Northwold and Whittington Parish Council – Ordinary Meeting
Tuesday 5th December 2017, 7.30pm
Northwold Village Hall
PRESENT: Cllr R. Crisp (Chairperson), Cllr C. Anderson, Cllr M. Peake, Cllr C Sharp, Cllr G Gillet, Cllr Susan Smith, Cllr David Human, Cllr Nigel Nickles, Cllr C Pointeer and Mrs N. Cooper, Clerk.
There were 2 members of the public.
1. PUBLIC FORUM
Mr Lavender, on behalf of the Northwold Sports and Social Club, requested permission to use Northwold Recreation Ground in August 2018 for a vintage car and bike show. This was agreed by all.
Mr Lavender also advised of recent refurbishment works to the Sports and Social Club including the purchase of seating and a party tent with folding tables and chairs, the plastering of ceilings, new lighting, bar area improvements, repainting of interior, the blocking up of an unused door and of plans to replace the carpet and to clad the exterior of the extra room on the end. The cladding will cost £4,000 – 5,000 excl vat. The Sports and Social Club have already committed £4,500 – £5,000 to the refurbishment works and they ask whether the Parish Council would consider providing a grant to help towards costs. Clerk to place on January Agenda.
2. LOCAL AUTHORITY REPORTS
i. Cllr Storey advised that he had received an email from the Clerk requesting assistance in speaking to the Highways Dept regarding the safety concerns at the Northwold/A134 junction. Cllr Storey has spoken to Andy Wallace and asked him to set up a site meeting with a Councillor which Cllr Storey would also plan to attend. The Clerk has not yet received a response from Andy and Cllr Storey will pursue this again. Cllr Storey will also find out the statutory response time for emails from the County Council.
Cllr Storey attended the Police and Crime Commissioners meeting at County Hall last week. They discussed budget setting and there is a consultation on the NCC website to ask if the public would pay more than the imposed 2% increase in budgets. The consultation period ends on 22nd December 2017 and all thoughts are invited.
All County Council led Christmas events are on the website.
ii. There was no update from Cllr Peake
3. ACCEPTANCE OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
There were none.
4. MEMBERS’ DECLARATION OF INTERESTS (for items on the Agenda) – Issue of Dispensations
Cllr Sharp declared an interest in discussions regarding finance assistance for the Northwold Sports and Social Club and both Cllr Sharp and Cllr Crisp declared an interest regarding financial assistance to Northwold Village Hall.
5. TO APPROVE AND SIGN THE MINUTES OF THE ORDINARY MEETING held 7th November 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 7th November 2017. The final version will be available on the website.
6. REPORTS AND MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
There were none. The bins at Northwold Rec are in place and the no dogs allowed sign is also installed. The action list for the Risk Assessment report was discussed. See minutes on point 14.
7. COUNCILLOR VACANCIES UPDATE
A request to be considered for co-option to the Parish Council has been received from Ms H. Hogan. The advert for the vacancies has just gone into the Village Life and some additional interest has been shown. It was decided to defer the co-option decision until January. The decision based on area of residency was also discussed and it was noted that the vacancies are for Northwold Councillor representatives. The Whittington seats are already represented by Cllr Peake and Cllr Pointeer.
i. Newsletters CPRE, Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Association of Local Councils
ii. Email from Mr Parfitt explaining that the painting of the telephone box should wait until the weather warms up and that all materials will be donated by Mr Martin Goodrham. Clerk asked to respond with thanks.
9. TO DISCUSS QUOTES FOR 2018 GROUNDS MAINTENANCE
There quotes for 2018 Grounds Maintenance were requested in accordance with the Financial Regulations but only two were received. SP Landscapes advised that they were unable to quote as they were too busy. It was agreed by all on this basis that the appointment would be based on the two quotes received. The quotes were based on the full grounds maintenance schedule as agreed by Councillors at the October 2017 meeting. The two quotes were:
TTSR Ltd Total for 1 year £3940 plus vat (2nd yr £4018, 3rd yr £4098 plus vat)
CGM Ltd Total for 1 year £4005 plus vat per annum
Cllr Crisp and Cllr Smith advised that they had met Wil from TTSR on site as he had requested a site visit and that they were very impressed with his attitude and feel confident that he will deliver a good job. It was agreed that TTSR would be appointed for 1 year initially, on the basis of lower cost and higher anticipated service delivery and that the contract would be reviewed at the end of 2018 for consideration for continuation. Prop CA, 2nd SS, All agreed.
10. TO DISCUSS TREE MANAGEMENT PLAN AND RESOLVE ON ACTION REQUIRED
This plan is still awaited. Clerk to place on Jan agenda.
11. TO DISCUSS REQUEST FROM NORTHWOLD VILLAGE HALL TRUSTEES FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR NEW LIGHTING
The request from Northwold Village Hall trustees for 50% grant or loan towards new LED lighting for the hall was discussed It was agreed that £650 as requested would be provided as a grant. Prop CA, 2nd MP, 7 agreed, RC and CS abstained due to interests.
12. SCHOOL PARKING / ALLOTMENTS
i. CA advised that he has quotes from three companies for ground reinforcement mesh. These were circulated and discussed. The mesh comes in rolls and the costs include pegs. Some samples of the mesh were looked at. The mesh can be laid by persons other than the contractor, the ground would need to be levelled and the grass allowed to grow through the mesh, once it is in place, before it can be used. The layout of the car park was discussed as it should minimise turning which could churn up the ground in wet weather. The lowest price for the mesh was from Ultimate One who are based in King’s Lynn. A local firm would be useful in case of troubleshooting. If the grass needs time to recover the car park may need to be closed occasionally. It was agreed in principle to progress the project based on confirmation of life expectancy of the product, the difference in performance between the various thicknesses and subject to a site visit to see the product in use. Prop CS, 2nd CA, 8 agreed, 1 abstained pending a site visit. Cllr Anderson to pursue resolution of the outstanding issues and Clerk to place on January agenda to agree size and costs.
ii. Allotments – Mr Jenkinson has agreed that he is formally willing to relinquish his tenancy agreement for the two allotment plots affected by the car park proposals. It was formally agreed for the Parish Council to terminate the tenancy agreement with Mr Jenkinson as of 5th December 2017 and that no rent would be requested for this year. All agreed.
13. PLAY AREA INSPECTIONS – Cllr Anderson has met with one play area repair company and is due to meet with a second before the January meeting. Costs will be discussed in January. Clerk to place on agenda.
14. RISK ASSESMENT REPORT –
– J Breheny to look at the benches on Northwold Rec Ground and suggest options for repair. (PENDING: CA)
– J Breheny to be asked to strim around dog bin Hovell’s Lane (PENDING: CA)
– J Breheny to be asked to clean Village Sign (PENDING: CA)
– Order a new noticeboard for Little London Road.Cllr Nickles confirmed that the resident whose house faces on to the existing noticeboard has no problem about it being replaced with a new one. Clr Nickles asked to see the catalogue listing for the board to look at colour alternatives and the Clerk will order after confirmation. (Clerk/ Cllr Nickles)
– The BCKLWN has confirmed that they cannot empty a larger dog waste bin for health and safety reasons. It was agreed that an additional plastic 25l bin should be ordered for Inghams Lane. Prop NN, 2nd CS, All agreed. Clerk to progress and make the Borough Council aware when it is received.
15. PARISH PARTNERSHIP
The cost to purchase a SAM2 with three additional posts and brackets would be £3950. It was agreed that the SAM2 should include the facility to record data. Clerk asked to check if the cost includes the £500 for this facility and to proceed on this basis to submit a Parish Partnership funding bid for 50% of the cost for one SAM2 with data recording, three posts and three brackets. All costs are as advised by Andy Wallace. Cllr Nickles and Cllr Pointeer agreed that they would jointly manage the siting and moving of the SAM2 and of the recharging of batteries and downloading of data. Clerk to progress.
16. DISCUSS AND SET THE BUDGET FOR 2018/2019, NOTE COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT GRANT & AGREE PRECEPT REQUEST
The budget was discussed. An A3 spreadsheet showing budget lines taken forward to 2018/19 and current 2017/18 budget and spend plus a wish list for potential projects including the car park, Parish Partnership bids, Village Hall Lighting and General Risk Assessment related works was examined. It was acknowledged that the Council Tax Support Grant had reduced to £277 and would be halved again for 19/20 before it is removed altogether. After consideration it was agreed that the Precept should be kept at its current level of £18,135. Prop CS, 2nd MP All agreed. Clerk to submit the request.
17. APPLICATION FOR ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE STATUS, THE CROWN INN NORTHWOLD
The bid for the Asset of Community Value status has been successful. The Crown Inn will be listed as an asset for 5 years. The owners can seek a review, if they wish, with a January deadline. To start the 6 month moratorium period the owner must give notice of disposal to the Borough Council. This is currently awaited. Clerk to place on Jan agenda.
18. TO RECEIVE RESPONSE FROM HIGHWAYS ABOUT SAFETY ISSUES AT THE NORTHWOLD RD / METHWOLD RD/A134 JUNCTION
The following was read out from David Bullock from Highways:
……………….. most things were addressed by the previous road safety scheme which involved adding side road triggers to the existing warning signs, plus some minor adjustments to the lining through the junction. In terms of road safety, there have been three injury accident recorded in the vicinity of the junction since our scheme. These are supplied via the Police and do not include minor shunts. (One head on collision, one single vehicle loss of control – leaving road to the offside, and one failure to give way collision from the northeast arm of the junction). The County’s speed management strategy would not support a reduction in speed limit to 40mph in a largely rural location such as this. This is because of its usage and the local rural environment. Looking at our previous study, it was identified up that although the sideways visibility to the northwest from the side road was slightly below our desired minimum for a 30/60mph road junction, without the evidence of an ongoing speed related casualty problem we would unlikely consider this a priority to investigate any further. While visibility is not to full design standard, it is not so reduced that we would be apply to DfT requesting a stop line. These are primarily installed where there is a severe visibility issue and vehicles must stop as opposed to giveway. Regarding your final point, the junction has had ‘high risk accident site’ flashing signs installed. These were put up by NCC, based on a list of sites provided to us by Norfolk constabulary
Cllr Storey was asked to pursue the request for stop signs and Clerk to request site visit with Andy Wallace and Councillors. To review in January.
19. BUS STOP METHWOLD ROAD
The Clerk has advised that a formal request for a bus stop for Methwold travelling towards Whittington has been requested with Highways and Transport at NCC. The enquiry will take up to 6 weeks. To review in January.
20. UPDATE ON WHITTINGTON EAM STREETNAMING
The Clerk confirmed that a further objection to the naming had been sent to the Borough Council before the magistrate’s deadline but has had confirmation that this has not been progressed and that the name Old Mill Close has now been formally adopted by the Borough Council.
21. WHITTINGTON DEFIBRILLATOR
Cllr Human proposed that he progresses plans to deliver training on using the defibrillator in both villages along with basis life support training. The intention is to remove any uncertainties on using the defibrillator. Cllr Human is willing to take on responsibilities for both defibrillators. This was supported by all. To review in January.
22. COMMUNITY SPEEDWATCH
There has been no community interest in this sent to the Clerk so far. There is Parish Council support if this is progressed. To review this if Community interest is forthcoming,
23. TO DISCUSS WHETHER TO SUBSCRIBE TO PARISH ONLINE
The site had been used and the Clerk advised that a subscription should not be started but that it should be reconsidered should it be needed in the future.
The Clerk advised that Bonnets have confirmed that they have installed supporting stakes at Northwold Cemetery but that they are dissatisfied with the work as stakes could not be placed close enough to the headstones to fully support them. The stakes and headstones were being held together by cable ties. Bonnets will not charge the balance of the quote if they leave the job like this. Cllr Gillet advised that he has examined the work and that the headstones are more stable than they were before. Clerk was asked to go back to Bonnets and ask if they can install a block between the stake and the headstone and secure it to the headstone with a resin or glue. Clerk to contact Bonnets and report back to the January meeting.
25. GROUNDS MAINTENANCE
Northwold Footpath 7 is becoming overgrown. There are a number of areas in Whittington requiring footpath clearance. Clerk to report both to Highways / Rangers. There is also a need for a grit bin in the residential area in Whittington behind the petrol station. Clerk to request this from Highways. Cllr Storey added that there is a public consultation from NCC on their website regarding gritting schedule reductions in relation to budget setting and advised all to view this and comment. It was also requested that the mole catcher be asked to clear the moles from Whittington Rec. Clerk to progress.
26. PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND UPDATES
i. All planning applications received prior to the meeting were discussed:
– 17/02167/F Proposed conversion of existing Northwold Tile Centre to a 2 bedroom dwelling at Northwold Tile Centre Methwold Road Northwold Norfolk IP26 5LJ. No objections raised.
ii. All planning decisions received prior to the meeting were noted:
– 17/01614/F Northwold Watermill Stud Farm Little London Road Northwold Thetford Norfolk IP26 5NJ – New 2 storey extension replacing single storey extension Application Permitted 13 November 2017 Delegated Decision
27. FINANCE & POLICIES:
Th accounts to December 5th 2017 were accepted and cheques to be signed and payments approved in accordance with the table on the next page.
There were no new requests. Cllr Pointeer asked for a new list of Councillors. Clerk to circulate.
29. TO DISCUSS AND SET DATE OF JANUARY MEETING
It was agreed that as the date for the January meeting is the 2nd that the Clerk would set the agenda one week prior to Christmas. No further additions would be allowed after this point and would need to be deferred until February.
30. ITEMS FOR AGENDA OF NEXT MEETING
• To consider meeting in Whittington occasionally.
• Discuss and consider grant for Northwold Sports and Social Club
• Co-option of New Councillors
• Tree Management Plan
• School Parking / decision on formal progression towards planning and agreement of size and costs.
• To consider Play Area repair costs.
• Risk assessment report actions – review
• The Crown Inn ACV Update
• Safety issues A134 / Northwold junctions
• Bus Stop Methwold Road
• Defibrillator training
• Cemetery headstone stakes -response from Bonnets
With nothing more to discuss the meeting closed at 9.15pm
Chairman: __________________________________ Date: __________________