PARISH COUNCIL MEETING.
Held on Thursday 2nd July 2020, commencing 7.30 pm.
In response to Government measures prohibiting gatherings, announced on 23rd March 2020, this meeting was conducted remotely.
Present: Mr C Reeve, Chairman Mr J O’Mahony, Vice-Chairman.
Mrs D Twitchett, Mrs M Morrey, Mr T Sheppard, Mr B Panton, Dr C Posner, Mr I Lamont, Mr R Macro, Mrs A Norman (joined the meeting at 8 pm.)
Mr R Lindsay, Suffolk County Councillor Mrs M Maybury and Mr C Arthey, Babergh District Councillors for Lavenham Ward.
3 members of the public.
Public Forum – none of the members of the public wished to speak.
Police Matters – Go to: https://www.suffolk.police.uk/sites/suffolk/files/ceo_constables_county_june_-_online.pdf for the June 2020 copy of the County newsletter, Constable’s County. The newsletter provides an update on policing during the present pandemic.
The summary of crimes reported within the parish of Lavenham, listed on www.police.uk, has been updated recently to show crimes reported in May, there had been 5 crimes: Anti-Social Behaviour x 3; Criminal Damage & Arson x 1; Violence & Sexual Offences x 1.
County Councillor’s Report, Mr R Lindsay (report follows the minutes)
Mr Lindsay gave a verbal update on his circulated report and highlighted the Suffolk Local Outbreak Control Plan on which he had been briefed by Stuart Keeble the Director of Health for the County.
Mr Sheppard commented that people seemed to think that the appointment system for visiting Household Waste/Recycling Centres was working well and could continue to be successful post Covid.
District Councillor’s Reports, Mrs M Maybury and Mr C Arthey
Mrs Maybury reported that the recycling bins in the Church Street car park had now been cleared, Public Realm are coordinating collections and monitoring fly-tipping around the bins.
No 10 have been granted a temporary extension to their open air service area in order to support their re-opening in line with Covid 19 recommendations.
There had been much publicity around the unpopular efforts, jointly by SCC and Babergh following consultation with the Parish Council, to extend the pavement areas to enable safer use for social distancing pedestrians, this had been resolved with the help of Mr Lindsay.
Mrs Maybury pointed out that although she had been quoted regarding Churchfield Road in the Suffolk Free Press, she had not in fact spoken to them. She had spoken to Parish Councils in the Ward about informal meetings, all but one had been keen to take part.
Mrs Maybury had written to all Primary Schools in the Ward to check if they could accommodate all their pupils if they were to return to school under Covis 19 distancing guidelines. She is supportive of the Head and Governors at Lavenham in feeling that it will be best both for the school and staff if the pupils can return to school.
Mr Arthey mentioned Mr Reeve’s involvement in a Zoom meeting with Babergh officers this afternoon when several areas of concern had been covered. The public toilets are being tested for the presence of Legionella and will be allowed to open once a negative result is confirmed.
Mr O’Mahony would update the meeting on the Water Street traffic management scheme. Mr Arthey and Mrs Maybury had been asked for their comments. It is accepted that this is a sensitive, historic location and signage should be kept to a minimum, also appropriate materials must be used.
The Minutes – Prop. by Mr O’Mahony, sec. by Mr Sheppard, the minutes of the meeting held on:
4th June 2020 were approved. Carried.
Declarations of Interest – none
Apologies for absence - none
Matters arising and update of outstanding issues
Dr Posner said that at a previous meeting he had asked to be endorsed as liaison Councillor with the Woodland Group but this had somehow been overlooked. It was proposed by Mrs Twitchett, seconded by Mr Sheppard and agreed, that he is supported in this role.
Since the departure of the Sudbury Wardens no permanent arrangement had been made for refilling the dog waste bag dispensers, Clerk was doing this at the moment. Dr Posner felt that something more permanent should be put in place, perhaps with a volunteer rota, and that sponsors should be sought for the bags. Suggestions should be sent to Dr Posner who will co-ordinate the responses.
Finance and Strategy
Cheques for payment:
JPB Landscapes, (June grass cutting £928.75, street cleaning £1,253.33, grave works £45.00) £2,227.08:
Kinex, phone account June £37.82:
Zoom, monthly fee for remote meeting £14.39:
British Gas, electricity supply to Church Street toilets £17.88:
Karzees, temporary toilets delivery, hire 3 weeks + 1 day, additional cleaning £720.00:
Payroll & quarterly PAYE to HMRC £1,247.11:
Suffolk Tree Services, root feed to Horse Chestnut in Prentice Street car park £70.20:
Screwfix, 4 x padlocks for temporary toilets £31.96:
HomeShred, confidential shredding 10 bags £124.90.
Lavenham Press, printing Covid 19 newsletter 5 £144.00:
Suffolk Tree Services, new tree watering at Cemetery x 19 £228.00.
Direct Debit: Total Gas & Power, electricity supply to Prentice Street toilets £43.30 (to be taken 07/07/20)
PWLB Lending Facility, loan repayment due 16/07/20 £3,759.79 (LED street lighting replacement)
A letter to the Bank requests the transfer of £9,000.00 between accounts.
Dr Posner proposed, Mr Lamont seconded, that the financial transactions are approved. Carried.
Finance update – following the remote meeting of the Finance Working Group a summary of their recommendations had been circulated to the Councillors.
Net free funds stand at £122,491, of this £111,360 is earmarked for various projects. One of the more familiar items, the Neighbourhood Development Plan review, will be partly funded by grants. An application has been made to Locality for a grant of £9,000 which could help with bought-in consultant’s time. Awards for All had been tried but they are concentrating on Covid issues at this time. The current estimate of the cost of the review is £20,000 over a two year period, £7,500 could be allocated from funds this year, possibly repeated next year.
The Parish Council wishes to support the ambition to plant 2,000 trees around the village next winter (approximately one per member of population). Although the trees will probably be free, stakes and guards will have to be purchased.
Some money has been earmarked for a Cemetery ‘clean up’. Our contractors are doing a good job with grass cutting and general maintenance but some areas outside this need extra attention.
Mr Lamont referred to Table A and the amount allocated to ‘Contribute to SCC traffic schemes’, it was explained that it might be necessary for the Parish Council to contribute towards specific individual signs or perhaps planters to ensure that the scheme is sympathetic to the historic location. The sum set aside would be allocated to specific projects.
Mr Reeve talked through Table B, costs and financing of infrastructure projects, including use of the Babergh and Parish CIL monies. Also the schedule showing CIL monies due to the Parish and when it might be expected these will be received.
These tables and summaries will be updated every 3 months, as will the income and expenditure summaries.
There were no further questions and it was proposed by Mr Lamont, seconded by Mr Macro that these papers are approved. Carried.
Planning Applications Received:
DC/20/02492 - 6 Butfield Lavenham
Householder Planning Application - Erection of a two storey front extension and single storey rear extension.
No issues, recommend approval
DC/20/02222 - 28 High Street Lavenham
Application for Listed Building Consent - Installation of a Conservation Velux Window to 1980’s extension.
Listed grade 2 in the Conservation Area. The proposal has no impact on the Listed Building, presents no harm to the street scene or properties in the vicinity. The proposed window cannot be seen from the High Street or alleyway alongside the building.
DC/20/02512 - 74 Church Street Lavenham
Householder Planning Application - Erection of a garage with vehicular access via Tenter Piece and home office over. Removal of Leylandii hedge remnants.
Listed Grade 2 and sits in the Conservation Area. There is no impact on the listed building or the Church Street terrace. The proposal is at the rear of the garden facing a modern development. There are a number of garages extant at the rear of the terraced properties so that the proposal does not conflict with the existing location. Provision of off street parking is supported, the proposal complies with Policy D1 of the LNP in terms of style and materials and detailed plans to protect the existing trees on site.
Following consideration of the recommendations made by the Planning working group it was proposed by Mr O’Mahony, seconded by Mr Lamont, that approval should be recommended in all three applications. Carried.
Planning Decisions Received:
DC/20/01858 6 Market Place, Lavenham – Listed Building Consent granted for Reinstate original front door to 6 Market Place. Ground Floor
DC/20/00697 The Black Barn, Hall Road, Lavenham - Non Material Amendment approved; addition of 2 no. rooflights in valley. Alterations to layout of apartments 2 and 3. Minor fenestration changes. Minor alterations to layout of B1 (A) units.
Former Gas Works Site – there is some movement at last. Following the issue with the interceptor tank, which NG appeared to know nothing about, an email has just been received from Environmental Consultants with a BNP Paribas work sheet for emptying and clean said interceptor tank. Heads of Terms have been agreed and acknowledged and will be presented to the management team.
Mr O’Mahony had submitted the planning application which had to comply with access standards, they have agreed that it complies. Need to make sure the Water Street project does not compromise the entrance.
Water Street traffic management scheme – Mr O’Mahony had met with the new Highways Engineer and walked the area, he was surprised that there had been no input from the Conservation Team regarding the choice of materials. A report will be submitted to Robert Lindsay in respect of the funding required just in drawing up the scheme, there is no costs in turning it from a trial to permanent, and see where funding will come from. The costs comes in design specifications and replacement signs.
Social Distancing safety measures – the scheme implemented by SCC bore little resemblance to the scheme which had been drawn up and agreed with the relevant parties and the Parish Council had received many complaints from residents, by phone, email and face to face. The problems were brought to the attention of Babergh/Mid Suffolk and SCC and assurances were received that the mistakes would be rectified. There were considerable criticisms of the one-way system in Lower Road especially, and it was felt that there had been little, or no, consideration of the public’s views.
Mr Lindsay pointed out that there had been no requirement for consent or to give notice, the scheme is under a three-week review when variations can be agreed.
It was suggested that there should be some consultation with residents of the streets leading off Lower Road where traffic had increased. The fact that some drivers were ignoring the no entry signs made the road even more dangerous for pedestrians who were not expecting to meet traffic travelling in both directions.
Prentice Street toilets/CIL bids/Tenter Piece – the Tenter Piece and Prentice Street toilets CIL bids have been submitted., the Prentice Street bid can go ahead to Cabinet perhaps in September. The Tenter Piece bid requires a further resident’s survey for their views on the proposed project, urgently if the bid is to go forward at the same time as Prentice Street.
An overlay of how the Church Street toilets might look has been circulated, this includes new standards following the Covid experience.
It is felt that matters are now moving forward.
Housing & Social
Good Neighbours Scheme
Mrs Twitchett reported: We have still been quiet this month, with only 2 bookings this last week for appointments. Hopefully now people are starting to realise that once again we are there to get them to appointments once more. We have just received the new West Suffolk Hospital parking permits, these now have the car number plates on them, of those Good Neighbour volunteers who usually do these Hospital trips.
Margaret put me in touch with Jess Mason, who is starting up a Good Neighbour Scheme in Great Waldingfield, having had a good response from people wanting to volunteer help during the epidemic. I explained how we started up and put her in touch with Jane Arkley-Crouch at Community Action Suffolk. I wish them all the best with their future plans and that all goes well. Mrs Maybury thanked Mrs Twitchett for helping Great Waldingfield.
There are no Coffee Mornings planned until next year.
Correspondence had been received from:
A nearby resident with concerns about the build up of bottles and other material on the ground around the bottle banks, which were full to overflowing. Contact made with Babergh, idverde had cleared the bottles and cardboard etc. and will continue to monitor fly tipping in the area. Bottle banks have now been emptied, as have other storage containers.
Richard Morgan, Lavenham Society, bringing the poor condition of the kissing gate at the rear of the Church to the Parish Council’s attention. Arrangements will be made to straighten the gatepost so that the gate does not catch on the ground. Enquiries to be made as to whether wood from the oak gates removed when the new front gates were fitted could be used for repairs to the kissing gate.
Information/newsletters from SALC, CAS and the Collaborative Communities COVID 19 Board had been circulated to all Councillors.
Other matters brought to the Clerk’s attention were reported to other Agencies:
Slippery moss on pavement in Bolton Street reported to SCC; overgrown ROW on Long Melford side of railway bridge in Bridge Street Road reported to SCC; overgrown hedge and grass/weeds along path in Sudbury Road reported to Babergh.
Covid-19 an update
The fifth newsletter is in the process of being delivered. Everybody who had contributed information to the newsletter was thanked, this had been complicated by the fact that changes to the guidelines were ongoing.
Local businesses were commended for the way they were coping with guidelines and regulations to ensure the safety of their customers.
Neighbourhood Development Plan revision
Review is necessary to ensure that the NDP complies with the Joint Local Plan and the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework), adoption of the JLP has been delayed and this in turn will delay the review of the NDP. Working parties, possible 4 maybe 6, of volunteers will be tasked with reviewing the various areas of the existing Plan and the proposed revisions will then have to progress through the same stages as the original. Mr Reeve asked for any questions in respect of the process to be sent to him.
Consultation on New Model Code of Conduct
Information had been circulated to all Councillors, at this stage just to alert everyone to the amendments etc. This will be an item on the August agenda, responses have to be sent by 17th August.
Matters to be brought to the attention of the Parish Council
Mr Reeve was sorry to report that Philip Grindley has tendered his resignation from the Council. The vacancy will be advertised.
Date of next meeting: The next meeting will be held on Thursday 6th August 2020.
The meeting closed at 8.50 pm.