Rocklands, Norfolk

The Villages of Rockland All Saints and Rockland St Peter

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Draft Minutes of the Annual Assembly of the Rocklands Parish Council
held on Monday 12th April 2010 in the Village Hall


P. Cotes (Chairman)
P. Smith (Vice Chairman)
S. Colenutt
C. Jones
N. Southgate
R. Steel

County Councillor C. Jordan
District Councillor W. Smith

Clerk: L.Defew

Four members of the public were present


Councillor M Gibbon


Resolved to approve the minutes as a true and accurate record of the meeting. The minutes were duly signed.




Councillor Cotes reported that, once again, the major pre-occupation of the council had been planning and flooding. In 2010, planning was brought to the fore with a site meeting at no. 68 The Street and a special Parish Council meeting was held to discuss a revised application for no. 50 The Street. Councillor Cotes explained that despite not being at the extraordinary meeting, the impression gained was that the new plans were an improvement. He explained that as a Council and as a community, the Council has stated that some development is acceptable and would, indeed, be beneficial which means that resolution of the flooding issue is ever more important. He stated that this year is the last for the current Council and that elections are due next May and he stressed that the Council must push for progress on this issue so that the successors do not spend so much time labouring on this thorny topic.
Councillor Cotes explained that last year had seen a change in personnel. Dave Davis, who was the Clerk for twelve years, decided that his term should come to an end. Councillor Cotes expressed his gratitude to Dave for his contribution to the Council and for his help and advice. His departure meant that the Council had to look for a new incumbent and he explained that the Council was very pleased to be able to secure Lucy's services. The Council had been very impressed by all the candidates and, as two of them were from the village, he hoped that this interest will translate into more candidates coming forward at the elections next year.
It was explained that there had also been a change of Tree Wardens with Richard Steel stepping down and his place being taken by Neil Thomas and Richard Smedley, Councillor Cotes stated that he looked forward to seeing the village benefit from their experience and enthusiasm. The Council's internal auditor also resigned and Councillor Cotes explained that the new internal auditor would be at the AGM meeting in May and would convey the importance of the position to the Council.
Councillor Cotes expressed his thanks to the Councillors, Parish, County and District, who have served during the year. Particular thanks were conveyed to the Clerk who, Councillor Cotes explained, as also Clerk for Carbrooke Parish Council brings with her a new insight into the clerkship. He mentioned that he was sure the Council would benefit from hearing how Carbrooke Council manages its affairs. He also thanked the Vice Chairman who had devoted a lot of time to a range of issues from flooding to planning and back to flooding. Councillor Cotes concluded by stating that he was sure all Councillors would join in expressing their thanks to the small band of parishioners who regularly take the time to come to the Parish Council meetings and to add their voices to the Council's discussions.


County Councillor Jordan re-iterated a point from last year's report relating to there being a decline in support for the County Council from the Government. The County Council is hoping to get increased financial support from the Government in the future. There has been a 1.9% increase in Council Tax, which is the lowest in recent history. He also explained that an extra two million pounds had been allocated to help rectify the pothole problems. Drainage problems within the village continue to be a problem and Councillor Jordan explained that he had been in the village about once a month to help residents with various issues.

The Vice Chairman was invited to report on the progress with the flooding issues, relating to this point. Councillor Smith explained that there has been clearing of drains in Low Lane and that a site meeting with Jason Glasspole and the new land owners of the field opposite is planned for next month. He stated that the new owners are very amenable to making improvements to help rectify the problem.

District Councillor Smith explained the situation with the Local Government Review and the changes being made by the new Secretary of State. The Council Tax has not increased this year and that it is hoped that there will not be an increase until 2013, subject to maintaining the same level of services. He continued by describing the merger of structure between Breckland Council and South Norfolk Council, however, he emphasized that they will remain as individual councils. District Councillor Smith also explained the situation with Trevor Holden, Chief Executive of Breckland Council, having been appointed as Chief Executive of Luton. The LDF site specific recommendations are being established at a meeting on 26th April 2010. District Councillor Smith concluded by stating that the Capita project is going well and that savings have been made, despite there being a number of issues which need resolving.
A query was raised by Councillor Smith in regards to the money in the Icelandic banks and District Councillor Smith explained that Breckland Council is getting the all the money back from two of the banks, however, the Local Government Association (LGA) is helping to reclaim the money from one particular bank with problems.
Councillor Steel enquired about the potential closure of offices with merger of South Norfolk and District Councillor Smith explained it was too early-on in the project to be able to comment but that Customer Service Centres maybe established to enable market towns to take on front line services.



Meeting closed at 7.25 p.m.