War Memorial Gary Trouton

Minutes of Stoke Ferry Parish Council Meeting

November 2009

Minutes of the September meeting of Stoke Ferry Parish Council


Minutes of Stoke Ferry Parish Council Meeting held in the Community Centre

At 7.30pm on Wednesday 16 September 2009

Those Attending: Cllr Mrs T Mann (Chairman), Cllr Mrs S Lansdell-Williams (Vice-chair), Cllr Mrs R Mendoza, Cllr M Precey, Cllr Mrs M Leamon, Cllr J Nicholas-Letch, Mrs C Hardy (Clerk), 6 Members of the public

Apologies: Apologies were received from Cllr J Fiedler, Cllr D Summers, BC C Sampson and CC T White

1. Minutes of the last Meeting: Cllr Mrs Mendoza proposed acceptance, seconded by Cllr Mrs Leamon

2. Matters Arising:

a) Police Matters - PCSO Clipperton had reported she had dropped a letter to residents in School Lane re motorbikes and spoken to some of them, but they had not had any significant problems.

b) Parking Lynn Road - This now seems to have improved considerably

c) Speed Limits Wretton Road - Cllr Nicholas-Letch advised that the School has a travel plan and that this matter should be brought up at the next Governors Meeting by the Council's Representative

d) Lynn Road - the Chairman had spoken to Highways saying more than six weeks had gone by and the work had still not been carried out. Highways to be chased up.

e) Fence/Footpath near The Moorings/The Old Bull - there is no further information at the moment.

f) Anglian Water - Cllr Precey advised that the problem of a sewage smell has now been remedied.

g) Community Transport - in the absence of Cllr Summers an update will be discussed at the next meeting.

h) Furlong Road - condition of roadway was being pursued by Cllr Nicholas-Letch who informed the meeting this was a private matter and the PC did not need to be involved.

i) Fire on By-Pass - The Chairman advised the meeting that still no information seems to be forthcoming. CC White had informed her he did not think there was any particular problem with this site. It was agreed that a letter to be forwarded to the Environmental Health Department, copied to Planning and the Health & Safety Department, to be in the form of questions. The Clerk will prepare an appropriate letter for everyone's approval before being sent.

j) Playing Field Planning Application - the Chairman informed the meeting that this application was submitted under the Parish Council name, there was an error on the application form stating that the PC owned the land, which they do not, because of this and other minor technicalities the application has been delayed. The Agent is sorting out the problems.

k) Weeds on Footpaths in Fairfield Road - this had been reported to Highways who informed the PC that the second round of spraying was about to commence. Cllr Mrs Leamon to inform the Clerk if there is no improvement in a couple of weeks time.

l) Screw on Play Equipment in Playing Fields - this has been inspected but no problem was found

m) Rubbish Near Takeaway Shops - currently no problems

n) Staggered Barrier Fairfield Road/Oak Road - Cllr Precey advised that the new barrier had not prevented youngsters on motor bikes speeding along this area. A meeting had been held with Highways who were willing to add a further barrier/some oak posts. A letter had also been received from Bennett's saying they were not prepared to put a barrier at the end of the foopath in Border Road. Again Highways had inspected the area and were prepared to erect a suitable barrier. It was agreed that a further meeting be arranged with Highways to discuss the specific type of barrier for this area. This will be attended by Cllrs Mann, Precey, Leamon and the Clerk.

o) Allotments Meeting - A Meeting will be held in Downham Market on Monday 21 September to discuss allotments - this will be attended by Cllrs Mann, Precey and the Clerk.

p) Foliage Growing Over Bus Stops in Bridge Road - this has now been cut back

q) Footpath From School Lane to Wretton - Cllr Lansdell-Williams had inspected this and did not feel there was any problem with the way the potholes had been filled. Cllr Precey had also inspected the area and agreed.

r) Hedge - Bridge Road - The Clerk had written to the owner who advised this will be cut when he is next in the village.

Open Public Meeting

The Chairman informed those present that this was held to get the views of the public relating to the development on the Lynn Road Site for a replacement Village Hall and approximately 13 Affordable Houses. The meeting took the form of questions being asked of the Developer, Agent, Representatives from the BCKLWN relating to the 106 Agreement, the questions being answered by the appropriate person. At the conclusion the chairman of the meeting BC Sampson asked for a straw poll - those against, then those for - there was an overwhelming majority for the proposals. The notes of this meeting will be published in The Pump. Cllr Nicholas-Letch asked if the vote was specifically for the village hall.

Buckenham Drive:

Surface tests have been carried out on the road and footpath surfaces - Highways have informed the PC that no problems were found with either surface, they are still awaiting ae printed report from the Lab. The Chairman advised that she felt it would be a good idea to inspect the area again during the bad weather in winter. Highways advised the problems could improve with time. With regard to the drainage problems Highways would like photographic evidence of the areas affected by standing water before taking any action.

Following the last meeting the Clerk was requested to seek costings for the transfer of certain parcels of land from the Borough Council to the Parish Council. The areas in question are the grassed area in front of bungalows 1-4 and the hammerhead. The total cost including legal and surveyors fees would be £1500.00. Cllr Nicholas-Letch stated that if these areas are transferred the PC would be responsible for maintenance costs. The Chairman suggested that contact be made with Freebridge Housing to establish if they would be prepared to contribute towards the costs, particularly the area required for parking hardstands.

It was agreed that the Clerk speak to Freebridge to establish if it is their intention to provide hardstands and if they would be prepared to share the financial burden involved for the transfer of land.

Footpath from Buckenham Drive to Lynn Road, the Clerk had obtained costings for the repairs to part of this path from the Performance and Cost Manager at Highways, for the section from BD to the tree, this was in the sum of £1.3K.

It was agreed that a site meeting be held to establish once and for all who owns this particular section of the path. The remainder from the tree to Lynn Road belongs to the PC.

Yellow Lines Furlong Road:

The Chairman had spoken to Highways regarding this matter, who in turn had inspected the area in question. They informed her that they were not keen on yellow lines, but would be prepared to put an H Box there instead which would be enforceable by the police who could ask vehicles to move on. Cllr Nicholas-Letch stated that the school bus stops at this point, also queried if the post office trade would be affected, he felt nothing should be done. He also felt that it would be a good idea to involve Police Management to look at the situation and obtain their advice. Cllr Precey felt parking in this area should be controlled.

Cllr Nicholas-Letch proposed, seconded by Cllr Precey that the meeting be closed and opened up for public comment. The meeting therefore closed.

* It was felt that the Postmistress should be notified of these possible changes

* There is already a dropped kerb at this point whereby parking should not take place

* Has there been an accident at this point if not the police would not be interested

* If parking measures required here why not at the Buckenham Drive corner near the Fish Shop

* If motorists abide by the Highway Code there would not be a problem

* Could the PC have a sign asking people to park more safely

* Road markings only efficient if the police or traffic wardens are present.

Meeting closed to the public and open for continuence of business

Cllr Nicholas-Letch proposed that the Police Traffic Manager at Swaffham be contacted and his advice sought. The Clerk to forward a letter. Carried

Land Sub-Committee:

The Land Sub-Committee met on Tuesday 25 August 2009, Cllr Lansdell-Williams informed the meeting that it had been established the PC owned the area known as The Hill and a Freehold Parcel of Land to the rear of The Cemetery in Furlong Drove. Various parcels of land now come under the auspices of the Stoke Ferry Relief in Need Charity, the exact locations are not currently known, the PC has written to the Charity asking where they are so they can be eliminated from our searches, no response received so far. Cllr Nicholas-Letch had carried out searches in the Register of Common Land which has highlighted The Common is registered in the name of Cyril Woods Sanders (now deceased) the ownership has passed to his son. DEFRA have advised that it is the responsibility of the owner of such land to pay for removal of rubbish, fly tipping and any associated costs, a letter has been sent to the current owner asking if he would be prepared to contribute towards such costs. DEFRA have also confirmed it is in order for farmers to lay poison as long as it is regularly checked and monitored. The width of School Lane was also discussed, also Highways asked to comment on this and they are quite happy with the current width.

The notes of the meeting were approved by the Full Parish Council

Cemetery Sub Committee

A meeting was held on Tuesday 8 September 2009 to discuss the current fees charged for The Cemetery. The Chairman outline the content of the meeting and read out the suggested new fees. Cllr Nicholas-Letch felt that the suggested fee for Reserving an Earthen Grave for 99 years was too high.

It was proposed by Cllr Nicholas-Letch that this fee should be £100, seconded by Cllr Mrs Mendoza.


Cllr Nicholas-Letch did not agree with the proposed size of plots in the Garden of Remembrance suggesting they should be 24" x 24" which would allow for at least 15 years before the area would need extending. The Chairman thought that as more people were being cremated now 10 years would seem a more reasonable estimate.

Cllr Nicholas-Letch proposed the size of plot should be 24" x 24" allowing 1ft between each. There was no seconder.

Not carried

Cllr Lansdell-Williams proposed the size of the plot should be 20" x 20", seconded by Cllr Precey

5 Members Voted for the proposal 1 Member voted against.

The proposal was therefore carried. Cllr Nicholas-Letch asked for it to be minuted that he voted against.

Layout of Newly Consecrated Area - The Chairman informed the meeting that a site meeting will be held to mark out this area. Mr Bowers funeral director had kindly agreed to give advice on this matter. Those to attend this meeting will be The Chairman, Cllrs Mrs Lansdell-Williams, Mrs Leamon and the Clerk. The Clerk to arrange the meeting.

The Chairman asked Cllr Nicholas-Letch for his notes relating to The Cemetery also contact details for the Probation Service.


The Chairman outlined the purpose of the meeting saying that Cllr Nicholas-Letch had queried the value of Assets three meetings ago. The Clerk undertook to obtain some current values, which were submitted to the last meeting. As Cllr Nicholas-Letch was not present the Chairman informed that meeting this matter would be discussed following the Cemetery Sub-Committee Meeting. The Clerk read out the current values and the suggested new figures. Cllr Nicholas-Letch queried the sum of £1025 per unit against lighting. The Clerk explained that this was the sum recommended for the replacement of a lighting unit. He also queried the suggested figure for the Bus Shelter, the Chairman explained it was felt that the currently insured figure appeared very high. The Chairman asked the meeting if they were willing to approve the suggested figures and additional items to be insured.

It was proposed by Cllr Precey and seconded by Cllr Lansdell-Williams that the suggested amendments to the insurance policy values together with the additional items be accepted

This was carried by 5 Votes - 1 abstention


The Clerk advised the meeting that when a letter was sent to the owner of the hedge in Bridge Road, it had been suggested that he be asked if he thought this area of land could be used for allotments. He responded that he thought it was a good idea, a letter has been sent asking what figures he would be considering, a reply is awaited.

Annual Audit:

The Clerk informed the meeting that the Annual Audit had taken place, everything was in order, there was just one comment from the Auditors - "The Council should satisfy itself as to the appropriateness of the contractual arrangements for the employment of the clerk, particularly with reference to PAYE/NI Deductions". The Clerk informed the meeting that she was too old to pay NI contributions and declared her pay to the Tax Office.

Purchase of Local Council Administration Book:

The Chairman asked the PC if they would agree to the purchase of this book which she felt would be of benefit both to the Clerk and the Councillors.

It was proposed by Cllr Mrs Leamon seconded by Cllr Mrs Mendoza that this purchase goes ahead

Unanimously Carried

Planning Applications Process

The Chairman suggested that the PC consider joining the e-Consultation Hub as this may make the procedure more efficient and less time needed to consider each application as all Planning Sub-Committee members would received the information at the same time. It was agreed that more information was required before any decision could be made.

It was proposed by Cllr Nicholas-Letch seconded by Cllr Mrs Lansdell-Williams that a meeting be arranged for discussions to take place with representatives of the Borough Council Planning Department.

Agreed by all present

Litter Pick

Because of time constraints and the long Agenda this item was deferred to the next meeting.

More Powers for Parish and Town Councils:

Sustainable Communities Act sets up a "bottom up" process whereby citizens and their councils can drive government action to promote or protect thriving communities. In the final days of the Act being passed Local Councils were omitted from the process by Whitehall officials. Local Works is now campaigning for an amendment Bill to the original Act that will not only formally include Local Councils in the process but will also give then new powers in that process.

Cllr Nicholas-Letch proposed the PC supports the petition, seconded by Cllr Mrs Mann

Approved by all present.

LAG Meetings:

Cllr Mrs Mendoza reported that the PCSO's hotspots for the next eight weeks are Welney, Feltwell and Howdale. The next CAG Meeting is on the 25 September at Marham Village Hall commencing at 7.00pm, open to all members of the public. The next LAG meeting will be on 9 October.

Remembrance Sunday:

It was agreed that members and hopefully members of the public will attend at the War Memorial on The Hill on Sunday 8 November at 11am. Final details will be agreed at the next meeting. A notice to be placed in The Pump.

3. Planning:

Approved by the Borough

Both Full and Listed Building - Raising of boundary wall, retention of roof windows and tiles, replacement windows and doors and wall re-pointing and construction of external staircase and balcony at All Saints House, High Street

Refused by Parish

Conversion of former builders workshop into dwelling at Maltese House, Lynn Road

4. Accounts for Approval

e-on - Direct Debit - £39.40 - Lighting July

MHB Services - £64.38 - Lighting Maintenance August/September

BCKLWN - £32.89 - Collection of Dog Waste The Common

Stoke Ferry Village Hall - £24.00 - Hire of Hall 4 August

Mr Gerald King - £240.00 - Village Cleaning

Mazars - £138.00 - Annual Audit

Mrs C Hardy - £261.76 - Salary for August 2009

Mrs C Hardy - £54.71 - Expenses for August 2009

Statement of Account as at 10 August 2009 - Total Receipts - £11547.36, Less Payments to Date £3980.22

plus un-presented Cheques £413.06 = £7980.20. Balance in Bank as at 11 August (Bank Statement) Community Account £715.30, Business Reserve Account £7264.90.

Cllr Mrs Leamon proposed approval for payment seconded by Cllr Mrs Mendoza

5. Correspondence:

Vion - response to letter re Dukes Head and Millers Arms - to be discussed at Action Plan Committee Meeting

Worshipful Mayor of the BCKLWN - Mayor's Civic Awards for Voluntary Service 2009

BCKLWN Development Services - Notification of new Property Address - Highbury House Lynn Road

NCC Highways - Open Day - Planning and Transportation see how they work behind the scenes of vital services - Tuesday 6 October 2009 between 13.00 and 15.00 hrs - anyone interested please let Clerk know places limited

BCKLWN - Update on Local Government Review

6. Councillors Other Business:

* The Chairman had been informed that the Fly Tipping rubbish on The Common had still not been removed. The Clerk to chase up

* Dog Fouling - this has been a particular problem in the last few weeks, particularly in Fairfield Road/Bradfield Place, some dogs wandering around not on leads. The Dog Warden is dealing with the problem. It would be appreciated if the public could please ensure that their dog is always on a lead, not left unattended thus causing a nuisance and fouling in public places or private gardens.

* It had come to the Chairman's notice that members of the public are not happy with the way the PC is dealing with matters, particularly holding sub-committee meetings. She pointed out that the sub-committees have been set up to discuss matters which would then be brought to the full Parish Council for any final decisions/approval to save time at main meetings. No decisions are made, just recommendations or suggestions. They are normally held at a parish councillors house which in turn saves the parish council a significant amount of money by not hiring a hall, most meetings have been 2-3 hours in length. If any member of the public has a specific problem please let the PC know or a parish councillor. Cllr Lansdell-Williams informed the meeting that it was normal for PC's to set up Sub-Committees.

* Cllr Mrs Leamon reported that a lamp post in Bradfield Place which is situated on the drive between two bungalows has been reversed into on several occasions. The person concerned has asked if a reflective sign could be placed on the lamp post. The Clerk will enquire of the Lighting Maintenance Company.

* Cllr Mrs Mendoza reported several lights out in the village, the Clerk informed the meeting they had been reported.

* Cllr Precey reported a large branch down over the footpath from Bridge Road towards Great Mans Way, near the Old Bull. This will be looked into at a site meeting - see first item in Public Any Other Business.

7. Public Other Business

* Great Mans Way Footpath/Bridge/Path across the A134. In view of these continuing problems it was agreed that a meeting should be set up with David Mills, Chris and Councillors to sort this out once and for all.

* Green Algae gathered under the Aqua duct which is emanating a horrible smell. The Clerk to report this to the Environment Agency.

* Bench on The Common near the Rubbish Bin is covered with nettles - Cllr Nicholas-Letch offered to cut these back. The Chairman thanked him.

* Open Meeting - only part of the site was discussed - the only area relevant to the meeting was the village hall, the southern area of the site had already received planning permission.

* When lamps are replaced on lamp posts, would down lighters be used - this would be discussed at the appropriate time.

* School Lane - ground collapsing

* Why was School Lane tarmacced. Cllr Mrs Leamon informed the meeting that this was agreed when Anglian Water set up their business there, many years ago.

* Buckenham Drive - Light near the Fish Shop on all day. The Clerk to report to MHB.

* Footpath from School Lane to Wretton not passable by anyone with a buggy or wheelchair. The Clerk to report to Highways.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 10.00pm

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Wednesday 28 October 2009 commencing at 7.30pm


Personnel Matters (Presence of Public and Press - Standing Order 41)

Cllr Nicholas-Letch left the meeting.

The Chairman suggested to those present she had been advised that the Parish Council should have a Personnel Committee, who would be responsible for any personnel issues together with the clerks contract, hours, appraisal, salary etc. Because of time restraints it was not possible to go into further details. It was proposed that Cllrs Mrs Lansdell-Williams, Mrs Mann and Mr Precey be appointed to this committee. A meeting will be arranged in the very near future.

Passed Unanimously.

Parish Clerk

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.