Stanhoe Parish Council

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday, 10th March 2016 at 7.00pm
in the village Reading Room

Clerk to the Council – , tel 01485 518409


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

One member of the public was present.

1. To consider apologies for absence

All present.

2. To consider approval of Minutes from the Parish Council meeting of 14th January 2016.

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 member of public present raised the following items for consideration by Councillors:

  • Many thanks for arranging repairs to the shed adjacent to the village hall.
  • Traffic speed on Bircham Road remains a problem. County Councillor Michael Chenery may be able to assist in persuading the Highways Dept. to consider a reduction in current limits.
  • A footpath is needed along the length of Bircham Road.
  • Church Lane is particularly muddy and verges have been eroded by large vehicles.
  • Barwick footpath leading across the fields to Barwick Hall has been ploughed up and should be re-instated.
  • White lines on roads in and around Stanhoe require re-painting.
  • There is only one official public footpath in Stanhoe going from the old Station across to Symington’s farm. Could the wind farm community fund be used to extend this footpath to create a circular route leading back to the village?

Councillors thanked the member of public for his contribution and agreed to put an item on the next Agenda to discuss the possibility of extending the footpath as suggested. The clearing of mud from Church Lane would be added to the list of items to be done by the Highway Rangers team on its next visit. The member of the public left the meeting at this point.

5. SNAP Report

Most of the discussion at the recent meeting had centred around the more densely populated areas with very little mentioned in connection with smaller villages. There were no matters relating to Stanhoe.

6. Proposed Poultry Farm at Sedgeford

There had been a presentation by protestors at the previous Parish Council meeting followed by a discussion resulting in a formal letter of objection to the proposal being sent from the Parish Council to the Borough Planning Dept. This had prompted a strong letter from Mr Barber, the planning applicant, suggesting that the Parish Council had reached a decision without knowing all the facts. It was noted that, unlike the protestors, Mr. Barber had never requested an opportunity to put his case to the Parish Council. It was agreed that no response to Mr. Barber’s letter was necessary.

7. Items tabled by A. Upton:

a) Federation of Parishes: A number of representatives from parishes in West Norfolk have decided to form a Federation in order to exchange information and ideas. The first meeting will be held in early summer. A.U. is planning to represent Stanhoe. It was generally accepted that the Federation was a good idea but Councillors asked that they be kept fully informed and any proposals affecting Stanhoe should be ratified by the full Parish Council.

b) Hedges on Docking Road: Some residents had complained that the 30 mph sign, opposite Baker’s Cottage on Docking Road, was clearly visible only when approaching from Docking but was partially obscured from traffic approaching from the village pond area. The hedge has been cut back on a number of occasions and was thought not to be a problem but it would be looked at again.

c) Broadband provision: This item has been postponed to a later date.

8. Neighbourhood problem:

There was some concern by residents in Parsons Lane about the amount and type of traffic using the Lane to access the field at the northern end. Those concerned will report back to the Council if there are any further issues arising.

9. Regular Updates:

a) Repairs to the shed: These have been carried out and thanks given to the MEHM Trust for organizing the repairs.

b) Geese on the Pond: No problems reported recently but this could change with the breeding season now underway. A new home was still being sought for the male.

10. Annual Parish Meeting

Item postponed until after Item 12.

11. Playground Inspection

T.A. reminded Councillors that the playground was inspected monthly, undertaken alternately by himself and the Clerk, in order to comply with insurance requirements. A fully detailed annual inspection by a RoSPA inspector was still advisable. Some replacement of bolt caps and shackles would be done in the near future. Items had already been purchased. The posts supporting the toddlers’ play tower had some significant splits in the wood which could mean replacing the whole unit within the coming year. Some pieces of equipment would need thorough cleaning in the near future. Volunteers to do the work would be appreciated.

12. Financial Report & approval of payment

Up to date income & expenditure accounts, budget report and bank statements were circulated by the clerk. No queries were raised. Approval was sought and agreed for the payment of the clerk’s salary for the months of January and February 2016.

10. Annual Parish Meeting

This meeting was scheduled for 7.30pm on Thursday, 12th May 2016. All village residents would be invited and drinks & nibbles would be served. Historically, there is a low turnout at this Annual Meeting so no Guest Speaker has been arranged for this year. The Chairman would give a report on Parish Council activities for the past 12 months. Prior to this meeting, a normal Parish Council meeting would be held at 6.00pm. which would involve the appointment of Chairman and Vice-chairman for the coming year.

T.A. stated his intention to stand down as Chairman and to resign from the Parish Council. He also announced that he had received a letter of resignation from the Clerk. Although obliged only to give one month’s notice, she had agreed to continue in post until the meeting of the 12th May and would present End of Year Accounts and associated paperwork for approval by Councillors which could then be passed to auditors.

Councillors agreed to give serious consideration to a replacement Chairman and to meet informally on 22nd March to discuss the job description and strategy for appointment of a new Clerk.

13. To receive items for the next Agenda – meeting of 12th May 2016

The following items were suggested:

  • Year End accounts & financial report
  • Appointment of new officers
  • Appointment of new Clerk
  • Pot-holes on local roads
  • Possible extension of public footpath

It was suggested that Broadband Provision and Village Emergency Plan were put on the Agenda for the meeting in July.

The possibility of a beacon or bonfire to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday was raised and it was agreed that some thought would be given to it.

No other matters were discussed and the meeting closed at 8.55pm.