Parish council - The chair of Oulton Parish Council, Tina Claxton, welcomed everyone to the September meeting. Present were councillors John Grist, Carolyn Gosling, Kevin Hodgson, Bill Robertson, John Grisby, Ivan Levett and Peter Collecott as well as Colin Law (Suffolk County Council) and PCSO Sue Kershaw and seven members of the public.
Parish council - The chair of Oulton Parish Council, Tina Claxton, welcomed everyone to the September meeting. Present were councillors John Grist, Carolyn Gosling, Kevin Hodgson, Bill Robertson, John Grisby, Ivan Levett and Peter Collecott as well as Colin Law (Suffolk County Council) and PCSO Sue Kershaw and seven members of the public. Apologies received from Brian Hunter, George Hawes and PC Stranks.
Wildlife Trust: The chair said that the walk with Suffolk Wildlife Trust warden Matt Gooch to see the progress made at Fisher Row had been very successful, with around 20 members of the public attending. The council had received a response from Lorraine Francis concerning S 106 money and to how the money could be spent on the three play areas in the village. She said that the council should contact Simon Warford who would look at all three areas and a site meeting would be arranged. Councillor Gosling said that the Cambrian Crescent site needed upgrading so it can be still be used by small children. PCSO Kershaw said that the Bloomsbury Close site was outdated.
Police report: Giving the police report PCSO Kershaw said there were nine reported crimes which included a minor wounding with intent and an assault in Whiting Road, criminal damage at the Queen's Highway, damage to a vehicle and a shop theft (male charged with this), both in Sands Lane, criminal damage to a vehicle and a further criminal damage charge in Whiting Road, and a burglary in Grampian Way involving the theft of a cycle. She also mentioned the community speed watch scheme which involved local people monitoring the speed of traffic through their village, which had already begun in Somerleyton, Lound and Blundeston and she hoped that Oulton residents would volunteer to monitor speeding and if anyone was interested she would inform them about the training process. She had received complaints from residents of Bloomsbury Close and Gorleston Road about youths converging at the pound in Bloomsbury Close. Up to 17 youngsters had been meeting there, revving up motor cycles till the early hours, which had caused major problems as many residents in the area were elderly. The police had attended most times and moved them on but they soon returned. Some of the same youths had been meeting at the medical centre. A letter had been sent to all their parents and this may now have resolved the problem as there had been no trouble during the last week. Councillor Law said it was possible that the youths had moved to another area, as there had been similar problems at Kesgrave Drive and Everitt's Park where youngsters socialised in the evening. He was trying to give them something to do as most were good kids. The new skate park at Normanston Park should help and he was looking at ways to keep them occupied in the winter. Youth workers had engaged with them and held meetings, asking them what they wanted, although financial restraints sometimes made this difficult.
Accounts: It was reported that the council accounts were in good fettle. Councillor Collecott congratulated the clerk on the presentation of the accounts. Following a request it was agreed to send parish council minutes to both county councillors.
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Open forum: In the open forum Allyson Barron asked who was responsible for Bonds Meadow and was told that part was in Oulton and part in Oulton Broad. She said that dog fouling had increased both there and in the area and asked everyone to report incidents to the authorities. Mrs Brinded said she couldn't take groups from Oulton Broad Primary School to Bond's Meadow because of dog fouling. Councillor Grisby said that cat fouling was just as big a problem as dogs. PCSO Kershaw said community support officers had power to fine people for dog fouling. It was noted that pet waste can go in any black bin. Mrs Barron said green and domestic waste had been dumped at Bond's Meadow.
Tree trimming: Two residents of Oulton Road said that they had had to pay for trimming their trees but Councillor Levett said that the trees were on their property. The trimming had not been very well done and Councillor Law will follow this up with SCC.
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Speeding: Janet Davies was concerned about speeding in Oulton Street and wanted the speed humps reinstated as SCC had the option to replace them if they considered that speed had increased. She said that this has happened over the last four years and there were now more families with young children living there, and she considered that this was an accident waiting to happen, especially on the narrow stretch of the road. The speed indicator display (SID) was needed to monitor speeds again. Councillor Collecott said that when the speed humps were taken out, SCC said they would put in gateways on the road and also a pelican crossing, but nothing had happened. The chair said she would like to see flashing speed signs. Councillor Grisby thought a mini roundabout at the Union Lane/Oulton Road junction would slow traffic down. Councillor Law said he will raise the flashing signs issue with SCC and will ask for the priority of the northern spine road to be raised as this would alleviate much of the traffic. Mrs Barron said extensive work was done on pedestrian crossing or calming controls when she was a county councillor but there was apparently insufficient proof that they were justified then. Councillor Collecott said that is was planned to extend the width of the roundabout near the village sign, which would slow HGVs down but this had not been done. Councillor Law agreed to take up all these safety issues and why they have not been implemented and PCSO Kershaw will ask the police to do more speed checks. Another resident of Oulton Road said she had problems getting out of her road with fast traffic coming from Parkhill. Councillor Levett said that 56 per cent of motorists had been observed speeding through the village, many excessively.
Medical centre: The chair had attended a meeting at the medical centre of the patients' volunteer group and said that a new GP had started but another one had left. They now had a phlembotomist and two new nurse practitioners. Comments were made about the out of hours service.
Conifers: Councillor Gosling said residents of Whiting Road wanted something done about the large conifers near their properties which were blocking their light. She sympathised with them and said they needed to be cut to half the size but they were told they would have to pay for this. Councillor Collecott said the trees were on the property of a company called Danesco and he had phoned their director in London two years ago but the company didn't want to know. Councillor Grist suggested each resident should write to the company and Oulton PC will let them have the address to write to.
Act: The proposed Act to give more powers to town and parish councils was discussed by councillors.
The next monthly meeting of the council will be on Monday, October 12, at the community centre.