• Minutes of 29th April 2024

    29th April 2024

  • Notice of Audit for the year ended 31st March 2024

    Public notice 31.3.2024
  • Agenda for 29th April 2024

    Agenda

    Clerks’ Report

  • Payments greater than £500 and contracts greater than £5,000

    Payments greater than £500 2024

    Contracts over £5000 2024

     

  • Minutes of 25th March 2024

    25th March 2024

  • FAQs about the Fletcher Room public consultation

    Updated 1 May

    Following a number of comments and questions from launching the public consultation about the loan for the Fletcher Room replacement project, we have some FAQs below;

     

    Why does the Parish Council provide a Pre-School?

    The Parish Council does not provide the Pre-School, and does not have a duty to provide childcare. The Parish Council owns the Fletcher Room (on leased land from Norfolk County Council), and hires it to Acle Pre-School, which is a completely separate charity and is run by that Charity’s committee.

     

    What is the land situation?

    Acle Parish Council, through Acle Borderland Trust, leases the land from Norfolk County Council. The current lease runs out in 2026, however NCC have already agreed to a further 25 year lease, and we are currently in negotiations on terms.

     

    What is Acle Borderland Trust?

    Acle Borderland Trust is a registered Charity, of which Acle Parish Council and The Clerk to the Parish Council are trustees. This was set up in 1996 as the mechanism to manage some of the Parish Council’s assets.

     

    Why does the building cost so much?

    The project cost estimate of maximum £350,000 is not just the building itself, it includes planning costs, demolition, ground works which will include some levelling due to the nature of the land, additional connection of services (pipework etc), and a larger 2 room building.

     

    Who is completing the build?

    The contract will go out to formal tender (which is where businesses bid for a contract), therefore no contractor has been appointed yet. All bids will be reviewed and the contractor decided on by the Parish Council.

     

    What reserves do you have for this project?

    There is just over £50,000 in reserves specifically for the Fletcher Room replacement.

     

    Why are there not more reserves/Why isn’t the Parish Council able to fund the entire project?

    The original Fletcher Room cost £100,000 when it was built. The Parish Council was putting money into earmarked reserves each year, but given the effect of unexpectedly high inflation and change to building materials we were not prepared for the projected cost for the replacement we have been given this year. A few years ago we were told that a brick-built building would cost about £300,000, and that a replacement modular building would cost about £180,000 – £200,000 at that time, but we are now being told that it might cost over £300,000. The Parish Council had funds at that time, so the councillors felt that this was achievable. The income for the Parish Council has decreased over the past few years as the Parish Council’s share of Community Infrastructure Levy from the new houses has reduced from £136,733 (22/23), to £21,716 (23/24) to £nil 24/25. However, the income from the rents at the Folly Tree House and the Chocolate Box is now coming on stream, and is expected to be about £38,000 in 24/25, which is great news, but the cost of the refurbishment of the Folly Tree House and Chocolate Box buildings buildings used up all the capital reserves, and there were significant legal costs in setting up the leases for the Folly Tree House tenants.

    All accounts are on our website, including what CIL money has been spent on. The 23/24 accounts will be available in May.

     

    Why do you know the amount of a loan if you talk about grants?

    We are very hopeful of securing significant grants for this project, however if we are unsuccessful in obtaining any then the loan could reach the stated £300,000. We needed to present this worst case scenario to the public in the consultation, which is why it was stated as “up to £300,000”

     

    Why can’t you get grants first, then consult about the loan?

    All grants require a specific monetary request, proof of project cost, and evidence of how the project will be financed by other funding streams. That means we have to go to tender first to pick a contractor and get a cost, however that would be a waste of time and public money if the residents of Acle do not support a loan. Most grants also have to be spent within a one year period, and with a build in Summer 2025 any grant agreement would not be used within timeframe, and often cannot reapply to the same provider within a set period

    Unfortunately unless we know we will be able to fund the project solely from the loan, in the unlikely event that we are unsuccessful in all grant applications, we cannot proceed.

     

    How do you know the repayments per year?

    This was to give a realistic monetary amount to residents as part of the public consultation. Any grant amount will reduce the total loan needed, and therefore will reduce the number of years of paying back the loan. The quoted example of a figure of £17.15 per year per Band D property is the exemplar, this does not mean that every property will pay that amount, as all properties are different bands for Council Tax, including for the Parish Council Precept – a B band property would pay less and a E band property would pay more.

     

    What consultation is being done?

    A consultation document has been delivered to every property within the boundaries of Acle Parish Council, the information is on our website and Facebook page. All Parish Council meetings are open to the public, and residents are always welcome to ask questions at the beginning of each meeting. There are physical paper voting slips and an online option, to cater for all.

    Why are there 2 very similar questions on the consultation paper?

    The PWLB prescribe that these specific questions are part of public consultation, therefore these are the government mandated questions we have to ask.

     

    Once the loan is repaid, will the precept reduce?

    The loan payments will be removed from the precept once fully paid, however we cannot predict what other costs there may be, for other parish services and assets, at any future time.

     

    Is there a minimum return rate to make a decision?

    As per all democratic decisions, it is the majority of those who have chosen to respond. The Public Works Loan Board process requires that the Council “show community support” for the project and for the loan. The councillors agreed that a positive response of 50% of the replies, plus one more person, would indicate support.

     

    Why are you not spending money on the roads, which are in a poor state?

    Highways comes under Norfolk County Council’s jurisdiction and the Parish Council is not the responsible authority for maintaining the road system. The Parish Council has been in communication with Norfolk County Council to establish an estimated date for resurfacing works. We have been informed that work on resurfacing the main roads in the village is scheduled for this financial year and they are hopeful to commence work in Summer 2024

  • Closures of central reservations on A47

    From National Highways –

    Road Closures and diversions in April 2024

    We are starting pre-construction work on the scheme which will lead to an increase in construction traffic around the A47 junction with B1140 South Walsham Road and Acle Road.

    In order to improve safety at this junction we are permanently closing the central reservations at 9pm on Tuesday 16 April. Other central reservations are being closed for up to 30 months.

    We are carrying out these closures to stop road users being put at risk where high speed traffic could meet stationary traffic turning.

    Please remember that closure details can change at short notice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our daily closures page

    Note that this will result in a lot more traffic into Acle. The diversion for traffic wanting to travel west from The Windle, and for traffic travelling east and wanting to turn south towards Lingwood and Cantley will be into Acle on the eastbound A47 sliproad, across the bridge and down the westbound sliproad back onto A47.

  • Community News April 2024

    2024 March
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