PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

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Held on Thursday 4th November 2021, commencing 7.30 pm. in the Village Hall.

Present 

  • Held on Thursday 4th November 2021, commencing 7.30 pm. in the Village Hall.
    Present   Mr I Lamont, Chairman.  Ms I Mitchell, Vice Chair.
    Mrs M Morrey,  Dr C Posner, Mr R Macro, Mr M Chick, Mr P Thompson, Mr D Wilding,
    Mr R Lindsay, Suffolk County Councillor.
    Mrs M Maybury & Mr C Arthey, District Councillors for Lavenham.  
    5 members of the public.

Public Forum

Mr John Raines showed a photograph of the Market Place taken during Queen Vicoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897, he proposed to the Parish Council that activities should be set up over the weekend of 2/3/4/5 June 2022 for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee to be celebrated and memories made. Hopefully we could see the Market Place crowded with the residents as in the 1897 photograph.

The Chairman in response made the following announcement: "The Parish Council does not routinely take the lead in organising events . But to celebrate Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee, I am pleased to announce that Councillor Lizzie Falconer has accepted my invitation to lead a village group, to ensure that the people in the Parish of Lavenham have the opportunity to mark this celebration, as a community. Councillor Falconer is currently putting together a team of people to support her in this task, from a range of organisations and groups in the community." Mr Raines, on behalf of the Angel Hotel, offered support to the group.

It will be reported at the next meeting how much the Parish Council will be involved directly.

No other members of the public wished to speak.

The Chairman announced that due to the meeting’s full agenda the meeting would strictly follow the Standing Orders in terms of debate.  The Chairman sought confirmation from proposers of Motions before the meeting that they would be seconded, He also called for notification of amendments and details of those proposing and seconding.

It was agreed that the following motions, 9c EV charging points, 10a Communications Policy & Appendix A, 10b Working Group membership &review of amendment to Terms of Reference for Environment Group, are seconded and should proceed to discussion.

Police Matters for the October 2021 copy of the County newsletter, Constable’s County.

The summary of crimes reported within the parish of Lavenham, listed on www.police.uk, has been updated recently to show crimes reported in September, there had been 1 Public Order offence.

County Councillor’s Report, Mr R Lindsay (Download report here)

It was noted from the report that the proposed 20 mph speed limit has passed the first hurdle and is now awaiting police comments.

PC Darren Marshall has been monitoring obstructive pavement parking on Brent Eleigh Road.

Mr Lindsay said that it was likely that the Parish Council would wish to respond to the Lorry Route consultation.

Mr Chick asked about the school bus route policy changes which had come before the Scrutiny Committee.   Mr Lindsay said that despite best efforts it appeared that the majority on the Committee wish to keep the policy as it stands.

District Councillors’ Reports, Mrs M Maybury and Mr C Arthey (no written report)

Mrs Maybury reported that she had attended the Tenter Piece common room opening, it had been pleasing to see the new facilities.  Whilst talking with residents several questions had been raised, housing, parking etc., these matters have been referred to the District Council.

Mrs Maybury will be launching a Platinum Jubilee Competition inspired by the Festival of Suffolk 2022.  This would be open only to parishes in her Ward.  The idea of the competition is to bring communities together on a project that encourages outdoor activity on a specific project which will enhance the village and be an eternal reminder of the celebrations of 2022.

Details will be circulated shortly.

From Mr Arthey:

JLP Examination hearings had resumed after the summer break, but now postponed again and will resume in the spring.

SWP (Suffolk Waste Partnership) new campaign to reduce glass in blue (recycling) and black (residual) bins.  SWP also continuing to work on the likely provisions of the Environment Bill - implications for separate collections, particularly food waste.

New CCTV system in Sudbury and Hadleigh now operational.

Solar carports with EV chargers on their way for Kingfisher car park in Sudbury.

He had been pleased to attend Tenter Piece opening, well done to all involved.

Mr Arthey did not think that the LNP review should be halted because of the postponement of the JLP Examination.  In answer to a question from Mr Lamont,

Mr Arthey did not think that the JLP revisions would change the numbers of houses we will have to build.

Dr Posner wanted to know what is happening in respect of the CIL default, is it possible to have some interim written statement.  Mr Arthey assured him that the matter was still being pursued.

The Minutes

Mr Arthey had pointed out an error in the recording of his spoken report, at the bottom of the first page of the October minutes it should have read: ‘It had been noted that over 50% of CIL applications had come from villages in his ward.’ not ‘it had been noted that over 50% of CIL applications in this Ward had come from Lavenham.’

With this amendment accepted it was prop. by Mr Lamont,  sec. by Mr Chick, that the minutes of the meeting held on 7th October are approved. Carried. 

Declarations of Interest

Declarations of Interest – Mr Ranzetta said that he may have to declare an interest in respect of a planning application, and possibly under Cultural Events.

Apologies for absence  

Ms Falconer,  Mr Sheppard.

Following consideration of Mr Sheppard’s recent communication, he was granted leave of absence, with the hope that he would soon be able to attend meetings again.

Matters Arising

Further information regarding the history of the Lavenham Exhibition Endowment and their latest financial statement has been received for consideration under Agenda Item 12.       

Lavenham Neighbourhood Development Plan revision group update

Mrs Morrey’s report to the Parish Council had been circulated and she asked if there were any questions arising from this.

The two ‘Scoping the Plan’ workshops with Rachel Hogger had been very helpful and her SWOT review had focussed the Group’s attention on the strengths and weaknesses of LNP1, and the threats to it emerging as time passes.

In particular, the group wants to focus on - housing in the village, second-home ownership and AirBnb in the village, and the effect on the housing stock available.  It was discussed that clarifying the difference between ‘affordable housing’ and ‘social housing’ would be essential if the residents were to make informed decisions concerning the planned development in Lavenham.

Rachel led a discussion on what were priorities for the update of LNP1.  The following week the group looked at the strengths and weaknesses of the Lavenham Neighbourhood Plan as it exists.  Primarily, we decided that in the intervening period since the preparation and the adoption of the original NLP, concern about the climate emergency runs beside preserving our heritage.

The milestones have been considered :  a Housing Needs Survey, Site Allocations, Design Guide and Communications Strategy beyond the publication of the Newsletter on 1st November advertising the events to be held in Lavenham Village Hall on Sunday 21st November, 12.00 noon to 3.00 pm and on Tuesday 23rd November, 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm.  These events will take the form of an exhibition on the responses received from the questionnaires, comments on these responses will be invited.

Update on Projects

Gas Works Site

The purchase of the site has now been completed and as owners we now have unfettered access. Orders have been placed for several elements of the project. A pre-construction meeting is scheduled for 11th November followed by a site visit for those contractors that wish to do so. This is to ensure that all those involved have an understanding of the elements of the works and timescales.

When we first considered this project we were very conscious of the potential for contamination on the site. The Babergh website at that time, and still today, states that there is no contaminated land shown on the register for BMS. When pressed we were supplied with copies of reports from extensive surveys of the site in 2000 – 2003 showing some deep-seated contamination. Based on these findings we determined a strategy of not digging below 100mm, then capping the whole site with a membrane. The top surface of the car park will comprise gravel that will allow rainwater to penetrate naturally as it has done for decades.

We continue to be delayed by procedural errors with the granting of planning permission which was submitted in November 2019 and granted subject to some conditions being fulfilled. Unfortunately departments within BMS and the Environment Agency that should have been consulted by the planning department were not. This has led to new conditions being applied at this late stage. This is being aggravated by apparent misunderstandings of the features of the site and our proposals. After trying for almost 3 years, this week we have managed to get Highways Design officers of SCC to come to the site to address some issues over the collapsed disused drain (not a culvert) adjacent to the entrance and other issues regarding the surfacing of the entrance.
We remain confident that we can still meet the CIL deadline so long as the departments and bodies agree to prioritising their work around our project. We would be grateful for any support that District and County Councillors can give to achieve this.

End of report from Mr O’Mahony

Several questions around the ability to meet the CIL deadline arose following this report.  Dr Posner proposed that the Standing Orders be waived to allow this subject to be discussed further, seconded by Mr Chick. Carried.

Following extensive discussions around the conditions imposed it was suggested by Ms Mitchell that is now running out and Babergh DC Departments need to be advised of the conflict of timetables, between CIL deadlines and Planning.  It would help if Babergh officers could come out and view the site so that they could understand what the actual issues are.  LPC needs to know what has to be done to get the condition discharged as soon as possible.  Copies of reports would be sent to Mr Arthey, also photographs of the present surface.

It was proposed by Mr Macro, seconded by Dr Posner, that the Parish Council refers back to the Working Party for a plan to prevent us from over-committing.  Carried.

Prentice Street car park/toilets
 

UKPN supply has been successfully installed to the green cabinet (for the EV meter & supply) and to the toilet block.

PlugNGo charging points 2 off 22kW now installed, awaiting meter installation. These are as recommended by Babergh, and are the same as installed at the Church St car park.

Electricity Meters - Total Gas and Power (our current supplier) had a hold on meter installations. This hold has now been released and we obtained forms earlier this week for completion.

Toilet Block Ramp, design agreed and awaiting quotes.

Donation post, two quotes are being sought for the installation of this.

Grant application for outstanding shortfall on UKPN works- UKPN work cost £19,502. We have had a 2nd CIL Bid of £9,999 to cover this, and had applied for a grant of £10k from Plug-In-Suffolk. Plug-In-Suffolk model does not allow for this type of grant, but did award us free EV points. Plug-In-Suffolk are supported by Suffolk County Council. The remaining shortfall could be paid out of Neighbourhood CIL or another grant.

Four free charging points - Plug-In-Suffolk have awarded LPC a Grant for Anglia Charging to install 4 off 7Kw Credit/Debit Card points at the four remaining charging positions, amounting to £8900. There is no cost to us, the payment is directly to the installer. These work like a car parking meter, you use your contactless bank card to pay for the electricity. No app is needed.

Proposed by Dr Posner, seconded by Mr Wilding, approve Plug-in-Suffolk as the most cost effective option for both Lavenham Parish Council and residents. Payment does not need an app but residents can get discounted or charge at cost via residents’ app as a community benefit.  Carried.

Church Street block

A Merchant Bank account is in process of being set up for payments via the card payment posts.

Drain Doctor had attended today to clear a blocked drain.  Following a camera survey it is recommended that a de-scaling of the drains is carried out.  A quotation has been requested.

Water Street Traffic Scheme

An update has been received today from Suffolk Highways concerning the Water street scheme and an alternative volunteer observation scheme.  Mr Lamont thought it a well-considered proposal with a cost of £600 and some volunteers to do observing for 2 hours a day for 2 weeks. It is suggested that the same person does the monitoring as a judgement on the severity of any problems would be subjective. Although acknowledging that it is late for consideration at this meeting Mr Lamont though the Council should consider indicating support for this proposal as he felt sure that we could find volunteers.

Mr Macro commented that this proposal for volunteers to undertake this work is onerous and that LPC should consider whether to hire a team on a fee for service basis for this work

It was agreed that Mr Lamont would ask to see a copy of the draft’ observation form’ template for recording observations before any decisions are reached on this proposal.

Organisation of the Council

Interim Communications Policy:  review and approval

The policy had been drafted by Ms Mitchell and circulated, the Councillors were invited to consider sections 1 to 13 only at this time. Section 14 proposes an on-going discussion of potential media platforms.  An amendment from Dr Posner was accepted by Ms Mitchell and should be considered in conjunction with Section 14.  

Proposed by Ms Mitchell, seconded by Dr Posner, sections 1-13 are approved.  Carried.

Dr Posner suggested a Working Group should be established with a specific remit to consider Section 14 and his amendment and report back to the Council in February 2022 with firm recommendations. Membership of the working group was agreed,  Ms Falconer, Mr Thompson and Mr Wilding, Mr Chick to lead the group.

Proposed by Dr Posner, seconded by Mr Macro, section 14 approved with Dr Posner’s amendment. Carried.

Working Groups

Proposed by Mr Lamont, seconded by Mr Wilding, membership of Working Groups approved as set out in the paper titled September 2021 v4, with the following amendments:

Dr Posner to join Operations – facilities, Mary Morrey to join Operations – open spaces, Mr Lamont will cover Mr Sheppard’s role a lead on the Planning Group during his absence, volunteers are being sought to join the Environmental & Bio-diversity Group.  Carried.

Review and vote on Amendment to Tof R for Environment Group

Mr Ranzetta was not present to support the Amendment.
Proposed by Ms Mitchell, seconded Mr Thompson, approve the Terms of Reference for the Environment Group as presented to the September meeting.  Carried.

Terms of Reference for the Traffic Working Group, and membership of the Group still to be decided.

Updated list of Councillor Roles

The list had been circulated for information.  Mr Thompson would join Mr Chick in website maintenance and agreed to represent the Council to the Lavenham Woodland Project.  

Dr Posner would represent the Council for the Guildhall committee.  During Mr Sheppard’s absence Mr Wilding would stand in and liaise with the Friends of Lavenham Airfield.

Planning

Planning Applications Received:

DC/21/05495 - Driftside, 53F High Street, Lavenham
Householder Application - Erection of carport/garage with office over
Recommend approval, it is outside the conservation area and has limited impact on the surroundings & is not visible from the High Street.

DC/21/05506 - 3 Brent Eleigh Road, Lavenham
Householder Application - Erection of two storey and single storey rear extension
(amended scheme and re submission of approved DC/21/01996)
Recommend approval – changes are minor & to the rear of the property & not visible from the street.

DC/21/05575 - 5 Trinity Gild, Lavenham
Application for Works to Trees in a Conservation Area: Felling of 1no Walnut (T1) in
rear garden, 1no Cherry (T2) in front driveway, and 2no Silver Birch (T3 and T4) in
front garden
Recommend approval - trees have outgrown their location and are too close to the house.

DC/21/05771 - Little Beeches, Bears Lane, Lavenham
Application for works to trees subject to Tree Preservation Order WS41/T128:
Re-pollarding of 1no diseased Ash (T1) to encourage regrowth
Recommend approval - agree pollarding is suitable maintenance of the tree.
Prop. Mr Lamont, sec. Dr Posner, support Planning Working Group recommendations, recommend approval of the above applications en bloc.  Carried.

DC/21/05421 & DC/21/05422 - Copingers, 66 Water Street, Lavenham
Householder Application  & Application for Listed Building Consent - Erection of new garage door (following removal of existing)
Recommend refusal. A roller door is totally inappropriate in a Grade 1 listed building. We agree with the heritage response & recommendation
Prop. Mr Lamont, sec. Mr Thompson. Carried.

Planning Decisions Received:

DC/21/04783  ) 40 Prentice Street, Lavenham – No Objections to works to trees in a Conservation Area - Reduce 1no Cherry Tree and manage its size in a smaller garden tree. Raise crown by 1.5m above shed and reduce height by 2m and 1.5m off the sides (Making contact with the shed roof) Fell 1no Norway Spruce (Making contact with shed roof)  

DC/21/04605 &DC/21/04606  2 - 3 Shilling Street, Lavenham – Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent for Erection of single storey rear extension and alterations as per the Design & Access/Heritage Statement
Discharge of Conditions Application for DC/19/05222  Former Gas Works, Water Street, Lavenham
Approved Condition 4 (Deliveries Management Plan)

DC/21/05282 Molet House, Barn Street, Lavenham – No objections to works to a tree in a Conservation Area - Reduce 1No Walnut (T1) by up to 1-3 m to previous points

DC/21/05275 Hollyhock Cottage, 6 Hall Road, Lavenham – No objections to works to trees in a Conservation Area: Reduction of 1no Yew by 30-40%

DC/21/05341  33 Meadow Close, Lavenham – planning permission granted for Erection of pitched roof to side extension (replacing flat roof)

Finance and Strategy

Invoices received/ Cheques for payment:
Kinex, phone a/c October  £40.22: JPB Landscapes Ltd., October grasscutting/maintenance & street cleaning  £2,618.50:  Karzees Ltd, temporary toilets Prentice Street, hire/clean  £444.00:  ICS, cleaning & consumables public toilets Church Street  £506.95:   Zoom, monthly fee for remote meetings £14.39:  Payroll  £747.08:  The Joint Contracts Tribunal, 2 x Minor Works Building Contract re Gas Works site  £92.00:  British Gas, Church Street electricity  £23.79:   Sterling Electrics, wire up toilet block Prentice Street, disconnect rear lights  £460.39:  Sterling Electrics, labour & materials additional earth at Tenter Piece (CLT agreed to reimburse) £106.50: Paul Holland (attend to adjust toilet door lock £60, attend to adjust electro-magnetic door lock & refit flush handle £90, secure electric power cupboard in Prentice St car park £160) total £310.00:  Paul Holland, attend to remove broken door closer, fit new  £55.00:  Sicher Technik, site management at Prentice Street during UKPN cable & electrical works  £780.00:  Paul Holland, purchase of materials for essential works at Church Street toilets  £110.00: Seago & Stopps Payroll Solutions, payroll administration q/e 05/10/21  £110.40: RBL Poppy Appeal, 2 poppy wreaths for Remembrance  £34.00.

Payments direct to Bank: Babergh District Council, October 2021 Parish CIL  £42,288.96:  Cold Harbour Lane £500.00.  Miscellaneous income £710.00.

A letter to the Bank requests the transfer of £7,000.00  between accounts.
Prop. Mr Lamont, sec. Mr Wilding, that the financial transactions are approved. Carried.

Staff Pay Review - the staff pay review is carried out annually at the November meeting.  It was reported that agreement has not yet been reached between the NJC and Unions in respect of the pay claim for 2021/22.  The review is deferred until agreement is reached.

Annual Review of Burial Fees - a copy of the current burial fees, with suggested increases for 2021/22, had been circulated to the Councillors.  However it was felt that Lavenham may be falling behind other authorities and discussion is deferred until December to allow for more research into the scale of fees of other local burial authorities.

Finance update, budget & precept timetable – the precept requirement for 2022/23 has to be signed and returned by the Parish Council no later 31st January 2022.  A financial update and draft budget should be considered by the Finance Working Group in November ready to be presented to the December meeting.  This will allow time for further  consideration before the January meeting when a decision as to the Precept requirement for 2022/23 will be made.

Lavenham Exhibition Endowment – request for donation

Further information in the form of a summary of the history of the Lavenham Exhibition Endowment and a copy of the most recent annual accounts had been received.  It is clear that income is dwindling from its endowment funds but it continues to provide young people, who reside in the parish of Lavenham, with grants towards the cost of their further education, including apprenticeships or other professional or technical training.  It was proposed by Mr Lamont, seconded by Dr Posner, that the Parish Council supports this ancient charity with a grant of £250. Agreed.

Proposal for Christmas Eve Carols & Mince Pies

In Ms Falconer’s absence Mr Wilding presented a proposal put forward by her for a small event on Christmas Eve.  Considering the past difficult months she thought this would be a good way for the Parish Council to end the year by gifting a small event to the village.
She wondered if the funds donated by the film production company could be used for an hour of festivities, perhaps Carol singing around the tree, mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pies and gingerbread.

Based on 100 people attending she had obtained quotes for the wine and hot chocolate, mince pies and gingerbread.

She has spoken to Sue Knight and she is happy to organise her singers.  A small sum may be required for printing song sheets and tickets.  The tickets could be made available in a local shop to ensure that ‘residents only’ can be monitored.

This would be a great way for the Parish Council to mingle with everyone with the Chairman wishing everyone well.

Depending on the Covid situation at the time certain restrictions might have to be observed, but if forced to cancel this would be simple and low cost event.

Enquiries had already been made and no licences are required for such an event.
    
It was proposed by Mr Wilding, seconded by Ms Mitchell, that the Parish Council supports this proposed event and agrees to the use of the filming donation to fund it.  Carried.

Final arrangements will be presented at the December meeting.

Correspondence had been received from:
1.    Request to use the First Meadow for parking for the Christmas Event was withdrawn.

2.    A resident of Bears Lane hoping his views would be taken as constructive rather than criticism and raising the subject of overgrown hedges reducing the width of the footpath on Sudbury Road and the hedge overgrowing the road at the lower end of Bears Lane.  Comments have also been made about the seats around the village which, while very welcome, are not inviting due to moss and algae growth.  On a more positive note he thanked the hard working councillors who have brought about the much needed bright sparkling public toilets and their efforts in making Lavenham a nice place to live.  In conclusion news of the progress of the re-erection of the milestone on Brent Eleigh Road was sought, as a donation had been made towards the work required to do this.

Clerk reported that the overgrown hedges had already been reported to the appropriate authority although no action had been taken yet.  Clerk to pursue.  Cleaning of the seating around the village could be considered by the Operations Working Group.

3.    A resident of Shilling Street asking for advice regarding fly posting (anti dog fouling message) on a BT wooden pole in that street.  The Parish Council does not have any authority in respect of fly posting.  Details would be forwarded to BT, as owners of the wooden pole.

4.    B&MSDC Draft Housing Land Supply Position Statement Consultation November 2021, circulated 03/11/21

5.    Sudbury & District Citizens Advice, letter and a copy of their latest Impact Report. Circulated 28/10/21

6.    BMSDC Community Planning, for information Designation of the Acton Neighbourhood Plan Area circulated 26/10/21

7.    James Cartlidge MP, South Suffolk Taskforce - Resilient Recovery Report.  The report features a number of recommendations to bolster the local economy in the coming years, covering both the manufacturing and service sectors. Circulated to Councillors 21/10/21.

8.    Suffolk County Council, Lorry Route Map Review in Suffolk.  Circulated 22/10/21, responses required by 17th December 2021. This review will be brought to the attention of residents, link on the website suggested.  For agenda in December.

9.    Police and Crime Commissioner consultation on new Police and Crime Plan, draft plan now out for public consultation, circulated to Councillors 19/10/21, closes 22nd November.

Matters to be brought to the attention of the Parish Council & future agenda items

Dr Posner suggested that the Finance & Strategy group should consider criteria for the allocation of grants in order to present a very clear system to identify who gets what and when.

Date of next meeting:  The next meeting will be held on Thursday 2nd December 2021.

The meeting closed at  10.05 pm.