PAKENHAM PARISH COUNCIL
7.30pm 21st March 2013, Pakenham Village Hall
Present: Cllr H Painter (Chairman); Cllr D Dorling, Cllr R Griffin, Cllr C Palfrey, Cllr I Brookman, Cllr M Bagnell, the Police and Borough Councillor C Spicer. Mrs M Gardiner (clerk) was in attendance.
1 - Apologies for absence: Cllr M Sargent, County Councillor R Hopfensperger.
2 - Declarations of interest:-
Cllr Bagnell declared an interest in the planning application for Misty Meadows and took no part in the discussion or decision.
3 - Public Forum:-
Borough Councillor Spicer had been asked by some village residents to report on the current situation with regard to The Fox. He last entered The Fox to retrieve village memorabilia last May. We know that the developer met with the Borough Planning Dept at the end of last year and met with the Parish Council Chairman after that meeting to tell him that he intended making a planning application early in the new year. As yet, no application has been made. Residents are concerned that the building is becoming an eyesore. In reply to a question the Chairman said if the owner applies for planning consent to use the pub as a house he will need to prove it has no future as a pub before consent will be given. This will mean advertising the building for six months for let or sale as a pub in a manner prescribed by the planning authority. He understood that the planners will require three different valuations. If and when this happens, a meeting of village residents will be called to discuss the matter and at that point we may need to get legal advice. Cllr Griffin wondered if we ought to get legal advice now and Cllr Dorling queried the possibility of serving an injunction under the Localism Act. It would take time to de-licence the building to enable it to become used solely as a dwelling. It was reported that the footpath by the Agricentre is still blocked and flooded. When the land is dry enough EDF Energy will be able to move their wires and then the trees will be dealt with and the footpath repaired. Until then the landowner is happy for walkers to take a path round the obstruction. Complaints about pot-holes will be passed to County Councillor Hopfensperger. It was reported that rubbish is being left by the gate to Anderson's field. This is Mr Anderson's property and the Parish Council can take no action other than inform him. The footpath sign opposite Bull Bridge House has fallen into the ditch and needs re-erecting. SCC will be informed. Cllr Dorling spoke about gulleys in the village which have been neglected for years. For RH and SCC. Clerk to contact Thurston PC and RH about potholes from the top of Church Hill to Thurston.
4 - County Councillor's report:-
Cllr Hopfensperger is unable to attend but sent the following report:-
Flooding - With regards to the flooding near Willowdene arrangements have been made for the surface water system in the Street to be cleaned by our drainage contractors, the problem with the carriageway being higher than kerb outside Bridge House and other location along the Street, the works to rectify this have been programmed for the new financial year when the budgets have been renewed, I will let you have a date once received.
Mill Road - I have asked Guy Smith to arrange for the verge to be cleared back to the edge of the highway.
Pot Holes - I have reported the various pot holes and they are on the schedule for repair. Planning Application for the Storage Unit Village Hall - I have spoken to the new case officer and he doesn't see any problem with the application, as there has been one objection by a neighbour he will have to come and look at the site but he has assured me that a decision will be made in the next couple of weeks.
SCC Budget - The County Council's budget for 2013/14 was agreed in Feb. The county council needs to save around £25million from its budget this year, due to reduced government funding and increased demand for services. However, through strong financial management – cutting management and back-office costs and reducing bureaucracy – these savings will be delivered without a serious effect on front-line services. A pledge was also made that if the Conservatives are re-elected to run the county council in May this year, there will be no increase in council tax for the next four years.
Suffolk's Growth Strategy - The county council has been working with borough and district councils, as well as local businesses from sectors across the Suffolk economy, to produce a growth strategy, which will now have a detailed delivery timetable for the coming years. At the same time, a new, official, 'Invest in Suffolk' website was launched – an easily-accessible site for businesses looking to invest in the county – www.investinsuffolk.com. A new 'Inward Investment Service' – made up of a team of professionals to provide a single point of contact for investors was also announced.
5 - Borough Councillor's report:-
Cllr Spicer had nothing further to add after reporting about The Fox under the Public Forum heading.
He thanked the Parish Council, on behalf of the PVH & PFA, for the grants of £270 for grass-cutting and £900 for building maintenance.
He asked why the parish precept had increased for the 2013-2014 year and was told due to changes in grants towards parish budgets and potential capping the Parish Council increased its precept this year to ensure adequate funds in the future.
6 - Police Report:–
Firstly the SNT would like to thank the Chairman, the Council and the community for their continued support. Some good news we have now had 3 new PCSOs join the team, which means we have 5 PCSOs!
Crime Statistics for the Parish to 21/03/13: No crimes of interest.
Other areas: On a positive note a number of suspects have been arrested in connection with the daylight burglaries, which have occurred in Norfolk and Suffolk. Please do not become complacent crimes are being committed in rural areas throughout the county. Theft from outbuildings and vehicles is happening all too frequently. Satnavs and other valuables left on display in vehicles; and power tools and garden equipment left in insecure sheds and garages. Do not make it easy for thieves.
Fuel oil thefts: several thefts have been reported across the SNT area. Please ask your community to secure their property and remove personal items from view when leaving their vehicles. Do not make it easy for thieves! Be vigilant and report any suspicious activity, for non-urgent matters dial 101 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org If you believe a crime is in progress dial 999
The Police want to encourage Neighbourhood Watch teams in the villages. A notice will be put in the village newsletter and it should be an agenda item for the next meeting. Cllr Spicer asked for the police to keep an eye on the playing field, the car park behind the church and land at the Broadway. They will do what they can but they do have 53 villages to look after.
The Chairman told those present of the death of Michael Bryant. Michael served the village for many years, both on and off the Parish Council. He will be greatly missed. A letter of condolence will be sent from the Parish Council. After a minute's silence the Chairman convened the meeting.
7 - Approve minutes of meetings:-
held on 13th February 2013. The minutes were approved and signed as a true record.
8 - Update on items from previous meetings:-
The dog bin outside Church Green Wood will be included in the cleansing rounds.
Mill Road – The Enforcement Officer tells us that Mrs Reynolds has appealed and the enforcement order has been suspended pending the appeal, which took place on 19th or 20th March. Nothing further has been heard.
9 - Planning applications:-
SE/13/0149/HH – Misty Meadows, Fen Road.
Erection of garage extension with front and side extensions.
Councillors studied the plans carefully. Concern was expressed about the parking of commercial vehicles on the site and also sometimes on the narrow highway. It was unanimously agreed to object to the proposal, saying that Councillors understood that this piece of land is used for parking commercial vehicles and they would like to know where these will be parked in the future.
Outcome of planning applications:-
Bridge House – trees
Laundry Cottage – trees
Fenview Cottage - extensions
10 - Parish Plan:-
Possible sites for affordable housing – a meeting with Suffolk Acre and St Edmundsbury is being arranged for next month.
11 - The Dell/Church Wood:-
The signboard at Church Green Wood has been repaired and the wording altered. Local residents have volunteered to help maintain the area. Two ladies will plant bluebells and clear some of the nettles. As the area should be kept wild, daffodils will not be planted – yet anyway. At a meeting with Mrs Jackson and Suffolk Wildlife, they suggested thicket growth for next winter. However, Councillors would prefer the site left as it is. Some woodchip is needed on the paths. Cllr Dorling will provide this and volunteers will spread it. Parking outside the entrance is an issue. Cllr Dorling will get a quote for additional fencing to stop this. A professional risk assessment should take place before the wood is opened to the public. The village risk assessment needs update and the wood can be added to that. Chairman to action. 10th May was proposed for the opening and Suffolk Wildlife will organise this for us.
The Dell – A neighbour reported that a car has damaged fencing at the Dell. Councillors will inspect the damage.
12 - Appointment of New Clerk:-
Mrs Gardiner was thanked for her time as clerk and presented with a bunch of flowers. Mrs Sandra Austin-Brown will be offered the job to start from 1st April.
13 - Finance:-
The Finance Report was agreed and cheques signed. Tenders for grass and hedge-cutting in the village for 2013-2014 were opened and discussed. It was agreed to give the contract to Mr D Thrower.
14 - Clerk's report: Nothing to report.
15 - Correspondence:-
CPRE – Suffolk View
Clerks & Councils Direct
16 – Councillors' reports:-
A risk assessment has been completed for the outdoor theatre production at the church.
17 - Date of next meeting:–
Annual Parish Meeting and Parish Council AGM Thursday 16th May 2013 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.