Minutes of Parish Council Annual Meeting, 13 May 2015

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

15.43     Approved absences – none.

15.44     Declarations of Office
Declarations were signed by all 4 Councillors and witnessed by the Proper Officer (the Clerk).

15.45     Election of chairperson
Paul Wright proposed that Pat Clare should stand again as Chairman, and there being no other nominations, this was seconded by David Hamblin. Pat Clare was thus re-elected as Chairman and completed her Declaration of Office, witnessed by the Proper Officer (the Clerk). None of the other Councillors wished to stand as Vice-Chairman.

15.46     Appointment of Representatives
Village Hall liaison – Mary Button
Church/churchyard – Paul Wright
Allotments – Roland Kaye
Footpaths and Green – Peter Lancaster reminded the Clerk that he had offered to take this on, subject to receiving a job description, which would now be provided
Notice board – Clerk
Parish Plan and Pits Trust – All Councillors
Website – Clerk
Finance and Internal Audit – Adepta (Jacquie Clarke)

15.47     Declarations of Interest
There were none.

15.48     Minutes of the meeting held on 18 March 2015
The minutes of the above meeting, which had been circulated beforehand and placed on the notice board and website, were approved and signed.

15.49     Parishioners’ Questions
The Council was asked what had been done about the serious overgrowth from “Foxgloves” next to the Hall, which was bringing down the boundary fencing. The Clerk confirmed he had written to the residents/occupiers but believed this coincided with a change of occupant. He offered to cut the overgrowth back himself and then ask the new occupiers to fix the fence. Peter Lancaster reminded him that any cuttings had, by law, to be returned to the owners/garden in question.

15.50     Claxton Manor vehicles, Home Piece and Church Lane
The Clerk had received a request that this be on the agenda as it was felt that the very large farm vehicles were using Church Lane rather than Home Piece, and causing avoidable damage to the road sides. The Manor representative said that Home Piece had a lot of overhanging trees which could not be cut back before August and that vehicles coming from Manor lands behind Burton’s Farm could hardly go back up Church Lane to get to Home Piece. The discussion was concluded with an assurance that, where feasible, Home Piece would continue to be used.

15.51      Anglian Water’s £1,000 Donation
The Clerk had taken this forward immediately after the last meeting but had not realised until much later that he was awaiting a quote from a local company. He had chased it that day, and would report back to the meeting in July.

15.52      Sewage seepage behind Church Lane
Peter Lancaster confirmed he had identified the source of the seepage and that the Environment Agency had been consulted. Nothing had been done to address the issue to date but he has installed monitors downstream, and will check these after any heavy rainfall.

15.53      Litter
The Clerk had been asked to add this to the agenda as it was felt that some pro-active clearing might help to keep the village tidy. The Clerk mentioned an annual South Norfolk initiative which also delivered extra funding in certain circumstances. He was instructed to contact South Norfolk Council to see when the 2015 Litter Pick would take place, and report back.

15.54      Planning Matters
The one outstanding application (2015/0424 – Durrant’s Barn conversion) was still undecided.

15.55     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 Chair 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.

A detailed financial statement had been made available to Councillors and parishioners alike, and Councillors had seen the complete list of proposed payments well in advance, so there were no surprises.

  1. a) The bank balance at 13 May is £5,018.37. Budget and bank statements have been circulated separately.
  2. b) Receipts – Anglian Water donation of £1,000 towards community project and South Norfolk first 2015-16 Precept payment and Council Tax support payment, totalling £2,083.50. HMRC VAT refund from 2014-15 of £164.88
  3. c) Grants – none.
  4. d) Payments
Cheque No Payee Description Amount
 100293 Norse Eastern Ltd Grass-cutting at the Warren – first six-monthly payment £ 187.90
 100294 Norse Eastern Ltd Grass-cutting at the Village Hall – first six-monthly payment £ 199.04
 100295 Zurich Municipal Insurance 1 June 2015-31 May 2016 £ 106.00
 100296 M A Balmer Salary (Apr-May) and Admin (Mar-May) £ 305.41
 100297 HM Revenue and Customs PAYE for Clerk (Apr-May) £ 63.80
 100298 Adepta Internal Audit and Accounts examination 2014-15 £ 72.00

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

15.56     Update on Parish Plan
There was nothing new to report.

15.57      Update on Playground facilities
There was nothing to report following the Annual Parish Meeting earlier.

15.58      Report from Clerk
The Clerk had contacted Anglian Water about the £1,000 donation, which has now been received. He had also written to the owners/residents of “Foxgloves” about the overhanging bushes, but was yet to receive a reply or see any action. He had confirmed on the South Norfolk website the Parish Council’s support for the Planning Application in Church Lane, received an e-mail from the Better Broadband for Norfolk project with a fairly dismal forecast for Claxton, and had been very busy handling a lot of election-related paperwork.

15.59     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 and May 2015
  • NALC Weekly updates
  • Norfolk RCC April Newsletter
  • Clerks and Councils Direct April-May 2015

15.60      Items for next Agenda
There were two – Broadband/Richard Bacon and a Village broadband hub. Future County/District Councillor attendance.

Date of next meeting – Wednesday 15 July 2015 at 7.30pm

Dates of remaining meetings in 2015
Wednesday 16 September – Regular Parish Council Meeting
Wednesday 18 November – Regular Parish Council Meeting

The meeting closed at 2057.

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