Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 19 November 2014

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

14.94 Approved absences – None.

14.95 Declarations of interest – Councillor Mary Button declared a personal interest in the planning application at Agenda Item 11.

14.96 The minutes of the previous meeting on 17 September 2014 were approved and signed.

14.97 Parishioner Questions
There were none.

14.98 County Councillor’s Report
Adrian Gunson was absent, thus no report.

14.99 District Councillor’s Report
Derek Blake was absent. He had asked the Clerk to mention that the Local Plan was progressing although it would be May/June 2015 before expected approval.

14.100 Improvements to road traffic signage in Claxton
The Clerk had received a quotation for new road signs with a message welcoming careful drivers, but they would cost £500 each or £2,000 for all 4. The Council was not in favour of progressing with this, but asked the Clerk to explore any other options. In parallel Richard Bacon MP had asked for the Council’s support for his ‘Community Right to Reduce Speed’ initiative, and after discussion it was resolved that the Council should support this. The Clerk will respond.

14.101 Flooding problems at Claxton Corner
After a long discussion including a presentation from the parishioner most affected, the Council instructed the Clerk to draft a letter to the County Council, Environment Agency and Internal Drainage Board, cleared with the parishioner in question, for consideration by Councillors outside the regular meeting schedule.

14.102 A Village Newsletter
The Clerk had produced a first draft which would be updated to include mention of the allotments and agreed by Councillors before issue.

14.103 Broadband in Claxton
Richard Bacon MP had responded to the Council’s letter confirming his support for better broadband for rural locations. The BBfN project’s first phase runs to the end of 2015 and the effectiveness of this project can only be judged at that time. Nonetheless the Council felt this was something worth raising at regular intervals.

14.104 Village Allotments and Pits Trust issues
The Chair confirmed that the Council’s agreement with the Pits Trust that the Trust should manage the allotments going forward should continue. Claxton Manor were also content. The annual rental for each plot would remain at £20 payable to the Trust, which had funded the original water supply. All previous users had now withdrawn and there were 5 vacant plots. The plots would need to be re-advertised, both on noticeboards and the website (Clerk). The Chair also wished to remind parishioners of the Pits Trust’s activities. Its objectives were published on the website, along with annual accounts which were also on the Parish Council notice board. Minutes of meetings remained confidential with the exception of the Annual Report. The Trust’s assets were Ducan’s Marsh, where a sizeable effort was currently being put in, and 3 The Warren which was soon to undergo refurbishment prior to being re-let.

14.105 Planning Matters
There is one planning application currently being considered (2014/1929) – a retrospective application for extension to workplace facilities at Butterfly Barn. The decision is due the following week.

14.106 Finance

  • a) The bank balance at 19 November was £3,990.23. Budget and bank statements had been circulated separately.
  • b) Receipts – £1,918.50 received from South Norfolk Council on 26 September – the second half of this year’s Precept.
  • c) Grants – none.
  • d) Payments

Cheque No    Payee                                    Description                                                  Amount
100276         Norse Eastern Ltd                   Grass cutting at Warren- second  half           £196.09
100277         Norse Eastern Ltd                   Grass cutting at Village Hall – second half     £185.11
100278         M A Balmer                            Salary (Oct-Nov) and Admin (Sep-Nov)        £301.88
100279         HMRC                                    Clerk’s PAYE October-November 2014            £57.60
100280  Norfolk Parish Training Partnership  Website training for Clerk                             £40.00

Pat Clare explained that all planned expenditure had been seen by Councillors in advance, so nothing was unexpected. Paul Wright seconded.

14.107 Update on the Parish Plan
The Clerk confirmed that there had been small changes to the Parish Plan since the last meeting, regarding the provision of website training and the current vacant state of the allotments. A copy was available for perusal.

14.108 Update on Playground Facilities
Pat Clare reported no recent progress though there remained the potential of funding from WREN.

14.109 2015-16 Budget Discussion
The Parish Council’s Precept bid would need to be agreed at the next meeting in January 2015 and the Clerk had produced a first draft of a budget for 2015-16 which would form the basis of the bid. Councillors would consider this and other needs in the interim.

14.110 Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that he had despatched the Broadband letter to Richard Bacon MP, received a reply and circulated it, as well as putting on website. He had also written to the Clerk at Rockland St Mary and Adrian Gunson about the overgrown hedges from Claxton Corner to New Inn Hill, contacted Adrian Gunson to explain the issue of sand and other debris on Church Lane, produced a first draft of a Village newsletter for consideration by Councillors, and applied for website training from Norfolk ALC on 24 November, which should allow him to develop the site further. Additionally he had chased Anglian Water to tidy up the hedge on the Warren round their water treatment plant (a partial success only), and had worked with Adrian Gunson to try to get the Highway Engineers to jet the two drains at Claxton Corner.

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

14.112 Items for next Agenda
There were no proposals.

14.113 Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 14 January 2015 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

14.114 Other dates for 2015 meetings
The dates are:

14 January, 18 March, 13 May (APM and Annual Meeting), 15 July, 16 September and 18 November 2015.

The meeting closed at 2039.

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