Northwold Parish Council Minutes – August 2011

MINUTES OF NORTHWOLD PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT THE VILLAGE HALL TUESDAY AUGUST 2ND 2011

Present: Mrs R Crisp, Mr D George, Mrs V Lynch, Mr M Peake, Mrs S Bury, Miss A Muir, Mr F Eglington, Mrs S Jackson, Mr A Collins.

5 members of the public

1. Apologies for absence

PCSO Tracy Milburn sent apologies.

2. Declarations of Interest:

Mrs S Jackson declared an interest in item 7.

3. The minutes of the meeting held on 05/07/11 were agreed as a true record.

4. No matters arising from previous meetings

It was agreed at this point to move item 7 up the agenda to enable members of the audience interested in Whittington cemetery to then leave the meeting after the discussion should they wish to do so.

Members of Northwold Parish Council attended a site meeting with members of Whittington Parochial Church Council at Whittington Playing Field to consider the possibility of creating a Cemetery in part of the Playing Field. The Parochial Church Council has asked residents of Whittington for comments regarding location of a new Cemetery at the Playing Field and ten replies have been received – two were against this proposal, all others were in support.

The Parish Council is willing to pursue this idea and it was agreed the Clerk will investigate the need to submit a planning application for change of use of the site. Further consideration will be needed however as there are concerns regarding access to the site, the suitability of the ground and the cost implications. Northwold Parish Council is prepared to provide a Cemetery at the Playing Field in Whittington if permitted and if the financial implications can be surmounted.

5. Reports

5.1 Chairman’s Report

  • Five members of Northwold Parish Council attended training for Councillors held at Methwold on July 26th. The training was led by Sarita Presland from the Norfolk Association of Local Councils and was found to be both informative and worthwhile.
  • It was noted that the cost of installing water to the Charity allotments was felt to be too expensive. The Charity allotments are not administered by Northwold Parish Council and management of the Charity Allotments is undertaken by the Trustees of the Charity.
  • Thanks were expressed to Mr. Henry Everett who has undertaken repair work to the small slide at Northwold Playing Field. It was noted that money is still held by the Play Group for maintenance of the play equipment.
  • The Chairman has been informed that children have been seen riding bicycles over the cricket pitch at the Playing Field and that a fire was said to be lit at the Playing Field. The Safer Neighbourhood Team has been made aware of this.

5.2 The Clerk’s Report

  • The Clerk and Mr D George have attended a course regarding inspection of play equipment. Mr. George agreed to undertake safety checks of the equipment at the Playing Field and he will present a report of his findings at the monthly Parish Council meetings.
  • Concern was raised that a grave surround at the Cemetery appeared to have recently suffered damage. It was suggested a photographic record should be compiled of graves at the Cemetery.
  • Trees have been trimmed at theOldCemetery, Northwold.
  • Mr. A Jenkinson has offered to assist with cutting the grass of the Parish Council allotments. One half of one of the allotments has a new tenant who intends to work the plot once it is ploughed over. Thanks were expressed to Mr. Jenkinson for his assistance.

5.3 CAN Update

  • It is planned to hold a public meeting on October 10th at Northwold Sports & Social Club to gauge support for a possible village shop. Andrew Purdy from Ryburgh Village Community Shop will be asked to attend the event. A fund raising evening “Jack the Ripper Show” may be held at the Sport’s and Social Club, but if little support is shown for a village shop the project will go no further.

5.4 Manor House Update

  • Mr Peake has met with BCKLWN Conservation Officer Pam Lynn and a member of the Borough Council Planning Enforcement Team at Manor House. The owner of manor House is in the process of emptying the premises prior to sale. Progress will be monitored at a visit arranged for September 7th. It is expected a compulsory purchase order will be exercised in due course.

6. Grounds maintenance – Northwold Playing Field

A site meeting took place at Northwold Playing Field on July 11th to consider the problems caused to the grass by chafer bugs. A further quote has been received outlining the cost of various ways to treat the bugs.

Discussion took place regarding how the chafer bugs can be best dealt with and it was noted that the Cricket Club has successfully improved the grass by rolling and re-seeding. No treatment of chafer bugs can be guaranteed to eradicate the insects completely. It was therefore agreed to continue to roll and re-seed the ground.

The meeting was briefly suspended to allow Mr. A Jenkinson to speak. Mr. Jenkinson offered to undertake rolling the Playing Field if the Parish Council would purchase a suitable roller. Mr. Jenkinson was thanked for this offer and it was agreed to investigate the purchase of a roller.

The cost of future grounds maintenance of the Playing Field is something which will need to be considered when the 2012 precept is decided.

7. Whittington Cemetery

The Parochial Church Council has applied for the closure of Christ Church Churchyard, Whittington as there is no proper room for new burials. The Parish Council has been asked for comments on this by the Ministry of Justice. All agreed that the churchyard is full and therefore needs to be closed.

The parochial church council is liable to maintain a closed churchyard by keeping it in decent order and its walls and fences in good repair. ThePCCmay serve a written request on the Parish Council to take over the maintenance of the churchyard. Where a request is served on a parish council the council has the option of transferring the responsibility to the district council provided that it is resolve to do so and written notice of the resolution is given to the district council and thePCCwithin three months of the service of the original request.

Some debate took place regarding whether it would be in the best interests of the Parish Council to pass the maintenance of the churchyard to the Borough Council if a request was made for the Parish Council to undertake the maintenance of the closed churchyard. It is likely the Borough Council would pass the cost of maintenance of the churchyard on to the residents of the parish as special expenses to be added to Council Tax payments. The Parish Council may be able to undertake maintenance at less cost than the Borough Council. However, this would result in an increase in the village precept to pay for the maintenance which should be preferable to a more expensive special expenses contribution. There will also be the cost of preparation of the area (a local resident has offered to clear the area of ground suggested for the cemetery) and ongoing maintenance charges for the proposed new Cemetery which the Parish Council will need to budget for.

This matter was discussed earlier in the meeting. The Parish Council will apply for change of use of part of Whittington Playing Field to become a cemetery.

8. Northwold Sport’s and Social Club Agreement

Discussion took place regarding the rent of the Sports and Social Club building and whether payment is now owed to the Parish Council. Further investigation will be undertaken.

Legal advice has been taken regarding how to proceed as at present no current agreement is in place regarding the hire of the building. Councillors had been supplied with copies of a draft letter to be sent to the Sports & Social Club. It was agreed to send the letter as presented. Copies will also be sent to other regular users of the building.

OPEN FORUM

  • Comment was made that acoustics in the village hall are not good.
  • Concern was raised regarding a planning application for 5 Little London Road. The Parish Council will request additional information as notification of amended details to a planning application at this address has been received.
  • It was reported that rubbish from the Charity Allotments has been dumped on the Parish Council allotments.
  • TheMethwold Roadis flooded in heavy rain as the grupps need to be dug out. This will be reported to Highways.

9. The following payments were agreed:

MHB Services (street lighting maintenance)

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