Rocklands Parish Council (RPC)

Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting held in Rocklands Village Hall

7.00pm on Monday 7th April 2014


Present :           David Howie                 Chair

Nicola Southgate         Vice Chair

                        Shirley Colenutt

Cath Jones  


Kim Austin                    Clerk   

Bill Smith                     District Councillor                   


Also present:    4 members of the public


The chair Cllr. David Howie welcomed everybody to the Annual Parish Meeting.


1.   To consider accepting apologies for absence

RESOLVED to accept apologies from Cllrs. Roger Steel and David Witt who were both away.


2.   To approve the minutes of the last parish meeting (Annual Assembly) on Monday 8th April 2013

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.


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

There were no matters arising from the minutes.


4.   To hear the Chairman’s report


The chair Cllr. David Howie delivered his report.


The past year has been one where the village has been drawn together to maintain and improve its community.


The council has been able support a number of projects, in particular the successful take over of the village shop by the community. Everybody involved should be very proud of their achievements. This could not have been done without the tremendous backing of the villagers, and of the surrounding villages, and in particular, the help Alan and Elaine Johnson have provided.


The Trod, is another project, which was raised Laura Spratt, a Rockland’s villager at a council meeting. With help from Councillor Cath Jones and local funds being made available, the trod has now been built by Highways and crossing the road at this point has been made much safer.


The Village Hall with some committee changes this year, continues to prosper. Most of the work at The Playing Field has been completed and it is hoped that this excellent facility will be used more by the village.


The school continues to achieve very high standards and all child spaces are filled.


The recent opening of The White Hart public house, was a surprise, but welcome, and hopefully it will remain open and prosper.


The Telephone box libraries are working well, but the boxes will need some maintenance.


Councillors have paid active parts in many of the projects.


The precept again had to be raised to ensure we could cover our costs and meet demands. The Rockland’s precept still remains one of the lowest in the area.


There have been a number of planning applications throughout the year and all have dealt with in a professional manner by the councillors. This shows that the village is one where people wish to live and improve their properties. There will, I suspect, be many more applications to build in the coming year which will require parish councillors’ attention.


There have been a number of highway matters that have been hard to resolve, or that have remained unresolved.


One matter of concern is the lack of attendance by the public at Parish Council meetings and I feel that the general public should be encouraged.


I would again like to commend our Parish Clerk Kim Austin for her work, and in particular the work involving The Playing Field grants.


5.   To receive reports by County & District Councillors


No report was received from the County Councillor, Cliff Jordan.


Cllr. Bill Smith started his report by saying that Breckland Council had had a new leader this year in Michael Wassell (Councillor for Watton). They also have a new Chief Exec, Anna Graves who will be starting next month, following the retirement of Terry Huggins. Anna comes from Market Harborough.


This year had seen the controversial boundary review.  There had been a reduction in councillors from 54 to 49 and so the councillors’ areas of responsibilities had grown. Cllr. Bill Smith had taken on two more parishes (Snetterton and Quidenham) so now had 10.  All Saints were to join with Wayland.

The ‘town’ wards were being treated the same as the ‘rural’ wards.


Council tax remains as it is, for this year and next year. A chance for the council to close the gap on a now £1.3 million funding gap. Cllr. Smith was certain the gap could be further closed over the next few years.


Breckland Council had been awarded a Customer Service Excellence Award for achieving a score of 54/55. This is an award which the council are very proud of indeed.


Cllr. David Howie thanked Cllr. Bill Smith for his report and for his interest in the village.


6.   To receive comments from the public


There were no comments from the public


The meeting closed at 7.13pm.