West Dereham Parish Council – February meeting

PRESENT (6 Councillors): – Claire Cann (CC) – Chairman, Pam Bullas (PB), Lorraine Hunt (LH), Paula Kellingray (PK), Pam Walker (PW), Claire Williams (CW).
Clerk: – Sarah Thorpe
Brian Long (BL) – County Councillor
Sandra Squire (SS) – Borough Councillor
5 members of the public were in attendance.
Papers presented to Councillors: (i) Financial Management Report (spreadsheet); (ii) Expenditure (for approval); and (iii) Glazewing report.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present and opened the meeting.

1. Apologies for absence. Apologies had been received from Tom Foy (TF), who was away on a work course.

2. Declarations of interest. No declarations were made.

3. Use of social media, audio recording of meeting and invitation for public contributions. 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. CC advised members of the public that if they wished to comment on any item, before a decision was made, they should raise their hand and they would be invited to speak.

4. Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 4 & 29 December 2015. CC confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council (PC) meetings held on 4 & 29 December 2015. These were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

5. Reports.
5.1 Chairman’s Report.
5.1.1 Village Green. CC advised that no reply had been received to the letter sent to the landowners advising that the PC wished to move forward on the issue of acquiring land for a village green and asking for a response regarding the current situation on the sale of the land that had been discussed in 2011. Another letter would be issued soon.
5.1.2 Grange Farm. CC advised that no reply had been received to the letter sent to the tenants asking for a response to questions raised by parishioners.
5.1.3 Community Payback Unit work. The work at the recreation ground had now been completed and the work at the cemetery would be finished next Wednesday.

5.2 Clerk’s Report.
5.2.1 Quality Award. The response from the PC to the queries raised by the Accreditation Panel had been sent and the PC was awaiting their comments.
5.2.2 Village Gateways. These had now been made by the supplier and were awaiting installation from Highways.
5.2.3 Street light on St Andrew’s Close. The energy efficient LED lantern had now been installed.
5.2.4 Transparency Fund. The application that was approved at the December PC meeting had been submitted.
5.2.5 Parish Partnership Scheme (PPS). The application for funding for a SAM2 (vehicle activated sign to encourage motorists to reduce their speed if they are exceeding the speed limit) had been submitted to Norfolk County Council (NCC).
5.2.6 Highways issues. Highways have advised that the sign for the A134 advising drivers of the weight restriction on Lime Kiln and Bath Rds had been ordered as previously advised but had not been delivered from the supplier. They will chase this matter up. Highways issues that had been reported since the last meeting were: damage to road surface and verge at The Row; pothole near the bridge on Ryston Rd; and resurfacing work needed on passing place on Bath Rd.
LH advised that there is an online reporting form that anyone can use to report highways issues. Details of this to be included in the next village notice. PW advised that a temporary fix had been done to the damaged road surface at The Row. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Highways to establish when the problem would be resolved.
5.3 Handyman’s Report. No report this month as the Handyman had not carried out any work due to the weather conditions meaning that outstanding issues could not be actioned.

5.4 Police Report. PK advised that information received from the police did not show any crimes reported in WD but some general advice had been given to residents about being cautious of items shown in the background when posting online photographs taken in their home as this could cause burglaries and the usual warning at this time of the year to ensure heating oil tanks are secure.

5.5 Village Hall Report. PK advised that the year had started well with a number of bookings being made for the forthcoming months. These included one children’s party; three weddings; and two 80th birthday parties.

5.6 Broadband Report. PW advised that she had no further information other than an email that had been sent to the PC advising that an additional cabinet would be installed on Church Road during the next 6-12 months to help with superfast broadband speeds for residents in that area of the village. It was agreed that next month the Clerk would enquire if there was any update on when this was likely to be completed.

5.7 Glazewing Report. Richard Stimson, Compliance Manager, at Glazewing had provided a monthly report for the PC meeting. The report responded to the query raised by the PC at the last two meetings regarding the comment from Glazewing that the use of Eddie Stobart vehicles did not represent an increase in vehicle movements asking how they could know that there was no increase in vehicle movements as they had previously advised that they did not record this information. Glazewing repeated that they do not record vehicle movements and that their answer was based on the materials in and out of the site which they said has been fairly consistent throughout the year as shown on the graph they had provided.
CW advised that on 13 January a Glazewing skip lorry had overturned on Station Road and that Glazewing had closed the road for an hour while they recovered the vehicle. BL advised that Highways had mentioned this matter to him and that Highways should be asked for permission before a road is closed but that it would have been given for this situation. It was agreed that the Clerk would ask why this was not included in the monthly report.

6. Finance.
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 November and December 2015 has now been confirmed, and that estimated figures for January have been inserted based upon invoices received. Expenditure was generally as expected.
Payee Cheque No Net VAT Gross
Clerk’s salary, expenses for Jan – 45 hours 100841 522.82 522.82
Anglian Water – cemetery supply Sept – Dec 100842 14.26 14.26
Suffolk ALC – Accreditation panel fee for Quality Award 100843 30.00 6.00 36.00
WD Village Hall – Hire for meetings Oct – Dec 100844 192.50 192.50
Westcotec Ltd – replacement street light 100845 308.22 61.64 369.86
Oz-UK Innovations Ltd – deposit for cemetery gates 100846 300.00 60.00 360.00
Andrew Harrison – Village Gateways 100847 2025.00 2025.00
Total 3392.80 127.64 3520.44
The above payments were considered and approved. Cheques to be signed at the end of the meeting.

7. Parish Assets.
7.1 Registration of ownership of the cemetery with Land Registry. Fraser Dawbarns Solicitors (FD) have confirmed that they hold the deeds for the purchase of the cemetery in the 1960s. In order to move forward with the further development of the cemetery the land should be registered with Land Registry. FD had advised that on this occasion they would be willing to deal with the registration for the fee of £100 plus VAT (plus the £42 Land Registry costs). It was agreed by all to accept this quotation and go ahead with the registration.

7.2 Purchase of replacement litter bin for the bus shelter in front of the village hall. Quotations had been obtained for various options for a new litter bin. Following a discussion it was agreed to purchase the Super Trimline 50 Litter Bin from Glasdon at a total cost of £68.54 plus VAT to include a metal liner and wall mounting fixings in Deep Green.

8. Parish Council policies and documentation.
8.1 Reporting Policy. A new policy had been drawn up following the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations of 2014. The document was discussed and it was agreed by all to adopt this document.
8.2 Action Plan. The document had been amended in line with actions that had occurred since it was last reviewed. The amended document was discuss and it was agreed to adopt the document. A parishioner asked if this document was available to the public and CC confirmed that, like all the PC’s policy documents, it would be both on the PC website and available from the Clerk.
8.3 Clerk’s contract. The document had been amended in line with National Association of Local Council guidelines to include sickness pay. The amendments were discussed and it was agreed by all to adopt this document.
8.4 Clerk’s Appraisal form. The document was reviewed and it was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
8.5 Travel & Expenses Policy. The document was reviewed and it was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
8.6 Health & Safety Policy. The document was reviewed and it was agreed that no amendments were necessary.

9. Planning.
9.1 16/00013/F Construction of cattle building at Grange Farm, Lynn Road. The PC discussed the application and CC asked for parishioners’ comments; no comments were made. The PC decided that it had NO OBSERVATIONS to make on the application.
9.2 16/00025/F Extension to existing horticultural building at Cornerways Nursery, College Road. The PC discussed the application and CC asked for parishioners’ comments; no comments were made. The PC decided that it had NO OBSERVATIONS to make on the application.
9.3 16/00077/F Proposed annex and ancillary works at Withy Farm, Station Road. The PC discussed the application and the personal statement accompanying the application was read out. CC asked for parishioners’ comments; no comments were made. The PC decided to SUPPORT the application.
9.4 15/01780/LDP Lawful Development Certificate for conservatory base and wall at Kingscroft, Basil Road. The BC had advised that this application had been permitted.
9.5 C/2/2015/2034-8 (five applications) – Crimplesham Quarry (Northern & Southern site) Variation of conditions of previous permissions to allow extension of date for operations to continue. Frimstone Ltd. NCC had advised that these applications have been permitted.

10. Correspondence.
10.1 An email had been received from the BC regarding the Precept. It advised that due to the removal of the second homes discount the taxbase for WD has been slightly increased; therefore in order to maintain a 0% increase for parishioners the Precept should be set at £16396; an increase of £11. It was agreed by all to accept this amended figure.
10.2 An email had been received on 6 January from Alan Gomm, LDF Manager at the BC, in response to a query from the PC regarding the progress of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). It stated that there were a number of elements of research about viability issues that needed to be completed before they could move to the next formal stage but they hoped to present a report to Cabinet in February. BL advised that this report had been presented to Cabinet in the last week and that it had been decided to go ahead. It was hoped that the CIL would be operational within the next six months.
10.3 An email had been received from a parishioner in Basil Road; it raised concerns over the broadband provision for that area of the village and suggested that an additional cabinet should be installed in Basil Road. It was agreed that a reply would be send to provide details of the latest proposed cabinet in Church Road and that their concerns could be passed on to the Better Broadband for Norfolk team.
The email also raised an issue regarding potholes on Basil Road and the number of HGV’s that have been using the road to take building materials and equipment to a field off Basil Road. Information had been obtained from the BC regarding the use of agricultural land and as there was a possibility that a change of use could be needed in some circumstances then it was agreed that a letter would be sent to the owners of the land to mention that a complaint had been received and ask them what the land was being used for. With regard to the potholes they would be reported to Highways by the PC; in the reply to the parishioner the Clerk to advise that the public could and should also report such issues, giving contact details for Highways, to increase pressure on Highways to take action.
10.4 An email had been received from a household on Church Road regarding the apparent lack of progress on the refurbishment of the telephone boxes; the correspondent also wondered whether the PCs statement that it makes no provision in its budget for charitable donations but gives money to the Village Hall, which is a registered charity, could be misleading.
The Clerk gave details of the action taken so far on the telephone boxes. They were adopted in September 2014 and in November 2014 the Handyman at the time provided details of the work needed and the approximate cost. Due to the cost involved the PC felt at the time that further consideration needed to be given to how best to refurbish the boxes as economically as possible. In March 2015 the Handyman removed all of the glass in order to preserve the unbroken panels. In early June 2015 the Handyman met Councillors to discuss the options but at that meeting he advised that he would be leaving the post as he was moving away from the village. In October 2015 a new Handyman was appointed and he felt that the rubbing down and repainting of the boxes should not be done over the winter months and that this work should be completed in the Spring of 2016. CC advised that no decision had been made on the future use of the refurbished boxes and that an item would be put in the village notice asking for parishioners’ suggestions which, so far included a book exchange and installation of a defibrillator. A discussion took place on possible uses and a member of the public suggested the possibility of selling one and refurbishing the other one with the proceeds. CC advised that the contract would need to be checked to see if this was possible.
With regard to the donation to the Village Hall CC explained that bodies holding charitable status varied enormously – for example, Eton College did so. The PC held the village hall on behalf of WD as Custodial Trustees, with the village hall management committee acting as Management Trustees. Under the Local Government Act 1972 sections 111 and 137 a PC is empowered to incur expenditure in the execution of any works including maintenance and improvement in relation to any parish property; there is also a power to incur expenditure for the benefit of the area for all or some of its inhabitants. As the village had lost five pubs, the school and shops the village hall was vitally important to the community. While there was no obligation to support the village hall the PC had done so since 2009 and with this financial support being reviewed annually when the Precept was discussed. The PC did not think that there was any contradiction in not donating to national charities while giving support to its own village hall. However, if parishioners wished the PC to make provision for giving to charity then this could be done with specific provision in the Precept. An item on this issue to be included in the next village notice.

11. Other Business – Any additional reports and items for inclusion on the next Agenda.
11.1 CW advised that she had spoken with the designer for the improvements to the Garden of Remembrance and mentioned that the PC had allowed a budget of £3000 for this work. The designer felt that this could be achieved.
11.2 PW advised that she was looking into purchase of plants for the wooden planters; and suggested a litter pick for the village when the weather improved.
11.3 PB advised of damage to posts on the side of the road on Station Road. Photos to be sent to the Clerk for her to report to Highways.
11.4 LH offered her apologies for the next PC meeting due to a family commitment.

The official meeting concluded at 9.03pm, and was opened to the floor for general comment.

Open Forum.
• A parishioner advised that there was a lot of rubbish on the bank near to Glazewing and that there was a campaign called “Clean for the Queen” in honour of her 90th Birthday. The BC were acting as stockists for equipment that could be used to undertake litter picking.
• A member of the public raised a query regarding speeding vehicles in the village and the PCs approach to this issue. CC advised that the PC took up issues specifically raised by parishioners and a number had commented on this matter. The member of the public asked about a Community Speed Watch Scheme (CSW) or police enforcement. CC reported that the police had been approached but had advised that they did not have the resources due to budget cuts and a CSW had already been considered but could only be set up if there were enough volunteers and no one had come forward to volunteer. At that point the member of the public proposed that as there were seven Parish Councillors they should undertake the CSW. He was advised that Parish Councillors carried out a considerable amount of voluntary work for the village already and that the CSW needed to involve the actual community but the PC would ask villagers again, via the village notice, if they were interested in setting up a CSW. BL confirmed that the police were not giving priority to the issue of speeding as it was felt that there resources were better used fighting serious crime. CC advised that the PC has applied for funding from NCC Parish Partnership Scheme for a SAM2 sign which advises motorists of their speed and to “slow down” if they are exceeding the speed limit.

Closure. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending, and final closure of the meeting was at 9.22pm.

Next PC meeting is on Thursday 3 March 2016 at 7.30pm with Open Surgery from 7.00pm.
Clerk: Sarah Thorpe
Email: clerk@westderehamparishcouncil.com
Telephone: 01945 430930

Chairman’s signature …………………………………… Date ……………………………

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