(December Parish Magazine)
I cannot quite believe, like many others I imagine, how much rain we have had in October. We have had nearly four inches and this is the driest part of the country!
Priory Meadow Play Area
As you are aware the Parish Council is looking to put an Embankment Slide on Priory Meadow. This is now scheduled for November. We are also waiting to hear the outcome of a grant application we have made to the Community Initiatives Fund for a basket swing. In 2020, the Parish Council hopes to finance a zip wire. Priory Meadow will then have some really good pieces of equipment on which the young can play and stay close to their homes. An added bonus.
Member Led Footway Repairs
You may remember the Parish Council were invited to be involved in another initiative from Essex Highways. This time we could choose footways/pavements to be repaired up to a length of three double decker buses! Why Essex Highways couldn’t give us a sensible measurement in metres instead of that obscure way of doing it, we have no idea! However, very worn parts of Norman Close footways have been repaired. Essex Highways have done a good job. We hope to begin using the money that Essex Highways have given us (£2913.14) to repair some of the really worn pavements in Darcy Road shortly!
Councillors have been concerned for some time about the safety of the decking in front of the Pavilion. When it gets wet, it becomes very slippery and as it is a very large area, this is a justifiable concern. We have investigated a number of options from painting sand onto the boards to installing new boards with anti-slip inserts in them. Costs have ranged as you may imagine from the relatively cheap, but not necessarily effective, to the very expensive. All the Councillors were asked to attend a meeting at Cowley Park on the 30th October to consider both the site and the options. This they all did. Their unanimous decision was that the decking in its entirety should be removed and that we revert back to what was there previously. So new steps up to the pavilion will be built, there will be a hard area next to the pavilion itself and then new turf laid up to where the decking ended. The view of the Councillors was that it was a once and for all expense. We will now put the work out to tender to our local contractors.
Dumont Play Area
There are now two notices on the gate stating no dogs allowed in the play area and would you believe people are still walking their dogs in there!
There is a very kind resident who is locking and unlocking the gate, which hopefully will stop nocturnal visits. But it is difficult to know what else can be done to prevent thoughtless people from ignoring notices and then allowing their dogs to endanger children’s health.
I wrote at length in last month’s Report about the fly tipping incidents on the Warren and the allotments and the scourge that the actions of the few have on our countryside. Neil and I met Matthew Leach, at the end of October, he has been appointed by Tendring District Council to combat and deal with fly tipping. We discussed the incidents and he is going to interview the people who witnessed the fly tipping on the Warren and the person who committed the offence.
He then outlined the procedure that it to be followed now he is in post.
Within 24 hours of fly tipping being notified to Tendring District Council rubbish is inspected for identification, if any is found, the 3 stages are begun
- In the first instance when people are identified who have either been fly tipping or given their rubbish to a non-licensed carrier, they will have a visit ‘to advise’.
- In the second instance if they are caught again, they will be given a Community Protection Notice which could lead to either a fine or an appearance in court.
- In the third instance, there will be a prosecution. It all sounds like progress to us.
Let us sincerely hope that with this in place in the future fly tipping becomes a rare occurrence.
The Bury and the Crossroads
We have been informed by Essex Highways that road maintenance is to be carried out on the road in front of the Priory and at the Crossroads early in 2020. The Feasibility Study on the crossroads is due to be received by the Parish Council in the next couple of weeks. We have informed Essex Highways of this, so possibly they can work together on the improvements. Here’s hoping!
A slightly shorter report this month, hopefully it is informative and interesting.
With best wishes,
As I begin to write this report which will be in the November issue of the magazine, it hardly seems possible that another year is nearly over. Where did it go?
There are some different issues to share with you this month.
In the week beginning 16th September the Parish staff had five separate incidents of fly tipping reported to them. It culminated with one on Friday 20th September when a vehicle was seen at 11.22 am dumping rubbish behind the Vicarage on Warren Farm.
In this case it was witnessed by three residents, the vehicle dumping the rubbish was caught on CCTV at the crossroads and the vehicle registration number noted. All of this was reported to the Police on 101 and a crime reference number given.
Following this the landowner received two letters from Essex Police; the first informing him that further investigations would be carried out. The second letter informing him that Tendring District Council have primacy for fly tipping offences, and with the current demands being placed on police resources, unless there were exceptional circumstances, no further enquiries would be made and therefore their investigations will be closed! We were amazed and cross.
Our expectation was, because the evidence was all there i.e. three witnesses ready to make statements, the vehicle seen on CCTV with a number visible, that an investigation and a prosecution would follow. We all feel that until prosecutions happen, fly tipping will continue to be a scourge on the countryside
I understand that the firm who voluntarily cleared up the rubbish at the Warren, has written on Facebook. Jon Harrington is saying what the Parish Council said two years ago, when we had fly tipping in the cemetery, that house owners have to take more responsibility when paying ‘a man with van’ to take rubbish away. Their van license certifying that they can collect should be checked and that they should also see a transfer note stating where the rubbish is being taken.
It was really interesting information given by a firm that deals in house clearances; but what has to be remembered too is that while people caught fly tipping can be prosecuted the people handing over their rubbish to uncertified rubbish collectors can also be prosecuted as it is a criminal offence.
Meanwhile the Parish Council has all the evidence ready for a possible prosecution and will be writing to Tendring District Council asking for action. We will also be writing to the Police informing them that as we have all the evidence we consider that these are ‘exceptional circumstances’ as per their letter and we wait for the matter to be pursued.
Parish Council Management Plan
At this time of year the Committees and Working Parties are meeting to consider their capital expenditure for the next 2/3 years. This is put together in a Management Plan and considered by the Finance Committee, the Responsible Officer and the Clerk. Decisions are then made about the capital and revenue spending for the year 2020/2021 in particular, with planning done too for the next two years.
One initiative which is being considered is the sowing of wild flower seeds at the Clacton Road entrance to the village. We always leave the piece of land left of the entrance to Pump Hill Farm uncut. Over the years some wild flowers have been seen, but recently they have been less and less. So advice has been taken from David Gollifer, Essex Naturalists Trust and we are hoping to purchase a wild flower mix that will attract bees and butterflies. The seed will be sown, when the existing turf has been removed in the Spring 2020.
Hopefully it will be an attractive sight as people drive into the village and will support both bees and butterflies.
Dumont Play area
I am afraid that I have to report, despite a notice informing people that no dogs should be in the play area; there are those who are ignoring it and allowing their dogs to defecate and not cleaning it up. This is difficult to believe in an area which is designated as a Young Children’s Play area.
A new notice has now gone up stating ‘Positively No Dogs in the Play area’ and it is to be hoped that this is not now ignored.
- Within 48 hours of my draft report being written, three men and dogs were seen in the play area. It is both disappointing and unbelievable that people can be so thoughtless.
The Parish Council will shortly be taking up the decking in front of the Pavilion as some of the wooden planks are going rotten and it does become very slippery when wet. We have located some decking that has anti-slip inserts from a firm in Colchester. We have had good reports about it from a local business who have used it for a number of years.
We are also making further enquiries about other decking, which when treated, will be anti-slip
Graves in the Cemetery
The Cemetery in Clay Lane was opened in 1855 when it was decided that the Churchyard was full. The area to the right as you enter has a number of very old graves. With the passage of time vegetation has covered many of them, so it is difficult to see the names. A Working Party is being set up to uncover some of the graves as the people buried there are part of the social history of our village.
If you’re interested in joining the Working Party, do give Neil a ring on 01255 821447.
With best wishes,
This month I have a number of fairly brief updates on items previously discussed, but first I will begin with some important thank-you’s.
St. Osyth in Bloom
Although there are three Councillors who choose the plants and do the planting; there are a number of people who assist by helping to water them during the summer months and we are very grateful that they do this. Our thanks go to:
- The Clerk and Responsible Officer who water the hanging baskets and the display at the Village Hall.
- To Matt Ford who always helps to put the hanging baskets up along Clacton Road in front of the shops and who helped when the battery operating the water distribution failed!
- To the O’Dell family who allow us to use their water for the hanging baskets and to Andy Booth of Naglotec who keeps an eye on the plants.
- To Margaret and Richard Vigus who both supply and water the plants under the Village sign.
- To Julia Smith for providing the plants and watering the display at the Clacton road entrance.
- To John and Sandy Kemp who both supply and water the plants at Chisbon Heath.
- To John Savage who waters the flowers in the boat at the end of Mill Street and to Andy Harman from the boatyard for allowing us to use the water.
- And finally, but by no means least, to Councillors Julie Ward and Alma Blockley who have watered and fed the planters in front of the toilets, on the barriers, in front of the Priory and at Beacon Way throughout the summer.
We are very grateful to them all for the support they give so that the residents can enjoy the attractive floral displays in our village. At this point we must include the wonderful displays that we always enjoy in front of the Social Club in Church Square. Warm thanks to the Social Club who finance them and to Matt Ford who does the planting; they are so much admired.
Thanks too to the residents who by their individual efforts do make Church Square a very attractive place during the summer months.
Many of you will remember that the Parish Council is planning to install play equipment at Priory Meadow. Our reason for doing this is because a third of the children who attend our Primary School do come from the east side of the Village. It makes sense then to do this, so they can enjoy using play equipment without having to go over the crossroads.
The embankment slide is going in this month and we have a Stage 2 grant in with the Community Initiative Fund (C.I.F.) so that a basket swing can be installed hopefully in the spring. Progress is being made with the project.
Member led Footway Repair Programme
We understand from Alan Goggin, our County Councillor that an inspection is to be carried out by Essex County Highways on our request for repairs to the footways in Norman Close, Johnson Road and Rochford Road. If you remember we did suggest that these repairs should be done in the summer holidays, this is obviously not to be. However, fingers crossed that Essex County Highways do ultimately repair these pavements.
New Councillors for St. Osyth Parish Council
We are very pleased to welcome Patricia Quy and Mick Catt as our two new Councillors; we very much look forward to working with them.
Members of the Open Spaces Working Party visited Thorrington Play Area during August to look at the fitness equipment installed by their Parish Council. Thorrington Councillors were present and talked to us about why it was installed, the cost and the use that is made of it by residents.
We came away deciding to make a positive report about our visit to the Parish Council at the September meeting and recommending that we apply for a grant to Sport England.
A Toilet for Disabled People
This suggestion was made at the Annual Parish Meeting in April and was warmly applauded. Subsequently we talked to James McColl Smith of the Point Clear and St. Osyth Disabled Persons’ Club and it was agreed that the Parish Council should seek a meeting with Andy Nepean of Tendring District Council. This was done and he visited the site.
Since then Andy has come back to us to say that to “incorporate a disabled cubicle that complies with all DDA regulations will mean some structural changes to the building”. He goes on to say that as the building is in a conservation area he is not sure that Planning will be ‘too keen to change things that much.’
However, Andy is still looking at options and alternatives and I have pointed out that there is space at the rear of the building which could be used!
We are still trying, I promise.
The Roll-out of Wheelie Bins
Suffice it to say, that the month of August was remarkably difficult, both for staff in the Parish Office and for many residents.
The overflowing dog poo bins at Martin’s Farm Park have caused much consternation and rightly so. We have contacted Essex County Council on numerous occasions; they in turn have contacted the contractors Veolia to empty bins, but many are still overflowing. We as a Parish Council can do little except pass information on to Essex County Council. It is frustrating for everyone.
We do so hope that the month of September has seen a resolution with the distribution of Wheelie bins and that the overflowing bins become a thing of the past.
The Causeway Railings
Hopefully there is some success here. Having enquired yet again as to progress with the installation of new railings in the final section of the Causeway, I have been informed that this should be completed by the end of November.
If this was done and the road resurfaced on The Bury that would indeed be progress.
With best wishes to everyone.
This month a number of positives to report and one issue that is quite shocking. I will begin with the latter.
Robbery at the Cemetery
Elsewhere in the magazine you will see an advert requesting that people check the graves in the Cemetery of their loved ones to see if any ornaments, statues or flower vases have been removed.
On Saturday, 20th June we received a report that men had been seen at 5.30 am gathering up items from graves and putting them in a vehicle. The Police were informed and they visited the address where the car was registered and car boot sales in Clacton, unfortunately with no result.
The Police have informed us that now the robbery has to be ‘victim led’. This means that people have to report to them items that are missing from graves. It is because of this that the Parish Council is requesting that people check graves and report to the Police if anything is missing.
We are very grateful to some public spirited people in Tunstall Close, who first of all reported the theft and got the car registration number and then supported and kept the Parish Council informed. Thank you Wayne, Margaret and Steve. The majority of us cannot believe that people rob graves – it is quite shocking.
Footways and Pavements
The good news is that the footways in Spring Road are to be repaired in the Autumn. I contacted the Senior Engineer for Essex County Highways and he confirmed that they will be done. It is because of this information that we now do not need to use the Highways Repair Team being lent to us for three days to repair Spring Road. So we have requested that the initiative called ‘Member led footway repair programme 2019’ should focus their time on repairing pavements and kerbs in Norman Close, Johnson Road and Rochford Road. Residents will be pleased to know that we have asked that this work should be carried out in the school’s summer holidays.
Additionally, if this work is completed within the allocated time and there is still time to spare we have asked that the pavement outside The Curve in Mill Street be repaired.
It really will be interesting to see how efficient and effective this initiative is. We sincerely hope it is, as a great deal could be achieved.
The Crossroads Feasibility Study
The Highways Working Party had a meeting in July with the consultant Ben Cook to discuss the possibilities for improving the safety of the crossroads for both pedestrians and drivers.
Ben had suggested that we might invite local interested people who could contribute
to the discussion – so the Parish Council invited Jerry, who has the butcher’s shop on the crossroads and Neil from the Hoy to join us. They have first-hand experience of the incidents that happen at the crossroads. Their observations and suggestions contributed to it being a very positive and informative discussion.
We now look forward to the Feasibility Study which should be produced by October time.
By the time you read this two new councillors will have been appointed to the Parish Council which is very good news. Six people applied.
In the October magazine we are proposing to have an article giving you information and photographs about each of the Councillors, so that you do know who are representing your interests in the village. We hope that it will be helpful.
Fitness Equipment in the Village
Mrs. Dawn Skeels wrote to the Parish Council recently suggesting that as residents showed an interest in having fitness equipment, the Parish Council might like to take this further.
It was an agenda item at our last meeting and having looked at the brochures that Dawn sent to us, the Open Spaces Working Party is visiting Thorrington to look at the equipment the Parish Council had installed in February. We have requested that a member of their Parish Council is present to share with us what they did to bring the initiative to fruition.
We will keep you informed.
A final thank-you
I thanked residents in Tunstall Close for informing us about the robbery in the Cemetery earlier in my Report. I would like to say a big thank-you to Steve Pearce on behalf of us all for reporting a concern about a tree in Tunstall Close.
During the high winds of the week beginning 29th July, he rang Neil, our Clerk to report that he had heard a loud crack coming from one of the trees bordering Tunstall Close and the Bypass Road. Neil immediately reported it to Highways. A team was sent out that day and such was their concern that it was felled immediately. Our grateful thanks to Steve who possibly by his action averted what could have been a nasty accident if it had fallen across the Bypass Road.
Progress on the Layby in St. John’s Road
Colchester Parking Partnership has finally after a number of emails and phone calls put up the signs limiting the waiting to 2 hours at any one time. Great result we thought! But no, until the time of writing although there are vehicles breaking the time instruction, no tickets have been issued.
However, we are some steps nearer the Traffic Regulation Order being enforced and our persistence will we are sure payoff!
I do hope you had an enjoyable August.
With best wishes.
St Osyth Priory and Parish Trust
In the Parish Magazine there is a report and photographs of the visit by the children from St. Osyth Primary School to the Priory and how much the days were enjoyed by our young. Many people have asked since, how and why this has happened, so I am taking space in my Report to explain.
If you remember the Second Inquiry into the building of houses in the village as an enabling development was concluded at the end of the first week. Tendring District Council and the owners of the Priory then had to agree a way forward in repairing and restoring the Priory.
A Section 106 Agreement was drawn up, signed by both parties; it is a long and detailed document. One of the clauses in it relates to the St. Osyth Priory and Parish Trust – this was established by the owners in 2016.
The objectives are:-
‘The Preservation for the benefit of the public, of the buildings, monuments and land of historical, architectural or constructive interest firstly at St Osyth Priory and second St. Osyth Parish’.
Another of the clauses in the Section 106 Agreement relates to Appointments and it states that:-
‘The Owners will use all reasonable endeavours to procure that Tendring District Council together with St. Osyth Parish Council will each be invited to appoint a representative of each body to the St. Osyth Priory and Parish Trust’.
The Parish Council received a letter in June 2018 inviting us to do this and it was an agenda item at our monthly meeting. After discussion it was agreed by the Parish Council that the future interests of the village would be best served by appointing a Council member to be a Trustee. As a Councillor said: ‘it is better to be on the inside where we can affect and influence change, than on the outside’.
I agreed to be the Trustee for the Parish Council.
Ian Davidson, Chief Executive Officer for Tendring District Council has agreed to be a Trustee when the Business Plan for the Priory has been agreed and approved.
There are four other Trustees –
Andy Booth of Naglotec, Clacton Road represents the business interest in the community.
Conrad Payne, Senior Director of Strutt and Parker
Kim Lalli, Senior Partner, Wedlake Bell, LLP
Tim Sargeant, Owner of St. Osyth Priory
Helen Moore, City and Country, who is retiring as a Trustee in October.
The Trust is independent of the owners of the Priory and is committed to the following:
- Raising grants for the restoration of the Priory buildings for which it is responsible.
- Developing educational opportunities for all ages in the Priory and its Parkland.
- Working with the owners to give public access to the Priory and the Parkland.
The Trust has begun in a small way this summer. The Historical Society and the Parish Council have both had tours of the newly restored buildings with Tim Sargeant as their guide.
The planning for educational visits is now underway and these will continue in 2020 and beyond. The potential that the Priory has to offer was recognised and endorsed by many educationalists during their visits in the summer of 2018 and their views were forwarded to the Heritage Lottery Fund, to support our grant application.
Public Access to the Priory
The beginning of public access will come on September 15th when there is an invitation from the Trust and the owners to enjoy a picnic on the lawn in front of the Darcy House. Tickets will be on sale with all proceeds from the event going to St. Osyth School PTFA. These will be available from Ellacott Morris and Scott Sheen. £2.50 for an adult with children free. It promises to be a good afternoon with the opportunity to climb up the 99 steps of the Abbots Tower!
Hopefully we are now moving towards the Priory and its Parkland being used as a resource for the benefit of everyone.
Planning for the Feasibility Study
The Feasibility Study which the Parish Council has commissioned into the crossroads is underway. Ben Cook of BMJC Consulting Limited and David Gollop from Essex County Highways visited and looked at all aspects of the crossroads last Monday, considering both the traffic and the safety of pedestrians. They are to send the Parish Council a suggested framework and parameters for the Study in two weeks. We wait to see.
St. John’s Road
The Parish Council has had a number of concerns expressed to them by residents about the length of time that vehicles are parked in the two laybys. One does have a waiting restriction notice limited to two hours; the second layby has no restrictions at all.
However, when the Parish Council enquired about this, it transpired that the second layby does indeed have a Traffic Regulation Order against it and waiting should be restricted to two hours.
Colchester Parking Partnership has responsibility for the two laybys. The Parish Council contacted them and they have now put poles up in the second layby ready for notices to be attached. When these are in place, the Parish Council will be requesting that the Traffic Regulation Orders are enforced in both laybys.
The Business Association
Many of us enjoy Music on the Meadow which is held every year on Cowley Park by the Business Association. The money raised is used for the benefit of the village. They have just offered to pay for the reinstatement of the fencing which was broken by the car involved in the Police chase in June. The Parish Council has accepted gratefully as it means we do not have to make an insurance claim.
Thank you to Paul and Neil of the Association for their kind offer.
The Repair of Pavements.
Many of you will remember that the Parish Council agreed to be part of the Devolution Initiative by Essex County Council. This has meant that we are to receive £2913.14 for carrying out work that normally would be undertaken by Highways.
This year we have decided to focus on the repair of pavements, particularly those in D’arcy Road and Manfield Gardens. Some of them are in a shocking state. When the Parish Council enquired earlier in the year when they might be repaired, we were informed that Manfield Gardens is ranked 717th and D’arcy Road as 985th on the County List. So it is unlikely that funding will be available for repair for several years!
However, these two pavements are our focus and hopefully will be repaired in September by our own contractor – more information to residents later.
Spring Road Footways.
Essex County Highways have said that the footways in Spring Road are scheduled for repair this year. We are not entirely sure how much is to be repaired, so we are requesting under their “Member led footway repair programme 2019” that we have a team from Essex County Highways in for three days (that is the agreed time offered) to receive the equivalent of about ‘two double decker bus lengths of work’ They will do about 24 linear metres a day!
This is slightly belt and braces approach to ensure Spring Road footways are repaired.
The sad and concerning information about Dumont Playground does spoil the positive things that have been reported this month. Dog owners ae using the playground for the under 5s as an exercise area for their dogs; despite the fact that the notice states, “No Dogs Allowed”. Unfortunately they allow their dogs to defecate too and it is not picked up!
Despite putting notices up requesting that the playground is not used in this way, it continued. The notices were torn down. The Parish Council then took the unprecedented step of locking the playground. We did put up a notice explaining why this had been done and our apologies to those who during this period of time took children there to play.
It is now clean and open again, and is being monitored by Parish Council staff. Should anyone see people taking their dogs into the play area, do please inform the Parish Office – thank you.
The Base Youth Club
This is the name of the new Youth Club that has been started on Cowley Park. It runs on a Monday from 7.00 pm to 9.00 pm and is for the young from 11/12 years to aged 16.
The first night began with 2 youngsters’ appearing, but since then it has gone from strength to strength and in the last two weeks over 25 youngsters attended.
It is good to see a Youth Club again in the village and we are grateful to the team led by Neil of The Hoy who are supporting our young in this way. Thank you to them all.
With best wishes.
May has been a very positive month in many ways which is excellent. First and importantly all the village planters are full of flowers and the hanging baskets are up. We also have new planters in front of the toilets in Church Square. They have replaced the metal ones which were in danger of collapse and they have given us ten good years of service. The new planters do look very smart.
Many thanks to Cllrs. Julie Ward and Alma Blockley who with myself did all the planting. Thanks to Richard and Margaret Vigus who undertook the planting of the Village Sign bed and to John and Sandy Kemp who take on the responsibility for the planter at Chisbon Heath.
Grateful thanks too to those who sponsored the hanging baskets, they make an attractive difference to the village scene. With the very attractive planting in Church Square, the village is ready for the summer!
At the end of May, the Highways Working Party and Cllr. Alan Goggin, Essex County Councillor, met with David Gollop, Essex Highways Design Manager and Tom Eng, Essex County Highways Liaison Officer to discuss a way forward with the crossroads.
The Highways Working Party and the Parish Council were adamant that a holistic approach is needed, as it is not only the safety of drivers that is paramount, but that of pedestrians trying to use the narrow footways and cross the roads. David Gollop and Tom Eng accepted our suggestion that a Feasibility study should be carried out by an independent company, with input from them. In this way we feel we have the best of both worlds; the independence is important, but there will be a positive relationship with Essex County Highways who equally have concerns about the crossroads.
The current planning is for the study to be carried out and submitted to the Local Highways Panel in December, ready for it to be considered for the new funding in April 2020. We will keep you updated.
The cutting of the footpaths has begun, this as you know we organise but with a modest financial contribution from Essex County Highways. It works well and we no longer receive the myriad of complaints of a few years ago when we were totally dependent for their cutting on Essex County Highways.
Thank you to all the monitors who walk the footpaths and keep us informed. We have requested that serious action is taken over Footpath 5, as parts of it are almost permanently under water from the lake. Essex County Highways have informed us that it will cost £15,000 to rectify and they are seeking funding. Hopefully it will not be too long before we have an answer and at least it is now being considered.
The Parish Office
May has seen a great deal of activity as the four staff members prepare to move out of their present cramped accommodation into the old Snooker Room.
It is looking quite transformed and will be a very pleasant area in which to work. The present office will be a meeting room for Committees, Working Party members and for staff to meet residents when necessary.
Tendring District Council have tables for us from their Weeley Offices for this room and we are hoping for chairs! It certainly is all happening.
Opening the Priory for Educational Visits
I wrote last month of the proposed visits by local children to use the Priory as an educational resource. As the Parish Council representative on the St. Osyth Priory and Parish Trust , I have worked with the Trustees to facilitate this and it will be happening in the first week of July which is really good news.
St Osyth Primary School Reception children will enjoy a picnic in the Wilderness Garden and will be looking for the habitats of bugs and beetles and identifying them.
The Year 5 children will be looking at some of the buildings in the Priory Precinct and learning about the monastic way of life in the Middle Ages.
The Reception children from Kirby le Soken Primary School are also visiting on another day and they too will enjoy time in the Wilderness Garden.
Both schools are now planning to use the heritage of the Priory as part of their local study and planned educational activities will support this. These visits are a learning curve for the Trust as none have been undertaken before, but hopefully from the Autumn Term 2019 onwards, the opportunity to visit the Priory will be available to more schools in the Tendring area and beyond.
A very positive step forward.
Councillors Old and New
Last month saw an advertisement in the magazine for two new Councillors. I am happy to say that we have had some interest shown so hopefully we will be able to interview and then invite two of the applicants’ to join the Parish Council.
We were very sad to loose Cllr. John Kemp and Cllr. Jean Smith. Both have served the Council for over twelve years and made major contributions to the work of the Council, particularly John, who served as Vice Chairman. I was very grateful for his continual support.
Thank you to them both.
The Saga of the Running Water in Mill Street by the Causeway
I feel I need to share this saga with you, just so as to say to you all, we really do try, but it is not always easy to achieve results.
I have asked Neil to relay the saga for you to read.
We first contacted Affinity Water in mid-March. They stated that it was not their responsibility and that I should contact Anglian. Upon doing so, I was advised that it was not their responsibility as the water was clean not waste. Anglian Water advised me to contact Essex & Suffolk Water, who again stated that it was not their responsibility, and that as the water was leaking onto the highway, it was likely to be a Highways matter.
Upon contacting Highways, they informed me that it was not a matter with which they could deal and suggested that I contact Affinity Water, Anglian Water or Essex & Suffolk Water. Going through the loop again, both Anglian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water, stated that the responsibility was that of Affinity Water, who when contacted for a third time, in April, admitted that it was their responsibility, as having been tested, the water contained chlorine and was therefore deemed as clean (drinkable) water. I was advised that they would deal with the matter.
After no sign of any work, I again contacted Affinity Water, for a fourth time at the beginning of May, only to be told that they were sending someone out that day. This did not happen. When I contacted them again, for a fifth time, I was informed that they were awaiting a permit from Essex Highways and that they would be carrying out an exploratory dig to locate and repair the source of the leak.
Having contacted them again (sixth call) at the end of May, I have been advised that they do not have any pipes in that area, so are having to carry out a series of tests, which will include drilling a number of 20mm holes, in an attempt to locate the source of the leak, which may not necessarily be anywhere near the water seeping out onto Mill Street.
Well, all I can say is it is possibly not quite so bad as the Post box saga, but getting close!
With best wishes.
Chairman June 2019
This report will be somewhat shorter than usual as I have just returned from two weeks holiday, and although I seem to have hit the ground running, I am still on catch up!
Annual Parish Meeting
Just before I went on holiday, we had a very happy and positive Annual Parish Meeting on 10th April. It was an opportunity for residents to hear reports from our District Councillors, Michael Talbot and John White; our Essex County Councillor Alan Goggin and myself and to raise Parish matters of interest from those present. The joy of the evening is hearing from the organisations of the village. Each one is invited to send along a representative to give a report or to submit one to be read out by the Clerk.
In all 25 Organisations were represented and we heard of the activities and events which their members had enjoyed during the year. It is a really good evening, but quite humbling listening to the many people who so generously give much of their time to benefit members of our village community. It is with great pride that I thank them all at the end of the evening for what they are doing.
Preparation for our move into the new Parish Office
It has been a really quite exciting month as we prepare for what was once the Snooker Room, to become the main Parish Office.
- A new window has been installed
- Shutters ordered to keep the information in the Parish Office secure
- New electrics installed to run the computers etc.
- Two new desks ordered
- A lick of paint to freshen up the room
- And some new carpet tiles ordered – as to accommodate the snooker table previously, small squares had had to be cut out of eight of the existing carpet tiles. At the moment it looks a little odd!
We are going to use the existing Parish Office as a meeting room both for Councillors and the Office Staff. We are hoping to requisition some of the tables and chairs from Tendring District Council offices at Weeley, which will no longer be needed, when the staff all move into offices at the Town Hall.
We are hopeful that everything will be completed by the end of May. Needless to say, we are very much looking forward to the increased office space, especially now that Ken Belcher has joined the staff as our Community Warden.
Parish Council Elections
There has been no election for the St. Osyth Ward as instead of having eight nominations needed for the Council, there were only six. This means that in the July magazine we will be inviting residents to apply for the vacancies. Please do give some thought to applying to become a Parish Councillor. It is very rewarding to be able to contribute to making a positive difference to the village in which we all live.
The Point Clear Ward had their election while I was away and five of the six people nominated were elected.
We now await the outcome of the delayed District Council elections which are being held on the 23rd May.
When we have all thirteen Parish Councillors and our two District Councillors in place, we will take space in the Parish magazine to share with you their photographs and give information about them, as it is important that residents know who the Councillors are.
In the next four years we will endeavour to ensure that by various means you do know them. We are all here to serve the residents and being able to approach Councillors to discuss a concern could be helpful for you all.
St. Osyth Primary school children to visit the Priory
Readers of my Report will remember that a couple of months ago I wrote of the hope that some of the children would be able to make an educational visit to the Priory. In June children in Year 5 will be carrying out a Local Study which this year for the first time can include a visit to the Priory. The young in the Reception Class will be able to enjoy a Teddy Bears Picnic and be able to explore the Wilderness Garden.
I have no doubt that the visits will be much enjoyed by the children and that they will be of great educational benefit to them.
A Thank You for over 20 years of service to the Parish Council
On behalf of the Parish Council I would like to thank Colleen Peverell for all her years of service to the Council, particularly for her contribution to the footpaths, which was her special interest and responsibility. A big thank you Colleen, you will be missed and your contribution has been appreciated.
With best wishes.
Parish Council Elections May 2nd 2019
We now know that there will be no election for St Osyth Ward, six people were nominated and there are eight vacancies. It will mean that the Council after May will be looking to co-opt two further councillors.
Point Clear Ward has five vacancies and six people were nominated, so there will be an election.
Please vote on the 2nd May – it is important
District Council Elections
The election for District Council was due to be held on 2nd May, but sadly we have been informed that due to the death of one of the Candidates standing for election; a new election date will be set. We will keep you advised of the situation and offer our condolences to the family of the bereaved.
A Public Inquiry to be held beginning on 18th June 2019 – Point Clear Bay
Many of our residents may not know that in June a Public Inquiry is to be held, which it is to be hoped will finally sort out some of the anomalies which have blighted the lives of people living in Point Clear Bay. I have asked a resident who will be appearing at the Inquiry to set out for us all the history behind the fifty eight property owners being served Enforcement Notices by Tendring District Council in the recent past.
In 1969 three properties owned by the holiday camp were granted full residency for the maintenance and security staff.
In February 1989 Tendring District Council (“the Council”) issued Enforcement Notices on the residents of properties in Colne Way, Cruce Way, New Way, Norman Way and Saxon Way. The Council issued Enforcement Notices on the grounds that a planning condition was being breached. The planning condition dates back to 1959 and states that the properties can only be lived in from March to October each year.
In December 1989 a Public Inquiry was held and the Inspector made his or her decision in July 1990.
The Inspector granted five properties full residency.
Fifteen properties were granted full residency in name only for the duration of their lives.
One property was granted full residency in name only for a period of three years.
Fifty seven properties were granted residency from Friday noon to Monday noon and ten consecutive days over the Christmas period to include both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day from 1 November to 28 February.
Over the years the Council have also granted eleven Certificates of Lawful Use to the residents of properties in Colne Way, Norman Way and Saxon Way on the grounds that the properties have been lived in all year round for over ten years and without having any enforcement action served on the properties. The properties have therefore been granted full residency because they have become immune from planning law.
In 2017 and 2018 the Council issued over 70 Enforcement Notices on the residents of properties in Colne Way, Cruce Way, Norman Way and Saxon Way. The Council issued the Enforcement Notices on the grounds that a planning condition is being breached and that flooding is a major issue.
Fifty eight appeals have been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate against the service of the Enforcement Notices.
A Public Inquiry will be held at the Council’s offices in Weeley. The Inquiry will start on Tuesday 18 June 2019. The Inquiry will last for four weeks. It can take the Inspector up to twelve weeks to make her decision. All Appellants will be informed by post of the decision.
The Parish Council will be supporting the residents who have been served the enforcement notices. It is recognised that there is a flooding risk; but having listened to advice from the Environment Agency, it is felt that with modern communication it is much, much less concern than in the past. Added to which the anomalies of who has what permissions to reside in the Bay must be sorted one way or another; the current situation is not tenable or fair.
Meeting at the Orchards Holiday Park
Last year Rob Turner, the General Manager of the Holiday Park, had a meeting with the residents who live in the Bay. Over the years, communication between the Park and the residents has not always been of the best and relationships have been strained. This meeting to discuss ways forward for both parties was very positive, as a number of residents said “it is a new beginning”. The first meeting of the Steering Group, volunteers who are keen to forge better relationships with the Holiday Park, met at the beginning of April.
It was one of the most positive meetings I have had the pleasure to attend. Rob was able to inform the Group of the improvements that are to be made in the Bay. These are improvements which will improve the appearance of the Bay for both for those who are holidaying there and for the residents.
Among the issues discussed:-
- Resurfacing of Colne Way and the roads in the Park
- Off street lighting – the Steering Group were asked for their views on where the new solar columns should be placed. They undertook to produce suggestions within the week.
- Parking Bays to be introduced so that areas of the Bay which are currently ‘mud patches’ when it rains, will have a serviceable surface.
- Improvements to the Green which overlooks the sea are planned, fencing to be erected and parking spaces to be provided to keep the grass for recreational purposes free from cars.
It really was good to hear the exchange of ideas and the positive outcome to issues which have given both The Orchards Holiday Park and the residents cause for concern for a number of years. It is by working together like this that the environment will be improved for everyone. As one member of the Steering Group said “the Bay is a beautiful place to live.”
At the beginning of April ‘Welcome Packs’ were delivered to the residents of St. John’s Road and Leisureglades Park who are joining the Parish of St. Osyth. It was the initiative of St Osyth Parochial Church Council and in the Welcome Pack envelope there was information about:-
- The Church, its services and activities
- Village organisations
- Dumont Hall
- St Osyth Village Hall
- The Scouts, Cubs and Beavers
- Osyth Parish Council
The feedback has been good and we do hope that our new residents feel that there is benefit to being part of St. Osyth Parish.
The Repair of Footways and Pavements
I wrote at length in March’s magazine about the Devolution of Services by Essex County Highways and that the Parish Council, who have been asked to be part of this initiative will focus on the repair of pavements.
We are initially focussing on Manfield Gardens and Darcy Road. Possibly I should have added for those who have expressed concern over the footways in Spring Road that Essex County Highways have undertaken to repair these during this financial year. Recently I emailed to ask when this work would be carried out; to date no reply has been received but I am hopeful!
A Community Warden for St Osyth
Ken Belcher has been appointed as Community Warden for St. Osyth Parish and we very much look forward to working with him. You may well see him around the village with Neil in the forthcoming weeks as he familiarises himself with the responsibilities he now has to ensure that our Open Spaces are well maintained and safe.
Rather different topics featuring in this month’s Report; but I do hope that you will find them of interest.
With best wishes.
Previous Month’s Report
Local Council Elections
A notice has been put in the Parish Magazine informing residents that there are elections for both the Parish and District Councils on Thursday 2nd May.
The Parish Council has thirteen councillors, seven of whom represent St. Osyth and six represent Point Clear. We did not have an election in 2015 as there were not sufficient people standing for the Parish Council, this was in itself sad, as elections bring new people and new ideas onto the Council and this is good for the village.
All those who are thinking of putting themselves forward for election have to be nominated by two residents who are on the electoral register and papers have to be submitted to the Town Hall by 4.00 pm on Wednesday 3 April 2019.
The nomination papers can be collected from the Parish Office.
The Devolution of Highway Services
This is moving ever nearer and Essex County Highways are looking for a start date of 1st March.
Neil and I attended a meeting recently at Gt. Dunmow and learnt a great deal more about the initiative. Some readers may remember in the November magazine I gave a list of the services which Essex County Highways were suggesting that we assume responsibility for. We were informed at the meeting that in fact we do not have to undertake all of them (this was never mentioned before) but we can choose which services we would like to take responsibility for. With an annual budget from Essex County Highways of £2913.14p this makes the whole initiative far more attractive!
We are having a meeting of our Highways Working Party later this month and we will decide and then recommend to the Parish Council the services which we believe would benefit the residents most if we undertake their maintenance/repair. So watch this space!
Dogs and Irresponsible Owners
Many apologies for raising this yet again and we have an advert about it in the magazine. Recently a dog had defecated outside a front door in Church Square and the owner of the dog had left it there. It is difficult to imagine anyone being so irresponsible and how very unpleasant for the person whose house it was.
Equally we should remember those who are partially sighted and cannot see dog poo left on the pavements and footways by thoughtless owners. For them walking in it must be so very upsetting.
As many of you have seen the Parish Council does put up notices and red paint is sprayed on the offending pile, and both have proved effective. Please contact Neil at the Parish Office if you have concerns 821447, as we will also inform the Dog Warden of Tendring District Council, who will undertake patrol.
St. Osyth Priory and Parish Trust
The Trust was established in 2016 to undertake the repair and restoration of some of the Priory buildings. I wrote in the August magazine that the Trust had applied for a
£2.7 million grant for the repair of the Tithe Barn, the Cart Lodge and the Dairy. We heard in December that we had not been successful. The Case Officer had recommended the Trust’s application, but only seven of the 47 who had applied were given funding.
However, a meeting was held recently with The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and they were very informative about how the Trust’s bid could be strengthened and recommended that we apply again. This the Trust will do.
If you remember there is local representation on the Trust. I represent the Parish Council; Ian Davidson who is Chief Executive Officer of Tendring District Council is their representative and Andy Booth of Naglotec, Clacton Road represents the Business Community. We all believe that the repair and restoration of the Priory and the subsequent opening of it, will be enormously beneficial to both the village and the Tendring District.
With my interest in education, the Trust is planning school visits this year. St. Osyth children will probably be one of the first who will enjoy a walk through the Priory Park. I have no doubt it will be a positive and worthwhile visit.
Other events are planned for 2019 and I will write about these in a future Report.
The Parish Council’s letter to Essex County Highways
I have written a great deal in recent months about discussions with Essex County Highways concerning both the crossroads and the possibility of a mini roundabout at the Clacton Road entrance to the village. I though readers might find it interesting to read one paragraph of the letter we recently sent to a Senior Engineer at Essex County Highways as it encapsulates the approach of the Parish Council of how we want the difficulties of the crossroads to be approached and overcome.
“We would again emphasise that the Parish Council is looking for a long term solution to the problems of the crossroads with emphasis both on the safety of pedestrians and drivers. We would like to see a holistic plan agreed, although it is accepted that it may well be that it has to be phased over a period of years”.
With the mini roundabout we quoted no less than ten mini roundabouts locally where the equal flow of traffic from all three approaches is questionable. If you remember we were informed that all three approaches to a mini roundabout had to be equal!
We also quoted the five criteria from the Speed and Management Guide for Local Highways Panel Members and pointed out that we met all of them. So although we are hopefully moving forward, we know it is in only small steps! However we try!
Good wishes to you all.