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Latest Parish Council Minutes

DRAFT Minutes of meeting of

Dennington Parish Council held at the Jubilee Hall

on Monday 15th November 2021 at 7.30pm

1. The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. County Councillor Burroughes, Ward Councillor Freeman, Robert Rous, Penny Evers and Pene Welham sent their apologies.


Matthew Lunn (Chair) Robert Wardley Doris Dearing Sam Steward Mary Mann John Calver Nick Watts Lydia Kirk (clerk)

Absent Rebecca Fox

Residents Shirley Cunningham Charles Denton Jo Denton (during item 7)

2. There were no declarations of interest.

3. The minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council on 13th September 2021 were approved as a true record of the meeting and signed by the Chair.

4. There were no matters arising.

5. The Chair has raised concerns that as BT replace analogue landlines with digital lines, people will not be able to use their landlines in the event of a power cut. Mobile phone masts are also powered in the same way. By 2025, residents will need to have the internet in order to use a landline. ML has raised this with Dr Dan Poulter MP, Cllr Burroughes and the Head of SCC’s Emergency Planning department.

6. SALC’s area forums have now been opened up to clerks as well as Councillors. The clerk will try to attend whilst they are held digitally. Since the last Parish Council meeting, a vehicle has unfortunately damaged one of the recently refurbished village noticeboards. The person responsible has sent funds to pay for replacement Perspex, which the clerk purchased. RW has fitted this and also removed dents from the board.

7.Responsible Financial Officer’s report:

a) The following payments were discussed:

Reference Number




P15 21-22

£ 774.20

L. Kirk

Pay to 30.09.2021

P16 21-22


Dennington Village Hall


P17 21-22


Dennington Sports Club

Donation including reimbursing insurance costs

P18 21-22


Leiston C.A.B


P19 21-22


Dennington Church

Donation for lighting

P20 21-22


East Anglian Air Ambulance


P21 21-22



6 months payroll service

P22 21-22


L. Kirk

Reimbursement for replacement Perspex purchased from Simply Plastics 18/10/2021

P23 21-22*



1 dog bin

P24 21-22*


Dennington Village Hall

Hall hire 15.011.2021

* Raised after the agenda was issued

With both the Sports Club and the Village Hall receiving very large grants from the Government last year due to the pandemic, ML proposed not donating to the Village Hall or Sports Club this year. RW proposed not paying the Village Hall donation and reducing the donation to the Sports Club to £400 to cover most of the insurance premium. The money saved could go towards Jubilee celebrations for the village.
s motions were seconded by JC and supported by 5 Councillors, with one abstaining. All other payments were approved.

b)  As agreed at the last meeting, a payment of £497.11 was made online for the annual insurance. The monthly direct debit for the Sports Club business rates restarted on 1st July 2021. 

Funds received since the last meeting:

£1,000 donation for future mower purchase- transferred to Equipment Account and ring-fenced.

£51.01 for replacement Perspex for noticeboard

c)  The bank balances as at 31.10.2021 were:

Current Account £4,536.19 Active Saver £6,923.81 Equipment Account £6,459.89

d)  The bank statements and bank reconciliation, as at 31.10.2021, were reviewed by MM in RF’s absence.

e)  The year-to-date receipts and payments account was considered alongside the budgeted figures.

f)  ML and RW have successfully gained access to make payments online. The other two mandates still need to do this.

8. Procedural

i) The precept and budget for 2022-2023 was discussed. Historically, the precept has been raised in line with inflation, but this is not appropriate this year with inflation being so high. The Parish Council is likely to underspend in its current financial year. Some Councillors were minded to freeze the precept level for another year, whilst others thought it should be increased by a nominal amount. It was noted the precept requestdeadline is the end of January so this will be discussed again at the next meeting.

ACTION Clerk to work out a draft budget which allows for £2,000 to be put towards the Jubilee whilst trying to keep the precept level the same.

ii) The Clerk outlined meeting dates for 2022, which will be circulated and shared on the village website. Councillors to notify the clerk in advance if they cannot make any dates.

9. Highways and Footpaths Issues

i)  ML has spoken to Cllr. Freeman regarding the additional speed sign update. She thinks she may have sufficient funding left in her budget for this purchase but will confirm in due course.

ii)  One dog waste bin has been installed at Maypole Green. The other one cannot go at the allotment as it is too far from the public road for Norse to empty it. Instead, it will go at the other end of the permissive footpath near to the old police station.

iii)  A parent from Dennington Primary School has contacted the Parish Council regarding safety concerns for parents and children are crossing the busy A1120 to get to the school from the car park. ML is liaising with SCC Highways Department, Suffolk Road Safety Partnership and Dennington Primary School in this regard. SCC Highways will be looking at the site to see what solutions they can recommend.

10. There have been no responses to the article asking for residents’ views on mowing communal land around the village. Jo Denton has asked if the ditch and outer edge of the ditch near the wildflower strip can be cut so that the wildflowers are more visible and to reduce the thistles. RW has cut the verge. The Horticultural Club is hoping to extend the area it plants and will be planting bulbs over autumn.

ACTION SS and/or NW will flail mow the ditch

11. The Festival of Suffolk and Platinum Jubilee was discussed. ML attended an online meeting with the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, outlining its intended events for the Festival of Suffolk. It was stressed that FoS events should support rather than duplicate normal events such as village fetes. The Parish Council considered various options to purchase an item for the village as a legacy from the Jubilee. ML had prepared a chart detailing costs, size, planning requirements and health and safety considerations for different items including a 6m fire beacon, a 2m gas beacon to go on top of the village sign, a 2m free-standing beacon and a flag pole. These were all considered and it was agreed that ML would draft terms of reference to give to the Jubilee Committee who would decide themselves how to spend jubilee funds from the Parish Council. RW proposed giving £2,000 from the Parish Council to the Jubilee Committee to help them fund events. This was seconded by NW and carried unanimously.

ACTION ML to draft terms of reference and call a meeting of the Jubilee Committee before Christmas. LK to contact the school, and ML to contact the Sports Club, to see they each have a representative who could join the Jubilee Committee.

12. The Clerk has contacted the local cabinet member for the environment, James Mallinder, who explained the difficulties and cost involved in recycling Tetrapak cartons. Whilst it is not possible to offer more recycling points locally, he knows of another village where a shed has been purchased for a volunteer to store Tetrapaks for the local community before they are taken in bulk to a recycling centre. He also pointed out that any Tetrapaks in the refuse bin would be generating energy from waste.

13. It was noted that the Suffolk Local History Council is a registered charity. There were no proposals to fund expenses for the Village Recorder currently, either directly or via a donation to the SLHC.

14. There will be a Dennington Q & A session with local MP, Dr Daniel Poulter, on Thursday 25th November. Residents are encouraged to share their questions with the Chair before the evening so that they can be grouped. The webmaster will advertise the event on the village website and the clerk will ask James Maberly to circulate the meeting details via his village emailing list.

ACTION Chair to schedule the Zoom meeting. Councillors to share details of the events with as many residents as possible.

15. The Parish Council has received three offers to help finance a village Christmas tree this year. It was suggested that Vashti’s offer to use some of the money raised from the fete to purchase a tree, be carried over to help fund the village Jubilee celebrations, and Councillors agreed to accept Dennington Hall Farm’s kind offer to purchase a tree and lights.

16. Correspondence received since the date of the last meeting was considered.

RW proposed nominating R. Rous for another three year term as a trustee of the Consolidated Charities Trust. This was seconded by JC and carried unanimously. RW will provide a copy of the Trust’s constitution to the Parish Council so it has details of its responsibilities surrounding nominative Trustees.

A £1,000 donation has been received from the Consolidated Charities Trust to go towards the purchase of a future village tractor mower.

ACTION LK to write and thank them.

R. Rous has written requesting that the Parish Council carries out village maintenance and improvements that SCC would have historically done routinely, in order to keep the village looking presentable and well cared for. He also noted that Kevin Cracknell has recently cleaned highways signs around the village, and the Parish Council thanked him for this. ML suggested forming a working party to help carry out village maintenance and replace signage. RW offered to help re-paint the village gateway signs. It was noted that SCC now allows villages to carry out work through its Community Self-Help scheme. ML will speak to Cllr. Burroughes in this regard, and will see if SCC would reimburse the Parish Council’s costs.

ML has completed the Business Rates Rate Review Form for the Sports Club. The clerk submitted this online on 8th November.


Reports from Ward and County Councillors’ were shared prior to the meeting.

Jo Denton commented that both she and Penny Evers were actually wanting to volunteer for a Queen’s Green Canopy Committee but that this now appeared to be being dealt with as part of the Dennington Consolidated Charities’ longer term plans for replanting certain areas of Dennington. Jo confirmed that she would still be happy to join the Jubilee Committee but that the Council needed to organise a meeting ASAP.

She also advised that the village hall had been provisionally booked for 2nd June for a village Jubilee event. It was noted that the village fete is provisionally booked for 16th July and having two separate events didn't seem to be consistent with the official advice that the Chair had relayed earlier in the meeting

17. Matters to be raised at the next meeting

Budget and precept

Report from Jubilee Committee meeting

18. The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 7.30pm on Monday 10th January 2022.

There being no further business, the Chairman thanked Councillors for attending and closed the meeting at 9.15pm.