Stanhoe Parish Council

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday, 28th September 2022 at 6.00pm
in the village Reading Room

Clerk to the Council – , tel 01485 518570


Mr D. Lord (DL)                     Chairman
Miss R. Brown (RBR)
Mr T. Fitzjohn (TF)
Dr S. Shaw (SS)

Mr W Leighton                      Clerk


Mr M. Wilson (MW)
Mrs R. Birkin (RB)
Mr B. Gorton (BG)

In attendance:

3 members of the public

1.  To consider apologies for absence: MW, RB and BG had given their apologies.

2.  To consider approval of the minutes of the last meeting held on 13th July 2022: 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: None.

4.  To adjourn meeting to allow public participation:  One member of the public expressed their disappointment at the lack of Councillors attending the meeting and suggested that those not present may not be fully committed to the positions they held. The Chairman refuted this suggestion and explained that following the passing of the Queen the meeting had to be re-arranged due to the period of mourning and the 3 Councillors not present already had pre-arranged commitments for this evening. The Chairman took the opportunity to remind the public present that the meeting was quorate and could legally proceed.

The 3 members of public present were collectively interested in the progression of an updated Emergency Plan to include safety arrangements for vulnerable residents, a safe and warm place for residents and warnings as a result of power cuts/flash fires/etc.

Council agreed that as a number of these issues were already on the agenda and had been discussed extensively in previous meetings, they would be considered out of sequence but recorded in the order below. Please refer to items 8, 15, 16 & 17.

One member of the public explained the difficulty they were experiencing with BT/Openreach in obtaining FTTP to their property at reasonable cost. The Clerk would take this up with BBfN.

5. Stanhoe Playing Field: It had been confirmed that Docking Football Club would not be requesting use of the Stanhoe Playing field as their home ground.

CGM Ltd, the grounds maintenance contractor for the playing field and children’s play area had recently reviewed the contract resulting in an 80% increase in the cost, which would equate to 1/3 of the annual precept – clearly unaffordable to the Parish Council. The Clerk would obtain quotations from other local companies and also ask CGM if they could reduce the number of annual cuts (currently 18), reduce the quotation or cut the field and play area on a ‘request’ basis.

The Chairman advised Council that BG had done further maintenance on the children’s play equipment, machining and replacing a number of wooden stepping stones, reinforcing the drought damaged gate and its supports and also cut the play area. This diligence is appreciated and it is recognised cannot be relied on indefinitely.

6. Stanhoe Pond:  Whilst the water level of the pond had improved significantly of late, the Parish Council received an email during the height of the dry period, when the pond was empty, suggesting that the pond be dredged. The Chairman advised Council that he had responded to the resident explaining that previous investigations had suggested that digging a deeper base would destroy the remains of the clay lining and accelerate the water loss that normally occurs.

The Chairman and Councillors would continue to seek an affordable solution.

7. Bob Fenn’s Flint Collection: An ex-resident had contacted the Council to see what, if anything, could be done with a large collection of Neolithic flint tools that had been found around Stanhoe, mainly from Grange Farm. Some of the tools had previously been displayed in a glass table in the Duck Inn. As the Parish Council had no premises the MEHM Trust had been approached and had agreed to canvass trustees.

8. Parish Emergency Plan: Please also refer to item 4. TF advised Council that there was no legal requirement for a Parish Council to have an emergency plan. That said it was acknowledged that a number of the items in the current plan and the points raised under Item 4, were worthy of consideration and potential incorporation in an ‘Emergency Plan’. It was agreed that a meeting would be arranged, with TF and SS taking the lead, inviting other parties including the PCC and MEHM Trust and the village at large to establish what would be realistic and achievable in the drafting of a revised emergency plan. TF and SS would set a date, compile a draft agenda, invite interested parties and place an entry, through the Chairman, in the next edition of Saints Alive.

9. SAM 2 Update: Whilst the SAM 2 had been out of commission in July, due to a flat internal battery, it was now fully functional. The fastest recorded speeds within the 30mph limit for Aug 2022 had been:

Date Time Speed Sign Position
4th August 19.50 50mph Longwall Barn facing Pond

During August 17,329 vehicles passed the speed sign at an ‘average’ speed of 28.8 mph.

10. Egmere Meeting – 16th June 2022 and Teams Meeting 30th August 2022: The minutes from 16th June had still not been received but had now been overtaken by events. DL had attended the Teams Meeting on 30th August to discuss the maize harvest. Whilst there had been a slight delay to the harvest, due to rain, it was understood the harvest was now complete, and had passed without issue. RBR did note however that there appeared to be one unit passing through the village without an identifying plate.

11. Scam Awareness and Prevention Presentation: Norfolk Police had kindly offered to facilitate a Scam Awareness and Prevention Presentation. After discussion, it was agreed by Council that the best time would be on a Tuesday at the weekly coffee morning held in the Reading Room. RBR agreed to seek approval for the presentation to be incorporated into a coffee morning. If approved, the Clerk would arrange a suitable date with Norfolk Police.

12. War Memorial: The Chairman reported that BG had not received a response, in respect of cleaning the War Memorial, from the stonemason he knew. RBR believed that Docking had recently had their War Memorial renovated/cleaned so the Clerk would contact Docking Parish Council for confirmation and associated costings.

13. Provision of a Defibrillator: SS confirmed that the defibrillation had been installed and commissioned and that it was now fully operational and on the national database.

14. Public Footpaths and Rights of Way: TF had reported a missing finger post on Barwick Road. Norfolk County Council had acknowledged this and confirmed that it would be replaced within 6 weeks.

15. Vulnerable Residents – Safety Net/Policy Arrangements: Refer to items 4 & 8.

16. Provision for alerting Residents in the case of Grass Fires: Refer to items 4 & 8.

17. Provision of Warmth and a Safe Place for Residents:  Refer to items 4 & 8.

18. Geese walking on the Road:  RBR reported that the geese at the pond had taken to walking down the Bircham Road and were becoming a potential safety issue to drivers approaching the pond junction along Bircham Road. Whilst there was a sign on Docking Road warning of wildfowl, there was not a similar sign on Bircham Road. The Clerk would contact the Highways Department with a view to a warning sign being placed on Bircham Road.

19. Planning Applications and Information: The following planning applications had been received or decided upon since the last meeting:

Application Number Proposal Decision

Partial demolition and construction of new dwelling

High Barn
Burnham Road

Application permitted 21st  July 2022

Replacement sun room and internal alterations 

Mere Cottage
Bircham Road

Application permitted 16th September 2022

Variation of condition 2 of planning application 21/01702/F 

Grange Cottage
Docking Road

Application permitted
9th September 2022

Whilst Stanhoe Parish Council was not the statutory consultee in relation to the Frog’s Hall planning application for 46 cabins to be used as holiday accommodation, Councillors were unanimous in their decision for the Parish Council to object to the application. Consequently, an objection had been added to the BCKLWN Planning Portal on 30th August 2022.

20. Financial Report and approval of payments:  Up to date income & expenditure accounts, budget report and bank statements had been circulated to Councillors, via email, by the Clerk. No queries were raised.

Approval was sought and agreed for the following payments:

Chq No Payee Reason £
100870 CGM Ltd Underpayment of Grounds Maintenance 14.58
100871 Bailey Elec Installation of defibrillator/lights – parts only 252.00
100872 W. Leighton Salary July & August 2022 332.20
100873 HMRC PAYE July & August 2022 83.00

21. Resident’s Concerns/Issues Raised after the Agenda was published:  None.

22. Items for the Next Agenda – Meeting of 9th November 2022:

Parish Emergency Plan
SAM 2 – Update
War Memorial

No other items were discussed and the meeting closed at 7.55pm.