A bit of background. The existing doctors surgery is part of the Fressingfield Medical Practice. Back in the late 1990's it looked like Stradbroke wouldn't have a doctors surgery and everyone would have to travel to Fressingfield. The Parish Council had land but wasn't able to build a medical centre so the Stradbroke Health Trust was created. The Parish Council leased them land and the Trust raised donations and a loan to build the medical centre.
Once the surgery was built the Trust started to receive a rent from the doctors (present day this is around £12,000-£14,000 per year) but until the loan for the surgery was paid off - by around 2009 - the rent payable by the Trust to the Council was only £1 a year.
After this time the rent paid to the Council was meant to increase to a market rental but for one reason and another this was overlooked.
In May this year the Trust approached the Council asking them to review the lease. Whilst this was happening it was noticed that a rent review should have been carried out.
May 2016 Meeting
At this meeting the issue is first raised in Council. Peter Smith the Chairman of the Trust and at the time a Parish Councillor suggests that the Trust had had the land valued after the loan was paid off by a friend of his who was doing other work for him at the time. He suggested the valuer said the land was "not much use, you could put a few goats on it I suppose" and that £35 should be paid. The Trust increased this to £50 as a "goodwill gesture". However they don't actually seem to have ever paid this. Smith suggests "to clear the confusion" the Parish Council should have the land re-valued.
We will be publishing a blog each day this week detailing what happened at the council meetings from June up until October when Peter Smith resigned from the Council saying he "cannot continue to serve on a body that is attacking a charity".
Read the next post "Leave the Room Please!" our report from the June Meeting
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