Minutes of the meeting of the WICKHAM MARKET PARISH COUNCIL held on Monday 21 November 2011 at 7.30pm
PRESENT: Mr M Argent (Chairman),Mrs J Breese, Mr R Cooke, Mrs F Etheridge, Mr G Jones, Mr B Nobbs, Mr J Ridd, Mrs E Salmon and Mr C Tucker..
ALSO PRESENT: Mr B Hall (Suffolk Coastal District Council), Mr M Bond (Suffolk County Council) and PCSO Sally-Anne Chattenbury (Suffolk Police)
The minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2011 were signed as a true
Mr Bond presented his report which had been emailed to all members with email. Mr Tucker requested that Mr Bond monitor the situation with regard to the dimming and turning off of street lights in the area. Mr Bond felt that with the need to save money the policy needed to be given a chance but he asked Mr Tucker to send him a copy of all his emails to Suffolk County Council on the issue so that he had some background on the matter.
Mr Bond stated that looking at the agenda there were various items of possible expenditure, including the library, which he might be able to help with from his locality budget. The Chairman thanked him.
It was reported that a letter had been received from the Wickham Market Partnership indicating that it was pushing forward with plans to take over the running of the library. It had been developing a business plan for the taking over of the front of house services as a pilot scheme with Suffolk County Council seeking a 30% saving in costs. Wickham Market library had an overall annual spend of approximately £29,000 and 30% savings would have to be made on this amount (approx £8,700).Actions were already in place to determine where savings could be made, with a marketing plan for the community rooms being investigated together with savings on utility bills.
The Partnership was asking the Parish Council for its support and an annual grant in the order of £1,000.
Mr Owen, a Partnership trustee, reported that Wickham Market was one of 7 pilot schemes likely to start in the Spring of 2012 and the business plan was looking at the future of the whole building which would be marketed as a community asset called Wickham Market Community Rooms. A management committee would be appointed to manage the library and it was hoped that the hours of opening would be extended from 22 to 38½ through the use of volunteers and some paid library staff.
The cost of the proposal was still unknown and Suffolk County Council had now approved an Independent Provident Society as the mechanism to operate libraries.
Each library would have to contribute 5% of the direct costs of the library. At Wickham Market the direct costs were £20,000 so the contribution would be around £1,000. In addition each community would be expected to take on the running costs of the library which for Wickham Market was currently £9,231pa. The County Council grant towards these costs was £5,565 pa leaving £3,666 plus £1,000 direct costs for the village to find. It was likely that the County Council grant would be paid for two years.
The Partnership was now looking for a financial commitment from the Parish Council to allow them to build it into their business plan.
It was agreed that the £1,000 would be put into the draft budget for 2012/13 and considered by the Finance Group when it considered next year's finances. The final decision would be made by the Parish Council at its meeting in January 2012 when it approved its budget for 2012/13.
5.1 New litter bins - The Parish Council received information on the proposed new litter bins for the Hill. These were larger to meet demand and would be sited where the current ones were so that they could easily be seen and used. Similar bins had been used in other conservation areas in the District and no adverse comments had been received.
That permission for the new bins to be sited be given, but that no financial contribution be made to their cost.
5.2 Repairs to bus shelter - it was reported that the cost of repairs to the shelter was £166.20.
That the repairs to the bus shelter be approved at a cost of £166.20.
5.3 Finger Post - following the suggestion of a finger post being erected in the middle of the village it was reported that it was likely that such a sign would need planning permission, particularly in a Conservation Area. If it went on the highway then County Highways would need to approve it and the contractor to erect the post. It was considered that as such a post could be seen to support tourism and trade it might meet the criteria of a District Council Economic Development grant. The Clerk was asked to pursue this before final costing's were put together.
5.4 Mrs Evans confirmed that the Christmas market would be on 3 December 2011 and the trees and lights would go up around the Hill on 27 November 2011.
The Parish Council noted with satisfaction that in the forthcoming increase in car parking charges throughout Suffolk Coastal District, no increases were proposed for the charges on Wickham Market car parks.
7.1 It was reported that since 19 September 2011 fifteen crimes had been reported in the village compared with 57 in Kesgrave, 15 in Rendlesham and 96 in Woodbridge. Police action was to be tasked against speeding in the village and regular patrols were to be put in place to combat anti- social behaviour.
7.2 At its last meeting the Council deferred a decision on appointing a Parish Councillor to the Safer Neighbourhood Team until more members were present.
That Mr Graham Jones be appointed to represent the Parish Council on the Safer Neighbourhood Team.
A member of the public hoped that the aforementioned finger post would proceed reasonably quickly. Another commented that they were pleased that the Olympic torch was coming through the village but hoped that all the untidy areas in the centre of the village could be tidied up, The Chairman expressed the hope that all residents would do as much as they could to make sure the village looked at its best on 5 July 2012.
Councillor Hall went through his report on such issues as Out of Hours surgery cover, the redevelopment of Deben Court, the Co-op site and priorities for the District Council following a survey of district councillors.
The Parish Council congratulated Wickham Market Primary School for being
shortlisted in the final 3 for Suffolk Coastal Primary School of the Year Sports
Awards for providing high quality sport provision. The Council wished the School good luck in the final.
With regard to the youthbus the Parish Council agreed that Jennie Carberry from Suffolk County Council should be invited to speak on the matter at the January 2012 meeting. (session closed at 9.20pm)
10.1 Major Events for 2012 - the Parish Council was aware that in 2012 the village would be celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Torch being paraded through the village on 5 July 2012.
Clearly any village celebrations for one or both events would take a great deal of organising which was beyond the resources of the Parish Council. He hoped that all organisations within the village would become involved and felt that the best way of bringing these together was to have a steering group made up of representatives from like organisations eg sports, which could then organise the two days. He was intending to write to as many organisations as possible inviting them to get involved.
He stressed that without the involvement of everyone it would be difficult to do the village justice.
10. PLANNING MATTERS
10.1 Applications considered since your last meeting: White Hart Court, High Street, Wickham Market - installation of 2 wall mounted air handling units to the rear of the property (concern at differences in plans, listed building in conservation area, noise to residents, sought clarification): Workshop, Old School Farm, High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0HE - change of use from furniture makers workshop to stoves and fireplaces showroom (no objections submitted).
10.2 Decisions received since your last meeting: 119 High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0RD - erection of extension (permission granted); Hill House, 52 High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0QT - insertion of timber windows (rear elevation) in lieu of metal windows (listed building consent granted); land to rear of 131-141 High Street, Wickham Market (erection of detached dwelling (existing garages to be demolished) (permission granted); 14- 18 High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0HE - mixed use development comprising of retail store & 14 dwellings (6 to be provided in an affordable form) with associated car parking and landscaping. Construction of new vehicular access. (permission granted).
11. ALLOTMENT MATTERS
11.1 The Clerk reported that rents had been collected on the evening of 24 October 2011 and so far 95% of the rents had been collected and reminders would soon go out for those that were outstanding.
12. HIGHWAY MATTERS
12.1 The residents of Elm Road had asked for a grit bin to be sited at the end of the cul-de-sac as they maintained that in the icy weather the pavements were dangerous as the road rose quite appreciably to its junction with Dallinghoo Road. A local resident had agreed to “manage” the bin.
Suffolk County Highways had indicated that this needed the approval of the Parish Council and the bin would cost around £200 which the Parish Council would have to pay.
The Parish Council in considering the matter was aware that there were potentially a number of sites within the village that might claim a need for a grit bin, but at £200 a time it was impossible for the Parish Council to entertain this level of expenditure. However the residents should be advised to get together and buy a small amount of salt themselves for their own use or, if sufficient funds were raised, approach County Highways for a bin with the Parish Councils support.
13. FINANCE AND LEGAL MATTERS
13.1 Bi-monthly accounts - September/October 2011 - these were noted and accepted.
13.2 The report of the external auditor had been received which had raised the one issue of the Restatement of Fixed Assets. For 2010/2011 and subsequent years all fixed assets had to be shown against their cost of provision and not their insurance value. This had now been done and the external auditor was satisfied.
13.3 Members were reminded that the meeting dates for 2012 were as follows; 16 January 2012, 19 March 2012, 16 April 2012 (Annual Parish Meeting), 21 May 2012, 16 July 2012, 17 September 2012 and 19 November 2012.
13.4 The Parish Council received and approved the risk assessment report for 2011/2012. This covered the cemetery, bus shelter and street furniture, allotments, skatepark and basketball court, play areas and finance.
13.5 On 26 October 2011 the Parish Clerk had attended a briefing by Suffolk Coastal District Council, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Police on the budget situation for each authority in 2012/13 to 2014/15. It was clear that some very difficult decisions would have to be made, particularly from 2013/2014 onwards.
14.1 The Boundary Commission for England published on 13 September 2011 its initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituencies in England. Consultation was until 5 December 2011. No changes were proposed for Suffolk Coastal constituency.
14.2 Notification had been received of a consultation on the future of mobile libraries by the County Council. It was proposed that mobile library stops were removed from locations that were also served by a static library. No mobile library stopped in Wickham Market. The consultation had now ended but the responses would be considered by the County on 15 December 2011.
14.3 A letter had been received from the Wickham Market Bowls Club seeking financial aid towards the cost of hedge removal from around the bowls green. It appeared that roots from some of the hedging trees are now coming to the surface and adversely affecting the condition of the green surface. Representatives of the Bowls Club had been advised to give more details of the proposals to the Parish Council before it could consider any grant aid.
15. ITEMS FOR NEXT AGENDA
Progress on the Parish Council website and the Parish Plan.
The meeting closed at 9.40pm