Below are listed various Reports from the Parish Clerk.
Can you spare an hour or so to improve the look of your village? Wickhambrook Parish Council is backing a campaign to get half a million people out and about cleaning up their local communities in March and April 2017. To support the country's biggest ever community clear up, the Parish Council is seeking volunteers to take part in an organised litter pick.
Meet at Wickhambrook MSC car park at 11.30 a.m. Hazard jackets, rubbish sacks and grab sticks provided.
Visit the main campaign website at www.greatbritishspringclean.org.uk
SPRING LITTER PICK
Many thanks to everyone who turned out this morning, Sunday 5 March, and I am sorry that we had cancelled the event on health and safety grounds due to the bad weather. It was actually a much calmer day later but too late for our decision making. A re-scheduled date will be published in the usual way but thank you again for your support.
General news and latest information from Cllr Mary Evans on County Council affairs and general matters - take a look
All Parish Council meetings are held, once a month, on Thursdays at 7.30 pm in the MSC Pavilion (at the rear of the Main Hall). Any member of the public can attend any meeting.
Dates for 2017 are as follows:
Thursday 19 Jan, 23 Feb, 30 March, 27 April, 25 May (Annual Parish Council), 29 June, 27 July, 31 Aug, 28 Sept, 26 Oct and 30 November. Annual Parish meeting Thursday 18 May 2017
Estates Committee meetings in 2017
All Estates Committee meetings are held on Thursdays of every second month in the MSC Pavilion. Any member of the public can attend.
Dates for 2017 are as follows:
Thursday 9 Feb, 13 April, 8 June, 10 Aug, 12 Oct and Monday 4 December
Keep up to date with Parish matters by reading the Parish Council notice board at Thorns Corner, looking at Wickhambrook website, making use of the Wickhambrook page on Facebook or by reading the Parish Council notes in the 'Scene'. If you need any further information contact any councillor (details on neighbouring notice) or the Clerk on 01440 821861 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valerie Orange, the recipient of the Alf Hicks Biscuit Barrel award 2016.
Valerie has been President of the WI and was a committee member for many years, she now handles WI press and publicity. She is caretaker at the URC and is also the village correspondent which means that anything in the newspapers is down to her. Valerie recently retired from being a Higher learning Teaching Assistant at Wickhambrook Primary School but is still very involved in village life. The presentation was made at the Annual Parish Meeting on 12 May 2016
The right for Parish Councils to sell electricity
Currently local authorities have the power to sell electricity from local power generation schemes but Parish and Town Councils do not. There is a proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act asking that the Government allows Parish and Town Councils the right to sell electricity they generate from local schemes. Wickhambrook Parish Council supports this proposal but before responding there has to be evidence of local consultation. If you have any comments please contact the Clerk, or leave a message on 01440 821861 or email@example.com.
During recent winters the help in spreading salt/grit and clearing snow and ice from pavements was greatly appreciated. We want to build on this support so we are prepared for the severe weather during the coming winter. We hope that those that have assisted in the past will continue to do so and that those who have not yet participated will consider their involvement this winter. In past winters the public were concerned that if they helped to clear snow they may have been liable for third party claims. Suffolk County Council can confirm that anyone who clears snow from outside their own or someone else's property would only be liable for an accident if their efforts actually made the pavement less safe than it was with the snow and ice undisturbed and as a result somebody is injured. Where Town and Parish Councils keep a list of the names of their volunteers then these people would then be covered under the terms of the County Council's insurances for public liabilities.
If you are able to volunteer please contact Clerk to the Parish Council, 01440 821861.
Save money and be more green - without any costs or hassle
As well as being available to businesses, the rent a roof scheme is also available to village halls, community centres and other organisations - read more information here
More news from 2016
In December amongst my early Christmas cards was an envelope with a postmark 'Buckingham Palace', this was a letter sent on behalf of the Queen kindly written by Lady-in-Waiting to Her Majesty, Jennifer Gordon-Lennox.
As well as thanking everyone for our letter and card it stated that the Queen had been overwhelmed by the response to her 90th birthday and was touched to learn about the event at Wickhambrook. It went on to say that she had been pleased to hear we had favourable weather for the occasion, that it was kind of us to send the information about the funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance and due to the enormous amount of good wishes it had not been possible to respond until now. A card was included with the letter and it is hoped that this can be framed and displayed alongside the photograph of the birthday gathering at the MSC hall.
The amount of the Tesco Groundworks grant has been announced and the Memorial Garden project will receive £8,000 funded by the sale of 5p carrier bags at the supermarket. The members of the Estates committee of the Parish Council are delighted and plans are now being made to incorporate an area for the scattering of ashes, another option for remembrance by individuals and families on the loss of a loved one. It is also hoped that the outside of the Chapel can be re-decorated which may be financially supported by the Parish Council. The cemetery is a lovely place and these additions and maintenance work will ensure it will remain so for many years ahead.
A very sensitive issue regarding the cemetery must unfortunately be raised which is the leaving of flowers and other memorabilia on the graves of loved ones. The cemetery guidelines request a vase situated within the base of any memorial but increasingly tributes are being placed on the graves themselves. The Estates committee wishes to request that the guidelines are adhered to which will enable the contractor to continue to maintain the cemetery to a high standard during the grass cutting season. The Estates committee appreciates that immediately following the loss of a loved one there may be the need to have an increased number of items on the grave but is sending a general message please regarding the longer standing graves.
Disappointment at an increase in dog fouling at the recreational field
The darker mornings and evenings has resulted in more incidences of dog fouling on the football pitches and surrounding areas. This is incredibly disappointing for the Parish Council which has made multiple efforts to allow dog owners to 'bag and bin' any dog fouling as easily as possible. There are signs in situ acting as reminders, two bag dispensers (regularly refilled) for the purpose of collecting the excrement and bins in all corners of the field to leave the used bags in. There is absolutely no reason or excuse not to adhere to the law and collect dog waste.
It is not only adult users who run the gauntlet of encountering dog fouling but children too for whom it is even more of a health hazard. Many little ones use the football pitch and it is completely unacceptable that the possibility of dog waste being on the field exists. All we can do is be vigilant and remind dog owners (the majority of whom are responsible and careful) to watch their pets at all times when in this area.
The Great British Spring Clean
Wickhambrook Parish Council has signed up to the Great British Spring Clean with the date set for the litter pick as Sunday 5 March at 11.30 a.m. to collect your kit from the pavilion at the side of the MSC hall please. The school will be contacted with the time and date and we hope to see many of the children with their parents or carers taking part in this worthwhile activity. This is an excellent opportunity to tidy the village prior to the start of the better weather when we are all out and about more.
A contribution from Julian Girling, The Tree Warden
A lay member of the Parish Council Estates Committee
'Woodman spare that tree! Touch not a single bough!' Thus wrote the poet George Pope Morris in 1830.
We are often told that trees are the lungs of the Earth, but apart from their benefits in absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, they are, in the opinion of most people, some of nature's most beautiful structures and in some species the oldest living organisms on the planet.
So was Mr Morris justified in admonishing the woodman? Yes and no. Preservation occasionally requires quite drastic action to ensure the health of the tree and its neighbours as well as removing anything that is hazardous to the public or to buildings.
For this reason I am tasked with monitoring each tree (which is tagged with a number and is the responsibility of the Parish Council Estates Committee) on some ten sites in the village.
Diseases such as bleeding canker and honeydew fungus as well as stressed limbs are monitored on a bi-monthly basis and reported to the committee. I am well supported by Cliff Reed of Acacia Tree Surgery who presents a detailed annual report. He has taught me a lot and taken me through a steep learning curve. I have still much to learn.
Yes, 'spare that tree' but often a 'single bough' or even the tree itself must be removed for the tree's health and to prevent a public hazard.
Date of Annual Parish Meeting
An early reminder of 7.30 p.m. on Thursday 18 May. The Parish Council introduces the meeting but it is for the parishioners to contribute and please accept this article as an invitation to Wickhambrook clubs and societies to attend in person or send a written report to be presented at the meeting. We all need reminding of past achievements as well as aspirations for the months ahead and this is the opportunity to promote a subject or activity. A time limit of 5 minutes per report is in place so that the evening does not finish too late but, long or short, any report or high lighting of a topic by an individual, will be very welcome. The evening will also incorporate the presentation of the Alf Hicks Biscuit Barrel to this year's chosen recipient, yet to be decided.
Reporting Highway faults online
No the photo is not the wrong way up but shows the 30 mph which has fallen/been knocked over on the side of the road between Coltsfoot Green and Meeting Green! Two eagle-eyed parishioners sent a photo independently and I was able to attach it to the Suffolk County Council online reporting facility. I am sure a photograph adds clarity and impact to any report and these can be uploaded using the reporting tool yourself or send it to me with an explanatory email and I will then action the form.
Precept Bid from Wickhambrook Parish Council explained
The Parish Council has submitted a bid for a precept totalling £31,863 as discussed and approved at the meeting on 19 January 2017. Although the bid states that the increase in the precept is 7% from last year the actual amount of the requested bid increase is £382. The percentage shown is due to the withdrawal of the Parish Revenue and Local Tax support grants (£1,800 for last year).
Recent Planning Applications
Recent planning applications considered by the Parish Council over the last six weeks:
DC/16/2409/VAR + Amended application Plot 2, Columbine Cottage, Nunnery Green. Revised scale and design. Objection to both
DC/16/2736/HH 14 Croft Close. Single storey rear extension. No objection
DC/17/0003/CLE Annexe Peacocks Farm, Farley Green. Use of bungalow as single dwelling. No objection
DC/16/2802/FUL Land adj Whitehouse, Church Road. Change of use from agricultural to equestrian. No objection
Decisions made by St Edmundsbury Council over the last eight weeks:
DC/16/2014/TE3 Removal of public payphone. Approved
DC/16/2421/VAR Plot 1, Columbine Cottage, Nunnery Green. Change in materials. Approved
DC/16/2275/HH Field View, Nunnery Green. Conservatory to side/rear elevation. Approved
DC/16/2280/HH 37 Boyden Close. Single storey side extension. Approved
DC/16/2499/FUL Mill Farm, Ashfield Green. Two storey building – vehicle storage and office space with change of use agricultural land to parking area. No objection
DC/16/2416/HH Easterwood Bungalow, Baxters Green. 3 bay garage and carport with room above. No objection
Parish Council Meetings
The date for the next meetings are Thursday 30 March and 27 April. The next Estates committee meeting will be held on Thursday 13 April. All meetings begin at 7.30 p.m. and are open for everyone to attend.
Wickhambrook Parish Council has just received the news that it has achieved a Foundation Award through the Local Council Award Scheme. More details of the award will follow in the next edition of the Scene but the letter of confirmation stated: "The Panel believes the award demonstrates that the council has a strong commitment to excellence in public service" – a reassurance for all parishioners of the quality of work the Parish Councillors produce.
Wickhambrook Parish Clerk
March/April 2017 : Current Report
December 2015/January 2016
November / December 2015
March / April 2012
Correspondence for the Parish Council should be sent to
Suffolk. CB8 8UW.
(if you wish to correspond directly with one of the Parish Councillors, then please contact the Clerk for details).
POTHOLES - VERGES AND HEDGES
The Parish Council invite you to report problems such as potholes, verges and hedges.
- Annual Return for 2015/2016
- Audit Conclusion Notice 2015/2016
- Budget 2016-2017
- Complaints Procedure
- Financial Regulations
- Financial Risk Assessment
- Financial Standing Orders
- Freedom of Information Scheme
- Publication Scheme
- Standing Orders
- Suffolk Local Code of Conduct for Members
- Twelve Month action plan for Wickhambrook Parish Council