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MPC(21)M06 Minutes of Full Council from 22nd September 2021

Full CouncilMinutes Uploaded on October 4, 2021

MPC(21)M06

Melton Parish Council  

Minutes of the Meeting of Melton Parish Council held on Wednesday 22 September 2021 commencing at 19:00 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT.

Present:

Cllr Mr A H Porter (Chair)

Cllr Mrs B Abbott

Cllr Mr B Banks

Cllr Mr N Brown

Cllr Mrs D Darby

Cllr Ms F Harvey-Smith

Cllr Mrs E J G Hilson

Cllr Miss K S Martin

Cllr Mr C W Taylor

Absent:

  Cllr Ms C Biggle

Cllr Mrs C Gradwell

 Cllr Mr M Holmes

Cllr Mr P James

 

In Attendance:

Mr W Grosvenor Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council Four members of the public

Mrs P Alder Assistant Clerk and Management Officer, Melton Parish Council

 

Item No Item under discussion
  PART ONE – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
21.88 TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Biggle, Gradwell and James. Apologies were also received from County Cllr Nicoll and District Cllr Smith-Lyte.

21.89 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
21.89.01 To receive Amendments to the Register

There were no amendments to the Register.

21.89.02 To receive Declarations of Pecuniary Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda

There were no declarations of Pecuniary Interest in respect of Items on the Agenda.

21.89.03 To receive Declarations of Non Pecuniary Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda

Cllr Martin declared a non pecuniary interest in respect of Item 21.99 on the Agenda.

21.89.04 To Consider Full / Partial Dispensations for Pecuniary Interests Declared

It was noted that there had been no requests for dispensation for Pecuniary Interests declared.

21.90 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION
21.90.01 To receive a report from District Councillor Rachel Smith-Lyte

Cllr Smith-Lyte forwarded a report prior to the meeting which was placed on the Melton Parish Council website. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.

21.90.02 To receive a report from County Councillor Alexander Nicoll

No report was received.

21.90.03 To receive comments on village matters raised by Members of the Public or Councillors

·         Cllr Hilson reported that the Citizens Advice sessions advertised in the Melton Messenger as taking place at Woodbridge Library were not currently being provided. The information will need to be corrected in the next edition.

·         A resident of the Longwood Fields development off Woods Lane queried why the streetlights on the estate are being switched off at 11.30pm. It was suggested this was a cost / energy saving action on the part of Suffolk County Council.

·         A discussion was initiated by Cllr Abbott on whether Melton PC should purchase a “Tommy” to display in the run up to Remembrance Sunday. This has been previously discussed and it was AGREED that the Council will not purchase one this year.

21.91 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING OF FULL COUNCIL HELD ON 16 JUNE 2021

It was RESOLVED that minutes MPC(21)M05 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chairman.

Proposed by: Cllr Taylor                   Seconded by: Cllr Abbott

  It was RESOLVED to take Item 21.99 out of order
21.99 TO CONSIDER A REPORT RELATING TO THE MELTON TRUST

Papers MPC(21)99 and MPC(21)99a previously distributed were received.

Cllr Martin spoke in support of the reports submitted by the two Trustees nominated by Melton Parish Council at MPC(21)99a and the further paper appended to the Clerk to the Council’s covering report at MPC(21)99. The Trust is requesting that Melton PC take over most routine administrative functions with the Trustees continuing to manage the Trust. There is no intention for it to become a Council managed Trust. Overall the proposals indicate a time commitment of about 57 hours a year by Council staff if the proposals are accepted. The Trustees have concerns about the future viability of the Trust if their proposals are not accepted, given that one of the Council’s nominated Trustees will shortly be standing down together with two other co-opted Trustees. They emphasise the need for support from the Council to ensure the future survival of the Trust; otherwise there is a risk of it being merged with another local Trust under a Charity Commission Scheme. There is also the need to find another nominated representative from the Council to replace the departing nominated Trustee.

This request was previously considered by Finance Employment and Risk Management (FERM) Committee in July. Minute FRM(21)31 records that the Committee recommended to Full Council that the proposals in the Trustees’ report should not be accepted. Unless the Council specifically wishes to grant aid the Trust under s137 Local Government Act 1972, there would need to be a service level agreement to reimburse the Council for its services, and in order to make a s137 grant, the Council would have to be satisfied that the Trust operates for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish and that the benefit is commensurate with the sum expended. Also the Committee has concerns about staffing resources within the Council. In the course of a long discussion, doubts were raised by Councillors along the lines already raised by FERM Committee. The Clerk advised that if the Council wished to make a grant to the Trust it could lawfully do so, but that effectively subsidising the Trust by using staff remunerated via Council taxpayers could not be done. Any contract to carry out Trust activities would have to be separate from Council duties. Generally Councillors felt that it should not be impossible to find a volunteer Trustee suitable to be nominated by the Council who as well as acting as Trustee would be willing and competent to carry out some administrative duties. In the first instance therefore it was AGREED to recommend that the Trust continue to seek new blood, possibly via the Good Neighbour Scheme (the Assistant Clerk to liaise on this) to see whether the problem can be resolved by replacing the experienced Trustee that the Trust is about to lose by someone suitable to be nominated by the Council. The position to be reviewed at the next meeting of Full Council in November.

  It was RESOLVED to revert to the order of the Agenda
21.92 TO CONSIDER CO-OPTIONS TO THE COUNCIL IN RESPECT OF COUNCILLOR VACANCIES

At the invitation of the Chair, Mr Mark Packard introduced himself and offered himself for co-option onto the Council. He has previous experience as a Town Councillor in Wiltshire. It was RESOLVED to welcome him as a co-optee onto the Council, and he will also serve on FERM Committee.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter                   Seconded by: Cllr Brown

21.93 TO CONSIDER A “BUDDY” SYSTEM FOR THE SUPPORT AND MENTORING OF NEW COUNCILLORS (following proposal considered at Full Council on 16 June 2021 Minute 21.70)

Cllr Darby introduced her proposal. The idea is that the “Buddy” scheme would provide peer to peer support to help a new Councillor settle into the role, providing knowledge and experience which would in turn provide speedier integration into the work of the Council, reduce the support required from the office and boost confidence. A sharing of experiences would also be beneficial. Following discussion it was AGREED to adopt the proposal on the basis that “buddy” support should be offered rather than have to be asked for, and with a presumption that all Councillors are willing to undertake this role. Cllr Porter has offered to be a “buddy” to Cllr Packard.

21.94 TO CONSIDER RECOMMENDATION FROM FERM COMMITTEE IN RESPECT OF REVISION OF ITS TERMS OF REFERENCE

Paper MPC(21)94 previously distributed was received.

At the meeting of FERM Committee held on 28 July 2021, following discussion, Members resolved to recommend to Full Council a change of wording in Purpose viii. The proposal is to replace the existing term: “Preparation of the budget for approval by Full Council”  with “To scrutinise any proposed in year changes to the budget and make recommendations on them to Full Council” on the basis that the proposed new wording better reflects what happens in practice.   

It was RESOLVED to agree the proposed change and adopt it in the Committee’s Terms of Reference.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter                   Seconded by: Cllr Abbott

21.95 TO CONSIDER RECOMMENDATION FROM RECREATION COMMITTEE IN RELATION TO A CHANGE TO ITS TITLE

The Assistant Clerk introduced this Item. Recreation Committee has raised this in view of its wider responsibilities following the divestment of the new parcels of land from East Suffolk Council. The request is that all Council Members give some consideration to this issue and any ideas will be considered by Recreation Committee at their meeting in November. Cllr Banks suggested that as well as reviewing its title, Recreation Committee may also need to review its Terms of Reference.

21.96 TO CONSIDER WHETHER COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP SHOULD INCLUDE FOR PURPOSES OF THE MAXIMUM NUMBERS ALLOWED UNDER THE TERMS OF REFERENCE, THE CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIRS OF THE COUNCIL EX OFFICIO

It has been the practice of the Council for some time to make the Chair and Vice-chairs of the Council ex officio members of all Committees. If however they are included in the overall numbers to be allowed to sit on the Committees under the Terms of Reference, that can have an adverse impact on the viability of Committees, particularly where the Councillors concerned do not necessarily attend the Committee meetings regularly. Following discussion it was AGREED that in future ex officio members will contribute to the quorum when they attend, but not contribute to the overall numbers allowed to sit unless a substantive member of a particular committee in their own right.

 

 

21.97 TO RECEIVE AND CONSIDER MINUTES OF COMMITTEES
21.97.01 Recreation Committee 7 July 2021

Minutes REC(21)M04 previously distributed were received and NOTED.

21.97.02 Recreation Committee 15 September 2021

Minutes REC(21)M05 (Draft) previously distributed were received and NOTED.

21.97.03 Planning and Transport Committee 21 July 2021

Minutes PLA(21)M05 previously distributed were received and NOTED.

21.97.04 Planning and Transport Committee 8 September 2021

Minutes PLA(21)M06 (Draft) previously distributed were received and NOTED.

21.97.05 FERM Committee 28 July 2021

Minutes FRM(21)M03 (Draft) previously distributed were received and NOTED. The Clerk apologised for the omission on the Agenda of a reference to the Confidential minutes of that meeting (FRM(21)M03 CONFIDENTIAL (Draft)) but they were available on the Member area of the Council’s website. Following a question from Cllr Martin, it was AGREED that where for any reason papers for a confidential Agenda Item have not been made available in the Member area of the website, they will be placed there when the minutes are published.

21.98 TO CONSIDER FINANCIAL AND INTERNAL CONTROL MATTERS
21.98.01 To receive and consider the financial management reports for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 August 2021 

Papers MPC(21)98.01 and MPC(21)98.01(a-g) previously distributed were received and considered. As at 31 August 2021, income received in the year (less Community Infrastructure Levy monies (CIL)) was £58,833. CIL income received in April was £77,646. Expenditure so far is £96,492. Of that £53,392 has been paid from CIL funds and grants. Otherwise expenditure amounted to £43,100 which is just over 34% of the budgeted expenditure for the year. Cash reserves as at 31 August totalled £600,248. Adding the VAT refund due of £72 and deducting the contingent liability of the rent deposit of £5,120, produces a figure for total liquid assets of £595,200.  £515,496 of that total relates to CIL monies held as a restrictive reserve, thus giving a general reserve of £79,704. The report was NOTED.

The Council holds both a Business Deposit account and an Everyday Club Saver account (for the rent deposit monies) with the Ipswich Building Society, and Cllr Porter informed Members that the Society is changing its name to the Suffolk Building Society. The change of name was NOTED.

21.98.02 To receive and consider the budget report

Paper MPC(21)98.02 previously distributed was received. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.

21.98.03 To consider risk issues

Paper MPC(21)98.03 previously distributed was received. The Clerk highlighted the main changes since the previous report. Following discussion it was RESOLVED to:

·         Reduce the risk level in respect of anti-social behaviour at the Playing Field / Pavilion / Car park from High to Medium

·         Reduce the risk level in respect of Covid 19 in relation to the use of the play areas, tennis courts and football pitches from Medium to Low.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter                   Seconded by: Cllr Taylor

21.98.04 To consider investment requests from Recreation Committee

Paper MPC(21)98.04 previously distributed was received. The Assistant Clerk sought approval for the purchase of a replacement grit bin for Beresford Drive and an additional one for St Andrews Place. Unfortunately these can now only be procured via Suffolk County Council and cost between £150 and £450 a bin. Additionally the bus shelter at Bury Hill is in need of replacement (primarily through vandalism over the years). A new shelter could cost approximately £1.5k. Following discussion it was AGREED that:

·         Purchase of the grit bins can be made by the Assistant Clerk (actual expenditure from CIL funds to be reported under the arrangements for recording delegated decisions in accordance with the requirements of the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014)

·         Prices and suitable designs for a replacement shelter should be considered by Planning and Transport Committee and recommendations brought back to Full Council. It was mentioned that the notice board located in the shelter may also need to be replaced.

21.98.05 To consider the inclusion of part of Melton in the proposed Woodbridge 20mph zone (referral from Planning and Transport Committee)

Paper MPC(21)98.05 previously distributed was received. Planning and Transport Committee on 8 September considered a paper summarising discussions between Cllr Brown, Woodbridge TC and the Safety and Speed Management Engineer at Suffolk Highways in relation to the proposals for 20mph traffic zones in Woodbridge, and as to whether Melton PC might wish to be included in the design stage to assess the feasibility of introducing such zones in the parish. This would incur a commitment of up to £5k to the design phase which would have to be funded from general reserves. Following discussion Full Council RESOLVED not to participate in this project and that the SCC Safety and Speed Management Engineer should be advised accordingly.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter                  Seconded by: Cllr Martin 

21.98.06 To consider revised and updated Business Plan

Paper MPC(21)98.06 previously distributed was received. This was previously considered by FERM Committee on 28 July 2021 and recommended for approval subject to minor amendments which have been incorporated. Following discussion of the final draft it was AGREED for   publication subject to adding at page 13 a mention of the proposals for the Hall Farm Road green space. A suggestion by Cllr Brown to include a reference to the St Audry’s Sports and Social Club in the “Village Profile” section will also be incorporated.

21.98.07 To consider update report on Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funded projects

Paper MPC(21)98.07 previously distributed was received. The Clerk took Members through the key points in the report. In response to a query relating to the position with the Winifred Fison House parking and landscaping project, the Assistant Clerk advised that following a site meeting on 15 September, the intention is that Highways will produce a plan of what could be achieved and the works will be contracted out to an accredited contractor. A licence will need to be sought from Suffolk County Council for the minor works involved to the highway, and it is hoped to make progress with the project in the next few months. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.   

21.98.08 To consider the external audit report for the year ended 31 March 2021

Paper MPC(21)98.08 previously distributed was received. The Clerk reported that the certificate from the external auditor has been received, and there are no issues raised. The auditor confirms that the information provided by the Council is in accordance with proper practices and there are no other matters giving cause for concern. In accordance with the statutory requirements the Notice of Conclusion of Audit together with the required accompanying documents has been published both on the notice boards and on the Council’s website. It was AGREED to NOTE the report and Members thanked the staff involved for another successful conclusion to the annual audit.

21.98.09 To consider renewal proposals for the Council’s insurances

Papers MPC(21)98.09, MPC(21)98.09a, MPC(21)98.09b and MPC(21)98.09c previously distributed were received. The Clerk took Members through the main points in the covering report and highlighted the changes in cover to both employee fidelity insurance and play equipment since the last renewal. The new premium (which is no longer part of a multi-year deal) reflects the result of any rate changes applied by the insurer and also includes a 3% index linked uplift in value for both buildings and contents. No changes are required at present to the level of cover. Following discussion it was RESOLVED to instruct the Clerk to pay the renewal premium but at the same time enquire about the possibility of a 3 year deal.

Proposed by: Cllr Banks                   Seconded by: Cllr Martin

21.100 TO CONSIDER REPORT ON PROPOSALS FOR THE HALL FARM ROAD SPORTS GROUND

Paper MPC(21)100 previously distributed was received. The Assistant Clerk

gave details of the Working Group composition (three Councillors and residents) and the arrangements for the consultation Open Day on Saturday 25 September from 2-4pm. Greener Growth, who are responsible for the benches and planting in Riduna Park, will be attending with examples of these items. Flyers advertising the event have been distributed to residents and the accompanying survey can either be returned at the event, completed online or in hard copy up to 30 September. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.

21.101 TO RECEIVE A PROGRESS REPORT ON THE RECRUITMENT OF A NEW CLERK AND EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO THE COUNCIL

Cllr Banks reported that at the meeting of FERM Committee on 28 July, having considered a report from the Clerk, Members felt that the shape of the organisation in the future and the job profile should be broadly the same, subject to updating. A panel of three Members – Cllrs Banks, Brown and Gradwell – were delegated to oversee the refining of the role, the job description and grading and draft the advertisements in conjunction with the Clerk. These steps were taken during August and advertisements placed with:

·         The East Anglian Daily Times

·         Suffolk Association of Local Councils

·         Melton Messenger

from late August with a closing date of 30 September.

Cllr Banks asked Full Council to endorse these arrangements and they were CONFIRMED. Detailed arrangements for recruitment will be made at the FERM Committee meeting on 13 October.

21.102 THE QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE EVENT – JUNE 2022

Cllr Abbott outlined the proposed events in Melton over the Jubilee weekend – 2 to 4 June 2022. The beacon will be lit at 9.15pm on 2 June in accordance with the instructions received from the Queen’s Pageantmaster, and the fete will be held on Saturday 4 June. It was AGREED to fully support these plans and detailed discussions would take place at Recreation Committee. Cllr Darby asked what Melton is doing in relation to the Queen’s Green Canopy project. The Assistant Clerk responded by explaining that trees are being procured and the Tree Warden and his crew will be planting in suitable places, which could include the St Andrew’s estate.

21.103 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE REPORT AND TENDER REPORT IN RELATION TO THE PAVILION PROJECT

Below is a link to the latest information on the Council’s website:  

 https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/recreation/pavilion-project/

Paper MPC(21)103 previously distributed was received.

The Clerk took Members through the key aspects of the report, which includes tender prices for the demolition of the existing building from 5 contractors which are as follows:

Contractor A – £15,121.00 This figure includes the actual costs associated with dealing with UK Power Networks (UKPN) and CCTV

Contractor B – £16,465.00 This figure excludes the costs associated with dealing with UKPN but does include the costs associated with CCTV

Contractor C – £16,627.00 This figure includes provisional costs associated with dealing with UKPN and CCTV

Contractor D – £19,216.50 This figure includes provisional sums for dealing with UKPN and CCTV

Contractor E – £21,667.00.

The two lowest tenderers have confirmed that they can commence work within 2-3 weeks of being appointed subject to the relocation of the electricity supply to a UK Power Networks (UKPN) green box located on the pavilion side of the path opposite the existing supply pole. UKPN has been appointed to carry out that work and it is to be hoped it can be completed by the beginning of November so that the demolition work can start. The Council has purchased a metal shed for both the storage of essential equipment and to house the utilities user connections and CCTV equipment. This will be delivered to site on 30 September. The Council’s Maintenance Officer will liaise with the appointed contractor to agree all the details relating to exact location, erection and setting up, and the access arrangements to the shed for utilities and CCTV.

The Clerk added that in order to progress as quickly as possible to the new build stage, he has requested the architect to prepare the specification ready for issue to tenderers with a view to having prices available for Full Council at its meeting on 17 November if at all possible. Councillors will need to approve the specification before it is issued.

Following discussion it was RESOLVED as follows:

·         To appoint Contractor A to undertake the demolition contract

·         To delegate to the Chair of the Council, the Vice-chairs and Chairs of Committees in conjunction with the Clerk and Assistant Clerk to the Council to make any decisions or approvals subsequently required to enable the demolition contract to proceed as expeditiously as possible

·         To note and confirm the arrangements for the purchase and installation of the storage shed as reported in Paper MPC(21)103

·         To hold a Special Meeting of Full Council to approve the final specification for the new build when it is available.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter                   Seconded by: Cllr Harvey-Smith

 

 

21.104 TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON THE FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOUNDARY COMMISSION FOR ENGLAND (LGBCE) ON THE NEW ELECTORAL DIVISIONS FOR SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

Paper MPC(21)104 previously distributed was received.

The link below gives access to the Boundary Commission’s final recommendations on the new Suffolk County Council’s electoral divisions to come into being from the next County elections in 2025.

https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/18495

The relevant proposals are contained in paragraphs 86 to 100 of the LGBCE report. They can also be read in the MPC(21)104 report which also contains relevant maps. The proposal is to extend the northern boundary of the Woodbridge Division to include the southern part of Melton parish (i.e. the part adjacent to Woodbridge) whilst the northern part of Melton is included in the new Wilford Division. The Clerk explained that the implication of splitting the parish of Melton between two County Divisions is that the parish will need to be split into two Wards – Melton North and Melton South. The Boundary Commission have specified where the boundary line is to be drawn (see the map) and have allocated 8 Councillors to the North Ward and 7 to the South Ward. East Suffolk Electoral Services will carry out a polling district review to allocate electors into the new Wards so that the next County elections can be run on that basis. In future candidates will need to stand for one parish ward rather than for Melton as a whole. As the decision has been made and representations against these proposals ignored, no further action can be taken. Councillors AGREED to NOTE the position with extreme disappointment.

21.105 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON SIZEWELL C PLANNING APPLICATION

Below is a link to the latest information on the Council’s website:

https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/sizewell-c/

Cllr Banks reported that the 6 month examination process is coming to an end. Night trains are likely to run through Melton but not as many as originally feared. Maximisation of mitigations needs to be pushed for although the likelihood of daytime trains is now less. EDF has amended the application to include measures to provide a sufficient potable water supply including a temporary desalination plant, and that has been accepted by the Examining Authority. This change will be subjected to a Special Issue Hearing on 5 October. The examination process is due to end on 14 October after which the Examining Authority has 3 months in which to make its report. The update was NOTED.

21.106 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON THE MELTON JUBILEE FETE IN 2022

Cllr Harvey-Smith reported that a planned meeting has had to be postponed and an update report will be provided to the next Full Council meeting.

21.107 TO RECEIVE AND CONSIDER REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES TO OUTSIDE BODIES
21.107.01 Burness Parish Room Management Committee

Cllr Porter reported that the Committee needs a new Treasurer. He will offer his services.

21.107.02 Melton Trust

Please see Minute 21.99 above.

21.107.03 East Suffolk Rail Partnership

Nothing to report.

21.107.04 Melton Primary School

Cllr Martin reported that she is no longer a Governor, her term of office having ended. The Assistant Clerk, already a Governor, is now the Council’s representative. Cllr Martin added that the new Nursery is now up and running. However overall the number on the school roll is down which will lead to reduced budgets next year.

21.107.05 Melton Messenger 

The October issue has been put to bed. Copy for November is required.

21.107.06 ASB Co-ordination Meetings

Nothing to report.

21.107.07 Suffolk Association of Local Councils

Cllr Porter reported that there is a virtual meeting scheduled for 30 September.

21.107.08 Dementia Friendly Communities

Cllr Darby reported that, following her report to the last meeting on training sessions, the response was unfortunately insufficient to be able to set one up. Therefore it was AGREED that this Item will regrettably be removed from future agendas.

21.108 TO CONSIDER ITEMS FOR THE MELTON MESSENGER

Cllr Porter reiterated that any contributions for the November edition would be very welcome.

21.109 CHAIRMAN’S URGENT BUSINESS

There was none.

21.110 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next Meeting of Full Council will take place on Wednesday 17 November  2021 at 7pm. There being no further business the meeting closed at 21.20.