MPC(24)M04 Minutes of Full Council Meeting on 17th April 2024

Full CouncilMinutes Uploaded on April 30, 2024


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


Cllr Bann
Cllr Bourne
Cllr Brown
Cllr Corston
Cllr De Vita
Cllr Emerson
Cllr Hillier
Cllr Gradwell (Chair)
Cllr Martin
Cllr Stearn
Cllr Taylor

Cllr Darby
Cllr Holmes
Cllr Packard

In Attendance:
P Alder Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council
F Waters Assistant Clerk to Melton Parish Council
Melton Footpath Advocate
2 members of the public
District Councillor Smith-Lyte (left after item MPC(24)46.02)

Agenda – Part One of One – Open to the Public

Item No         Item to be discussed

24.44              To receive apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Darby, Holmes and Packard and the Climate Advocate.

24.45              Declarations of Interest

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

There were none

24.45.02           To consider any applications for dispensations

There were none

24.46              Public Participation Session          

24.46.01           To receive a report from the County Councillor

Cllr Nicoll was not present and no report was received.

24.46.02           To receive a report from the District Councillor and update on ESC’s Feed the Bees policy

Cllr Smith-Lyte explained that a rebrand of ‘Feed the Bees’ was underway and the policy was due to be discussed on the 8th May. The use of weedkiller is a separate discussion although it was noted that ESC had carried out some limited spraying but no more was planned this year. She continues to look at the possibility of allotments and community gardens together with District Cllr Noble. Cllr Bann asked if she had any further information regarding cycling and walking (as requested at the March meeting). Cllr Smith-Lyte had not received a response from the ESC member responsible for this and would report once she has received this information. She will be attending the Annual Parish Meeting.

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

A member of the Woodbridge and Melton Society asked for help with finding topics for the Society. Suggestions were made including Sir Archibold Garrod, Behind the Name/letters read out at the Beacon lighting event, the Phyllis Maternity Hospital, St Audry’s, Captain Francis Light and Brian Eno. The Clerk will put Cllr Bann/Society in touch with the local history recorder.

A resident explained that she was looking to get Highways to install Toad Crossing signs on Saddlemaker’s Lane. In February lots of toads cross over to the breeding pond at Melton Lodge Estate. Toads were helped across the road 286 times in the last two weeks of February this year. Cllr Smith-Lyte has offered to fund the cost but Melton Parish Council was requested to receive and hold the funds in an Ear Marked Reserve, as was done for the Bredfield Road Residents Group. The resident will be liaising with Highways and ESC so there should be limited workload for the office. Cllrs expressed a desire to be involved next year and suggested having signs that include the dates/only display during the toad crossing period. MPC was supportive of this initiative and invited the resident to come to a future meeting to give an update and MPC would help to raise awareness through comms. It was RESOLVED to AGREE that the money could be held in an Ear Marked Reserve.

Proposed by: Cllr Corston                         Seconded by: Cllr Martin

The Clerk read out a response received regarding the removal of trees on the land adjacent to Riduna Park. Tree removal was required because of localised flooding and drainage obligations and potential safety issues for tree and railway infrastructure. Further work will be required to the trees and to reform and reprofile the drainage channels.

The Clerk reported that the Melton Wombles will be carrying out a litter pick on Sunday 21st April. They will be meeting at Honey & Harvey, Riduna Park at 10am.

24.47              To approve the Minutes of Full Council from 20th March 2024 – MPC(24)M03

It was RESOLVED that minutes MPC(24)M03, which were previously distributed, were signed as a correct record by the Chair.

Proposed by: Cllr Brown                           Seconded by: Cllr Taylor

24.48              To consider co-option to the Council in respect of applications received for the vacancy and appointments to Working Groups

There is still one Councillor vacancy and no applications have been received. Cllr Hillier has agreed to join FERM which was AGREED.

Proposed by: Cllr Martin                            Seconded by: Cllr Gradwell

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

24.49.01           Planning Applications – to review new applications received

DC/24/0793/FUL Beechwood – it was resolved unanimously to recommend APPROVAL

DC/24/0944/FUL 4 Sutton Heights – it was resolved unanimously to recommend APPROVAL

24.49.02           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 – no update

DC/23/4328/OUT Land west of PROW 21, Woods Lane – the applicant has submitted an appeal for non-determination, despite ESC allowing the applicant additional time to overcome technical issues which would have otherwise been additional reasons for refusal. ESC is now not in a position to be able to determine the application, and it will be considered by the Planning Inspectorate.

DC/24/0336/VOC Ufford Park Golf Club – no update

DC/23/2365/FUL Bye Engineering – no update

24.49.03           Public Consultations – there were none

24.49.04           Planning Notices – review Planning Notices received – there were none

24.49.05           Planning Appeals – review position on existing Planning Appeals – there were none

24.49.06           Planning Enforcement

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

ENF/21/0086/DEV – Bye Engineering – no update

24.49.07           Local Highways Matters, including JPTI, Pavement Group and Bus Stops

Paper MPC(24)49.07, previously distributed, was received and discussed. The SID on Yarmouth Road is proving effective although anecdotally it appears most vehicles are speeding. When the stats are next downloaded, if the figures support this they will be shared with the police to encourage them to visit the enforcement site more frequently. Councillors were disappointed by the response MP Therese Coffey made regarding the Wilford Bridge speed reduction. Her response was incorrect on a number of points and it was unanimously AGREED that Cllrs Brown and Gradwell will write a letter of response (Proposed by: Cllr Gradwell Seconded by: Cllr Bourne). A report has been sent to the SCC cabinet member recommending the speed reduction. The parish council will decide about proceeding with the implementation once final costs are received. The 3rd crossing point on Melton Road will be paused until we know the Wilford Bridge costs. There is support as it has been proven the crossings slow traffic and give a safer crossing route, however it is important the crossing is in the correct place. It was also suggested that the post box could be moved towards the Deben Meadows estate to encourage pedestrians to cross further away from the garage. The Clerk will contact Royal Mail. (Proposed by: Cllr Brown Seconded by: Cllr De Vita).  The Joint Parish Traffic Initiative (JPTI) has sent a letter to Chris Bally (ESC) expressing dismay that only temporary rather than full time monitoring of traffic is taking place at Bentwaters. A further meeting with Chris Bally is scheduled for the 27th June.

24.49.08           Active Travel Woodbridge – the consultation has now closed and a report is due in summer 2024. The Woodbridge and Melton Society submitted a very critical response.

24.49.09           Neighbourhood Plan Refresh – Cllr Brown reported that four consultants had been approached regarding working on the NP refresh. One withdrew due to workload and distance and three were interviewed and scored against the same set of questions. All suggested that the refresh will take about 18 months (Cllr Corston asked if it could be done quicker) and advised including design principles and a housing needs assessment. It is expected that government funding will be available to cover the costs although no announcement has been made yet. It was AGREED that consultant C, who scored the highest, should be appointed on the condition that work can only commence once government funding has been confirmed. Thanks were expressed to Cllr Brown and the Clerk for the work they have done so far.

Proposed by:   Cllr Gradwell                      Seconded by:   Cllr Hillier

24.49.10           Former Council Offices – Rose Builders Consultation – Councillors who attended the open event on the 26th March gave their thoughts. The design is more in keeping with the area but the density is causing concern, as is parking. There is a lot of green space and 40% of the flats will be affordable housing. There did not appear to be many ‘green’ elements eg solar panels or heat pumps although the latter may not be possible so close to the river. There had been talk in the past that this development would lead to an increased train frequency, but nothing had been heard about this recently.

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

Paper MPC(24)50, previously distributed, was received and noted. It was AGREED to extend the drainage ditch by the zip wire and to proceed with the sign at Beresford Drive and the D-Day roundel.

Proposed by:   Cllr Corston                       Seconded by:   Cllr Bourne

24.50.01           Beresford Drive Playpark Open Event – taking place on Saturday 4th May at 3pm. Kompan are providing goodie bags and there will be light refreshments and a cake. Some of the primary school children will be attending and the EADT might send a reporter but would require someone to supply photos. Councillors to let Cllr Gradwell know if they can help. A poster will be put up at the park explaining photos will be taken as part of the event and used on social media/websites/Council comms etc.

24.50.02           TPOs – there were none

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

24.51.01           To receive and consider the provisional final outturn for the period 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024

Papers MPC(24)51.01 and MPC(24)51.01a-h, previously distributed were received and noted. Cllrs expressed their thanks to the Clerk and Asst Clerk for their hard work. The bank statements were checked and signed by the Chair as accurate against the financial statements. It was AGREED to transfer £16k from the General Reserve back into the Melton Road Crossing EMR. (Proposed by Cllr Gradwell Seconded by Cllr Martin). It was AGREED to transfer £5k from the General Reserve into the budget risk EMR. (Proposed by Cllr Martin Seconded by Cllr Gradwell). It was AGREED to transfer £5k into the Tree Safety Works EMR. (Proposed by Cllr Martin Seconded by Cllr Gradwell). This will give a year end General Reserve of £60,206.08, which equates to 7.5 months NRE which meets the JPAG recommendation. Cllr Bann asked when funds held in excess of the FSCS would be transferred from the Lloyds Savings account. The Clerk advised that on payment of the Beresford Drive play park invoice this month the sums held would drop below the £85k threshold.

24.51.02           To review the budget for 2024/25

Papers MPC(24)51.02 and MPC(24)51.02a previously distributed were received and noted.

24.51.03           To receive an update on the Internal and External Audit Arrangements – The Clerk reported that the internal audit was scheduled for the 23rd May and that the AGAR forms have been received.

24.51.04           To consider risk issues –

It was AGREED that the staffing item remains High and FERM have met to discuss the issues.

24.51.05           To approve the Internal Control Policy for the year ending 31 March 2024

Paper MPC(24)51.05, previously distributed was received and AGREED. The Chair signed the policy which will be uploaded to the website.

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

Paper MPC(24)51.06 previously distributed was received and noted.

24.52              To consider employment matters

Chair of FERM reported that FERM had met this evening but there was nothing to report at this stage.

24.53              Fete 2024

Paper MPC(24)53 previously distributed was received and discussed. Cllr Gradwell reported that they have 4 residents on the working group but they need help on the day, particularly as stock controller of equipment. Cllr De Vita offered to help with the signing out in the morning but can’t do the return of equipment. The tables and chairs will be moved from the Burness on the Friday evening. The PA system has been booked for both the Fete and the D-Day beacon lighting on the 6th June. Cllr Bann is planning a parking trial 2 weeks before the fete on the 8th June. The next Working Group meeting is taking place on the 22nd April at 4pm.

24.54              Sizewell C

Cllr Bourne attended the Community Forum on the 9th April at Trinity Park. It was well attended but not very well organised and it was felt that being held annually was not frequent enough (Hinkley has 3 a year). A community fund of £23m over 10 years is now open for applications and is being administered by Suffolk County Council. Priority will be given to Leiston and Lowestoft. Melton pre-submitted two questions about accommodation (pressure on rental market) and drug testing. SZC responded that a third of the workforce will be local and they also talked about the campus but overall it was an unsatisfactory answer. Traffic was a major concern and SZC confirmed that monitoring had started and they have already taken action against companies that have breached the conditions. However the monitoring does not cover subcontractors. The next transport forum is taking place on the 15th May and Melton will be represented by a Woodbridge Town Councillor. Cllr Bann asked if there were any questions that Councillors wished to submit. Subcontractor monitoring and trains were suggested. Cllr Bann will email all Councillors asking for suggestions.

24.55              To receive and consider reports from Representatives to Outside Bodies

Paper MPC(24)55, previously distributed, was received and discussed. Cllr Brown highlighted that the Melton Messenger needs help – it is pulled together by a handful of people, one of whom is currently ill. He asked if Councillors were willing, or knew anyone willing, to help. Councillors suggested contacting Farlingaye to see if any pupils wanted to get involved, potentially as part of their D of E volunteering.  The Community Partnership will need a new MPC representative who will be appointed at the May meeting. Councillors were asked to consider taking on this role. Councillors were asked to recommend any eligible residents for Blue Plaques. The local historians are the best source of information and the Clerk will make contact. It was suggested that the Woodbridge and Melton Society could look at the history and significance of the cinema as it has been a cinema since the early 20th century.

24.56              Annual Parish Meeting

The meeting is taking place on Wednesday 24th April at 7.30pm at the Burness Parish Rooms. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided. Attendees include Sizewell C, the Melton Trust, Melton Messenger, Melton Primary School, Woodbridge and Melton Society and the Melton Good Neighbour Scheme.

24.57              To consider Items for the Melton Messenger

The fete, D-Day Beacon lighting and Neighbourhood Plan refresh will be included in the June edition.

24.58              Chair’s urgent business

There was none

24.59              Date of next meeting

The next meeting of Full Council (Annual Commissioning Meeting) will take place on Wednesday 15th May 2024, commencing at 7pm at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business the meeting closed at 21:01.