Rocklands Parish Council (RPC)

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held in Rocklands Village Hall

7.00pm on Monday 24th February 2014


Present :           David Howie                 Chair

Nicola Southgate         Vice Chair

                        Cath Jones

David Witt

Roger Steel

Shirley Colenutt

Kim Austin                    Clerk

Bill Smith                     District Councillor       


Also present: 4 members of the public.


1.   To consider accepting apologies for absence

RESOLVED To accept apologies from Cllrs. Nicola Southgate and Richard Smedley who were both unwell.


2.   To record declarations of interest from members in any items on the agenda

There were no declarations of interest as such. But there was concern that most of the councillors were on the Community Shop/PO committee or else had agreed to work in the shop on a voluntary basis.  The situation was considered and it was agreed that the interest was not financial. Cllr. Bill Smith suggested that RPC apply to Breckland Council for complete dispensation.

ACTION: Cllr. Smith to apply to the council on behalf of RPC.


3.   To approve the minutes of the last council meeting on Monday 6th January 2014

RESOLVED to approve the minutes that had been circulated prior to the meeting, as a true and accurate record of the meeting.  The minutes were duly signed by the Chair, Cllr. David Howie.


4.   To discuss any matters arising from the minutes, not on the agenda

Defibrillators: No progress reported by Cyril Ruffles but he would keep us informed. Cllr. Jones said that a defibrillator had recently been delivered to a local village. Hingham also has one in a bus shelter so maybe we would get ours soon.

Salt Bin.  Still no salt in the new bin

ACTION: Clerk to contact Paul Sellick again.

Streetlights.  Streetlights in The Street now appear to be working. 


5.   To adjourn the meeting for public participation

Meeting adjourned at 7.11pm.

There were no comments from the public.

Cllr. Bill Smith confirmed the good news that Breckland Council had £305,000 for distribution amongst the parishes, although ministers had originally said that the payment last year was a ‘one off’. Breckland Council would be making a decision this week.

The meeting re-opened at 7.13pm.


6.      To report on Finance

6.1       Financial position 

The bank account balances as at Monday 6th Jan 2014

Barclays Community Account                                                                £    1,633.07 

Barclays Saver (Reserve) Account                                                         £       701.83

TOTAL as per bank                                                                                £ 2,334.90


6.2       Money in since last meeting

6/1/14              Consolidated Stock                                                      £           0.28

24/1/14            Cricket Club – repay 1/3 audit fee                                £         80.00

24/1/14            Playing fields repay 1/3 audit fee (£80)                      £        132.00                           + £50 repay vat + Chapel Green Licence

                                                                                    TOTAL IN     £    212.28  

6.3       Cheques out (to sign)

No cheques to sign

                                                                                    TOTAL OUT   £       0.00 

6.5    Standing Orders

Kim Austin                    Clerk’s wages                                      

Pearce and Kemp          Street lighting                                    

e.On                             Electricity


Clerks Wages.

RESOLVED to Change amount of SO from £134.27 to £139.17 effective from 1st April 2014. Cllr. Howie had already signed the letter to Barclays. Just needed a second signature from Cllr. Southgate.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Cllr. Southgate for her signature

Pearce & Kemp.Change SO to DD.

ACTION: Clerk to contact Pearce & Kemp

Barclays Bank – Mandate change – name and signatories

Need to get signatures on Mandate change forms (chair and councillors) in order to remove Ex-Chairman Cllr. Peter Smith as signatory, leaving current signatories as Cllr. Roger Steel and Cllr. Nicola Southgate. Also need to get signatures on letter to Barclays (2 councillors) to facilitate the Clerk’s change of name. Note: Clerk has access to the bank account services but is not a signatory.


Sport England – Deed of Dedication.

The Clerk received two copies of the Deed of Dedication. Two signatures were needed. Cllr. Howie had signed the Deeds.  Cllr. Roger Steel duly signed both copies as second signatory. 

  ACTION: Clerk to return signed Deeds to solicitor

There will be a charge of £300 plus vat for SE Deed of Dedication being drawn up by Jackie Raggett at Daykins Solicitors.


7       To consider planning applications.

7.1    Planning outcomes since last meeting

3PL/2013/0721/F         Hockney/Nelsons Loke/Single storey extension (35) PERMISSION

3PL/2013/0906F          DUNNETT/Bridge House/Mount Pleasant (38) PERMISSION

3PL/2013/0951/EU      LAWES/Oakglen/Stow Bedon/Breach of Occn. (39) PERMISSION

3PL/2013/1057F          PTNRSHIP IN CARE/Anchor corner/Dwelling (41) PERMISSION

3PL/2013/1074F          SOUTHGATE/Agri Dwelling (42) OUTLINE PERMISSION

3PL/2013/1061F           LEEDER/White Hart/Replacement windows (43)  PERMISSION


7.2    Planning applications pending outcome

3PL/2012/0654/CU Breckland Storage/Swangey/Retail caravans  - (15)


7.3    New planning applications since last meeting

 3PL/2014/0078           ROCKLANDS PO/SHOP Refurb/shop front/new door (44)

RESOLVED NO OBJECTION to this planning application .

7.4    New planning applications since agenda issued

None since agenda was issued.


8       Brecklands policy. To build on council owned plots of land in villages. (DH)

Cllr. Howie was looking for confirmation of any land owned by Breckland Council in Rocklands.            Cllr. Steel said he thought the land at the end of Wayland Road behind the last bungalow was owned by Breckland. Cllr. Howie said that if social housing were to be built in Rocklands then that was probably one of the best places for it. Cllr. Bill Smith said that the council were reviewing their policies with a partner and aimed to develop houses on Council owned land. There is a new homes bonus for the councils that will encourage them to build. If land is sold to Flagship then there is a presumption for social housing.

ACTION: Cllr. Smith to obtain list of council owned land in Rocklands


9       WW1 commemorative events

Cllr. Jones confirmed that churches were having services around the benefice. No special event was being arranged by Rocklands at present.  Breckland Council are giving grants (opening next month) to parishes to support events they may want to organise. Cllr. Witt confirmed there was a small amount of money left from the Jubilee celebrations fund which may be used towards a tannoy system that would be of benefit to all village events. There was a move afoot to ‘add a missing name’ to the war memorial in Rocklands.  Cllr. Colenutt suggested an event in the village hall with photographs. Cllr. Bill Smith said he had 20 or so photographs of ‘days gone by’ in Rocklands that he was willing to donate to the Parish.  Cllr. Bill Smith was thanked for his generous offer which was accepted. Cllr. Steel suggested an exhibition. Cllr. Howie asked anyone else with ideas for WW1 commemorative events to come forward. Cllr. Bill Smith said 2015 could be a big year for celebrations: Anniversaries such as 800th Magna Carta.  600th Battle of Agincourt.  200th Battle of Waterloo. There also might be more money available from Breckland Council for such events next year.

ACTION: Cllr. Jones to find out what schools have arranged.


10     Red Telephone Kiosks - spares

RPC had a letter from X2Connect a company supplying spares for telephone kiosks.  Cllr. Steel confirmed that Sue the librarian can source spares cheaper elsewhere if required. RPC kiosks need a wash and a paint, otherwise sound.  Cllr. Jones asked about community service for these jobs as they had previously done a good job elsewhere. As an update the kiosk is doing very well as a library. The books are dry and turnover is good.

ACTION: Cllr. Howie would investigate access to community service.


11     To update on White Hart and Rocklands Village Shop

White Hart. Lots of work going on. Nothing official but rumoured that the White Hart may open on 28th/29th March. Agreed that an opening should be welcomed by all.

Village Shop and Post Office (RS). The shop officially closed on Saturday 22nd Feb 2014 for refurbishments, with photographs and much celebration. Alan and Elaine, were given theatre tickets, a weekend break and a bouquet of flowers.  There was a  ‘huge’ vote of thanks to them for 23 years of service to the community (without a break and for 6/7 days a week). The Princes Trust/Princes Countryside Fund has looked at the accounts and has said that it should be a viable business. They have agreed that any money left over from the refurbishment grants can be used for the good of the community rather than having to be returned. The builder is Ian Wilton. The building work is ongoing and ahead of schedule. 3 staff now recruited to cover 80 hours a week. 1 doing 40 hours per week and the other 2 doing 20 hours a week. 

The Big Lottery Fund has granted £5700 for a coffee shop for ‘isolated rural communities’.  The accounts/reports to substantiate this grant are rather extreme and will involve much time and

effort. 21st March 2014 – POST OFFICE – GRAND OPENING !



12     To receive update from Tree warden. (Richard Smedley)

Richard Smedley had sent apologies and a report which was read by Cllr. Howie. There had been a small tree next to the Chapel in St. Peters which had been uprooted and fallen into the pond.  Richard had removed the tree and the debris. A tree had also fallen in the land of Rookery House, but on inspection, it had already been cleared by Mr. Green. Cllr. Jones reported that Richard Smedley was very good as Tree Warden and very quickly responded to reported incidents for inspection.


13     To update on Playing Fields. (DH)

There was no update from the playing fields as Alan Fisher had been away in India.

Fields in Trust membership (£25) is due for renewal and it was thought that this was paid by the Playing Fields last year.


14   To receive update on Highways

Trod and Hedge Cllr. Jones said the ‘lumps’ were too big and she had tripped on it.  Road planings might be a better option and give a smoother finish. It looks like it’s still waiting for a top layer to finish it off. Agreed it was not fit for purpose it if was a trip hazard.

ACTION: Clerk would raise with Paul Sellick (Breckland Council)


Hedges. Ask people through the Rocklander to keep all hedges that they are responsible for, cut and tidy and any ditches cleared, otherwise report blockages to Highways direct or through the Parish Council.

ACTION: Article in Rocklander


Streetlights (RS) RPC had been informed that spares may now not be available for the village streetlights that were installed 30-40 years ago with a grant. Pearce & Kemp, streetlighting contractors had sent through ‘options’ and prices for replacement lamps. It was agreed that this would be a big and expensive job, but RPC should maybe look into obtaining grants to replace all lighting. Cllr. Steel reported that LED lighting was not reliable as doesn’t last long enough – so not a good option.

A preference was expressed for ‘down’ lighters, rather than ’up’ lighters that light up the sky.

District Cllr. Bill Smith confirmed that community grants for lighting were available from Breckland Council and could be applied for at any time.

ACTION: Clerk would publish list of street lights and Ref. Nos.

ACTION: Clerk would look into grant available from Breckland Council

Highways jobs

Pot hole on corner of Thieves Lane going onto the B0177, near the pond.

Street sign in Brays Lane has been demolished. Needs replacing.

Reports of 30mph sign on the ground.

ACTION: Cllr. Steel to confirm exact locations with the Clerk

15     To update on flooding

Cllr. Witt commented that with the amount of rain that had fallen recently, he was amazed at the lack of flooding in the village. He confirmed that the work and precautions taken in the village against flooding had paid off.  It was noted that Clare Colchester was still desperately trying to unblock a blocked/silted ditch.


16     To discuss and correspondence


17     AOB (Agenda items for next meeting)



Date of next Meeting - Monday 7th April 2014, 7pm, Rocklands Village Hall.

Annual Assembly followed by the Annual Parish

The meeting closed at 8.14 pm.