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Annual Report 2021-22

Parish Council Report for year 2021 -2022

We began 2021 as we ended 2020 holding our meetings online. When it was no longer permissible to have our meetings online we returned to our regular venues and a near-normal schedule of meetings, missing only one when we felt the Covid rates were too high for it to be safe. We noted that members of the public who had been keen to join us online did not come to the face-to-face meetings. As we said last year, 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 and Facebook page continue to help us disseminate information. 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.

Details on joining the email service are also on this page.

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.

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 with the appropriate departments. In the past twelve months there have been several enforcement issues which we have been very vocal about although we do not always get the outcome we would hope for.

It was a tricky decision this year to determine the level of funding to request from Colchester Borough Council. Our funding affects the level of Council Tax, albeit in a small way. We were conscious of the increase in the cost of living and yet also that we need sufficient funds to carry out our responsibilities. After much deliberation we decided on a 5% increase for the coming year. We were able to set such a figure due to our continued prudent budgetary management.

Highlights from the year

Last year we reported we were embarking on the task of raising the required funding to install a new playground in the Peldon playing field. Thanks to the efforts of Sue (Clerk) and Clare (Chair) we were able to secure funding from the following:

  • £30,000 – National Lottery
  • £20,000 – Enovert Community Trust
  • £11,210.98 from Colchester Borough Council S106,
  • £2,000 Kevin Bentley, County Councillor Allocation,
  • £500 from Robert Davidson, Borough Councillor Allocation

The Parish Council contributed £2,145.37 for total expenditure of £65,856.35.

Due to Covid and the weather, the installation of the equipment was delayed a little, but we think it was worth the wait. It’s been lovely to hear how much the children are enjoying it.

Following the success of this project and responding to the requests of residents we have now embarked on raising money to install outdoor gym equipment for older children and adults to be installed at Salcott and Peldon.

The Salcott playground received a refreshing coat of paint and a replacement climbing net.

The old telephone box in Salcott has now been relocated, repainted and repurposed as a book exchange. Again, Covid and the weather hampered progress with this, but we hope it will be an asset for the community.

We have proof that persistence pays off as missing/damaged signs around the Parish were restored. We are aware of some more now needing repair and hope it doesn’t take so long to repair these.

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Parish Council bought commemorative mugs to give to all the children/young people in the parish.

Low Points from Year

  • Dog fouling continues to be an issue despite signage and special bins.
  • Speeding. This is an ongoing concern of residents and we continue to press for action.

We said farewell to two councillors who stood down / did not stand for re-election.

Wendy Ritherdon had been a Salcott councillor for four years and served as Vice-Chair for a year. She did a sterling job of keeping an eye on the Salcott playground and was a driving force in the Book Box Project. We will miss her energy and willingness to get involved in anything that needed doing.

Robert Kean had been a Peldon councillor for just under six years and served as Chair for a year. He brought a wide range of knowledge to the council both while a councillor and prior to joining as a member of the public at meetings. We wish him well as he focusses his energies at The North Colchester Men’s Shed, which opened its doors in 2021.

Thanks to the following for their help and advice over the past year

  • Borough Councillors
  • County Councillors
  • Neighbourhood Wardens
  • Litter Warriors
  • Rob Pullen for all sorts of odd jobs
  • Vicky Scott for keeping an eye on the Peldon playground.
  • Steve Copeland for very kindly carrying out our internal audit at no cost
  • And last, but by no means least, our clerk Sue Pullen for keeping us on track no matter what has been asked of her.
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