Minutes of the meeting held on 11/2/09 at the Scout HQ
Present: R.Beckley (Chair), M.Knowles, D.Thompson, Mrs.M.Roffe, B.Hill, Mrs.M.Wright, M.Church and the Clerk. Also present were PCSO.L.Soar, F.Farrow (Hon. Warden, Beeston Common), and three members of the public.
1a. To receive and consider apologies:
Apologies were received and accepted from D.Cox, P.Kemp, and M.Bliss. The resignation of Mike Tacchi had been received by the Clerk. Apologies were also received from Mrs.A.Sweeney (NNDC) and B.Hannah (NCC). Referring to MTs resignation the Clerk told members that NNDC Electoral Services had been informed and the advertisement for the vacancy would appear on the notice board in the next few days. If an election was not requested by ten parishioners within the statutory time the parish council would be able to use the co-option procedure. This was noted by members.
1b. To receive Declarations of Interest:
RB and MK declared a personal interest in item 5(i). MW declared a personal interest in item 6 (Caravan Club application).
2a. To approve the minutes of meeting held on 14/1/09:
These were accepted as a true record (Prop: DT, Sec: MR).
3. Resolution re Public Participation (requests to speak on specific items):
Prop: RB, Sec: MK – agreed – The meeting was adjourned and a parishioner made a request to speak on item 6. The meeting was re-opened.
At the Chairs suggestion it was agreed to take item 12 next.
12. To consider Sect.17, Crime & Disorder Act (incl.police report):
The Chair welcomed PCSO. Luke Soar to the meeting. The PCSO reported that there had been two crimes since the last meeting and overall crime was down during this last year. He stated that the police were now using high visibility patrols and regular vehicle checks were being carried out. It was noted that the Safer Neighbourhood Team was now fully staffed. The Chair thanked PCSO Luke Soar for his report who then left the meeting.
(a) To approve invoices for payment and note bank balances:
The current bank balances were as follows :- A/C 10162132 £918 and A/C 10162140 £3362 – the Capital Account has been closed. This was noted by members. The Clerk gave a brief explanation regarding the three payments scheduled and also asked for a further urgent payment to be approved namely Norfolk A2Z, £46.00 (hosting web-site). The following were approved :- C.Allen £63.99, P.Bullimore £342.11, West Runton Scouts £25.00 and Norfolk A2Z £46.00 (Prop: DT, Sec: MR). The Clerk mentioned that new pay scales for clerks had been announced i.e updated for inflation, and he would be including the arrears for 2008/09 in the March payments.
(b) To consider reply from NNDC re changes to verge cutting:
Members had all received copies of the letters received from NNDC and NALC regarding this matter. Their contents were noted and the Clerk was asked to obtain a copy of the cutting schedule/dates for the coming season.
(c) To consider Qtly. Budget Report as at 31/1/09:
Members had all received copies of the Clerks Qtly. Budget statement as at 31/1/09 i.e. month 10 of the financial year. In summary the Clerk said that there would be an overspend because of additional lighting maintenance which had included a new lamp in Caxton Park, three new post top lanterns, and various repairs. Other than the payment for the wreath and small donation to the Royal British Legion the donation budget head was showing an underspend of £257. This would increase to £315 at the end of month 12 following the decision to take all requests to the annual parish meeting to allow parishioners to have their say. The figures on the budget statement and the Clerks comments were agreed and noted by members.
(a) To note decisions received from NNDC since last meeting:
20081614 – Steps to beach at Caravan Park – permission given – noted by members.
It was agreed to take item 5(i) next
(i) To further consider Beach Access Steps at B.Regis Caravan Park:
The Chair stated that he had not replied to the e-mail received from the National Trust. MK said that the caravan park had a meeting organised with the NT in early March. The Chair agreed to e-mail the NT to inform them of the PCs support for the scheme and to remind them that steps to the beach from this site was not a new idea.
(b) To consider planning applications received since agenda printed:
(e) Sheringwood – To receive update & consider tree preservation:
No further news – the Clerk was still to meet the Woodland Trust representative.
(h) LDF – incl. Gypsy EERA consultation and SMP:
There was no further news – the Clerk reminded members of the latest information being on the District Councils web-site.
6. To consider Highways and Footpath Matters:
The Clerk reported on the following :-
Britons Lane fence – still awaiting details of land ownership.
Britons Lane drainage scheme – start date now revised to 16/3/09.
Overhanging hedge (north of Abbey Pk) – Highways to monitor situation.
Overhanging trees/slippery path (Caxton Cl) – the Clerk was instructed to write a letter of thanks to the woodland owner following his contractor improving/working on the pavement surface. The Clerk was instructed to ask NCC Highways whether a chemical could be used to prevent the moss and other weeds returning.
A149 road closure (burst water main) – Copies of the replies from NCC Highways and AWA had been supplied to members. In summary both authorities agreed there had been problems but they would try and rectify them in the future.
Application re Caravan Club – Heathbarn, Britons Lane: An application for a certified location (up to five touring vans) had been submitted with responses required by 28/2/09. Planning permission is not required. B.Hannah (NCC) had expressed concerns regarding this (highway safety) when apologising for not being able to attend the PC meeting. He would be getting in touch with the Highways Dept. hoping they would support him and object on road safety grounds i.e. the site is too close to bends and is very narrow. MW stated that it would be very difficult for caravans to manoeuvre on that section of Britons Lane. The Chair summarised the situation and thought the PC should object because of the problems already stated. A planning application/permission had already stipulated that only the access on the submitted drawing could be used for this site and all others had to be closed up. Many concerns, over many years, had been expressed to the Police and NCC Highways regarding this stretch of road and the Clerk was instructed to write to the Caravan Club objecting to this application (Prop: RB, Sec: MK – agreed). A brief adjournment during this discussion revealed that a parishioner who had requested to speak on this item agreed with the PC and the points raised.
7. Meetings & Conferences (to receive reports and announcements):
NALC has organised workshops in March – it was agreed to request notes/minutes.
Upcher Community P’Ship – Launch on 4/3/09 – RB & PK to attend.
NNDC Area Forum meetings – the Clerk was instructed to reply requesting the promotion of Tourism as a topic for discussion (also the Scout HQ as a venue).
Training dates announced by NALC – it was agreed to wait for the May/June dates.
The Chair reported on a Sheringham Preservation Soc. Meeting – minutes to circulate
8. PC Assets:
(a) Street Lighting – to consider reports & review of lighting stock:
Reports from the Vice-Chair and the Clerk had been supplied to members. The Clerk stated that the only outcome regarding his research was that a new inventory would have to be submitted to the energy supplier prior to the renewal of the electricity contract with updates being given on a regular basis. MK said that he was happy that the PC had been well served by the lighting contractor and we now have a database with full detail of the current lighting stock. A new product called a cosmopolis lantern encompasses the latest technology, and should provide a similar brilliance as with existing lights and brings the added benefit of using less electricity. MK recommended the use of this light i.e. cosmopolis, 45w output, white light. He said that the PC should specify the most energy efficient light and have regard to environmental concerns such as light pollution. The latter of these was, and is, being satisfied as the contractor states that only a small proportion of light emitted is being directed upwards. Health and Safety has to be considered and the PC needs to maintain a certain level of lighting over a length of time. i.e. what parishioners have come to expect over many years. Problems could be created if the brilliance of lights was reduced, or worse still, switched off. Members accepted the Vice-Chairs report and agreed to use the cosmopolis, 45w output, white light in future. The exception to this would be along the A149 and in the Caxton Park/Close area where the lights are orange and members wish this to continue. The Clerk was instructed to write to the lighting maintenance contractor accordingly.
9a. To consider ongoing maintenance of Beeston Common:
The Chair welcomed Mr.Farrow (Hon.Warden of Beeston Common). Mr Farrow spoke of the history of the common and that from 1996 Natural England had been in charge and had control of the maintenance. He outlined the work carried out in recent years, including the cutting rotation, and invited questions from members. MK said that the common, which he had known for many years, was turning into a bog and was a mess. Looking back over a long period of time he recalled being able to walk over most of this land with the ground being firm in many areas and drainage ditches functioning correctly. Ditches where water flowed freely were now dry and in some cases blocked and overgrown. Mr.Farrow could not explain with any certainty why the common was now wet and boggy and put forward reasons such as the building of houses. MK stated that the beck north of the road always flowed freely and wondered why drainage ditches were not effective on the southern section. MW and MR both said that enjoyment of the common was not possible any more with MR relating to the times that her family, including young children, walked and played there. The main ditch forming the parishes western boundary, and to the east of the common, used to have water in it more than twelve inches deep, but now had a small amount of water passing down it, in spite of increased rainfalls in recent years. Mr.Farrow did not give any firm answers to these drainage problems and referred to discussions currently taking place between the town council and the AWA. The Chair thanked Mr.Farrow for attending and members agreed to write to Sheringham Town Council asking who was responsible for the ditches and whether anything can be done to rectify the situation.
Mr.Farrow left the meeting after this item.
9b. To consider Pillbox in Britons Lane:
NNDC. Conservation Section had informed the Clerk that in their opinion the pillbox would not be listed but a final answer rested with English Heritage. There were many of these structures in north Norfolk and many more throughout the country with sufficient numbers already preserved and listed. It was agreed to place this matter on the next agenda and await the response from English Heritage.
9c. To consider Consultation on Code of Practice on Local Authority publicity:
It was agreed to circulate the documentation and place this matter on the next agenda.
9d. To consider unauthorised bonfires in the parish:
A copy of the Environment Agency e-mail received was supplied to members who noted its comments and decided to remove this item from the next agenda.
9e. To consider Nfk. Coast Partnerships review of AONB:
All documents had been circulated and it was agreed to make no response.
9f. To consider phone box in Britons Lane:
The Clerk reported the box was still out of use and he had never, over the many months since it was last vandalised, had a request or an enquiry from a parishioner about getting it repaired. Members said that it had been vandalised/damaged so many times that the public did not expect a working phone to be available any more. It was becoming an eye-sore and members agreed to ask BT to remove it. The Clerk would write to BT accordingly.
10. Quality Parish Status:
(a) To receive update on QPS:
Nothing further to report.
(b) To consider next years meeting dates (incl. Annual Parish Meeting):
It was agreed to continue with the second Wednesday of the month for council meetings. The annual parish meeting would be on 6/5/09 with the annual council meeting on the following Wednesday (13/5/09). The Clerk would draw up the annual calendar and distribute to members and place on notice boards.
(e) No Cold Calling Zones – to receive update:
Confirmation from Norfolk County Council Trading Standards had been received regarding Hillside Road becoming a NCCZ.
(f) To consider Qtly.Newsletter:
MR agreed to deal with the collection of monies from advertisers as usual and MK listed some of the subjects to be covered in this edition. It was hoped to have items for publication ready in the next two weeks with publication and distribution taking place by mid-march.
(g) Review of Public Participation at meetings:
The system of having two areas on the agenda at the beginning and towards the end of the agendas was considered to be working well (items 3 and 14). It was agreed to continue with the present arrangements.
11. To receive reports from District & County Councillors:
Apologies had been received from both councillors.
13. To receive Correspondence (not included in agenda items above):
The Clerk drew members attention to the following :-
NCC Adult Social Services leaflet/letter: Assistive Technology
N.Lamb MP., Annual Report 2008
These would be circulated as usual.
14. Resolution re Public Participation:
Prop: BH, Sec: DT, agreed – meeting adjourned – no comments – re-opened
15. To confirm date of next meeting – future agenda items:
Next meeting confirmed for Wed. 11/3/09 (7pm)