Parish Council – Draft Minutes of 15 June 2021


Minutes of the virtual meeting held on 15 June 2021

Present: Councillors John Broom, Phil Reeve, Richard Atkins, Pat Scowen and Dave Swinborne. Janet Rogers Parish Clerk and 4 members of the public

  1. Welcome by the Chairman Councillor Broom
  2. Apologies and approval of absences – Councillor Mack and Neave.
  3. Declarations of Interest – There were none
  4. To approve as accurate the minutes of the meeting on 18 May 2021 – Approved
  5. Matters arising from those minutes – The Flood report had been submitted to County Councillor Grant to be forwarded to Norfolk Flood Alliance as there was no response a further copy was sent to NALC who have a representative on the Alliance, they confirmed they will ensure the report is submitted.
  6. Progress reports Councillors/Clerk – Lifebelt has been purchased and installed at the staithe.
  7. To receive reports from the County and District Councillor – this item deferred to item 9 as Councillor Thomson had IT issues.
  8. Public Question Time not exceeding 15 minutes. Concern was raised about the erosion of the verge by vehicles on The Green and the question of how this can be prevented asked. Councillor Thomson advised that the verge forms part of the highway. A resident would be held liable if obstructions placed on the verge caused and an accident or damage to a vehicle. Concerns were also voiced regarding the plot on New Road and the destruction of the hedgerows, trees and shrubs during the birds breeding season as well as disruption to other wildlife including lizards, snakes, and bats. Has the Parish Council been consulted and what is the response? Councillors advised they had not been consulted. Outline planning permission was agreed for three dwellings several years ago. The Chairman had checked that the workers were aware of the trees with TPOs. Their plans show the locations. Councillor Thomson agreed to check with SNDC regarding planning permission. It was suggested the Parish Council develops a Wildlife Plan across the whole village to safeguard something similar from happening again. The Council was asked if there is a neighbourhood plan and due to the loss of biodiversity how do we protect what we already have? The Council had considered a neighbourhood plan however, given the amount of work this would involve there was not enough support to proceed with it. Councillor Scowen with Cathy Terry and Dan Hoare agreed to look at developing a Wildlife Plan.  Councillor Reeve pointed out that wildlife had returned to the areas of the Staithe that have been left to rewild.
  9. To receive reports from the County and District Councillor – Councillor Thomson advised there are plenty of sandbags at Bramerton – Councillor Reeve agreed to collect some. Harford recycling centre opens in October and Bergh Apton will continue for the time being. Verge cutting is taking place but only for safety, where drivers views are obscured. There are currently 8 cycle routes in and around the city and more are planned. Beryl scooters are proving more popular than the bikes. The SNDC Consultation regarding the housing developments in villages is now open. Councillor Thomson has just completed a project in the Yelverton area achieving better Broadband for the village. The next task is to gain funding to move from copper to fibre for every house in Kirby Bedon, Bramerton and Surlingham increasing the current 80mb to 900mb. Householders need to send a screen dump showing their broadband speed to their property to Councillor Thomson. More details are on Surlingham.org search for Councillor Thomson’s report posted on 20 June 2021. As the project develops householders will need to register for the upgrade to receive a voucher for £1500, Business users receive £3000 voucher from Openreach. If enough householders apply the vouchers will fund the work.
  10. Finance: Approve Report from Internal Auditor – Approved. Approve Annual Governance Statement – Approved. Approve Accounting Statements 2020/21 – Approved. Authorise Payments. R Hardingham £175.36, J Rogers £387.05, ADEPTA £498, Orange Fox £131.20, Paper Hand Towels £19.99, Brian Ward Marine £32.16
  11. Progress report Outdoor Space – Councillor Neave sent his apologies and asked for a closed meeting to discuss the options he had been working on. The Clerk confirmed work was ongoing to find information about a formal agreement for community use of the school field. Talks are in progress with NPS/Sapientia/Parish Council to find a solution.
  12. Village Fete – With the uncertainty of covid it was agreed to postpone the fete until next year. It was suggested the fete could be part of the celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The 2022 May Bank Holiday weekend moves to Thursday, 2nd June, and Friday, 3rd June 2022 will also be a Bank Holiday to make a four-day Bank Holiday weekend to celebrate the Queen’s 70-year reign.
  13. Staithe and dyke maintenance – Councillor Broom advised that as soon as the equipment is available work can be carried out on the tree and clearing the dyke. Councillor Atkins said he would ask for the loan of equipment from Wheatfen to assist with reed clearance.
  14. Footpaths – Councillor Atkins reported that the NCC Trails team had agreed to repair footpath by the Church and where footpath 1 and 3 meet. The Broads Authority were looking at ways of assisting by bringing in materials by boat. The Broads Authority are still bidding for funds for the permissive path. NCC are standing by their decision that the path has been lost to the river. Councillor Atkins is now a member of the Broads Local Access Forum and has submitted a paper to the Forum requesting details of all footpaths deemed to be lost to the river in Norfolk and Suffolk.
  15. Correspondence – Request for a Dog waste bin at Coldham Hall – Councillors agreed to provide the bin with the landlord taking responsibility for arranging for it to be emptied. SAMs machine on The Green – The rotation of the SAMs machine was affected by the lockdowns. Councillor Broom responded that due to pressure of work the machine is not rotated as frequently as dictated by NCC. He suggested a post to be placed on Surlingham.org with the SAMs information asking for volunteers to help to ‘spread the load’. A resident asked for details of the type of vehicles to be made available. The SAMs machine has no means of recording such data it is purely a speed activated machine. Recording speed and volume of vehicles.
  16. To note items for inclusion on the next council agenda – SNDC Consultation on village cluster developments. Clerk indicated the outside of the parish hall was untidy with weeds and the ivy is beginning the new roof and gutters. Councillor Broom suggested asking Padmaloka if they could spare some time to clear it. A toilet cistern also needs attention. Councillor Reeve agreed to look at it.
  17. To confirm the date of the next meeting 20 July 2021

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