DRAFT MINUTES OF THE WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL AT 7.00 pm
ON THURSDAY 1 JUNE 2017
PRESENT (six Councillors): – Pam Bullas (PB), Claire Cann (CC) – Chair, Paula Kellingray (PK), Lorraine Hunt (LH)
Pam Walker (PW), and Claire Williams (CW).
Parish Clerk: Peter King
In attendance: four members of the public.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present to the Parish Council Meeting.
70/17 Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Tom Foy (TF) who was unavoidably detained at work.
71/17 Declaration of Interest on agenda items
No declarations were made.
72/17 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?” There was no response from the members of the public present. 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.
73/17 Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 3 May 2017
CC confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Annual Parish Council meeting held on 3 May 2017. CC noted the following amendments:
Minute 64/17c should read:
Cemetery fees – suggested fee increases were displayed on the overhead projector. These were unanimously agreed. Councillors agreed that the amendment should be made.
Minute 66/17 First sentence should read:
CC stated that because of the end of the First World War centenary in 2018, the Parish Council is mindful of a number of national initiatives such as, installing a beacon, applying for a grant to add the names of the West Dereham Second World War dead to the main War Memorial and seeing whether the West Dereham War Memorial could be added to a national list of those of special interest. Councillors agreed that the amendment should be made.
The councillors agreed that the minutes should be signed as a true record subject to the two amendments. CC initialled and signed the amended minutes .
74/17 Matters Arising from the Minutes
CC confirmed these were covered by reports.
75/17 Chairman’s Report
a) Farm Tenancy Agreement – CC noted that the Farm Tenancy would be available from October 2017. CC asked the Parish Clerk to ensure that an advert for the Farm Tenancy agreement is added to the Parish website. Councillors noted that an advert had been placed in both the Village Pump and Parish magazines.
b) Vehicle Operators licencing – CC reported that there continued to be no further news from the Traffic Commissioner regarding the proposed lorry park at Hill House Farm. CC added that she had been approached by a number of residents requesting information and confirmed that as soon as it was received, it would be made available.
c) Goalpost Design – CC asked the Parish Clerk to chase Bonnets of Stoke Ferry for a Design.
76/17 Clerk’s Report
a) Locum Clerk, Helen Richardson – the Parish Clerk recorded his thanks to Helen Richardson for her preparation of concise handover notes and time spent in several mentoring meetings and ensuring that everything was up to date.
b) Handyman – The Parish Clerk reported that as part of his induction, he had met with Roy Poole, the Handyman and with Roy had spent a couple of hours touring the village reviewing the village assets.
c) Norfolk Association of Local Council’s Spring Conference 24th May 2017 – The Parish Clerk reported that he had attended the conference and noted he had heard a range of speakers advising on areas of funding grants available in Norfolk with a particular interest in sustainability projects.
d) West Dereham Parish Council Internal Audit – The Parish Clerk reported that he had attended two meetings with Sharon Wareham, the Internal Auditor, who is very pleased with the high standards of accuracy and record keeping. He noted that there would be more details to report about the Audit in a later section of this meeting’s agenda.
77/17 Handyman’s Report
a) The Parish Clerk presented Roy Poole, the Handyman’s report and it was noted that Roy had met with the new Parish Clerk and driven with him around the village to review the various village assets.
b) General – It was noted that during the month of May, the Handyman had cleaned out both phone boxes, moved the SAM 2 traffic speed system from Station Road to Hilgay Road and changed the batteries, strimmed cut all the bridges, around the phone boxes, the post boxes, safety signs, village gateways. He had also washed the Hilgay Road allotment gates and the metal benches in Station Road, cleaned, rubbed down and painted the bridge leading to The Row, checked that the allotments are OK.
c) SAM 2 traffic speed system – The Handyman has noted that the extension piece has not been fitted on the Lime Kiln Road post for the SAM 2 traffic system. The Parish Clerk is to follow this up with the contractor.
d) A parishioner raised concern that a section of grass has not been cut in St Andrews Close. A discussion ensued as to the ownership of the piece of land as to whether it is the Borough Council or Freebridge Housing, as both deny responsibility. CC commented that the Parish Council was responsible for the grass cutting of the recreation area, but that it was not possible for it to start to cutting grass verges outside different properties in the village. CC requested that the Parish Clerk writes to the Borough Council and Freebridge Housing to ask them to state categorically in writing that they do not own and have no legal claim for the piece of land in question.
78/17 Police Report – PK reported that an incident had occurred during the last evening (31st May). PK noted that a white transit van had been seen and its occupants approaching parishioners whilst in their front gardens and asking if they were interested in purchasing pans, pots or cutlery. PK added that there was concern as to whether this was an initial approach to see if the parishioners’ homes had dogs in situ or not and whether front gate posts were deliberately being marked in case they were being targeted for the potential return of the van’s occupants or others to carry out a possible crime. PK noted that the Police had been contacted who advised that parishioners should remain vigilant. CC requested a Parish Council notice to be added to the website and the village magazine.
79/17 Village Hall Report – PK reported that a funding application had been submitted to Freebridge Housing for £1,000 to see if they would help fund a new catering fridge to replace the existing one that required ongoing repairs for gas leaks. PK commented that the Village Hall now only had 5 spare bookings available on Saturdays between now and Christmas 2017. PK added that overall, the rate of bookings had slowed. PK noted that the Village Hall had been approached about the starting of a yoga class from 19th June, subject to the presentation of the appropriate documents to hold such a class. PK reported that the regular fish and chip supper nights had raised an annual sum to May of £1,369 for local charities and for the past five years, a total of nearly £6,500. PW thanked PK for the huge amount of work taken on over the past five years to keep the village hall going.
80/17 Broadband Report – PW commented that there had been no recent broadband comments received from parishioners. PW noted that Karen O’Kane, Programme Director of Better Broadband for Norfolk had been in contact requesting any feedback information and providing a report for this Parish Council Meeting. PW noted further that Karen’s report expressed caution at using the broadband speed checks proposed by BT and that parishioners should always raise their concerns with their Internet Service Providers (ISP). PW added that the report also commented on users of fibre optic broadband and if users were unhappy with the service to approach their ISPs directly and complain. PW to circulate the report to fellow councillors and the Parish Clerk.
81/17 Glazewing Report – CC noted that Glazewing had not provided a report to the Parish Clerk for the meeting.
PB reported that she had made an enquiry to Steven Halls (SH) regarding the Glazewing planning application that was supposed to have been submitted. PB noted that SH had advised that the application had been submitted but was lacking in some key information, so it has been deemed invalid. PB commented that the case officer has written to the agent for further information in the statutory period of determination and that the application will not be accepted until the key information is submitted.
CW noted that the problem of insect flies seemed to be currently under of control and that she had been advised by a Glazewing employee that continuous spraying was taking place. CC commented that a parishioner had reported a fly problem to the Environment Agency at one point in the last month but noted that there did not appear to be a current problem.
A couple of Councillors reported information they had been given concerning the alleged roadworthiness of some Glazewing vehicles. PK raised the question of such vehicles travelling through the village. PB Noted that it was really down to the Police and Vehicle and Operators Services Agency (VOSA) to carry out spot checks regarding the safety and condition of the Glazewing vehicles. CC commented that perhaps the Parish Council should advise the Police and VOSA that safety information has been received, as not to do so and an accident was to occur, then the Council would be deemed to have acted irresponsibly. CC asked the Parish Clerk to write to the Traffic Division of the local Police with the information that has been received.
a) Accounts for May and Year to Date – The Parish Clerk reported that he had only received the day before, the most recent financial information and that unfortunately given that this meeting was being held on the first day of the month, had been unable to complete a report for the meeting. CC proposed and LH seconded that the financial information should be presented at the July Parish Council Meeting. Councillors present were content with the proposal.
b) Internal Auditors 2016/17 Report together with Summary of receipts & Payments 2016/17 and Accounting Statements 2016/17 for West Dereham Parish Council – The Parish Clerk confirmed that the Internal Audit Report covered the period 1st April 2016 until 31st March 2017 and included the processing of a large number of accounts reports and statements. The Parish Clerk noted and conveyed his thanks to the Locum Parish Clerk for undertaking and completing all the requisite documentation within the timescale required.
The Parish Clerk asked the Parish Council to note that the appointed Internal Auditor had inspected and passed all the accounts and he observed, been very praiseworthy of the keeping of the accounts set up over a period of time by previous Parish Clerks.
The Parish Clerk advised that on the approval of the Parish Council, the accounts are open to scrutiny by the members of the public who would be able to inspect the accounts held by the Parish Clerk at his home between the period of 19th June and 28th July 2017. The Parish Clerk noted that his contact details are available on the Parish website, in the monthly Village Magazine and that this information was shown on the two Parish Noticeboards.
The Parish Clerk also noted that it was his duty to ask the Parish Councillors present that in the knowledge that the Accounts having been approved by the Internal Auditor, eight questions listed in the Annual Return regarding control processors to fulfil this stage of the Audit process and to confirm by the Councillors their understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief of the controls put in place. The Parish Clerk then read out the statements that the Councillors agreed by each saying “Yes” to all questions. The Parish Clerk added these affirmations to the Return and it was duly signed by the Parish Clerk and Chair of the Council.
The Parish Clerk explained to the Meeting that the Annual return was now required to be sent for External Audit that would take several weeks and was likely to be completed during July.
CC reported that all Parish Councillors had seen the Internal Audit Report and noted that it was good.
c) Cheque Payments for Approval for May 2017 – The Parish Clerk displayed the pending payments on the overhead projector.
Payee Cheque No Net VAT Gross Remarks
Wereham Parish Council 100954 2.40 0 2.40 Printing Costs
Holly Landscapes 100955 487.50 97.5 585.00 Grass Cutting Contract
Roy Poole – Handyman 100956 187.13 0.00 187.13
Helen Richardson – Locum Clerk 100957 472.04 0 472.04
S Wareham – Internal Audit 100958 122.10 0.00 122.10
Peter King – Clerk Salary 100959 510.24 0.00 510.24
Post Office Ltd (HMRC) 100960 117.40 0.00 117.40 Clerk’s Tax payment to HMRC
Total 1898.81 97.50 1996.31
CC asked the Councillors present if they were content with the payments. All Councillors noted they were content. CC concluded that the cheques and control processes would be signed off at the end of the meeting.
83/17 Parish Assets
a) Telephone Boxes – CC commented that PB had kindly provided some Geranium plants and that a decision should be made as to whether to place plants in the two telephone boxes. CC noted the reviews held by the Parish Councils in public consultations concerning the Telephone boxes leading to their adoption in September 2013. CC reported that in April 2016, one suggestion had come forward from a Parishioner that the Boxes might be used as a book exchange, however it was explained that this already existed in the Village Hall to raise funds and that there would be a need to replace the missing glass panels to provide weather proofing. PW reported that she had investigated plastic plant pots and noted that they ranged from £3 to £5 and also considered plant troughs. Councillors agreed that the proposal to place plants in the Telephone Boxes should go ahead. CC raised the question on whether the Telephone Box (South) with the door should be locked and whether the other Telephone Box (North) should have the door rehung. CC stated that the subject should be added to the agenda for next meeting and that discussion should continue amongst councillors regarding the configuration of pots and a rota for watering.
b) Quote for SAM 2 Post Extender – CC requested that the Parish Clerk confirms with Westcotec whether the extender has been delivered and a payment has been made. CC expressed concern that the historic data may be lost and that the Parish Clerk should ensure that the data is retrieved on a regular basis in co-ordination with the movement of the system as planned previously on the basis of every three weeks.
84/17 Parish Council Internal Affairs and Policies
a) Reporting Policy – CC we noted that the Reporting Policy was adopted in June 2016. CC has reviewed the Policy and does not consider any amendments are required. The Councillors had reviewed the policy and agreed that no amendments were required and it was agreed that it should be recorded as reviewed.
b) Travel & Expenses Policy – CC reported that she had included the sections of the Expenses Policy provided by PB into the document. LH questioned whether a cap should be set for mileage in certain circumstances. CC noted that mileage is agreed on the basis of prior approval by the Parish Council. PB to complete amendments and forward to the Parish Clerk for addition to the website. CC noted that the existing policies on the website need to be re-ordered.
85/17 To receive further reports/items of business for items at the next Parish Council meeting.
a) PW, CC and CW reported their concerns about separate speeding incidents involving a large 4X4 vehicle affecting other drivers in the village. CC commented that details of the vehicle should be obtained and passed onto the police authorities
86/17 – Date of Next Meeting – Thursday 6th July 7.00pm for 7.30pm
CC confirmed the date of the meeting.
87/17 – Open Forum
a) A member of the public raised the proposal of actively promoting and encouraging the use of local footpaths linking the nearby villages with the aim of attempting to bring communities closer together and supporting local facilities such as the village hall. PK noted that the Village Hall Committee had considered the setting up of something to be named ‘Sunday Strollers’ to encourage parishioners to increase their use of local footpaths.
Closure. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending, and final closure of the meeting was at 8.37 pm.
Next meeting is the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 6th July 2017 at 7.30pm with Open Surgery from 7.00pm.
Clerk: Peter King – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 07910 782946
Chairman’s signature …………………………………… Date ……………………………