Agenda item

Open forum

At each Cabinet meeting, up to 15 minutes shall be allocated for questions or statements from and discussion with, non-Cabinet members. Members wishing to speak during this session are encouraged to give notice in advance. Who speaks and for how long will be at the complete discretion of the person presiding.


The following non-Cabinet members spoke under this item on the relevant agenda items, as indicated in the order shown below. A summary of the issues raised collectively on each agenda item has been recorded:


A.      Agenda item 6 – Report number CAB/WS/22/056: Land to the West of Mildenhall: Masterplan


1.      Councillor Ian Shipp, ward member for Mildenhall Kingsway & Market

2.      Councillor Andy Neal, ward member for Mildenhall Queensway

3.      Councillor Brian Harvey, ward member for Manor


Concern was expressed regarding the potential impact of the forthcoming development on transport and the highway network and whether sufficient measures would be put in place to manage traffic flow. The data used to assess the potential impact was felt to be inaccurate and out-of-date.


The need for more housing in Mildenhall was acknowledged; however, this needed to be achieved in a phased, sustainable and workable manner which ensured there was less reliance on car usage.


It was felt that the development of the land designated for employment use should be delivered in the relatively early phases in case viability issues were experienced in later years which may impact deliverability.


Councillor Harvey specifically expressed his concern regarding the impact of the development on the rural villages in the vicinity of Mildenhall. He felt that an increase in traffic had already negatively impacted on the surrounding rural village road network and this would be exacerbated by the development.  


B.      Agenda item 7 – Report number CAB/WS/22/057: Sunnica Energy Farm Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP): Written Representation


1.      Councillor Brian Harvey, ward member for Manor


Councillor Harvey expressed his full support for the Council’s proposed Written Representation in relation to the above scheme for submission to the Examining Authority. He specifically drew Cabinet’s attention to the proposed development’s impact on the rural road network particularly around the transportation of construction materials; the lack of detail in the application; and the significant amount of time and resource that had been spent on responding to the proposals to date. 


C.      Agenda item 8 – Report number CAB/WS/22/058: Street Lighting


1.      Councillor Andy Neal, ward member for Mildenhall Queensway

2.      Councillor David Palmer, ward member for Brandon West

3.      Councillor Phil Wittam, ward member for Brandon East

4.      Councillor Victor Lukaniuk, ward member for Brandon Central


Concern was expressed that Report number: CAB/WS/22/058 presented to Cabinet that evening did not offer an immediate solution to the perceived disparity between funding the street lighting service by council taxpayers of the former Forest Heath District and St Edmundsbury Borough Councils. Whilst the findings of the street lighting audit were acknowledged and officers thanked for their work to date, there was a resistance to believe that a resolution would be agreed on this matter, even in 2023 as part of the wider planned review of the Council’s relationship with town and parish councils, as had been recommended.


A number of options for seeking a swifter resolution to achieving the desired parity on this matter were offered.


Matters affecting the prosperity of Brandon in general were also raised, to which the Leader responded accordingly.


The Chair thanked the non-Cabinet members for attending the meeting and invited them to hear the debate on the respective items at the relevant point in the agenda. The specific issues raised would be addressed at that point accordingly.