The Council met on 29th March.
The Councillors in attendance were joined by District Councillor Clive Arthey, County Councillor Jane Storey, four members of the public and the Clerk Doug Reed.
County Councillor Jane Story (Deputy Leader, Suffolk County Council and Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Matters) attended to answer questions on issues affecting highways and to discuss relevant matters with councillors about the problems in and around Cockfield. These centred on verge-cutting, potholes, ditches, drainage, footpath maintenance, the general state of roads, available funding for works in the village and the performance of Kier Group plc to whom the County Council has outsourced highways work.
County Councillor Lindsay sent a written report. Directly relating to Cockfield, he said: Lavenham Road pavement near Horseshoes
I am pleased that this has finally been cleared, almost exactly a year after I first raised the issue with Highways.
Mackenzie Place development
I’m also pleased that this has gained planning permission. I am particularly pleased by the pioneering aspect of the development by which for the first time plots have been reserved for those wanting to build their own homes there. I hope that self build will be included in other county owned sites earmarked for development.
School bus cuts
The consultation on planned cuts to school buses has now been completed and is due for a cabinet decision in April. At full council on March 22 I and my group backed a motion calling for a special meeting of council to allow all councillors to debate these proposals which I believe will disrupt children’s education, put more cars on the roads and are unlikely to result in any savings and may even raise costs. This motion was voted down by the Conservative administration. However, I and members of my group will make representations at the cabinet committee.
District Councillor Arthey in his report said regarding the District Electoral Review that the final recommendations from the Boundary Commission were eventually received early March. In spite of the delay the new timetable still gives enough time for final implementation before the next district elections in 2019. The proposals have accepted our submissions and Cockfield is now in a two member ‘Lavenham’ ward with Lavenham, Gt Waldingfield, Lt Waldingfield and Chilton. He went on to say
Land to the North of Crowbrook and Mackenzie
I was pleased to be able to attend and speak at the committee meeting on 21st March when the planning application was determined. It marks the end of lengthy process for all the partners involved, and will hopefully meet the needs identified by the Parish Council’s survey of 2014 to help provide for a vibrant community in the twenty first century.
Cockfield Residents spoke to raise further concerns about highways matters which Cllr Storey noted and agreed to look into.
Proposed Development at Mackenzie Place Cllr Morley was pleased to report that planning application DC/17/05332 for 42 dwellings plus outline consent for nine self-build plots on land to the north west of Mackenzie Place had been granted unanimously by Babergh District Council Planning Committee. This represented a major success for the Parish Council which had pursued this development over an extended period. In particular, sincere and grateful thanks were extended to Cllr Arthey, Cllr Morley and Cllr Morgan for their effort, commitment and sheer determination in bringing this project to its current successful position.
‘Assets of Community Value’/’Community Right to Bid’ Scheme
While Cllr Cutting-Keyton and Cllr Morley had met with the Babergh District Council officer dealing with this scheme, it was felt that a broader Council-wide consideration would be beneficial. Accordingly, the Clerk was asked to invite the officer to the next meeting to provide for that discussion which might lead to an informed way forward.
Cllr Williams had investigated two recommended devices, and both he and Cllr Morgan had attended a recent training session to learn more about what was needed and involved. While he felt that he had identified a preferred option he indicated that he needed more details before being able to recommend the best approach. He hoped to be able to do that for the next meeting.
Ideas for the use of the two Parish Council owned kiosks would be considered further at the next meeting.
Further to the resignation of the present post-holder it was resolved, following a formal recruitment process, that Mr Stephen Ball be appointed to the post from 1 April. Mr Ball’s contact details are at the bottom of this report.
It was noted that the next Ordinary Meeting of the Council would be held on Thursday 26 April at 7.30pm in Cockfield Village Hall.
Planning Decisions: It was noted that applications DC/17/06292 land south of Birds Lane, DC/18/00323 Hope House Workshop Barn, Cross Green and DC/18/00474 land at Bury Road, Cross Green had been granted.
Full details of all planning applications can be found on the Babergh District Council website. Details of how to make public comments on any planning application are also available on the Babergh website.