Minutes of the Meeting of Melton Parish Council held on Wednesday 17 November 2021 commencing at 19:00 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT.
Cllr Mr A H Porter (Chair)
Cllr Mrs B Abbott
Cllr Mr B Banks
Cllr Ms C Biggle
Cllr Mr N Brown
Cllr Mrs D Darby
Cllr Mrs C Gradwell
Cllr Ms F Harvey-Smith
Cllr Mr P James
Cllr Miss K S Martin
Cllr Mr C W Taylor
Cllr Mrs J Hilson
Cllr Mr M Holmes
Cllr Mr M Packard
County Cllr Mr A Nicoll
Mr W J Grosvenor Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council
Mrs P Alder Assistant Clerk and Management Officer to Melton Parish Council
4 Members of the public
Part One – Open to the Public
Item No Item discussed
21.111 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Hilson, Holmes and Packard.
21.112 Declarations of Interest
21.112.01 To receive Amendments to the Register
There were no amendments to the Register.
21.112.02 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.
21.112.03 To receive Declarations of Non Pecuniary Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda
There were no declarations of Non Pecuniary Interest in respect of Items on the Agenda.
21.112.04 To consider Full / Partial Dispensations for Pecuniary Interests Declared
It was noted that there had been no requests for dispensation for Pecuniary Interests declared.
21.113 Public Participation Session
21.113.01 To receive a Report from the District Councillor
No report was received.
21.113.02 To receive a report from the County Councillor
Cllr Alexander Nicoll reported as follows:
- Care Village, Yarmouth Road, planning inquiry starting 14 December – The Suffolk CC traffic survey data regarding Melton and peninsular villages has been collected and is being analysed. It will be distributed to relevant parishes and a virtual meeting will take place in due course. However the data relating to Yarmouth Road will be analysed in advance of the inquiry. SCC information on drainage also needs to be registered on the appeal website.
- Melton Road pedestrian improvements – A budget estimate is being prepared and will be sent to Melton PC with caveats. If there is a delay Cllr Nicoll will chase up.
- Bentwaters traffic issues – Movements likely to be in breach of planning conditions. When the data is analysed (see 1st bullet point above) there will need to be a discussion with East Suffolk Council about a strategic planning approach.
- Lorry Routes review – input to this will need to link to the Bentwaters issues. Melton Planning and Transport Committee will be discussing this at its meeting on 1 December.
21.113.03 To consider village matters raised by Members of the Public or Councillors
- Residents of Hall Farm Close spoke regarding their request to lease the overgrown area of land immediately adjacent to their gardens from the Council for a peppercorn rent. This is on the Agenda as Item 21.116.11.
It was RESOVED to take Item 21.116.11 out of order on the Agenda
21.116.11 To consider request to lease land in Hall Farm Close (referral from Recreation Committee
Paper MPC(21)116.11 previously distributed was received. Two households from Hall Farm Close wish to take over and manage a small patch of land adjacent to and only accessible through their gardens, as it has been fenced off from the public open space by East Suffolk Council. It is very overgrown. Following the statements made by one of the households, it was RESOLVED that:
- The Council will grant the owners of 44 Hall Farm Close a lease of the land for 9 years, with an option to determine on 6 months notice every 3 years.
- The lease will be specific to them and lapse if they move.
- The lease will be at a peppercorn rent of £5.00 pa.
Proposed by: Cllr Martin Seconded by: Cllr Porter
The Clerk will seek an estimate of costs from the Council’s solicitor in the first instance.
It was RESOLVED to revert to the order of the Agenda
21.113.04 To consider letter from Woodbridge Town Council relating to the Climate Emergency
The letter, previously distributed, was discussed. However the Council was advised by a Woodbridge Councillor attending the meeting that the letter was sent in error. Woodbridge TC are looking to create a climate focus area based around the River Deben, involving Woodbridge, Melton and Martlesham. The Clerk reported a conversation the previous day with another Woodbridge Councillor, in which the intention was expressed to seek to make a presentation to a future meeting of Melton Parish Council on this proposal.
On the subject of Melton making its own commitment to address climate change and ecological concerns, the Clerk suggested (1) that a policy be drafted to express that commitment and (2) that the Terms of Reference of Committees be expanded to require them to take account of climate change implications when discussing matters and in their decision-making. This approach was AGREED.
21.113.05 To consider request for tree works on land owned by the Council adjacent to Hope Crescent (referral from Recreation Committee)
Paper MPC(21)113.05 previously distributed was received. Members considered the request to fund the removal of two sycamore trees on Council land behind Hope Crescent without prejudice to the terms of any future tree management policy. Following discussion with the resident, it was RESOLVED that the Council would make no objection to him taking action to manage the trees (which could include removal) but would not pay for the work. The Council will only undertake to pay for works in these circumstances where the trees are diseased, damaged or dangerous. The Council will however pass on details of the tree surgeon who inspected and quoted for the work, if requested by the resident.
Proposed by: Cllr Porter Seconded by: Cllr Gradwell
21.114 To approve the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Full Council held on 22 September 2021
It was RESOLVED that minutes MPC(21)M06 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chair.
Proposed by: Cllr Martin Seconded by: Cllr Gradwell
21.115 To receive and consider Minutes of Committees
21.115.01 Finance Employment and Risk Management (FERM) Committee 13 October 2021
Minutes FRM(21)M04 (Draft) and FRM(21)M04 CONFIDENTIAL (Draft) previously distributed were received and NOTED.
21.115.02 Planning and Transport Committee 20 October 2021
Minutes PLA(21)M07 (Draft) previously distributed were received and NOTED.
21.115.03 Recreation Committee 10 November 2021
Minutes REC(21)M06 (Draft) previously distributed were received and NOTED.
21.116 To consider financial and internal control matters
21.116.01 To receive and consider the financial management reports for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 October 2021
Papers MPC(21)116.01 and MPC(21)116.01a-g previously distributed were received and considered. As at 31 October 2021, income received in the year (less Community Infrastructure Levy monies (CIL)) was £108,235. CIL income received in the year was £106,600. Expenditure so far is £124,536, of which £59,219 has been paid out of CIL and grants. Otherwise expenditure amounted to £65,317 which is 52% of the budgeted expenditure for the year. Cash reserves as at 31 October totalled £649,973. Adding the VAT refund due of £658 and deducting the contingent liability for the rent deposit of £5,120 produces a figure for the total liquid assets of £645,511. Of that sum £538,622 relates to CIL monies held as a restrictive reserve, thus giving a general reserve of £106,889. The report was NOTED.
The proposal to commission a new village sign for the entrance to the playing field was also discussed. This would cost between £1 and £2k. It was RESOLVED to go ahead with this project as it should be regarded as an investment and fund it from CIL.
Proposed by: Cllr Porter Seconded by: Cllr James
21.116.02 To receive and consider the budget report
Paper MPC(21)116.02 previously distributed was received. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.
21.116.03 To consider 1st draft budget for 2022/23
Papers MPC(21)116.03 and MPC(21)116.03a previously distributed were received. The first draft of the budget as presented is based on figures set out in Paper MPC(21)116.03a endorsed by Budget Working Group at its meeting on 11 November. The Council is required to set its budget and precept requirement at its meeting in January 2022 and advise East Suffolk Council of its precept requirement by 28 January. In 2021/22 the precept is £93,706 (rounded). Claiming the same amount in 2022/23 because of the rise in the tax base would result in a reduction of 2.34% on the parish element of council tax bills. Keeping the Band D charge the same as 2021/22 would yield a precept of £95,957.
Budget Working Group recommended a 3.1% uplift on that figure with the CPI inflation level as at September 2021, with an additional contribution to reflect the costs of servicing the new pavilion, particularly the public toilet provision. The recommended precept for next year is £104,536. On that basis a deficit budget is set for £12,125. However that level of deficit can be fully met via appropriate use of CIL.
In discussion it was AGREED to take the proposals forward to the January meeting of Full Council, subject to any recommendations from Planning and Transport Committee (meeting 1 December), FERM Committee (meeting 8 December) and Recreation Committee (consultation via email).
21.116.04 To consider grant giving in 2021/22
Paper MPC(21)116.04 previously distributed was received. FERM Committee considered the arrangements for grant giving in 2021/22 at its meeting on 13 October 2021 and recommended to Full Council that:
- The contribution to the Melton Messenger this year should be 7/12ths of the original budget of £1,200.00, i.e. £700.00.
- It should review the position in relation to other grants later in the year and return to the traditional provision and timescale next year.
Following discussion it was RESOLVED as follows:
- To contribute 7/12ths of the original budget of £1,200 i.e. £700.00 to the Melton Messenger this year.
- Not to make any further grants this year.
- In terms of arrangements for next year, to revert to the timescales for annual grant-giving that applied pre-Covid, with applications being invited in late August of each year on a standard form, to be considered by FERM Committee in October and recommendations made to the November meeting of Full Council for a final decision.
Proposed by: Cllr Taylor Seconded by: Cllr Abbott
21.116.05 To consider risk issues
Paper MPC(21)116.05 previously distributed was received. The Clerk highlighted the main changes in this updated report. In discussion it was considered whether the risk in relation to the pavilion project should be raised to Medium, in the light of possible budget overruns with rising costs and potential delays. In the event it was AGREED to await prices and start dates for the build in the new year before deciding whether or not to raise the rating.
21.116.06 To consider data protection risk issues
Paper MPC(21)116.06 previously distributed was received. Following a brief discussion it was AGREED to NOTE the report.
21.116.07 To consider update report on Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funded projects
Paper MPC(21)116.07 previously distributed was received. The Clerk took Members through the key points of the report which aims to capture all the relevant information about CIL monies received and spent, and projects being taken forward in Melton. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.
21.116.08 To consider proposals for the improvement of car parking on the divested land in front of Winifred Fison House
Paper MPC(21)116.08 previously distributed was received. The Clerk took Members through the short report which summarises the current position on this project, which intends to create formal landscaped parking spaces with provision for EV charging points in place of the informal parking on the grass, as happens at present. It was RESOLVED as follows, subject to a grant of planning consent being obtained if one is required:
- The Council will apply for a Minor Works Licence at a cost of £1,000.00.
- Alpha consultants should be appointed to undertake a desktop safety audit for £735.00.
- Highway Assurance Ltd should be appointed to carry out the works for a cost of £37,729.79, with an extra £2k for a higher quality surface of permeable block paving. [Highway Assurance is recommended by Suffolk Highways and accredited to carry out highway works.]
Proposed by: Cllr Taylor Seconded by: Cllr Harvey-Smith
21.116.09 To consider proposals for improvements to the bus shelter in Bredfield Road
The Assistant Clerk reported on this referral from Planning and Transport Committee. The Perspex windows in the shelter have suffered from vandalism and there are a number of options:
- Removing the Perspex windows and not replacing them
- Replacing with wood panels
- Replacing with vandal proof glass
- Replacing with perforated aluminium panels.
Following discussion it was AGREED to go for the option of installing aluminium panels at a cost of over £2.5k funded from CIL monies less any contribution that might be forthcoming from the County and District Councillors.
21.116.10 To consider investment proposals from Recreation Committee for Hall Farm Road sports ground
Paper MPC(21)116.10 previously distributed was received. At its meeting on 10 November 2021 Recreation Committee agreed to pursue a number of enhancements for the Hall Farm Road Sports Ground subject to funding where necessary. Those requiring funding (for which no budget has so far been allocated) are as follows with indicative costs in brackets:
- Remove the existing goal and replace with 1 x 9 a side goal facing the other way to the existing goal (c£1k)
- 1 x basketball hoop with quiet surface (c£3-6k)
- 1 x recycled bench to be situated near to the fruit trees (c£350)
- Bird / bat boxes (£200-£300)
- Coppicing the trees in the wetland area (quote to be obtained).
Following discussion it was RESOLVED to authorise Recreation Committee to pursue these projects, the cost being borne either by grants, CIL monies or the CIL Sinking Fund to support improvements to the divested land.
Proposed by: Cllr Harvey-Smith Seconded by: Cllr James
21.117 To consider a report relating to Anti-social Behaviour
Paper MPC(21)117 previously distributed was received. Cllr Gradwell took Members through the main points of interest in her report from what had been a very interesting meeting overall. The police now have a special ASB Team. Cllr Gradwell has also asked to be kept informed regarding developments relating to the incidents of indecent exposure.
21.118 To receive a report on the appointment of a new Clerk and Executive Officer and a progress report on the recruitment of a new Assistant Clerk
Cllr Banks formally announced the appointment of the current Assistant Clerk to undertake the duties of Clerk and Executive Officer with effect from 1 January 2022. Members congratulated the Assistant Clerk on her new role.
In relation to the consequent Assistant Clerk vacancy, this is now being advertised with a closing date is 22 November. So far 13 applications have been received.
21.119 To receive and consider a Draft Lone Working policy (referral from FERM Committee)
Paper MPC(21)119 previously distributed was received. The draft policy was AGREED for adoption and publication subject to, in the risk assessments, substituting locking the office door instead of installing a door entry system, the use of a codeword in an emergency, and recording next of kin details.
Cllr Gradwell suggested inviting staff to go on training organised by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
21.120 To consider report on the Pavilion project and make decisions on temporary arrangements and on the final specification for the new
Paper MPC(21)120 previously distributed was received.
Below is a link to the latest information on the Council’s website
The Clerk took Members through the report which covers both the preliminary arrangements and the timetable and programme for the demolition works. The closure of the existing pavilion from 22 November removes access to the current toilet facilities. The information on the Council’s website now includes all the information to be supplied to tenderers, which provides the specifications for the new build. Following discussion it was RESOLVED as follows:
- To note the arrangements and timetable for the demolition of the current pavilion.
- To confirm the decision made by Recreation Committee NOT to provide temporary toilet provision during the demolition and new build contracts.
- In relation to the tender documents to raise the following queries with the architect:
- The need for window shutters to prevent vandalism.
- Why the retention period specified is only 3 months
- The absence of reference to any warranty.
- The absence of any reference to a build timetable.
- The fact that all M & E provision is dealt with by provisional sums rather than including more detail in the specifications, given the fact that M & E provision will amount to a significant proportion of the build costs.
- The need for temporary protection for both the surface of the new car park and access route across the playing field.
- The specifications for the external wc need to be more robust / vandal proof and a security grade door should be specified which can incorporate electronically controlled access.
- It should be noted that the widening of the existing footpath to the pavilion is to be treated as a separate contract later.
- The Hardieplank weatherboarding is to be in anthracite grey and the roof tiles should be red to match the red brick plinth (neither of these requirements were clear in the construction notes.
- To confirm the list of contractors to be invited to tender for the new build i.e.:
- Bradley Building Contractors
- Mixbrow Construction
- A J Kernahan Developments
- Lewis Culf
- Stowe Building contractors.
Proposed by: Cllr Porter Seconded by: Cllr Taylor
21.121 The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee event – June 2022
Cllr Porter offered to assume responsibility for organising the beacon lighting for this
21.122 Jubilee Fete event – June 2022
Cllr Biggle reported that things were progressing and she will give an update to the January Full Council meeting. She would meanwhile be grateful for contact details for Melton Folk. A discussion followed on arrangements for a cake stall and having wood fired pizzas to complement the burger offering.
21.123 Festival of Suffolk 2022
Cllr Porter reported on the virtual meeting with the Lord Lieutenant. Cllr Abbott will liaise with Cllr Biggle.
21.124 To receive and consider reports from representatives to Outside Bodies
21.124.01 Burness Parish Room Management Committee
Cllr Gradwell reported that the Committee met recently. There are no issues to report back.
21.124.02 Melton Trust
Cllr Martin reported that there are now potential new trustees. Also an increase in applications for support.
21.124.03 Melton Primary School
The Assistant Clerk reported that there have been some Covid cases. The Nursery is now open. The result of the recent Ofsted inspection was a “Good” rating. Cllr Porter to pass on congratulations to the Head Teacher from the Parish Council.
21.124.04 Melton Messenger
Cllr Porter is now writing copy for the December edition.
21.124.05 ASB Co-ordination meetings
Please see Minute 21.117 above.
21.124.06 Sizewell C update
Cllr Banks and Cllr Porter to attend a meeting at Snape Maltings with a senior civil servant (the Director of Nuclear Projects and Development at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) on 29 November.
21.124.07 Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC)
Cllr Porter briefly mentioned recent meetings via Zoom.
21.125 To consider Items for the Melton Messenger
There were none raised.
21.126 Chairman’s urgent business
None was raised.
21.127 Date of next meeting
The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 19 January 2022, commencing at 19:00 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business for the Open part of the Agenda, and following consideration of the Confidential Items, the meeting closed at 22.04.