1. The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr. Watts.
County Councillor Burroughes, Ward Councillor Cook and Jo Denton also sent their apologies.
Councillors Matthew Lunn (Chair) Robert Wardley Mary Mann Doris Dearing Sam Steward John Calver
Public Robert Rous Tom Mountain (arrived during item 10)
Clerk Lydia Kirk
2. Cllr. Lunn declared an interest in item 10. It was noted that Sizewell B, where he works, is owned by a different company to the owners of the proposed Sizewell C. He requested a dispensation to join the discussion and share information on the planning proposals. This was granted.
3. Discussed after item 14. Tom Mountain introduced himself to the Council and stated that he would like to be considered for the vacancy of Parish Councillor. TM left the room whilst Councillors discussed his application. ML proposed co-opting TM. This was seconded by RW and carried unanimously. TM was welcomed back to the meeting and signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
ACTION Clerk to notify ESC of the new Councillor and send TM introductory letter.
4. The Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Parish Council on 27th July 2020 were approved as a true record of the meeting.
5. There were no matters arising.
6. Chairman’s report
The chairman reminded Councillors of the need to attend meetings regularly. If they do not attend a meeting for six months they automatically forfeit their position on the Council, even if apologies had been sent. He was sorry to report that since the last meeting Councillor Smith had been removed from the Council because of this rule. He thanked her for all her work over the years as a Councillor. He advised that people are permitted to apply to re-join the Council.
The chair also reported that, after a number of changes, the Planning Inspector has agreed that the Local Plan is compliant. It has been recommended that the Laxfield Road site has a maximum of 35 houses, rather than 50.
7. Clerk’s report
The clerk was pleased to report that the period for public exercise of rights has now ended with no requests to see our accounts or queries and that the external auditors has acknowledged safe receipt of our AGAR Part 3 paperwork.
The ICO has confirmed that its offices have been closed due to Covid so our cheque for fees as a Data Processor has not yet been processed.
Planning application updates:
Owl’s Green sewage works- permitted
Little Crimbles caravan- decision still awaited
Little Wish tree works- permitted
8. Responsible Financial Officer’s report
The following payments were approved:-
Invoices with full details of items above were available for viewing at the meeting.
b) No funds had been received since the last meeting
c) No payments had been made since the last meeting
d) The bank balances as at 31st August 2020 were:
Current Account £3,739.34
Active Saver £847.80
Equipment Account £3,455.89
e) The bank statements and bank reconciliation to 31.08.2020 were reviewed and signed by RW as the Examining Councillor.
f) The review year-to-date receipts and payments account was circulated prior to the meeting and was considered to be in order.
g) NALC have now set out their pay awards for 2020-2021. As per the Clerk’s contract, the Council agreed to NALC’s recommended pay increase of 29p/hour for the clerk. This is to be backdated to 1st April 2020.
9. Came & Co’s insurance renewal was considered suitable for the Council’s needs.
ACTION Clerk to check that the tractor mower is included for fire and theft under its separate insurance policy as it is not covered as an asset under this policy.
10. The Sizewell C planning application was discussed.
ML shared some slides with the Council about the stages of the Development Consent Order, transport arrangements and local mitigations. RW shared some of his opinions about the proposal. Robert Rous was invited to give his opinions on the subject as he raised it at the last meeting. Robert urged the Parish Council not to consider the pros and cons of nuclear energy itself but to address the local impacts of the scheme. He thought the new road by-passing Theberton and Middleton would unnecessarily ruin virgin countryside and would not be of much advantage after the building works had been completed. He would also like as much equipment to come via sea and rail as possible.
It was agreed that Dennington Parish Council would like to register as an interested party and send a written representation. ML left the room whilst DPC’s representation was discussed. DPC agreed to ask for ANPR cameras to monitor and control Sizewell traffic entering the A1120 at Stowmarket and Yoxford. Also to ask that as much equipment and materials are transported by rail and sea as possible. The Parish Council would like to see that a pontoon is constructed, as was the case with Sizewell A and B. This would reduce the necessity for the Theberton by-pass and reduce vehicles on other local roads. This response was proposed by SS, seconded by JC and carried unanimously.
ML was invited back into the meeting
ACTION Clerk to register DPC and send representation before deadline of 30th September.
11. The village verges and public footpaths are maintained by a village resident. Maintenance expenses for the verges are covered by private arrangement with another resident. Footpath maintenance is being carried out on a voluntary basis, with no recovery of expenses. A question has arisen as to whether the Council should cover the footpath maintenance costs and how public liability insurance cover for the verge and footpath cutting is maintained. Various options (e.g. a contract for service, a contract of employment or voluntary basis) are being explored and a report will be made at the next meeting.
12. To discuss highways and footpaths issues
i) ML will contact the Highways Department & Stephen Burroughes to enquire about extending the 30mph zone to include entrance to the village hall. He has results of a recent traffic survey showing the speed of vehicles travelling along the southern stretch of this area.
ii) ML has written to homeowners next to the proposed locations for the Vehicle Activated Sign (2 locations on Laxfield Road, 1 on Saxtead Road and possibly 1 on Dennington Road. There are no suitable locations on Framlingham Road.) Homeowners’ consent is required before this can be progressed. In addition, there is a list of recommendations for possible sites. ML will submit the applications when he has heard from all affected residents. ML advised that presently it can take 12 months for applications to be considered. Posts cost £190 each and it is likely that 4 will be needed and this would need to be budgeted for.
iii) Highways- RW observed that the village square still needs to be resurfaced. The Council has budgetted some funds to contribute towards this and RW will contact SCC Highways in this regard. He will also report laybys on Laxfield Road that need re-marking and faded central road lines that need re-painting.
Footpaths- ML has reported the fault on footpath 20 near the village hall. RW will report defaced or missing signs along footpaths 35, 37, 38 and 39.
13. Correspondence received since date of last meeting was considered.
RW will complete ESC’s form regarding rate relief for the Sports Club.
A resident has asked if Councillors’ contact information can be put on the Notice of Vacancy on the website. ML agreed that his phone number and email could be published.
RR left the meeting.
14. Councillors’ reports
There have been no Sports Club meetings since the last Parish Council meeting.
RW would like the village pillboxes to be listed in order to preserve them. ML wondered if they could be renovated with the help of the primary school.
ACTION ML to contact the landowner in this regard.
LK to contact ESC obtaining information on how to get buildings listed.
The County Councillor and Ward Councillor’s Reports for September have been circulated and published on the village website.
There were no members of public present at this point.
15. Matters to be raised at the next meeting
Update regarding pillboxes
Mowing obligations and options
16. The date of the next meeting was confirmed as Monday 9th November 2020.
There being no further business, the Chairman thanked Councillors for attending and closed the meeting at 8.45pm.