Minutes of Parish Council Annual Meeting, 14 May 2014

In attendance: Mrs Pat Clare (Chair, presiding), Mr Paul Wright, Mrs Mary Button and Mr David Hamblin (Councillors) and Mr Mike Balmer (Clerk). Apologies: Mr Adrian Gunson (County Councillor). Absent: Mr Derek Blake (District Councillor). Also attending: 8 Parishioners.

14.37     Approved absences – none.

14.38     Declarations of interest – none.

14.39     Election of chairperson
Pat Clare declared herself willing to stand again as Chairman, and there being no other nominations, this was seconded by Mary Button. Pat Clare was thus re-elected as Chairman and has completed her Declaration of Office, witnessed by the Clerk. None of the other Councillors wished to stand as Vice-Chairman.

14.40     Appointment of Representatives
Village Hall liaison – Mary Button
Church/churchyard – Paul Wright
Allotments – Paul Carter
Footpaths and Green – Peter Lancaster would confirm once the clerk had sent him the job description
Notice board – Clerk
Parish Plan and Pits Trust – All Councillors
Website – Clerk
Finance and Internal Audit – Chris Dix

14.41     Minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2014
The minutes of the above meeting, which had been circulated beforehand and placed on the notice board and website, were approved and signed.

14.42     Matters Arising from the Annual Parish Meeting (16 April 2014)
There were none.

14.43     Access to the Allotments – agreement with landowners
The Chair had reached agreement with a representative of the new owners and a Paper would be offered to the next meeting for approval and signature.

14.44      Update on rats on Church Lane and follow-up action
There were still problems. Peter Lancaster said these were being attended to and there had been a significant reduction in numbers. There would be a last push in the next two weeks or so. The feed hoppers have been removed and they will try a First Generation rat bait in the hope that the rats were not resistant. Julia Kaye asked why the crop cover could not be relocated to another field away from Claxton houses as the problem is worse than ever. Peter Lancaster said they preferred to try to deal with the problem on site. There was related discussion of rabbits in the churchyard which Claxton Manor were helping deal with. There is the related issue about the state of the grass banks on both sides along the length of Church Lane and the Clerk was asked to contact the County Councillor, to see if he could arrange for a Highways visit to build up the tarmac road surface, which had badly worn away, partly through the number of large vehicles which use this as a cross route to/from the A146.

14.45      Overgrown hedges at Claxton Corner
The Clerk was asked to write to the householders whose hedges needed cutting back.

14.46      Disabled parking and bottle banks at the Village Hall
The Clerk had been told the previous week that the new disabled parking sign was in the wrong place as these cannot be put on gravel. The Chair had subsequently spoken with South Norfolk Council who had confirmed that the location was acceptable. A further discussion took place over whether the bottle banks needed a hard surface underneath them. Given that new rules on disposing of glass in domestic waste were about to be introduced and might affect the extent to which the bottle banks were used, it was agreed to wait and see how this developed.

14.47      Planning Matters
There had been none since the last meeting.

14.48     Finance Report
A detailed schedule had been made available to Councillors and parishioners alike.

a)            The bank balance at 14 May was £3,797.49. Budget and bank statements had been circulated separately.
b)            Receipts – 4. HMRC 2013-14 VAT refund of £143.06, South Norfolk Council Precept first half of £1,918.50, South Norfolk Council’s Council Tax Benefit Grant of £162.00 and Claxton Mill Residents Association soak away licence of £82.88.
c)             Grants – none.
d)            Payments

Cheque No Payee Description Amount
100265 Zurich Municipal Public Liability Insurance 1/6/14-31/5/15 £ 106.00
100266 Christopher Dix Clerk Payroll services 2013-14 £ 100.00
100267 M A Balmer Salary (Apr-May) and Admin (Mar-May) £ 410.57
100268 Norse Eastern Ltd Grass-Cutting at Warren – Part 1 £ 185.11
100269 Norse Eastern Ltd Grass-Cutting at Village Hall – Part 1 £ 196.10
100270 HM Revenue and Customs PAYE for Clerk (Dec-Mar) £ 57.60
100271 Christopher Dix Accounts Preparation and Audit 2013-14 £ 70.00

On a proposal from Paul Wright, seconded by Pat Clare, the schedule was approved for payment.

14.49     Audit Commission Annual Return
The Clerk tabled the Accounts and Statement. The Accounts were adopted and the Annual Governance Statement agreed, and both Clerk and Chairperson signed off the Accounts under Sections 1 and 2. The Internal Auditor had completed Section 4 and the External Auditors, Mazars, would complete Section 3.

14.50     Update on Parish Plan
The Clerk confirmed that there had been no changes since the last Council meeting and that a copy of the current Plan was available to be viewed after the meeting.

14.51      Update on Playground facilities
There was nothing to report.

14.52      Report from Clerk
The Clerk had finalised the 2013-14 accounts and made copies of the unaudited figures available to the Annual Parish Meeting and on the website. He had also spoken to Norse about the frequency of grass-cutting and will monitor their performance closely, seeking refunds for any missed cuts.

14.53     Correspondence
The Clerk tabled a short list of correspondence which had been circulated to Councillors or received prior to the meeting. Items included:

  • Police and Crime Commissioner Weekly Round-ups
  • Parish Crime Statistics April 2014
  • NALC Weekly updates
  • Norfolk RCC April Newsletter
  • NALC Norfolk Link April 2014
  • Notice of Election for the European Parliamentary Election
  • Town and Parish Clerks – next consultation meeting (June)
  • Clerks and Councils Direct April 2014

14.54      Items for next Agenda
There were two – the Allotments Access agreement and Broadband services.

Date of next meeting – Wednesday 16 July 2014 at 7.30pm

Dates of remaining meetings in 2013
Wednesday 17 September – Regular Parish Council Meeting
Wednesday 19 November – Regular Parish Council Meeting


The meeting closed at 2025.

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