Copyright      Wrentham Parish Council

Welcome to Wrentham


Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held at the Village Hall at 7pm on

Monday 16th April 2018

Present:           The Chairman – Mr Ian Watson

Councillors – Mr Mark Buxton, Mr Kevin Cross, Mr David Fletcher, Mrs Caroline Grantham, Mrs Lucinda Hutson, Mrs Nuala Wilson.

The Clerk – Mrs Frances Bullard

Suffolk County Council – Cllr Tony Goldson

Waveney District Council – Not Present

3 members of public



Apologies were received and accepted from Miss Alison Evans, Mr Roger Middleditch, Mr Keith Perry & Mr David Reeves.


The minutes of the meeting held on 24th April 2017, having previously been circulated, were approved and signed by The Chairman at the meeting in May 2017 to allow them to be in the public domain in a timely manner.




Mr Watson read his report as below –

Wrentham is a parish of around 966 people and 484 dwellings and has a precept of £14,650.

Community Support

Traffic and speeding is one of our biggest issues. Councillor Mark Buxton has given up his time to reposition the VAS every few weeks and download traffic data, producing monthly reports and sharing data with community safety team. We have lodged a request for support for to put in “slow down” gates as you enter the village on the A12 heading North. This is a project we cannot finance alone.

Village hall - Over the year, we have provided £7,693 of financial support to the village hall mainly for capital and repairs projects including £1,895 for new entrance doors, £3,420 towards new access ramp and main hall floor repairs and £1,000 towards the Projector for the Film club.

Youth Club - We have continued to support the Village youth club, paying £525 for the hire of the hall and £850 for youth worker expenses.

Defibrillator - has now been installed and monitored weekly by Parish Council volunteers.

CIL and Section 106 money - We have actively looked at ways of using this money in a fair way for the parish.  Funds have been used to provide for a grit bin, a contribution towards the village projector for the film club and the new Village hall doors mentioned above.

Computer equipment – We have invested in a new Laptop and outlook software for the parish Clerk

Policies -We are preparing for the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which addresses any personal data the parish council handles.


 We have completed our second full year with computerised accounts on sage and delivered a balanced budget.

 We have improved payroll processing by using third party software

 The Parish Council have oversite and responsibility for the Village Hall. Village hall accounts are aligned with our parish council accounts and their new treasurer Maureen Reeves has done an excellent job in bringing the accounts up to date and again has engaged an external local accountant, Rosie Carter, to perform a financial review.

Conclusion and thanks

The work of the Parish Council is a team effort. I would like to thank all our councillors for undertaking their voluntary role in putting something back into the community, our Vice Chairman Lucinda Hutson for her support and our Parish Clerk Frances Bullard for her professional support during the year.

I would also like to recognise the monthly attendance and support from our County Councillor Tony Goldson and District Councillor Craig Rivett.


Internal Audit is being completed by Mr Mike Wills.  Draft   Year End Accounts were distributed – these will be approved at the AGM & will be published in accordance with the Transparency Code.  The Clerk will progress the external audit.


Accounts were presented by Mr Fletcher.  Total funds available £60,553.29.  During the last accounting year a total of £884 has been used to assist residents qualifying for aid from the charity.  Requests for assistance for those in need are welcomed & treated with total confidentiality. This is advertised in Wren magazine & PC noticeboard.  Any residents in need should be encouraged to apply.


Dr Drane presented the draft accounts to 31.3.18.  These are now in line with the PC accounting period.  Mr Watson said these are now far more professional and well presented – he asked that thanks be passed to Mrs Maureen Reeves for her work as Treasurer & Mrs Rosie Carter for auditing the accounts.  Mr Cross asked about reserves & Dr Drane confirmed a figure of £8000 is maintained.  Mr Watson asked about the amount of £509 for a heating report – Dr Drane explained that heating the main hall is an ongoing issue and this report was from a company in Essex who are heating specialists – the suggested solution would cost in excess of £29,000.


Wrentham Village Hall – Dr Nigel Drane explained the Village Hall Management Committee sets out to maintain the hall, ensuring it is safe, tidy and attractive to hirers.  The hall is very well used at present by many different organisations.  In the last year the kitchen has been totally refurbished, the film equipment was also purchased.  Plans for this year include replacing the lights in the main hall, replacing the stage curtain, installing a hearing loop & further work on drains.  Dr Drane spoke re Don Bowman & David Selwyn who were instrumental in getting the hall built 30 years ago – it’s credit to them that the hall exists and is so well built.  Dr Drane thanked all the volunteers who continue to help and support the upkeep of the hall & the PC for their ongoing financial support.  Mr Watson expressed thanks to Dr Drane and his team for all the hard work done at the village hall.

St Nicholas Church – report from Miss Alison Evans – The Wrentham Benefice is still in an interregnum without a Priest in charge.  Several retired clergy continue to carry out services every Sunday.  There are 5 PCC members and meetings are chaired by the Rural Dean and Team Rector.  The PCC maintain the life and care of the church.  Many maintenance jobs have been addressed.  A ‘Celebration in Creativity’ arts festival was held in July – this was a very popular event and raised £530.  The quota to the Diocese was paid in full, the collection on Remembrance Sunday was given to the Royal British Legion, and the Christingle collection was donated to the Church of Englands Childrens Society,  Thanks to Treasurer, Lindsay Hanger for keeping the books in order.  During 2017 there were 3 funerals and 1 wedding.  Wrentham Town Band played on Remembrance Day & the Carol Service.

Time 4 Tea – report from Mrs Rita Perry – Time 4 Tea continues to be a success with an average of 40 people attending each week.  Thanks to the volunteers who support this.  Trips included Bressingham Gardens, a boat trip on the River Deben & Snape Maltings.  Events included a hog roast which raised £307 for Village Hall funds, a 4th anniversary celebration with cake & bubbly and a Christmas Party.  Mr Watson expressed  thanks to Rita and her team – the success of Time 4 Tea is well recognised, even at County level.

Community Speedwatch – report from Mrs Alison Hickford – Wrentham now have the sole use of the speed gun but with low numbers of volunteers sessions have been limited.  Leaflets were distributed seeking more volunteers but without response,  There have been 10 sessions throughout the year with 54 vehicles recorded driving at over 35mph.  Mr Watson thanked Mrs Hickford and the team and confirmed the PC will cover the cost of recalibrating the speed gun.

Wrentham Youth Project -  report from Mr Eric Sewell – The Youth club continues to be held on Friday evenings from 7.15-9pm.  It caters for young people between the ages of 8-18.  There are currently 87 on the register with an average of 35 attending.  They come from a large area including Kessingland, Beccles & Reydon,  There have been many activities throughout the year and much good work is done with the young people.  Mr Watson expressed thanks to Eric & his team.

Wrentham Bowls Club -  report from Mrs Edna Utting – The Bowls Club has 42 members who play in several leagues.  The Club won Division 1 of the Benacre League and were third in the Beccles League.  They were also runners up in the Easey Cup.  This is a marvellous achievement for a small club.  The Green will open on 29th April 2018, members will play in a Drive and the winners will be presented with the Geoffrey and Ann Sallows Memorial Shield.  There is an open pairs tournament on 27th May with a £100 prize for the winners.  On Tuesday mornings members and non-members play in an open-drive – everyone is welcome & tuition is available.  New members are very welcome, subscriptions are £45 pa - £35 for Seniors - £10 for youngsters and social members.  Mr Watson expressed thanks to Mrs Utting for her report.

Wrentham Tennis Club – report from Jane, Secretary – The club encourages new members or those who wish to play on a ‘pay to play’ basis.  

Wrentham First Responders – report from Pat Seaman – unfortunately Chris Levett was called out during the meeting so The Clerk read the report -  there are four responders in the group, they are trained by the ambulance service to stabilise the patient and provide appropriate care until the ambulance crew arrive.  Their training includes paediatrics, mental health, end of life care, first aid, safeguarding and life saving emergencies.   Their area now includes Blythburgh & Wenhaston, in total they cover a 20 mile radius.  This year they have spent 17,352 hours on call, attended 359 call outs (40 in Wrentham) including 31 cardiac arrests. A fast response in such rural areas is critical, early intervention can make the difference between life and death.  Mr Watson expressed thanks to Mrs Seaman for the report and Mr Levett for attending – thanks to all for the great job they do.

Village History Recorder – report from Rosie Carter – (this will be displayed at the next meeting so all can see pictures).  A clock, very similar to the one that was removed, has been put onto the Town Hall. It is mounted in the same place as the one that was taken down several years ago. Building started on the housing site formerly known as Meadowlands.  A car port has been built onto the property now known as The Old Bakery.  The Fish and Chip shop has been taken over by a new landlord, has had some new livery and is now called Scotts.  Two new shops have opened in the courtyard at the back of the Stove Shop – The Suffolk Cellar and Short Bark and Sides.  The small shop on the corner of The High Street and Chapel Road has been through many different reincarnations in its lifetime but has now opened as an antique outlet.  25 Southwold Road has been modified to include a garage in the garden with road access.  The village hall had a new kitchen installed.  The telephone box by the bus stop and car park on the corner between London Road and Southwold Road has been removed - Note the defibrillator.


No report received but monthly newsletters are issued.


Cllr Goldson provided a comprehensive report.  He spoke re the new Wrentham Fire Engine – this is being launched on 24th April.  The Crew have been involved in the design & are very happy with it.  It is a fantastic engine and better equipped than the previous one, allowing a quicker, more effective response. Mrs Grantham asked about potholes – Cllr Goldson said there is investment in resurfacing over 1000 miles of road in the next 2 years – continue to report any specific issues to Highways.  Cllr Goldson spoke re the ANPR trial at Spexhall – this is now running day and night.


No report




There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.16pm

Wrentham Annual Parish Meeting