Chairman’s Report

 

St Osyth Parish Council

Chairman’s Report August 2022  September issue of St Osyth News

It hardly seems possible that we are in August, the eight month of the year and an unbelievably dry one to boot. Although it has to be admitted there is still time for some very welcome rain to come. My one consolation is that the footpaths continue to remain passable! Please do keep the Parish Office up to speed on any real growth.

 

The Crossroads

We received an update from Alan Goggin, our Essex County Councillor on the 25th of July, having already discussed the issue at our Parish Council Meeting on the  21st of July. If you remember the brackets for the road signs have now been received by Highways and these originally were the stumbling block to anything being progressed.

At the Parish Council meeting in July, we discussed the possibilities of the installation of the speed cushions with Alan Goggin, bearing in mind of course that the resurfacing of the approaches to the crossroads had to be factored into the planning.

After discussion, Councillors agreed that November, the suggested date by Highways for both resurfacing and installation was not acceptable. Equally it was recognised that the month of August would be far too disruptive with the holiday traffic.

It was finally decided that the P.C. would request that the resurfacing and the installation of the speed cushions should be combined in one exercise in September/October. We did recognise in suggesting this approach that the length of the disruption might be longer but decided it would be preferable to having to go through two separate periods of disruption.

We are not sure if this is possible for Essex Highways to plan but our request has been passed on by Alan Goggin – ‘Please could you carry out the resurfacing and the installation of the speed cushions in one continuous exercise in September/October

We can but wait and hope!

 

Parish Appraisal

Every year at about this time the Councillors hire the Tendring Community minibus to look at the buildings/land that the Parish is fully responsible for i.e. Cowley Park, the allotments, the Cemetery, the three play areas, the Willow Plantation and the War Memorial.

It is an excellent opportunity to ensure that all Councillors have a good working knowledge of these areas when they are discussed at future Parish Council meetings.

In a week’s time we will be looking at Dumont Play Area, as a number of decisions have to be made about its usage. It is a play area that was established in the 1990’s for younger children, but it is recognised that it probably is very underused. It was interesting to find out that there are 50 primary aged children (4-11 years) who live in Point Clear so the potential is there to increase its usage if Councillors agree that this would be a positive way forward.

 

Primary Meadow Play Area

Many will have read in my Report in the August magazine of the visit to the Parish Office of Joseph, Ivy, Jasmine and Mrs Hennessy from St Osyth Primary School. Our discussion centred around things that the classes of children liked in our village and those they didn’t like i.e. litter!

However the final request was that they would like a gate in their school fence which borders Priory Meadow Play Area, so that during the break times they could use the equipment! We told them that their request would have to be discussed by Councillors and would be an agenda item at the P.C. next meeting.

Councillors subsequently agreed that Councillor Julie Ward and myself should request a meeting with the Headteacher so that the school could carry out a Risk Assessment to see if the children’s usage of the Play Area was a possibility. By the time you read this Report it will have been done and will be presented to both the Governors of the School and our Councillors.

So we wait and see, no doubt the children will find the wait trying but it will help their understanding hopefully that all decisions affecting their safety have to be carefully considered.

 

The Triangle of land at the end of Clacton Road

Many residents will have noticed that this area has for a number of years not been cut during the summer months except for a small margin around its perimeter. This is because we have a rare plant growing there which is Wild Clary. Essex Wildlife Trust were very keen that we as a Parish Council do all we can to protect the plant and encourage its spread.

For the past number of years, during my tenure as Chairman, I have met with David Gollifer of the E.W.T. and we have discussed the management of the Wild Clary plants. We are both very happy to report that this area now together with the near roadside verges are home to the largest amount of Wild Clary in Tendring. It is a slightly insignificant looking little plant but together with Lesser Calamint which also grows there it has become an important piece of conservation in the preservation of a rare plant.

Our contractors, as agreed with David Gollifer, have now cut the area after the plants had seeded and removed all the vegetation; the latter is an important part of the management of the plant.

 

Improving our Conservation Area

We have been having discussions with Officers of T.D.C. recently regarding the sweeping of both the pavements and cleaning of the gutters in the centre of the village by their contractors. Hopefully this will now bear fruit as they certainly do-little credit to the contractors at the present time.

However on a more positive note residents will have noticed that some of the litter bins in our conservation area have been repainted. They were looking pretty dismal and as each bin would cost £800.00 plus to replace, painting was a sensible option. They look great now as do the two signs as you drive into the village. Thank you to Mike, the painter.

Let us hope that in the next issue of the magazine there will have been positive progress with the crossroads in particular- here’s hoping!

 

With best wishes to you all,

 

Sonia

 

PREVIOUS REPORT

Chairman’s Report June 2022   August Issue of St Osyth News

 

I do hope that I may be forgiven for beginning my report on a personal note, but it is a wonderful opportunity to say the biggest of thank you’s to the many, many people who have congratulated me on the award of the Order of the British Empire medal in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Honours list. People have been so generous in what they have said in the past weeks and so many have added it is ‘well deserved’. I feel so humble hearing these words, as I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy working with so many committed people in both the Church and the Parish Council to make things better for the community in which we all live.

 

Thank you to you all.

 

Welcome to Clive Atkins

The Parish Council warmly welcomed Clive to the Council at our June meeting. We now have a full Council membership which is very satisfactory. Clive with his interest and background will have special responsibility for footpaths. We do realize at this time it is something of a ‘poison chalice’ as our footpaths have certainly not been at the standard that they have been in previous years. However, we are getting there, although it has been a struggle and we do acknowledge this. We look forward to Clive having an input.

 

The Planters and Hanging Baskets in the Village

As you know our planning was that there was to be masses of red, white and blue flowers around the village in honour of the Platinum Jubilee. Somewhat belatedly they are now in their full glory and look so very attractive. Walking through the village is such a pleasant experience. So very many thanks to the people who are tending and caring for them; it is appreciated by us all.

 

The Platinum Jubilee Copse in Cowley Park

The Parish Council have now written to all organisations in the village asking if they would like to sponsor one of the trees in the copse. There has been a good response and we are now writing to the businesses offering them the opportunity. We will then be asking residents. The Parish Council is sure that when we come to planting in the late autumn all the trees will be sponsored.

 

The copse itself and the planning that has gone into it means that in time there will be a glorious array of trees to wander through and enjoy during all of the seasons.

 

The Crossroads

There is I am afraid no update at all. I did request that Essex Highways give me an update to put in the magazine and I know that there was a pre-arranged meeting on 8th July at County Hall, but to date neither I or the Parish Council have been informed of the outcome.

 

We are hopeful that we will hear some positive news at our Parish Meeting on 21st July.

 

Potholes

Essex Highways have continued with their annual initiative of allowing each County Councillor to invite Parish Councils to put forward five potholes in the Parish which need repair.

 

There are a number of criteria that these potholes have to meet. However, the one which really works against rural Parishes is that the pothole has to be on a road that has a kerb! Thinking of the approach to Wigboro Wick Corner for instance there are two potholes, which already have been reported, but which cannot be added to the ‘list of five’ as the road has no kerb!!

 

This positive discrimination of rural roads does not help residents at all. We will write and ask for an explanation.

 

Wellwick New Build Site Start

Some residents may well have noticed that there has been activity around and in the Wellwick site off the B1027 near our Colchester Road entrance.

 

City & Country are having to make a start on site to comply with the current planning consent to meet TDC’s timeline. They will, I have been informed, be carrying out localised ground works to form the new access ramp into the site. The works planned will all be within their boundaries for now, to avoid opening the new site entrance.

 

They will inform us of any further works to be carried out nearer the time, possibly in the autumn.

 

Children from St Osyth Primary School

Neil and I had the most rewarding and enjoyable experience recently when three Year 4 pupils with Mrs Hennessy came to see us in the Parish Office. They had requested a visit as they were taking part in a ‘Young Leaders Project’ organised by a team working with the Bishop of York. Part of the project is to go out into the community and think about what is good and what could be changed. They now wanted to share their findings with us.

 

They brought with them a file of photographs they had taken as they walked around the village. The first photographs were all ‘thumbs up’, things that they liked and there were many, and then things they didn’t like which had the ‘thumbs down.’ Litter around the village was one of the things they didn’t like, and we all agreed that the dropping of litter was totally unnecessary.

 

We chatted about a number of the photographs and Neil and I, joined by Nicky our Deputy Clerk, explained what it was possible for the Parish Council to do and some items in their ‘thumbs down’ we would have to pass to higher authorities.

 

They were such a constructive and positive group of children – it was lovely to listen to them. One thing which did make us all smile was their final request which was ‘was there a possibility that there could be a gate between their school and the Priory Meadow play area?’ As they persuasively added ‘we look through the fence at lunch time into the play area and see all the equipment and it’s not being used! We would love to be able to use it, so please could there be a gate?’

 

We explained that a number of issues would have to be discussed and agreed and the final decision would be that of the Parish Council. We said that Neil and I would ensure that it was an agenda item at our next meeting. We promised to send them an agenda of the meeting so they could see that it was going to be discussed and hopefully a decision made about their request.

 

We felt it was a really good lesson in democracy for them. When the team of three left we all agreed that they were a great credit to their school, we were really impressed with the work the school was doing in teaching the Young Leaders Project and with more youngsters like them growing up, our community is in safe hands.

 

N.B. Again more smiles from us! Having all agreed about litter being unnecessary, the Parish Council have since received a letter asking if there is a possibility of us providing litter pickers for a class of 30 and the hoops for litter bags so they can litter pick in the village! A reply has gone to them saying that their request will have to go before the Finance Committee and then go to the full Council. Another lesson in the Democratic process!

 

 

With best wishes to you all,

 

Sonia

 

 

PREVIOUS REPORTS

Chairman’s Report July Issue of St Osyth News 

 

Apologies

A fulsome apology for not getting the footpaths cut sooner. We did completely miss the boat on this. April was of course unbelievably dry and in May it didn’t seem to stop raining with warm days in between. All the right ingredients for growth! We have also had to change contractors. Hopefully now everyone can walk the footpaths comfortably again. Please accept our apologies.

When we took over the cutting of the footpaths in 2016 there were people who reported to us on a regular basis when they needed cutting. For a variety of reasons this no longer happens so please if you walk a footpath and see it becoming overgrown do ring the Parish Office on 821447. Thank you.

The Crossroads

Yet again I am having to report a lack of real progress. It appears that having not pre-planned as well as they might have done for the resurfacing of the crossroads, Essex Highways were prepared to put speed cushions down and do the resurfacing in November.

However, as part of the design for the installation of the speed cushions there has to be increased signage. It is this that is causing the delay. Essex Highways cannot locate the brackets that are needed for the signposts. They are of course a legal requirement and are clearly mentioned on the plans and drawings.

I understand there are a number of people trying to locate alternatives at Essex Highways including our Essex County Council member Alan Goggin. He informs me that there are people at the highest level, including the Cabinet Member for Highways, working on behalf of the Parish and its residents to try to overcome the difficulty. They are understanding of our upset and disappointment; I am informed! We have suggested Tiny our local blacksmith might make them! However, we will wait and see. To have them installed for July and August would be a tremendous help in keeping the speeding down during this busy period.

I will report again.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Elsewhere in the magazine are the names of the many people who gave support to the village and the Parish Council in making the Jubilee weekend so very special and we are grateful to them all.

Lighting the newly installed Parish Beacon was special. We do owe grateful thanks to Michael Talbot, our District Councillor for this. Tendring District Council gave each of their members £1000.00 to be spent supporting the activities of the Jubilee in their District. We asked Michael if he could finance the making of the beacon by Tiny, our local blacksmith, and he happily agreed. The basket will shortly have to be removed so that the potash can be completely cleared out. We understand that it is the potash which causes the rusting. It will then be painted to preserve the metal and then will be reinstated.

It is there now for use by the Parish for all future historic occasions.

The Jubilee Picnic was a little on the chilly side, but we all were dressed for the occasion! The band was excellent and the inflatables, which were free for the children, were an absolute hit with both children and parents. A very enjoyable time was had by everyone.

 

The Litter Pick held on 21st May

A group of us gathered together outside the Village Hall and Dumont Hall, collected our litter pickers and bags and went off in planned directions. It was unfortunately a very large amount of litter that we collected, amazingly so.

The Scouts, Beavers and Cubs supported the Litter Picking initiative on the Wednesday evening by litter picking on Cowley Park.

We are very grateful to everyone who helped to make our Parish tidy for the Jubilee.

 

St John’s Nursery and the B1027

A number of the Parish Council and residents attended the deferred session by TDC Planning Committee of the amended planning application for 180 house, flats and business premises along St John’s Road.

 

If you remember it was deferred because of Highway concerns and an Officer from Essex Highways was asked to attend to listen to the concerns and provide answers. The Parish Council focused again on the volume of traffic that the stretch of the B1027 is coping with because of the recent and pending developments between Oaklands Holiday Park and Jaywick Lane. We showed this pictorially and it really did have impact and was referred to and used during the evening.

The members of the Planning Committee had done their homework and the Officer from Essex Highways was asked many searching questions. The really good news is that at the end of a very long session, the Planning Committee refused the application from St John’s Nursery.

We have no doubt that they will appeal, but we will continue the fight mainly on traffic grounds, to stop this application.

 

The Service for the Consecration of Burial Land in St Osyth Cemetery

It was held on a beautiful morning in May and the Cemetery couldn’t have looked better. It was led by the Bishop of Colchester and supported by Aiden Hargreaves-Smith, Registrar for the Diocese of Chelmsford.

It was attended by Rev’d Sharon Miles, past and present Councillors and staff of St Osyth Parish Council and residents of St Osyth.

It was a very special service and one which few of us will see again. The Bishop had to walk the perimeter of the land to be consecrated and traced each corner with a cross made by his Bishop’s Crook; we all followed behind. The Registrar was dressed in formal Legal attire and had to read the Instrument of Consecration before it was signed by both him and the Bishop.

It was all really quite impressive and much enjoyed by all those who attend.

 

 The Seat at The Crossroads

Many of you will remember the seat which stood at the crossroads for over 100 years. It was removed some time ago because of an incident with cars and was badly damaged.

Many people were sad that it was no longer in its position at Bar Corner on the crossroads, as it is very much a part of our social history. However, it was felt by Councillors that for safety reasons we should not replace it in that position. We did however decide we would have a replica made of the very historic seat.

This we have done, and it has been put opposite the Gatehouse on the Village Green. It will command a lovely view of the Gatehouse itself when it has been restored and was for us an obvious place to position it.

The inscription on the back of the seat reads:

‘This is a replica of a seat that stood on Bar Corner at the Crossroads for over 100 years. Now sited here in the Year of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 2022’

Very fortunately it was a long seat!

Having now sat on it, I can confirm it is not the most comfortable. It is very upright and the seating part feels and is quite narrow – it says a lot about the size of our ancestors and of us now! But it is good that we do have a replica. Hopefully we can locate the wonderful photos of the aged gentlemen sitting on the seat with their sticks and reproduce it for you.

A very full Report this month, I hope it is enjoyable and informative for you all.

With best wishes,

Sonia

 

St Osyth Parish Council

Chairman’s Report April 2022  (June Issue St Osyth News)

A busy time lies ahead as I write, as the 9th May sees the Consecration of the ‘new’ part of the Parish Council Cemetery by the Bishop of Colchester. It will be a very special and interesting service as the Bishop and those attending have to walk the perimeter of the area of burial land that has to be consecrated. The Parish Council can then begin to use it for burials.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

We are also busy of course finalizing plans celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

 

The Beacon

Neil and I met Tiny, our local blacksmith, recently to finalise plans for the making of the new village beacon. The design is based on that suggested by the Queen’s Pageant Master, and it is to be sited on Cowley Park. We have chosen a site which is about 30 feet from the hedge/trees on the far side (so to avoid a fire risk) and will not interfere with the use of the football pitches.

We have been given an amended time by Bruno Peek the Pageant Master of our time for lighting the Beacon of 9:45pm on 2nd June. We will be part of the National Chain of Beacons.

Do be there if you can.

Celebratory Picnic

Our Celebratory Picnic is all set for Sunday, 5th June on Cowley Park from 12 noon to 3pm – let us hope for lovely weather. The inflatables for the young, the band ‘Strangers’, the trailer for the band, the ice-cream van and masses of bunting are all organised as are the portable toilets including one for people with disabilities. So hopefully a good time will be enjoyed by everyone.

Copse

Shortly a letter will be going to the organisations in the village inviting them to sponsor a tree as part of the planned copse to commemorate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As there will be 46 trees, we will be extending the offer to residents if there are trees which are not sponsored.

The cost to sponsor a tree will be £75.00 and this includes the stakes, the guards and the digging of the holes and the installation of the standpipe. The latter is really important as the trees have to be watered for two years and the cost includes doing the watering. We do not want to lose any of the trees through lack of care. They will be approximately 3m in height, they are not whips!

Grant

We have been very fortunate in being given a grant of £1000:00 from a charity which is part of the Nisa group, and a gift of £1000.00 from Dollar and Meena Patel who run our two Nisa stores. We are very grateful to ‘Making a Difference Locally’ and Dollar and Meena for supporting the project financially

 

The Crossroads

Well, whoever would have believed that Essex Highways would arrive for only one of the three nights planned to do the resurfacing and then disappear! Apparently, the level of traffic was far greater than expected which meant the traffic management in place was not sufficient, so the work plan could not be followed. It was all to do with the safety of the workforce and the public.

 As one of our Councillors commented, ‘it seems as though the preplanning wasn’t very well pre-planned!’

The suggestion following the departure was that the resurfacing would have to wait until November, followed by the laying of the speed cushions!! This is not what is wanted at all, so the Parish Council suggested the following day, that the speed cushions be laid now followed by the resurfacing in November.

We have been told by Essex Highways on a number of occasions that the cushions are very easy to install and move. So, our suggestion seemed a very obvious one! Councillor Alan Goggin and our Highways Liaison Officer have both made the same suggestion, so we are now waiting for the Head of the Design Team to return from holiday to agree with us all! We can but wait, but certainly this is not Essex Highways’ finest hour!

 

St John’s Nursery and the B1027

As many of you will know there has been an amended Planning application for 180 houses on the site of St John’s Nursery on the B1027. Originally the application was for 190 houses, it was refused, it went to Appeal and again was refused.

The decision on the amended application was deferred by TDC Planning Committee because of Highway concerns and their comments have been requested again. The Parish Council focussed on Highway concerns in our first and second submissions and we are about to again, as it comes before the Planning Committee on Tuesday, 10th May.

This time, to emphasise the reasons for our strong objections to the St John’s development contributing to the traffic on the B1027, we are sending both written and pictorial representation of the recent and pending developments between Oaklands Holiday Park and Jaywick Lane. When it is looked at pictorially it does show the volume of traffic that that stretch of road is coping with, which is now a major thoroughfare for traffic travelling to and from Clacton-on-Sea and beyond, to the eastern and southern parts of Colchester. As the Parish Council are pointing out another 180 houses will exacerbate a problem which we as residents are already having to live with.

We await the outcome of the debate.

 

Annual Visit by an Officer of the Tendring District Council Rangers Team

Since I became Chairman, I have annually met with an officer of the Tendring District Council Rangers Team to discuss street/road signs in the Parish, as they are the responsibility of Tending District Council. All the Councillors inspect street signs to report on their state and many of the Councillors clean them if they are dirty.

Together the Officer and myself inspect any that need replacing or have disappeared or been knocked over! I think now we must have the best street signs in Tendring!

Tendring District Council also now have a Rangers team, who do work for Essex Highways and as part of their Rangers remit, they undertake certain aspects of Essex Highways’ work, so a list of items is drawn up i.e. painting bollards, barriers in Mill Street, the Bury and Clacton Road, the cutting of Highway hedges, replacement of missing bollards, encroachment on pavements of vegetation. These have to be agreed by Essex Highways and they do get done. It is a productive system and beneficial for the village.

 

—————————————————————————————————————-

I do hope the four days holiday to celebrate a special occasion in our country’s history is much enjoyed by everyone.

 

With best wishes,

Sonia

 

St Osyth Parish Council

Chairman’s Report March 2022 (May Issue of St Osyth News)

Safely home and the great relief at not having to fill in endless forms and to have to have a PCR to gain entry back into the UK! It was wonderful just to show my passport!

However, it has been busy since my return and we have welcomed Nicky O’Dell who is settling very well into her role as Deputy Clerk.

 

Footpath down Mill Street

First hopefully a feasible explanation as to why the repair to the footpath has not been done! It was the consensus of a number of people that the flow of water which has been a constant for a number of years down that part of Mill Street should be dealt with before reinstating the footpath. Affinity Water were contacted and despite carrying out numerous investigations, they have been unable as yet to locate the leak. They are still trying and have undertaken to reinstate the footpath when the leak has been dealt with, accepting responsibility that the constant flowing water is undermining the foundation of the path.

We would also all agree that the weight of the heavy lorries turning at that point has contributed to its demise. Meanwhile the Parish Council is going to put peagrit down to facilitate those who are using the footpath.

 

Bypass Road

Many of us have adversely commented on the litter which has been strewn down the Bypass. It really is disgraceful and unnecessary. We contacted Tendring District Council requesting a litter pick, but because so many of their staff were away with Covid, it has taken a while for it to be cleared.

However, it was done and within 48 hours a door appeared on the verge! Words fail me.

 

Crossroads Update

As I write this a number of cones displaying notices have appeared along Clacton Road, Colchester Road and The Bury, informing us that cars will be towed away as there are roadworks happening on 22nd March. Apart from the slight abruptness of the message it is telling us that we are moving to the stage when, after the resurfacing of 25 metres along Clacton Road, Colchester Road, Spring Road and 125 metres on The Bury, the speed cushions will be laid!

It is an achievement for us all that after many years of discussions, meetings, traffic counts and yet more of the same, an end is in sight which hopefully will make the crossroads a safer place for everyone to use.

A Litter Pick

The Parish Council is planning to have a litter pick on 21st May. We had one a year ago organised by Nicky Underwood and it was much enjoyed by many of us. It was a lovely morning and doing something useful made us all, at that time feel so much better.

This year as we have a Jubilee to celebrate and masses and masses of bunting to put up around the village, it would be good not to see any litter in preparation for the four-day Bank Holiday. Do join us on the 21st  May at 10am at the Village Hall.  For Point Clear Residents please go to Dumont Hall.

 

Annual Parish Meeting

On Thursday 7th April we held our Annual Parish Meeting. It is an evening I really enjoy and it is of course open to all our residents. The Parish Council also invites all the organisations and clubs in the village to send a representative to give an update on the activities which they have held during the year.

This year 2022 was special as because of the pandemic we have not been able to hold this meeting for two years. It was really inspiring listening to the reports informing us of how they have managed during that time and how they have regrouped and are moving forward so positively. It says much for our village that after such a difficult time all 33 organisations/clubs are there and flourishing and continuing to serve our residents. We do owe all those who lead them the warmest of thanks and that on the 7th April they came together and shared their achievements with us. It really was inspiring listening to them. Thank you.

 

The Platinum Jubilee

Last month I mentioned the possibility of a beacon being lit at Point Clear Bay. I did enquire on behalf of the Parish Council whether this was being planned by the management of the Orchards. We had no reply.

Th Parish Council has since discussed having a beacon made and thanks to the District Councillor Michael Talbot offering £950-00 of the £1000.00 allocated to him by Tendring District Council to support the celebrations in the District, it has become a possibility.

Tiny, our local blacksmith, has designed the beacon and will be making it in the next month ready for the 2nd June. The obvious place for it to be put is on the south side of Cowley Park, well away from any traffic.

So, St Osyth will be part of the National Chain of Beacons being lit at 9pm on Thursday 2nd June, which is great.

 

NB To establish in the intervening time what you actually have to do to light a beacon!

UPDATE ON POINT CLEAR.  The Orchards management have now removed the beacon and it has been sent for repair and will hopefully be ready for the Jubilee.

 

Fly Tipping down Beach Road

Very recently we wrote to the Director of Park Holidays sending him both photographs and a letter informing him that the land owned by them within about 75 metres of the entrances to their Holiday Parks was being used for fly tipping. We stated that it was not a good sight for would be holiday makers to their Parks and for us as residents when going down to the beach.

We saw today that all the fly tipping has been removed and an earthen bank has now been created to prevent any more fly tipping. We really are delighted. We only wish we could be as successful in other parts of the Parish where fly tipping is so very prevalent.

 

We continue to plan for the Jubilee. Please share with the Parish Council your plans and we will produce a calendar of events in June’s magazine.

With best wishes,

Sonia

 

Previous Reports:

Chairman’s Report February 2022  (April Issue of St Osyth News

For the first time for many years I am early writing my Chairman’s Report. Going away does focus the mind! However, I am at the stage of wondering if a holiday is worth the planning and the work that pre-empts going! Of course, it is and it will be lovely when I am there – meanwhile, still things to be done!

 

Crossroads Update

It would appear that the formal consultation of the proposed redesigning of the crossroads has passed without comments, which is another two steps nearer the delivering of the speed cushions.

However, in the intervening time, the four roads approaching the crossroads have been inspected and it has been decided that the speed cushions cannot be installed on the current road surface as it is deteriorating.

This means that in the coming months and no one can say when, all four approaches to the junction have to be resurfaced. This is a setback and very disappointing. However, Cllr Alan Goggin is on the case and we will chase too. We were all so hoping it would happen in Spring/early Summer and you never know, it might yet?

Footpaths 5 and 19

There have been many comments in the past few years that in the winter months the footpath alongside the lake becomes really slippery and makes that walk uncomfortable and quite dangerous.

Jake of The Curve approached the Parish Council and said if we could get the plainings and hire a dumper truck, he would be prepared to lay plainings on the path. Fortunately for us he was having a digger for work on the site and was happy to use a couple of the days to lay plainings.

We obtained the plainings and an excellent job of laying them was done by Jake – very many thanks to him as we now have a very walkable footpath. Much appreciated Jake.

Footpath 19

We received an email from a resident asking if anything could be done about the section of footpath near to the B1027, as it was constantly in thick mud.

We approached David Sargeant as it is Priory land, and he said that they would take temporary measures to make it safer and when the restoration works to Lodge Piece were completed, they will restore the footpath properly. We look forward to that, meanwhile a grateful thank you for what has been one to make that part of the footpath a safe walk now.

 

Trees

We did lose a few trees during the high winds. The willow trees in the Plantation are always a concern and one did come down and hit two more!

The tree that fell landed on the school fence so Absolute Tree Services came in to cut and remove. At the suggestion of the Parish Council, the tree was cut into suitably sized logs and left on the edge of the school field for the children to heap into piles to make habitats for insects and small mammals. This tree therefore was certainly put to good use and will make an excellent teaching resource in years to come.

Thank you to Absolute Tree Services for cutting the tree into logs for us.

Mill Street –  Repair to the Footpath

Unfortunately, the repair which was due to be carried out to the impassable section of the footpath at the bottom of Mill Street did not happen. It had been promised for February 18th, which was the day that we had exceptionally high winds (and many of us had no electricity for 18 hours!) However, the repair has been rescheduled for 8th April and hopefully this time it will be completed.

Meanwhile, Ken is keeping an eye on the sand that was put in there by us just to level it, so people could use the footpath and not walk into the road.

 

Planning for the Jubilee

The ‘Big Picnic Lunch’ will be happening on Cowley Park on Sunday 5th June, the band is organised, the trailer for it to use is organised, the fun inflatables are booked and the necessary bunting for Cowley Park is being measured this week (5th March), so we are definitely getting there.

We are hoping to have a beacon lit in Point Clear Bay. We are contemplating having another one lit, as we did at the Silver Jubilee, just thinking of a suitable site.

 

The Planting of the Copse

Since I last wrote, Neil, Cllr Ray French and myself have visited a very large nursery and taken more advice. It has been decided that we will plant standard trees. These are trees upwards of 3-4 metres tall, rather than whips which as one Cllr put it look like ‘thin, skinny sticks’. It is because of this we are reducing the number needed as the whips would have been densely planted and would have to be thinned as they grew.We had thought of having only native trees, but our thinking has moved on as there are so many other beautiful trees which with our natives will provide all year-round colour, blossom and interest.

There will be paths through the copse and the under planting of spring bulbs later will make it a lovely backdrop at the far end of Cowley and a pleasant place to walk through.

We are currently planning the watering of the trees which is absolutely essential for establishing them and ensuring their growth.

On my return we will be doing more planning to decide on the spacing of trees so we can reach a definitive number that we will need.

It is a really exciting project for the village.

 

A Deputy Clerk for the Parish Council

At the beginning of April, the Parish council will be welcoming Mrs Nicky O’Dell on to the staff: she will be the Deputy Clerk. Nicky grew up in the village and still lives in the Parish. Her Dad Alan was a Parish Councillor for a number of years too. We are really delighted that Nicky is joining our already excellent team.

With best wishes,

Sonia

 

PREVIOUS REPORTS:

January 2022 (St Osyth News March 2022 Issue)

A number of positives in my Report for January, so hopefully it will make good reading.

 

Unauthorised Movement of Abnormal Load

Late last year the Parish Council reported a caravan transporter driving through our village at 17:04, this as some readers will know, is outside the permitted hours for driving. We have since been informed that the company has been prosecuted. This is a positive step forward in ensuring that companies who transport these very large loads through our village adhere to the conditions set by the Chief Constable of Essex.

 

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

 The Parish Council have had a number of discussions over the past few months about how we can contribute and be involved in the celebrations for the Queen’s Jubilee.

At the current time our thinking is very much in line with what is being planned nationally.

The Lighting of the Beacons

A chain of lit beacons is being planned across the country.

It is hoped that it will be the largest and most dramatic the world has ever seen [1]. We will be participating as we do indeed have a beacon; it is on the Green at Point Clear Bay. Thinking ahead I did ask if our Community Warden would check it, just in case it needed repairs and indeed it does! These will be undertaken in the next few months so we can light our beacon at the same time as those throughout the country on Thursday 1st June at 9:15 pm.

The Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday 5th June

There may well be street parties in the village, however the Parish Council is planning that there will also be a ’Big Lunch’ on Cowley Park where we will be able to share food and fun with our friends and neighbours as part of the celebrations.

We are suggesting that everyone brings their own picnic. There will be a local band playing from 12 noon until 3pm and we are also planning to provide for the younger residents, some fun inflatables. The village will hopefully have masses of bunting; certainly, we are already planning that the planters will join in the celebrations with flowers of red, white and blue.

Planting of Copse at the West End of Cowley Park

We began discussions about the planting of a copse in the autumn of last year and it is interesting now to read that there is an initiative with people, organisations and schools being invited to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’.

Our planning is that the end furthest away from the Pavilion on Cowley Park should be the site of a copse. In this area there is room for 181 trees, and it does not conflict at all with the football pitches. We are taking professional advice on the species and the size of trees to plant. We will then be planning how to take this initiative forward.

It will be a very special time at the beginning of June, when as a community we can celebrate together an historic moment when Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. However, as a Parish Council we wanted there to be a lasting reminder of Her Majesty’s seventy years of service and the planting of a copse will commemorate this and hopefully give years of enjoyment for those who will be both able to enjoy it visually and walk through the trees in the different seasons.

More discussions will take place on all of these thoughts, and we will keep you updated.

 

Update on The Bridge linking the Holiday Parks in Jaywick and St Osyth

Many readers will remember the correspondence between the Parish Clerk and the Director of Park Holidays in 2021, when we expressed our concern at St Osyth being used as a cut through both to their Holiday Park, but also to Jaywick and Clacton.

 

Despite assurances to the contrary from the Director of Park Holidays, the movement of vehicles was unrestricted during last year. The Parish Council took this issue up with Graham Nourse, Head of Planning and we are pleased to report that action has and is being taken and that the matter is now being taken seriously by Park Holidays.

Hopefully 2022 will be a quieter traffic year – we can but hope!

 

Repair near the Lake at Mill St

By the time this Report is read (we hope) the repair will have been carried out to the impassable footway at the bottom of Mill Street. This was reported on 24th September and despite photographs, all actions of the Parish Council and Cllr Alan Goggin, it has taken that long to repair the footway. We identified it as a priority on 24th September as a lorry driving over the footway had taken up the surface, rendering it impassable. Pedestrians had to walk in the road. In January the Parish Council took action; the Parish Clerk, Community Warden and myself removed the large broken pieces of asphalt, levelled it and put sand over the surface. It was very temporary, but it has meant that people could use the footway.  We have been promised that it will finally be repaired on 18th February.

We do have to ask why it has taken 5 months to repair what we identified as a priority as it was and is very much a safety issue.

 

Point Clear Bay

During the past year Cllr. Mandy Kelly and myself have had a number of meetings with Grant Ewens, Manager of The Orchards Caravan Park and Damien Burton, Head of Facilities, to discuss a number of issues which are of major concern to the residents of the Bay. These have been taken seriously by both the Management and their Head Office and funding is being made available to deal with a year-on-year programme being put in place.

 

It is really good that the building of positive relationships between the Management of The Orchards, the Parish Council and residents is now contributing to the wellbeing of those who live in the Bay.

 

An excellent Notice Board has been provided by The Orchards so residents can both be updated on any developments which are taking place and items of interest can be displayed. This is situated on The Green. Cllr. Mandy Kelly is happy to put anything on the board and can be contacted on 01255 820950 / 07759277502.

 

An update on the developments and restorations at the Priory will be in the April magazine.

 

With best wishes to you all and looking forward to an early Spring.

 

Sonia

[1] Bruno Peek,  LVO OBE OPR Pageantmaster (The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons)

 

St Osyth Parish Council Chairman’s Report

December 2021   St Osyth News  February 2022

 

Wishing you all a Healthy and Happy New Year.

 

While I know that when you read this it will indeed be February, I am actually writing my report at the beginning of January, so it’s still the New Year!

Omicron is still very much with us and as many people have commented each of us now know more people that have Covid than in the past eighteen months.

 

No Parish Council Meeting in December

It was because of the new Covid variant and the many concerns in the run up to Christmas, that all Parish and Town councils were advised by the National Association of Local Councils not to have a meeting in December. It is interesting that when we had the first lockdown, the Government passed Emergency Legislation to enable us to have virtual meetings and to make decisions during these meetings.

That was revoked some months ago, despite protestations from many Councils. We are now in the position that we can still have virtual meetings but we cannot make any decisions; if we do they are not legal. This as you may imagine does not make life very easy in trying to run an efficient and effective Council.

Neil and I are now planning how best to use the Annexe and the Link to make a larger space so that we can keep Councillors as safe as possible in order to hold our meeting in January.

In case you are wondering why we don’t use the main hall, the acoustics are not brilliant, when there are only 14 people well spread out in the space!

 

Christmas in St Osyth Village

The beginning of December saw all the lights go on above the shops and businesses and many of them added to the spirit of Christmas by decorating the shop windows. When walking around the conservation area, which is really the centre of the village, from 4pm onwards it was very special.

It was lovely that people had decorated their shops and business premises as once again it helped lift people’s spirits

County Councillor Alan Goggin had been invited to do the judging for the Parish Council competition of the most attractive Christmas shop windows.

 

  • Mollies/Toosey Tackle were awarded first prize, a really nice welcome to a new village business.
  • The runners up were L & K and NACO.
  • CC Alan Goggin did make special mention of NISA, Boots and Point Clear Bathrooms & Kitchens.
  • The children friendly vote went to Naglotech.

It was much appreciated that so many of our shops and businesses joined in the fun of showing and creating some Christmas spirit for our residents and visitors.

Thanks go to Paul Dewing of GCS Fire & Security Systems for sponsoring our enormous Christmas Tree and ensuring it could be magnificently lit with masses of tiny lights.  Thanks too to our Community Warden Ken and Vice Chairman Alma for going to Boxted to choose the tree and then to both Neil and Ken for actually putting on the lights. It really did look very attractive.

Robert Simeon and Phil Smith did their annual task of lighting the tower, the Lych Gate and the tree in the churchyard and made Church Square a really special place to walk through.

Our thanks to the Parish Council Staff who ensured that all the Christmas lights were up and on, so creating an attractive village scene at Christmas.

 

The Crossroads

I am sure there will come a time when it doesn’t feature in my Report, but I suspect that is still a way off!

The letter from Essex Highways informing businesses and residents living in the centre of the village of the proposed design and inviting comments has passed without any adverse comments. We now have the formal consultation which goes out to bus companies, the Fire Brigade, Ambulance Service etc. and they have to make any comments within 21 calendar days. Hopefully there will be no adverse comments and the planning can be put into place for actually delivering the design. Patience was never one of my strong points and I do wonder whether both consultations couldn’t have been run parallel – we would then have reached the delivery point of the speed cushions being put in place so much more quickly?

 

Junction of Clacton Road and B1027

I understand there was another incident at this junction during the Christmas period – this is not an easy junction sometimes to judge.  As a Parish Council we have been talking to Highways about the installation of a mini roundabout for the past three years. Two years ago they did at our request, a volume, speed and density (VSD) survey and we had high hopes that because of the volume of traffic this might persuade Highways that a mini roundabout should be a possibility. However it was carried out in June 2018 and did not meet any of the criteria of Essex Highways for a mini roundabout.

 

However, we again talked to Highways in Autumn 2021 and there is going to be another VSD at both entrances to the village and this time during the summer months 2022. One point that was made by Highways was that if there was a decision that a roundabout was needed it would be a full one not a mini roundabout.

We wait to see what happens after the VSD in the summer.

 

Update at Priory Meadow Play Area

There are now three really good pieces of equipment for the young at the park:

 

  • a zip wire
  • a basket swing (a larger basket has just been installed)
  • an embankment slide

We have also just installed a picnic table with another on the way and two rainbow rubbish bins.

There is still some Section 106 money remaining as it has to be spent at Priory Meadow, another piece of equipment can be chosen, this time hopefully by the school children.

The large seldom used ball area will be utilised for painting line games for the children to play and use. This would be a more fun use for the area. Research is being done.

 

PREVIOUS REPORTS

St Osyth Parish Council 

Chairman’s Report   (Dec/Jan Issue of St Osyth News)

Directional Sign to St Osyth on the B1027

I began last month’s Report informing you of the sorry state of the sign pointing the way into the village and the suggestion from Highways that it should be replaced with a standard metal one!

As a Parish Council we were resistant to that idea as we rather prefer the wooden sign! So Ken the Community Warden got to work and has done a fantastic restoration job. I am sure that the more eagle eyed residents have spotted that it is freshly painted and is looking very special at the entrance to the village. Our grateful thanks to Ken for all the work he put in to make it last a little longer.

The Pavilion

As many residents will have noticed the cladding of the Pavilion is now complete and it does look good after a very unsatisfactory start. However, the Councillors and staff have had a long debate with Kendalls, who were doing the work, and the manufacturers, about the very obvious differences in the colour of the cladding. It is normal we were told by the manufacturers, as the boards go through a tannin process when exposed to the air. They will stabilise once they have weathered and the colours will all fade to match; this should happen within the first six months of installation.

I have to say, the Parish Council and the staff are very sceptical that the colours will indeed fade to match. But we have a written assurance from the manufacturer that if the boards do not fade to the level that is expected they will review options to rectify it. Kendalls have also given us this assurance, so we will wait six months and see what happens.

Meanwhile, from a distance the pavilion looks very good indeed. We wait for March!

The Management Plan

Every year the Staff and Councillors prepare a financial plan for the next three years.

It is drawn up after consultation and discussion between members of the Committee, Working Parties and individual Councillors who have a responsibility for an area in the Parish. It is their recommendations which form the basis of the Management Plan. The planning and the costs are then discussed by the Finance Committee and with the guidance of both the Clerk and the Financial Officer, a budget is drawn up for the following financial year and the precept is set.

It is accepted that some items in the Management Plan may not be included because of financial constraints and that others may be deferred to the following year.

It is fair to say that some of the objectives in 2020/21, because of the pandemic, were not able to be met, but much has been achieved in this financial year and we feel confident that we will meet the majority of our objectives by the end of this financial year 2021/22. To achieve this is thanks to the hard work and commitment of both the Parish Council Staff and the Councillors.

The Crossroads

It would appear that finally the proposed design and letter from Essex Highways is to go out to businesses and residents in the centre of the village. The Road Safety Audit Team have made some alterations to the design. One in particular which concerned us was that the cushions in Spring Road had been moved back to opposite Chandlers, next to Stone Alley, some 31 metres from the crossroads. Highways had concerns about the safety of motor cyclists turning the corners at both Colchester Road and Clacton Road into Spring Road with the cushions placed as close as they were to the crossroads.

We did request that the Safety Team should look again at the positioning of the cushions. This they have done and they are now to be placed just down from Jerry the Butchers. The main purpose of the cushions is to slow drivers down as they approach the crossroads – hopefully now with the revised layout it will be achieved.

Section 106 Contributions

I am not too sure when I last wrote about Section 106 contributions and the Parish Council.

Basically Section 106 is a legal agreement which has to be entered into between a developer and Tendring District Council when planning permission has been given for a development. The Section 106 details the contributions that a developer has to make before they can begin building. The Parish Council is a beneficiary  with the agreement of TDC and the developer a sum of money is earmarked for new equipment in the parks/ open spaces in the Parish.

Much of our focus recently has been on equipment for Priory Meadow – we now have four really good play activities, two attractive litter bins and a super picnic table. The development of this play area is because 1/3 of the children attending the Primary School live on that side of the village.

The Parish Council as one of their objectives for 2021/22/23 is looking to improve the play area in Dumont Avenue. We have delayed spending money on it, as money from a development in Point Clear was earmarked for it from Section 106. However, the developer has decided not move forward with the planning permission, so we are now planning to apply for grants to upgrade the safety surfacing – this will be at a cost of £10.478 – a lot of money. However, our first step, which we are planning, is the painting of all the equipment in the spring of 2022.

We are also requesting that Anglia Water remove all the vegetation along their perimeter of the play area so that people and children are visible when they are in there; at the present time with the verdant growth of the vegetation on their side of our fence, the Parish Council does have a safeguarding issue.

Vandalism in Cowley Park

It is sad to conclude my report on a negative note, but the Parish Council since April 2021 has had to spend £569 on the repair of play equipment at Cowley Play Area; this is wholly due to vandalism. Such a waste of money, when that sum could be put towards the purchase of new equipment. The PC  would welcome any ideas/suggestions that residents could offer to combat the breaking and destruction of play equipment.

Thank you,

Best Wishes,

Sonia

 

Chairman’s Report September 2021 (November Issue of St Osyth News)

Directional Sign to St Osyth on the B1027
Some of you may well have noticed the rather sad looking sign pointing the way into the village at Colchester Road. The Parish Council requested that it be painted. However, when the painters began work, they found that the wood on the post was in poor condition and possibly it was time, they suggested for a replacement!

That sign is one of the old coach signs and if it is replaced it will be with a metal one, which seems more than a little sad. So we are going to see if we can do some restoring of the central post, which may give it a few more years of life. TDC have said that they will replace the directional signs. It would be a shame to lose one of the old signs, there aren’t many left.

Just as we are very careful that the old street signs with the wording in red at the top ‘Parish of St Osyth’ are repainted very carefully.

The Seat on Bar Corner (the crossroads)
Whilst on the subject of preserving some of our historic signs, we have been asked what is going to happen with the seat on Bar Corner.

If you remember, it was quite badly damaged in an incident with a couple of cars. The insurance company will pay for the repair, not a new seat! There is wonderful photographic evidence of the seat being there some hundred years ago with the gentlemen of the village sitting and smoking their pipes observing the residents and cars go by!

The Parish Council have a concern about putting the seat back in its original position as encouraging anyone to sit there with the amount of traffic these days does not seem very responsible. However, we recognise that once again, the seat is part of the village’s social history, so it will be repaired and will probably join the other seats opposite the Priory.

This time however, it will have a plaque on it recording that the seat is a replica of one which has been on Bar Corner for some hundred years.

The photograph under my report shows the gentlemen of the village sitting on the original seat possibly sometime after, we think, 1927 when the Priory wall was moved back to widen the road.

The Crossroads
Now to more up to date matters!

I have chased Highways about the Consultation Letter which is to go to businesses and residents in the centre of the village. I thought it would have been sent by now! But no! I am informed that the design for the alterations to the crossroads is now with the Road Safety Audit Team. They have to look at the proposals to ensure that Highways do not install anything that has the potential to cause any safety concerns. While understanding the necessity for this, it just means that time is ticking by; everything seems to take so long. Patience was never one of my virtues!

Damaged Footway on Mill Street
Many will have noticed that yet again the footway outside ‘The Curve’ in Mill Steet has been damaged as it was obviously used as part of a turning point for a heavy lorry. It was damaged last year/earlier this year and took Highways forever, or so it seemed to repair it.

This time the footway is so badly damaged that no one can walk on it and people will have to walk into the road. We have put a large cone on the top to warn people, but it is not good. The damage was reported to me by a concerned resident on Friday 24th September, the same day, it was reported to Essex Highways. We have had an acknowledgement, but no action, so yesterday I reported it to our County Councillor. Hopefully he can verbally tell them (we have to do it by email) how extremely dangerous it is, as people are being forced to walk into the road.
We wait and see.

The Pavilion on Cowley Park
There are probably a number of residents who walk in the park and have really wondered what is happening with the Pavilion.

I wrote a couple of months ago informing you that we were, because of the fragile state of the exterior, going to put up cladding on the building.

We had taken advice, went out to three contractors, all of whom had worked for the Parish Council previously and chosen one which stated, apart from agreeing the specification, that the installation of the cladding would be project managed.

This did not happen – the cladding went up and the consequence was and is that it was quite definitely not up to the standard required by the Parish Council and has had to be removed.

We have a meeting with the contractors on Tuesday 12th October and a way forward has to be agreed. It has been both a disappointing and worrying time. As a PC we are very aware of our responsibility for getting the best value for money for the residents, so hard decisions will have to be made.

Detritus on Pavements and Footways
Hopefully readers of this Report will have noticed some improvement in the quality of cleaning of the pavements and footways in the centre of the village. I have observed an improvement, but there is still a way to go!

Winter Planting
By the time you read this Report our summer blooms will have been removed and the violas and pansies will be on show.

Very grateful thanks have to be given to Richard Vigus who has looked after and watered the hanging baskets next to the village sign opposite the Priory and to Andy Booth and the Naglotech staff, who have ensured that the time clock on the watering system is behaving! Thanks too go to John our contractor and to Cllrs Alma Blockley and Julie Ward, Neil our Clerk, Martin our Finance Manager and Julia Smith who have done the summer planting and watering in the planters both in the village and Point Clear.

Thanks also go to Don Snell and his grandson who have kept the watering going in the planter at the crossroads at Chisbon Heath.
To everyone, we the Parish Council and residents, do say a big thank you as it is their efforts and those of our sponsors which have made our village a more attractive place in which to walk and enjoy during the summer months.

With best wishes,
Sonia

 

PREVIOUS REPORTS

August 2021    October issue of St Osyth News

The Removal of Ragwort

At the beginning of August some residents may have been driving in the area of the Clacton entrance to the village and spotted two elderly grey haired people pulling tall yellow plants from the triangle! We were removing ragwort and although we know and acknowledge that the plant supports many species of insects and is food for the cinnabar moth in particular, ragwort has the capacity to spread alarmingly quickly. For this reason we were removing it as this small triangular piece of land is home to two rare species of plant- wild clary and lesser calamint and leaving the ragwort to seed could very much affect the survival of the two plants.

Over the past ten years and with the guidance of David Gollifer from Essex Wildlife Trust, the PC have been very careful about when this area is cut so that the plants can seed and spread naturally.

David tells us that this small triangle of land now supports the highest number of plants of wild clary and calamint in the Tendring District; something for us to be proud of.

A New Councillor

We are very pleased to welcome Gary Coe as a Councillor. He has been a Councillor before, works in finance and has two children who attend St Osyth Primary School. We very much welcome him again and look forward to the contribution he will make to the Parish Council.

Caravan Transporters in the Village

A number of months ago I wrote in my Report giving you information about when laden caravan transporters can travel through the Village.

The current policy from Essex Police is that movements WILL NOT take place during the following peak periods –

  • Monday – Friday 0700 – 0900 hours
  • Monday – Friday 1630 – 1900 hours

 Nor should there be more than two loads travelling together.

Recently a resident spotted two laden caravan transporters going through the centre of the village at 1700 hours. We wrote to the holiday parks at St Osyth beach and firmly reminded them of the rules and received a reply from a director of Park Holidays informing us that the restrictions would be observed and apologising.

Would you believe it, two weeks later a laden transporter again went through at 1700 hours! This time thanks to CCTV we have the number of the vehicle and a letter will be going to Park Holidays and Essex Police.

Do let the office know (821447) if a laden transporter goes through outside permitted hours. Thank you.

Over hanging Trees and Shrubs

 Elsewhere in the magazine there is a notice requesting that residents check the growth that trees and shrubs in their gardens may have put on in this very exceptional year. The weather conditions have certainly encouraged growth like no other year. For this reason, now that we are out of the season when it would not be lawful to cut vegetation where birds may be nesting, it would be sensible to check the permitted heights of shrubs and trees which may be overhanging pavements/footways.

The notice does give helpful advice about measurements, so please check, especially where brambles may have made an unexpected sudden appearance!

Should you need any help or advice, do ring the office 821447.

Helpful Advice from Essex Highways

One of the positive spin offs of the meetings the Parish Council and Essex Highways have done in connection with the crossroads, is that we now know some of the officers much better. It was because of this that we requested a meeting with our Highway Liaison Officer.

Every year the PC Highways Working Party identify areas which need attention in our Village – not pot holes, these are reported as they appear – but under the system now operating with EH, we are never sure where to direct our queries to for attention. The meeting with our Liaison Officer was very helpful and we are now better informed.

One of the areas we do get numerous complaints and concerns about are street drains. Some of our Councillors are going to walk the main roads and identify those which really do need attention. However, if you have a drain near your home that needs ‘flushing’ please let the office know (821447) and we will produce a list for EH and with the assistance of Cllr Alan Goggin we hopefully will be successful in getting them properly operational again.

Consultation Letters re the Crossroad

Shortly a letter will be going to residents and businesses which are situated near the Crossroads, to inform them of the proposal to introduce traffic calming measures at the Crossroads (Bar Corner) in St Osyth.

Comments are being invited and reviewed by Essex Highways, after which the proposals will be formally advertised enabling all interested parties to comment further. As you will see it is a fairly lengthy process! Hopefully and all being well, we should have the cushions in position this side of Christmas – ever the optimist!

The good thing is the cushions are moveable so should it be decided that they need moving to be more effective and efficient, it can be done.

Detritus on our pavements and footways

In last month’s Report I wrote about the Village looking untidy with tall dead weeds, fly tipping, gutters needing to be cleaned  and detritus on the footways in the centre of the village. Much was organised by officers of TDC at the PC’s request and our contractors to try and clean the Conservation Area and we are very grateful to them all.

I also requested a meeting with an Officer of TDC about the long term cleanliness of the Village as the detritus on some of the pavements is not acceptable. It is interesting to note that the centre of the village is meant to be swept daily and there is a rota for every street to have its pavements swept, some weekly and some slightly longer. It really was a productive meeting with many photographs taken. Hopefully by the time you read this Report, action will have been taken and that will be good.

 

The Wild Flower Area

 

I wrote about the wild flower area in the Cemetery last month and just to report that many flowers are still there, but others are going to seed. The whole area is being left so that the seeds will germinate.  The area will then be cut back, the flower stems removed and next year we will have wild flowers again in the cemetery, which will hopefully give pleasure to many.

Best wishes to you all,

Sonia

 

Report July 2021   (September Issue of St Osyth News)

 Well as I write at the beginning of August, we are certainly having some very unusual weather. However, I do hope that you are still able to enjoy the summer with the current lifting of restrictions. I arrived home safely from my travels only to have to go into self-isolation for 10 days having talked to someone for 5-10 minutes, who 3 days later informed me that they had Covid! The positive of this was, it gave me the opportunity to catch up on work needing doing!

Temporary Phone Mast in Point Clear

We had a number of concerned enquiries about a mast that suddenly appeared in a field in Point Clear. We wrote to the owner of the field and subsequently received an email from the director of the firm who installed it for Telefonica UK.  We were assured that it is temporary and is due to be removed in October 2021.

Should you want more information, please call the Parish Office 821447. Neil will be happy to fill you in.

A Village Tidy

The village has certainly not had a ‘good look’ for a while, so this week, requests have been made to various departments of TDC. The Parish Council asked that –

  • Litter and weeds be removed from the Public Toilets
  • Weeds be sprayed in front of the Colchester Road Priory Wall
  • Detritus be swept off the footways in the centre of the village which is our conservation area
  • Beach Road be cleared of litter
  • Fly tipping be dealt with in the centre of the village
  • The overgrown hedges and vegetation on footways be dealt with
  • Gutters to be cleared alongside the pavements

The response from TDC has been very positive and we are grateful. Equally as a Parish Council we have ensured that –

  • All our bus shelters have been cleaned and some of the litter bins
  • That the grass is cut before it becomes unsightly
  • Dead weeds have been removed
  • Areas swept in Church Square as there are no pavements and weeds removed

Hopefully the village will look very much better by the time you read the Report – I live in hope!

Repairing and Restoring the Pavilion

Again, by the time the September magazine is delivered, work will have started on the pavilion. A great deal of thought, discussion and planning has gone into what is the most effective and efficient way to deal with the very fragile state of the exterior of the building.

The Parish Council very much hope that when all the cladding is on, the repairs and painting completed, the pavilion will be a building that will both look and be an asset to the village. It is possibly long overdue and we are so pleased that government grants, rent and the annual grant from the PC has made it possible.

The Crossroads

I wrote at length in last months magazine about the design and planning for the crossroads. One reader did comment to me their disappointment that more couldn’t have been done to improve the pedestrian safety around The Hoy. Councillors and the staff share his view. To be fair, Highways Engineers did try a number of designs but it remains the case that any alterations have to be compliant with Highways regulations and none could be found.

However, there is a glimmer of hope as changes are being made to the Highway Code by giving priority to cyclists and walkers. We wait and see how these might impact. Certainly these changes will be discussed with the Highway Engineers when they meet the Councillors on 11th August.

Cricket Bat Plantation

This plantation has been mentioned a few times in my Reports; it is situated next to the brook at the bottom of Spring Road. We were gifted it by Essex County Council in 2011 with the information that the cricket bat trees will bring the PC an income when sold off in 2020 of about £2000.

In the event when we enquired in 2017 of their sale value, we were informed that they had no value as they had not grown straight! Not what we wanted to hear at all!

We now have a plantation of elms and cricket bat trees, some of which are of a height and state that require felling, particularly as the plantation is frequently under water. The contractors are felling/coppicing 10 trees, 2 of which could be a potential danger to houses.

Some of the cord logs will be removed, the rest stacked neatly as habitat piles. The wood chips will make a habitat for grass snakes as they like to nest in it. Some piles of brushings will be left as habitats for hedgehogs, invertebrates or anything that needs shelter. So a good wildlife use will be put to the trees that have to be felled.

The Wild Flower Area and the Old Graves

The Parish Council as part of the Appraisal visit, did go to look at the area in the old part of the cemetery (this is to the right as you enter). The Cemetery Committee tended a small area to a good tilth so wild flower seeds could be sown in the early summer.

Although it is relatively small, the colour of the wild flowers really lights up that section of the cemetery. More importantly the number of insects that we saw feeding on the nectar from the flowers was really rewarding, the whole area was alive with butterflies and bees.

The intention is to sow a similar area in the spring of 2022.

While we were there we looked at the headstone and grave we had recently discovered hidden between two yew trees for Sir John Johnson, who owned the Priory in the 19th century. He did much by both restoring the Priory and the restoration of the Chancel in the Church. His tombstone is quite stunning and particularly so now as it has been cleaned by Richard Barlow, our very grateful thanks to him. It stands near the grave of the Reverend Langley Watts, Vicar of St Osyth whose young daughter was adopted by Sir John Johnson. After his death she married Dr Arthur Cowley in 1914 and gifted the land now named Cowley Park, to commemorate the loss of 55 men from the village during World War 1.

Again, near these graves is a vault in which both the daughters of William Frederick Nassau, Earl of Rochford who owned the Priory in the early part of the 19th century, are buried. It is in a very fragile state but some of the lettering is still visible.

As may be seen, visiting the older part of the Parish Council cemetery for a walk could be a very interesting and enjoyable experience.

Best wishes to you all,

Sonia

 

St. Osyth Parish Council

Chairman’s Report – June (August 2021 Issue of St Osyth News)

I am at the present time of writing many hundreds of miles away from St Osyth. International travel is not to be recommended at the moment; it is enormously stressful, both in the preparation to travel and the arrival at the destination! However, I am here on Granny childcare duties and it is so good to see the family after 16 long months, so it is making it all worthwhile.

Weeds in the Village

I began last month’s Report with writing about the weeds which were everywhere in our village – footpaths, the pavements and in the crevices. Combined with the weeds, we then had two weeks when the Parish Council’s contractor, who cuts some of the grass in the village, and TDC who cuts the remainder, simply were overwhelmed with its growth. I have never seen any village looking so unkempt; it was really sad to see.

However, before I left the weeds were finally sprayed and all the grass was cut. Hopefully now both the Parish Council’s contractor and TDC will keep up with the growth of the grass and our village can once again look as we expect it to look, cared for and attractive for both residents and visitors.

The Colchester Road Entrance and Painting in the Village

Some may have noticed that the bed with the enormous rocks at the entrance to the village is looking so very much better. This is because it is being cared for and maintained by a volunteer gardener. We are really grateful to Katie who has undertaken to do this, so our thanks go to her.

Keeping the two entrances to the village looking welcoming and attractive is something the Parish Council endeavours to do. It is one of the main reasons we asked that the old coach directional sign should be painted. Unfortunately, when the painters from TDC started the preparation work it was discovered that much of the wood was rotten.

We are hoping it can be replaced, like for like, as it is part of the village’s social history. Meanwhile many other items around the village have been painted, this was long overdue, so it was good to see them finally being done. Thanks to TDC for organising the painting of the bollards and the barriers and for ECC for footing the bill.

Cowley Park Pavilion

Regular readers of this Report will know that until 4 years ago Cowley Park, not the play equipment section, was run by a volunteers Management Committee. Unfortunately, when they stepped down, despite many invitations there were no volunteer to form a Committee. Therefore, the Parish Council, as the Residual Trustees had to undertake the management of the remainder of the Park as well as the play area.

Our main concern apart from the financial aspect of running the Park was the Pavilion. It is an old building which has had two extensions in its time and was very much showing its age. The exterior was our main concern, the rendering we knew was in a fragile state.

We initially had hoped to just replace some of the loose render and paint the building. However, three different contractors all informed us this was not a sensible option as the render over the entire building was in a fragile state and should be replaced.

We took further advice and there were two options suggested to us:

  1. The removal of all the existing rendering and the exterior then to be re-rendered and painted.
  2. The removal of the existing rendering and to put cladding on the pavilion walls.

(NB. There is a difference between composite cladding and hardiboard and this was reflected in the price.)

To facilitate the Councillors making an informed decision about not only the exterior of the Pavilion but also the interior, a Consultation Paper was written. This set out what needs to be done to maintain and preserve a building, which is part of our village, and which for the foreseeable future, will be the home ground for Elmden Rovers Youth Football Teams.

Costs were included in the Consultation Paper and the Councillors met on site to discuss the way forward, initially with the exterior of the building. Sad to say one of the factors to be considered was the necessity for the easy removal of any graffiti.

Discussion took place supported by information from Ken, our Community Warden and Neil our Clerk. It was finally decided that the Parish Council would accept the quotation from Kendall’s and that a composite cladding would be used on the exterior of the Pavilion.

The cost of this is £21,784.00. The Parish Council are in receipt of two government grants, one of £10,000.00, the other of £3,908.00. These together with the rent we are currently receiving from the Elmden Rovers and the annual grant made to Cowley Park from the Parish Council means we can now move forward positively. There will be a five-year plan to repair and restore the Pavilion beginning with the exterior of the building.

The Crossroads

Following my last report in the magazine, a site meeting was held on 18th June with:

David Gollop and Tom Eng – Essex Highways

Ben Cook – Independent Highways Consultant who carried out the Crossroads Feasibility Study for the Parish Council.

Adrian Carden – Essex Highways Safety Officer

Cllr. Alan Goggin – ECC

Speed cushions had already been suggested and accepted for all four roads leading to the crossroads. Our meeting that morning was to discuss a possible improvement to pedestrian safety particularly around the Hoy. It had been suggested that there could be an increase of 90 cm to that footway.

However, it was made very clear at the meeting by Essex Highways, that it was accepted that the crossroads were non-compliant in current highway regulations due to historical factors. But that any alterations in terms of carriageway or footway at the crossroads, even on the grounds of what could be considered safety improvements, would result in the crossroads being ruled as non-compliant. Therefore, it would lay Essex Highways open to being sued should there be an accident as a result of an improvement.

For instance, it had been established that the maximum possible width we could extend The Hoy corner to was 90 cm. To be compliant it has to be 1.2m and even at 90 cm, wider buggies and mobility scooters could not use it safely and it would be ruled as non-compliant.

Currently the design and this is what will go out to Consultation to businesses and those residents who live near the Crossroads will be:

  • Four cushions at the approach to the crossroads from both The Bury and Colchester Road.
  • Two cushions at the approach to crossroads in Spring Road and Clacton Road.
  • Improved road markings using a specialist paint which can last up to 5 years.
  • Six-inch-high kerb stones outside the butchers and down to Stone Alley to deter parking.
  • There is to be signage warning motorists that there may be pedestrians in the road.

As a Parish Council it is not all that we had hoped for when the Feasibility Study was commissioned. We do however understand and realise that the options for our crossroads because of the necessity for Highway compliance are massively limited. The planned improvement and alterations are certainly a positive way forward. We should remind ourselves that they are the first major safety improvements to our crossroads after nearly sixty years of discussion!

The Parish Council with Essex Highways will be revisiting and evaluating the alterations in 2022. Meanwhile it is to be hoped that after the Consultation, the speed cushions, which are moveable so positioning can be altered, can be placed as soon as possible at the crossroads.

 

Let us hope for a major improvement in the weather, something akin to the lovely summer which we all really need.

With best wishes to you all,

Sonia

Chairman’s Report July 21 Issue of St Osyth News

I began last week’s Report with informing you that as the law now stands, the Parish Council had to return to holding physical meetings as from 7th May.

This we did in the main part of the Village Hall on 20th May. It was really good to be able to see one another again however, as we were sitting at tables 2m apart, being able to hear in the large hall became quite an issue! We are looking to see how this might be overcome for the June meeting!

Weeds in the Village

As I am sure many of you have noticed, how could you not, the weeds growing on the footpaths, the pavements and everywhere where there is a crevice, are now reaching alarming heights. The combination of rain and warmth is doing its worst. Unfortunately, there is little the PC can do, as it is the responsibility of Tendring District Council and weed spraying does not begin until June 1st. I have written to TDC and requested that our village is sprayed as soon as possible as the conservation area in particular is looking unsightly and uncared for. It is definitely a ‘look’ we do not want to have.

Plant Displays

In the past weeks Councillors Alma Blockley, Julie Ward and myself with the help of John Savage have been busy choosing plants and then planting all the containers around the village. Given a few weeks they will really begin to make a difference to the village scene. By the time you read the magazine the hanging baskets will be up too and certainly will make the centre of the village an attractive place to be. Thank you to the organisations and residents who have offered to sponsor them.

The Coffin Path or Path to the Cemetery (Dog Fouling)

The Parish Councillors and the staff would endorse everything which the writer of the letter ‘Do you love your Village’ said in the May magazine. He called the Coffin Path ‘Poo Alley’ and he is absolutely right. Walking along this otherwise delightful footpath is not a pleasant experience because of irresponsible and thoughtless dog owners who are not picking up after their dogs.

The Parish Council has yet again had to request TDC to bring their machine to clear the dog mess that has been left by these owners. It should be pointed out that this service is paid for from our Council Tax. If some dog owners were more responsible it would not be needed.

The PC has put up large notices encouraging residents to report any instances they see to the Clerk 821447. Perhaps if they have a fine £80 they might remember to clear up after their dogs.

Please do report any that you see with a description of the owner and the type of dog.

St Osyth Beach Holiday Park and the Martello Tower

For those residents who have followed my reports in the past few months, the news is not satisfactory at all. Despite assurances from the Director of Park Holidays that there would be no through traffic from holidaymakers or others from the St Osyth Beach Holiday Park to the Martello Tower in Jaywick, it is happening. We have informed the Head of Planning at TDC and an Enforcement Notice has been issued. We will be monitoring the situation with TDC but meanwhile the PC feel very frustrated on behalf of our residents that although we have done all we can to ensure that the new bridge is not open to the general public it and is causing yet more traffic to use our crossroads.

Footways and Pavement Repairs in Spring Road

After years of making requests that repairs are done to the really poor and narrow footways in Spring Road, finally they have been done.

However, this work was not done without incident as the repairs and timekeeping of the crew initially was far from satisfactory and thanks to a vigilant resident was reported to Essex Highways. Another crew was dispatched and the repairs were completed to a good standard. Although the footways do look a little like a patchwork quilt, they are now safe and we are grateful that our repeated requests have been heeded. Thank you to Essex Highways.

Climate Change

In March an email was sent to all Parish and Town Councils by Michael Talbot, Cabinet Member for the Environment inviting them to consider what they might do in light of the District Council’s Climate Change Policy.

In April this email was discussed at our Ordinary Meeting and Councillors were invited to send in their suggestions of what might be done to support TDC’s policy. This they did and their suggestions were listed under three categories:

  1. Items which the Council itself could consider doing.
  2. Items which could be encouraged within the Parish, possibly via our Church Magazine.
  3. Items which although outside the control of the PC would affect climate change.

The issue was debated at Council and it was agreed that for our June meeting all the information required for that meeting would be sent electronically. The clerk will then display the minutes, the planning applications, reports and images on the screen. The only paper which will be used would be for the agenda which each Councillor will have a copy of for the meeting.

The Council has also requested Mr Tim Clarke attends a PC meeting and talks us through the TDC Climate Change Policy and gives us practical examples of how both as a Council and as residents we can help to effect change.

We will keep you informed.

The Crossroads

A further meeting was held on 25th May with members of Essex Highways, Alan Goggin for Essex CC, and Ben Cook from BMSL Consulting Ltd, to discuss designs to enable pedestrians and those pushing buggies and using mobility scooters to walk around The Hoy corner in comparative safety. We think there is a possibility of a resolution but as was pointed out by Ben Cook, improvements to one area of the crossroads would possibly be at the detriment of another. It is now recognised that the crossroads which is described as a staggered junction with a bend is never going to be compliant with Highway Regulations, but there may need to be a trade off in order to ensure pedestrian safety.

Another meeting is to be held shortly but this time with the Head of the Safety Team for ECC. It will be an on site meeting. It was pointed out to all those who attended the meeting on the 25th that any design put forward by the engineering team for the crossroads has to go before the Essex Safety Team and they could on safety grounds refuse to let it go forward. Hence the Head of the Essex Safety Team will be attending the meeting in June, as whatever design is put forward for consideration we want to ensure that it will have the agreement of the Essex Safety Team.

Hopefully a positive update in the August Magazine.

With best wishes for a good summer to you all,

Sonia

 

Chairman’s Report June Issue

May was an interesting month for meetings. As I informed you in my last Report, the Government were not prepared to give Parliamentary time to allow primary legislation to pass into law the continued use of Zoom/Teams for Council Meetings. This discussion was challenged in the High Court, however the application to allow remote meetings to continue was dismissed. Therefore, all Councils must return to holding physical meetings as from 7th May.

This means that the Parish Council has now to return to using the Village Hall for the meeting on 20th May. We will be in the main hall, socially distanced, wearing masks and having carried out hand sanitising and any other measures which are considered necessary to keep Councillors, staff and members of the public who want to attend, safe.

It will be our first meeting actually together, since March 2020. I am very much looking forward to it. Chairing a meeting on Zoom has had its challenges!

The Crossroads

Although the PC remain delighted that we have £30,000 of funding now allocated for improvements to the crossroads, the design shown to Councillors did unfortunately fall short of our requirement that there should be safety improvements for both drivers and pedestrians.

The Engineering team had focused only on driver safety. We therefore requested that they revisited the scheme again. This they have done, but have told us that it is not possible to widen the footway around The Hoy because of the layout of the junction. This as you may imagine, was not what the PC wanted to hear and although it was explained at length why it could not be done, we requested a meeting with EH’s Design Manager, their Highway Liaison Officer and Ben Cook who carried out the Feasibility Study for the PC in 2019.

The meeting was held on 5th May, it was constructive with several avenues additionally explored. More work is to be done by the Engineering Team and we meet again at the end of May. It may be that we put the speed cushions down for this summer which would at least would be a plus in moving forward with the some of the safety aspects of the crossroads, but we want it to be safe for pedestrians too.

St Osyth Beach in Martello Tower, Jaywick

Having shared with you last month the information given by the director of Park Holidays that the bridge between the two parks would not be open for general use by the public. It was something of an enormous shock to read that this may well not be the case.

I received an email from a vigilant resident who directed me to the Park Holidays website for the Martello Beach which clearly states:

‘Please note that the new reception and entrance to Martello Beach is via St Osyth Beach Holiday Park’

We immediately wrote to the director of Park Holidays informing him that:

The wording on your website and the advice offered by your enquirers now seems to contradict the assurance given by you on 4th February’.

The PC has asked for a further assurance that the wording on their website:

‘is an error which will be rectified as a degree of urgency’.

We have requested a reply by our May meeting. Hopefully, it will be rectified immediately as Park Holidays are currently breaking the conditions of their planning permission too. We will keep you informed.

Thinking Ahead

We have been really dismayed that some of the flowers in the planters have been severely affected by the snow and hard frosts that we have been experiencing up to the present time. It has been disappointing that we have had to remove so many dead plants. Particularly as we know having visited nurseries and been informed that all plants that are being grown are a fortnight behind this year.

However, planning is well ahead for the summer months and thank you to the organisations, clubs and residents that are sponsoring the hanging baskets this year.

Cemetery Update – The Wild Flower Corner Patch!

The sowing of the wild flower seeds has now been done. The bed has been covered to prevent the resident rabbits from having a field day and wonder of wonders, since the sowing we have had nearly 15mm of rain!

However, we have purchased a hose as regular watering may well be the order of the day in the next few months.

If you are visiting the cemetery do go and have a look. The Notice Board will inform you of the flowers we may expect to see!

Potholes

Earlier in the year, via the Member led Repair Programme, the PC was invited to identify some of the potholes which we wanted repaired. This sounds a simple enough request, but the detail required by Essex Highways is considerable.

The expectation of course is that they would want to know the location, but Neil on the form which he had to fill in had to:

  • Describe the nature of the defect ie. Size, single hole or a number of holes.
  • Inform EH if the road defect is outside or close to premises that have a higher risk.
  • List any other useful information which would be helpful to the planning of EH.
  • Date of initial report of pothole to EH.
  • Photos were requested too!

Neil reported 11 potholes and the spreadsheet he sent was impressive. I am happy to report that within the last month they have all been dealt with, some have emergency fillings. However, we will ensure that EH are informed should they show that they are breaking up.

It is a good initiative and the PC are pleased that Cllr. Alan Goggin encouraged us to participate.

Street Signs

Every spring the Councillors are given a list of street signs near to where they live and requested to report on their condition – whether they require cleaning, repairing or replacing. This we all do and Alan Howard, TDC Ranger is then asked to look at those which need attention, with a view to dealing with them during the ensuing months. This organisation has been carried out for the past ten years or so. I think it is fair to hope that now we have the cleanest and hopefully the smartest street signs in the Tendring District!

If we have missed any, do let us know.

Hopefully when you receive this report life will have more of a degree of normality. Let us hope so.

With very best wishes to you all,

Sonia

PREVIOUS REPORTS

Chairman’s Report May 2021

I was very surprised at how much I had written in the Parish Magazine last month! It will be shorter for May as I have nearly caught up with passing on information to you all!

One of the reasons we have managed to achieve so much in the past year is that all Council meetings have been held via Zoom.  We have been informed that the Government will no longer enable this to happen, as from May 7th it will require ‘primary legislation’ to pass it into law and there is no time in the legislative programme! Not too sure what will happen, but I wonder if from 7th May we would be allowed to meet in the Village Hall? In the main hall we could maintain 2m distance, but until we all feel safe it would be better to keep using Zoom. We wait to see what happens when the Government is taken to the High Court on 21st April.

Snow and Beach Road

As Neil, our clerk said, we have achieved a small victory! Beach Road is not salted when it snows, but it is a bus route, so under ECC regulations it should be salted. After the recent snowy weather, the Parish Council wrote to Essex County Council pointing this out and in future when we have ice and snow Beach Road will be salted, which is very sensible and needed.

St Osyth Beach and Martello Bay Holiday Parks

During recent months a number of residents have expressed their concern at press reports and information by word of mouth of the construction of the bridge between the two holiday parks, one in St Osyth and the other in Jaywick.

The Parish Council were equally concerned as rumour had it that all holiday traffic to both parks would be via St Osyth. We wrote to Park Holidays and requested clarification and information on the purpose and connectivity of the bridge.

The following is the reply from the Commercial Director:

The main point to note, is that the bridge is not a public highway and it will not be open to general use by the public. It has been designed primarily, to afford better linkage between St Osyth and Martello Holiday Parks for Operational Management purposes and will help to offset local site traffic (vehicular and pedestrian), which would otherwise have to travel around the local roads to reach either park – repositioning of caravans, access to the proposed new clubhouse and pool facilities on Martello and so forth. We already have measures in place at the entrance to both parks, via a barrier operated system, which is controlled by the holiday park management”.

Neil our clerk wrote again seeking additional information about the rumour that the Jaywick entrance would be closed and all vehicular traffic would be via St Osyth. The reply was as follows:

To clarify the operational nature of the bridge, both entrances would be kept open and there is no plan by the company to redirect traffic or deliveries to either park”

The letter concluded:

I hope that this provides the necessary comfort to the Parish Council and residents of St Osyth”.

The answer to this of course is what actually happens this season and the next. We will wait and see.

 

Potholes

I know I wrote about these in last months report, but I do mean it when I say, we report any pothole that we see or is reported to us, to Essex County Council. It is their responsibility to do the repairs not the Parish Council’s or Tendring District Council’s, our role is the reporting of them. We share everyone’s frustration that the repair of many of them take so long.

Equally the repair of the footway at the bottom of Mill Street remains waiting and people continue having to walk into the road. Both the PC and Councillor Alan Goggin have done everything in their power to have it repaired, but it remains looking a dreadful mess and a safety hazard.

 

Happy to Chat Bench

A really nice bench made by a local company Harps Corp team, erected by contractors DWH and paid for by ECC, at the request of Councillor Alan Goggin has been put on the Green overlooking Point Clear Bay. It is really a lovely spot at which to sit and hopefully will be enjoyed by many in the forthcoming months.

It is called a ‘Happy to Chat’ bench as it came from an idea a number of years ago, that often people are very happy when sitting on a bench to chat to those who share it with them or to say hello as they pass by. There are now hundreds of such benches around the County now and locally there is one at both Thorrington and Brightlingsea.

We do hope the bench is put to good use and encourages people both to sit and chat.

 

The Cemetery

Many of our residents and visitors who come to the cemetery will know that there is an area just to the right as you enter, that is left for the grass to grow as it provides habitats for invertebrates, insects and birds.

In years past there were wild flowers growing in this area, but in recent times they have been less and less and it was felt that action was needed.

So this year the Cemetery Committee decided to cultivate a small area and sow it with wild flower seeds which are nectar food for the bees and butterflies. This has now been done and we wait with baited breath to see what grows and which insects we attract. The noticeboard will shortly show photographs of the wild flowers we are hoping will appear! I should add that growing wild flowers from seed is not always easy, but we have taken care so hopefully it will be an area that will attract insects, look attractive and is enjoyed by those visiting our cemetery.

 

The Crossroads

In preparation for this years Annual Parish Report, I re-read the Report I wrote in 2018/19 (there was not one last year) and noted that I wrote that we wanted the crossroads to be safe for both drivers and pedestrians. This remains our focus and intent.

In our meeting last month, we saw the design for the crossroads via a shared screen – the wonders of technology!!

We noted that the proposed scheme:

  • Had speed cushions on all four approaches to the crossroads.
  • That there was a repositioning of some of the existing road markings.
  • There was additional lighting on the Bury (opposite St Osyth Butchers).
  • The installation of 6” kerb stones outside and down from St Osyth Butchers.
  • The removal of an existing parking space in Clacton Road (to accommodate one of the cushions).
  • The possible installation of bollards in Spring Road opposite the Premier Store.

While the councillors saw much to commend in the scheme, concern was expressed though at the omission of any form of pedestrian safety in the vicinity of The Hoy. The Feasibility Study had carefully considered how this might be achieved and the PC have requested that it is revisited with some urgency.

We can assure you that the final design and scheme will go to Public Consultation, so residents will be able to see what is proposed and make comments. Although we now have the funding we are not there just yet, but we are well on the way to hopefully a safer crossroads for everyone.

 

With best wishes to you all,

Sonia G

 

Published in the April Issue of St Osyth News

Welcome back to you all, it is good to be reporting again after three long months. However, quite where to begin is the problem – a great deal has happened and continues to happen.

The Parish Council Office is still, on advice, officially closed, but staff are continuing to work as normal. The Councillors continue to hold Committee Meetings, Working Party Meetings and of course full Parish Council Meetings via Zoom. It is fair to say in this Pandemic year we have not stopped doing all we can to support and help the village community.

Christmas

I do feel that although it was an age ago, I want to say a warm thank you to everyone in that particularly uncertain period, who went the ‘extra mile’ to lift people’s spirits to still make it a special time.

  • The PC staff ensured that Christmas lights were all on in the village from the beginning of December.
  • We had two Christmas trees – one outside the Village Hall donated by L&K Funeral Directors and the other opposite the Priory on our Green, donated by GCS Alarms. Paul Dewing, Steve Cole and Barry Comer from the Village Hall and the Parish Council Staff ensured that they were safely upright and the lights were on.
  • Church Square, and in particular the Churchyard lifted the spirits and thanks go to Philip Smith and Robert Simeon for all their planning and work to ensure that the lights announced it was indeed Christmas!
  • Our thanks to the shops and businesses who decorated and lit their premises. The idea came from Martin Walsh, Finance Officer of the PC, and the judging was done by Alan Goggin, our County Councillor.
  • Special thanks to Peter and Jennifer Tidy who with their friends and carefully observing all the safety restrictions, ensured that all those who wanted to remember a loved one had the opportunity to hang a Message Angel on the tree in the Churchyard.

Thank you to them all.

A New Noticeboard

Many people have commented on the new noticeboard which the Parish Council now share with the Village Hall. It looks really good and was made for us by a local firm – the Harps Corp Team. Paving slabs will be laid in front of it for ease of reading. We had planned to place the Noticeboard nearer the pavement but discovered utilities were in position there, so hence Plan B!

The ‘New’ Entrance to the Cemetery

I am calling it ‘new’ although it has in fact been in use for nearly 20 years! However, major improvements have been made to the entrance so that it is safer for drivers when exiting on to Clay Lane. The car park too has had a facelift as tonnes of pea grit were laid and spread by Parish Council staff, John Savage and James Handscombe. It is a fitting entrance now to our cemetery.

The masses of daffodils and snowdrops everywhere make it a special place to both visit and walk in at the present time and hopefully may well still be there at Easter.

The Crossroads

The local Highways panel for the Tendring District met on 18th March. It is this body of ECC Councillors and Essex Highways staff who meet and decide the funding for future highway projects for 2021/22 and our crossroads scheme is on the agenda. If you remember, the Parish Council paid for a Feasibility Study to be carried out a year ago looking for solutions to support both pedestrian and driver safety at the Crossroads. Several possibilities came from this. The Parish Council then worked with Essex Highways to consider a design integrating them . To  ensure the design was progressed, the Parish Council contributed £10,000 to ensure that the design phase of the crossroads was completed in preparation for the March 2021 meeting. Hopefully it will meet with a very favourable response and we know it will be fully supported by our County Councillor Alan Goggin who has worked with the Parish Council throughout.

22nd March 2021: Success. There is now funding for the Crossroads! Wonderful!

Potholes

We continue to chase the repair of potholes in the village. One of the initiatives by Essex County Council was that if we identified the potholes and gave an exact location of each one they would be repaired. This was done with alacrity by Neil, our Clerk some time ago, but to date nothing has been done. We can only think that the recent events ie. snow/ice and Covid have forestalled their intention to have all the potholes repaired by 31st March 2021.

This is possibly an opportune moment to assure you that the Parish Council and Councillor Alan Goggin have done everything they can to get the broken up pavement repaired at the bottom of Mill Street outside The Curve. That the pavement still remains unsafe for pedestrians to walk on and is fenced off, so that walking into the road is a necessity, does not speak well of Essex Highways and their priorities. Hopefully it will be repaired in the forthcoming weeks.

Litter

Many of us continue to be shocked at the amount of litter that is dropped in the village, along our section of the B1027, St Johns Road, Beach Road and Chisbon Heath.

We do have some very public spirited residents who litter pick, the PC employs a contractor who carries out litter picking duties and Tendring District Council has a regular rota when picking up litter is done. In spite of all of these efforts on the part of people and organisations, there is still the unnecessary sight of litter in so many places.

The Parish Council is putting up notices in the two laybys along the B1027, as despite larger litter bins being installed at our request by TDC, there is a mass of litter.

Possibly when restrictions are lifted we should have a mass litter pick. Suggestions of how to encourage people to use bins or take litter home would be welcomed.

Priory Meadow Play Area

One of the few benefits of having new housing in the village is that each developer has to make a financial contribution, dependent on the number of bedrooms in each new house (£850 a bedroom), in what is called a Section 106 Agreement with Tendring District Council.

Parish and Town Councils can then apply to TDC to use this money for the provision of play equipment.

Shortly St Osyth PC will be in the position to provide another piece of equipment at Priory Meadow from Section 106 contributions. It will be a basket swing similar to the one in Cowley Park. This play area is now very well used, which is excellent as it means the children on the east side of the village now have somewhere safe to play and do not have to pass over the crossroads to access Cowley Park.

  1. We will also be providing another litter bin at Priory Meadow.

Snow!

More thanks are also due to those who helped to keep our main roads clear and where possible our footways and pavements.

This time when the snow fell we were in the very fortunate position of having local farmers Robert and Mick Simeon who had been contracted to keep the main roads in and out of the village clear by ECC. After the chaos of the effects of snow 2/3 years ago, the PC requested that ECC had designated contractors who could carry out snow clearance in the village. They agreed and Robert and Mick were able to get into action immediately with their snow ploughs which was excellent.

Our thanks to them and to the many residents, shop and business premises who cleared pavements and footways and put salt down to keep people safe when walking.

Thank you to our Community Warden Ken Belcher and John Savage who kept Point Clear Road, Clacton Road, part of Spring Road and Mill Street cleared. This all helped to ensure that we were kept as safe as possible when venturing out into the snow.

There is more to share with you, but at the risk of taking up too much space, I will wait until next month. Hopefully by then we will be moving further out of lockdown and be on the way to some degree of normality!

Keep safe and best wishes to you all,

Sonia

Published in the December 20/January 21 issue of St Osyth News

 

Like so many of us, I really do find it difficult to believe that five months on and we are in lockdown again. However, it is a different lockdown and it is not as draconian as the last one. The Parish Council and the Church, if you remember, organised both the delivery of groceries and prescriptions for the full twelve weeks, because we had residents who were both elderly and vulnerable.

When we stepped back from doing this in June, every household that we had delivered to received a letter via Royal Mail informing them which supermarkets were delivering groceries and their telephone numbers etc. We also had established from Head Office in Nottingham that Boots would deliver prescriptions for free.

We contacted TDC in the first week of November for an updated list of supermarket deliveries and these are now on the Parish Council and Church websites. Hopefully any residents who have difficulties will have kind neighbours or will get in touch with us.

 

Appeal Inquiry St Johns Road

 

The owners of St Johns Road Nursery are appealing against the decision by TDC to refuse the application to build 196 houses and 8 units on the Nursery site. The Parish Council has been active too in refusing this application. Our main grounds for concern has been the average daily traffic flows along St Johns Road. As we all know it is one of the two main routes in and out of Clacton-on-Sea.

Together with this in recent years, the other proposed developments which have been agreed, could mean that we will see up to 1173 houses and 62 holiday units being built. This would see a significant increase in traffic along St Johns Road as based on a minimum of one vehicle per property, this would have a detrimental impact on all motorists, especially those wanting to turn into the developments where improved junctions are unfortunately not deemed necessary by Essex Highways,

Our Clerk Neil will be speaking on behalf of TDC and our residents at the Inquiry. He will be cross-examined by the QC for the owners of St Johns Road Nursery. The enquiry is on 24th November.

 

Litter on the B1027

 

During the recent lockdown and since with more people walking, a number of residents have expressed concerns about the amount of litter in the two laybys on the B1027. Neil and I had a long conversation with Jon Hamlett, who is the Manager for the Operations Department of TDC, about what could be done. It was agreed that both laybys should have all the vegetation cut back, all the old litter removed and new more imposing litter bins installed. This has now been done. Hopefully those parking and using the laybys will now use the litter bins and keep this stretch of the B1027 tidy and litter free. We can but hope! Meanwhile, thank you to TDC.

 

 

 

Letter to Residents Point Clear Bay

 

I am waiting to hear from the Management of The Orchards to agree the contents of the proposed letter. Again they are busy with the lockdown and closing the Park for the winter, but I will chase and hopefully by the time this magazine is with you, the letter will have been delivered!

 

Christmas Trees and Christmas Lights

 

The Parish Council has been busy with more plans to light up our village this Christmas. The Village Hall is planning to have a tree outside on the grass and L&K Funeral Directors have agreed to sponsor it. We are putting a tree on the Village Green, opposite the Priory and behind the planters, this is being sponsored by GCS Fire and Security Systems. Thank you to both of the sponsors.

More lighting will go up above the shops and businesses and if they are happy to participate, their window space could be decorated too.

If any residents would like to join in by decorating their windows it would add to the Spirit of Christmas, which hopefully we will be feeling by then. There will be no prizes for doing this, it will just be a way of giving fun and enjoyment to us all.

We are planning that all the lighting, above the shops and businesses and on the trees, will be turned on during the evening of December 2nd. An Auspicious Date.

 

The Crossroads

 

Where to begin? Much has happened and decisions made in the past weeks.

Going back some months, many of you will remember, the Parish Council commissioned an independent Feasibility Study seeking a solution which would improve the safety for both pedestrians and drivers using the crossroads. This was completed and Essex Highways accepted the findings and the suggestions made, this was a big step forward.

The next stage in the process of moving it forward was the design stage. This has to be done by Essex Highways and under normal circumstances the funding for this has to come from the Local Highways Panel for the Tendring District.

Cllr. Alan Goggin ECC, established for us, that all the budget for 2020/21 had been allocated and that there were no further funds available, so the design phase could not be met from the LHP budget. The earliest we could make a case for funding the design phase was 2021/22.

The realisation was that we knew that although Cllr. Alan Goggin would make a good case for funding the design phase to the LHP, it would be well into 2021/22 before it would be progressed. We would then have to wait until 2022/23 to make a bid for funding the full design and the outcome of this unfortunately cannot be guaranteed.

It was then decided by the PC, with a unanimous vote, that we would meet the cost of the design phase. The unexpected grant of £10,000 from the Government would be used as the initial contribution of the £15,000 needed and this was accepted by Essex Highways.

This now means that the design phase can begin. The initial process potentially takes up to 6 weeks, during which the following actions will be undertaken:

 

The Engineer will visit the site.

The Engineer will receive copies of any surveys conducted, in addition to a copy of the Feasibility Report, prepared and completed by Ben Cook.

The Engineer will be provided with ‘stats’ and will look at any utilities in the vicinity of the crossroads.

The Engineer will conduct a Road Safety Audit; and

A Construction Operative (Site Supervisor) will visit the crossroads to conduct a build ability review.

If all these issues are successfully completed, the process moves on to the full design phase.

 

We are planning with Essex Highways that both the design phase and full design will be completed by February 2021, so that the scheme would be ready to be put before the Local Highways Panel for funding in 2021/22.

As you can see, a great deal will be happening in the next months and much will depend on the initial inspection of the utilities under the crossroads. It will reveal whether the whole scheme is possible. Fortunately, this is generally achieved within the first £3000. The real hope is that by meeting the cost, we can move forward our planning for the safety of the crossroads by a year; this is long overdue.

 

The End of a Year

 

It is salutary to think that we are close to the end of a year and it has been a year like no other that any of us have ever lived through. We have to but hope that 2021 proves to be good for all of us; that we enjoy good health both physically and mentally and that we enjoy and appreciate all the more the things that possibly, until this year, we took for granted.

 

May it be a Happy Christmas for us all,

 

Sonia

PREVIOUS REPORTS

Published in November 2020 Parish Magazine

Security on Cowley Park

The Parish Council is now employing a security firm to patrol Cowley Park during the evenings and at night. Over the years there has been vandalism particularly with the Pavilion, which costs both the PC and the Council taxpayer money. In doing this we are employing the same firm who patrol the premises of the Village Hall, so the cost is reasonable for us both.

In having a security firm we would hope that people climbing on the pavilion roof, damaging both the metal and wooden fences and the skate park equipment could become a thing of the past. The firm will be giving a report to the Council every month.

Tree Maintenance

Some residents have expressed concern at the appearance of the oak tree near the pavilion in Cowley Park. We understand their concern, but we were becoming very worried about the health and consequentially the safety of the tree with the high winds we have been having.

We requested that the Principal Tree Officer of Tendring District Council looked at it and advised us. This he very kindly did and we appointed a local tree firm to carry out the work which he recommended.

We would agree that the tree does look sad, but having followed the advice, we are hopeful that it will recover and be an attractive addition to the village scene.

The Cricket Bat Plantation

I suspect that many readers on seeing that heading will wonder where it is and the answer is at the bottom of Spring Road, beside the brook next to the bridge.

A number of years ago it was given to the PC by Essex County Council with the expectation and promise that the cricket bat trees could be felled in 2020 with a financial reward of £2000. Unfortunately the PC has been informed that they are now not suitable for cricket bats and the access to the site is very problematic for removal of wood, so therefore the trees remain standing and unwanted.

A number of branches from the trees are now very close to the overhead wires, so again we have taken advice and some of the trees will have to be felled. The dangers of any of them falling or touching the wires is a major concern.

One thing has become very clear, trees are a responsibility which has to be taken seriously. We are currently considering where we can plant trees to join with the Essex Forest Initiative. Many factors will be considered and it will be an item for discussion during our December PC meeting.

Elmdon Rovers

A piece of really good news is that Elmdon Rovers Youth Football Club have made a move to Cowley Park. They train in the evenings of Tuesday, Thursday and Friday each week and matches are on a Sunday.

Elsewhere in the magazine, Andy Bruce their Media Officer has written an article giving more information. We are really delighted to welcome them to Cowley Park, it is good to see the pitches being played on a regular basis by the young people. Many of our residents have commented very positively about the move.

The St Osyth Football Club and the Elmdon Rovers are working together and it is excellent that the Park and the Pavilion are being well used for sport activities.

Management Plan

It is the time of year when the PC begin planning again in some detail for the next  financial year 2021 and the subsequent two years.

Meetings are held by the committee and working parties, this year via Zoom, and reports are prepared by the Councillors who have responsibility for litter bins, planters and bench seats. Really all the items that we as a PC are responsible for or have an interest in.

It is also the time when we look at the progress of what we agreed should be actioned during the current financial year. We have been pleasantly surprised at how much we have achieved as the pandemic has not been conducive for moving things forward!

However, one issue we re going to have to move forward with is the exterior of the Pavilion at Cowley Park. It is in a very poor state and needs major work. A number of suggestions have been made and these will be discussed in the forthcoming months.

Point Clear Bay

A meeting was planned over three weeks ago between myself, Cllr Mandy Kelly and members of the management of The Orchards. It was agreed that it would be useful to have a definitive map of Point Clear Bay to show ownership of the Bay prior to the meeting.

In one paragraph of the previous item about the Management Plan I wrote that the pandemic had not been conducive to moving things forward. Well this certainly applies to the Land Registry, as it has taken them over 3 weeks to produce a map of Point Clear Bay and during that time, thinking it was coming, we planned and cancelled three meetings!

However, the map is now in our possession and a meeting is to take place at The Orchards on 14th October, the agenda includes a number of concerns raised by the residents.

I am afraid that the letter which was written well over a month ago and was of course to be discussed, may well be a thing of the past and a new letter will hopefully be written and circulated.

An update in December!

Christmas Lights and Decorations in the Village

This year we are in the happy state of having Christmas lights up and ready for the festive season. They are above all the shops in Spring Road and Clacton Road, this is thanks to Paul Dewing of GCS Systems and the Business Association. It will be particularly good to see them up this year, we need some normality for our own physical and mental wellbeing.

It has been suggested by Martin Walsh, the Parish Council Responsible Finance Officer, that this year the PC give a prize for the best decorated shop/business. This idea has been enthusiastically endorsed by the Councillors, so watch this space for the invitation which will be in the December magazine. It possibly could be extended further to houses within the centre of the village too. It would provide a good piece of fun and enjoyment for us all, as what for most of us at this time is a rather uncertain future.

As my Mother-in-law used to say, “we will be brought through!”

Best wishes,

Sonia

___________________________________________________________________

Chairman’s Report –  (published in the October Magazine)

Like many others I have been thinking and saying, “Just where did August go?”.

The past months in so many ways have gone quickly; the experience has been quite surreal and now it seems Autumn is almost upon us.  However, as I write at the beginning of September the weather is really very pleasant, so long may it last!

 Government Grants

During August we received the information from Tendring District Council that we might qualify for the Small Busines Rate Relief.  This was introduced by the Government as one of a number of measures to assist small businesses, organisations and charities who would be affected by Covid 19 because of a loss of ability to generate income.

The Parish Council applied first of all for Cowley Park, as we are the residual trustees, and discovered we were indeed eligible and qualified for Business Rate Relief.  We subsequently received the good news that we would receive £10,000.  The Parish Council also applied for Business Rate Relief and again we qualified so received the same amount.  Both totally unexpected but very welcome.

Vacancy for a Parish Councillor

Elsewhere in the magazine there is an advertisement for a Parish Councillor.  We have a vacancy and would welcome residents applying, who like all of us on the Parish Council, want to help residents and want to make our village a better and pleasanter place in which to live.

If you are interested please do talk to other Councillors, their names and telephone numbers are available on noticeboards outside the Village Hall, Dumont Hall and in Chisbon Heath, opposite the Blue Sari.  Councillor details are also on the council website www.stosyth.gov.uk     We look forward to hearing from you.

Zip Wire at Priory Meadow

We are very pleased to report that the newly installed zip wire is being very well used and enjoyed by the young.  We wait to hear about the Parish Council grant application for a basket swing.  All the equipment is being placed towards the bottom of Priory Meadow, so hopefully is not too much of an intrusion to residents.

Unfortunately, we do have some young members who are mining underneath the metal fence which separates Priory Meadow from the Cricket Bat Plantation!  It has destabilised one of the heavy metal posts which now has to be concreted in again.  We are putting up a notice warning the young that for Health and Safety reasons there is no admittance to the Cricket Bat Plantation.  Let us hope they read and take note!

Street Signs

I wrote in my last Report that a check has been done by Councillors on all our street signs and subsequently agreed with Alan Howard of Tendring District Council.  One sign which gave us pause for thought was Nassau Road, as it is one of the old village street signs with “Parish of St Osyth” written in small red letters at the top.  We have a number in the centre of the village.  I think they are rather special, and no way do we want them replaced.  Nassau Road sign though had been bent and the supporting legs needed replacing.  The sign itself certainly needed quite a lot of TLC if it were to remain.  Alan Howard, Ken our Community Warden and I all looked at it and agreed that it would be a shame to lose it, but the cost of straightening the sign and painting it would be prohibitive.  Ken volunteered to remove the sign and give it the necessary TLC.  Alan then said he would organise a steel frame of the appropriate size to fit the sign.  So, it now all goes forward.  One of our old signs will be restored and fitted into the new frame. A big thank you to Ken, our Community Warden and to Alan Howard of Tendring District Council.

The Planter in the Memorial Garden – the Cemetery

Some residents may remember a number of years ago the Parish Council had a Memorial Wall built in the Memorial Garden in the Cemetery. Relatives and friends can then buy a plaque which is mounted onto a brick in the wall commemorating their loved one.

Earlier this year the Cemetery Committee decided that a wooden planter should be placed in front of the wall for those who wanted to place fresh flowers near to their plaque.  The photograph beneath shows its position.  Should you want to put flowers in a vase in memory, then please do use it.

Point Clear Bay

In my Report last month, I shared with you concerns that the residents have who live in the Bay.

Shortly a letter is to be put on the Parish Council website which will give more information about ways forward.

However, the Parish Council has also been supporting residents who live along Footpath 29 who have had a very difficult time with motor bikes being ridden along this footpath.  We are, with the Footpath Officer for Essex Highways, looking at barriers which enable those who are on mobility scooters or pushing double buggies to pass through, but will impede those on motorbikes.  There is such a barrier, so it is now a question of Essex Highways funding it.  Hopefully, this will be possible.  We will keep you posted.

 Saying Thank you.

At the end of August, Angie retired from working in the Village Hall after many many years of service.  She has long been a stalwart with the Parish Council staff, always ready to help and go that extra mile.  We are enormously grateful to her for the contribution she had made to the smooth running of our office.  She will be much missed, so a big thank-you to her from the Parish Council and the Staff.

Angie, enjoy your well-earned retirement.

Flower Planters

It is sad to report that some of the planters and the hanging baskets are being emptied and taken down earlier than usual this year.  They have been buffeted by the winds and are looking some-what sad.  Hopefully, next summer will be less windy.  Actually, hopefully next summer will be just normal!

Sonia Grantham,

Chairman

September 2020

PREVIOUS REPORTS:

Chairman’s Report – (published in September Magazine)

The Lockdown Magazine

I do hope that you enjoyed the Special Edition Lockdown Magazine.  Many people have commented on how good it was to catch up on many things that had happened during lockdown.  Certainly, it emphasised the kindness shown by many people during this extraordinary time in our lives.

St. Osyth Seal

Many months ago, at an St. Osyth Historical Society meeting the Seal of the Priory at St. Osyth was being discussed.  Cllr. John White informed us that the original is at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, he discovered it during a visit with his daughter.

Since then, I have been in touch with the Collections and Archives Department at Alnwick.  They have informed us that the seal is held within the collection assembled by the 3rd Duke of Northumberland beginning in 1826.  The current owners date the seal from the 8th century, but evidence suggests it could be 12th or even 13th century.

St. Osyth Church purchased an image of the seal and the matrix at the beginning of 2020  Nigel Jeskin, Curator of the St. Osyth Museum has enlarged them and they are now framed and hanging in our Church. They are very interesting.  Do pop in to have a look.

Pavement resurfacing in Manfield Gardens

Many of you will remember that last year the Parish Council joined a scheme led by Essex Highways whereby we were given an amount of money £2913.14 to spend on urgent repairs in our village.  We opted to do pavement repairs in Darcy Road and by adding an additional amount of money, managed to complete these and carry on to Manfield Gardens.  This year we are continuing with much needed pavement repairs in this area.  So hopefully soon it will be much safer to walk along Manfield Gardens pavements.

Priory Meadow

With the gift of £10,000.00 from Hutleys St. Osyth Beach Trust, by the time you receive this magazine the aerial runway will have been installed and used by the young in our Parish – this is really good.  We now have two pieces of equipment on Priory Meadow which should facilitate keeping the children safe who live on the east side of the crossroads.

We have applied for a grant for a basket swing too but will not know whether we have been successful until later in the year.

The Photograph taken in 1954 of the Crossroads

Some readers may remember an article in the August magazine about the crossroads as John Stiff had found a newspaper article referring to how dangerous they were in 1954.

There was a photograph showing the crossroads at that time, as I thought you might be interested to see how the crossroads looked 70 years ago, it is below my Report!

I do promise you the Parish Council is doing everything possible to progress the recommendations made in the Feasibility Study carried out for us in 2019.

Street Signs and Tidying the Cemetery

Councillors have been very busy this month, checking street signs for damage, suggesting replacement and cleaning those that are dirty.  Any signs which were in a poor state were inspected by Tendring District Council, with me in attendance, and then a replacement or painting order is agreed.  The system works well.

There was a work party too of Councillors who spent time cutting brambles, removing dead flowers and generally tidying the cemetery.  Another work party is planned for later in August.

All these things help the village look cared for and managed.

Point Clear Bay

A number of residents who live in Point Clear Bay have expressed their concern about various issues relating to the Bay.

In May 2018, a meeting was initiated by the then manager of the Orchards Holiday Park, inviting residents to meet him and discuss what could be done to improve the whole area of the Bay.  Suggestions made by those present included: –

  • Improving the street lighting
  • Repairing the roads
  • Providing more dog bins
  • Providing additional parking
  • maintenance of the greensward

It was a productive meeting and many of those attending felt that it was ‘new beginnings’.   As a result of the meeting a Steering Group of residents was set up which it was planned would meet with the management of the Orchards.  For reasons which were not entirely clear after an initial meeting, nothing was progressed except the installation of a solar streetlight.

However, the current concerns have been shared with the Manager and Health and Safety Officer of the Orchards and from both, there is a real will to move things forward again.  Money is an issue after this difficult season, but there are things which can be achieved.

Where there is a will, there is a wayand that is what we will work towards.

 Museum Website.

Another thing which happened during and just after lockdown is the launch of the St. Osyth Museum website, it is now up and running.   It really is extremely good, so easy to navigate around and full of interesting information about our village.

Do spare some time to investigate it further, it really is worth a very good look –

https://www.stosythmuseum.co.uk/

Many thanks to Nigel Jeskins for all his hard work in producing it.

Using Cowley Park and Priory Meadow

The Parish Council is delighted that local organisations are using Cowley Park for their activities.  Under Government Guidelines, if they are carried out under the auspices of the Parish Council groups of thirty, including the instructor, can run outdoor classes.  A Risk Assessment has to be provided which has to address the current guidance as to the prevention measures which have to be put in place.

It is good to see Cowley Park being used.  Please contact Neil on 01255 821447 if your organisation would like to use Cowley Park or Priory Meadow.

Sonia Grantham,

Chairman

August 2020.

Chairman’s Report – August 2020 Issue of the Parish Magazine

It is difficult top know how to begin a report covering three of the most traumatic months in our nation’s history. The word unprecedented has been used so much in these three months and as we reflect on our lives during that time, it is almost as though it was different people living through it.

However, it was all of us and really it began with the notification of lockdown and the publishing of the April magazine with the orange cover. This, as you will know was used to inform residents who were vulnerable, of the support which was available to them organised by the Parish Council and the Church. More will be written about this in another article in the magazine. Suffice it to say that during the lockdown there were 705 prescriptions delivered and 894 deliveries of groceries. Many, many thanks got to the volunteers who made it happen.

The Parish Council Continued Working

Although the Parish Council office had to be closed, the staff were working from home and the Councillors were active.

We were probably one of the first Parish Councils to have a conference system in use, this was later changed to Zoom. It is so much easier to have meetings when you can see one another!

We have held three General Meetings of the Parish Council; all the Committees and Working Parties have had meetings and we have used it for small group meetings as was necessary. It is a fantastic piece of technology which has enabled us to progress with all the matters that affect our Parish.

So that this Report does not become like Volume 3 of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, I will try to give a synopsis of things achieved and dealt with during lockdown!

The Play Areas – Cowley, Priory Meadow and Dumont

Both Cowley and Priory Meadow have had to remain open as we cannot actually close them, but notices were posted on each piece of equipment warning adults and children of the risks being taken if it was used.

Tow pieces of equipment have been repaired at Cowley Park, the basket swing and the aerial runway – this has had a new platform and new safety matting.

Hutley’s St. Osyth Beach Trust has given us £10,000 for an aerial runway to be installed at Priory Meadow. We are really very grateful for this extremely generous gift. It is now on order and we are hoping for delivery in August.

Essex County Council Devolution Scheme

It is running again this year. We are spending the £2913.14 allocated to us on improving footways and pavements in St. Osyth and are continuing to repair Manfield Garden pavements.

 Street Signs

Councillors are asked annually to check a list of 5 or 6 street signs allocated to them to see if the need cleaning, repairing or replacing. This is happening rather later than usual, but it is being done. Tendring District Council are the asked to repair or replace as necessary. The Parish Council organise the cleaning!

Resurfacing Colchester Road, The Bury and part of Mill Street

This has finally been achieved, it has taken a lot of reminders! As you will have noticed part of the Bury and Colchester Road has not been resurfaced, as it is hoped that the improvements to the crossroads will become part of next year’s budget we are hoping!

 The Toilets in Church Square

During the lockdown these were given a makeover and there is new sanitary ware in both sets of toilets and they have been repainted. They are also now open so that is all good. See photo on Page 30 of the magazine.

 Filling the Planters ready for the Summer

This was a considerable challenge, as usually in March/April, Councillors Blockley,  Ward and myself are visiting Nurseries to order plants for display during the summer months. As we were only allowed during this period of lockdown essential travel, it meant visiting nurseries was out of the question. So, all the ordering from three different nurseries was done by telephone.

It was an anxious time, as we kept hearing of the shortage of plants plus if we were able to get what we ordered, would we be able to travel and get them and then actually plants them? However, it was all fine, the plants were there, and the restrictions were lifted sufficiently for us to get busy planting.

We were also fortunate that the hanging baskets were sponsored by organisations and residents and they have added to the street scene in Clacton Road, the Village Hall and Dumont Hall.

Last autumn we had planned and built into the budget replacing the little garden underneath the village sign opposite the Priory. We decided to put in ‘up the pole’ baskets and again as these needed some considerable planning, it was fortunate that the poles were able to be made, then dug in and the plinth repaired around the sign when restrictions were being lifted. The baskets look really good and we are so pleased to have them and again they were very generously sponsored.

All in all, the village is a welcoming place now we are coming out of lockdown. It has been a strange time. But hopefully one of the abiding memories will be the acts of kindness from so many people during this period of our lives to help and support others.

On the 14th June I wrote a piece for the Church Pew Sheet called “So many Acts of Kindness in Our Time.”  And to finish my Report I would like to share it with you.

  • At the beginning of Lockdown a resident having read that the Parish Council and the Church were going to deliver groceries and prescriptions, emailed us to say if money was needed to cover expenses, she and her husband were happy to help. What a very kind thought and gesture.
  • Over 30 volunteers have been actively involved in organising and delivering prescriptions to the elderly and vulnerable in the village to date-
  • 779 deliveries of groceries (comprising of 1948 bags/boxes)
  • 645 prescriptions delivered
  • What a total and a commitment by all these people
  • Many of our Church family have been ringing people on a weekly or fortnightly basis just to check that they were coping and whether help is needed. Again, an act of kindness.
  • Others have been putting their skills to very good use by making scrubs for the NHS.
  • Last, but by no means least, are the two friends who have set up, in the phon box opposite the Priory, a free larder of food for those in need. What has been so very kind is not only their generosity but the number of people who have popped along and put additional items of food in the phone box larder.
  • The two friends regularly go and check it, ensure everything is tidy, that items are organised and if necessary, top up for people to take if they need.
  • The kindness shown in organising it and all the people who are giving food, and continue to do so, is really exceptional.

All of us having read these acts of kindness and there are many more, know that in St.Osyth, during this difficult and unprecedented time, the reserves of human kindness have not run dry.

We have much to be thankful for.

 To finish this article, I would like on behalf of all the Councillors to say a warm thank-you to the Parish staff who during this time have all ‘gone the extra mile’. They have been brilliant in rising to every challenge that has been asked of them. We as a Council and as a village owe them a great debt of gratitude.

Thanks too to the Councillors, many of whom have been able to support the initiative by actively helping in the organisation and delivery of groceries and prescriptions.

We are indeed a very fortunate village to have a group of people all of whom are committed to the well-being of its residents.

Sonia Grantham

July 2020

Chairman’s Report –  (APRIL ISSUE OF ST OSYTH NEWS)

WRITTEN BEFORE THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

What a month it was weather wise – from one day to another it was different.  However, although the wind and rain were remarkably trying, it was little compared to those in other parts of the country, and I think we all recognised this.

New Planters

The bed underneath the Village signs on The Bury is being replaced.  We are planning to have self-watering hanging baskets on poles each side of the sign.  Richard and Margaret Vigus have very kindly maintained and planted it for a number of years now and our thanks do go to them.  We think the new arrangement will look really attractive during the summer months.

Christmas Lights – Preparation for December 2020!

We recently had a meeting with Paul Hamilton who runs the Burger Van, Neil Young of The Hoy and Paul Dewing of GCS Alarms to discuss extending the Christmas lights in the conservation area in the Village.  Planning early will ensure that the lights are in place and ready to be switched on, on December 1st.

Our planning has been greatly helped by a gift of £300 from St. Osyth Gun Club.  When giving the Parish Council the gift, they asked that it be used for the benefit of the community.  We had so many positive remarks about the Christmas lights in 2019, that extending them and possibly having a tree too seems a very good way of using their financial gift.   On behalf of the village our thanks to them.

Resurfacing Darcy Road.

One eagle eyed Councillor, Ray French spotted new coloured spray paint along Darcy Road recently.  We all know that the red spray paint marked where the pavement repairs were to be, but purple spray paint?  Our concern was that it could be another utility of even B.T. Broadband planning to dig up the pavement just as it was to be resurfaced or even afterwards!

However, we enquired of Essex Highways and were assured that the new coloured spray paint was identifying where the services were prior to them digging ready for the resurfacing.  As I write I understand resurfacing has been completed.

St. Osyth Cricket Club.

The Parish Council have to very sadly inform you that on the 26th February it was proposed at the Annual General Meeting of the St. Osyth Cricket Club that the Club dissolves itself.

As Mark Shuttleworth, who has with his brother Nick, run the club for many years informed us.

The history of all cricket clubs is one of highs and lows, stops and starts.  “The history of the St. Osyth Cricket Club can be traced back to 1754 although there have undoubtedly been times over that period when cricket was not played.  Cricket did not get going again after the war until 1951 and there was a three-season gap when no cricket was played between 1966 and 1968!”

 It is sad for the village as seeing cricket being played on Cowley Park is one of the summer sights we all enjoy.  But there are no longer sufficient players to make a team.

The Parish Council has yet to make a decision on what to do with the ‘square’ It would be good if visiting teams looking for a field would use it, but possibly the cost of hiring would be prohibitive.  Mark informs us that since 2000 the Club has spent £64,000 on maintaining the square to league standard.

Decisions will have to be made in the near future, as the Parish Council now has all the assets of St. Osyth Cricket Club transferred to them on the 28th February.  We then assume the full responsibility of managing the whole of Cowley Park.

Our grateful thanks to Mark and Nick for the many years of service that they have given to the Club.

Housing Development along St. John’s Road

As many of you know the proposed development on the St. John’s Nursery site of 195 houses and 8 business units along St. John’s Road was refused by the Planning Committee of Tendring District Council, much to the relief of the Parish Council.

Our main concern was that Essex Highways did not raise any objectives to the planning application.  They appeared to completely not take into account that the access and egress to the development is a basic junction and nothing more.  Which means, that the lack of a filter lane into the development could potentially lead to a build up of traffic from the east and of course as we all know considerable inconvenience.

However, of equal concern to the Parish Council is what seems to be the failure of Essex Highways Development Team to consider the impact of multiple developments along St. John’s Road which occur within a short distance of each other.

There are currently five live planning applications within a distance of approximately 806 metres along St. John’s Road.  All of the traffic from these developments could possibly, on a daily basis, mean that upwards of 1500 – 2000 vehicles exiting onto St. Johns Road within 806 metres of each other.

We have now written to Essex Highways stating that it appears to be common practice for them to consider applications in isolation of each other.  We have requested, in the strongest possible terms, that the Development Management Team always consider the context of a new planning application and its proximity to those planning applications already granted.   In the case of St. John’s Road, the impact on the area of the additional vehicles is very likely to adversely affect residents and road users.

Speed Watch.

The Speed Watch Team recently had information that during 2019, the group carried out 22 monitoring sessions.  This resulted in 215 warning letters being sent to offenders and a total of 17 were second time offenders.

Dumont Playground

I wrote about a possible closure of the above due to dog owners blatantly ignoring the now three signs which state at the entrance that “No Dogs” are allowed in the area.

The Parish Council at the meeting in February decided that it should be closed for a period, hopefully to reinforce strongly the message that the Dumont Play Area is a place for young children and their carers only.

With best wishes,

Sonia Grantham

PREVIOUS REPORTS

St. Osyth Parish Council

Chairman’s Report

February 2020     (March Issue of St Osyth News)  

Good News!

The Application for 195 houses and 9 commercial units along St. John’s Road has been refused by the Tendring District Council Planning Committee.  The proposed site is on what was St. John’s Nursery.   The Parish Council held a special Planning Meeting on 28th January so that our views could be put before the Tendring District Council Planning Committee.  We had a number of objections ranging from an over development of the site, to the design being out of character in a rural setting.  But our main concern for the residents of St. Osyth Parish was the fact that there was but one single point of access to and egress from the site onto St. John’s Road; and that this entrance is but 110 metres east from the proposed access to 950 houses on land at Rouses Farm!

The increase in and the impact of traffic from these two developments using St. John’s Road could generate in some 2000 additional vehicles using the B1027 on a daily basis, 52 weeks of a year!  And this was without taking into account the traffic generated from the thousands of visitors in the summer to Clacton on Sea.

Our Vice Chairman Councillor Alma Blockley met the Tendring District Council Planning Committee on the St. John’s Nursery site and explained our concerns to them on the morning of the 12th February during their site visit.   Subsequently I was allowed to address them at their evening meeting at Weeley explaining the Parish Council’s strong opposition to the proposed development.

The Planning Committee’s views were the same as ours, and that of a resident from St. John’s Road who spoke and ultimately decided to recommend refusal of the proposed development.  We all breathed a sigh of relief, but now wait to see whether the developer goes to appeal.

I did smile though when after the Planning Committee had recommended refusal, a resident of St. John’s Road, who attended the meeting, whispered to me.

“I do feel now that the increase in my Council Tax having become part of St. Osyth Parish has been worth it!”   A satisfactory ending to the evening!

The Causeway Railings and other things!

At long last the railings on the Causeway have been completed – our persistence has paid off!

On another note it has been interesting to see the lake without water as it had been drained to allow the water at high tide to flow in.

St. Osyth and Point Clear have not suffered too much from the recent stormy weekends.  We do feel for the Brightlingsea residents though, some of whom have lost their beach huts and also the volunteers who have seen all their hard work in reinstating the Lido ruined by the flooding.  Thanks go to Tom South who runs Absolute Tree Services, who at no cost cleared fallen trees from the footpaths and one in Dumont Avenue which had fallen on two cars!  It was good of Tom and we are grateful to him.

Dumont Playground

The Parish Council is sad to have to report that as from the beginning of March, we are closing Dumont Playground for a period of time.

Despite THREE notices on the gate stating “No Dogs in the Play area” there are a number of owners who persistently take their dogs in and allow them to roam.  This is a play area specifically set aside for young children and the presence of dogs is not acceptable for many obvious reasons.

A notice will be displayed stating that due to improper use there will be a temporary closure.  It is sad when people blatantly ignore a request which is for the benefit of our very young residents.

The Feasibility Study of the Crossroads

Regular readers of my Report will know that the Parish Council commissioned a Feasibility study of the crossroads in 2019.  We wanted all available options to be identified and considered.  The remit we gave to Ben Cook of BMJC Consulting Limited was that we were looking both to make the crossroads safer for pedestrians and to ensure that drivers would have to approach the crossroads with caution.

Ben came back to the Parish Council in December 2019 and the following options in his Feasibility Study were discussed:-

Option 1 – Mini-Roundabout –

Discounted on two grounds.  It would not address our concerns over pedestrian safety.  There was insufficient room on the crossroads.

Option 2 – Traffic Signals –

Discounted on the grounds that four-way traffic signals would result in significant waiting times, of at least 3½ minutes, while traffic negotiated the crossroads.

Option 3 – Squareabout – Discounted:

Discounted on the basis that the asymmetric design of the crossroads would not lend itself to a physical ‘Squareabout’, but Councillors agreed that the concept of having vehicles on all four approaches to the crossroads ‘stop’ prior to negotiating the junction was worth pursuing.

Option 4 – Junction Realignment – to be considered further

This necessitated the footway around the Hoy being moved over in Clacton Road and the central line in Spring Road be repositioned in order that the footway around the Hoy could be widened down to the beginning of the Spar Stores.

The central white line in Spring Road having been repositioned would be equidistant between the two footways.  In order for this to happen the pavement outside Jerry’s the Butchers would be made narrower and 6” high kerbstones would be put in place to discourage people from parking on the narrower pavement and the double yellow lines!

Option 5 – Road Layout Changes – Discounted

This would give priority to vehicles coming from The Bury and Clacton Road, rather than Spring Road and Colchester Road.  It was discounted as it would not address the issue of speed and would do nothing for the safety of pedestrians.

Option 6 – Traffic Calming – for further consideration.

This option entailed raising the whole of the junction area at the centre of the crossroads and would act as a physical deterrent when approaching the crossroads.

There would be ‘STOP’ signs on all junctions to the raised platform which would reduce the speed at which vehicles crossed the junction, while increasing pedestrian safety.

Subsequent to the Councillors discussing the six options, we had a meeting with Ben Cook and David Gollop, Design Manager for Essex Highways.

We all looked at the various options again and had a really good discussion with the two professionals.  Having David present was extremely helpful as in wearing his Essex Highways hat, he was able to guide our thinking and be ‘on side’ in the future.  It was agreed that no one single option would resolve the issues at the crossroads; but it was felt that a combination of several could.   Therefore we are submitting an application to the Local Highways Panel requesting that a formal survey and design for the improvements listed below be made.  This is with a view to a formal design application being submitted later this year and the improvements, if approved, to be completed in 2021, or if necessary phased over two or three years.

So it is hoped that David Gollop will survey the crossroads and then design:-

  • A central raised table and raised platforms at each approach to the crossroads, which should include pedestrian crossing points.
  • Improvements to the footway around the Hoy – to include raised kerbstones outside the butchers.
  • The installation of a give-way sign at each approach to the crossroads.

The Parish Council has spent a significant amount of time considering the various options.  We believe that with the input of knowledge and expertise of the professionals there is a possible plan for the crossroads.

We now wait to see if funding is available for a formal survey and design encompassing the options listed.

With best wishes,

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

February 2020

PREVIOUS REPORTS:

January 2020   (Parish Magazine February Issue)    

A very Happy and Healthy New Year to you all.

The village looked really festive over the Christmas period and the lights on the front of the shops and businesses certainly contributed to the Christmas spirit.  Thanks go to St. Osyth Business Association, the Parish Council and GCS for their hard work in making it possible.

GCS did a superb job in putting up the lights and we are particularly grateful to them.

The Church looked very special with the tower, the fir tree and the Lych Gate all lit.  Our thanks to Robert Simion and Philip Smith who year on year give their time to ensuring that the Church and the Churchyard send out the message of Christmas.

Updates

There is much to report on Highway issues.

First – Footway Repairs   If you remember the Parish Council was involved in the Footways Repairs Initiative run by Essex County Council with the active support of County Councillor Alan Goggin, we did get all the footways repaired in Norman Close and the kerbstones in Johnson Road.  An attempt was made and I use that word advisedly, to repair a section of the footway at the bottom of Mill Street.  It was very poorly done.  A complaint has been made, and we expect Highways to return and do it again.

The good news though is that we were invited again by Essex County Council to put forward additional footway areas for repair.  We were allowed three double decker’s worth!!  What we did was identify all the worn patches in Darcy Road and together with the grant of £2913,14  allocated to the Parish Council by Essex County Council, we have managed to ensure all the very worn areas will be repaired.  It will look rather like a patchwork quilt, but at least the footways will be safe to walk on.

Next we begin on footways in Manfield Gardens.  N.B. Mill Street has not been forgotten, we promise!

Spring Road Footways

Having written at length in both November and December magazines about the repairs being carried out elsewhere in the village, I had a rather indignant response from a resident in Spring Road!

He quite rightly pointed out that their footways had been marked up on a number of occasions and still nothing had been done.  It was a very fair comment so with the writer’s agreement, I passed it onto a Senior Engineer at Essex Highways.  He did apologise for the delay, and pointed out that although it was going to be a difficult site to deliver, he would try to ‘move it along as quickly as resources allow!’  I rather gather the resources are human as well as financial.  I am hopeful that Spring Road footways will be completed this financial year.  I will keep reminding!

The Causeway

I have also gently reminded Essex Highways that an area of the Causeway needs completing as it is missing concrete posts.  They have now sourced these replacement posts; they are on order, so again hopefully that area will be completed too by the end of the financial year.

Beach Road

People driving to the beach will have seen the very worrying sight of the middle of the road opening up near the Holiday Parks.  As it was only resurfaced two years ago, it is a real concern.  Essex Highways have promised to deal with it is a priority.  To date though no progress.

Resurfacing of Colchester Road

This is due to be done at the beginning of the new financial year, but it could be earlier.  The resurfacing of the crossroads has been put on hold at the moment because of future planning re the Feasibility study.   However, we have requested that if possible the resurfacing of the road in front of the Priory goes ahead, as it is in a very poor state.  We wait to hear.

Friendship Bench

Recently I received some newspaper cuttings from a resident about a “Happy to Chat Bench”.  They explained that a Somerset policeman launched the scheme last May in a bid to tackle loneliness among elderly people in the seaside town where he lived.   He tied a sign to a bench saying “Happy to Chat?  Sit here if you don’t mind stopping to say hello”.

It was a way of encouraging people to sit for a natter with someone else and has worked well.  It is certainly gaining interest in the UK as well apparently as in other countries.  The few people I have spoken to feel it is worth exploring further.  It is now an agenda item for both the Church and Parish Council meetings this month.

If you have any thoughts on the scheme, do get in touch 01255 821447.

Point Clear Bay

Many will be aware that in 2018 the residents of eighty properties in the Bay were served with Enforcement Notices from Tendring District Council informing them that because of the flooding risk, they were not allowed to stay in their homes during the winter months of November through to the end of February

Residents of forty four of these properties appealed against this and an Inquiry was held last year.   The decision by the Appeal Inspector came through just before Christmas.

Residents of twenty seven properties who could not prove that they had lived in their homes for ten years, cannot live in them during the winter months after 1st November 2021.  Residents of seventeen properties were successful in proving that they had lived in their homes for over ten years.  However, this did not give them any immunity and they too have to leave their homes during the winter months.  If they do not do so they too will be committing a criminal offence.

The Inquiry cost Tendring District Council (and us the taxpayer) £177,957.09  but there is not any resolution for the residents, who are still left with the uncertainty of enforcement by Tendring District Council. The statement from Tendring District Council stated  ‘we will be taking necessary advice and instruction’ about the Inspector’s decision.

The Feasibility Study for the Crossroads

The Parish Council received it at the beginning of December, on the 7th January, all the Parish Councillors and Essex County Councillor Alan Goggin met with Ben Cook who carried out the Feasibility Study and David Gallop, Design Manager for Essex Highways.

It was both a positive and productive meeting and we discussed all six options in the Study.

Our next step will be for the Parish Council to submit an application to  the Local Highways Panel, requesting  a formal survey and design for the agreed improvements, with a view to the application being submitted in 2020.

The improvements, if approved, to be completed in 2021.

I will write at greater length about the Feasibility Study and the possible options in the next Report.  Suffice it to say there was real progress and hope at the January meeting.

With best wishes,

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

January 2020

 

PREVIOUS REPORTS:

December 2019

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!

Cowley Park

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.

Fly Tipping

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,

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

November 2019

Previous Reports:

October 2019    

 

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.

 

Fly Tipping

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.

  1. 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.

Cowley Park

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,

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

October 2019

PREVIOUS REPORTS:

September 2019

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.

 

Priory Meadow

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.

 

Fitness Equipment

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.

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

September 2019

Previous reports:

August 2019    

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.

New Councillors

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.

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

August 2019

Previous Reports

July 2018

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.

 

Dumont Playground

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.

Sonia Grantham

Chairman

July 2019

 

February 2019

Leave a Reply