The Meeting of the Parish Council was held on Monday the 8th day of FEBRUARY 2016 at the Methodist Chapel, Bell Street – commencing 7.30 pm
COUNCILLORS PRESENT: Mrs Batten (Chairwoman), Mr Lambert, (Vice Chair), Messrs Cock, Cooper, Leamon, Rayner and Storey, Mrs Bane and Mrs Williams. Also present 4 members of the public and Sq Leader Neilds.
APOLOGIES: Mrs McGeeney and Mrs Mills.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: None.
MINUTES of the last meeting were taken as read, agreed and duly signed by the Chairwoman.
PUBLIC SPEAKING: The meeting was suspended for 8 minutes to allow members of the public to speak.
1. RAF Feltwell – Sq Leader Neilds said that January had been a busy month for flying and this will slightly decrease at the end of the week and increase again in March. Mrs Williams enquired who was responsible for the road outside Portal Close as last year, the leaves in autumn left the road in a disgusting and dangerous state. Also, the trees outside Trenchard Square are overhanging and need trimming back. Sq Leader Neilds will make enquiries with Richard Suitor from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. He stated that he hoped to have an update on Trenchard Square at the next meeting. Sq Leader Neilds departed the meeting at 7.44 pm.
2. SNT – No weekly crime reports have been received from Police Connect throughout February, again due to new software being installed, thus causing a reduced service.
3. Risk Assessment – Mr Storey carried out the playing field inspection earlier today and stated that the changing rooms, particularly in light of the recent winds, were in the best condition he had seen them. The dugouts were leaning against the pavilion and had deteriorated due to vandalism. The scout hut was tidy. The north wall has some bricks missing, approx 50 yards left of the far entrance. Clerk to contact owners. The play area was in good condition and the football pitches had weathered well. Mrs Batten said her husband had recently reinstated the “No Dogs” sign and spent significant time repairing the changing rooms, for which Mr Lambert believed he should be paid. The brackets had been pulled out of the wall so were not secured to the downpipes and the Expelairs had been pushed in and moved about. The stainless steel boxes were hanging out of the walls. Mr Lambert questioned whether CCTV should be installed in view of the recent vandalism or perhaps a sensor light at the back of the building. Mrs Batten said the situation does need to be monitored. The Clerk, under the instruction of the Chair, had contacted the Football Club to clean the store room and to ask the teams to stop banging football boots against the changing room walls. The Clerk said that the store room had been cleaned. Mr Edwards, Chairman of the Feltwell Youth Football Club questioned why the goalposts and net needed to be removed as these are always so well utilised. The Clerk assured him that in her email to Mr Kennedy, she had only asked for the net to be removed as this posed a health and safety risk. Mr Edwards said he had researched a database and could see no record of an injury being caused by a football net. Mr Cock was concerned that should an accident happen, responsibility would be that of the Parish Council. After much discussion, it was decided that the net should be left up. Chair proposed, all in favour.
Clerk read out prices for a replacement plastic mat. Clerk to purchase from Play Maintain who submitted the cheapest quote of £34.50 + VAT for supply, delivery and fit. Chair proposed, all in favour. Mr Rayner to carry out next inspection.
4. Balance Sheet – No queries.
5. Allotment Pest Control – Monthly report received. Mr Cock had taken photographs of the current bait boxes which showed they were not being kept to the contract standard. Four prices were submitted. Mr Storey declared an interest and therefore did not vote. The present contractor was the cheapest but it was decided to opt for a village pest controller and therefore J&M Pest Control was awarded the contract on a monthly rolling basis. Mr Leamon proposed, Mr Cooper seconded, all in favour, 2 abstained. Clerk to inform relevant parties. Whilst at the allotments, Mr Cock had discovered some exposed bait which gives way to secondary poisoning. Clerk to inform allotment holders that laying exposed bait is not permitted.
6. NALC – Weekly updates. Mrs Bane thanked the Clerk for circulating these emails which she believes is very beneficial. Mrs Williams and Mrs Bane asked if they, together with the Clerk, could attend a forthcoming introductory training course on 26th February at Upton at a cost of £50 each. Mr Lambert proposed, Mr Cock seconded, all in favour. Clerk to book.
7. Skate Park – Mrs Bane is still in the process of collating information and setting up a subcommittee.
8. Pensions Regulator – Staging date is 1st March 2016. Neither the Clerk nor Litter Collector qualifies to automatically become members of the pension scheme but they can do so upon request. Clerk to write letter to Litter Collector within six weeks of the staging date to advise.
9. Play Equipment Inspection – Ongoing - Polycarbonate panel to be discussed in new budget. Chain link fencing to be fitted in the Spring.
10. Bench – Ongoing – New bench to be fitted in the Spring. Fixing kit will need to be purchased for the donated bench.
11. Mr & Mrs Massingham – Tree has been removed.
12. Briefing sessions (i) Local Plan – Site Allocations & Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (ii) 5 year land supply – Two training sessions have been organised to ensure Parish Councils are fully informed of changes to the Planning System. Mr Storey encouraged Parish Council members to attend due to the increasing number of planning applications that are now passed compared to that of 6 months ago due to the 5-year land supply. Chair and Mrs Williams will attend on Monday 29th February at 3.00 pm.
13. Proposed Post Office Relocation – Clerk has been informed by the current postmistress that the village post office will not be closing on 1st March and as yet, has no confirmed date of closure.
14. Hedge Cutting – Mrs Williams and Mr Lambert met with Rene Garner to discuss the current situation. Mrs Williams discussed the trees adjacent to 5 Portal Close which are overhanging with roots growing under the houses.
Ms Garner informed her that work has just been completed on the boundary trees with the exception of one tree which was found to have bats roosting, she is therefore awaiting an environmental report. Decaying trees have been removed and tall trees were reduced by a minimum of 10ft (where possible, type/health of the tree dictated this) where they had an impact on the adjacent private estate (Moat Side). The tree at 5 Portal Close had a 20% crown reduction and was re-shaped which included the removal of any dead wood. Advice was taken from an arboriculturist and their highly qualified tree surgeon and Ms Garner is of the opinion that this nearly 80 year old tree is in good condition. However, Mrs Williams believes an independent tree survey should be carried out. Mr Lambert said Ms Garner agreed to trim the pedestrian path and the hedge from the old base entrance to Blackdyke Road and this will be completed by the end of March. Ms Garner will ask for the area adjacent to the farm hedge along Blackdyke Road which is closer to the road to be addressed but stated that without available funds, she would not be able to commit to anything. Ms Garner will email her report through to the Clerk.
15. Grass Cutting Contract – Clerk presented three tenders. The cheapest was CGM at a cost of £2691.71 + VAT. It was generally felt that CGM had carried out a good service last year with only one complaint being received. Mr Leamon proposed CGM be given the Grass Cutting Contract for 2016, Mr Cooper seconded, 1 abstained, rest in favour.
16. Circus Tyanna – Ongoing - will arrive on Sunday 10th April 2016 at approx 6.30 pm and will be charged £30/day for water.
17. Lamp Post – K&M Lighting are still chasing UKPN to connect electricity supply.
18. Wall growth/Parking – Mrs Batten met again with the Site Manager who informed her that he is doing his best to keep the roadway clear but as the Borough Council had issued no parking restrictions, there was not a lot he could do as the grass area has become too boggy to park on. Mrs Williams suggested placing a mat over the grass. He felt parking at the playing field would be too expensive. Mrs Batten has requested therefore that the cars do not park too close to the Oak Street junction and a sizable gap is left between cars. She will monitor the situation and speak to the Site Manager again if necessary. Bollards are programmed to be installed at the entrance to Hall Close in the new financial year.
19. Bus Stops –New flags will be installed within 4 weeks.
20. Sector Led Body for audit procurement –NALC have advised fees are likely to be approx
£200 under the new SAAA Scheme. As the contract would be for a five-year period, Mr Lambert asked if this price would be fixed or would increase at all. Clerk to investigate. If no significant increase, Chair proposed opting in, all in favour. Deadline is 31st March 2016.
21. Parish Precept – Clerk read out email from the Borough Council stating that there is no second homes discount. As a result, the tax base has increased, therefore Band D reduces from £38.05 to £38.03.
22. Highways – Pothole along Hythe Road has been inadequately repaired and needs attention. Clerk to report.
23. Lodge Road – Roadworks have now been removed.
25. Street Light Replacement – Mrs Bane showed samples of two streetlights which K&M Lighting had provided quotations for. The larger lantern costs £350 + VAT, consumes 21 watts of energy and can be pre-programmed to dim, the smaller lantern costs £250 + VAT, consumes 30 watts of energy but does not have the facility to be dimmed. All costs include removal and disposal of existing lanterns, supply and installation. These lanterns can be fitted to existing posts. Existing streetlights consume 80 watts of energy. Mrs Bane and the Clerk had walked around the village last Thursday evening to carry out a survey of the streetlights. A few were out, several were too dim and lots of casings needed repair or were missing completely. If there is any surplus in the budget for streetlights at the end of the financial year, Mrs Bane asked if some streetlights could be replaced, as she believes it would be in the Parish Council’s best interest. Mr Lambert asked if the Clerk could carry out a costing exercise to compare how much the current streetlights cost per night to run compared to the new LED lanterns. To be discussed at next meeting.
26. Conifer Hedge – Has been cut back.
27. Fence – Clerk is not permitted to access deeds therefore under instruction of the Chair had consulted Planning who advised that as the fence is over 1m high and is on a highway, planning permission must be granted. In this case, planning permission had not been sought. The Clerk had relayed this information back to the Chair who then asked her to report this as a planning breach.
28. Internal Auditor – Clerk presented three prices, TWR Accountants were the cheapest at £275 + VAT. The Chair proposed TWR Accountants carry out the internal audit this year, all in favour. Clerk to inform TWR.
29. Allotment Terms of Reference – To remain as present, Mr Storey proposed, PC seconded, all in favour.
30. Football Club Dugouts – In light of the continued vandalism to the existing dugouts, Wayne Fox from the senior football club asked if permanent dugouts could be built at the playing field if the football club incurred all costs. Mr Lambert asked for further details such as size and materials to be used. The Chair asked if collapsible, polycarbonate dugouts would be another idea as these could then be stored in the changing rooms. Mr Storey asked if it was a requirement of the league that dugouts have to be provided and Mr Fox confirmed that it was. Mr Storey felt that Feltwell is very lucky to have such an established football club and stated that the Parish Council is grateful for the football club’s effort. The Chair asked Mr Fox to bring sketches and prices of proposed permanent dugouts together with prices for the collapsible type to the next meeting.
31. Enquiry from Resident – Clerk read out an email from a resident asking if she could set up a litter-picking volunteer group to collect litter from areas around the village that were not covered by the Parish Council’s litter collector, such as Blackdyke Road and Old Brandon Road. Mr Lambert stressed that the current litter collector was doing an excellent job and wanted care to be taken so as not to offend her. The resident requested a skip and black bin bags but the Chair said she could use the bin on the playing field. Chair proposed litterpicking group be set up, all in favour. Areas where other litter has been found such as Short Lane and Newcombe Drive could be incorporated into the litter collector’s round. Clerk to speak to litter collector.
32. NCC – Emails received.
33. Norfolk Police Connect – Emails received – Spam email warning; Police precept survey reminder; Safety guidance for WordPress users; Cyclists safety reminders; Appeal following burglary in South Wootton; Appeal to find next of kin – David Pais
34. TWR Accountants – Email received re February’s Tax Tips & News.
35. UKPN – Email received re Critical Friends Panel
36. URM (Berryman) – Letter received re change of bank details
37. Alive Leisure – Updating West Norfolk Directory of Sport
38. Brochures – Parish Magazine, Eureka First Aid & Safety, Glasdon
39. CHEQUES - Were signed for the following – J Martin £812.23, S Sargent £108.48, Cash
£15.00, Methodist Church £12.75, B Batten £32.00, BT £49.18, Viridor £121.32, Post Office
Ltd (SSE) £519.59, G Smith £36.00, Berryman £31.68
40. PLANNING – Mrs Emma Wilson – Subservient side extension to existing bungalow at 8 Addison Close – APPROVED. New dwelling at South of Hill House, 21 Hill Street – amended from reserved matters to a full application – NO COMMENT. Clerk advised that the Planning Department at the Borough Council are running two training events to update parish councils of changes to the Planning System. The Chair and Mrs Williams said they would like to attend the session on 29th February, Mr Lambert said he would be a reserve. Clerk read out an email from NALC regarding a petition ‘Giving Parish Councils the Right to Appeal Planning Decisions’, any Councillor wishing to add their name to this petition should visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/110489.
41. Highways – Recent repair work at Wilton Road needs attention as the road has sunk again. The whole of Oakfields entrance and a further 10 yards towards the village centre needs resurfacing. Southery Road to Leonard’s Lane is not in a good state. Clerk to report.
42. Road Closure – Clerk reported correspondence relating to road closure on 15th February for 8 days. Ryston Road (A10 Lynn Road from junction to C32/42 Ryston Road for 18m Southeast direction) would be closed whilst the Lynn Road A1122 roundabout is being resurfaced.
43. Review of Financial Standing Orders – next meeting.
44. National Living Wage – Increases from £6.70 to £7.20 as of 1st April 2016. Clerk to inform litter collector.
45. Handyman – Chair said she was saddened at the recent passing of the handyman and had sent a bereavement card to his wife on behalf of the Parish Council.
Next meeting to be held on Monday 14th March 2016 at 7.30 pm. Meeting declared closed 9.15 pm.
Due to the time limit, the following PLANNING was APPROVED 23/2/16 by 3 Councillors – Mr S Samuels - 27-29 High Street – Single storey rear extension to form a disabled WC, staff WC, utility area and a conservatory