Suffolk Village of the Year 2023

Chairman’s Report to Annual Parish Meeting

  1. Introduction: It has been another busy year for the Parish Council which consists of nine members.


Doug Read joined us as Clerk and regrettably was not able to attend last year’s meeting. However, he has now completed his first year of service and we thank him for his tremendous input

Also we decided to move to holding meeting monthly, to deal with the necessary business and increase in administration. So u fortunately meeting durations have not reduced.

We do welcome members of the public to attend so would like to see more people from the village coming along.

 Police: We learnt that Police funding is under even greater pressure and their reporting and attendance at Parish meetings was unlikely to occur as previous.

The policing strategy and focus is also under constant review and resource deployment is very much to those areas of high demand and those identified risks, typically urban environments.

Cllr Janne Cutting Keyton our police liaison member has raised this but we hold little hope of increased levels of engagement.

  1. Local Needs Housing: The Parish attends regular meetings with the stakeholders from Suffolk County Council and Babergh who are working to get this delivered.


Robin Morley has reported throughout the year on progress. We remain hopeful that momentum can be maintained

 Section 106 funded Projects: Robin Morley reported on going difficulties with Suffolk County Council finalising our purchase of additional railway line / meadow. We do remain positive this will be resolved soon.

With authority we are continuing undertaking some essential maintenance and planting works.

 County and District Councilors given the new frequency of meeting both Jenney Anthill and Clive Arthey do tremendously well to attend our meetings alongside their many commitments and give us support from their positions.

  1. Financial Matters: With the greatest respect to the previous clerk Alan Morgan, Doug has computerised our accounts which are reviewed and checked by Cllr Turner (member for financial responsibility) before to each meeting


We would thank our Internal Auditor Lyndon Mills for his work to ensure all matters are in order prior to external audit by BDO

The precept has been set and our spending is contained in budget to allow us to deliver the services and facilities through the village as expected by the residents.

  1. SALC: Janne Cutting attends the regular meetings. Through SALC Doug is further updatedon legislative, administrative and procedural changes including guidance on implementation


  1. 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.

We were able to resolve some of the drainage problem over the year and are now looking conclude this with mole, draining the remaining area. Subsequently the weeds will be sprayed.

We thank Mr Bradnam for his work to keep the trees in a managed and safe condition. We can assure villagers that trees are trimmed only where essential for safety and their wellbeing.

Thanks are also in order to those local individuals who work hard to keep all the other greens in excellent presentation.

We thank Mr Hodge for the ongoing use of his mowing equipment and his staff for cutting the perimeter areas around Great Green. Together with his assistance with the refurbishment of the flag pole

Of course the Mr & Mrs Rose’s efforts do not go unnoticed for their ongoing upkeep of the war memorial area

A working group continues to review what can be done to improve play provision on the Great Green and potential for other locations.


  1. 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 was entered into an ecological completion and whilst not winning the efforts were very much recognized.


  1. Parish Paths: Ralph Turner aided by various volunteers keep the footpaths open and marked. We are unsure if the county council will ultimately look to pass responsibility to parishes for maintenance.


  1. Cemetery: Rodney Williams and Ralph Turner have again kept the cemetery grounds in excellent condition despite as ever challenging weather conditions.


  1. Pavilion: The pavilion upgrade work is essentially completed. Unfortunately we were very badly let down by the contractor in his completion and quality of works.


There is some small amount of external decoration to be done as we could not beat the turn in the weather late last year.

 Highways: Rod Portwood has regular meetings with Steve Merry Council Highway Department As ever Highways has a limited budget to respond to our concerns.

The work to improve and provide a better bus stop facility for east bound services at Mill Corner is substantially completed and we thank Mr Hodge for his contribution of a small piece of land and the shelter.

Resident are concerned for vehicle speeding and we continue to negotiate with Highways to place our own speed warning devices in high risk locations.


  1. Village of the year: We entered the competition again and despite a lot of hard work we were disappointed not to win. May be we have done too well in the past.


We did also question the strategy for the event as our demographic put us up against for example Long Melford. Weather the format will be amended at any point we are hopeful.

 Emergency planning: Cockfield has an Emergency which was not tested by any weather events this year.

  1. Finally I would like to thank all the Councilors for their work during the past year and we are looking forward to the challenges for the remainder of this year.


Derek Southgate – (Chairman)

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