Stanhoe Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting
Held on Wednesday, 8th January 2014 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)
Mr. M. Roche (MR)
Mrs. P. Roche (PR)
Mr. J. Seedhouse (JS)
1. To consider apologies for absence
No apologies. All councillors present.
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.
TA had been unable to attend. The Agenda had focussed on the usual items of crime prevention and reporting. Anti-social behaviour in some areas was still a problem but was constantly being monitored. It was noted that recently there had been some thefts of heating oil in Stanhoe.
6. Update on matters relating to Jack’s Lane Wind Farm
Prior to the meeting, information had been circulated about the proposed road closures during the construction process. Permission had been sought from the County Council for a period of 18 months but this was thought to be excessive as the developers had indicated that the whole construction process should be completed within 12 months. There was also some discussion of the possibility that roads could be closed from Monday to Friday only and open at weekends when no construction work would be done. This was put to a vote with the result of 4 to 3 being in favour of closure from Monday to Friday only. The clerk was requested to send a letter to the County Highways Department stating that the closures should be for the minimum number of months required from Monday to Friday only and that absolutely no construction or site traffic should use the diversion route which will come through part of the village.
7. Playground equipment, repairs and signage
Clerk confirmed that the order had been placed for the new Junior swings and all other necessary repairs to the playground equipment. Work is due to start week commencing 27th January 2014. A new sign had been ordered and received giving information about the exact location of the playground in case of the need to call emergency services and giving contact details for the parish council who had responsibility for the play area.
8. 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 the £1,700 plus VAT which councillors had agreed to spend on play equipment was totally unplanned, however, the play area maintenance budget would probably be about £300 underspent by the end of the financial year and this could go towards the cost of new equipment. Some other budget areas would also be slightly underspent meaning that the reserves would be reduced by approximately £1,000 rather than the full £1,700. All VAT would be refunded in due course. Councillors accepted the reports and approved payment of the clerk’s salary, expenses and PAYE tax due to HMRC.
9. Budget proposals for 2014/15
The clerk circulated a draft budget for 2014/15 based on a precept of £5,500 which had been the figure since 2010. The budget included an amount for ongoing repairs and maintenance to play equipment which would be necessary each year in future as the equipment is now over 10 years old. There would be no amount available to be allocated to reserves. After much discussion, it was agreed unanimously that the precept should increase to £6,500 for 2014/15 which would allow for the reserves to be built up again and provide for unforeseen necessary expenditure. The additional £1,000 would represent an increase of about £8 per household on the existing contribution level based on a Band D property.
10. Annual Parish Meeting
This was scheduled for Thursday, 29th May 2014 at 7. 30pm. TA had arranged a guest speaker, Flt. Lt. Gary Walker, the community relations officer from RAF Marham who would speak about military flying over and around Stanhoe. PR offered to arrange refreshments for the meeting. There would be a normal parish council meeting at 6. 00pm. on the same evening.
11. Village telephone box
TA had discovered that the telephone was out of order and that the box itself was in an extremely dirty condition. BT had previously refused to install a box with a door but the existing box, being situated opposite the pond, was constantly being fouled by ducks and geese as well as being open to all the usual weather elements. The clerk would report the line fault and write to BT in an effort to get a unit installed with a door. The letter should be copied to the County Councillor and the local MP.
12. Update on ongoing matters:
a) Cross Lane traffic – no developments
b) Geese on the pond – no serious problems reported
c) Repairs to the storage shed at the village hall – some rotten timbers at the base need attention. MEHM Trust to undertake.
d) Palisade fence opposite the pond – following a car crash, the fence had been repaired, however, the road name sign for Burnham Road had not been re-erected. The clerk would contact Highways department.
It was also noted that the refuse collectors did not seem to be closing the doors to the housing for the waste bins around the pond after emptying them. The clerk would inform the Borough refuse department.
13. To receive items for the next Agenda – meeting of 13th March 2014
The following items were raised:
- Village emergency plan
- Jack’s Lane wind farm
- Village playground
- Telephone box
- Usual updates on ongoing matters
No other items were discussed and the meeting closed at 8. 50pm.