Minutes of the meeting of Melton Parish Council held on Wednesday 22nd March 2023, commencing at 7pm, at the Melton Parish Council offices, 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 Smith-Lyte District Councillor
Cllr Gradwell (by phone)
2 members of the public
Agenda – Part 1/1 – Open to the Public
Item No Item to be discussed
23.16 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllr Holmes and Cllr Nicoll. Cllr Gradwell joined by phone.
23.17 Declarations of Interest
23.17.01 To receive Declarations of Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda
There were none
23.17.02 To consider any applications for dispensations
There were none
23.18 Public Participation Session
23.18.01 To receive a Report from the District Councillor
Cllr Smith-Lyte gave a verbal report and sent the full written report after the meeting. She raised the issue of parking on the verges on Dock Lane, a change in planning decision referrals, voter ID for the forthcoming election and the ESC blooms initiative, which MPC has already signed up to.
23.18.02 To receive a report from the County Councillor
Cllr Nicoll sent his apologies and no report was received.
23.18.03 To consider village matters raised by Members of the Public or Councillors
A resident raised concerns about the state of pavements, both the surface and the leaf litter and mud that has collected. The Clerk advised that ESC/Norse are responsible for cleansing the pavements and SCC is responsible for the pavement surface. The Clerk recommended raising the issues with the respective councils and offered assistance if required.
A resident of Saxon Way raised concerns that he was unable to reinstate his fence that backs onto the footpath that is owned by MPC because of two trees that have grown close to the boundary. Fencing contractors have stated that they cannot replace the fence whilst the trees remain. The resident is concerned his fence is dangerous and needs to be replaced urgently, although is not asking the Council for compensation for the existing fence or a contribution to the new fence. The resident is only asking for the two sycamore trees next to his fence to be removed and no others. He also agreed that the cost could potentially be shared. The Chair explained that due to being in the pre-election period a decision could not be reached until the new Council was in place in May. In the meantime, the Recreation Working Group would discuss the request and take a recommendation to Full Council in May for approval. The Council will respond to the request in writing after that meeting.
The Clerk reported that the Woodbridge Society had voted to change its name to the Woodbridge and Melton Society and they were in the process of applying for a blue plaque for Wilford Lodge to honour Sir Archibald Garrod.
The Clerk reported that skirting of the footway on Yarmouth Road had been approved by SCC and would take place before the summer. Thanks were expressed to Cllr Nicoll for facilitating this.
Cllr Packard reported that he was willing to represent Melton on the Deben Estuary Partnership. Councillors were pleased that he would take on this role and look forward to hearing his reports at future meetings.
23.19 To approve the Minutes of Full Council and Committees
23.19.01 Minutes of Full Council from 18th January 2023 – MPC(23)M01
It was RESOLVED that minutes MPC(23)M01 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chair.
23.19.02 Minutes of FERM Committee 8th February 2023 – FRM(23)M01
It was RESOLVED that minutes FRM(23)M01 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chair of FERM.
23.19.03 Minutes of Planning & Transport Committee 25th January 2023 – PLA(23)M01
It was RESOLVED that minutes PLA(23)M01 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chair of P&T.
Minutes of the last Recreation meeting will be taken to the April Full Council meeting for approval.
Proposed by: Cllr Martin Seconded by: Cllr Darby
23.20 Planning and Transport – Cllr Brown to lead assisted by the Clerk
23.20.01 Planning Applications – to review new applications received
Councillors AGREED to recommend approval but asked that residents’ concerns about parking should be considered and a condition on the hours of working should be applied to protect the wellbeing and amenity of neighbouring residents.
23.20.02 Planning Applications – update on any existing Planning Applications
There were none
23.20.03 Public Consultations
There were none
23.20.04 Planning Notices – review Planning Notices received
There were none
23.20.05 Planning Appeals – review position on existing Planning Appeals
DC/20/1831/OUT Land off St Andrews Place and Waterhead Lane, Melton
An appeal has been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate: AP/23/0044/REFUSE and comments were submitted by the 26th October. The appeal decision was made on the 16th March and the appeal was upheld:https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?caseid=3300310. The Council is disappointed by the result and acknowledges that residents are very angry. It was AGREED that a statement would be written by Cllr Brown for publication on the MPC website and NextDoor stating that our focus will be on mitigating the effects of the development on the community and that we will be seeking a meeting with the developer to discuss this. This item will be removed from this section on future agendas.
23.20.06 Planning Enforcement
ENF/23/0027/COND – Deben Meadows (DC/23/0120/DRC) No further information has been received. ESC is seeking to recover the outstanding CIL payments.
ENF/21/0086/DEV – Bye Engineering – the three month enforcement period has passed but no further information has been received, nor has a planning application been submitted. The Clerk is seeking an update.
ENF/22/0449/SIGN – Land Adjoining Deben Villa – an order has been issued to remove the signs on Melton Hill. The three month period to remove them has not yet concluded.
23.20.07 Neighbourhood Plan Refresh – Cllr Brown reported that now the Warburg land appeal result is known the Council can progress with the refresh after the election.
23.20.08 Local Highways Matters – Paper MPC(23)20.08
Paper MPC(23)20.08, previously distributed, was received and discussed. It was AGREED unanimously to proceed with seeking costs for installing pedestrian warning signs on Yarmouth Road (sign needs to explain that pedestrians will be crossing/in the road), that the SID should remain on Melton Road and that MPC will be a signatory on the JPTI letter to Chris Bally (ESC CEO) seeking a meeting to discuss the ongoing concerns regarding traffic to/from the peninsula.
23.20.09 East Suffolk Planning Alliance (ESPA)- Cllr Brown reported that a group of parish/town councils has come together due to backlash against planning decisions, particularly Grundisburgh, Trimley and Campsea Ashe. The group wants to meet with Chris Bally to urge him to pause the Local Plan. Cllr Brown was uncertain about what this would mean and what the legal implications would be. He advised that the Council should take a wait and see approach at this point. There is a meeting of the group on the 25th March, which MPC cannot attend. However a Woodbridge Town Councillor who is attending will report back to MPC after the meeting.
23.21 Recreation – Cllr Taylor to lead assisted by the Assistant Clerk
Paper MPC(23)21 referring to the following items:
23.21.01 Play Parks
23.21.02 Woodland and Trees (including TPOs)
23.21.04 Recreation Hire Charges Review
Paper MPC(23)21, distributed previously, was received and discussed. The Beresford Drive playpark consultation will take place on the 3rd June with leafleting taking place from the 13th May. It was unanimously AGREED that the pop up takeaway café would continue to operate on the same terms for the next 6 weeks. It was NOTED that Cllr Harvey-Smith has resigned with immediate effect and the Council expressed their thanks for all her hard work and time as a Councillor. The Recreation Working Group will meet on the 19th April at 6pm to discuss any changes to the Pavilion hire charges and to discuss the resident’s tree removal request.
23.22 To consider Financial and Internal Control Matters – Clerk to report
23.22.01 To receive and consider the financial management reports for the period 1 April 2022 to 28 February 2023
Papers MPC(23)22.01 and MPC(23)22.01a-g, previously distributed, were received and discussed. The bank statements were checked and signed by the chair as accurate against the financial statements. It is hoped that the final year end position will be similar to 2021/2. The final year end figures, with adjustments, will be presented to Full Council in April where a decision will be made about transferring a further sum to the Emergency EMR. Thanks was expressed to Cllr Banks for his expertise and involvement with the financial accounts this year.
23.22.02 To consider the updated budget report for 2023/24
Papers MPC(23)22.02 and MPC(23)22.02a previously distributed were received and noted. The amendments have resulted in a reduction of the in-year predicted deficit to £7,523.58. Monitoring and adjustments will continue to be made and reported in the next financial year.
23.22.03 To consider arrangements for Working Groups from May 2023
Paper MPC(23)22.03, previously distributed, was presented by Cllr Banks in Cllr Gradwell’s absence. It was unanimously AGREED to agree the new way of working using Working Groups rather than Committees and to amend the Standing Orders, Financial Regs and Terms of Reference for approval at the May Full Council meeting.
23.22.04 To review the report on Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funded projects
Paper MPC(23)22.04, previously distributed, was received and noted. The Clerk also reported on the new Small Local CIL fund that opens on the 1st April. This offers match funding up to £50k for projects that are ready to go and is on a first come, first served basis. It is hoped MPC can apply for the play park improvement projects in the future.
23.22.05 To review the Council’s Standing Orders
https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents/standing-orders/ It was NOTED that these will be updated in line with the changes to the Working Groups (MPC(23)22.03) and taken to Full Council in May 2023 for adoption.
23.22.06 To review the Council’s Financial Regs
https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents/financial-regulations/ It was NOTED that these will be updated in line with the changes to the Working Groups (MPC(23)22.03) and taken to Full Council in May 2023 for adoption.
23.22.07 To review the Internal Control Policy for the year ending 31 March 2023
Paper MPC(23)22.07, previously distributed, was received and discussed. It was AGREED to amend the following line to remove the reference in section 3.1 to Working Groups: ‘The Council and Finance, Employment and Risk Management (FERM) receive regular financial statements which they approve at their meeting.’ Subject to this change the Internal Control Policy will be signed by the Chair.
23.22.08 To receive an update on the Internal Audit Arrangements
The Internal Audit is taking place on the 24th May and will be carried out by Trevor Brown. AGAR documentation has been received.
23.22.09 To consider risk issues
The Risk Register was reviewed and the only amendment was to add Full Council as the Risk Owner for all items, in addition to the Committees/Working Groups: https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents-base/risk-register/
23.22.10 To review the Council’s Asset Register as at 31st March 2023
Paper MPC(23)22.10, previously distributed, was received and noted. The Clerk explained that this document was created in Scribe (finance software) and updating with new assets was very simple and efficient. There will be some additional assets to be included towards the end of March. The total value (using the Purchase Value) is £1,079,481.66, up from £716,077 at 31 March 2022. This is due to the construction of the Pavilion and the car parking at Winifred Fison House. It was agreed that the small stationery items would be grouped together under one umbrella item. Only new purchases over £100 are added to the register.
23.22.11 To consider arrangements for meetings for 2023/24 – to be formally adopted in May 2023
Paper MPC(23)22.11 was received and discussed. Two dates need changing (20th July to 19th July and 25th April to 24th April). This updated list will be presented to Full Council in May for adoption.
23.22.12 Report of decisions made by Clerk/Assistant Clerk under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014
Paper MPC(23)22.12, previously distributed, relating to the change of electricity supplier at the Pavilion and renewal of greenspace management contract was received and NOTED.
23.23 Sizewell C
Cllr Banks reported that preliminary work to prepare the temporary construction site is underway and the marsh harrier habitat creation will be finished in May. Archaeological works are also being undertaken. EDF have stated that ‘SZC will have no impact on water supply for East Suffolk Residents’. A desalination plant powered by electricity from Sizewell B will produce up to 4m litres of potable water a day. This leads to the question, does this mean that Sizewell B won’t be decommissioned for the life of SZC or will SZC provide the power for the desalination plant, so reducing what it can supply to the grid? There has been no news on liaison arrangements for local issues, eg night trains and there is still a question of funding for SZC as there are mixed reports on the scale of investor appetite for this investment.
23.24 To receive and consider reports from Representatives to Outside Bodies
23.24.01 Burness Parish Room Management Committee
Cllr Porter reported that the AGM is coming up and LED lights have been installed at the Burness.
23.24.02 Melton Trust
Cllr Martin reported that they have received some applications, the new Trustees have been in place for nearly a year and the AGM is coming up.
23.24.03 Melton Primary School
The Clerk reported that the school is looking to put in a bid with SCC for District CIL to fund a new nursery building.
23.24.04 Melton Messenger
The copy is being supplied by the office during the period of pre-election purdah.
23.24.05 Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC)
Nothing to report
23.24.06 Suffolk Disability Forum
Nothing to report
23.24.07 Melton, Woodbridge and Deben Community Partnership
Cllr Porter reported that it will continue next year and there will be further grants available.
23.25 Fete 2023
Cllrs Darby and Gradwell reported that plans were progressing well for the fete on the 8th July. A kids’ entertainer has been booked as have a high number of stalls. The primary school and scouts are involved. Help will be required from May. Cllr Packard suggested a ferret demo that he had seen at another showmand will provide the information.
23.26 Thermal Imaging Project
Paper MPC(23)26, previously distributed, was received and discussed. Cllr Martin explained they had managed to visit most properties, even with the poor weather, and thanked everyone who took part. It was suggested that the Council could purchase their own camera, perhaps using proceeds from the fete raffle. Thanks was given to Cllr Martin for co-ordinating the project.
23.27 Annual Parish Meeting
Cllr Porter reported that it is taking place at 7.30pm on the 26th April at the Pavilion. Reverend Paul will be invited and the agenda is being finalised.
23.28 To consider Items for the Melton Messenger
Thermal Imaging Project – Cllr Martin to provide the text
Pavilion Open Day event and pictures
23.29 Chair’s urgent business
The Village Produce Association have asked if the Council would consider taking over the annual show. It was felt that the Council couldn’t take this on but it could be held within the fete by the VPA.
Councillors were reminded that nomination forms for the forthcoming elections needed to be returned by hand to ESC by 4pm on the 4th April.
23.30 Date of next meeting
The next meeting of Full Council will take place on Wednesday 19th April 2023, commencing at 7pm at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business the meeting closed at 21:07.