Councillors present: Cllr. R. Crisp – Chair (RC), Cllr. A. Collins (AC), Cllr. Frank Eglington (FE), Cllr. Clifford Anderson (CA), Cllr. Sue Leet (SL), Cllr. George Gillett (GG), Cllr. Stephen Gillett (SG) & Cllr. Adrian Jenkinson (AJ)
Present: Vicky Bright – Clerk.
15/12/4 Cllr. Crisp welcomed all to the meeting.
Public Forum – LGA 1972, Section 100(1):
3 members of public were present.
The issue of the fallen tree at the cemetery was raised the Clerk advised this was on the agenda Item 9.ii. Residents want to know if the Council will be responsible for the costs involved in repairing the headstones affected.
Residents also asked for clarification on the headstones which have had notices placed on them as unsafe. Cllr. Collins explained that they had failed the 35kg push test and were deemed unsafe, under Health & Safety laws the headstones need to be re-fixed. Cllr. Collins is to re-check the headstones identified previously to confirm they are unsafe.
Local Authority Reports:
Norfolk County Council
Cllr. Martin Storey sent his apologies. No report sent.
Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk
Cllr. Peake sent his apologies. No report sent.
Norfolk Constabulary – SNT
PCSO Law sent a reminder for residents to be vigilant against pickpockets at this time of year, and to ensure they keep windows & doors locked and outbuildings secured when not at home.
Accepted Apologies for absence – LGA 1972, Section 85(1) & (2):
Cllr. Alison Muir & Cllr. Mick Peake.
Members Declaration of Interest (items on the agenda) – LGA 2000 Part III:
Cllr. Sue Leet declared an interest in Item 11i and Cllr. Adrian Jenkinson declared an interest in Item 13v.
Minutes of the last meeting held on 3rd November 2015- LGA 1972, Schedule 12, para 41(2):
The minutes of the last meeting held on 3rd November 2015 were adopted as a true statement and signed by the Chairman (RC).
Reports and Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting (For Info Only):
Street light on the corner of Penfold Lane West End is still covered in Ivy. The Clerk is to discuss this with the street lighting contractor.
The roundabout has been fenced off as Roger Drinkwater has inspected it and deemed it unsafe.
Councillor Vacancies Update
The Clerk advised that there is still one vacancy open for the Whittington Ward. The Clerk is to place a notice in the Village Life and will clarify that anyone can apply and stand for Whittington, even if they do not live in Whittington, but in Northwold.
Common Drove Footbridge
Cllr. Eglington advised that he had met with Andy Wallace from Highways and that the proposals for the footbridge had been agreed and were viable. It was agreed to proceed with the Parish Partnerships Scheme application for a total of £1,556.50, this includes a 10% contingency. The proposal is to increase the width by one third and fix chicken wire to the surface to improve grip. It is hoped to do this work using some local labour, some voluntary labour and supervision, and by hiring plant and equipment from local builders. It would not be necessary to close the footpath for extended periods and signage would be in place to advise pedestrians of any hazard while the works were progressing.
Cllr. Jenkinson advised that concrete bollards had now been installed at the crossroads.
Whittington Closed Cemetery Update
The Clerk advised she had received an email update from the Ministry of Justice;
“Please accept my sincere apologies that we did not respond sooner to your queries about the status of the churchyard of Christ Church Whittington. I can confirm that the churchyard has not yet been closed by Order in Council. This is because of some legal questions about the process of churchyard closures which we have had to resolve. I hope to write again shortly with an update on progress with this application”.
Fallen Conifer Tree Works
The Clerk confirmed that the emergency works to make safe the fallen tree had been carried out and should be completed and all debris removed by end of day tomorrow.
It was agreed that the invoice of £800 for the emergency tree works should be approved and paid in full.
The Clerk also confirmed that the Insurance had confirmed that the Council is not liable for damages to the headstones, due to the tree being felled during inclement weather conditions. As the Council has regular professional annual inspections carried out on the trees at all of the cemetery’s, with the most recent being done on 1st November 2015, and with the said tree being declared as safe with no issues being identified, the tree felling is out of the Council’s control and they are therefore not liable.
The Clerk read out a letter from David Wheatley of 17 Glebe Close, raising concerns over the lack of adequate street lighting at Glebe Close.
It was suggested that the Clerk contact Westcotec to discuss options to change to bigger lamps, or to adjust the lamps to spread the light further.
15/01795/F – Change of Use from Commercial to Residential Premises – Woodlands 11 Little London Road
15/01803/F – Extension & Alterations to Audley House 1 High Street
Parish Council Bank Balances and Reconciliation
The Payments and receipts from 4th November 2015 to 1st December 2015 were scrutinised and approved. The Lloyds Treasurer account balance was confirmed as £49,850.60 as of 24th November 2015.
That the Bank balances and reconciliation of payments & receipts be received and adopted and initialled as such by the Chairman (RC).
Cheques for signing and approval and to authorise payment of outstanding invoices
It was agreed to approve the payments of the following outstanding invoices and the cheques were approved and signed by Cllr. R. Crisp and Cllr. A. Collins.
The Green Balance Cemetery works 001998 £84.00
ICO Data Protection 001999 £35.00
Mrs V Bright Mileage & Expenses 002000 £19.96
E.On Street Lighting 002001 £67.85
CP Groundworks Emergency tree works 002002 £800.00
Roger Drinkwater Maintenance works 002003 £837.00
Update on Constables Charity Finances/Bank Account
Confirmation has been received that the funds have now been transferred to the one account with NS&I. Cllr. Eglington is to confirm the balance and the Council will look at setting up a deposit account with TSB to transfer the funds into.
Play Area Repairs Report
Deferred to the January meeting. The roundabout has now been fenced off for H&S. We will continue to source quotes/options for rubber surfacing for the swings and roundabout.
Lightsource/Solar Panels Update
Lightsource have now requested EPC, Structural and Asbestos surveys before the installation can proceed. The Clerk is to write to Lightsource and express the Council’s frustration that this was not mentioned previously and that it is felt that Lightsource has been stalling and not disclosing all the relevant information needed, as they initially said there would be no cost to the Parish Council. The Clerk is to approach Lightsource regarding our options i.e. smaller design to include the costs of the surveys within the grant or to scrap the project and use the fund for other community benefit projects.
Sale of Clay Pit Land
Cllr. Eglington confirmed that the sale for £12,000 could proceed, this includes the buyer paying the fees. The money is to be transferred into the Council’s bank account immediately.
It was agreed to accept the offer of £12,000 and for the sale to proceed. The Land Registry transfers were signed at the meeting by Cllr. Collins and Cllr. Crisp.
Thanks were given to Cllr. Eglington and Cllr. Muir for their hard work and time.
Whittington Causeway Lease Agreement
A commercial lease has been drawn up by Cllr. Muir’s legal firm, which the adjoining landowner has accepted for a 3 year improving basis for haymaking at a cost of £1 per year. The tenant will have the opportunity to rent again at the end of the lease. The lease has been signed and the consideration of £3 paid.
Emma Biggs has contacted Cllr. Jenkinson and agreed to hand the allotment back over to the Council and to return it to an acceptable condition. The Clerk has confirmed this in writing and has given a timeframe of two months for this this to happen.
The Clerk presented the Council with the proposal of renting the allotments solely to Cllr. Jenkinson on a long tern improving basis lease. Cllr. Jenkinson intends to tidy the allotments up and turn them into grass and gardens, he also intends to take on responsibility for the tree works at the allotments included in the agreement. Cllr. Jenkinson would like to request that he is able to have a small outbuilding on the site to store lawn mowers etc. The Clerk advised the Council of the Allotment Legislation rules. The Clerk is to draw up a tenancy agreement for the 10-year lease.
It was agreed to rent the allotments on a long term improving basis lease for 10 years to Cllr. Jenkinson with an outbuilding allowed.
Roof Repairs Quotes to Sports & Social Club
Cllr. Eglington is to inspect the roof and ascertain what works are needed. Deferred to January meeting.
The Clerk is liaising with Janet Overton the Norfolk Constabulary Speed Watch Coordinator and Mick Parfitt and hopes to report back further progress at the next meeting.
Cllr. S. Gillett advised that the Coach Services bus from Kings Lynn to Thetford 5:15-5:30pm had been using Church Lane as a cut through, rather than going to Little London and back up if there are no passengers. The Clerk is to write to the bus company and complain.
Items for next meeting to be held on Tuesday 5th January 2016 at 7:30pm, in the Village Hall. Confirmed that the meeting dates for 2016 will remain as the first Tuesday of the month, with the exception of August at 7:30pm in the Village Hall.
• Sports & Social Club Roof Quotes
• Lightsource Update
• Play Area Repair Quotes
• Glebe Close Street Lighting Update
There being no further business the Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and declared the meeting closed at 21:45pm
Signed: Rosemary Crisp
Date: 13th January 2016