Meeting of Charsfield Parish Council

Tuesday 24th September 2013




Present: Cllrs F Moor, J Pedgrift, E Winkworth (Chairman) and R Wright, PCSO C Hassler, PCSO Kevin Mann, the Clerk and 11 members of the public


Minute numbers and Actions
1       Apologies: Cllrs P Holloway and A Reeve


2       Declarations of Interest

There were none.


Due to the large number of the public in attendance for items 8 & 9.1 the agenda was not followed in order. Items 8, 7 and 9.1 were covered in that order immediately after item 2 but shall be minuted in agenda order for clarity of reference.


3       Minutes of meeting on 23rd July were approved and signed


4       Matters Arising

4.1      Neighbourhood Plan

The Clerk reported that a Plan cannot reduce the development possibilities already defined in the Local Plan as it can only add to them or influence where and what housing is built; and that he had as yet been unable to determine the expected costs of implementing a plan.

In response to a question from the public the Chair explained that there is a Parish Plan in place and a defined village envelope but no Neighbourhood Plan.

It was reported that SCDC currently have money available for Parish Councils to fund Neighbourhood Plans. The Clerk will investigate this funding and exactly how the Council would go about producing one.


4.2      Roundels

This item was discussed under item 8.


4.3      Village Road Sign maintenance

The Clerk reported that this task was now awaiting SCC Highways extracting the sign but there may be delays due to organisational changes currently underway.


4.4      Village Hall Car Park

The Clerk explained that he was planning to arrange a site visit from a contractor to meet two Cllrs within the next 2 weeks but that one of the companies that had quoted would no longer be operating. The Clerk will arrange for 2 further quotations after the planned site visit determines the specification of works required.


4.5      Pot Hole

The Chair reported that the large pot hole mentioned in item 11 had now been filled in.





























5       Report from SCC Cllr Bellfield

Cllr Bellfield was not in attendance and had not provided a report.




6       Report from SCDC Cllr Snell

Cllr Snell was not in attendance and had not provided a report.




7       Crime Report: From PCSO Christian Hassler

PCSO Hassler gave his report stating that there were no crimes reported in the Parish between the 1st July and the 31st August and that within the same period last year there were 3 reported crimes. He also said that the next SNT public priority setting meeting will be held at Saxmundham Police Station on the 15th of October 2013 at 2pm and that all are welcome to attend.




8       Speeding Issues

The Chairman thanked the members of the public for attending and stated his intent to open discussion after stating the current situation:

  • Although the problem is acknowledged to be countrywide the main area of concern and hence the main topic for discussion tonight is the Ipswich Road.
  • In 2011 the police did a speeding survey which reported a great deal of speeding.
  • At that time SCC Highways recommended Roundels painted on the road at the limit entrances, smaller repeaters through the limit areas and gateways to highlight the limits.
  • These items were beyond Council finances at the time. Cllr Bellfield was approached but unable to help but has been approached recently and now has agreed to fund 90% of the costs of all three (roundels, repeaters and gateways).

A long open discussion then ensued from which the following are salient: –


Possible solutions/equipment and feasibility:

  • Mobile speed indicating sign – SCC have 3 to lend out, there is no suitable place for its use
  • Extend the 30 limit – legal costs are excessive due to traffic regulations
  • Permanent solar powered flashing 30 limit signs – approx £3,000 each and would need 4
  • Chicanes – has not been discussed before (but refer to next item)
  • One-way road narrowings – very difficult to implement due to regulatory requirements
  • Speed ramps/bumps – unpopular with neighbours sue to slowing and accelerating
  • Speed Camera – Clerk to investigate
  • False deterrents, such as people in high visibility jackets or holding hairdryers – needs people to stand around in places that may be considered unsafe
  • Community Speedwatch Scheme – organising this has failed in the past but Hacheston and Parham are starting up a joint scheme and may be willing to share costs and equipment
  • Debach and Charsfield could co-ordinate their actions.


Questions answered and points raised:

  • How was the 2011 data used and what resulted? – This resulted in SCC Highways recommending Roundels, repeaters and gateways, which have not yet been installed due to finances.
  • What survey was carried out in 2011? – A pair of lines measuring passing traffic speeds were laid across the road for a complete week.
  • Other parts of the village are affected too.
  • Nobody speeds in Ufford because it is known to be an area where speeders are prosecuted.
  • Otley produced their “I drive at 25” campaign with village wide co-operation.
  • How does Community Speedwatch work? – trained pairs record as much information as they can about speeding vehicles; this is logged then standard vehicle checks are carried out and a letter is sent warning the vehicle owner; any other such report in the country will trigger a final warning letter; and another such recording will cause the police to target that vehicle for prosecution.
  • The speed gun used in Debach has a limited operating temperature range so cannot be used in the winter and it is very difficult to get identifying information for motorbikes.
  • Could the speeding survey be repeated after implementing the recommended remedies? – yes indeed.


Costs per item:

  • Roundels – £120
  • Repeater roundels – £75
  • Gateways – above £600, partly due to regulatory requirements


The Council resolved to continue the current implementation of the recommendations from SCC Highways arising from the 2011 police speeding survey (i.e. Roundels, repeaters and gateways), then commission a further survey to ascertain the effectiveness of those recommendations and if there is still a problem approach SCC Highways again for a solution.


Also, as the problem is acknowledged to happen all over the country the Clerk will write to Steve Griss at Police Headquarters in Martlesham to ask what the combined experience of the whole police force indicates is the most successful solution to speeding through rural villages.


There was much support for a proactive campaign to prevent speeding throughout the village.











































































9       Highways

9.1      Plans for Chapel Lane

The Chairman reported that he had been contacted by the landowner with pre-application plans for the land at the corner of Chapel Lane and The Street, on the Eastern side of Chapel Lane; that he had spread news of the plans to those in neighbouring properties; and that he now understood there to be an official planning application lodged but that the Council had not yet received notification. He had then received a letter from one of the neighbours reporting on a meeting held amongst those neighbours expressing general objection to the plans.

These are the salient points then raised: –

  • The site has not previously been identified for development under the Local Plan.
  • There are other sites in the village which are targeted for development but the Council has not received Planning Applications for them.
  • It was explained how the public can access Planning Application details and the Council recommend that those interested do so.
  • The Council does hold a public meeting for all Planning Applications.
  • A legally required notice is posted on the site to notify locals of the Planning Application.
  • The Parish Council are working to a guideline maximum development of 6 houses all within the village envelope, as specified in the Local Development Framework.
  • Within the Local Plan, Charsfield is classified as a Sustainable Village which means that some development may take place.
  • Parishioners writing to SCDC regarding a Planning Application will take the application to committee which enables parishioners to attend and express their views.
  • Parishioners can inspect Planning Applications at the Melton council offices.
  • General appreciation for the email notification of this meeting was expressed so the Council agreed to continue this practice.


9.2      Dog fouling on footpaths

The Chairman had received complaints, particularly about one footpath. After discussion of dog bins, SCDC prosecution policy and who the perpetrators are it was resolved to apply further signage and put a reminder in the Benefice magazine.





































10    Finance

10.1   Required payments were approved.


10.2   Balance of Accounts as at 24/9/13

Current Account   £    4,236.14
No. 2   £    4,545.27
Total   £    8,781.41


10.3   The Clerk explained the negative aspects of a Long Term Undertaking on Council insurance. The Council resolved to undertake the maximum term 5 year LTU in order to gain the maximum discount and approved a further cheque for £153.30 to pay for this.












11    Correspondence

The Chair had received correspondence regarding dog fouling and the plans for Chapel Lane which had already been discussed.


The Clerk’s correspondence report had previously been circulated.





12    Any Other Matters of information

The Village Hall Management Committee wish to move the Clerk’s storage cupboard. The Clerk will give Cllr Moor his key and she will implement the move.


The issue of the school planning to provide their own hall and playing field was raised and another long discussion ensued: –

  • The school cannot use the Recreation Ground because there are no toilets there.
  • The schools withdrawal from regular use of the village hall has damaged village hall funds and is not an insignificant proportion of income.
  • The school don’t use the Village Hall due to equipment storage needs. It was pointed out that there are gymnastic mats stored in the hall now.
  • Pupils eat at their desks and an on-site hall will provide a dining room.
  • It is a trek from the school to the Recreation Ground and the children have to cross a road.
  • A new school car park could be used by church goers on Sunday thus reducing the on road parking currently occurring.
  • The school were consulted in the planning stages of the Recreation Ground and a footpath was implemented to improve their access.

The Council resolved to open a dialog by writing to the school governors and head to ask why they have not been using the Village Hall and Recreation Ground for their relevant activities.


Cllr Pedgrift delivered a report from the Recreation Ground Committee:

  • The grant application for repairing the footpaths was turned down so they are fixing the worst parts.
  • The paths have now been weeded and are looking much better.
  • The culprit in the barbeque debacle was traced and the incident is not expected to be repeated.


The speed limit signs on the way into the village from Hoo are overgrown.


The Clerk reported that he had not yet had any communication from BDO, the external auditors.


The Clerk reported that Barclays had caused various delays which have resulted in the Clerk not yet having the required access to the Council bank accounts.


The Clerk reported that Cllr Pedgrift is attending a Funding Course @ SALC and wished for the Council’s approval. This was given.


The Clerk reported that the Village Hall was unavailable for the intended meeting date of 25 March 2014 and asked if moving the meeting to 18 March was suitable. The Council accepted the change.














































13    Date of Next Meeting: Tuesday 26th November 2013 in the Village Hall at 7:30pm.


The meeting closed at 10:00pm




Chairman’s Signature: ___________________________  Date: _________