Rocklands Parish Council (RPC)

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held in Rocklands Village Hall

7.00pm on Monday 12th May 2014


Present :           David Howie                 Chair

Nicola Southgate         Vice Chair

                        Cath Jones

                        Roger Steel

Shirley Colenutt

Kim Austin                    Clerk

Bill Smith                     District Councillor       



Also present: 2 members of the public.


1.   To elect Chairperson 2014 – 2015

David Howie agreed to stand again as Chair.  Cllr. Southgate proposed and Cllr. Jones seconded the proposal.  David Howie was duly elected as chair for another year. Declaration of Acceptance of Office was signed by Cllr. Howie and witnessed and signed by the Clerk.


2.   To elect Vice Chairperson 2014 – 2015

Nicola Southgate agreed to stand again as Vice Chair.  Cllr. Colenutt proposed and Cllr. Howie seconded the proposal.  Nicola Southgate was duly elected as chair for another year.  Declaration of Acceptance of Office was signed by Cllr. Southgate and witnessed and signed by the Clerk.


3.   To consider accepting apologies for absence

There were no apologies for absence.


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

There were no declarations of interest. 


5.   To approve the minutes of the last council meeting on Monday 24th February 2014

An error was notified by District Cllr. Bill Smith.  Item 13 should read Norfolk County Council and not Breckland Council.  The item was changed in the minutes and initialled by Cllr. Howie.

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.

ACTION The Clerk to provide a revised copy to go on the website.


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

Brecklands Policy to build on council owned plots of land in villages:

Cllr. Howie reported that the Playing Fields were keen to purchase land on the corner owned by Peter Cotes. In the past he had been happy to sell as long as he was able to retain enough land for building and Cllr. Steel suggested he might be happy to donate it if he was allowed to build on it. Peter Cotes was aware of the interest in his piece of land. The village had missed the opportunity when the land had been for sale before but it was commented that it was expensive and also a very wet area, maybe not even suitable for housing. It acts as an important soak and holdback. Was once going to be used as a reservoir holding site at a cost of £1million. Cllr. Jordan commented in the past that it could be the next stage in controlling flooding within the village and he would probably have something to say about any plans for housing on this land.

 ACTION Cllr. Howie would talk to Peter Cotes to clarify situation.



7.   To adjourn the meeting for public participation

Meeting adjourned at 7.17pm.

There were no comments from the public.

The meeting re-opened at 7.17pm.


8.      To report on Finance

8.1    Adoption of accounts 2013 – 2014 & Financial Regulations

The Clerk had prepared the end of year accounts to the 31st March 2014 and circulated them prior to the meeting.  The Clerk was thanked for her comprehensive set of accounts by Cllr. Southgate. Annual Accounts and the financial regulations as set out in the Annual Return document were reviewed, adopted and duly signed by the Chairman and the Responsible Finance Officer.


8.2    Annual Return The variances this year, compared to last year’s accounts, are again due to receiving money from Sport England on behalf of the playing fields/Cricket Club.  Balance of monies carried forward was ~£600 more than last year. This was explained by saving £355 on insurance, paying £100 less in donations and it was noted that there would be an invoice for some £300 from the solicitors in due course.  The accounts are ready for internal audit, to be carried out by Michaela Canham as last year.  The accounts would then be sent to Mazars for the external audit before the deadline of 4th July 2014.  Mazars fee will be £300 this year as grant monies have taken RPC into the £50,001 - £100,000 bracket.  Audit fee would have been £0 for the normal Parish Council income of less than £10,000. It may be that the last of the grant monies takes RPC above £10,000 for the following year too. 


8.3    Financial position 

The bank account balances as at Monday 12th May 2014

Barclays Community Account                                                                £    3478.59 

Barclays Saver (Reserve) Account                                                         £       701.92


TOTAL as per bank                                                                                £ 4,180.51


8.4       Money in since last meeting

                                                                                    TOTAL IN     £       0.00                                                           

8.5       Cheques out (to sign)

Clerk’s expenses for 4 months                                                               £         28.83


                                                                                    TOTAL OUT   £      28.83 

8.6    Standing Orders

Kim Austin                    Clerk’s wages                                      

Pearce and Kemp          Street lighting                                    

e.On                             Electricity       


Barclays Bank – Mandate change – name and signatories

Peter Smith should now have been taken off as signatory, leaving current signatories as Roger Steel and Nickie Southgate. David Howie completed personal detail forms and presented proof of ID at the bank in order to change Clerk’s name. Hopefully now changed on bank statements and standing order reference.




For 2012-2103 RPC paid £720.16 for insurance.  Last year 2013-2014 changing to Came & Co who specialise in Parish Council insurance RPC saved £354.84 on the previous year, paying a premium of £365.32. Came and Co. have quoted a renewal premium of £278.95 for 2014-2015. However, if we enter into a three year agreement (LTA till June 2017) this premium can be reduced by a further 5% to £265 for the coming year.

RESOLVED to renew Came & Co insurance for three years.


Sport England – Deed of Dedication.

The Clerk Spoke to Fields in Trust direct to see what the problem is. Explained that we could understand Sport England requiring a deed of dedication as security against the large amount of money that had been granted, but couldn’t understand why Fields in Trust should have an issue with it as it was perfectly acceptable to have more than one Deed of Dedication on the same land.  The Clerk said that the longer it took Fields in Trust to sort this out, the more money it would cost RPC, re solicitor’s bills etc. Fields in Trust called back to say it was being dealt with internally as a matter of urgency.


9.0    To consider planning applications.

9.1    Planning outcomes since last meeting

3PL/2014/0210/FHOLLAMBY/43 The Street/Side Extension (45) PERMISSION

9.2    Planning applications pending outcome

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

3PL/2014/0281/F         CHAPMAN/The Old Rectory/2 storey ext, pool/staff accom (46)

3PL/2014/0302/F        SOUTHGATE/Rocklands Pk Fm/Agri Manager House (47)

9.3    New planning applications since last meeting

3PL/2014/0332/F        PARTNR IN CARE/Anchor Corner/2 bed dwelling (48)  (14/5 )

            RESOLVED No objection to this application.

9.4    New planning applications since agenda was issued



10     To update on White Hart (RS) and Rocklands Village Shop (RS)

White Hart. The owners seem happy with the situation at the moment.  Their architect contacted planning who said they could just put their pub sign up at the end of the road. They put it up by the shop sign but were asked to take it down by the land owner.  Now propped up against Cllr. Steel’s hedge.


Village Shop and Post Office (RS). Two months and the shop was doing fairly well.  Cllr. Steel said they were overwhelmed with the number of volunteers. Great success selling Hingham Bakery bread. Some product surprises. Pipers crisps going like hot cakes ! Wolf Brewery products that the shop thought would last a month, all went within a week ! Order now quadrupled.  Failure selling the jam as overpriced and supplier is not flexible.  She will however, take back stock nearing sell by date and replenish. Learning lots of lessons.  Cllr. Steel said a very well done to all paid staff and volunteers. The amount of training they had all had to do had been tremendous. The cafe is lovely, and a real social success. A nice atmosphere.  Building work/decoration to the front will be finished in 3 weeks.

Cllr. Steel wished to publicise that Alan and Elaine, previous shop owners, had allowed the village to work their first 3 months rent free, until they got on their feet.  They have also paid for roofing, floor tiles, windows, plumbing, front render and re-tarmaccing of the front forecourt.  Suggested an article in The Rocklander to this effect to allay comments that the village was paying and the previous shop owners were benefitting.


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

Richard Smedley is not well. It was agreed that the Parish Council could deal with any tree problems that arose in the meantime.


12     To update on Playing Fields. (DH)

A village fete had been planned for August Bank Holiday 26th. Now changed to 29th June. Cllr. Jones said it would clash with the Flower Festival. Playing Fields committee would like to update children’s play area with a separate area outside for girls’ sports such as netball. It was their intention to fund these projects through grants.  It was commented that the grant money should not have to go through the Parish Council Bank unless they were prepared to pay for the extra costs entailed.  Cllr. Howie reiterated that he would like to see the playing fields used more.  Maybe a newsletter or an article in the Rocklander asking the villagers what they want from their Playing Fields.


12  To receive update on Highways

Trod. The Trod is not value for money and is not fit for purpose. Cllr. Howie nearly broke his ankle on it today. He has spoken to Paul Sellick at Highways who says filling potholes is priority at the moment. Cllr. Steel said it had never been done properly in the first place and highways should sort it out. Complete waste of money if unusable. District Cllr. Smith said if it is dangerous, it is therefore a liability.  As the PC have contributed to the trod, they may also be liable.  It wasn’t tarmacced (like a path) in the first instance as this was the dearer option, but maybe that would be the answer. Bill Smith suggested Breckland Council may fund the tarmac as they do support Norfolk CC projects. But he couldn’t promise anything.  Cllr. Howie said the Parish Council are really quite angry about the state of the Trod. It was also noted that growth on the bank needs to be kept cut back and under control.

ACTION Cllr. Steel to get a quote for tarmaccing (White Rod ?)

ACTION Cllr. Howie to escalate problem within NCC by contacting Director of Highways.    

Hedge Cutting.  Junction, opposite The Street, an accident waiting to happen as motorists can’t see when pulling out onto the main road as the hedges are obscuring the view, and the notice boards.                                                   ACTION Clerk to ask Highways if they can cut the hedges.


Pot Holes. Couple of pot holes at Norralds Farm. Massive pot hole at corner of Thieves Lane.

ACTION Cllr. Steel to provide map for reference.

ACTION Clerk to ask Highways to fill potholes.

13     To update on flooding

No flooding, just flowing !


14     To discuss and correspondence

No correspondence had been received. However, a couple of items were needed to be discussed.

Phone Boxes.  Cllr. Howie suggested a working party to wash and paint the phone boxes. It was noted that the Mount Pleasant Phone Box didn’t have any books in it.  The other phone box looked after by Sue Steel was well used.  Advertise in The Rocklander for volunteers for working party and new person to run library in the Mount Pleasant phone box.

Defibrillator.  No news on installation.                                                   ACTION Clerk to contact Co-op.

Parish Notice Board. The Clerk asked if the noticed board could be repaired or replaced. 

Beating the Boundary.  Cllr. Howie asked about ‘beating the boundary’ in the village on Ascension Day (29th May ) or Rogation Day (May 26th).  Cllr Steel said he was thinking about doing a ‘boundary beat’ of sorts, walk, to tie in with the Princes Trust. Actual boundary difficult to walk due to streams/farmers land but would stick to footpaths and quiet roads. Start and finish at the shop.

Electoral Rolls. Should we have had them by now?                                          ACTION Clerk to chase.


15     AOB (Agenda items for next meeting)

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

The meeting closed at 8.26 pm.