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20 July 2018SCDC "Local Plan" poster

Interested in finding out about SCDC's 'First Draft Local Plan Consultation'? See 'Documents for Viewing' in menu (left) and click on the "Local Plan" file for information on public drop-in sessions taking place between 24th July and 23rd August in the area.

13 July 2018Minutes of the Alde & Ore Estuary Partnership meeting held on Tuesday 24th April 2018 at Orford Town Hall

See 'Documents for Viewing' folder (in the menu, left) for the full Minutes. File name is 'AOEP - 8th July'.

02 July 2018Clay waste exemption certificate problem

Please see a recently sent letter by Iken PC to the Environment Agency regarding potential problems with a waste exemtion certificate for clay being used to strengthen river walls in Iken (see 'Documents for Viewing' folder in menu, left - "Letter to Tom Harris").

26 June 2018Notice of vacancy in the Office of Councillor

PARISH OF IKEN

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN

That due to the Resignation of Richard William Mann a vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council.

1. A by-election to fill the vacancy will be held if ten electors for the parish give notice in writing claiming such an election to the Returning Officer not later than

Thursday, 19th July 2018

2. The Address of the Returning Officer is Council Offices, East Suffolk House, Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton, Woodbridge IP12 1RT

3. If no such notice is given the Parish Council will fill the vacancy by co-option.

 

Dated: Friday, 29th June 2018

Mrs L Lloyd - Clerk to Iken Parish Council

Rose Cottage, 1 Chapel Road, Saxmundham IP17 1BH

 

29 May 2018Iken Parish Council - Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting 18th May 2018

Held at Iken Village Hall, commencing at 6pm

Present
Councillors Loulou Cook, Colin Chamberlain, Richard Mann, Norman Johnson, Hugh Waterer, John Hailes, Clerk Lorraine Lloyd

Iken residents: Audrey Power, Annabel Chamberlain, Penny Johnson, David and Sue Spindler, Chris Ridsdale

In attendence
Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council, Member for Wilford Division

Apologies
Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallet, Sir John and Lady Gieve

Disclosure of interests
No new disclosures other than river wall defences

Report from Andrew Reid
Andrew gave an overview of his written report which had been previously received and circulated to Councillors.

In February this year the County Council agreed its budget for 2018/19, based on the need to save £23.9m given reductions in grant funding from central government. The budget changes included savings from each of Adult and Community Services, Health, Wellbeing and Children’s Services, Fire and Public Safety, Resource and Corporate Services.

Council Tax had been raised by 2.99%, which is the first increase since 2009. The National Adult Social Care Precept that is ring-fenced to help fund Adult Social Care was also raised by 2%. Despite these increases, Suffolk County Council will transfer around £3 million from reserves but Andrew said this was not sustainable in the long-term. New transformation programmes were launched in November 2017 which will focus on reducing existing overspends and meeting the forecast budget gap of £56m to 2021.

Education: Last year GCSEs performance in Suffolk showed a considerable improvement. 

Children: Last year the fostering service launched a campaign for fostering children in the county.  Reasons for why there is an increase in children needing foster care may be due to foster carers becoming old and having to retire.   If we do know of families who would be foster carers Andrew asked if we could refer them to the website.

Looking after children: Ofsted focussed on where we fared well which is on sharing information.

Further details are available in the written report (posted here at an earlier date).  Andrew took questions from the floor on his report as follows:

John Hailes asked in what areas budget reductions had been made. Andrew replied that just under one half was in education and overall the budget is down 60% compared to a few years ago. SCC are always looking at new ways of working efficiently.  A point was raised whether the budget cuts had been to the detriment of our roads.  David Spindler pointed to a surprising inefficiency finding a sweeper was working on bank holiday Monday at no doubt double rates.  He was in a Norse vehicle.  Andrew will investigate this incident.  He admitted there had been severe cuts to the Highways budget.  There is going to be a review of Suffolk County Council’s highways contract with Kier. 

Potholes were discussed.  There are criteria for prioritising potholes.  Andrew was asked how much compensation has been paid out for vehicle damage caused by ill maintained roads.  Andrew replied that it was over £200,000 and mentioned pothole damage was an issue which had affected him personally.  It was asked if is possible to repair roads without closing them off and a recent very inconvenient closure at Snape was mentioned.  Andrew responded that there were health and safety issues and referred to a fatality as a highway repair site a few years ago. .  Andrew stated that if potholes were not reported then SCC can’t do anything about them.  Evidence is required. Traffic lights are used at road repair sites to maintain traffic flow as far as possible.  Another point raised was that sometimes after work is completed the signs aren’t promptly taken away.  Andrew stipulated that he needs to be informed of problems as they occur not afterwards when intervention is too late.  Another point was made about Iken roads taking a level of traffic for which they were not built and therefore disintegrating to the point of failure. At present there were not only high levels of agricultural machinery but also the substantial number of heavy trucks delivering clay to the Mann and Hailes farms for future river wall defences.  Colin asked if the road might need rebuilding to cope with this.  Andrew thought that traffic in Iken was lighter than had been suggested but he promised to arrange for a road engineer to investigate the situation.  Andrew noted that Iken is a small village and it would be undesirable to make the roads larger.  Andrew is happy to meet again to discuss what can be done.

Norman Johnson asked about the Hospital Trust merger and its possible effect on the Social Care budget.  The proposal for the merger of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals had been driven by an attempt to lift the performance of Colchester.  The Suffolk Social Care budget is run separately from Essex.  There are bigger issues to deal with.    What is important is how money can be saved by reducing unnecessary local government tiers.  Andrew mentioned the co-operation achieved between Councils in shared IT, shared financial services etc., and how services can be contracted out and done more efficiently.  There are various things we can do better in our county with unnecessary tiers being taken out.

Andrew was warmly thanked for coming to the meeting.

ACTION - AR to liaise with CC re visit of engineer to inspect roads.

WRITTEN REPORT FROM THERESA COFFEY MP (full report posted here earlier) - Received and circulated.

District Councillor’s report – None received.    Andrew will enquire why we haven’t heard from our District Councillor, Ray Herring.

Report on Planning Applications since May 2017

Loulou Cooke read out the report:

Mr J Rutherford

Single storey extension and associated work to existing bungalow and conversion of existing garage to domestic use, Woodlands, Sandy Lane, Ref: DC/17/2998/FUL, August 2016.  Supported by Parish Council

Mr Christopher and Ms Claire Darke

Change of use of land and for the construction of a stable block and paddock area, White Cottage, Sandy Lane

Ref: DC/17/5062/FUL, 5.12.2017.  Supported by Parish Council

Sir John and Lady Gieve

Minor alterations to existing house comprising enlarging a roof light, extending a first floor corridor to rear elevation, removal of porch, wall and enclosing a reduced carport to form a store/workshop, replacement of back door with a small window in the same opening of Thatched Cottage, 65 High Street, Iken

Ref: DC/18/0163/FUL, January 2018.  Supported by Parish Council

Mr and Mrs P Davis

Ref: DC/18/0199/FUL, January 2018.  Change of use of holiday cottage to residential dwelling, Yarn Hill Barn, Hill Farm Road.  Supported by Parish Council

A message had been received from Mr & Mrs Davis saying they had got their planning permission and everyone in the village to be thanked for supporting them.

Financial Report 

Colin Chamberlain, as the Responsible Financial Officer, presented the 2017/18 accounts which had been previously circulated.  Norman asked about the village hall and whether it was held by the Village Hall Charity.  Colin explained that the Parish Council had been given the land in 1950 and there was no evidence that the land had been transferred to any other body such as the Village Hall Charity though the idea had been considered from time to time.  There was a discussion whether it might be sensible to now transfer it to the charity but Colin explained that as the Parish Council was exempt from most taxes such as on a sale, there did not seem to be any concerns that the land was not already held by Village Hall Charity and in any event to do so would cost money unnecessarily.

The accounts were unanimously approved.  Colin was thanked for preparing them.  The accounts and AGAR audit return were duly signed.  It was noted that the new auditors are Littlejohns.

Chairman’s Review 

Loulou explained that her term had been unexpectedly busy due to the river wall project.  Everyone in the village is aware of the current proposals and she hoped everyone now has a grip of the plan.  If anyone knows of anyone who needs help or advice then she asked if they could be directed to the Parish Council.  Lorraine was given a vote of thanks for her hard work.  John was thanked for cutting the grass around the village hall.

Public Forum

Loulou spoke of the coastal path and pointed out that it is not made easy when we don’t know what is happening with the river walls. 

IKEN PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

Disclosure of interests - The same as above

Minutes of previous meeting - Agreed a true record and duly signed

Election of New Chairperson - Norman Johnson was elected chair.

Election of new Vice Chairman - Tom Hughes Hallett was elected vice chair.

Any other Business raised by Councillors:

Resignation of John Hailes.  A formal letter of resignation was received from John though he mentioned that he would remain in touch with the Parish Council.  NJ gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the council for JH’s sterling work over the years.  Lorraine will contact the elections team at SCDC to raise a vacancy notice and CC explained the procedures.  It was resolved that if no election is called for in response to the Notice of Vacancy then the Council will post an advertisement on the noticeboard and website inviting candidates to put their names forward to the Parish Clerk for consideration for co-option to fill the vacancy.  The advertisement should be posted for six weeks.  At the next Council meeting in August the Council may consider appointing any candidate putting their names forward and if more than one candidate then there were procedures in the constitution for selecting the replacement by a vote.  It was therefore resolved that conditional on there being no notice of vacancy, an advertisement inviting candidates to apply would be posted by the Parish Clerk for the period of six weeks with a view to co-opting a replacement(s) at the next Council meeting.  It was noted an ordinary election was due in May of next year.

Data Protection (GDPR)

Loulou had compiled a notice for Lorraine to send out to all those individuals on whom the IPC holds personal data.  Lorraine to ask the SCDC Data Protection committee what other parish councils are being advised.

ACTION - LL Will circulate to everyone on her database.

Constitutional matters

Colin had attended the AOEP meeting for parish councillors in April 2018 and explained that councils in the catchment area were being asked to call for a parish precept of £50 per household on average, which in total would raise up to £300,000 per year across the entire catchment area to be put towards the river wall defence.  There was no decision needed before the 2019/20 precept is determined at the December 2018 council meeting but this gave councillors an opportunity to mull it over.  It was explained the District Council was constrained on the amount by which it could raise its precept but the Parish Council is not.  It was envisaged the precept would be increased for a set period, say five or six years until the river wall defences are upgraded.  In discussion it appeared, without a formal vote being taken, that all the councillors present and all the members of the public present were “favourable” towards the proposal.  Colin would liaise with Cllr Tim Beach of Snape who is chairing a working party of councillors across the catchment area interested on the proposal. There would be a presentation and vote at the August meeting.

Update on the special meeting on river wall flood defences. A £3M loan has been raised by the IDB funded by an increase of rates levied on the landowners.  Landowners had also contributed about £0.5m cash so far and the community over £1.1m (including the Andren legacy) together with additional pledges of money over the next five or six years.  The AOEP considers this is in line with the target.  Large Charitable Trusts have also been approached.  Definitive costings had not yet been done.  All the river walls will now be raised to 3.3 metres thus obviating the need for any scheme of managed retreat at Stanny Farm.  There was a concern expressed that some of the more affluent residents might feel that by raising the precept by £50 a year (see item 3) they may think they have done their bit and this would be worrying as there were clearly some in Iken who could contribute very much more.  It was hoped that Jane Marson and/or Ray Herring as originators of the proposal would come to talk to the PC at the August meeting.  It is important that Iken co-ordinates any action with other Parish Councils but there was a common view that Iken should as a major beneficiary take a lead.

- NJ to write in support to Sir Edward Greenwell.

Update on the broadband for Iken

HW and NJ had a meeting with Rob Anderson and Wil Gibson which had been superseded by RA moving from the village and transferring his customers to Frambroadband. NJ had spoken to Olly Stockton at Frambroadband.  Funds from Suffolk Coastal have gone into a euro bid.  It is going to take another six or eight weeks before Frambroadband know where they are as far as Iken is concerned.  No fast answer but it is moving.  Other providers were not interested in spending money because 50% of Iken is already provided.  Norman advised that if anyone has not got a decent broadband to get in touch with Frambroadband direct. RA’s present customers will receive a letter of transfer from Frambroadband.

– NJ to contact Frambroadband in mid June.

Update on Land Registry Application

The application for the first registration of the village hall site to HM Land Registry had been submitted and the appropriate fee paid. 

- CC to follow up

AGREED - NJ will circulate proposed dates on next meetings for the year in the next week.

NJ will have to sign the asbestos register at the next meeting.

Date of the next Meeting: Thursday 16th August 6pm at the Iken Village Hall.

CC gave his apologies in respect of the next meeting as he will be absent abroad.

Grass cutting at Iken churchyard to be put on the agenda for August.

The meeting closed at 7.35pm

 

24 May 2018Minutes of the meeting of Iken Parish Council 4/1/18

MINUTES of the meeting of Iken Parish Council held on Thursday 4th January 2018 at Hardy’s Barn, Iken commencing at 6pm

PRESENT

Norman Johnson (Vice Chair) presiding, Councillors Colin Chamberlain and Hugh Waterer, Clerk Lorraine Lloyd

In attendance:  Jonathan Clarke, England Coastal Path

Members of the public:  Annabel Chamberlain, Paul and Judy Shipman, Jonathan and Audrey Rutherford, Penny Johnson, Neville Howe

APOLOGIES

Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett, Richard Mann, John Hailes, Loulou Cooke

England Coastal Path – Jonathan Clarke

Jonathan was introduced and took the floor.  He explained that there is an Act of Parliament proposing to put a coastal path in place.  The England Coast Path will be the newest National Trail (others include the South West Coast Path and Hadrian’s Wall Path). The idea of the coastal path is to offer benefit to people’s health as well as to provide economic benefits to local businesses.  There needed to be a certainty that people can walk without arriving at closed sections.  When the Act was passed, the preference was for the path to be coastal.  There are things that can and can’t be done.  Guidance is set out in the ‘Scheme’ which the staff use to understand the situations they might encounter. The Scheme is available on the Natural England website at: http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/5327964912746496?category=50007

Jonathan is one of a team of 18 in Eastern England and he has been doing this job for five years. He said that Iken was the first parish council with which he had ever got involved at this early stage. Work is done in sections.  Currently some parts of the coast path are open in Norfolk and work has now started in all of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.  Other teams work in different parts of the country.   The Government has announced that the coastal path will be open by 2020.  The team has expanded because of this.  They are now working from Bawdsey to Aldeburgh.  Initially they are finding out what information is available e.g. from landowners, RSPB, county council etc. to decide what the best route for the coastal path is.  Involved landowners are offered individual meetings so they can explain how they use their land; the opportunities and constraints.

After much discussion, a preferred route will then be published and comments can be made on it.  In most cases landowners accept the route proposed, but if agreement hasn’t been reached then they can make objections to the Secretary of State, which is then passed to an independent planning inspector for consideration.  Objection forms are simple - on two sides of an A4 sheet. The test overall is whether the route is a fair balance between what the walker wants and what the landowner wants.  The difference between England and Wales is that Welsh landowners get compensated (but not so in England).  Some landowners benefit because the coastal path may go past their businesses or community centres and, as a result, they may gain financially.  County Councils will put in signage and other improvements necessary but will not carry out largescale surface improvements – generally the path works with the existing surface.  Bridges may be paid for, vegetation cut back etc.  Once the path is open the County Council takes responsibility for it.  The proposed paths must not have a significant impact on designated wildlife and this is taken into account in the discussions.

Generally it is accepted that people take responsibility for themselves while walking but the England Coastal Path legislation has power to stop access onto saltmarsh that can be unsuitable for access due to tides, mud and creeks. This would not affect existing uses like wildfowling. The letter from the Iken Parish Council mentioned various issues about local land and suggested the route used Orford Ness. Jonathan said that he hadn’t yet spoken to the National Trust but he thought it is unlikely a route would go along Orford Ness because of the many conservation designations as well as National Nature Reserve Status. The Parish Council had also suggested using roads. Jonathan said that they would be considered, but a safety assessment is required from the Suffolk County Council Highways Team for use of roads.

A part of the coast path legislation is that land seaward of the trail gains rights of access.  Where the trail goes further inland then larger areas of land will gain those rights.  However, people usually only want to walk from A to B, not cross the other areas of land.  Jonathan reiterated that he is here to find a route, listen to what people want, weigh up the pros and cons and propose a route which is best for everyone. 

Annabel Chamberlain asked whether if no agreement is reached can they enforce it? In response, Jonathan said that it is possible that the proposed route could be approved and opened, despite objections.  He said it depended on the recommendation of the Planning Inspector and decision by the Secretary of State.

Jonathan Rutherford asked if landowners can restrict right of access to any areas between path and coast, for example.  There followed a discussion as to whether anyone can make it inaccessible.  Jonathan (Clarke) said that although rights might exist, there is no requirement to make changes to make the land accessible e.g. by adding gates etc. as fields can still be fenced, as is the current situation.

Colin Chamberlain asked about the possibility of making land excluded. Jonathan said that there are certain circumstances when access to land can be restricted.  

If no agreement is reached then England Coastal Path can propose the route they think best.

Existing footpaths may be used if they fulfil the objectives of the coastal path.  Broadly speaking the route from Snape to various parts of Iken are already established.  A small sum of money is available to create and maintain some routes - not huge amounts. 

It was pointed out that at our last meeting two routes were suggested.  In the path report (when the route is published) they have to give reasons why and why not certain route options are chosen.  It was asked if walkers will walk on the revamped river walls or below it?  There was on-going discussions about whether walking on top of banks might cause disturbance and it depended on the local area.  Colin Chamberlain asked about using roads.  Jonathan replied that they needed to consider the risk and implications of using routes e.g. if someone is walking along some of the roads, what is the likelihood of something happening to them, e.g. injury?  They need to look at these possibilities and seek the advice of the County Council highways team.  Colin Chamberlain asked if the widening of the verge would help?  Could they do some highways maintenance work to enable walking on the roads?  Jonathan said that maybe they need to look at this.  The old ferry had been mentioned to the team.  Using estuaries – there is a discretion to do so.

Annabel Chamberlain asked how long from agreement to up and running?  Jonathan said that after the discussions, the formal consultation period is eight weeks.  If there are no objections then that cuts out six months of the total period to implementation. There is then six to nine months for County Council to put in the work before it gets approved by Parliament - therefore it could take two years. 

Also discussed were some parts of the existing path between Snape and Iken that get covered in sea water.  It was asked if a path can be approved if it runs through sea water.  Jonathan said that the route should be available most of the time and so this would be taken into consideration.

Thanks were given to Jonathan. We will get a copy of the route through the post and it will be available on their website and in libraries.  Natural England keeps a database of people to contact and so if anyone wants to be added then please email jonathan.clarke@naturalengland.org.uk. Also email him with any queries you might have. 

COUNCILLORS DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

River defences, sea walls, coastal paths

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING

Approved and signed by the Vice Chairman

MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES

Potholes and road defects. There are more potholes.  A resurfacing roadworks sign appeared at High Street, showing some work will be carried out over the next eight weeks.  There was a discussion about the state of the road near Decoy Cottage.  Norman Johnson to write to Andrew Reid.  Lorraine and Colin to carry out another survey and lodge results with Highways again (to be included in letter to Andrew Reid).

River Defences – Colin explained that we don’t know what the position is about mud flats.  AOEP wishes there to be a meeting of all Ikenites.  It may come up as a public meeting.  It was understood that SCDC had a different opinion to AOEP.  All proposals are being considered and nothing is yet decided. 

River Defence funding - So far the funding appeal has raised about £130,000.  It was acknowledged at the last meeting that Colin was sending a personal letter to all Iken residents.  There followed a discussion on the matter.  Enabling development is on hold for the moment.  Colin explained that if this was not possible then the public would have to raise £6.5M rather than £2.5M.  The issue is where the houses would go.   It was asked if AOEP produce a monthly newsletter? They do not but they report each month in The Link and on their website. 

Iken Village Hall registration of title is not yet done.  Colin has agreed to have it done by the August meeting.

Broadband.  Norman had been in discussion. He, Rob Anderson and Will Gibson will be meeting the following day.  A single mast to be explored. 

Change to watercourse.  An email distributed to Councillors was discussed.  Bologney River. Agreed we don’t need to respond.

A planning application for change of use of land and for the construction of a stable block and paddock at White Cottage, Sandy Lane, Iken had been distributed on 6th December 2017.  All councillors had responded with no objection/support therefore Lorraine had responded accordingly to the Planning Department within the given timescale.

Lorraine pointed out that a planning application for a single storey extension and associated work to existing bungalow and conversion of existing garage to domestic use at Woodlands, Sandy Lane, Iken had also been dealt with last July but left out of the Minutes of the last meeting.   

PUBLIC FORUM

Potholes were again discussed. It was asked if the big lorries were damaging the road works as they are done.  It was thought they were. Soakaways are continually blocked. 

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

It was agreed that we should formally remember Alan Coombes, as he had been a former Iken resident and member of the Parish Council.  Everyone agreed. Norman to write to Mrs Coombes.

The next meeting is Friday 18th May which is a public meeting so should start at 6pm.  Dates for the next year should then be set.

FINISH TIME - 7.20pm

 

24 May 2018Suffolk County Council 2017/18 Annual Review - Andrew Reid (County Councillor  - Wilford Division)

Council Agrees further savings and council tax for 2018/19

In February this year the County Council agreed its Budget for 2018/19, based on the need to save £23.9m given reductions in grant funding from central government. The budget changes include the following savings from each service:

• Adult and Community Services - £12m - Working with care providers to look at how best to manage future pricing structures and working with partners including health to reduce demand.

• Health, Wellbeing and Children’s Services - £0.25m - Moving towards using digital technology, maximising income and working with Suffolk Libraries to agree a fixed price contract for next four years.

• Fire and Public Safety - £0.24m - Savings from ‘blue-light’ collaboration including sharing facilities with the police and ambulance services. Further efficiencies within Trading Standards and Health & Safety. Reduction in Citizens Advice Bureau grants.

• Resource Management – £1.71m - Use evidence-based approach to reduce highways maintenance requirements where possible. Continue to make best use of property, saving money by sharing buildings with public sector partners. Review contracts for IT services.

• Corporate Services – £9.7m - Reprofiling debt repayment in line with recent guidance, maximising efficiencies in contract management and increasing the returns from Wholly Owned Companies.

In addition to these savings, the Council also agreed to rise general council tax by 2.99%, which is the first increase since 2009. The National Adult Social Care Precept that is ringfenced to help fund Adult Social Care will be equivalent to 2%.

As part of the budget plan, it is expected that the Council will use around £3 million from reserves but this source of funding is not sustainable in the long-term. A new portfolio of transformation programmes was launched in November 2017. The new transformation programmes will focus on reducing existing overspends and meeting the forecast budget gap of £56m to 2021.

Community Fire Volunteers wanted by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service is currently on the lookout for enthusiastic and caring people who want to make a difference to their community. Community Fire Volunteers are fully trained volunteers who share fire safety advice in their area, visiting elderly and vulnerable people in their homes to undertake a Safer Home Visit for them, fitting smoke alarms if required and offering fire safety advice. Those who become Community Fire Volunteers will also be able to get involved in other ways, such as attending community events and fairs or giving talks to community groups about fire safety. Applicants must older than 18 years old and be available for at least 12 hours every month. Volunteers will receive ongoing training and uniform for when they undertake their duties. Support will also be given to allow volunteers to extend their skills and expenses will be paid to cover any costs incurred while on duty.

Suffolk Fostering Service launches fostering recruitment campaign

Suffolk County Council’s Fostering Service launched a series of campaigns in mid to late 2017to encourage more Suffolk residents to become foster carers. 820 children currently live in care in Suffolk and there is an urgent need for more people to come forward to foster. The first campaign will focus on the need to recruit more foster carers for teenagers. Suffolk Fostering Service is the longest established provider of fostering services in the county, offering competitive fees, 24-hour support services and up to 21 days paid leave per year. The first campaign focuses on the real-life experiences of two Suffolk Fostering Service foster carers, Ethel from Ipswich and Sammy from Lowestoft. Teenagers in care have often gone through a great deal in their lives and this campaign aims to give an honest reflection of what it takes to be a foster carer and the rewards that can come as a result. The campaign is accompanied by a new promotional video which features both Ethel and Sammy, providing an insight into what it takes to be a foster carer for teenagers and the positive difference they make to a young person’s life. The video addresses why the application process can be timely and thorough, with Ethel and Sammy both describing how the vulnerability of the children in care makes the timeframe absolutely necessary. It also makes clear that the robustness and intensity of the process is equally there to benefit and protect the prospective foster carer, ensuring that they are fully prepared and certain of the commitment they are making. It’s really important to get more people talking about foster care and I would encourage Suffolk residents to look at their own lives to consider whether they have the patience, compassion and the spare room required to provide a child with the secure home life they need.” For more information visit: www.fosterandadopt.suffolk.gov.uk

GCSE and A Level results on the rise in Suffolk  

Results published by the Department for Education early in 2018 show results for GCSE and A Levels on the rise.

GCSE -  Almost 7,000 students in Suffolk were entered for GCSE results this year. The figures show that 2% more students in Suffolk are achieving the expected standards in English and Maths at GCSE compared with last year. In 2017, there was a change to the way that English and Maths GCSEs are graded. Results are now graded from 9 to 1, (previously A to G) with 9 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. The expected standard for pupils to achieve is now a grade 4 and above (previously a C grade and above), with grade 5 considered a ‘strong pass’. These changes will be phased in to cover all subjects by 2020. 62.4% of students in the county are achieving the expected standard in English and Maths and Suffolk has closed the gap to national to just 1.1%. Suffolk has also risen by 24 places in national league tables for this measure, to 85th out of 151 authorities. The county has risen 7 places in national rankings for the percentage of students achieving the English Baccalaureate. Progress of Suffolk students continues to be above the national average for state funded schools, with the county achieving an average Progress 8 score of -0.01, compared with -0.03 nationally. Progress 8 measures how well pupils of all abilities have progressed by comparing them with students who achieved similar levels in Key Stage 2 across the country.    

A Level - Almost 3,000 pupils were entered for A Levels in Suffolk. The A Level figures show that Suffolk pupils once again performed well with the General Applied entry and Tech Level entries remaining above the national average figures. A Level attainment is measured by the Department for Education using a points system. Points are given based on the type of A Level and the grade achieved. For example, an A Level at grade A is worth 50 points, whereas an AS Level would be worth half of this. Suffolk’s Academic average points per entry in 2017 was 30.01. For General Applied, (previously referred to as vocational) the average points per entry has increased to 35.95 from last year’s figure of 34.70. This has remained above the national figure of 35.6. At Tech Level, Suffolk’s average points has increased by more than 3% to 34.66 and remains above national figure of 32.2.

97% of students receive preferred Secondary School

In 2017, Suffolk County Council received it highest number of applications from parents and carers indicating which secondary school they would prefer their child to be educated at from September 2018 in Year 7. The total was 7,447. Last year it was 7171. 91.61% of applicants received offers for their first preference school and 97.23% of applicants received an offer for one of their top three preferred schools. This percentage figure of 91.61% equates to a total of 6822 pupils. Families who applied online will be able to log on to the council’s Online Service from today to see their school place offer, and will receive an email to confirm this offer. We will also send letters by second class post today (March 1), to all applicants, including those who made a paper application, to give more details about the next steps open to them. Any parents or carers with children born between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007 and who have not yet applied for a school place should make an application immediately by downloading the CAF1 application form from the council’s website: www.suffolk.gov.uk/admissions . For further information, such as how to view your offer online, and guidance if you have not received your preferred offer, please read our School admissions FAQ page.

Suffolk County Council’s Children’s Services continue to improve following Ofsted pilot inspection

The council’s Children’s Services are now rated ‘Good’ in all areas. Ofsted have developed a new framework for their future inspections of Local Authority Children’s Services (ILACS). Earlier in 2017, Suffolk County Council was asked to be a pilot site for this new inspection framework. Suffolk County Council’s Children’s Services were previously judged ‘Good’ overall at the end of 2015, a grade that only a third of Local Authorities have achieved. Whilst this was positive, the council recognised that there were still areas for improvement and Ofsted’s latest report reflects the action taken to improve in all areas. All areas are now judged to be ‘Good’. This puts Suffolk County Council in the top 25% of all Local Authorities.Inspectors were positive about every part of Children’s Services, the quality of work with children, and the passion and commitment of everyone they met. Their report highlights that: “The local authority's commitment to children and families is clear and unambiguous… Staff know children well and are passionate about changing their lives.” Suffolk County Council’s Children’s Services is now in the top 25% of all Local Authorities.

Key points made by Ofsted in the report recognise the authority’s work in the following areas:

Early Help: Early help is making a positive difference to the lives of children and families Children and families benefit from a good range of early help services.

Social Care & Safeguarding: The children and adult Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is well established. It is appropriately resourced and well managed. Thresholds are applied consistently. Information is shared appropriately. Decision-making is timely. The way in which the local authority has rolled out its preferred social work model across all children and young people’s services is extremely impressive. The model is encouraging social workers and other staff to work more effectively with families.

Children in Care: The local authority makes good use of its legal powers and acts decisively to protect children who are unable to continue to live at home safely. Social workers clearly understand the importance of achieving permanence for children in care. The emphasis is always on finding the right long-term solution for each child.

Strong Leadership: Senior managers lead by example. They want the best for children, young people and families. They set and expect high standards of themselves and others. They understand the importance of getting the basics right but are not afraid to innovate.

Partnership working: Partnership working, particularly with the police and with health services, is strong. This is evident in the way in which the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) has developed. It is also apparent in the role played by health partners in early help. Working closely with other agencies, the local authority has strengthened its response to missing children and child sexual exploitation.

Suffolk school travel consultation launched

Suffolk County Council has called for unity in efforts to find a long-term solution to providing affordable home to school transport as a major public consultation gets underway. People who give their views as part of a consultation on the future of school travel in Suffolk will be listened to carefully and have the opportunity to influence the final outcome, the council has said. The two and half month consultation, which started on Tuesday 12 December, invites people to help the council shape the future of school and post-16 travel policies. Suffolk County Council has already listened to headteachers and included additional options in the consultation document. The pledge today is to do more of the same as the authority seeks help to find a long-term solution to the funding issues facing home to school transport. In Suffolk, £21 million of taxpayers’ money is spent per year getting children to and from school. Suffolk County Council has already introduced a number of efficiency changes to the service saving around £2.6 million. Now, like many other councils across the country, the authority needs to consider making more significant changes. It is therefore consulting on changing its school and post-16 travel policies so the service can be affordable, sustainable, and capable of meeting growing demand in the future. The council’s current school and post-16 travel policies go above legal requirements, which means around 2400 children and young people receive free/subsided school or post-16 travel that Suffolk County Council is not legally required to provide and that they wouldn’t get in many other parts of the country. In addition, around 2400 children receive free travel to schools further away than legally required to provide. The proposed consultation seeks views on changing these policies and includes three alternative options, pre-and post-16: -

Option 1: In September 2019, change the school travel policy so that it is in line with the legal requirements.  This would mean implementing all the changes in one go, including ceasing free travel to the transport priority area schools where it is not the pupils’ nearest.

Option 2: From September 2019, introduce the changes year by year as a child joins or moves school so that it is in line with legal requirements. This means that we would introduce all the changes on a phased basis. This option would cost Suffolk County Council an estimated £8.8 million to implement.

Option 3: Make no changes to the school travel policy but make savings from other services provided by Suffolk County Council.

The consultation ran from 12 December 2017 to 28 February 2018. The results of the consultation will be thoroughly reviewed before Cabinet takes a decision in June.

County Council consulting on Record Office Service in Lowestoft

Suffolk County Council has announced that it will hold a public consultation over the future of the Record Office Service in Lowestoft. It is not sustainable to continue to hold archive material in the storeroom in the current Record Office building. The basement location means that it is prone to flooding and damp hazards, at risk of mould growth and fire resistance is not up to the required standard. This, along with the general decline in visitors and the council’s ongoing requirement to make savings in line with its objectives to fill the budget gap of £56m by 2021, means that changes need to be made to the service in Lowestoft. The results of the formal consultation will be presented to Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Committee later in the year for a final decision to be made on the future service provision. For further details of the consultation process, visit www.suffolkarchives.co.uk .

Drone technology to help manage blue light service incidents

15th February saw the official launch of the use of two Small Unmanned Surveillance Aircrafts in Suffolk. The technology, commonly referred to as drones have been developed and funded by Suffolk Resilience Forum for use across the county. As part of a multi-agency Air Support Unit, the drones will be used by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue and Norfolk & Suffolk 4x4 Response. The drones will provide a range of aerial surveillance options to support emergency services and voluntary organisations across a wide range of incidents including:

large-scale open fires or complex structural firesurban area search and rescue

major incident or disaster response

investigative support

hazardous materials response including Environmental Impact Assessments

road traffic accidents

significant multi-agency events

missing persons searches

pre-planned operations and risk information gathering.

By improving the ability to see and understand what is happening from the air, the drones will support emergency services and voluntary organisations to inform the decisions they make when dealing with an incident. They will also help to reduce risks to the public and emergency service workers. The drones and camera equipment cost around £42,500 and they are based at Woodbridge Fire and Police station, have 24/7 emergency response capability and can be used by 17 specially trained remote pilots. The drones will provide important visual information which will be used alongside experienced operational commanders to complete the decision-making picture and help resolve incidents as quickly and safely as possible. The drones have already been used a number of times, most recently at the fire at Saxmundham train station to not only provide pictures of fire spreading and possible collapse in areas that may not have been possible for firefighters to access or see, but also to assist the joint investigation team to determine the location and possible cause of the fire. 

Andrew Reid

County Councillor  - Wilford Division

Tel: 07545 423799

Email: andrew.reid@suffolk.gov.uk

24 May 2018A report by Theresa Coffey MP

Sorry I cannot join you at your Annual Meeting but I hope you will enjoy an update on how I have worked on some issues affecting your parish this year including on health, education and transport.

It has been my privilege to serve as your Member of Parliament since 2010 and I was delighted to be re-elected last June. I was also honoured to be re-appointed by the Prime Minister to serve in the Government as Environment Minister, working to implement our new 25-year environment plan, reducing our use of single use plastics and ensuring that we leave our environment in much better shape as we exit the European Union.

On health, I have continued to lead the way in scrutinising our ambulance service holding them to account on response times. Since my push for a turnaround plan the Ambulance Service has gone through significant change, recruiting more staff and investing in a new fleet of ambulances. There are still major issues with hospital handover delays. This is why I specifically invited NHS Improvement to my most recent meeting so they could hear first-hand the issues that the ambulance service is facing in trying to get crews back out on the road. I have asked the NHS Director responsible for the East of England, Paul Watson and Health Minister, Steve Barclay to meet me very quickly so we can accelerate solutions to issues that we know have been around for some time

I’m pleased that Ipswich and Colchester Hospitals will receive a huge £69 million capital investment to improve services for patients. The additional cash will enable the transformation of buildings and services as the two hospitals merge creating the new East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

On education, I continue to look at Ofsted reports for my schools on a regular basis and have met Headteachers to discuss performance. The Government’s new funding formula has now come into effect, which ensures that every school has a higher basic percentage of funding for every child. Suffolk has traditionally suffered because we have very high employment rates and have far fewer children than the national average receiving free schools meals, which means money has been diverted elsewhere. However, our average levels of household income is not as high as some other places where schools have traditionally been funded more generously – so the change to the formula has started to right those wrongs.

On transport, I have worked with Suffolk County Council to help develop the business case for the Suffolk Energy Gateway to by-pass the 4 villages; Suffolk’s bid to the Housing Infrastructure Fund for significant improvement works along the A12 corridor has reached the next stage and Suffolk County Council has received an additional £2.45m worth of funding from the government to help repair Suffolk’s roads following the recent winter weather.

On Sizewell C, we are still awaiting Stage 3 consultation. I was robust in challenging EDF during Stage 2 to do more work before the next phase of consultation, especially in relation to improvements to the road network and campus site. None of the proposals are adequate to mitigate the huge increase in traffic that will take place along the B1122.

Following the disappointing decision by Lloyds to close some of their bank branches, I wrote to the Chief Operating Officers of the last banks standing in other towns in Suffolk Coastal to seek assurances that they remain committed to providing a service.

I joined my fellow county MPs to help create a small piece of Suffolk in Westminster, as we came together to celebrate the first ever Suffolk Day. Being the sunrise county on the east coast, it is fitting that our now annual Suffolk Day will take place on the longest day of the year, June 21st.

This year I spent Remembrance Sunday in Aldeburgh and then in Halesworth for their evening service.

I attended a service to mark 65 years since the North Sea flood caused massive devastation to the East Coast. 50 people lost their lives in Suffolk. Since that fateful night a lot of work has been done to improve the protection along our coastline with major investment in our coastal defences and early warning systems.

Finally, last Summer I undertook a four-day constituency tour visiting 90 plus towns and villages across Suffolk.  Most issues raised were local council matters, which I passed on to councilors. Due to the rapidly improving situation the issue of broadband and mobile phone signal were hardly raised at all, although I know there are still pockets of not-spots.

 

22 May 2018Parish Councillor vacancy

Due to the resignation of John Hailes, a vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council. Please see the 'Documents for viewing' folder in the menu, left, for further information.

22 May 2018Agenda for the Iken PC Annual Parish Meeting

AGENDA FOR THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

Held on Friday 18 May 2018 at Iken Village Hall commencing at 6pm

Present

Apologies and reasons for absence:

Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett - holiday

  • Disclosure of interests
  • Report from andrew reid
  • Writen report from Theresa Coffey
  • District Councillor’s report
  • Report on Planning Applications since May 2017
  • Financial Report 
  • Chairman’s Review 
  • Public Forum

AGENDA FOR THE IKEN PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
18th May 2018 carrying straight on c.6.30pm at Iken Village Hall

  • Disclosure of interests
  • Election of New Chairperson
  • Election of new Vice Chairman
  • Any other Business raised by Councillors
  • Resignation of John Hailes
  • Data Protection
  • Constitutional matters
  • Update on the special meeting on flood defences 
  • Any update on the broadband issue
  • Update on Land Registry Application

Date of the next meeting:  Thursday 16th August 6pm

22 May 2018Free health checks available

In the 'Documents for viewing' folder (menu, left) there is a flyer with information about One Life Suffolk free health checks for adults, which will be available at the Station House Campsea Ashe in June and July.

30 April 2018Minutes of a special Parish meeting to discuss The Alde & Ore Estuary Plan

See "Documents for Viewing" folder in menu (left) where there is a PDF document relating to this story.

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