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
Chairman

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY HELD 16 JUNE 2009

MINUTES
OF THE ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY
HELD 16 JUNE 2009

Present: 
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.

BURGLARIES – BE EXTRA VIGILANT

There have been a spate of Burglaries and Break ins this August 09 in nearby villages of Lamarsh and Alphamstone and it looks like the Burglars are heading this way. A Local Pebmarsh house was broken into on Sunday night ( 16th Aug 09). 

Please be on the look out and lock all your doors and windows at night or when you go out.  Do not forget to lock your garden sheds. Please also look out for our elderly residents.

No cause for alarm….just be extra vigilant and if you see anything suspicious, please call the Police.

Joe

AFFORABLE HOUSING OPEN DAY 24 AUG 09

  

Suffolk Housing Society 

  

Information and Invitation

A new development of affordable homes will shortly be available to rent in Pebmarsh and this is to tell you how you can rent one and invite you to an openevent to view the new properties.

The affordable housing scheme at Water Lane has been developed by Suffolk  Housing Society in partnership with Pebmarsh Parish Council and Braintree District Council for people with a local connection who have a housing need. There are ten properties which are a mix of flats, houses and bungalows, ranging in size from two to four bedrooms and will be available to rent for between £305 and £368 per calendar month.

 See below for details of what you need to do now if youwish to be considered for one of these properties.

 The properties will be allocated by Suffolk Housing Society through the Gateway to Homechoice choice based lettings system. In order for to you to be considered you must first be registered on the scheme and show you have a housing need.   Contact Braintree District Council on 01376 552525 now to register. 

When allocating the properties priority will be given to those people with a local connection who have a residential, work or close family connection to the village of Pebmarsh. If necessary the selection criteria will also allow us to consider people from neighbouring parishes of:

Alphamstone     Bures Hamlet      White Colne     Colne Engaine    Greenstead Green          Halstead Rural     Little Maplestead          Great Maplestead Gestingthorpe     Wickham St Paul   Twinstead       Lamarsh    Great Henny

 We will be holding an Open Event at the scheme on: 

Monday 24th August 2009 between 3pm and 7pm 

to which you are invited. There will be representatives available from Suffolk Housing Society, Braintree District Council, Pebmarsh Parish Council and Iceni Homes to show you around and answer any questions you may have about the development. 

We will advertise the properties so you will be able to register your bid for a property type on the Gateway to Homechoice system from 25 Aug but only if you have previously registered with the scheme.

If you are a single person, this does not exclude you from bidding for a property type, especially if you have a local connection and housing need. 

We will be looking to start tenancies from week beginning 7thSeptember 2009. 

We have made arrangements with the contractor for them to allow access on this day, please do not try to gain access to the scheme at any other time.  

Suffolk Housing Society  

Old Mission HouseSt Botolph’s LaneBury St Edmunds    Suffolk IP33 2AX 

Phone: 01284 767224         E-mail: customerservices@suffolkhousing.org  

Chairman’s Annual Report 16th June 2009

                                                              Pebmarsh Parish Council 

Report By Chariman J. Burlo for Y/E 16 June 09

 This is my 2nd Annual Parish Meeting as Chairman. Once again, thanks to Jonathan Nott, my predecessor, for his involvement of over 30 years with the Parish council Thanks also to Tom Newman who resigned his post as Vice chairman in Feb. for all his valuable work as a Parish Councillor. 

Matters dealt with:

12 Planning meetings   7 Council meetings   1 Budget meeting 

Current Parish Councillors

1 member co opted after statutory notice posted on noticeboard failed to produce enough parishioners requesting an election.  Chairman – Joe Burlo.  Vice chair – Tom Newman –( resigned early 2009).  Existing member Sue Rawlinson.    Existing member Harry Anderson.  New member Julian Fenner to replace Tom Newman.   New appointment of existing member Jim Holder to Vice Chairman , to fill Vice chair vacancy left by Tom Newman. 

New Appointment

Parish Clerk – Philippa Potter.   Julia Race resigned as she has moved out of the district and we would like to thank her for many years of valuable service to the PC as Clerk. We advertised for the position of a parish Clerk and after interviewing Philippa Potter on 3 separate occasions, found her to be suitably qualified and appointed her as our new Parish Clerk.

 Affordable Housing Development at Water Lane

The affordable housing Development is nearing completion with an expected hand over date of August 2009.These are affordable houses for people with a local connection. Closer to completion date, Braintree District Council will advertise the availability of these houses/apartments and will clearly state in the adverts that these are subject to the 106 Agreement meaning that they are only for people with a local connection. Interested applicants will need to immediately register with BDC on their housing list and also state that they are applying only for the affordable housing at Water Lane. If they can show that they have a housing need and qualify for it, they can then select and apply/bid for one of the properties at Water lane as soon as BDC makes them available on their website through the ‘Choice Based Lettings ‘system. Regardless of  banding, applicants will still be able to apply for one of the properties because the final shortlist will be based on ‘local connection’ and not on banding.  Applicants will need to state what their local connection is and the Parish Council understands that the local connection will over ride anyone else that applies but who does not have a local connection. Single persons can also apply to be short listed for 2 bed properties as long as they have a local connection.  Please remember that the Parish council will not be allocating the housing. Suffolk Housing will be making the allocations after BDC has sent them a short list of applicants that they consider have a housing need and also have a local connection. The Parish Council will be happy to receive a short history from interested applicants outlining their local connection. Please remember that applicants must present this local connection to BDC when appliying to join the housing register.  

Liaising with BT Open Reach

Most of last year’s problems have been solved and even though we are still short of lines in the village, the situation is greatly improved from what it was 2 years ago.  

Liaising with ECC Highways to rebuild path between school and church. 

This has finally been completed with the assistance of our ECC Representative, Cllr David Finch.

 Improvements have been made to the playground.

Thanks to Cllr. Sue Rawlinson in successfully obtaining grants for new equipment. The PC has also paid for and provided new sterilised bark for the children’s play area at a cost to the Pc of around £800. Thank you to Cllr Sue Rawlinson for organising it and also organising the laying of the bark.

 Street Lighting

All street lights are in working order and the lights near the war memorial and outside Greathouse have been repaired.

 Wireless Broadband

The survey conducted in the village has proved a need for wireless broadband. We are now looking at making an application  for a grant to install  the equipment needed to provide wireless broadband for Pebmarsh.  If successful, households will be able to receive broadband without the need for a BT line via subscription at a comparable rate to other broadband suppliers.  Access will be through a small ariel in the roofspace of the property.

Street Cleaning Partnership with BDC

This Partnership has been renewed with BDC for 2009/2010. I am the appointed person for parishioners to notify about fly tipping in the Parish. A notice to this effect is up on the Parish notice board at the Village Hall and outside St John the Baptist Church.  BDC promise to remove within 48 hours of being notified any fly tipping  .  Partnership also includes us notifying BDC when we require the Recycling Bins to be emptied..  BDC will provide refuse sacks on demand , remove waste from pre determined locations and also remove fly tips within 48 hours. BDC will also provide 4 channel sweeps per year. 

 Recycling

Recycling bins have now been available for Parishioners use for the over 5 years and are used on a regular basis for  glass, Magazines and cans. The larger bins have now been replaced by smaller bins to make it easier for the  the Recycling vehicles to empty them and further bins have been added for Green glass, shoes and magazines.   

Local Bus Routes

Newly appointed Cllr Julian Fenner has taken on the task as our Public transport representative.  Julian will update you in his report. 

Post Office

The parish council is looking into re opening the sub post office in Pebmarsh. We conducted a survey and it showed that there is a case for re opening a sub post office in Pebmarsh.  Cllr. Jim Holder will update you on the current progress.

 Advisors

The Parish Council has decided that it would seek to appoint suitably qualified parishioners in a voluntary advisory role regarding matters that demanded specialist knowledge. We are pleased to welcome Mike Garnham as our advisor regarding Planning and Environmental Matters.  We are also happy that James Tucker has agreed to continue in his role as our Internal Auditor.

 BALC

I have joined the Executive committee of the Braintree Association of Local Councils. This will enable us to be more involved in matters that require the collective decisions/discussions of all the local councils.

Other Duties

I undertake other duties as and when necessary.  

Joseph Burlo

Chairman  PPC

Tuesday, 16 June 2009  

New Recycling rates for Braintree District area Apr 08/Mar 09

The new Recycling rates for the whole of the Braintree District Area will soon be published for the latest year Apr 08/Mar 09.  We are now at 45%. These rates can not be broken down into Parishes. I believe that if they could be broken down, Pebmarsh would have a higher rate judging by the frequent use of the Recycling Bins at the Football pitch and kerbside collections.  

Beware – Telephone Credit Card Scam – This is a clever one

This one is pretty slick since they provide Y O U with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself.
Someone I know was called on Wednesday from VISA, and one of their friends was called on Friday from MasterCard. The scam works like this: Person calling says, “This is (name), and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank) did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London ?” When you say “No”, the caller continues with, “Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be applied to your account. I just need to confirm your address (gives you your address), is that correct?”

You say ‘yes’. The caller continues – “I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the number listed on the back of your card and ask for the Security & Fraud Department. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. “Do you need me to read it again?”

Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works the caller then says, “I need to verify you are in possession of your card.” He’ll ask you to ‘turn your card over and look for some numbers’. There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he’ll say, “That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?” After you say, ‘No’, the caller then thanks you and states, “Don’t hesitate to call back if you do”, and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number. But after my friend  was called, he called his credit card company back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Was he glad he did! The REAL VISA Security Department told him it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of  £497.99 was charged to his card.

Long story  short, he made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is re-issuing him a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don’t give it to them. Instead, tell them you’ll call VISA or Master Card directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told him that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN number, you think you’re receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make, and by then it’s almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that last Friday, he got a call from a ‘Jason Richardson of MasterCard’ with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time he didn’t let him finish and hung up! He filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged him to tell everybody he knows that this scam is happening .

Please pass this on to all your family and friends. By informing each other, we protect each other.

Joe Burlo

Chairman PPC.

Parish News Update Friday 30 May 08

The Annual Parish Meeting was held yesterday, Thursday 29th May in the Village Hall.  Annual Reports were submitted by all Parish councillors and read out.  Documents were made available to the public regarding updates on:

  •  Iceni Homes about  Affordable Housing progress and possible build start date of June/July 08. Survey for presence of Great Crested newts or reptiles on the site is nearly over as these surveys had to undertaken in Spring. Meanwhile  Suffolk Housing society has now aquired  and owns the land  and a building contractor  ( Elliston Steady & Hawes) has been appointed and will be meeting the Parish Councl shortly to discuss the build.  Suffolk Housing owns the land and will be the Landlord.  Eligible applicants are still subject to the Section 106 ( legal agreement) between Suffolk Housing Society and Braintree District Council which was signed as a condition of the planning permission and clearly states that these affordable houses are only for people who have a local connection  and have a housing need.
  • David Steel, Housing Enabling Officer at BDC. 01376 551414 ( ext 2138) outlined and clarified the application process.  Applicants have to initially contact BDC Housing assesment team on 01376 551414 for an application form to join the housing register and complete the application process. They should clearly state that that they are specifically applying and wanting to be considered for the affordable housing at Water Lane, Pebmarsh.  When this process is completed, the form and details will be held on file until the new homes are nearing completion. Please e mail me for a copy of the full Text of the message on Joe@faze7.com
  • Postponing of Path resurfacing between the school and the church due to new H&S regs disallowing temp Traffic Lights on narrow roads and requiring a road closure instead. Work will now start  at the end of July on the 2nd week of the school hols.
  • New grain store at Greathouse Farm is for farm use only and not to be, as some parishioners supposed, a central grain store for all the local farms.  New H&S regulations require grain to be stored in bird proof barns and it is less costly to build a new barn than to upgrade and existing one to comply with the new regs.
  • Annual general meeting will now be held in June and the date will be announced on this site and on the  PPC Notice board at the Village Hall.

Joe Burlo

Chairman

Path Re building works between school and church – w/c Mon 26th May 08

At long last we have succeeded in persuading Essex Highways to re build the eroded path between the school and the church.

Work is scheduled to start during the school holidays w/c Mon 26th May for one week.

Temp traffic lights will be in operation for the duration of the work.

 Joe Burlo

Chairman

Pebmarsh Parish council