Stoke Ferry Parish Council - November meeting
Minutes of Stoke Ferry Parish Council Meeting held in the Community Centre, All Saints Academy, at 7.30pm on Wednesday 12th November 2014
Those attending: Cllr D Clements (Chair), Cllr P Denny, Cllr S Lintern (Vice-Chair), Cllr T Ryves, Cllr J Stocking, County Councillor M Storey, Mrs J A Taylor (Clerk), 12 members of the public
1.To consider accepting apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllr Leamon and Cllr McCarthy.
- To approve the Minutes of the last Council Meeting on 8 October 2014
Proposed: Cllr Denny. Seconded: Cllr Stocking. Carried
- To consider Matters Arising from the Minutes
Overgrown hedge in Bridge Road and overgrown brambles on The Common: Chair reported that Highways can find out who owns these properties, she can get the appropriate forms and it costs £4 per request. She has been advised also to obtain the title registration, and proposes to do this in the first instance for the Bridge Road property and The Common, and deal with other areas in future.
Overgrown hedge by bungalows: Freebridge arranging to cut back.
Councillor surgeries: Chair suggested that these could usefully be held at the Community Centre on a Thursday morning to coincide with the coffee mornings. If anything confidential needed to be discussed, there is a private room available. Cllr Ryves suggested making an announcement in The Pump.
Community Centre ownership: Chair reiterated that when the committee responsible for the village contribution to the Community Centre was dissolved, there was a debt of approximately £10,000. This debt was paid off by Norfolk County Council and James Bradfield School. The ownership of the Community Centre therefore passed to those entities. There was further discussion on how this came to pass, but it was pointed out that this was a number of years ago, and details are no longer clear.
Globe-shaped structure by the windmill: Cllr Ryves informed the meeting that this is an observation point on the former rubbish tip, and unconnected with methane monitoring.
Complaints of noise from the Blue Bell public house: Chair advised the meeting that Mr and Mrs Scott, proprietors of the Blue Bell, were attending in order to respond to the complaints. She asked if councillors had any objection to their contribution at this point. None was raised. Mrs Scott assured the meeting that they were aware of their duty of care to the community; that they run a responsible house, and in particular, they do not serve alcohol until the early hours. They conceded that on summer evenings, when windows are likely to be open, music may well be heard for some distance, but they would remain alert to this potential problem. They confirmed that they welcome any input on nuisance that may inadvertently be caused by activities at the pub, and that all their contact numbers are published in The Pump.
The Chair confirmed that the village as a whole appreciated the presence of the Blue Bell and would not wish to see it close. Other councillors supported a greater use of the pub in the future.
Amendment to Standing Orders regarding recording of Council meetings: Cllr Lintern proposed, Cllr Stocking seconded. Carried. Chair signed the revised Standing Orders.
Clarification to September meeting minutes: Cllr Stocking clarified that, regarding the issue of parking on Lynn Road and High Street, she did not complain and felt that the parking slowed down the traffic, so she had no problem with it.
- To record Declarations of Interest
Cllr Lintern declared an interest in Item 9, quotes for grass-cutting, as she is also Chair of the Playing Field Committee. Cllr Stocking declared an interest in Item 13, Payments for approval, regarding the quote from Bonnetts for replacing the liner for the bin on The Hill.
- To consider a defibrillator in the BT telephone box on The Hill
The Chair commented that, given the number of people who commented positively on this issue in the questionnaire, versus the total number of people in the village, this initiative did not seem popular. There had been questions raised on how in practice this would work. Cllr Ryves commented that, when the issue was originally discussed, the feeling was that if one life could be saved through having a defibrillator present, then it would be worth it. Cllr Stocking commented that this was the second time that the scheme had been discussed formally, and if people in general were not calling positively for it, then it seemed it was not a priority for the village. It was agreed that consideration of this scheme would be dropped for the moment.
- To consider a wild flower meadow in the Cemetery
Cllr Stocking reminded the meeting about MP Elizabeth Truss’ recent campaign to encourage bees, which specifically recommends leaving grassed areas uncut and seeded with wild flowers. Cllr Lintern had spoken to a member of BCKLWN, who reported that it had instigated various areas like this. They required just two cuts per year, and had proved very successful. She believed that the person involved would be happy to provide input on the issue to Council. The Chair felt that the Council should first see such areas. Cllr Ryves proposed that this scheme should be adopted. Four councillors voted in favour, the Chair voted against, until a practical example had been seen by Council. It was suggested that the issue be revisited in the spring.
- To consider mobile speeding signs
Clerk presented a paper giving costings and details obtained from Westcotec. Chair queried who would physically move the sign, since she had been told they were heavy. Cllr Ryves queried whether the signs could be hired, rather than bought. Clerk undertook to find out. Cllr Lintern asked if a single sign could be bought by a consortium of nearby parishes, and then shared. The Clerk was asked to investigate the criteria and costs for installation of other traffic calming measures such as speed bumps and a speed camera. This will be an item on the next agenda. The Chair undertook to liaise with Weeting Parish Council on the issue; the Clerk would liaise with nearby parishes to explore the possibility of sharing a speed sign.
- 2 Agriculture: state of Furlong Road
Cllr Stocking first updated the meeting on a letter she had received regarding the ongoing sale of feedmills, stating that the Stoke Ferry mill will remain part of 2 Agriculture. The Chair stated that the Borough Council had no updates on monitors, although the money for these had been confirmed as spent.
Chair reported, following the latest liaison meeting, that during week commencing 20th November, and subject to weather conditions, a mobile boiler will be in operation, and extra working hours may be required due to the repairs to the chimney.
Chair reported complaints regarding the ridge in the road on Furlong Road. Residents had noted unacceptable noise when empty lorries travelled along the road as they bounced. Chair agreed that the Parish Council should formally complain to Highways, as would 2 Agriculture.
- Quotes for grass cutting/grounds maintenance
Cllr Lintern undertook to request quotes for the above, to include separate elements for the playing field, the cemetery (including, and not including the proposed wild flower meadow), and the shrubberies in the centre of the village. She would produce an enhanced job specification.
- To consider precept for budget/Norfolk’s budget and services 2015-18
Clerk confirmed that the Finance Committee is due to meet on 26th November.
- Christmas Carol Service
The Chair reported that the final piece of administration was to obtain the tree, and asked for volunteers to help putting it up. Cllr Denny offered, as did Edward Taylor. It was confirmed that Carol Hardy would print the programmes, Edward Taylor would play guitar for the carol singing, and Matthew Ferrie had agreed to switch on the lights.
- To consider Planning Applications
There were no planning applications.
- To approve payments to be made
It was agreed that a £20 donation would be added to the Royal British Legion payment. Regarding quote from Bonnetts to replace the liner for the bin on The Hill, Cllr Denny proposed acceptance and authorisation of payment, Cllr Lintern seconded. Carried.
Date Item Chq/DD Net VAT Gross
Royal British Legion, poppy wreath. £20 plus donation
Glazewing, Cemetery bins
CGM: October works in cemetery and recreation ground
All Saints Academy: meeting room hire 8 and 20 October
Westcotec: street lighting maintenance November
Eon: Electricity 1-31 October
Glazewing, Cemetery bins
Balances at 31 October 2014: Community Account £1,810.22 ; Business Saver Account £10,544.36.
Cllr Denny proposed approval for payment, seconded by Cllr McCarthy. Carried
- Correspondence received
Letter from All Saints Church Wretton with Stoke Ferry: invitation to place a tree in Christmas tree festival. Invitation declined.
Letter forwarded from NHS England via Elizabeth Truss MP, in response to concerns that there is no permanent GP surgery in Stoke Ferry. Andrew Reed, Area Director, states that other areas with increased housing have priority. Council agreed that pressure should continue with the aim of getting a surgery in the village, particularly when new housing is completed.
Invitation from Fields in Trust to create a Centenary Field, to be protected as a green space in perpetuity. Council felt that, apart from the Playing Field which is already protected, there were no other suitable green spaces within the parish.
Leaflets from www.oil-club.co.uk advertising their group oil-purchasing service. Agreed that this could be included within the next newsletter, with proviso that other oil provider details be included also.
- To receive further information or suggested items to be considered for the next meeting agenda (Councillors and Public)
Cllr Lintern felt that provision of draft meeting minutes soon after the relevant meeting worked well, and should be continued.
Regarding mobile versus static speed signs, Cllr Martin Storey endorsed the mobile option, and recommended contacting Wereham Parish Council to see if a sharing system could be worked out. Requests under the Parish Partnership are due by 15th January 2015.
Cllr Storey has received information from 2 Agriculture indicating that the factory has already been bought by another concern, and so is expected to continue as is.
Norfolk County Council provides extensive information on its website, or otherwise members of the public are welcome to contact Cllr Storey direct.
He mentioned the transformation taking place within Social Services in the county, and exchanges with foreign students and local sixth formers. The County Council is seeking views from the public on how to save money in its budget; around £1,000,000 needs to be saved.
There is a plan for a new special needs school in King’s Lynn, with 108 places, due for completion in 2017 at a cost of around £4,000,000.
Points raised by members of the public:
Could the sign on The Hill announcing Parish Council ownership be removed? Chair agreed.
Could the brambles on the east side of the village hall be cut back? Chair confirmed that she would write again, emphasising the possible liability for any injuries caused.
Had the proposed new properties next to 11 Buckenham Drive been approved? Chair confirmed that they had not, and that she had received no further news on the issue, although she was aware that some members of the public who had contacted the Borough Council had received replies.
Could the Playing Field Committee ask the Parish Council to apply to the Fields in Trust Centenary fund to be sure that the Playing Field is definitely protected? Cllr Lintern undertook to investigate and report back.
The Community Centre. It was queried again how this came to be owned by the school and NCC rather than the village, and where did the £10,000 debt come from. Discussion followed, but as the transaction happened many years ago, it seemed unlikely that it would now be possible to provide a definitive answer. In any case, as the Community Centre is contained within the buildings belonging to the school, it seemed unlikely that it had any intrinsic value in its own right.
Thanks were expressed for the excellent Remembrance service conducted on The Hill.
Further to concerns about the overgrown foliage at the Village Hall, it was confirmed that there was no rubbish dumped at the site which would prevent contractors cutting back. Cllr Storey commented that obstructions can be cut back if they are hazardous. Chair again confirmed she would get in touch with those responsible.
Frustration was expressed at the road signs for Furlong Road, The Furlong, and Furlong Drove, which have become confused. Although NCC had been contacted and they agree there is a mistake, they have not yet done anything to correct the signs.
- Dates of meetings in 2015
Second Wednesday of the month, at 7.30pm, in the Community Centre, All Saints Academy:
14th January, 11th February, 11th March, 8th April, 13th May, 10th June, 8th July, 12th August, 9th September, 7th October, 11th November, 9th December
- Date and time of next meeting
Wednesday 10 December 2014 at 7.30pm
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND