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July 2013 report

Our Chairman was in Germany and Vice Chairman in Africa, so Mark Randall was elected Chairman for the evening. It was a full meeting in that we had 13 public attending.

Village Hall and Social Club News. We heard that better communication was needed between the two organizations. Seems sensible, as both organisations struggle to survive. Preparations are underway for the Cley Memories Day on 17th August and investigations in hand to assess the feasibility of placing a voluntary donation “pillar box” for those parking on the car park.   The Parish Clerk advised that CADS had decided to abandon their idea for a container on the car park. This comes as a relief, as the Parish Council was not too sure about how such a portakabin could be got onto the site, let alone how the planners would view such a structure in the conservation area.

Allotments.  The Parish Clerk reported that there had been one new allotment holder since the last meeting. There have been several new allotment holders this year and all applying for sheds and trees.  It is excellent that applications for allotments are being accompanied by requests for sheds and dwarf fruit trees – which means that folks are keen!  There are still one or two more plots available if you fancied the challenge.  Please contact the Parish Clerk, Di Dann 01328 878196.

District and County Councillors Reports. We were pleased to welcome our new County Councillor (NCC) Mike Baker UKIP.  Cllr Baker advised that the Conservatives had lost control of the County Council because of the inefficiencies of the Cabinet System.  There was now no longer a majority.  An Executive Committee System would replace the Cabinet System from next year.  The £140,000 a year Director of Children’s Services had recently resigned. There was considerable concern as to who had made the decision to sign the contract for the incinerator at Kings Lynn.  The consequences of scrapping the project was now being explored including the compensation which would become due.  He hoped that sufficient funds would be in place to cover  the schemes promised under the NCC  Partnerships Projects recently awarded grants. Cley Parish Council had been one of the beneficiaries. This is the road down to the Mill.  Fingers crossed here as there is a risk that economic pressures might force NCC to pull the plug on these grants. District Council David Young advised that at its May meeting, the Council had appointed Lyndsay Brettle (Glaven Valley) as Chair and Barry Smith (Mundesley) as Vice Chair.  The June meeting of Full council was cancelled and the Cabinet Meeting due 8 July has been deferred for a week to allow more time to consider this matter.  We find this strange at parish level! We always have a packed agenda and loads of issues to debate.   The last NNDC meeting was over in 20 minutes!  What are they doing …or what aren’t they doing!   At a recent meeting of the Planning Policy Committee it was noted that NNDC has compiled a “Buildings At Risk” Register, though there was nothing on that list from Cley.  The Parish Clerk had attended that meeting at NNDC and identified that the Register should include the Cley BT box.  We will wait forever for BT to “do up” our little box.  The alternative is for the parish to buy it from BT for £1 and find some willing volunteer to paint it poppy red, or pink (if we dared). Sparks flew when Cllr High said he had heard that Victory Housing Trust (VHT) was selling a property in Glandford Road. What did he know about it?  Cllr Baker was able to get an answer from VHT via the Housing Department of NNDC.  Here is the answer – or rather the explanation.  The Parish Council have written a strong letter of objection.  “Victory Housing Trust were successful in obtaining funding for the period 2011-15 from the Homes and Communities Agency to provide 145 new affordable homes.  The funding available for each affordable dwelling is at lower levels than has historically been provided and requires Housing Association’s to use their own resources to meet the shortfall in funding.  This shortfall in funding is to be met through a combination of disposing of existing stock and converting some existing social rented housing to the new higher affordable rents (which are up to 80% of market rents). Victory Housing Trust are as a result of the funding they will receive from the Homes and Communities Agency required to dispose of 100 properties by March 2015. This is a property which has been identified as a possible disposal and Victory’s Board will make a decision this month whether to dispose of the property or retain it. If Victory’s Board do decide to dispose of a property in Glandford Road, the proceeds will be used to support the delivery of the 145 new affordable homes, the receipt the sale generates will not be ring fenced in full or part to provide affordable housing in Cley or the immediate area.  The Council cannot directly influence this.  We are however, working closely with Victory to ensure that new affordable housing is provided across the district in towns and villages, however, we cannot replace every affordable dwelling lost in every location as it is not economic to build single dwellings in multiple locations, and 100% affordable housing schemes are therefore provided as groups of homes. I have been advised by Victory Housing Trust that they have identified as at March this year, that for every disposal (of a property on the open market or through the Preserved Right to Buy) they are building 5 new homes.”

Police. PCSO Clarke advised that there had been 6 calls to Police in the last month of which one had resulted in a crime.  This was damage to a vehicle.  Cllr  High raised continued concerns about parking on the corner adjacent to Picnic Fayre.

Anglian Water.  Our public were waiting for this item and detail of what is planned by Anglian Water (AW) when they undertake works lasting approximately 3 months beginning in October. It sounds like an enormous project and we wanted to hear more.  But our news on this matter is still severely limited. AW are under an obligation to deal with complaints concerning foul water and flooding issues on the west side of the village. As a consequence they had advised that they would be digging up the Picnic Fayre Car Park to create a shaft tank to take the foul water . There would be considerable disruption for everyone in the village as traffic would be controlled by traffic lights, and work was likely to be ongoing for 3 months.  Cllr High knew that the area was full of springs and he felt that the main river need to be cleared out.  Cllr Allen considered that a new tank would not solve the problem, but that ditches and dykes needed to be cleared out.  Since our meeting we have found out that there will be a public consultation at the Village Hall on the AW proposals. That does imply a “chance to have our say”. But it will probably boil down to being an exhibition of what will happen.  All householders are to have a letter from AW. Do read it, as we are all going to be adversely affected by these proposals not least Picnic Fayre.

Planning. As always we had lots of planning matters to consider. 5 planning applications and the great news that after 8 months our own application to dredge the old harbour had eventually been given approval. The progress of his project now moves on to a permission application being sent to the Environment Agency. Norfolk Wildlife Trust also had 2 applications to be considered.  This was the erection of a bird hide near to Salthouse   and extension on the existing Visitors Centre at Cley.  Planning Applications are always displayed on our notice board in the High Street (near “Woodbury” in the High Street).  Work would soon be done by the Norfolk Coast Partnership at Buxtons Marsh.  This would involve cutting down some poplars.

Our next meeting is September 3rd when we will be considering a letter received from a resident raising concerns about the bollards near to Cley Mill.

For more information please contact the parish clerk didann@tiscali.co.uk

Tel 01328 878196

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