District Councillor's Report

1st October 2020

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BDC held its AGM last week and nothing has changed.

Planning matters:

The planning application for Tenter Piece came before the planning committee at BDC last week and I was happy to support and speak on this matter.  As I commented, this is a project that I have lived, breathed and supported for the last four years and I believe it will make a difference for the village and the groups that will meet within the repurposed common room in the future.

I have seen the planning proposal for a new development off Brent Eleigh Road and would like to highlight the point that the developers have not consulted with me on this proposal which I find strange as within other parishes I am consulted on proposed developments.

District wide notes:

Following a question over the time it is taking for a brown bin to be delivered to new customers (or existing customers who were ordering a second) I was advised that 1800 new brown bins have been ordered from BDC over the last few weeks, hence the delay in the delivery.  I am delighted with this news on two fronts, firstly, residents are becoming more recycling aware and hopefully I will have less complaints regarding bonfires, as garden waste can be easily disposed of via the brown bin scheme.  The waste is treated at a high temperature and then turned into compost.

Secondly, although this is a facility for residents it is via a contract and the charges help to balance the cost of this service and any monies left over are a welcome addition to BDC finances.  At less than £1 per week I believe this is good value for money.

Public Realm services:

Cabinet have approved the proposal to bring Public Realm services in house as the current contract with IDVERDE ends in 2021 with no option to continue.  At the Overview and Scrutiny committee meeting, of which I was part, I raised the issue of BMBS (mentioned earlier) which, I would suggest, has not been as successful or as cost effective as originally planned.  BMBS is due to be reviewed but I understand that this has been deferred for now.

Other Matters to Note:

Under the banner of the Vision for Sudbury the question of whether the Market Hill in Sudbury should be permanently pedestrianised has arisen.  Whilst this has merits, the caveat is the possible loss of trade as older residents desist from travelling into the town for shopping and the lack of designated disabled parking within the area itself for those less mobile.  I believe a compromise should be reached with part pedestrianised and part left for parking.
To add, a public meeting is taking place for the Vision for Sudbury on Monday and I am trying to add myself onto the attendance list.

Within Cockfield a most difficult circumstance occurred for a resident of the village which was the lack of repair to the one and only toilet within the council tenanted property for two months.  (Yes, I do mean two months.)  This was a disgraceful lack of care by the council building maintenance team.  I have given my personal apologies to the residents and I have dealt with the repairs team at BDC.  Unfortunately, this is another reason why I believe that BMBS the building services part of our housing department needs a complete review and overhaul.  I have urged the tenants to claim compensation, which they are entitled to.
The concern I had which I hope Cllr Arthey agrees with too, is when the situation was flagged up to us on a Friday, nothing was done over the weekend, and the response was that it would be repaired by Wednesday.  As the tenants had already suffered for long enough, I was determined that the toilet would be repaired on the Monday.  I am pleased to report it was!!!

Common sense finally prevailed over the fencing at The Swan public house in Little Waldingfield which is being refurbished.  Despite this being a business premises the call for a decorative fencing instead of a protective fencing (to protect both private and business property) was being presented.  I am pleased to say that the decision made has been to approve close boarding fencing, which will give noise, light as well as security protection for all.  (I had asked for hedgehog doorways in the fencing too, in case of any environmental objection.)

Chilton Woods:

The working party for Chilton Woods has convened and the purchaser Taylor Wimpey are consulting with the group.  However, I have many concerns with some of the proposals including, inevitably, Highways, design, the fragmentation of the sale of the site as only the residential part has been purchased by TW, the impact on surrounding villages, etc.  A big commitment by Chilton Parish Council (who are the largest mass land parish), will be required to bring this site into build out which will meet the needs, desires and integration of all the surrounding areas.  The original idea of Chilton Woods was to build a garden village within the old airfield site.  To note I am part of this working party.