Category Archives: Meetings

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Council Members

The Parish Council last met on 19 December and opened with the good news that Angela Faulds was to be co-opted to join the Council. We are delighted to have Angela on board.

Local elections for both the Parish and City Councils will take place this May. You can read more about the main functions and responsibilities for each of them on page XX. If you are interested in standing for the Parish Council please contact the Parish Clerk.


The major decision made that evening was to approve the budget for 2019/20. In total we agreed a precept of £131,014 which represents an unchanged amount of £55.46 per household. The basic charge was held unchanged because the increasing number of homes in the village gives us sufficient increased income to cover the next year’s requirements.


We agreed earlier last year to purchase a defibrillator to be fixed to the outside of the Village Hall. The purchase had been delayed while we tried to obtain a grant to fund the purchase. Despite valiant efforts by our Clerk, Mike Letch, the search proved fruitless so Council agreed to proceed with the purchase from our own funds. Hopefully installation will be completed soon.

Broomfield Place

What might happen to the land behind Broomfield Place and the future of the library remain big questions. The Council has no influence over either decision which rest with Essex County Council but we are talking to Essex through our District Councillor John Aldridge about what options there might be to give the village some involvement in the future of both properties. With Broomfield Place in particular I am grateful to Councillor Wendy Daden who has agreed to Chair a working group to look at options and to continue to develop ideas with Essex. Councillors John Blake, Sue Hubble and Angela Faulds have all agreed to support Wendy.

Village Amenities

Finally I am pleased to report that Councillor Sue Hubble has agreed to take over as Chair of the Village Amenities Committee. The committee are looking at a busy Spring while they finalise the details for purchasing a small vehicle for the Village Attendant with a final proposal to the full Council in due course. They are also exploring a project to decorate the village with floral displays called Broomfield in Bloom. No final decision has been made but the committee are looking at a number of options and talking to Broomfield Cottage Gardeners about the role they could play in implementation and maintenance of the displays going forward. Any other volunteers would be very welcome.

Traffic Issues

The other matter causing great concern around the village is traffic in its many forms. At our November meeting we noted the tragic death of a long standing resident, Skip Catley, in a road accident and we are aware of other incidents since then. We talked about what each Councillor would do with £50,000 if they had a free hand. Many things were discussed but the subject that received most support was traffic.

Parking and roads generally are not the responsibility of the Parish Council and we have little influence over Chelmsford City Council or Essex County Council but we can lobby them to an extent and we can encourage behaviours. We constantly receive letters from residents about parking near the hospital, parking on pavements that block and cause danger to users of wheelchairs and buggies and speeding and parking in School Land in particular.

We decided that we would set aside our February meeting to discuss the various traffic issues and what we might be able to do ourselves, especially if we can invest some money in specific projects.

We cannot avoid dealing with the basic business of Council, but once that is completed we will move on to talk about this very important topic. Village residents are always welcome at Council meetings but are particularly welcome to come along to our meeting on Wednesday 20th February to take part in the discussion.


Our new defibrillator

At the Parish Council meeting last week the Council received a presentation from Rebecca O’Mahony, a Broomfield resident who will soon be a paramedic and is already St John’s volunteer with a keen interest in promoting the deployment of public defibrillators. Having seen the article in the Broomfield Times about our decision to acquire a defibrillator Rebecca came forward to help us make the right choice.

Although the parish has a very large hospital and an ambulance station, there is no defibrillator and there is a clear need for one.

Rebecca had done a great deal of work investigating the options and made an excellent and informative presentation on the merits of different defibrillators and mounting boxes. Council accepted the conclusion that for performance, usability and reliability we should acquire the Sentry Box housing and a Zoll 3 defibrillator which can be used by anyone without any previous training. The device analyses the heart rhythm of the patient and will only work if it is appropriate to administer a shock. Although training is not necessary Rebecca plans to be at the Fun Day on 8th July to demonstrate how these machines work.

Subject to final enquiries the unit will be mounted outside the Village Hall.

The council were advised that we should be able to secure grant funding for at least part, if not all of the cost, which will be an added bonus.

Once again can I thank Rebecca most sincerely for all the work she has put in to this project.

Broomfield Place

At the Parish Council meeting last week, we received an update from Chairman of Essex County Council (ECC), Councillor John Aldridge, on the future of the land behind Broomfield Place.

Broomfield Parish Council (BPC) is aware that there has been some speculation in the Village about the Parish Council acquiring this land to be used as a public facility based on a perception that, on her death, the original owner had in some way bequeathed the land for community use.

The land is currently owned by ECC who originally purchased it over 70 years ago on the open market following the death of its last owner.

The Parish Council has thoroughly investigated the history of the ownership and it is clear that there was never any expectation that the people of the Village should retain any form of interest in the property.

The property in currently zoned for possible residential development in the current Local Plan. However, it is excluded from the proposed plan which is likely to be confirmed in early 2019.

The Parish Council has had meetings with ECC to discuss the possible acquisition of the land for public use. These discussions have been conducted on a normal business level and our case has been taken very seriously but it is not the only option open to the County Council. We do recognise that ECC has regulatory obligations like any other public body and must investigate other options that could potentially generate more funds for public use.

At our meeting last week, Councillor John Aldridge explained that although our case had been shortlisted as a viable option, ECC had decided that they should market the property for sale. He also confirmed that the sale would include a condition that any purchaser had to work with the Parish Council to identify and provide facilities for public use that would be over and above the minimum required by law. Given the timetable for the adoption of the Local Plan, it could be difficult to a potential purchaser to close the deal and then obtain any sort of planning permission from Chelmsford City Council. However, we have no option to respect the fact that ECC must pursue that option.

In the first instance, we have applied to designate the land as an asset of community value, and this is being investigated by the City Council who will make their decision in August. Beyond that, BPC has agreed that its own strategy will be to carefully consider any planning application that might come forward and make as strong a case as possible to object to any sort of residential development on that area. In that objection we will be aligning ourselves with Chelmsford City Council who have themselves already decided not to zone that site for development.

If the sale falls through, or if we are successful in opposing any development, we will reopen negotiations with ECC and try to find a way of bringing the land into public use in Broomfield. If permission for housing is granted, we will work vigorously with any developer to ensure that we secure maximum benefit for the Village.


Annual report

It has been an interesting year for me, I took over as Chair of Broomfield Parish Council last May following Cllr John Blake: he was not Chairman for long but nonetheless did a great job and left the Council in a strong position.

For those who don’t know, we have four main committees; Finance, Planning, Village Amenities and Village Hall. All have their role to fulfil, dealing with everything from setting the annual budget to ensuring that the footpaths are kept in good order. You can read about their accomplishments in the reports from each committee, but there are some things I’d like to mention personally.

  • We knew that the kicking wall was not getting as much use as it might as it was often blocked out by cars parked in front of it. The Village Amenities Committee took some time to investigate where it could be moved to and conferred with the football club and Consultants to ensure it would comply with all the regulations. Placing it where it is now did involve the football pitch being moved slightly further down the field but this was done with full consultation with the football club who I would like to thank for their help in making the move as painless as it was. There is more to be done, and thanks to a £10,000 grant from the Communities Initiative Fund, there will soon be an asphalt playing area in front of the wall.
  • Councillor John Blake has done an invaluable job on the Neighbourhood Plan. This project is vital if we want to have an input into the future planning process and it is the best possible way for you to get involved in shaping your community. The information you have already given in the survey has given us a good understanding about the needs and aspirations of our villagers. John and his team are doing an invaluable job.
  • Councillor Sue Hubble and Carol Jones do great work running Stay and Play on a Monday, and Cllr Thomson runs our very popular first Wednesday of the month coffee morning.
  • Cllr Sue Hubble also leads our efforts to keep litter under control by organising regular litter-picks.
  • Councillor Wendy Daden has led a small team raising awareness of the consequences of poor and inconsiderate parking around the village. As many of you know, parking on the pavement causes inconvenience and danger to parents with buggies and young children, the elderly and disabled and this is one practice we want to end.
  • We must all thank Cllr Tranquada for the time and work he puts into maintaining the greens, footpaths and open spaces of the Parish. From the crocuses in spring, to the festive lighting in the telephone box, the village is a better place for the Village Amenities Committee.
  • Going forward, huge amounts of work have been done in developing plans to build and Adventure Cycle Way on “The David Smith Field”. We now have planning permission and are obtaining quotes for the work. We have funding available and grant applications are out with grant givers. Very soon the Council will be in a position to make a final decision to proceed with the work. Councillor Jones has done a great job to bring this project to where it is now and we are very grateful.
  • I hope that villagers have noticed the work done to improve the crossing at Erick Avenue. The improvements are not quite what we wanted; we campaigned long and hard for a fully light controlled crossing and that is something that will be become essential when people start to move into the Day’s Development. Essex Highways realised that the old crossing was dangerous but insisted that the refurbishment was all that they could afford. We would like to thank our District Councillor John Aldridge for everything he has done to fight our corner.

The Parish Council has a new Clerk. Early in the year Karen, our Clerk decided that she wanted to reduce her working hours and focus on supporting the Council’s work on planning, the Neighbourhood Plan and the Local Plan. The Council agreed and on behalf of the Council I would like to thank Karen for her effort and commitment on behalf of the Village during her time as Clerk. We knew that replacing our Clerk would be difficult but we were lucky to secure the services of Michael Letch who has worked as a Parish Clerk for many years but also already knows our processes and systems well. Mike has settled down really well and has already made a very positive impact.

One change Mike has put in place is to merge the management functions of the Hall and the Parish. Not everybody may know that the Village Hall buildings and land are owned and managed by a trust of which the Parish is the sole Trustee. Bringing the two together will streamline our processes and save money at the same time.

We do all we can to keep the Village informed; we have Broomfield Times, more than ably edited by Councillor Selina Matthews, a fantastic webpage which has been updated this year, a Chairman’s blog, a Facebook presence and of course, the minutes of all meetings which are published for all to see, but this all generates relatively little feedback. We recognise that communication can be a problem and it is in everyone’s interest to make sure that we all know what is going on. Your Councillors are all unpaid volunteers, but you are the reason they stood for office. If something is not right, if you are concerned about something, or if you want to see a change in the way things are done, then talk to them. In short, if you are happy about what we do, tell everyone. If you are unhappy, tell us!

Looking to the future, we have two further project we would like to push forward but need volunteers to help. We want to mark the 125th anniversary of the Parish Council in 2019 by celebrating the enormous changes that we have seen since 1896, but we need people to come forward to take part in the planning and preparation. We have also discussed the possibility of serving a Christmas Dinner in the Village Hall on Christmas Day for people in the Village who would otherwise be alone. Again we need volunteers to help with the organisation and delivery of what could be a fabulously valuable project. Can you help?

Finally we have a very strong Parish Council of committed and active Councillors, I would like to thank them all for everything they do. In addition we have a great team of staff who work tirelessly to deliver the Parish Council and Village Hall services, we are all very lucky.

John Barnes – Chairman 2017 – 2018












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.