DRAFT MINUTES OF WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL at 7.30 pm
THURSDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2014
PRESENT (7 Councillors): – Pam Bullas (PB), Claire Cann (CC) – Chairman, Tom Foy (TF), Lorraine Hunt (LH), Paula Kellingray (PK), Claire Page (CP), Pam Walker (PW)
Clerk: – Sarah Thorpe
8 members of the public were in attendance.
Papers presented to Councillors: (i) Financial Management Report (spreadsheet); (ii) expenditure (for approval);
(iii) Glazewing Report; suggested meeting dates for 2015.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present and opened the meeting.
- Apologies for Absence. No apologies had been received as Tom Foy had now returned from duty in
- Declarations of Interest. No declarations were made.
- Use of social media and audio recording of meeting. CC asked “Will anyone present be filming, recording,
blogging or tweeting during this meeting?” No member of the public present at this stage advised that they would.
- Minutes of the Parish Council Meetings held on 2 October 2014. The Chairman confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council (PC) meetings held on 2 October 2014. These were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
5.1 Chairman’s Report.
5.1.1 Woodland Trust Community Trees – planting by Community Payback Scheme. Planting at the cemetery and village hall of the free hedging, supplied by the Woodland Trust Community Trees scheme, will begin on Sunday 9 November with the work being completed on the following Sunday.
5.1.2 Norfolk Association of Local Councils (NALC) Area Meeting. LH attended the meeting at Downham Market on 27 October. She reported that it was a useful event which was attended by 25-30 Councillors and Clerks. An update was given on recent developments and there was an opportunity for everyone present to talk about matters affecting their parish. NALC hope that this will become a regular event.
5.1.3 Willow Lane Footpath. An email has been received from Karl Rands (KR), Area Manager West – Highways & Transport, Norfolk County Council (NCC) in response to the email sent following the last PC meeting. It advises the PC that if they do not give unconditional consent by 20 November 2014 then the file will be closed and they will record the encroachment with regard to the public vehicular rights which remain. This will affect the property value on the land involved and the owners would lose the money they had already paid out on advice from NCC. The PC agreed that the only viable option was to provide the unconditional consent but with a separate covering letter making clear, for the record, that the PC felt that NCC had acted inappropriately. Copy to be sent to the owners of Willow Farm.
5.2 Clerk’s Report.
5.2.1 Grange Farm. An invitation has been received from the tenants for members of the PC to visit Grange Farm. Date to be arranged. Also an invitation has been received for members of the PC to visit a resident in West Bilney who lives next to the pig farm. Date to be arranged.
5.2.2 Highway Rangers. Will visit the parish in week commencing 10 November. Work has already been referred.
5.2.3 BT Telephone Box adoption. Electricity supply to the boxes remains the responsibility of BT and they will pay the bill. Details of the renovations needed and spares available are being investigated.
5.2.4 Allotment deposits account. An amount of £403.75 will be transferred to the account which is the total of all deposits paid by all the current tenants as of October 2014.
5.2.5 Frimstone. An email has been received from their Mineral Surveying Consultant advising that it would be premature to attend a PC meeting at the moment as the long-term proposal is to be prepared and presented next year. At that stage they will contact the PC to present these proposals and seek views.
5.2.6 Pear Technology. Still awaiting final draft after additional measurements for plotting the cemetery were submitted.
5.2.7 “The Big Tree Plant” Scheme. Further free trees are available under a scheme funded by DEFRA called “The Big Tree Plant.” Awaiting information on plant sizes and type prior to application.
5.3 Handyman’s Report. A report produced by the Handyman was read out by the Clerk.
In summary he has treated the oak fascia boards on the bus shelter and has visited and checked the cemetery; litter cleared adjacent to the planters on Church Road. Lime Kiln Road is in a dreadful state, covered in mud from the fields that the farmer has not cleaned up. Information on phone box repairs as follows: the Church Road box needs a new pillar on the hinge side of the door. A new hard wood door frame can be purchased for £256.25 + VAT. One telephone kiosk sign at £15.38 + VAT and 13 large glass panels at £30.49 + VAT each. The Station Road box needs 3 telephone kiosk signs at £15.38 + VAT each, 6 large glass panels at £30.49 + VAT and 2 small glass panels at £17.29 + VAT each. Grand total of £931.66 + VAT plus delivery for the parts. To prepare and paint the Church Road box and fit the new parts will take between 25 to 30 hours. The Station Road box, 15 to 20 hours. It may be possible to source toughened glass from a glazing company for less, but the glass must meet the legal requirements for thickness and toughening. Possible to machine a new pillar for the door and this may be less than buying a new door frame, but will increase the hours.
The PC agreed that further consideration would need to be given to the refurbishment of the telephone boxes before a decision could be made. It may be that steel mesh or Perspex should be considered instead of toughened glass. The anti-graffiti paint is now in the Village Hall, ready for the Handyman to collect. Clerk to advise Handyman and ask him to reinstate maintenance of wooden planters to his list of work.
5.4 Police Report. PK advised that PCSO Jane Edwards had sent her apologies for not being present at the meeting and had provided a report. There have been six calls; one Road Related Offence; two RTC (road traffic collision); one Highway Disruption; one Violence Against Person; one Lost Property. There have been no crimes recorded. The next SNAP meeting is Wednesday 19 November at All Saints Academy, Stoke Ferry. PK advised that she would be attending and CC asked if any parishioners had issues that they wished to be raised. Two issues were mentioned:
- A tractor belonging to a local farmer being driven very fast through the village. This had already been mentioned to the farmer concerned and reported to the police.
- Large farm vehicles on Lime Kiln Road causing an obstruction and leaving mud on the road while harvesting a sugar beet crop. The owner of the field in question was not known at this stage.
5.5 Village Hall Report. PK advised that the Hall was doing well with lots of events planned up to Christmas. Unfortunately their treasurer had recently resigned, due to pressure of work, so they will be looking to appoint a replacement.
5.6 Broadband Report. PW advised that there had been further emails from Karen O’Kane (KOK) which she read out to the meeting:
Work to upgrade the Stoke Ferry cabinet is almost complete. This cabinet currently serves three villages; Wereham;
Crimplesham; and West Dereham. As stated previously West Dereham won’t see much increase in speed from the completion of this cabinet. There is significant additional work to complete to ensure Superfast speeds for West Dereham. The work will involve implementing over 3 kilometres of additional fibre optic cable to reach the village and then the introduction of a new pair of cabinets. There is no completion date yet, but to set expectations, it will be 2015.
She advised that she knows this is disappointing, but residents should be assured the additional work that is required will be undertaken to bring Superfast broadband to the village.
PW advised that she had told KOK that everyone was more than dissatisfied with the constant delays and broken promises that West Dereham would be upgraded as a high priority. It is the belief of the PC that NCC has a large say in which areas are given priority for completion and that our MP, Elizabeth Truss (ET), has been advised of the views of the village. There is real concern that the funding will run out and West Dereham will be left out.
A further reply was received from KOK:
She apologised for the delays. The funding is definitely in place to implement the solution in West Dereham, via the first Better Broadband for Norfolk contract. The rollout order is governed by the NCC’s objective to achieve the maximum coverage possible for the money, and a series of technical steps that have to take place to provide access.
In some cases, the only way to provide fast speeds (as has proved to be the case in West Dereham), is to extend the fibre and upgrade the current secondary cabinet, in effect turning it into a primary copper cabinet and then install a new fibre cabinet. The work is happening as quickly as possible, but sometimes unforeseen additional work of this kind is encountered and in such cases delays do occur.
A parishioner then spoke about the problems he had been experiencing with his business in the village, which has been caused by the poor broadband service, and the number of times he has had to contact BT regarding this issue. He is currently without service and has been for several days. He is considering moving from the village. General frustration was expressed by several parishioners present at the meeting over the broadband service in the village. CC said that when the PC had first approached BT to ask for BB, BT had been very dismissive at any prospect for West Dereham. Subsequently West Dereham had been promised broadband would be in place by April 2011. This date had been extended at regular intervals and was now 2015.
It was agreed that the Better Broadband for Norfolk (BBfN) campaign seem to be going for the easy option all the time and upgrading areas that already have a much better service than West Dereham so that they can quote larger numbers of households that have been upgraded. A letter is to be sent to ET and copied to Brian Long (County Councillor) advising her of the response from the BBfN team and of the dissatisfaction of the parish. An item to be added to the next notice asking for parishioners to forward any correspondence they have had with BT or KOK on this matter so that all of the information can be passed to ET. LH also agreed to find out KOK’s line manager so that a letter can be issued directly to them.
5.7 Glazewing Report. Glazewing had issued their November report by email, it covers the period from 29 September to 3 November. It advised that there had been one reported incident in the period. The details are:
- 29th September – a villager complained of noise from the vehicle operating centre in the early hours of the morning. Glazewing advised that they try to ensure all vehicles that may be required to start early are left with
the correct containers on the vehicle to keep noise to a minimum when leaving early. They gave their apologies for any noise generated on this occasion.
The PC discussed the situation regarding the planning application made by Glazewing for a building to cover a new baling machine which is still being considered by NCC planning department. NCC have suggested that this could be referred to the planning committee for a decision on 21 November but no confirmation of this had been received at this stage. The PC would be able to send a representative to this meeting to express their concerns on this application.
6.1 Accounts. Accounts for approval and the monthly financial management report were submitted by the Clerk. She advised that the income and expenditure for September 2014 has now been confirmed and that estimated figures for October have been inserted based upon invoices received.
|Clerk’s salary & expenses for Oct 2014||100761||512.05||512.05|
|West Dereham Village Hall – hire of hall July-Sept||100762||145.00||145.00|
|CGM Ltd – Sept grounds maint||100763||144.48||28.89||173.37|
|NALC – Autumn Seminar x 2||100764||90.00||90.00|
|Thomas B Bonnett – Refurbishment of seat *||100765||187.50||37.50||225.00|
|Glasdon UK Ltd – purchase of 2 dog waste bins||100766||467.82||93.56||561.38|
|Former Allotment tenant – refund of deposit||100767||42.50||42.50|
|Royal British Legion – Poppy Appeal||100768||18.50||18.50|
|West Dereham Parish Magazine – PC notice Apr-Sept||100769||30.00||30.00|
|Thomas B Bonnett – Allotment gate security||100770||45.50||45.50|
* £100 donation had been received from the family, to contribute towards the cost of this refurbishment.
1-9 of the above payments were considered and approved. Cheques to be signed at the end of the meeting.
6.2 Budget for 2015/16. The Clerk spoke about the draft document that had been produced and given to all Councillors. The draft budget had been drawn up to include all of the items in the budget for 2014/15 with no items added or removed. Consideration had been given on each item to see if the same amount was still appropriate or needed amending. At this stage the contract for ground maintenance was not known for 2015/16 but it was felt that this would need to be awarded at a cost of no more than the amount allowed in the budget. No additional allowance had been made for decorative village gateways or refurbishment of the telephone boxes and therefore funding of these items would need to be found from within existing headings. Members of the public were invited to comment on the budget for 2015/16. No comments were made. CC advised that, after four months of advertised opportunity for public discussion the precept would be set at the December PC meeting.
- Location of two additional dog waste bins. The two new bins have been delivered to PB. It was agreed that a decision should be deferred to the next meeting so that the December village notice could invite residents to comment on the suggested locations. It was agreed that the notice should also encourage residents to use the existing bin.
- Planning Applications.
8.1 C/2/2014/2021 – Frimstone Ltd: Crimplesham Quarry (Northern site) extension of date for operations to continue to 31 December 2015.
8.2 C/2/2014/2023 – Frimstone Ltd: Crimplesham Quarry (Northern site) extension of date for operations to continue to 31 December 2015.
As these two further planning applications were all part of a submission of five applications it was agreed that the objections raised at the last meeting, to the other three applications, also applied.
- It was agreed to OBJECT to all of the above applications giving the following reasons:
- It was not accepted that “permitted operations have been shown to be able to take place without undue impact on the amenities of local residents.”
- It was not accepted that the cumulative impact arising from both sites operating simultaneously has been “without complaint” as the PC objected to previous applications for this reason.
- There has been no discussion with local residents on these applications.
- These applications do not clearly spell out what will happen at the sites.
- There appears to be either no long term plan or Frimstone are not bothering to explain this plan, given repeated last minute applications to continue operating the north quarry which was supposed to close in 2011.
9.1 A letter has been received addressed to the PC regarding a static caravan in the garden of a resident on Church Road. The Clerk advised that she had obtained information from BC Planning Enforcement on the regulations regarding planning permission for static caravans and that generally permission was only required if the caravan was being used as a self-contained residence that was rented to a tenant. The PC clerk would make enquiries.
9.2 A notice had been received from NCC regarding closure of the highway at The Row from 26 November to 3 December for new electrical connection work. Information to be shown on the PC website.
9.3 An Information pack had been received from Woodland Trust on the free trees that had been provided.
9.4 Information had been received from the BC on a new service for older people living in West Norfolk called Living Independently in Later Years (LILY). It was agreed that this information should be included in the next Parish Magazine and on the PC website.
- Parish Council policies and documentation.
10.1 Business Continuity Plan. The current document had been reviewed and minor amendments made prior to circulation to all. It was agreed to adopt this new document.
10.2 Clerk’s job description & person specification. The current documents were reviewed and it was agreed that the job description should be amended to include maintaining the register of PC decisions; attendance at meetings; and PC website. No amendments were needed to the person specification. It was agreed to adopt this new document.
10.3 Handyman’s job description & purchase agreement. The document was reviewed and it was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
10.4 Training Policy. The document was reviewed and it was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
- Parish Council Assets.
11.1 Allotment Gates. A quotation had been received for £91, including VAT, to carry out additional welding to improve the security of the gates and install a bolt to enable them to be closed correctly. It was agreed by all to go ahead with this work and authorise a payment of half of the cost of the work.
11.2 Cemetery Pillars & Gates. Despite further attempts by the Clerk to obtain additional quotes only one quote had still been received for the pillars. It was agreed that this matter should not be delayed any further and that the quotation received of £2660 plus VAT should be accepted. Clerk to contact builder to inform him of the decision and obtain further details to include a schedule for completion.
11.3 Decorative Village Gateways. The design was agreed from a sketch provided by CC. Clerk to obtain quotes for the same size gateways as on the original specifications from Highways.
- Other Business – Any Additional Reports and Items for Inclusion on the next Agenda.
12.1. PB advised that she had contacted the Ely and Norwich dioceses with regard to whether the church had previously registered ownership of the War Memorial. Both confirmed no registration had been made.
12.2 Pothole on the Lime Kiln Road on the passing place just before the lime pit when heading away from the village. Clerk to report to Highways for repair.
The official meeting concluded at 9pm and was opened to the floor for general comment.
No comments were made.
Closure. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and final closure of the meeting was at 9pm.
Next ordinary meeting of the Parish Council is on Thursday 4 December at 7.30pm with Open Surgery from 7.00pm.
Clerk: Sarah Thorpe
Telephone: 01945 430930
Chairman’s signature …………………………………… Date ……………………………