Stanhoe Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting
Held on Thursday, 13th March 2014 at 7.00pm
in the village Reading Room
Clerk to the Council – , tel 01485 518409
Mr. T. Austin (TA)
Mrs. P. Austin (PA)
Mrs. R. Brown (RB)
Mr. M. Roche (MR) (arrived 8.30 pm)
Mr. J. Seedhouse (JS)
Mrs. P. Roche (PR)
1. To consider apologies for absence
An apology was received from PR for absence and from MR for anticipated late arrival due to train delays.
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
One member of the public was present and raised the following points:
- Speed of traffic on Bircham Road continues to be a problem and white lines, especially at the junction with Burnham Road, have become worn and obscured.
- Many residents in the village had complained that they had not been notified of the CLG Wind Farm meeting held on 12th March at Syderstone.
- Some caravans had arrived in the wood behind Stanhoe Hall where there was no official site.
- Church graveyard requires some maintenance.
- Another vehicle had crashed into the palisade fence opposite the pond (the third within about a year). Is there the possibility of an additional warning sign?
- A tree planted on the playing field in memory of a former resident and councillor appears to have died off. Is a replacement possible?
- Scrap site at Bircham crossroads continues to be an eyesore and seems to be encroaching on to the adjoining paddock.
In the same order as shown above, the councillors’ responses were:
- This matter is currently being dealt with by the parish council. (see Item 9)
- The CLG meeting had been well advertised in advance. A poster supplied by the energy company had been displayed on the village notice board, an article had been placed in Saints Alive giving date and time of the meeting and an advertisement had been placed on the village website.
- Councillors would investigate this matter and report back.
- Graveyard maintenance is the responsibility of the Parochial Church Council to whom the Parish Council had donated a sum of money towards upkeep.
- Highways department was aware of the damage to the fence and would carry out repairs in due course. An additional warning sign on approach to the junction is a strong possibility.
- Councillors would investigate the state of the tree and consider what could be done.
- The Borough Council is aware of this situation which is difficult to control as the scrap site has been operating legally for approximately 70 years. Clerk would contact the Borough again.
TA attended the meeting held on 6th March 2014. The usual topics associated with Hunstanton were discussed. Dog fouling can be a problem in some areas but, if known, the name and address of the owner of the offending dog can be passed to the local PCSO who has the authority to issue a fixed penalty notice (£60) to the owner.
It was reported that crime figures have been falling over the last 2 years with crime in general down by 14%. Anti-social behaviour, on which the police have been concentrating some effort, has come down by 23%. The next meeting will be on 1st May 2014 with topics of anti-social behaviour and car parking on pavements on the Agenda.
6. Update on Jack’s Lane Wind Farm
A CLG meeting had been held the previous evening in Syderstone village hall. Site construction has started and road closures are in place to enable the necessary widening of some access roads to the site and for health and safety reasons. Diversion signs are in place but an additional sign stating “No construction traffic beyond this point” will be placed at Bircham/Docking crossroads.
The size and output of the turbines has been decided, therefore, the community and local electricity discount levels have been decided. The community fund will be £30k per annum but no breakdown is yet available of what the individual communities concerned will receive.
The electricity discount has been set at £117 per household for all those within 2.4km of a turbine. A letter and application form will be sent to each household and it is the responsibility of residents to register for the discount with their own electricity supplier. It is probable that the Norfolk Community Foundation will administer the fund based on decisions made by the Decision Panel which will be made up of representatives from each community.
7. Village Playground
All the new equipment has been installed and all outstanding repairs done. A new sign has been erected at the entrance to the play area. The old wooden fence around the toddlers’ play area will be removed by TA/DB/JS on a date to be agreed by them but before the Easter school holiday period starts.
8. Village Emergency Plan
TA circulated a final draft of the plan which will be adopted by 21st March if no adverse comments are received before then. The adopted copy of the Plan will be circulated to all councillors and clerk with a copy also going to the Construction College at Bircham for their information since they kindly offered to provide shelter and services in the event of a major emergency.
9. Bircham Road Traffic (PA)
PA had written to the Council Highways department and to the local MP regarding speed restrictions on Bircham Road and also about the fact that many large trucks and agricultural vehicles are too big for the width of local roads causing deterioration of verges and problems to other vehicles at some junctions.
PA stressed to the Council and MP the need for the 30 mph restriction to start at the parish boundary on Bircham Road where there is currently a 40 mph limit although Highways department have stated that there are no criteria for this.
An alternative option would be for the electronic flashing speed sign of 40 mph to be moved to the 30mph boundary which is where the parish council had wanted it originally. Highways had insisted on its current location showing 40 mph but this gives the false impression to some drivers that the speed limit is 40 mph throughout the village. Currently the Highways department will only consider moving this sign if the costs of approximately £2,000 are met by the parish council. PA is awaiting further replies to her correspondence.
10. Planning Matters
The clerk reported that permission had been granted to Stanhoe Hall for the erection of solar panels in the grounds, however, it has been noted that some panels have been installed in the field adjacent to Stanhoe Hall towards Docking. The clerk will contact the Borough Planning department regarding this matter.
11. Telephone Kiosk
The clerk reported that the line had been repaired and the kiosk cleaned after a request to BT. After some discussions with BT the clerk had obtained assurances that a door would be installed on the kiosk to prevent fouling by ducks and geese from the pond and to generally keep the kiosk in a far cleaner condition. This should be completed by the end of March.
12. Litter bins & suggested additional dog waste bin
The housing for the litter bin at the Bircham Road end of the pond had been detached from its fixings during recent stormy weather. DB has effected a temporary repair but this may require more work in future.
The clerk had been approached by the Parochial Church Council about the possibility of an additional dog waste bin on Church Lane in the hope of alleviating the problem of dog waste in the churchyard. Permission would have to be sought from both the Borough Council and the County Council and the PCC would be expected to bear the cost of such a bin which could be a few hundred pounds. This information was passed back to the PCC who would discuss it at a future meeting.
13. Proposed Village Fete – August 2014
This idea has now been abandoned.
14. Update on ongoing matters:
a) Cross Lane traffic restrictions – no developments
b) Geese on the pond – no problems but one goose appears to have an injured foot. A local resident is contacting the RSPCA.
c) Repairs to the storage shed beside the village hall – MR undertook to raise the matter with the MEHM Trust who owns the shed.
15. Annual Parish Meeting
This will be held on 29th May at 7.30pm. and a notice will be placed in Saints Alive. Invitations to attend will be delivered to each household in the village along with the newsletters for both March and April. The normal parish council meeting will be on the same evening and will start at 6.00pm. It was agreed that the Agenda would be kept brief on that occasion.
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. No questions were raised.
An invoice had been received from the MEHM Trust for the annual hire charge of the village hall at a cost of £100. In previous years an additional donation of £100 had been given to the Trust, however, due to the unforeseen very large expense required for the upkeep of the play equipment, it was decided to postpone a decision on a donation to the next meeting which would be after the end of the current financial year. Councillors would then consider it along with other requests for donations which had been received. Approval was given for the payment of £100 hire cost and payment of the clerk’s salary.
17. To receive items for the next Agenda – meeting on 29th May 2014
The following items to be discussed:
- Planning Matters
- Finance & Year End A/cs.
It was agreed that a summary of items discussed which had been published in Saints Alive after the last meeting was a good idea and had been well received. This policy would continue.
The meeting closed at 9.10pm.