SURLINGHAM PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the virtual meeting held on Tuesday 16th March 2021
Attending: Parish Councillors John Broom Phill Reeve Dave Swinborne, Pat Scowen, Will Mack, Richard Atkins, Craig Neave. Clerk Janet Rogers, County and District Councillor Vic Thomson and 5 members of the public
- Welcome by the Chairman
- Apologies and approval of absences – None
- Declarations of Interest – None
- To approve as accurate the minutes of the meeting on 16 February 2021 – Approved
- Matters arising from those minutes: Item 6 The email regarding speeding was sent to County Councillor M Wilby Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure on 1 March 2021; Councillor Wilby replied the same day that he would have the details looked into. Bramerton Parish Council have replied to the request for a sign on the parish border stating that another no cycling sign is not necessary as the one on the Common is adequate.
- Progress reports Councillors/Clerk – Clerk reported the new battery had been fitted to the laptop at no cost to the Parish Council.
- To receive reports from the County and District Councillor – Reports from both Authorities covering recycling, Covid-19 infection rates, the Census, Easter refuse collection dates, School meal vouchers throughout the Easter Holidays. Full reports on Surlingham.org.
- Public Question Time not exceeding 15 minutes – None
- Appointment of Trustees to the Church & Poor Charity – Councillor Broom reported that 4 new Trustees have been appointed. Sue Allen, Heidi Dimmock, Caroline England and David Wadham.
- Flood Resilience Committee – Request for Council to fund report – Councillor Broom explained the village questionnaire had resulted in 38 responses and information collated. The Committee is of the opinion that a professional report by a firm of consultants would carry more gravitas when presented to the Norfolk Flood Alliance, Environment Agency, AWA, Norfolk County Council etc. The committee is asking the Parish Council to fund this. A quotation for £2500-£3000 has been obtained. Councillors raised concerns as to where the funding could come from. The Parish Council is required to retain a reserve equal to 2 years precept. Surlingham has a reserve of £15,000. The precept for 2021/22 is £8250 paid in two parts April and October. The Precept is fully committed so funding would have to come out of the reserve. It was suggested that the funding was ‘borrowed’ from the reserve and the precept increased in 22/23 to reimburse it. It was pointed out that if the parish council commissions a professional engineer’s report, this will set a precedent; at a future point a request could be made for the council to fund similar professional advice on other issues affecting the village, such as speed limits within the village and issues concerning footpaths, where it could be argued a professional assessment and legal advice might strengthen the case. It was supported in principle by 5 councillors, but councillors require more information about what the consultants would be asked to do. They agreed they needed the specification of what the report will cover and more than one quote.
- Planning – Ref 2021/0364 l: Replacement dwelling at Fairways Walnut Hill Surlingham – Supported. Ref 2021/0433 Broad Cottage Common Road Surlingham Single Storey Rear Extension & Detached Two Storey Garage / Studio Outbuilding – Supported
- The problem with Housing/Planning – Councillor Scowen explained that details of the called for sites for villages will soon be circulated for consultation followed by a request for the Parish Council to select from those proposed. She questioned if we need more housing? Discussion among Councillors included the point that some of them would like to see more affordable and less executive housing. It’s the cost of the land that dictates the value of the house that’s built. It was suggested the Councillors have a further discussion on their views as to what the village needs then let that dictate the developments. With that in mind a Village plan will be put on the agenda for the next meeting.
- Consider SAMs data – with less than 4% of vehicles breaking the 30mph it was thought the results were better than expected. The machine to be positioned by Surlingham Lodge.
- Finance – Authorise Payments – R Hardingham £105, J Rogers £357.35, PAYE £251.20, postage stamps £5.10, Donation to NARS £50 and SSE final bill yet to be received. – Authorised SSE Bill received 18 March 2021 £2392.51 paid
- Emergency Plan – The draft of the plan had been circulated and Councillor Neave; he asked all councillors to email him if they have any updates. It was suggested that a First Aid course be held once lock down is lifted. A post will be placed on the village website by the clerk asking for volunteers to help out in an emergency.
- Staithe working party – Donation from Surlingham Church & Poor Charity. The Clerk advised that the funding set aside by the charity was on hold pending submission of a quotation for the work. Once the funding is received it would be ringfenced ready for the work to be carried out. Councillor Broom will obtain the necessary quotation for submission to the Charity.
- Condition of footpaths – The Broads Authority is still trying to secure funding to repair footpaths. The footpath by the RSPB reserve is deteriorating and the river is flooding the marsh more frequently and to a greater extent as the bank is now lower due to erosion. Councillor Atkins is meeting with representatives of the Broads Authority and RSPB to find a solution.
- Village Fete – Carried over to next meeting
- Correspondence: Request for donation NARS – See item 14 – Agreed
- To note items for inclusion on the next council agenda. Flooding – Village Plan – Footpaths – Emergency Plan
- To confirm the date of the next meeting 20 April 2021 at 7:30p.m.