PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

Held on Thursday 3rd September 2020, commencing 7.30 pm.
In response to Government measures prohibiting gatherings, announced on 23rd March 2020, this meeting was conducted remotely.
Present   Mr J O’Mahony, Vice-Chairman.
Mrs D Twitchett, Mrs M Morrey, Mr T Sheppard,  Mr B Panton, Mr I Lamont, Mr R Macro, Mrs A Norman, Mrs I Mitchell.
Mr R Lindsay, Suffolk County Councillor, Mrs M Maybury and Mr C Arthey, Babergh District Councillors for Lavenham Ward.
No members of the public joined the meeting.

Co option to the vacancy  Mrs Irene Mitchell’s details (CV) had been circulated to all Councillors and it was resolved that she should be co-opted to fill one of the vacancies on the Parish Council.  Proposed Mr Lamont, seconded Mr Sheppard.  Irene signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and was welcomed to the meeting.

Police Matters – Go to 
The August 2020 copy of the County newsletter, Constable’s County is the latest issue.
The summary of crimes reported within the parish of Lavenham, listed on www.police.uk, has been updated recently to show crimes reported in July, there had been 11 crimes: Anti-Social Behaviour x 5; Criminal Damage & Arson x 2; Violence & Sexual Offences x 2; Other theft x 1; All other crimes x 1..

County Councillor’s Report, Mr R Lindsay (Robert Lindsay's reoprt)
There was little further to report in respect of the proposed 20 mph village limits.  The application had been forwarded to SCC at the end of July, Mr Lindsay had added remarks, Lavenham has been argued as a exceptional site, ie. tourism, historic value, houses.  No acknowledgement as yet but it is understood there is a backlog of requests.

Problems with school transport are still being raised and Mr Lindsay has sought further policy clarification from Mary Evans.
    
District Councillor’s Reports, Mrs M Maybury and Mr C Arthey  
Mrs Maybury's report had been circulated to Parish Councillors and follows these minutes.

Mrs Norman said she agreed with Mrs Maybury’s concerns about the planters on Sudbury’s Market Hill.

Mr Arthey had emailed prior to the meeting:
August is always a quiet month for councils. Having had a look at my report for your last meeting, there really is very little I have to add except for an update on Leisure Centres, where Kingfisher Leisure Pool in Sudbury has re-opened and we are hoping the new Hadleigh Pool will be ready to open in November. The new pool tank should be filled soon with projected  ‘completion’ 10th November.
Mr Arthey reported that he had received a letter regarding the planning application in respect of Drover’s Cottage on the Common from a nearby resident (the Parish Council had been copied in) and had responded to this.
The Parish Council has been awarded a Scheme 1 Small Business Grant of £10,000.

The Minutes – Prop. by Mr Macro,  sec. by Mrs Twitchett, the minutes of the meeting held on 6th August 2020 were approved.  Carried.  The error in the date of the next meeting in the minutes circulated and those printed in Lavenham Life had been corrected for the signed copy.

Declarations of Interest – none.  

Apologies for absence- Mr Reeve.

Matters arising and update of outstanding issues – covered under various agenda items.

Finance and Strategy
Invoices paid between meetings:
Paul Holland, repairs to plumbing at Church Street public toilets  £290.00.
Cheques for payment:
idverde Ltd., public toilets works for August  £2,574.61.
JPB Landscapes, (August grass cutting £928.75, street cleaning £1,253.33) + VAT  £2,618.50. 
Kinex, phone account Aug  £37.82.
Zoom, monthly fee for remote meeting £14.39.
Payroll  incl quarterly PAYE/NIC  £1,247.51. 
Suffolk Tree Services, watering new trees in Cemetery x 12 visits  £144.00.
NFU Mutual, annual insurance premium  £1,375.45.  
Fox Cars, hire of Covid19 compliant taxis for GNS appointments  £422.40.  
British Gas, electricity supply to Church Street toilets £23.47.  
Paid by Direct Debit, 06/08/20, Total Gas & Power, electricity supply to Prentice Street toilets  £57.14.

A letter to the Bank requests the transfer of £8,000.00  between accounts. 

Mr Lamont proposed, Mrs Morrey seconded, that the financial transactions are approved. Carried.

Following recent changes to the Government criteria in respect of the Small Business Support Grant Fund the Parish Council had applied for a Scheme 1 grant.  A grant of £10,000 has been awarded which will be paid shortly.

Suffolk Tree Services have supplied quotes for various works, some necessitated by the recent high winds and other planned works.
Carry out Picus tests to the 2 Copper Beech trees either side of the Chapel £400.00; remove to ground level Pine tree in Cemetery showing large area of decay probably going down into the root system £850.00 (TPO tree, STS to liaise with Babergh/Mid Suffolk); all trees on Churchyard boundary with Tenter Piece, cut back, remove overhang and dead wood, sever and remove ivy affecting trees, £1,100.00; works to raise the crown of the row of Lime trees along the front of the Churchyard and formative pruning will be carried out free of charge as they would like to contribute towards the village; work to Willow tree near zipwire on First Meadow which has suffered recent storm damage, bring forward other tree works planned within next two years in order to reduce combined costs to £1,600.00.  All costs ex VAT.  All quotes accepted.

Planning 
Planning Applications Received:
DC/20/03419  &  DC/20/03420  Molet House Barn Street Lavenham 
Householder Application & Listed Building Consent - Rendering of western gable wall to stop rain ingress.
Recommend Approval  subject to materials being agreed with Babergh/Mid Suffolk D.C.
DC/20/03500 Monkshood 31 High Street Lavenham                                                                                              
Application for works to trees in a Conservation Area - Reduce extended limbs of 1No. Ash by up to 1m and re-pollard 1No. Willow by approx. 3m. Reduce height of 1No. Holly tree by approx. 2m as all overborne for size of the  garden and reduce 1 No. Crab Apple and 1No. Hybrid Willow to fence height in rear garden.
Recommend Approval

Confirm response to the District Council agreed between meetings in order to meet 26th August deadline for:
DC/20/03159 Drovers Cottage 42 The Common Lavenham 
Householder Application - Erection of two storey rear extension (following demolition of existing single storey rear extension)
The property sits in the Conservation Area but is not a listed building, nor are the immediate adjacent properties. The proposed works are at the rear of the property, appear well designed and in scale and will have no visual impact on the street view.
Recommend approval
(copies of two letters of objection had unfortunately been received after the response cut-off)

Following consideration of the recommendations made by the Planning working group it was proposed by Mr Macro, seconded by Mrs Twitchett, that approval should be recommended and the response to the Drovers Cottage application endorsed.  Carried.

Planning Decisions Received:
DC/20/02725  : Linden, Hall Road, Lavenham – permission granted in respect of 
Notification for works to trees in a Conservation Area - T1 Conifer – Fell
DC/20/02492  6 Butfield, Lavenham – planning permission granted for erection of a two storey front extension and single storey rear extensions
DC/20/02739  The Old Piggery, Slough Farm, Bridge Street Road, Lavenham – planning permission granted for continued change of use and completion of conversion of agricultural building to dwelling following lapsing of Class Q prior approval B/16/01556

Operations
Former Gas Works Site – there has been little progress.  The National Grid office staff are all working from home and only technicians are working ‘in the field’.  Mr O’Mahony last spoke to his contact two weeks ago and is pushing for a timeframe. The process should be completed by the end of the year.
Mr Macro is concerned about the entrance on this narrow area of road, Highways opinion will be clarified.
Highways – public notices are being posted in respect of the Suffolk County Council (District of Babergh) (Stopping, Waiting and Loading Prohibitions and Restrictions and On-Street Parking Places) (Map-Based) Order 2019 (School Entrance Markings) (Variation No. 4) Order 2020, this will put parking around schools on a more formal footing.
  
Mr Sheppard noted that the civil enforcement team has visited Lavenham and some tickets have been issued..

Housing & Social
Good Neighbours Scheme - Report from Mrs Twitchett:
We have continued to be busy, mainly with transport to appointments, last week particularly so. We were able to use our 4 volunteers for most trips needed, apart from 2 which the Taxi service, with a donation from the user, helped out.
Having spoken to nearly all of those who have volunteered to drive, it is unlikely that any of them, so far, feel it is something they want to start again at the moment.
We will have to see about advertising to find more drivers, I am hoping we can organise a socially distanced committee meeting soon, we have no plans to start any of our social events.

Tenter Piece – some difficulties have been experienced with the planning application, amended block plans have been requested twice but the plans have now been validated.
    Mrs Morrey had looked at the draft lease supplied by Babergh but had raised a list of objections, it would seem however that they would not re-write or put in extra clauses.
    Mr Arthey contributed to the discussion in respect of CIL issues.  In conclusion both Mr Arthey and Mrs Maybury assured the Parish Council that what we want will be delivered, we will get there eventually.

Long Melford Practice -there had been no improvement to the service received from the Surgery, at the moment it is still not open officially.
    Mrs Mitchell, a member of the Patient Participation Group, reported that the Group had met two weeks ago and discussed subjects which Mr Reeve has asked to be raised regarding the withdrawal of services from the village and lack of communication between the Practice and the community during the ongoing Covid crisis.  It is understood that the Long Melford community is also upset at the lack of communication.  Mrs Mitchell will be drafting a letter of complaint to the senior partners, which will be copied for information to the NHS and our MP. Information will be sought from various sources as to the efforts made by groups and individuals in order to ensure that the most vulnerable in the community did not suffer as a consequence of being unable to access services, ie transport to appointments, repeat prescriptions etc.

Correspondence had been received from:
Suffolk County Council Legal Services, copy of the  Suffolk County Council (District of Babergh) (Stopping, Waiting and Loading Prohibitions and Restrictions and On-Street Parking Places) (Map-Based) Order 2019 (School Entrance Markings) (Variation No. 4) Order 2020 and Notice to be published shortly in the local press
Healthwatch Suffolk digital health and care survey, to be circulated
NALC via SALC, planning consultations on reform of the planning system, circulated.
Events Manager, East of England Co op, giving details of their joining up with BBC Radio Suffolk’s ‘Don’t be a Tosser’ campaign to Keep Suffolk Clean.  They would be conducting a litter pick in Lavenham on Wednesday 19 August at midday, socially distancing.  This will raise the profile of the campaign.
David Deacon offering a financial contribution to support the stalled project to re-erect the mile stone on Brent Eleigh Road, a project started several months ago with the help of the late Councillor Andrew Searle.  It is hoped that the work can be completed shortly now that harvest season is over.  Mr Deacon concluded his email expressing thanks to all the Council team for their sterling efforts at this difficult time.
A resident raising concerns about speeding drivers on the Melford Road and the likelihood of this becoming more of a problem as more houses are built in that area.  Mr O’Mahony has replied and copied Mr Lindsay in as Suffolk County Councillor with an interest in this.
Copy of a letter sent to Mr Lindsay from a resident of Bridge Street Road with concerns about speeding on that road and the use by large and farm vehicles using the road as a rat run. He expressed the hope that any proposed 20 mph limits would be imposed totally throughout the village.
Dinah James asking about the possibility of displaying a poster advertising the Lavenham Guided Tours on the parish notice boards.  It was decided to defer discussion of this until the October meeting and re-circulate the updated guidelines in the meantime so that an informed response could be made.
  
Covid-19 an update – nothing to update at the moment except that Mr Panton has got some feedback and is looking to put together another newsletter, he will however need copy supplied by other councillors.

Neighbourhood Development Plan revision
Mr Panton is acting as interim chairman, a programme has been drawn up and this can be reported to the community in the newsletter.  The three initial questionnaires will soon be distributed.
There was no requirement for sites to be designated in the original Plan but for this revision a ‘call for sites’ letter will go out to landowners shortly.  Another Zoom meeting is planned for early next week to pull it together.

National Trust Guildhall shop
Mr Lamont, as Parish Council representative on the Local Committee, had drawn attention to the threat of closure of the Guildhall shop due to lack of profitability.  It was agreed that the Parish Council would write a letter of support for the shop and those involved with the Guildhall pointing out the importance of the Guildhall and the shop to visitors, not only to Lavenham but the surrounding area, and locals.  Also the contribution to the whole tourism offering in the area.  Mr Macro agreed to draft the letter and request comments and agreement before it is sent.

Matters to be brought to the attention of the Parish Council

Date of next meeting:  The next meeting will be held on Thursday 1st October 2020. 

The meeting closed at 9.35 pm.