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MINUTES OF A MEETING OF
SAXMUNDHAM TOWN COUNCIL HELD ON
MONDAY 9 SEPTEMBER 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


In attendance:


Miss A Chapman, Acting Town Clerk
PC Jamie Newson
County Councillor Michael Gower
4 members of the public



PUBLIC FORUM:
A member of the public asked for an update on the Requests for Donations. Cllr Fisher advised that they will
be considered by the Finance Committee on the 1st Monday in October for a recommendation to the next full
Council meeting. Now that an annual budget is in place, we will look at each application using the new criteria.
However, only limited funds are available. It was suggested that an article to that effect could be included in
Saxmundham News in order to inform the general public of the new system.

REPORT FROM THE LOCAL POLICE:
There have been 10 recorded crimes for Saxmundham as follows:-
Offender being racially abusive to victim; aggressive male on public street; theft of large sum of items from local shop; assault on Police; handbag stolen from car in town car park; victim assaulted on premises in town; offender punched victim in face in public place; vulnerable person mistreated by offender; victim verbally abused in street; push bike stolen overnight from bike shed.

REPORT FROM THE COUNTY COUNCILLOR:
Cllr Gower reported the County Council had been quiet of late but was becoming busier and is now looking at Strategy going forward. Education remains a top priority and they were very happy that Suffolk young people have performed better in exams.
Cllr Willett asked what is the County Council’s policy regarding verbal abuse to contractors. Cllr Gower replied there is zero tolerance and action would be taken against them.
Cllr Fisher mentioned that there was some confusion over last month’s Minutes when referring to improvements on the A14. Cllr Gower clarified that there is a £1 million contribution from the County Council to the project.

REPORT FROM THE DISTRICT COUNCILLORS:
Cllr Mrs Andrews reported that the new Local Plan has now been adopted; an organisation called NANT has put in an application for judicial review and if successful, there is the possibility the Local Plan will have to be altered slightly but Cllr Mrs Andrews will keep the Town Council informed of progress.
An article has appeared in Coastal Scene regarding Zorba’s alcohol licence being revoked. Cllr Plant thought that this would be a sad loss of resource for Saxmundham.
Cllr Sir Peter mentioned the consultation on the new Ward Boundaries. It has been proposed that the number of members will be reduced from 55 to 43. However, Saxmundham is far too large to have just one Member and therefore will remain as a two Member Ward. It is also proposed that Therberton be dropped from our Ward and that Benhall and Sternfield be added along with Kesale-cum-Carlton.



AGENDA

Cllr Fisher announced that Cllr Cassels has resigned from the Town Council. We would like to express our appreciation and convey our best wishes to him for the future.

4344. 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 Sir Peter declared a pecuniary interest in the planning application for Land between Rendham Road & A12 and also The Adventure Playground.
Cllr Mrs Andrews and Cllr Mrs Sculley declared a pecuniary interest in Saxmundham Museum.
Cllr Fisher declared a pecuniary interest in the planning application for Saxmundham Free School as he is a School Governor.

4345. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Maddie Gallop - illness, Cllr Tricker.

4346. MATTERS TO BE RAISED UNDER AGENDA ITEM: 4341
Cllr Cooke raised the issue of illegal parking in Saxmundham and the Church Road junction in the High Street.
Cllr Mrs Andrews raised the issue of Councillors not being notified of events taking place in the Market Hall.

4347. THE MINUTES OF THE 8 JULY 2013 TOWN COUNCIL MEETING WERE APPROVED AND SIGNED AS A TRUE RECORD with the following amendments:
Page 1 – 46 labourers amended to 6 labourers appointed to carry out painting of High Street.
Page 3 – Vote on Town Clerk’s pay increase of 1.5%. Amended to 9 in favour, 1 abstention. Motion carried on majority.

4348. MATTERS ARISING THEREFROM NOT COVERED ON THE AGENDA:
4330. Cllr Cooke requested an update on the re-phasing of Traffic Light system at South Entrance. Cllr Cooke was advised that an email had been sent to all Councillors stating that Suffolk County Council would be addressing the issue at the end of September. Cllr Willett asked the Acting Town Clerk to contact them again.
4336. Cllr Willett asked about the replacement tubs at front and side of the Market Hall. He was advised that a copy of the Market Hall Minutes had been circulated to all Councillors via email advising that this has now been carried out.
Cllr Willett also asked about the progress on obtaining quotations for the external decoration and isolation of heating to the Market Hall. He was advised that quotations had been sought and obtained, copies of which were sent to all Councillors via email.
4334. Cllr Plant asked for an update on electronic banking. Cllr Fisher advised that there had been a delay but the matter was still being pursued.
4341. Cllr Howe asked the Acting Town Clerk whether a ‘roaming’ microphone had been ordered. The Acting Town Clerk advised that this has not been done as both she and Cllr Howe were advised by an experienced technician that the existing microphone was perfectly adequate for the Council’s needs. Cllr Howe to pursue the issue with the Market Hall Committee.
4341. Cllr Mrs Andrews advised that she and Cllr Mrs Sculley met with the donor of the bench and this will be placed where Bittern Road meets Rendham Road.
4341. Cllr Mrs Andrews asked whether the pavement has been repaired outside Heartbeat Home for Horses. She was advised that this has been carried out.
4341. Cllr Mrs Andrews asked for back copies of Saxmundham News to be located.
4341. Cllr Mrs Andrews asked whether the potholes had been filled in on Albion Street. Cllr Plant stated that this has been carried out.



4349. TO CONSIDER CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED:

A – CORRESPONDENCE TO BE NOTED AND CIRCULATED:
693 Leiston Flagship Housing – Community Initiative Fund
694 Avenues Group – update on Services
695 ESTA Members Bulletin – Summer 2013
696 NHS ‘Keeping in Touch’ Newsletter
697 SSAFA supporting Forces & their families
698 The Local Councillor Newsletter Issue 2
699 SCDC New Local Plan
700 Revised Charge for Refuse Collection Service

B – CORRESPONDENCE TO BE DISCUSSED BEFORE REPLY:

B232
Local Government Boundary Commission
Consultation on new Ward Boundaries
Cllr Fisher proposed writing to the Boundary Commission supporting the suggestion in Cllr Sir Peter’s report. Cllr Sir Peter seconded. All in favour.


C – OTHER CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED TO DATE:

C390
M Baker
Letter of complaint regarding volume of traffic in Fairfield Road.
Cllr Willett recommended responding by explaining that the road is limited to a weight restriction of 7½ tonnes and is a designated route.
C391
Angela Samson
Letter regarding devastation to hedgerow to side of new development at Rendham Road.
Cllr Fisher proposed a response explaining that replanting of hedgerows will be carried out in due course. All agreed.


4350. CHAIRMAN’S/ TOWN CLERK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS:

4351. FINANCE REPORT:
* To approve the monthly finance report to end of August 2013.
Cllr Fisher explained that no Finance Report was available as the Town Clerk was unable to do this from home.

4352. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE FINANCE COMMITTEE:
Cllr Plant reported that Requests for Donations will be looked at next month.

4353. TO CONSIDER OUTSTANDING REQUESTS FOR DONATIONS:
Already covered.

4354. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE MARKET HALL COMMITTEE:

a) DECORATION OF MARKET HALL FRONTAGE: Cllr Mrs Sculley reported that quotations had been received from four companies.

Cllr Mrs Sculley recommended to the Town Council that the quotation from Reade of Aldeburgh be accepted. Cllr Fisher Seconded. 9 in favour, 1 against. Motion carried on majority.

b) REPLACEMENT OF SERVING HATCH SHUTTERS: The shutters have been replaced but need a top coat of gloss paint. Cllr Howe to ask a local painter to complete.

c) ISOLATION OF WEBSTER ROOM HEATING FROM THE MARKET HALL: Five firms were asked to quote but we received quotations from two only. Saunders Plumbing & Heating from Melton and Plumbing Angels from Saxmundham.


Cllr Mrs Sculley recommended to the Town Council that Saunders estimate be accepted as their quotation is more effective at controlling the heating system as the savings will be significant.

d) New tubs have been purchased for the outside of the Market Hall; four on the forecourt and three at the side, replacing the Bell Hotel refuse bins. The have now been kindly planted with help from the WI.

e) Cllrs Fisher and Howe are in contact with Jackie from the Jewellers regarding the Market Hall clock. An anonymous donation of £100.00 has been given to the Town Council to be spent on the clock. The donation is very much appreciated and thanks go to the donor.

TO DISCUSS THE REMOVAL OF THE STAGE CURTAINS: It was felt that the curtains should remain in situ as they are perfectly adequate for the time being.

a) Storage: There is very little storage space in the Market Hall and underneath the stage; more space would be available if we removed the heater which is no longer in use. It has been suggested that this can be removed by the plumber carrying out the work of separation of heating. This would enable more space to be provided for storage. Cllr Mrs Sculley and Cllr Howe are going to look into this.

b) Ladders: A complaint has been made on behalf of users of the Market Hall. When the Hall was in use, a Councillor walked through the Hall with a ladder in order to obtain equipment from the top of the toilets. The ladder was then left in the lobby. In future, the ladder will be housed in the boiler room and we would ask all Councillors not take equipment through the Hall but to use the side entrance and replace the ladder after use.

THE MARKET HALL LICENSING: It is felt that the holder of the Market Hall License should be a Town Councillor. Cllrs Plant and Fisher will look into the requirements of being a license holder.

Cllr Sir Peter queried why the floodlights are on at the Market Hall throughout the night and suggested that they be checked on whether they are low energy or halogen bulbs. Cllr Fisher to investigate.

4355. TO DISCUSS THE PURCHASE OF ADDITIONAL GRIT BINS:
Cllr Howe reported that they have been asking the public where the grit bins should be placed so we can now purchase 5 more bins. All in favour.

4356. TO DISCUSS THE FOLLOWING PLANNING APPLICATIONS:

NUMBER
NAME
ADDRESS
PROPOSAL
DECISION
C13/1262
Sean Marten Land between Rendham Road & A12
Temporary building to accommodate sales and marketing suite and associated parking.
No objection. Cllr Sir Peter left the room and did not vote.
DC/13/2030/FUL
Mr P Francis
2 Alde Close, Saxmundham
Installation of a lamp post in front garden
Supported.
DC/13/2341/LBC
Mr G J Jackson 7A Market Place Saxmundham
Conversion of one two-storey flat to 2No. single storey flats.
Supported, provided the fire escape is adequate because of a fatal fire in the building some years ago.
DC/13/2344/FUL
Mrs V Seymour
9A Chapel Road, Saxmundham
Single storey extension to existing outbuilding to create additional storage space.
Supported.
DC/13/2351/ADN
Mr J Ashworth
Saxmundham Free School
To place a 1.43m high by 5m wide school sign above main entrance.
Supported. Cllr Fisher left the room and did not vote.


To note Planning decisions received:

C13/0667 Use of existing grassed area for staff car parking – Land north east of Brook House, Street Farm Road. Permission granted.
C13/0850 Erection of a trailer sign for proposed development - Land between Rendham Road & A12. Permission Refused – inappropriate as on an A Road.
C13/00118/TCA To fell 1no. Lawson Cypress to allow light into property. To crown reduce Beech by 1.5m
away from property to protect property – 24 North Entrance. Permission granted.
C13/0979 Entrance piers to new housing development - Land between Rendham Road & A12. Permission granted.
C13/0909 Front extension to erect cantilevered bay window - 14 Brook Farm Road. Permission granted.
C13/0943 Application of vinyl decals (signage) applied directly onto shopfront glass from inside of building – 6-8 Market Place. Permission granted.
C13/1200 Alterations/upgrade of external doors and windows, upgrading of existing roof material and also
landscape works such as a new external canopy and new surfacing local to the building.
Saxmundham Free School, Seaman Avenue. Permission granted.
C13/1068 Erection on non-illuminated 1 no. fascia sign and 1 no. projecting sign. Consent granted.
C13/1048 Demolish existing dwelling. Sub-divide plot to create two residential curtilages including erection of two new dwellings together with associated accesses, carport, detached garage and shed – 48 St John’s Road, Saxmundham. Permission granted.
C13/1138 Variation to planning permission C11/1211: To change use of ground floor unit of former Salvation Army premises from shop/café to self-contained flat – 45 High Street, Saxmundham. Permission granted.

4357. TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON THE PROGRESS OF THE TOWN PLAN:
Cllr Plant reported that there was a good attendance at the meeting; 7 Councillors were present. Three focus groups have now been formed with the next Action Sax meeting to be held on Saturday 9 November 2013 at the Riverside Centre, Stratford St Andrew. Cllr Plant proposed to the Town Council to set a formal agreement between them and Action Sax with the Town Councillors fully participating in all developments and plans in Saxmundham. Cllr Plant proposed, Cllr Ms Trotter-Langlois seconded. All in favour.

4358. TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM SAXMUNDHAM NEWS AND THE WEBSITE.
Cllr Plant proposed to the Town Council that Saxmundham News should remain as it is with Saxmundham Town Council retaining ownership with Cllr Mrs Andrews as liaison Officer. The current Editor is content to continue. Cllr Willett suggested that ‘Saxmundham Town Council’ should be printed in smaller print somewhere on the front cover of the magazine. Cllr Willett proposed, 8 in favour, 1 against.
Cllr Fisher reported that the Town Council website is seriously out of date and is increasingly difficult to keep updated. The ‘Contribute Programme’ is not very good now as it was designed before the introduction of Broadband. What is required is a newer version of the same programme. It was therefore suggested that we purchase the new software and the Acting Town Clerk receives appropriate tuition on managing the website both at a maximum cost of £250 to the Town Council. Cllr Fisher proposed, Cllr Willett seconded. All agreed.

4359. TO RECEIVE REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES OF VARIOUS COMMITTEES including working parties:
Cllr Howe reported that Phase 1 of the painting of the High Street is progressing nicely but now the finance for Phase 2 will require sorting out. Action Sax is organising the new ‘Town Signage’ with design, costs, etc yet to be agreed. Action Sax has received positive feedback from Landlords who are taking a keen interest in what is happening in the town.

The Chairman asked the Council if they would agree to continue the meeting beyond 10.00pm. All agreed.

4360. OTHER MATTERS TO BE NOTED AT THE CHAIRMAN’S DISCRETION as notified under Agenda item 3:
Cllr Cooke mentioned the ongoing problem with illegal parking and suggested that the local police target this.



Cllr Cooke also mentioned the problem with the traffic light system in Church Street; it takes a total of 12 minutes to get out of Waitrose car park. It was explained to Cllr Cooke that a letter had been sent to Suffolk County Council Highways and a response was received via email on 16 July 2013 (which was forwarded to all Town Councillors via email) explaining that they anticipate presenting their findings to the Town Council by end of September.
Cllr Mrs Andrews complained that she knew nothing about the proposed Real Ale & Cider Festival being held at the Market Hall so was unable to advise members of the public. However, details about this event were explained in the latest edition of Saxmundham News.

4361. DATE OF NEXT MEETING: 14 OCTOBER 2013

4362. TO DISCUSS STAFF ARRANGEMENTS: En camera. Members of the public excluded.

Meeting closed at 10.55pm.



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