RUNTON PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL REPORT
CHAIRMANS ANNUAL REPORT RUNTON PARISH COUNCIL
The Parish Council met eleven times * during the year and benefited at most meetings from the presence of our District Councillor who is also our County Councillor.
The year has been punctuated, as usual, with a mixture of events some of very local significance others of wider interest. The machinations of the planning process resulted in a number of frustrations. The refusal of the Highways Authority to pay for “traffic orders” in response to local demands is a particular instance. Such orders, we are informed, cost of the order of £10,000.00 and are well beyond the means of most parishes. Indeed there are many challenges resulting from the growth in vehicle usage that range from car parking to speeding, none of which are readily solved. This can easily be seen when what was yesterday’s parking solution becomes today’s problem.
At long last the public toilets in both villages are to remain open all year, perhaps in a belated recognition that tourists do visit all year and that the much vaunted Coastal Footpath deserves a few “punctuation marks “.However, the proposed new facilities in West Runton remain in limbo because of issues of ownership and access.
A significant amount of work was undertaken to restore and improve the boundaries of the Playing Field. It is good to see greater use of that area and also of the improvements to the changing rooms overseen by the Playing Fields Committee. The Commons grass cutting regime was much improved despite difficult weather conditions in the early part of the year; but drainage issues remain particularly in West Runton, where ditches need attention but also where water abstraction from an adjacent borehole has caused natural streams to dry up.
There remains a marked difference in the care and use of various allotments. Great enthusiasm and total apathy are both evident, hopefully the former will eventually prevail.
The Reading Room aka Parish Office has proved to be a popular meeting place as well as a focus for the Parish History Society. It now acts as the venue for most Parish Council meetings in East Runton.
A successful bid for Parish Partnership funding enabled installation of further electronic speed warning signs. These are installed at suitable locations and are periodically moved from site to site. Data gathered from these signs will be used to help with traffic management issues.
Several Parish Councillors act as representatives on other bodies: The Village Hall Committee, The Ploughlet Charity, The Runton Parish History Society, The Safer Neighbourhood Action Panel, The Playing Field Committee, The Allotments Advisory Group, The Planning Advisory Group, The Commons Working Party, and organisations such as the Coast Watch Forum. Their contribution is considerable and, in some cases, maintains the viability of the body. During the year a councillor for over two decades, Ray Spinks, decided to retire. His contribution to the village was immense and was marked by an informal presentation in the Reading Room to which he had devoted so much attention.
As always, we are grateful to those villagers and volunteers who do so much, with activities ranging from litter picking, beach cleaning, pond clearing, bus shelter cleaning, organising clubs and social activities, all of which contribute to making the Runtons a special place to live, to work, and to visit.
More of the modernised street lights are now operational and further ones will be altered in the coming months as part of a programme of renewal, including the provision of a new lamp on the slipway at East Runton.
Litter of varying types remains a growing problem. Extra bins for both general and dog waste have been purchased by the Parish that also pays for them to be emptied. The Council is very conscious that this is a tourist area that needs to be kept attractive. However the thoughtless disposal of debris and fly-tipping make this especially difficult for those volunteers who attempt to keep it in check and those landowners who have to pay for its removal.
Finally I would like to thank all of the Councillors for their help throughout the past year; but especially Barbara, our Parish Clerk for her unceasing efforts on our behalf.
* Attendance at Meetings:
R. Annis 7, S Bacon 1 , D Bakewell 9, B Bedwell 9, M Brandish 7, J Creasey 11, B Cushion 10, C Hawkins 9, J Hodson 9, K Jonas 8, P Nichols 6 (from co-option in October), J Simpson 11, R Spinks 3 (until retirement in June).
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.
Mr. Rick Taylor