The Meeting of the Parish Council was held on Monday the 13th day of FEBRUARY 2017 at the Methodist Chapel, Bell Street – commencing 7.30 pm
COUNCILLORS PRESENT: Mrs Batten (Chairwoman), Mr Lambert (Vice Chair), Mrs Bane, Mrs McGeeney, Messrs Storey, Cock, Cooper, Leamon and Rayner. Also present 3 members of the public and Sq Leader Neilds.
APOLOGIES: Received from Mrs Mills.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST: None.
MINUTES: Minutes of the last meeting were taken as read, agreed and duly signed by the Chairwoman.
PUBLIC SPEAKING: The meeting was suspended for 2 minutes to allow members of the public to speak.
1. RAF Feltwell – Sq Leader Neilds said investigations are still ongoing into relocation possibilities for firing and demolition at Stanford. Mr Storey said a resident had enquired about a loud explosion heard in Hockwold on the morning of 22nd – 24th January (Mr Storey was unsure of the exact date). Sq Leader said he would look into this. Sq Leader departed the meeting at 7.40 pm.
2. SNT –Various Police Connect emails have been received. Clerk has received an email from PC Emily Carter, Engagement Officer, advising that an update of crime figures for Feltwell will be sent out monthly together with information relating to what is happening in the area and neighbourhood priorities. Clerk will circulate accordingly.
3. Risk Assessment – Clerk said handyman was having problems with the hinge on the gate so had advised him to speak with Mr Batten who had fixed this in the past. Mr Cock apologised as he had not managed to carry out the risk assessment but said he would do this tomorrow and submit to the Clerk. Next inspection to be carried out by Mr Storey. Clerk has received a quote from PlayMaintain for the annual operational inspection of the play equipment and will obtain further quotes in time for the next meeting.
4. Balance Sheet – Mr Cock pointed out that the amount for the 75th NZ Squadron wreath should be £18.50 and the Parish Council wreath (£17.00) and Parish Council’s donation towards the appeal (£14.50) should be allocated to Other. Clerk will amend.
5. Allotment Pest Control – Report received for January.
6. NALC – Weekly newsletters and updates have been circulated.
7. Skate Park – Mrs Bane said that the deadline for Sports England grants is 14th February 2017 so she should hear shortly if the application is successful. She has organised a Race Night at The Chequers on 25th March to fundraise further and asked if the Councillors could donate a raffle prize.
8. Briefing sessions (i) Local Plan – Site Allocations & Development Management Policies Development Plan Document (ii) 5 year land supply – No further news.
9. Highways – Clerk read out email response from Mr Tom McCabe at NCC which stated that lines were not replaced along Hythe Road as according to Chapter 5 of the Traffic Signs Manual 2003, the road is not at the minimum width where lines are deemed necessary (5.5m). Mr Lambert said that earlier in the day a wing mirror had been chipped along this road. Mr Cock said the drivers involved in these accidents should complain to the NCC or contact the County Councillor. Mr Storey stated that agricultural vehicles are wide and felt that white lines are required to guide traffic but said he had been unable to contact Andy Wallace. Clerk to contact Highways to ask for this decision to be reconsidered. Clerk has heard nothing back about the siting of the poles along Southery Road. Gruts have still not been emptied along Old Brandon Road which is now becoming slushy and dangerous. Clerk to contact Highways.
10. Street Light Replacement – Both lights have now been raised. More street lights will be replaced in the new financial year and Mrs Batten suggested replacing the same quantity as last year (33) as follows:- 11 along Paynes Lane, 1 on the corner of Lime Kiln Lane and Short Lane, 2 on Crabbes Close, 4 along Long Lane (there are 5 street lights along Long Lane but one has already been replaced with an LED), 8 along Lodge Road and 7 on Addisons Close.
11. Ranger Visit – Mr Storey had not been able to contact Andy Wallace regarding the outstanding matters.
12. War Memorial – Ongoing. Re-lettering work scheduled for late March 2017. Mr Cock advised he had attended a War Memorials Condition Survey Workshop in Norwich earlier in the month which he had found useful.
13. ‘STOP’ Signs – Clerk read out section from Mr McCabe’s email as mentioned above which stated that Stop signs are only considered necessary where visibility is severely restricted requiring drivers to stop rather than give way. He felt this was not the case at this junction. A legal Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is required to install a junction stop line and at present with limited budgets, TROs are only being allocated to sites where there is a significant accident history. Mr Lambert asked the Clerk to enquire how much a TRO is as he felt strongly that Stop lines are required at this junction. Again Mr Storey said he had been unable to contact Andy Wallace about this.
14. Tree – Clerk has spoken with Ann Crotty from the Natural Environment Team at NCC who said that the tree does not need to be topped as it is not dangerous. She said it had been poorly cut by the energy supplier in previous years to reduce the branches on the electricity cables and that she could make a request for the tree to be pruned property to ensure this does not happen next time but could not guarantee Highways would approve it. Mrs Batten asked the Clerk to proceed with this request.
15. Explosions from Base – See Item 1.
16. Adopt a Kiosk/Defibrillator – It was agreed the Parish Council will pay for one defibrillator and the second will be lottery funded. Mr Rayner said that as well as purchasing a defibrillator outright, The Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT) had asked him to consider a ‘Managed Solution’ which runs for a minimum of four years, whereby the Parish Council pay for the defibrillator but it remains the property of the CHT who undertake the cost of everything except installation. After four years, the Managed Solution can be continued or the Parish Council can pay £1.00 to fully own the defibrillator at which point it would become a village asset and a new defibrillator would be installed rather than the battery replaced. Pads still need to be replaced every time they are used at a cost of £35/time. Advantages of a Managed Solution are that as the CHT becomes the ‘owner’ in law, it accepts the main liabilities and has insurances, including Public Liability and Theft/Damage. Regular weekly or monthly checks would still need to be undertaken and Mr Rayner said he would be happy to do these. Alternatively, should the Parish Council wish to purchase a defibrillator outright, Mr Rayner presented information on two defibrillators recommended by the CHT and the preferred option was the Powerheart GS. After consideration, Mrs Batten proposed opting for a Managed Solution and all were in favour. Mr Rayner to obtain all necessary paperwork.
17. Dog Bin – Clerk has received written permission from the owner of the fence along Long Lane beside Feltwell Chinese for siting the dog bin here and has instructed the Borough Council to apply for a licence for this which should take two weeks. Clerk will ask Handyman to erect the other dog bin at the entrance to the car park on the playing field.
18. Email re Speeding – Clerk said camera that was in place on the 6th January was only a monitoring camera and that the actual speed camera was in place on the 8th February. She has requested results from this exercise but has received nothing back as yet. Clerk to put in a request for a safety awareness camera to monitor traffic along Wilton Road.
19. Dogs on Playing Field – Ongoing. An update will be given following a review of responses to the proposed amendment to include all fenced in children’s play/recreational areas.
20. Hedge cutting – the Base – Mr Lambert said that the hedge along Long Lane has been cut but nothing has been done along Blackdyke Road.
21. Clerk’s Wages – Payment by standing order of £812.23 to commence 6th April 2017 and continue on the 6th of each month until further notice. Mrs Batten, Mr Lambert and Mr Cock signed a letter to Barclays to authorise this. Expenses will be paid by cheque. Mr Storey asked the Clerk to clarify her working hours and hourly rate.
22. Grass Cutting Contract – Four tenders were received and the cheapest was TOP Garden Services at £2400.00 + VAT. Mr Storey proposed TOP Garden Services be given the grass cutting contract for 2017, Mr Lambert seconded, all in favour. A complaint was received regarding St Nicholas Churchyard about the carelessness of the previous contractor and photographs were shown illustrating some of the damage although it was not clear when this was caused. It was felt that it was the family’s responsibility to report the damage and if they wished to do so, the Parish Council and PCC would support them. Clerk to liaise with the complainant.
23. Complaint re Dog Mess- School competition posters will be put up next week.
24. Overhanging Hedge – Hedge has not yet been cut. Clerk to monitor.
25. Internal Auditor Quotes – Only one quote received which was from TWR Accountants at £275 + VAT, the same price as last year. Clerk pointed out that the quotations received last year were significantly higher than this. Mrs Bane proposed TWR Accountants carry out the internal audit this year, Mrs Batten seconded, all in favour. Clerk to inform TWR.
26. Review of Allotment Terms of Reference - To remain as present, Mr Cock proposed, Mr Cooper seconded, all in favour.
27. Record of Attendance – Mr Cock felt that a Record of Attendance should be produced to make the Councillors more accountable for their position as Parish Councillors to the parishioners. Clerk to produce this annually and present at the AGM.
28. Norfolk Police Connect – Various emails received and circulated
29. Op Randall Rural Crime – Newsletters received and circulated as appropriate
30. Norfolk County Council – Emails received – Get prepared ahead of predicted wintry and stormy weather in Norfolk; Call for volunteers to join the largest master composter team in the country; Additional millions for road improvements allocated to NCC; Media invitation – West Norfolk University Challenge Conference; NCC – Update on ongoing fire incident at Manor Farm in North Runcton
31. BCKLWN – Email - Statement of Community Involvement Consultation – 6/2/17-20/3/17 (Details circulated to all Parish Councillors 6/2/17)
32. Norfolk Record Office – Email – ‘Exploring Your Community Conference 2017’
33. TWR Accountants – Email – February Tax Tips & News
34. Groundwork East – Email – ‘Impact Report: How we have helped people and places’
35. Civic Voice – Emails – Civic Voice Design Awards: Deadline for nominations 14th February 2017 and further email with extended deadline
36. Brochures – Parish Magazine; NBB Outdoor Shelters
37. CHEQUES – Were signed for the following – J Martin £812.23, S Sargent £92.20, T George £28.19, Cash £5.00, Methodist Church £12.75, Viridor £121.32, Berryman £17.64, Post Office Ltd (SSE) £391.79, Post Office Ltd (SSE) £296.55, John Rolph £50.00, K&M Lighting £84.00, M Enefer £739.20
38. PLANNING – No planning applications have been received.
39. Highways – Footpath is still very uneven along High Street. Clerk to contact Highways.
40. Hastoe – Letter received advising tenant moving out of a one bedroom house in Feltwell and asking the Parish Council to contact the Borough Council if they are aware of any families in need of local rented accommodation. Property to be let via the local authority Choice Based Lettings Scheme, West Norfolk Homechoice.
41. Council Tax Band D - Information received from the Borough Council advising that as discounts have been reduced for empty, unfurnished and uninhabitable properties, the tax base for Feltwell has changed from 657.3 to 662.9 therefore reducing the Band D charge from £41.99 to £41.64.
Next meeting to be held on Monday 13th March 2017 at 7.30 pm.
Meeting declared closed 8.47 pm.