Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 22 July 2015

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

15.61 Approved absences – None.

15.62 Declarations of interest – None.

15.63 Minutes of Previous Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting on 13 May 2015 were approved and signed.

15.64 Parishioner Questions
There were no Parishioner questions.

15.65 District and County Councillor Reports
The sudden death on 23 June of Derek Blake meant that there was no report from the District or County Council. The Council expressed its sadness and appreciation of all that Derek Blake had done. The Clerk had attended the funeral and confirmed that there would be By Elections for both positions on Thursday 24 September.

15.66 Proposal for a Village Broadband Hub
The Clerk was asked to introduce the item. He reminded the meeting that the Council had agreed in March to pursue a satellite broadband hub based in the Village Hall, taking advantage of the £1,000 donation from Anglian Water. He had received a proposal from a local company and subsequently spoken to “Broadband Wherever” who provide such services. They had confirmed that an installation allowing a download limit of 10GB per month on a 24-month contract would be feasible within the agreed budget.  The Council authorised the Clerk to take this forward, with a proposed start date of 1 September. The Clerk explained that he would meet the launch costs and then reclaim them, and that a direct debit would be set up to meet the monthly rental costs for 24 months.

15.67 Footpaths in the Village and the appointment of Footpaths Officers
The position of Footpaths Officer had been unfilled since May 2012 and Julia Kaye and Helen Balmer had come forward with a proposal that they should share this role between them. The Parish Council approved this appointment, and thanked both villagers for coming forward. One parishioner commented that horses are being ridden on the public footpath between Church Lane and Home Piece, below the Church. The new Footpaths Officers will look into this. It was also suggested that Slade Lane should be converted from an unrestricted road to a bridleway to stop the recent increase in traffic across to Staines Barns. This proposal did not find favour with the Council and was rejected.

15.68 Broadband Issues
A request had been received at the last meeting for a further approach to Richard Bacon MP about the situation whereby Claxton was being left behind in the project to deliver reasonable broadband services to rural communities, something which Mr Bacon had said on being re-elected was his first priority. The Council agreed that the Clerk should draft and clear a letter, to also be copied to OFCOM.

15.69 Planning Matters
The Application for a change of use of Durrant’s Barn (2015/0424) had been withdrawn by the applicants.  The Application to extend and modernise Warren View (2015/1134) had been approved on 3 July.  A new Application for a side extension and upstairs dormers at 4 The Warren (2015/1585) with a consultation deadline of 5 August, was considered and the Council agreed to support the application, which the Clerk will register online with South Norfolk Council

15.70 Finance
a) The bank balance at 22 July was £4,167.10. Budget and bank statements had been circulated separately.
b) Receipts – £82.88 from Claxton Mill Residents Association for their soak away licence for 2015-16.
c) Grants – none.
d) Payments
Cheque No   Payee                Description                                                         Amount
100299         M A Balmer     Salary (Jun-Jul) and Admin (May-Jul)        £ 306.17

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

15.71 Update on the Parish Plan
The Clerk confirmed two changes to the Parish Plan since the last meeting. A copy was available. There was movement on a village broadband hub (see above) and one criminal incident in each of the past two months.  One parishioner noted a further incident the previous week, where a cat belonging to a villager had been shot resulting in the loss of a leg. There was discussion of the incident, details of which are still unclear, including where the incident actually took place. Claxton Manor had contacted the police with the aim of helping to identify the culprit(s), and undertook to keep the Clerk updated, while also asking the police to contact the Clerk direct.

15.72 Update on Playground Facilities
No change since the last meeting.

15.73 Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that he had attended Derek Blake’s funeral in Bergh Apton where there had been a very good turnout including the MP for South Norfolk and several representatives from the District and County Councils, as well as villagers, friends and family. He had returned the Mini Recycling Centre application to South Norfolk Council which meant the £100 payment would now be received. And he had continued to chase the County Council to replace the fingerpost on the Warren which had been knocked over by an unidentified car in February.

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

15.75 Items for next Agenda
There were no proposals.

15.76 Meetings in 2016
The Council approved the proposed dates for meetings in 2016, subject of course to unforeseen absences. They are 13 January, 16 March, 18 May (Annual Parish Meeting followed by Parish Council Annual Meeting), 13 July, 14 September and 16 November (all Wednesdays).

15.77 Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 16 September 2015 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

15.78 Remaining date for 2015 meeting – The date is 18 November 2015.

The meeting closed at 2005.

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