Northwold and Whittington Parish Council – Ordinary Meeting
Tuesday 7th March 2017, 7.30pm
Northwold Village Hall
PRESENT: Cllr R. Crisp (Chairman), Cllr A. Collins (Vice Chairman), Cllr S. Leet , Cllr M Peake, Cllr. A. Jenkinson, Cllr C. Pointeer, Cllr G. Gillett, Cllr S Gillett, Cllr A Muir and Mrs N Cooper, Clerk.
Also present: Cllr Martin Storey – Norfolk County Council
There was 1 member of the public.
1. PUBLIC FORUM
Reference to a requested update from the February meeting regarding progression on broadband connection at cabinet 5 Methwold Road was made. The Clerk has made contact with the programme director for Better Broadband for Norfolk and been advised of connection in late 2017/early 2018. Cllr Jenkinson advised that BT Openreach show that the cabinet is at stage 5 of 8 stages for connection, showing that the cabinet is in position. It was noted that Northwold footpath 6 is still blocked.
ACTIONS: Clerk to email Highways ref Northwold footpath 6.
2. LOCAL AUTHORITY REPORTS
i. Norfolk County Council
Cllr Storey gave a summary of the Norfolk County Council budget meeting in February which resulted in a Council Tax increase of 4.8%. He advised that 3% of this will go to Adult Social Care to offset government cuts with an intention to target money to improve circumstances for those in need. Public consultation was taken into account in the decision. Cllr Storey is available for enquiries as required.
ii. Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council
Cllr M Peake noted that the increase in Council Tax for BCKLWN was 1%.
3. ACCEPTANCE OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies of absence were provided for Cllr F Eglington. This was accepted.
Note from Clerk that emailed apologies were sent to the Northwold inbox from Cllr C Anderson prior to the meeting but not seen until afterwards.
4. MEMBERS’ DECLARATION OF INTERESTS (for items on the Agenda) – Issue of Dispensations
There were none.
5. TO APPROVE AND SIGN THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING held 7th February 2017
The minutes were approved by all Councillors present and signed by the Chairman as a true record of the meeting held on 7th February 2017. The final version will be available on the website.
It was noted that although the final versions of minutes for the October and November meetings are on the website they are titled as Drafts.
ACTIONS: Clerk to update October and November minutes on website to final.
6. REPORTS AND MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
6.1 Chair’s report
The Chair had nothing to report that is not already on the agenda.
6.2 Clerk’s report
Defibrillator: The Clerk advised that the order for the Defibrillator had been placed as agreed at the February meeting and the invoice for payment before dispatch was for approval under item 22.
Transparency Fund: After seeking advice from Suffolk Association of Local Councils (as forwarded to them from Norfolk Association of Local Councils whilst a replacement County Officer is found), and subsequently the Transparency Fund Manager, the Clerk has been informed that Northwold and Whittington Parish Council is not eligible to apply to the Transparency fund as its turnover has been higher than £25,000 for the last 3 years. It has however also been confirmed that the fund will be available again in 17-18 therefore if the turnover is lower than £25,000 in 2017-18 then retrospective funding could be applied for.
7. HIGHWAYS MATTERS
7.1 Highways Update – Cllr. Storey/Andy Wallace Highways
The Clerk reported that Andy Wallace has been contacted for an update but no response has been received. Cllr Storey advised Council to contact Karl Rands to ask why no response from Highways is being received.
Cllr Pointeer advised that the signs on Whittington Hill have been replaced.
ACTIONS: Clerk to contact Karl Rands
Cllr Leet has received a letter through the post together with a climbing rock which has been found on the floor near the climbing wall complete with bolt and nut. The safety of the wall was in question and discussed. It was agreed that the wall should be closed as soon as possible and must be repaired. Cllr Jenkinson advised that a quote was received in 2015 for replacement of the wood at a cost of around £2,000. Cllr Jenkinson agreed that he would close the wall off and look into the cost for repair.
EON Letter to say that rates are increasing.
An Email from Judith Taylor was received prior to the meeting and was read out. She felt that the minutes of 15th December 2016 were suggesting financial impropriety and / or incompetence being the reasons for her dismissal. The Council was in agreement that this was not the case and that they had perfect confidence in her expertise in that area and that the accounts weren’t minuted because the statements had not been forwarded on.
ACTIONS: Cllr Jenkinson to close climbing wall and look into quotes for repair.
Clerk to check through files for archived quote to repair the climbing wall and contact the lady who wrote the letter to update her on what was agreed.
Clerk to contact EON to check if a fixed rate contract is viable to offset price rises.
Councillor / Clerk to respond to Judith Taylor to advise of the above.
9. STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
This was discussed and it was felt that the main impacts would be if the Parish had a Local Plan. This has been discussed at previous meetings and there are no intentions to develop a Local Plan. No comments or objections were noted for the consultation.
ACTIONS: Clerk to respond to consultation as above.
10. DIDLINGTON FOREST PLAN
This was discussed and the main objectives were noted to be to tidy and harvest the trees and preserve wildlife, to clear areas and allow them to recover. 1% of the forest is within the Northwold and Whittington Parish. No concerns were raised
ACTIONS: Clerk to respond to consultation as above.
11. SPORTS AND SOCIAL CLUB SOLAR PANELS
Cllr Collins reported that the Feed in Tariff is now up and running and will be backdated to 16.12.17. Cllr Collins advised that all documentation is now in order.
12. PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND UPDATES (since last meeting)
10.1 17/00028/TREECA, Flint House, 65 West End, Northwold: Fell Bay Tree, Fell Norway Spruce, replace with native standard. No objections recorded.
10.2 17/00364/F. Demolition of rear conservatory and erection of single storey extension. 22 Methwold Road, Northwold. No objections were recorded.
13. CLARIFICATION OF CGM GROUNDS MAINTENANCE CONTRACT 2017-18 AND ADDITION OF WHITTINGTON CHURCHYARD
The Clerk read out the full quote 1 Year quote as provided by CGM and as previously approved by the Parish Council at its meeting on 1/11/16 (ref 16/11/1/18.2) in order to clarify that it is the correct quote and to reconfirm the items being removed. It was confirmed that this was the correct quote with the removal of Normandy Close and the addition of Whittington Cemetery. Additions were also made to include the application of glyphosate around the grave curbstones for the cemeteries and along the pathway of Water Lane and it was confirmed that the one off cut shown for the Northwold recreation ground was just for information and to be removed and that there aren’t any paths, as stated, on the Whittington recreation ground.
ACTIONS: Clerk to send confirmation to CGM to accept the 1 Year quote and request a contract with the above revisions.
14. MOLES – Recreation Ground Northwold and Whittington
The Council discussed a quote as provided by Cllr Crisp from the Lady Mole Catcher for £200 to trap 4 moles on Northwold Recreation Ground. They also discussed the merits of whether the work should be undertaken. Cllr Storey provided a contact of John Rolph as an alternative; he undertakes mole catching for the drainage board. Cllr Crisp agreed to contact Mr Rolph and request a quote. The Council agreed that Cllr Crisp should instruct the works based on the lower of the two quotes. It was also requested that a letter of thanks be sent to the previous mole catcher Mr Leonard Lavender.
ACTIONS: Cllr Crisp to manage quotes and instruct mole catcher.
Clerk to send letter of thanks to Mr Lavender.
15. STREETLIGHT GLEBE CLOSE
Following a request for an update between meetings the Clerk can confirm that Roy Payne from Wetscotec is chasing this and is aware of delays from UK Power Networks due to recent bad weather. He will let the Council know when he has a date.
16. PARISH NOTICEBOARDS – update and sign off design
The Clerk confirmed that the signs have been ordered as chosen and instructed by Cllr Collins (as agreed at the last meeting) and showed the Council the image of the Northwold and Whittington sign which will be at the top of the board for approval. This was approved by all and signed off by the chair. It was agreed that the signs should be delivered to Cllr Jenkinson and that he would arrange installation.
17. DOG FOULING SIGNS
Cllr Crisp has a quote for £30 for 4 no dog fouling signs. It was agreed that 5 signs would be needed and they should say NW & W PC at the bottom. All agreed that Cllr Crisp should instruct this with agreement that a small increase in price for the extra sign and the lettering would be acceptable. It was noted that the school could be asked to design some signs for the village.
ACTIONS: Cllr Crisp to manage order of no dog fouling signs. Payment to be approved at next meeting.
Cllr Collins advised that works were instructed between meetings to rectify storm damage to one of the trees in Northwold cemetery on an emergency health and safety basis. Peter Akers undertook the work at a cost of £300 and has advised that the tree now needs to be reduced significantly at a cost of £450 or removed altogether at a slightly higher cost. All retrospectively approved the emergency tree works and were in agreement that the damaged tree should be removed completely. Discussion around replacement tree/s to plant to maintain a screen between the cemetery and the allotments concluded with Cllr Leet agreeing to look at options and costs and bring them to the next meeting.
ACTIONS: Cllr Collins to instruct removal of the damaged tree.
Cllr Leet to look into replacement trees and provide information for discussion at the April meeting.
19. WHITTINGTON PLAYGROUND
The possibility of creating a nature area at Whittington Playground, where the trees have been cleared, was discussed and the possibility of grants was queried. It was noted that the tree works undertaken to date were for approval for payment under item 22 and that there were some further tree works required still. Cllr Collins advised that he could email the quote to Councillors as soon as it is received.
ACTIONS: Clerk to explore options for grants for play areas.
20. COUNCILLOR EMAIL ADDRESSES
The Clerk passed around a list of details as provided by Councillors which they are willing to be used on the noticeboard and website. All Councillors signed against their details. Cllr Pointeer advised that for a cost of around £50 per year a website address could be purchased and Councillor specific email addresses could be linked to this. There can be a link from the Councillor specific address to home emails to notify of mail. This would protect personal email accounts from Freedom of Information requests. Cllr Pointeer would be happy to set this up. All were in agreement that this should be set up. Cllr Jenkinson noted that he wishes to be contacted through the Clerk only.
ACTIONS: Cllr Pointeer to set up Councillor specific email addresses.
21. NORFOLK PARISH TRAINING AND SUPPORT
Cllr Collins advised that this is a new organisation, is in addition to Norfolk Association of Local Councils and offers training and support to local councils with an annual fee. He proposed that the Council subscribe for 1 year and see how useful it is. All were in agreement.
ACTIONS: Clerk to progress.
22. FINANCE & POLICIES:
22.1 Parish Council Bank Balance and reconciliation from list of payments and receipts was reviewed and discussed at the meeting. Cllr C Pointeer asked for a copy of the invoice from CP Tree Services for the tree works at Whittington to check works before the cheque is handed over. All were in agreement that this should be paid on approval of works.
ACTION: Cllr Pointeer to inspect Whittington Tree works.
22.2 Payment of all outstanding invoices cheques for signing were agreed in full and approved.
The following cheques were approved at the meeting.
Unpresented payments/cheques for approval 7.3.17
Cheque Payee Description Amount
2080 EON Streetlighting Jan17 £78.80
2081 J A Taylor Annual Leave Entitlement £40.00
J A Taylor Mileage £3.60
2082 Defibshop Defibrillator Order £1,432.80
2083 CGM Feb17 Grounds Maintenance £301.92
2084 A Collins Phone for Clerk £49.99
Phone credit and insurance £24.99
2085 Westcotec Nov16 Streetlighting Maintenance (Invoice missed) £19.10
2085 Westcotec Feb 17 Streetlighting maintenance £19.10
2086 N. Cooper Expenses, Stationary, Ink £30.50
February Hours £297.64
February Mileage £14.85
2087 Westcotec Mar17 Streetlighting maintenance £19.10
2088 EON Mar17 Streetlights electricity £71.17
2089 Akers Tree Services Repair to storm damaged tree £300.00
In addition, the invoice totalling £1810 for CP Tree Services for tree works at Whittington Cemetery was approved for payment after satisfactory inspection of works.
22.3 The appointment of an internal auditor was discussed. The Clerk had been given contact details for Max Bergin who can undertake the audit for £60. Last year’s auditor charged £52 but had not responded to a request to undertake this year’s audit also. All agreed that Mr Bergin should be appointed.
ACTION: Clerk to appoint Mr Bergin.
22.4 The Clerk request approval to set up direct debit payments for Anglian Water and EON. This was approved, all agreed.
ACTION: Clerk to request direct debit mandates.
23. ITEMS FOR AGENDA OF NEXT MEETING: TO BE HELD: TUESDAY 4th April 2017, 7:30pm.
Cllr Jenkinson referred to the minutes of the last meeting with regards to litter on the layby and advised that lorry drivers were the worst culprits and that the catering lady clears away her rubbish daily.
Cllr Storey advised that he has noted lots of issues around varous parished using CGM. He advised that Feltwell Parish Clerk has a contact for a reputable Grounds Maintenance company.
Items for April agenda: Overhanging Trees and Speeding (Cllr Jenkinson)
With nothing more to discuss the meeting closed at 9.00 pm
Chairman: __________________________________ Date: __________________