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Minutes of Annual General Meeting of the Welney Parish Council

held in the Parish Hall, Welney

on Tuesday 6th May, 2008 at 7.30 p.m.



Cllr.K.Goodger (Chairman)  Cllrs T.Bennett, M. Brown, S .Dobson, C. Freer, S.Kerr, and

G. Tomkins , and the Clerk. 


Also present were: Dist .Cllrs. D. Pope,   Mr.M.Rayburn, & Mrs. V. Pratley


1.  Election of Chairman for the year 2008/9

The Vice Chairman  took  over the meeting and on behalf of the Parish Council thanked Clllr.Goodger for all his hard work  during the preceding year.  Cllr.Kerr then proposed that Cllr.Goodger should be Chairman for a further year.  This proposition was seconded by Cllr.Bennett with all in favour.  Cllr.Goodger thanked everyone and took the chair.


2.  Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from D.Cllr.V.Spikings and Cllr.E.Allen


3.  Declaration of Interest

Cllr.Kerr declared an interest in Meadow Lane and Cllr.Dobson declared an interest in a planning application to be considered later in the meeting.


4.   Election of Vice-Chairman

Cllr.Kerr explained to the meeting that he did not wish to stand for the position of Vice-Chairman any longer and the Chairman expressed grateful thanks on behalf of the Council for everything that Cllr.Kerr had done in supporting and representing the Parish Council.

Cllr.Brown then proposed that Cllr.Bennett be elected to the position of Vice Chairman.

This proposal was seconded by Cllr.Kerr and unanimously agreed.  Cllr.Bennett thanked everyone and said he would be happy to take up the position.


5.   Election of Parish Council Committee

The only committee that the Parish Council has is the Welney Archive and Social History Committee.  The Clerk confirmed that she had spoken to all the existing members – Cllr.Goodger, Cllr.Brown, Mr. T. Bray, Mrs. C. Bray, Mr.T.Copeman and Mr.D.Levesley and they were all happy to stand for a further year,  On the proposition of Cllr.Kerr, seconded by Cllr.Brown with all in favour, the committee was re-elected en-bloc.   Clllr. Tomkins expressed a wish to join the committee and he was proposed by Cllr. Freer, seconded by Cllr.Bennett and agreed.


6.   Casual Vacancy

Council were advised that an approach had been received from Mrs. Vija Pratley who was interested in the current vacancy.  A copy of her CV had been circulated to all, and it was unanimously agreed that she be appointed to fill the vacancy.  She was duly invited to join Councillors at the table.


7.  Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on the 1st April, 2008, having been circulated to all councillors, were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting, following  an amendment to Paragraph 14, (Minute book page 822)  and a further amendment to Paragraph 16 (Minute book page 823)



8.  Matters Arising

1.   Meadow Lane

Cllr. Kerr left the room during the debate relating to Meadow Lane. 

It was reported to the meeting that a further letter had been received from Mr. Smith asking  for copies of Minutes and Agenda where Cllr.Bennett spoke about Meadow Lane.  The Clerk had searched the records back to 2003 when Cllr.Brnnett was co-opted onto the Council and copies had been sent to Mr. Smith.  Nothing further had been heard.


Cllr.Bennett reported that he had spoken to the Norfolk County Council regarding the application to make Meadow Lane a right of way, and they had confirmed that a letter had been sent to Mr. & Mrs. Redman asking for their comments.  No further information was available.


A letter had been received from Mr. & Mrs. Fleming  dated 5th May, with regard to the gate which had been installed across Meadow Lane.  The letter was considered by the Parish Council  and it was agreed that a reply should be sent advising them to contact Mr.Barry Hawkins (Mr.Hall’s Agent), Mr., J. Heading (who farms the land adjacent to the Lane, on behalf of Mr. Hall) and the Health and Safety Representative at the Borough Council with regard to the broken catch on the gate.



2.   Post Office Services for Welney

A letter had been circulated to all councillors from the Norfolk Rural Community Council regarding a meeting which had taken place in Aylsham regarding Post Officer closures.


Following the last meeting, consideration had been given to the proposal from The Post Office to arrange for a Mobile Office to attend Welney with effect from August this year.  It was felt that while we would welcome a Mobile Post Office this would not replace the Shop and Post Office as a central meeting point in the village.  If the Church and the Post Office could get together then it would be more beneficial.  It was suggested that the Post Office be asked if the Mobile Office could be placed at the Church rather than on the Lamb and Flag Car park and then the Church could go ahead with their plans for possibly a cafι and shop to open at the same time.  It was unanimously agreed to liaise with the church representative and then send a letter to the Post Office.  Cllr. Tomkins expressed his opinion that the Post Office should not be sited at the Church.


9.  Public Participation

The Chairman then adjourned the meeting for Public Participation.

Mr. Rayburn addressed the meeting with regard to the recent loss of the Service 61 Bus.  He advised that he had recently travelled on the Emblings Service Bus and enquired of the driver whether they would be prepared to run a Service to March on Saturdays or even Ely on a Thursday,  It was agreed to include a note in the Welney News to see if there would be any persons interested in such a service,  and in the meantime contact could be made with Emblings to see if they would be interested.  He also gave details of the F.A.C.T. service.


Mr.Rayburn also raised questions about the Mains Sewage Scheme for Welney and costs of connection.  The Chairman advised that the Anglian Water would be holding a Public Meeting in the village in due course when all these questions would be answered.


10. Reports from Village Organisations

a.   William Marshall  Charity

The Chairman gave a report on behalf of the William Marshall Charity.   He confirmed that the annual income from the rental of the land most of which is in the Suspension Bridge area, was approximately £23,000 and this is split equally between the Public Purposes Account, the Widows Fund and the Church Fund.  He also confirmed that the Charity now have possession of No.1 Almshouse which will be completely refurbished before it is re-let.


b.   Bishops Land Charity

The Clerk had prepared a brief report on behalf of the Charity, which had been circulated, to all Councillors,  and a copy of this is attached in the minute book,


11.  Meeting Reports

There were no meeting reports.


12.  Finance.

The following accounts had been received for payment, and on the proposition of Cllr. Kerr, seconded by Cllr. Bennett and agreed, the cheques were signed:


BCKLWN – Emptying Dog Bins 1.1.08 to 31.3.08

Cheque No. 100976                                          49 . 03


MHN Services – Street Lighting Maintenance Charges

13.4.08 to 12.6.08     Cheque No. 100977                             104 . 55


Mrs.P.Copeman – Clerks Salary and Expenses:

Salary                          255 . 68

Postage                            9 . 08

Telephone                    15 . 42

Cheque No. 100978                                          280 . 18


An Invoice was also received from the Environment Agency for the rental of the

Parish Hall site for the year 1.4.08 to 31.3.09.  However in view of the proposed purchase of the site by the Parish Council it was agreed to contact the E.A. and find out whether we have to pay this in full or whether it can be put on hold until the purchase is completed.  It may be that there will then be a proportion to pay.


The following account was paid from the Parish Hall Account:-


Peter J. Brown – Repairs and maintenance to heaters in the Hall

and on all electrical equipment.                             348 . 91


Adoption of Annual Accounts to 31st March, 2008

All Councillors had been supplied with a full set of accounts for the Parish Council, Parish Hall and Playing Field for the year ended 31st March, 2008.  However due to a typing error one set of figures did not add up, and it was therefore not possible to approve the accounts.  This would be checked, amended and confirmed by one of the councillors before the next meeting and then formal adoption could take place.  The Clerk confirmed that she had received confirmation from Mazars that the Annual Audit will take place on 18th August and the audited accounts have to be received by them before 31st July, 2008


It was noted from the accounts that the monies taken from the coin meters in the Hall did not cover the cost of electricity used and it was agreed to contact the electricity company with a view to having the meters adjusted.






13.  Parish Hall

1.   The electricity meters were checked and a total of £9.00 was removed.


2.   The Clerk confirmed that she had mad contact with Mr.Mackenzie (plumber) who had been and looked at the faulty water heater, and was making   arrangements to either repair the heater or give an idea of the cost for installing a new one.


3.   A copy of the Hire Conditions and Agreement for letting of the Parish Hall had been circulated to all councillors and this was noted.


14.  Elgoods & Proposed New Community Centre

Council were advised that the Environment Agency have confirmed that the proposed sale of the hall site has been approved, and that the name and address of the Solicitors who will be acting for the Parish Council has been given to the E.A.  Mr. Aitken of Fraser Dawbarns at Wisbech has been informed and he is awaiting the paperwork.  As soon as this is received he will let us know so that the purchase by the Council and the sale by us to Elgoods can go ahead as quickly as possible.


A meeting has been arranged with Mr., Dennis Tuttle of Norfolk ProHelp on Thursday 15th May at 10 a.m. at the Pavilion,  Mr. Tuttle is coming to give advice on all matters relating to the proposed new Community Centre, and it is hoped that as many councillors as are able, will attend.  Cllr.Brown that he will bring   the draft plans that he has drawn.


15.  Playing Field

Following the last meeting a letter was sent to Mr. Loveday and the Cricket Club thanking them for the clean up which they had carried out at the Playing Field.


A letter had been sent to Mr. & Mrs. Carter and Mr. & Mrs. Willis regarding the conifer trees that overhang the playing field, but at the time of the meeting nothing had been heard from them.  It was agreed to contact them again.


Cllr. Brown confirmed that moles are again causing a problem on the playing field and it was agreed to contact the Mole Catcher and ask him to deal with this.


16.   Correspondence

1.   Set of new bus timetables for services 61(Operated by Barrys Cars) and 65 (operated  Emblings Coaches Limited)  Copies have been put in the notice board and copies will also be left in the Parish Hall

2.   Norfolk Carers Guide 2008/9

3.   Southern Area Road Safety Committee - Agenda for AGM on 1st May at Downham Market. and minutes of meeting held on 6th March.

4.   Yeoman Windows and conservatories - offering their services for replacement windows etc.

5.   BCKLWN - Standards Committee - Minutes of meeting held on 16th April and details of vacancies for Standards Committee members.

6.   BCKLWN - 23.4.08  Section 49(4) of the Communications Act 2003 - Closure of

telephone kiosks within the Borough.  One kiosk is within our parish - By Rutland Arms, Tipps End, Welney.  If we wish to comment we have to complete the  form and return to them by 14th May.

7.   East Cambs District Council 16.4.08 - Ely Masterplan - Draft for Public Consultation

     Any comments before 30th MAY, 2008

8.   West Norfolk Voluntary and Community Action - Group formed to support any

     voluntary and community group in West Norfolk. Leaflets enclosed for information

9.   Invitation to Civic Service at St.Margarets Church on 18th May at 11.30 a.m.

10.  National Association of Local Councils - Conference in Eastbourne 20-22nd May, 2008

11.  BCKLWN - Council meeting and Agenda 24.4.08

12.  Charlotte’s Way Fenland Road Safety Campaign - Copy of leaflet enclosed

Also information regarding Life Hammer - Small tool available for use in car when in an accident  or in water.

13.  Honeybee Swarms - If you find a swarm of honeybees they give details of whom

     to contact to come and collect the swarm. (Information to g o in Welney News)

14.  NHS Norfolk - Consultation on Improving Access to Primary care : Proposal for

     new GP-led Health Centre in Norwich.

15.  BCKLWN - 14.4.08 - Provision of Litter Bins in Parished areas.   Would like to

     meet Council representatives to discuss little bins in the Parish.  The Council policy

     is at present that they will empty without charge one little bin.  If we require any

     further little bins (over and above the one) then we have to pay for it and pay

     £50.00 per year including VAT to have it emptied.  Agreed to meet representative.

16.  Norfolk Matters - Copy enclosed

17.  Various Crime update lists.

18.  Wash Estuary Strategy Group - Annual Photograph Competition - Entries have to

     be in by 30th May.

19.  Crime Report details and information regarding thefts of Heating Oil.

20.  NCAPTC - Norfolk Planning Conference 12.6.08  Details of AGM 20.9.08  Training

     for Clerks and Councillors - April Norfolk Link - Copies of Norfolk Matters.

21.  Norfolk Police Authority 2.5.08 - Norfolk Policcing Plan 2008/9.


17.  Plans and Planning Matters

Following the last meeting it was agreed to put a letter together to be sent to the Planning Department of the Borough Council regarding the development plan for Welney,  Cllr.Brown read out a letter which he had written and it was agreed that this should be sent off.


A letter was received from the Borough Council dated 9th April – Parish Involvement in the Local Framework and a copy was circulated to all councillors.  It was agreed to return the form stating that four councillors would like to attend the meeting on Monday 19th May at Downham Market.


The following planning permission was received

Ref No. 08/00248/F – Mr.I.Little, Fish Tales Cottage, New Road, Welney

Permission granted for the construction of a first floor extension dated 31st March, 2008.

     No mention was made anywhere regarding the drainage problems which Council had pointed out in our reply.  Mr. Little e-mailed the Clerk for copies of the Parish Council minutes of February and March and these had been sent to him.


The following planning applications  had been received for consideration:-

a.   Ref No. 08/01075/F – Mr.C.Haylock,  School House, Suspension Bridge, Welney

Application for permission to build a two storey and porch extension to School House.  After consideration it was agreed to recommend the application for approval.


b.   Ref No. 08/01098/F – Mr. W.Whitehouse

Installation of two mobile homes as Holiday Homes on Land at Bedford Bank, Welney

Cllr.Dobson declared an interest in this application and took no part in the decision making.

After consideration it was agreed that Council would recommend the application for approval, but that no approval should be confirmed until such time as the drainage problems on the site had been sorted out.  All surface and foul water would drain onto the adjoining property and this could not be allowed.   Also it was agreed that the owner of the land should be asked to make a contribution towards the upkeep of the stretch of Bedford Bank leading to the properties as this is currently an unmade road.


18.  Highway Matters

1.   Following the last meeting the Clerk had contacted Highways regarding various matters:

a. Flood gates and problems raised with regard to lorries turning.  A reply had been  received  Highways, but this was not satisfactory. The Chairman agreed to speak to the Highways representative to put him fully in the picture.

b.  Mr.Moseleys problems at Suspension Bridge – Highways had agreed to reinstate the white lines but nothing further.  A request for help on this matter was sent to Christopher Fraser MP and he had replied on 28th April stating that he would take the matter up with Norfolk County Council Highways.

c.  Footpath outside the Old Nursery on Wisbech Road – Highways had agreed to provide some road planings as and when available.

d.  The hole developing on Wisbech Road in the vicinity of  Stockyard Farm.  Highways had  to repair this and Cllr.Bennett confirmed that it had been marked for attention.


2.                Following the last meeting and the meeting with Environment Agency,  Highways and the Police  etc on 6th February,  e-mails had been sent to all parties asking for an update of the situation, but the only reply received was from the Police who confirmed that there is nothing they can do by means of an update.


3.   At long last a reply had been received from the Police following our letter of December 2007.  They apologised for the delay in replying  and explained that there is very little they can do to assist with speeding traffic etc..


4.                 Following the letter from Christopher Fraser MP regarding Speed Limits outside schools councillors were reminded that the signed petitions have to be returned to him as soon as possible, 


5.                 It was agreed to report the following matters to Highways:  The footpath around Sandgate again getting very overgrown and in need of attention, and Council are not happy with the Contractors who are cutting the grass.  The triangle outside the Rutland Arms at Tipps End has recently been cut and left in a very untidy state.


19.  Environmental Issues.

     Cllr.Bennett raised the question of the management of the Old Croft River.  It would be a great benefit and asset to the village if a long term plan could be drawn up to enhance the River and make it a feature and an amenity for the village.  The Chairman briefly explained the situation regarding the maintenance of the River and how it was currently managed, and he agreed to arrange a meeting with himself and Cllr.Bennett and a representative of the IDB to see what could be done.


The Chairman also produced a plan for information, showing the site of the Vacuum Pumping Station in Welney, the Pumping Station in Christchurch, the site of the Treatment Lagoon, and the proposed pipeline for the Welney Christchurch First Time Sewage Scheme.


20.  W.A.S.H. Committee

No further interest had been received relating to the proposed visit  to Elgoods Brewery and it was confirmed that this would not therefore take place,


It was then agreed that the Formal Parish Action Plan presentation could be included at a W.A.S.H. Open Day on a Saturday morning in either June or July .  Arrangements would be made at the next WASH Committee meeting

18.   Parish Action Plan.

Cllr. Bennett confirmed that he has not yet had an opportunity to pull items from the Parish Action Plan for attention, but will put this together as soon as possible.


An e-mail was received from Mr.T.Bray asking what he is to do with all the paperwork which was accumulated during the preparation of the questionnaire, the answers and the preparation of the Parish Action Plan document.  Apparently there are several boxes of papers currently stored at his house.  After a brief discussion it was agreed to make a decision on this at the next meeting.


19.  Items for next Agenda

1.   Following the letter from the Police, Cllr.Tomkins asked that Council consider writing to the Police asking for regular speed checks.


2.   Consideration be given to an Annual Fund Raising Event in the Village.


There being no further business the Chairman thanked everyone for attending, and declared the meeting closed at 9.50 p.m. 



Signed… … K.Goodger………………………………… (Chairman.)         


Dated …… 3rd June, 2008……………………………….


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