Minutes of Annual Meeting of Parish Council on 16 May 2018

Meeting held on Wednesday 16 May 2018 in Claxton Village Hall at 8.23pm

In attendance:  Mrs Pat Clare (Chair, presiding), Mrs Mary Button, Mr David Hamblin, Mr Jason Cantrill and Ms Sarah Kennedy (Councillors), Mr Mike Balmer (outgoing Clerk) and Carla Petersen (incoming Clerk).  Also attending:  6 Parishioners.

18.36 Approved absences – none.

18.37 Election of chairperson
There being no other candidates Pat Clare confirmed that she would stand again as Chairman, and there being no other nominations, this was seconded by David Hamblin.  Pat Clare also proposed that David Hamblin should be re-elected as Vice-Chairman, seconded by Mary Button.  Both Declarations of Office were signed and witnessed by the Proper Officer.

18.38 Appointment of Representatives – the following were agreed for the next year:

Village Hall liaison – Mary Button
Church/churchyard – Paul Carter
Tree Warden – Sarah Carter
Footpaths and Green – Julia Kaye and Helen Balmer
Notice board – Clerk and Mike Balmer
Parish Plan and Pits Trust – All Councillors
Website – Clerk and Mike Balmer

18.39 Declarations of Interest
There were none.

18.40 Minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2018
The minutes of the above meeting, which had been circulated beforehand and placed on the notice board and website, were approved and signed.

18.41 Parishioners’ Questions
There were none.

18.42   District and County Councillors
Both were absent.  No specific reports, though Barry Stone had continued to provide monthly reports and his annual report was also on the website.

18.43 Annual Governance Statement 2017-18
The statement had been circulated to Councillors beforehand and none had any comments.  The Statement was approved and signed by the Chairman and the Clerk.

18.44 Accounting Statements 2017-18
The statements had been circulated to Councillors beforehand and none had any comments.  The Statement was approved and signed by the Responsible Financial Officer and the Chairman.

18.45 Certificate of Exemption
Claxton Parish Council qualified for exemption and a proposal to sign the Certificate of Exemption was approved, and then signed by the Responsible Financial Officer and the Chairman.  The outgoing Clerk will despatch it to PKF Littlejohn.

18.46   Fallen Trees on The Street and Church Lane
Councillor Sarah Kennedy had established that neither Claxton Manor nor Highways accepted that this was their responsibility, Highways because the trees were not blocking the road.  The Community Assets Officer had admitted there was no clear ownership of the land in question, and suggested the trees should be left for wildlife and to degrade naturally.  Another option was for the Parish Council to pay to have them cleared.  The parishioner who had raised the issue at the previous meeting reported that the fallen trees in Church Lane had been removed by the Manor as their own vehicles could not get past.  He said that Highways are responsible for the first metre of land on either side of public roads and that they were surely responsible as the trees were still a traffic hazard, particularly when cars passed larger vehicles such as buses and lorries which generally used more than their side of the road.  The Chair had spoken to Claxton Manor who were willing to clear the trees if the road could be closed.  The Clerk would approach Highways again.

18.47   Claxton Corner visibility issues
The Clerk had written as instructed to the owners of 31 Claxton Corner and received a very helpful reply regarding the surrender of a strip of their land on the actual corner.  The owners were understandably reluctant to meet the expense of any work.  Following discussion with the parishioners present it was resolved to seek a joint site visit by the Council and Highways to consider options.  It was felt that Highways should meet any costs involved but this might need to be negotiated.

18.48   Excess speeding and a Community Speed Watch Team
There was discussion about the prospects of getting enough residents to volunteer to act as a Community Speed Watch Team along the lines of the Rockland example.  As a much smaller village it was felt that this would be an unreasonable extra burden for those who would be prepared to take it on.  There was subsequent discussion about acquiring a Speed Awareness Monitor (SAM2) and it was finally agreed that Langley with Hardley PC be approached to see whether they would consider Claxton PC investing financially to share the SAM2 they currently co-own with Chedgrave PC.

18.49   Planning Matters
There had been no new applications since the last meeting.

 18.50 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 May was £5,521.08. The Budget/Financial Report has been circulated separately.
b) Receipts – 3. First half of 2018-19 Precept and Council Tax Support Scheme Grant totalling £2,129.50. Refund of 2017-18 VAT – £403.37.  Claxton Mill Residents Association Soakaway Licence 2018-19 – £87.34.
c) Grants – none.
d ) Payments

On a proposal from Pat Clare, seconded by David Hamblin, the schedule was approved for payment, and cheques signed.  A formal invoice from the EEAS for the defibrillator was expected by the end of May.

18.51   Report from Clerk
The Clerk reported that he had closed the 2017-18 Accounts, dropped them off on the internal auditor and received them back, written to the owners of No31 Claxton Corner about traffic issues and circulated their subsequent response, chased Norse about the grass not being cut at all in April.  The first cut was on 8 May.  He had also chased the new Farm Manager at Claxton Manor about flooding at Peascod and blocked culvert but without any response, lodged responses on development proposals with the Greater Norwich Local Plan website and updated the Transparency Code return for 2017-18 on the website.

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

  • NDR final updates
  • Norfolk ALC Weekly updates and Training Programme for 2018
  • Community Action Norfolk April and May Newsletters
  • Clerks and Councils Direct April and May 2018
  • Norfolk Playing Fields Association newsletter for April.He commented that the Council had agreed to look at the benefits of membership of the NPFA when it came up for renewal next year as there was no obvious benefit for the annual fee paid, as Claxton had no playing field or playgrounds.

 18.53   Items for next Agenda
Hellington Corner traffic issues.  WWI Beacon lighting in November.  Flooding at Peascod.

The next meeting is on 11 July 2018.

Dates of remaining meetings in 2018
Wednesday 12 September – Regular Parish Council Meeting
Wednesday 14 November – Regular Parish Council Meeting

The meeting closed at 9.13pm.


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