Stanhoe Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting
Held on Thursday, 7th November 2013 at 7.00pm
in the village Reading Room
Clerk to the Council – , tel 01485 518409
Mr. T. Austin (TA)
Mrs. P. Austin (PA)
Mr. D. Bridge (DB)
Mr. J. Seedhouse (JS)
Mrs. R. Brown (RB)
Mr. M. Roche (MR)
Mrs. P. Roche (PR)
1. To consider apologies for absence
Apologies had been offered in advance by all absentees and were accepted.
2. To consider approval of the Minutes of the last meeting
Minutes were passed and signed by the Chairman.
3. To record declarations of interest from members in any item to be discussed
No declarations made.
4. To adjourn meeting to allow public participation
No public present.
A SNAP meeting was also in progress this evening so TA was unable to attend. During discussions at the last parish council meeting, it had been suggested that an article should go into Saints Alive stating that Stanhoe was a largely crime free area. On reflection it was felt that this might give a false sense of security and discourage residents from being vigilant especially as there had been some evidence of outside gates and property being disturbed by strangers.
Following on from the last SNAP meeting, TA had requested clarification from the police on rules governing agricultural vehicles on the highway. Any vehicle wider than 2.55 m is limited to a speed of 20 mph. Wider and larger vehicles have a further reduced speed limit and require notification to the police of when and where they are travelling. In some cases, a smaller warning vehicle must accompany the extremely large one.
6. Adoption of Policy Documents
Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and a Freedom of Information Policy had all been circulated to councillors in recent weeks. No alterations were suggested and DB proposed acceptance of all three documents. This was seconded by PA and unanimously agreed.
7. Village Playground
Following the usual fortnightly inspection, TA had reported wear and tear on some plastic joints on the pyramid net tower and on some shackles attaching chain links to wooden beams. An estimate for supply and fitting of replacement parts had been obtained from Joy Playgrounds, who had carried out work previously. The cost including a prior inspection visit would be £690 plus VAT. This was considered to be expensive and the clerk was asked to try to obtain some alternative quotes but it was suggested that repairs could be done by Joy Playgrounds if no better alternative could be found. TA pointed out that we are bound by insurance obligations to ensure that all the equipment is in good order and that future provision should be made in annual budgets to cover the cost. Should future repairs and maintenance prove too costly, consideration would have to be given to removing the play items completely. It was thought that a sizeable increase in precept to cover costs, which would result in a substantial increase in council tax would not be acceptable to residents.
As part of health and safety requirements for the playground a new notice is required showing ownership, location and contact details in case of emergencies. The clerk had obtained quotes for two options; one in moulded polyurethane at a cost of £432 plus VAT and one in digitally printed aluminium at £77.08 plus VAT. It was proposed by PA that the council should proceed with the repair work and the supply of an aluminium sign. This was seconded by JS and agreed unanimously.
8. Jack’s Lane Wind Farm
Prior to construction work commencing, Community Liaison Group (CLG) meetings would take place with the first meeting being held on Wednesday, 4th December 2013 at 7.00pm. in the village hall.
9. Speed Signs on Bircham Road
The clerk had contacted the County Council to request that the 40 mph stretch of Bircham Road should be reduced to 30 mph and the electronic speed sign altered accordingly. This suggestion was rejected but an offer was made to move the electronic sign to the 30 mph boundary to flash a warning at that speed. The cost would be approximately £2000 but under the Parish Partnership Scheme, the village would pay 50% of the cost with the balance being paid by the County. Councillors agreed that this was a matter for future discussion depending on finance.
10. Water mains leakages on Bircham Road
As requested, the clerk had written to Anglian Water regarding the recent substantial mains leakages on this road. A reply had been received which set out future plans for the upgrading of mains water supplies in the area. This reply had been put in the bundle of circulation documents.
Highways Department was aware of the recent vehicle crashes into the palisade fence opposite the pond and damage to road signs. Repair work would be carried out in due course but, in the meantime, roadside shrubbery had been severely cut back to enable the road junction warning sign to be clearly visible on the approach to the pond area.
12. Planning Matters
Permission had been granted for the erection of a two storey extension to the property ‘Leo’ on Docking Road which would replace the existing single storey one.
Two revised applications had been received. An original application for change of use for the scrap site at the corner of Bircham Road and Docking Road and the erection of two bungalows had been rejected as it included only part of the site. A revised application now included the full site for change of use. Although not in Stanhoe Parish, the Borough Council had asked for comments. Councillors were happy to agree to a change of use and erection of two bungalows provided all evidence of scrap was removed from the site. Comments would be submitted accordingly. The second application referred to the demolition of Mill House on Burnham Road and erection of a replacement building. Some modifications had been made to the design of the new building but all were found to be acceptable by councillors.
13. Possible planting of poppy seeds
PA reported that packets of poppy seeds were on sale at B&Q in aid of the British Legion to encourage people to plant seeds as part of the First World War centenary events of 2014. It was agreed that the clerk would purchase some packets for use around the village.
14. Update on ongoing matters
a) Cross Lane traffic control – no developments
b) Geese on the pond – no problems
c) Repairs to the shed beside the village hall – work to be undertaken by MEHM Trust.
15. Change of date for Annual Parish Meeting
This had been previously arranged for 22nd May 2014 but this coincided with the village hall being used as a polling station for European elections. The following Thursday, 29th May 2014 was agreed.
16. Financial Reports and Approval of payments
The clerk presented an up to date income and expenditure report together with copy bank statements and a budget to date report. She pointed out that some budget areas would probably be underspent in the current financial year and those spare funds could be put towards the cost of playground repairs. No questions were raised and approval was given for the usual payment of the clerk’s salary.
17. To receive items for the next Agenda – meeting of 8th January 2014
The following items were suggested:
- Playground repairs & sign
- Wind Farm CLG meetings
- Budget Proposals for 2014/15
- Update on ongoing matters
No other matters were discussed and the meeting closed at 8. 50pm.