DRAFT MINUTES OF THE WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 pm
ON THURSDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2016
PRESENT (6 Councillors): – Pam Bullas (PB), Claire Cann (CC) – Chair, Lorraine Hunt (LH), Paula Kellingray (PK), Pam Walker (PW) Claire Williams (CW).
Clerk: Sarah Thorpe (ST)
New Clerk: Helen Carrier
Cllr Brian Long (BL) – County Councillor
Cllr Sandra Squire (SS) – Borough Councillor
9 members of the public were in attendance.
Papers presented to Councillors: (i) Financial Management Report (spreadsheet); (ii) Expenditure (for approval); (iii) Draft budget for 2017/18; (iv) Glazewing report.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present and opened the meeting.
1. Apologies for absence. Apologies had been received from Tom Foy (TF) due to work commitments.
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 meetings held on 6 October 2016. CC confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council (PC) meeting held on 6 October 2016. An amendment was agreed to the last line of item 5.7 to clarify that it had been agreed further action would be taken when permission had been obtained. The minutes were then agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
5.1 Chairman’s Report.
5.1.1 Clerk. CC advised that this was the last meeting for the current Clerk and they were pleased to welcome the new Clerk, Helen Carrier, who would be taking over before the next PC meeting.
5.1.2 Doreen Berry. CC advised that she was sad to report that Doreen had died last week. Doreen had been a member of the PC from 1993-2011 and had made an amazing contribution to the PC and the village as a whole as she had also been involved with the Village Hall Committee for over 30 years. It was agreed that she would be very much missed and gratitude was expressed for her enormous contribution.
5.1.3 Vandalism to litter bin and dog waste bin on Church Road. CC reported that the litter bin and dog waste bin had been vandalised during the previous night. The matter had been reported to the police. Unfortunately this was a quiet strip of road without any houses and was therefore a target for vandals working against the village. The PC had hoped to save money at the moment as expenditure on some items was due to increase next year but the bins would need to be replaced. A claim could be made on the PC insurance policy but there was an excess of £250. Replacing vandalised assets would ultimately lead to an increase in the Precept.
5.2 Clerk’s Report.
5.2.1 Update on 30mph signs on Church Road. Highways were contacted and advised that they would not consider
painting 30mph on the road surface as this is only done in areas where there has been a safety problem and they do not
consider this the case on Church Road at the moment.
5.2.2 30mph signs on Village Gateways. Highways advised that they would chase this matter up and get back to the PC but it is usual for a different team to attach the signs so this is probably the reason for the delay. CC advised that Cllrs had bulbs to plant around the gateways when the 30mph signs had been attached.
5.2.3 SAM2 sign location on Station Road. Highways have agreed the location on Station Road to be attached to the 30mph sign opposite “The Hollies.” The next step is for them to provide paperwork to approve the five locations and then the sign could be installed by the supplier.
5.2.4 Location for Village Map Board on Station Road. Highways are to provide a map showing the location of all cables in this part of the verge and then the Handyman will be able to reinstate the map board at an appropriate place.
5.2.5 Overhanging hedge adjacent to Lime Kiln Road at old lime pit. Duncan Slade, Land Agent for Norfolk County Farms had advised that he had spoken with their tenant about this issue. She was aware of the PC’s concerns as she reads the minutes of the meetings. She asked him to extend to the PC her willingness to discuss such matters directly in the future; the work would be attended to in due course and he would visit over the next month to check on progress. CC advised that the PC was always willing to correspond directly with the person responsible but had not known whether it was the responsibility of NCC or the tenants to carry out the work.
5.2.6 Borough Council Call for Sites and Policy Suggestions Consultation. A letter had been received regarding Regulation 18 – Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012
Consultation period: 17 October – 28 November 2016
The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk was preparing a review of the Local Plan (Core Strategy and Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Plan). Once adopted the plan would allocate sites for development, apply polices to meet local needs, and guide development in the borough up to 2036.
The ‘Call for Sites and Policy Suggestions’ consultation offers an opportunity for developers, agents, landowners, individuals, and other interested parties to:
• promote sites located within the borough for future development
• suggest locations/areas for special policy treatment
• put forward policy suggestions
For further information see the Borough Council website or contact them on 01553 616200.
BL advised that a review of the Local Plan was always an ongoing issue as the BC had recently approved the Local Plan up to 2026 so it now needed to embark on the plan for the following 10 years.
5.3 Handyman’s Report. The Handyman had strimmed and cleaned Stocks bridge and Hilgay Road bridge; strimmed around Basil Road safety signs and bridges; advised the Clerk of damage to one of the Basil Road bridges, which had been reported to Highways; strimmed the bridge at Hilgay Road/Basil Road junction; strimmed the bridge leading to The Row; advised Clerk of fly-tipping on Ryston Road, which had now been cleared; prepared and painted both bridges on Basil Road; advised Clerk of low hanging branches across Stocks bridge footpath; weeded and edged garden of remembrance; weeded and planted bulbs in Church Road wooden planters; strimmed all bridges, Lime Kiln/Church Road footpath and around the phone box/post box on Church Road.
CC asked parishioners if they had any matters they wished the Handyman to attend to but no suggestions were made.
5.4 Police Report. PK advised that she had reported the vandalism of the bins on Church Road to the police. Residents in the area had heard a loud explosion at around 10pm which sounded like a firework and it was thought that this was probably when the vandalism occurred. The police had suggested that the incident also be reported to the BC Community Safety Neighbourhood Nuisance (CSNN) team and the police had agreed to increase patrols in the area.
5.5 Village Hall Report. PK advised that the hall continued to do well with many events being well attended. The
recent hog roast had been very successful. Many events were planned on the lead up to Christmas and these would be advertised in the village magazine.
5.6 Broadband Report. PW reported on a response from Karen O’Kane (KOK) from Better Broadband for Norfolk (BBfN) which had advised that cabinet 9 should have been up and running by now but BT were experiencing some data problems and hoped to get this sorted out by the end of the week. A discussion took place on the service being received in the village with many reports of huge variations between neighbouring properties and many properties experiencing dramatic changes in speed from one day to the next. LH advised that she had spoken to engineers working in the village and they had said that there was still problems due to the lines from Stoke Ferry. PW advised that she would continue to chase KOK for updates on the situation.
5.7 Glazewing Report. Keith Charlton (KC) from Glazewing (GW) had provided a report for the PC meeting. The report was read out by the Clerk and PB provided the PCs response to each point as shown below:
“Due to taking over from Richard Stimson I have reviewed the last two months minutes and would like to correct some points that where raised and to answer other points so that there is an understanding of where Glazewing is on these points and hopefully build a good relationship with the parish council and move forward for the benefit of both parties. (Please see below)
Village had suffered from the fly infestation during May and June and that this had not been limited to the GW site.
Glazewing apologies’ if this caused issues to residents and we have and are still treating our waste piles on a weekly bases, this should prevent any issues, but please make me aware if there is any and I will action immediately.”
PB responded with reference to the Environment Agency (EA) notice of variation and consolidation EPR/JP3799ND/V004
3.6. 1 The activities shall not give rise to the presence of pests which are likely to cause pollution, hazard or annoyance outside the boundary of the site……..”
GW has a legal obligation, but despite that it was not until numerous reports were made to the EA and they intervened that the appropriate action was taken that dispatched the flies.
“Increase in volume of material stored at the site due to significantly more material being taken in for the first six months of the year.
We have been over the last 3 months working on a reduction of input tonnages over the tonnages that we have sent out, this has allowed us to reduce the overall stock on site and reduce the height of all stock piles.”
PB advised that further to the PC report to NCC on 8 August, the PC were informed that Steven Halls visited GW site on 28 July and ‘noted the excessively high stockpiles’. He spoke to the site manager and was told that the piles would be reduced within 2-3 weeks. On 18 August NCC issued 3 Breach of Condition Notices (BCN), one of which was for the illegal height of their stockpiles. They were given 28 days to get them down to the legal 4.5 metre level. On 3 October stockpiles were still over 4.5 metre mark and BCN still in force. PB received information on 3 November from SH that stockpile heights were still well over the legal limits. This is outside the 28 days given to act within the BCN. Mr Halls was not at liberty to disclose any further details at this point. The PC is of the opinion that it is these enforcements that have enabled GW to make the statement regarding the reduction in overall stock on site.
“Installation by GW of chippings on a restricted byway;
Glazewing are happy to look at rectifying this issue and where unaware that this was a problem / not allowed at the time.”
PB responded that there appeared to be conflicting accounts of this issue as we hear that GW were unaware that this
was a problem/not allowed at the time. Highways initially advised that GW would need permission and that they would look into the matter and then responded to say that someone in the Highways department had given GW permission to carry out this work. This all seems highly irregular behaviour particularly from Highways.
“The excessive number of vehicles and trailers had been reported to the Traffic Commissioners Office.
Glazewing are working on reducing the amount of vehicles and trailers in this yard and hopefully this will be completed soon.”
PB responded that as defined by the Traffic Commissioners: Station Yard is an operating centre being authorised for 14 vehicles and 4 trailers. An operating centre is a place where vehicles are kept when not in use i.e. overnight. Photographic evidence has shown between 22-28 lorries overnight in the last few months, not counting trailers; this does not appear to show signs of work to reduce the number of vehicles and is contravening the operator’s licence.
“Operating outside of their permitted hours.
All staff have been made aware of the permitted hours and these are now posted on the site gates, we also send out these hours and directions avoiding as much of the village as possible to the site to companies visiting the site.”
PB responded that the BCN served by NCC on 18 August was because GW were operating outside their permitted hours – a contravention of licence. The PC is pleased to hear that the company is now operating within the terms of its licence.
“Un-taxed skip Lorries being used and waste in transport yard
Glazewing have now stopped using shunter Lories and have cleared up the transport yard, all drivers have been informed that they must tip / leave all there waste on site only.”
PB noted that there was no explanation about the un-taxed lorries which was obviously illegal on a public road but the PC was pleased to hear these have now been withdrawn from use; it was noted that anyone is able to do a check online with the DVLA. The PC understands that the storage of waste in the haulage yard was an interim measure, agreed with the EA, following the fire.
“CW noted that she had reported an incident of a GW vehicle nearly forcing her off the road to GW and asked for RS to call her back about this incident. It was not mentioned in their report and he had not called her back.
Apologies for this incident and the lack of a return phone call, please report any incident direct to me and I will make sure that it is dealt with and the person will get an answer back.
GW to write a fire prevention plan in line with new guidelines.
Glazewing have already got procedures in place for dealing with incidents and at the time of the fire these where followed successfully. We will be amending our fire plan in line with the new guidelines and will be submitted to the EA
PB advised that she had received a telephone call from Rachel Flanagan of the EA on 3 August further to a complaint made about the height of the stockpiles and the risk of fire. She said that the concerns were very timely as new regulations had just come in and she had spoken to GW asking them to prepare a new Fire Prevention Plan. According to the letter two months have now passed and it has still not been completed.
“Waste piles were exceeding the 4.5 metre legal limit.
All waste piles have been reduced and I have put height markers around the site so mobile plant operators have a guide line for stacking piles; I will monitor this as part of my site checks.”
PB advised that this matter had already been dealt with earlier in the letter.
“Reports stated that about 10 staff members were at the recycling site when the fire started at 06:15.
There was only six staff on site when the fire was discovered at 6.15 am; it was already well alight so was probably a light before the staff got to site.”
PB advised that the reports about staff on site at the time of the fire were read in the local press but it was noted that they were there before the operating hours of 7.00 a.m.
“The PC received no communication about this and was not invited to the multi-agency meeting that was held on 16 August.
Please give me a contact number or email that I can use and I can update you on any incidents like this that may affect the village and invite you to any meetings as required.”
PB advised that a full list of parish councillors and their contact details can be found on the web site below at: http://west-dereham-parish-council.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/category/councillors/
“The PC was also surprised to read in GW’s report that no hazardous materials were involved as they had been informed that fire-fighters had been forced to dispose of their uniforms as they had become covered in an unknown sticky black substance.
The fire was only in the general waste pile and Glazewing was fully committed to working with the multi-agency committee on tackling the fire in a way that was the most effective without causing environmental issue that could not be controlled. At no time was there any hazardous material on fire and fire-fighters did not have to dispose of their uniforms. The only items that got dirty because of this incident was the hose pipes used, these where covered in mud and Glazewing washed these and returned them to the fire brigade after the fire was put out. Please check with the fire brigade and I am sure that they will be happy to confirm.”
PB advised that the report about disposal of protective clothing (not uniforms) was received from a fire officer.
“I hope this gives a clear picture of issues raised and dealt with and I am happy to discuss incidents or complaints and in time come to the parish council meetings. For all incidents please contact me / Glazewing in the first incense so that we can action and get back to you.”
PB concluded that despite Mr Charlton’s well-meaning assurances and invitation to deal with GW directly regarding complaints and incidents, the PC found it very difficult to put trust in a company that consistently showed a disregard for the law.
Further reports have been received from NCC regarding the parking of skips in the unauthorised area at the rear of the haulage yard. GW were given to the end of the month to clear this area, although some efforts have been made this was not sufficient. This was being discussed at a higher level within NCC. Video footage shown at the last PC meeting was delivered to Downham Market police station on 24 October; no feedback had been received at this stage. Further to PB’s enquiry to Steven Halls regarding the 1994 waste management licence he had advised that he has concerns. The licence states that putrescible waste (vegetable matter and food and food processing waste) may be taken onto site but it also says that no malodorous material may be taken on to site. Steven Halls had advised:
“It appears that the nature of the ‘Mixed Municipal Waste’ has changed in that material that is in a more advanced state of decomposition is being bought onto site, hence the odour and the flies.
To this end I would appreciate it if you could advise everyone to complain to the EA whenever they notice any odour from the site. On every waste management licence there are clauses stating that an operator must not cause nuisance by means of odour or pests. The EA will keep a record of all complaints and this has a financial implication if the site causes consistent problems. I am sure you already have it, but just in case, the phone number to use is 0800 807060. The EA will allocate a complaint number to each complaint and it may be worth these being reported to the Parish Council meeting to keep a record of how many individual complaints are being made. In the event that the situation does not improve you will have a body of evidence that the EA is failing in its duty to prevent nuisance.”
CC advised that GW had in the past informed the PC that they did not do all they were permitted to do under their 1994 waste management licence and she would look back through past PC minutes as she believed this would provide some useful information involving the material being brought onto the site. She stressed that it was important the residents took action as suggested by Mr Halls and reported every incident of odour from the site; this information to be put in
the next village notice and a letter of response to be sent to Keith Charlton from the PC.
BL advised that he was glad to hear the planning enforcement at NCC were in dialogue with the PC and taking the matter seriously.
The Clerk reported back on the installation of new lighting and security cameras at the site which was mentioned at the last PC meeting. Contact had been made with Keith Charlton who had advised that “the lighting will be a replacement for the lighting that we have at present and not extra. It will be installed around the outside edge of the site with all the lights pointing inwards’ to the working areas, there will also be new cameras on these light posts which will give us better security of the site and help prevent incidents. These lights will be better than the old ones and will cause less problems and should not affect the neighbouring residents. As per any issue if you contact me I will work to resolve.”
The BC Planning Department had been contacted to establish if planning permission was needed and had provided the following reply: “Please find below an extract which the Planning Portal webpage provides in relation to lighting and the case where an application may be required.
Light itself, and minor domestic light fittings, are not subject to planning controls. Nevertheless, if you are planning to install external lighting for security or other purposes, you should ensure that the intensity and direction of light does not disturb others. Many people suffer extreme disturbance due to excessive or poorly-designed lighting.
Ensure that beams are NOT pointed directly at windows of other houses. Security lights fitted with passive infra-red detectors (PIRs) and/or timing devices should be adjusted so that they minimise nuisance to neighbours and are set so that they are not triggered by traffic or pedestrians passing outside your property.
A neighbour might take you to court if you are negligent or cause nuisance.”
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 2016 had now been confirmed and estimated figures for October had been inserted based upon invoices received.
Payee Cheque No Net VAT Gross
Clerk’s salary, expenses for October – 46.5 hours 100902 592.87 592.87
Handyman’s contract, expenses plus 18 hours for October 100903 181.53 3.99 185.52
CGM Ltd – ground maintenance September/October 100904 427.73 85.55 513.28
WD Village Hall – hire of hall for meetings July-October 100905 232.50 232.50
Royal British Legion – Poppy Appeal 100906 20.00 20.00
Masson Seeley & Co Ltd – cemetery sign 100907 100.00 20.00 120.00
Mrs J Barker – refund of allotment deposit 100908 85.00 85.00
Total 1639.63 109.43 1749.17
The payments were considered and approved. Cheques to be signed at the end of the meeting.
A parishioner suggested that a donation from the PC be made in honour of Doreen Berry. CC advised that Cllrs would be making their own personal donations but it was not felt appropriate to use public money for this purpose.
6.2 Increase for the Clerk’s hours of work to 12 per week. CC advised that the current contract of 10 hours per week had been insufficient for the present Clerk to perform all of the administrative duties and it was agreed by all that the hours should be increased to 12 per week for the new Clerk. The increase would be met in part by the reduced need to meet travel expenses for the new Clerk.
6.3 Budget for 2017/18. Copies of the draft budget for 2017/18 had been circulated to Councillors and was on display on the overhead projector at the meeting. Members of the public were advised that this was the third month of the four month process when the PC would be considering whether any additional items should be added or removed for 2017/18 and that a decision would be made on setting the budget and precept at the PC meeting in December. The Clerk provided further information on the figures shown which included increases to the Clerk’s salary budget and the Handyman’s contract. Some budgets had been decreased to accommodate these increases as the Clerk had looked back at expenditure over the two previous years and felt that some budgets could be reduced; these figures were discussed. It was agreed that separate budgets should be included for new village signs (CC to advise Clerk on figure for this item) and a water connection at the allotments (£500) and that the parish improvements budget should be split to show £1000 towards a new village green and £700 for general parish improvements. Members of the public were invited to comment on the budget for 2017/18; no comments were made at this point. CC advised members of the public to contact the Clerk if they had any suggestions following the meeting.
7.1 15/01955/F – Variation of Condition 2 attached to planning permission 11/00695/F: Proposed conversion and extension of domestic outbuilding to residential dwelling making use of an altered access to form shared driveway with Close View. Application to also include the alteration of existing land to form rear amenity space and parking and turning to the front at Woodside Barn, The Row, West Dereham.
The Clerk advised that this application had originally been considered by the PC on 29 December 2015. A number of residents had attended that meeting and the PC had objected to the application due to the positioning of the external units for the system of heating and air conditioning. During recent months the PC had contacted the BC twice to chase up a decision on this application and been advised that the BC was considering reports on the impact of the units. On 19 October the BC had issued another consultation to the PC on this application stating that there had been amendments to the application and giving the PC until 26 October to send in further comments. The Clerk had contacted the BC to advise that this was insufficient time for the PC to respond and the time had been extended to allow the PC to consider the matter at this meeting. CC said there was a considerable planning history to this property from which the current problems emanated as foreseen by the then PC. Owners 4 & 3 of Orchard House had not attempted to sell their barn separately. Owner 2 had done so, strongly objected to by the PC not least because it conflicted with the ribbon development nature of the village and there were access problems. The BC planners overrode the PC’s concerns, the barn was given planning permission for a dwelling and sold separately, developed and the external heating/air conditioning units were installed without planning permission by a large local building company. The amendments to the application were discussed; units E and F had been relocated but the original objection included units C and D. A report from CSNN team stated that the neighbour was satisfied with the moving of units E and F and that the other units were not a problem. The neighbour quoted by CSNN was present at the meeting and advised that she had never said units C and D were not a problem and that she had responded to the BC planning department to inform them of this. BL provided some information on the planning system to the resident. The PC made a decision to OBJECT to the application as the positioning of the units had an impact on the neighbourhood amenity.
8. Parish Council Assets.
8.1 Grounds maintenance for 2017. Four quotations had now been received. Prices had ranged from £5115 to £9580. The PC had looked at the two cheaper quotations and decided that these would still exceed the current proposed budget and therefore the PC would need to stop cutting the grass at the churchyard as it could no longer afford to do this for the church. The quotations had been adjusted to take account of the reduction in grass cutting and the revised figures were discussed. It was agreed by all to approve TOP Garden Services as the new contractor for 2017 as their quotation of £4095 was the cheapest. Clerk to contact TOP Garden Services and advised them of the decision and the need for a contract which clearly stated all of the work they would be doing.
8.2 Cemetery sign – approval of design. Masson Seeley had provided a design for the information sign to be installed at the entrance to the cemetery; the cost of the sign and its installation would be £100 plus VAT. The design was discussed and it was agreed to approve the design and the cost of the sign.
9. Review of PC Policies and documents.
9.1 Business Continuity Plan Part 1 and 2. The current documents were reviewed and it was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
9.2 Training Policy. The document was reviewed and it was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
9.3 Clerk’s job description & person specification. The current documents were reviewed and it was agreed that the job description should be amended to show the increased hours of work for the Clerk. No amendments were needed to the person specification. It was agreed to adopt these documents.
9.4 Handyman’s job description & purchase agreement. The document was reviewed and it was agreed to accept the inclusion of schedule 1A to cover the additional gardening work agreed at the last PC meeting.
10. Correspondence. None
11. Other Business – Any additional reports and items for inclusion on the next Agenda.
11.1 CW asked if anyone else had noticed the new lights installed on a wall at a property on Church Road which gave the impression of oncoming car headlights. Some Cllrs had noticed and other Cllrs agreed to take a look.
11.2 PB advised that a parishioner had informed her that they believed the new village gateways should have been painted white as they were in several other parishes. CC advised that the PC had made a decision to not have them painted white for maintenance reasons as they would look dirty very quickly and would need to be washed down and repainted regularly. As such it was felt a natural wood look was more practical.
11.3 PK advised that Doreen Berry’s funeral was to take place at Mintlynn on 21 November at 2.30pm.
11.4 CC thanked ST for her outstanding work as Parish Clerk for the last three years in helping the PC to maintain and improve its level of professionalism as evidenced by its latest award of Quality Status. On behalf of WDPC CC presented ST with a card and gift voucher as a mark of their gratitude and affection.
The official meeting concluded at 9.30pm, and was opened to the floor for general comment.
• A resident advised that the pot holes outside 8 and 9 Church Road had still not been repaired. Clerk to chase this matter up with Highways.
Closure. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending, and final closure of the meeting was at 9.31pm.
Next PC meeting is on Thursday 1 December 2016 at 7.30pm with Open Surgery from 7.00pm.
Clerk: Sarah Thorpe
Email: email@example.com Telephone: 01945 430930
Chairman’s signature …………………………………… Date ……………………………