BNPC News

Please see the below statement issued by the Essex Association of Local Councils on behalf of our colleague Ann Wood.

Statement from Ann Wood and Mr. David & Mrs. Jennifer Lester.

It is with deep sorrow that we wish to inform you of the death of Mike Letch at Broomfield Hospital on 12th February 2024, following a short illness.

After leaving school, Mike started work at Marconi as an electronics engineer and then moved to work in the NHS in the pathology laboratory.  He was a Licentiate of the Royal Society of Chemistry and worked as a process chemist.  During this time, he studied for an MBA, which led to his move into public service.

Mike became a parish clerk in 2010, after he was made redundant from Braintree District Council, where he had worked for 15 years.  In the 14 years since then, he qualified with CiLCA and he worked with many councils and clerks in Essex in various capacities, including as a tutor for the EALC.  His extensive knowledge, dedication to the sector and dry sense of humour was appreciated by many.  He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

A memorial and funeral service is being arranged and the date and details will follow.
“Don’t think of it as dying” said Death “just think of it as leaving early to avoid the rush” – Terry Pratchett

At the request of Ann, Jennifer and David, this statement can be put on Town and Parish Council websites, passed on by email only and may not to be shared on any social media streams. Any cards or flowers can be sent to Ann via the EALC office, 42B High Street, Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1AH. We ask if any email messages of condolence to Ann and the family could be sent via info@ealc.gov.uk this is to ensure that all messages can be replied to when Ann has the time to do so.

Details regarding the funeral arrangements will be shared in due course for those who may wish to attend.

Kind regards,

Pearl

Pearl Willcox CiLCA
Executive County Training Officer
Essex Association of Local Councils

DigiGo

Black Notley Village Hall

As you are probably aware, Black Notley Village Hall was damaged by fire in June 2022. Major refurbishments have been carried out and the Hall will be ready to reopen very soon.

We will have to form a full committee and do need the support of the village to enable us to reopen and continue with all the facilities that have been offered for many years.

We now have a Facebook page and we will shortly be posting details when a meeting will be held at the Hall.

WE HOPE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GIVE US YOUR FULL SUPPORT.

If you require any further information please contact:-

Peter Upson – Telephone number 01376 322998

Derek Hammond – Telephone number 01376 324024

Sandra Huxter – Telephone number 01376 323732

Are You Male? Do You Enjoy Singing?

Why not join the Braintree Male Voice Choir?

Singing is good for you (doctors have proved that) and singing together even better (psychologists have shown that).

The choir sing a variety of songs from classics such as Nessun Dorma and Morte Christe through Bring Him Home, Sweet Caroline, Ed Sheeran’s Perfect and The Wellerman.

Rehearsals are for two hours in Braintree on Wednesday evenings, at St Peter’s Church Hall, St Peter’s in the Fields, Braintree CM7 9AR at 7.30 pm.

Do I have to be able to read music? No

Do I have to have an audition? No

Will I have to sing alone? No.

So what’s stopping you?

For further details, contact choir secretary Ron Fosker on 01376 512582 or rfosker@btinternet.com

Recent Burglary Spike 

We are currently investigating a recent spike in burglaries in the area where high value vehicles are targeted. Whilst we work on catching those responsible, here are some tips to help keep your property safe.

  • Make sure to lock your doors and windows every time you leave your house or go to bed, even if it’s still quite warm. Don’t give thieves an easy opportunity.
  • Keep your keys and any key cards away from your front door or other external access points, out of sight and not left near a window but readily available in case of an emergency.
  • Keep your money, gadgets and other valuables out of view from windows, doors or anywhere else they could be seen from outside.
  • Leave lights on timers or radios in the rooms you use the most, to make it look like you are in. For further information about TV simulators and other security suggestions visit our website.
  • To avoid possible confrontation don’t take the keys to the bed with you. For cars with keyless entry, put your keys and spare keys in a Faraday bag to prevent the signal being accessed from outside.
  • If you have a garage or driveway, make sure you can use that for parking your vehicle. Make sure any garage is secured with ‘Sold Secure’ tested and approved security products.
  • Consider having a tracker fitted to your car and if you have one make sure it has been switched on.
  • If you have a burglar alarm, set it every time you leave the house or go to bed.

PC J Draper

Community Speed Watch

Essex Police and The Safer Essex Roads Partnership support the activity currently being undertaken by local residents in an effort to address and enhance driver behaviour through these villages.

Whilst the volunteers have no powers to sanction a prosecution, offenders’ details will be passed on to Essex Police in order that the force can forward correspondence to the registered keeper outlining a request for the driver to respect local speed limits as they would wish them to be respected within their own community.

Persistent high offenders will be targeted by Essex Police resulting in prosecution.

Essex Police remains committed to improving road safety and addressing anti-social use of the County’s roads together with efforts towards reducing road casualties and look to the community to enhance its activity making residents feel safer thus improving their quality of life.

Speed is recognised as a major contributory factor to many fatal and serious injury collisions, a great deal of time and effort is dedicated to addressing this issue at a strategic level.

In 2018 in Essex there were 49 people killed in traffic collisions. Essex Police dealt with over 117,800 excess speed cases, which were finalised by the following methods:

  • 21,728 by way of formal warnings having been detected by Community Speed Watch;
  • 52,000 by way of a National Speed Awareness Course costing the offender £91.00
  • 19,500 by way of fixed penalty resulting in 3 penalty points and a minimum £100 Fine;
  • 7,100 by way of court appearance.

Should you wish to discuss the matter further please contact the Community Engagement Team on Traffic.management@essex.pnn.police.uk

Yours sincerely,

Road Crime Team

Essex Police

Play Field Closure

Friday the 13th October 2023 the Playing field will be closed from 8.30 am for the removal of one dead Lime Tree on the front boundary traffic lights will be in operation.

Reminder

NO remote Control vehicles to be used on the Petanque Court on the Black Notley Playing Field

BNPC – Green Spaces Sub-Committee Update August 2023

The Parish Council has received a very comprehensive tree survey report following a detailed survey of all tress for which it is responsible. The report sets out the condition of all trees and necessary works or further inspections to be carried out over the next year.

Sadly, the report identified the need to remove one of the lime trees on the verge of the playing field by the road. In addition, it identified some works to be carried out to the remaining lime trees. In addition, one of the elm trees on the boundary of the playing field is also dead and will need to be removed.

A follow up meeting was held at the beginning of August with the Wilder Communications Manager from Essex Wildlife Trust (EWT) to review the progress with the management of the Millennium Green and the recent wilding of a bund created from the spoil from the Pétanque court on the playing field. The feedback was very positive with regard to the wilding of the bund and the management of the Millennium Green.

The Parish Council has agreed to record the plant species found twice yearly (spring and summer) on the EWT App and has conducted its first ‘rapid grass assessment’ identifying plant species such as: a pyramid orchid, field scabious, agrimony, black knapweed, common fleabane, common vetch, creeping spa thistle and sow thistle.

Volunteers Wanted:

Millennium Green: As part of the on-going management of the Millennium Green, the Parish Council will be undertaking the annual strim of one third of the area and are looking for Volunteers to help rake it up on SATURDAY 19th AUGUST 2023, starting at 9am. If you are interested in helping and you own a rake, please email or phone the Parish Clerk, Mrs Helen Waterfield to let her know that you will be joining us and please leave your contact details.

Planning and Planting of Tubs and Raised Flower Beds: The Parish Council would like to set up a group of volunteers in conjunction with the Parish Council to plan and plant the flower beds and tubs twice per year. If you are interested, please contact the Parish Clerk, Mrs Helen Waterfield and leave your details.

Mrs Helen Waterfield, Parish Clerk:
Email: info@blacknotley-pc.gov.uk
Tel: 01376 550309

Village Hall Renovation

Dear Parishioners,
Check back in regularly for updates on the renovation of Black Notley Village Hall.
Works are commencing shortly and will provide further community-driven facilities to our wonderful village.

New Pétanque Court – operational!!

The Parish Council are pleased to announce that the Pétanque Court at Black Notley playing fields is now open for games, both serious and fun.

Details of the first group to use it, organised by Bruce Bickmore, is on village notice boards. Everyone is welcome to come and try it.

Thank you to our contractors for their sterling work both installing and fencing the area.

BNPC

Report on the Annual Assembly of BNPC Monday 6th March 2023

First a fuller report will be the minutes, prepared by the Parish Clerk for the next meeting 2024.

This will contain details of those present and the necessary legal items that took place.

After an introduction by Cllr Ford the Chairmans report was read out. This gave details of the main sub committees and that reports would be received from them individually. Thanks were given to the councillors and the three employees of BNPC.

Reports were received from District Councillor Cunningham and County Councillor Playle.

Cllr Smith gave information on the Planning Sub Committee. What it does, its time constraints and the variety of items it is asked to investigate.

The Green Spaces Sub Committee report details the works carried out on the playing fields, The Millennium Green and Cokers Peace. Whilst all the good items were there it was sad to have to mention the vandalism and its effect on our facilities. Looking forward the plans are in place for more seasonal plantings and tree management.

The 20’s Plenty and Witham Road speed reports have been shares on Facebook and hopefully soon the BNPC speed watch group will be in action.

Organisational reports were received from :-

St Peter and St Pauls Church – Rev Rachel gave details of their work and stresses all the village were welcome.

Cornerstones Church – Matt and Olive spoke about their weekly events and offered leaflets to this end.

Scouts etc – Gavin said 150 children and young people are involved and a new younger group is being formed.

PC James Draper – Concentrated on speed and anti-social behaviour. He left a document on this.

Discovery Club – Jean explained that their crafting is still taking place at her house,

BNCA – Chaz detailed some of the clubs that operate there.

A Q&A session produced questions on :-

Booking for the Recycling Centre, answered by Cllr Playle.

The Bund on Hatfield Drive was tackled by Cllr Cunningham as he is already involved with this.

Bakers Lane Litter was answered by The Clerk who already has BDC looking at it.

Humps in Witham Road by Stantons Farm and the overhanging fence are been investigated by ECC.

The road junction by the War Memorial, whilst being looked at by Local Highways will be impacted by Gt Notley East so no definite solution.

Information was given on forthcoming elections and how to stand.

Comments have been received about the event and some or all of the ideas should be discussed/implemented when the next Annual Assemble is planned,

Millennium Green

Approximately two and a half acres of tranquil open space for which Black Notley Parish Council is the Trustee. It is situated at the rear of the Village Hall and the Scout HQ and is accessed by a gate to the side of the Village Hall from The Street.

There are a couple of benches situated around the perimeter and in 2019 the Parish Council installed a large oak table with four large oak benches in the middle of the green.  The following year a pergola was added with the intention of growing native plants around it to provide some natural shade in the summer. Sadly, during the summer of 2022 these items were vandalised, much of the damage has since been repaired but new or more extensive repairs may need to be made to the pergola before planting can proceed.

As well as seeking to improve the biodiversity of this area for the fauna and flora the Parish Council is striving to ensure that it remains a place of natural beauty that can be enjoyed by all, so, please take a stroll, sit for a while, meet friends, study the wildlife and just enjoy the space.

As part of improving the biodiversity of the area the Management Plan sets out the need to divide the area into thirds and to carry out strimming of one third on a three yearly rotational basis.  The path going around the meadow and to the table in the centre has been increased to a width of two metres to create a natural path for which all visitors are requested to adhere to.

The annual strim takes place in the autumn between September and November. It won’t have neat edges and we will seek to make it a varied shape (as much as possible) as this will allow greater diversity.  The cuttings will lie for two to three days to allow the wildlife to move safely before it is collected.   The Parish Council will be looking for volunteers in the autumn to assist with the collection of the cuttings and piling up of them in a dedicated area on site away from water (this will prevent nutrient build up in the soil), so dust off your rakes in the autumn!

Annual Parish Meeting

Dear Parishoners…. A date for your diary;

Monday 6th March

The Parish Council is required by law to hold an Annual Parish Meeting, which in the old days was a dry old formal meeting which hardly anybody attended!

This year, we would like to turn the meeting into a social occasion, have a glass of wine and a nibble…

We shall celebrate village life, local clubs, societies and activities, with an opportunity to debate current issues.

We have hired the Black Notley Community Association Hall in John Ray Gardens and invited local clubs and organisations to each give a short 3 minute presentation about their activities.

The Parish Council will also make a brief report on its activities this year and future plans.

We plan to start at 7.30pm, aiming to get the meeting concluded within one hour.

After this, there will be an opportunity to socialise with members of the Parish Council, representatives of village organisations and other residents.

There will be a Q & A session if you have any issues you wish to raise, with a chance to meet the councillors, representatives of clubs and societies in the village and other villagers for a chat.

It would be great to see you there!

Any questions?
Contact our clerk, Helen Waterfield;
Email: info@blacknotley-pc.gov.uk

Speed Awareness

Dear Villagers,

Black Notley Parish Council, in conjunction with other local parish councils and the “20 is plenty“ initiative*, have been conducting surveys and research into average speeds of motorists.

Initial data for our report from Witham Road, Black Notley highlights that over 50% of road users are breaking the 30pmh speed limit, particularly during the rush hour period.

Below can be found the full report.

There is an obvious correlation between lower speeds and safety, not only for pedestrians, but cyclists, animals and obviously other drivers.

Before deciding on how to encourage motorists to consider their speed we should like to invite comment from residents on what we can try do to make our roads safer.

Ultimately, Essex Police have a responsibility with regard to enforcement, to get awareness moving, Cllr Ross Playle has suggested a speed survey to be done on Witham Road/The Street.

Depending on the results of that survey, this will be presented to the Local Highways Panel.
If Highways’ consider it necessary, this could be presented to Essex Country Council, in their February meeting, which in turn would require a response from the Highways Cabinet Member.

Black Notley Parish Council have requested the Community Policing Team to review findings and suggest possible remedies.

BNPC

*click HERE to watch a summary video of the recent ‘20 is plenty’ initiative webinar, plus read a summary from Max Ford – who attended on behalf of BNPC’s Communications Committee. ’20 is plenty’ webinar notes