Parish Pump


The Parish Pump - October 2018

The last Parish Council meeting was held on 11th October and was attended by 7 parish councillors, our Essex county councillor and 3 Brentwood Borough councillors.

Our ECC member informed us that some money had been made available for roadworks and there is a new initiative to increase the number of potholes repaired throughout the area.

There is also a pilot scheme being introduced to trial the devolution of some types of highways repairs to the local parish councils. The scheme will be funded by ECC Highways and approved contractors must be used. This scheme is not compulsory and whether we should opt into this scheme will be discussed at the next meeting.

Another concern across the county is the future of our libraries as their usage has dropped, presumably due to the increased use of the internet, especially perhaps when researching something. So much information is available it is easy to see why many would opt for that route. It costs a great deal to maintain the buildings but they would nevertheless be a great loss to any community and there is some discussion going on generally as to whether they can be regarded as community assets and funding found to continue to support them and this will also be on the agenda for the next meeting.

Brentwood Borough Council has received funding to supply and install more CCTV cameras to catch fly-tippers and now have enforcement officers travelling throughout the areas. This is a blight across the county and costs the local tax payer a of lot money to clear up. This goes for the litter distributed throughout the village every week which continues to be cleared and paid for by your parish council. Bags of rubbish are collected and disposed of every single week and some of the rubbish removed from the pond was, to say the least, unexpected, such as a military issue computer!

Each year the parish council's accounts must be assessed and audited. These were duly submitted and have now been signed off. A copy of the accounts is available if anyone wishes to read them.

The invitations for the Seniors Christmas Party to be held on Sunday 9th December have now been delivered and the Clerk would appreciate your replied by 23rd November if at all possible. There is also a note included about the new Data Protection Act and we would be grateful if you could sign this. It allows us to keep your name and address so that we can continue to send you an invite each year. This information is not given to anyone else.

We have been looking into providing some more friendly play equipment, including disabled children. Two of our councillors produced a report which was discussed and it was agreed that we would look at funding for a spring and a nest swing. There is a possibility of other equipment but the issue is one of available space under legislation guidelines so we will continue to look at the feasibility of providing more such equipment.

All of the local parish councils have received complaints about the appointment system at Dealtree Health Centre. A meeting was held with some staff, the patients' group, the chairman of our parish council and Roger McCheyne (one of our BBC councillors). Dr Wrixon gave a presentation of a new system and there is an article later in this edition with more details. In an attempt to avoid queues outside the surgery the new system provides for patients telephoning or calling to make an urgent appointment and a doctor will then call them back to assess the patient's requirement of an urgent appointment. It also stated that you may be asked to give information to one of the receptionists. Whilst this is intended as a positive step, there have already been comments of concerns and a few which are not favourable. Hopefully, this will improve things but do please let us know if you have any reservations and keep us updated as we hope to continue to liaise with the surgery and the patients' group. We would point out that there is no obligation to give any information to anyone other than a doctor or nurse and this should not affect you being assessed by a doctor.

Other information discussed was that we have two new seats to be installed, one by Swan Pond to replace the one that was vandalised and one for the Village Hall Field outside the play area. This one will be a memorial to Freddie Cox who passed away recently and who had been groundsman there for as long as anyone can remember.

Repairs will be carried out shortly in Eagle Field and a new barrier to stop trespassers will also be installed.

The flashing lights at the school are working but unfortunately we have still not been able to have them raised in order that they can be seen over a small van. Also it does not look very likely that the pavements in School Road will be repaired any time soon but we will keep pushing.

The last drop in surgery on 15th September was attended by members of the public and the next one will be held on 8th December in the Committee Room.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on 8th November at 8pm in the Committee Room of the Village Hall.

Cllr. Jan Wright