Charsfield Annual Parish Meeting 27th May 2014
Charsfield Parish Council, consisting of seven elected councillors, has held six regular public meetings this year. Additional special meetings involving Housing Developments, Planning Applications and Neighbourhood Plans have also been held. The meetings have also been attended regularly by County Councillor Peter Bellfield, District Councillor Bob Snell and Police Liaison Officer PSCO 3034 Christian Hassler. In May 2013 the Council appointed Martin Sims as its Clerk on a short term contract which later in the year was made permanent.
Following up on my report in 2013 I am pleased to say that a Grit Bin has now been sited in Hall Road, however, the old road sign at the corner of The Street and Church Road has yet to be re-erected. Once again I would like to give my thanks on behalf of the village to the Alan Pedgrift Memorial Field Committee for their efforts in providing excellent leisure and Fun Day facilities. Support for the APMF through financial help with maintenance and grass cutting by the Parish Council has continued. Also I would like to thank the Village Hall Committee for running the Hall on the Council’s behalf and for providing the village with ideal indoor facilities. Again the Parish Council gives financial support through payment of water bills and insurance. I stated in last years Annual Report that the Parish Council had been accumulating money to pay for large village projects. This year we have spent a very large proportion of these savings on resurfacing the Village Hall Car Park. This will hopefully serve the village for many years to come.
We have succeeded this year, with the help of Martin Sims, our new Clerk, in raising people’s awareness of the workings of the Parish Council. We have increased publicity for meetings via e-mail and minutes have been published on the web site. There has been a marked increase in public interest and I am sure it has helped boost attendance and participation at Parish Council Meetings.
Throughout the year there have been two great concerns for parishioners and council alike: Housing Development and Speeding on the roads.
Several areas of the village have been identified under the SCDC Planning Framework for potential housing. Hence the need for a Neighbourhood Plan to follow up the Parish Plan. As a result the Parish Council met with representatives from SCDC and has agreed to work towards developing a plan. At the present time there is one application for a housing development on the corner of Chapel Lane and The Street. This application was opposed by the parish council and is in the hands of the Inspectorate after an appeal by the developer. We are aware that developers may destroy ancient trees when clearing land, so we are looking into issuing more Tree Preservation Orders.
Speeding on our roads continues to plague Charsfield especially on the B1078. It has been a year of continued frustration with Highways on the installation of roundels and repeaters on the B1078 to help reduce speeding and improve safety. Having been given £5000 by Peter Bellfield towards the cost, there is still no action from Highways as to the implementation of the project. A group concerned with speeding has been set up joining forces with other like minded villages. There have been several meetings of the group and Martin Lyne has represented Charsfield. There has been several good speed preventing ideas coming from the group, so I hope they will be implemented.
Once again I would like to thank all the Parish Councillors for their support of the people of Charsfield and to Martin Sims our new clerk for his guidance and organisational skills.
E J Winkworth
County Councillor Report for 2013/214
County Council Elections.
The year started with the County Council elections which returned the Conservative Party with a majority of 3. The surprise was UKIP taking as many as 9 seats. Mark Bee was re-elected leader of the Conservative group and leader of the Council and he made changes to the Cabinet.
As is well recorded central government is reducing the grants to local government. In Suffolk, this year and next, the amount received will fall by £50m, or 37%. We estimate that over the next four years the council will have to make total savings to balance the budget of £156m. To put this in context that is out of total expenditure, excluding schools which is ring-fenced, of a little under £600m. In the financial year just started we are having to reduce our expenditure by £38.6m to balance the books.
Among the areas where the savings will be achieved ‘energy from waste’ and bringing back in house the IT, HR and finances activities of the council after the end of the CSD contract with BT, each contributing around £9m. Unlike most highways authorities there no proposals to reduce expenditure on road maintenance.
Education is our top priority, the Council has been criticised by Ofsted as an underperforming council and in particular the performance of the Learning Improvement Service. After the appointment of a new director of children’s services and a new Cabinet Member last Summer major initiatives have been launched while continuing with the ‘Raising the Bar Programme’. There were improvements in last year’s exam results, GCSE rose from 9% below average to 5% (137th out of 151) and at Key Stage 2 we were up 16 places to 133. At A level we were above the national average. I have expressed my own concerns at great length to both the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council saying that we will not have a second chance if do not see a further improvement in this summer’s results.
The Council is investing £1.5m to increase apprenticeships across Suffolk. The plan involves three key programmes of activity; making apprenticeships more accessible to employers, particularly to small and medium sized businesses, raising the profile of apprenticeships in schools and supporting young people to participate, and finally, community based marketing and communications to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships.
Most improved Council
Suffolk was again short listed for the most improved council award category for the 2014 Local Government Chronicle Awards. We have been recognised for being at the cutting edge of the national broadband project, in the vanguard of moves to share office accommodation with other public sector organisations, and for managing the multi-million-pound energy from waste project towards completion.
Free School Meals
During the year a further 2,500 children were signed up for free school meals. We had a drive on this, not to help primarily with parent costs but because the school receives an additional £900 per child who is in receipt of a free school meal.
As a result of additional money the Council has agreed to put into high-speed broad band the Government has contributed additional funds and we now expect that 95% of houses will be in receipt of it compared with 85% before.
Last year the council sold its care homes to Care UK, one of the conditions being that they would open 10 new homes, adding about 150 extra beds. I am pleased that 9 of them have receive planning permission and the first has had its ‘topping-out ceremony.
In November the leaders of Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing the two counties to working more closely together. While both county councils will remain as independent sovereign bodies, they will now work together to strengthen existing joint working and explore areas where the councils can join forces, cut duplication and so save money for the tax payer whilst protecting front-line services.
Street lights off
An interesting fact is that where we have turned off street lights off in some of our towns between mid-night and 5am the level of crime has fallen and of course it is saving the council money.
Just to remind you that I am always available to help any organisation or person who may be having a problem with Suffolk County Council. My telephone number is 01473 735259 or e-mail peter.bellfield@suffolk .gov.uk
SAXMUNDHAM AND FRAMLINGHAM SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM
Police station, Station approach, Saxmundham & Police station, Saxmundham road, Framlingham.
CHARSFIELD ANNUAL COUNCIL POLICE REPORT
This report has been prepared by
PCSO 3034 HASSLER based at Framlingham Safer Neighbourhood Team.
There have been 7 reported crimes from May 2013through toMay 2014.
1) 1 X Theft – From a person 02/12/13 Undetected
2) 1 X Criminal Damage other building 01/12/13 Detected
3) 1 X Burglary – Other building 04/05/14Undetected
4) 3 X ABH – 01/12/13 Detected- 01/03/14/01/03/14Undetected
5) 1 X Driving a Motor Vehicle with excess alcohol 08/05/14Detected
Within the same period last year there were 15 reported crimes within the Charsfield Parish.
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE WITH OTHER PARISHES NEAR TO CHARSFIELD
DURING THE SAME TIME PERIOD (MAY 2012 to MAY 2013)
WICKHAM MARKET 79
The next SNT public priority setting meeting will be held at Framlingham Police Station 9th of July 2014 at 2pm.
All are welcome to attend.
Also PCC, Tim Passmore, will also be hosting a public meeting for the Suffolk Coastal district on Monday 21 July 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Market Hall,, High Street, Saxmundham, IP17 1AF. Chief Constable, Douglas Paxton will also be in attendance at the meeting.
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CONTACTING THE POLICE
YOUR LOCAL OFFICERS ARE:
PC 1410 BURT
PCSO 3034 HASSLER
PCSO 3051 MANN
PCSO 3195 HINTON
In an emergency always dial 999
To report a crime, speak to your local officers or leave a message, please dial 101
Any member of the team can be contacted at FRAMLINGHAM.SNT@SUFFOLK.PNN.POLICE.UK
Check the website www.suffolk.police.uk for our engagements.
Our website as detailed below also has an email link to contact us.
Please also have a look at the Suffolk Constabulary Website, which can offer further help and advice.
To find the Framlingham and Saxmundham safer neighbourhood team website please see www.safersuffolk.org.uk
PCSO 3034 HASSLER