Minutes of Parish Council Meeting, 16 November 2016

Meeting held on Wednesday 16 November 2016 in Claxton Village Hall at 7.37pm

In attendance:  Councillor Pat Clare (Chair, presiding), Councillor Mary Button, Councillor David Hamblin and Councillor Jason Cantrill and Mr Mike Balmer (Clerk).  Absent: none.  Also attending:  8 Parishioners.  Apologies from County Councillor.  No District Councillor present.

16.77 Approved absences – none.

16.78 Declarations of Interest – There were none.

16.80 Minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2016
The minutes of the above meeting, which had been circulated beforehand and placed on the notice board and website, were approved and signed.

16.81   Filling the vacant Councillor position
Following the resignation of Councillor Richard White, the Clerk was asked to set out the procedure for replacing him.  He had already advertised the vacancy on the notice board and website which needed to be displayed for 14 working days, ie until 28 November.  Thereafter, so long as no more than 10 electors had requested a by-election, the Parish Council was free to co-opt a suitable candidate.  On 29 November the Clerk would advertise the vacancy with a view to any candidates being interviewed by the Council at its meeting on 18 January, with the successful candidate being immediately co-opted onto the Council.

16.82 Parishioners’ Questions
The Council was asked what could be done about the large amounts of mud which had been deposited on Church Lane as a result of cutting hedges by Claxton Manor.  After discussion the Clerk was asked to contact the Farm Manager to request that the Manor clean it up.

16.83   Revised Bus services – 85, 85A and 86
Since the last meeting the Clerk had been in frequent contact with the responsible officer at Norfolk County Council.  Earlier in the week he had received a version of a revised timetable but it was not clear whether this was the full revised schedule and he had queried this.  He was waiting for a response from the officer which had not yet arrived.  There followed a wide-ranging discussion on the shortcomings in the current (Our Bus) service to Loddon and the availability or otherwise of the 85 bus to drop down to Claxton more often.  The Clerk will obtain details from affected parishioners and return to the charge with the County Council, reporting back in January when the County Councillor will hopefully be present.

16.84   Broadband in Claxton
Despite not being able to find the large information pack from BT which went missing during circulation in the summer, the Clerk had finally identified a contact in BT and had been exchanging messages with him.  BT had confirmed they were interested in meeting the community in Claxton but wanted to talk it through with the Clerk first.  This will hopefully happen the next day.  The Clerk will report back at the next meeting, as well as on his contacts with B4RNorfolk.

16.85   Litter pick
The proposal for a periodic litter pick using the Parish Council’s equipment was noted with gratitude.

16.86   2017-18 Budget and Precept
The Clerk explained the timetable.  At the 18 January meeting the Council would need to agree the level of Precept to be requested for the following financial year.  This would depend on budget forecasts which the Clerk was putting together, and on any other expenditure which the Council thought might be necessary next year.  Councillors were given a draft budget minus the Precept figures.

16.87 Planning Matters
The appeal lodged against the refusal of planning permission at Durrants Barn had itself been turned down.  Application 2016/2355 – a front extension at The Birches – had been approved on 1 November.

16.88 Finance
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.

a) The bank balance at 16 November was £4,532.73. The latest Financial Report had been circulated in advance.
b) Receipts – the second tranche of the 2016-17 Precept (£1,998.50) had been received on 28 September and the £100 payment for the bottle banks had arrived on 4 November.
c) Grants – none.
d) Payments

Cheque Payee   Amount Description
100334 M A Balmer 234.70 Salary (£193.50) Oct-Nov & Admin (£41.20) Sep-Nov 2016
100335 HM Revenue & Customs 128.80 PAYE for Clerk Q3 (Oct-Dec 2016 inclusive)
100336 Norse Eastern Limited 197.28 Grass-cutting at the Warren – second six-month payment
100337 Norse Eastern Limited 208.99 Grass-cutting at the Village Hall – second six-month payment
100338 South Norfolk Council 78.05 Annual charge for dog bin emptying 2016-17

On a proposal from Pat Clare, seconded by David Hamblin, the schedule was approved for payment, and cheques signed.

16.89   Report from Clerk
The Clerk reported that since the last meeting he had dealt with correspondence over Staines Barns, had advertised the consultation about changes to District Council Wards, had received Richard White’s letter of resignation and organised the formal vacancy notice with SNC, successfully chased SNC for the £100 payment for the mini recycling centre agreement, contacted the County Council and County Councillor over flaws in the new bus schedule between Claxton and Loddon, and drafted, cleared and distributed the Autumn newsletter throughout the village.

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

  • Consultation from PCC on next year’s budget
  • NDR updates
  • Norfolk ALC Newsletters
  • Community Action Norfolk’s November newsletter
  • Clerks and Councils Direct September and December 2016

16.91   Items for next Agenda
Buses – an update.

Date of next meeting – Wednesday 18 January 2017 at 7.30pm.

The meeting closed at 2030.

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