willetts (Colchester Borough Council Lexden & Braiswick)

Dennis said that his colleagues had already dealt with most of the current issues. He is Leader of the Opposition on Colchester Borough Council and spends much of his time reviewing proposals and decisions of the Council to make sure that the services concerned offer good value, are cost effective and sensible compared to the original problem. This is not always the case for example some of the proposed changes to waste collection.

e. Councillor Sue Lissimore (Essex County Council Drury Division)

Sue attended the meeting as her ECC division adjoins Braiswick and includes Spring Lane.

There are proposed changes to Spring Lane at the access from the Cymbeline Way roundabout. There is a Local Highways Panel project to provide a ‘village gateway’ at the Spring Lane entrance from the roundabout e.g. small fences either side of the road to provide a visual narrowing, possibly with flower beds and a mill stone. There would be signage stating ‘Lexden Bridge Hamlet’. Sue said evidence was that such treatment encourages vehicles to go slower when entering what appears to be a rural village area. There was also due to be some resurfacing of the road and the cutting back of hedges in the next financial year. Although hedge cutting was the responsibility of the landowner it was often easier to just do the work with the road repairs.

Sue answered questions on the proposal:

i. Area of road to be resurfaced? Hopefully the whole of Spring Lane/ Bakers Lane would be looked at for resurfacing.

ii. The possibility of a reduced speed limit on Bakers Lane/ Spring Lane? Not much chance of this as the criteria for applying a 20 mph speed limit are very stringent.

iii. The possibility of ‘Please drive carefully’ signs on the road as some villages have? It may be possible to incorporate this at some later date.

iv. It was pointed out that the road edge condition along Bakers Lane/ Spring Lane could cause tyre damage when pulling over to let other vehicles pass. Sue said that this would be looked at when the repair scheme is prepared but as ever funding was tight and likely to get tighter. There are probably more urgent cases requiring attention where accidents have occurred.

v. There is further development at ‘Playgolf’. Should not that business be making a contribution to the upkeep of the public highway serving it? Sue said she did not know the details of the planning permission relating to the development but any Section 106 money forthcoming (which is a matter for Colchester Borough Council to negotiate when they deal with the planning application) is often not sufficient to deal with all educational, highways issues etc. Stephen Pitt commented that the planning conditions for the ‘Playgolf’ development should be examined as he recalled that there may have been S.106 monies made available to deal with the effect of heavy construction lorries.

7. General Open Discussion

• A comment was made that the ‘early years’ building at the new Braiswick Primary School is still unused. Having recently attended the regular liaison meeting with the school, Rob Waites said that this was due to the originally selected provider of the service going into administration. A replacement, ‘Abacus’, had now been appointed by ECC and, subject to OFSTED registration of the premises, it was hoped to be open by Christmas.

• Although Colchester Golf Club is concerned about parking in Braiswick affecting the club, it was pointed out that on occasions when hosting events their visitors parked on the main road when the car park was full. A member present said that a special licence was obtained from the Local Parking Partnership to provide ‘no parking’ in the areas in front of the golf club for a special event.

8. Close of Meeting

The Chairman, Stephen Pitt, thanked members for attending the AGM, the guest speakers for their contributions to the evening and the Golf Club for the use of its facilities and its staff for their help. The meeting was declared closed at 09.00 pm.

*subsequent to the meeting Brian Jarvis notified the Association that along with the other changes the fine for dog fouling had been increased from £50 to £75.

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