Stanhoe Parish Council

Draft Minutes of Parish Council Meeting

Held on Thursday, 8th March 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)
Mr B. Gorton (BG)
Mr T. Fitzjohn (TF)
Dr S. Shaw (SS)

Mr W Leighton                      Clerk


Mrs R. Birkin (RB)

In attendance:

4 members of the public

1.  To consider apologies for absence: RB had given her apologies.

2.  To consider approval of the minutes of the last meeting held on 4th January 2023: 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:  Nothing was raised.

5.  Precept 2023/2024: One resident had raised, by email, dissatisfaction at the increase in the Precept for 2023/24. The Chairman had responded giving the rationale for the increase. Whilst it was too late to reconsider the Precept for the forthcoming FY, Council agreed it would be fair to give residents clarity on how future Precept requests are calculated. Whilst an open discussion took place on potential ‘future’ spending Council agreed to discuss the matter as a separate item at the next meeting – ‘Clarification of the narrative around the Precept’.

6.  Parish Council Elections – 4 May 2023: SS had joined the Parish Clerk and Candidate briefing presented by Andrew Barrett, Electoral Services Manager, BCKLWN and Sarah Bristow, County Officer, NALC on 2nd March 2023. In summary, the election nomination timetable would run from 21st March – 4th April. Fuller details for anyone who may be interested can be found at or by contacting the Parish Clerk. In addition, the Chairman would place an appropriate entry in the next edition of Saints Alive.

7.  Confirmation of May 2023 Meeting Date: The May 2023 meeting would take place on 10th May 2023 from 5.00pm – 7.00pm and would be immediately followed by the Annual Parish Meeting. The schedule for the remaining meetings for 2023 would be:

10th May – Confirmed, followed by the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.00pm
12th July - Provisional
13th September - Provisional
8th November - Provisional

8.  Provision of Salt/Grit Bins: SS proposed that Council consider the purchasing of a grit bin for the village as despite there being over 1900 public grit bins in Norfolk, Stanhoe did not have one. The Clerk advised that a grit bin would cost in the region of £250 - £300 and its location would need to be approved by the Highways Department. Once siting had been agreed and the bin was in place, the Highways Department would add it to the grit bin schedule and the winter service team would arrange for it to be filled annually. Subject to agreement from the MEHM Trust, Council felt the most appropriate place to site the bin was outside the Village Hall – the Chairman would seek this agreement. The Clerk would then take this forward with the Highways Department.

9.  The ‘Pit’ and Cross Lane Pond – Offer of Help:  The Volunteering Team at Wild Ken Hill, Snettisham, had very kindly offered their services, free of charge, to help clear and tidy the ‘Pit’ and Cross Lane pond. However, the general consensus of the team is that both ponds would need attending to in the Autumn as there is a danger of disturbing nesting birds and any amphibious life…frogs/toads/newts etc. as Spring approaches. In addition, the team thought that both ponds would require the silt, which has built up over a number of years, to be excavated to bring the water levels back up. In the first instance, the Clerk would go back to the team and ask if they could recommend anyone to excavate the silt.

10. Stanhoe Website: MW and his wife, Rachel, had spoken further with the Website Administrator regarding the provision of assistance. Rachel would now be responsible for updating the Stanhoe calendar and very kindly agreed to update the calendar with confirmed Parish Council meeting dates.

11. Parish Emergency Plan: This was very much still ‘work in progress’. Whilst TF has confirmed with the MEHM Trust that the Village Hall could be used as a ‘safe space’, work was still underway in a number of other areas. The question of the (non-Council) volunteer group monitoring the identity and needs of the elderly and vulnerable in Stanhoe is still extant. Volunteers are still sought for this vital corollary part of the plan. TF would provide a further update at the next meeting.

12. SAM 2 Update: The fastest recorded speeds within the 30mph limit for February 2023 had been:

Date Time Speed Sign Position
2nd February 17:50 65mph Grange facing Docking

During February 11,462 vehicles passed the speed sign.

Accidents at the Bircham crossroads continued to be a concern. The Clerk would ask the Highways department whether additional or improved signage, possibly STOP signs, could be placed at or around the junction.

13. Village Litter Pick: Due to lockdowns etc there had been no Stanhoe Village Spring Litter Picks for 2 years. This year it was agreed that the litter pick would take place on Saturday 22nd April meeting at the Village Hall at 10.00 am. All residents, family and friends are welcome to come and help. Bags and some safety clothing would be available, gloves were recommended.

14. War Memorial: The Clerk had still be unable to establish contact with the individual recommended to renovate the War Memorial so would now approach other individuals/organisations to obtain quotes to carry out the necessary work.

15. King’s Coronation Celebrations: MW advised Council that plans are now well underway for the village coronation event. At the meeting of the organising group on 6th March, it was confirmed that the BBQ & Picnic would be held on Sunday 7th May starting at 12.00pm, at the Village Hall and on the playing field. There would be a BBQ and cash bar, games and competitions for all the family, music, a puppet making workshop, fun dog show, raffle and more. Tickets would be £5 to include a BBQ lunch, children 12 and under would be free. The organising team, who could be contacted through Mike Wilson or Laura Pocock would welcome more volunteers to help with setting up and running the event. Alternatively all were welcome to come along to the next meeting at Stanhoe Village Hall on Sunday, 2nd April at 4.30pm. Further details would be published in Saints Alive, on the website and on various social media sites.

16. Bus Service - Update: The Chairman had written to the Passenger Transport Manager at Norfolk County Council regarding the no-notice cancellation of the Service 21 bus, with no replacement service to Stanhoe. In addition, RBR had also written to James Wild MP to highlight the same issue. Unfortunately both responses focussed on the lack of passenger numbers from Stanhoe when the Service 21, provided by West Norfolk Community Transport, was in operation. The new operator, Lynx, had decided not to continue the service to/from Stanhoe. However, there is a limited Dial-a-Bus Service available, a bookable mini bus service, on Thursdays to Fakenham, and using the Burnham Market bus on alternate Mondays to Kings Lynn. Book through 01553 776971 and ask about the fare which is payable in cash only.

17. The Duck inn: SS advised Council, in case some were not aware, that the landlord at the Duck Inn had given Elgood’s, the brewery, 6 months’ notice to vacate. Councillors felt that this was extremely disappointing news, given that the chef/management had done, and continue to do, an outstanding job, had provided much support during the pandemic and had placed Stanhoe firmly on the map.


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

Application Number Proposal Decision

Outline application for a replacement dwelling

Old School House
Church Lane

Application permitted by BCKLWN – 16 February 2023

In addition, the Parish Council had been notified of 2 address changes. The replacement dwelling for Grange Cottage, Docking Road would be known as Stony Hill and High Barn on Burnham Road would be known as Feather Farm.

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 £
100879 W. Leighton Salary January & February 2023 364.68
100880 HMRC PAYE January & February 2023 91.20
100881 W. Leighton Clerk’s Expenses January & February 2023 292.98
100882 BCKLWN Dog Bin Emptying 208.00

20. Resident’s Concerns/Issues Raised after the Agenda was published:

Highways: The Highways department had advised that the Rangers, in the form that the Parish Council knew them, no longer existed. Requests for work to be done in the village - cleaning signs, clearing foliage, sweeping footpaths etc. are now looked at by an inspector or technician and programmed accordingly if they meet an intervention threshold. This is for efficiency with the budgets and the contractor resource available. Notwithstanding, the Parish Council would continue to try to resolve issues that were raised that would not be addressed by the contractors.

Playground Maintenance and Playing Field Use: The costs of maintaining the Playground and Playing Field represent almost 40 pct of the Council’s annual expenditure. Further to item 5 above it was suggested that the PC consider alternative maintenance regimes, such as partially ‘wilding’ the playground, which is currently largely unused. If walkers’ paths were created with benches etc, this might meet their needs without going to the considerable expense of mowing the whole field 7 or more times a year. This will be discussed in further detail in the future, together in consultation with the owners, the MEHM Trust.

Safeguarding Policy: It has become apparent that a Safeguarding Policy is necessary to meet Norfolk Community Foundation requirements for various reasons including qualifying for a Coronation celebration grant. We are therefore currently drafting such a policy for review and approval by the whole Council.

21. Items for the Next Agenda – Meeting of 10th May 2023:

Clarification of the Narrative around the Precept
Confirmation of July 2023 Meeting Date
Parish Emergency Plan – Update
SAM 2 – Update
War Memorial – Update

No other items were discussed and the meeting closed at 20.05 hours.