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01 September 2018Minutes of the Meeting of Iken Parish Council held at 6pm on Thursday 9th August, Village Hall, Iken

Iken Parish Council


Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held at 6pm on Thursday 9th August, Village Hall, Iken


Cllrs Dr Norman Johnson (Chair), Colin Chamberlain (Responsible Financial Officer), Hugh Waterer and Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett

Iken residents:  Annabel Chamberlain, Sean Fitzgerald, Lynette Morton, John and Gunilla Hailes, Robert Gillespie, Christine Ridsdale, Nick Turner, Chris Keeble, Jonathan Rutherford, Audrey Power, Mike Russell Hills, David and Sue Spindler, Jane Darke

In attendance: Karen Thomas, Partnership and Strategy Manager for Broads, East Suffolk & Norfolk Rivers Internal Drainage Boards, David Kemp, Coastal Team Leader, Environment Agency,  Jane Marson, IDB Works Committee Chair, District Councilor Ray Herring,


It was noted that Richard Mann has resigned from the committee after many years valued service.


Cllr Loulou Cooke, Nina and Paul Davis, Sir John and Lady Katherine Gieve



The Minutes of the meeting held on Friday 18th May 2018 were agreed and approved

It was agreed that the Parish Council should contribute £300 towards the cost of the church grass cutting.


There had been no applications for the two vacancies.


Karen Thomas of the Internal Drainage Board took the floor.

She spoke of the IPC meeting at Iken Barns earlier in the year outlining the improving of the estuary walls. The modelling showed that walls need to be built in sequence and there might be a temporary increase of risk of flooding to Iken while it is going on. The most important point is that work cannot be undertaken if it increases flood risk to individual properties. The plan is designed to give everybody equity. Over topping was explained. The Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership had asked the Inland Drainage Board how to deliver the plan. This work was now being undertaken with view to delivery of a costed plan with designs and construction information in Sept/October 2018. There could be a period during work to Aldeburgh and Snape when property in Iken would be at increased risk of flooding as the wall raising in these flood-cells would close off flood storage area in the event of a surge.

Surveys have been done at some of Iken’s homes.  In the original modelling up to 24 homes in Iken would flood in the event of river walls breaching - these homes are already at flood risk and it’s important all property owners are aware of their risk today.  That is the baseline.  However, if walls are raised at Snape Village and Aldeburgh there could be a temporary increase in risk to up to 7 homes and some non-residential buildings - these are properties that are currently not at any risk and would be exposed to a very infrequent event (1 in 600) or properties already at low risk (1 in 600) being exposed to a low risk (1 in 200) event instead. These properties tend to be at the margin of the floodplain so the IDB have undertaken property surveys to establish the doorstep levels for these homes as apriority. The most recent HR Wallingford feedback based on the new survey data is encouraging as it seems only two properties are now exposed to a temporary increased risk instead.  This has been a beneficial analysis as it shows the model has slightly over-estimated risk rather than under-estimated. 

An assessment will now be made of the flood risk for every house in Iken at flood risk showing a risk matrix of frequency and severity - i.e. what level of water would ingress in both the present day baseline scenario and the potential future scenario while walls are being built elsewhere.  This information will be shared with EA and local people so that there can be a more meaningful discussion about this.  Increased temporary risk could occur only when Snape and Aldeburgh walls are finished. The risk could be mitigated by working on the Iken walls at the same time as Snape and Aldeburgh and only closing the Snape Village and Aldeburgh walls when Iken is almost complete.  The IDB are exploring whether they can undertake work in this manner with EA and NE over the coming weeks.


 It was asked how the order of work was chosen.  This was a prioritised approach set out in the Estuary Plan and widely consulted upon.  The modelling has assessed the iterative approach for delivering defences and we now need to keep to this order to deliver the plan.  We can run projects in parallel but they still have to be completed in the order that has been modelled.

It was asked how homeowners get information.  It was explained that everyone will be invited to come to meetings and will also be approached on a one to one basis.

It was asked when will there be clarity on the plans.  The response was that costings and design are currently being put together.  All information will be available to the AOETrust and the AOEPartnership by the end of September.  On the modelling side of things most of the information is collated.  It was hoped they could come back in September or October this year. 

Karen explained the process the IDB and the EA have to go through to get Government funding.  The IDB will submit a Business Case for the schemes in the Upper estuary by early 2019 and this goes through a period of review to ensure all the relevant environmental, economic and social information has been assessed.  This includes demonstrating that any increase in flood risk has been remedied before funds would be allocated and a scheme anywhere in the estuary being given permission to begin.  If they get the green light then once everything is in place they would be looking at early starting implementation next year – development on the ground late 2019 early 2020.

It was asked who is paying.   Karen explained there is a £3million loan from the IDB which is being funded by the IDB ratepayers, who have also funded the recent Iken surveys (£7-8k).  The Alde and Ore Estuary Trust are also making grants available for delivery of work such as contributions to the recent works at Aldeburgh wall, as well as funds for the costed programme of works and development of Business Cases for the estuary to attract further funding.  The IDB, as a Risk Management Authority, is undertaking Business Case development to attract Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGiA) on behalf of the estuary plan.

The ESIDB have had clay delivered from local housing developments by Tippers R Us to John Hailes and Richard Mann’s farms.  There is currently a situation whereby there is an investigation going on over the permits for these deliveries so little can be spoken on this matter. 

The number of lorries had increased in May following new developments opening up and additional clay deliveries were made through the village.  Karen agreed the traffic levels reached an unacceptable level for residents and she apologised for this.  Going forward the IDB are looking at how much clay will be needed to be imported versus sourced locally and whether they can get permits in place for any further deliveries from EA. Until that happens they don’t know what that looks like.  There will need to be further dialogue with the village.  More clay will very much be needed in view of the length of the walls.  Karen spoke of the different ways of bringing material in and the only cost effective way is by lorry if it’s to be imported.

Clay is picked up from construction sites by lorry so transferring this to other modes of transport increases the haulage costs and the overall cost of the clay so it can only feasibly be delivered by lorry.  Only some clay was needed to be brought in to Aldeburgh because they had “won” clay from local landowners immediately behind the river walls. 

It was asked how much more clay will be needed.  It was explained that we might have about a quarter of what we need but that isn’t to say that we need to bring in three times more because we may win clay from the other sites within Iken It was hoped after the investigation is complete and a business case approved then the sourcing of clay can be considered with the village.

It had been stated that the value of the clay (if purchased) already on site was approximately £2.6 million and it was asked if this was coming off the overall cost.  Karen explained that the cost is based on winning the clay at nil cost hence this figure was not included in the £13 million overall estimate.

It was pointed out that householders have put up with lorries coming past their houses but not all households have all the lorries.  In future there must be a plan and the burden should be shared as fairly as possible with the possibility of one way routes being explored.  There is a real wish from the village to accumulate free clay if it is needed.

Jane Marson considered there should be a group of the main householders affected and to have a formulated plan once the licence is approved.  Sandy Lane should have to take its share of the lorries. 

There followed a discussion about the households most affected by the clay deliveries.  Karen said that if we have to have clay delivered then whoever is delivering will have to have a clear plan agreed with the village.  A licence cannot be obtained without local residents’ agreement.  The plan will be created with local residents before any further clay is delivered- and this is still dependant on there being a suitable licencing approach with EA.

Sincere thanks were extended by the Chair to John Hailes and Richard Mann for taking the initiative and allowing the clay to be delivered and stored on their land which was therefore now out of productive use.  This was supported unanimously. It was pointed out that landowners have NOT received any remuneration for storing the clay; they have received it in all good faith. 

Sir Tom Hughes Hallett said that he thought this was a wonderful village.  He wanted to ask people if we could put any difficulties behind us.  He begged everyone to all pull together and work with the IDB and Environmental Agency.  He hoped we could all work together to save the village from flooding. 

Jane Maxim took the floor to explain about finance: 

She pointed out that there was some money coming from the Government but the IDB has to put a case together first.  Working capital of £3m had been raised by the landowners and more now needs to be raised by the community.  In each of the communities there has been a good response.  The amount that has been donated will cover the cost of getting the initial works done.  The fund raisers had been working very hard in Aldeburgh over the summer.  They had been going round to the rental agencies who are looking at schemes to donate money from people who rent properties.  There were various arms within the strategy and they would be exploiting these over the next five years.    The idea of a tourist tax was raised and discussed.   Ray Herring explained how planning applications include a form of tax towards local amenities.  He will ask if some of this money can come to the fund. 

He also mentioned the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Jane Marson explained a scheme of increasing the council tax precept of the parishes who are direct beneficiaries. These funds would then be donated to the AOET.  Hugh Waterer pointed out that we need to have our decision made by November when we apply for our precept so we need to have a decision tonight.  There was a discussion about how the PC can increase the precept.  Ray Herring said that council taxes are capped so there can’t be unlawful increases.  Parish precepts are not capped.  Decisions are made locally and are expected to be reasonable.  There are 63.39 equivalent band D properties in Iken but only 44 houses –this is because most of the properties are higher than B and D which is how the figure of 63.39 is calculated.  Band D would currently be paying £20 a year and higher bands would be paying more. In future this average figure would be £70.00

Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett asked “Are we prepared to pay an extra £1 per week on average?”  Jane explained how this would work. 

It was proposed by Hugh Waterer and seconded by Tom Hughes-Hallett that we increase the precept.   The audience were asked to vote on the proposal and the proposal was unanimously approved by all the householders in attendance with the exception of one person who abstained due to the fact that half his property lay both in Iken and Sudbourne. 

Ray Herring explained the legislation regarding the powers to spend which limits the parish council to the range of expenditure outside the base responsibilities.  In 2012 parish councils were given the option of the Power of Competence – a process the council has to go through.  The Parish Clerk has to be appropriately trained.  Sir Tom Hughes Hallett pointed out that the proposal for the precept increase is restricted to the walls. 

Iken Nominee on AOEP.

There had been a letter from Sir Edward Greenwell asking for the name of a councillor who would be prepared to act as Flood Defence spokesperson in the parish and sit on the AOEP.  Colin Chamberlain was nominated to represent Iken.

Items for information only

Papers had been attached to the Agenda and already circulated:

To note position on VILLAGE HALL - On the Land Registry registration - HM Land Registry has issued confirmation that the first registration of Iken PC’s freehold ownership of the Iken Village Hall was completed on 31 May 2018.  




9th November 2018 at 5pm and 7th February 2019 at 6pm both at Snape Village Hall Committee Room.



01 September 2018Defib training session

See the file in the 'Documents for viewing' folder (menu, left) relating to the latest cardiopulmonary resuscitation (defib) session taking place at Hill Farm, Iken on November 8th, 5pm.

01 August 2018Iken Parish Council annual accounts

Iken Parish Council annual accounts may be inspected from the 1st to 31st August, 2018, upon request to Colin Chamberlain, The School House, Iken IP12 2ER (tel: 01728 688774).

The Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) 2017/18 form can be found in 'Documents for Viewing' - see menu (left).

24 July 2018Suffolk Fire and Rescue advice during heatwave

The following advice has been issued by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service while the very dry weather continues:

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to be aware of the potential risks posed by fire during a dry spell of weather, especially when using barbecues or disposing of smoking materials.

In 2011 fire crews attended 255 incidents throughout the county between 1 April and 1 July including a large number of heath land and countryside fires. Fires in the countryside can easily be started accidentally, or even deliberately. A carelessly discarded cigarette can lead to a huge fire, where the results to the wildlife can be devastating.  Please follow these basic guidelines to help keep Suffolk countryside free from fire:

Basic Guidelines

Do not discard cigarettes in the countryside

Do not leave glass items around after a picnic or barbecue

Put all litter in the bin

Do not light barbecues

Do not light fires

If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately

Don't attempt to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible


Site the barbecue well away from anything flammable, such as sheds, fences and shrubs

Never build fires in fields or forests

Position the barbecue on a firm, level base and shelter it from gusts of wind

Keep at least one bucket of water handy – just in case

Use recommended fluids or fire lighters when starting a barbecue

Never use any flammable liquid (such as petrol) to start or revive a bonfire or barbecue

If things go wrong, call the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service immediately by dialling 999.

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