MINUTES OF THE WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL AT 7.00 pm
ON THURSDAY 3 AUGUST 2017
PRESENT (five Councillors): – Tom Foy (TF), Lorraine Hunt (LH) Vice-Chair and Chair of meeting, Paula Kellingray (PK),
Pam Walker (PW), and Claire Williams (CW)
In attendance: Parish Clerk, Peter King and four members of the public.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present to the Parish Council Meeting.
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Pam Bullas (PB), Claire Cann (CC) – Chair, also Cllr Brian Long (Norfolk County Council) and Cllr Sandra Squire (Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk)
2. Declaration of Interest on agenda items
No declarations were made.
3. Use of social media, audio recording of meeting and invitation for public contributions
LH asked “Will anyone present be filming, recording, blogging, or tweeting during this meeting?” There was no response from the members of the public present. LH 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 6 July 2017
LH confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 6 July 2017.
The councillors agreed that they were content that the minutes should be signed as a true record. LH signed the minutes.
5. Matters Arising from the Minutes
It was noted that all Matters Arising were covered by the Agenda.
6.1 Chairman’s Report –
LH had nothing to report that was not covered by the Agenda.
6.2 Parish Clerk’s Report –
1. Sam2 (Speeding Monitors) – The Parish Clerk reported that he had tried and been unsuccessful in downloading the speed data from the monitor positioned in Church Road. He had contacted the monitor provider (Westcotec) and was waiting for some guidance and advice on analysing the captured data. The Parish Clerk also noted that payment for the a post extension to be positioned in Lime Kiln Road would be raised under the Finance report at this evening’s meeting and this would ensure that the monitor could then be set up in a fifth position in the village.
2. Flies and Odours – The Parish Clerk reported that he had received a number of emailed messages from Parishioners complaining about the presence of flies and odours. He noted that both items would be covered by the meeting agenda.
3. Farm Tenancy 2017-2020 – The Parish Clerk reported that he had received 3 sealed applications as at the deadline of 1st August and that these would be opened and reviewed at the next Parish Council in September.
4. Training – The Parish Clerk reported that he had attended the first of two, “The Role of the Clerk” training sessions that had been very helpful, but that he had been unable to attend the second day due to a family emergency. He stated he hoped to attend the second session at a later date.
6.3 Handyman’s Report –
The Parish Clerk provided Roy Poole, the Handyman’s Report of work carried out during July 2017, noting the following actions:-
1. Grass Strimming – Strimmed areas around all bridges, both phone boxes and the corner of Bath Road on two occasions.
2. Road Signs – Fixed some road signs in Basil Road, thought to be some of the roadside reflector safety posts.
3. Allotments area – Checked the fencing, noting that some of it was missing.
4. Church Road planters – Removed the spring bulbs and added Geraniums to the planters.
5. Speeding Monitor – Moved the monitor from Church Road to Station Road.
6. Remembrance Garden – Carried out some weeding of the borders.
7. Working Hours – Noted that due to a short holiday and the weather, he had worked a reduced number of hours during July.
6.4 Police Report –
PK reported an incident on 23rd July in the village whereby youth trespassers entered a garden and carried out criminal damage. PK added that the trespassers were chased off the premises and that they left the area on push bikes. PK noted that the incident and descriptions were reported to the Police. LH questioned whether local SNAP meetings with the Police were taking place? PK noted the meetings had been moved to Downham Market, due to lack of Police resources and low turnouts at the local meetings.
6.5 Village Hall Report –
PK reported there had been an approach from a Parishioner to hold an event to raise funds for the Village Hall with an outside bar this coming Saturday (5th August). PK added that starting in September, the Village Hall was offering roast dinners on the 1st Sunday of the month. PK noted that to date, the Village Hall had already received 3 bookings for next year.
6.6 Broadband Report –
PW reported that she had contacted Karen O’Kane (KOK), Programme Director of Better Broadband for Norfolk to determine whether she had received any contacts from parishioners as PW had understood there were still quite a few problems. PW related details of KOK response to the meeting “I’ve investigated and with the exception of these three premises, I believe that the remainder of the village has coverage, so if anybody else is having problems to email me directly with their full postal address and land line number so that I can investigate further”. PW noted that the three properties that KOK has information about are “The Priest House, St Mary’s Abbey and Abbey Farm”. PW went onto quote KOK further the reasons for the poor service “is that BT are not allowed to move lines between cabinets, If the effect would be to increase the overall length of the copper lines back to the local exchange. There are two reasons for this. It would slow the speed of copper based broadband services and internet service providers currently delivering service would find the speed being delivered would reduce and potentially therefore cause contractual issues with customers. The three properties mentioned above are located between the local exchange and the new cabinet 8, which means that if the lines were moved to cabinet 8, the overall copper line length would increase, which can’t happen”.
LH noted that at the previous Parish Council meeting, that there were a couple of Parishioners who had voiced their concerns and experience. The Parish Clerk noted that the couple had not left their details but that he would try and track them down and pass on a copy of KOK’s letter to PB.
6.7 Glazewing Report –
The Parish Clerk noted that Jon Miles, Director of Glazewing had not provided a report form the Parch Council Meeting. LH noted Norfolk County Council (NCC) continue to work with Glazewing over the waste issues. LH added that PB continues to be the Parish Council’s liaison with NCC, but unfortunately was unable to be present at this evening’s meeting. LH stated that the Parish Council will continue to monitor and update when any new information becomes available. Councillors noted that the fly infestations appeared to be noticeable again today. The Parish Clerk commented that he had spoken with the Case Officer of the Environment Agency (EA) following their staff making inspections to the waste management site on several occasions during the past few weeks to monitor the fly situation present amongst the stored waste. The Parish Clerk noted the EA had advised him that the site staff seemed slow at first to respond to the problem, but eventually sprayed the fly-affected area and then applied disinfectant. The Parish Clerk added that the EA would continue to monitor the situation, but noted that the numbers of complaints that they had received had gradually declined. The Parish Clerk commented that the EA had mentioned that if the Parish Council is made aware of further complaints, to advise the complainants to continue to contact the EA. CW expressed concern at what pesticides or other agents had been used to tackle the fly problem and as to whether they could cause harm to the village? TF questioned whether there had been any concerns expressed about the affect on the water table? LH responded that she understood that the EA were not concerned about this. LH iterated that NCC were concerned about the type of waste being taken onto the site and the permissions that had been agreed, which is why the NCC continue to be in conversation with Glazewing. CW raised the question of whether the village was entitled to some form of compensation? LH commented that whilst the matter of waste management was still under discussion, it might be premature to press for any compensation at this time.
a) Cash Flow July 2017 – The Parish Clerk displayed Cash Flow on the overhead projector, noting that there had not been any income since April, but also noting a relatively large level of expenditure of £3,443.15 during July, partly due to a tax refund that he was entitled to as a result of his change of employment. LH noted that the expenditure for the year to date was very close to 50% of the budget, but already one third of the way into financial year.
b) Cheque Payments for Approval for July 2017 – The Parish Clerk displayed the pending payments on the overhead projector.
Payee Cheque No Net VAT Gross Remarks
Helen Richardson 100968 £51.25 £0.00 £51.25 Support to Parish Clerk for website
West Dereham Village Hall 100969 £172.50 £0.00 £172.50 Three months Hall Hire
Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk 100970 £5.00 £0.00 £5.00 Rent for Playing Field
West Dereham Village Hall 100971 £1,400.00 £0.00 £1,400.00 WDPC Support 2017/18
Holly Landscapes 100972 £487.50 £97.50 £585.00 Grass Cutting
Westcotec 100973 £97.50 £19.50 £117.00 Post Extension – Lime Kiln Road
R Poole 100974 £124.54 £0.00 £124.54 Handyman’s Payment and expenses
Anglian Water 100975 £17.12 £0.00 £17.12 Water Bill for Cemetery
Peter King 100976 £949.67 £0.00 £949.67 Staff Salary (including Tax Refund)
Post Office Ltd (HMRC) 100977 £21.07 £0.00 £21.07 Staff PAYE and NI
Total £3,326.15 £117.00 £3,443.15
7. c) LH recommended that a mid-term review of the budget should take place as nearly 50% was about to be spent, year to date.
7. d) LH noted that in the absence of both CC and PB from the meeting, she proposed that PK sign the cheques this evening and asked the Councillors present if they were content for the Parish Clerk to then visit PB for a second signature. This was agreed and seconded by PW. All Councillors noted they were content. LH concluded that the cheques and control processes would be signed off at the end of the meeting.
8. Parish Assets
8.1 Footpath Noticeboard –
The Parish Clerk reported that he had been in contact with the NCC Highways Department and was waiting to arrange a site visit in Station Road to make arrangements for the Footpath Noticeboard to be re-installed.
9. Parish Council Internal Affairs and Policies
9.1 Financial Regulations
LH stated that she is not aware of any changes proposed from Norfolk Association of Local Councils. Those Councillors present were content to note no changes or updates were required.
9.2 Publication Scheme
LH noted that all changes required related to updating of the Parish Clerk’s details.
9.3 Allotment Fees
LH reported that the Allotment Fees had been reviewed and agreed in April 2017, so there was no requirement for a further review at this time.
10. Planning Decisions
10.1 Land on the West Side of Basil Road, West Dereham, Norfolk – Application Number 17/00974/LDE
The Parish Clerk reported that a Lawful Decision by the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk was made on 4 July 2017 for an “Application for a Lawful Development Certificate for the existing use of land for overflow storage of materials relative solely to the business operations of West Dereham Plant”.
LH noted that she believed that somebody had raised a concern about the application and that a letter had been received from West Dereham Plant to state that it was only a temporary arrangement. Councillors recalled that there had been concern relating to the size of vehicle, but that the arrangement was for one contract of work.
A Parishioner living in Basil Road, nearby to the site in question, asked whether any objections had been raised as he had not been approached for his views, as a local resident, on the application. Councillors recalled discussing the application with the status of a temporary notice at the time. The Parishioner expressed concern that the land could be converted from a greenfield to a brownfield site and then possibly become available for development into a residential site. He noted that any further applications should be contested and expressed concerns at the current sizes and types of vehicle already entering Basil Road from the Station Road end, as a result of the need to enter the site with its present restricted access. The parishioner also expressed concern that the site could change from being a secondary to a main depot for plant hire machinery and vehicles. He asked if the Parish Council could determine further what the West Dereham Plant longer term intentions were with the site? PK recalled that the Parish Council wrote to West Dereham Plant and they responded by saying they planned to use it as an overflow site and would only use it when they had major works. The Parishioner commented that any escalation in the use of Basil and Station Roads would have a detrimental effect on the area. LH commented that the Parish Clerk will look back through the Planning application and decisions to clarify the notice dates.
11. Parish Partnership Scheme
The Parish Clerk explained to the meeting that the Parish Partnership Scheme for 2017/18 was similar to a grant-making process. He noted that any application would require match funding from the Parish Council of 50% towards any expenditure and an application should ideally fit in with the Norfolk’s Local Transport Plan 2017-2026, for example speed monitoring, traffic calming or steps to reduce accidents. The Parish Clerk noted that the application deadline was 11th December 2017. A Parishioner suggested an electrical charging point.
12. Proposal to Site the Centenary Beacon 2018
LH noted that the actual beacon is to be paid for by the West Dereham branch of the British Legion. LH commented that the beacon should not be considered as being just for military commemoration, but for any village celebration or occasion. LH suggested that the Parish Council Cemetery would be a good position, due to its position and height above the Village, its proximity close to the War Memorial in the St Andrew’s Church Churchyard, its security, being surrounded by fence and hedging and safe space surrounding it for those who wanted to be present at its lighting. A Parishioner commented that his main concern would be health and safety and that local farmers would know where it was to be positioned. LH noted that there was a good supply of water in the Cemetery, in case of a fire hazard arising and a risk assessment could be carried out. Councillors agreed that it should be sited in the West Dereham Parish Cemetery.
13. Norfolk Minerals Site Specific Allocations Development Plan Document
The Parish Clerk noted that there is a consultation period requiring any comments. Agreed that the Parish Clerk would clarify the dates and report back to the Councillors.
14. Cannabis Farm (Riverside Glasshouses) – Update
LH noted that PK, PW and CW had attended a public meeting in Stoke Ferry involving representation form British Sugar and an Borough Council Environmental Health (BCEH) staff member. PK reported back from the meeting that it had been noticed that when the smells were first being smelt, that at the time, Riverside Glasshouses (then Cornerways Nursery) were still growing tomatoes (June/July 2016), that British Sugar took steps to involve the local BCEH to carry out tests to determine the source of the smell and they also advised that visitors to the cannabis farm smelt a different smell to that experiences elsewhere and that they could not be a hundred per cent sure that it was the same smell. PW noted that she was impressed that Colin Simpson, representing British Sugar appeared to genuinely listen to public questioning and concerns and wanting to reach a resolve, especially if the source was as a result of the company’s actions. PW added that she had driven to the glasshouse site and surrounding area this afternoon and noted that the smell appeared to be emanating from the lime pits area. CW commented that the meeting discussions noted that the smell could be caused from a number of other sources and that British Sugar are to employ an independent bio-chemist to carry out a range of tests. CW and PK reported that British Sugar asked for members of the public to contact them if a smell was detected using the contact details on their website. PK noted that by contacting the BCEH department that they will issue a recording sheet for noting details of any smells, to be returned to their offices. CW reported that she had approached the Environmental Health Officer present to the meeting and requested that any completed and returned recording sheets might be cross-referenced against notified complaints of flies in the local area. PK reported that on Thursday 10th August at 10.00am, there is a site visit available to anybody who wanted to visit the Riverside Glasshouses to inspect the premises. PK added that anybody wishing to attend should give their details to the Parish Clerk, so that he can liaise with the site managers. PW noted that British Sugar were actively inviting the local public to attend and visit. A Parishioner questioned when the Cannabis plants were first sown into the ground. PK responded that it was during believed to be during September and October 2016. PK added that British Sugar had been growing the same plant at other sites in the UK for several years and noted that the company did not intend to expand its growing for at least the next five years. PW added that British Sugar had offered the contact details of the other sites to seek local information, but noted that they had not experienced similar problems. LH commented that it would be possible to identify the sites and then check the local Town and Parish Council websites and meeting minutes for any information. LH summarised that they key thing is for parishioners to report any smell concerns. PW and CW noted the number to call the local BCEH to report any concerns and to request to be sent a log form is 01553 616200. CW requested that the Parish Clerk contact the BCEH office to check whether any fly and smell reported incidents crossed referenced. The Parish Clerk noted that he had contacted the Downham Market Town Council regarding their meeting held with Liz Truss MP, the British Sugar Managing Director and representatives of the Stoke Ferry Parish Council to ascertain if there had been any other information available that had not been released in the MPs’ press release and to express the West Dereham Parish Councillors disappointment that they had not been invited to the meeting. The Parish Clerk fed back from his reply that it had been Liz Truss who had convened the meeting and not the local councils. LH requested that the Parish Clerk should write to Liz Truss expressing concern that West Dereham should be included in any future discussions.
The Parish Clerk reported that he had received a letter from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk’s Planning Department that there is a new property named The Cabin, in Station Road, this being next to Withy Farm.
16. To receive further reports/items of business for the next Agenda
CW noted and requested that Parishioners support the Mobile Library service that visits the village and stops in Station Road near the postbox, visiting once every 4 weeks for twenty minutes between 9.35 to 9.55am. Noted that the visiting dates are listed in the Village Magazine, the next date being 31 August. LH asked those at the meeting to spread the word around to support the Library Service.
LH noted that the perspex in the Noticeboard in Church Road looks in need of replacement and requested that the Parish Clerk follow this up.
17. Date of Next Meeting – Thursday 7th September 2017 at 7.00pm
LH confirmed the date of the meeting. TF presented his apologies for being unable to attend.
18. Open Forum
A Parishioner reported that the Handyman should be contacted to address a hole in the cemetery fencing and the weeding of the border hedges. The Parishioner added that 3 gravel strips in the Garden of Remembrance were gradually being covered up as a result of the grass mowing. The Parish Clerk was asked to take the matter up with the garden maintenance company.
Closure – The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and the final closure of the meeting was at 8.44 pm.
Next meeting is the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 7th September 2017 at 7.30pm with Open Surgery from 7.00pm.
Clerk: Peter King – Email: email@example.com Telephone: 07910 782946
Chairman’s signature …………………………………… Date ……………………………