Minutes of the meeting of the WICKHAM MARKET PARISH COUNCIL held on Monday 20 September 2010 at 7.30pm
PRESENT: Mr M Argent (Chairman), Mr G Plater (Vice Chairman), Mrs J Breese, Miss P Johnson, Mr M Manning, Mr J Ridd, Mr M Roseveare,
The minutes of the meeting held on 19 July 2010 were signed as a true record subject in item 6.2 to the deletion of the words “given to the village” and insertion of the words “ temporarily donated to the village within the terms of Higher Level Stewardship scheme with Natural England”
Mr Bond was unable to attend the meeting.
4.1 At its meeting in July 2010 the Council had agreed that before considering an increase in the annual grant to the village hall a meeting should be held with the Village Hall Management Committee (VHMC). Mr Plater reported on a meeting that he and the Clerk had attended with representatives of the Village Hall Management Committee on 3 August 2010.
The building, because of its age and structure was now in need of some ongoing maintenance work and was not energy efficient. In the past insufficient income had been received from lettings to cover the cost of the energy used for these events. Generally it was clear that the hall operated on a very tight annual budget with most years showing an overall budget deficit although the new management structure was beginning to get the financial situation under more control. Income that was due and had not been received in recent years would now be actively pursued.
More users were being sought but this was not always easy particularly as there were so many other venues available in the village. Mr Plater felt that the bottom line was that in the next 10 - 20 years the Parish Council would have to come to terms with having to replace the building as by then it would be too expensive to maintain and keep energy efficient. He felt that at the moment the VHMC should consider carrying out an energy audit on the building.
The Chairman was pleased that the financial situation of the hall was improving and felt that at this stage any financial help given should be appropriate to the current economic situation. The long term replacement of the building would have to be considered and planned for in the near future.
That a grant of £500 be awarded to the Village Hall Management Committee in respect of 2010/2011.
4.2 Wickham Market was one of the three villages (along with Clare and Moulton) that made it through to the final round of the county “Village of the Year” competition. Wickham Market was judged in third place and would be receiving a cheque for £250 and a certificate at a presentation ceremony on 2 October 2010. The presentation of the District Competition prizes, which Wickham Market won, was on 22 September 2010.
4.3 On 1 August 2010 an informal meeting was held with Flagship Housing on the future of Deben Court. The Parish Council had listened to the proposals but had not given any indication of their views at that stage. A public exhibition to show the proposals had been held, although not well advertised it seemed. The next stage would be the consideration by the Parish Council of the formal planning application when its views would be submitted to the District Council.
It was agreed that the planning application for the new development should be considered by a special meeting of the Parish Council.
4.4 No further information on the progress of the Co-op development had been forthcoming. The broken fence surrounding the site would be reported to the developers.
5. CAR PARKS
5.1 The Parish Council agreed that the Christmas tree lights should be turned on at 6.30pm on Monday 6 December 2010.
6. OPEN SESSION
There was no business for the open session
7. POLICE MATTERS
Mr Hoe presented the police report. Between 1 August and 23 September there had been 14 crimes reported in the village, 7 of which were criminal damage. The police were now more active in combating rogue parking and speeding in the village and were patrolling at different times of the day and night to combat anti-social behaviour. The Safer Neighbourhood team had been involved in various activities over recent weeks in the village including burglary and cycle awareness days and a crime reduction day. Another crime reduction day was to take place on 24 September 2010.
It appeared that the toilet block in the Percy Mason car park was becoming a target for anti-social behaviour. This had been noted by the police.
8. SPORT AND LEISURE MATTERS
The Parish Council noted that the trenchwork for the piping to the new Youth Football Club had been completed through the Simons Cross allotment site and playing field.
9. PLANNING MATTERS
9.1 Applications dealt with since the last meeting:
30 King Edward Avenue, Wickham Market IP13 0SL - application to replace extant planning permission CO7/1524 for erection of dwelling (no objections submitted): land north of valley farm cottage, Valley Road, Wickham Market- application for change of use of land to expand 5 certficated licence site to 60 space camp/caravan site (revised scheme) (no objections submitted): 168 High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0QY - application for proposed single-storey rear extension (no objections submitted)
9.2 Decisions received since the last meeting:
147 High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0RD - erection of single storey rear extension (permission granted): 15 California, Wickham Market IP13 0JL - erection of detached garage (permission granted): 215 High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0RQ - erection of a conservatory (permission granted): 30 King Edward Avenue, Wickham Market IP13 0SL - erection of dwelling (permission granted).
9.3 Suffolk Coastal District Council was currently reviewing the condition of properties within the District that were on the Suffolk Buildings at Risk Register. As part of this review they were asking if the Parish Council was aware of any historic assets within the village, which appear to be redundant, vacant or in a poor structural condition are potentially “at risk”.
The Parish Council identified no 40 High Street, Wickham Market and the small outbuilding behind it and no18 Spring Lane as meeting this criteria.
10. ALLOTMENTS MATTERS
10.1 It was reported that “Allotment watch” had begun on both allotment sites. This would result in greater police presence at the allotments and greater allotment tenant involvement in safeguarding the allotments.
10.2 Mr Holland had given notice that from 1 April 2011, the rent per annum for Simons Cross allotment site would increase from £300 to £400.
11. CEMETERY MATTERS
It was reported that the Green Gym events would begin again in October 2010. New volunteers were always welcome. Wickham Woods had had no success in finding a site for a new community wood and consequently the future of the project would reviewed at a later date unless an offer of land was forthcoming.
12. FINANCIAL AND LEGAL MATTERS
12.1 Bi-monthly accounts - July/August 2010 - these were received and noted.
12.2 The dates for next year's Parish Council meetings were as follows : 17 January 2011, 21 March 2011, 18 April 2011 (Annual Parish meeting), 16 May 2011, 18 July 2011, 19 September 2011, 21 November 2011.
12.3 Review of Internal Audit 2010/2011 - the Parish Council received a report from the Clerk on the Council's current internal auditor, Mrs Heelis of Heelis and Lodge. It was clear that the performance of the auditor was satisfactory and in line with the Council's requirements for financial regulation.
The auditor was on a fixed price three year contract to end 31March 2012.
That the Council express its satisfaction with the performance of the internal auditor and her services be retained.
12.4 An issue raised by the Internal Auditor was that the Parish Council's Financial Regulations had last been adopted in 1998 and were therefore in need of updating. Consequently the Financial Regulations had been reviewed and updated in accordance with model regulations from the National Association of Local Councils.
The Parish Council was satisfied that the amended Financial Regulations provided a satisfactory financial framework in which it, and the Responsible Financial Officer, could work and:
That the amended Financial Regulations be adopted and implemented from the date of this meeting.
12.5 The bus shelter on the Hill had once again been vandalised with a number of tiles having been loosened and raised. Two apparently had slipped off narrowly missing a pedestrian. The cost of repair had been put at £172.
That the necessary work be carried out to the bus shelter at a cost of £172.
12.6 Both Mrs Lewis and Miss Johnson had indicated that they would not be standing for re-election at the May 2011 elections. These two were the member cheque signatories with the parish clerk, so action needed to be taken before Christmas to get the ball rolling in changing the signatory mandate. Two members were required that would be standing for re-election in May 2011 and available at fairly short notice.
Mrs Evans had already indicated that she would be willing to act as cheque signatory. The Clerk would report back on progress.
13.1 The Suffolk Association of Local Councils was carrying out a Survey on Public Services and had sent a survey form with questions on Suffolk Policing, Suffolk NHS, Suffolk County Council, District/Borough Councils, External Auditor, Media and an Assessment of this Council's effectiveness. The document was too long to deal with at the meeting so the Council authorised the Chairman to complete the survey on its behalf.
13.2 The Government was carrying out consultations on referendums on capping parish council precepts as part of the process to cap county and district precepts. Unfortunately the deadline for responses was 10 September 2010. Consequently the Chairman had agreed that this Council's response should reflect that already made by the Local Associations Information Services. This response was very much against the proposals being put forward.
The Parish Council supported this view.
13.3 The Parish Council noted that Mr Alan Hammond from Orchard Campsite had indicated that he was willing to hang and water the hanging baskets again in 2011. The Parish Council expressed its gratitude for the excellent job he, and his staff, had done over the current summer and was grateful for his willingness to continue the role. The hanging baskets had once again improved the village centre enormously.
13.4 It was reported that Cllr Revett had indicated that he would resign from the Council on 1 January 2011, but up to that date he was unlikely to be able to attend any Planning Committee or Finance Group meetings. His place on both had been taken by Cllr Mike Argent.
14. SUGGESTIONS FOR NEXT AGENDA
14.1 There were no suggestions but the Clerk indicated that he was looking for a volunteer to represent the Parish Council on the Wickham Market Youth Committee.
The meeting closed at 9.00pm