During this year we have continued with the legal requirement to hold meetings in public, although the Covid effect has persisted in that we have had rather more councillor absences due to poor health than usual. We cancelled our September meeting due to the death of Queen Elizabeth.
We regret that we rarely see members of the public at meetings. Their increased attendance was a welcome benefit of online meetings. As a reminder we meet at three venues, in rotation – the Peldon and Wigboroughs Community Hall, the Salcott Village Hall and in the nave of St Stephen’s church in Great Wigborough.
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.
As statutory consultees, we reviewed all the planning applications in the Parish and used our local knowledge to pass comments to Colchester Borough/City Council.
It was a difficult decision again this year to determine the level of funding to request from Colchester City Council. Our funding affects the level of Council Tax, albeit in a small way compared with other organisations and services. After much deliberation we decided on a 10% increase for the coming year. We were acutely conscious of the increase in the cost of living and yet also aware that we need sufficient funds to carry out our responsibilities. 10% is for us a relatively large increase but is set against our past record of tight budgetary control which has enabled us in many years to request no increase.
In June we welcomed Roger Pittock as a co-opted councillor to fill the vacant Salcott post.
The new children’s playground equipment at Peldon was formally opened by the retired Colchester Mayor, Robert Davidson. Adult fitness equipment has been installed in the playing fields in Peldon and in Salcott along with new benches, and new signage has been erected at Moss Hay. Routine maintenance of playgrounds and playing fields has continued despite sometimes adverse weather conditions this year.
The bus shelters in Little and Great Wigborough and Salcott have been refurbished and the Little Wigborough village sign is scheduled to be repainted. New notice boards have been supplied in Great and Little Wigborough.
To commemorate the late Queen’s Jubilee a tree was planted in each of Peldon, the Wigboroughs and Salcott.
To celebrate the King’s Coronation the Parish Council made contributions to the Peldon and Wigboroughs Community Hall and St Stephen’s church in Great Wigborough to help fund the celebrations being organised in those places. Salcott Village Hall declined the offer.
Attempting to resolve speeding issues through our villages has continued as a frustrating priority issue. Following the public meeting held in July 2019, in mid-2022 we finally received from Essex Highways a Feasibility Report of proposed traffic management improvements between Peldon and Salcott. The report was dated June 2021. We responded with some challenges to the report and with requests for some changes. We received no reply until an online meeting to discuss the issues was arranged for April 2023. Sadly, this did not take place due to a local broadband failure. We are currently pressing to re-instate the meeting.
The Parish Council’s website needs some technical updating and we are taking this opportunity to upgrade its content and user-friendliness.
After some 10+ years the Parish Council has asked the Rural Community Council of Essex to conduct another independent survey into the need for affordable housing in our Parish.
No Parish Council can function without help and advice from many ancillary sources. Once again we owe a debt of gratitude to