The meeting was the first of the 4 year electoral cycle and the chairman welcomed councilors returned unopposed and new member Ian Levett.
A significant amount of time was spent on administrative, procedural matters, regulations, risk register and asset schedule. This included the election of the chairman Derek Southgate and the agreement on assigning roles and responsibilities to individual councillors to cover the varied work the council is involved in.
The Parish Council comprises;
D Southgate, C Brinkley, R Morley, M Webster, R Turner, R Williams, J Cutting-Keyton, I Levett
County Council; Councillor Robert Lindsey was not able to attend although he provided a written report. Some key items: SSC Highways have a new lead Mark Ash who it is hoped will shake up this department, 2019-20 Budget and Cuts to save £10.1m Grant cuts to the Citizens Advice, and SCC staff reductions. Special Educational Needs allocated a further £45m investment over 5 years
District Councillor’s; Councillor Clive Arthey was not able to attend but did send a written report. Of note was that the administration has ”no overall control” having been previously led by a Conservative majority. There were now moves to appoint a leader and cabinet from the Conservatives and large Independent group. Margret Maybury the joint Lavenham ward member was present. She gave an overview of her new ward, answered questions and heard councillor’s opinions on Babergh performance in certain areas, particularly planning inconsistency.
Bruffs line culvert – The Council agreed to implement the urgent repairs to coincide with the lowering of the water level in summer in the river.
The Glebe land; The Council agreed to implement urgent tidying and mowing ahead of agreeing the overall maintenance and management regime.
Bus shelter at Mill Corner; The Council thanked Mr Hodge for his offer to support maintenance work.
Parish CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy); The working group had met with Councillor Arthey to obtain further guidance on the procedure and rules for the scheme. With a 5 year expiry on funding the council would not rush into any schemes but consider the best opportunities.
Greens; Ongoing maintenance is in hand including weed treatment.
Local Needs Housing; Orwell Housing will provide a further update article for the next Green Links.
Pavilion; Cllr Webster would circulate the completed hire agreement and it was noted charges for the football club to be discussed with their representative. The heating maintenance contract is to be renewed.
Earls Meadow; Early season maintenance and trimming is continuing.
Parish Paths; It was noted from monitoring of paths that some markers and signs are required.
Highways; Ongoing concern surrounding developments around the village where damage is being caused to the roads, pavements and verges by contractors etc. The Parish Council will escalate such incidents to Suffolk Highways who have redress to the developers for repairs.
Safety concerns were raised for vegetation growth to verges and banking. Given SCC Highways continued reduction in trimming efforts, the Parish Council would bring forward its own cutting to make these areas safer.
Cllr Turner was reviewing the speed awareness signs and locations and would report further at the next meeting.
Play equipment; Cllr Williams had carried out weeding of the bark area.