Rocklands, Norfolk

The Villages of Rockland All Saints and Rockland St Peter

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Minutes of Annual Parish Meeting held in Rocklands Village Hall
7:00 p.m on Monday 2nd April

Nicola Southgate (Vice Chair)
Shirley Colenutt
David Howie
David Witt
Cath Jones
Roger Steel

Kim Rushforth Clerk

Also present: 5 members of the public and the County Councillor

Acting chair Cllr. Southgate welcomed everybody to the Annual Parish Meeting.

1. To consider accepting apologies for absence

RESOLVED to accept apologies from Peter Smith (RPC chair)– out of the country

2. To approve the minutes of the last Parish Meeting (Annual Assembly)on Monday 4th April 2011

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 acting Chair, Cllr. Southgate.

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

Phone box working.

4. To hear the Chairman's report

Acting chair Cllr. Southgate read out the Chair's report in his absence.

Firstly may I apologise for my absence.
This year has seen a considerable change of Personnel in the Parish Council. In the May elections Peter Cotes, who had been the Chairman for the best part of twelve years, decided not to seek re-election, and then shortly afterwards Mary Gibbon resigned. At the end of the year Lucy Defew decided to resign as Clerk, due to personal reasons. We are much indebted to all of them for their contribution and service to the Parish Council, and though they will be much missed we are lucky to have found what I am sure will be excellent replacements, David Witt and David Howie as Councillors and Kim Rushforth as Clerk. In the new Council there has been a re-allocation of the fields in which members take a responsibility, and this seems to have worked well.

On the perennial problem of flooding in the village some progress has been made with The County Council Highways Department undertaking two schemes which it is hoped will improve the situation. For the scheme near the Village Hall, we are grateful for the help received from Ridgeons and Mr Leslie the landowner, and in Low Lane where the drainage is already much improved thanks are due to Mr and Mrs Bainbridge.

The Council has continued to deal with many planning applications, and though there have been no major developments, several new houses and extensions have been built and barns converted into dwellings, adding to the housing stock in the village.
In financial matters the Council decided to make an increase in the precept, large in percentage terms, but small in cash terms, so that the hours allocated to the Clerk could be increased to a more realistic level.

In many villages the Parish Council initiates activities and campaigns, but In Rocklands we are lucky in that groups of willing volunteers undertake this role, and the Parish Council does what it can to support such activities. Such groups include those associated with The White Hart Public House, the Playing Fields and the Jubilee and Olympic Celebrations, in all of which Councillors play an active role. It is my opinion that such "a bottom-up" approach is much more likely to succeed than a "top down" one.

Finally may I say that I have found my first year as Parish Chairman a satisfying experience, and I would like to pay tribute to the assistance that has been given to me by the Councillors and Clerks, particularly during what was a difficult personal time.

Cllr. Southgate proposed and Cllr. Steel seconded a vote of thanks to Cllr. Smith.

5. To receive reports by County and District Councillors

County Councillor Jordan apologised for not attending as many meetings as he would have liked to, as it had been a very busy year. He reported there had been 111 changed programmes and they needed to have made savings of £60 million by the deadline of 5th April. There had been £58 million investment in the economy. £15 million had been received in government support of better Broadband as matched funding. Cllr. Jordan gave out leaflets for people to sign in support of improved Broadband. The more signatures the better. Aims to keep council tax static. Keeping an eye on flooding within the parish as more development brings more water to the area. The public were asked if they had any questions for Cllr. Jordan. There were no questions.

No report was received from District Councillor Smith

6. To receive comments from the public.

David Jones introduced two local boys, members of Rocklanders Youth Club, Andrew and Daniel, ages 15 and 14 years. They wanted to contribute to the village in terms of safety. They had met the PCSO at youth club who had briefed them on their role and ways in which they could liaise with the police. There are not many problems in Rocklands but the boys were particularly concerned about speeding in the village. Rocklands has a neighbourhood watch scheme but interest had faded. Maybe this was an opportunity for its revival. Harold Neale would talk to the boys. Andrew and Daniel intend to patrol the village regularly. They are easily identified by their high viz jackets. Cllr. Southgate confirmed that they must contact the police rather than tackle any situations themselves. They confirmed that they make notes of anything untoward and report to the police. Councillors expressed concern that the boys should not put themselves at risk but were assured that they operated with caution. The boys finished by saying they were nearly late for the meeting as they had been helping with an escaped lamb !

Cllr. Southgate gave a vote of thanks to Andrew and Daniel, saying that members were full of appreciation and support.

The meeting closed at 7.20 p.m.