Minutes of 40th Annual General Meeting of Redlingfield Village Meeting at Horham & Athelington Community Centre at 8pm on Wednesday 17th May 2017 (Ref 25/05/17)
a. Apologies for absence: Graham Abbott, Katie Abbott, Susan & Allan Chapman, Will Edwards, Lesley & Tony Rose-Freitas, Midge Gibbons, Pat Kelly, Manday Miller, Emma Hewitt and Rev Michael Womack.
b. In attendance: Andrew Abbott (chairman), Mike Ager, Jeanette Brierley (treasurer), Chris Gibbons, Linda Hudson, Russell Kerry, Stephen Ling, David & Jacqueline Love, Janet Norman-Philips (clerk) and Adrian Smith. Also county councillor Guy McGregor and district council chairman Elizabeth Gibson-Harries.
2. Reports from guests:
a. Police: written report covering “Neighbourhood” provided by PCSO Steven Long read out by Janet. The police report is available here.
b. Mid Suffolk District Council: Elizabeth Gibson-Harries, Chairman, Mid Suffolk District Council, Councillor for Hoxne Ward: She thanked everyone who worked hard for the people of Redlingfield and apologised for the stuttering start to the Mid Suffolk website. She said parishes should tell the council what sort of houses they want to be built. She also told the meeting she had a small locality budget to help with village projects. See written report below.
c. St Andrew's church Redlingfield: written comments from Rev Michael Womack read out by Janet.
d. Suffolk County Council: Guy Mc Gregor, Suffolk County Council Member for the Hoxne & Eye Division: Told the meeting he was not happy about the county losing control of fire services to the Police and Crimes Commissioner. He said more needed to be done about potholes and was disappointed that broadband had not arrived yet and talked about Sizewell C. See written report below.
3. Minutes of last meeting: Minutes were read by Andrew Abbott and approved.
4. Matters arising: Janet agreed to work on asking for the 30-mile per hour speed limit on the Eye Road to be extended out from the village past Kiln Farm.
5. Chairman's report: Andrew Abbott thanked the village for giving him the opportunity to be village chairman for the past three years. He also thanked the committee for its help and support helping to make his term a success. He thanked everyone for their fund-raising efforts. He said that the repair of the church roof and purchase of extra land for the Doorstep Green were fantastic and he said many people would benefit from this. Without the support of Janet Norman-Philips and Mike Ager he said that none of this would have been achieved and he gave “a massive thank you” for their guidance and support during his time as chairman. He thanked Jan for sharing her wealth of knowledge and information with him.
6. Treasurer's report: Jeanette Brierley said the village's bank balance had improved over the year thanks to a very healthy profit from the summer fayre and contributions from pubs on the green, the family fun and race night and village magazine. The major regular outgoings were still grass cutting and insurance. The treasurer's accounts for 2017 are available here.
a. Acceptance and minute of Accounts and Governance (Ref 25/05/17/6a): Agreed.
b. Adoption of 2017 Financial Risk Assessment and Management Actions document (Ref 25/05/17/6b): Agreed.
c. Acceptance of 2017 Assessment of the Effectiveness of Internal Audit report (Ref 25/05/17/6c): Agreed.
7. Village committee membership: The committee of Andrew Abbott, Graham Abbott, Katie Abbott, Mike Ager, Jeanette Brierley, Susan & Allan Chapman, Will Edwards, Lesley & Tony Rose-Freitas, Chris Gibbons, Pat Kelly, Russell Kerry, Jacqueline Love, Manday Miller & Janet Norman-Philips was unanimously re-elected with Emma Hewitt and Adrian Smith confirmed as new members, again unanimously.
8. Election of officers
a. Treasurer: Jeanette Brierley unanimously re-elected.
b. Secretary: Janet Norman-Philips unanimously re-elected.
c. Chairman: Andrew Abbott stepped down and Mike Ager unanimously elected. Andrew Abbott was thanked for this three years as chairman.
9. Neighbourhood Watch: Midge Gibbons is taking over as Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator.
10. Report from Redlingfield Village Amenities (Doorstep Green) & Church Project:
a. Report: Janet Norman-Philips reported that the land has been purchased and now the grass seed has been bought thanks to Ipswich Town Football Club and committee member Tony Freitas. Andrew Abbott has agreed to sow the seed etc. The construction of the bridge by Russell Kerry is hoped to occur later this year. A legal agreement between the church and Caroline Risk at Redlingfield Hall ends access to the church via Caroline's land as of July 13th. Janet told the meeting that those unable to use the path from the main road should ask Caroline politely and individually for access via her land. Once the grass is in a major expense will be purchasing the parking mesh. Plans include refurbishing the current Doorstep Green with more equipment for youngsters, improved paths etc. Janet said she was happy to continue to help with church projects following the successful re-roofing of St Andrew's.
b. Email from Chris and Eric Ashley: (attached) Chris and Eric thought money could be spent more wisely on other things and said that the Doorstep Green was not much used. The meeting was asked to comment. David Love said he thought they might have misunderstood which events raised funds for the church and which for the village. Many said they thought the Doorstep Green was well used by dog walkers and parents, grandparents and even great grandparents of young children as well as older youngsters having a kick about.
11. Broadband : Janet Norman-Philips reported that a green box is being placed on the village green near the village sign. The project manager for Open Reach Suffolk Broadband has told her it will be operational by March 2018 at the latest. Janet encouraged villagers to continue to complain and put the pressure on for broadband.
12. Any other business: Mike praised the work of Linda Hudson, village historian/recorder, and Stephen Ling on completing a survey of the churchyard. A copy of the survey, which is very comprehensive, with photographs and lots of relevant notes, is available in the church and we plan to publish it on the village website shortly.
13. Date of next Pub on the Green: Saturday 17th June 2017.
14. Date of next village committee meetings:
a. Tues 6th June 2017: 8pm, Russell & Linda Kerry's home at Mill Farm, Mill Road (main business to organise Summer Fayre & BBQ).
b. Tues 6th February 2018: 8pm venue to be agreed.
2. Reports from guests:
b. Mid Suffolk District Council: Elizabeth Gibson-Harries, Chairman, Mid Suffolk District Council, Councillor for Hoxne Ward: Mid Suffolk continues to transform the way and method they deliver services. The Allocation for Government is diminishing towards 2020 when they will stop and all councils will have to generate the money to run day-to-day services. The move of our central offices to Endeavour House in Ipswich will take place later this year safeguarding services by better website and email access. An office will be available in Stowmarket in case there is a need to meet with officers. The same is in motion in Babergh District Council.
During the last 12 months we have been able to build 65 new council homes across the districts and more are planned. Recycling is up, 20 tons of glass is being collected and recycled every month. The number of empty homes is down. We brought 97 empty homes back into use generating £130,000 of income in the local economy.
I am delighted to say I was involved in the re-opening of the De La Pole Arms in Wingfield and assisting The Swan in Hoxne to expand into accommodation. The re-opening of pubs in villages is essential in the life of the village. I am assisting renovating Denham Village Hall and working with Syleham and Wingfield in the purchase of land for village use.
I pay tribute to all the the parish councils in the ward for the wonderful work they do on behalf of the villages, empowering them to make plans and see them through.
This year I have had the privilege of being chairman and my aim has been to use and publicise local businesses, services and locations. Every penny spent locally will help the future of our shops, halls and businesses.
d. Suffolk County Council: Guy Mc Gregor, Suffolk County Council Member for the Hoxne & Eye Division:
From the residents viewpoint the most significant item is the fact that yet again there is no increase in council tax form Suffolk County Council for 2017-18. However, there will be an additional precept which will be used exclusively to fund Adult Social Care.
The next significant item is the continued improvement of education provision in this part of Suffolk. The high schools which accept pupils from Redlingfield (Stradbroke and Eye) are also exceptionally high performing schools. With regard the issue of school funding I have spoken to the executive head of Stradbroke on this matter and he assures me that the money available will be sufficient for requirements and there will be no reduction in teaching staff. I continue to serve as a member of the Diocesan Education Committee.
Stradbroke library has achieved national recognition for the variety of its services.
SCC Fire and Rescue Service is the most cost-effective in the country, however, I am not happy with the proposals that control should be passed to the Police and Crime Commissioner.
Care UK's splendid new care home (Hartismere Place) is now over a year old and I do urge you to pop in for a tea.
The Hoxne and Eye locality budget has been used to support local organisations (including support for the local scout group's minibus).
Particular concern remains highway maintenance and I am disappointed that many potholes are considered too small to need immediate attention but the new county surveyor has brought about improvements (much needed) to the service.
I have attended many parish council meetings and this is an opportunity to express my thanks for the courteous way in which I have been received by parish councillors. They all do a fine job in articulating the requirements of the village.
Along with my responsibilities as county councillor of the division I also have responsibilities for a number of projects: Sizewell C; Lowestoft Third Crossing and Ipswich Wet Dock Crossing; and am a member of the Broads Authority.