Minutes of the Meeting of Melton Parish Council held on Wednesday 18th January 2023 commencing at 19:00 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT.
Cllr Porter (Chair)
P Alder Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council
F Waters Assistant Clerk to Melton Parish Council
Cllr Nicoll County Councillor
Cllr Smith-Lyte District Councillor
Agenda – Part 1/1 – Open to the Public
Item No Item to be discussed
23.01 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs Hilson and Holmes.
23.02 Declarations of Interest
23.02.01 To receive Declarations of Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda
There were none
23.02.02 To consider any applications for dispensations
There were none
23.03 Public Participation Session
23.03.01 To receive a Report from the District Councillor
Cllr Smith-Lyte explained she was dealing with issues being faced by several Newtide residents and was considering proposing a demo. Cllr Biggle advised following Newtide’s complaints procedure and to contact the Housing ombudsman if necessary.
23.03.02 To receive a report from the County Councillor
Cllr Nicoll has been liaising with the Clerk regarding Highways projects including the Love Woodbridge and Melton (Mini Holland) project. He continues to voice his concerns about the traffic implications from new developments, Sizewell C and Bentwaters. The Council expressed their thanks to Cllr Nicoll for all his hard work and assistance.
23.03.03 To consider village matters raised by Members of the Public or Councillors
No members of the public were present. Cllr Porter was concerned about the leaf litter on the pavements which is particularly bad near the primary school and on Pytches Road. The office will contact Norse/ESC.
23.04 To approve the Minutes of Full Council
23.04.01 It was RESOLVED that minutes MPC(22)M07 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chair. Cllr Darby asked if there had been any further discussion of the Village Emergency Plan as it was proposed that a working group should be set up in January 2023 to deal with this. The Clerk pointed out that with the current workload the office could not take on this additional work at this time, but it was on the project list.
Proposed by: Cllr Martin Seconded by: Cllr Brown
23.05 To receive and consider Minutes of Committees
23.05.01 Planning and Transport 7th December 2022
Minutes PLA(22)M08 (draft) were received and NOTED
23.05.02 Recreation Committee 11th January 2023
Minutes REC(23)M01 (draft) were received and NOTED
23.05.03 FERM Committee 14th December 2022
Minutes FRM(22)M05 (draft) were received and NOTED
23.06 To consider Financial and Internal Control Matters
23.06.01 To receive and consider the financial management and budget reports for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 December 2022
Papers MPC(23)06.01 and MPC(23)06.01a-g previously distributed were received and noted. The bank statements were checked and signed by the chair as accurate against the financial statements. The office continues to make savings where it can and will have a better view on Pavilion running costs/income and the year end position at the February FERM meeting. Councillors enquired about the cost of the island crossings. The Clerk reported that no invoice has been received and there are still some outstanding elements to be completed.
23.06.02 To consider and adopt the final budget for 2023/24
Papers MPC(23)06.02 and MPC(23)06.02a were received and noted. The only change is an increase in the audit fee which will raise the in year deficit to £7.9k if the Precept request is £117,261. It was unanimously RESOLVED to adopt the proposed budget for 2023/23.
23.06.03 To approve the Precept request for 2023/24
Paper MPC(23)06.03 previously distributed was discussed at length, together with information supplied by Cllr Banks regarding Precept requests for similar sized/nearby Parish and Town Councils. Some Councils are using their General Reserves to meet their budget deficit and there was concern that in percentage terms Melton’s rise was higher than other Councils. However, it was noted that Melton’s Precept has been historically low and in monetary terms the increase of £5.20 a year for a Band D equivalent property was still lower than rises being introduced by other Councils. Cllr Banks will prepare a statement to be included in the March Melton Messenger. It was therefore unanimously RESOLVED to formally determine the Council’s Precept requirement for 2023/24 as £117,261.
23.06.04 To consider risk issues
The Risk Register (melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents-base/risk-register/) was reviewed and no further changes were required. There was a lengthy discussion about the Staffing Risk and what steps could be taken to reduce the workload. This was carried over into discussion with the next agenda item – MPC(23)06.05.
23.06.05 To consider potential changes to Terms of Reference for Committees and to consider an update to the Financial Regs
Paper MPC(23)06.05 which was previously distributed was discussed. The current workload for the office is unsustainable and Committees have been asked to consider how they could work smarter and perhaps reduce the number of meetings. It was proposed that the Committees could become Working Groups and instead have 10-12 Full Council meetings each year where the agenda would have a section for each Working Group. A meeting will be arranged by the Clerk with the Chairs and Vice Chairs later this month/early February to discuss the proposal further with a view to implementing it in 2023/24. Other Councillors are invited to participate if interested.
It was AGREED to change FERM’s Meeting Frequency in the Terms of Reference to Four (or as required) a year and paragraph 2.2 of the Financial Regs will be updated with:
“For each month of the financial year and at financial year-end, the bank reconciliations (for all accounts) together with the bank statements generated by the approved accounting software shall be submitted for approval by FERM Committee and Full Council in the months when they meet. The bank statements will be presented at the meeting and signed by the Chair to verify that the statements match the finance reports. For those months where there is no FERM or Full Council, the bank statements will be validated by either the Chair or Vice Chair of FERM.”
Proposed by: Cllr Banks Seconded by: Cllr Gradwell
23.06.06 To consider updated report on Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Grant Funded projects
Paper MPC(23)06.06 previously distributed was received and noted. It was AGREED that the Council could fund a bench using CIL on Melton Road if a suitable location can be found.
Proposed by: Cllr Harvey Seconded by: Cllr James
23.06.07 Report of decisions made by Clerk/Assistant Clerk under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014
There were none.
23.06.08 To consider request from Recreation Committee to purchase two additional tables for the Pavilion
It was AGREED to purchase two white folding trestle tables for the Pavilion.
Proposed by: Cllr Porter Seconded by: Cllr Martin
23.07 To receive an update on the Pavilion and Opening Ceremony
Open Event: Cllr Darby reported that the Open Event will take place on the 25th March from 2-5pm. There is a working group meeting on the 24th January at 1pm and there will be three further meetings, the last of which will take place just before Full Council meets on the 22nd March. Cllr Packard has offered to join the working group which will then consist of Cllrs Darby, Gradwell, Packard, Holmes, Porter and James. A save the date email will be sent to all Councillors. The Councillors were asked if they could help on the day and Cllr Martin offered to help in the kitchen and Cllr Harvey-Smith will help set up from 1pm.
The Clerk reported that the Pavilion and toilet had been open since December and feedback from hirers was very positive. There were some outstanding issues to be resolved and the 6 month defect review will take place at the end of January. A second quote is being sought for acoustic panels and perfect fit blinds will be purchased with Cllr Harvey-Smith fitting them. Cllrs Martin and James have offered to assist with planting around the gabions. Cllr Harvey-Smith asked if a poster advertising the Pavilion could be created for social media. Excluding the batteries and the access road the project came in within the agreed budget of £268k. A hirer has expressed interest in running a pop up café, just using the kitchen. The office is waiting for a full proposal which can be presented to the Council. It was AGREED to delegate the decision regarding external drainage (external contractor or the maintenance officer) to the Clerk.
Proposed by: Cllr Porter Seconded by: Cllr Brown
23.08 To receive an update on the Love Woodbridge & Melton project
The project team gave a presentation to the Council in December. There were concerns that some of the proposals would have a serious impact on the A1152 and the Melton crossroads. Cllr Nicoll shares these concerns and a further meeting is due to be held in early February. Councillors were asked to share photos and reports of when the crossroads are particularly congested so these can be shared with the project team.
23.09 Melton Fete 2023
Cllr Gradwell reported that the date was set for the 8th July and stalls were being booked. Raffle prizes and donations were being sought and three gazebos have been ordered. The Council will run the BBQ again and it is yet to be decided what the raffle money will be used to fund, although suggestions included play equipment or a thermal imaging camera.
23.10 Thermal Imaging Project
Cllr Martin reported that there had been over 50 requests for imaging from residents. The camera will be available from the 7th to 20th March and Cllrs Stearn and Crawford offered their assistance with the project. The form will be taken off the website on Monday.
23.11 Sizewell C
Cllr Banks reported that there was little news. The Chinese state nuclear group is no longer involved, and the control will be shared equally between the Government and EDF. An interim security contract was awarded to G4S by EDF which will create up to 100 jobs. The SZC website advertises job opportunities and it would be worthwhile mentioning this in the next Melton Messenger. The Clerk will contact the Project Team for an update on how they will engage with local communities.
23.12 To receive and consider reports from Representatives to Outside Bodies
23.12.01 Burness Parish Room Management Committee
Cllr Gradwell reported that a meeting is taking place on Thursday.
23.12.02 Melton Trust
Cllr Martin reported that they had received no new applications.
23.12.03 Melton Primary School
The Clerk reported that pupil numbers had increased and the nursery was proving popular. They are still looking to get District CIL funding for a new nursery building.
23.12.04 Melton Messenger
The February article has been written.
23.12.05 Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC)
There was nothing to report
23.12.06 Melton, Woodbridge and Deben Community Partnership
Cllr Packard reported that a number of grants are available and he will liaise with the office about applying for funding.
23.12.07 Suffolk Disability Forum
There was little to report although Cllr Darby has suggested that the Pavilion could be hired for face to face meetings.
23.13 To consider Items for the Melton Messenger
Cllr Banks will write a piece regarding the Precept request and Cllr Gradwell will supply information about the fete for the March edition.
23.14 Chair’s urgent business
The Chair reminded Councillors that this is an election year and all Councillors who wish to stand need to complete their own form, which will be available from mid March.
23.15 Date of next meeting
The next meeting of Full Council will take place on Wednesday 22nd March 2023, commencing at 7pm at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business the meeting closed at 21:06.
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