Grapevine Report

LATEST GRAPEVINE REPORT (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER) FROM BRADFIELD PARISH COUNCIL CHAIR CLLR. K. WYNN:

I have a much shorter report for you than the last edition of the Grapevine, of course this doesn't mean that we have achieved any less in these last two months, just less to catch up on!

The council have held two meetings in person since my last report which was nice in that we were all together again, but the wearing of masks throughout proceedings made communicating trying at times. Our next meeting will be held in the St Lawrence Church Hall at 7:30pm on the 7th of September.

There is one vacancy on the council, if you are interested in getting involved, please contact the Parish Clerk at the above e-mail address.

As I write this, we are furiously organising the final touches to the hastily rearranged 75th anniversary of VE & VJ Day Commemoration stone unveiling which when you read this will have been held on the 24th of July. I am sure the weather will have been kind to us!

Roads and Environment
With the extreme wet weather that we have experienced over recent months the footpaths in the parish quickly become impassable because of the accelerated growth of grass and weeds. Thanks must go to Cllr Steve Gunter for his sterling work cutting and clearing a few of the trouble spots for us. This includes the footpath between Mill Lane and Heath Road where the giant sink hole continues to grow. Highways have reportedly been out to inspect Steve and some other volunteers work, but seemingly did not improve on what had already been done! So please take care and continue to report it to www.essexhighways.org/tell-us. You can also report the dangerous pothole and knee-deep mud on Mill Lane to this website. Eventually they will have to take notice!

A recycled plastic bench has been installed in the recreation ground. This is to replace the rotted wooden one that was removed several years ago and all being well will last a lifetime.

The clerk has successfully applied for an AONB grant of £2,129.40 to help the Council install a new information lectern at the bottom of Shore Lane. The grant covers 70% of the full cost of the project. The lectern will contain information on local wildlife and walking of dogs in the SPA SSSI estuary and surrounding area.

The clerk has been asked to contact ECC Highways to request that they replace the plastic barriers at the bottom of Brickman's Hill with something sightlier and more fit for an AONB area. The plastic barriers were installed as a temporary measure following the fatal accident on the bridge in 2017. The Clerk will also inform Highways that the warning light before the bridge in the Mistley direction also needs to be repaired.

Several complaints have been received by members of the public regarding motorcyclists using the B1352 and village as a racetrack. The clerk has written to Essex Police who had replied that whereas they will be sending units out to look for speeders and bad behaviour, "on the whole most motorcyclists are not breaking any laws."
With the current and future housing developments in Mistley, traffic using Bradfield as a cut through to the A120 is causing further issues, both at the Steam Mill Road / Straight Road junction and Steam Mill Road / Clacton Road junction. The clerk will request that ECC Highways carry out another speed and volume survey along Straight Road.

With the mounting number of problems at the Steam Mill Road / Clacton Road junction, District Cllr. Fairley is fighting to have the B1035 Clacton Road recategorized as a priority road to make it eligible for regular safety inspections. An LHP scheme has already been submitted to ECC Highways in 2018 regarding this junction with the panel recommending that the junction warning sign on Clacton Road be reinstated, existing slow markings to be refreshed and a review to be undertaken to see which additional markings could be implemented to highlight the junction. The Council had been informed that it is likely that ECC Highways will try and design and install the scheme by the end of March 2022.

War Memorial
St Lawrence Church and the Parish Council have been working together on a project to restore the war memorial back to as near to its original state as possible. Andrew Stone of Wood for Stone has been advising us on how to achieve this. Andrew discovered that the badly eroded name panels have been designed for easy removal which will enable them to be replaced with new, like for like stone panels. As the text is in relief the cost of the works will increase substantially. The Council have already budgeted £11,208 for the project and the additional costs will be added to next year's budget.

Streetlights
Unfortunately, the streetlight halfway down Steam Mill Road was discovered to be at a rather jaunty angle and has since been cut down. This will in time be replaced and reconnected at a cost of £3000.

New Cemetery Land, Mill Lane
With the purchase of the land now complete, we have made a good start on our plans for the site. On the hottest day of the year Cllrs Steve Gunter and Roger Mitcham installed a post and wire fence around the perimeter of the site, may thanks to them for their hard work! Hedging for the perimeter has now been ordered from the Woodland Trust and should be arriving in October for planting. We have also ordered extra hedging to plant alongside Rectory Gardens. We will be hoping to find some additional volunteers to help councillor in planting the hedges, more on that nearer to the plant's arrival!

Insurance
The Council took out a three-year long term insurance agreement with Community Action Suffolk in July 2020. The renewal premium had increased slightly from £1,185 to £1,270.12 as the Council's property cover (excluding the village hall which is covered separately under the same policy) had been raised from £300,000 to £350,000 to ensure sufficient cover for new assets acquired over the past and current year.

Finance
As at 15th July 2021 the current account held £1,450.75 and the savings account £85,406.03.

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:
June/July 2021 Report
December/January 2021 Report
October / November 2020 Report
August / September 2020 Report