Suffolk Village of the Year 2023

Parish Council Meeting Report, 28th May 2020

The Parish Council held a virtual meeting via Skype. Being the Annual Parish Council meeting there were many administrative matters to progress.

Derek Southgate was elected Chairman for the year 2020-2021.

Carl Brinkley was elected Vice Chairman

Subsequent positions were agreed, and members broadly retained their roles from 2019-2020 for:
Committees, sub-committees and/or working groups and their membership.
Representatives to external bodies, as appropriate.
Council officers.Council portfolio-holders.

(Details are on the Parish Council page)

Governance – A number of procedural documents were reviewed and adopted, and any actions noted;

  • Standing Orders
  • Financial Regulations
  • Asset Register
  • Risk Register

Councillors reviewed current action items;

Cllr Levitt has secured the Football Club signed Pavilion Hire Agreement. A letter confirming their compliance with the Licensing Conditions is outstanding.

Cllr Brinkley to investigate the feasibility and cost of re-siting the Parish Council owned telephone kiosk from outside the Post Office to the corner of the Great Green. However, it was noted this may be challenging in the current restrictive situation so was not urgent.

Cllr Williams has refurbished three timber benches on the Great Green and one timber bench in the Cemetery. (Closed)

Cllr Brinkley to investigate the costs of refurbishing the two-car parking bay at the corner of Great Green. Solution could be “telegraph poles” as existing or railway sleepers.

Cllr Brinkley agreed to obtain a quotation from a local contractor to refurbish the Bus Shelter at MacKenzie Place which is in need of repair.

Cllr Morley, Cllr Cutting-Keyton and the Clerk to have further discussions with Action Play & Leisure to determine how the playground upgrade could progress. However, until further lockdown measure relaxation is known this would be “parked” as APL remains closed

Cllr Williams reinstated the ‘No Parking’ sign at the Great Green. (Closed)

Cllrs Levett and Williams had met with AJ Joinery to consider a solution for the replacement of the notice board and its potential revised location at the Great Green. (In progress, proposal and quotation awaited.)

Cllr Williams had spoken with Philip Boucher (Hodge Farms manager) for his assistance to trim the hedge over the railway bridge in Howe Lane. (In progress)

Public Participation Session:

Suffolk County Councillor – Robert Linsey Summary headlines;

Virtual SCC meetings – SCC will be holding cabinet meetings and next full council meeting virtually in July. If they are public meetings, they can still be attended by members of the public (virtually).

Supply of PPE – Suffolk County Council are supplying emergency PPE to all primary care providers who are unable or struggling to source their own supplies.

Funding from Government – Suffolk County Council has received £34.7m from the government to help with the council’s coronavirus response.

Cost of post-16 Home to School transport increases by £90 – The cost of mainstream post-16 school transport has been increased by £90, whilst the cost of post-16 transport for SEND students has increased by £30.

Increase in social worker pay – Suffolk County Council has agreed to increase the pay of children’s social workers to match the remuneration offered by neighbouring councils, in order to attract and retain skilled social workers in Suffolk.

Babergh District Councillor summary joint Report to the annual Parish Council meeting. Cllr Clive Arthey and Cllr Margaret Maybury 

Before “lockdown” occurred business at Babergh District Council included the latest consultation on the Joint Local Plan, a Climate Emergency declaration, CIL funding in excess of £4.5m and the adoption of the annual Budget. Since then the provision of District Councillor Locality Budgets and numerous financial help packages have been arranged for all groups, residents, Parish Councils and businesses to help during the COVID19 pandemic.  Much of this has been achieved via cross council working which has helped to distribute these funds as quickly as possible in these uncertain times.

Joint Local Plan – Work is continuing on the new Babergh and Mid Suffolk JLP, with the planning team and a member group considering the representations received as a result of last year’s consultation stage. The revised document is still programmed for presentation to the two Councils later in the year. Neighbourhood Plans may have to be reviewed to ensure they are consistent with the JLP.

Community Infrastructure Levy – During the year bids to the CIL fund were approved within the Lavenham Ward, for Lavenham parish (gasworks car park) and Cockfield parish (adventure playground). Together with Neighbourhood CIL, (which is paid direct to Parish Councils), the district CIL fund provides a welcome source of finance to enable local community infrastructure projects to be delivered.  We are both delighted Cockfield has been so successful with its various bids.

2020-21 Budget and Council Tax – The compilation of Council Tax for 2020-21 within an average band “D” property is as follows:

Suffolk County Council £1343.61 (+4%); Suffolk Police £222.75 (+4.7%); Babergh District Council £168.86 (+3.1%); and Cockfield Parish Council £111.81 (+1.2%).  Making a band D property council tax total of £1847.03 which Babergh DC collects and forwards, with 73% going to SCC, 12% to Suffolk Police, 9% to BDC and 6% to Cockfield PC. 

Local Issues – We have been pleased to work with the Parish Council on a variety of local issues during the last 12 months, with the commencement on site of the new development at Jeffrey’s Green being the most noticeable. CIL funds have already been put to good use to provide local infrastructure to support growth, and we are pleased the Parish Council has established a group to assess and deliver future projects. We continue to do what we can to support your wonderful community, and most recently were pleased to be able to help local organisations and businesses secure Business Rates Support Grant.

Planning: The Council noted the BMSDC planning permissions / refusals;

DC/20/00128 – Full Planning Application. Erection of 1 No. Single Storey Dwelling and Detached Garage and creation of new vehicular access; Installation of Sewage Treatment Plant. Windsor Green Farmhouse, Windsor Green, Cockfield, Suffolk. LP30 0LY. Decision: Planning Permission has been Granted.

DC/20/01381 – Discharge of Conditions Application for DC/19/03826 – Condition 2 (Vehicular Access Surface) and Condition 4 (Fencing). Gambrel, Chapel Road, Cockfield, Suffolk. IP30 0HE. Decision: Condition 2 has been satisfied & Fencing to be erected for Condition 4.


Councillors agreed the repairs for 5no benches (Great Green and Mill Conner) total cost £1,314.00 + £122.80 VAT.

Repairs to the “Bandstand” on the Great Green for £160.00 were agreed

Councillors reviewed the council insurance requirements and approved the renewal of the policy with HISCOX £1,828.75 per annum + £50.00 (CAME & Co) Administration Fee. Total £1,878.75.

Members agreed that under Section 137(3)(a) LGA 72:  The Parish Council would make donations to:
Suffolk Neighbourhood Watch Association £50
NHS Charity (My Wish Charity) £100
Suffolk Accident Rescue Service £150

Cllr Morley, Cllr Williams, Cllr Southgate and the Clerk were delegated to establish the requirement for railway sleepers to progress the repair to the bridge at the meadow in line with the CIL bid budget.

Pavilion Update:

It was agreed to challenge the insurers on the commencement of remediation work as it appeared, in recent correspondence, there was no prerequisite for condition monitoring, which we see as essential prior to any work starting to ensure mitigation measures had been successful.

Future Meeting Structure:

In the light of the increasing amount of business, Councillors agreed to review the agenda structure to determine if there was a more efficient way to progress items.

Cockfield Village Welcome Pack:

The Council acknowledged the efforts of David Hodge in the distribution of the village welcome pack. With the current restrictions in place the pack would move to the web site and we will consider how this is dealt with in future.          

Working Groups, Representatives to External Bodies, Officers and Portfolio-Holders:

Greens Management – Cllr Brinkley gave an update on the management of parking at Cross Green

Local Needs Housing – Cllr Morley noted the Mackenzie works had recommenced and were progressing

There were no significant issues to note associated with:
Earl’s Meadow
Parish Paths  
Highways and Emergencies
Play Equipment (in any event covered elsewhere in the meeting)
Village Hall Car Park
Neighbourhood CIL

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