Stanhoe Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting
Held on Wednesday, 11th May 2011 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)
Mrs. R. Brown (RB)
Mrs P. Roche (PR)
Mr M. Roche (MR)
Mr. J. Seedhouse (JS)
No members of the public were present.
Prior to the start of the meeting, all present signed ‘Acceptance of Office’ forms following their uncontested re-election as councillors for a term of 4 years from Parish/County Election Day on 5th May 2011.
1. Election of Chairman and Vice-chairman
The Clerk invited nominations for the office of Chairman. T.A. was proposed for the office by D.B. and seconded by P.R. All others agreed and T.A. accepted the office of Chairman for the year 2011/12. Councillors thanked T.A. for taking on this role again. The Chairman then invited nominations for Vice-chairman. D.B. was proposed by P.R. and seconded by R.B. All others agreed and D.B. accepted the office for 2011/12.
2. To consider apologies for absence
3. To consider approval of Minutes of the Previous Meeting
These were passed and signed by the Chairman.
4. To record declarations of interest in any item to be discussed
No declarations made.
5. To adjourn meeting to allow public participation
No members of public present.
T.A. had been unable to attend the last meeting held on 3rd. March 2011 but had received a copy of the Minutes. No items relevant to Stanhoe had been discussed. Police had reported a slight increase in the level of burglaries in some areas. T.A. also unable to attend meeting on 12th May 2011.
7. Support for Community Information Point
It had been agreed previously that the Parish Council would make up any shortfall in the contributions made by users to cover the hall rental charge. This liability had been less than expected during the preceding 12 months. The financial support would continue but the number of sessions would be reduced to one of 1½ hours per week. If training was involved instead of straightforward computer use, trainees would contribute towards the rental charge. The Borough Council confirmed they would continue to pay for equipment and broadband line rental.
8. Future of Speedwatch
Speed monitoring had been intermittent during the bad Winter weather. Peter Hallinan, the co-ordinator, had stated that he did not want to continue in this role but would be happy to still be part of the team. T.A. said he was willing to take on the role of co-ordinator and had checked the police would accept the change. In future, the Speedwatch team would monitor traffic speed for one hour per week in varying locations around the village. A new rota would be sent to all team members.
9. Local Bus Service
Following the demise of the No: 31 bus route which came through the village once a week, the Clerk had written to the bus company, the Cabinet Member for transport at the County Council and the local M.P. to complain about the total lack of public transport in Stanhoe and ask that consideration be given to providing a limited bus service. There had been no positive responses. The Council blamed lack of funds due to recent budget cuts. The bus company stated that the route was no longer financially viable as the County Council had reduced its subsidies to the bus company for carrying free bus pass passengers. An additional ‘Dial-a-Bus’ had been offered by the Council but this was not regarded as a practical alternative as it had to be booked in advance, had a very limited number of seats and no facility to carry luggage or pushchairs. Clerk is to contact Debbie Pepper of the County’s ‘Access4Life’ project which aimed to make facilities more accessible to village residents. R.B. had also written to all the above on this matter and said she intended to write again to the M.P. as she felt dissatisfied with his contribution.
10. Geese on the Pond
Two geese had been killed and some goslings taken to a new home last year and now been returned so the present count is 3 geese. They have not caused any major nuisance although they do have a tendency to wander on to the road. The situation will be monitored.
11. Hedges along Station Road
It had been noted that some hedges along this road were very overgrown and interfering with passing traffic. Some farm vehicles were driving on to the opposite verge to avoid branches, causing damage to the verge which was upsetting the residents who tried to maintain the verges in attractive condition. Some hedges along Docking Road were also overgrown, causing pedestrians to step into the road to avoid them. It was agreed that a notice would be placed in “Saints Alive” asking all residents to ensure that their hedges were not causing obstructions. The Clerk would also write to some individual residents and check with the Highways Department to see what could be done to resolve the problem.
12. Planning Matters
a) Wind Farms: A planning hearing had been held on 18th April 2011 when the application for Chiplow Wind Farm had been turned down for environmental reasons and partly due to objections from the M.o.D. because of potential interference with radar at RAF Marham. The energy company, E-On, may appeal this decision. A decision on Jack’s Lane Wind Farm was postponed and will possibly come before a hearing on 6th June 2011.
b) Duck Inn Garden Shelter: Planning permission had been granted and the wooden shelter was now in place.
c) Northgate Cottage: A previous application for an extension to this cottage had been refused and an amended plan submitted, however, the application had now been withdrawn
13. Registration of Public Footpaths/By-ways
All such amenities and common land must be officially registered by 2026 or will be lost to public use. In 2010, an application had been made to the Borough by the owners of High Barn to re-route part of the right of way which ran past the barns. The Parish Council had raised no objections but other consultees had objected with the result that the registered route had remained as it was. Some councillors had noted that a new route was, in fact, being used so the Clerk would clarify the situation with the Borough and report back. The Clerk would also check on the status of the common land area of the village pond.
14 Septic Tanks
A recent article in the “King’s Lynn News” had suggested that all owners of septic tanks had to register them with the Environment Agency by 2012 to comply with a new regulation which came into force in 2010. On checking with the Agency, the Clerk discovered that all existing septic tanks would have been registered at the time of building or installation and that registration was being automatically updated by the Agency, therefore, existing owners need do nothing further. An item would be placed in “Saints Alive” to reassure residents.
15. Annual Accounts for 2010/11
The Clerk distributed copies of the Income and Expenditure Accounts to all councillors. No questions were raised and the Accounts were signed off by the Chairman ready to go to audit.
16. Parish Insurance
A figure of £930 had been budgeted for 2011/12 which incorporated an increase on the previous year. The current insurers had requested renewal at a higher than expected figure of £1003. The Clerk obtained two alternative quotes, both of which were lower. Councillors agreed to accept the quote from a broker using Aviva Insurance which could supply exactly the same as existing cover but at the much lower cost of £640. This would be effective from 1st June 2011.
17. To approve payments
The payments approved were:
a) Refund to P.R. for snacks and refreshments bought for the Annual Parish Meeting held on 14th April 2011. Councillors recorded their thanks for her time and effort in organizing this.
b) Annual subscription to the National Association of Local Councils.
c) Annual payment and donation to the MEHM Trust for the use of the village Reading Room for meetings.
d) Normal salary and expenses to the clerk.
18. To receive items for the next Agenda
a) To arrange further parish council meeting dates.
b) To consider solution to the problem of dogs on the playing fields.
c) Possible re-siting of bottle bank.
d) Disposal of dead animals/birds found around the village.
e) To receive updates on:
Repairs to play area fencing
Registration of common land and re-routing of footpath around High Barn.
Tidying of area around War Memorial
Maintenance of the old blacksmith’s shop.
Any Other Business
Although this should not normally be a part of any Agenda, the Chairman allowed J.S. to raise a few points which were:
24 fencing posts had disappeared from around the playing field land. M.R. to contact the landowners to alert them to this fact.
Refuse bins being constantly left out on footpaths by those who were not permanent residents. Borough would be contacted to see if ‘Warning’ notices could be placed on bins.
Cross Lane traffic situation. J.S. would like further requests to the County Council to consider making this lane ‘Access Only’ or ‘One Way’ or to impose speed restrictions.
No other matters were discussed and the meeting closed at 10.00pm.