RUNTON PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL REPORT
CHAIRMANS ANNUAL REPORT RUNTON PARISH COUNCIL
The Parish Council met eleven times during the local election year plus one extraordinary meeting and benefited at several meetings from the presence of our new District Councillor and our County Councillor. An occasional report has been received from the Local Constabulary but attendance from a representative has been erratic. A change has been announced about the frequency and location of the PCSO “surgeries” given the paucity of attendance at so many in the past.
The long drawn out saga of the refurbishment of the Reading Room in East Runton demanded a lot of attention. Eventually a satisfactory programme was agreed, with the objectives not only of re-roofing the building, but also damp proofing, re-plastering, and the creation, in what had been the snooker room, of a place suitable for the use of small gatherings and social events. A loan from the Public Works Loan Board of up to £40,000 over ten years has been secured to fund the works.
Many of our street lights are obsolescent, expensive to maintain and run, so a replacement programme has been instituted. It will run for several years at an annual cost of some £1,800.
After an interval the Council were delighted to see a re-invigorated Playing Field Committee, that we are pleased to support in their endeavours to provide facilities, particularly for the local football team. The Field is owned by the Parish; but is leased to the Playing Field Committee.
Several Parish Councillors represent us on other bodies: The Village Hall Committee, The Ploughlet Charity, The Runton Parish History Society, The Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel, and other organisations that meet on an ad hoc basis. Their contribution is considerable, usually unseen, and invaluable.
As always the maintenance of the Commons represents the largest ongoing expense of the Parish. The programme of care produced more pleasing results in the past year, and we are indebted to the many volunteers who continue to undertake work to supplement the actions of our contractors.
The Council made representations to the District Council on many issues; but it is regrettable that little result transpired all too often. The regime associated with the public toilets in East and West Runton is especially unsatisfactory in a tourist area, and one in which that same Council is seeking a “Blue Flag” for the bathing waters.
Financial pressures exist for local government; too frequently they result in the need for the Parish to contribute to what would once have been a wholly provided service. Recent examples include the proposed footpath in East Runton and the potential mini roundabout at the Felbrigg junction. It has also become increasingly necessary to “remind” responsible agencies to undertake routine work, ranging from gully emptying to pothole repair, via pavement verges.
As always the functioning of the Council relies on the diligence and expertise of our Clerk who assists the Parish in very many ways.
We continued to support other contributors to our villages notably the Parochial Church Council, and the Royal British Legion.
The condition of many of the allotments continues to be of concern. Despite the issue of new tenancy agreements, too many holders choose to disregard the real reasons behind their existence. A new Allotments Committee has been created to provide an enhanced monitoring and development regime and an impetus for improvement.
Finally, I would like to thank all our Councillors for their help during the last year, and most especially Barbara, our Clerk, for her sterling work and encouragement.
Notes: Grants income includes precept grant from NNDC granted in order to
keep the precept lower. There is no guarantee for this grant in future.
PARISH COUNCIL CONTACT DETAILS
Parish Clerk: Barbara Emery.
COUNCILLORS WEST RUNTON
Mr. J. Simpson (Chairman)
COUNCILLORS EAST RUNTON
Mr. K. Jonas.