It goes without saying that 2020/21 has been a year like no other. When face to face meetings were no longer possible, there was a gap before we were able to meet online. Decisions at that time were made via email and our reports from then reflect the conclusion of those discussions.
From May 2020 all our meetings were held via Zoom and it was interesting to see that members of the public were more likely to attend; the convenience of joining in from the comfort of one’s own home should not be under-estimated, especially on a cold winter’s night.
Our email service has proved invaluable over the past twelve months – thanks to Jinny for running it and we are increasingly using our Facebook page to communicate. Find us at https://www.facebook.com/winstred100parishcouncil.
You can even leave a message there, but we ask you to be mindful that we don’t monitor it 24/7 and so you may not get an immediate response.
For those of you not on Facebook, all councillor details are on our website https://winstred100.org/parish-council/ In many cases, the best person to speak to is our Clerk.
As statutory consultees, we reviewed all the planning applications in the Parish and passed comments to Colchester Borough Council, using our local knowledge to give valuable insight. A benefit of meeting via Zoom was that we were able to utilise screensharing when looking at plans and other resources to aid us in our debating (not all the meeting locations we usually use have an internet connection to allow us to check things)
Members of the public often bring matters such as planning infringements, noise/industrial nuisance to our attention and while we have no powers to deal with them ourselves, we are happy to raise and pursue them to the appropriate departments. We thank the Council officers for their assistance.
Regular inspections of the playgrounds identified that equipment in the Peldon one has reached the point where further repairs are no longer economical. It is currently 24 years old and was expected to have a life span of 17 – 20 years, so we have done extremely well for it to last so long.
We have consulted with local users and looked at other playgrounds before settling on our final design and supplier. We are now embarking on the task of raising the required funding and the Parish Council would like to thank our Clerk for identifying so many sources.
In what has been one of the wettest winters for many years, Salcott suffered with issues of water being where it shouldn’t. Various Parish Councillors played a part in clearing blockages and our County Councillor organised a proper clearance of the drains. More recently the ditches have been dug out; the Parish Council has been pursuing this for years. It is hoped that, combined with a jetting through of the pipes, this will resolve matters permanently.
Salcott is now also the proud owner of a new dropped kerb/bus stop which has made buses more accessible to wheelchair and pushchair users.
We welcomed Catherine Sprott as the new councillor for Virley and while she has yet to attend a face-to-face meeting, she has thrown herself into the role and is already a great asset to the Council.