War Memorial Gary Trouton

Stoke Ferry Parish Council - July meeting

October 2015

Minutes of the Stoke Ferry Parish Council meeting held on 8 July 2015

Attendance:  D Clements (Chair); C Hardy (Vice-Chair); S Harrison; M Leamon; S Lintern; A Lyons; M Precey; E Taylor; J Taylor (Clerk); County Councillor M Storey; nine members of the public.

  1. Apologies

P Denny (unwell), Borough Councillor C Sampson.

  1. Minutes of the last meeting

Cllr Precey proposed acceptance; Cllr Taylor seconded; Carried.

  1. Matters arising

Ownership of land within the village:  to be discussed at Item 8.

2Agriculture:  path between Buckenham Drive and High Street – had not been cleared satisfactorily, Clerk to contact Keith White if this had not been done by the following Wednesday.

Allotments/Self’s Field:  Cllr Precey had been in touch with Mr White regarding possible letting or donating to the village.  He had received a letter from 2Agriculture management stating the company was in the process of reviewing land usage over the next few months and would be in touch later to discuss the issue.

Health Watch, Norwich, re GP provision in Stoke Ferry:  Clerk awaiting contact in the autumn.

Land between Indigo Road and 2Agriculture:  Clerk reported Stoke Ferry Regeneration Ltd and CGM Ltd had met and agreed clearance, date to be notified to the Clerk.  Chair requested that Clerk emphasis to SFRLtd the urgency of action.

Highways visit week commencing 20 July – Clerk asked residents to let her have any items for action.

Adoption of BT phone box, The Hill – to be included at Item 8.

Fences at entry points to village – to be included at Item 10.

Oxborough SpeedWatch area to be included at Item 10.

  1. Declarations of interest from members on any item to be discussed


  1. Dates of Parish Council meetings for the year ahead

2015                                                               2016

12th August                                                     13th January

9th September                                                 10th February

7th October                                                     9th March

11th November                                                13th April

9th December                                                  11th May (Annual, plus

Annual Parish Meeting)

(All dates may be subject to change)

  1. To consider location of Council meetings

It was confirmed that the Village Hall would be free for the necessary dates.  Having discussed the issue in previous meetings, it was unanimously agreed to move Parish Council meetings to the Village Hall from 12th August.

Clerk to write to All Saints Academy, explaining the move.

  1. Review and re-adoption of Standing Orders, and other Council policies

Standing Orders:  Clerk explained that there was one small point to be checked with NALC.  Subject to that being confirmed, Cllr Lintern proposed re-adoption; Cllr Precey seconded; Carried.

Complaints Policy:  one factual change regarding public participation:  agreed.  Clerk would provide copies of the complaint form to all councillors, and keep a supply available at meetings.

Correspondence Policy:  Clerk pointed out how onerous the requirement for a log of all emails and other correspondence was, and that, once all Council correspondence and work was held solely on its computer, this would automatically provide a record of the correspondence that would be always available for inspection by councillors and public, in addition to the physical files which exist.

Change to the correspondence policy was proposed by Cllr Precey; seconded by Cllr Lintern; 7 for, 1 against; Carried.

  1. To consider Statement of Goals for the year ahead

Village gardens:  CGM to be asked to cut back the plum tree, so that it does not shed fruit onto the path.

BT phone box on The Hill:  BT should be asked to fulfil their duty of maintaining it.  Clerk to write.

Bench on The Hill:  idea to be rejected.

Refurbishment of road signs:  Clerk to write to BCKLWN.

No Ball Games sign at Border Road/Oak Road:  Clerk to investigate cost.

Pathways:  Cllr Lyons had investigated the cost of an electric rechargeable strimmer, which could be used to clear weeds from areas where the ownership is not known.  This would be £60; Cllr Lyons undertook to be responsible for charging the strimmer and for doing the strimming.  Clerk would check the implications for insurance.

Purchase of strimmer:  Cllr Hardy proposed; Cllr Lyons seconded; Carried.

It was emphasised that this should be used where specific one-off complaints were made to the Council and land ownership was unknown.  This would not be a regular, routine function of the Council.

Dog bin – Border Road/Oak Road:  Cost was estimated at £140.  Clerk to check precise cost, both of purchase and of maintenance, and to establish exactly where the bin could be sited.

  1. Playing Field Update

Matt Kenny from the Playing Field Committee attended, and provided information.  Regarding bins, it was noted that CGM was not emptying rubbish at the moment and would not until appropriate liners for the bins were in place.  Mr Kenny informed the meeting that the PFC was waiting for a contractor quote for placing the bins.  Cllr Lyons pointed out that, with the current situation of rubbish overflowing onto the grass, when CGM cut the grass the rubbish was also cut, and this was becoming dangerous.  Regarding repainting, it was reported that the Chair of the PFC had the paint.

Mr Kenny reported that he was reviewing the viability of a project to provide a new building on the playing field.  He was investigating available grants, and had set up a Facebook page so that the community could ask questions or make suggestions about the playing field.  His aim was to involve as many village organisations as possible, and as many people as possible.  He had also been in touch with 2Agriculture about obtaining part or all of Self’s Field to extend the playing field.

  1. Speeding in the village

Cllr Hardy suggested that a permanent speed indicator be considered.  It was agreed that this should be part of the budget discussion for next financial year.   Chair asked councillors to consider where the indicator should be placed.

Cllr Clements reported that she had had good reports on the effectiveness of white gates at the entrances to villages.  However, because of Health and Safety rules, only NCC Highways was authorised to install them, and this made the cost much higher than previously expected.  There might be an opportunity to obtain a grant via the NCC Parish Partnership Scheme to mitigate this.  Clerk to investigate costings.

SpeedWatch scheme – Clerk reported that Oxborough’s scheme had folded because of lack of volunteers, although while in operation it had proved effective in reducing speeds.  It was reported that no residents had put themselves forward as volunteers, so it was agreed to drop this idea.

  1. Presentation from Wereham Village Hall regarding a community hub

Delayed to end of meeting to allow arrival of presenters.

  1. To consider planning applications approved/refused by the Borough Council

9 Border Road, single storey rear extension to dwelling, application permitted 15/0737/F).

  1. To approve payments to be made

JulyPayments for authorisation on 8th July 2015
31/05/2015Glazewing, May Cemetery binsDD14.802.9617.76
30/06/2015Clerk June salaryChq388.370.00388.37
30/06/2015Clerk June expensesChq103.350.00103.35
01/07/2015E-on lighting electricity June 15DD41.822.0943.91
03/07/2015All Saints Academy June room hireChq15.440.0015.44
07/07/2015Westcotec lighting maintenance JulyChq15.443.0918.53
21/07/2015HMRC PAYE Clerk Apr - Jun 15Chq116.200.00116.20
Balances at 4/7/2015:  Business Saver Account £16,548.00:  Community Account £5,182.06

Cllr Leamon proposed approval; Cllr Hardy seconded; Carried.

The Clerk outlined a flaw in telephone banking procedure, which had resulted in a temporary transfer of funds out of the Council’s bank accounts.  This had resulted from all of an individual’s Barclays accounts being shown up when they logged in, not just the Council’s, and confusion over account names was possible.  As monies are transferred on a regular basis between the Business Saver and the Community Account, the possibility for this to happen again existed.  In addition, it was pointed out that while two signatories were needed for payments by cheque, because of the nature of the telephone banking process, only one signatory was needed, and this was felt to be unwise.

It was suggested that, to solve this problem, monies be transferred out of the Business Saver such that one-third of the precept were left in that account to carry forward to next financial year, as required by good practice; then no further transfers would be needed during the current financial year.  The daily transfer limit should be set to £0 so that any further transfer (for instance to adjust the amount in the Business Saver back to one-third of the precept next financial year) would need to be done by cheque, with two signatories.

Cllr Hardy proposed acceptance of this procedure; Cllr Leamon seconded; Carried.

  1. Correspondence received

NCC Highways request for information on bus shelter maintenance.  Clerk had responded.

A parish councillor at Gooderstone had been in touch regarding carriage-driving in the area.  There was a proposal from the local carriage-driving association to apply to Highways to change the access restrictions at the A134 at Oxborough Road, so that carriages could access the A134 direct from the latter.  The barrier would be changed:  a shorter bollard would be placed centrally between two higher bollards.  This would prevent car access but allow carriages through.

Councillors felt that they could not support such an application, on the grounds that it would be dangerous to have horses drive straight onto a road which has a high proportion of HGVs travelling at 60mph.  It was also felt that such a barrier would allow motorbikes access, again undesirable on health and safety grounds, but also nuisance grounds.  Clerk to inform.

Email from BCKLWN regarding the Site Allocations and Development Management Policies hearing sessions, which have been adjourned until further notice, while BCKLWN addressed several major issues raised by the Inspector.

  1. To receive further information or suggested items to be considered for the next meeting agenda

Cllr Hardy mentioned the proposed information leaflet for residents attending meetings – this would be on the next agenda.

Cllr Taylor reported that a resident had suggested the village hold a farmer’s market on The Hill, perhaps one Sunday a month, for residents who had spare produce for sale.  It was agreed that this was a good suggestion, and it was noted that the village already holds a charter for a market.  Clerk to find out if Highways would need to give permission.

Cllr Clements confirmed that SNAP meetings were no longer being held.  She was trying to find out who the PCSO for Stoke Ferry was, but it was clear there had been no visit from a PCSO for some time.

County Cllr Storey gave more information on the LDF/Site allocations situation.  It appeared that there was a lack of information within the report, specifically related to bird habitat and flood risk.  Hearings are currently anticipated to start in November.  He had received numerous complaints from residents about the delay, which he felt was very regrettable.

He apologised for any delay in responding to emails; there had been a problem with NCC IPads.

The refurbishment at County Hall continued to go well.

Regarding gates at village entrances, in his experience, they work very well.  Boughton Parish managed to do a large part of the work themselves, to reduce cost, but Highways does have to do part of it.  A bid to the Parish Partnership for 50/50 funding would hopefully be successful.

As always, if anyone has queries, please check on the NCC website, or contact him by telephone, email, or face-to-face.

Mr Kenny raised the question of Self’s Field, and asked whether, if the Field could be rented or otherwise obtained, would it be possible to split the use between allotments and Playing Field activities?  Cllr Precey responded that it would be necessary to get a firm response from 2Agriculture before making any decisions, and pointed out that the Parish Council had first to fulfil its legal duty to provide allotments if residents request them.  Members of the public expressed support for the provision of allotments, but pointed out that most likely not all of Self’s Field would be needed for that purpose.  Support was expressed for the efforts that Mr Kenny was making to progress activity on behalf of the Playing Field.  Cllr Clements felt that the presentation from Wereham Village Hall would be of particular interest to Mr Kenny.

Members of the public observed that there were problems with people cutting across the green at Border Road, which in the winter would create a muddy area, and that irresponsible dog owners allowing fouling of paths were a problem.  Councillors observed that at least one resident had been reported for the latter, but no change in behaviour had taken place.

It was queried whether village organisations should be publishing accounts for specific events to show how money was being raised and spent.  It was confirmed that the Village Hall Committee and the Playing Field Committee published annual accounts, as should all clubs and societies.

A question was asked about whether it would be possible to force residents to keep front gardens tidy, as this was all part of how the village looked.  Cllr Clements observed that the major areas were being tackled first.

Two members of the public and Cllr Storey left the meeting.

  1. Presentation from Wereham Village Hall regarding a community hub

Victoria Gray and Helen Richardson from the Wereham Village Hall Committee presented.

Wereham Village Hall is a WWI hut in a fragile state.  It has to be closed under various circumstances, such as high winds, and needs replacing urgently.  The Committee has gone through the first stage of an application for lottery funding, and now needs to consult with other villages to see what sort of facilities a community hub based at Wereham could provide them.

The four key areas of need identified are:

Opportunities for physical activities for all ages;

Opportunities for older people to socialise;

Opportunities for younger people to socialise;

Opportunities to learn new skills.

Councillors and residents listed village organisations, their remits and their constituencies.  It was generally agreed that more opportunities for children and younger people to socialise would be welcome, and it was agreed that the Council could support this.  However, the greatest needs identified in the Parish Plan were a decent bus service, and a GP surgery for the village, which are still the priority for Stoke Ferry.  Provision of additional facilities at Wereham would be of no use to Stoke Ferry residents, particularly the older residents, without provision of transport.

  1. Date and time of next meeting

Wednesday 12th August 2015 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall – PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE.

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