Northwold and Whittington Parish Council – Ordinary Meeting
Tuesday 3rd April 2018, 7.30pm
Northwold Village Hall
PRESENT: Cllr R. Crisp (Chairperson), Cllr C. Anderson, Cllr M. Peake, Cllr C Sharp, Cllr I Quinn, Cllr G Gillett, Cllr H Hogan, Cllr N Nickles, Cllr C Pointeer and Mrs N. Cooper, Clerk.
Also Present: Cllr M Storey (NCC)
There were 3 members of the public.
1. PUBLIC FORUM
The resident representing planning application 18/00389/F New development of 6 new houses with new vehicular access at Meadow Farm Lodge Church Lane Whittington Norfolk PE33 9TF provided printed copies of the plans for the housing development for the reference of the Councillors. With reference to the minutes of the Parish Council in February it was stated by the representative that the developer shouldn’t be responsible for the maintenance of the community amenity land. It was clarified that the minutes stated ‘that long term grounds maintenance responsibilities should be considered by any developer’ and therefore that responsibilities should be clearly agreed as part of the project. It was noted that £100,000 will go towards affordable housing and community infrastructure. The Parish Council stated that they felt the scheme as a whole is a marvellous idea.
Dumping of rubbish on the roadside at Hovell’s Lane was raised as an issue. The Parish Clerk will report this to the Clean Up Team. The rubbish is near the gateway of an owned field, the Clerk was asked to write to the owner to make them aware of the issue and to ask them if they knew where it may have come from.
2. LOCAL AUTHORITY REPORTS
i. Cllr Storey (NCC) advised that during the cold spell there were 22 gritting ‘actions’. 49 gritters in use covering 46,000+ miles and using 7000 tonnes of sand and salt. 80-90 farmers helped along with some 4 wheel drive owners. The hours worked totalled around 7,500 and cost was around £800,000. The £6,000 allocated to Cllr Storey has now been attributed to projects and there is a new allocation for the 18/19 financial year. Cllr Storey has spoken with the head of NCC Highways Safety Team about the Methwold Road / A134 junction safety concerns and they visited the junction mid-March. A report on the site visit is awaited. The Clerk noted down the contact name and email to follow this up.
The issue of significant pot holes in the County was discussed and also the new charging structure at Council Waste Recycling Centres. An increase in fly tipping is not anticipated by the County Council and the charges should save around £280,000 pa.
The issue of cats eyes being removed from the A134, ready for newer replacements, was discussed as the surface has been left proud in the meantime. Cllr Pointeer to report to Highways Safety.
The possibility of reducing the speed limit on the A134 was queried by a resident. It was noted that at this point it is not being pursued by NCC Highways.
ii. Cllr Peake advised that he has spoken again with planners about the car park proposals for School Lane with regards to the entry/exit proposals. The Planning Officers are now in agreement with the layout on the proposed plans.
3. ACCEPTANCE OF APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies were received from Cllr David Human and Cllr Susan Smith. These were accepted.
4. MEMBERS’ DECLARATION OF INTERESTS (for items on the Agenda)
None were raised.
5. TO APPROVE AND SIGN THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The minutes were approved by all Councillors present with two spelling corrections and the minutes were signed by the Chairman as a true record of the meeting held on 6th March 2018. The final version will be available on the website.
6. REPORTS AND MATTERS ARISING FROM MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS (for information only)
Cllr Sharp has been advised by a resident that there are some thorny bushes by the slide at Northwold Recreation Ground that need to be cleared and the resident also noted that they felt the grass had been well cut. It was also noted that the railings around the car park could do with being painted. Clerk to report bushes to TTSR again.
Cllr Human has reported that the Whittington Defibrillator awareness session was well attended and a reminder was given for the Northwold session which will be held at Northwold Village Hall on 24th April 7-9pm.
The Clerk advised that quotes had been sought from EDF and npower for the unmetered electricity supply to the streetlights but EDF are not talking any new contracts on and npower has not responded. It was agreed that EON should continue to be the supplier for now.
i. Newsletters CPRE, Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Association of Local Councils. Noted.
ii. Consultation: draft Norfolk Access Improvement Plan (2018 – 2028) Noted
iii. Norfolk Constabulary: Front counters at Downham Market Police Station to close end Mar 18. Engagement surgeries at Downham Market Thursdays 11am-1pm from 5th April. Noted
iv. Letter from Northwold resident: Pavements, Potholes, and Dumping in Hovell’s Lane Discussed within public forum
v. Complaint from Northwold: bins being left outside boundary of property in West End Clerk asked to send a letter on behalf of the Parish Council.
vi. Email about Parish Council Networking Meeting, Highways Dept 10th April. No availability to attend.
vii. Email about Norfolk Constabulary Update meeting. Cllr Anderson to attend if available.
viii. Email with initial assessment on Northwold War Memorial from Historic England. Clerk asked to forward to A Howarth for comments.
ix. Final Recommendations for Revised Ward Boundaries, BCKLWN. This was received on the day of the meeting and has not yet been seen by all. The recommendations show that Northwold will now be part of the Methwold Ward, rather than the Denton Ward. There will be no changes to the Parish Council. Cllr Storey was asked for an update on what this means and he advised it is to reduce the amount of ward Councillors and to create a more even number of Parishioners within each ward.
8. SCHOOL PARKING
The Planning Application for the School Lane Car Park is due to go to Planning Committee on 9th April. The Parish Council approved of Cllr Andersons offer to attend the meeting and speak in support of the plan All Agreed. Objections from NCC highways regarding the location of the entry and exit points are delaying planning approval. Planning Officers have agreed the original proposals submitted by the Parish Council and are recommending approval to the Planning Committee. Cllr Anderson has submitted a letter of support for the application ahead of the Committee meeting. Recommendations from the Planning Officers on the application include; the exit from the car park should be widened to 3.5m (although it does show as 7m on the plan); surface water drainage arrangements must be adequate; advise entrance width min 4.8m to allow vehicles to pass each other (the removal of the roadside gate posts and the widening of the access with gravel to comply was discussed – Cllr Anderson will further query this at the committee meeting); parallel visibility splay must be 2.4m back from the highway ( this should be achievable with minimal changes necessary). The removal of the gates was agreed if necessary for planning approval All agreed. It was noted that there are separate gates to the cemetery and these would not be altered.
Cllr Anderson discussed the concerns received by email from a parishioner regarding the Car Park proposals and advised that these have been addressed by the Planning Officers in their recommendations to the Planning Committee. Surface water drainage: there have been no objections from the Environment Agency with regards to this and they have stated that there should be no impact as there is no material change to the surface when using the ground reinforcement mesh. Noise: parking will be in association to existing events therefore noise is unlikely to increase. A sign will be installed to say ‘No Overnight Parking’. Light Pollution: no lighting is proposed. Litter: as usage will be limited it is not anticipated that there will be an increase in litter. Oil Pollution: No objections raised by the Environment Agency. Congestion: with clear signage the car park should ease congestion. Impact on A134: should have no impact.
Cllr Sharp will keep the school updated on project progression.
9. RECEIVE UPDATE ON GDPR WORK
The Parish Council adopted Working Party Terms of Reference to enable Cllr Pointeer, Cllr Quinn, Cllr Hogan and also Cllr Nickles (agreed at the meeting) to meet with the Clerk prior to the May meeting to review GDPR documentation for approval by the Parish Council. A Retention Policy was also adopted to facilitate clear understanding of what documents should be retained and how long for. The Clerk will send around a pack of documents to the Working Party for review with suggested dates to meet before the May meeting. This will be copied to all Councillors. The Clerk will place the adopted documents on the website.
With the Chairs agreement item 12 was brought forward for discussion before the budget review.
12. PARISH PARTNERSHIP
i. The 16/17 footbridge scheme was discussed. This had been approved for Parish Partnership funding based upon a brief prepared by a previous Councillor, which was costed based on his expert experience and used some voluntary labour. The need to upgrade the footbridge was discussed in detail but it was concluded that without the expertise on the Council now, that the project could not be pursued on the basis of the original plans. It was agreed that the improvements should be revisited as a possible future project and that the Clerk should decline the funding at this time on behalf of the Parish Council.
ii. The Parish Partnership match funding for the two submitted bids has been approved for 18/19. The two projects were for a Trod at the Methwold Road bus stop at a total project cost of £4800 with a 50% contribution requested by cheque from the Parish Council to NCC, and the purchase of a SAM2 (Speed Indicator Device with Slow Down) at a total project cost of £3950 with the Parish Council to make the order and recharge 50% from NCC. It was agreed that both of these projects should be progressed and approval was give to sign the documents, send the £2400 cheque for the Trod to NCC, and order the SAM2. Prop CP, 2nd NN, All agreed. Clerk to progress.
10. REVIEW 2018/19 BUDGET and current commitments
The budget was reviewed and some minor amendments approved. The Clerk will publish the budget on the website.
11. REVIEW QUOTES FOR TREE MANAGEMENT PLAN WORKS
Quotes for the Tree Management Plan were discussed. Three were received from CGM, CP Tree Services and Golden Tree Surgeons. The first two companies quoted for all of the works detailed in the Tree Management Plan. The third advised that in his opinion not all of the treeworks detailed within the plan needed to be completed this year and provided a lower price which was reflective of the more urgent works which need completing now. The Council discussed the approaches taken and all agreed that Golden Tree Surgeons should be appointed to undertake the reduced plan on the basis of the lower quote compared work for work and on the basis of the advice given, with a total quoted cost of £2580. The Council will reassess whether to use them again at the end of the year. Clerk asked to appoint Golden Tree Surgeons and ask them to let the Parish Council if they see anything additional that requires addressing above their initial recommendations.
13. GENERAL REPAIRS
a. Play Maintain are planning to undertake the play area repairs in April.
b. The siting of the new dog waste bin originally intended for Inghams Lane was discussed, there have been some concerns from a neighbouring resident regarding the original planned location. It was agreed that an alternative location along Pinfold Lane next to the 30mph post should be used. All agreed. Cllr Anderson to progress.
c. The noticeboard opposite the old Northwold Tile Centre was discussed. The current sign is not strong enough for hinged doors to be mounted on it. The condition of the noticeboard is very poor and it is well used. A replacement was discussed but must be one which does not lock. It was noted that a new house is being built facing onto the site of the noticeboard. It was agreed that the decision on the board would be deferred until the new house is built. Clerk asked to contact the Village Life and request a notice to ask all those residents who have posted notices in the noticeboard and elsewhere in the village to remove all those which have expired.
d. Cllr Anderson advised that he has been approached by Northwold Sports and Social Club about some roof repairs required. Cllr Sharp agreed to go back to the Club and request three comparable quotes for the May meeting. Clerk to place on May agenda.
Cllr Gillett advised that Northwold Old Cemetery is looking well maintained although there are some trees hanging over to a neighbours garden. Clerk to action works to remedy this as soon as possible. At Northwold New Cemetery three of the staked headstones are feeling loose. Cllr Crisp advised that PR Bowers and Sons, the local funeral directors has provided advice that ground anchors can be installed at a cost of £150 per memorial. A Howarth has previously tried to source relatives of those stones that are loose but has been unable to locate them. It was agreed that the three loose stones should be fitted with ground anchors as an emergency health and safety action. All agreed. Cllr Crisp and Cllr Gillett to progress. It was noted that a separate memorial has been reset since the last meeting as it was believed to have been pushed over. This was resolved without direct Parish Council involvement. Cllr Gillett advised that there is a bench requiring repair at the cemetery. Cllr Gillett was asked to identify whether it is a privately owned bench.
A Howarth has asked for some crosses labelled with ‘Reserved’ for reserved burial plots. Clerk to ask A Howarth to order these and recharge the Parish Council.
The Clerk read out the revised cemetery charges as updated by A Howarth based on the discussions at the last meeting. Some additional adjustments had been made to reflect the pattern of changes agreed to. These were approved by all. Clerk to update the Cemetery Policy on the website to include these.
15. GROUNDS MAINTENANCE The Clerk was asked to investigate with TTSR why grass cuttings were left on site. Ragwort on the Northwold Rec Ground was discussed, it was agreed not to spray this but to keep an eye on it between cuts. The resident presenting planning application 18/00389/F New development of 6 new houses at Whittington advised that there are no mature trees at the proposed development.
Cllr Nickles advised that there is a damaged brick parapet on the bridge by Watermill Farm, the first bridge on the way to Foulden. Clerk to report to highways, Cllr Nickles asked to confirm location on google maps if possible.
Cllr Crisp provided a list of potholes seen in Northwold. Clerk to report these.
17. THE CROWN INN NORTHWOLD
Cllr Anderson advised that there have now been five pop up pubs and that these have all been very successful and well supported by the village. The owner has agreed in principle to selling to the community group and the six month moratorium period ends 12th June. In the meantime fundraising continues towards the possible purchase. No offer has been made yet. More than a Pub has provided some finance towards the project.
18. PLANNING APPLICATIONS AND UPDATES
a. Cllr Human was not present to give an update on the Planning information evening that he attended but the slides have been circulated to all Councillors.
b. The following planning applications received prior to the meeting were discussed:
i. 18/00389/F New development of 6 new houses with new vehicular access at Meadow Farm Lodge Church Lane Whittington Norfolk PE33 9TF. Full support was given for this application and the Parish Council stated that this is the type of development that they would like to see within the Parish.
ii. 18/00297/F Replacement poultry shed and managers bungalow. Erection of feed bins, dead bird shed, general purpose block, water tank and pump house. Construction of roadway and hardstanding areas at Didlington Site Little London Road Northwold Norfolk . No Comment.
iii. 16/01590/F Variation of condition 9 of planning permission 2/02/1752/CU – Conversion of former Mill and associated buildings to form 14 No residential units and construction of 8 No terraced houses: To amend previously approved drawings at Whittington Mill Whittington Hill Whittington. No Objections.
Clerk to submit these comments to the Planning Authority.
c. Planning decision was noted for 18/00282/F, 17 Church Lane Northwold, Extension, Permitted.
19. FINANCE AND POLICIES
a. The Appointment of Max Bergin as the internal auditor, as per last year, at a cost of £60 was agreed. Clerk to instruct.
b. The Constables Charity Land was discussed, there is a tenancy agreement with a peppercorn rent which expires 1st Jan 2019. The agreement with the tenant is that they make the land workable during the term of the tenancy so that it can then be let out for farming. Any earnings from the land are to help residents with emergency needs. It was requested that the Clerk read through the Tenancy Agreement and determine what the terms of making the land workable are and also investigate how to sell Charity Land. To be placed on the June agenda.
c. The accounts to 3rd April 2018 were accepted and cheques to be signed and payments approved in accordance with the table below.
CASHBOOK BANK RECONCILIATION 3rd April 2018
Receipts for approval 03.04.18
Paying In slip From Description Amount
16-Mar-18 Big Lottery Fund Grant Award Northwold Car Park 6300.00 Cleared statement 5
Payments/cheques for approval 03.04.18
Direct Debit Payee Description Amount
DD EON Electricity Jan 18 77.85 Cleared statement 5
DD Wave ( Anglian Water) Water Mar Payment 5.50 Cleared statement 5
Subtotal Direct Debits 83.35
Cheque Payee Description Amount
2181 Suffolk ALC Payroll 6months to 31.3.17 54.00
Suffolk ALC Payroll 6months to 30.9.17 54.00
Suffolk ALC Payroll 6months to 31.3.18 54.00
2182 C Pointeer Reimburse cost of swing seat WHITT. 65.95
C Pointeer Reimburse cost of Windows Essentials Renewal 50.26
2183 NCooper Clerk Salary Mar 18 334.38
NCooper Clerk Mileage Mar 18 4.95
2184 Ncooper 17/18 Outstanding Annual Leave 168.35
2185 R Crisp Reimburse Key Cutting for NW Rec Ground 4.00
2186 Norfolk CC 50% cost towards Methwold Rd TROD 2400.00
Subtotal Cheques 3189.89
Cash sheet Balance and Bank Reconciliation 3rd April 2018
31st March 2017 YE Balance Brought Forward: £29,508.34
Add Total Receipts to date £30,975.16 £60,483.50
Less Total Payments to date £29,334.58
CASHBOOK BALANCE 3rd April 2018 £31,148.92
Bank Balance @20.03.18 Statement no.5 £34,338.81
Add uncleared receipts £0.00 £34,338.81
Minus uncleared approved payments £0.00
Minus new payments for approval cheques 2181-2186 £3,189.89 £3,189.89
Reconciled Balance 03.4.18 £31,148.92
20. TRAINING: No new requests
21. ITEMS FOR AGENDA OF NEXT MEETING – To be held on 1st May 2018 ANNUAL PARISH MEETING plus ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING 7.00pm Northwold Village Hall.
i. Cllr Pointeer raised an issue about house names being removed from the Post Office database and being replaced with house numbers. This is affecting homeowners as their housename does not exist using database type forms and this is causing confusion with deliveries. The Clerk was asked to contact the BCKLWN Streetnaming dept to ask why this has occurred and place on May agenda.
With nothing more to discuss the meeting closed at 9.45pm
Chairman: __________________________________ Date: __________________