Chairman’s Report

The Annual Parish Assembly was held on 6 April 2021. The Chair of the Council gave his report on the Council’s activities during the last year and can be read here:

Solitary Soldier

The Solitary Soldier silhouette has now been placed permanently on the traffic island at Mill Lane. The village gardening club is now looking to enhance the silhouette with some suitable planting.

Playing Field and Village Green

GRANT APPLICATION FOR NEW EQUIPMENT – The Parish Council’s application for grant funding for a new set of cradle swings and adult fitness equipment has moved to the second stage. Some quotes have been received for replacement of the cradle swings and expenditure for this new equipment was agreed.

PLAY AREA – Repair work, flagged up by a recent ROSPA inspection report has been completed. Some rubbing down and repainting of equipment still needs to be undertaken and quotes will be sought for this work.

DRONES – The Council has adopted a policy preventing use of drones on the playing field. There is concern around public safety issues and also possible breach of privacy for residents in adjacent properties. The policy can be found here

CAR PARK – Work has taken place to improve the surface of the car park.

VILLAGE GREEN – The Millennium bench has has been repaired and treated with preservative.

Speeding in the Village

The Trucam Patrols operated by Maldon District Council which aim to catch people speeding through the village are ongoing.

It is hoped that Community Speedwatch sessions will commence again soon now that lockdown restrictions have been eased.

The Parish Council is investigating the use of a portable Speed Indicator Device for the village. The first stage is for a speed test to be undertaken.

Highways and Footpaths

WALKABLE VERGE TO VILLAGE HALL – A request has been made to the Local Highways Panel for a walkable verge from the playing field car park to St Nicholas Hall. This has now been validated and will be included on the list of schemes awaiting funding.

PARKING IN BECKINGHAM STREET – A formal application for parking restrictions along Beckingham Street by the Business Park was submitted to the South Essex Parking Partnership (SEPP) in September 2019. The decision on the application was received on 13 July 2020 and , unfortunately, the request for parking restrictions was declined. At the meeting held on 21 July 2020, the Parish Council expressed disappointment at the decision and asked for a letter to be sent to the SEPP saying this. As part of their decision the SEPP stated that they would monitor any impact from the recent planning application for Beckingham Business Park (application 20/00493 – see planning page)

PARKING AT THE VILLAGE HALL – Anyone using the Village Hall is reminded that they can park at The Bell Pub to prevent cars having to park along the road.

DAMAGED ROAD SIGNS – A number of damaged road signs have been reported to Essex Highways. However, we have been told that these are not considered a priority for repair.

APPLICATION FOR VEHICLE LICENCE AT WICKS FARM – Stigs Grab Services Ltd have applied for a Goods Vehicle Operator’s Licence to operate 6 grab lorries from Wicks Farm. Local residents and the Parish Council are concerned about the impact of this on the rural area, the unsuitability of the road network and the increased noise and vibrations. A decision has not yet been made on the granting of an Operator’s Licence

The Parish Council has received a number of complaints from residents about the activities of Stigs as it appears that they are operating a waste transfer site at Wicks Farm which involves the crushing of concrete. Essex County Council has issued a temporary stop notice on Stigs’ activities at this site and the site was to be cleared by 7 April 2021. A follow-up visit by Essex County Council and Maldon District Council will take place.

A pre-application advice request from Stigs has been received by Essex County Council for the erection of a waste crushing plane at Wicks Farm. Several residents joined the meeting of the Parish Council held on 6 April 20102. A letter strongly objecting to to this proposal has been sent to Essex County Council.

FOOTPATH REPAIRS – Two bridges have been repaired on Footpath 14 and the right of way from Witham Road to Bakers Lane. At the December meeting it was agreed that a number of damaged footpath signs and rights of way which have not been reinstated after cultivation will be reported to Essex County Council. It is noted that there is a sign advising of dogs running loose on the footpath at New Farm Beckingham Street. A walker using this path was attacked by dogs and the matter is now with the Police and Essex County Council footpath enforcement.

LITTER – It was reported that ditches in Church Road are full of empty drink cans. An attempt will be made to find out who is responsible for dumping this litter.

The Parish Council is extremely grateful to the ladies who have been litter picking in and around the village. Bags, fluorescent jackets and litter pickers will be obtained for them to use and members of the Parish Council will assist with marshalling on the busier roads.

The Parish Council discussed supporting an annual litter picking weekend which could take place once restrictions are lifted.

Proposed Second Bradwell Nuclear Power Station

You will recently have received information about the proposed second Bradwell Power Station and the consultation process being undertaken. The application for preliminary works was refused by Maldon District Council and is now at appeal.