4 July 2020.   Play Area on the Playing Field.


With lock down slowly easing, I would like to emphasise that it is still important that we continue to focus on the safe use of our Play Area.

It will be used at your own risk. Don’t forget it takes 72 hours for the Coronavirus to disappear from a surface.

I am well aware it has already been used and all the original notices torn off.

Your Parish Council does not have the facilities or the finance to supervise or clean the play area.

We would expect families to be responsible and to keep their distance from other users, in accordance with Government regulations.

No food should be consumed in the area.

All wipes should either be taken home or put in the bins.

Hands should be sanitised before and after using the equipment.

We have put up some fresh notices and it would be nice to think that users will take notice of them. Sorry to sound so stroppy, but I am concerned about the welfare of us all.

Anne Hughes

Chairman of the Parish Council

Update – June 19th

The Parish Council has been alerted to the possibility of a solar farm being built on either side of Birch Road. One section on the left would curl round the Waterworks and stop at the back of Layer Hall. The other section would be on the right where potatoes are being grown. The third section would be down by Heckford Bridge. We believe the developer may submit a planning application later this summer. We have asked them a number of questions and I just hope I have got the answers correct:

  1. Screening: there would be 6ft high deer fencing (post and wire) round the site, set back from the edge of the fields by 5 metres.
  2. Screening: existing hedges would be filled in. New ones would be planted with native species.
  3. Trees: no existing trees would be felled and some new trees would be planted.
  4. The electric cable would feed into the grid at the UK Power substation in Abberton Road, on the way to Abberton out of the village. Unfortunately, it looks as if the cable would have to go under the road, all through the Village.
  5. Length of time for the site to be constructed would be 16 weeks. A traffic plan would be put in place.
  6. The Village will be leafletted. There will be a dedicated freephone, email address and website so that questions can be asked. Consultation will last 3 weeks.
  7. The Water Company has no serious concerns.
  8. Maintenance: wildflowers would be sown under the panels, and sheep may also graze.
  9. We have asked for a footpath along the North side of the Birch Road, which would eventually link up with the cycle path/footpath.

On a different topic, I am very saddened to hear of the vandalism going on Heatherfields: signs ripped off gates, graffiti on trees, and then our ever-present fear of fires. That would be such an awful disaster. If anyone has information about the perpetrators, please let us know.

I have written to the Police about the on-going saga of boy racers through the Village. They really are so selfish, and some I believe come from miles away and don’t care about the effect it has on so many.

The Parish Clerk has left, so please get in touch with me, or anyone else on the Parish Council if I can be of any help.

Anne Hughes

01206734168     email; mrsmushroom@keme.co.uk

Update for May 22

The Parish Council had its first Zoom meeting this month. It went really quite well, particularly after I had worked out how to turn the sound on.

Being ‘locked up’ at home is difficult for me as I don’t always know what is and isn’t happening in the Village. However ……

County Broadband poles and underground cabling

I have been told all about the Broadband poles. I have heard from many people what unsuitable places they are being put. It was a bit of a shock when we got the first calls, but then it went on and on. County Broadband held meetings in the Village last year and some residents signed up for their service, so not unnaturally they thought it would be worth their while to install their system. The Parish Council were not aware of their plans and it would appear they have what is called ‘permitted development rights’ granted by the Government which means they do not need planning permission. If only they had had the courtesy to inform us, we might have been able to have meaningful conversations and prevented so much discontent.  As a Parish Council we have complained, we have forwarded your emails on, and have tried to be of some help. All with our hands tied behind our back! Now it would be appear that the estate is being worked on. I gather the noise and dust is awful, we have complained, but they keep on working. I am so sorry for the horrid time so many of you are going through.

Parish Church

Just to confirm there is no telephone mast on top of the Church Tower. It might be nice if there was, since the income from it would help with the upkeep of the Church. Apparently it is too far from the centre of the Village to be any help for phone signals.

VE day

I gather there was much fun on VE day in the village. It was wonderful to look through the many photos that have been sent to me and see the amazing barbecues, picnics, bunting and everyone keeping their social distancing going. I understand too, that music and instruments were proudly being played in various gardens. I thought the Cross looked stunning and congratulations to the Taylor family and Ian Moore.

Kingsford Bridge

Residents will be pleased to see that the bridge has now been repaired. County Councillor Kevin Bentley has informed me that the culprit was caught and is liable for the costs.

Village Volunteers

Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers who continue to support the most vulnerable in the village by shopping, picking up prescriptions, posting letters and parcels, providing cash and setting up a buddy system. Now our Volunteers are making face-masks and any money raised is going to Colchester Zoo.

Other items

Thank you to all residents who completed the Housing Needs survey. We are waiting to receive the collated responses and will let you know the outcome as soon as we hear anything.

The recreation field is open, but please keep your distance from each other.


We have been having amazing weather but please remember NO fires should be lit in the woods. It’s even more dangerous now everything is getting so dry.

Finally, our Parish Clerk has resigned. So please in future ring either me or Ian Moore on 734267

Best wishes to you all.


Anne Hughes



Update for May 5

I am beginning to feel that there does seem some light at the end of this long tunnel, so please be patient and keep on observing the rules about social distancing and only going out where strictly necessary. I have just spoken to an ITCU Nurse and she was telling me how they were all under so much pressure in the hospital with so many staff off sick, and of course you can’t train new Nurses overnight to take on the nursing of Covid victims. I felt quite emotional, and even more determined that we should obey the lockdown rules.

I keep getting reports of people breaking the rules; please, please don’t. Freedom will come soon, and in the long scheme of things 2-3 months is nothing in our lives. I know and understand it is extremely frustrating for the young but I am worried about the youths congregating in the Heatherfields woods by the big Oak Tree. I am also worried by the tales of too many people getting together in each others’ gardens and I am worried about people congregating on the Recreation Field. Please don’t. I gather we will learn more about the Government’s plans next weekend, so until then please stick to the rules.

As many of you know, poles keep popping up around the Village. County Broadband are installing these and we now have a contact there and a map of where they plan to put them. If anyone is really worried about them get in touch with Richard Marriage on 734392 or me.

It’s V.E. day on Friday, and I wish you all well. I remember as a child dancing around the maypole, but it was all very puzzling as everyone seemed so happy. My Father didn’t come home for quite a few months as he was organising the German soldiers to bring in the Harvest. He used to be very proud of the fact that he had 1 million of them to organise, food being in such short supply.

We will remember them.

Anne Hughes.

CPR during the Coronavirus crisis

The following is some information sent to the Parish Council from The Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC) in case anyone needs to perform CPR during the crisis.

This is a video for anyone who finds themselves having to perform CPR/Defibrillation in an out of hospital setting during the current climate. It has been supplied to EALC by AJS First Aid Training Services:


In summary, you should use the following guide lines:-
• Wear gloves
• As shown, use a towel or similar to place over nose and mouth – when carrying out chest compressions air is released through the nose and mouth in droplet form, thus possible spread of infection
• Check danger, make sure area is safe to proceed
• Do not check air way or breathing
• Shake shoulders in normal manner
• Ask “are you alright?”
• If no response, call 999 and inform the service of what is taking place and that the patient may have Covid-19 if you suspect so.

Update for April 22

Another week and somehow we are surviving…

I am worrying about reports of lads making a fire in Heatherfields woods. We had some incidents of this last year but it’s very early in the season for it to be happening again. Please make sure it’s not one of your children doing this. It’s always serious, but especially now when the Emergency Services are so stretched.

But there is some really good news too. Various village volunteers are baking hard, making food for the hospital staff, the Police, Abberton Manor, Paramedics, and more. The bus shelter now has a food bank – please use this if you need to, and anything you can donate would be appreciated I’m sure. The organisers were able to contribute some items to the Colchester food bank recently.

There are even more books and puzzles in the telephone box, to be swapped or borrowed. Thank you to everyone who donates to this.

On more traditional Parish Council business, many people have told me about the things like telegraph poles that are appearing around the Village. Before you shout at me, there would appear to be very little we can do. Relatively recent planning law changes have made it easier for broadband and mobile phone suppliers to have permitted development rights for things like this and these poles have been put in by a company called County Broadband. If one appears on your land you can make a fuss – or you can choose to collect the wayleave money. Please keep complaining to Colchester Borough Council if a pole seems to have been put in a really stupid place (like in the middle of an oak tree).


Anne Hughes

Chairman, Layer de la Haye Parish Council

VE Day – Friday 8th May

All the Parish Council plans to celebrate and commemorate VE 75 have now had to be veday-75-logoshelved because of the Government’s extended lock down. We know some residents have come up with their own ideas, which is great, and the Pageantmaster for state occasions has come up with the suggestions below. Hopefully, one way or another, everyone will remember this important anniversary.

2.55pm: The playing of the Last Post

If anyone who can play a brass instrument, please play the Last Post from the safety of your garden, or outside your front door. A loud recording would do as well.

3pm: Pipers and music

Thousands of pipers around the world will play “Battle’s O’er”, a traditional air performed on the bagpipes at the end of a battle, and “VE Day 75”, a tune specially composed for this event. This is a stirring march, and as with playing the last Post, have a try and play this, or play recordings of the stirring marches from your front or back garden.

(See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCRxdZXcDkk and https://www.veday75.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/VE75.pdf)

It is extremely important to abide by the Government’s restrictions, so bands will not be able to play together and individual pipers should not perform in areas that might attract people.

3pm: The Nations Toast to the Heroes of WW2

At the same time as the pipers and music, raise your glass and say: “For those that gave so much, we thank you”.

6.55pm: Cry for Peace around the World

This was read out at the evening celebration of the end of WW1, when we were standing at The Cross. You can download this at  https://www.veday75.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Cry-for-peace-around-the-world-cert.pdf.

7pm: Ringing out for Peace

Sadly the Bells will not be rung.

When this terrible crisis has passed, we will be able to gather to remember not only those who sacrificed so much during WW2 but loved ones who lost their lives during this terrible pandemic.

But for now, let us stay safe.




On Saturday 9 May at 6pm, could we raise a glass to all those courageous front line workers who are putting their lives at risk during this pandemic

Easter  2020

I am writing this and watching a blackbird bathing in a tub outside my window, not a care in the world – so unlike all of us. What glorious weather we are finally having, and I hope you are enjoying the sunshine in your gardens and on your walks, seeing the blossom appearing in all its splendour.

This is such a traumatic time we are going through and so many people I speak to are really worried and frightened, and missing the comfort of their families. And I also worry that we may have overlooked someone in the Village who needs help, so please tell me if there is someone you are concerned about, as we can get help and support to them. The Village Volunteers have now been issued with a pass to show when they are out and about on their missions for people.

We have just had a really good piece of news: our Village Hall has been given a generous sum of money by Colchester Borough Council, which will go some way to ease their financial problems. Thank you to our Borough Councillors for that.

As well as bringing out the best in people, a situation like this can bring out the worst as well: there have been some new online scams going around so please be careful when opening attachments on your computer.

I have also had complaints of people dumping their dog poo bags, either by the paths or by full dog-bins. It is really disgusting making someone else pick them up and dispose of them – especially now. If a dog-bin is full, please take your dog bags home with you.

I must end by repeating the pleas you will all have heard: obey the social distancing laws. These are fundamental to saving lives. I know everyone is desperate to see family and friends again, and probably more so with the Easter weekend coming – but please, please do not go out unless it is for one of the four reasons everyone should know by now.

Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives


Best wishes to you for Easter, the strangest I hope I will ever have.


Anne Hughes

Parish Council Chairman


The Recreation Field

I am sorry that the notices that have been put up on the Recreation Field have caused a problem.
All Recreation Fields are closed, by order of the government, and we had been told we should put up notices to that effect, but ours having a footpath at one end causes a problem.
No public footpaths are closed, so the path between The Cut and The High Road remains open. The Recreation Field remains closed.
Stay safe and enjoy your walks.
Anne Hughes

The Recreation Field is Closed!

I have had a report that there have been a group of children on the playing field.

Please may I remind you the recreation field is closed.

No-one, and that includes children, are allowed to congregate on the field or play on the play equipment.

This is by order of the Government and we as a Parish Council must abide by this rule.

Anne Hughes
Chairman of the PC