Minutes – Swainsthorpe Parish Council – Monday 6th January 2014


Councillors: Janet Flower (Chairperson); Tony Talby (Clerk); Graeme Johnson;
Paul Frost; Glynis Frost
County Councillor Colin Foulger; District Councillor Laura Webster

Apologies were received from Councillor David Chapman.

The minutes of the last meeting, having been posted and circulated, were taken as read, approved and signed.

Chairperson Janet Flower raised the matter of the overgrown footpath, which Tony Talby said was in hand, and also asked about the progress with the new shed. Tony Talby asked Graeme Johnson whether he had a price for a 10′ x 10′ shed as per requirements. Paul Frost asked if this was the largest that could be accommodated and was told that anything much larger would mean taking down two trees which might not be acceptable. 10′ x 12′ might just squeeze in but at the moment we are still awaiting prices.
This also raised the subject of the proposed phase two of the development, however Tony Talby reported that there seemed no possibility of Lottery Fund money for the extension, leaving only the “Plan B” option of the north aisle renovation with the removal of the organ. The subject of possible objections to this removal was discussed and, as it still seems unclear, Janet Flower will email the vicar to get a final decision.
Further to the discussion about the new shed, Graeme Johnson asked if the council might ask Mr Cruickshank for the donation of material for the base but this will not be considered until final decisions are made.
The Chairperson addressed a question to County Councillor Colin Foulgar about the works at the Thickthorn roundabout but was told that this was a matter for the Highways Authority.

Planning officer Paul Frost reported on the application for a bungalow to be built at The Holdings, about which he had been canvassing the immediate neighbours. There were no objections to the development per se, only complaints about other issues. The owner of the Holdings, Mr Mumford, was also spoken to and was reported to be amenable to discussion of any issues arising from the application, as well as about the matter of disturbance caused by his dogs, which seems to be the main bone of contention. He did say that he only intends to keep one there as a guard dog and will consider the suggestion to fill in the bottom part of the gates to minimise the barking at passers by. The unsightly trailer at present parked outside he said would be removed once the bungalow is built and that it is only there to prevent others using the lay-by to park. The only serious concern which has been passed on to South Norfolk Planning Department is the matter of vehicles wishing to pull into the property having to pause on the public road while the gates are being opened. This is a real hazard as visibility from the railway side is not good and it is very close to the level crossing. The planning officer’s suggestion is that the gates be moved back from the road. Since this report (to South Norfolk Council) was passed to Mr. Mumford, Paul Frost said he had received a letter from Mr. Mumford’s legal representative, with the suggestion that the gates would be remotely controlled to avoid waiting on the road. However this would presumably not help in the case of visitors to the site. Mr. Mumford is also offering to remove some hedging to improve visibility.
Janet Flower asked for clarification of plans for what was at present on the site, and was told that the building will stay but the caravan will be removed.
To a question about the completion of work at the Dun Cow, Tony Talby said that it was still planned to be the beginning of March. Some concerns have been voiced about the car park lighting but we await developments.

Tony Talby reported that the form for the precept has been duly submitted, and a standing order of £34.67 for Eon. He also updated the Council on the standing of the current and deposit accounts – £6,363.79 and £13,613.91 respectively.

District Councillor Laura Webster updated the meeting on pertinent activity at South Norfolk Council, saying that a new contract has been signed for extra items to be added to the recycling, including yogurt pots and plastic produce trays. We will be advised of this when it comes into force. She also said that money has become available under the “City Deal” but that does not affect our particular area.
Furthermore, there are changes proposed regarding the collection of information for the electoral register which will be notified in 2014 but will come into effect after 2015. Tony Talby asked about the Parish Council having a copy of the electoral register, which used to be the case. Councillor Webster offered to enquire.
County Councillor Colin Foulgar informed Council about the on-going incinerator situation and that the county is well stocked with salt and grit in case of bad weather. He also said that, with regard to the proposed bypass at Long Stratton, the process is at a delicate stage but that there would be a decision within 6-8 weeks.
Janet Flower said, with reference to the grit situation, she had read that the council will not in future fill road-side bins. The reply was that less bins may be filled. The chairperson also complained about large lorry trailers being left in public lay-bys on the A47 for days at a time, in as many as six sites, and asked why this was allowed. The County Councillor said he had not noticed and would look into it.
To another observation from the chair concerning dogs seen being walked on the village green, Tony Talby said that the signs were getting less visible and that he would take care of getting replacements.

From the chair, Councillors Foulgar and Webster were thanked for their attendance.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Monday the 3rd March at 7.30pm, at St. Peter’s church.

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