Grapevine Report


The last few months have again been busy for the council with many different projects in progress or coming to fruition. The Coronavirus situation has delayed a few activities, but only those where onsite face to face meetings are necessary. The council continues to meet in full on the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30pm via Microsoft Teams, please email the Parish Clerk for the link should you wish to attend.

There is now only one vacant seat on the council, so if you are interested in joining the team, please contact the Clerk for further information.

Telephone Kiosk
After nearly two years of minimal progress, BT finally removed the telephone, replaced broken windows and repainted the kiosk, this meant that kiosk could at last be adopted by the Parish Council. Since its adoption a couple of months ago, two councillors have worked tirelessly on bringing this listed building back to its former glory. With the addition of the shelves, Brenda Wells quickly set to work installing the book exchange. With the Book Exchange essentially, 'Small is Beautiful' as there is not a great deal of space and using the floor is not practical. If you would like to leave a book when you take one, that would be excellent. Brenda will certainly give a shout out for more if needed when things have really got going. The best types of books to leave in Brenda's experience is contemporary fiction or general interest, all in reasonable condition. Please use the hand sanitiser provided before handling the books.

Age Concern Colchester and North East Essex
In October, the council welcomed Ms C. Horn and Ms N. Cailes from Age Concern to their meeting. Ms Cailes provided the Council with a presentation on the services offered by their organisation, whichincluded emotional support, a befriending service, a welfare, advice and support service and dementia support through the Tendring Dementia Action Alliance group (TDAA). Ms Horn, Chairman of TDAA, explained that they are hoping local councils will help the group increase awareness of dementia across the district. Supportive actions would include attending TDAA meetings, acting as a voice for local residents, attend and host 'dementia friend' awareness sessions and putting together an action plan demonstrating how the council will help promote dementia friendly measures within the parish. Cllr. Burton agreed to take the lead on this project on behalf of the parish council. Cllr. Burton has since met with Ms Horn and Ms Cailes of Age Concern and they exchanged many ideas on how to promote a dementia friendly community. All councillors will need to complete a 45-minute dementia training session before proceeding further with the project. Please contact Cllr Karen Burton for further information at or telephone: 07990515250

Recreation Ground
Eight thousand Crocus bulb have been planted in the full length of the verge in front of the recreation ground in The Street. These will provide much needed colour and food for pollinators in February/March for years to come.

Tendring District Council have finally signed off the release of S106 monies for the project to replace the wooden fencing around the under 7's play area and pedestrian entrance, and to relay the tarmac in the pedestrian entrance. The contractor has been instructed to begin works as soon as possible.

Work to replace the remaining SafaGrass matting underneath three items of play equipment with rubberised mulch has now been completed.

Some essential tree work to remove dead wood from the mature trees in and around the recreation ground will be undertaken at the end of November.

Unfortunately, due to the infrequency of emptying of the clothes recycling bin (once in the last year), the Council have resolved to request that Tendring District Council remove the bin from the Village Hall car park. The bin remains full, so please do not take your used clothing down there. Please see the Friends Of Bradfield School's page further on in the magazine for an alternative way to recycle your unwanted clothing etc. By using their service you will also help to raise money for the school.

Traffic and roads.
There has been a notable increase in the number of vehicles being parked on pavements throughout the village, particularly outside the Methodist Church at school pick up and drop off times with cars completely obstructing the pavement. Elsewhere in the village it usually involves only two wheels, but with the pavements being so narrow this is equally unacceptable. By parking on the pavements, you make life very difficult for those in wheelchairs, pushing buggies or with mobility issues. Another thing to avoid is leaving your engine idling whilst waiting in your car: Rule 123 of The Highway Code, you must 'not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.' The fumes generated by idling harm nearby residents, pedestrians and particularly children, including your own. Please be considerate of others.

Following the council's agreement that Essex Highways' quote of £12,000 for the installation of four of the 'village gate' style signs at the entrances to the village was too large an outlay at this current time, estimates were sought elsewhere. Four contractors provided quotes, varying in price from £4,615 to £8,760. As only this project was allocated £4000 in the current year's budget, it has been decided to defer this project.

Speed and Volume surveys have been completed by Essex Highways following a request by the council for weight limit signs to deter HGV's from using the village as cut through. The survey found that there is generally a low percentage of HGVs using the routes in question and the Council has been notified of a recommendation not to proceed any further with its request for Highways to implement measures to eliminate HGV traffic through the village. The council have questioned the results of the survey and it has been agreed that the clerk should write to County Cllr. Guglielmi stating that the Council cannot accept the situation and that further action and discussion with ECC Highways is required.

The council has been considering replacing the broken finger post directional sign outside the Stranger's Home with something similar to the original. The proprietor of the Stranger's Home has generously offered to cover some of the costs of the fingerpost and as it is on his land. This project is ongoing.

Cllr. Scott's persistence has paid off and Essex Highways have finally agreed to cut the overgrown vegetation in the verge of the Steam Mill Road / Clacton Road junction, this will also be added to future cutting schedules.

If you wish to report a pothole, obstruction in a road or footpath, damaged sign, flooding, overgrown verges, missing or damaged manhole covers etc. The most effective way to do this is to visit This is an excellent tool that is self explanatory and simple to use.

VE & VJ Day memorial
The granite has been ordered and the design of the base has been agreed. The base's installation has unfortunately been delayed by the second lockdown.

War Memorial
It had been noted that the war memorial at St Lawrence Church is in need of a clean and some restoration. In particular, the panels containing the names of the fallen have eroded to such a point that they have become difficult to read and will soon be completely illegible. The council has agreed to replace the eroded stone panels with polished dark grey granite that have the names inscribed in silver. The cost for this restoration will be £11,208.07 plus VAT. This project will be added to the budget for the next financial year.

Following the corroded streetlight on Heath Road being cut down, the lighting contractor has now confirmed that payment has now been made to UK Power Network and that they are awaiting a date for when they will perform the power transfer from the old light to the new one. The new column will be installed once a date for transfer has been confirmed.

The Village Sign
The restoration of the village sign that stands in the playground has been discussed many times in recent years and a formal quote was sought from a specialist restoration company. Due to extensive rust damage to the middle of the sign, the cost of repair was considerably higher than expected. The clerk will contact several local blacksmiths to see if they could provide a cheaper quote for repair before the council considers the possibility of investing in a replacement sign which may be of better value in the long run.

Following the closure of the Methodist Church, the defibrillator that was located there has been moved to the front of the village hall. As a second defibrillator had already been ordered from Manningtree First Responders' for the village hall, so another location was being sought. The proprietors of the Village Stores / Post Office have very kindly offered a location outside their premises. The clerk is to request that the Manningtree First Responders' representative carry out a site visit to verify location and electrical suitability.

Planning Matters
The application 20/01367/OUT, Outline application with all matters reserved except for access to deliver a cartlodge and up to 5 no. dwellings and associated hardstanding, fencing, outbuildings and drainage, Steam Mill House, Steam Mill Road, Bradfield, was discussed at length at the full council meeting held in
November. The Council agreed to support the application, noting that apart from the chalet bungalow on Steam Mill Road, the type of houses proposed for this development are in line with village needs. It was agreed that the site is suitable for the size of the development being proposed and will cause minimal
damage to the local environment. The clerk was asked to add a request for Essex Highways to carry out an impact assessment of the Steam Mill Road / Straight Road junction opposite the proposed development and for safeguards to be put in place with regards to speeding traffic.

With the purchase of the additional land to the north of the burial ground complete, the council are keen to move forward with the project to plant hedges etcetera as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to various isolations and the second lockdown the working party have been unable to meet.

Litter Pick
The last litter pick was cancelled due to the extremely wet weather experienced on the 3rd of October and the safety concerns raised by surface water. Due to the second lockdown it has been agreed to carry out the next litter pick sometime during early Spring.

Community Project - Solar Farm money
Every year the parish council receives a sum of money from the solar farm at Barn Farm, this money has to be used on projects that benefit the community of Bradfield. In previous years, the money has contributed towards the cost of new playground equipment, new playground safety surfaces and the associated legal fees for changing Bradfield Village Association into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) now known as the Bradfield Village Hall. This year we have received £3,972.76 from the farm and are now considering ideas as to how this could be used. If you have a suggestion for something that you would like to see happen within the village then please contact the Parish Clerk.

The Finance Committee are due to meet on the 17th of November where they will be considering the draft budget and precept for 2021/22 for recommendation to full council in December. Unfortunately, this will be too late for publication in this report. As at the 12th of November 2020 the current account held £2,228.21 and the savings account £101,699.72.

Kreon Wynn
Chairman of Bradfield Parish Council

The report can be downloaded in PDF format here.

Previous reports can be downloaded by following the links below:
October / November Report
August / September Report