Stanhoe Parish Council

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held onWednesday, 4th January 2023 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 M. Wilson (MW)
Mrs R. Birkin (RB)
Mr B. Gorton (BG)
Mr T. Fitzjohn (TF)
Dr S. Shaw (SS)

Mr W Leighton                      Clerk



In attendance:

4 members of the public

1.  To consider apologies for absence: All Councillors were present.

2.  To consider approval of the minutes of the last meeting held on 28th September 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 supplied the Council with information which further indicated that the pond and willow tree on Cross Lane were situated on common land and were therefore not the legal responsibility of any individual or organisation. Nevertheless, in the interim, the same person had already had work undertaken, at personal expense, to cut back the tree for which the Parish Council were grateful. (See item 9). In addition, the same member advised Council that the issues regarding FTTP to their residence had yet to be resolved. The Clerk would follow this up with BBfN.

5.  Budget/Precept Setting for 2023/2024: In view of the increase in costs for grounds maintenance and the likelihood of repairs to the children’s play equipment, Councillors were unanimous in their decision to increase the precept for 2023/2024 to £8000. (This was subsequently raised to £8100 – See item 9). The Clerk would advise the BCKLWN accordingly.

6.  New Services available from the NALC: Whilst the NALC were now able to offer a number of services, including payroll services, auditing and websites, Councillors did not feel it necessary to take up any of these services at this time.

7.  Parish Council Meeting Dates 2023: MW proposed that instead of setting confirmed Council meeting dates 12 months in advance, provisional dates should be set and that the ‘next’ meeting date be confirmed at the ‘current’ meeting. i.e. The March 2023 meeting date would be confirmed at tonight’s meeting, the May date at the March meeting etc. Council felt that this was acceptable and should allow for maximum Councillor attendance. The Clerk would ensure that ‘confirmed’ dates were published on the website and in Saints Alive. The schedule for the remaining meeting for 2023 would therefore be:

8th March - Confirmed
10th May - Provisional
12th July - Provisional
13th September - Provisional
8th November - Provisional

Annual Parish Meeting – TBC

8.  Stanhoe Playing Field: The new contract with CGM Ltd had now been signed on the basis of 10 cuts per year – 1 in April, 2 in May, June and July and 1 in August, September and October. The Clerk would make the necessary arrangements to cancel the current Standing Order for payment as future payments would be made upon receipt of an invoice.

9.  Willow Tree on Cross Lane Pond:  See item 4. Following discussion, Councillors agreed, by majority decision, to undertake the future upkeep of the willow tree at Cross Lane pond and the pond. To cover the anticipated additional costs involved Council agreed unanimously to a further increase of £100 to the precept. (See item 5).

10. Stanhoe Website: MW and his wife had spoken with the Website Administrator regarding the provision of assistance, and had agreed that a further meeting would be held in the coming weeks. MW would report back at the next meeting.

11. Parish Emergency Plan: An open meeting had taken place on 17th November to discuss updating the Stanhoe Emergency Plan. In principle, the agreed way forward was likely to be:

A top level Plan with Emergency Information and contact details

An internal PC document on how to manage activating the Plan and liaising with MEHM Trust

A voluntary Group outside of the PC but could have PC representation to work with Vulnerable Persons

Further meetings would take place to establish a small team and produce an Emergency Plan for presentation to the Parish Council. 

12. SAM 2 Update: The fastest recorded speeds within the 30mph limit for November/December 2022 had been:

Date Time Speed Sign Position
24th November 14.20 55mph Pond facing Burnham Market
1st December 20.10 55mph Longwall Barn facing Bircham

During November 25,631 vehicles passed the speed sign, during December it was 14,071.

13. Saints Alive Distribution: A resident had suggested to the Chairman that Saints Alive may be better distributed by email rather than the paper edition currently dropped through letter boxes. The Chairman had discussed this with the PCC (the ‘owners’ of Saints Alive) and whilst it was acknowledged email distribution was a valid point, the current method of delivery would continue for now. It was felt the building and maintenance of an electronic distribution list could be problematic and it would mean some properties, i.e. holiday homes may not necessarily receive a copy for visitors to read. RBR did point out that an electronic version of Saints Alive was always available on the Stanhoe website, but this might not be apparent/accessible to short term visitors.

14. War Memorial: The Clerk had left a number of messages for the individual who may be able to give advice and an estimate for renovating the War Memorial but none of the messages had been responded to. The Clerk had asked the provider of the individual’s contact details if they could try to establish a communication link.

15. Net Green – Progress to date with a Paperless Parish Council: SS enquired on the progress made with using email to distribute reports and the subsequent savings to the Parish Council. The Clerk reported that a significant amount of paper had been saved and that whilst ink cartridge costs from April 2020 to March 2022 had been approximately £200, there had been no costs incurred since. In an effort to further enhance this initiative, MW would investigate using the overhead projector in the Reading Room to display meeting agendas, minutes, planning applications etc and report back at the next meeting.

16. SNAP Priority Setting Meetings: It had become apparent that the village was no longer represented at the SNAP Priority Setting Meetings. Should any Parish Councillor be interested they should contact the Chairman.

17. Bus Service: The Service 21 bus which served Stanhoe ceased to operate on 31st December 2022. This was done with little notice and without consultation with the Parish Council. Whilst Lynx had now taken over the route, Stanhoe had been dropped from the timetable. Councillors felt that this was without cause leaving a rural Norfolk village with no public transport. In addition, the decision appeared to be at odds with the Government’s Rural Mobility Scheme. Councillors were asked to provide the Chairman with suggestions that could be included in a letter of challenge to the decision to withdraw the service.

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

Application Number Proposal Decision

Variation of Condition 2

High Barn
Burnham Road

Application supported by Parish Council

19. 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 £
100877 W. Leighton Salary November & December 2022 478.46
100878 HMRC PAYE November & December 2022 119.80

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

21. Items for the Next Agenda – Meeting of 8th March 2023:

Confirmation of May 2023 Meeting Date
Stanhoe Website – Update
Parish Emergency Plan – Update
SAM 2 – Update
War Memorial – Update
Bus Service - Update            

No other items were discussed and the meeting closed at 19.55 hours.