Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 19 March 2014

In attendance:  Mrs Pat Clare (Chair, presiding), Mr Paul Wright and Mr David Hamblin (Councillors), Mr Mike Balmer (Clerk) and Mr Adrian Gunson (County Councillor).  Apologies:  Mrs Mary Button.  Absent:  Mr Derek Blake (District Councillor).  Also attending:  6 Parishioners.

14.21  Approved absences – Mrs Mary Button, through ill-health.

14.22  Declarations of interest – none.

14.23  The minutes of the previous meeting on 15 January 2014 were approved and signed.

14.24  County Councillor’s Report
Adrian Gunson reported as follows:

  • The new signpost fingers on Claxton Corner were scheduled to be fitted this week, and it was noted that this had been done already.
  • Similarly the pavement outside “Sharlyn” has now been repaired.
  • Drainage ditches and verges were currently being attended to, though Councillor Gunson’s attention was drawn to Low Road just after Claxton Corner (in Rockland) which regularly flooded because the drainage ditches had not been cleaned out.  He undertook to follow this up.
  • Council Tax was again frozen for 2014-15.
  • Yellow lines had been painted opposite the surgery on George Lane in Loddon.
  • He continued to oppose the plan for 200 new houses on the land surrounding the surgery in Loddon, even though this would also result in a much-needed roundabout on the A146.
  • Loddon Parish Council would like yellow lines outside the chemist in Loddon.
  • More central government money was expected by Local Authorities for road maintenance.
  • The NDR was proceeding apace with work possibly starting in 2015.

14.25  District Councillor’s Report
Derek Blake was unexpectedly absent so there was no report from Long Stratton.

14.26  Parishioner Questions
John Garrod asked Adrian Gunson whether savings from not having to grit roads so much this winter could be diverted to filling in potholes, but was informed that unused funds go into a reserve for future years.

John Ford said there were still lots of rats on Church Lane.  After discussion it was agreed that Claxton Manor would liaise with John Garrod with a view to laying down poison on his property, which was being badly affected by the rats.

Paul Wright reported an enquiry from Rosemary Mitchell (Old School House) about replacing gravel on the land outside her gate, so that her car had a firm surface on which to park.  It was pointed out that this was public land and that there was no budget for such issues.  Paul Wright will confirm this to her.

Paul Wright also asked Adrian Gunson to investigate why a number of grups had been cut into the verge alongside the Church to the right of the main gate, as this was an area which never flooded and the grups now posed a threat to vehicles passing each other.

14.27  Request for a donation to the Ambulance Community First Responders for new equipment
The Clerk read out the letter, which was discussed by Councillors.  Having also received the support of the parishioners present, they approved a donation of £100.

14.28  Planning
There had been no new applications or related developments since the last meeting.

14.9  Finance
a) The bank balance at 19 March is £2,311.06.  Budget and bank statements have been circulated separately.
b) Receipts – none.
c) Grants – none.
d) Payments
Cheque No  Payee                              Description                                                Amount
100257      M A Balmer                       Salary (Feb-Mar) and Admin (Jan-Mar)        £288.92
100258      HM Revenue and Customs  PAYE for Clerk (Dec-Mar)                           £115.20
100259      Claxton Village Hall            Hall hire charges 2013-14                          £112.00
100260      NRCC                                Membership 2014-15                                  £20.00
100261      South Norfolk Council         Dog bin emptying 2013-14                          £73.56
100262      NALC                                 Subscription 2014-15                                 £90.52
100263      Francis Carne Associates     Dog “Pick-Up” stickers                                £19.81
100264      East of England                  Donation towards equipment for                £100.00
Ambulanc eAmbulance Service             new First Responder

David Hamblin proposed that the above schedule should be approved for payment, with Pat Clare seconding.

14.30  Update on the Parish Plan
The Clerk had updated the Parish Plan, copies of which were circulated to all present.

14.31  Update on Playground Facilities
Pat Clare had attended a funding meeting at South Norfolk Council in February which was very helpful, though she continues to be short of any assistance from villagers with children in taking this project forward.

14.32  Dog fouling at the Village Hall
Despite there being a dog bin in the Village Hall car park, some dog owners were letting their dogs run free on the grounds at the rear and the resulting dog mess was not being picked up and binned, even in front of the bottle banks.  One Parishioner suggested this was a village-wide issue.  Councillors agreed that dogs should henceforth be banned from the grass areas and approved the acquisition of an appropriate sign.  They also approved the relocation of the dog bin to the front of the Village Hall grounds.

14.33  Clerk’s Report
He had sent in the Precept application as approved at last meeting, and expected the first payment in April.  He was also working on a Village-wide Litter Pick, but little interest had to date been expressed in participating.

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

14.35  Items for next Agenda (for meeting on 14 May)

14.36  Date of next meeting
With the agreement of the Chair, the Clerk explained that the next meeting was the Annual Parish Meeting on 16 April, and that this was the village’s meeting, and where various village organisations reported on the previous year.  Villagers could raise any issues without notice.  The Agenda was relatively fixed and would issue shortly.

The next Parish Council meeting would be the Annual Meeting on 14 May, when the current Chair would step down, to be re-elected or replaced

The meeting closed at 2030.

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