Minutes of the meeting of the WICKHAM MARKET PARISH COUNCIL held on Monday 15 November 2010 at 7.30pm
PRESENT: Mr M Argent (Chairman), Mr G Plater (Vice Chairman), Mrs P Bell, Mrs J Breese, Mrs J Evans, Miss P Johnson, Mrs S Lewis, Mr M Manning, Miss V Pizzey Mr J Ridd and Mr C Tucker.
ALSO PRESENT: Mr B Hall (Suffolk Coastal District Council) and Mr M Bond (Suffolk County Council)
The minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2010 were signed as a true record.
3.1 Mr Bond reported that with regard to Campsea Ashe car park, he was disappointed that Suffolk County Council (SCC) had taken so long to get this matter sorted out. He was hopeful that the car park would be finished later this year.
He went on to report a meeting to discuss the future of Lehmann House held at the facility. SCC was having to change the way it worked mainly as a result og Government funds being drastically reduced. Unfortunately some of the first effects of this reduced level of funding were likely to be felt by older residents of the County.
SCC provided 526 care home place which represented 9.5% of the registered care home places in Suffolk. Unfortunately, whilst the average cost of a person in an SCC residential care home was £637 per week, in a private home it ranged between £306 - £502 per week. This meant that in Lehmann House the cost of maintaining 33 places was approximately £460,000. Councillor Bond emphasised that these were his figures.
The reason why SCC care homes were more expensive was that they were more highly staffed and levels of pay in SCC homes was greater than in the private sector.
Another problem facing care homes such as Lehmann House was that the Quality Care Commission now required that every resident should have an en-suite bathroom. This was impossible in Lehmann House on cost grounds and the fact that the building could not be re-designed to allow for this. In any event the residents were happy as they were and did not want en-suite facilities particularly if it meant endangering the future of Lehmann House.
He was also concerned that if SCC were having difficulties running care homes whilst under its direct control how could it cope when they were being run by contractors.
Mrs Bell reported that Peter Tempest, Head of Social Care, was willing to talk to the Parish Council at some future date.
This was clearly a matter of great importance to the village and the Parish Council would closely monitor progress.
3.2 It was reported that on the Suffolk County Council's website there were details of the County's “New Strategic Direction” which was the County's proposed solution to the challenges they face. All councillors and members of the public were recommended to visit the site.
4.1 It appeared that progress was being made on developing the Co-op site but it was unclear as yet what was happening. This would be kept under review.
4.2 Repairs to the bus shelter had been carried out at a cost of £172.
4.3 Mr John Ridd volunteered to represent the Parish Council on the Wickham Market Youth Committee.
5. OPEN SESSION
There were no matters for discussion in this session
6. POLICE MATTERS
6.1 The Clerk read out the police report for the period 15/10/2010 to 15/11/2010.
There had been 8 offences during this period as compared to 18 over the same period in 2009. A recent meeting of the Community Panel had agreed that priority should be given to reduce the instances of anti-social behaviour in Wickham Market and to concentrate on the enforcement of Road Traffic Law in the village in relation to parking and speeding.
The police also gave some general crime reduction advice which was appropriate at all times but particularly in the darker winter months. Hopefully these might get greater publicity. Finally there was a reminder to sign up to police direct.
The Parish Council asked that its thanks for the good work carried out by the Safer Neighbourhood Team be passed on.
7. PLANNING MATTERS
7.1 Applications dealt with since the last meeting:
12 Churchill Crescent, Wickham Market IP13 0RW - erection of single storey extension (no objections submitted): The Old Maltings, Chapel Lane, Wickham Market IP13 0SD - alterations to extend roof to cover the valley (no objections submitted): 52 Churchill Crescent, Wickham market IP13 0RW - erection of first floor addition to rear of dwelling (objections were submitted on the grounds that the application was too large and represented overdevelopment and the proposal would impact on the amenities of the neighbouring properties with loss of view and natural light.): 201, 212 and 216A and Land surrounding, High Street, Wickham Market - Demolition to the Gospel Hall, outbuilding and “Easticott” bungalow. The site proposal is for 9 mixed use Open Market and Affordable Housing. (an objection to the application was lodged on the grounds that the two vehicular accesses shown were not fit for purpose and unsafe): Deben Court, Chapel Lane, Wickham Market IP13 0SE - Demolition of Deben Court, Infirmary and Garages and the erection of 38 dwellings (12 No Flats, 22 No Houses and 4 No Bungalows) (this was considered by the Parish Council on 8 November 2010 and an objection was submitted on the grounds that the road that would ultimately serve the estate, Chapel Lane, was not appropriate to take the additional vehicular and pedestrian traffic that would arise as a result of this development)
7.2 Decisions received since the last meeting:
168 High Street, Wickham Market, IP13 0QY - proposed single storey rear extension (permission granted): Land north of Valley Farm Cottage, Valley Road, Wickham Market - change of use of land to expand 5 certificated licence site to 60 space camp/caravan site (permission granted)
7.3 Mrs Breese attended a planning forum on 20 October 2010 given by Suffolk Coastal District Council. She said she was disappointed in the overall presentation, however the aim was to have on line planning applications using Waveney DC's IT system which was more developed than at Suffolk Coastal.
She reported that great emphasis was put on the district and parish councils working closely together in the future. There was a lot of questions about the lack of enforcement on large scale developments and Adastral Park. More forums were planned for the future and it was hoped that they would look at the problem of large scale developments.
8. ALLOTMENT MATTERS
8.1 The Clerk reported that rents were collected on the evening of 18 October 2010 and so far approximately 98% of rents had been collected. Reminders were about to be sent.
9. CEMETERY MATTERS
9.1 Mrs Westover had purchased a number of native daffodil bulbs to plant in the cemetery and was seeking £40 towards the cost. Mrs Bell reported that there was £45 remaining in the Outreach Fund and this could be used towards the bulbs. It was agreed to let Mrs Bell speak to Mrs Westover and come back to this Council if the Outreach money was not ultimately available.
10. HIGHWAY MATTERS
10.1 It was reported that various roads in the village had been resurfaced over recent weeks making the situation much safer for road users. The Parish Council asked that a letter of thanks be sent to County Highways for the very efficient way they managed to resurface and re-mark the whole area in one day.
11. FINANCIAL AND LEGAL MATTERS
11.1 Bi-monthly accounts - September/October 2010 - these were received and noted.
11.2 The report of the external auditor had been received which had raised a number of small issues:
a. The need to carry out a risk assessment annually, this was later on the agenda.
b. The need to review the effectiveness of the internal auditor annually (this was done at the September 2010 meeting)
c.The need to review the fixed asset register to ensure it was up to date and that the value of assets shown is accurate (this was currently being done).
d. review the level of fidelity guarantee which was currently below what it should be as a result of the Parish Council holding £7,500 grant in respect of road signs and £2,500 annually for Outreach Grants. The cover should be year end reserves plus 50% of the precept. This was normally about £40,000 which was the current fidelity cover. With the current additional funds mentioned above the figure is nearer £50,000. The Clerk was talking to the Council's insurance company
11.3 The Chairman and Clerk attended a parish liaison meeting at Suffolk Coastal District Council on 10 November 2010. The meeting was part of the District Council's budget review process allowing parish councils to comment on key issues. The Chairman reported that very little real information had been obtained from the three authorities represented, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Police and it was clear that many decisions had yet to be made. All issues arising from the spending reviews would be brought before the Parish Council.
11.4 As reported at the last meeting both Mrs Lewis and Miss Johnson were retiring from the Parish Council at the next elections in May 2011. These two councillors were currently the cheque signatories along with the Parish Clerk. Both Cllr Mrs Evans and Cllr Mr Tucker had indicated that they were willing to act as cheque signatories from May 2011.
That Mrs J Evans and Mr C Tucker be appointed as cheque signatories for the Parish Council from May 2011 subject to any parish council election results.
11.5 The Parish Council received and accepted the Risk Assessment for 2010/2011. This covered the cemetery, bus shelter and street furniture, allotments, skatepark and basketball court, play areas and finance.
Mr Ridd and Mr Plater indicated that they were prepared to inspect the skatepark and basketball court on a regular basis.
12.1 The Clerk reported a letter from Ipswich and East Suffolk Headway seeking grant aid. It was agreed that this would be considered at the meeting of the Finance Group in early January 2011.
13. SUGGESTIONS FOR NEXT AGENDA
1. Outreach 2. Carers. 3. Lehmann House
The meeting closed at 8.45pm