A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COUNCIL

The Civil Parish and its Council were created in 1997. In order to establish the essential administrative framework, the Essex Association of Local Councils provided a Development Officer, Karen Plumridge, funded by Essex County Council.

The inaugural meeting took place on Tuesday, 8th. July. Three residents had stood for election and they were Mike Nicholls, Keith Baxter and Ed Jackson. They elected Mike as their first Chairman with Keith as Vice Chairman. Jackie Cook was co-opted on to the Council at the next meeting on 5th. August, and Eric Stephens was co-opted at the next meeting after that on 7th. October. Karen Plumridge was asked to become the permanent employee of the Council as Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer.

Before the end of 1997 the Parish Council had received a requestfrom the Village Hall to administer the finance of its extension project in order that VAT could be recovered on payments made from grants from the Millenium Hall fund. The Parish Council agreed to do so.

Chairman Eric Stephens and Clerk Karen Plumridge at the Village Hall Extension Opening Celebration.

Cllr. Eric Stephens cutting the village hall cake at the opening ceremony.

The second Parish Council election took place in 2000, when Lindsay Laight, Betty Osang and Eric Stephens were elected. Len Ferris was co-opted to fill the fourth seat at the first meeting on 9th. May. Efforts to fill the fifth seat from amongst the residents of the parish were unsuccessful, but finally John Buchanan, who lived within three miles of the parish boundary, agreed to join and was co-opted in July 2001. He represented the Parish Council on the Basildon Association of Town and Parish Councils and sat on the Executive Committee of the Essex Assocation of Local Councils, but lost his seat on the Parish Council in the 2004 election, but continued as Honorary Secretary of the Basildon Association.

 

 The Golden Jubilee Plate

 Photograph of the Jubilee Plate, which contains a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen surrounded by a wreath of heraldic flowers.

 

To mark the Queen's Gold Jubilee the Parish Council commissioned a special plate for every household in the Parish. These were distributed at the Jubilee Celebration on 3rd. June 2002 and various other events over the Summer.

In the same year the Council identified transport as an area of concern for residents. The Rural Community Council was called in for advice. Through the RCCE grant funding was achieved which covered the costs of a public transport questionnaire, a consultation event and the preparation and printing of a concluding report.

 

Transport Consultation May 2003

 Residents attending the Transport Consultation E

 

 

Also in 2002, work began on installing the new drain in Church Road, but this was brought to a premature halt because of the many problems associated with the lack of progress. The Parish Council was heavily involved in identifying the problems and solutions, and in bringing information to residents. The Parish Council gave a public vote of thanks to Len Ferris whose background knowledge and communications with Ray Walsingham, the officer at Basildon District Council, had brought about the change of contract and improvements to the works.

The election of 2004 was contested, the winning candidates being Pam Cummins, Alan Harvey, Len Ferris, Janet Jeffree and Ernie Skinnner. Len was elected Chairman and Pam Vice Chairman.

The transport survey undertaken by the Parish Council in 2003 resulted in the creation of the taxi voucher scheme which came into operation on 1st. April 2005, with 100% grant funding.

In July 2005 the Parish Council applied for and achieved Quality Parish Council status. It is hoped that this will open more doors for funding opportunities.

In September, 2005 Janet Jeffree resigned from the Council. The vacancy was advertised in the usual way, but there was no call for a poll, so the Parish Council co-opted Richard Bayliss at its Meeting on 1st. November.

 

Transport Exhibition

 Councillors and residents at the Traffic Calming Exhibition

 

Traffic calming measures were first investigated in 1998, and the Parish Council has been building up a reserve over several years to fund them. A design was prepared and subject to public scrutiny at the Parish Council's consultation event on 22nd. May 2005. The transfer of the highways agency back from Basildon District Council to the County Council meant that the plans were subject to fresh scrutiny and were redrawn. Further consultation was undertaken and following comments from residents during the summer of 2006 further amendments were made to the designs. The works were scheduled to be implemented over an eight week period in early 2007.

 

At the election in May 2008 the following were elected unopposed: Ian Batley, Pam Cummins, Alan Harvey, Ernie Skinner and Dick Wellborne.

At the following election in May 2012 the following were elected unopposed: Ian Batley, Alan Harvey and Richard Wellborne.  Ernie Skinner and David Morris were later co-opted. Alan Harvey and David Morris left the Council before their full term had expired and their seats were filled by Jeff Phillips and Simon Perilly who were co-opted.

At the election in May 2016 the following were returned unopposed: Julian Lewis, Simon Perilly, Jeff Phillips, Ernie Skinner and Dick Wellborne.