Minutes of the meeting of the WICKHAM MARKET PARISH COUNCIL held on Monday 17 January 2011 at 7.30pm
PRESENT: Mr G Plater (Vice Chairman), Mrs P Bell, Miss P Johnson, Mrs S Lewis, Mr M Manning, Mr M Roseveare and Mr C Tucker.
ALSO PRESENT: Mr B Hall (Suffolk Coastal District Council)
The minutes of the meeting held on 15 November 2010 were signed as a true record.
In Mr Bonds absence there was no report.
4.1 Outreach project - Mrs Bell reported that the scheme was now in its second year. Fourteen schemes had been funded with various levels of success. 20 local clubs and groups were now registered with the project.
4.2 Carers in Wickham Market - 23 family carers had registered for the pilot programme which was completed at the end of November 2010. The second programme began on 12 January 2011 with 19 participants. Funding for the project would cease in January 2012 so it was important to provide a sustainable service in Wickham Market.
4.3 The future of Lehmann House - the main problem in retaining Lehmann House was cost and many options put forward were financially unviable. The annual £1.1m running costs were divided between 38 residents and it seemed that Suffolk County Council could provide care for half the cost in the private sector. Discussions with other bodies were ongoing.
4.4 The Annual Parish Meeting was scheduled for 18 April 2011. The Chairman was unable to make the meeting and on alternative dates the Village Hall was no available. An approach would be made to see if the school hall was available but otherwise an alternative chairman would have to be found.
5.1 A member of the public expressed concern at the construction traffic movements that would be involved with the redevelopment of Deben Court if planning permission was given. This could lead to difficulties at the junction with the High Street. Whilst the Parish Council wanted to see the site redeveloped it had recognised that traffic and pedestrian movements in Chapel Lane could be difficult as the Lane was very narrow. However this would be considered by Suffolk County Highways who had not yet indicated any objections to the proposal.
Some tenants within Deben Court were on a shorthold tenancy and as such were unlikely, automatically, to be offered a property within the new development should it be built. (session closed at 8.10pm)
6.1 Mr Hoe presented the police report from 10 December 2010 to 10 January 2011. There had been five recorded crimes compared to eight in the same period last year. Police priorities within the village were going to be anti-social behaviour and minor damage on the Hill and traffic offences.
Now that the police were regularly checking the toilet block in the Percy Mason car park young people have been deterred from congregating in the area.
7.1 The Clerk presented a letter from the Wickham Market Football Club indicating that they were hoping to re-roof the clubhouse at a cost of £16,000 and were seeking grant aid from other bodies. However each external funder had indicated that they would not consider awarding a grant because the local parish council was giving nothing. The Club was therefore seeking a pump priming grant from the Council to help their applications to other funders.
That a grant of £500 be awarded to the Football Club towards the cost of the new roof.
8.1 Applications dealt with since last meeting - Land north of Valley Farm Cottage, Valley Road, Wickham Market - retention of nine cabins for childrens summer use (no objections submitted),; Mobile Home,Valley Farm, Valley Road, Wickham Market - retention of mobile home used as ancillary living accommodation (no objections submitted); 70A High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0QU - conversion of building into 2 x one bed residential units and alterations to facade, alterations of shop window and entrance door and insertions of two conversion roof lights (no objections submitted - concerns expressed about door on to road, and means of fire escape); Land and barn, rear of 2-6 Little Lane, Wickham Market - erection of one dwelling, existing barn to be demolished (objections submitted on the grounds; 1. That the barn is within a Conservation Area and if it is to be replaced the footprint of the new building should be the same as the current barn 2. That certain of the proposed windows overlook existing properties with consequent loss of privacy. 3. That the barn was part of the listing of Hill House and the Committee assumes that it is still listed and as such forms an important, historical element of the Area.); 119 High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0RD - external and internal alterations to include: erection of rear extension to form glass house (demolish existing rear additions), alteration/creation of internal partitions, alterations/insertions of windows, doors and roof lights and alteration/removal to exterior wall (no objections).
8.2 Decisions received since the last meeting - 12 Churchill Crescent, Wickham Market IP13 0RW - erection of single storey side extension (permission granted); The Old Maltings, Chapel Lane, Wickham Market IP13 0SD - alterations to extend roof to cover the valley (permission granted); Land north of Valley farm Cottage, Valley Road, Wickham Market - nine cabins for childrens summer holidays and retention of mobile home (permissions granted); 70A High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0QU - conversion into two residential units (permission granted)
8.3 The planning application relating to the Gospel Hall site had been withdrawn and no further action would be taken.
9.1 It was reported that all the allotment plots on the Glebe were now tenanted.
10. CEMETERY MATTERS
10.1 Cemetery Fees - 2011/2012 - the Parish Council considered the schedule of cemetery fees for 2011/12 and noted that no increases had been recommended. In view of the current economic climate the Council accepted this view and:
That no increases be made to the cemetery fees for the financial year 2011/2012 and that all undertakers and stonemasons be advised.
11. FINANCIAL AND LEGAL MATTERS
11.1 Bi-monthly accounts November and December 2010 - these were noted and accepted.
11.2 In May 2010 a youth club had been started at the Beehive for 10 to 14 year olds. This had been run by the church through local youth workers and catered for 28-30 youngsters attending regularly each week (there were 41 registered). The total cost of the youth club was £150 per week plus heating and running costs of the beehive. This amounted to £1800 in a 12 week term. The Club was asking for some financial assistance of approximately 15-20% of these costs.
The Council supported the work of the Club but felt that any long term financial commitment was inappropriate. Consequently it agreed that a grant should be given in the next financial year but any further grant aid would need to be applied for and would be dependent on the then success and popularity of the club.
That in financial year 2011/2012 a grant of £1,000 be made
11.3 Precept for 2011/2012 - the Finance Group had met and formulated the budget for the coming year which was circulated and discussed. Allowance had been made in the budget for the elections in May 2011 and for various other cost increases which were likely in the current economic climate. With prudent management it was agreed that the precept did not need to be increased for 2011/12 but it was accepted that in 2012/13 cemetery fees, allotment rents and the precept were likely to have to be increased.
That the precept for 2011/2012 be set at £20,000.
11.3 Standards - Early notification has been received from the District Council's Monitoring Officer that from late 2011 the Government intended to remove all requirements regarding standards, except that Members continue to declare personal interests and do not use their position improperly. Failure in respect of these will be a criminal offence. The Parish Council would need to decide if it wanted to retain any form of Code of Conduct for the future.
11.4 Referendums - SALC had reported that it looked like precept referendums would be applied to parish and town councils from 2012-13 although this would be subject to a de minimis threshold. It was likely that this would penalise some of the most active and productive councils. Additionally, in the event that councils did apply a 0% precept rise they would not be rewarded for doing so. If principal local authorities froze their council tax they would be rewarded with a payment of an additional 2.5% from taxpayers money but this time in the form of a payment via Government rather than through the council tax. There were serious concerns that this would undermine the ability of local councils to carry out legitimate community projects, hence in turn undermining the Government's desire for a Big Society with more activity at a local level.
11.5 The Localism Bill had gone through its first reading in the House of Commons. If enacted this would affect the way parish councils had to deal with finance, planning matters, the provision of some local services etc. No further information was available for the meeting.
11.6 Mr Revett had resigned from the Parish Council as from 1 January 2011. Because of the timing of the resignation prior to the elections in May 2011, there was no need to advertise a casual vacancy, so the Council would be operating with twelve members.
12.1 A letter had been received from UK Power Networks (UKPN) that had been requested by the Co-op Society to underground the overhead cables which currently crossed the corner of the old garage site and went into the Bowls Club site. UKPN was seeking the Parish Council's permission to underground the cables along part of the village hall access road onto the grass then turn left to go into the Bowls Club. UKPN would take all reasonable steps to ensure that the works were carried out with the minimum disruption and would restore all surfaced areas that were disturbed.
That permission be given for the works to be undertaken subject to minimum disruption and restoration of all disturbed surfaces.
12.2 Suffolk County Council Trading Standards had written concerning “Consumer Champion Network” an initiative to help residents to access and share consumer protection information. The aim was to help people to know about their consumer rights and increase the fight against rogue scams and traders.
They were looking to recruit a “Consumer Champion” to act as a link between Trading Standards and the local community. It was agreed that this matter should be mentioned in the parish magazine to see if anyone was interested.
12.3 It was noted that the term of office of the Parish Council's representative on the Barker Educational Foundation, Mr David Edwards, expired on 31 December 2010. The Chairman, in accordance with his delegated authority, had authorised the re-appointment of Mr Edwards for a further two year period.
12.4 The future of library services - no further information was available at the moment.
13. SUGGESTIONS FOR NEXT AGENDA - there were none forthcoming
The meeting closed at 8.45pm