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MINUTES OF A MEETING OF
SAXMUNDHAM TOWN COUNCIL HELD ON
MONDAY 11 NOVEMBER 2013
IN THE MARKET HALL AT 7:15pm






Present:

Cllr J Fisher - Chairman
Cllr K Howe – Vice Chairman
Cllr Mrs M Andrews
Cllr Sir Peter Batho
Cllr G Cooke
Cllr R Plant
Cllr Mrs D Sculley
Cllr Ms C Trotter-Langlois
Cllr D Willett
Cllr D Tricker


In attendance:


Mrs H Heelis

8 members of the public

Douglas Cooke - SCC
Mr Ian Caruana - SCC



Representatives from Suffolk County Council attended the meeting in order to present the Traffic Signals (High St - Church St junction) upgrade proposal for the Town Council’s consideration.

(Report attached). Mr Caruana presented the attached report highlighting the survey figures, the model and software used and the recommendation to improve the current situation and upgrade the junction. He noted the new pedestrian crossing differed from the existing pedestrian crossing and that additional funding had been found to upgrade the second crossing. He noted that the advantages of the new crossing encourages the pedestrian to look into oncoming traffic and that the junction will become more efficient.

Questions were then taken:

Q: How often will SCC maintain the integrity of the markings?
A: New markings will be put down. Refreshed markings will be at the discretion of the relevant SCC department; however, he encouraged the Town Council to report faded markings.

Q. If a pedestrian crossed diagonally would they be hit by a car?
A: There is a higher accident risk and this couldn’t be condoned as, whilst all lights would be red, the pedestrian would not be detected by the sensors.

Q: When will the work be carried out?
A: It was hoped the work would be carried out by January. Disruption to traffic would be 1-2 weeks. He noted signal heads would be LEDs which were far more reliable than the traditional bulbs.

It was noted that the software would be optimised quickly after installation.

It was confirmed that there was no distinction between a bicycle and a vehicle on the traffic counter across the road.

Q: Are there any other alterations that will be made, e.g. a 4-way crossing or a yellow box in Church Street?
A: The 4-way crossing was reported as inefficient as each oncoming traffic lane faced no opposing traffic. He noted that provision of a yellow box was not within their remit. The new system will ‘see’ the traffic and he said he would mention it to the area engineer.

The Town Council were offered leaflets to educate people on using the crossings. SCC would provide some leaflet. Action: The information to be put in the Saxmundham News.

Mr Caruana and Mr Cooke left the meeting.

A PUBLIC FORUM of up to 15 minutes was held prior to the formal meeting at which members of the public
raised the following matters.

A member of the public raised a matter relating to Footpath No 12 and the potential removal of hedge. He was concerned that the hedge was going to be disturbed or removed as part of installing the cycle path and that he considered the hedge a benefit to local wildlife. Cllr Fisher suggested that he speak to SCC regarding their plans and to copy in the Town Council to any correspondence.

Mr Adams raised the matter of hedge removal on the new developments has created additional noise arising from the A12 which affects the rest of the town. It was noted that the bunds were inadequate and a replacement hedge was needed. It was further noted that a 6ft acoustic fence was due to be installed.

There were no other matters raised.

2 members of the public left the meeting.

REPORT FROM THE LOCAL POLICE: (attached)
The Police Report was duly summarised to those present.

Cllr Plant noted that there was no mention of parking violations in the report.

Mrs Chesterfield noted that there was a disturbance in the High Street and a window broken in the male toilet. She commented on the lack of police presence in the evenings.

Cllr Mrs Andrews reported she had received a report that the old netting around the primary school had a large hole in it and young people were seen going through the hole onto the primary school premises. She rang the police and was advised that it was a County matter.

REPORT FROM THE COUNTY COUNCILLOR:
Cllr Michael Gower has forwarded a report and would attend the meeting later on following another parish meeting. (report attached).

REPORT FROM THE DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Cllr Mrs Andrews had nothing to report but would make a report under item 14.
Cllr Sir Peter Batho had nothing to report but offered to answer any questions. There were no questions arising.

MINUTES

4390. TO RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST:
* To Receive Amendments to the Register – there were no amendments.
* To Receive Declarations of Pecuniary Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda – Cllr Willett declared an interest under item 4400.
* To Receive Declarations of Non Pecuniary Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda – Cllr Tricker declared an interest in the organisation running the Fromus Centre on behalf of SCC.
* To Consider Full/Partial Dispensations for Pecuniary Interests Declared – There were no dispensations to consider.

4391. TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR AND CONSENT TO ABSENCE:
Apologies were received from newly elected Cllr Louise Hailey following the by-election.
Resolved to accept Cllr Hailey’s apologies. Maddie Gallop - illness

4392. TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A TRUE RECORD THE MINUTES OF 28 OCTOBER 2013 TOWN COUNCIL MEETING previously circulated:
The minutes were duly agreed and signed as a true and correct record.

Cllr Andrews queried where Matters Arising were to be discussed on the agenda.

Cllr Fisher noted that following advice he had removed Matters Arising from the agenda.

It was resolved to have an action list on future agendas.
Cllr Tricker requested the draft minutes produced within a week of the meeting.

It was resolved to discuss the following items that were not listed on the agenda, contrary to the advice received from both Malcolm Green and Heather Heelis:

Cllr Andrews raised the following matters:

a) Speed and volume of traffic in Fairfield Road – the police advise that no action can be taken. Cllr Andrews has advised the resident to monitor the traffic herself. This had been exacerbated by SAT NAV.

Action: Cllr Mrs Andrews will convey the outcome of investigations with the resident.

b) It was queried if Highways had been contacted regarding the overgrown hedgerow at the bottom of Mill Road.

c) S106 with Hopkins Homes – Cllr Mrs Andrews was still looking into this.

d) It was queried whether Mr Moye had been thanked for his work as DPS and had anything been done to replace him. It was noted that it was believed that no action had been taken on this. Cllr Tricker explained the responsibilities of the DPS.

e) Work on radiators – this has been actioned.

f) Purchase of additional grit bins – status unknown.

g) Damage to cycle racks – It was confirmed that a letter had been sent to the Factory Shop Head Office querying whether they had plans to repair in the near future. No response has been received to date.

4393. TO CONSIDER CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED:

A – CORRESPONDENCE TO BE NOTED AND CIRCULATED:
701 Suffolk Young People Health Project – Request for Donation – To be forwarded at the January Finance Committee meeting.

702 SCDC Waste & Environmental Enforcement – Waste Removal for holiday let properties – Noted.

703 CATS (Coastal Accessible Transport Service Ltd) – Request for Donation –
Action: To be forwarded at the January Finance Committee meeting.

704 Jenny Mann, WI President – Vandalism to plants on Market Hall forecourt – Noted.

B – CORRESPONDENCE TO BE DISCUSSED BEFORE REPLY:

B233
Dr Therese Coffey MP
Letter of complaint received from Tanya Callaghan of Coopers Dip.
It was noted that the letter has been acknowledged. Cllr Mrs Andrews noted that the resident has not missed out because she was not on the list. Cllr Mrs Andrews had spoken to Dr Coffey MP regarding the matter. The resident had also complained about a pop-up pub. No-one present could recall any incidents of a pop-up pub. Cllr Mrs Andrews suggested a letter of thanks in the Saxmundham News alongside an article of the history of the pub.

Cllr Mrs Andrews noted that Dr Coffey would pass on compliments to the landlord at the Coopers Dip.
B234
SCDC
Town Council views on extent of vandalism across Coastal District.

Action: Cllr Howe to formulate a response to the consultation.
Action: Cllr Mrs Andrews was looking into whether Zorbas was having their licence revoked.
B235
East Suffolk Partnership
Invite to Forum –
22 November 2013 at Trinity Park.
Noted.
B236
Mrs Lin Barnes
Request for further donation towards Phase II of redecoration of High Street.

To be considered under item 7.

C – OTHER CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED TO DATE:
a) An e-mail had been received from Mr Bloomfield regarding the new bench at Henley Close. He had expressed concerns regarding anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of the new bench. Cllr Howe gave a progress report on action taken regarding ASB in Coopers Close with young people congregating on the bench.

It was confirmed that the e-mail has been forwarded to the police.
Action: To put this item on the agenda for the next Town Council meeting.

b) Complaint regarding the alleged moving of the 11am service. It was confirmed that the resident concerned had been notified of the changes. Cllr Fisher explained how the confusion had possibly arisen.

Cllr Mrs Andrews noted that she had received numerous complaints on the service and the lack of a ‘Last Post’ plus technical problems with the sound.

4394. CHAIRMAN’S/TOWN CLERK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:
There were no announcements.

4395. FINANCE REPORT:
To approve the monthly finance reports to end of October 2013 – To be considered under item 4396.

4396. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE FINANCE COMMITTEE & CONSIDER ITS RECOMMENDATIONS:
a) To approve monthly Finance Reports to the end of October 2013 (attached) – The reports had been recommended for approval. It was noted that additional information could be incorporated when the Clerk returns. Cllr Fisher proposed the approval of the reports. Cllr Howe seconded. A show of hands indicated that all councillors were in favour of approval with the exception of Cllr Cooke. The Finance Reports were duly approved.

b) To consider request for donation from BoS for Phase II of the High Street redecoration – Cllr Plant proposed that sight of receipts for the first grant were received prior to consideration of any further funding. Cllr Fisher seconded. Resolved. Cllr Howe noted that a report would be forthcoming. Cllr Mrs Sculley gave a brief update on the renovation of the window frames and exterior of the Market Hall.

c) To consider involvement in Town maintenance – Cllr Plant investigated using work placements or community workers from Hollesley Bay.
Action: Cllr Plant agreed to pursue for the next meeting.

d) To consider purchasing new Christmas lights and decorations up to £200 – Cllr Howe confirmed that he had ordered the tree. Cllr Plant proposed the purchase of new lights up to £200. Cllr Tricker seconded. Resolved to purchase the lights.




4397. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE MARKET HALL COMMITTEE:
* Vandalism to flower tubs on Market Hall forecourt.
There was no further update.

The Council took a comfort break at 9pm for 15 minutes, reconvening at 9.15pm.

Cllr Gower arrived.

Action: Clerk to write to the Education Department at SCC, copying in Cllr Gower.
Action: Cllr Andrews to visit the site again and draft a letter to the Education Department.

Cllr Mrs Andrews reiterated the issue relating to Fairfield Road and the problem with traffic for the benefit of Cllr Gower.

4398. TO REVIEW AND COMMENT ON THE FOLLOWING PLANNING APPLICATIONS:

DC/13/3162/FUL
Mr & Mrs A Martin
37 Fairfield Road, Saxmundham
Single storey side extension

Resolved to support.
DC/13/3063/TCA
Mr R Adey
Fairfield House East, Fairfield Drive, Saxmundham
To re-pollard Willow to previous pollard height.
To crown thin Beech by 30% to allow more light to property.

Resolved to strongly support.


To note Planning Decisions received:
Permission granted. C/13/1059 St John the Baptist Church, Church Street, Saxmundham
1. Installation of 6 new fan convectors with balanced flues, located in aisles.
2. Removal of side aisle pews and associated works to improve accessibility.
3. Other minor works described on drawings.

Permission granted. DC/13/2745/AME Saxmundham Free School, Seaman Avenue, Saxmundham
Alternative rainscreen cladding colour, TA304 Deep Red as the approved cladding is no longer manufactured.

The above 2 decisions was noted.

4399. TO CONSIDER REVIEWING STAFF CONTRACTS:
Cllr Fisher proposed that the Personnel Committee are requested to review all staff contracts and report back to the full Council.

Cllr Cooke queried why the exercise was being undertaken.
Cllr Plant explained that Mrs Chapman’s contract was required to be reviewed and that the work needed to be quantified.
Cllr Tricker suggested a working party was set up to discuss this and come back with a recommendation.
Cllr Plant reiterated that for the Council to move forward, a review needed to be carried out.

Cllr Ms Trotter-Langlois proposed an amendment to that the review be undertaken by the Personnel Committee.
Cllr Howe seconded the amendment. A vote was taken on the amendment:

In favour – 5
Against – 5

The Chairman proceeded to use his casting vote in favour of the amendment.
Therefore the amendment was carried and it was resolved that a review would be undertaken by the Personnel Committee and recommendations made to the next full Council meeting.

It was noted that the review will quantify the work of the Town Council personnel.

Cllr Cooke requested that it be minuted that he does not believe that the Personnel Committee will approach the investigation with an open mind. He thought that certain members will have certain agenda.

Cllr Plant requested that Cllr Cooke not take part in the item when it returns to full Council as he would not be objective enough to cast a vote on the matter.

[It was noted that there were 3 members of the public and Cllr Gower present during this debate]

Cllr Sir Peter Batho left the meeting at 9.40pm.

4400. TO APPROVE EXPENDITURE TO ACQUIRE SAXMUNDHAM RAILWAY STATION BUILDING ON LEASE FROM GREATER ANGLIA FOR TOWN COMMUNITY USE:

Cllr Willett left the room for this item.

Cllr Fisher gave a brief background to the item and presented the report submitted by Mr Adams.

Cllr Tricker queried why the Town Council were leading on this project.
Cllr Howe explained that it was the building that was important and the safeguarding of the building for the community. The backing of the Town Council was required to give the project credibility.

Cllr Fisher explained that the library required additional space.

Cllr Tricker suggested that the library make the bid for the lease rather than the Town Council.

Cllr Mrs Andrews was given a copy of the report.

Cllr Ms Trotter-Langlois proposed that the Town Council ask FoSS to produce a business case for the project, to include a 3-year forecast. Cllr Mrs Sculley seconded. A vote was taken with:

5 in favour.
2 against.
1 Abstention.

Resolved to ask FoSS for a business case.

Cllr Plant recommended that emphasis was placed on a business case about a building that serves the community; it did not necessarily have to make money.

Cllr Tricker expressed his concerns about the project.

Cllr Willett returned to the meeting at 9.55pm.

4401. TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON THE PROGRESS OF THE TOWN PLAN:
Cllr Plant reported that 30 people attended a meeting. 50 volunteers had come forward. He emphasised the need to be involved from the beginning regarding s106 monies to ensure that Saxmundham gain the benefit.



4402. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM SAXMUNDHAM NEWS AND WEBSITE:
Cllr Tricker reported that one meeting had taken place. A further 2 meetings would be held to review the Saxmundham News and website prior to the next Council meeting.
Action: Cllr Tricker to report on the review of the Saxmundham News and website for the next meeting.

The group have identified several areas that are out of date and have some suggestions for improvements.

4403. TO RECEIVE REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES OF VARIOUS COMMITTEES including working parties:

Cllr Mrs Andrews reported that there have been problems locally with the bus services;

* Lack of services
* Timetables not accurate
* Buses not arriving at the station in a timely manner.
* Hinterland parishes complaining of isolation due to lack of bus services.

Cllr Mrs Andrews explained that she was a District Council representative on ESTA, a very effective pressure group that would now like to take action on the current state of the bus services. She has also involved a county councillor who has also received numerous complaints and reported that they have formed a small group who will look into the matter.

Cllr Mrs Andrews explained that one of the problems in rural areas was the buses were being run by several different companies, creating a fragmented service. The group would try to talk to the bus companies with a view to run more efficiently. Cllr Burroughs was involved on behalf of the residents of Sweffling. The first meeting will be held on 13 November to draw up an initial strategy on how to proceed. Once established the group would invite others to discuss in more detail. Following this meeting a face to face meeting would be arranged with First Bus.

Action: To put this matter on the agenda as a standing item.

Cllr Howe pointed to the recent issue of the Saxmundham News where a full report could be found.

Cllr Ms Trotter-Langlois – Chantry Road play area – she confirmed that she had made progress on this matter.

Cllr Plant – Sizewell – He reported that there had been no real progress to report with the Stakeholder Group.

4404. DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 9 December 2013.

Meeting closed at 10.15pm


SIGNED ______________________________


DATED ______________________________


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