SNAPE PARISH COUNCIL
Draft minutes of the Snape Parish Council, Annual General Meeting, held on Tuesday 3 May 2016, 7.00pm, at Snape Village Hall.
Present: Cllr Tim Beach – Vice Chairman, Cllr Bill Hough, Cllr Helen Stuart, Cllr Russ Rainger, Cllr Marion Walker, Cllr Matt Roberts,
Cllr Bill Hough, Cllr Mary James, Cllr Neil Parsons & Cllr G Woodcock.
In Attendance: 3 members of the public, SCC Andrew Reid, SCDC Maureen Jones and the Clerk.
Member of the public asked when the Snape sign is going to be re-erected along the Bridge Road, the Clerk reported that informed that Highways informed that this is to be done soon.
Brian Boulton, asked what the Parish Council is going to do in respect of replacing the batteries for the VAS, as they become completely discharged within 3 to 4 days of use. The batteries are not efficient and this means that the VAS equipment can be out of action for a day whilst they are recharged. He suggests sending the equipment back and to get sound advice from SCC for something more reliable and to replace with better quality.
There is a 2 year warranty for the equipment but the PC is not in possession of this. The PC has made the suppliers, Westcotec, aware of the problems with the batteries, they have quoted that the life of the battery should be 6 days before discharged. PC could consider solar panel for charging the batteries at a cost of £3,500 or connect the VAS directly to the mains electricity. SCC will only approve Westcotec equipment!
Cllr Beach suggests that the PC needs to decide what to do regarding paying the outstanding bill for the equipment! Should the kit be returned to SCC. Cllr Reid informed that he is happy to help get a result and that the PC should press the case hard now.
The Parish Council agrees to email SCC Robin Warne, CC Andrew Reid (Cllr Beach to do this) and suggest that we wish to return the equipment and inform that we are not prepared to pay for it. There is a chance therefore, that the village may be without VAS for a short while. Cllr Hough suggests that the PC could contact Hopkins Homes and ask for an advance of some of the £20,000, to purchase new VAS.
Brian Boulton reported that the village sign on the Green looks dirty and needs washing also the war memorial. There is rubbish in the bushes by the church and needs cutting back, he is happy to carry out the jobs. The PC thanked him and granted him permission to do so. A reminder to all that the village litter pick is to take place on Saturday 21 May, meet at 9.00am at the village hall.
SCDC Cllr Maureen Jones listed the population, land & dwellings in SCDC. Council tax up by just under 2%, has been frozen since 2010 and savings have been made (however will not be reflected in our council tax). Working well jointly with Waveney Council. Creating more affordable homes from section 103 monies. Melton Hill site is up for sale, the new building is in the process of being built and will be called “East Suffolk House”. Customer service desk is in Woodbridge library. Enabling budget is available to support community projects not just Parish Councils. Brown bins are still being collected free of charge and will hopefully carry on for next year. Community Awards are now open for nominations.
Cllr Parsons asked why does SCDC not push for more affordable homes with all the new developments which are popping up. She said that developers will pull out if this is the case. Therefore SCDC is happy to purchase land themselves to develop affordable homes on.
SCC Andrew Reid reported that the share of SCC council tax has been frozen for the 6th year in a row. Savings of over £80 million needs to be made over the next 2 years. Offsted recent report shows that childrens services in SCC are rated Good. 4% rise in students getting top grades in GCSE, good results in SATs tests. Suffolk features strongly with 2 major pieces of infrastructure in the county, wet dock at Ipswich & the 3rd crossing at Lake Lothing Lowestoft. A consultation is being put forward for the A12 bypass but is dependent on the construction of Sizewell C. (He will provide a map showing the proposed route). Phase 2 of Broadband is now in the process of being delivered, to be completed by 2020. He welcomes any feedback on how broadband is working in the area. New contracts for rural transport will be live in June. Deal for Devolution in East Anglia, Suffolk, Norfolk, Peterborough & Cambridge to come together to develop as one and introduce a mayor.
Both the Councillors then left the meeting.
Cllr Roberts asked the PC to consider what is gained by having the SCDC & SCC reports given at PC meetings as it takes up so much time!
1 ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN & VICE-CHAIRMAN.
Cllr Beach asked for nominations for Chairman, Cllr Matt Roberts informed that he is happy to stand, proposed Cllr James seconded
Cllr Hough. Cllr Beach informed he is willing to continue as Vice Chairman, proposed Cllr Stuart seconded Cllr Woodcock.
2 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. Cllr Mike Hill & TJ Haworth-Culf SCDC.
3 DECLARATION OF INTERESTS. None.
4 ELECTION OF REPRESENTATIVES to represent the Parish Council
a. Playing Field Representatives. Cllr Beach & Cllr James. The PC would also like Mr Eddie Gillett to represent the PC on the committee.
b. Website. Cllr Parsons
c. Treewarden. Mr James Abbott is happy to continue.
d. Planning. The Chairman, Cllr Hough & Cllr Woodcock.
e . Emergency Planning. Cllr Beach & Cllr Rainger.
f. Finance (see Matters Arising)
g. Footpaths. Cllr Parsons.
h. Alde & Ore Estuary Planning. The Chairman & Cllr Beach.
i. Neighhbourhood Planning. The Chairman & Cllr Woodcock.
j. Allotments. This will be decided one a new member of the Parish Council has been co-opted.
k. Village Hall Representative. Cllr Hill.
l. Village Recorder. Mr Brian Boulton is happy to continue.
m. School Representative. Cllr Hill, Cllr Hough & Cllr Stuart.
n. Highways & Traffic. Vice Chairman, Cllr James & Cllr Parsons.
o. Sizewell. Cllr Rainger.
p. SALC Area Meeting. Cllr Rainger & Cllr Woodcock.
q. Police. Vice Chairman.
All the above representatives were approved, proposed Cllr Walker seconded Cllr Stuart.
5 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 21 MARCH 2016. These were approved correct and signed by the Chair, proposed
Cllr Hough seconded Cllr James.
6 MATTERS ARISING.
a. Allotment Association. Mr Bill Hendley is willing to be part of a steering group for the allotments/allotment association. The PC wishes to wait until a new member is co-opted onto the PC before making this decision.
b. Website. Cllr Parsons suggests that all councillor/committee representatives should be listed on the website with contact details, but this decision needs to be made by the PC. It was agreed by all that this information could display emails but not telephone numbers, proposed Cllr Walker seconded Cllr Stuart.
c. VAS & Invoice. Dealt with in Open Forum
d. Queens 90th Birthday Celebrations. Cllr James informed that plans are well under way for the tea party on 11 June. Free entry but tickets will be needed so that organisers have an idea on numbers, tickets available from the shop. There will be many activities, games, prizes and free raffle. Brian Boulton will put on a slide show. Hopeful of funding from SCDC & SCC.
e. Neighbourhood Planning. The Chairman reported that having done research he has come across a couple of incidents which has not been promising in pressing forward with a plan. SCDC are not taking notice of Neighbourhood Plans. Therefore it would not be worth taking the time which would involve spending upto £10,000 to be ignored by SCDC!
He also informed that he now gets notifications from SCDC of all planning applications which are applied for in the village. He then directs these to Cllr Parsons, who puts the links onto the village website, who is happy to collate any input from residents on the planning applications. Will carry out a trial on this. Advertise this at the APM and Ebb n Flow.
The Chairman went on to say that the Parish Council should then make a positive or negative opinion on all applications and that he will let SCDC know the decision. It may mean that an extra meeting might be needed for controversial applications. It was agreed by all that the PC are happy with this process.
Cllr Beach suggests that the Parish Council still needs to seek guidance from SALC on how to set policies in place for a Finance and Planning committee.
f. Snape Annual Parish Meeting. The date has been changed to 16 May. Cllr Parsons suggests that all Councillors need to be identified at the meeting. It was agreed that Councillors should sit separately from the public.
g. Snape Parish Council Planning Policy. Cllr Rainger suggests that a formal resolution is set out. Cllr Woodcock will draw this up and email to all in time for the next PC meeting to consider.
h. Snape Parish Council Finance Committee. The same as the above.
Financial orders have now been updated as follows to allow payments in between PC meetings:
(6.7) Any unexpected invoices received between meetings upto the sum of £1,000 should be considered for payment by the finance committee. The finance committee to then report back at the next PC meeting.
7 VACANCY ON SNAPE PARISH COUNCIL – DUE TO THE RESIGNTION OF MALCOM VARLEY
The Clerk has advertised the vacancy with SCDC, if no election is needed to fill the vacancy then the Parish Council can co-opt.
Cllr Beach agreed to send a letter of thanks to Malcolm for his work as a Councillor and Chairman.
8 JOB VACANCY, CLERK TO SNAPE PARISH COUNCIL – DUE TO THE RESIGNATION OF THE CURRENT CLERK.
The Clerk informed that she would like to finish at the end of June, but is willing to cover the July meeting if a replacement has not been found. One application received so far. The job is currently advertised on the village noticeboards, village website & SALC, could advertise further in the Ebb N Flow.
a. Statement of accounts. Bank balances as at 31 March 2016, Treasurer Account – £2,396.85, Business Money Manager Account – £5,764.43, Ipswich Building Society – Traffic Calming £5,234.00, Ipswich Building Society – Friday Club £341.49.
The Clerk informed that a VAT refund has been received from HMRC, £1884.84 for the playing field. Cllr Beach recommends that the PC holds onto this amount and put towards the 2nd installment of the tennis court. VAT refund of £162.24 can now be paid to the Village Hall Committee for invoice paid on their behalf.
b. 2nd Tennis Court Payment. All agreed that the 2nd installment of £11,309.04 may be paid once the invoice has been received. The contribution of £9424.40 has already been paid into the PC bank account from the playing field committee.
c. Internal Drainage Board – Invoice . £3.36 to pay.
d. Gary Whiting – Grass Cutting Invoices . 3 invoices cover the period March to April, £315.00.
e. AON Insurance – Renewal . It was agreed by all to commit to a 2 year contract at £639.64 per year.
All the above payments were approved, proposed Cllr Beach seconded Cllr James.
g. Approval of End of Year Accounts 2015 – 2016.
The Clerk has distributed the end of year accounts to all and informed that they are completed with a £39.00 discrepancy. It was agreed by all to approve the end of year accounts and for the internal auditor to correct the discrepancy. The Governance Statement was completed by the PC. Proposed Cllr Woodcock seconded Cllr Beach.
a. Wadd Cottages, Wadd Lane, Snape. Replacement dwellings – The Parish Council does not object to the application.
11. CORRESPONDENCE. a. Allotments – Trees
A complaint has been received from a village resident objecting to the recent removal of trees at the allotments. They had stopped the work being carried out because in their opinion the person doing the work was not an approved tree surgeon.
The Chairman closed the meeting and opened the meeting to the public.
Member of the public informed that the Parish Council had given Mr Varley permission to get the trees removed and that he had since found someone else to do the job for the price of the wood, saving the PC £950. However the resident had stopped the work.
The Chairman closed the meeting to the public.
Cllr Hough made reference to discussions which the PC had previously had as follows;
In June 2014, proposed works, Cllr Varley reported that he is still awaiting a quote for the removal of a tree. One objection to the removal of the tree has been received.
January 2015, removal of trees. Cllr Varley reported that there is a willow tree which is leaning over dangerously above one of the allotments and that he had raised the issue previously to the PC. The allotment holder has also asked that it is sorted. The PC Tree Warden, James Abbott, had previously quoted £950 to remove the five trees which are a concern. It was agreed by all to ask James to attend to make safe the one most dangerous willow and for him to cut the other four problem trees down to 10 feet high. Cllr Varley will instruct him to do the job. He also suggests that the PC ask SCC Andrew Reid and SCDC Phillip Dunnett for funding to help towards the cost.
Cllr Hough feels that the PC should support the decision of Mr Varley, who had been instructed to get the trees felled and was going to do so at zero expense.
The Parish Council should consider a formal allotment association to deal with this type of issue and to run the allotments for the PC. It was agreed that the PC will not proceed with the trees until the allotment association is set up and takes over.
12 DATE OF NEXT MEETING. This will take place on Monday 11 July 2016, 7.00pm in the village hall.
The meeting ended at 9.30pm.
The Clerk reminded the Councillors of training which is to take place at Friston Village Hall on 10 May.