Stanhoe Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting
Held on Thursday, 15th July 2021 at 6.00pm
in the village Reading Room
Clerk to the Council – , tel 01485 518570
Mr D. Lord (DL) Chairman
Miss R. Brown (RBR)
Mrs J. Lord (JL)
Mrs R. Birkin (RB)
Mr M. Wilson (MW)
Mr B. Gorton (BG)
In attendance: None
1. To consider apologies for absence: All Councillors were present.
2. To consider approval of the minutes of the last meeting held on 13th May 2021: No queries were raised and the minutes were passed and signed by the Chairman.
3. To record declarations of interest in any item to be discussed: No declarations of interest were made.
4. Parish Council Vacancy – Expressions of Interest: Two expressions of interest had been received. The Chairman had requested further information but it was anticipated that the next stage would be for the ‘applicants’ to meet with other Councillors before/after the September meeting. The Chairman explained how it might be possible to admit both candidates if the Council wished.
5. Go to Town Bus Service: The Parish Council had been advised by West Norfolk Community Transport (WNCT) that the Service 21, which serves Stanhoe, would be expanded with effect from 4th August 2021. The enhanced service would allow additional travel from Stanhoe to Kings Lynn, with an option to go to Hunstanton. Those wishing to use the service are advised to check the latest timetable at https://www.gtt-online.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Service-21-NEW-timetable-7th-SEPT-2020.pdf
RBR asked whether WNCT could be requested to provide a further ‘drop request’ in Stanhoe on the 14.30 bus from Kings Lynn. The Clerk would ask WNCT whether this would be possible.
6. Parish Partnership Scheme: Applications under the Parish Partnership Scheme for FY2022/23 had to be submitted by 10th December 2021. Whilst no requirement for funding immediately sprung to mind, Councillors would consider this during the coming months.
7. Egmere Energy Traffic: Councillors were in agreement that, to date, the harvest had not caused too much disruption in the village. Whilst the harvesting of rye had finished, it was envisaged that the maize harvest, weather dependent, would start on or around 13th September.
8. SAM 2 Update: The SAM 2 had been working without issue. The fastest recorded speeds within the 30mph limit from 1st May 2021 to 3rd July 2021 had been:
|14th May||22:15||65mph||Leo facing Burnham Market|
|13th June||11.25||55mph||Longwall Barn facing Bircham|
During May 31,892 vehicles passed the speed sign, in June (up to 3rd July) the figure was 21,987 vehicles. On the theory that most vehicles return at some point during the day, this would indicate that total monthly traffic through Stanhoe is in the order of 54,000 or 1,800 per day.
9. Geese on the Pond: RBR advised Councillors that the number of Egyptian Geese on the pond had now reached 8 and their increased presence was a traffic hazard. RBR merely wanted this noted.
10. Overgrown Trees on Church Lane: MW reported that some trees/bushes at the Old Rectory were encroaching onto Church Lane making it difficult for some vehicles to pass without coming into contact with the trees/bushes. The Chairman agreed to discuss this with the homeowner.
11. Children’s Play Area - Equipment Repairs/Cleaning/Litter Bin: The major repairs required, as highlighted in the annual inspection, had been completed, at a cost of £1100 plus VAT, and the play area was now fully serviceable. BG, assisted by the Chairman, would now arrange to undertake the annual jet washing of all equipment. The Clerk has researched the placement and associated costs in providing a waste bin for the play area. A bin could be placed close to the play area provided it was placed on a concrete base, within a waste bin housing. Whilst costs to lay a concrete base were unknown, a bin housing would cost approximately £500 plus VAT and the current annual charge to empty the bin would be £185.29. Prior to committing to any further expense, Councillors felt it appropriate to hold a ‘budget’ meeting with members of the MEHM Trust. In the first instance, the Chairman agreed to discuss with the Chairman of the MEHM Trust.
12. Highways Issues: The Clerk had reported a number of issues to the Highways Department including the signs and posts that still require replacing at the Bircham crossroads, overgrown verges at junctions obscuring visibility, in particular the Creake junction opposite Mill House Farm on the Burnham Road, and general traffic and speed limit signs being obscured by overgrown hedging/foliage.
The response from the Highways Department had been as follows:
“The signs and posts to be replaced have had to be ordered, so will take approx. 12 weeks and then we have to programme for works to install them, so I cannot give you any time scales currently, other than to say the signs and posts are ordered.
The grass cutting has been completed for this year, this year the county council members have decided to only do one grass cut, so this junction will not be cut again as part of our grass cutting contract.
I fully appreciate the issue with visibility and will add the location to a list of locations that we may strim out, if and when I get the resource, but at this time cannot confirm it will be done in the short term.
If they are private trees hedging, it is down to the owner of the tree/hedge to cut, although we will do it if it is obscuring a road sign for safety reasons, usually with the ranger gang. I will ask my tech to check the village when she is next there.”
13. NALC Code of Conduct Petition: There is a move to introduce sanctions into the Code of Conduct to ensure that any inappropriate behaviour by Councillors will come with consequences. There is a petition on the Government website relating to this:
Legislate to enable Councillors to be disqualified or suspended for poor conduct - Petitions (parliament.uk) and is as follows:
Legislate to enable Councillors to be disqualified or suspended for poor conduct: The Government should amend legislation to enable Councillors to be disqualified or suspended for breaching relevant Codes of Conduct. Most Councillors maintain high standards of conduct, but a minority engage in unacceptable behaviour, such as harassment & bullying. This activity would be grounds for dismissal in an employment setting, and equivalent sanctions should exist for Councillors.
Councillors did not feel that this was required as it should be the responsibility of the Chairman to address any issues that came to light that fell short of the Code of Conduct.
14. Planning Applications and Information: The following planning applications had been received or decided upon since the last meeting:
Rear extension and front porch. Provide access to side of property.
|Application withdrawn 20th May 2021|
The felling or re-pollarding of 3 lime trees.
Replant with 6 new suitable species spread across the address.
30th June 2021
15. Financial Report and approval of payments: Up to date income & expenditure accounts, budget report and bank statements were circulated to Councillors by the Clerk. No queries were raised.
Approval was sought and agreed for the following payments:
|100830||Play Insp Co||Annual Playground Inspection||132.00|
|100831||CGM Ltd||Increase in grass cutting April/May 2021||3.80|
|100832||J. Faulks||Village Maintenance||245.00|
|100833||ICO||Annual Data Protection Fee||40.00|
|100834||W. Leighton||Salary May & June 2021||325.68|
|100835||HMRC||PAYE May & June 2021||81.40|
16. Resident’s Concerns/Issues Raised after the Agenda was Published:
Independent Remuneration Panel Members’ Allowances Questionnaire 2021: The BCKLWN has advised that a statutory review of allowances was being carried out by an independent panel and part of that review was for the Parish Council to complete a questionnaire. Questions surrounded the consideration to pay basic allowances to the Chairman and other Councillors. Council agreed unanimously that they did not wish to consider paying a basic allowance. The Clerk would respond accordingly.
Burnham Market Area Community Car Scheme (BMACCS): A letter had been received from the BMACCS Coordinator requesting help by way of a donation. Funding for the last FY was £5965.00 with expenses costing £8607.00. Councillors agreed, in line with the budget, to a donation of £120.00
Email from a Resident: An email had been received from a resident regarding the Norfolk County Community Safety Partnership (NCCSP) consultation that had been placed on the Stanhoe website. With the exception of road safety, which did not appear on the list of proposed priorities, the resident did not necessarily consider that many of the priorities listed had any bearing on life in Stanhoe. Whilst the residents’ comments were welcomed, the article was placed on the website on behalf of Norfolk Police to give all Stanhoe residents the opportunity to consider and respond to whether they feel the priorities correctly reflect the issues which matter most to them.
17. Items for the Next Agenda – Meeting of 9th September 2021:
Go to Town Bus
SAM 2 – Update
No other items were discussed and the meeting closed at 7.35pm.