Councillors present: Cllr R Crisp (Chair); Cllr A Collins (Vice Chair); Cllr F Eglington; Cllr G Gillett; Cllr S Gillett; Cllr A Jenkinson; Cllr S Leet; Cllr A Muir; Cllr M Peake; Cllr C Pointeer
Present: Judith Taylor, Clerk; three members of the public
A member of the public drew the Council’s attention to the deteriorating state of Northwold’s public areas, including: overgrown verges; unkempt shrubbery and deteriorating bench at the village sign; overhanging hedges and trees; private gardens in an untidy state; pavements which are breaking up; gutters uncleared leading to blockage of the drains; and some walls which are in a dangerous state. Councillors were invited to tour the village to see current conditions for themselves. The question was asked whether someone could be employed by the Parish to take care of some of these matters.
Cllr Crisp explained that many areas in Northwold are the responsibility of BCKLWN, which is having to save money and thus has cut back on this type of work. Cllr Peake noted that this is a general problem throughout Norfolk, and the recent long-lasting inclement weather had made the situation worse.
Cllr Crisp confirmed that the Council would do its best on these issues and in particular, the Clerk would write to the owners of the dangerous walls to request action on their part.
A member of the public asked about progress on parking at Normandy Close, Northwold. It is believed that although the Parish Council owns the area in question, some residents may have rights of vehicular access over the area. Cllr Muir undertook to investigate. Once the legal situation is clear, the Council will take this forward.
It was commented that now the footpath by the Cemetery has been cut back, more dog owners are walking there, and the consequent problem of dogmess has increased. This was to be discussed at a later item. The broken stile was queried – Cllr Crisp confirmed that Highways had agreed to fix this; the Clerk would remind Mr Wallace.
The question of faster broadband for Northwold was mentioned. Cllr Crisp confirmed that no progress had been made – BT’s response remained that when they had the money available, the village would be in line for faster broadband, but they could not give any idea of date. Cllr Crisp undertook to write to them again.
It was noted that the Council Minutes had not been published in Village Life for some time; it was explained that this may be due to lack of space, but the Clerk undertook to see if they could be published from now on.
Local Authority Reports
None received from Norfolk County Council
Cllr Peake had nothing to report from BCKLWN
Accepted apologies for absence (LGA 1972, Section 85(1) & (2))
Cllr C Anderson (on holiday).
Members’ declaration of interests
Cllr Leet declared on Item 11: Planning
Election of Vice Chair and Acceptance of Office
Cllr Muir proposed Cllr Collins as Vice Chair; Cllr Leet seconded. All in favour. Cllr Collins accepted the position of Vice Chair for the year 2016-17, and signed the Acceptance of Office, which was witnessed and counter-signed by the Clerk.
Approval of the Minutes of the AGM held on 31st May 2016 (LGA 1972, Schedule 12, para 41(2))
The Minutes of the AGM held on 31st May 2016 were adopted as a true statement and signed by the Chair.
Reports and Matters Arising from the Minutes of the last meeting (for info only)
Cllr Crisp reported that the bridge on Common Drove was flooded and dangerous. She requested that councillors warn residents.
Cllr Crisp had received leaflets from Speak Up, an abuse of adults awareness forum. It was agreed that these would be displayed on the noticeboards and given to Village Life for publication. Other suggestions for distribution were via the WI, the school, the tots club, yoga group and the pub.
Cllr G Gillett visited Sheridan School on 23rd June, and was impressed with the ideas put forward for joining in with the community. He had expected them to attend this meeting, but clearly they had been unable to do so.
Cllr Pointeer commented on the severely overgrown areas of Whittington which CGM was supposed to keep clear. Clerk was asked to contact Ian Burton as soon as possible.
Parish Partnerships Scheme 2017/18
Clerk summarised the Scheme, noting that £300,000 is available for next financial year. It was queried whether repair of pavements and footpaths would be eligible for such funding. Clerk to check.
It was queried whether the Common drove bridge might be repaired this way. It was not clear who was responsible for it: Cllr Eglington will contact Mr Wallace at Highways to find out. Cllr Collins reported on the wider issue of flooding on the Common, that it had been established at a meeting two years ago involving the Environment Agency, Highways and the local MP, that as Northwold is designated by the EA as a flood area, and as humans and housing are not endangered by the floods, the situation would not be rectified. The Clerk was asked to write to the EA and query whether there were any flood abatement measures which were being or could be undertaken further upstream to alleviate the severity of Northwold floods.
Highways update – NCCllr Storey/Mr Wallace, Highways
As neither was present, there was no report. Cllr Muir reported that some roadsigns had been replaced.
Cllr Collins had no update, but reported that the shrubbery was looking fine.
A quote had been received from Mr Drinkwater. Councillors asked for further quotes to be obtained. Councillors agreed to check on the precise state of the railings and report back. This should be an item on the agenda for September meeting.
From Mr Brooker, Normandy Close, Northwold, regarding potential purchase of land. Cllr Muir to check title deeds (per discussion at Item 16/07/1); Clerk to respond with holding letter.
Invitation from BCKLWN to a Devolution Briefing. Councillors declined.
Planning Applications and Updates
Additional item received late: Tree Preservation Order 2/TPO/00546 – Woodlands, Little London Road, Northwold
Cllr Leet had declared an interest on this item, and left the meeting for this discussion. Cllr Peake took no part, given the conflict with his BCKLWN role. It was agreed to offer no objection.
Notification of new property address – Old Yard Cottage, 1A Methwold Rd, Northwold
16/01016/F Construction of two storey dwelling at land between Audley House 1 High St and 4 West End Northwold
It was agreed to offer no objection.
16/00893/O To erect a chalet bungalow at 29 Methwold Rd Whittington
It was agreed to offer no objection.
Clerk raised the issue of BCKLWN’s decision no longer to provide paper copies of planning applications. Councillors expressed their willingness to view applications online.
Finance and Policies
Parish Council bank balances and reconciliation from list of payments and receipts
The payments and receipts were scrutinised and approved. The TSB Treasurer account balance was confirmed as £70,267.98 as of 17th June 2016.
That the bank balances and reconciliation of payments and receipts be received and adopted and initialled as such by the Chair.
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 Cllrs Crisp and Collins.
MiJan Limited Internal audit 002031 £52.25
CGM June 002032 £301.92
Westcotec June 002033 £19.10
E.ON May/June 002034 £133.52
R J Drinkwater Playground repairs 002035 £1,043.00
Lightsource Photovoltaic system 002036 £18,793.39
John Breheny Labour/invoice 084 002037 £30.00
Carbrook Windows Sport & Social Club 002038 £5,052.90
A proviso was made that Lightsource should be contacted regarding commissioning of the photovoltaic system and E.ON feed-in account, requesting them to attend a meeting with Cllrs Eglington and Pointeer to ensure that all is satisfactory before payment.
Constable’s Charity Bank Account Transfer to TSB update
Cllr Eglington confirmed that this had not happened as yet, but as there was only £200 was in the account and no additional funds were expected in the near future, this was not a priority.
2016/17 Wish List update
Street Lighting (Glebe Close, Northwold)
A resident had expressed a desire that in general no more lighting be installed in Northwold, to preserve sight of the night sky. Westcotec had provided a quote for installing lampposts, subject to an unknown cost for connection depending on where electricity supply was situated. Cllr Crisp reported that Glebe Close residents particularly wished to have an additional light by the garage. Cllr Eglington proposed that one light by the garage be installed; Cllr Crisp seconded; all in favour.
Clerk to contact Roy Payne to request survey of area to determine location of electricity supply and hence define cost. Cllr Eglington to meet Mr Payne for the survey.
Skate Park (Recreation Ground)
Previous Clerk had obtained quotes for three different installations, priced from £49K to £113K. Concern was expressed that the only option possible within budget would be unsatisfactory in scope for the young people who had requested it. Concern was also expressed that the location had the potential to cause significant disturbance to nearby residents. It was agreed that the Clerk should write to those involved in the request, explaining the situation and suggesting that they might investigate obtaining additional funding themselves; also inviting them to the September Council meeting for a discussion.
Sports & Social Club Car Park
Clerk to request the Sports and Social Club obtain quotes for what they want.
Sports & Social Club Roof & Doors/Windows
Completed March 2016
Cemetery – re-gravel driveway
Councillors agreed to estimate the area in question, so that the Clerk could then obtain quotes.
Bench for Recreation Ground
Cllr Crisp to ask first the family who donated the existing bench whether they wish to refurbish it. Cllr Pointeer requested consideration be given to a bench at Whittington Recreation Ground. Clerk to obtain quote from Bonnetts, Stoke Ferry, to add to the existing quotes obtained by the previous Clerk.
Play Area Matting Update
Cllr Collins reported that this is scheduled to be laid week commencing 11 July.
Play Area RoSPA Inspection 2016-17 Fee
Clerk reported this would be £70 plus VAT. Clerk to arrange inspection for a date after installation of matting.
Dealt with under Item 16/07/12.ii
Sports & Social Club Roof Quote
Clerk has requested revised quote from David Lavender. Awaited.
BT Faster Broadband
Dealt with under Item 16/07/1
Grass-cutting at Whittington – CGM
Dealt with under Item 16/07/7.ii
Cllr Collins had received a request for councillors to attend the School Project judging. Cllrs Eglington and Pointeer agreed to attend.
It was agreed that the Clerk should order a ‘No dog fouling’ sign for the newly-cleared footpath by the Cemetery (referring to Item 16/07/1).
The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 6th September 2016 at 7:30pm in the Village Hall.
Items for the next meeting:
Cemetery railings quotes
The meeting closed at 9.25pm Action