Minutes of Stoke Ferry Parish Council
Minutes of the October meeting of Stoke Ferry Parish Council
Minutes of Stoke Ferry Parish Council Meeting held in the Community Centre
At 7.30pm on Wednesday 28 October 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, Cllr J Fiedler, Cllr D Summers, Mrs C Hardy (Clerk), 16 Members of the public
Apologies: Apologies were received from BC C Sampson and PCSO's Watlington
Minutes of the last Meeting: Cllr Nicholas-Letch asked for an amendment to the item "Open Meeting" as follows - "Cllr Sampson affirmed that the vote was specifically for the Village Hall". Cllr Mrs Mendoza proposed acceptance, seconded by Cllr Precey following the amendment being made.
a) Speed Limits Wretton Road - Cllr Mrs Mendoza raised the matter at a recent Governors Meeting but informed the meeting that no one at the school was aware of any travel plan. Cllr Nicholas-Letch reported the document was in draft form round about Easter time.
b) Lynn Road - the road has now been resurfaced.
c) Fence/Footpath near The Moorings/The Old Bull - it was agreed to write to Planning Department to enquire whether or not they had received a planning application for these works and whether they are chasing up the matter.
d) Anglian Water - Cllr Precey advised that the problem of a sewage smell in the Border Road, Oak Road and Manor Road seems to be recurring at intervals. The Clerk to make contact with Anglian Water again.
e) Community Transport - Cllr Summers advised the meeting that he had not pursued this matter, no information has been forthcoming explaining the scheme. Cllr Precey agreed to investigate whether or not a Village Scheme could be implemented - only for journeys from the Village to the Doctors Surgery in Boughton. He will report his findings to the next meeting.
f) Fire on By-Pass - The Chairman advised the meeting that so far a reply had not been received to the letter. The Fire Department had confirmed that the fire was arson, they can only advise on safety issues but not enforce them.
g) Playing Field Planning Application - Cllr Nicholas-Letch had written to the clerk asking for certain information. The Chairman informed the meeting that no minutes were taken of the informal meeting and there were no financial implications on the Parish Council relating to this application. The query relating to land ownership had been sorted out.
h) Weeds on Footpaths in Fairfield Road - Cllr Leamon reported that the weeds had been dealt with but the brambles had not been cut back. The Clerk to contact Freebridge again.
i) Staggered Barrier Fairfield Road/Oak Road - The Clerk informed the meeting that the extra length of barrier was now in place.
j) Allotments Meeting - Following the meeting in Downham Market on Monday 21 September, Cllr Precey informed the meeting that there appears to be a problem everywhere trying to locate suitable land, compulsory purchase can be considered, it should be a condition of 106 Agreements that developers provide an area of land for allotments. The Chairman asked if anyone knew of any land to please contact the Parish Council.
k) Hedge - Bridge Road - A member of the public reported that this has now been cut back.
l) Buckenham Drive - will be inspected again during the winter weather. Cllr Leamon agreed to take photos of the problem puddles next time there is considerable rainfall, they will then be passed on to Highways. The parking problems at 1-4 and 14-19 are still ongoing, awaiting figures from Freebridge relating to costs involved. It has now been confirmed that the lower part of the footpath near 35 belongs to the Borough Council. The Clerk to write to the Borough Council asking for this to be repaired.
m) Assets - The insurance company has amended the insurance policy to take on board the amendments requested, new documents to be received shortly. There was no change to the premium.
n) Litter Pick - It was agreed because of the current volume of work this would be postponed until the Spring.
o) Remembrance Sunday - The Chairman asked as many people as possible to attend at 11.00am on Sunday 8 November. Cllr Nicholas-Letch tendered his apologies, he will be unable to attend.
p) Lamp Post Bradfield Place - the Clerk is awaiting information from MHB Services relating to a reflective sticker.
q) Great Mans Way Public Footpath - The Chairman, Cllr Precey, The Clerk and Mr Philpott met the Footpath Warden on site because of recurring problems being encountered with the closed gate at this point. Members of the public are being intimidated by the two large dogs, many afraid to proceed along the path. In the first instance it was agreed that the owner of the property/dogs be visited to explain the problem. As a last resort the Parish Council can ask for the gate to be removed. The Chairman stated that many people do not know where the public footpaths are in the village, suggesting a map be produced, Mr Philpott agreed to look into drawing up such a map.
r) Algae on River Wissey - The Environment Agency have advised this is a natural event, the situation is monitored because of the fish, but there is no problem.
s) Nettles Round Bench on Common - Cllr Nicholas-Letch advised he had not yet cleared these, but would attend to it.
t) Overgrown Footpath School Lane towards Wretton - Highways advised this would be cut back, the Clerk to chase up.
u) Personnel Committee - this was set up at the last meeting - Cllrs Mrs Mann, Mrs Lansdell-Williams and Precey are the members - a meeting to be arranged in the very near future.
The Clerk asked councillors to consider if there are any projects they wish to be included within the budget for the next financial year by the next meeting. She will supply a Draft Budget for that meeting, the final budget will have to be approved at the January meeting.
This was dealt with under Any Other Business
Cemetery Sub Committee
The Chairman advised that a meeting had taken place at The Cemetery with Mr Bowers, Funeral Director, to discuss the marking out of the newly consecrated area together with other pertinent issues. It was felt that a coffin could be carried from the end of the gravelled roadway to the new area. Removal of excess earth was discussed, if grave diggers were asked to remove this they may well refuse to dig graves. There is a large tree which appears to be growing over existing graves, this may need to be cut down, estimates for any works would be obtained. Some graves have had trees planted on them the roots will cause damage, the owners will need to be contacted before they are removed. A meeting has been arranged with Jane Scarrott Parish Clerk of several local parishes to discuss these problems to see how other parishes deal with them.
The Chairman referred to a pile of dead branches left in the corner of the Cemetery, Cllr Nicholas-Letch advised they had been left there during tidying up works, he will arrange for their removal.
The shrubs on the area of land to the right when exiting the Cemetery are causing a visibility problem. An owner of a nearby property has offered to cut back these shrubs, but investigation to take place to establish who owns this area of land.
The unsightly water butt and rack holding old milk bottles should be removed to tidy up this area of the Cemetery. A suitable notice would be put on the rack advising it will be removed in one month's time, requesting visitors to bring their own watering can etc. The Chairman asked if everyone was in favour of this removal.
There were 6 votes for the removal. Cllr Nicholas-Letch abstained
The Chairman informed the meeting that a request for a seat to be placed in this area of the Cemetery had been received, and asked if everyone would be in favour of this. The person donating the seat has been asked to submit a design/size of seat and wording on the plaque.
It was agreed that the date for implementing the new charges, agreed at the last meeting, will be 1 November 2009.
This was proposed by Cllr Mrs Leamon, seconded by Cllr Mrs Mendoza
It was proposed by Mrs Leamon seconded by Mrs Lansdell-Williams that a one off fee of £25 be charged for any research of the Burial Registers.
Yellow Lines Furlong Road:
Following considerable discussion at the last meeting, it was agreed to get advice from the Traffic Police in Swaffham - they are not in favour of double yellow lines, neither are Highways. The Chairman pointed out that the current suggestion, from Highways, was a white H Box. The Parish Council had suggested from the post box past the dropped kerb down to the junction with Lynn Road only. Considerable discussion took place again, Cllr Nicholas-Letch suggested closing the meeting and opening it for public discussion. As time was getting on and there was still a long Agenda to get through, it was agreed this matter be deferred to the next meeting, when time will be allocated for public discussion.
The Common/Fly Tipping:
The Chairman asked Cllr Summers if he would pursue the earlier conversations he had had regarding removal of the rubbish dumped on the Common.
Cllr Mrs Lansdell-Williams advised the meeting she had heard from DEFRA saying that an owner of common land is responsible for removing rubbish, but the parish does not want to upset the owner by forwarding costs on as the owner has the right to de-register the common land. Cllr Lansdell Williams will seek further information on land owners de-registering common land and if the common land is transferred to the ownership of the parish whether the borough would charge the parish to remove rubbish. They did advise keeping a record of all rubbish dumped. A letter had been received from the owner advising he was not in a position to offer any financial support to the Parish Council for expenses incurred relating to the Common, also saying he would be happy to see the land become the property of the Parish. Again because of time restraints it was agreed to defer this matter to the next meeting.
Great Mans Way Footpath:
This matter was dealt with under Any Other Business
Action Group Progress:
The Clerk informed the meeting that the Action Group had met with a representative of Vion, Mike Hastings and Mr Challis, when a tour of the Dukes Head and the Millers Arms took place. It was agreed that Mr Challis would visit the building again when electric light was available to enable him to give an idea of the costs involved to get the building into a useable condition.
The Clerk advised the meeting that the owner of land near the Old Bull does not wish to sell his land but would consider renting it to the PC. No further action at this stage.
Frequency of Meetings:
The Chairman advised the meeting that recently the Agenda had been rather long and meetings had been running over time, she wondered if parish councillors would be in favour of having meetings on a monthly basis rather than six weeks in order that matters are not left so long to be dealt with. Everyone thought it would be a good idea. Cllr Nicholas-Letch proposed a six month trial to see how things pan out. This would commence from January 2010.
Cllr Mrs Mann proposed and Cllr Precey seconded the suggestion.
This matter was dealt with under Any Other Business
Village Liaison Meeting:
The Chairman advised that no complaints had been received since the last meeting. The air pollution monitor was being looked into again. Vion advised that they were expecting a Market Rent/Viable Projects relating to the Dukes Head and Millers Arms.
Planning Applications Process
Cllr Nicholas-Letch advised the meeting there was quite a bit he wished to discuss relating to planning procedures etc. Again because of time restraints it was agreed for the Planning Sub-Committee to hold a meeting to discuss relevant matters and report back to the next meeting. A meeting will take place on Monday 9 November 2009 at Cllr Summers house.
Proposed by Cllr Nicholas-Letch seconded by Cllr Summers
Procedures for Dealing with Complaints Against Councillors:
As a response was not required until the middle of December this matter was deferred to the next meeting.
This matter was dealt with under Any Other Business.
Cllr Nicholas-Letch attended this Workshop which was to deal with all problems with charities/relationships between them and parish councils. He will submit a report to the Clerk as soon as he has written it.
Gypsy & Traveller Conference:
The Chairman asked Cllr Nicholas-Letch, who had requested he be booked into this conference, in what capacity he wished to attend. He informed the meeting he would not be voicing any opinion on behalf of the PC but just wished to collect any documentation which was available.
Pelorus Planning & Property Consultants invited the Parish Council to a pre-planning meeting to look at the proposed development in Lark Road, which would consist of 12 cottages (6 social) 8 apartments (4 social) 36 No suited roomed Care Home with parking. At a previous meeting it was suggested that a Doctors Surgery be incorporated in the scheme, but the PCT have funding issues so this is not currently included. The Chairman raised a point where she wondered if this development would have an adverse effect on the proposed village hall development which included 13 affordable houses, possibly could not have both. This site is an exception site and planning do not like houses for sale on such sites. Before the PC make any decision on this development they need further information. It was suggested that Pelorus meet with planning/affordable housing for further planning advice.
Proposed by Cllr Nicholas-Letch seconded by Cllr Mrs Lansdell-Williams
Approved by the Borough
Conversion of former builders workshop into dwelling at Maltese House Lynn Road
Approved by Parish
Extension to dwelling at 41 Wretton Road
Received Following Publication of Agenda
Proposed first floor extension at The Cottage Oxborough Road
Grant of Planning Permission - Construction of Clubhouse at Playing Field Buckenham Drive
Accounts for Approval
e-on - Direct Debit - £78.80 - Lighting August and September
MHB Services - £64.38 - x 2 - Lighting Maintenance September/November
IRS Limited - £6.32 - New Telephone Numbers for Bottle Bank Sign
Society of Local Council Clerks - £69.00 - Purchase of Charles Arnold Baker's Book
James Bradfield School - £38.70 - Hire of Hall August/September/October
Downham & District Poppy Appeal - £25.00 - Poppy Wreath/Donation
Mrs C Hardy - £523.52 - Salary for September/October
Mrs C Hardy - £66.85 - Expenses for September/October
Anglian Water - Direct Debit - £27.89 - Second half year Water Rates for The Cemetery
Statement of Account as at 12 October 2009 - Total Receipts - £11822.75, Less Payments to Date £4874.76
plus un-presented Cheques £244.90 = £7192.89. Balance in Bank as at 12 October (Bank Statement) Community Account £427.01, Business Reserve Account £6765.88.
Cllr Mrs Mendoza proposed approval for payment seconded by Cllr Summers
BCKLWN - Parish Training and Information - Attendees to be discussed at Planning Sub-Committee Meeting. NALC - Received grant of £36,000 to be allocated to Parish and Town Councils
BCKLWN - The Mayor's Award for Design in the Environment
TTSR Ltd - Grounds Maintenance and Landscaping - keep on file
Norfolk Lowland Search & Rescue - requesting donation - not agreed
BCKLWN - Code of Conduct - Personal and Prejudicial Interests
Wash Estuary Project - meeting on Climate Change 19 November 2009
Email from BC Sampson - Intervillage Games - invite Roger Partridge to January Meeting
NALC - Plunkett Foundation - survey of parish councils in England and Wales
BT Payphones - Invitation to adopt local red telephone kiosk - No
Email Tony Porter - regarding an overgrown and unsightly area in Buckenham Drive - It was agreed the Borough be asked to cut this back and tidy up area.
Councillors Other Business:
Cllr Nicholas-Letch advised he had some ideas relating to cash for the community (NALC). To be discussed at the next meeting.
Public Other Business
Shrubs outside Cemetery need cutting back.
Dogs at Public Footpath in Great Mans Way are frightening to the public
Dog Fouling in Wretton Road - to be reported to the Dog Warden asking him to visit the area again.
White lines at post office - not keen on having them, query provide a car park, postmen park their cars somewhere away from post office, ie further up road to free up some space, carry out a survey
Lark Road - assessment re conservation area in Wretton Road, development would affect views
Publicise the next meeting when the white line situation is being discussed so public aware of the date
Put a petition in the post office and present to next meeting
Buckenham Drive Light Out, also light near Post Office
Footpath from end of Boughton Road down to bye-pass overgrown - to be reported to Highways
Cemetery Matter - Presence of Press and Public:
This matter was satisfactorily dealt with prior to the Parish Council Meeting.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 10.10pm
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 9 December 2009 commencing at 7.30pm