MPC(24)M02 Minutes of Full Council meeting on 28th February 2024

Full CouncilMinutes Uploaded on March 11, 2024


Minutes of the meeting of Melton Parish Council held on Wednesday 28th February 2024, commencing at 7pm, at the Melton Parish Council offices, 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton, IP12 1QT.


Cllr Bann

Cllr Brown

Cllr Corston

Cllr Darby

Cllr De Vita

Cllr Bourne

Cllr Emerson

Cllr Hillier

Cllr Holmes

Cllr Gradwell (Chair)

Cllr Packard (arrived 7:24pm)

Cllr Stearn

Cllr Taylor


Cllr Martin

In Attendance:

P Alder Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council

F Waters Assistant Clerk to Melton Parish Council

Melton Footpath Advocate

Melton Parish Council Climate Advocate

3 Members of the public

County Councillor Alexander Nicoll

Agenda – Part One – Open to the Public

Item No         Item to be discussed

24.14              To receive apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Martin and District Cllr Smith-Lyte.

24.15              Declarations of Interest

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

None were received

24.15.02           To consider any applications for dispensations

There were none

24.16              Public Participation Session          

24.16.01           To receive a report from the County Councillor Alexander Nicoll

Although the joint bus bid with Woodbridge Town Council was unsuccessful, with the bulk of the money going to commercial operators, there is ongoing dialogue between the Councils and County Councillors to make improvements to bus travel through initiatives such as improving/providing bus shelters. Cllr Nicoll attended the recent SZC Transport Forum and stressed the importance of holding the EDF SZC team to account. There is concern that vehicles under 3.5 tonnes are not being tracked as part of the SZC controls. The Chair thanked Alexander and Cllrs Bourne and Bann for their attendance at SZC forums. There is a meeting of the Joint Parish Traffic Initiative (JPTI) taking place in early March at Bentwaters with attendees from ESC (including CEO Chris Bally), SCC and local parishes. Cllr Brown asked what road safety scheme is being presented at the meeting. Cllr Nicoll believes it will relate to Bromeswell.

24.16.02           To receive a report from the District Councillor

The Clerk circulated a report from Cllr Smith-Lyte, which is also on the website, and read out the key points relating to Melton.

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

The organisers of the Melton Car Boot Sales raised their concerns about the conditions the Council has imposed for the 2024 boot sales. They are unable to adhere to the limit of 50 cars, or indeed any limit. It was explained that the Council cannot reverse a decision within 6 months without written notice (as per the Standing Orders) but would write to the organisers before the 4th March with their position after discussion of item MPC(24)19.

The Climate Advocate presented the concept of Bee Café Planters which cost from £180-300 – some are being installed in Melton on Flagship/Newtide land. The proposal will be discussed at the next meeting of the Recreation Working Group.

24.17              To approve the Minutes of Full Council from 17th January 2024

It was RESOLVED that minutes MPC(24)M01, which were previously distributed, were signed as a correct record by the Chair.

Proposed by: Cllr Brown   Seconded by: Cllr Taylor

24.18              Planning & Transport – Chair of P&T to lead assisted by the Clerk

24.18.01           Planning Applications – to review new applications received

DC/24/0336/VOC Ufford Park Golf Club this application was discussed at length and after a vote (9 for, 3 against and 1 abstention) it was RESOLVED to wait for the information requested by the ESC Ecology Team (up-to-date lux plan showing current illumination of nearby tree lines and woodland. The tree lines and woodland impacted should

also be assessed by an ecologist for trees with bat roost potential and the habitat assessed for

its suitability for foraging bats following current guidance) before deciding the Council’s response to this application.

Proposed by: Cllr Darby    Seconded by:  Cllr Hillier

DC/24/0421/FUL 62 Saxon Way It was RESOLVED unanimously to support this application.

Proposed by: Cllr Bourne  Seconded by:  Cllr Stearn

24.18.02           Planning Applications – update on any existing Planning Applications
DC/22/4775/FUL Land South Of Primary School And East Of The Street Eyke IP12 2QW – The Case Officer is currently working through the responses.

DC/23/4328/OUT Land west of PROW 21, Woods Lane – the Developer has been given until the 26th March to provide additional information as the applicants wish to overcome the outstanding technical reasons for refusal (eg Highways).

24.18.03           Public Consultations

Local Transport Plan 4 – Cllr Bann reported on this consultation which has 4 key themes of decarbonisation of transport, a strong and sustainable economy, health, wellbeing and social inclusion and creating better places. Woodbridge (and assumed Melton by default) is one of the strategic locations. Cllr Corston raised concerns about road surfaces and potholes. Cllr Brown asked how specific the response needed to be and was told it is quite generic. Councillors AGREED unanimously that Cllr Bann could answer the consultation on behalf of the Council. A more detailed consultation will be taking place in the Autumn.

24.18.04           Planning Notices – review Planning Notices received

None received

24.18.05           Planning Appeals – review position on existing Planning Appeals

Nothing to report

24.18.06           Planning Enforcement

ENF/23/0027/COND – Deben Meadows (DC/23/0120/DRC) – there has been some further correspondence on the ESC website but it has not been fully resolved.

ENF/21/0086/DEV – Bye Engineering – the Clerk has received no update from the case officers (regarding enforcement and the planning application DC/23/2365/FUL) despite chasing.

24.18.07           Local Highways Matters

Paper MPC(24)18.07, previously distributed, was discussed. The SID will remain on Wilford Bridge Road and Cllr Nicoll will be sent an update about the Yarmouth Road closure and installation of the Openreach pole in the middle of the pavement.

The issue of the road surface outside the Garage/Spar on Melton Road was discussed at length. Cllr Nicoll advised that SCC has set criteria for road repairs (HMOP) and it is unlikely they will change their mind and the only way to get the surface fixed is for the Parish Council to pay. It was suggested that a letter could be written to Paul West complaining about the failure of the HMOP. SCC has quoted £5,180 for the repair however concerns were raised that the repair may not last very long, so the problem would not be resolved long term, and that once work commenced it may reveal a much larger area would need repairing leading to even greater costs. There were also concerns that if we paid for this repair what other repairs would the Council be expected to fund. Cllr Bann proposed that MPC should pay for the repair, with Cllr Packard seconding. It was RESOLVED not to pay for this repair (2 in favour, 9 against and 2 abstained). Cllr Brown suggested a more permanent solution of a third pedestrian crossing near the Spar. Cllr Nicoll would be happy to contribute towards the cost of a crossing but not road repairs (if not required for bus shelters) noting that the request needs to be confirmed before August 2024. It was AGREED unanimously to investigate the feasibility of this proposal with Highways.

Proposed by: Cllr Corston             Seconded by: Cllr Gradwell

24.18.08           Active Travel Woodbridge – the consultation is now live and social media discussions suggest there is a lot of anxiety and fixation about road closures. It was AGREED that MPC’s formal response to the consultation would ask for Bredfield Road and Pytches Road to be included in the 20mph zone. The Clerk will email the team and copy in Cllr Nicoll.

Proposed by: Cllr Brown   Seconded by: Cllr Bann

24.18.09           Neighbourhood Plan Refresh

Cllr Brown and the Clerk spoke to a consultant today about the refresh and they are hoping to speak to a second consultant shortly.

24.18.10           East Suffolk Planning Alliance (ESPA)

A meeting took place on the 17th February. Although no MPC Councillors were able to attend another attendee reported that ESC Planners are anxious to pay attention to the concerns of local residents in framing changes to the Local Plan. ESC is looking to update the Local Plan in 2.5 years and should a Parish/Town Council wish for a planning application to be considered by the Planning Committee you need to get the District Councillor to make the request. It should be noted that with an impending General Election no one really knows that the Planning regime will look like in the future.

24.19              Recreation – Chair of Recreation to lead assisted by the Assistant Clerk

Paper MPC(24)19, previously distributed, was discussed. Cllrs Bourne, Stearn, Brown, Gradwell, Martin, Darby and Peter James will form a Working Group to look at out of hours cover. The Beresford Drive play park refurbishment has started and they are hoping it will be completed by the 21st March. The official opening will take place on Saturday 4th May at 3pm. It is hoped that an ice cream van will be part of the celebrations.

It was unanimously AGREED that a letter will be sent from the MPC Chair explaining why the Council has imposed limits on this year’s car boot sales (to protect the field and in response to complaints from residents) and that the original decision still stands.

24.19.01           TPOs

DC/24/0402/TPO Copper Mead It was AGREED that where trees are identified as dangerous, diseased or damaged MPC does not object to work being carried out. However, where trees do not fall into this category they would prefer them to be managed rather than removed.

Proposed by: Cllr De Vita  Seconded by:  Cllr Emerson

24.19.02           Fete 2024 Update

Cllr Darby reported that plans are developing well with many bookings already in place. There is a Fete Working Group meeting next week. They are considering asking stall holders for a deposit (but charities would be exempt) to prevent last minute drop-outs. It was AGREED that stallholders would be charged a minimum of £10 or 10% of profits.

Proposed by:  Cllr Gradwell           Seconded by: Cllr Corston

24.20              To consider Financial and Internal Control Matters – Clerk to report and advice to Council from Chair of FERM

24.20.01           To receive the financial management and budget reports for the period 1 April 2023 to 31 January 2024

Papers MPC(24)20.01and MPC(24)20.01a-g, previously distributed, were received and noted. Cllr Martin asked the Clerk to confirm that she had reviewed all the Finance papers and is happy with the contents and that the Finance Report is a good summary of the current situation. The bank statements were checked and signed by the Chair as accurate against the financial statements. Cllr Bann asked about the CCLA investment and the Clerk confirmed she is chasing the CCLA with regards to the opening of the Public Sector Deposit Fund as all documents have been provided to them.

24.20.02           To approve changes to Financial Regulations – change of Procurement Thresholds in Section 11

The Clerk reported that the procurement thresholds had been increased and the Financial Regulations would be updated to reflect this change (goods or services: £214,904 – previously £213,477 and public works: £5,372,609 – previously £5,336,937). This was unanimously APPROVED.

24.20.03           To consider risk issues –

The Risk Register will be updated as follows:

ASB – add in reference to PC Hannah Canning, Financial – add in reference to CCLA account being set up, Pavilion operations – add in reference to group being formed to discuss out of hours cover, Communications – reduce to low and update commentary that the MM is more viable now they have more advertisers and Councillor Vacancies – reduce to Low following co-option of three new councillors. A new item will be added relating to vacancies on Working Groups with a High rating.

24.20.04           To consider Data Protection Risk Register

The Clerk reminded Councillors that they should only use Councillor email accounts for Council business and not to use personal accounts. If Councillors require any help with their email they should contact the office.

24.20.05           SALC Annual Survey

It was AGREED that the Clerk would complete the survey.

24.20.06           Staffing Update

The Clerk had her mid-year appraisal. The office is experiencing some IT issues but help has been sought.

24.20.07           Appointments to Working Groups

This item was covered by MPC(24)20.03

24.21              Footpath/Footway Volunteer Group

Cllr Bann reported that there are issues with overhanging vegetation, detritus and ponding on footways/pavements. A group of volunteers is being formed to map the issues and identify those responsible or possibly undertake some work themselves through the SCC Community Self Help Scheme. Cllr Bann will organise a meeting with the volunteers and report back at a subsequent Full Council meeting. It was noted that this does not cover footpaths/Rights of Way and a separate group might be convened for this and something for the Footpath Advocate to consider. A Ramblers Association working party is doing some clearance work on Footpath 22 on the 10th March.

24.22              Suffolk Devolution Deal – Clerk to report

The Clerk attended a briefing session and some Councillors have signed up to attend other ones taking place. The public consultation will run from the 18th March to 26th May.

 24.23              Sizewell C

Paper MPC(24)23, detailing his attendance at the Southern Transport Forum was received and noted. It was NOTED that the glamping site in Melton had not received a satisfactory response from SZC. As discussed earlier there are concerns that not all commercial vehicles are being tracked; EDF say this was never promised. Cllr Sanders from Woodbridge will represent Melton at the next Forum on the 15th May. Councillors are asked to submit any questions to Cllr Bann in advance of that meeting.  Councillors were reminded about the Meet the Regulator meeting with the Environment Agency on the 12th March.

24.24              To receive and consider reports from Representatives to Outside Bodies
Paper MPC(24)24 previously distributed was received and noted. Cllr Darby reminded Councillors about the Carers survey that had been circulated by the Clerk.

24.25              To consider Items for the Melton Messenger

Cllr Gradwell will be writing the article this weekend.

24.26              Chair’s urgent business

There was none.

24.27              Date of next meeting

The next meeting of Full Council will take place on Wednesday 20th March 2024, commencing at 7pm at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business the meeting closed at 21:40.