The Meeting of the Parish Council was held on Monday the 11th day of JANUARY 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, Mrs McGeeney, Mrs Mills and Mrs Williams. Also present 6 members of the public and Sq Leader Neilds.
APOLOGIES: None received.
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 10 minutes to allow members of the public to speak.
1. RAF Feltwell – Sq Leader Neilds began by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. He confirmed that work is now complete on Gate 1 on the A1065 which should now ease traffic flow on the B1112. He is due to attend a presentation in Eriswell where a proposal to build new properties will be discussed and he will be expressing his concerns about the additional traffic problems this may cause. The Chair asked for an update on Trenchard Square but he said he had had no further information. Mrs McGeeney asked for thanks to be passed onto Trevor Seaman for the email he sent notifying the Clerk of the four loud booms coming out of Feltwell on the 8th January. Sq Leader Neilds departed the meeting at 7.44 pm.
2. SNT – No weekly crime reports have been received from Police Connect throughout January, again due to new software being installed, thus causing a reduced service.
3. Risk Assessment – Mr Cock carried out the playing field inspection yesterday. A bracket needs replacing on the downpipe at the eastern end of the Changing Rooms, near the scout hut. There was a lot of litter around the teen shelter and the playing field in general, particularly lots of plastic sports bottles. The Football Club have mown the grass and left clippings in piles near the scout hut and around the trees. Whilst it is appreciated that the grass has been cut, it would be better for the clippings to be scattered so that the grass underneath does not die. Mr Cock felt that the dugouts are not currently being stored safely as they could fall onto a small child. The goalpost that has been left up needs to be moved to a different spot as the grass area underneath is very muddy. The net, however, is a safety hazard and needs to be removed completely. Clerk to write to Football Club about these issues. Plastic mat under cantilever swing needs replacing as the current one is not sufficient. Clerk to obtain prices. Mr Storey to carry out next inspection.
4. Balance Sheet – No queries. Clerk reported that the capital amount carried over from March to April 2015 was incorrect although this has no impact on money available. Figures have now been amended.
5. Allotment Pest Control – Monthly report received. Clerk waiting for prices to come in for vermin control. Article was not inserted in Parish Magazine due to deadline being before meeting.
6. NALC – Weekly updates. Clerk advised forthcoming training dates which herself, Mrs Bane and Mrs Williams are interested in attending.
7. Skate Park – Mrs Bane read out an email received from PC Andy Smith, Crime Prevention Officer, stating that in his opinion the site at Old Brandon Road is not a safe location for a skate park. He believes this location would attract crime, would be a target for graffiti, and would encourage youths to congregate here thus creating a potential drugs haven due to the area being out of public sight. He felt the Doctor’s Surgery would be a natural meeting place for vehicles causing anti-social behaviour. It is his recommendation that the playing field would be a much more appropriate site as being close to the children’s play area, it would have natural surveillance from the public and residents. Mr Cock pointed out that Lakenheath skate park is situated on the playing field, is not too big therefore doesn’t appear too costly and is well utilised. The Chair proposed the skate park to be sited on the playing field, all in favour. Mrs Bane proposed setting up a sub-committee to consist of councillors, parents etc to undertake this project. Mrs Williams seconded, all in favour. Mrs Bane spoke of her intentions to include the whole village such as the public houses, the school etc to raise funds for this project.
8. Pensions Regulator – Ongoing.
9. Play Equipment Inspection – Polycarbonate panel to be discussed in new budget. Chain link fencing to be fitted in the Spring. Chair advised that Mr Vincent’s health is improving.
10. Bench – To be fitted in the Spring - ongoing. Mrs Bane said that Mr Stuart Ramsay had kindly donated a picnic bench and asked if another concrete slab could be put down in the Spring when the other one is being laid. A fixing kit would need to be purchased. Chair proposed this acceptable, all in favour.
11. Mr & Mrs Massingham – No response as yet as to when the tree will be removed. Mr Lambert advised that this will be undertaken when time permits.
12. Briefing sessions (i) Local Plan – Site Allocations & Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (ii) 5 year land supply – Mr Storey said he had attended a planning meeting today. He reported the application had come back to the Borough Council and it has again been refused on a flooding issue however it is likely that the applicant may appeal. Mr Storey said he had abstained on the vote as he believed ratepayer’s money could be better spent. He reiterated that a planning application must be approved unless there is a substantial or demonstrable reason that it would cause harm if refused.
13. Ranger Visit – Taking place 18th January 2016. Mr Lambert asked for the pathways along Hill Street to be added to the list.
14. Proposed Post Office Relocation – The Post Office has confirmed it is proceeding with this proposal. The current branch will close at 17.30 on Tuesday 1st March with the new branch opening at One Stop Feltwell at 13.00 on Wednesday 2nd March.
15. Community Speed Watch Group – Mr Rayner said he had had no further phone calls and therefore wished to shelve this scheme.
16. Hedge Cutting – Clerk to organise meeting with Mrs Williams, Mr Lambert and Rene
Garner (Operations Manager for Housing & Grounds) for Thursday 14th January at 3.40 pm.
17. Grass Cutting Contract – Clerk has written to 5 companies, still awaiting tender prices.
18. Circus Tyanna – Will arrive on Sunday 10th April 2016 at approx 6.30 pm and will be charged £30/day for water.
19. Lamp Post – K&M Lighting are still chasing UKPN to connect electricity supply down the pole and once this is in place will install a temporary lamp and fit the new one when it arrives.
20. Wall growth/Parking – Wall growth has been cut back. Chair has spoken with the Site Manager about the parking issues but said that the vehicles cannot park on the grass verge due to it being too wet and cannot park on the site due to deliveries blocking off roads. Concern was expressed at the parking along Bell Street which is causing severe visual obstruction to vehicles pulling out of Oak Street and that this is now a risk area for an accident. Possible solutions suggested were traffic lights or parking at the Methodist Church with a donation being made to compensate for this. Mr Leamon suggested vehicles could park on the playing field car park and be ferried to the building site and Mr Storey stressed that this would be the best solution. The Chair will put these suggestions to the Site Manager. A resident from Hall Close stated that during school runs, cars are parking on the grass verge at the entrance and that this area is now all torn up and is beginning to sink. These vehicles are also causing visual restriction for cars exiting Hall Close. The Chair had asked the Site Manager if bollards could be erected to prevent cars parking here but as this area is owned by Highways there is nothing they can do. The Chair has asked them to write to Highways and the resident said she would be happy to do this too. Clerk also to write to Highways. Mrs Williams asked why the School cannot open up the back field to ease parking but the Chair advised that the Head teacher had refused this.
21. Sun & Soil – Email received from Sun & Soil stating that this opportunity is no longer available due to the area recently running out of capacity and it is now not possible to connect to the local substation.
22. Highways – Pothole off Old Methwold Road just off junction of The Beck is programmed to be filled, Highways Officer will look at situation with debris on road between junctions of Blackdyke Road and Manor Park Estate on his next visit to the village. Gullies to be cleaned out and jetted to the outfall outside 74 Lodge Road.
23. Bus Stops – Clerk has written twice to NCC but the information on the boards is still incorrect as they both state “Paynes Lane” and should read “Wilton Road”. Clerk to chase.
24. Sector Led Body for audit procurement – External audit arrangements are changing owing to the abolition of the Audit Commission and a new regulatory framework is being introduced.
Clerk to obtain prices for external auditors to compare with the new body that is being set up. Deadline has been extended to 31 March 2016.
25. Parish Precept – Each councillor had received a summary of expenditure and approximate monies to carry forward. Tax base and costs advised, grant reduced from £1470 to £1211 for the 2015/16 financial year. After some discussion, Chair proposed precept requirement to be set at £25,000 plus grant again this year, all in favour.
26. NCC – Emails received.
27. Norfolk Police Connect – Emails received – Farmers warned of scam alert to protect EU grant payments, Communities urged to consider home security and extend the ‘gift of safety’ to vulnerable people this Christmas, Volunteers for Crimestoppers needed, Public meetings taking place to discuss increasing or freezing the police element of the council tax.
28. British Red Cross – Email received asking for support with collections for The Red Cross Week in May. No dates confirmed as yet.
29. Brochures – Parish Magazine, NBB
30. CHEQUES - Were signed for the following – J Martin £1135.99, S Sargent £103.17, L Peckham £52.00, Cash £15.00, Methodist Church £12.75, Anglian Water £79.85, Post Office
Ltd (PAYE) £116.60, BT £50.24, Viridor £123.24, Post Office Ltd (SSE) £629.61, G Smith £36.00
31. PLANNING – There were no planning application to consider.
32. Highways – Substantial pothole along Hythe Road near Mr Storey’s lane. Clerk to report.
33. Lodge Road – Mr Leamon asked how long the roadworks were going to be in place along Lodge Road. Clerk to contact Highways.
34. Street Light – Mr Cock has been asked if a street light could be erected between the one on the corner of Old Brandon Road and the one at Oakfields as there are no streetlights inbetween and it is very dark. Chair pointed out that it is dark at several locations within the village. Clerk to obtain price for new streetlight.
35. Street Light Replacement – Mrs Bane enquired about replacement of streetlights. Mrs Batten said currently street lights are replaced with the new LED lights as the old ones go down.
36. Conifer Hedge – Needs cutting back on Oakfields Estate as it is obstructing street sign. Clerk to write to owners.
37. Fence – A 5ft fence has been erected on a property on St John’s Way around the front of the garden. It is believed this estate should be open plan. Clerk to look at the deeds on the Land Registry.
38. Allotment – Mr Cock reported that he had asked a member of the public to refrain from metal detecting on the allotments. He said this activity was not permitted by anyone on the allotments, even the tenants and asked the councillors to be aware of this should they see anyone else doing this.
39. Doctor’s Car Park – Clerk has contacted the surgery who informed her the potholes have been temporarily filled with shingle and will be properly repaired when the weather is dryer.
40. Internal Auditor – Needs to be appointed. Clerk to obtain prices.
41. Allotment Terms of Reference – To be reviewed at next month’s meeting.
Next meeting to be held on Monday 8th February 2016 at 7.30 pm. Meeting declared closed 8.30 pm.