PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

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These are draft minutes and as such may be subject to amendment before approval as a true record of the meeting
Due to constraints on space full reports and supporting documents have not been included in the minutes.  These can be found on the Parish Council website under Meetings, February 2022 Meeting Pack.  Paper copies are available from the Clerk.

Held on Thursday 3rd February 2022, commencing 7.30 pm. in the Village Hall.

Present   Mr I Lamont, Chairman.  Ms I Mitchell, Vice Chair.
Mrs M Morrey,  Ms L Falconer,. Dr C Posner, Mr R Macro,  Mr D Wilding
Mrs M Maybury and Mr C Arthey, District Councillors representing Lavenham
13 members of the public.

Public Forum
Mrs Beth Weaver introduced herself as a resident of Deacons Close commenting on planning application DC/21/06797, erection of dwelling to rear of 45 High Street, on behalf of her husband and some neighbours.  The matter of most concern is the road marked as ‘alternative access’ on the submitted plans.  Developers seeking permission for the development of 25 houses on the site behind High Street had mounted a public exhibition to encourage public approval. A buffer of open space was designated behind the gardens of Deacons Close, this continued to be included in all site plans and, with the inclusion of a footpath, on the submitted landscaping plan.  The residents of Deacons Close have not been informed that this parcel of land has reverted to private ownership but this area is now designated ‘alternative access’ to the proposed new dwelling.  Of special concern is that any roadway will join at its northern end a car park and builder’s yard in ownership of the applicant, the new dwelling is designated self-build and this would open the roadway up to use for the transport of building materials, thus impacting on the peace and privacy of dwellings in Deacons Close.

Attention is drawn to the recent Lavenham Neighbourhood Plan revision where this plot of land or buffer is included in the site of the granted application, also Policy C2 which identifies that open spaces should be safeguarded.

The Chairman thanked Mrs Weaver for her comments and urged the residents to respond individually to Babergh.

Mr Heeks expressed concern about the possible loss of a disabled parking space due to the design of the ramp to the new toilets in Prentice Street car park. The Chairman said that further work was to be carried out to the ramp and this would then be reassessed.

Ms Falconer said she would look into the possibility of disabled access to the Jubilee Big Lunch for somebody who had raised the matter with Mr Churchyard.

Andrew Butcher gave an update of progress on the former Gas Works site.  Work started 17th January as planned.  Remediation works including slit trenching and cleaning of tar tank (vacuum removal of water and liquid tar) and back filling with concrete.  The tar tank could not be removed because it is located near the boundary and under the gas main.  Remediation works now completed.

Currently work is 2-3 days ahead of timetable.

All materials are on site except the lighting columns. Order submitted for repairs to the boundary wall.  Suffolk Highways have agreed details of repair to the collapsed culvert on the grass verge outside the site.  Confirmation has been received that UKPN will commence work on 7th March, advantage will be taken of the road closure to carry out repairs to the culvert. Further meeting with Anglia Car Charging planned.

Verification report for Condition 3 will be prepared and submitted to the Environment Agency and Babergh by Sweco.

Dr Posner thanked Andrew for his great care and attention, Ms Falconer agreed.  The Chairman thanked him for the reports and the sterling work he has done to ensure progress of the project.

Mr Arthey commented that Babergh has been responding quickly and were waiving the fee for the variation.  They would also be turning the CIL claims round as quickly as possible.   

Police Matters  
Go to www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/ceo_constables_county_december_-_online.pdf for the December 2021 copy of the County newsletter, Constable’s County.  The February 2022 edition will be published shortly.

The summary of crimes reported within the parish of Lavenham, listed on www.police.uk, has been updated recently to show crimes reported in December, there had been 4:  2 x Violence & Sexual Offences; 1 x Theft Other, 1 x Public Order

County Councillor’s Report, Mr R Lindsay (Mr Lindsay’s report had been circulated to Parish Councilors, follows these minutes)

Mr Lindsay commented that there is very little detail of what the County Deal actually means.  The Council however wishes to retain the present structure, not going to have another re-jig.

It was noted that work has begun on repairs to Byway 20 (Peek Lane).

District Councillors’ Reports, Mrs M Maybury and Mr C Arthey

No written reports submitted this month.

Mr Arthey said that work is continuing on the budget, there will be a 2% increase in Council Tax.

Mr Arthey is helping with investigations into the provision of allotments.  The number of people expressing interest means that the eight proposed plots on the far side of the Lavenham Walk, which are part of the development behind High Street, will not be sufficient, at least 30 in total will be required.  A larger site must be identified.  Mr Arthey pointed out that as infrastructure provision a bid for CIL could be made.

In addition to Mr Arthey’s report of the Council Tax increase Mrs Maybury said that rents will go up slightly but the Sheltered Housing utility bills are frozen.

Mrs Maybury has been contacted by several residents, she is always happy to help resolve problems and feels privileged to be able to do this.

The Minutes

It was prop. by Dr Posner,  sec. by Mr Wilding, that the minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2022 are approved. Carried.  

Declarations of Interest – none

Apologies for absence  - Mr Chick, Mr Thompson, Mr Sheppard.
 
Matters Arising

It was agreed that item 10 Planning should be moved up the agenda.

Planning

DC/22/00320  23 Green Willows, Lavenham
Householder Application - Erection of first floor front extension and single storey rear extensions
Recommend Approval – extension is modest and similar to others previously approved on Green Willows
DC/22/00389  Wolf Cottage, High Street, Lavenham
Householder Planning Application - Replace 2no front windows (ground and first floor) with traditional single-glazed casements.
Recommend Approval – This is restoring 1980’s modern double glazed windows back to a traditional single glazed design. It will improve the appearance of a Victorian terraced house
(it was noted that applications should include the house number not just the property name)
The above recommendations from the Planning Working Group were approved for forwarding
to Babergh, proposed by Ms Mitchell, seconded by Ms Falconer.  Carried.

DC/21/06797  Land Adjacent 45 High Street, Lavenham
Planning Application. Erection of 1no dwelling, ancillary outbuilding and vehicular access
Recommend refusal.
The application adjoins a conservation area and affects the setting of a Listed Building.
The proposed development does not accord with the provisions of the development plan for the area in which the land to which the application relates is situated
In addition the application assumes access to the site from the High Street. This access has been designated under application B/16/00437 and DC/20/03469 as a pedestrian access and access for emergency vehicles.  Concern has been expressed about the assumed shared access use.
Proposed by Dr Posner, seconded by Ms Falconer.  Carried.

Planning Decisions Received:
DISCHARGE OF CONDITION(S) TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990
The Priory, Water Street, Lavenham
Discharge of Conditions for DC/21/00602- Condition 7 (Details of Fireplace) and Condition 8 (Details of Bricks)
DISCHARGE OF CONDITION(S) TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990
Former Gas Works, Water Street, Lavenham
Discharge of Conditions for DC/19/05222- Condition 3 (Construction Method and Site Management Statement)
DC/21/06418  5 Green Willows, Lavenham – Planning Permission granted for Erection of two storey rear extension
DC/21/06251  21 - 22 Water Street, Lavenham – Listed Building Consent granted for Internal and external alterations and repairs as per Schedule of Works
LARGER HOUSEHOLDER EXTENSION - DC/21/06325 Notification under Schedule 2 Part 1 Class A of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015
3 Weavers Close, Lavenham
Notification for Prior Approval for a Proposed Larger Home Extension - single storey rear extension
Following notification of the proposal to neighbours, no letters of objection have been submitted and accordingly no objection is raised.
DC/21/06408  18 Prentice Street, Lavenham – District Council does not wish to object to works to trees in a Conservation Area: Fell 1no Cypress (T1) in rear garden and replace with more appropriate tree
DC/21/06844  River Cottage, Lower Road, Lavenham - District Council does not wish to object to works to trees in a Conservation Area: Repollard 1no Willow (T1) to previous points, fell 1no Handkerchief (T2), raise 1no Beech (T3) to 4m, fell 1no Plum (T4)

 Project Updates
Papers to update and support Agenda item 9 a/b/c & f can be found in the February 2022 Meeting Pack on the Lavenham Parish Council website.

a)    Lavenham Neighbourhood Development Plan Review.  It was noted that Mrs Morrey had stepped down from the group from 31st January,  Ms Falconer has taken her place for a while and was thanked for stepping in.

b)    Gas Works Site.

Mr Butcher had already reported on this project.  It was noted that this is still within the CIL budget.
    
Motion for car park usage

Small amendment to page 2 and part of the sentence had been omitted, second line ‘guidance note to the TWP, setting out key issues they must address, would be useful.

c)    Prentice Street car park/toilets
Ms Falconer commented that it would be good to have the toilets operational for the Jubilee events on the Market Place.

Operations Working Groups - Facilities
d)    Street Cleaning Contract
The Cleansing Grant from Babergh is intended to cover all the village, Babergh will entertain bids to increase the grant for  2023 to take into account additional developments.  The Parish Council needs to offer a pavement cleaning schedule for the whole village which will mean stretching the money available.  The contract specifies 60 hours per calendar month.
Proposed by Dr Posner, seconded by Ms Falconer, approval to go out to tender on this basis. Carried.

Operations Working Groups – Open Spaces
e)    Grounds Maintenance Contract
Proposed Ms Falconer, seconded Mrs Morrey, approval to go out to tender in line with the document circulated.  Carried.

Dr Posner, as leader of the Open Spaces group explained that their Terms of Reference allowed for up to 3 non-Councillor members, he asked permission to increase this to four.  There are already two in the group and Dr Posner would also like to invite two local landowners with strong ecological connections to join  Prop. by Ms Mitchell, seconded by Ms Falconer, and agreed.

f)    Traffic Working Party
Lavenham Traffic Working Party Meeting 1: 21st January 2022
Report from Margaret Maybury, Chairman Lavenham Traffic Working Group

Our opening meeting concentrated on getting to know one another and a brainstorming session on traffic generally through the village of Lavenham.

A pleasing engagement from all looked at the TOR in depth, minor alterations were considered and are put forward to the Parish Council.

Items for future meetings are:
1. The future use of the Water Street car park
2. Traffic Enforcement process
3. Any professional surveys needed

Our second meeting will be on 28th January 2022

Following this second meeting it was reported that 2 or 3 members would get together and decide how to go forward, how to get change, working towards third meeting to see what they have brought together.  Everyone is engaged and talking together, need cross-section of ideas.  It is intended to space meetings more after the third has taken place.

Mrs Maybury’s assumption about possible costs is in the region of £2-3,000, there may be grant money available for surveys.

Traffic Working Party Terms of Reference

The Draft Terms of Reference had been circulated and two further amendments were made.  Under Key Actions point 5, second line ‘when seeking opinion from residents, businesses, institutions, (insert comma) and those from hinterland communities etc.  Point 10, second line ‘businesses and institutions and stakeholders for Lavenham’.
With these further amendments it was proposed by Dr Posner, seconded by Ms Falconer, the Terms of Reference for the Traffic Working Party are approved.  Carried.

Queen’s Jubilee Working Group and Terms of Reference

An update of the calendar of events over the Jubilee weekend had been circulated by Ms Falconer, thanks were extended to the whole group and others in the community for their contributions to the events.  Further enquiries are needed in respect of the form of any road closures, insurance cover and risk assessments.

Dr Posner has agreed to take over work on the planting of trees and will research suitable locations.  A meeting has been arranged with Mrs Maybury next Monday to look at possible locations.

Finance and Strategy

Review of Budget, motion to approve
The draft budget proposals had been considered at the January meeting as a supporting document to the precept.  The Chairman asked if anybody had any comments on the document circulated last month.

Ms Mitchell commented that revenue had been skewed by conditions over the last year and we may need to review and reduce some of the items.  However the budget was a good starting point and could be brought back to a meeting later to adjust or amend. 

It was proposed by Dr Posner, seconded by Mrs Morrey, that the budget is approved.  Carried.
 
Invoices paid between meetings:  
25/01/22 Groundwork UK, repay unused part of grant (from NP2 budget)  £1,333.99.

01/02/22 Letter to Bank requesting the transfer of £50,000.00 between accounts (required to cover cheques in payment for expected Gas Works car park works invoices)

Cheques for payment/Invoices received :
Lavenham Pre School, final subvention payment 2021/22  £500.00:  Durman Stearn (Civil Engineering) Ltd, Application 1 Gas Works car park (CIL claim)  £50,998.22:    Sweco UK Ltd, Gas Works site professional fees for CMSMS update/regulator liaison  £2,274.00: Sweco UK Ltd, Gas Works site professional fees for pre works sampling & testing  £1,800.00:  Sweco UK Ltd, Gas Works site professional fees for tar tank removal/slit trenching  £3,084.00:  M Baird Landscapes, final invoice Prentice Street toilet ramp  £2,685.00 (total invoice to be paid by Babergh D C):  Luxstone, deposit to enable repairs to damaged headstone  £350.00:  Payroll  £747.08:  Seago & Stopps, payroll services q/e 05/01/22  £110.40:  National Allotment Society, joining membership fee  £67.00:  Grant to Charity (ref 12(i)/21 p.166) £2,500.00:  Zoom, monthly fee  £14.39:  Infinity Cleaning Services,  Church Street toilet cleaning  £497.40:  JPB Landscapes, January grounds maintenance & street cleaning  £1,918.00:  Kinex, phone a/c January  £53.91 (Credit Note for £12.00 to be applied on February invoice, overcharge non Direct Debit fee):  Karzees Ltd., temporary toilet hire & cleanse Prentice Street  £462.00:  British Gas, Church Street toilets electricity  £22.54:  Lavenham Youth Football Club, NP review annual advertising sponsorship  £100.00 (from NP2 budget):  Lavenham Community Council, Village Hall meeting room hire  £164.50:  Workplace Charging Ltd, Anglia Car Charging deposit for Gas Works Charging Pillar Units, deposit required to enable order of units  £8,100.58.
31/01/2022 Direct Debit, Go Cardless  £43.08.

Payments direct to Bank: Babergh District Council: £2,432.43 Q3 Cleansing Grant:
Babergh District Council: £3,284.00 CIL bid Gas Works 1st Claim:  £7,122.44 CIL bid Gas Works 2nd Claim UKPN EV cabling.
BMSDC Precepts have confirmed receipt of Lavenham Parish Council’s Precept Upon the Charging Authority with a precept for 2022/23 of £87,433.  This will be paid to the Parish in two instalments, 50% in April 2022 and 50% in September 2022.  This precept gives the Parish a Council Tax Band D amount of £94.96. This is an increase of 4% on 2021/22. These are the amounts that will be shown on the Council Tax Bill.
A letter to the Bank requests the transfer of £50,000.00  between accounts.

Prop. by Dr Posner, sec. by Ms Mitchell, that the financial transactions are approved. Carried.

Staff Pay Review – Still no agreement reached between the NJC and Unions.

Correspondence received from:
Babergh District Council with details of Spring Clean Suffolk 2022 which takes place between 25th March and 10th April.

Friends of Lavenham Airfield, asking for closure of the central area of the Market Place from the evening of Saturday 28th May for the Sunday morning re-dedication of the USAAF memorial plaque.  This will form part of the weekend of events organised for the return of the families of veterans 27th – 29th May.  It may be that vintage military vehicles will park there also.

Two emails from residents regarding parking were circulated to all Councillors, they have received an initial response and have been forwarded to the Traffic Working Group for consideration.

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

LAVENHAM GOOD NEIGHBOUR SCHEME REPORT sent by Mrs Doreen Twitchett
The Good Neighbour Scheme has again been very busy, especially since the beginning of New Year with Hospital appointments for our older community.

We had the opening of the refurbished Tenter Piece common room in October and it was met with great approval from those who attend our monthly Teas and Coffee Mornings. We also held an Afternoon Tea and Cake, to welcome the residents of Tenter Piece so that they could view the new facilities. We still have a few minor issues to be sorted, but it is good to have more room and comfortable surroundings.

Our AGM was held in November which was well attended.

We had our Christmas Party in December, this year due to the pandemic, we decided not to invite our pre-school and primary school children. This was so that there was no mixing  with our older residents, but it was still a very happy and enjoyable occasion.

We will start our monthly meetings once again this week, with a representative speaking from Dementia Together. We hope to have a Coffee Morning on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.

We have arranged most of our monthly meetings for the coming year and look forward to seeing our older residents enjoy the meetings and outings, enabling them to have social  contact and not feel isolated.

Lastly we are in the process of making a grant application to the National Lottery Awards For All, to help us carry on with the work we are doing.

Date of next meeting:  The next meeting will be held on Thursday 3rd March 2022.

The meeting closed at  10.15 pm.