Agenda and minutes

South East Area Committee - Wednesday 3rd June 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Ainsley Gilbert  01473 432510 / Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Studd and County Councillor Gaylard.


Unconfirmed Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 305 KB




that the Minutes of the meeting held on 4 March 2020 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


Councillor Barber, being the spouse of a Suffolk County Council (SCC) employee, declared an interest in the SCC update within Agenda Item 6.


Residents Question and Answer Session

Residents are encouraged to ask questions for Area Committee meetings. Questions will be read out by the Chair of the Committee and answered by an appropriate officer or Councillor and residents will be able to watch on the live stream available via the Council’s website.


To ask a question residents simply need to email including their name and address, a contact telephone number, their question, and which Area Committee they wish the question to be asked at. All questions must be received by 10am two working days before the day of the meeting, for this meeting the deadline is 10am on Monday 1 June. 


All questions must either be:

-          relevant to the area committee they are to be asked at, or;

-          relevant to Ipswich as a whole and be asked by a resident of the area covered by the committee it is to be asked at.


Please note that questions or representations must not contain:

-          references to identifiable individuals (whether by name or other information) unless the consent of that individual has been obtained and included with the notification;

-          potentially defamatory or provocative or abusive comments;

-          discriminatory remarks.


If for any reason a question is not able to be asked at a meeting of the committee the Council will within 14 days of the meeting date reply to the resident asking the question explaining why and if possible providing a written answer.


5.1.        The Chair reported that 2 questions had been received from local residents.

5.2.        Question 1: Vehicles have been parking on the green at Clapgate Lane and I have previously raised this with Suffolk County Council, but they were not able to prevent it because there wasn’t a relevant byelaw.  Is there anything that can be done to stop vehicles parking on the green?

This area was highways land and a traffic regulation order would be the most appropriate way to restrict parking on this land as it would allow for the simplest enforcement through the issue of Penalty Charge Notices by Civil Enforcement Officers.  There was also an option to make the area subject to a byelaw, but this could only be enforced by prosecution at the Magistrates’ Court.  Ipswich Borough Council Officers would discuss with Suffolk Highways whether a traffic regulation order could be applied to the land.

5.3.        Question 2: What steps are being taken to ensure that local residents have easy access to up-to-date information presented in a readily digestible form during the current Coronavirus crisis and in the period of recovery from the crisis?

The Government has issued lots of advice and guidance that has been available from a variety of sources, such as daily briefings, the Government website, news and in adverts.  Suffolk County Council has also provided information, often via the Director of Public Health.
Ipswich Borough Council has been issuing a weekly statement every Friday morning, setting out its response to the crisis and, over the last few weeks, its plans for recovery.  This information has been available from a link prominently displayed at the top of the Council’s website.  The media has been highlighting different elements of the weekly statements and the Leader of the Council has been interviewed about a number of aspects of these statements.
Initial plans have been launched, in partnership with the Police, Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Central, for the reopening of the Town Centre as and when more shops were able to open, most likely from 15 June.  The main elements of those plans were profiled in the local media, for instance, the temporary closure of Upper Brook Street to vehicles between 10:30 and 16:30.
Additionally, the ‘Home but not Alone’ phoneline was set up in early April and a leaflet about this service was delivered to every household in Suffolk to let all residents know who to call if support was needed, and there have been over 100 calls per week to this service over the last couple of months.


Updates from Ipswich Borough Council and Other Public Sector Organisations


6.1          The Chair invited Inspector Soraya Francis of the Ipswich East Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) to provide an update on policing priorities.

6.2          Inspector Francis reported that there had been an increase in burglaries from outbuildings and commercial properties.  There had also been an increase in drug dealing intelligence, often as a result of the public reporting Coronavirus related offences.  Additional resource was consequently allocated to target ‘cuckoo’ addresses, where the premises of vulnerable people have been taken over by drug dealers, resulting in a conviction being secured, which was now waiting to go to court.  Three burglars had also been prosecuted for theft from commercial buildings earlier in the year.

6.3          There had been some changes to shift patterns for the SNT due to some Officers shielding due to the Coronavirus.  Priorities were being considered for Ipswich East, Felixstowe and Woodbridge for when the pandemic restrictions start to be lifted.

6.4          The Chair invited County Councillor Paul West, Cabinet member for Ipswich, to provide an update on behalf of Suffolk County Council (SCC).

6.5          Councillor West reported that Family Support Practitioners were still working with young people, with those at high risk being seen on a face-to-face basis whilst observing social distancing, and those at a lesser risk being contacted through a variety of means, such as WhatsApp, text messaging and other social media platforms.  Despite the current restrictions, work was continuing in partnership with the Police, Social Care and the Probation Service, and the Diversion Programme was still accepting referrals from parents and organisations working with young people.

6.6          Suffolk Libraries have announced that branches would be reopening from 6 July 2020 in accordance with social distancing guidelines and plans on how to achieve this would be announced over the next few weeks.  The SCC facility at Murrayside would remain closed for now, but SCC were planning how to safely reopen this facility in the future.

6.7          Temporary road closures had been announced in the Press, for example Upper Brook Street, which had been implemented at short notice under emergency powers in order to make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians to get about whilst observing social distancing.  The relevant SCC Councillors were consulted in relation the 3 temporary road closures and were in support of the proposals.

6.8          Changes to SCC services as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic were listed on the SCC website:

6.9          Councillor Parry commented on the high mortality rate for Ipswich in comparison to other towns in the region, such as Norwich and Cambridge, and asked whether this had been analysed.
Councillor West reported that he had highlighted this issue, but it was too early to draw any conclusion.  However, he had asked whether deaths at Ipswich Hospital were being attributed to Ipswich or to wherever the person normally resided, and he confirmed that it was the latter.

6.10       Councillor Barber asked when SCC’s main office would be re-opened to allow face-to-face meetings with Officers.
Councillor West reported that plans  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


SEAC/20/01 Area Committee Grants and Financial Update pdf icon PDF 250 KB

Additional documents:


7.1.        Ian Blofield, Head of Housing and Community Services, reported that at the start of the meeting the total available budget was £6,341.70, which was £500 lower than set out in the report as £500 had been allocated from the 2019/20 Making a Difference budget, with the agreement of ward Councillors in Priory Heath and Gainsborough, for the Gainsborough Voices Fruit and Veg Boxes project.

7.2.        Mr Blofield highlighted that the Committee was asked to allow Officers to vary the funding guidelines to allow Area Committee funds to be made available to help deal with the Coronavirus pandemic, but all spending would continue to be approved by the Area Committee.



i)              that the financial statement in Appendix 1 of the report and its subsequent update be noted;

ii)             that authority be delegated to the Head of Housing and Community Services, in consultation with the Head of Governance, to take all necessary steps to:

-       advertise the availability of Area Committee Grants to support communities in recovering from the Coronavirus outbreak;

-       enable the consideration of applications in relation to this scheme at the September meeting of this Area Committee;

iii)           to allocate £500 per ward, a total of £1,500, from the South East Area Committee budget to establish a Making a Difference (MAD) budget for 2020/21;

iv)           to allocate £300 from the South East Area Committee budget for costs associated with advertising and potential future venue hire for 2020/21.



i)               To provide clear and transparent details of the amount of funds available to the Area Committee;

ii)             To enable Area Committee funding to be used to support communities in recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic;

iii)            To allow the Area Committee to devolve up to 10% of its annual budget to support small scale community initiatives;

iv)            To facilitate the good running of the Area Committee.