Parish Council Draft Minutes of the meeting on 21 February 2023

Surlingham Parish Council

Minutes of the meeting held on 21 February 2023

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

  1. Welcome by the Chairman – The Chair opened the meeting and gave a warm welcome to the residents in attendance. He then explained that this was the Parish Clerks last meeting as she had decided to retire at the end of February. The Councillors presented her with a card and gift of gardening vouchers. The clerk thanked the Councillors.
  2. Apologies and approval of absences – None
  3. Declarations of Interest – None
  4. To approve as accurate the minutes of the meeting on 17 January 2022 – Approved
  5. Matters arising from those minutes, one of the deep-water signs for the pond has been installed. Metal poles are required for the remainder. Action: JB to supply these. He has also obtained a throw line and life ring. Councillor Scowen attended the zoom meeting regarding the Village Cluster Developments. Action: PS to provide a report. Councillor Atkins drew attention to an entry in the village newsletter referring to the footpath to the Ferry House which he felt was misleading. Action: RA to provide a correction for the editor to include in the next edition.
  6. Progress report for information on items not on the agenda: Councillors/Clerk. Clerk reported the VAT claim to 31 January of £497.37 had been received. The plumber has installed the water heater in the servery and addressed the leaking overflow in one of the toilets which was causing damp on the outside wall. The Clerk confirmed invoices for February will be raised before handing all equipment and files to the new clerk on 1 March 2023.
  7. To receive reports from the County and District Councillor – Not received
  8. Public Question Time – A parishioner thanked the Clerk for her contribution to the parish over the last 6 years, updating the village website, contributing to the newsletter, and supporting the church and events in the village. Another parishioner mentioned a recent report on the number of times raw sewage is allowed to enter the river and the broads. Action: PS to draft a letter to the Environment Agency asking how often this has occurred from the pumping stations on Ferry Road and The Covey?
  9. Approval of the appointment of Charlotte Rust as Parish Clerk and change of Council meetings to second Tuesday of the month. Approved
  10. Planning Permission 2023/0137 Residential dwelling north of The Green. Councillors agreed the plans are quite detailed considering this is a request for outline planning permission and certain assumptions have been made prior to being presented to the relevant agencies. Is this a suggestion or an intention of how the site could/will be developed? Mature trees and hedges have been removed on the plans causing concern on two counts first the loss of those trees, hedges, and habitat. Secondly, speeding, the trees currently obscure the ‘long view’ down a straight road which has no footpaths, and they act as a natural form of traffic calming. Removal will have the opposite effect. The drainage ditch has been removed on the plans. Disposal of surface water on the site is mentioned there is no explanation of how surface water from the highway will be managed. The green already suffers from flooding during periods of heavy rain. It is not clear if there will be any access to the farm through the site. In which case how will agricultural vehicles access the farm to the rear of the site? The design of the proposed property is not in keeping with the character of the village. The property is much higher than others nearby which are mainly bungalows. Without more clarity the Parish Council must object to this application. Action: Clerk to notify SNDC.
  11. Correspondence – 1) Request for additional Dog Bin in The Covey nearer Wheatfen. Denied due to cost of emptying by SNDCAction: Clerk to notify the parishioner 2) Complaint – Finials on new entrance to The Manor are unsightly and contravening planning application 2022/2250 ball finials have been replaced with WCs. Action: Clerk to notify SNDC Planning officer and inform the parishioner.
  12. Hall – Councillor White’s paper on projected receipts and payments. Agree increase in hire charges April 2023, ongoing Management, current repairs required to Kitchen (door and socket). Following discussion of Councillor White’s paper, it was proposed to increase the hourly hire charge with effect from 1 April 2023 as follows: £10 for one off hire, parties etc. £8.00 to regular groups/clubs, and £7 to the school. Hire charges have not been increased since 2019. Agreed. Action: Clerk to notify hirers. Repairs – The Trust had reported the outside door to the kitchen is rotten and a further socket is also required. Action The Trust has been asked to provide a quote for replacing the door. Orange Fox Ltd need to be contacted to install a socket. Ongoing management of the hall was not discussed. There had been complaints about the floor being left dirty after hire. Steps have been taken to address this.
  13. Finance – Authorise Payments: Wages £540.59, PAYE £ 186.00, WAVE £15.86 Plumber £110, ADEPTA £120, ICO Subscription via Direct Debit £35.00, Payments via the debit card: Toilet Rolls £44, Paper hand towels £29.95. Water safety Signs £67.03. Authorised
  14. Cyclists using footpaths – There had been instances where aggressive cyclists had clashed with walkers on the footpath between Bramerton and Surlingham. On one occasion a walker was pushed into a ditch. It was thought there was a petition that the council could sign up to stop cyclists using footpaths. Action: Councillor Wilson to investigate this. Clerk to report the incidents to NCC Trails team.
  15. Additional Item raised by Councillor Swinborne – Parishioners had complained about the volume of loose gravel on all road around the village. The sweepers had been round but there was still a lot that remained several windscreens had been chipped. Action: Clerk to report this to NCC.
  16. Date of next meeting 14 March 2023 Items for the next meeting – Update on Petition preventing cyclists using footpaths. Parish Hall – Check handrail, step is crumbling and the line highlighting the edge of the step needs repainting.
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