Chairman’s Report

St. Osyth Parish Council

Chairman’s Report

June 2019    

 

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!

The Crossroads

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.

Footpaths

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.

Sonia Grantham

Chairman   June 2019

PREVIOUS REPORTS

May 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.

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

May 2019

 

 

March 2019

     

 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.”

Welcome Packs

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.

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

April 2019

 

 

 

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.

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

February 2019

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