Minutes of Parish Council Meeting on 14 March 2018

Meeting held on Wednesday 14 March 2018 in Claxton Village Hall at 7.30pm

In attendance:  Councillor Pat Clare (Chair, presiding), Councillor David Hamblin, Councillor Mary Button and Councillor Sarah Kennedy and Mr Mike Balmer (Clerk).  Also attending: 6 Parishioners.  Councillor Jason Cantrill, District Councillor and County Councillor absent.

18.21 Approved absences – Councillor Jason Cantrill.

18.22 Declarations of Interest – there were none.

18.23 Minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2018
The minutes of the above meeting, which had been circulated beforehand and placed on the notice board and website, were approved and signed.

18.24 Local assistance during recent bad weather
Councillors asked that the appreciation of Claxton village for the help of various farmers and others with tractors and snow ploughs during the recent bad weather be formally recorded.

18.25 Parishioners’ Questions
One parishioner drew attention to a number of fallen trees on The Street outside Claxton Manor and at various locations in Church Lane which were seriously impeding the passage of traffic, and asked that the Manor Estate be asked to remove them.  There was a discussion about whose responsibility this was and a suggestion that Highways be approached first.  The Clerk pointed out that, as this issue was not on the agenda, no decisions could be taken until the next meeting at the earliest.  The parishioner in question felt this was simply a ruse to avoid confronting the Manor Estate and left the meeting.  There were no other questions.

18.26  Defibrillator
Councillor David Hamblin updated the meeting. After a lot of research he had concluded that one of the units with a heated cabinet favoured by the East Anglia Ambulance Service would be the most suitable for the village. Taking account of overall costs and an estimate for installation the total sum needed would be in the region of £2,500. The Pits Trust had agreed earlier to make a grant of up to £1,500 and the District Councillor had previously offered £500 towards the project (but had not been in touch to confirm details). David Hamblin will also see whether the East of England Coop might be prepared to make a donation (as they did for Langley). The Village Hall would need to be consulted formally.

18.27  Greater Norwich Local Plan Consultation
Copies of the site proposals on Church Lane and behind the New Inn were circulated.  After discussion Councillors approved a formal Objection by the Parish Council to both proposals.  The Clerk will draft a text, clear it and add it to the existing comments.  He also stressed that it would help if more residents were to record their views online.  He was placing an article on the website to assist anyone who wanted to do so.

18.28  New Parish Clerk
The Chair announced that they had received one application from an existing Clerk and that she and David Hamblin would seek to interview the candidate by the end of the month. 

18.29  Claxton Corner traffic issues
The Clerk reported that he had met the new Head of Highways (Gary Overland) on 9 February.  After agreeing that the Parish Council could source its own traffic signage to complete the 30MPH signs and that Highways would reimburse the cost, they had spent time at Claxton Corner discussing the issues.  Gary Overland said that as this was designated a rural (ie not built-up) area the law required that the national speed limit (60MPH) apply.  It was not in his power to change this.  He was happy to see the central white line disappear when the road was next surface-dressed but this might not be for a while.

The Chair agreed to hear comments from the floor.  One parishioner wondered whether the owners of the property on the inside of Claxton Corner (No 31) could be approached with a view to having their boundary hedge replaced by chain link fencing to improve visibility around the corner.  It was pointed out that this was a family with young children and the opening up of their boundary would both remove any privacy and could present a risk of their wandering into traffic.  Nonetheless the Parish Council agreed that the Clerk should write to them outlining the proposal and seeking their views.

18.30  Commemorative Tree for Linda Clitheroe
The Chair said she would try to have the tree acquired and planted before the end of March.  Thereafter a plaque would need to be obtained and it was agreed that it should recognise the contribution of Linda Clitheroe and Billy Driver.  There would be a small ceremony thereafter to which members of both families would be invited.  It was also agreed that Linda Clitheroe’s brother and Bill Driver’s widow would be informed in advance.

18.31  Planning
The Clerk confirmed there had been no new applications since the last meeting.

18.32  Finance
The Clerk reported that the bank balance at 14 March was £3,070.10. The Budget/Financial Report and Payments Schedule have both been circulated to Councillors in advance. There had been no receipts or grants and the Payments Schedule was as follows:

*** The first cheque had been signed and despatched in February under Standing Orders, with formal approval requested now.  Reimbursement of this amount was being made.  The Schedule was approved for payment by Pat Clare and seconded by David Hamblin.

18.33  Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that he had contacted Highways over emergency ROAD CLOSED signs for a burst water main in Kirby Bedon in January, had chased Highways (Rangers) about flooding outside Peascod, contacted the Environment Agency over the dredging of Hellington and Carleton Becks and fed their response back to the Parish Council and one parishioner, met the new Head of Highways in Claxton on 9 February to consider new traffic signage and look at Claxton Corner, ordered the new signage (the cost of which has been refunded by Highways), and contacted District Councillor over his promise to make a £500 grant towards the new village defibrillator.

18.34  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 newsletters
  • NDR updates
  • Clerks and Councils direct

18.35  Items for next Agenda
Fallen trees, hedge at Claxton Corner, traffic at Hellington Corner, Community Speed Watch.

Date of next meeting – Wednesday 16 May 2018, after the Annual Parish Meeting.

The meeting closed at 8.41pm.

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