Over the last year we have dealt with the usual complaints of speeding traffic, dog fouling, various noise related problems, potholes, flooding, planning issues and much more. Many of these are outside our powers and were passed on to our Borough and County Councillors to whom we owe sincere thanks.
Speeding through the village caused ongoing concern. We organised a successful public meeting chaired by Kevin Bentley (ECC Highways portfolio holder) and attended by Police and Highways officers. Several strategies to improve matters were identified and we await their fuller investigation and implementation by ECC Highways.
Numerous complaints concerning behaviour around the National Trust land at Copt Hall Lane led us to facilitate a public meeting with their local manager. The National Trust is now looking into ways of improving the management of the property.
Our sports ground and playing facilities have been well maintained and wires were added above the Salcott swings to reduce the amount of bird fouling. Unfortunately, dog fouling and vandalism to signs in the Parish have not been completely eradicated.
Colchester Borough Council’s Neighbourhood Wardens (formally Zone Wardens) have been invaluable in arranging speedy clearance of fly tipping in the Parish and we would like to express sincere thanks to all the Litter Warriors who do a splendid job of keeping our villages tidy and litter free. A new dog waste/litter bin was installed at the Lodge Lane junction to assist with both problems. Thanks to Robert Davidson (Borough Councillor) it was paid for with Locality Funding.
Requests to Essex Highways and local landowners were made to cut back vegetation and the Community Workers have worked hard cutting hedges and grass areas in Peldon.
Essex County Council have cleared gullies and pipes around the Salcott crossroads and part of The Street to alleviate the flooding problems; we await sufficient rainfall to test those improvements. The Environment Agency have also cleared several reported fallen trees from the Salcott Creek to improve flow to the sluice.
We are still waiting for Essex County Council to replace the ‘Salcott Sign’ on the Maldon side of the crossroads; this is an ongoing request dating back several years.
Observant parishioners will have noted that some of the village signs have been repainted as part of on-going maintenance. Those not repainted have not been forgotten and will be refreshed at a later date.
Many years ago, the Parish Council bought the old BT phone box in Salcott. A recent survey of residents resulted in a clear majority favouring relocating it to the playing field and converting it to a free book exchange and information hub. This will be implemented as soon as is feasible.
Although we have no planning powers, we reviewed all the planning applications in the Parish and passed comments to Colchester Borough Council, using our local knowledge to give valuable insight. We also informed them of planning infringements, noise/industrial nuisance, and illegal waste transfer. We thank the Council officers for their vigilance.
David Taylor resigned owing to pressure of work and we thank him for his contribution to the Council. The vacancy will be filled in due course.
In January the Parish Council found itself in the unusual position of proposing a Vote of No Confidence in the Chairman. The motion was carried unanimously except one (the chairman himself). This was not something the Council undertook lightly and it should be noted that such an outcome does not legally require the Chairman to stand down.
It will come as no surprise that the Parish Council has been unable to meet in person for the last two months. Instead we have carried on our duties via email. Although we do not know what 2020/21 will bring, we will find the best way to continue serving our community.