Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 25 July 2012

In attendance:  Mrs Pat Clare (Chair, presiding), Mr Paul Wright, Mrs Mary Button and Mr David Hamblin (Councillors), Mr M Balmer (Clerk).  Also attending:  3 Parishioners, Mr Adrian Gunson (County Councillor).  Absent – Mr Derek Blake (District Councillor).

12.38  Approved absences – none.

12.39  Declarations of interest – none.

12.40  The minutes of the previous meeting held on 16 May 2012 , which had been circulated, were approved and signed.

12.41  The draft new Code of Conduct, which had been circulated to Councillors in advance, was agreed and formally adopted.

12.42  Parishioner Questions

Some bin collections in Church Lane had been missed recently, though this week they were collected as expected.  If there is any further lapse the Clerk will be informed and will raise it direct with South Norfolk Council.

The flooding outside Grey Gables at the top of Church Lane (in Ashby St Mary) was discussed.  Though outside the Parish, it affected many residents of Church Lane.  Adrian Gunson had been involved for some time, with no success, but agreed to speak with the engineer again.  He emphasised that a shortage of funds was hampering a lot of other work as well.

12.43  County Councillor’s Report

Surface Dressing.  May Gurney were around 2 weeks behind schedule and work would start in the area very soon.  Although there were no areas in Claxton needing attention, New Inn Hill to Surlingham Lane would be done, as would Green Lane from Hellington Hill to Church Road in Ashby, and Mill Common to The Street, also in Ashby.

Claxton House.  The applicant’s agent has paid a deposit and work on building passing places was expected to begin in the next few months.

Day Centre in Loddon.  For many years County Council grants have meant no attendee had to pay but this was changing.  Those below the means-testing limit would receive a personal budget from the County Council but others would have to pay between £10-12 per day session.  There were only around 36 users so this might at some stage prove economically unviable.

Hobart School.  The school has agreed to pursue academy status subject to a public consultation exercise.

Footpaths.  A shortage of money has meant the Council is not cutting back footpaths as they used to.  However the Wherryman’s Way is classified as a trail and is thus exempt from these cuts.  Hub paths from the Wherryman’s Way to local villages are also exempt.

River Chet.  The Environment Agency have not been repairing the south bank of the river in Chedgrave but have now decided to do some remedial work after a 9-year long campaign.

12.44  District Councillor’s Report

There was no report in Derek Blake’s unexpected absence.

12.45  Planning

1 and 2 Staines Barns.  The Clerk recorded that he had been informed that South Norfolk Council were still awaiting the amended site plan in regard to the extent of the adopted highway, which is required before planning permission can be issued.  The Council is now chasing the agent.

Household Waste Recycling Centre at Bergh Apton.  Is being discussed at County Hall on Friday 27 July.  Adrian Gunson will be there and expects permanent permission to be forthcoming.

12.46  Finance

a)   The bank balance at 13 July was £2,371.88.  One cheque for £40 had not cleared at that time.
b)   Receipts – None so far, but a refund of £20 under the Clerks’ Bursary Scheme for the Clerk’s training is expected.
c)   Grants – none.
d)   Payments

Cheque No Payee Description


100219* Zurich Insurance Premium Tax

£ 12.74

100220* NPTP Training course for David Hamblin

£ 40.00

100221 M A Balmer Clerk’s salary and expenses

£ 488.32

* Cheques 100219 and 100220 were raised before the meeting, owing to the need to pay invoices before the July meeting.  On a proposal from Pat Clare, seconded by Paul Wright, the schedule was approved for payment.

12.47  Village Hall.  Councillors had examined the deeds to the village hall, which were now with the Clerk for safe-keeping.  The deeds called for the Village Hall Committee to hold an AGM each May and to provide the Parish Council with annual accounts.  The Clerk was asked to contact the Chair and Secretary to inform them of this requirement, and to request that it be adopted going forward.

12.48  Parish Plan Update

Housing – no new developments.

WiSpire – Clerk to ask Paul Carter for a progress report.

Website – up and running but changes needed.  Chair and Clerk to meet to discuss.

Mains drainage and gas, and flood contingencies – to be taken forward (and added to next agenda)

Allotments – still two spare.

Renewable Energy – for individuals to take forward.

Recycling – no need for further facilities.

Employment/Education – No progress on either.

Prescriptions – take forward.

Transport – some progress made, and probably as good as it will get.

Crime and Safety – Chair attended meeting in Poringland, where South Norfolk Council agreed to use funds for speed monitors with recording facilities for villages.  The PCSO (Kevin Nightingale) had contacted the Clerk before the meeting to apologise for not being able to attend.  Claxton remains a very safe village, with no recorded crime and only 7 incidents (such as alarms going off) since March.  The Council agreed there was no need for a Home Watch, and Paul Wright agreed to speak to Paul Carter about youth initiatives.

12.49  Telephone Box

The Council had agreed in 2009 to have the box removed but no action was taken.  The decision had been confirmed at least twice since.  It was agreed that the Clerk would take steps to have the box removed permanently.  John Garrod asked whether it was possible for him to take possession of the box after decommissioning.  The Clerk agreed to investigate.

12.50  Correspondence

The Clerk tabled a list of correspondence which had been circulated to Councillors.  Items included:

  • Clerks and Councils Direct (June and July)
  • Norfolk Playing Fields Association Magazine and AGM Agenda
  • South Norfolk Place-Making Guide consultation
  • Localism Act – impact on Code of Conduct
  • Broads Landscape Character Assessment questionnaire
  • Norfolk Rural Community Council newsletter and AGM agenda
  • Eastern River Valleys Neighbourhood Board meeting
  • Local Policing Plan for Norfolk
  • Hobart High School – Academy application
  • Broads Authority – Parish Council Consultation Survey – July 2012
  • Parish Crime Statistics for June 2012
  • Call for Nominations for the new South Norfolk Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Community Awards
  • South Norfolk Local Plan Sites Preferred Options consultation
  • Payments by Parish and Community Councils
  • South Norfolk Design Awards 2012

12.51  Items for next Agenda

Agreed to keep Staines Barns on.

12.52  Date of next meeting is Wednesday 19 September, followed by Wednesday 7 November 2012.

12.53  The following proposed dates for 2013 (all Wednesdays) were agreed:

16 January, 20 March, 15 May, 17 July, 18 September and 20 November 2013, with the Annual Parish Meeting on Wednesday 17 April 2013

The meeting closed at 2100.

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