MINUTES OF THE YOXFORD PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD IN YOXFORD VILLAGE HALL
ON THURSDAY 6th JULY 2017 AT 7:00 PM
1. Attendance and Apologies
Cllr. Russell Pearce – Chair
Cllr. Paul Ashton – Vice Chair
Cllr. John Sutherell
Cllr. Sam Hunt
Cllr. David Childs
Cllr. Ann Lambert
Cllr. John Walford
Cllr. Susan Hall
Cllr. Val Kelsey
Cllr. Ian ShawCllr. Stephen Siddall
|Apologies for absence:County Cllr. Richard Smith
District Cllr. Stephen Burroughes
Sharon Smith – Clerk/RFO
- 2. Declarations of Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Interests
There were no declarations.
3. Public Forum
a) A member of the public thanked the Council for installing a dog waste bin on a footpath at Strickland Manor Hill. He asked for signs to be erected to remind dog walkers to use the bin.
ACTION: Clerk to ask SCDC for signs.
b) A member of the public informed the Council that the verge on a lane at Strickland Manor Hill has still not been cut. She reported the problem to SCC using their online reporting tool and SCC scheduled cuts for June 2017 but the work has not been done. Cllr. John Walford said County Cllr. Richard Smith inspected the verges after last month’s meeting and reported they were not overgrown. Cllr. Paul Ashton suggested that perhaps he did not visit the right area. The Council noted that the hedges are also overgrown but these are the responsibility of the landowner.
ACTION: Cllr. Stephen Siddall to find out who is responsible for the hedges and the Council to speak to County Cllr. Richard Smith at next month’s meeting.
- 4. Meeting Minutes
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 1st June 2017, copies of which had been previously circulated, were proposed by Cllr. John Sutherell and seconded by Cllr. John Walford. They were approved as a true and accurate record and were signed by the Chair.
5. Matters Arising
a) Cllr. Ian Shaw, referring to item 8e, said he purchased a lock for the notice board but he managed to fix the existing lock. Cllr. Ian Shaw will store the spare lock on behalf of the Council.
b) The Clerk, referring to item 9b, informed the Council that she did not receive a reply to her email to the Disability Advice Service (East Suffolk) asking for further information about how the charity directly benefits the residents of Yoxford. The Council decided not to make a donation to this charity.
c) Cllr. Paul Ashton, referring to item 11a, said he had not yet spoken to the M&G Friendship Club.
d) Cllr. Russell Pearce, referring to item 11b, said the building work at Satis House Hotel has been reported to the Planning Enforcement Officer and the work appears to have ceased.
ACTION: Clerk to ask the Planning Enforcement Officer for a response.
6. Councillors’ Meetings and Progress Reports
a) Yoxwood – Cllr. Russell Pearce informed the Council that the eco toilet has been ordered and is due for delivery on 15th August 2017. Installation work will begin once the unit has been delivered. Cllr. Stephen Siddall reported that the lease and constitution were complete and will be circulated to Cllr. Russell Pearce, Cllr. Val Kelsey and Cllr. Ian Shaw for their comments. The old lease still has a year to run and will need to be surrendered when the new lease is signed.
b) Griffin Public House – Cllr. Stephen Siddall reported that the form to register the inn as a community asset was complete. Cllr. Siddall will send to the form to Cllr. Russell Pearce for his review.
c) Cemetery – Cllr. John Walford reported that applications for three memorial headstones and a double kerb surround had been received this month. Cllr. Walford sought the Council’s opinion on allowing a red granite headstone in the cemetery which currently only has black and grey granite headstones. Following a discussion, it was agreed that further details about the red granite headstone were required before a decision can be made. Cllr. Walford said a relative of a family buried in the cemetery would like to contribute a bench to be sited on the South side of the cemetery as there is currently only one bench facing North. The Council agreed in principle to the bench following receipt of further details.
ACTION: Clerk to ask stonemason for photograph examples of red granite headstones and circulate. Cllr. John Walford to obtain further details about the bench.
d) Sizewell C – Cllr. John Walford reported that Hinckley Point C (HPC) is running over budget and is under review by the National Audit Office. This may result in the construction of Sizewell C (SZC) being undertaken economically and an alternative route for construction traffic may not be considered. Cllr. John Sutherell said the National Audit Office was critical of the nuclear industry and of the progress of HPC therefore this might bring the construction of SZC into question. Cllr. John Walford said he will attend the next meeting of TEAGS later this month and report back with their views.
e) Village Hall – Cllr. Val Kelsey said broadband would be installed in the village hall this month and asked the Council to consider paying for the installation cost of £120 in addition to the £20 monthly payments previously agreed. The Council agreed to fund this cost. Cllr. Kelsey also asked the Council to support the distribution cost of the Yoxford Yapper which was around £45 per year. The Council agreed in principle to fund this cost annually. Cllr. Kelsey informed the Council that the Village Hall Committee had decided to purchase a new notice board to be sited at the entrance to the village hall car park to inform residents of village events. This information is currently posted on a notice board inside the village hall and is therefore not always accessible to all residents. Cllr. Kelsey asked if the Council could help with funding towards this. Following a discussion, Cllr. Sam Hunt said the Council were considering buying a sign to advertise village businesses therefore he proposed the Council also purchases the notice board on behalf of the village for advertising village events. It was agreed to add this to next month’s agenda for further consideration.
f) Church – Cllr. John Sutherell reported that the Parochial Church Council will meet next week to decide upon an architect for the re-development of the church and the chapel. Cllr. Sutherell said the July cut of the churchyard has been completed by the contractors but the clippings from the two work parties have not yet been collected. Cllr. Sutherell will follow this up. Cllr. Sutherell further reported that a resident complained that the wildflower meadow was out of control. Cllr. Sutherell inspected the meadow and said flowers were growing and the meadow was not due to be cut until September. Cllr. Paul Ashton suggested putting an article in the Yoxford Yapper to explain how the wildflower meadow will evolve. Cllr. Ian Shaw said the decision to grow a wildflower meadow was a fait accompli because Suffolk Norse were no longer willing to cut the entire churchyard eight times per year therefore a compromise was reached to cut the front of the churchyard eight times and to create a wildflower meadow in the remaining area.
g) Police – Cllr. John Sutherell said he was unable to attend the recent Police Locality Meeting but he has alternative meeting dates in August if another member can attend on his behalf. Cllr. Sutherell summarised the crimes committed in April 2017 for the Halesworth Safer Neighbourhood Team area. Three crimes were reported in Yoxford – the first was a violence/sexual offence in Elmsley Way, the second was anti-social behaviour on the High Street and the third was a miscellaneous crime at the junction of the A12/B1122 which is under investigation. Cllr. Sutherell said that Suffolk Constabulary were currently recruiting and their summer campaign would focus on drink/drug driving and telephone scams.
h) Flagship Housing – Cllr. John Sutherell reported that there was no feedback on negotiations with the contractors. Cllr. Paul Ashton asked if there was a risk that the Council will lose the s.106 money as time passes. Cllr. Russell Pearce asked if the Council could take responsibility for the playground while the issues are being resolved. Cllr. Sutherell replied that Flagship were keen to resolve the outstanding issues and he will try to find answers to the questions raised.
i) Traffic Task Group – Cllr. Paul Ashton reported that he emailed details of the overgrown skirting from Yoxford to Darsham station to County Cllr. Richard Smith. Cllr. Smith will raise this with David Chenery of SCC Highways at their next meeting.
j) Village Survey – Cllr. Paul Ashton asked District Cllr. Stephen Burroughes if the computer course for older users, piloted in Lowestoft and Felixstowe, would be further rolled out as he knew 30 to 40 residents who were interested in attending. Cllr. Burroughes replied that in November 2016 they were analysing the data from the pilot and he would try to find out further information.
k) Work Party – Cllr. Ian Shaw reported that no meeting was held last month. Cllr. Shaw said that prospective work could be to tidy the skirting around Satis House Hotel and to trim the border around Donkey Meadow. Cllr. Shaw said the Village Hall would like to remove some dead trees and the trees in Mulberry Park also need more pruning. Cllr. Shaw has received a preliminary quote for £320 from JB Tree Services for carrying out this work in the autumn. The Council will need to apply for planning permission.
7. Village Matters
The Council considered funding a sign to advertise village businesses and to discourage individual signs being put up without any approval and often in unsuitable formats and locations. Cllr. Stephen Siddall reported that he spoke to David Chenery of SCC Highways and explained that the Council wished to use one or two pieces of land at entrances to the village to place an advertisement sign (pursuant to s.144 LGA 1972). The first piece of land is the triangular area within the junction of the A12 Brook Street and the High Street and the second is within the junction of the A12 Brook Street and Old High Road. Cllr. Siddall said the Land Registry map search showed that neither area has a registered title but, irrespective of ownership, both areas are probably highway land. Cllr. Siddall asked Mr Chenery if the Council needs to obtain consent to erect a sign on this land. Mr Chenery replied that the first area is highway land and it is probable that the Parish Council has a licence to own/maintain the bus shelter. He said the records for the second area are incomplete but as the island has road signs and a bollard it may be highways land. Mr Chenery said advertising signs are not permitted on the public highway and referred the Council to the Traffic Signs Manual. He said the County Council take seriously the erection of illegal signs where they could affect driver visibility or distract drivers. Cllr. Siddall said that the Council are keen to promote the village and s.144 is clearly there to help local authorities to do this therefore it would continue to explore ways to work within the restrictions in the manual as well as consider the use of private land. Mr Chenery suggested the Council looks at other signage which might meet the criteria and be approved such as tourist signage or a sign depicting local services.
ACTION: Cllr. Stephen Siddall to progress.
8. Public Forum Resumed
District Cllr. Stephen Burroughes arrived and apologised to the Chair for being late. Cllr. Burroughes summarised his report which included information about the financial report for 2016/2017, charging for food hygiene rating scheme revisits, economic development, the success of the ‘Get Active in Suffolk Coastal’ stand at the Suffolk Show, the official opening of East Suffolk House and he informed the Council of the Suffolk Coast Forum Conference to be held at Trinity Park on 6th October 2017. Cllr. Burroughes said this year’s conference will focus on valuing our coast and its importance to our communities, businesses, economy, culture, heritage and environment. Cllr. Burroughes concluded by informing the Council that his Enabling Budget was open for applications. Cllr. Val Kelsey asked Cllr. Burroughes if he would provide funds for a new village notice board. Cllr. Burroughes agreed he would and asked to be sent a quote.
ACTION: Cllr. Stephen Burroughes to resend his report to the Clerk for circulation. Cllr. Val Kelsey to send Cllr. Burroughes a quote for a village notice board.
9. Village Matters Resumed
a) The Council reviewed the play equipment safety inspection report and agreed with the recommendations to erect signage to inform users that the Parish Council owns the play equipment with contact details to report any damage and also to erect a pictogram ‘No Dogs Allowed’ sign. Cllr. Sam Hunt suggested his workplace may be able to provide these. The Council also agreed to install anti-roosting measures to the tops of the swings to prevent bird fouling. Cllr. Susan Hall offered to inspect the play equipment quarterly and report any concerns to the Council. It was noted that Cllr. Hall would carry out these inspections only as a competent person, not as a qualified inspector. In reply to a request from Cllr. John Sutherell, Cllr. Hall agreed to also inspect the Flagship Housing playground at Yoxwood View.
ACTION: Clerk to send signage requirements to Cllr. Sam Hunt. Cllr. Russell Pearce to measure length of bird spikes required and Clerk to research prices.
b) The Council reviewed a complaint received from a resident regarding the grass cutting at Little Street and the cemetery. The Clerk said she contacted the contracted grass cutter about the points raised and he replied that his powerful mower cannot cope with the length and quantity of grass at Little Street. He explained the land was virtually a flood plain therefore the grass grows quickly and needs cutting more frequently. The grass cutter is only contracted to carry out eight cuts per year therefore he is aware that if he cuts too frequently at the beginning of the season then he will run out of cuts later in the year. Following a discussion, the Council agreed that more cuts at Little Street are necessary but as the growing season this year is almost over it was agreed to budget for more cuts next year, particularly in the months of April, May and June when the grass is growing. Regarding the complaint received about the cemetery, the Council agreed that unfortunately it would be too costly to contract for strimming around each grave.
ACTION: Clerk to reply to the resident and the grass cutter.
- 10. Planning Applications
a) Following a discussion, Cllr. Paul Ashton proposed supporting planning application DC/17/2697/LBC – to create an enlarged window aperture in the southern gable and fit a new bespoke kitchen window therein – Wisbech Cottage, High Street. Seconded by Cllr. Val Kelsey. All were in favour.
b) Following a discussion, Cllr. John Walford proposed supporting planning application DC/17/2380/TCA – to reduce height of row of Leylandii conifers on rear boundary to 6.5m and remove loose overhanging branches – Bourne Cottage, Brook Street. Seconded by Cllr. Susan Hall. All were in favour.
ACTION: Clerk to inform SCDC planning department.
a) The Council noted the latest financial position detailed in Appendix I.
b) The Council noted the budgeted versus actual expenditure and income for Qtr 1 2017.
c) The Council authorised the payments listed below. Proposed by Cllr. Sam Hunt. Seconded by Cllr. Ann Lambert. All in favour.
|Clerk’s Salary||Sharon Smith||£523.35||LGA 1972 s.112|
|Grass Cutting (invoice 4466)||RSC Landscapes Ltd||£619.20||LGA 1972 s.111|
|Water Bill||NWG Business||£54.07||LGA 1972 s.111|
|Play Safety Inspection||David Bracey||£98.00||LGA 1972 s.111|
|Yoxwood Insurance Premium||Zurich Insurance||£140.00||LGA 1972 s.111|
|Rent – Apr/May/Jun 2017||Village Hall||£45.00||LGA 1972 s.111|
The Councillors noted the correspondence received between 26th May 2017 and 29th June 2017 detailed in Appendix II.
13. Questions to the Chair
Cllr. Russell Pearce asked the Council about ownership of the hedge on the A12 near the junction with Culcott Close. The hedge is overgrown and is leaning across the path. Cllr. Ian Shaw recalled speaking to a previous Parish Councillor about this and he was informed that the Council decided not to adopt the hedge due to the ongoing maintenance requirements.
ACTION: Clerk to enquire ownership with Badger Homes.
- 14. Date and Time of Next Meeting
The next meeting of the Council will be held on Thursday 3rd August 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Village Hall.
The meeting closed at 9:00 pm.
Appendix I – Financial Position
|HSBC Community Account as at 2 June 2017||
|N S & I Investment Account as at 31 December 2016||
|United Trust Bank as at 29 July 2016||
|Allocated Funds and Reserves|
|SMH Play Area (including interest to 31 Mar 2016)||
|Bank Balances less Allocated Funds and Reserves||
|Income – July 2017|
|Share of Water Bill||
|Payments – June/July 2017|
|WooWoo Waterless Toilets – 50% deposit||
|RSC Landscapes Ltd – Grass Cutting||
|Heelis and Lodge – Internal Audit Fee||
|Village Hall Rent – Apr/May/Jun 2017||
|NWG Business – Water Bill||
|David Bracey – Play Safety Inspection||
|Zurich Insurance – Yoxwood Insurance Premium||
Appendix II – Correspondence
a) SC&WDC – Invitation to two Greenprint Forum events.
b) SC&WDC – Development Management contact list.
c) SALC – Information Bulletin w/c 22 May, 5th June, 19th June.
d) SCDC Enforcement – Satis House Hotel.
e) Access Community Trust – Better Opportunities Programme – Minding the Gap Project.
f) Groundwork Community Awards – open for applications.
g) SC&WDC – Parliamentary General Election – Results Notice.
h) TEAGS – SSE CEO on Hinkley Point C.
i) Resident email – grass verges still not cut on Strickland Manor Hill lane.
j) EDF Energy – Sizewell B Community Newsletter – May 2017.
k) CAS – Suffolk Village Halls and Community Buildings Conference Survey.
l) TEAGS – Monthly Report – May/June 2017.