Stanhoe Parish Council

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday, 10th September 2015 at 7.00pm
in the village Reading Room

Clerk to the Council – , tel 01485 518409


Mr. T. Austin (TA)
Mr. D. Bridge (DB)
Miss R. Brown (RB)
Mr. D. Lord (DL)
Mrs. J. Lord (JL)
Mr. M. Roche (MR)
Mr. A. Upton (AU)

Three members of the public were present.

1. To consider apologies for absence

All present.

2. To consider approval of Minutes from meetings held on 9th & 17th July

These were all 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

The matter of overgrown hedges was raised therefore it was agreed to proceed straight to Item 7 at this point.

7. Trees & hedges

(AU postponed from July meeting) Some residents were concerned about overgrown trees and hedges, especially those which partially blocked roads, footpaths and road signs. The clerk explained that hedgerows are cut back annually by County Highways department but, during routine maintenance visits throughout the year, the team was always instructed to ensure that all road signs were kept clearly visible.

Of particular concern was an overgrown hedge on the West side of Station Road. The clerk had established that this hedge stood on official Highways verge and would be cut back in the near future and subsequently would form part of the regular maintenance work.

5. SNAP Report

The number of areas covered by the Panel had been reduced to 3 as a result of certain amalgamations. The areas are:

  • Hunstanton and Burnham Neighbourhood
  • Dersingham and Gayton Neighbourhood
  • The Woottons Neighbourhood.

The main topics for discussion at meetings are usually problems arising in towns. The priorities set for the coming weeks are parking arrangements in Hunstanton coach/car parks and, following a recent fatal accident, the safety levels at water filled former pits and quarries.

6. Traffic & speed signs

(AU postponed from July meeting) AU was concerned about traffic speeds on Bircham Road bearing in mind the number of concealed entrances/exits which exist. The possibility of additional signs to mark these entrances/exits was raised but no firm decision was reached.

There was discussion on moving the matrix sign from its present position to the point where the 30mph limit starts and amending the flashing warning accordingly but this would be very expensive. The parish council is investigating the possibility of obtaining funding from the wind farm community fund for this project.

7. Trees & Hedges

See above.

8. Trees beside the pond at Bircham Road

A small tree and some shrubbery had been restricting the view of motorists turning right from Bircham Road onto Burnham Road. These have been cut back recently and will be monitored in future.

9. Public Footpaths

Some ‘Public Footpath’ signs are missing from the area around Barwick. The clerk will investigate the possibility of having them replaced.

10. Possible amalgamation of Barwick with Stanhoe Parish

In principle, the Borough Council would allow amalgamation provided the residents of Barwick showed sufficient interest. A notice would be placed in Saints Alive inviting Barwick residents to contact the clerk for information or to express an interest. There would be further discussion pending the outcome of this consultation.

11. Cross Lane pond and Willow tree

The large willow tree requires pruning and some dead and broken boughs at the back of the pond need to be removed. The clerk had obtained 3 quotations for the work, all from qualified tree surgeons. The prices quoted, including VAT, were – £350, £360 and £690.

The firm quoting the lowest price wanted payment in cash and would not accept cheque or bank transfer payment. Councillors did not agree with those terms. Most councillors felt the most expensive quote was not justified, therefore, MR proposed acceptance of the £360 quote which was seconded by DL. Of the remaining councillors, 3 agreed and 2 abstained from voting. The clerk was instructed to arrange for the work to be done.

12. Churchyard maintenance

The parish council had recently made a donation to the PCC for churchyard maintenance, in particular for the new section of the churchyard. Some work had been done on cutting back brambles but more needed to be done.

13. Dogs on the playing field

There was discussion on the possibility of dogs being allowed on the playing field provided owners cleared up any dog mess. This was generally thought not to be a good idea but the final decision lay with the MEHM Trust. Any new notices required would be the responsibility of the Trust.

14. Post box on Bircham Road

A resident had reported that some pointing was required around the box which was set into a wall. After inspection, it was agreed that no work needs doing at present and, in any case, the wall is part of private property.

15. Review of Standing Orders & Financial Regulations

Both documents were formally adopted by the parish council in 2013 but should be reviewed on an annual basis. Having read through the documents, councillors agreed that no amendments were necessary.

16. Review of Emergency Plan

This plan had been updated with new members’ details following the elections in May 2015. It is for circulation only amongst councillors. No further amendments were made but the clerk was asked to ensure that all those contactable in cases of emergency were aware of their inclusion in the list of contacts.

17. Financial Reports & approval of payments

Up to date income & expenditure accounts, budget report and bank statements were circulated by the clerk. No queries were raised. Approval was given for payment of the clerk’s salary and cheque signed.

18. Dates & Times of Meetings for 2016

Subject to the availability of the village hall, the following dates were set:

  • 14th January 2016
  • 10th March 2016
  • 12th May 2016
  • 14th July 2016
  • 8th September 2016
  • 10th November 2016

With the exception of 12th May, all meetings will commence at 7.00pm. On 12th May 2016 the meeting will commence at 6.00pm, to be followed by the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.30pm.

No other matters were discussed and the meeting closed at 8.35pm.