MINUTES OF A MEETING OF

SAXMUNDHAM TOWN COUNCIL

HELD ON

MONDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2007

IN THE MARKET HALL AT 7:15pm

Present:

 

 

 

In attendance:

Cllr. J. Fisher, Chairman   

Cllr. Mrs. M. Andrews

Cllr. Sir P. Batho

Cllr. Ms V. Burdett

Cllr. G. Cooke

Cllr. Mrs R. Damiral-White

     

Mrs M. Gallop Clerk to the Council

County Cllr R. Leighton

Chief Inspector Chris Lucas

PCSO Thora Taylor

Mrs Shona Bendix Chief Ex of SALC

3 members of the public

Cllr. K. Howe  

Cllr. B. Jones

Cllr. M. Palman

Cllr. Mrs D Sculley   

Cllr. Ms C. Trotter-Langlois

Cllr. Col. R.E. Warren



The Chairman, Cllr J Fisher, welcomed everyone and introduced Shona Bendix the Chief Executive Officer
of SALC (Suffolk Association of Local Councils) to the meeting. Ms Bendix gave the following address:

"She advised that Saxmundham has a lot to be proud of and the Town Council being one of its many
assets. To achieve Quality Status means that it would provide recognition for the town and legislation is
increasingly providing for new powers available only to Quality Councils. The climate is changing towards
increased local power and devolution and Ms Bendix expected Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk
County Council to be particularly keen to recognise the ability of Quality Councils to take on more local
functions. She also anticipated that the power of well-being (which broadens local spending power) will be
more readily available to quality councils. We also know that being able to demonstrate high standards
through being a Quality Council can help draw down more money into the Community. With great competition
between grant applicants and increasing professionalism of grant applications, evidence of the high standards
of an applicant can be very helpful indeed in deciding between applications.
The Accreditation Panel were impressed by the standard of Saxmundham's Quality Town Council Portfolio
and singled out the newsletter as a model of good communication with residents. She advised that the first
step towards becoming a Quality Council, was having a Quality Clerk. The Certificate in Local Council
Administration requires a 100% pass rate and very few candidates pass first time. Maddie Gallop was of
course one of the few candidates to gain a first- time pass and should be congratulated for her achievement
which paved the way for Quality Status. Maddie then worked extremely hard on the Portfolio which had to be
presented to The Accreditation Panel for examination and Ms Bendix then ended up by congratulating her and
the Councillors on their achieving the award of Quality Town status". Ms Bendix then presented the framed
Certificate to the Council.

Cllr Fisher thanked Shona Bendix for the address and presentation of award.

PUBLIC FORUM

The public were invited to give details of any concerns or complaints they might have.
* The trap doors outside the Bell Hotel was again the subject of criticism for their condition. This matter had already been reported to the authorities by the Clerk and is being dealt with by SCC Highways.
* Inspector Lucas confirmed that Coopers Dip had received a warning letter from the Licensing Authorities and they are monitoring the noise.
* The problem of heavy vehicles is still causing concern but identification is necessary for the Police to take the matter further.
* The above matters had been notified to the Town Council at the September meeting but as the problems had not been resolved the Town Council had not been able to give a positive report back yet.
* The question of increased car parking charges was raised but it was pointed out that these were the province of Suffolk Coastal District Council and the Town Council had not been informed of any changes affecting Saxmundham.

REPORT FROM THE LOCAL POLICE: Chief Inspector Lucas gave an informative report on the last months crime figures (attached). He also advised the following:-
* Both the PCSO's were continuing to address car parking problems in the area.
* The Bonfire Night held on the 4th November in Carlton Park had been a success without any problems reported.
* The next meeting for Saxmundham Safer Neighbourhoods will be held in the Market Hall in the afternoon of Thursday

   29th November.
* The problem of a car being parked outside Zorbas will be looked into.

Cllr Fisher thanked the Chief Inspector for his report and assistance.

REPORT FROM THE COUNTY COUNCILLOR: County Cllr Leighton gave the following report:-
* The proposed development of 37 houses at Seaman House had previously been turned down and a new plan is being prepared addressing the points raised. The Town Council should receive the application shortly to enable them to send their comments to Suffolk Coastal District Council.
* The Schools Organisation Review for this area has been brought forward and the first meeting was held two weeks ago. The data from this will be reviewed and various options will be discussed at the next meeting in January. After various consultations the results will probably be known in about a year. Lowestoft are now at the stage of Public consultation where the local people will be able to give their views although some of the Primary Schools in Lowestoft do not have any scope for expansion.

REPORT FROM THE DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Cllr Andrews advised she had attended the Parish Liaison meeting at Stratford St Andrew. The budget and Pathfinder bid were the main topics and the District Council's portion of the Council tax is likely to be increased by 4.9%.
Cllr Batho advised that this area was fortunate last week during the scare over the coastline regarding the surge down the North Sea. Coastal protection money has been spent on river defences and Central Government might now increase monies for coast protection particularly as funding for this has previously been drastically cut. In certain areas small communities which are liable to flooding could be sacrificed to enable other areas to get extra finance.
The Suffolk Coastal, Waveney and County Council Partnership are opposing Environmental Agency proposals to abandon some of the flood defences in the Blyth Estuary.

AGENDA

3155. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST:
Members are invited to make any declarations of personal or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on the agenda and are reminded to make any declarations at any stage during the meeting if it becomes apparent that this may be required when a particular item or issue is considered. None declared.

3156. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Cllrs Moye and S. Trotter-Langlois - both sick.

3157. MATTERS TO BE RAISED UNDER AGENDA ITEM 17:
3.1 Cllr Cooke - Clerks Job Description and Contract of Employment
3.2 Cllr Andrews - Outcome of near accident in Seaman Avenue
3.3 Cllr Warren - Financing of Saxmundham in Bloom and SARTs.

3158. TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A TRUE RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE 8th OCTOBER 2007 MEETING previously circulated: Unanimously agreed and signed. Motion carried.

3159. MATTERS ARISING THEREFROM NOT COVERED ON THE AGENDA:
3140 Cllr Sculley expressed her dismay that the Council had not agreed to donate towards the football kit for the girls' team at the Middle School. Cllr Fisher informed her that he had advised Kate Mann, who had applied for funding, to approach Youth Opportunities Fund at Suffolk County Council.

Designation of Alcohol Free Zone - Cllr Fisher advised that Guy Richardson, Community Safety Officer at SCDC was preparing a draft proposal for consultation. Cllr Andrews added that Kelsale had agreed to come in to include part of the Sports field that falls in their parish and to include their own Recreation Ground in the same order.

3160. TO CONSIDER CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED:

A - CORRESPONDENCE TO BE NOTED AND CIRCULATED:


81 Press Release from The Rotary Club of Saxmundham
82 email from Kelsale PC warning about company called PDS
83 SCC Forthcoming bus service changes
84 SCC email regarding their budget proposals for 2008/9
85 Suffolk Roadsafe - Cutting casualties
86 SALC The Accounts & Audit Amendment Regulations 2006
87 SALC Post Office consultation
88 BFRA - disappointment over cancellation of their Music Night on 26 October
89 SCDC - Food safety incident: sheep production
90 SALC - Communities unite against Blyth Estuary proposals
91 SCDC - Copy letters to cancel excess charge notices
92 SCDC - Minutes of North Area Liaison meeting held 29 Oct
93 SALC - Access to Government Grants for the Voluntary & Community Sector
94 SCDC - Health warning: Winter vomiting
95 SCC - Saxmundham Middle School Safety Issues and a reply regarding the incident involving the bus
96 email - G Millington - complaint - anti-social behaviour
97 Shelia Last - complaint about pavement outside the Bell
98 SCC - Suffolk Fire Authority - Draft Integrated Risk Management Action Plan
99 Barrie Munson - Saxmundham Market reply to letter
100 Suffolk Coastal Services - Important notice of new environmental legislation - treatment of non-hazardous wastes prior to landfill
101 SCC - Consultation of Suffolk Waste Development Plan issues document
102 SCC - Consultation on Suffolk Minerals Development Plan documents
103 NALC - National Salary Awards for Clerks from April 07

B - CORRESPONDENCE TO BE DISCUSSED BEFORE REPLY:

6 SCC - Illuminated Christmas decorations & other temporary electrical equipment on or above the public highway. Our own Christmas lights will not have any high voltage overhanging the Highway.
7 email Simonin Olivier regarding a Continental Market. Cllr Sculley is looking into the possibility of having a Continental Market during the Arts Festival next year and will report back to the next P & R committee with her findings.
8 CYDS - invite to 10th year celebrations Dec 6th 2-5pm - Councillors requested to advise the Clerk of their attendance.
9 email from Rae Leighton regarding route that runs to the rear of Saxmundham Primary School - work should be completed within this week.
10 Email from Co-ordinator by V Project - use of the Memorial Field for sports activities - Unanimously agreed. Motion carried
11 Mrs Liddell Bible Society Action Group - request for Readathon in Fromus Square on Saturday 7th June 2008. Unanimously agreed. Motion agreed.


C - OTHER CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED TO DATE:

C016
SCC Countryside Access Community Scheme Clerk to write to confirm our interest
C017
Email Stephen Milligan Planning Implementation of larger Developments in Saxmundham
Deferred to the Planning section report
C018
GO-East East of England Plan- Circulation

3161. TO REVIEW THE STANDING ORDERS:
These had been previously circulated for Councillors views. It was thought prudent to have a finishing time of 10pm for Council meetings with the option to continue a meeting later or not. The new Standing Orders will be discussed at the next P & R meeting and ratified at the December Town Council meeting.

3162. TO CONSIDER THE PURCHASE OF INFORMATION BOARDS FOR THE TOWN:
The Clerk had previously circulated various options for an Information Board to be placed outside the Market Hall with a view to obtaining further boards next year. Gareth White the new owner of Crisps had kindly offered to part fund the board. Cllr Cooke thought this was an excellent idea and proposed the Town Council obtain an illuminated wall mounted board. Cllr Andrews seconded the proposal. Unanimously agreed. Motion carried.

3163. TO DISCUSS THE UP TO DATE SITUATION OF THE FORMATION OF A PROPOSED YOUTH COUNCIL: Clerk to contact Cllr Moye regarding this as he is ill at present. Cllrs Burdett, Fisher and C Trotter-Langlois expressed their interest to assist.

3164. CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS:-
Cllr Fisher advised that the Clerk had put a tremendous effort into the Portfolio for consideration of the Quality Status for the town and proposed a vote of thanks to her. Quality Status for the town is a great achievement for them as there are 8500 Town and Parish Councils in England and Wales of which only 480 Councils have this status.

3165. FINANCE REPORT:
* To approve the monthly finance report to end of October 2007 (as attached). Cllr Cooke proposed this as correct, seconded by Cllr Howe. Unanimously agreed. Motion carried

A ten minute break ensued.

3166. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE PLANNING COMMITTEE: Cllr Damiral-White reported.

Cllr Damiral- White advised the following decisions from SCDC.

C07 1460
White Hart Hotel
18 High Street, Saxmundham
Construction of raised terrace area & installation of parasol
SCDC Planning permission 28 Sept 2007
C07 1461
White Hart Hotel
18 High Street
As above - listed building consent
SCDC consent granted 28 Sept 2007
C07 1044
Mr B Maller
Part side garden 19 Manor Gardens Saxmundham
Erection of single-storey dwelling & new vehicular access APPEAL
Town Council may comment if they wish to.


TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

C07 1044 Mr Maller APPEAL
Part side garden 19 Manor Gardens Saxmundham Erection of single storey dwelling & new vehicular access.
No comments made

C07 2027 revised from C06 2176
Cripps Development 1 Fairfield Road, Saxmundham
Erection of 10 flats and two cottages (revised application)
The committee thought this application did not enhance the Town as the previous one had. They expressed concerns about the suitability of the design details and fabric used in a conservation area.


TO CONSIDER WHETHER TO SEND A REPRESENTATIVE TO ATTEND AND SPEAK IN RESPECT OF THE FOLLOWING APPLICATIONS TO BE HEARD AT SCDC ON NOVEMBER 14TH at 9.00am:-

C07 - 0309 Outbuildings to the rear of 18-22 Market Place, Saxmundham
C07 - 1535 and 1536 9 Angel Yard Market Place Saxmundham
C07 - 0362 Hopkins Homes Land on the North side of Church Hill. Saxmundham
C07 - 1464 Land & Buildings South of Church Street, Saxmundham

It was proposed by Cllr Damiral-White, seconded by Cllr Palman that Cllr Col Warren would attend and speak about the planning applications. Cllr Cooke will also attend if he is available. Unanimously agreed. Motion carried.

The Town Council had received an email from Mr Stephen Milligan Planning Officer at SCDC.
A meeting of the Town Council and Officers of the Planning Department is proposed possibly in January.


3167. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE: Cllr Cooke reported.
* It was agreed to change our present British Telecom tariff to suit our requirements. The Clerk is at present in communication with BT on this having received informative information from Cllr Jones.
* It was reported that the open meeting of Saxmundham & District Community Development Partnership was poorly attended but despite this they were going ahead with all their plans.
* Progress is extremely slow regarding ownership of Fromus Square partly due to the office of Somerfield not replying to the Solicitors. We will voice our concerns over the long delay.
* A near accident near the Middle School resulted in David Gibbs Operations Manager at SCC liasing with Country Travel to express the serious concerns over one of the drivers driving without due care and attention. Country Travel could discipline the driver concerned.
* It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the Head Office of Somerfield in Bristol regarding the deterioration of the range of their goods, quality of the produce and shortage of staff.
* The Clerk has liaised with the East Anglian reporter about the decline of the Market. It is hoped an article will be written with a view to rekindle interest thus producing more stalls and more customers. SCDC still own the Market.
* The Clerk had informed the Councillors that she was waiting to receive communication from the Accreditation Panel regarding Quality Parish Status.
* The Town Council have finally secured ownership of Chantry Road Play Area

Cllr Cooke was thanked for his report.


3168. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE MARKET HALL COMMITTEE: As Cllr Moye was unable to attend the meeting due to illness the Clerk will contact him shortly for an update.

3169. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM SAXMUNDHAM NEWS AND THE WEBSITE:
Cllr Andrews advised that it was mid term between editions but the Working Party would be having a meeting within the next ten days.

3170. TO RECEIVE REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES OF VARIOUS COMMITTEES including working parties:
* Cllr Howe will attend a meeting of ESTA on the 28th November and will discuss the poor signage of the railway station.
* Cllr Howe advised that planting of Fromus Square with pansies and wallflowers had been completed last week in time for the Remembrance Service. The tubers from the dahlias are being safely stored and all the hanging baskets are with Geaters for next years planting. He explained that the Committee are fund raising and will have a stall at the Horticultural Show on the 24th November. He circulated some samples e.g. Desk calendars, postcards, fridge magnets etc. This coming Sunday, 18th November, at 10.00am, volunteers would be welcomed to join him in planting bulbs in Rendham Road.
* Cllr Andrews attended the Strategic Partnership meeting. There were two workshops - one that dealt with business and she advised the Businesses of Saxmundham to contact SCDC Business Forum to become members. The other workshop concerned vulnerable people and the largest number of children living in poverty reside in Saxmundham, Kyson, and parts of Felixstowe and Woodbridge. The Good Neighbourhood Scheme is working successfully in the Wickham Market area and Cllr Andrews will look into the possibilities for Saxmundham.
* Cllr Fisher attended the Greenprint Forum and saw a straw burner in action and also attended the Tree Wardens Training Day and the Parish Liaison meeting.
* Cllr Burdett has sent the application off for funding of the Skate Park but needs to give them additional information to complete it.

3171. OTHER MATTERS TO BE DISCUSSED AT THE CHAIRMAN'S DISCRETION as notified under Agenda item 3:
3157.1 Cllr Cooke - Clerks job description and Contract of Employment. Cllr Cooke had produced an updated Specification and Contract and Cllr Fisher will circulate this before the next Town Council meeting.
3157.2 Cllr Andrews - Outcome of near accident in Seaman Avenue - previously discussed.
3157.3 Cllr Warren - Financing of Saxmundham in Bloom and SARTs. Cllr Warren praised the Saxmundham in Bloom committee for the beautiful display all summer and he applauded the fund raising ideas. The cost of maintaining hanging baskets at the Railway Station is becoming an increasing problem because the cost of watering the baskets has become prohibitive. He thought that both Saxmundham in Bloom and SARTs might need more financial support from the Town Council in the future.

3172. DATE OF NEXT MEETING: Monday 10th December 2007


The meeting closed at 10.10pm and Cllr Cooke gave his apologies for absence at the December meeting.




Signed............................................................................... Dated...............................................
* Page 6 of 6 Town Council Minutes 12th November 2007