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MINUTES OF A MEETING OF
SAXMUNDHAM TOWN COUNCIL HELD ON
MONDAY 14 JANUARY 2013
IN THE MARKET HALL AT 7:15pm



Present:
Cllr. Sir. P Batho Chairman
Cllr. Mrs M. Andrews
Cllr. J. Cassels
Cllr J. Fisher
Cllr. K. Howe
Cllr. Mrs Sculley
Cllr. D. Tricker
Cllr. Ms C Trotter-Langlois
Cllr. D. Willett




In attendance:


Mrs M. Gallop, Clerk to the Council
Sgt N. Thompsett
County Cllr Rae Leighton
11 members of the public




PUBLIC FORUM:
* It was felt that a monthly report in Saxmundham News regarding the District Council would be beneficial – Cllr Mrs Andrews volunteered to do this. An article from the County Council regarding their various roles would also be welcome.
* The Council were asked whether they had asked the candidates for co-option whether they would be regularly attending the meetings but Cllr Sir Peter responded that the candidates would have the chance to speak before the vote this evening.
A member of the Public queried Saxmundham’s low Precept compared with nearby towns. It was thought that if our Precept was increased more facilities could be provided for our residents because feelings were some people thought the Precept had been held down too severely in the past compared with similar sized towns and parishes. The Section 106 monies from Hopkins Homes was queried and it was explained that a legal agreement was drawn up between various parties as a condition of planning permission – a copy of this agreement is on the SCDC website.

REPORT FROM THE LOCAL POLICE: Sgt Thompsett had circulated a report and advised the following:-
* Policing has been changed to Police and Crime Commission and the Police Constable has announced his retirement
* There were 12 crimes reported for the month of December varying from thefts, burglary, assaults and drunkenness.
* The SNT had a meeting in Framlingham last week where three new priorities were set :-
i) Parking problems in Framlingham
ii) ASB around Zorba’s – Sgt Thompsett is having a meeting with Licensing at Suffolk Coastal District Council regarding this on-going problem which is causing distress to the local residents – an agenda item later on
iii) Vandalism and anti-social behaviour at Chantry Road Play Area
* Speeding issues to be concentrated on this month are in Snape, Westleton and Badingham. However Cllr Tricker voiced his concerns regarding speeding in Rendham Road particularly near the Care Home where the pavement is extremely narrow. Sgt Thompsett assured the Council that he would arrange to have SID (Speed Information Display) placed there and would request his staff to pay particular attention to that area. He also expressed concern over the overgrown hedging along Rendham Road and the Clerk was requested to write to the offending residents.

REPORT FROM THE COUNTY COUNCILLOR: County Councillor Rae Leighton advised that the County Council were determined not to increase the Council Tax this year despite £26 million savings having to be made next year. This will be obtained by cutting down management, reducing the back room staff and more efficiency.
Cllr Leighton advised things will get worse and services will be cut moving County Council’s responsibilities to independent Contractors, Provident Societies etc. SCC are looking for ways to provide cheaper travel for youngsters going to college/ training consignments and work.

There are two Consultations going on regarding Sizewell at present, Review of Emergency Plans and the proposed development of Sizewell C which will infringe on many areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Residents are encouraged to look at this carefully and attend any consultation meetings. Many acres of land will be needed for infrastructure sites such as accommodation/unloading material, park and ride schemes and much more.
Cllr Leighton had received an email confirming that gritting is underway and there is plenty of salt in store. A new solution is being tried with a mixture of salt and wet sand.


REPORT FROM THE DISTRICT COUNCILLORS: Cllr Mrs Andrews has been away on holiday and
only recently returned. Cllr Sir Peter advised that the District Council are not planning to increase their portion of the Council Tax District Council. There will be a meeting of LDF next Thursday and Cllr Mrs Andrews will attend.

Cllr Sir Peter assured everyone that problems regarding the traffic lights at South Entrance/Chantry Road/Church Street were still under discussion with the County Council.
Cllr Sir Peter wished everyone a belated Happy New Year.

AGENDA
4229. TO CONSIDER AND VOTE FOR CO-OPTION OF A COUNCILLOR FOLLOWING THE RESIGNATION OF ROSE DAMIRAL-WHITE – 2 prospective candidates. Mr C.Newson and Mr R
Plant. Both Candidates gave a brief resume.
Mr Newson thanked the Town Council for the opportunity to be considered as a Councillor. He has
lived in Saxmundham for 51 years and advised that he communicates well with the youth. He went
on to express his desire to assist as much as possible with various events particularly helping the
younger people. He also stated that he thought Mr Plant would be a valuable asset to the Council
as he is very experienced in these matters.
Mr Plant had sent in a lengthy resume of his career and his experience of being the Chairman of a
Town Council. He has worked with youngsters for many years having been Governor to a
number of Youth Offenders Prisons. Mr Plant has always lived locally apart from the occasions
when his professional career took him further afield.
Cllr Mrs Andrews asked the candidates what they consider is the main priority for Saxmundham – Mr
Plant thought that Sustainable Development was the key to the future and to be active. Mr Newson
thought there is not enough infrastructure for people moving into the town and not enough for young
people to do. He said that although he is a team-player he does not have experience of working on a Council .
The Clerk had given all Councillors a ballot paper to complete and after collection she counted the
votes with the assistance of Sgt Thompsett. The result was by a majority vote and Mr Plant was
chosen to be a Councillor. Mr Newson was thanked for his application and advised to re-apply when
a further vacancy occurs.

4230. TO RECEIVE THE NEWLY ELECTED COUNCILLOR’S DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF
OFFICE AND AGREEMENT TO ABIDE BY THE CODE OF CONDUCT: Cllr Roger Plant signed
the form and was welcomed to the Council by Cllr Sir Peter and the Councillors.

4231.TO CONSIDER THE DELEGATION TO THE TOWN CLERK THE POWER TO DECIDE DISPENSATIONS WHERE THE COUNCIL ARE INQUORATE: (Information attached)
(relying on section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972) Unanimously agreed. Motion
carried.

4232.TO CONSIDER ANY DISPENSATION REQUESTS (UNDER DELEGATED POWERS) to
grant a full dispensation to all Councillors for the remaining term of office for the budget and
precept setting. (requests must be sent to the Town Clerk in writing prior to the meeting)
Any other interest declarations are handled in the normal way. All Councillors had signed
the form that had been given to them by the Clerk.

4233. 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.
Cllr Tricker declared an interest in the Market Hall as a volunteer director of the local social
enterprise, The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company, who are now managing the
Fromus Centre, on behalf of Suffolk County Council. Cllr Cassels declared a pecuniary interest as
he is now the Editor of the new monthly newsletter the Town Herald which will be in competition with
our Saxmundham News for advertisements the Editor of the new monthly newsletter the Town
Herald which will be in competition with our Saxmundham News for advertisements.

4234. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Cllr Cooke, holiday

4235. MATTERS TO BE RAISED UNDER AGENDA ITEM 21: None raised.

4236. TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A TRUE RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE 10 DECEMBER 2012
TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
previously circulated: Cllr Willett proposed these as correct,
seconded by Cllr Fisher. Unanimously agreed. Motion carried.

4237. MATTERS ARISING THEREFROM NOT COVERED ON THE AGENDA:
4212 4198 The Clerk advised that she had received the refund cheque for the Olympic Torch Flags.
4217 Grit bins can only be sited on land owned by the County Council who need volunteers to look
after the grit as the insurance company requires a named person, with their telephone number
and address. We need a volunteer for Long Avenue, Saxmundham.
4221 Cllr Sir Peter and the Clerk had a meeting with the Manager of Christies Care. They were not actually providing car parking facilities for the public but are wishing to develop one of their fields to provide parking facilities for their own staff thus releasing some spaces in the Market Place car park and some street parking. They wished to receive our endorsement for them to go ahead with this once they apply for planning permission from the District Council.

4238. TO CONSIDER CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED:

A – CORRESPONDENCE TO BE NOTED AND CIRCULATED:
662 The Town Herald
663 NHS Keeping in Touch
664 ESTA Members’ Bulletin
665 email Communications Eastern regarding new nuclear power station



B – CORRESPONDENCE TO BE DISCUSSED BEFORE REPLY:

209 email Malcolm Blakeney General Meeting for SPLG 23 January 2013 at Leiston 7.30pm –Cllr Mrs Andrews to attend.
210 SALC Precepts & Referendums – previously sent by email – covered under discussion of the Budget and setting of the Precept.
211 SALC Sustainable Communities Act –Will the Council write to the Minister & Local MP expressing our view that our council should be able to submit proposals under the Sustainable Communities Act in order to ensure that the interests of our community are considered by Government. It would help if we ask our MP to raise this with the Minister. Clerk to sort.

C – OTHER CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED TO DATE:


C362 Suffolk Coastal Resource Network  New events for 2013
Circulation
C363 SALC The Local Councillor
Circulation


4239. CHAIRMAN’S/ TOWN CLERK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:
The Clerk advised that she would be attending two different courses, one on 5th February and the other on March 5th .
Cllr Sir Peter asked whether anyone could attend a meeting in response to an email forwarded from the Clerk regarding Community Engagement Event regarding Sizewell C. Cllr Tricker will be attending representing another organisation.


4240. FINANCE REPORT:
* To approve the monthly finance report to end of DECEMBER 2013 – Cllr Willett proposed this as correct, seconded by Cllr Mrs Sculley. Unanimously agreed. Motion carried.

4241. TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON THE PROGRESS OF THE TOWN PLAN: The questionnaire has been circulated with Saxmundham News today. There is a different questionnaire for those aged between 10 and 16. It is hoped everyone will complete the questionnaires and return them before 31st January.
The meeting was closed to enable Mr Christopher Lucas to update the Council on the progress being made on the Town Plan.
The meeting was re-opened and Cllr Sir Peter congratulated the working party on their hard work in producing the questionnaires. However it was pointed out that there has been an error on the Questionnaires and the correct website address will be circulated to everyone. When the responses are returned and analysed it is hoped that the working party and the Town Council will be able to work together to fulfil some of the requests wished for. As a point of clarification Section 106 monies are a legal agreement at the time when planning permission is given by the District Council and not decided by the Town Council. If Section 106 money is granted it has to be used within time limits specified in the legal agreement and cannot be used beyond that.

4242. TO DISCUSS THE PROBLEM OF OUT OF HOURS DRINKING AT ZORBAS: There have been a number of occasions when the Police have had to turn up at Zorbas because of out of hours drinking. The Clerk had received a letter from a resident complaining about late night drinking and anti-social behaviour particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. She has been in touch with Licensing at the District Council and Sgt Thompsett will be having discussions with both them and the Town Clerk regarding these concerns.

4243. TO DISCUSS THE STATE AND MISUSE OF CHANTRY ROAD PLAY AREA: There has been a number of complaints about the state and misuse of this Play Area which should be specifically for young children. There has been evidence of both alcohol and drug use together with increasing dog faeces and young children with their parents have found it impossible to use this facility. The gate of the Play Area has been damaged and Cllr Sir Peter proposed that the Clerk organises the purchase of a new gate, seconded by Cllr Willett. Unanimously agreed. Motion carried. The Police have made this a Safer Neighbourhood Priority to tackle this antisocial behaviour in a no alcohol zone. The Clerk will ensure another litter bin is purchased and the present bin will be moved to an appropriate place.

4244. TO DISCUSS ST. GEORGES’ CELEBRATIONS: Cllr Howe requested clarification from Cllr Mrs Andrews that she was no longer going to organise the St. Georges’ weekend. He offered to take over the running of this event and the Clerk will organise street closure for Sunday 21st April to hold a Street Fayre and hopefully a Civic Parade. There will also be a Quiz Evening on the evening of the previous Friday. Cllr Howe and the Town Clerk, who is unable to be present during these celebrations this year, will liaise.

4245. TO DISCUSS THE 2013/2014 BUDGET AND RECOMMEND A PRECEPT: Cllr Sir Peter advised that in view of the fact that the Chairman of the Finance Committee was not present Cllr Fisher would give a presentation of the facts discussed at the Finance Meeting the previous Monday.

* For decades people with low income have received a rebate (known as a Council tax benefit) on their rates. The District Council administer that system as they are the collectors of the rates. SCDC get a grant from Central Government to reimburse them for the rebate. This grant is being scrapped from this coming April 2013.
* Last year the tax base for Saxmundham was 1335.13 Band D equivalent properties but this year the figure will be 1172.93. This is lower because homes where people are getting a rebate are no longer counted. This means that the remainder of the households will be paying more to gain the same Precept for each authority (SCC, Police, SCDC and the Town and Parish Councils). This year the Government have offered a one off grant to larger authorities to keep the tax paid the same if they keep the precept the same. However next year anything over the lower figure (precept minus grant) will count as an increase (assuming the number of paying households remains the same).
* The government has given some money to SCDC to enable them to offer similar grants to town and parish councils. We have been offered £10,672 unconditionally, but on the understanding that the starting point for next year is this year’s precept minus the grant.
* The Finance committee recommendation was that we accept the grant and set the precept at £107,000, meaning that an on-going precept of £96,000 wouldn’t require any further increases
( assuming the tax base stays the same).

Cllr. Fisher proposed that we follow the recommendation to accept the grant of £10,672 and set the precept for 2013/14 at £107,000. Seconded by Cllr Willett. 7 for, 1 against. Motion carried on majority.

4246. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM SAXMUNDHAM NEWS AND DISCUSS THE CONTENT. The
editorship of Saxmundham News changed and Mr Burslem offered to assist with the publication.
At the request of a Town Councillor the Editor was asked to prepare a Protocol paper setting out the
way forward and the channels that need to be followed to produce a good publication for the Town
Council.

4247. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE PERSONNEL COMMITTEE:
The Clerk confirmed that she had various aspects of her Contract sorted out and had recently signed it.

4248. TO RECEIVE REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES OF VARIOUS COMMITTEES including working parties: None

4249. OTHER MATTERS TO BE DISCUSSED AT THE CHAIRMAN’S DISCRETION as notified under Agenda item 3: None

4250. DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 21st January 2013 at 7.00pm to discuss the proposed building of Sizewell C and 11TH FEBRUARY 2013 at 7.15pm


Meeting closed at 10.00pm




Signed……………………………………………… Dated……………………………………………….



* Page 5 of 5 Town Council 14 January 2013

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