MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING HELD ON
MONDAY 19TH MAY 2008 AT 7.30PM IN THE
COMMITTEE ROOM OF THE VILLAGE HALL, WICKHAM MARKET
Mr Argent, Miss Johnson, Mrs Lewis, Mrs Evans, Mrs Breese, Mrs Bell, Miss Pizzey, Mr Roseveare, Mr Manning, Mr Tucker, Mr Plater, Mr Ridd, Mr Hall (District Councillor)
1. APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN
The Vice Chairman sought nominations for Chairman. Mr Argent accepted his nomination by Miss Johnson, seconded by Mrs Bell, and was duly elected for a further term of office on the agreement of all Councillors.
2. APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIRMAN
Miss Pizzey nominated Mr Plater to stand as Vice Chairman for the coming year, seconded by Mr Manning. All agreed and Mr Plater accepted.
Mr P Revett, Mrs C Aitchison (County Councillor), Safer Neighbourhood Team.
4. ITEMS FOR ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a) The use of volunteers for spreading grit in winter conditions.
b) The retirement of the Clerk.
5. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Mrs Evans declared a personal interest in the car parking item 11.
6. ACCEPTANCE OF STANDING ORDERS
The Standing Orders, including the new element of Paragraph 12 (2) regarding prejudicial interests, were confirmed on the proposition of Mr Tucker, seconded by Mr Manning; all agreed.
7. ELECTION OF COMMITTEES & REPRESENTATIVES
Councillors agreed to continue in their current roles, with the exception of Mrs Evans coming off the cemetery committee, and Mrs Bell and Miss Johnson offering to act in an allotment liaison role. The remaining committees and representatives were re-elected en bloc on the proposition of Mr Plater, seconded by Miss Johnson. All agreed.
Cemetery G Plater, M Argent, M Roseveare, M Manning
Finance S Lewis, C Tucker, P Revett
Planning S Lewis, J Evans, J Breese, M Roseveare, P Revett
Allotments P Johnson, P Bell, B Catchpole (liaison for Simons Cross),
Village Hall rep S Lewis
SALC rep G Plater
Tree Warden T Peake
Footpaths T Peake
Campaign to Save
Our Rural Roads J Breese & V Pizzey to share role
8. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
The Minutes of the meeting held on 17th March 2008 were confirmed and signed on the proposition of Mrs Breese and seconded by Mrs Lewis. All agreed.
9. MATTERS ARISING
9.1 Pill box on Simons Cross playing field: Mr Tucker reported that his survey had revealed bats in the vicinity of the pill box. He has also visited the successful project in the Dedham Vale and was therefore confident that a similar project could work here. It would require metal doors being installed and the gun ports being blocked up, whilst soil over the top would help to keep the temperature constant. He will investigate potential costs and grants further.
9.2 Affordable housing: The latest plans had been successful, although written confirmation of this was awaited from planning. Other residents of Deben Court are still concerned about the condition of their dwellings and find it hard to understand the funding issues. The Clerk will contact Flagship Housing to ascertain if any improvements are planned.
9.3 Community Woodland: the launch of the project will take place on Friday 27 June at the school when parents are invited after 3pm to a tree planting ceremony, children having taken part in tree themed activities in the afternoon. Clare Aitchison is supporting this with a small grant.
9.4 Village of the Year: Wickham Market has been entered into the District round for larger communities.
9.5 Bus Shelter: Following the survey of over 100 residents in the Spring Lane area it is clear there is good support for a shelter, with only one outright objection adjacent to the current bus stop. It was agreed to pursue a shelter but sited on the triangle of pavement on the other side of Spring Lane. The total cost could be as much as £5,000 for a SCC owned shelter, that would need cleaning regularly by the Parish Council. A partnership-funded shelter would be more likely to be approved. Our County Councillor has offered £2,500 and it was agreed to add £1,000 from the Parish Council (and up to a maximum, if necessary, of £2,500), on the proposition of Miss Pizzey, seconded by Mrs Breese. Miss Pizzey and Mrs Breese would determine the design and style of the shelter, which would be within the Conservation Area.
9.6 Seat on Broad Road: the contractor had installed the seat, but it was later found to need moving because of pigeon droppings. A letter of thanks had been sent to the contractor for his help. Mr Coles will turf the surrounds, which will incur a small cost.
9.7 Hanging baskets: 9 sponsors so far (5 left)
9.8 Boundary Committee Review: to be placed on next agenda.
10. OPEN SESSION
Car Parking: The Chairman summarised the Parish Council's stance on objecting to their introduction and the negative response from the District Council to the suggestion of leasing. Councillor Andy Smith had finally responded re the question of leasing the car parks, but this was in the negative. Charges had been introduced on 1st April, with some confusion over signage, a lack of Pay and Display notices, and subsequent fixed penalty notices for some visitors. The Chairman invited responses from the public during the Open Session.
A number of business representatives were in attendance in response to the recent introduction of car park charges. A number of issues were highlighted, that had resulted from the District Council decision:
Mr Tucker highlighted the fact that local businesses cannot sustain losses in the long term, and that action should be taken now. It was suggested that it would be appropriate to use the media to air concerns and make people aware of the impact of the decision.
Mr Archer queried the wording on the consultation document regarding the removal of double yellow lines on the south side of the north arm of The Hill. This was explained.
Mrs Hellaby noted that the installation of bollards outside Quilters Haven had made a difference to the parking on the pavement but that her customers needed to load and unload their sewing machines there. Councillors could not condone parking on the pavement under any circumstances, but cited that loading could take place on the adjacent road providing it was only for the duration of that task. The vehicles could not be differentiated in any way, and if one parks on the pavement then others will follow suit.
Mrs Hughes asked whether the London Planes on The Hill were subject to a Preservation Order. As they are in the Conservation Area they do have protection.
(Mrs Evans left the meeting at 9.00pm)
11. CAR PARKING
Following the discussions during the Open Session it was agreed that an Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish Council, with the sole agenda of car parking, should be arranged in six weeks' time to gauge the financial impact of the charges on local businesses, and also the change in shopping habits that had resulted.
There was also concern that misinformation had appeared in the press and at Parish Liaison meetings, which gave the impression that the Parish Council had asked for intervention and sought the advice of the District, which was erroneous. Letters will be sent to Mr Baker as Chief Executive regarding the resultant issues of the introduction of charges, and to Mr Herring as Chairman regarding the implied support of the Parish Council.
It was also agreed that notices should be placed to make customers aware that this was not a Parish Council decision, but a District one, and to ask people to write in to the District Council with their concerns.
12. POLICE MATTERS
12.1 Safer Neighbourhood Teams: A report was circulated. Mr Hoe, Police Volunteer, reported that the last two surgeries at the Resource Centre had been quiet despite advertising. He advised that his role in crime prevention was to be highlighted and that burglar alarms are being promoted. He will also concentrate on allotment sheds. There are some problems with parking at the school. He noted that people are still joining the Police Direct service. Mr Manning thanked Mr Hoe for his assistance.
12.2 Alcohol Designation Order: no objections were received during the consultation period; the Order will be recommended for implementation at the next Cabinet meeting. Guy Richardson will advise on the location of signs, install and then recharge to the Parish Council.
13. WICKHAM MARKET PARTNERSHIP REPORT
Miss Errington had provided a written report:
Diabetic screening for patients was currently in progress, whilst regular sessions for the art group, Police Surgery, Citizens Advice Bureau and Take Care Now continue. The latter has reduced their hours to weekends only, and the Trustees have negotiated an agreement with the Primary Care Trust for use of the consulting room for physiotherapy sessions. Memberships with a variety of local organisations are renewed this month whilst the website hits continue to increase, reaching more than 15,000 in April. A reminder was given about membership of the Partnership giving 50 free words on the website. Sport items are noted in the next agenda item.
14. SPORT & LEISURE REPORT
14.1 Tennis courts - Contractors begin work on 21st May, taking an estimated 8 weeks plus a 3 week gap before lining can be completed. The only drawback in the first season is with exceptionally hot weather, which will result in the courts being unavailable in the afternoons. A water supply is being provided from the Simons Cross Allotments, for which the Partnership will cover additional water rates.
14.2 Basketball - Mrs Lewis declared an interest in this item as a trustee of the Wickham Market Partnership. The final cost of the improvements and extension to the basketball court is around £13,000, which, after grants from the Outdoor Playspace Strategy and potentially from the Local Strategic Partnership, together with donations, leaves a shortfall of £5,000. The Partnership can fund some of this. After discussion it was agreed that the Parish Council should cover half of this, in the sum of £2,500, on the proposition of Miss Pizzey, seconded by Mr Roseveare. All agreed.
14.3 Sports Pavilion - Funding has now been agreed from BIFFA, meaning the project can go ahead. It has been found that works will now need to go across the Simons Cross allotments, which the owners have agreed to provided they are given maps showing the route and allotment tenants are agreeable. Four tenants will be affected, who will be contacted by the committee, but this should just entail the digging of paths rather than plots. A licence for Alteration of Works will need to be sought from Suffolk County Council, as with the tennis courts, which will incur some legal costs from the Parish Council. The grant fund must begin to be spent within 6 months, with works hoping to be complete by Xmas.
15. PLANNING REPORT
15.1 Plans dealt with since last meeting:
a) 52 High Street - erection of garage in rear garden (recommended)
b) 17 Churchill Crescent - erection of extensions (recommended)
c) The Orchard Caravan Site - erection of mobile home for warden (refusal recommended)
d) The Orchards - installation of covered swimming pool within curtilage of dwelling (concerns expressed - further information awaited)
15.2 Decisions received since last meeting:
a) 7 Bordercot Lane - erection of conservatory (approved)
b) Erection of 16 dwellings (affordable housing) Deben Court (approved)
c) 155 High Street - erection of rear single storey extension (approved)
d) 10 Chapel Lane - erection of carport (approved)
e) Orchard Caravan & camping site - erection of mobile home - refused
f) Orchard Caravan & camping site - erection of swimming pool - withdrawn
15.3 New Plans to be dealt with:
a) Martins Newsagents - installation of satellite dish on rear
15.4 40 High Street - a site meeting was held with the owner's son-in-law, together with the Conservation Officer and Enforcement Officer, at which it was learnt that the house was to be put up for sale, which hopefully would address the repair issues.
15.5 31 Spring Lane - No action taken by owner at present. Untidy site notice expected to be issued shortly.
15.6 Roland Plastics - the owners have been made aware of the noise complaint, to which they have responded that this is a fixed term contract. However they are likely to want further overnight working, for which they will need to apply for extended hours, so there is an opportunity for objections at that point.
16. ALLOTMENT REPORT
16.1 The competition will take place on Thursday 26 June; judge will be Keith Beck. The prizes will be increased to £22 this year to reflect the increase in rents in October.
16.2 Miss Johnson raised the matter of gaining insurance for tenants through the Allotment Society again, which would cost a whole site £59 and cover members, rather than individual premiums of the same amount. A meeting will be encouraged.
16.3 Some maintenance work is expected on both sites with clearance and strimming.
17. CEMETERY REPORT
17.1 The turning circle is deteriorating and requires surfacing to the same standard as the main driveway. Quotes will therefore be sought.
17.2 The new Garden of Remembrance is due for use shortly and will require marking out for Miss Merriam, together with a decision on the type of memorial to be used.
17.3 Mr Plater suggested that barn owls could be encouraged to nest at the cemetery shed; he will make some enquiries via the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.
18. HIGHWAYS MATTERS
18.1 Bollards outside Quilters Haven - Raised during the Open Session.
18.2 School safety survey: The School Travel Plan has been sent in to the County Council; still awaiting contact. The criteria for school crossing patrols would be to visit and assess, taking into account pedestrian flows, traffic counts and unaccompanied children. It was agreed to await the outcome of the Travel Plan.
18.3 No Waiting Restrictions, The Hill - Double yellow lines on north side to be replaced with 1 hour waiting, 8am - 6pm, Monday to Saturday, no return within 2 hours. 27th May deadline for responses. No entry lines will be refreshed.
19. FINANCIAL & LEGAL
19.1 Bi-monthly accounts - Acceptance of the accounts for March - April was agreed on the proposition of Mr Roseveare, seconded by Miss Johnson. Additional accounts included the Suffolk Wildlife Trust subs of £30.
19.2 Annual Accounts - The Annual Accounts had been circulated and were adopted on the proposition of Mr Tucker, seconded by Mrs Lewis. Internal controls of the accounts were also agreed. They will now go to internal audit with Mrs Heelis.
19.3 Youth Football Club Licence - The annual licence was agreed for renewal.
20.1 National Air Traffic Service (NATS) - the consultation period for changed use of airspace over Suffolk has been extended.
20.2 Rural Deprivation Report - now available for consultation.
20.3 Local Strategic Partnership - priorities now listed on website.
21. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
21.1 Grit Bins using volunteers - Mr Plater referred to the article in the latest SALC magazine which highlighted the strict criteria required for volunteers to assist with grit spreading. Advice would be sought via Clare Aitchison.
21.2 Retirement of Clerk - Mrs Caudwell had written to all Councillors advising them of her wish to retire at the end of August for personal reasons. Notices for the vacancy will be advertised in the Parish Magazine and on the SALC website/magazine.
Monday 21st July 2008 at 7.30pm.
CLOSE OF MEETING: 10.06pm