War Memorial Gary Trouton

Stoke Ferry Parish Council

December 2014

Minutes of Stoke Ferry Parish Council Meeting held in the Community Centre, All Saints Academy, at 7.30pm on Wednesday 8th October 2014

Those attending:  Cllr D Clements (Chair), Cllr P Denny, Cllr L McCarthy, Cllr T Ryves, Cllr J Stocking, County Councillor M Storey, Mrs J A Taylor (Clerk), 6 members of the public

  1. To consider accepting apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Vice-Chair Cllr S Lintern.

Extraordinary Item

The Chair gave official thanks to Mrs C Hardy, former clerk to the Council, for her support of and dedication to the Council over the past nine years.

  1. To approve the Minutes of the last Council Meeting on 10 September 2014

A small correction was made under Item 14.  Cllr Denny proposed acceptance of the Minutes, seconded by Cllr McCarthy.  Carried

  1. To consider Matters Arising from the Minutes

Items 7 and 8:  Kit Hesketh-Harvey has OK’d the use of the Church for Remembrance Sunday and Christmas Carols.  He will not be available to ring the bell for Remembrance but asked if there is anyone else who could do it and to let him know.

Item 14:  Letter sent to the Blue Bell, no response received as yet.

Parking and speeding reported to the Police, but there is not much they can do without registration numbers and times of events.

Overgrown hedge from bungalows adjacent to playing fields: Freebridge is making arrangements for this to be cut back.

New light Boughton Rd reported to Westcotec again:  Clerk contacted Roy Payne on 23 September, email received back from him 30 September.  Chair reported that the light was now working.

Overgrown hedge in Bridge Road:  Clerk has contacted Highways to see if they can help, no response as yet.

Grassed area Oak Road/Border Road:  has now been cut.

  1. To record Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

  1. To consider responses to the Questionnaire re Defibrillator, Speeding, Cemetery Wild Flower Meadow

Cllr Denny provided the response sheet, showing around 80 responses per item.  There was a majority in favour on all three items, with rather more positive responses regarding the speeding issue than the others.  A discussion followed, during which it was decided that a full Council should vote on which items to fund.  The matter will be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

A meeting of the Cemetery Committee will be arranged to discuss whether to plant a wild flower meadow or whether simply to leave some part uncut, and to discuss planting the remaining saplings.

  1. To consider setting up internet communication/internet access for councillors

It was agreed that as much information as possible should be provided to councillors in electronic form, save the formal Agenda and Minutes.  Where scanning in of bulky booklets etc was impractical, such items could be brought to the council meetings for councillors to collect.  Alternatively, councillors could retrieve such items from the Clerk’s office, and similarly collect other correspondence if email access were not possible.

After some discussion, it was agreed that a Facebook page should be tried first as a new method of communication with constituents.  Cllr Ryves agreed to investigate which local councils already had a Facebook page and provide information/contacts to the Clerk for further research.  The Clerk was in the process of setting up generic email addresses for council members, a prerequisite for a Facebook page.  It was agreed that a trial period of three months would be sensible, during which time factual information regarding events in the village would be posted.  The Clerk only would be responsible for posting, with authority from the Council.  Any negative feedback would be monitored, and numbers of followers assessed.

It was decided that the previously approved Council newsletter should be put on hold due to its cost, but consideration given to whether similar information could be included within the Village Pump.  Clerk to contact Ray Thompson regarding space in The Pump.

  1. Remembrance Sunday – 9 November – Final Details/Programme

Cllr Stocking undertook to provide the Chair with the time of the service and the programme as soon after 12th October as possible, in conjunction with Cllr Leamon.  Representation from the armed forces would be investigated.

The Clerk will order the wreath, plus five extra large poppies for the Chair.

  1. SNAP Meeting update

The Chair reported on the last meeting held on 17th September in Watlington.  There were 35 incidents within the Watlington reporting area.  The playing field, in particular the new play equipment, is being monitored as a priority.  The next meeting will be in Stoke Ferry at the All Saints Academy (Community Centre) on Wednesday 19 November at 7pm.

  1. Standing Orders – update to accommodate recording/filming meetings

Since legislation was changed in August, the existing section 3l of the Standing Orders was no longer valid, and should be replaced with the recommended wording from NALC, as follows:

“The recording, filming and reporting of all public meetings is permitted.  Meetings or parts of meetings from which the press and public are excluded may not be filmed or recorded.  Members of the public and press are permitted to film or record meetings (to which they are permitted access) in a non-disruptive manner and from areas designated for the public.”

Cllr Denny proposed that the Standing Orders be thus amended, Cllr McCarthy seconded.  Carried

  1. Speeding in the village – NCC Delivering Highway Improvements

The NCC was offering 50% funding for mobile (but not fixed) speed indicators.  It was established that three sites within the village would be needed to make best use of one mobile indicator – it was proposed these sites be in Bridge Road, Lynn Road and Furlong Road.  Specific sites are agreed between the community and an officer of Norfolk County Council.  The cost of the indicators varied between £2,600 and £4,000, depending on the amount of equipment needed to fix them.

Westcotec would be able to provide advice on and maintenance for the indicators, but members of the parish would be required to move them as appropriate.

The Clerk was asked to provide a paper for the next meeting, providing comparative information on fixed and mobile indicators, and to contact Norfolk Constabulary and Westcotec to provide technical and legal input on the operation of the indicators.

  1. To consider further involvement of Stoke Ferry constituents/surgeries

It was noted that evening Council meetings, especially during winter months, might not be convenient for more senior members of the village to attend, and that the formality of such meetings might deter some constituents from putting forward points they wished to make.  Therefore less formal meetings, potentially on weekday mornings, perhaps once a fortnight, might encourage a wider range of constituents to put forward their concerns.  County Councillor Storey said that NCC did surgeries, along with other opportunities for constituents to meet councillors face to face, a very important part of communicating with the public, but that he did not know of any parish councils which did so.

It was agreed that surgeries would be tried to see if they generated interest.  The Chair agreed to talk to the headmaster of All Saints Academy regarding hire of the community centre.

  1. To consider Planning Applications

Approval of Planning Application – Reserved matters application construction of 3 bungalows at Sandralan Lynn Road – 14/01102/RM – supported by the Parish Council.

  1. To approve payments to be made

09/09/2014James Bradfield Primary School:  August room hireChq15.440.0015.44
30/09/2014HMRC PAYE: Mrs C HardyChq343.200.00343.20
30/09/2014Mrs C Hardy:  Expenses SeptemberChq70.1412.1382.27
30/09/2014CGM:  September works in cemetery and recreation groundChq124.5424.91149.45
30/09/2014H Brett & Son:  Renovation of war memorialChq1650.00330.001980.00
30/09/2014James Bradfield Primary School:  September room hireChq30.880.0030.88
01/10/2014Anglian Water: charge for Cemetery, June - AugustD/D16.950.0016.95
07/10/2014Westcotec: street lighting maintenance OctoberChq15.443.0918.53
08/10/2014Norfolk Parish Training Partnership:  training course for Clerk, OctoberChq40.000.0040.00
11/10/2014Eon: Electricity OctoberD/D31.031.5532.58
08/10/2014Norfolk Parish Training Partnership:  training course for Clerk, NovemberChq35.000.0035.00

Balances at 30 September 2014:  Community Account £2,554.52; Business Saver Account £12,544.36.

Cllr Denny proposed approval for payment, seconded by Cllr McCarthy.  Carried

  1. Correspondence received

A plant catalogue from J Parker’s Wholesale.

  1. To receive further information or suggested items to be considered for the next meeting agenda (Councillors and Public)

Cllr McCarthy related an incident where he found someone pushing a wheelchair along the road in Bridge Road; they could not access the footpath because it was overgrown.  The Clerk was asked to refer to Land Registry to determine ownership.

Cllr McCarthy also questioned ownership, designation, and responsibility for maintenance of The Hill.  While it was agreed that Highways claimed ownership, they did not maintain the area.  The Clerk was asked to re-open discussions with Highways on the subject.

It was agreed that the problem of unclear or unknown ownership of land within Stoke Ferry was an ongoing and general one, which should be put as a specific item on the agenda for the next meeting.  The Clerk, with input from councillors and members of the public, would draw up a list of ‘problem’ areas for consideration.

Cllr Denny had identified a new structure on the horizon past the wind turbine.  The Chair undertook to investigate.

County Councillor Storey described the event to open the new playing equipment on the playing fields as most enjoyable and a credit to Stoke Ferry given all the hard work contributed by those involved.  He thanked the village for inviting him.

He said that NCC was as always providing information via its website and by emails.  He hoped that the new arrangements for recycling via the Borough Council would encourage people to recycle more.  The Chair noted that as information was provided in this case via leaflet, those who for whatever reason did not have their bins out on the appropriate day were not given the information.  Cllr Storey referred to full information on the Recycle for Norfolk website (www.recyclefornorfolk.org.uk), otherwise if people preferred to contact him, he would be glad to assist.

Points raised by members of the public:

The question was raised of the ownership of The Common, since the brambles had grown over the seat.  The Chair confirmed that it was owned privately, but it was not known by whom.  The Clerk was asked to add The Common to the list of ‘problem’ areas for the next meeting and investigate its ownership via the Land Registry.  Cllr McCarthy said that the County Clerk’s office should have a record of financial transactions relating to land transfer which may help.  It was felt that someone might be found who could cut back the brambles.

The war memorial – was there no grant available to pay for refurbishment?  Chair confirmed that because the memorial had not been damaged, this was not available.

Speed monitor at the All Saints Academy:  could the school be asked whether they felt it was effective?  Clerk could ask for subjective feedback.

Speeding in the village:  what villagers really wanted was more police in evidence.  Chair confirmed that this had been requested many times, but it was not possible.

All Saints Academy/Community Centre:  Why, if the community had paid for the Centre, did the school now own it?  Chair undertook to investigate.  This would be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

Contact details for the Clerk:  confirmed as having been placed in The Pump.

Various comments on how best for the Council to communicate with constituents:  it was agreed that a wide variety of methods was ideal, including email, Facebook and newsletter information in the Pump.

Details of the new Clerk’s contract – hours worked and hourly salary:  could they be provided?  Chair confirmed that the contract had not yet been finalised and would be discussed as the final item.

  1. Date and time of next meeting

Wednesday 12 November 2014 at 7.30pm


Exclusion of Press and Public – Standing Order 3d

  1. To consider staffing matters

Some details within the Clerk’s contract of employment were changed. It was agreed that hours worked per month should remain flexible until a stable work pattern was established.

The meeting closed at 9.35pm.

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