Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 18 September 2013

In attendance:  Mrs Pat Clare (Chair, presiding), Mr Paul Wright, Mrs Mary Button and Mr David Hamblin (Councillors), Mr Mike Balmer (Clerk), Mr Derek Blake (District Councillor) and Mr Adrian Gunson (County Councillor).  Apologies:  None.  Absent:  None.  Also attending:  8 Parishioners.

13.67  Approved absences – there were none.

13.68  Declarations of interest – none.

13.69  The minutes of the previous meeting on 10 July 2013 were approved and signed.

13.70  Parishioner Questions

John Garrod commented on the return of rats on Church Lane.  Peter Lancaster (Claxton Manor Estate) said they were tackling the problem though there were HSE-implemented restrictions on using poisons near houses.  Ken Clare said there had never been a problem until the last 2-3 years.  The Chair summed up.  It was a joint responsibility and Claxton Manor had agreed to help residents tackle the problem.  Derek Blake commented that South Norfolk Council (SNC) had a statutory obligation to tackle this issue without charging.

13.71  District Councillor’s Report

This was Derek Blake’s first meeting after his absence through ill health and he was warmly welcomed back.

  • The Site Specific Allocations and Policies Development Plan was in the final consultation stage and would go to Cabinet next week, then to the Minister, with the next stage beginning in August-September 2014.
  • The Planning Policy was still evolving within the National Framework.  Helen Mellors was the new SNC Development (Planning) Manager.  Derek chaired the Environmental Regeneration Planning Committee, whose first public meeting will be in October.
  • A single transit site for gypsies and travellers had been established at the junction of the A11 and A45 with space for 6 units and would be monitored by SNC.
  • SNC had identified its 5-year land supply.  Norwich City Council had fully achieved their goals but Broadland were well behind.
  • The County was changing the use of green recycling bins to allow domestic glass/bottles, and SNC was the only Council which would also retain the community bottle banks.
  • There was funding available from WREN for projects within a 10-mile radius of Aldeby, however Claxton sits just outside this limit, and he is trying to persuade them to include it.
  • Finally, the planning issues at Staines Barns should definitely be discussed at full Committee, in his view, which had been supported earlier in the day by Richard Bacon MP.

13.72  County Councillor’s Report

Adrian Gunson reported as follows:

  • May Gurney have completed the remedial resurfacing work to the roads in Chedgrave and on Rockland Hill.
  • The Northern Distributor Road had been declared as of national significance, therefore there would be a single public enquiry.
  • Dualling of the A11 was continuing apace.
  • Dualling the A47 was less clear.  There is a lot of pressure but there are no designs in existence.
  • He discussed the issues raised previously about Claxton Corner.  He will have the centre line removed and will chase the supply of the footpath sign at Lambs Court and the repair of the roadsign at Claxton Corner.
  • Hobart High School had reasonable GCSE results with 72% achieving A*-C grades, with 59% of these including English and Maths.
  • Anglian Buses have withdrawn their 146 service as it was competing directly with First’s X2 service, leading to a reduction in congestion in the centre of Loddon.
  • During works on the south bank of the River Chet in Loddon, the Environment Agency uncovered a 24-foot mediaeval boat.

13.73  Update on Playground Facilities

Pat Clare confirmed she was still looking into needs and funding, and said she would welcome volunteers to assist her.  The Clerk would place a message to that effect on the website.

13.74  Flood Prevention Contingency Planning

At the July meeting Mike Balmer had agreed to draw up a draft Plan for consideration.  He had done so and circulated it to Councillors for comments.  He still needed to confirm some of the details (eg about where sandbags could be obtained), and would put the Plan on the website thereafter.  The meeting agreed that a Co-ordinator was also needed.  There being no volunteers from those present, the Clerk undertook to advertise this vacancy on the website.  Derek Blake mentioned “floodsax” which are relatively inexpensive devices designed to absorb large quantities of water, and agreed to bring one along to the November meeting.  Finally the Council agreed that copies of the Plan, when complete, should be distributed to every home in the village.

13.75  Trees in the Village Hall car park

The Council asked the Clerk to contact Kevin Parker for an expert assessment of the need to cut some of the trees in the Village Hall car park, and to seek a quote from him for this work.

13.76  Pits Trust – new Trustees

The Council, as the Trustees, agreed that Kevin Parker and Mike Balmer should be co-opted as independent Trustees.

13.77  Formal letter of thanks to John Heathcote

The Council agreed that the Clerk should write to John Heathcote on behalf of the Parish Council, to thank him for the work he has had done to repair Slade Lane and Peascod Lane.

13.78  Planning

There was a lengthy discussion about Staines Barns and the two new applications seeking small amendments to the plans.  Notwithstanding the fact that any views would not impact on the overall planning permission, the Council asked the Clerk to feed in comments, which he will clear with them in advance.  These will mention that the Council was divided on the merits of the new applications and the request that they should go to full Committee.

13.79  Finance

a) The bank balance at 18 September was £3,906.87.  Budget and bank statements had been circulated separately.
b) Receipts – the above balance includes the second half of the 2013-14 Precept from SNC – £1,872.00.
c) Grants – none.
d) Payments

Cheque No Payee Description


100248 HM Revenue and Customs Clerk’s PAYE for Jun-Sep


100249 M A Balmer Salary (Aug-Sep) and Admin (Jul-Sep)


Paul Wright proposed that the schedule should be approved, and this was seconded by Pat Clare.

13.80  Update on Parish Plan 2010-2015

The updates to the Plan were noted.

13.81  Clerk’s Report

  • The Clerk reported that Norse have given us a credit for £69.50 as they had missed a cut of the grass at the Warren and the Village Hall, and this will be deducted from their second invoice due in October.
  • His draft Flooding Contingency Plan was being discussed at this meeting.
  • The mobile gym in Loddon was doing well and he had attended a meeting on 13 September designed to establish a permanent gym in the Jubilee Hall and appoint a Committee to run it.  Derek Blake was also a regular and had also volunteered to join the Committee, which will meet for the first time this Friday.  One of the early needs is to secure funding to acquire the equipment, and Derek would prove very valuable on this issue.  The gym continues to operate each Friday from 1000-1330.

13.82  Correspondence

The Clerk tabled a list of correspondence which had been e-mailed/circulated to Councillors or received prior to the meeting.

13.65  Items for next Agenda

Roland Kaye asked if the November meeting could discuss the curious instances of new telegraph poles being erected in the area alongside older ones, ie duplicating rather than replacing them.

13.66  Date of next meeting is Wednesday 20 November at 7.30pm.

The meeting closed at 2125.



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