- Introduction: It has been another busy year for the Parish Council with it nine members.
Parish Council meetings are held on the last Thursday of every month with the exception of August and December due to holidays.
Members of the Public are reminded that during the meetings, formal business is suspended during “open forum” so as they have the opportunity to ask questions and make comment.
- Police: As reported last year, we no longer have police attendance at our meetings. Crime and priority reports are an overview that we have to secure from the Police web site. Janne Cutting has attended the Safer Neighborhood priority setting and liaison meetings, where we continue to learn that Police resources are focused by demand. Sudbury and its direct locality being where most of their efforts are being deployed.
- County and District Councilor: Our last Parish Council meeting gave thanks Jenney Anthill for representing us and we wish her success in her new venture having stepped down at the end of this electoral cycle.
Clive Arthey has also done tremendously well to attend our meetings alongside the many other of his activities.
We acknowledge the Councilors support on village projects and prompting action and commitments from their respective bodies, in particular the perseverance with the housing project and speed limit works.
Going forward we look to similar efforts and working with our new County Councilor Robert Linsey
- Local Needs Housing: There will be a separate report however; we are enthused after considerable efforts from the stake holder group this initiative is now moving forward.
Thanks go to Robin Morley the council representative on the group for his resilience in driving the momentum. We were also indebted to the in excess of one hundred Parishioners who attended the recent consultation event to learn of the plans and share their views. This gives valuable feedback in taking the development forward into the detailing stage.
- Financial Matters: The Clerk closely monitors the financial position which is in line with submitted budgets. This allows us to deliver the services and facilities through the village as expected by the residents.
Our accounts are reviewed and checked by Cllr Turner (member for financial responsibility) before to each meeting to follow due process.
We would thank our Internal Auditor Lyndon Mills for his work to ensure all matters are in order prior to examination by our external auditors by BDO
- Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC): Janne Cutting attends the regular meetings of our advisory body. The next being 12th However, wider attendance by Parishes and speakers does remain sporadic.
Greens Report: Great Green is in good order. Thanks go to Carl Brinkley and the Football teams for their consideration of the conditions during the winter thankfully this was mostly dry.
As reported last year we were able to resolve some of the drainage problems and the greens committee is now looking conclude this work with some mole draining during the summer. So as not to cause disruption this activity will be coordinated around village events.
Subsequently the annual spraying off of weeds will be carried out.
Thanks are also in order to those hardworking individuals whose efforts keep all the other greens in excellent presentation.
- Earls Meadow: The joint project with the Community Council, Rodney Williams and his work groups keep up the good work in this area. The project is becoming widely recognised as an exemplar and the team shares their work with the wider network of wardens and other local environmental groups. They are looking to host the tree group forum later this year.
Parish Paths: Ralph Turner reports on the Path situation, This is always challenging with the county council financial resources given to maintenance. However, a recent success was to have new foot bridges on the link between Small Bridge and the Old Bird Farm. There is a reliance on local land owners and volunteers to keep paths open and thanks go to Linda Shotbolt and helpers for the recent clearing of the Abbey Foot path.
Cemetery: Rodney Williams and Ralph Turner have again kept the cemetery grounds in excellent condition despite the ever challenging weather conditions.
Pavilion: The pavilion is in good order and following the restoration we need to maintain the fabric to avoid costly long term maintenance works. This year’s maintenance task is looking to clean and repaint the front railings.
- Highways: During the year we were successful in having the mill corner bus stop upgraded. Rod Portwood reports the ongoing issues in getting simple fixes to matters that affect us, typically potholes and verge cutting. Again these relate to under pressure budgets and issues with outsourcing the works.
The latest obstacle to us getting our speed awareness displays installed is that the authority has a new agency dealing with approvals and installation. However, we are optimistic this will shortly be resolved
- Emergency planning: Cockfield has an Emergency which was not tested by any weather events this year.
- I would like to thank all the Councilors for their magnificent work during the past year and we are looking forward to the challenges for the remainder of this year.
- Finally we would offer our condolences to the Webester family having learnt the sad loss of Alex or Tony as he was known on 6TH Tony lived locally in Brettenham and was Head at our primary school for many years where he made a tremendous contribution to the Village and the lives of those pupils who attended.
Derek Southgate – (Chairman)