Agenda and minutes

North East Area Committee - Thursday 13th June 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: St John's United Reformed Church, 1 Cowper Street, IP4 5JD

Contact: Linda Slowgrove  01473 432511

No. Item


Election of Chair




that Councillor Darwin be elected as Chair of the North East Area Committee for the 2019/20 municipal year.


The Chair congratulated newly elected Councillor Cracknell (Rushmere ward) and re-elected Councillor Pope (Bixley ward) and thanked former Councillor Stephen Ion for his contribution to the Committee in previous years.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from County Councillor Adams.


Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 82 KB




that the Minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2019 be signed as a true record.


To Confirm or Vary the Order of Business




that the Order of Business be confirmed as printed on the Agenda.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Police Priorities in North East Ipswich


6.1.       Sergeant Russ Mason of the Ipswich East Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) provided the following update on policing priorities:

6.2.       ASB/drugs misuse in Trafalgar Close: patrols had been deployed in this area and less incidents were now being reported.

6.3.       In response to the crime recording statistics presented prior to the meeting, Sergeant Mason commented that the number of violence and sexual offences crimes might appear alarming, but some incidents often result in more than one crime being recorded, plus a greater number of historic cases were being reported.  However, it was important that the public continued to report crime either via the 101 number or online via the Suffolk Police website as community intelligence was important to help the Police to allocate resources.

6.4.       Two additional PCs had been allocated to North East Ipswich to assist with the crime investigation workload and provide addition presence on the streets.

6.5.       Traffic operations had been undertaken in the area, with 33 drivers stopped for checks, resulting in 2 people being taking to court for speeding offences; streets that were regularly subject to speeding vehicles could be nominated to the Police for future traffic operations.

6.6.       Engagement events were being promoted via the Suffolk Police website and social media in relation to Operation Parkland; these drop-in events would help to identify hot spots of ASB/drug related activities to enable the Police to target these areas over the summer holidays.

6.7.       Local resident: Was the Police priorities scheme still in operation?
Suffolk Police set priorities in response to threat/harm/risk; whilst drug and knife crime was an issue across the Southern Area, it was not a major issue in North East Ipswich, so resource was allocated to more targeted issues, e.g. Trafalgar Close ASB.


Chair's Update on Action Points from the Previous Meetings (Verbal)


7.1.       Councillor Darwin reported that there were no outstanding actions from the previous meeting, but provided the following community updates:

·           the replacement of play equipment in Newbury Road Recreation Ground was now complete

·           leaflets for the Fire Service campaign to request drivers to think before they park inconsiderably were now ready and this initiative would be launched in Orwell Road, Stanley Avenue and Pearce Road

·           speeding on Camden Road had been reported

·           there would be an Area Committee stall at the Britannia Fete in St John’s on 6 July 2019

·           Ipswich Jazz Festival was taking place on 21-23 June 2019

·           Suffolk Pride event was taking place on the Waterfront on 22 June 2019

·           Ipswich Windrush celebration was taking place on the Cornhill on 22 June 2019

·           Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk was starting on 15 June 2019


Ward Councillors Feedback from their Communities


Bixley ward:


8.1.       Councillor Pope reported that he had been dealing with parking issues and had reported uneven paving slabs to County Councillor West to pursue with Suffolk Highways. Councillor Pope had also received complaints of cycling on pavements and this issue had been raised at St Albans School, both in assembly and via parent mailshot.

8.2.       Councillor Phillips reported that he had been trying to resolve the issue of overgrown trees on the highway in Jupiter Road that were causing problems with BT landline wires; this issue was the responsibility of BT, not Suffolk Highways.

8.3.       Councillor Carnall reported that he had been helping residents with local planning issues, most of which had been resolved sympathetically.  Councillor Carnall added that local residents had asked whether it would be possible for the Council to consider 2-3 hours periods of free parking in the town centre, which could encourage more people to use shops and help the town centre to flourish. Councillor Carnall commented that the Cornhill improvements had not been well received in Bixley and there had been requests for the stone plinths to be moved.

Rushmere ward:


8.4.       Councillor Ross reported that the Council had already announced free parking in its town centre car parks on Sundays for up to 3 hours during the summer.  Councillor Ross added that the Armed Forces Day would be marked on Thursday 27 June 2019 at 4.30pm with a military parade on the Cornhill and would also provide an opportunity for veterans to take refreshments with the Mayor.  Councillor Ross also highlighted the importance of veterans letting their GPs know of their veteran status, as this information was not well recorded within the NHS and would help the NHS to commission the healthcare that people who had served in the Armed Forces were entitled to receive.

8.5.       Councillor Gage reported that she had been dealing with queries from young families at risk of homelessness and thanked the Council Officers for the support given.  Councillor Gage added that she had visited the new Temporary Homeless Unit on Sidegate Lane. Councillor Gage also reported that there had been fly-tipping on Shetland Close, which she had reported to the Council.  Councillor Gage commented that she had received positive comments about the deckchairs on the Cornhill.

8.6.       Councillor Cracknell thanked people for the support received since his election and was enjoying his new role. Councillor Cracknell reported that he had been involved in providing comments in relation to the 2 disabled adapted units in the Temporary Homeless Unit, which had resulted in changes being implemented.  Councillor Cracknell added that he would be attending the Community Day at Northgate High School on Friday 21 June 2019 and the Sidegate Primary School Summer Fayre on Saturday 29 June 2019.


Suffolk County Councillors Feedback from the Divisions


Bixley Division:


9.1.       County Councillor West reported that he had been dealing with issues of yellow lines needing repainting; additionally, he had requested that pavement improvements in Lindsey Road be given a higher priority by the highways engineers and would be using some of his locality budget for these improvements. County Councillor West reported that he was still awaiting confirmation of when the re-patching works on Winston Avenue would take place, currently anticipated by the end of August 2019.

9.2.       County Councillor West also highlighted the safety issues for pedestrians and cyclists when trying to turn into Bixley Road from Foxhall Road and would ask engineers whether it would be possible to move the grass verge from the inside of the Bixley Road highway to the outside to make it safer. 

Rushmere Division:


9.3.       County Councillor Gage reported that she had also been dealing with street trees affecting BT landline cables and had also raised the issue of the condition of the concrete roads on the Scottish estate, some of which were crumbling and collapsing in places.  County Councillor Gage had requested traffic data in relation to vehicle speeds on Cauldwell Hall Road and had reported an illegal sign, which had been put up in St Mary’s Road indicating that a public footpath was private, to the SCC Rights of Way Team.

9.4.       County Councillor Gage commented that the SCC consultation on the future of the Rushmere Speech and Language Unit had caused a lot of concern in the last couple of months.  County Councillor Gage had visited the Unit and had been impressed by the incredible work done with young children.  The consultation had been poorly communicated and had been initiated during the school holidays and was difficult to locate on SCC’s website.  There had been public protests against cuts in core funding of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in schools and also local campaigns against the possible closure of the Rushmere Speech and Language Unit.


Responses to Public Questions Received and Open Discussion on Local Issues


10.1.    Councillor Darwin reported that if a question was received by 10am on the Tuesday 2 days before the meeting, a response would be provided by the Officers.  Councillor Darwin reported that 7 questions had been received ahead of the meeting and copies of the questions were available at the meeting.

10.2.    Councillor Darwin reported that as the questioner for the first 6 questions was not present, a written response from Officers would be provided; however, as question 3 was directed to the Area Committee and question 6 was directed to SCC Councillors, these questions would be considered at the meeting.

10.3.    Question 3:  Possible closure of children/family centres. We have been told that austerity has ended but the future of the remaining 38 centres in Suffolk is being reviewed. These centres provide valuable support to the most vulnerable families/children in our society. Will all our councillors lobby SCC to ensure these centres remain open?

10.4.    Councillor Darwin, as a parent of young children and a user of Children’s Centres, expressed concern about the potential loss of this vital service.  Children’s Centres provided a lifeline to parents of young children and toddlers, especially for single parents, helping to prevent social isolation.  These centres also acted as information hubs and provided one-stop access to a range of services with the ability to refer and signpost onto other services.  Councillor Darwin highlighted that the Children Centre she attended had identified a hearing impediment in one of her children at an early stage and was able to refer them onto the appropriate service.  Councillor Darwin commented that what was under review was children’s futures and she would lobby SCC as part of a campaign.

10.5.    Councillor Ross commented that he would also campaign against the closure of Children’s Centres for the reasons outlined by Councillor Darwin.

10.6.    County Councillor West reported that a Panel had been set up to review how Children’s Centres operated and the results were due to be presented to Cabinet at the end of the summer. County Councillor West commented that there should be better all-round provision, with more people engaging with Children’s Centres. The new model could provide an opportunity for family hubs, but the outcomes of the review were not yet known; more information would be known by the time of the next meeting.

10.7.    Councillor Phillips commented that he had not seen the questions prior to the meeting and asked if they could be made available to Area Committee members by 10am on the day of the meeting in future to allow time to consider responses.

10.8.    Question 6: Is the Rushmere Speech and Language Centre going to close? If so, how can this be allowed to happen when it is so important for the children it helps? Extra support for children is required, not less.

10.9.    County Councillor West reported that the outcome of the consultation was due to be considered by SCC Cabinet in July; the consultation sought views on the proposal to phase  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


NEAC/19/01 Area Committee Budget Update pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:


11.1.    Mr Lanning, Community Engagement Officer, reported that £18,200 had been added to the North East Area Committee budget at the start of the financial year.

11.2.    Following the allocation of £350 for the Coplestonians Container Works from the Making a Difference (MAD) budget for St John’s ward, a total of £1,190 of unspent MAD budget for 2018/19, plus the £180 of unspent Venue Hire budget for 2018/19, would be returned to the unallocated North East Area Committee budget to give a starting total of £21,146.45 for the Committee to spend on its priorities.

11.3.    The Area Committee had the option to devolve up to 10% of its annual budget to establish a Making a Difference budget for 2019/20; a 10% allocation would equate to £600 per ward, and this allocation was agreed.



(a)          that the financial statement in Appendix 1 to the report be noted;

(b)          that the allocation of £1,800 from the North East Area Committee budget to establish a Making a Difference (MAD) budget for 2019/20 be approved.


(a)          To provide clear and transparent details of the amount of funds available to the Area Committee to deliver the priorities in its Action Plan;

(b)          To allow the North East Area Committee to devolve up to 10% of its annual budget to support small scale community initiatives.


NEAC/19/02 Funding Request: Venue Hire and Publicity 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:


12.1.       Mr Lanning reported that £500 was requested for costs associated with venue hire and advertising of the Area Committee to supplement the £200 provided from the base budget.

12.2.       Councillor Ross commented that the Executive had recently considered the performance of the Area Committees and had requested that the Area Committees utilise more of this budget for publicity.

12.3.       Councillor Darwin highlighted that the Area Committee would be promoted through the hire of a stall at the St Johns and Britannia Summer fete and also at the Northgate School fete.

12.4.       Councillor Phillips asked how much of last year’s budget had been spent on venue hire.  Mr Lanning reported that this was roughly £500. Councillor Phillips asked whether the Area Committee could get a discount on hire rates for using Ransomes Sports Pavilion.
Action: The Head of Development to enquire about Ransomes Sports Pavilion hire rates for the Area Committee.



that £500 be allocated from the North East Area Committee budget for costs associated with advertising and venue hire for the North East Area Committee for 2019/20 as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.


Reason: To facilitate the good running of the Area Committee, meeting the goal to devolve power closer to the people.


NEAC/19/03 North East Area Committee - Area Action Plan pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:


13.1.    Mr Lanning reported that the North East Area Committee was required to review its priorities each year against the Domains of Deprivation and aims of the Council’s Corporate Plan.  The previous year’s Action Plan priorities were listed in Appendix 3 of the report.   

13.2.    Councillor Pope commented that, in light of the points raised in the presentation prior to the meeting in relation to the lack of tree canopy cover and the level of obesity in young children and the need to promote more walking and cycling to school, the aim ‘A Sustainable Environment’ should be included as a priority.

13.3.    Councillor Phillips commented that in light of the higher levels of older people in Rushmere and Bixley, the aim ‘A Healthy Community’ should also be included.

13.4.    Councillor Darwin commented that it was important to retain the domain of ‘Education, Skills and Training’, in particular with attention to early years and school leavers, and the aim ‘An Enjoyable Place to Live, Work and Study’, in order to support young people, especially in St John’s and Rushmere.



that the North East Area Committee agrees the following priorities for the 2019/20 municipal year and adopts them as its Area Action Plan:

·         Domain of Deprivation: Education, Skills and Training (with attention to early years and school leavers)

·         Corporate Plan Aims: An Enjoyable Place to Live, Work and Study, A Healthy Community, A Sustainable Environment


Reason: Priorities provide the basis of an action plan that will enable the Area Committee to clearly communicate its vision and priorities for the area and will help demonstrate how its budget is being allocated to deliver the priorities set for the area.


Dates of Future Meetings for 2019/20 at 7.30pm - a presentation will be held prior to each meeting at 7.00pm:

All meetings to be held at Ransomes Sports Pavilion, Sidegate Avenue IP4 4JJ:


·         Thursday 25 July 2019

·         Thursday 19 September 2019

·         Thursday 28 November 2019

·         Thursday 23 January 2020

·         Thursday 19 March 2020




that the remaining meetings for 2019/20 be held at Ransomes Sports Pavilion, Sidegate Avenue, IP4 4JJ as per the following dates:


·                Thursday 25 July 2019

·                Thursday 19 September 2019

·                Thursday 28 November 2019

·                Thursday 23 January 2020

·                Thursday 19 March 2020