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Parish Plan

During the course of the year the Parish Council produce and distribute to every household newsletters. Below you will find the most recently produced newsletter that was distributed in December 2019.

From the Parish Council Chairman
We have had a lovely summer and thanks to all who have helped to make our village look so colourful with floral borders and basket decorations. The fine weather also attracted many to the Church Fete and the ice creams were particularly popular. There were lots of games and activities together with various stalls for us to enjoy and nearly £2000 was raised for Church Funds. These funds are used to maintain St Mary Magdalene Church and grounds for the benefit of the whole village. Thanks to all who worked hard before and on the day.

East Suffolk District Council Local Plan
An Inspector for the Government held an Examination in Public (EIP) of the submitted draft Plan during August and September. If the Inspector is satisfied that the Policy is sound, meets national guidelines, and is deliverable, the Local Plan will be confirmed and form the basis of decisions on planning applications to be made by the District Council during the plan period up to 2036. A decision was expected in November but due to the forthcoming General Election this has been delayed and will not therefore be published until after December 12th

B1077 Level Crossing Engineering work by Network Rail on the Felixstowe Branch Line is now virtually complete. The provision of full barrier gates at the Level Crossing prevents drivers taking the risk of driving round the original gates but road users are now experiencing far longer waiting times than in the past. The new layout includes yellow box markings into which drivers should not enter unless they can exit the box on the other side. Regrettably some drivers do not obey this guidance and find they have to stop on the rail tracks. This could have serious consequences and measures must be taken to stop this practice.

Village Traffic and Safety
The Parish Council have been finding it impossible to get any response from the Highway Authority requests for effective maintenance of the roads in the village and also improvements that could be made to improve safety in the village. With the help of our County Councillor Robin Vickery the Parish Council were given the opportunity to meet Suffolk County Council engineers to request urgent action at the cross-roads where there have been three accidents this year. Although having been reported on many occasions it did appear that the County Council were unaware of some of the needs for signing and lining maintenance issues. When asked why no action was being taken following these accidents the reply was that there were other sites in the County with far more serious problem sites and they were therefore given priority. The Parish Council then discussed other traffic and safety issues in the village and the County Council did agree to follow up some issues but any actual works that might be considered appropriate would have to be paid for by the Parish Council either from using Community Infrastructure Funds as they become available or by increasing the Parish Council’s Local Council Tax precept. Residents will have noticed the “smiley face” VAS sign on the Main Road, this was provided from Parish Council funds and its use will alternate between the current site and a site at the north end of the village for southbound traffic.

Application decisions for sites in Westerfield. Planning Development at Old Station Works. This has been granted outline permission for commercial development and 75 housing units. The Parish Council supported the proposal to include a community shop but had objected to the increased number of housing units above the previously approved 35 as other sites currently approved or allocated in Westerfield amounted to more than the District Council considered suitable for the village. The permission is, however, subject to many reserved matters that must be resolved before construction can begin.
Eight dwellings on land south of Old Glebe House – The Parish Council objected to this outline application and this has been refused by the District Council.
Two dwellings on land adjacent to 5 St Mary’s Way- The Parish Council have objected to this application and the District Council are dealing with this on November 26th but the decision will be too late for inclusion in this newsletter.

Parish Neighbourhood Plan
Westerfield produced a village plan in 2005 providing guidance on the important issues of the village. A subsequent action plan led to activities that have been beneficial to the village and highlighted issues to be targeted in the coming years. District Councils are now encouraging Parishes to research and produce Neighbourhood Plans for their communities. The work necessary for the completion of a Plan is likely to be many months for a volunteer Steering Group. The Parish Council have decided that there are benefits in preparing such a plan and are seeking to programme a meeting early in the new year to explain what is involved and whether there are interested volunteers who would be willing to move this forward.

Dog Fouling pavements and footpaths
Most dog owners are responsible in this respect but there have been a number of complaints and requests for this matter to be raised in this newsletter. Additional Dog Waste Bins have been provided for the benefit of those exercising their pets.

Suffolk Constabulary Policing
Following many reported incidents to the Safer Neighbourhood team the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has had a meeting with the Parish Council and follow-up action is expected. The Parish Council will will continue to monitor such problems and report on action taken. The PCC did ask that guidance should be published for use by residents when matters of abuse, anti-social behaviour or suspicious activity are noticed. Residents who witness or are subjected to these incidents should report the matter by phoning the Police on 111 and they will be given a reference number that can be later referred to if needed. The report must be made to the police by the actual person who witnessed the event or was affected by it

1st Westerfield Scouts are seeking leaders for the Beaver Pack. If you feel you could help with this important work amongst our young people please call 01473 785510 or email gibsonjoan785@gmail.com. Training is available for this rewarding opportunity.

Finally,the Parish Council wish you a very Happy Christmas and if there is a very cold spell and you, or a neighbour, needs help please let someone know. Help is available.

Peter Miller, Chairman,
Email PMiller357@aol.com