Minutes of the meeting of Melton Parish Council held on Wednesday 19th July 2023, commencing at 7pm, at the Melton Parish Council offices, 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton, IP12 1QT.
Cllr Gradwell (Chair)
P Alder Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council
F Waters Assistant Clerk to Melton Parish Council
Cllr Smith-Lyte, District Councillor, East Suffolk Council (ESC)
Melton Footpath Advocate
3 members of the public
Agenda – Part One of Two – Open to the Public
Item No Item to be discussed
23.79 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Councillors Darby, James, Packard, Taylor and County Councillor Alexander Nicoll.
23.80 Declarations of Interest
23.80.01 To receive Declarations of Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda
Declarations of Interest were received from Cllrs Gradwell and Stearn in relation to item MPC(23)83.01 (DC/23/2365/FUL) and from Cllr Bourne in relation to item MPC(23)84.02.
23.80.02 To consider any applications for dispensations
A dispensation was granted to Cllr Bourne for 12 months. Cllr Gradwell was allowed to speak as a member of the public in the public participation session but has to leave the room for the discussion and Cllr Stearn elected not to participate in the discussion of item 83.01.
23.81 Public Participation Session
23.81.03 To consider village matters raised by Members of the Public or Councillors
The opportunity for members of the public to put questions to Councillors and the opportunity for members of the public or Councillors to raise matters of concern/interest in the village, including any matters relating to policing in the parish.
As members of the public were present to discuss planning matters it was RESOLVED to take the following section out of order on the agenda
23.83 Planning & Transport – Chair of P&T to lead assisted by the Clerk
23.83.01 Planning Applications – to review new applications received
DC/23/2321/FUL 31 Beadon Way Councillors resolved unanimously to recommend approval.
DC/23/2413/FUL The Farmhouse, Decoy Farm Councillors resolved that, based on the recommendation from the Landscape and Arboricultural Officer, the application should be refused. Three councillors abstained and seven voted in favour of recommending refusal.
DC/23/2365/FUL The Workshop, Brick Kiln Lane Three residents spoke at the meeting to raise their objections to this application. After lengthy discussion it was resolved unanimously to recommend refusal of this application on the grounds that the new building will be detrimental to the area and there were concerns about access, light pollution, noise and the traffic impacts. Cllr Nicoll will also be contacted with regards to impact on the PROW and traffic implications.
DC/23/1874/FUL 5 Thomas Churchyard Close Councillors resolved unanimously to recommend approval.
23.83.02 Planning Applications – update on any existing Planning Applications
DC/22/4775/FUL – Land South Of Primary School And East Of The Street Eyke – the planners are still waiting for the developer to submit revised documents.
23.83.03 Public Consultations
23.83.04 Planning Notices – review Planning Notices received
23.83.05 Planning Appeals – review position on existing Planning Appeals
Nothing to report
23.83.06 Planning Enforcement
ENF/23/0027/COND – Deben Meadows (DC/23/0120/DRC) – nothing new to report since the previous meeting.
ENF/21/0086/DEV – Bye Engineering – a planning application was considered under item MPC(23)83.01.
Cllr Martin asked if enforcement action would be taken regarding the sign on Melton Hill now that the planning application had been refused. The Clerk will follow up with the enforcement team.
23.83.07 Local Highways Matters (including Love Woodbridge & Melton)
Paper MPC(23)83.07, previously distributed, was received and noted. The Clerk reported that Cllr Smith-Lyte has offered to fund the 20splenty stickers and banners. Cllr Bann offered to look at the feasibility of an overrun strip at the corner of Dock Lane/Melton Road but in the meantime the street furniture licence has been granted and the planter ordered (funded through grants). It was unanimously resolved that the Love Woodbridge and Melton team should undertake a comprehensive public consultation for Melton with regards to 20mph limits in the village, covering the entire parish. Councillors asked that the consultation is with more than just residents of Melton and Woodbridge but also needs to include people travelling through/to Woodbridge and Melton from surrounding areas.
Councillors also resolved to support the 20splenty campaign and the Clerk will write to SCC requesting that 20mph is adopted as the default speed limit on streets throughout Suffolk where people live, work, shop, play or learn and those that are designated as Quiet Lanes. As a result it was decided not to proceed with a speed reduction report for Saddlemaker’s Lane, Lodge Farm Lane and St Audry’s Lane at this time.
The Joint Parish Traffic Initiative group has been alerted to a planning application for a new industrial unit near Bentwaters. There has been no further meeting with ESC.
23.83.08 Neighbourhood Plan Refresh
Cllr Brown explained that ESC has been approached for technical and financial support as step 1. After this, help will be required to implement the plan of action.
23.83.09 East Suffolk Planning Alliance
There was no update on this group.
It was RESOLVED to revert to the original order on the agenda.
23.81.01 To receive a Report from the District Councillor
Cllr Smith-Lyte reported that the new administration was settling in and new councillors were getting up to speed. The coalition is currently putting together their corporate plan.
23.81.02 To receive a report from the County Councillor
No report was received. It was noted that Cllr Nicoll continues to support the council, especially about Highways matters.
23.82 To approve the Minutes of Full Council
23.82.01 Minutes of Full Council from 14th June 2023
It was RESOLVED that minutes MPC(23)M05 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chair.
Proposed by: Cllr Brown Seconded by: Cllr Martin
23.84 Recreation – Deputy Chair of Recreation to lead assisted by the Assistant Clerk
Paper MPC(23)84, previously distributed, was received and noted. Cllr Stearn offered to light the beacon for the D-Day celebrations in 2024 and Cllrs Bann, Gradwell and Martin offered their assistance. Councillors were pleased with the new benches and asked that the Council’s thanks are conveyed to the volunteers looking after the land at Hall Farm Close.
23.84.01 Melton Road Bench
Paper MPC(23)84.01, previously distributed, was received and discussed. After a length discussion it was RESOLVED (8 in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention) that the bench would be placed in the original location for a temporary trial. If there were no ASB issues it would be installed permanently. If there are ASB issues then it could be relocated. The Clerk will confirm that all parties involved (landowner, resident donating the bench and planners) are happy with this solution before contacting the individual who complained.
Proposed by: Cllr Stearn Seconded by: Cllr Corston
23.84.02 Beresford Drive Play Park Consultation
Paper MPC(23)84.02, previously distributed, was received and discussed. It was AGREED to proceed with formulating a brief that will be sent to at least three companies for quotes. Once indicative quotes are known the office will investigate grants available to help fund the project. Woodbridge Town Council will also be approached.
DC/23/2559/TPO Redwald House it was unanimously resolved to make no comment on the application.
23.85 To consider Financial and Internal Control Matters – Clerk to report and advice to Council from Chair of FERM
23.85.01 To receive the financial management and budget reports for the period 1 April to 30 June 2023
Papers MPC(23)85.01 and MPC(23)85.01a-g previously distributed were received and noted. The annual pay award is still an unknown element but 5% has been factored into the budget.
23.85.02 To review the CIL and EMR Projects
Paper MPC(23)85.02, previously distributed, was received and the contents were noted.
23.85.03 To consider any changes to the Terms of Reference for Working Groups
Paper MPC(23)85.03, previously distributed, was received and it was AGREED to adopt the changes to FERM’s and Recreation’s Terms of Reference. No further changes were required to Planning & Transport’s Terms of Reference..
23.85.04 To consider risk issues – https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents-base/risk-register/
No changes were required.
23.85.05 To consider the appointment of the Internal Auditor for 2023/24
On FERM’s recommendation it was unanimously AGREED to appoint Trevor Brown as the internal auditor for 2023/24.
23.85.06 Bank Accounts and Investments
Paper MPC(23)85.06, previously distributed, was discussed at length. FERM recommended investing in the CCLA fund as a way of mitigating the risk of having funds greater than is covered by the FSCS. The fund is seen as low risk, has instant liquidity and should deliver a decent yield. There was some concern expressed about investing in the scheme as the investment could decrease as well as increase. It was suggested that the excess funds not currently covered by the FSCS could be split between the CCLA and another bank account that offers a reasonable interest rate and good liquidity. 5 Councillors supported this proposal, 1 Councillor objected to anything being invested in the CCLA fund and 3 supported investing the total excess in the CCLA fund. It was AGREED that FERM would investigate possible bank accounts (including United Trust Bank) and bring a proposal to Full Council in September. It was NOTED that a policy/protocol is required to cover how the Council places money in bank accounts/fixed term investments.
23.85.07 Report of decisions made by Clerk/Assistant Clerk under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014
Paper MPC(23)85.07, previously distributed and relating to a change of phone provider in the office, was received and noted.
23.85.08 Melton Parish Council Business Plan
The Chair reported that the Business Plan has been in existence for five years now and needs updating. It will be brought back to Full Council in October and any offers of help would be gratefully received.
23.85.09 Grant Giving 2023/24
The Clerk reported that the grant giving by MPC would be advertised in August and September and applications will be brought to Full Council to consider in October. It will be advertised on the website, noticeboards, Melton Messenger and NextDoor.
23.86 Melton Fete
Cllr Gradwell reported that the final figures are yet to be finalised but there will be a full report to Council in September, together with a recommendation on what should be kept as a seed fund and how much would be distributed to the church, primary school and Burness Parish Rooms. Overall £3.5k was raised but costs were £1.8k. £1,490 was raised by the BBQ, Bar and Raffle (before costs). Feedback is being collated, including issues with car parking, and will be reviewed and used to plan the 2024 fete. The date of Saturday 29th June 2024 has been proposed.
23.87 Sizewell C
A meeting has been organised for the 4th October at 7pm with the EDF/SZC Community Engagement team. All Councillors have been sent a meeting invite.
23.88 To receive and consider reports from Representatives to Outside Bodies
23.88.01 Burness Parish Room Management Committee – nothing to report
23.88.02 Melton Trust – Cllr Martin reported that a few applications had been received and they were working with Suffolk Mind to fund a Mental Health project with Melton primary school and Farlingaye. Cllr Gradwell recommended making contact with Access Community Trust regarding homelessness.
23.88.03 Melton Primary School – Clerk reported that the SATs results were being challenged in a few cases but progress scores were very encouraging. It is the end of term this week.
23.88.04 Melton Messenger – nothing to report except they were in need of financial donations
23.88.05 Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC) – nothing to report
23.88.06 Suffolk Disability Forum – nothing to report
23.88.07 Melton, Woodbridge and Deben Community Partnership – the next meeting is on the 27th July but Cllr Packard cannot attend. Councillors were asked if anyone wanted to attend in his absence.
23.88.08 Woodbridge and Melton Society – Cllr Bann reported that there had been no meetings but the response to the Shire Hall consultation recommended retaining and renovating the building but putting it into a Trust.
23.88.09 Deben Estuary Partnership – nothing to report
23.89 To consider Items for the Melton Messenger
Grants from MPC, Fete, Water testing of the Deben and possibly the Tour of Britain. Cllr Bann is happy to lead on the council’s involvement with the Tour.
23.90 Chair’s urgent business
Cllr Gradwell met with the mayor of Woodbridge Town Council. They are organising a Climate Action event on the 30th August and have offered two spaces to MPC. Cllr Gradwell will share details with Councillors.
23.91 Date of next meeting
The next meeting of Full Council will take place on Wednesday 13th September 2023, commencing at 7pm at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. Apologies were received from Cllrs Gradwell and Bourne. After consideration of the confidential item and there being no further business the meeting closed at 21:34.