Meeting held on Wednesday 13 September 2017 in Claxton Village Hall at 7.30pm.
In attendance: Councillor Pat Clare (Chair, presiding), Councillor David Hamblin, Councillor Mary Button, Councillor Jason Cantrill and Councillor Sarah Kennedy, and Mr Mike Balmer (Clerk). Also attending: 7 Parishioners, District Councillor Jaan Larner and County Councillor Barry Stone.
17.61 Approved absences – there were none.
17.62 Declarations of Interest – there were none.
17.63 Minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2017
The minutes of the above meeting, which had been circulated beforehand and placed on the notice board and website, were approved and signed.
17.64 District Councillor
Jaan Larner had earlier e-mailed out his monthly report, covering the Broads Authority Peer Review, a consultation over Public Space Protection, the latest stage of the Boundary Review, Norfolk Waste Partnership’s latest initiative and the new Training programme (Pick’n’Mix). Some of these items had already been picked up and were already on the website and notice boards. David Hamblin drew attention to the news that Barclays were closing in Loddon in December and the difficulty that would present a large number of people. In discussion it emerged that the likely disappearance of the ATM was a major concern as it was the only machine available 24 hours a day in the area. There was support for letters of protest but many also believed the decision would not be reversed.
17.65 County Councillor
Barry Stone had already provided his latest report (which was on the website) though August had as usual been a quiet month. Focus is on 3 infrastructure projects – the third Great Yarmouth river crossing, the Long Stratton Bypass and the road to link the NDR with the A47. Children’s services and the Norfolk and Norwich Eco Awards were also mentioned. He had produced a report on the George Lane Loddon roundabout (which had already been read 96 times on the website) reminding the meeting that the Hales roundabout would come first as it was being funded by Norfolk County Council not the developer. The work at George Lane had to be undertaken once 125 homes had been completed and sold.
He mentioned his £6,000 Local Member’s Highway Budget and confirmed that Speed Awareness Monitors were excluded. Following discussion it appeared that additional signs on the 30MPH signs at either end of the village asking drivers to drive carefully were permitted. As he only has two bids so far he thought this could be funded. The Clerk would follow up.
17.66 Parishioners’ Questions
There were none.
17.67 Claxton Corner traffic issues
A number of parishioners had once again expressed concern about traffic at Claxton Corner, partly because turning into or out of Church Lane often meant taking a risk, especially in a vehicle towing a trailer or moving slowly. The meeting told Barry Stone that previous attempts to get the stretch from the New Inn to Claxton Manor classified as a 30MPH road had been unsuccessful as it went through some undeveloped areas and was by definition a 60MPH stretch. Councillor Stone referred the meeting to the Norfolk Speed Management Strategy (on the NCC website) but did also undertake to ask Gary Overland (Bob Edwards’ successor at the Highways Department) to come and inspect the location. He would keep the Clerk informed as to progress with this request.
The meeting was reminded that the installation of a defibrillator had been discussed 2 years earlier when debating how to use the £1,000 grant from Anglian Water. Councillor David Hamblin had asked for a fresh discussion as the availability of a defibrillator in Claxton could save a life. The nearest one is at the New Inn, too far from the centre of Claxton to be a practical alternative. After discussion including with members of the parish it was decided that Councillor Hamblin should take this forward, consulting medical professionals in the village as well as Rockland St Mary Parish Council who oversaw the installation of 2 units in RSM. He would report back to the next meeting.
17.69 New Parish Clerk
The Clerk reminded the meeting that he had given notice of his intention to stand down by the end of May 2018 at the very latest. It was agreed that a vacancy notice should be drawn up and advertised as before (11Says, website, Norfolk ALC website, notice boards, word of mouth etc). The Clerk will forward his thoughts for consideration.
17.70 Satellite Broadband Contract
After discussion it was agreed to keep the contract running for at least another year when the first of 3 fibre-optic roadside cabinets would arrive in Claxton at which point alternative solutions should be available. The Anglian Water money would run out in May 2018 when Parish Council resources would be used to fund the link going forward.
17.71 Changes to the 85 Bus Service
One parishioner who is a regular user of the current service welcomed the changes though this really simply returned the service to where it was originally. They felt that some villagers who had found alternative ways of getting into Norwich might be reluctant to use the bus again, but agreed that it would take a while to see how much it was used. Some villagers apparently knew nothing about the changes despite a widespread advertising (short of door to door distribution) of the new schedule.
17.72 Saffron Housing Trust and (more) affordable housing
After discussion the Council concluded that it did not have sufficient knowledge to conclude whether there was a need for more affordable housing or not, though the instinct was not. The Clerk was asked to reply to the Trust telling them that if they had evidence they should present it.
Application 2017/1373 at East View, Church Lane had been approved. Councillor Kennedy also mentioned that she had heard the same day that approval (with conditions) would be granted for a change of use at Marsh Barn (2017/1740).
A detailed financial statement had been made available to Councillors (in advance) and parishioners, and Councillors had seen the complete list of proposed payments well in advance, so there were no surprises.
a) The bank balance at 13 September was £3,222.67. The Budget/Financial Report and Payments Schedule have both been circulated to Councillors in advance.
b) Receipts – none.
c) Grants – none.
* Errors in the Annual Return had not been spotted before despatch and Mazars had had to send it back for correction, thus the charge. Adepta Ltd, who had prepared the return, had accepted responsibility and agreed to refund the £30 charge, which will happen the following financial year.
The schedule was approved for payment, and cheques signed by Pat Clare and David Hamblin.
17.75 Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that he had contacted the Satellite Broadband service provider to discuss options at the end of the current contract and advised Councillors. He had worked with Mazars (External Auditors) to correct items in the Annual return, had publicised the new bus services to known interested parties in the village, chased UK Power Networks over the hole behind Staines Farm Cottage (now filled in) and applied for Transparency Funding for equipment for the new Clerk (awaiting response).
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
- Saffron Housing Trust’s letter about more affordable housing
- Community Action Norfolk’s June/July newsletters
- NDR updates
- Clerks and Councils direct August and September 2017
17.77 Items for next Agenda
Updates on the Community defibrillator and traffic at Claxton Corner. Memorial tree to Linda Clitheroe.
Date of next meeting – Wednesday 15 November 2017.
The last meeting in 2017 would be on Wednesday 15 November.
The meeting closed at 8.41pm.