MPC(23)M03 Minutes of Full Council from 19th April 2023

Full CouncilMinutes Uploaded on April 27, 2023


Minutes of the meeting of Melton Parish Council held on Wednesday 19th April 2023, commencing at 7pm, at the Melton Parish Council offices, 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton, IP12 1QT.


Cllr Porter (Chair)

Cllr Banks

Cllr Darby

Cllr Hilson

Cllr Holmes

Cllr Martin

Cllr Packard

Cllr Stearn

Cllr Taylor


Cllr Biggle

Cllr Brown

Cllr Crawford

Cllr Gradwell

Cllr James

In Attendance:

P Alder Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council

F Waters Assistant Clerk to Melton Parish Council

Cllr Smith-Lyte District Councillor

Cllr Nicoll County Councillor

Footpath Advocate

8 members of the public

Item No              Item to be discussed

23.31                  To receive apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Cllrs Biggle, Brown, Crawford, Gradwell and James.

23.32                  Declarations of Interest

23.32.01                To receive Declarations of Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda

There were none

23.32.02                To consider any applications for dispensations

There were none

The Clerk reminded everyone present that although the forthcoming Parish Council election was uncontested, we were still in the pre-election purdah period.

23.33                  Public Participation Session 

23.33.01                To receive a Report from the District Councillor

Cllr Smith-Lyte shares the same concerns as Cllr Nicoll regarding the overdevelopment and the subsequent increase in traffic. She also had questions about item MPC(23)35.04.

23.33.02                To receive a report from the County Councillor

Cllr Nicoll talked about his involvement in the Warburg planning appeal and voiced his continued concerns about traffic both during the construction period and after development. He urged the Council to continue pushing at the weak links in the application. He also has concerns about the increased traffic on Woods Lane and the Melton crossroads from continued development in Melton and the surrounding areas and the impact that traffic calming measures in Woodbridge from the Mini Holland project will have on Melton.

23.33.03                To consider village matters raised by Members of the Public or Councillors

The Clerk raised two issues.

1. Yarmouth Road will be closed by Anglian Water for 6 weeks from the 9th May to carry out essential sewer replacement works. The Clerk met with Highways and Anglian Water representatives to discuss mitigations that can be put in place to prevent St Audry’s Lane, Lodge Farm Lane and Saddlemaker’s Lane from becoming dangerous rat runs. Mitigations will include prominent signage and potentially gatekeepers for the first two weeks. A Teams meeting is due to take place on Monday to finalise the plans. The Mini Holland project team have been advised of the closure and asked if they can monitor traffic during this time, especially when Station Road is closed for the final week. It was suggested that Bredfield Road should also be monitored.

2. Dock Lane – there are concerns about vehicles mounting the kerb and ruining the verge at the entrance of Dock Lane and Melton Road. The Council could apply to SCC for a licence to install bollards or planters. Further investigations will be made and a proposal brought to the next meeting of Full Council in May.

It was RESOLVED to take the following item out of order on the agenda.

23.35.07                Local Highways Matters – Paper MPC(23)35.07

Residents of Bredfield Road expressed their concerns about the latest proposal from SCC as contained in paper MPC(23)35.07. They do not feel it provides a safe crossing point and asked that traffic lights and a controlled crossing are installed. Cllr Nicoll asked if this could be funded using the money awarded by Active Travel England for the Mini Holland elements and offered to arrange a meeting with Highways to progress. A member of the public who will be joining Melton Parish Council in May offered his help with the project as he is a retired Highways Engineer.

The Bredfield Road Community Speedwatch Group expressed their thanks to Melton Parish Council for assisting in the set up of the scheme and it was noted that from 16 sessions carried out since 17th February there have been 29 offences recorded.

It was unanimously AGREED that the SID should be moved from Melton Road to Bredfield Road (Orchard Close side) before the Yarmouth Road closure starts.

It was unanimously AGREED that the design works for the speed limit reduction on Wilford Bridge Road should be progressed and Highways should be approached about re-evaluating the speed limit on St Audry’s Lane, Lodge Farm Lane and Saddlemaker’s Lane and potentially putting in a hard stop on Saddlemaker’s Lane to make it a no-through road.

It was RESOLVED to revert to the original order on the agenda.

23.34                  To approve the Minutes of Full Council and Committees

23.34.01                Minutes of Full Council from 22nd March 2023 – MPC(23)M02

It was RESOLVED that minutes MPC(23)M02 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chair.

Proposed by Cllr Martin            Seconded by Cllr Taylor

23.34.02                Minutes of Recreation Committee from 11th January 2023 – REC(23)M01

It was RESOLVED that minutes REC(23)M01 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chair of Recreation.

Proposed by Cllr Martin            Seconded by Cllr Holmes

23.35                  Planning and Transport

23.35.01                Planning Applications – to review new applications received

DC/23/1272/FUL 1 Grant Rise – there were no comments on the extension but Councillors asked that it is noted that the beech tree should be protected.

23.35.02                Planning Applications – update on any existing Planning Applications

DC/22/4775/FUL and DC/23/0203/FUL – Land South Of Primary School And East Of The Street Eyke – a second duplicate application was submitted. The agent is working on a revised scheme which ESC expects to receive in the next few weeks. This will then be re-consulted on.

DC/20/1831/OUT – Land Off St Andrews Place and Waterhead Lane – Cllr Darby reported that the developer has been approached for a meeting with the Parish Council. The developer responded that it is ‘currently very early days and we have not made any internal decisions yet so may I suggest we leave it for now and come back to you when we have looked at things in more detail.’

23.35.03                Public Consultations

CIL Consultation – It was agreed to delegate the response to this consultation to the office and Cllr Brown.

23.35.04                Planning Notices – review Planning Notices received

Cornerstone Base Station Installation Upgrade, Wilford Bridge Road – a pre-planning letter was received from WHP Telecoms regarding an upgrade to an existing base station. Councillors asked that the following questions are raised: why the new post is in a different location, will it impact on the layby and trees and will it be 5G.

23.35.05                Planning Appeals – review position on existing Planning Appeals

Nothing to report

23.35.06                Planning Enforcement

ENF/23/0027/COND – Deben Meadows (DC/23/0120/DRC) – no update has been received

ENF/21/0086/DEV – Bye Engineering – no application has been received by ESC so a site visit is planned by ESC Enforcement Officers.

ENF/22/0449/SIGN – Land Adjoining Deben Villa – the landowner will be applying for advertisement consent. A resident has voiced their concerns which will be taken into account when responding to the planning application, once received.

23.35.08                East Suffolk Planning Alliance – a meeting took place on the 25th March and a Woodbridge Town Councillor reported back, as no-one from MPC was able to attend. Overall the meeting meandered and overran although it was agreed that the steering group would prepare another letter to ESC seeking an open meeting regarding their concerns.

23.36                  Recreation

The Assistant Clerk gave a verbal update on the Working Group meeting that took place at 6pm. They will be recommending to Full Council in May that the Pavilion hire charges should rise by around 10% from the 1st June. The takeaway café operator is keen to continue, potentially with different hire times in the summer holidays. The baby changing unit will not be reinstalled due to concerns about vandalism and the opening times of the toilet may be changed if there is further vandalism and ASB. Full Council will also be presented with a recommendation on the 10th May regarding the request from a resident to remove two sycamores. The Beresford Drive play area consultation will take place on the 3rd June with the leaflet drop starting on the 13th May.

23.37                  To consider Financial and Internal Control Matters

23.37.01                To receive and consider the provisional final outturn for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023

Papers MPC(23)37.01 and MPC(23)37.01a-g previously distributed, were received and discussed. The bank statements were checked and signed by the chair as accurate against the financial statements. The final year-end figures, with adjustments, were presented. Councillors conveyed their congratulations on the final position as it has been a very challenging financial year. The deficit was closed through savings made on the Office Admin (£1.8k), Recreation (£6.5k), Pavilion running costs (£3k) and the Neighbourhood Plan (£1.7k) budgets and there was £2.8k in income from the Pavilion.

Due to potential risks from loss of income or staff illness/incapacity the Council needs to build resilience so it was AGREED that £5k will be transferred into the Budget Risk EMR. Therefore, the final General Reserve figure will be £57,391.43, which is acceptable in line with the JPAG Practitioner’s Guide.

Proposed by Cllr Porter            Seconded by Cllr Banks

23.37.02                To review the budget for 2023/24

Paper MPC(23)37.02 previously distributed was noted. No changes have been made to the budget since the last meeting but it will continue to be monitored closely.

23.37.03                To receive an update on the Internal and External Audit Arrangements

The internal audit is taking place on the 24th May and the documentation for the external audit has been received from PKF Littlejohn.

23.37.04                To consider risk issues –

The Risk Register was reviewed and it was AGREED to increase the ASB risk to Medium due to the recent vandalism in the toilet and reports of drug taking/dealing in the parish. The Pavilion operations risk will be reduced to Medium as the first 4 months of operation had demonstrated that the financial risks have reduced. The Management of Risk comment on the Financial element will be changed so the final line reads “The Council will exercise tight control over expenditure in this FY. The Precept for 23/24 has been increased and a further £5k added to the Budget Risk EMR (making it £10k)”. The Governance and Accountability risk will be updated to reflect that in May 2023 the General Power of Competence can be adopted. The Pavilion Project remains whilst the final snagging is carried out.

23.37.05                Report of decisions made by Clerk/Assistant Clerk under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014

There were none

23.38                  To consider employment matters

The Clerk reported that the National Employers’ annual pay award offer of £1,925 on each NJC pay point 2-43 had been rejected by the unions. UNISON has announced a ballot for industrial action, whilst GMB and Unite members will be consulted on the basis of a recommendation that the offer be rejected.

23.39                  Fete 2023

Cllr Darby reported that preparations for this year’s fete on the 8th July were well underway. The originally booked bar and café have pulled out as they are no longer trading, however replacements have been found. There is a full programme of events planned with a focus on family and children’s entertainment. There has been a very positive response from local businesses and there is still space for a few stalls. It was suggested that Katie’s Garden might be interested in attending. MPC will be doing the BBQ again and Councillors were asked for their help on the day.

23.40                  To receive and consider reports from Representatives to Outside Bodies

23.40.01                Burness Parish Room Management Committee

Cllr Porter reported that the lighting had been changed to LEDs and the AGM will be taking place in June.

23.40.02                Melton Trust

Cllr Martin reported that there wasn’t much news but the accounts have been submitted to the Charity Commission.

23.40.03                Melton Primary School 

The Clerk had nothing to report.

23.40.04                Melton Messenger

The office has written the May article. It was suggested that a Save the Date for the fete advert should be included. Cllr Porter will be writing a farewell article for the June edition.

23.40.05                Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC)

Cllr Porter had nothing to report.

23.40.06                Suffolk Disability Forum

Cllr Darby had nothing to report.

 23.40.07                Melton, Woodbridge and Deben Community Partnership

Cllr Packard had nothing to report.

23.40.08                Deben Estuary Partnership

Cllr Packard reported that at the last meeting the Environment Agency discussed the Deben Estuary Plan from 2015 and how this very important document now needs to be reviewed. They will start this process and all local parish councils will be asked for their opinion. They have an annual grant of £2,500 from the Environment Agency and currently have £126,000 from Suffolk County Council to look into repairing the flooding wall which runs from Bawdsey to Ramsholt (Flood Cell 1).

23.41                  Sizewell C

Nothing much new to report. A night train trial is running on the 29th April. Councillors asked the Clerk to find out the length of the trains and if they will be loaded. If anyone hears the trains they are asked to record a video.

23.42                  To consider Items for the Melton Messenger

Save the Date for the Melton Fete

23.43                  Chair’s urgent business

It was noted that this was the last Council meeting for Cllrs Porter, Hilson and Biggle. Councillors conveyed their thanks for all their hard work.

23.44                  Date of next meeting

The next meeting of Full Council, the Annual Commissioning Meeting, will take place on Wednesday 10th May, commencing at 7pm at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business the meeting closed at 20:50.