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village hall

PC Minutes 10th February 2015


Peldon   Great Wigborough   Little Wigborough   Salcott   Virley

Draft minutes of the meeting of Winstred Hundred Parish Council held at Salcott Village Hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday 10th February 2015

Present: John Walker, Phil Gladwin, Lynne Simmons, Jinny Gale, Bob Holmes, Nicky Ellis, Netty Knill-Jones, Rob Surface, Kevin Bentley and 7 members of the public

Apologies for absence: Andrew Ellis, Robert Davidson

Minutes of the last meeting were agreed by all and signed by the chairman

Zone Wardens Report – no report sent but we know they are happy to organise litter picking sessions with local communities if requested.

Borough and County Councillors: ECC is not increasing their portion of the council tax,  CBC is meeting soon to make a decision for their part but it is expected to be frozen also, although the Police are making a small increase. ECC spend a large percentage of their funds on services, followed by road design and flood defences.  There will be more children of school attendance age in 2017 therefore preparation is now taking place to meet that need.

Our local highways matters, missing signs, loose manhole cover etc. are being chased up.

Public-Have Your Say: Concern was expressed about some trees being cut down in Peldon which will be looked into.

There has been some aggressive doorstep selling and the Parish Council would urge people to report any concerns they have with regard to this to the Police on 101.

It was noted that during a time when the road was flooded in Salcott the creek was at a low level suggesting that a culvert was blocked which will be investigated.

Tree work on the Peldon Village Hall site will be taking place in readiness for building the new hall as CBC planning stipulate.

Declarations of Interest: None

1.   Police Messaging, Posters and Emails: Various advisory bodies will be contacted to ask their opinion on and how other parish councils deal with the huge amount of information we receive via email requesting it to be passed on to the general public including printing and displaying posters on their behalf.

2.   Quotations: Our Standing Orders with regard to dealing with quotations for work we require will be followed more rigorously in the future.

3.   Request for bin at Salcott crossroads was discussed but it was agreed that as bins and the emptying of are expensive and also sometimes a bin can cause more loose rubbish around that the parish council could not justify this expenditure. Being community minded some of us pick up local areas of rubbish on a regular basis.

4.   Playgrounds and Playing Fields: The rubber clippings at Peldon are now in place and hedge and ditch work will follow soon.  Rob will take over from Charles to oversee the fields and playgrounds maintenance reports and subsequent work. We thanked Charles for the good work he had done for the Parish Council particularly with the fields and playgrounds and engaging with the Community Team very positively who have been carrying out various work for us at Peldon.

5.   Abberton Reservoir Rights of Way drop-in event at Peldon Village Hall was well attended with many questionnaires having been completed. The next footpath meeting in March will be looking at these for considering any possibilities of providing the public with some of their requests.

6.   Broadband: We have received reports from some of the people who have benefited from this scheme who are delighted with their new broadband speed.

7.   Actions and Reminders List – updated and to include that we are advised by CBC that empty sand bags can be obtained from Kent Blaxills and the parish council holds a limited amount of sand for filling.

Planning Applications

150092 Proposal: Listed building application for installation of 3KW solar photo voltaic system 2 rows of 6 panels located on inner west and inner east facing pitches of an M roof at Malting Cottage, Malting, Peldon

150112 Proposal: Demolition of existing ground floor extension. Erection of two storey rear extension and first floor side extension at 6 Peldon Crescent, Mersea Road, Peldon


101817 R S Pullen – February salary, plus back dated sums£405.35
101818 Essex Wildlife Trust – meeting room hire£96.00
101819 Webhosting UK COM Ltd. – domain renewal£38.97
101820 T Simmons – play insp£30.00

The next meeting will be on Tues 10th March 2015 at 7.30pm at Abbotts Hall Farm, Great Wigborough


Panto 2015

snowqueenThe Snow Queen Arrives Soon

The Peldon Players proudly present The Snow Queen by Tina & Robert Burbidge between 21st & 24th January at Peldon Village Hall.  This promises to be a real treat for all ages, being based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of ‘The Snow Queen’ it is delivered as an English pantomime – with jokes, songs, and the occasional accident with a large pie.

Tickets are available from Melanie Newton for £6 Wednesday & Thursday (7:30pm curtain) and £7 Friday & Saturday (7:30pm curtain, 2pm matinee on Saturday) – concessions £4 and £5 respectively.  Melanie can be contacted by:


Wigs Village Hall Management Committee – Nov 2014


At the WVHMC AGM on 6th November 2014 Sam Norton, Phil Gladwin and Jinny Gale were confirmed in office as Appointed Trustees and Marion Houlding, Mel Newton, Mark Waterfield and Carol Wyatt were confirmed as Elected Trustees following a ballot.  The committee would like to thank John Hutchinson for his excellent service since the committee was re-established in 2011.


Wigboroughs Village Hall Consultation Results – April 2014


Thank you again to everyone who completed and returned the recent questionnaire.  Its object was to help us focus our efforts on the projects which people most supported.  Projects will only remain on our agenda if they prove to be viable and financially sound and meet the objectives of the Charity’s governing document. For purposes of clarification I quote these in full.  The original donation of the Old Village Hall said that it was to be used for

.. physical and mental training and recreation and social moral and intellectual development through the medium of reading and recreation rooms library lectures classes recreations and entertainments or otherwise as may be found expedient for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Parishes of Great and Little Wigborough in the County of Essex and its immediate vicinity”.  If the premises were sold the proceeds were to be “applied either in the purchase of other premises approved by the Committee and to be held upon the trust for the purposes and subject to the provisions hereintobefore set forth or as near thereto as circumstances will permit or towards such other charitable purposes or objects for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Parishes of Great and Little Wigborough as may be approved by [the Charity Commisssion].

Based on declared first choices there were 35.5 supporters for the Church Nave project, 33 for Peldon Village Hall, 20 for the Donated Land and 9.5 for the Investment project.  Halves arise from indicating support for two projects equally.   The full list of responses, minus personal details but including the many interesting comments made, will be available for study at the 2014 Annual General Meeting.

Given the results the Committee decided unanimously to undertake further work on the Church Nave  and Peldon Village Hall projects and to do no further work on the Donated Land and Investment projects.

It is apparent that there are some misunderstandings circulating around the villages and I should like to set the record straight on these.

The questionnaire is a guide for the next stage of our work and not a mandate to implement anything.  We cannot proceed with any investment activity without the approval of both the community and the Charity Commission.  The process will be that the Committee will make recommendations to the community, which will be asked to vote on them and so define a way forward.  If the community supports the recommendations they will then be referred to the Charity Commission asking for them to approve our plans.

The Committee regrets that some residents did not understand the questionnaire or its significance.  In total 102 people did.  Full details of all the Committee members were provided so that help was available.  Some people took advantage of that.

As set out above the proceeds from the sale of the School Lane site have to be used to provide benefits for the Wigboroughs residents as near as possible to those envisaged by the original purchasers of the School Lane site.  We use the convenient shorter description of ‘community facilities’ to encompass these.   Colchester Borough Council has also made it clear that planning permission to develop the School Lane site will depend on the sale money realised being re-invested in community facilities.

Any suggestion that support for the Peldon Village Hall project involves handing money over to Peldon and then walking away from it is incorrect.  If eventually a decision is made by the community, through the voting process, to invest money in the Peldon Village Hall redevelopment project it will be done in a strictly legal manner with merging of the two Village Hall Committees and the shared development and ownership of a Peldon and Wigboroughs Village Hall.  This approach has the approval of the Peldon Village Management Committee.  With this project money would therefore be invested in the tangible assets of a building and land just as it was originally in School Lane.  If years down the track such a new shared hall became derelict or unused there would be legacy money to be recovered by selling that site in a repeat of the School Lane history.

Jinny Gale

Chairman WVHMC


Car Park Closure May 2014

The Wigboroughs Village Hall Management Committee

The old Village Hall in School Lane, Great Wigborough and the site on which it stands are the property of the villages of Great and Little Wigborough and public access is not automatic.

To affirm this, at least once a year, for a period of at least one week, the car park will be closed.

This is advance notice that the next period of closure will be from 25th May to 1st June 2014.  No access or egress will be possible during that period.

Jinny Gale



Progress with the Wigboroughs’ Village Hall

Thank you to everyone who returned the recent questionnaire. We distributed 200 and received 100 completed ones in return. This may be a record! There was a clear mandate for progressing two projects – the Church Nave and Peldon Village Hall and these two received almost equal support.

The committee will now start the detailed work for both of these projects to see how/whether either or both of them can be carried forward in a financially sound manner, how they can best provide appropriate benefits for the Wigboroughs and also give adequate protection for the Wigboroughs legacy going forward.

The other two projects, Donated Land and Investment will now be dropped. Our thanks go to Carol and Colin Wyatt for their generous offer of land donation.

The full record of the returns, omitting personal details, will be on display at the Annual General Meeting in June.

Jinny Gale
Chairman WVHMC


Chairman’s report February 2014

Chairman’s Report – February 2014

The Wigboroughs Village Hall Management Committee

At the Annual General Meeting in 2012 the community agreed in principle that the site of the old Village Hall in School Lane should be sold.  The Committee is in the process of registering the land and has lodged an outline planning application for two three-bedroomed houses on the site.

The residents of the Wigboroughs and the Charity Commission both have to give final approval before the sale can take place.

The outline planning application can be seen on the Colchester Borough Council website  The application number is 132631.

It should be noted that a new owner of the land may seek to vary any approved outline planning application and that the Management Committee will then have no control over any changes which CBC may agree.

Jinny Gale

13th February 2014


Chairman’s report September 2013

Chairmans’s Report – September 2013

The Wigboroughs Village Hall Management Committee

How good it was to see so many residents at the AGM in June.

Since then the Committee has met three times.  All Officers were willing to continue in their previous roles so once again we have Melanie Newton as Secretary, John Hutchinson as Treasurer and I continue as Chairman.

We have continued exploring, inasmuch as we can, the potential projects we described at the AGM – the possible use of St Stephen’s Church, the search for green space in the village and the possibility of investing in Peldon’s planned new village hall.

We have discussed and rejected the possibility of using St Nicholas’ Church in Little Wigborough as a community meeting place.  This was suggested at the AGM but we felt that the site was too remote, the access along Copt Hall Lane too dangerous, the approach through Copt Hall’s land inappropriate and the likely ongoing maintenance costs excessive.

Our current focus is very much on preparing for the sale of the land in School Lane.  With professional assistance we are in the process of registering the land.  This has to be done in the name of The Official Custodian, a section of the Charity Commission, which holds the title papers for the site, having been entrusted with them in 1954.

Preliminary discussions have begun with the Planning Department at Colchester Borough Council about our proposed outline planning application.  As a result of feedback at this early stage we shall probably ask for two detached houses on the site.  But there is a way to go before we are in a position to firm up on the application and then share the thinking with residents before proceeding to apply to the Charity Commission for permission to sell the site.

At the AGM we were given a mandate to develop a method of postal voting so that residents unable to attend annual meetings may still vote on the issues raised there.  We are currently working out the details of a process which we hope will be acceptable to the Charity Commission so that we can use it at next year’s AGM.

As a Committee we want to explore more deeply how community life and aspirations for family recreational activities have changed since the old hall was last in use.  We shall be seeking to improve our understanding via a questionnaire and possibly focus groups.  We are mindful that any investment we make must satisfy all the legal constraints laid upon us, be financially sustainable and also deliver appropriate benefits for all the residents of the Wigboroughs.  We do not want to squander the legacy left to us by earlier generations by inappropriate investment.

We have now established a list of e-mail addresses to keep in closer contact with Wigboroughs residents and others who have an interest in our activities.  Please contact me ([email protected]) if you wish to be added to the list.  We also publish information on the Parish Council’s website and this can be found under the Community Section of the Main Menu.

Jinny Gale

Chairman WVHMC


Annual General Meeting – 6th June 2013




At the 2012 Annual General Meeting a resolution was passed which approved in principle the sale of the Village Hall and site in School Lane and gave the Committee the mandate to progress this sale in the most economical and effective way possible so as to maximise the long term value of the assets owned by the Charity.

The Committee has met ten times since the 2012 AGM and has concentrated on preparing to sell the site as well as furthering the investigations of a number of potential investment projects.

Selling the site

Given the remit of maximising the assets represented by the site we have agreed that the site should be sold for development with outline planning permission.  We are conscious of our duty to the Wigboroughs community to do all that we can to ensure that any development on the site is acceptable and appropriate.  We have therefore decided to apply for outline planning permission for ideally three small houses rather than a single large one.  For many years it has been apparent that the Wigboroughs lack small housing stock which makes it difficult for young people and young families to take up residence here and thus maintain a vibrant community.

A & P Designs has been engaged to take us through the process of preparing for and eventually obtaining outline planning permission.  The Committee thinks that the eventual sale will be eased if the land is registered with the Land Registry beforehand.  To achieve this the site has been cleared and a necessary survey carried out.

While there are historic documents, or at least copies of historic documents, proving our title to the site these are held on our behalf by the Charity Commission so the registration process may not be as straightforward as it might be for a more conventional site and we have identified a Licensed Conveyancer to handle the process on our behalf.

Our main focus has been on preparing to sell the site because until that is achieved we can make no active progress with the other projects.

Once we are ready to sell the site we shall arrange to show the plans to residents, confirm the agreement to sell and then seek the approval of the Charity Commission to do so.  The Charity Commission will control the resulting funds on our behalf until we are ready to re-invest in approved project(s).

Investment projects

We have further explored three potential projects in which the proceeds of the sale might eventually be invested.  Two of these came from the 2011 questionnaire sent to all residents and the third arose from a suggestion at the 2012 AGM.

Plans for each project need to be more fully developed to establish whether the project can be achieved in a practical sense, afforded as to set up costs and ongoing maintenance costs and fits the objectives of the Charity.  Any project surviving these tests must then be approved by residents and the Charity Commission before it could be implemented.

Investment could be made in a single project or in more than one and at this stage we do not rule out the introduction of other potential projects as yet undefined.

The creation of a virtual Village Hall

This project envisages providing access to a physical site or building owned by another party for general community or specialist group events.  It would be necessary to enact a proper legal agreement to protect the Charity’s investment and legacy.  There are two possible such sites in the Wigboroughs – the nave of St Stephen’s Church and the event rooms at Abbotts Hall Farm.  We have noted the latter but progressed no further with that possibility to date.

St Stephen’s nave is already used for a number of events but the Parochial Church Council in conjunction with The Friends of the Wigboroughs is seeking to improve the venue to make it more suitable and more attractive for a wider range of activities.  One member of the Committee has visited Wicken Bonhunt Church near Saffron Walden which has implemented such a scheme and been impressed with what can be achieved.  While in no way committing to future investment in this initiative the Committee has expressed support for grant applications being made to this end as we feel that regardless of the Charity’s interest a successful outcome would result in benefits to the community.

It should be noted that both of the venues, at St Stephen’s and Abbotts Hall Farm, are already available for community groups or individuals to use under normal booking and payment arrangements regardless of possible future interest and investment from the Village Hall Charity.

The purchase of land for a Village Green

We have approached a number of people who own land in the Wigboroughs asking if they would consider selling a few acres to enable the Charity to set up a Village Green with facilities for a range of sporting and recreational activities for young people.  Potential sellers have been given a promise of confidentiality at this stage of discussions.

Peldon Village Hall development

We have checked with the Charity Commission that should we wish to become formally involved with the development of the new Village Hall in Peldon we would be permitted to do so.  The Charity Commission was positive about such a proposal provided that the Wigboroughs legacy was protected by legal agreements related to the two Charities involved.  This would probably involve merging the charities in a way which would give The Wigboroughs an appropriate measure of representation and control.   Other than establishing the Charity Commission’s view on the matter we have taken no further action with regard to this potential project.


A regular subject of discussion since the re-establishment of the Committee has been the level and quality of communications with the community.  We considered holding open meetings and publishing Minutes but the Charity Commission does not recommend this and because there are various sensitive and confidential matters being discussed we decided that it would not be helpful to do so.  Instead we committed to publishing regular reports in the Parish Newsletter and publishing them on the Parish Council website.

At the AGM we propose to ask the community to pass a resolution enabling us to change our Governing Document so that we can support postal voting to allow people unable to attend an AGM to participate in votes taken there.

We intend also to capture e-mail addresses of attendees at the AGM to support more direct interaction.

Christine ‘Jinny’ Gale
Chairman WVHMC
June 2013

Minutes of the AGM


The Wigboroughs Village Hall Management Committee

June 2013 @ 19.30

Essex Wildlife Trust HQ at Abbotts Hall

Maldon Rd, Great Wigborough

1.   Present at the Meeting: 6 Members of WVHMC, Jinny Gale (JG), Carol Wyatt (CW), John Hutchinson (JH), Melanie Newton (MN), Mark Waterfield (MW), Phil Gladwin (PG).  32 Residents of Great and Little Wigborough and One Non-Resident.

2.   Apologies for Absence: Sam Norton

3.   Welcome

    JG (Chairman) welcomed the community to the AGM, and to the new modern facilities at Abbotts Hall. JG said that it was an opportunity for the community to have a look at the new meeting rooms.  She stressed that we as a committee were answerable to the community for our actions, and that the WVHMC are answerable not only to the villages we serve, but also to the Charity Commission. We also have to work within the framework of our governing document.

    4.  Noting the resignation of all committee members

      JG explained that all current members have to resign, and be re-elected.  She explained the nomination procedure for the Parish Council and the Parochial Church Council representatives (2 reps and 1 rep respectively). JG confirmed that all members from last year had resigned, and were duly re-elected as there had been no other nominations from the village.

      5.  Noting the names of appointed members

        Jinny Gale (Parish Council), Phil Gladwin (Parish Council), Sam Norton (Parochial Parish Council

        6.  Noting the names of elected members

          Carol Wyatt, John Hutchinson, Melanie Newton, and Mark Waterfield were duly elected.

          7.  Annual report and resulting questions

            (Please see separate Annual Report for details) JG noted that the Annual Report was available for people to take away with them. It would also be printed in the Parish News, and would be on the Parish Council website. A Question/Answer session followed in which the following issues were raised:

            • A question re the timing of the process. JG/MN replied that the registration/planning process would take time, as would the timing of the selling of the site to maximise the sales value.
            • Concern about the number of houses planned for the plot. JG stated that the aim was to encourage younger families/people to move into the village, and they needed smaller/cheaper houses.  The point was made from the floor that families with young children already live in School Lane in large detached houses.  Why was it necessary to plan for smaller houses to accommodate this type of family? JG replied that the Village Design Statement had shown that there was a lack of small houses for young people in the village.
            • Concern about the money being spent on the meeting facilities for the AGM at Abbotts Hall when the church was a free venue.  JG replied that the committee wanted the community to see the new facilities, as it was a possible option for investment in the future in some capacity. Normally the committee met for free in members’ houses
            • The point was made about any village hall, “virtual” or otherwise needed funds to maintain and keep it going. This was why the village hall had closed in the first place. There was a discussion as to whether the village hall had closed due to structural defects, or lack of use.
            • Concerns were voiced about increased traffic on School Lane as a result of another three houses. This will be addressed by the Planning Department who will not agree plans unless satisfied on this score.
            • JH stated that our remit as a committee was to maximise the value of the plot, which was why the committee had initially looked at three houses. After a discussion on size of the plot, JH confirmed the size of the plot was approximately 0.083 hectares.
            • Concerns were raised about “affordable housing” projects.PG stated that because the plot was inside the village envelope this wasn’t an option, and that affordable housing (as opposed the housing that was affordable for young families starting out on the property ladder) wouldn’t have maximised the value of the site, so it was never considered as part of the application.
            • A question was raised about garages in addition to houses on the plot. It was confirmed that there were no plans for garages, but there was adequate room for car parking.
            • A question was asked about the street view/street scene as there were bungalows on either side. JH commented that we had considered the street view very carefully. There was actually one bungalow on one side, and two cottages on the other.  Planning would also check the visual aspect of the street view before deciding whether to give approval.
            • Density issues with the number of houses. PG said that Planning Departments were very aware of density issues, and they would decide what was feasible. CW pointed out that it would be up to the residents to decide in the end, even if the Council decided that   it     was   feasible to have three houses on the plot.
            • PG explained why the committee had gone for outline planning permission as opposed to full. Largely to do with cost.
            • Green area facilities.  What types of facilities were being planned for the green area project? JG explained that of all the projects, this was the least developed and had been added to the list as a result of interest at the last AGM from residents. Possibly car parking, a pavilion, changing area, but stressed that this was in very early exploratory stages at the moment, as we did not want to waste time in detailed planning when a piece of land might not materialise. Two residents stressed any land should be in the centre of the village.
            • Question re the upkeep of the playground/green area.  Why couldn’t the upkeep of a green area be financed by the Parish Council as it was in Peldon and Salcott? JG replied it was because if the WVHMC bought a plot of land for use by the village, then it would be owned and therefore have to be maintained by the WVHMC.
            • Question about voting on the projects in the future and how this would work.  What percentage of residents would be required to pass a vote ? MW said this was a good question- we would have to consider this. JG said that at the moment there was no percentage of the village required to pass a resolution on projects.
            • A suggestion was made about looking at the existing site for use as it is, or as a community garden, or somewhere to hold village events in marquees. The committee explained that the village had already voted in favour of selling the site largely because the present site was too small to accommodate any parking facilities. Also, as explained before, we had to maximise the value. A further suggestion was made about looking to the community fund to help with the demolition costs. JG said that the land would be sold with the responsibility for demolition resting with the buyer.  JH thought that it was rare to get funding without putting in funds, which the WVHMC do not have.
            • A suggestion was made about using St Nicholas as a village hall. JG thought that this was food for thought, and would discuss at the next committee meeting. PG stated again that we as a village cannot afford to run a village hall. The National Trust may look to go into partnership with someone to keep it open-would the WVHMC be prepared to look into this? The NT have strong links with the Essex Wildlife Trust in this area. A suggestion was made that a River Blackwater type reserve might be an option.
            • A question was raised about what a “virtual” village hall actually meant. PG answered that it was that the building was already in place, and owned by a third party. The WVHMC could therefore invest in an existing building in some way.
            • Post  Box issues.  MN and CW explained the view from the Post Office re taking the post box away due to lack of use.
            • Peldon Village Hall. A question was raised about how the WVHMC could protect the legacy of the Wigborough Village Hall by financially supporting the Peldon Village Hall project. JH replied that there would have to be proper protection regarding the long term legacy, for example, adequate representation on a joint committee.
            • A question was asked regarding the eventual value of the site.  If someone gave the WVHMC the asking price for the site, would they sell? CW answered that our remit is to maximise the value of the site, and it would go to the open market. JH maintained that the Charity Commission would insist on us going to the open market and not making a private deal.
            • The question was asked what names would appear on the deeds once the land was registered i.e. who would own the present site? JG stated that we were awaiting confirmation from the CC as to their exact requirements for this because they hold the present deeds on behalf of the Charity

            8.  Finance report and resulting questions

              JH presented the Financial Report and spoke about running a tight ship due to lack of funds.  £4090.54 currently in the bank. The WVHMC had liabilities to pay out for the survey, planning costs in future. The committee’s aim was to husband the money and keep the expenditure down. One option would be to borrow against our assets but the committee did not want to go down this route.

              9.  Resolution re postal voting

                A vote was taken on the resolution “That a method of postal voting acceptable to the Charity Commission be developed and incorporated into the Wigboroughs Village Hall Management Charity’s governing document, to enable a wider electorate in the Wigboroughs to vote on key issues.”  Votes in favour 30.  Against 2.  Abstentions 0

                10.  AOB




                  Report from WVHMC Chairman January 2013

                  wigs-village-hallWhat future for Wigboroughs Village Hall? 

                  The Wigboroughs Village Hall Management Committee have been making progress on what should be done with the old village hall.  To read about the options they are considering and exciting new opportunities they present, read the latest update from their chairman on this website here