Minutes of Parish Council Meeting on 15 March 2017

Meeting held on Wednesday 15 March 2017 in Claxton Village Hall at 7.31pm.

In attendance:  Councillor Pat Clare (Chair, presiding), Councillor David Hamblin and Councillor Mary Button and Mr Mike Balmer (Clerk).  Absent with apologies:  Councillor Jason Cantrill.  Also attending:  9 Parishioners.  No District or County Councillor present.

17.17 Approved absences – Jason Cantrill.

17.18 Declarations of Interest – there were none.

17.19 Minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2017
The minutes of the above meeting, which had been circulated beforehand and placed on the notice board and website, were approved and signed.

17.20   Co-option of a new Councillor
Sarah Kennedy had come forward to fill the vacant position after it had been advertised for the appropriate period.  She was duly co-opted onto the Council and signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office, which was witnessed by the Clerk.  She took her seat on the Council.

17.21 District and County Councillors
Barry Stone had been unable to attend as he was covering Bergh Apton PC’s meeting this time.  Jaan Larner had e-mailed the Clerk to apologise for not being able to attend.  There were no reports from either.

17.22 Parishioners’ Questions
Before any parishioner spoke, the Chair offered the Council’s thanks to Peter Lancaster for his swift action in removing a tree at Hellington Beck and to Claxton Manor for removing the large fir trees at the back of the Village Hall, as well as to Michael Button for his work sorting out the mole problem at the back of the Village Hall.  One parishioner noted that it had become dangerous for any pedestrians to navigate Claxton Corner, given the sharpness of the bend and the speed of some vehicles.  He wondered whether there might be an alternative route from Church Lane where the bridge crossed the Beck, alongside the Beck and on to the road south of Marsh Barn.  Checks will be made to confirm who owns the land and the feasibility of such an arrangement and it will be discussed at the next meeting.

17.23   Community Governance Review
The Clerk explained that this was the latest review which covered the size and make-up of individual Parishes.  Much of the information was on the website and the Council was invited to make a submission by 12 June.  It was agreed that all Councillors would consider the information already available and make their views known by the next meeting, in good time for a response to issue by the deadline.

17.24   New Bus Schedule
The new schedule had been running for a month.  The availability of a bus first thing in the morning and in the evening was welcomed.  The County Council had suggested it could move the departure from Norwich back an hour from 12pm to 1pm if the community wanted it.  There was support for such a move which the Clerk will pass on.  The only other issue was the connection between the X22 and 85A at Loddon around 5pm, where passengers had been told this was a school bus only and could not be used by other passengers.  The Clerk will seek clarification on this as well.

17.25   B4RNorfolk’s Rural Broadband project
David Hamblin reported back on the B4RNorfolk project meeting held at Claxton Village Hall on 1 March. This offers householders Hyperfast (1000Mps) broadband and is a community not-for-profit scheme.  B4RNorfolk have also held meetings at Rockland St Mary with a further meeting planned at Loddon on 22 March.  In order to properly gauge the interest in the Parish and given that a minimum of 20% uptake is needed for viability, it was agreed that a steering group would be set up to assess the true level of interest.  David agreed to action this and to report back at the next Council meeting.  He had also spoken with the Better Broadband for Norfolk (BBfN) programme and they had confirmed that during the next phase of high-speed (24Mps) broadband rollout Claxton would receive 3 roadside cabinets, in October 2018 and March 2019 with the third one (serving 19 houses – so probably in Church Lane) following at the end of 2019.

17.26   Tenders for tree work at the Village Hall
The Clerk had received two quotes and the Council approved the lowest one (£320).

17.27 Slade Lane blockages
The Clerk had visited the site and calculated that the caravan was at least 2 feet outside area owned by the developer, and clearly blocking much of Slade Lane.  He had taken photographs and sent them to the Highways department but had not had any response to date.  Efforts had been made to bring a low-loader down to take it away but it could not get down Church Lane to do so.  He was asked to chase a response.

17.28   Hellington Beck Conservation Area
One parishioner was concerned that the area on either side of Hellington Beck behind The Street in Rockland was still vulnerable to development, even though there were no plans to seek permission.  He felt the best way to safeguard this area would be to create a Conservation Area.  The Clerk was asked to find out from his colleague in Rockland what, if any, progress had been made to this end.

17.29   Request from Norfolk Accident Rescue Service for a financial contribution
The letter is circulating but the Council did not feel able to agree to this request.

17.30   Planning
There had been no new applications.  The application for a new garage and workshop at Cart Barn had been approved on 8 February.

17.31 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 15 March was £3,013.61.
b) Receipts – none.
c) Grants – none.
d) Payments

Cheque Payee Amount Description
100341 M A Balmer 267.30 Salary (£193.50) Feb-Mar 2017 & Admin Fees (£73.80) Jan-Mar 2017
100342 HM Revenue and Customs  257.60 PAYE for Mike Balmer Q4/16-17 (Dec 2016-Mar 2017)
100343 Community Action Norfolk 20.00 Subscription 2017-18
100344 Claxton Village Hall 96.00 Hire of Hall 2016-17

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

17.32   Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that he had helped promote the Rural Broadband meeting on 1 March, finally sorted out the Bank Mandate giving us 3 current signatories, notified South Norfolk Council of the Precept we required for 2017-18, contacted Highways over encroachment by caravan at Staines Barns, publicised new bus schedule changes and provided hard copies to those in the village without internet access (and at the Community Café) and co-ordinated the village Litter Pick on 6 February.

17.33   Correspondence
The Clerk tabled a list of correspondence which had been e-mailed or circulated to Councillors or received prior to the meeting.  Items included:

  • Norfolk ALC Newsletters
  • Community Action Norfolk’s January/February newsletters
  • NDR updates
  • Clerks and Councils direct February and March 2017

17.34   Items for next Agenda
District Councillor attendance record.  Alternative footpath at Claxton Corner.  Response for Community Governance Review.  B4RNorfolk update.

Date of next meeting – Wednesday 17 May 2017 after the Annual Parish Meeting.

The meeting closed at 8.40pm.

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