Stanhoe Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting
Held on Thursday, 8th November 2012 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)
Miss R Brown (RB)
Mr M Roche (MR)
Mrs P Roche (PR)
Mr J Seedhouse (JS)
1. To consider accepting apologies for absence
2. To consider approval of the Minutes of the previous meeting of 13th September 2012
These 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
One member of the public was present who was interested in Item 7 of the Agenda. It was agreed to discuss this item straight away. There was great concern that the scrap site, at the corner of Fakenham Road and Bircham Road, was expanding and becoming even more unsightly. The Borough planning department had confirmed that a planning enforcement file had been raised and they were currently reviewing this matter.
There was also concern about a rumour that a planning application had been submitted for a travellers’ site in a field at the crossroads. This proved to be incorrect. A planning application had been submitted by a leisure company for a 12 pitch camp site at Monks Wood, approximately half a mile south of the crossroads. The site would be screened from the road by the wood and would consist of a warden’s lodge, shower and toilet facilities and the erection of yurt style tent accommodation. No decision has yet been made by the planners. The member of the public thanked councillors for their time and the information supplied and left the meeting.
T.A. had attended a meeting on 1st November. The items of concern centred mainly around Hunstanton with the usual problems of anti-social behaviour and drunkenness in the High Street area. There had been criminal damage to some public toilets in the town and these would now close at 5.00pm. There was also a problem with some irresponsible dog owners who did not clean up dog mess and allowed their dogs to cause nuisance through noise. There had been road accidents at certain road junctions within the town, caused by driving too fast when approaching these junctions. Calls by members of the public to the police had dropped by 50% and recorded crime had dropped by 21%. The next meeting would be on 3rd January 2013.
6. Speedwatch/SAM signs & anti-speed bin stickers
Electronic speed signs were currently installed in two positions within the village. These flashed the actual speed recorded as drivers passed. The signs were due to be in position for one month but it was hoped this could be extended. Some “Slow down in our village” signs were on order which could be attached to refuse bins and therefore be on show on certain days throughout the village. It was agreed to increase the number on order if possible.
7. Scrap site at Fakenham/Bircham Road crossroads
See Item 4 above.
8. Fenced off area adjacent to the playing field & ragwort problem
The clerk reported that, according to DEFRA, ragwort was not a notifiable weed but should be kept under control by landowners. The clerk had also been in correspondence with the land agent handling this piece of land who had undertaken to notify the owners of both the ragwort problem and the fact that the fence was badly damaged. The situation is ongoing and will be monitored.
9. Repairs to playground equipment
TA confirmed that the necessary repair had been done to the trim trail on the playground. Rotten posts had been removed and two supporting posts at each end had been installed to increase strength and stability. The cost to the council was £700. DB had placed weedkiller around all the wooden posts in the playground and had varnished the base of all the posts to protect from rotting. He was thanked for this work and it was agreed to re-imburse the cost of approximately £50. DB has also recently cleaned the war memorial in preparation for “Remembrance Sunday” and MR had repainted the barrier rail. Sincere thanks were given to both for their efforts.
10. Village litter
This was on the increase partly due to the fact that JS, who used to carry out a regular litter pick, was no longer resident in the village. It was agreed that a notice should be placed in “Saints Alive” asking people to do what they could to collect any litter near their homes and to formally thank JS for his work during his years in the village. At this point, PA also reminded the Clerk that the village notice boards required refurbishment. The clerk would arrange for this to be done.
11. Changes to refuse collections
The clerk had recently attended a meeting held by the Borough to report on the planned changes to refuse collection. From April 2013, the current black refuse bins would be exchanged for a larger size and would then be collected only once a fortnight. This would alternate with the green recycling bin collection thereby maintaining a weekly collection which would also enable the collection of food waste. New 40 litre size food waste bins with a lockable lid would be delivered to every household to be kept outside and a kitchen caddy bin would also be delivered together with an initial supply of compostable waste bags. Explanatory leaflets would be delivered to all households in the next 2–3 weeks.
12. New developments at the National Construction College
TA and the clerk had attended the official opening ceremony of the new accommodation block at the Construction College. Managers at the College explained that they were keen for local people to use the shop and Costa Coffee facilities and that they would be happy to conduct a tour of the new facilities for parish councillors. They would also supply a speaker to visit parish councils to explain their future development plans. The clerk would try to arrange a visit to the college for councillors and a speaker to attend the Annual Parish meeting in April 2013.
13. Update on ongoing matters
a) Cross Lane traffic restrictions – no developments
b) Blacksmith’s workshop – the clerk had written to Mrs. Amanda Ralli to ask if anything could be done to try to preserve the building. Mrs. Ralli had replied to say that she had passed the letter to her son, Andrew Ralli, to deal with.
c) Geese on the pond – no reported problems
14. Financial update and approval of payments
The clerk circulated an up to date statement of income and expenditure together with copy bank statements. No questions were raised and statements were signed off by TA. Payment was approved for the clerk’s salary.
15. Declarations of pecuniary interest re: Precept & Budget setting
Recent changes had been made to the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and Declarations of Pecuniary Interests. TA explained that an unforeseen consequence of this meant that any councillor residing within the parish had, in fact, a pecuniary interest in the setting of the precept in that they paid council tax which included an element for the parish precept. This could affect their decision making. The Borough had decided that the solution was for councillors to sign a dispensation form to allow them to take part in precept and budget setting decisions. Forms were duly signed by all except JS who no longer resided in the village.
16. Date for Annual Parish Meeting 2013
This had been provisionally set for Thursday, 11th April 2013 commencing at 7.30pm. and was confirmed as such. PR offered to organize refreshments again and was thanked for her offer. The clerk would contact the Construction College (see Item 12).
17. To receive items for the next Agenda
Meeting to be held on 10th January 2013: The following items were raised:
- Usual update of ongoing items
- Ragwort problem
- Village sign refurbishment
- Village Notice Boards refurbishments
- Wind Farm
- Budget & Precept for 2013/14
- Annual Parish Meeting
An additional piece of business was discussed in relation to an application, to vary a previous planning permission, which had been received earlier in the day. The owners of The Rickels caravan site had requested a lifting of the restriction for the site to be used only from March to October each year so that it could be used all year round. No changes would be made to the site itself or its facilities. Councillors agreed to support the application.
The meeting closed at 9.10pm.