Minutes – Swainsthorpe Parish Council – 8th July 2013




MONDAY 8th JULY 2013



Councillors: Janet Flower (Chairperson); Tony Talby (Clerk);  Graeme Johnson;                            

 Paul Frost; David Chapman; Glynis Frost


From District Councillor Laura Webster


The minutes of the last meeting of the 6th May 2013 and the AGM of that date,having been posted and circulated, were passed, and signed by the chairperson.


David Chapman reported that the church tower project is now due to start on the 1st August and be completed by the end of September, complaining of the unreliability of builders.

Janet Flower advised council on the planting of tubs of plants in the village, including on the A140, as agreed at the last meeting. To a question about a tub close to his house, David Chapman said it had not been planted and was not very visible but agreed to water it if provided. This will be actioned. Thanks were expressed to Janet Flower and to Steven. Janet Flower also reported having spoken to Doreen Holman about the phone booth being included when she takes care of the bus stop.

From the chair Graeme Johnson was welcomed to the Council.


A report was given by Paul Frost with regard to ongoing work at the Dun Cow.

New planning applications have been received.  The old applications were refused by South Norfolk Planning but, after slight adjustments, have been passed. New plans are submitted for bed and breakfast accommodation on the first floor (3 en-suite rooms), with the top floor for manager’s accommodation. Also, an alteration to the south elevation entrance lobby. None of this raises any problems or requires consultations with neighbours.

To a question from Graeme Johnson about proposed opening date in October that was said to be unlikely now.

Janet Flower raised the issue of the land adjoining Briar Lane. Two adjacent plots have been sold – one to Mr. Cruickshank and another for grazing. She mentioned that the second was full of ragwort which should be dealt with. Details are still wanted about proposed usage. Doreen Holman may have more information when she returns from holiday.


Tony Talby reported £18 paid out for the roadside flowers; £42 for paint for the seats; £7 for pegs for the gazebo used at the Christmas event and board paint pens for the signboard in the amount of £20.

Janet Flower said that a request had been received from the Charity Trust for funds for the electrical wiring for kitchen appliances, for which a certified electrician is necessary. She asked the council to consider this request although there was no intention to bail the Trust out on every occasion. Tony Talby explained that the quote had gone up to £1000 because of the special security cable required by regulations. However, due to the fact that this installation might well be temporary if money is raised for the extension to the building, it was decided that heavy-duty domestic quality would be good enough, which would cost about£525. Paul Frost queried what this was for and was told it was necessary for the cooker. He further enquired if this could not be in the form of a loan rather than the Parish Council continuing to give money to the Charity Trust. Tony Talby explained that most of the money had been for the project (conversion of the church for community facility) and that money came in to the Council from sources such as the village fete and the recycling which was earmarked for the project. Paul Frost further asked if this was for the benefit of all of the community, regardless of faith. David Chapman explained that the lease from the church prevented anything which was in conflict with Christian ethics. (Note: a group which had agreed to rent the hall for meetings has been told that they cannot now do so by the vicar on the grounds that their work with crystals is not compatible with church property).

Paul Frost registered an objection to the routine use of Council money for a community facility if it cannot be used by all the community. Tony Talby said that recycling and fete funds could be allocated directly to the Charity Trust but that it is more satisfactory to have them apply as and when needed. Janet Flower asked if this year’s fete money could not be used for this electrical work but Tony Talby explained that it has to be taken into consideration that some of the expenses which used to be the responsibility of the Council have now been taken over by the Charity Trust. Paul Frost asked how much is projected to be raised this year and was told that, as things are, it should about break even. Paul Frost again asked if we should not allocate a set amount every year but Tony Talby expressed a preference for the status quo.

David Chapman, from his position on the Trust, said that we were all in this together and that we were still talking about capital expenses to set up the facility as yet. He expressed disappointment with the matter of the crystal group, which was thought to be non-religious when they were booked. He said everyone feels bad about it and it shouldn’t be one person’s decision. There is a need for clarity about  what can and cannot be accepted so that this does not happen again. He promised this will be discussed at the next Charity meeting and rulings sought. He also mentioned the need for a storage shed.  Graeme Johnson asked when this might be wanted but there are still ongoing discussions about what is needed, depending on the success of the proposed youth group which would need storage space and we do not have a faculty yet for the shed. However, said David Chapman, it would be a useful thing to have in any case. Graeme Johnson told the committee that, as he used to be in that line of work, he might be able to get a good price for a shed and Tony Talby gave a size of about 12 ft x 10ft and would welcom a quote on that. David Chapman will discuss this further and follow up.

Tony Talby asked for a vote on the funding for the electrical work and the vote was carried. David Chapman thanked the Council on behalf of the Charity Trust. Tony Talby noted  that a number of people have been unhappy with the vicar’s interpretation which led to the cancellation of the rental of the hall and asked that the feelings of the Parish Council be passed on to the P.C.C. as it will affect the ability to rent out the facility and to make a profit. Janet Flower added her opinion that this should be a committee decision, not one person’s and that it needs to be cleared up. David Chapman will report back.


An email has been received from Laura Webster regarding the meeting at South Norfolk Council discussing traffic implications for the village due to the Long Stratton AAP. There are no plans to further restrict the speed limit on the A140. She did report that South Norfolk Council has won a Gold Standard Award and advising us of their show day. Also a letter of thanks has been received on behalf of the P.C.C. From Andy Haggith regarding a donation of £250 to them.

There has also been further communication regarding the possibly of making a financial contribution to the Partnership magazine. Tony Talby insisted that we should at least see their accounts which have not been forthcoming. It was proposed that a letter expressing this should be sent and Glynis Frost will write a draft for approval.

Tony Talby reported an email received from the Environment Department regarding street lighting.


The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Monday the 2nd September at 7.30pm, at St. Peter’s church.

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