BEESTON REGIS PARISH COUNCIL
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING WEDNESDAY 5th May 2010
Firstly I would like to thank all the parish councillors for their support in what has proved to be another busy year. Sadly we lost David Cox who passed away in November last year. His contribution to the Parish Council was much appreciated and he is sorely missed. We have yet to fill the vacancy which we can do by co option.
The highlight of the year was our attaining “ Quality Parish Status” Norman Lamb, our local MP at the time, presented the certificate to us on 26th February .In meeting the exacting standards required to achieve this standard your council has demonstrated that it is well run
The role of Parish Councils may change so we are ready for any challenges that may arise and it is important we maintain the high standards for the future
At that time I stated that without the guidance and work put in by Peter Bullimore our Clerk we would not have achieved our goal.
The “No Cold Calling Zones initiative, started by Margaret Roffe in 2007 has continued and now embraces most of the parish where it is possible to do so.
The bottle bank continues to be well used and will again earn over £300 a year after costs have been deducted. Some of the proceeds were used to plant the bulbs which have been planted on the green in Britons Lane and which have enhanced the village.
The Parish precept which is collected within your Council Tax is, apart from the money from the bottle bank, our only source of revenue In 2009/10 this worked out at an average of £28 per household Precise details of how the money is spent will be published in my Annual Report which will go out with the next issue of Beeston Regis News I am pleased that we were able to make a small reduction in the precept for 2010/2011
Affordable Housing. Sadly we have not made any progress in this matter despite there being an established need in the parish and we will continue our efforts in this respect. Sadly it has been recently reported that the NNDC are close to the bottom of the list in achieving targets in this respect.
Tree Preservation Orders within the “Sheringwood” area have not been secured as the Woodland Trust and the NNDC did not share our view about the need. However as this area of our parish falls within the AONB we must rely on the planning process to protect the trees.
Beeston Common. Whilst this is not within our parish it is used by many of our parishioners and there has been concern about “English Nature’s” work including the apparent return of much of the common to bog land. We are in discussion with Sheringham Town Council but progress is slow
Crime The council receives a monthly list of crimes in the parish which shows this is not a serious problem .In fact there has been a significant reduction in crime over the past 2 years. I would however urge all residents to take proper precautions particularly in locking garages, sheds and outbuildings which can be easy targets.
Alternative Parish Plan. This is a joint project involving the Parish Council, Sheringham High School. Age Concern and our local Church will also be involved. Shortly we will deliver a questionnaire to all our parishioners with a view to ascertaining their needs and aspirations for the future.
Car Boots The Council is aware of the traffic and parking problems caused by the Sunday car boot sales on Cookies field. I should make it clear that the car boots are legal and Mr Cook is entitled to have them in his field where he provides on site parking.
The Upcher Community Partnership includes our parish and we continue to work with them. Councillors Paul Kemp remains on the board of that organization. A branch of the Norfolk Credit Union has been opened in Sheringham
The Parish is a consultee on many issues and appropriate responses have been or are being made on important matters which could directly affect the Parish .Such as
The Provision of Permanent Gypsy and Travellers sites The government has decreed that the North Norfolk District Council provide at least 15 permanent pitches within their area despite NNDC have stated that there is no evidence of need which view we vigorously supported. Sadly few other councils in the area bothered to respond. It is expected that the NNDC will endeavour to resolve this matter by involving all the Towns and Parishes in a forum such as determined the sites for Temporary Stopping Places. The requirements for Permanent pitches are such that the Temporary sites are not suitable.
Minerals and Waste Strategy for Norfolk The “Stone Pits “in Britons Lane continues to be a preferred site but it is unlikely that the level of annual extraction will increase.
Coast and Shoreline Management plans. Whilst the Shoreline Management plan has not yet seen the light of day . I am pleased to report that your council gave full support to the NNDC in their successful bid for funds to improve the current situation. Part of this funding is currently being used to clear debris from the foreshore below the cliffs between Beeston Regis and Sheringham so that access along the beach particularly at high tide will be easier than before.
I must record our thanks to Beeston Regis Caravan Park for reinstating their steps to the beach and allowing the general public access through their private property
Local Development Framework As I reported last year the LDF has now replaced the previous Local Plan and Beeston Regis is now part of what is deemed “countryside” This means that very little development is now permitted within the Parish and although applications have virtually dried up we are consulted on all Planning applications within the Parish and also those within close proximity to our boundaries. and where appropriate the Council makes representations either for or against. One significant planning application concerning the development of Hall Farm as holiday accommodation and related activities was passed following extensive pre planning consultation . This development should greatly enhance the area.
Apart from the important items I have already mentioned I and my councillors have attended many meetings throughout the year on a wide area of subjects including Sheringham, Preservation Society, Church Matters, Various Charity concerns, Area and Community partnerships, the new Planning Portal- to name but a few. Again my thanks to them all and in particular my Vice Chairman Mike for keeping our website up to date and together with Margaret Roffe the publication of “Beeston Regis News.
At the Annual Parish Council Meeting next week I hope to be handing over the Chairmanship to my very able deputy Mike Knowles although I will remain on the council and give him every support in the future.
G W Roy Beckley