Minutes of the meeting of the WICKHAM MARKET PARISH COUNCIL held on Monday 16 January 2012 at 7.30pm
PRESENT: Mr M Argent (Chairman),Mrs J Breese, Mr R Cooke, Mrs J Evans, Mr G Jones, Mr M Manning, Mr B Nobbs, Miss V Pizzey, Mr J Ridd, Mr M Roseveare, Mrs E Salmon and Mr C Tucker..
ALSO PRESENT: Mr B Hall (Suffolk Coastal District Council), Mr M Bond (Suffolk County Council)
The minutes of the meeting held on 21 November 2011 were signed as a true
Mr Bond presented his report which had been emailed to all members with email. His report touched on public service borrowing and the resultant debt burden which he felt needed more stringent examination. Mr Bond also mentioned the library and projected closure of out of hours doctors base in the Resource Centre. These are dealt with elsewhere in these minutes.
There were no questions and the Chairman thanked him for his attendance.
With regard to Mr Bonds offer to use part of his locality budget to finance schemes in the village the Council agreed to ask him to meet the cost of repairing the bus shelter and repairing and replacing the seat by the skatepark.
4.1 Mrs Jenni Carberry, (Norther Area Manager, Suffolk Education Partnership) gave an update on the role of the Education Business Partnership. She then went on to explain how this related to the work of the Youthbus and gave a brief explanation of the different roles of the Youthbus.
She explained that any funds granted to the Youthbus were ring fenced, so if the Parish Council chose to give a grant to the Youthbus, then it would only be spent on services in Wickham Market.
Historically the bus costed approximately £2,000 a month to run including staffing. However efforts were being made to seek sponsorship and the bus was to be used for other services such as bringing careers advice to schools. A bid was also about to be submitted to the National Lottery for a sum of £300,000. This would ensure that the Youthbus continued for the next 2/3 years. This entailed the preparation of a business plan which when completed would give a clearer picture of the future for the service.
The Parish Council thanked Mrs Carberry and:
That a grant of £600 be awarded in respect of 2011/2012 financial year and the award of any future grant be deferred until the business plan was completed and the result of the Lottery bid was known.
4.2 Finger Post - the Council agreed to defer final consideration of the provision of a “finger post” in the village until its next meeting to allow members to give some thought to which sites they wanted indicating and where the post should be sited. This information would allow a more accurate estimate of cost to be obtained.
4.3 Bus Shelter - it was reported that the repairs to the bus shelter had been carried out at a cost of £166.20.
4.4 Major events for 2012 - The Chairman brought the Council up to date on the current arrangements nationally and in Suffolk for the Olympic Torch procession on 5 July 2012. This was clearly going to be an important day for the village. Already the local school, together with neighbouring schools, was organising a sporting event for the morning of the procession. It was vitally important that all organisations within the village get together and take on whatever elements of the days celebrations that were appropriate for them.
To this end a public meeting had been called for Monday 23 January 2012 in the village hall committee room to discuss ideas and organisational contributions for the day. The Chairman asked all members to speak to the organisations with which they had contact and encourage them to attend.
The Jubilee celebrations around 5 June 2012 were likely to be on a more street by street basis with areas throughout the village organising their own event. Jubilee day would also be discussed on 23 January 2012.
4.5 Wickham Market Partnership were to meet Suffolk County Council on 29 January 2012, hopefully to get definitive information on the financial commitment in taking over the library. This matter would be on the March 2012 agenda for discussion.
4.6 Parish Council website - this was still being developed and a “draft “ website would be demonstrated to the Parish Council at its March 2012 meeting.
4.7 Parish Plan - no further action would take place until the implications of the Localism Act 2011 for parish councils were known.
A member of the public expressed their concern at the apparent loss of the out of hour's surgery facility from the Resource Centre. Mr Hall, as part of his report, echoed these concerns and stated that he and Mr Bond were attending a meeting at the County Council the following day when pressure would be brought on Harmoni to reinstate the service. At the very least before any closure there should be a public consultation exercise to enable users to have their say.
Mr Hall was still pursuing superhighway broadband for the village and he hoped that all would be users would support his efforts and clearly demonstrate that the village wanted a fast broadband service.
He had attended a meeting with the Clerk and representatives of Suffolk Coastal Services to consider the provision of movement activated sensor lighting for the skatepark area. This might dovetail in with action by the Wickham Market Bowls Club to improve their floodlighting. Much depended on cost.
Finally he was meeting the energy efficiency organisation “Groundwork” to review energy efficiency at the Village Hall and Resource Centre and as a result suggest improvements to the current situation.
The Council asked that every effort be made to ensure that a report of the parish council meeting appeared regularly in the Parish Magazine. This kept the village informed (session closed at 8.52pm).
Four crimes had been reported in the village since 19 December 2011 compared with 28 in Kesgrave, 6 in Rendlesham and 39 in Woodbridge.
The three priorities set by the Community Panel included increased enforcement of speeding and parking issues in Wickham Market, particularly in the Dallinghoo Road area of the Wickham Market Primary School. I addition regular patrols of the Hill were taking place to combat anti-social behaviour.
The report then detailed action to take to prevent theft of heating oil and from vehicles.
7.1 Applications considered since your last meeting - 17 Bordercot Lane Industrial Estate, Riverside View, Wickham Market IP13 0TA - change of use of workshop and office to retail showroom for the sale of curtains, blinds and soft furnishings (no objection).
7.2 Decisions received since your last meeting - White Hart Court, High Street, Wickham Market - installation of two wall mounted air handling units (planning permission and listed building consent refused); Workshop, Old School Farm, High Street, Wickham Market IP13 0HE - change of use from furniture makers to stoves and fireplace showroom (permission granted); 17 Bordercot Lane Industrial Estate, Riverside View, Wickham Market IP13 0TA - change of use of workshop and office to retail showroom for the sale of curtains, blinds and soft furnishings (permission granted); 2 Fir Close, Wickham Market IP13 0UB - application to reduce beech tree in front garden by 50% (application refused).
8.1 Cemetery maintenance - it was reported that the current contract with Suffolk Coastal Services Ltd for the maintenance of the cemetery expired on 28 February 2012. Consequently tenders had been invited from three local gardening contractors to carry out the maintenance from 1 March 2012 to 28 February 2015.
Only one tender had been received, again from Suffolk Coastal Services Ltd.
Suffolk Coastal Services Ltd was able to keeps its price fixed at the 2010/2011 level and was not proposing any increase in the 3 year period of the tender. So for 2012/2013/2014 the price per year would be £7,200 which totalled £21,600 over the 3 years. The VAT which was charged on top of this sum was recovered annually from HM Revenue and Customs.
The Parish Council thanked Suffolk Coastal Services Ltd for the good job it did in maintaining the cemetery and:
That the tender from Suffolk Coastal Services Ltd for the period 1 March 2012 to 28 February 2015 in the sum of £21,600 (£7,200 per annum) be accepted.
8.2 Cemetery Fees 2012/2013 - the Parish Council considered the recommended schedule of cemetery fees which had been increased by between 5% and 10%. It accepted that the increase were an attempt to reduce the loss made by the cemetery each year and better reflected the general level of cemetery charges elsewhere.
That the schedule of charges as annexed to the official minute book be implemented from 1 April 2012.
8.3 It was reported that new fence panels had been erected around the waste bin area. The cost had been met by a local resident.
9.1 Bi-monthly accounts - November/December 2011 - these were noted and accepted.
9.2 Budget for 2012/13 - the Parish Council received the proposed budget for 2012/2013. Councillor Tucker reported on data which showed that out of 100 villages in Suffolk Coastal District, Wickham Market lay 54th in its level of recept. He felt that current precept levels were too low to be safe in the event of an emergency or allow the Parish Council to provide all the services that it would like to. He accepted that it was not an easy time to increase any charge but pointed out that every increase of £1,000 on the current precept cost the Wickham Market Council Tax payer an extra £1.25 per year.
As part of its budget consideration the Parish Council considered the financial position of the village hall and its longer term future. One of the expenses that the Village Hall Management Committee were finding onerous was the cost of the play area at £2,000 per annum. This was mainly as a result of the annual inspection of the play area that was required. The Parish Council agreed that and additional grant of £2,000 per annum to the village hall would help meet these costs.
The Chairman supported this view and reported on the additional demands on Parish Council funds that were likely in the next few years. These included the locally run library, repair or replacement of the village hall, grant to the youthbus etc.
The Parish Council accepted these points and:
That the budget for 2012/13 as annexed to the official minute book be approved.
9.3 The Localism Act 2011 was far reaching as far as parish councils were concerned, particularly in the areas of planning and finance. As a result it wasfelt that it would be useful to purchase a copy of the Act for future eference.
That a copy of the Localism Act be purchased at a cost of £44.75.
10. ITEMS FOR NEXT AGENDA
The finger post and Council website.
The meeting closed at 9.45pm