06 May 2021Community Partnership grant funding
SALC (Suffolk Association of Local Councils) is currently supporting community partnerships to increase engagement and awareness. A second small grants scheme has been launched which councils can apply for. Information on this can be found in the 'Documents for Viewing' section of the menu in the 2021 Village docs file, and named 'Community Partnership Grant Guidance'.
06 May 2021Annual Parish Council Meeting (21/5/21) agenda
The agendas for the Iken Annual Parish Council and Annual Parish meetings can be found in the 'Documents for Viewing' section of the menu (in the 2021 Village docs folder) and named "APC meeting - 21.5.21" and "APM 2021"
21 April 2021Elections
Following the close of nominations on 8th April, documents relating to the elections taking place on Thursday, 6th May 2021 can be found in the 'Documents for Viewing' section of the menu (2021 village docs folder).
16 April 2021Iken PC Standing Orders
Information on Iken Parish Council Standing Orders can be found in the 'Documents for Viewing' section of this website.
16 April 2021Defibrillator notice
Important information regarding Iken's defribrillator can be found in the 'Documents for Viewing' section of the menu on this website.
05 April 2021Iken PC Financial report as at 26th March 2021
IKEN PARISH COUNCIL
Financial Report as at 26th March 2021
Total receipts 1,500.00
Hall hire fees 14.00
Parish Clerk annual fees 240.00
Parish Clerk direct expenses 89.62
HMRC- PAYE 60.00
SALC Membership 67.99
PFK Littlejohn – chasing fee 48.00
Information Commissioners Office 40.00
Iken PCC – Mowing 800.00
Birketts – Legal fees re FOI 360.00
Zoom fees 43.17
Reconciliation 31 March 2021
Balance as at 1 April 2137.60
Total receipts 1500.00
Total Payments - 1762.78
Balance as at 31 March 1874.82
Balance at Bank 28.2.21 = £1874.82
05 April 2021Minutes of PC meeting held 26th March 2021
Iken Parish Council
Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on Friday 26th March 2021 via Zoom commencing at 5pm
Councillors as appointed by East Suffolk Council on 18th March 2021 pursuant to s91 of the Local Government Act 1972 - Annabel Chamberlain, Robert Gillespie, Ray Herring, Jeremy Hinves, Alan Hutson, Toby Mann, Imogen Sayer. Clerk Lorraine Lloyd plus four members of the public. Also Jim Friend of SALC
District Councillor Ray Herring welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially to the newly appointed parish councillors. He said their term should be both interesting and enjoyable. He gave an overview of his position explaining that he had been District Councillor for 34 years and Leader for 20 years. The Zoom procedure was outlined. It was explained that it wouldn’t be necessary for the new councillors to sign a Declaration as all had been appointed and all have exactly the same responsibilities as elected councillors. The clerk had held things together over the last three months and she will retire in due course once the new Parish Council was up and running efficiently. The Agenda had been constructed so as not to overload the first meeting.
OPEN PUBLIC FORUM
Members of the public were invited to express views and raise concerns relating to the agenda.
2.1 It was asked when the chicane on the river path was going to be removed. Councillor Herring explained that Andrew Reid would be able to offer advice in this matter later.
2.2 It was asked:
if in the future we were going to reinstate the Agenda to its previous format
pointed out that the last date for comments regarding the Coastal Footpath is 31st March
requested future openness and transparency
if it could be assured that the clerk is to work for all councillors
if we were going to have a public meeting regarding the Coastal Footpath
Cllr Herring responded that comments regarding the Coastal Path are not going to be made by the 31st March as originally stated so we will await further direction.
2.3 Apologies were put forward by a former councillor for involving Cllr Herring and Hilary Slater in the extra work caused by mass resignations. Trying to co-opt four out of seven councillors was an insidious task and it was suggested there should not be group co-options going forward.
Cllr Herring stated that he would hope that the situation of mass resignations would not occur again.
A comment was made that it was hoped the future councillors would be outward rather inward looking and respect each other. The new council was wished well.
2.4 Jim Friend of SALC was introduced. His advice was:
2.4.1. NALC recommends that Any Other Business should not appear on the Agenda because items to be considered by the council must be notified in advance to members and to the public. It is okay to include Matters Arising but care should be taken to ensure new matters are not introduced that are not specified on the agenda.
2.4.2. A second Public Forum is not recommended. If the council want to afford time for the public to comment on matters that have been debated then consideration may be given to holding the Forum later in the meeting.
2.4.3. Vacancies should be dealt with as they arise.
2.4.4. Openness and transparency is important and the council needs to beware of the requirements the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities.
3. APOLOGIES AND APPROVAL OF ABSENCE
4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest. Cllr Herring gave a brief overview about declarations of interest and said we will spend time on this matter in due course.
5. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
Jeremy Hinves had offered his services and Annabel Chamberlain gave her views as to why she thought that Robert Gillespie would be a good candidate. They both were asked for some background and motive which they provided.
Jeremy was proposed by Alan Hutson and seconded by Toby Mann.
Robert Gillespie was proposed by Annabel Chamberlain but as there was no seconder the proposal failed.
With one nomination on the table it was agree by a show of hands that Jeremy Hinves be elected Chairman. He was congratulated.
6. ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN
Alan Hutson stated that he had lived at Iken Hall for over 20 years and would like to be part of the team. He was keen to interact with the community. Toby Man proposed and Robert Gillespie seconded and Alan was elected by show of hands.
8. APPROVAL OF THE DRAFT MINUTES OF PREVIOUS PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
The Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 12th November 2020 had been circulated and on the noticeboard and it was agreed they were a true record of the proceedings.
9. APPROVAL OF THE DRAFT STANDING ORDERS
Standing Orders produced from NALC Standing Orders Model had been tailored to Iken and circulated prior to the meeting. The clerk explained that Iken’s original Standing Orders had not been updated or reviewed since 2015/16 and were out of date. It made sense to use the Model as it could easily be referred back to when regulation updates were necessary. Ray Herring explained its usefulness, particularly as an on-coming clerk may be working at more than one Parish Council and it would be simpler to have consistency in the Standing Orders.
Jim Friend endorsed Cllr Herring’s comments and pointed out SALC always recommend that the NALC Model Standing Orders are adopted by councils.
Cllr Chamberlain stated that the previous standing orders had included the co-option procedure and also provision to remove from the council a councillor who had not attended for good reason for two meetings and these two items were not included in the draft Model.
Jim Friend pointed out that there was no requirement to include co-option procedures in the Standing Orders and that if every piece of guidance was included in a council’s Standing Orders they would be too extensive and unworkable. He also stated that it would be unlawful to remove a councillor for not attending two meetings. It was also noted that the Model Standing Orders included details of a quorum.
Cllr Hutson proposed and Cllr Hinves seconded that the draft Standing Orders be adopted. It was carried.
10. APPROVAL OF THE DRAFT INTERNAL CONTROL STATEMENT
The latest NALC model has been tailored to suit Iken and as a lawful document it was agreed that this should be adopted.
11. CONFIRMATION OF THE PARISH COUNCIL PRECEPT 2021-22
The clerk explained that due to the collapse of the Parish Council we missed the deadline to raise the precept as we had planned to cover the increase in expected expenditure. The only option left open to us is to confirm the same precept of £1500 as per previous year and this has to be done by 31st March 2021. It was agreed the Parish Precept should be confirmed.
12. BANKING ARRANGEMENTS
A new banking mandate needs to be set up with two out of three signatories. It was decided the three signatories would be Imogen Sayer, Jeremy Hinves and the clerk. The clerk to organise the Mandates for the business account and the charity account with Barclays.
13. FINANCIAL REPORT
A financial statement as at 31st March 2021 had been circulated prior to the meeting. Lorraine talked through the figures. Cllr Herring pointed out that the clerk’s pay is derisory and needs to be addressed. One of the first points on the next Agenda is to ensure a contract of employment and payment structure is put in place. It was noted that the insurance which is being paid by ESC because it falls due on 1st April 2021 is for the village hall. It will be repaid to ESC once bank signatories are approved by Barclays.
A vote of thanks to Lorraine was requested to be noted.
14. PLANNING APPLICATIONS
There were no planning applications to consider. There had only been one that occurred during the period when there was no Parish Council to comment and that was Yarn Hill Barn extension dated 3.2.21. This has now been permitted. Lorraine had circulated a notice of this application to the village so that anyone could have commented directly to the Planning Department if they so wished.
15. APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATIVE TO THE ALDE AND ORE ESTUARY PARTNERSHIP
Cllr Herring explained the importance of the wider investigation regarding the clay than Iken. He thought that the Chairman should be the representative and therefore proposed Cllr Hinves, Cllr Chamberlain seconded this. All agreed
16. APPOINTMENT OF PERSON TO DEAL WITH DEFIBRILLATOR
Cllr Mann agreed to deal with the Defibrillator. Clerk will forward the information passed to her.
17. APPOINTMENT OF EMERGENCY PLAN OFFICER
It was proposed by Cllr Chamberlain and seconded Cllr Hinves that Cllr Hutson take on this role. All agreed.
18. REPORT FROM THE SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCILLOR ANDREW REID
Andrew Reid was unable to attend the meeting
19. REPORT FROM THE EAST SUFFOLK DISTRICT COUNCILLOR RAY HERRING
Ray explained that East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council had been supporting businesses as regards Covid. ESC prospective business grants and rates had been administered. 98% of staff were working from home. There were Covid issues – one of the biggest for local governments is small market towns. Local economies are suffering significantly. There is quite a lot of money going into Lowestoft. Local shops are suffering because more people are shopping online. All members are aware of the impact of Sizewell. There are differing opinions and social impact. There are some local economy Sizewell C advantages. East Suffolk services have tried to keep most services up and running. Leisure centres are closed until 12th April. There has been a 0% increase on Council Tax leaving SCC financial matters in good order.
20. AGENDA ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING
Draft of clerks pay and conditions
Achievements – what we want to do and how
21. MEETING DATES FOR 2021
*Friday 14th May 2021 AGM and Iken Parish Council
Friday 19th August 2021
Friday 20th November 2021
All to commence at 5.30pm
Jim Friend said that he is happy to help any way he can.
The meeting closed at 6.30pm.
* Due to a change in legislation since the meeting remote meetings will cease to be able to be held after 7th May and physical meetings not enabled until 17th May so this date will be changed.
05 April 2021Minutes of PC meeting held on 12th Nov 2020
Iken Parish Council
MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING held on Thursday 12th November 2020 online via Zoom commencing at 5.30pm
Neville Howe (Chair), Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett (Vice Chair), Cllrs Dr Norman Johnson, Loulou Cooke and oncoming Cllr Audrey Rutherford. Clerk Lorraine Lloyd
Members of the public: Annabel Chamberlain, Robert Gillespie
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the second Zoom meeting and gave a short overview of the direction of the meeting. Since our last meeting two of our Councillors, Colin Chamberlain and Kate Kilburn have resigned. Both have provided exceptional service to the Council and we record our great thanks to them both. As many of you will have seen, the Chair wrote to the village last week to ask for new Councillors and formal notices for two vacancies were sent out last Friday. Ordinarily there are four formal meetings a year. We hope to get a number of applications representing all aspects of our community.
Loulou has also indicated that she will step down and an additional vacancy will be posted in due course. Our thanks also go to Loulou for her great contribution.
Had been received by email from Sir John and Lady Gieve
3. Declarations of interests
All have interest in the River Wall project.
Loulou Cooke and Neville Howe have interests in the Coastal Path project.
4. Minutes of the previous meetings held in August 2020
The Clerk had previously circulated the Minutes and it was agreed it was a true record.
Audrey Rutherford was co-opted to the vacant seat on the Parish Council and duly signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office in view of the meeting.
Following our last meeting, and in the light of questions raised in relation to our governance and processes, the Chair had asked the Vice Chair to review our governance arrangements. This was to ensure that the Council is up to date and our books are in order. The review highlighted some governance improvements that can be made but also found that there were no material concerns to our accounts. We all recognise the need to show respect to each other, councillors, parish clerk and colleagues in the village.
Recommendations – THH
6.1 Our village governance has improved significantly over the last years thanks in large part to the very hard work of previous Chairs and in particular Colin Chamberlain, Loulou Cook and Norman Johnson as well our parish clerks Lorraine and Mel Waterer.
Again we have been very fortunate to have councillors who have willingly and voluntarily often exceeded the amount of support and help they have given to the village.
However, despite being a very small village blessed with voluntary support of this nature, with we must follow national and local guidance and in particular divide more clearly the respective role of parish clerk and councillors.
It is my opinion that our failure to adhere to this division, although well intended, that has been the main cause of some tension and the errors that have occurred.
Councillors and Officers are servants of the public and they are indispensable to one and other, but their responsibilities are distinct.
Councillors are responsible to the electorate and serve only so long as their term of office lasts.
Officers are responsible to the council. Their job is to give advice to Councillors and to the council, and to carry out the council’s work under the direction and control of the council and relevant committees.
6.2 Councillors have four main areas of responsibility:
6.2.1. To determine council policy and provide community leadership.
6.2.2. To monitor and review council performance in delivering services.
6.2.3. To represent the council externally; and
To act as advocates for their constituents.
6.3 All Councillors have the same rights and obligations in their relationship with the Clerk and other employees, regardless of their status or political party, and should be treated equally.
6.4 Councillors should not involve themselves in the day to day running of the Council. This is the Clerk’s responsibility, and the Clerk will be acting on instructions from the Council or its Committees, within an agreed job description.
6.5 This expanded role of the parish clerk requires a review of the job description of the parish clerk and indeed ensuring that their remuneration fairly reflects of the increased responsibilities
6.6 We also need to update some of our practices which I will summarise. The work of that the Chair asked me to do on the Councils behalf has been significant but not necessarily exhaustive. Rules and regulations change quite often but I hope we have covered the great majority of changes needed. We should agree that we should keep all our standing orders, job descriptions for the clerk etc as simple as possible and to adhere as closely as possible to the local templates provided by SALC and other statutory bodies while ensuring that we regularly update them.
My core recommendations are:
Accounts to be prepared to take full account of JPEG 2018 and Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities 2014.
Recording of VAT to be improved.
Immediate transfer of role of Responsible Financial Officer to the Parish Clerk together with all related documents now completed.
Insurance to be thoroughly reviewed and modified.
An agreement that Councillors cannot act as Officers except in an emergency.
Briefing for Councillors and Clerk on the relevant roles of Councillors and the Parish Clerk.
A proposed independent internal audit framework to be agreed and an independent auditor appointed - not a member or officer of the council.
New job description and remuneration package for the Parish Clerk.
The Chair and Vice Chair appointment process to follow standing orders and not be merely rotational including considering terms of longer than one year only.
Serious consideration be given to encouraging new Councillors to seek election to become a more representational Council and one that gains the trust of Iken as a whole. There should be candidates from different age groups, different working backgrounds and different parts of the village.
6.8 We will bring final amended standing orders for approval at the Annual meeting in May although where they are no longer compliant we will suspend the individual standing order and follow national law or guidance to prevail. I am most grateful to SALC, and in particular Jim Friend, who has supported aspects of this work and not least on the role of co-option and voting procedures where we were not up to date. We will also bring a review of the full years accounts as usual.
6.9 I would also remind the council that we have very few powers, merely an overarching duty to attempt (and this is not always easy) to represent, the interests of our village as well as expressing opinions and not least on planning and footpaths. Each of us is equal in this respect. The Chair is simply a Chair and in fact we are not even obliged to have a vice chair.
6.10 I would like finally to thank Audrey, Alan Hutson, and Colin Chamberlain, as well as Neville and Lorraine for the support, the advice they have given or reminders made in the work that I have carried out. In particular to Audrey for her emphasising the importance of our duty to respect each other, which we must do, be we councillors or parish clerk, and to Colin Chamberlain for his recent advice on the importance of openness and transparency in our role as Iken’s Council.
6.11 With clearer roles and responsibilities we should achieve a well-functioning and respectful council and clerk - respectful to each to the other and to the village which we represent, focussed on serving the interests of the village as a whole.
There followed a general discussion about the review and recommendations covering:
Insurance – to be upgraded with immediate effect
Clerks expanded role – possible training
Planning applications - meetings to be held for all planning applications, public to be advised of any new applications and date of IPC meetings at which they will be discussed
Representative for the Alde & Ore
Chair and Vice Chair
As agreed at the last meeting, Sir Tom Hughes Hallett took over as Chairman and Neville Howe as Vice Chairman
8 Freedom of Information request
For the first time ever IPC received an FOI request. We needed to ensure we did not breach the laws regarding Data Protection and spent a great deal of time and money consulting with the Information Commissioners Office, Suffolk Association of Local Councils and solicitors. We declined to share the requested information. The slightly good news is that we now understand FOI laws and procedures.
9 Coastal Path
Plans were still in a state of flux and nothing has been fixed to date. It was questioned as to whether Jonathan Clarke should be approached for an update. The impact on parking once the path is established was discussed, also road safety for people walking on the roads. Speeding signs were considered. Loulou Cooke explained the processes so far undergone and pointed out that we can’t argue the case until we know for sure what is actually going to happen.
10 Orford and District Surgery Charitable Trust
Following Kate Kilburn standing down from this position we understand that Lynette Morton is agreeable to be the representative from Iken.
10.1. Charities in general to be added to the Agenda in the future and donations to be included in budgeting.
11 PUBLIC FORUM
11.1 Chicane on river footpath. There was a great debate concerning the further upgrade to the chicane. Sir Tom had spoken to the owners of Jumbo’s Cottage and passed on their comments which included widening the path and putting down hard core. Matters discussed were:
· Horse riding on the path
· People parking on passing places because they can’t get their equipment through the chicane to the river
· Cycling on the path
· Wheelchair access
· Whether the chicane will be acceptable in the new Coastal Path plans
· Whether Suffolk County Council or the Planning Department could offer any advice on the matter
· Newly planted hedges and shrubs obscuring the path
It was agreed that IPC should support on-going investigations and discussions between the village and the owners of Jumbo’s Cottage.
11.2 Mud on path restricting access to the church therefore reducing amount of donations to the church box. Discussed responsibility of path and effect of tides.
11.3 Cyclists on roads discussed and their safety with fast moving traffic.
12 Date of the next meeting – TBA
The meeting ended at 7.10pm.
25 March 2021Notice of election
Notice of election for County Councillors to Suffolk County Council as well as the Notice of election for the Police Crime Commissioner for the Suffolk Police Area, can be found in the 'Documents for Viewing' section of this website (see menu).