33rd Annual General Meeting of Redlingfield Village Meeting at Horham & Athelington Community Centre 8pm on Wednesday 5th May 2010
1. Apologies for absence: Hazel Abbott, Katie Abbott, Sue & Allan Chapman, Chris Gibbons, Pat Kelly, Manday Miller and Sue & Steve Toll. In attendance: Janet Norman-Philips (chair), Jeanette Brierley (treasurer), Mike Ager(sec), Andrew Abbott, Graham Abbott, Stuart Brierley, Linda Hudson, Russell Kerry, Jacqueline Love, James Pye, Cynthia Rose, Caroline Risk, (guests) Councillor Elizabeth Gibson-Harries, PCSO Steven Long, and Rev David Streeter.
2. Reports from guests:
a. Suffolk Police - PCSO Steven Long: PCSO Steven Long reported that the last crime reported in Redlingfield was in March 2008 - the theft of traffic light batteries. So this makes Redlingfield one of the safest places to live in the UK. Suffolk crime levels are the lowest for a decade and the county has the fourth lowest crime rate in the country. Speeding was highlighted as a major worry for villagers. The police are happy to have the registration numbers of repeat offenders so they can be visited. To get action on speeding villagers/village committee advised to attend meeting at Hoxne on June 16 (PCSO Steven Long's full report, as part of the original minutes, is available from Mike Ager).
b. Elizabeth Gibson-Harries: Councillor Gibson-Harries told the meeting of changes to how local government works, belt tightening measures, moves in the planning department and the availability of 106 funds. She also talked about her role in ‘health scrutiny' and Hartismere Hospital. She suggested Redlingfield either join Horham in bulk buying of heating oil or start bulk buying as a village to gain savings. She also said that solar panels can be bulk bought at a discount and that listed buildings would now be given permission to erect them (Elizabeth Gibson-Harries' full report, as part of the original minutes, is available from Mike Ager).
c. Rev David Streeter: Rev Streeter said 2009 had been a satisfactory year for St Andrew's church with a particularly successful flower festival. He thanks those who tidy inside and out of the church. He said the building fabric was receiving ongoing attention and the issue of vehicle access was being tackled. The meeting agreed a donation of £500 to the PCC.
3. Minutes of last meeting: The minutes of the last meeting were read and agreed.
4. Matters arising: There were no matters arising.
5. Chairman's report: Janet Norman-Philips reported that it had been a busy year with the Parish Plan, B-17 memorial and new slide at the Doorstep Green. She had hoped to have results from the Parish Plan survey available for the meeting but work on the B-17 memorial had put this on the backburner.
6. Treasurer's report: Jeanette Brierley reported on the village finances:
Total balance as at 31.03.09 was £4,163.21 and at 31.03.10 it was £4,771.15. An increase of £607.94. The 2009 Cheese & Wine made £287.79; the 2009 BBQ made £173.30; the 2009 Harvest Supper made £167.96; the Pub on the Green made £995.12. The village magazine has made approx. £1,000 over two years although expenses for paper and printing have yet to be deducted and any profit will be split with Horham & Athelington parish Council. The parish has also secured grants to cover the cost of the parish Plan (a full set of accounts is available from Jeanette Brierley or Mike Ager).
a. Acceptance and minute of Accounts and Governance: passed.
b. Adoption of Financial Risk Assessment and Management Actions: passed (these were available to all at the meeting and are available from Mike Ager).
c. Acceptance of Assessment of the Effectiveness of Internal Audit report: passed (this was available to all at the meeting and is available from Mike Ager).
7. Village committee membership: Members - Andrew & Katie Abbott, Graham Abbott, Mike Ager, Jeanette Brierley, Sue & Allan Chapman Chris Gibbons, Pat Kelly, Russell Kerry, Jacqueline Love, Manday Miller, Janet Norman-Philips and Sue & Steve Toll - all re-elected. Linda Hudson welcomed and elected on to the committee. Edith Coe who resigned earlier this year was thanked for all her years of hard work.
8. Election of officers: officers all re-elected.
a. Treasurer: Jeanette Brierley.
b. Secretary: Mike Ager.
c. Chairman: Janet Norman-Philips
9. Neighbourhood Watch: no report.
10. Report from Redlingfield Village Amenities (Doorstep Green): Janet said the current insurance costs for Parish and Doorstep Green are £988.25 (under two separate policies). Proposal is to bring both together under one policy for Parish costing £566.94 per annum, saving £421.31 a year. Note: New insurance will include the Memorial at Green Farm. Proposal agreed. Everyone thanked for fund-raising efforts to secure the new slide and all the work done in installing it. Younger villagers and the children and grandchildren of villagers are invited to the Doorstep Green on Saturday May 29 at 6pm to air their views on the future of the Doorstep Green.
11. Unveiling of Memorial to WW2 B-17 that crashed at Green Farm in 1943: The memorial cost close to £2,000 - granite plaque was £1,450 and materials close to £500. Minuted thanks to all who contributed and especially those who worked on the erection of the memorial: Roy Wilkinson, barry Ransome, Graham & Patrick Abbott, Allan Chapman, Mike Ager and Russell Kerry. The Horham-Redlingfield road will be closed completely on Saturday May 15 for the unveiling and dedication ceremony. Volunteers needed to help with marshalling. Janet listed the service personnel, veterans groups and dignitaries attending. Russell will provide the P.A. and clean village war memorial. Mike will clean phone box and sign on triangle in middle of the village. Janet has ordered wreaths. James Pye volunteered to help marshalling.
12. Parish Plan - Initial results from the Survey: Mike presented some intitial findings...
The number of homes in Redlingfield could be counted as approaching 58 if you include: 1 building plot, 1 home under construction, the semi derelict Old School and 2 that were/are vacant.
We distributed forms to 55 households including two households which have businesses, which come into or are adjacent to the village.
So far we have had: 17 housing needs forms returned (which we haven't even looked at yet); 49 of a possible 55 household forms [this is just shy of a 90 per cent return rate]; 94 people have returned personal forms (our actual number of registered electors is 108) which taking out the returns from the two households just outside the parish is a return rate of more than 80 per cent [81.4] - and we have a few more likely to come in; 5 junior surveys and 18 business surveys.
We may still get some further forms returned and while we are still doing the analysis we'll carry on accepting any late ones.
To put the returns in context many parish plans are based on a return rate of 30 to 40 per cent and a 60 per cent is usually considered very good so a rate of close to 90 per cent is pretty amazing.
Some headlines on the big issues from the returned forms...
Traffic from speeding to the number of large lorries seems to be the major bugbear along with littering. Flodding was identified by most people as a problem at two places on Green Lane (Redlingfield to Horham road); outside Beverley & Patrick Abbott's (the village side of the old school); on Low Road (Redlingfield to Denham road);by the Knoll/Doorstep Green; at the Bedfield crossroads; on the narrow stretch of road the village side of Kiln Farm. Better broadband was also listed as a priority in business and personal forms.
On some particular questions of note the results were...
Q3 What do you value most about Redlingfield? 35 said people,65 said the peace & quiet, 39 said the community spirit, 67 said the countryside and 43 said wildlife.
On some of the big questions ... which in retrospect it might have been nice to ask for the reasons for some answers...
Q25 One proposal is to increase the size of the Doorstep Green so it reaches all the way to the path that leads to the church. If funding could be obtained (grants etc) would you support this?
Yes 74, No 2, Maybe 13, Didn't answer 5.
Q28 Do you think that Redlingfield Church needs to be improved to better meet the needs of the village - both for church activities (baptisms, weddings, funerals etc) and to allow it to be used for more village events? If funding could be obtained (grants etc) would you support this?
Yes 63, No 1, Maybe 26, Didn't answer 4.
So basically we have a clear mandate to make the Doorstep Green bigger and improve access and facilities at both the Doorstep Green and church - if we can get funding. A big if.
Q50 Would you support a small development of affordable housing for local people in Redlingfield if there were a proven need?
Only 11 people were completely against the idea, 47 people said they would support it and a further 31 were prepared to consider it. Five people didn't answer the question.
And on a more immediate and easy to fix note, people (well a handful) have asked for us to have cider at the Pub on the Green and BBQ.
13. Any other business: None.
14. Date of next village committee meeting: Tuesday 25th May 2010.