Council meeting on 20th December

The Council met Wednesday 20th December. It was just before Christmas so we know everybody was very busy but sadly no public were in attendance.

It was not a long meeting but nonetheless significant decisions were made.

The overall Parish budget for 2018/19 was agreed at £129,423 and the precept was set at £117,840. The good news is that this leaves your contribution unchanged at £55.46 for a band D house, or just over £1 a week. However, the total amount raised has gone up by £8,600 simply because there are more houses contributing. Some of the extra money has gone to absorb cost of living increases and some has gone towards increasing the amount of grant funding money available to the community.  My thanks go to Cllr Trevor Jones, our Clerk Mike Letch and the Finance Committee who put a lot of work into managing our finances and constructing a balanced budget.

The Council have been looking into installing a defibrillator in the village. We agreed that we should push forward with this and The Clerk is now obtaining detailed prices and investigating what grants might be available it is most likely that the unit will be sited at the Village Hall.

Cllr Wendy Daden is leading a small team to address poor parking in our village. One black spot highlighted in the last edition of The Broomfield Times is outside Tyre City. Parking there is perfectly legal but for some reason people seem to want to park on the pavement. I can only imagine that they think they are making it easier for cars to get past. Councillor Daden has demonstrated that parking correctly on the road does not in anyway hinder passing traffic, whereas parking on the pavement has and does hinder, people with buggies, mobility scooters and pedestrians walking more than singly. If anybody reading this does regularly park there please take note and do not park on the pavement. I would stress that no criticism or blame is associated with Tyre City, indeed their staff have been enlisted to help people lift biggies past obstructing cars as seen in the last edition of The Broomfield Times. Ideas such as bin stickers and posters to promote better parking are being actively pursued.

Probably everybody has noticed that some work has been done to improve the crossing at Erick Avenue. That work is not yet finished. The lights themselves should be set on extended arms so that they stand out more across the pavement. We are assured by Essex County Council that these have been ordered and will be installed as soon as they come in.

We would have much preferred a traffic light controlled crossing but despite considerable pressure, over a long period Essex County Council could not be persuaded even though they have accepted that the crossing is dangerous.

Personally, I remain very concerned about this crossing. I use it myself on a regular basis and it seems to be repeatedly ignored by drivers. Numerous times I have stood at the crossing as drivers just drive through, some have ignored me, some smile in an embarrassed way, one van driver gave me a huge wave and a thumbs up. Many were probably doing more than 30mph, some simply taking no notice.

Those of us that live in Broomfield need to take some responsibility for poor driving. I know I am guilty of exceeding the speed limit from, time to time probably regularly. Driving at 30 mph is not easy, it takes care and concentration. However, I have noticed that if I lock myself on that speed and cruise steadily up Main Road I soon pick up a tail of slower moving traffic.

We need traffic to respect the speed limit, that just makes the roads safer, but also, we want to persuade through traffic that Main Road is not a short cut. Regiment Way is the Broomfield Bypass. We should use it as such ourselves and encourage others to do the same. One way of doing that is making the journey through Broomfield longer and slower.

I would urge you all to strictly observe the 30 mile an hour speed limit and make the short cut journey through our village a slow inconvenience. We should have an objective of making Main Road a route for access only not a through route.

It was proposed that the Council should support The Tree Charter,, being promoted by The Woodland Trust. We all agreed that this was an important initiative and agreed to support it. If you are interested please follow the link and sign up individually.

Discussions are proceeding with Broomfield Cottage Gardeners regarding their use of the Barn at the allotment site. If we can reach a mutually acceptable agreement we believe that we may be able to generate more income from this asset to support village amenities.

Work on the Neighbourhood Plan is proceeding well. The results of the Village Survey have now been published and make very interesting reading. You can find a copy of the report at, We plan to be holding a second open event to present the work so far soon, more details will follow.

Finally, Councillor Tim Tranquada has produced a discussion paper about the possibility of running a celebratory event in 2019 to mark the Council’s 125 anniversary. We may have a social event to support it but the general idea might be a form of exhibition with stands, stalls and activities to support the extraordinary change that the Village has seen over the last 125 years. Such an event will involve a lot of work. At this stage we would like to gauge interest from villagers to join a team to design and organise such an event. If you are interested in taking part, at this stage with no obligation, or can help in some other way, please contact the Clerk Mike Letch or Councillor Tim Tranquada.