Northwold and Whittington Parish Council – Ordinary Meeting
Tuesday 2nd January 2018, 7.30pm
Northwold Village Hall
PRESENT: Cllr C. Anderson (Chairperson), Cllr M. Peake, Cllr C Sharp, Cllr G Gillett, Cllr Susan Smith, Cllr David Human, Cllr Nigel Nickles, Cllr C Pointeer and Mrs N. Cooper, Clerk.
Also present: Cllr Martin Storey. There were 4 members of the public.
Before the meeting started Cllr Anderson welcomed all and wished everyone a Happy New Year.
1. PUBLIC FORUM
The Northwold Sports and Social Club were congratulated on the New Year’s Eve celebrations and all of the efforts of the Committee throughout 2017.
It was advised that the allotment ground being looked at for the new car park is saturated at present. It was noted that no interest in establishing a Community Speed watch team has been formally received.
A complaint was received that current development works along Little London Lane have damaged the road and made it extremely muddy. Surrounding residences, including 1 Little London Road are splattered with mud and may need to be re-rendered. The Lane is difficult to travel down due to pot holes which had previously been repaired. Clerk to send a formal complaint to the Borough Council Planning Department and the developer, if they can be identified.
2. LOCAL AUTHORITY REPORTS
i. Norfolk County Council
Following the last meeting Cllr Storey spoke to Andy Wallace and in consultation with the Clerk confirmed that a meeting has been set for two Councillors to meet with Andy on site near the Methwold Road junction on 10th January. Cllr Storey will aim to attend this site meeting also. It was advised that there are no statutory response times for emails to Highways but that within 3 working days is the current guideline. County Council meetings have only just returned after the Christmas break so there is no additional information to report.
ii. Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council
Cllr Peake advised that he had no updates to report.
3. ACCEPTANCE OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
These were provided for Cllr Rosemary Crisp and were accepted by all. Vice Chair Cllr Anderson to chair the meeting in her absence.
4. MEMBERS’ DECLARATION OF INTERESTS (for items on the Agenda)
There were none.
5. TO APPROVE AND SIGN THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING held on 5th December 2017
The minutes were approved by all Councillors present and the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a true record of the meetings held on 5th December 2017. The final version will be available on the website.
6. REPORTS AND MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS (for information only)
There were none additional to those already on the agenda.
7. COUNCILLOR VACANCIES UPDATE
The Parish Council considered two applications for co-option into the two vacant Northwold Parish Councillor positions. The first considered was from Holly Hogan. Holly was present at the meeting and advised why she would like to become a Parish Councillor. Her application was considered by the Councillors present and it was unanimously agreed that she should be co-opted. It was agreed that she would sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office at the end of the meeting and attend the February meeting as her first formal Parish Council meeting.
The second application was from Irene Quinn. The application had been received by the Clerk that morning and therefore printed copies of her application were circulated to Councillors. Cllr Sharp advised that she knows Irene Quinn well and recommended her appointment to Councillor. The application was considered by the Councillors present and it was unanimously agreed that she should be co-opted. The Clerk will contact Irene and make arrangements for the signing of the Declaration of Acceptance of Office before the next meeting in February.
8. CORRESPONDENCE discussed and noted:
i. Newsletters CPRE, Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Association of Local Councils
ii. Notice of Breckland Local Plan Submission
iii. NCC Budget Consultation as explained by Cllr Storey. Closing date 2nd Jan 18
iv. Email requesting information regarding the restoration of Northwold Manor
v. Norfolk Minerals Site Specific Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD): Single Issue Silica Sand Review – Notice of Adoption
vi. Letter from CGM stating disappointment to not be selected for Grounds Maintenance for 2018
vii. Invitation to attend UK Power Networks Roadshows.
9. DISCUSS GRANT REQUEST FROM NORTHWOLD SPORTS AND SOCIAL CLUB TOWARDS REFURBISHMENT COSTS
It was agreed that as there is already significant spend in the pipeline with proposals for the Car Park and Play Area that this grant request for £4-5,000 should be deferred to the new financial year. Clerk to put on the April agenda.
Points 10 and 11 on the original agenda were switched on the request of the Chair.
11. SCHOOL PARKING
Cllr Anderson, Cllr Peake, Cllr Nickles and Cllr Crisp attended a site visit at the end of December to St Edmunds Church in Downham Market to view the ground reinforcement mesh in use in the car park there. It was advised that despite the weather being very wet that the mesh was doing a good job. Father Mather from the Church advised that had he been able to forecast future heavy use that a different system might have been considered but that the ground was in good condition despite this. In places the mesh was not visible for the grass growing well through it. The mesh used there was thought to be 10mm. Cllr Anderson felt that the visit evidenced the suitability of the thicker mesh being considered for the School Lane car park and that when the ground at School Lane was tested on the same day by the Councillors it appeared firmer than the ground in the Church car park. The next stage to be agreed was progress approval, site suitability, mesh suitability and budget. A plan of the site was circulated by Cllr Anderson. It was noted that the 7m exit is currently tarmac and this would remain. The 20m entrance is currently gravel and this will remain. Some kerbing will be needed for the entrance but not for the exit as this will go onto the tarmac which will help to hold the mesh in place. Signage would also be needed. There is a tree stump that would need to be removed. It was noted that usage would be lower during the weekends and school holidays. The car park would be designated for whole community use and can be an overflow car park for the Village Hall and for visitors to the cemetery. The layout and options for creating a central aisle were discussed. It was estimated that 25-30 cars from the school run could use the car park. The options for the thickness of the mesh were looked at again. It was noted that the 14mm mesh would be around 25% more effective than the 13mm mesh.
Cllr Sharp proposed that the project be progressed on the basis of a 20x40m area, 14mm mesh from Ultimate One and an initial agreed budget ceiling of £6,000 excl. vat. This was seconded by Cllr Nickles and all were in favour.
All agreed that Cllr Anderson be approved to progress the planning application for the car park.
Cllr Sharp to advise Carole Reich from the school on the progression of the plans.
10. TO DISCUSS TREE MANAGEMENT PLAN AND RESOLVE ON ACTION REQUIRED
The management plan had been circulated to all prior to the meeting. The Clerk was asked to seek a costing plan with timescales based on the report recommendations. Clerk to seek quotes from CGM and also from TTSR Ltd. A third company to request a quote from would be sought.
12. PLAY AREA REPAIRS
A quotation for repair works has been received from Play Maintain. (Cost not published as competitive quote still awaited). Cllr Anderson believes that the total cost for repairs could be reduced as some of the items can be undertaken by himself and John Breheney. Decision on appointment would be deferred until a further quote is received. Clerk to place on February agenda. Cllr Anderson to speak to John about potentially starting part of the works as soon as practicable.
It was noted that there is a missing swing in Whittington Rec. Cllr Pointeer requested approval to source a replacement swing at a cost of around £100. This was agreed. Cllr Pointeer to progress.
13. RISK ASSESSMENT REPORT
Remaining actions are cleaning the Northwold village sign and bench repairs at Northwold rec. Both will be undertaken when the weather improves. The grass has been trimmed around the dog bin in Hovell’s Lane. The new dog waste bin for Ingham’s Lane has been received by Cllr Anderson. Cllr Anderson to progress installation as soon as practicable. The noticeboard at Little London Road was discussed. It was advised by Cllr Nickles that the purchase of a new noticeboard the same as the one at the Village Hall would be out of proportion to the need of that site. It was suggested that a padlock should be purchased to secure the current board from being used for non Parish Council notices and that no new board would be required. Cllr Nickles to progress.
14. SAFETY ISSUES AT THE METHWOLD RD/A134 JUNCTION
A meeting has been arranged for Cllr Nickles to meet with Andy Wallace, and possibly Cllr Smith and Cllr Storey also on 10th January at 9.30am. Other issues raised today would be summarised by the Clerk and emailed to Cllr Nickles to raise at the meeting. An email from a resident was read out concerning issues of speeding HGV vehicles along the A134. It was noted that HGV related accidents form a relatively low proportion (5 estimated out of 97) of recorded accidents at that site. The email has been provided to Cllr Nickles to raise at the meeting and the resident has been responded to and advised that his concerns would be passed on. It was noted that Cllr Nickles intends to formally request Stop Signs and discuss speed limits. This was agreed.
15. BUS STOP OPPOSITE TILE CENTRE NORTHWOLD IN NEED OF REPAIR
An email has been received from a resident concerning this bus stop. The email states that the noticeboard there is warped and covered in rusted staples and pins, the bus stop sign is broken and faded and the West End road sign is detached from the wall. Photos were included on the email. This had been circulated to all Councillors for review before the meeting. It is believed that this noticeboard was installed by the Community Action Northwold group which has now disbanded. The current ownership of the board is unclear. The names of the people who set up CAN will be passed to Cllr Anderson and he will make some investigations. The state of the bus stop sign will be reported to Coach Services and the road sign will be reported to highways by the Clerk. Clerk to place on January agenda and respond to resident.
Further to the above it was noted that the following road signs also are in need of repair or replacement: Cross Lane by Northwold Rec; Church Lane, Whittington; and the sign at the top of Old Methwold Road. Clerk to report these also.
16. BUS STOP METHWOLD ROAD
No update available. To place on February agenda.
17. DEFIBRILLATOR TRAINING
Cllr Human will be setting up some training open evenings, no dates are confirmed as yet. Both defibrillators have been checked and Cllr Human has requested new pads for the unit at the village hall as they expire at the end of January.
Cllr Gillett provided some photographs of the stakes and ties currently securing the 10 headstones in Northwold Old Cemetery. Cllr Gillett advises that the headstones feel sturdy with the stakes and ties in place. The Clerk confirmed that Bonnets had been contacted via email to enquire about alternative measures of connecting the stakes but no response had been received. Advice from Norfolk Association of Local Councils is that Parish Councils ‘have the right to make memorials safe and to take minimum action to render safe those which prove to be dangerous. In NALC’s view these responsibilities may be exercised without further consent.’ The Councillors feel that the headstones are a low safety risk. The condition of the stakes/ties and headstones will continue be monitored with no further action required at present. Clerk to keep as standard item on rolling agenda.
19. GROUNDS MAINTENANCE
The following items have been reported to the Rangers who will be in the Parish w/c 8th Jan: Footpath7 normally known as Riverside is becoming overgrown; The pavement outside 33,School Lane Northwold requires re-laying as the tarmac is starting to crumble and become unsafe; Clear footpath by the chalk pit at the top of West End (this work has been cancelled with CGM pending the Rangers work); the map provided by Cllr Pointeer at the December meeting was forwarded on with information about the areas which are overgrown with ivy and the hedges and grass verges which need cutting back; and the cutting back of the hedge at Methwold Rd Bus Stop travelling towards Whittington was also included.
Cllr Nickles confirmed that he has the web link to show the footpath numbers in the Parish and he will circulate this.
It was confirmed that J&M Pest Control had been instructed for Whittington Recreation Ground mole removal.
20. GRIT BIN for Whittington
A cost for a new Grit bin for Whittington has been requested from Highways but not yet received. Clerk to chase.
21. THE CROWN INN NORTHWOLD
Cllr Anderson reported that the 6 month moratorium period has commenced. The owners have notified the Borough Council of their intention to dispose of the asset. Several events are planned for 2018 to raise capital for the potential community purchase. The Inland Revenue is examining the stakeholder offer of the Crown Inn Preservation Group.
22. PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND UPDATES
i. The following applications were received with deadlines to comment falling between meetings. All Councillors were consulted on the applications in December 2017 via email in line with the Planning Protocol 2017 and no objections were raised. All were responded to before their deadlines for comments on this basis:
a. 17/02260/F, Erection of single and two-storey office extension and overbuild to existing single-storey office block at Big K Charcoal Merchants Whittington Hill, Whittington, King’s Lynn, Norfolk. No objections raised.
b. 17/02309/F, Siting of mobile home to provide residential accommodation for agricultural worker at The Barns Methwold Road Whittington Norfolk PE33 9TH No objections raised.
c. 17/02310/F, Construction of general purpose agricultural building (re-submission of 17/00061/F) at The Barns Methwold Road, Whittington, Norfolk PE33 9TH. No objections raised.
ii. To note all new planning decisions
a. 17/01282/F The Laurels, Northwold. Permission to vary dimensions of extension. Application approved.
iii. It was also noted that application 17/01873/F Replacement poultry shed, construction of managers bungalow, erection of feed bins, dead bird shed, general purpose block, water tank and pump house and construction of roadway and hardstanding areas Didlington Site Little London Road Northwold Norfolk had been withdrawn.
23. FINANCE & POLICIES
Th accounts to January 2nd 2018 were accepted and cheques to be signed and payments approved in accordance with the table below. Prop Cllr Sharp, 2nd Cllr Nickles, All agreed.
CASHBOOK BANK RECONCILIATION 2nd January 2018
Receipts for approval 02.01.18
Paying In slip Description Amount
Payments/cheques for approval 02.01.18
Direct Debit Payee Description Amount
1.12.17 EON Electricity Nov 17 83.40
8.12.17 Wave (Anglian Water) Water, Burial Ground Dec 17 1.72
Subtotal Direct Debits 85.12
Cheque Payee Description Amount
2156 Westcotec Streetlight maintenance Dec 17 19.10
2157 CGM Tree Management Plan Dec 17 1020.00
2158 CGM Grounds Maintenance Dec 17 388.06
2159 Glasdon Dog Waste Bin 25l Hovells Lane 103.82
2160 N Cooper Clerk Salary and Mileage Dec 17 314.46
Subtotal Cheques 1845.44
Cash sheet Balance and Bank Reconciliation 2nd January 2018
31st March 2017 YE Balance Brought Forward: £29,508.34
Add Total Receipts to date £24,145.16 £53,653.50
Less Total Payments to date £22,133.38
CASHBOOK BALANCE 2nd January 2018 £31,520.12
Bank Balance @20.11.17 Statement no.1 £34,744.98
Add uncleared receipts £0.00 £34,744.98
Minus uncleared approved payments £1,294.30
Minus new payments for approval cheques 2156-2160 plus Direct Debits £1,930.56 £3,224.86
Reconciled Balance 2.1.18 £31,520.12
There were no new requests.
25. TO CONSIDER MEETING IN WHITTINGTON OCCASIONALLY
This was discussed in detail. There is a meeting area in the back of Christ Church which could be used. Cllr Pointeer proposed meeting twice per year in Whittington, this was seconded by Cllr Human. A vote was taken on this; the votes for and against were equal and therefore the Chair took the casting vote and determined that two dates per year at Whittington would be agreed on a trial basis and dependant on the confirmation of adequate parking arrangements. Whittington Councillors were requested to bring two suggested dates to the next meeting and Cllr Smith agreed to confirm parking arrangements.
Before the meeting closed Mr Adrian Jenkinson was given formal thanks and recognition for all of the extensive work that he has undertaken for the village over the years. He will be leaving the Parish before the next meeting and will be greatly missed.
26. ITEMS FOR AGENDA OF NEXT MEETING – To be held on Tuesday 6th February 2018.
No additional items were raised.
With nothing more to discuss the meeting closed at 8.50pm
Chairman: __________________________________ Date: __________________