Minutes of the meeting of Melton Parish Council held on Wednesday 13th September 2023, commencing at 7pm, at the Melton Parish Council offices, 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton, IP12 1QT.
Cllr Crawford (Chair)
P Alder Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council
F Waters Assistant Clerk to Melton Parish Council
Cllr Nicoll, County Councillor (SCC)
Cllr Smith-Lyte, District Councillor, East Suffolk Council (ESC) arrived at 7.25pm
Melton Footpath Advocate
3 members of the public
Agenda – Part One of One – Open to the Public
Item No Item to be discussed
23.93 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Bourne, Brown, Darby, Gradwell, Holmes and James
23.94 Declarations of Interest
23.94.01 To receive Declarations of Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda
None were received
23.94.02 To consider any applications for dispensations
None were received
23.95 Public Participation Session
23.95.02 To receive a report from the County Councillor
Cllr Nicoll talked about his involvement and concerns regarding the Love Woodbridge and Melton (LW&M) project. He pointed out that it is very positive to have been awarded £5m but it needs to be implemented well. The election for the Woodbridge County Councillor on the 12th October means that the Project Board won’t be set up until after this date to ensure all relevant parties, including the new Woodbridge County Councillor, are on board. He also stated that he would not chair the Project Board unless there is 100% attendance. Cllr Nicoll is meeting with Andrew Cook on the 18th September to discuss his concerns. With regards to the ongoing traffic issues with the A1152, following the meeting between the joint parishes and Chris Bally (ESC CEO), a workshop is planned between ESC Planners, Highways and parishes to discuss the issues. The Chair thanked Cllr Nicoll for his time and support of the Parish.
23.95.03 To consider village matters raised by Members of the Public or Councillors
A resident raised concerns about the LW&M project and the lack of consultation. He was pleased about the stance being taken by Melton Parish Council, having read the recently released statement which highlighted the Council’s concerns. They were also concerned about the state of the pond near the Recreation Ground in Burke’s Wood. The Clerk explained that work had been undertaken but whilst pygmyweed was still present there was very little further work that could be done. The resident suggested filling in the pond or using chemicals. The Clerk requested the resident to share any information they had about the control and eradication of pygmyweed and the Recreation Working Group would discuss further.
Another resident also raised concerns about the LW&M project and stated they had submitted a Freedom of Information request asking why this area was chosen as the topography and demographic do not seem appropriate.
A resident was pleased to hear that MPC has a representative on the Woodbridge and Melton Society. She raised concerns about the bowling green at Melton St Audry’s, which is an Asset of Community Value. Cllr Smith-Lyte is going to ask Hopkins Homes about removing the fencing around the site. Cllr Bann agreed to discuss the issues with Cllr Brown and ensure that the bowling green was included in the Neighbourhood Plan refresh. The Clerk confirmed that neither they nor ESC were aware of any plans for affordable housing on the site.
23.95.01 To receive a Report from the District Councillor – taken out of order
Cllr Smith-Lyte reported that the Local Plan is being revised, she will be checking the vegetation removal on St Audry’s Lane next week and is meeting with Anglian Water about sewage discharge into the Deben. She mentioned the Community Hub Network fund and the Clerk said the Burness had been made aware of the fund. The Chair thanked her for her contribution and time.
23.96 To approve the Minutes of Full Council from 19th July 2023
It was RESOLVED that minutes MPC(23)M06 previously distributed, be received, noted and signed as a correct record by the Chair.
Proposed by: Cllr Martin Seconded by: Cllr Taylor
23.97 Planning & Transport – Cllr Bann assisted by the Clerk
23.97.01 Planning Applications – to review new applications received
DC/23/3110/FUL 28 Saxon Way It was agreed that the Council would wait until the Arboricultural report is received before making any comments on the planning application.
DC/23/3101/ADN Deben Mill It was unanimously agreed to respond recommending that the sign should contain less advertising and be located closer to the ground rather than on high scaffolding posts.
23.97.02 Planning Applications – update on any existing Planning Applications
DC/22/4775/FUL – Land South Of Primary School And East Of The Street Eyke – the Clerk reported that MPC had reiterated its concerns about the impact of additional traffic from this development. It is likely to go to the ESC planning committee in October or November.
23.97.03 Public Consultations
ESC’s Custom & Self-Build Supplementary Planning Document was discussed. There was a suggestion that Parish Councils could include an increase in self-build allocation on sites over 100 properties from the current 5% when they refresh their Neighbourhood Plans (Bungay has increased its level to 10%). It was pointed out that as it attracts a zero CIL rating there seems little benefit in increasing the allocation. It was agreed to seek the opinion of Cllr Brown before submitting a response and include reference to our concern that national policy still gives a zero CIL rating for self-build developments.
Consultation on Protecting Hedgerows – Defra – Citizen Space Cllr Brown has proposed some responses and Councillors agreed to delegate the response to him in conjunction with the office.
Consultation on the draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations 2024 – Defra – Citizen Space – it was agreed not to respond to this consultation.
Proposed amendments to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme Regulations – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) – it was agreed not to respond to this consultation.
23.97.04 Planning Notices – review Planning Notices received
None have been received.
23.97.05 Planning Appeals – review position on existing Planning Appeals
There were none.
23.97.06 Planning Enforcement
ENF/23/0027/COND – Deben Meadows (DC/23/0120/DRC) – no update to report
ENF/21/0086/DEV – Bye Engineering – the Planning Officer is arranging a meeting with the agent.
23.97.07 Local Highways Matters
Paper MPC(23)97.07 which was previously distributed was received and noted. Bredfield Road residents have now received the 20sPlenty banners and wheelie bin stickers. It was agreed that the SID would be moved back to Bredfield Road from Melton Road and that the Council would proceed with the extension of the 30mph speed limit on Wilford Bridge Road. The Clerk also referenced a report produced by Bromeswell Parish Council regarding concerns about the A1152 and B1084, asking for a speed reduction, junction layout change and safety measures to be implemented. Melton Parish Council expressed their support for the campaign.
Proposed by: Cllr Corston Seconded by: Cllr Taylor
23.97.08 Love Woodbridge & Melton (https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/love-woodbridge-melton/)
Melton Parish Council has issued a statement on Next Door, eNews and the website. The SCC team is holding a drop-in engagement event from 6-8pm on the 28th September at the Melton Parish Council office meeting room. Councillors who are attending will be provided with necessary background information from the office. It was stressed that this is an SCC event but that MPC is here to listen to residents’ comments and views.
23.97.09 Neighbourhood Plan Refresh – a meeting is taking place next month with the owners of the container site to discover more about their intended plans.
23.98 Recreation – Chair of Recreation to lead assisted by the Assistant Clerk
Paper MPC(23)98 previously distributed was received and noted. It was agreed that the 2 sycamores behind Hope Crescent could be removed as there was little benefit in letting them remain. The office explained that they were meeting with the tree surgeon to discuss woodland management plans next month. It was agreed to proceed with the installation of additional lighting at the Recreation Ground car park and to install two solar lights.
Proposed by: Cllr Martin Seconded by: Cllr Taylor
23.98.01 Beresford Drive Play Park
The Assistant Clerk reported that the brief was issued in August and placed on Contracts Finder. Nine companies have expressed interest in bidding and site visits have been arranged with eight. Submissions will be scored against a matrix and some children from the Primary School will also help review the designs. Cllr Martin is happy to be involved in the review group alongside Cllrs Gradwell, James, Taylor, Darby and Corston. A former councillor has also offered her services as time permits.
23.98.02 Noticeboard at Melton St Audrys
Councillors were happy in principle to replace the noticeboard with a larger one to enable more notices to be displayed. The office will confirm with the Melton Park Management Company about the size and materials as the original noticeboard had to be wooden. The office will report back at the next meeting.
DC/23/3379/TPO 12 Godfreys Wood – it was agreed to make no comment on this TPO.
23.99 To consider Financial and Internal Control Matters – Clerk to report and advice to Council from Chair of FERM
23.99.01 To appoint a new Chair of FERM Working Group
Due to the resignation of Cllr Banks the position of Chair of FERM was vacant. Cllr Crawford gave his thanks to Cllr Banks for his contribution to the Council. It was noted that his experience and knowledge was invaluable, and he will be sorely missed. It was recommended that Cllr Gradwell sends a thank you letter in recognition. Cllr Crawford agreed to become Chair of FERM Working Group.
Proposed by: Cllr Martin Seconded by: Cllr Taylor
23.99.02 To receive the financial management and budget reports for the period 1 April to 30 August 2023
Papers MPC(23)99.02 and MPC(23)99.02a-g, previously distributed, were received and noted. The bank statements were checked and signed by the chair as accurate against the financial statements. The Clerk reported that they hoped to reduce the budget deficit through savings and Pavilion income exceeding expectations.
23.99.03 To consider risk issues – https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents-base/risk-register/
The Risk Register was considered and it was agreed to include an additional risk regarding Communication, specifically relating to the Melton Messenger if it ceases to be printed and distributed. The Staffing Risk will remain high, as although the steps taken to reduce workload have been effective, with only three members of staff any absence would have a high impact on the Council. The financial risk relating to monies held not protected by the FSCS will be discussed by Full Council in October.
23.99.04 To consider the external audit report for year ended 31 March 2023
The Clerk reported that the certificate from the external auditor has been received, and there are no issues raised. The auditor confirms that the information provided by the Council is in accordance with proper practices and there are no other matters giving cause for concern. In accordance with the statutory requirements the Notice of Conclusion of Audit has been published on the website and noticeboards.
23.99.05 To consider renewal proposals for the Council’s insurances – Paper MPC(23)99.05
The renewal documentation was considered and it was agreed to accept the quote and pay the renewal premium before the 1st October 2023.
Proposed by: Cllr Martin Seconded by: Cllr Crawford
23.99.06 To consider NALC Model Financial Reg Consultation
Former Cllr Banks has provided some feedback on this consultation and it was agreed to delegate the response to the office.
Proposed by: Cllr Packard Seconded by: Cllr Crawford
23.100 Melton Fete 2023 and 2024
Paper MPC(23)100, previously distributed was received and noted. It was agreed to distribute the profits so that the Burness, St Andrews and the school each receive £150, £550 will be placed in an EMR for the pump/bike track and £950 is retained as a seed fund for 2024. The date of 22nd June was agreed for the 2024 fete and everyone present at the meeting offered to help, if around. Cllr Bann has taken on the responsibility for parking at next year’s fete, working with Cllr Holmes and the footpath advocate.
Proposed by: Cllr Packard Seconded by: Cllr Taylor
23.101 Thermal Imaging – Paper MPC(23)101
Cllr Martin gave an update on the thermal imaging project. It was agreed that MPC would not lead a project this year but would offer help to Transition Woodbridge who will be co-ordinating thermal imaging in Woodbridge and Melton. Proposed by: Cllr Crawford Seconded by: Cllr Stearn
23.102 Sizewell C
The SZC team is meeting with the Parish Council on the 4th October. At some point the Council will need to appoint a new lead due to Cllr Bank’s resignation.
23.103 To receive and consider reports from Representatives to Outside Bodies
23.103.01 Burness Parish Room Management Committee – there was no report
23.103.02 Melton Trust – Cllr Martin reported that they had received few applications but continued to support the Salvation Army Foodbank and the Trust is working with Suffolk Mind and the local schools.
23.103.03 Melton Primary School – the Clerk reported that the SCC bid for District CIL funding (£1.35m) for a nursery building was successful. Questions were raised about SCC’s projected costs and whether it represented good value for money. The Clerk will keep the Council informed.
23.103.04 Melton Messenger – It was reported that it costs £8k a year to produce and income was substantially below this therefore it is not sustainable in its current form for the long term. The risk to the Council has been noted.
23.103.05 Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC) – there was no report
23.103.06 Suffolk Disability Forum – there was no report
23.103.07 Melton, Woodbridge and Deben Community Partnership – Cllr Packard reported that he missed the meeting on the 27th July but the report was not pertinent to MPC.
23.103.08 Woodbridge and Melton Society – Cllr Bann reported that Cllr Gradwell attended in August to discuss the Love Woodbridge and Melton project. The Society praised the minutes of MPC’s meetings. There was a further lively debate about the Love Woodbridge and Melton project and Cllr Bann has agreed to volunteer on their LW&M working group as a resident representative.
23.103.09 Deben Estuary Partnership – Cllr Packard reported that there has been a team reorganisation. As he can’t attend the next meeting on the 21st September he asked if any Councillor wished to attend in his absence.
23.103.10 Adaptive Action Group – Cllr James was not present but will send a report about the event he attended in August by email.
23.104 To consider Items for the Melton Messenger
Any submissions should be sent to Carol by early October for inclusion in the November edition.
23.105 Chair’s urgent business
There was none
23.106 Date of next meeting
The next meeting of Full Council will take place on Wednesday 18th October 2023, commencing at 7pm at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business the meeting closed at 21:06.