At the May-2019 Council Meeting Cllr Lewis Barber (Lexden & Braiswick Ward and Conservative spokesman on the Local Plan) voiced the unanimous support of the CBC Conservative Group for the adoption of the WIVENHOE Neighbourhood Plan.  

Cllr Barber commended the bottom-up approach to delivering infrastructure, services and housing, as set out in the Wivenhoe Neighbourhood Plan. It empowered residents of Wivenhoe to take greater control of the planning process, and for local people to determine the future of their own town.

Cllr Barber pointed to the progress being made in many other communities towards the preparation of Neighbourhood Plans. “My Ward is fortunate to have a fantastic group of volunteers who have driven ahead with Neighbourhood Plans in Braiswick, Eight Ash Green and West Bergholt, completed or on the verge of being completed, set the future direction of these communities, and the benefits are significant with clear policies, shaped by local people, on the aforementioned policy areas.”

The Wivenhoe Plan demonstrates that Neighbourhood plans are not just for villages and rural areas, but could shape urban areas too, such as Colchester's Cultural Quarter and Vineyard Street.

In stark contrast, Colchester Council’s discredited top-down New Town Development Corporation approach, most prominently manifested in its backing of the largely undemocratic North Essex Garden Communities Ltd and current garden community plans, leaves existing communities exasperated.

Far too often, Colchester’s rural communities seem to be viewed as an inconvenience to be overcome for the achievement of political objectives by Colchester Council’s Liberal Democrat and Labour leadership.

Conservatives believe that the Council must empower people and communities to embrace this bottom-up approach to planning. This way we can all have a stake in the diverse neighbourhoods of Colchester, and end the mistakes of the past.



Conservative Group Civic Appointments 2019-20

Group Leader Cllr Robert Davidson
Deputy Leader Cllr Lewis Barber
Group Chairman  Cllr Kevin Bentley
Group Secretary Cllr Paul Dundas
Group Whip  Cllr Jackie Maclean
Strategy  Cllr Robert Davidson
Culture and Performance  Cllr Simon Crow
Business and Resources  Cllr Barbara Wood
Commercial Services Cllr Paul Dundas
Communities, Wellbeing & Public Safety Cllr Lewis Barber
Customers Cllr Pauline Hazell
Housing  Cllr Nigel Chapman
Waste, Environment & Transportation Cllr Jackie Maclean
Chairman Scrutiny Panel Cllr Beverly Davies
Vice-Chair Scrutiny Panel Cllr Kevin Bentley
Planning Committee Cllr Pauline Hazell
Local Plan Committee Cllr Lewis Barber
Licencing Committee Cllr Roger Buston
Governance & Audit Committee Cllr Dennis Willetts
Policy  Cllr Christopher Arnold
Heritage Cllr Simon Crow
Environment Cllr Peter Chillingworth




County Councillor Sue Lissimore and Borough Councillors Dennis Willetts and Lewis Barber met with the Senior Highways Engineer responsible for the resurfacing of Lexden Road.

He explained the process used by their contractor:

  • Surface dressing is used on roads where the top surface is in need of renovation, but the sub-surface structurally sound.
  • If substantial wear or damage affects the substructure, then the more expensive black tarmac finish is used.
  • Surface dressing extends the life of the road by around 7-10 years. 
  • Defects are filled and cracks sealed to ensure water doesn’t open them up again when it freezes. 
  • Once defects are sealed, a layer of bitumen is put down, granite chippings are added on top then rolled in. 
  • Vehicles can be allowed immediately back on the new surface and continue to embed the stones. 
  • Regular sweeping of the gutters and drains gets rid of excess stones which are inspected and, if clean, can be used again.

However, as local residents know all too well, clouds of dust were subsequently thrown into the air by vehicles moving at more than 20mph over the new road surface. The contractor has sent senior representatives to investigate what has gone wrong. In ten years of using the type of resurfacing, this has only happened once before. But interestingly, the same problems have also occurred in Circular Road South which was resurfaced at the beginning of this week.

The most likely reasons for the dust problem is either that the dry winter has caused excess dust to accumulate on the granite chippings while stored at the contractor's depot, or that that an excessive volume of granite chippings were added to the road surface such that it did not properly embed into the road surface.

Please be assured that a full investigation is taking place. There may be patches that need repairing or the Engineers may find that the surface needs to be relaid.

We will keep residents informed of all issues. Extra street sweeps will continue. The gullies have been emptied of any debris and are all now clear. We have been assured that there are no toxins in the dust, which is pure fine granite with no chemical additives.

Any concerns please contact:

Cllr Sue Lissimore

Colchester Borough Councillor for Prettygate ward.

Essex County Councillor for Drury division. 

Tel 07540 328316

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Friday 3rd May 2019


Colchester Conservatives are pleased to announce their new Group Leader will be Cllr Robert Davidson (Mersea & Pyefleet Ward).

Cllr Davidson was first elected in 1998 and has previously been both Leader of the Conservative Group and Leader of the Council, offering valuable experience to the role. He has lived and farmed here all his life, growing crops across the Borough.

To support him, the Deputy Leader will be Cllr Lewis Barber (Lexden & Braiswick Ward), an enthusiastic, younger member of the Council.

With 23 members, Colchester Conservatives remain the largest single party on the Borough Council.  Cllr Davidson anticipates continuing to be in opposition if Labour, Liberal Democrats and Highwoods groups again form a Coalition to run the Council.

Commenting on his new role Cllr Davidson said: 'I am looking forward to scrutinising the work of the coalition council. I am particularly looking forward to helping develop our next generation of community leaders. We have some real shining stars and I see my role as supporting any initiatives offering a brighter future for our borough.’

Cllr Davidson added: 'I pay tribute to our former Leader, Castle Ward Councillor Darius Laws, who earned respect across the chamber with his new ideas for Colchester, some of which the Council have delivered especially around his passion for a cleaner town centre, tourism, Colchester's Roman heritage and his love of the bicycle !’


It is time for change.

Time for a new Council with the determination to address the challenges and realising the true Roman tourist potential of Colchester.

It is also time for a Council who will ensure housing growth comes with infrastructure not continuous car-dependent urban sprawl.

Our villages and Mersea Island must be protected against over-development.

We will support business and enterprise, end costly and strategy stifling annual elections.

We will create a carbon neutral plan and we will not waste your council tax money.

The Colchester Conservatives need just one more Council seat to bring about the change we deserve.

Click on Manifesto picture above to read our full Manifesto document


Cllr. Darius G Laws, Castle Ward

Conservative (Opposition) Group Leader

Colchester Borough Council

07786 007 560