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White Colne

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September 2013


Saturday 28th September from 6.00 pm

Ticket only event - pre-booking essential

Tickets £5.00 to include a Jacket Potato Supper

Beer, lager, cider, wine, spirits & soft drinks

Food served at 7.00 pm.

Jacket Potato fillings:

Baked beans & cheese, Chilli, Tuna mayo & sweetcorn

Sponsor a race for £10 which

includes naming the race and a

quarter page ad in the programme.

Buy a horse for £3: 48 horses for sale

on the night - each race has a £10 prize

for the winning horses owner

Betting on the night - £1 (or multiples

thereof) per horse per race

8 Race Programme.   First Race 8.00 pm.  6 Horses per Race

The Stationmasters Arms will be open to ticket holders only

from 6.00 pm. Last orders 10.30 pm.

Draught bitter : lager : cider : wine : spirits : soft drinks

To order your ticket and choice of jacket potato

filling or to sponsor a race for your company,

please email Rita at

Profits from this event will be donated to

White Colne 50 Club which funds village projects


Dear Residents

During our July meeting, we were delighted to co-opt our new Councillor, Emily Gilbert-Blythe.  Emily has been living in the village for over a year now and expressed a real desire to become involved in the community.  Following multiple wrist operations, Emily medically retired from her career as a Legal Secretary in May 2012, aged 39.  She decided to use her hand therapy as an opportunity to channel her creativity to produce unique knitted children's clothes. She will be opening her own shop near Coggeshall this month. So once again, welcome to Emily - we are looking forward to making good use of her obvious determination, drive and creativity! 

The summer holidays have given us an opportunity to close the village hall to allow for the final phase of decoration. The old part of the hall has been brought up to the same standard as that of the new renovations, and it now looks very smart indeed. If you're planning a party or family get together, don't forget to make good use of our hall. It really is a wonderful asset for our village.

Our next Council meeting is on September 17th and one of the items we shall be discussing is the possibility of hiring a handyman to carry out basic maintenance jobs around the village.  If this is something that interests you, please keep an eye on the notice boards and web site, or send an email to any councillor for further information. 

Looking forward to seeing you at our next meeting or during one of our forthcoming events.

Jane Taylor

Chair, White Colne Parish Council

In Brief…

White Colne’s Longest Resident…  Millie Scillitoe

Elsie May Scillitoe sadly passed away on 19th April 2013

Born on 30th August 1919, she lived all her life in White Colne, having been born in 3 Douglas Cottages, only spending a few years at Home Farm, Colne Park.

Elsie spent all of her childhood and married life in the area, working at Courtaulds.  She married Reg in 1941 and had two children, Marion and Graham.  Reg only passed away two years ago aged 96.

They are both fondly remembered by their son Graham, also born at Douglas Cottages, and Eric their nephew who was a great support, regularly visiting to check on their welfare.

In later years she often visited Chalkney House where she made many friends, enjoying chatting with residents and neighbours.  A regular churchgoer, keen knitter and needleworker, Elsie spent her last two years at Chalkney House. 

Speedwatch… John Watt

John is interested in restarting Speedwatch in White Colne.  Anyone interested in joining him for an hour or two, once or twice a month, to help reduce traffic speeds through the village should contact him on 223582 or email

Earls Colne Airfield… John Watt

There is a contact number, 01787 223676, for anyone who has concerns, comments or complaints about flying activities to/from Earls Colne Airfield, in our case particularly any over-flying of White Colne.  Further info is available by contacting Anglian Flight Centres Limited 
on that number or at Earls Colne Airfield, Earls Colne,
Essex, CO6 2NS, or online at

Superfast Broadband…  Peter Norris

The July Newsletter included an item on the campaign by Braintree District Council and Essex CC to bring faster broadband to the rural areas of the district, something which would benefit all of us who use the internet.  The more residents who support this initiative, the more likely it will be to happen.  You can still register your interest by visiting or by returning the pre-paid postcard included with this newsletter.

Fire Safety in the home…  Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

The Fire and Rescue Service is looking to expand the number of home fire safety visits it carries out.  

Between July 2012 and July 2013 ECFRS attended 871 house fires and of these 226 did not have a working smoke alarm.

Smoke alarms are proven life savers; they give vital early warning at the first sign of fire giving everyone time to get out to safety before calling the fire service.  

Free home fire safety visits sees the Service fit thousands of smoke alarms in homes across the county every year and this year they want to fit more than ever. The alarms are fitted by trained technicians who will also carry out a full home fire safety inspection.

 There is no cost whatsoever to the people receiving the visit and they are left safer in their homes and secure in the   knowledge that they are as safe as possible from the risks posed by fire.  The home fire safety visit does not have to be for   you. If you are concerned that a relative or neighbour could benefit from a visit, then do not hesitate to get in touch with   ECFRS by calling 01376 376226 or emailing

Calling all

Trick or Treaters…

This Halloween,

the Village Hall will be open

to all children, ghosts, skeletons, witches, etc and their minders…

Come along for sweets, weird drinks, pumpkin carving, apple bobbing etc…

All free (but donations welcome!)

Thursday, 31st October  6pm 'til 8pm

Please note all children must have an accompanying adult.


Abridged Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at The Village Hall, Bures Road, White Colne

on Tuesday 16th July 2013 at 7.30 pm.

Full copies of these minutes are available on the Parish Council website and village notice boards


CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING - The minutes of the last parish council meeting of

21st May 2013, which had been previously circulated, were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

VACANCIES FOR PARISH COUNCILLOR - Cllr Taylor said that there was one vacancy for a parish councillor and proposed that it is filled by co-opting Ms E Gilbert-Blythe.  This was seconded by Cllr Pearcey and all councillors were in favour. Cllr Gilbert-Blythe was welcomed and she duly took her seat at the meeting table, and she signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.


(i) A parishioner referred to the planning application for 41 Colchester Road and asked what the application for reserved matters related to.

(ii) A parishioner said that as a neighbour he wanted to make comment on the planning application for Toad Hall, Colchester Road. He said that this present application is affected by the agricultural status of the building in the 1990s. He said that the excavations required for the replacement building will be less than one metre from mature holly trees, and he is not sure whether or not these trees are included in the tree survey. He said that if these trees remained then the increased height of the replacement building should not be a problem for neighbours.



(i)  13/00685/FUL    Toad Hall, Colchester Road -  Erection of two storey front and single storey rear and side extensions, erection of replacement garaging, open shelter and store. - We have no objections regarding the extension and alteration to the house although we believe that it is much larger than the original 1990 footprint, which was built under an agricultural licence. We object to the replacement cart lodge because of the proximity to the neighbour's garden and the potential for loss of privacy and damage to the visual amenity because the construction work may well affect nearby mature holly and other screening trees which are on the boundary. However if the District Council is mindful to approve the new cartlodge, then we would ask that consideration is given to the control of exterior lighting, and that it is for the private use of residents of Toad Hall only.

(ii) 13/00724/REM  41 Colchester Road -  Application for approval of reserved matters following outline approval - 10/00537/OUT (Landscaping) - Erection of two storey rear extension and first floor side extension to existing dwelling and alterations including reduction in building width, rationalise existing parking area and erection of two storey dwelling house with parking and amenity areas and formation of new vehicular access. - No comments.

(iii) 13/00125/TPOCON  Cedar Lodge, 44 Colneford Hill – Tree works. - No objections.

(iv) 13/00137/TPOCON  1a Colchester Road – Tree works. - No objections.

(b) Cllr Taylor referred to the application 11/01137/FUL for Land East Of Boley Road at Wakes Colne, where planning permission for this development was granted subject to the developer paying a financial contribution of £5,524.51 towards the provision and/or enhancement of open space within the vicinity of the site. Cllr Taylor said that the play equipment has been constructed and Braintree District Council (BDC) have inspected. The costs are slightly higher than budgeted and we are now to obtain receipts for the expenditure so that we can obtain the grant from BDC.


Cllr Taylor said that there had been no further developments apart from Essex County Council (ECC) asking where the ‘for sale’ sign can be sited. They have been advised to site it on their land.

VILLAGE HALL - Cllr Giles said that the hall management committee have received quotations for the hall redecoration and are looking at three different options regarding the amount of work, considering a course of action costing £6,000.

COMMUNITY LIAISON - Cllr Pearcey said that the outdoor theatre event realised a profit of £103 for the 50 Club. There are two forthcoming events at The Stationmasters Arms, being a race night in September and a quiz night in November. Cllr Bond said that it was disappointing that the Summer Activity Days did not proceed at our village hall as it is a good resource, and Cllr Taylor asked that this be considered as an agenda item at the next meeting.

FINANCIAL MATTERS - The Clerk reported the financial position at 16th July 2013 as £14874.11, of which £1182.74 is held in reserve on behalf of the heritage fund.

The clerk advised that specialist accountancy advice regarding VAT has been received and circulated to members. The accountant says that he considers that there may be a potential problem, and recommends that he writes to HM Revenue & Customs saying that the Village Hall Management Committee is an agent of the parish council and ask for their confirmation that the reclamation of VAT paid is in order.   Members agreed to ask him to write on our behalf.

The clerk advised that the internal audit for the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2013 had been completed and the report dated June 2013 from the internal auditor had been circulated to all members. The opinion of the report was that the financial records are maintained in an effective manner and a high level of information is provided to the Council. The systems used are generally sound. Recommendations were:-

1. Standing Orders and Financial Regulations should be reviewed every year to ensure they remain relevant and in line with the latest regulations. Cllr Taylor said that this should be put on the web site with copies circulated and asked that this is an agenda item for the next meeting.

2. The Council should consider the uses to which its cash reserves may be put. Cllr Bond said that the council should have a reserves policy and asked that this is an agenda item for the next meeting.

3. A separate comprehensive register of fixed assets should be maintained. The clerk was asked to deal with that. Cllr Bond said that he was concerned with the future legal structure of the village hall ownership, and it was agreed that the management agreement between the parish council and the village hall management committee would be reviewed and the clerk was asked to seek the views of the Rural Community Council of Essex regarding this.

The internal auditor completed Section 4 of the Annual Return with all controls marked ‘yes’ apart from the section regarding the asset register stating that the council relies on the details in the insurance statement, which contains most data required. Cllr Bond asked if there is a minimum figure, whether it is £50, £75 or £100, under which we do not need to register an asset. The clerk was instructed to ask the internal auditor.

The Annual Return has been sent to the external auditor.

Cllr Taylor asked that an agenda item for the next meeting be to consider projects that could be funded by the allocated Heritage funds of £1182.74.

HIGHWAYS - Cllr Pearcey referred to the invitation from ECC Highways to join in the Winter Salt Bag scheme this winter, and said that the council should not accept this for the onerous reasons previously stated, being undertaking risk assessments, preparing winter plans, training volunteers, issuing documentation and maintaining records. This was agreed and the clerk was asked to advise ECC Highways. Cllr Taylor said that the parish council should consider purchasing salt bins for the village and use the stock of salt held, and it was agreed that this is an agenda item at the next meeting.

Cllr Pearcey referred to the damage to the village green outside 7 Colne Park Road, and said that the insurers for Wickes (whose lorry caused the original damage) had asked for the amount of contribution that we sought towards a more permanent repair. He proposed £250 and this was agreed. The clerk was asked to reply accordingly.

Cllr Pearcey said that the parish council should consider applying for a ‘No Right Turn’ restriction from Colne Park Road along the top of the village green after the titan kerb has been installed. It was agreed to consider this at that stage.

Cllr Pearcey said that the proposal for the remodelling of the south corner of the green had been advised to parishioners in the July newsletter and their views sought. In the absence of any disagreement with these proposals it was agreed to advise ECC Highways accordingly and ask them to remove the double yellow parking restriction signs in Colne Park Road, remodel and reconfigure the junction making it wider, and repair Colneford Hill wall. The clerk was asked to deal with this.

The clerk was asked to write to David Wright at ECC Highways regarding the disappearing gullies in Colne Park Road, and also to write to the owner of Coney Byes, Colchester Road regarding the overgrown shrubbery at the front of the property which is restricting use of the footway.

Cllr Watt said that he will follow up the clearance of the shrubbery over the footway near The Old Post Office.  The overgrown footpath from Bures Road to Boley Road has been reported to ECC Highways.

Cllr Bond said that vehicles are travelling at high speed on Colneford Hill and asked for an update on the speedwatch campaign. Cllr Watt said that the equipment was available, and Cllr Taylor said that an article should be placed in the next newsletter seeking volunteers.

ALLOTMENTS - Cllr Watt said that the new agreement is now in use.

VILLAGE HANDYMAN - Cllr Taylor said that she had circulated to members a list of jobs that could be included in a job description for a village handyman. A discussion followed which included whether or not it should be a permanent salaried job based on a certain number of hours weekly, or whether it should be a contract to a self employed person on a need to do basis. It was agreed that the clerk would establish whether he could obtain a specimen contract from another parish council that already employs a handyman, and if so circulate it for further consideration at the next meeting.

# # # # # #

Consultation on bus services run by Essex County Council

On Monday 16 September, Essex County Council (ECC) began a twelve week formal public consultation which includes how it provides financial support to local bus services.

The local authority currently pays £7.9 million for nearly 200 local bus services which generally run in the evenings, on Sundays or in rural locations.

The authority is keen to ensure the bus services it provides meet, as far as possible, the essential travel needs of Essex residents and also offer the best value for taxpayers. However, maintaining expenditure at this level in the current financial climate is unsustainable and the council is looking at where efficiency savings can be made.

The consultation is asking residents about their travel needs and what types of services are most important to them, but the consultation is not looking at individual bus services at this stage.

The consultation, plus all accompanying literature and documentation, including a comprehensive list of the bus services paid for by ECC, is available on  The consultation will close on Monday 9 December. Copies of the consultation will also be available through libraries or by calling 0845 603 7631

Please note, there will be further consultation and opportunities to comment on the draft bus strategy when it is completed.  Once the new strategy has been finalised it there will be a series of area reviews across the County to allow services in each area to be looked at in the light of the new strategy.  Any changes are intended to be implemented between September 2014 and September 2015.

Home to School Transport Consultation

On Monday 16 September, Essex County Council began a six week formal public consultation into the discretionary elements of its home to school transport policy.

The local authority currently spends over £25million on ensuring children across the county can attend school.  However, maintaining expenditure at this level in the current financial climate is unsustainable and the council is looking at where efficiency savings can be made.

The authority has a number of statutory responsibilities around the provision of home to school transport which are not affected by the consultation, however a number of the discretionary elements of the existing policy are under review. These include consulting on:

For more information and to take part in the survey visit

The consultation is available by visiting  

To submit further comments complete the questionnaire or email