New National Grid 400,000 V Overhead Line Project to Twinstead

The National Grid needs to build a new  400,000volt overhead line between Bramford, near Ipswich and Twinstead to connect a number of new generators in East Anglia and will be holding a public consulation  regarding the possible 4 ‘route corridors’  ( stretches of land in which an overhead line can be routed) that they have identified.

They are seeking feedback from local residents on these route corridor options and holding public exhibition programmes. The Twinstead public exhibition will be held on the 12th November  09 between 12 and 9pm at Twinstead Village Hall in Church Road, Twinstead CO10 7NA.

Joe Burlo

Chairman Pebmarsh Parish Council.

Affordable Housing – Completion statement. 12 Oct 2009 12 Oct 2009

A survey was conducted by the Parish Council in 2004 which established the need for affordable housing in Pebmarsh. This was partly due to the fact that some of the smaller houses and cottages in Pebmarsh had been extended and converted into 3 and 4 bed houses, thus depriving the village of affordable small starter homes suitable for young local persons, young families and other eligible local people  all  with an affordable housing need. The council took the view that we needed to retain and provide affordable housing for people with a local connection in order that the village would not stagnate and to facilitate the benefits of the extended family.

 The Parish Council then initiated the Affordable Housing Project and Suffolk Housing association agreed to take on the project.   Braintree District Council approved the plans for the project in Dec 2007.  Iceni Homes who are Suffolk Housing Society’s development agency, oversaw the project and building work started in 2008.  All tenancies were allocated to local people in Sept 2009.

A Section 106 agreement was inserted into the planning application which, in the main served 2 purposes:

1. All housing to be available only to people with a local connection and to be allocated according to the 6 criteria of the S106 agreement in priority order.
2. On completion, The Developer will make a contribution to the Parish Council  towards Play Equipment.

The Parish Council made it known at various meetings during the project that these would be affordable houses only for people with a local connection who also had a housing need.

The Parish Council also offered to assist Parishioners with the local connection part of their application to ensure that their Local Connection was presented in the best possible light and also advised parishioners that in order to apply for an affordable home, they had to be registered on the Braintree District Council Housing Register before applying.

Early in 2009, Braintree District Council introduced a new application process for available housing called the Choice Based Lettings System.  This system was a partnership between 7 district Councils and would make any property that became available in any of the 7 districts available for anyone in those 7 districts to bid for. The bidding would be open for one week.  In the case of the 10 new affordable houses/appartments in Pebmarsh, the Choice Based lettings system would clearly state that these houses/appartments were only for people with a local connection. Despite this, over 430 applications were received and it appears that only about 89 of these applications stated that they had a local connection.

10 of these applications satisfied the 1st priority criteria of the S106 Local connection agreement and were subsequently awarded the 10 available tenancies.

The Parish Council’s involvement in this process was as follows:

1. The Affordable homes being built were all two bedrooms units and more. Under Braintree District Council Housing rules, this would have excluded all single persons from applying. We asked for under occupation to considered and our request was granted. All properties are under occupied but all are occupied by local people.
2. We helped to clarify that in determining the allocation of the properties, the Local connection would take precedence over housing need. Again, it was re confirmed to us that this would be the case.
3. The Parish council would help verify the Local connection of prospective tenants before the tenancies were allocated. The day after the bidding ended, I received a short list by phone of 10 prospective tenants and was asked to verify their local connection. I immediatly contacted the available councillors and asked to help verify their local connection.  Cllr Sue Rawlinson was away that day and Cllr.Harry Anderson was not available. I spoke to Cllr. Holder who helped verify and he did not comment on Jenny Holder’s connection as he declared a personal Interest. Cllr Holder was at his son’s wedding at the time.  I then spoke to Cllr. J. Fenner who helped verify and he chose not comment on the  two applicants, Natalie and Sharon Smith as he declared a personal interest. I reported back to BDC and verified 9 applicants and could not confirm or deny the final 10th applicant. 

I would like to, at this stage, state that it must have been very hard for the two councillors who had a personal interest not to disclose to their families that they knew who was on the short list and I would say that it was probably one of the most difficult things for a parent to do to keep quiet and see their children suffer the anxiety and waiting till the official announcement was made 4 days later by Suffolk Housing.

Joseph Burlo


HELD 16 JUNE 2009

Cllr J Burlo (Chairman)     Visitors:   County Cllr David Finch
Cllr J Fenner        2 members of the public
Cllr J Holder      
Cllr S Rawlinson
Mrs P Potter (Clerk)
1. Apologies
Apologies were received from Cllr Tony Shelton.

2. Consideration of the Minutes of the last Annual Parish Assembly, held 29 May 2008
The minutes were agreed and signed as a true record of the meeting. 

3. Matters Arising
 There were no matters arising.

3. Declarations of Interest
 No declarations were made at this meeting.

4. Chair’s Report
 The Chair’s report is appended to the minutes, with highlights as follows:
· 7 Council meetings, 1 budget meeting and 12 planning applications were undertaken in the last 12 months.
· One new Parish Councillor, Julian Fenner, was co-opted following the resignation of Tom Newman from the Council.
· The new Vice-Chair Jim Holder was elected.
· Appointment of new Parish Clerk, Philippa Potter, was made following the resignation of the previous Clerk, Julia Race.
· Affordable Housing development is close to completion.
· The village is looking to re-open a Post Office, following the recent closure.
· The Chair has joined the Executive Committee of the Braintree Association of Local Councils.
The Chair thanked all existing and previous Parish Councillors for their continued hard work on behalf of the Parish.

5. District Report
 There was no District report available at the meeting.

6. ECC Report
County Cllr David Finch spoke to the meeting about the events and achievements over the past 12 months, highlighted as follows: 
· 19.% increase in Council Tax was the lowest ever.
· Adult Social Care awarded the highest star rating by the regulators.
· Telecare – a new service to offer support to all residents over the age of 85 has been launched.
· Transport and road safety schemes are being improved.
· Help for those affected by the economic downturn is being offered via various schemes.
· An overall reduction in the crime rate was reported.
· Recycling and waste is proving successful.
· ECC are helping to re-open Post Offices across the county.
The Council thanked Cllr Finch for his report and continued support of the village.

7. Reports by Representatives
Reports were given by:
· Parish Councillors
· Village Hall Committee
· Footpath Committee
These reports are appended to the minutes.

8. John Nott Charity Report
 The Chair read out the report from the Charity and this is also appended to the minutes.

9. Public Forum
· The issue of potholes on the village roads was raised as a continuing problem.
· The possibility of  a volunteer to take on the Parish Council website was raised.  Cllr Burlo will follow this up.
· It was suggested that the Parish Council put together an Annual Report next year.  The Clerk will take this forward.

10. Closure
 The meeting closed at 9.00pm.