Parish council - Councillor Tina Claxton (chair), opened the October meeting at the community centre. Councillors present were Charles Swan, Ivan Levett, Bill Robertson, Kevin Hodgkin, John Grisby, Carolyn Gosling, John Grist, Peter Collecott and Brian Hunter, Suffolk County Councillor Colin Law and five members of the public.
Parish council - Councillor Tina Claxton (chair), opened the October meeting at the community centre. Councillors present were Charles Swan, Ivan Levett, Bill Robertson, Kevin Hodgkin, John Grisby, Carolyn Gosling, John Grist, Peter Collecott and Brian Hunter, Suffolk County Councillor Colin Law and five members of the public. Before the meeting councillor Hunter paid tribute to Malcolm Battrick who had died recently and had been involved in village events for many years including scouting and football at the community centre. A memorial football match will be held there which would be dedicated to him. Members then stood in silent tribute. The chair said that a letter had been sent to Simon Walker regarding S106 money to be spent on local play areas, but no reply had yet been received. Councillor Grist had inspected the play areas and provided photographs showing that they were in a bad condition. A site meeting for councillors would be arranged with Simon Walker. Councillor Law said he had taken up the problem of hedge cutting in Oulton Road North. Residents had been charged for this but were not satisfied with the result. Further cuts would now be done to the hedges without cost to the residents. He had also asked for flashing 20mph speed signs to be put in on Oulton Street from his and councillor Barnard's SCC locality budget. He had also asked Suffolk County Council to move the zebra crossing as it needed to be nearer to the community centre. This would also come from the locality budget. He had also raised with SCC the priority for the northern spine road to alleviate heavy traffic in Oulton Street and especially Bentley Drive. Their response was that this was part of a larger scheme and had not been included in this scheme up to 2018. He said they needed to look at alternative ways to achieve the spine road. Councillor Grisby protested that the road should have been completed years ago when Millennium Way was put in. Councillor Law said that a Waveney Local Development Framework was being sent to all residents and that they needed to respond to it. He gave details of overnight road closures at Bridge Road and Victoria Road for maintenance work. The community speedwatch scheme was discussed following PCSO Kershaw's appeal for volunteers to run it in Oulton. There had been no response from residents on this and many councillors had reservations about the scheme, suggesting that it was a police matter and should not be delegated to members of the public. It was also thought that the police could not monitor speeding on their own and were asking for help. Councillor Grist said speeding appeared worse coming from the northerly direction as this was a straight road. Councillor Grisby asked if this was a local or national issue. Councillors voted not to take part in the scheme. The police report for September showed four recorded crimes: one criminal damage to a vehicle in Whiting Road; two cases of harassment/domestic; one crime in Dunston Drive. A record of road collisions for a year showed there were seven road collisions on the B1375 up to the A12 roundabout from August 2008 to July 2009. In the open forum Mr Fletcher complained about a dangerous situation at the medical centre whereby, following a fire which damaged a fence panel next to his property, people were using this as an illegal footpath and on three occasions he had nearly knocked someone down. It only needed one fence panel replacing. He also mentioned that trees in the medical centre grounds next door were becoming very dangerous and had never been cut down despite his many protests. The chair said she would be attending a meeting of the patients' volunteer group and would raise these issues. Mr Watson who lived on Oulton Street said he hoped that the speed humps there would not be reinstated as it had caused residents problems with vehicle noise at night. He said that in hundreds of locations throughout the country they have had to be removed and suggested that flashing speed lights be used. Mr Bullen said that the 30mph signs at the north of the village needed the hedges cutting as the signs were not very clear. Mr Bullen also asked the council for advice as he was concerned about grass cutting and spraying of footpaths in Orford Drive (which was not in Oulton Parish). Footpath weeds had become dangerous and grass cuttings were blown into the verges, eventually causing drains to be blocked. Councillor Collecott said this matter came under the county council jointly with Waveney Norse. Earlier this year they had delayed spraying by a month as the weeds were growing slowly. They were not allowed to use a residual weed killer and had to use a contact weed killer which needed spraying more often. Unfortunately the spraying vehicle had broken down although spraying had now been completed. Mr Bullen asked who is responsible if anyone had an accident. He was told to contact councillor Law who would respond to his complaints. Councillor Claxton mentioned that a person in Camps Heath had agreed to paint and maintain a redundant telephone box but that the parish council needed to pay the �1 for it as boxes could not be sold to individuals. This was agreed. She also mentioned that a resident in Oulton Road North said it was dangerous turning north out of the road as trees in Oulton Street obscured drivers' vision and needed cutting back. She also said that hedges by the 30mph signs needed cutting, the chair said that the matter would be dealt with. The next meeting of the northern parishes would be at Oulton on January 13. Councillor Claxton said that some people had asked how to view the book of remembrance in the church at the centre as this was locked. It was suggested that the caretaker should be given a spare key and information regarding access would be displayed on council notice boards and in the Village View. Councillor Hunter said that the community centre manager was retiring at the next annual meeting and anyone wanting the position should contact the chairman, Peter Collecott. Councillor Swan said there had been complaints about the hedges in Blackberry Way. A site meeting would be arranged. Councillor Levett had checked on the conifer trees at the back of Whiting Road, saying that of 95 trees two were dead. They were now up to 50 feet high. Residents of the road wanted them cut back as they severely restricted their light. Councillor Collecott said the trees belonged to a company called Danesco. He had contacted them previously and asked if they would cut them back but they had totally refused to do so. Waveney District Council would cut the trees if they were imposing on residents but every householder would have to pay �400. There was nothing legal that could be done but he had the address of the owning company so that individual residents could write and complain. Councillor Claxton, the chair, said the parish council would also write to Danesco to get things moving. Councillor Gosling said that the footpath near Grampian Way was really bad with tree roots lifting the paths. The trees also needed trimming. There would be a site meeting to look at the area involved. Councillor Grisby referred to the burnt out house in Diprose Drive, saying that the hoarding had fallen down and could have killed anyone passing at the time. He brought up the problems of the proposed spine road and asked if the council was to continue to press this matter. If not he would do so himself. It was suggested that the matter was in the hands of councillor Law to press the county council on this matter as previously discussed. The next meeting of the parish council is Monday, November 9 at the community centre.