MINUTES OF NORTHWOLD PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL TUESDAY MARCH 1ST 2011
Present: Mrs R Crisp, Mrs V Lynch, Mr M Peake, Mrs T Waller, Mr D George, Miss A Muir, Mr J Norris, Mr M Roberts, Mr F Eglington. 6 members of the public
PCSO Claire Law was in attendance at the beginning of the meeting and gave an update on Police matters in the village and surrounds. There have been more activities reported to the Police in recent weeks than are usually expected in the area. Residents were encouraged to be vigilant and report any suspicious vehicles to the Police. There have been two burglaries, one theft, a domestic incident and the theft of pigs from a local farm in recent weeks.
Any member of the public can be alerted to happenings of concern in the local area by signing up with ‘Police Direct’ to receive messages from the police either by e-mail or phone. Information regarding this service will be published in the Village Life magazine.
PCSO Law was informed of speeding traffic at Whittington Hill and offered to pass this to the traffic police team. Any other areas of particular concern can be passed to the Parish Council to forward to PSCO Law.
Some discussion took place regarding the Community Speed Watch scheme. This has been successfully run in nearby villages where speed guns are operated by local volunteers. The future of this initiative is uncertain at present but PCSO Law will inform the Parish Council if the scheme is to continue should volunteers in the village be willing to participate.
Parking problems at drop off and collection times at the Primary School has been reported again.
1. No Apologies for absence received
2. No Declarations of Interest were made.
3. The minutes of the meeting held on 01/02/11 were agreed as a true record.
4. Matters Arising from previous meetings
* Salt bins have been ordered for Methwold Road by the telephone box, by the A134 crossroads and for Whittington. The salt bin at Whittington is to be located by the entrance to the Church.
* The Community Action Northwold group has successfully secured four parish notice boards which are in the process of being sited. The Parish Council was asked to identify a location for the notice board in Whittington and following much discussion it was agreed to locate the Whittington board by the telephone box along the A134 opposite the Church. Permission to use this location will be sought from Highways.
* Some discussion took place regarding planning application 11/00089/F – conversion of workshop/barn to form 2 bedroom annexe at Lime Kiln Farm, 23 Church Lane, Whittington. Neighbours of this property have submitted letters of objection to the Borough Council and the Parish Council has reiterated comments voiced when a previous application was made for this site.
5.1 Chairman’s Report
* The tenant is repairing the fence at the Old Chalk Pit.
* Reports are continually being made regarding dog fouling in the village. It was agreed a second stronger notice informing dog owners that the Borough Council will fine anyone caught allowing a dog to foul and then leaving the mess will be published in the Village Life magazine.
* A tree has fallen in Whittington Playing Field.
The meeting was briefly suspended to allow a resident of Whittington to speak. Mr. Warner has offered to clear the fallen tree and trim trees, if necessary, on the Playing Field which are adjacent to the boundary of his property. This assistance was gratefully accepted by the Parish Council.
Concern was raised regarding the safety of other trees on the Playing Field and enquiries will be made regarding the cost of a tree risk assessment being undertaken.
* Mr George offered to look into repairing the Parish Council notice board located at the Village Hall. He is also hoping to repair the notice board in Little London.
* The cricket screen at Northwold Playing Field has been vandalised.
* The gate on the toddlers play area will not close and a step on the slide is smashed. Mr Roberts offered to look into repairing the gate and the step of the slide.
* Bogus officials claiming to be from the Water Board have been operating in the area but fortunately although one burglary was attempted nothing was stolen.
* Rumours are that local bus services may be cut as Norfolk County Council attempts to reduce expenditure. To date the Parish Council has not received any official notification of cuts to bus services but enquiries will be made.
5.2 The Clerk had nothing to report that was not an agenda item.
5.3 Manor House Update
Mr M Peake reported that the Borough Council has reported that the owner of Manor House has said the property is being cleared and then it will be sold.
5.4 A134 Crossroads Update – no further report
* Mr Adrian Jenkinson has investigated what can be done to alleviate the problem of chafer bugs on Northwold Playing Field. It is possible the bugs could be successfully treated with a three year spraying program which would need to begin in July or August.
Alternative advice is to scrape the surface of the worst affected areas of the Playing Field, re-seed and roll to make the surface too hard for birds to forage for the chafer grubs. It is estimated 50% of the field may need treatment. Quotes will be sought to undertake the ground work suggested as soon as possible and a decision will be made at the April meeting of the Parish Council regarding how to proceed.
Mr Jenkinson was thanked for investigating how the problems at the Playing Field may be remedied. His advice was much appreciated.
The Norfolk Playing Fields Association will be approached for further advice.
It was noted that the chafer bug problem was only brought to the attention of the Parish Council in 2010 and that there is also a rabbit problem at the Playing Field.
* Northwold Sports & Social Club is to hold its AGM on March 28th. The survival of the Club could depend on whether the Footballers and Cricketers continue to use Northwold Playing Field.
6. The following payments were agreed:
MHB Services (street lighting maintenance) £50.14
E.on Energy (street light electric) £149.91
Village Hall Committee £10.00
Country Grounds Maintenance £296.17
NRCC subs £15.00
Clerk Salary £133.20
NPFA subs £20.00
7.1 Playing Field Newsletter.
7.2 Letter from highways regarding local councils taking on some highway services. Several councils have expressed an interest and have asked for more information about the services provided in their areas
7.3 Dawkins Covert, Northwold. The Woodland Trust owns and manages Darkins Covert and as the charity is reviewing its portfolio the Parish Council has been asked to consider taking on the site. It was agreed the Parish Council would not wish to do so.
7.4 Norfolk Age UK – campaign for later life in Norfolk
7.5 Norfolk Link etc
7.6 Minerals and Waste Core Strategy CD
Mr. M Peake took no part in discussion relating to agenda item 8.
8.1 Single storey side extension at 62 School Lane, Northwold 11/00113/F No comment
8.2 Proposed expansion to an existing free range unit (phase 1 and phase 2) at Chalkpit Field, Thetford Road, Northwold 10/02166/F and 10/02168/F
9. Parish Council elections
Present Councillors were all presented with an election pack.
The Clerk has attended an election training evening held by Norfolk Association of Local Councils and the following information was made available:
The normal 4 yearly round of parish elections is being held on May 5th and combined with elections for the Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. The elections begin with the publication of the Notice of Election on Friday, 18 March.
The nomination period is from Monday 21 March to noon on Monday April 4th.
Further information can be obtained from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.
Contact: Mary Colangelo, Electoral Services Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org 01533 616281
10. Further reports/items for the next agenda
10.1 No meeting with Highways has taken place regarding drainage in the village but one landowner has spoken with the Highway engineer regarding clearing of ditches. The Highway Department has no money available to assist with clearing of ditches which are the responsibility of the landowner in most cases.
Mr. Jenkinson has also informed Highways of flooding problems and that signs along the A134 have been hit.
10.2 It was reported that drain covers in School lane appear to have sunk.