Archive for February, 2011

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF F&L PC 10 FEBRUARY 2011.

These minutes are a draft and subject to approval by the council at its next meeting.

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FOXEARTH AND LISTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT FOXEARTH VILLAGE HALL ON THURSDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2011.

PRESENT

C Flux (Chairman), C Cox, M Nice, K Nice, P Highmore & N Oakes. In attendance were B Newmark (M.P. for Braintree), N Harley (District Councillor), D Finch (County Councillor), J Laken (Village Agent) & J Geddes (Parish Clerk). There were some 20 residents present.

1 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

C Cox declared an interest in matters concerning street cleaning

2 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There was no absentee.

3 MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minutes of the meeting on 8 December 2010 having been circulated, were agreed to be a correct record and were duly signed by the Chairman.

4 MATTERS ARISING

The poor state of the road between Pentlow Street and Rodbridge was raised and the Clerk was instructed to contact ECC Highways dept. again, requesting repairs as soon as possible. (Action JAG)

At this stage in the proceedings the Chairman opened the meeting to the public to debate the first motion moved by Cllr Oakes which stated “This Council opposes Suffolk County Council’s proposal to withdraw funding for Clare Country Park and Rodbridge Country Park starting in the new financial year (April 6) as this will have a potentially devastating effect on these much loved local amenities. Whilst this Council is not opposed in principle to the idea of responsibility for these facilities being passed to local community groups, it believes that such change should only take place once appropriate and proportionate long term funding arrangements have been secured.”

5 FIRST MOTION BY COUNCILLOR OAKES

After much discussion, the motion as drafted was not approved. An amendment to “express concern” rather than to” oppose” was subsequently approved 5 to 1, Mrs Cox voting against because she considered that there had not been sufficient discussion of the motion. The Clerk was instructed to write to Suffolk County Council. (Action JAG)

There followed a public discussion on Cllr Oakes’s second motion which stated “ This Council opposes the proposal made by HM Government that the management of the majority of commercial forests in England should be transferred from the Forestry Commission to third parties”.

6 SECOND MOTION BY COUNCILLOR OAKES

The motion as presented failed to gain a seconder. Cllr Oakes moved an amendment, changing ”opposes” to “expresses concern”, Cllr Highmore seconding the modified motion. There was no majority for the amended motion. The Chairman requested that the matter be on the Agenda at the next meeting.

7 HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS

The major matter concerning highways was dealt with earlier. There were no matters to report regarding footpaths.

8 PUBLIC QUESTIONS

D Busby stated that the road near Huntsmans Farm was very muddy and potentially dangerous. Peter Brand Farms seem to be behind the unsatisfactory situation and the Clerk was requested to contact them. (Action JAG subsequently discussed with Mr Flux who will deal with this by phone)

The forthcoming elections were brought up and Mrs Cox explained the procedures and timing.

Street lighting after midnight was brought up and it was suggested that Claypits’ residents be asked their opinion as to the usefulness of this.

The Village Agent, Ms Laken, told parishioners that the services she provides will continue for at least one more year. She also spoke about a course on computers for beginners to be held next month in Hedingham.

9 DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

Mr Harley stated that the Central Government grant was 27% down next year and one third down over 4 years, taking £5 million out of the budget. There is a staff pay freeze. Fees are frozen till 2012. There will be no Council tax increase for two years. Health for children & sport services will be maintained. The future budgets should be in balance. Cllr Highmore asked whether funding for the Wednesday bus will be maintained and was told that it probably will be.

10 COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

Mr Finch summarised the results of the ECC cabinet two days earlier as being no increase in taxes, nothing closed, transport funded, highways funded, some fees charged to the general public to be increased.

11 FINANCIAL MATTERS

The payments to 31 January 2011 were approved as was the detailed budget for 2011/12.

12 DOG LITTER BIN

The bin has not yet been sited. (Action P Cox)

13 PLANNING MATTERS

The 4 approvals on the agenda were noted. K Nice raised the case of the planning refusal at Cherry Tree Cottage. The delegated decision is thoughtless as the objection was apparently because the replacement conservatory was planned to be made from PVCu, a material already used for all the property’s windows. Mr Harley stated that he would look into the matter on our parishioner’s behalf.

14 STANDING ORDERS

Mr Nice briefly introduced his suggested standing orders, explained why the current edition is not up to date and proposed their adoption. The proposal was seconded by Mr Oakes and unanimously approved.

15 ANY OTHER BUSINESS

It was decided to have a village litter pick on 26th March 2011. (Action Mr P Cox to organise)

16 REPORT BY OUR M.P., Mr B NEWMARK

Mr Newmark sketched his background, his beliefs and the coalition government’s general stance on fixing the country’s many problems. In the Q&A session, parishioners insisted on the need for rural buses to be maintained and on the need for a mechanism to allow fuel prices to be stabilised. Mr Newmark was generally sympathetic to these aims but echoed the government line on the difficulties of either a fuel price stabiliser or a bus fuel subsidy. He pointed out the fact that the young of today need libraries less and in general use them less because they have electronic means of getting hold of facts and literature. He pointed out that there were major misunderstandings amongst the public regarding the future of woodlands and that decisions would only come after consultations. His themes on not letting community assets die, having a focus on facilities for young people and keeping adequate social housing in the countryside unfortunately come too late for Foxearth & Liston. Mr Newmark explained that as a Government whip he cannot speak on behalf of constituents on the floor of the house but that the position allows direct access to ministers which is often more advantageous. He finished by asking to be kept abreast of local events as he does his best to keep in touch with his constituents.

17 DATE, TIME AND PLACE OF NEXT MEETING

Foxearth Village Hall, 7.30 pm, Wednesday 23 March 2011.

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 9.25 pm.

Foxearth on the Telly

The following letter was recently sent to FLAG members. It is repeated here for general information.
Dear FLAG Member,
This is to let you know that BBC Look East will be doing a piece on the current state of rural broadband services which will go out on tomorrow evening’s edition (21 Feb 6:30pm).
Foxearth was chosen as a community that has successfully addressed the problem of the poor internet connection speed and reliability commonly found in our villages and hamlets.
We hope that not too much footage has ended up on the cutting room floor.
Rgds
Clive

Foxearth History Society – Queen Elizabeth 1 in Suffolk

We may think of stress as a modern phenomenon but speaker Monica Place demonstrated to the Society on 8th February that there was an abundance of it around in the Tudor era. Henry VIII had provoked religious strife with his dissolution of the monasteries. Any dissent from the party line could lead to banishment to the Tower – or worse! Into this atmosphere was born Elizabeth, daughter of Henry and Ann Boleyn, in 1533 and she was crowned Queen in 1559. Taking as her title “Elizabeth 1 in Suffolk” Monica told how this self-reliant, devout, adventurous, sometimes devious and dance-loving woman travelled around with her large, male-dominated court. Earlier monarchs on their state tours – or progresses, as they were known – would be accommodated in monastic houses or abbeys but Elizabeth’s progresses took her to the properties of aristocrats and rich merchants. Her full court accompanied her together with her state bed and her hip bath. Elizabeth expected her court to be well dressed at all times.

Elizabeth made two visits to East Anglia. The first was in 1561 when she came by boat from Harwich to stay at Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich – home of merchant Sir Edmund Withipoll. Local inhabitants were assessed for a tax to pay for the visit. From there she went to Shelley Hall and Smallbridge, near Bures, home of the Waldegrave family.
Her second visit, in 1578, was more extensive taking in Cavendish, Melford Hall – then the home of the Solicitor General, Sir William Cordell. There followed calls at Lawshall Hall, Bury St Edmunds and Rushbrooke Hall. The Queen and her entourage then moved into Norfolk where her hosts attempted to outshine the hospitality Suffolk had showed. An outbreak of the plague brought this tour to an end. On the way back to London visits were made to Shotley and Hengrave Hall.

What did these progresses achieve? For the monarch it drew the affection of her subjects and her self esteem rose. She bestowed honours on those she visited – especially some prominent Protestants; on the other hand, many Catholic men were imprisoned! For the house owners – rich as they were- the honour and prestige of the royal visit was sometimes overshadowed by the financially crippling costs involved.

Miss Place illustrated her talk with numerous slides of portraits, grand houses and maps and was warmly thanked on behalf of 20 members present by the Society’s President, Ashley Cooper. Chairman, Alan Fitch, welcomed a new member and reminded all that the next meeting would be the AGM at 8pm in Foxearth Village Hall on 8th March. Members were invited to bring along an item of interest and/or antiquity and there would be cheese and wine to follow.

Ken Nice