DRAFT MINUTES OF THE WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL AT 7.00 pm
ON THURSDAY 6 JULY 2017
PRESENT (six Councillors): – Pam Bullas (PB), Claire Cann (CC) – Chair, Paula Kellingray (PK), Lorraine Hunt (LH)
Parish Clerk: Peter King
In attendance: eight members of the public.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present to the Parish Council Meeting.
88/17 Apologies for absence
Apologies had been received from Tom Foy (TF), Pam Walker (PW), and Claire Williams (CW).
89/17 Declaration of Interest on agenda items
No declarations were made.
90/17 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.
91/17 Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 1 June 2017
CC confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 1 June 2017.
The councillors agreed that they were content that the minutes should be signed as a true record. CC signed the minutes.
92/17 Matters Arising from the Minutes
77/17d St Andrew’s Close Grass Cutting: The Parish Clerk reported that with regard to the enquiry of land ownership in respect of grass cutting in St Andrews Close, he had received a reply from Freebridge Housing denying ownership and that he was now pursuing the matter with Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.
81/17 Glazewing Report: The Parish Clerk noted that he was waiting for a response from the Police Traffic Division regarding information received in respect of the alleged worthiness of some Glazewing vehicles.
CC confirmed that all other matters were covered by reports or items on the Agenda.
93/17 Chairman’s Report
a) Vehicle Operators licencing – CC reported that she had now received a response from the Traffic Commissioners regarding the proposed lorry trailers to be parked at Hill House Farm noting that both cases, Mastock Arable and United Agrii Products had withdrawn their applications in full. CC thanked everybody who had been to the considerable trouble of meeting the Traffic Commissioners complicated requirements in making representations.
b) West Dereham War Memorial – CC Reported that the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has agreed to award the West Dereham’s War Memorial in St Andrew’s Churchyard a Grade II listing. CC noted the War Memorial is under the responsibility of the Parish Council that insures it and retains it on the list of village assets. CC added the threefold reasons for decision
– Historic interest as an eloquent witness to the tragic impact of world events on the local community and the sacrifice it made in the conflicts of the 20th century,
– Design as a simple but well executed granite cross,
– Group value, that is important to West Dereham, because of St Andrews Church being Grade 1 listed and 11, grade 2 listed headstones in the St Andrews Churchyard.
c) Cornerways Nursery – CC stated that the recent smell that has affected the village, appears to be coming
from the Cornerways Nursery, managed by British Sugar at Wissington and is due to the growing of a
medicinal cannabis plant. CC noted that this had been mentioned in the press during October 2016 that
British Sugar intended to grow cannabis rather than tomatoes. CC commented that what was annoying is
that there was a meeting held between members of Stoke Ferry Parish Council, Downham Market Town
Council, Liz Truss MP and Paul Kenward, the managing director of British Sugar, but that other local
interested Parish Councils had not been consulted. CC noted that British Sugar are majoring on the fact that
the plant is being grown for the treatment of childhood epilepsy, but had seen in an early report proffering
that it was more profitable to grow the cannabis, rather than tomatoes. CC read out part of a statement
made by Liz Truss MP – “The recent harvest of the specialist crop was the first one to come from Cornerways
Nursery, near Wissington, and with the process generally taking about four to five weeks, there is the
potential for strong smells to linger for quite a few days. British Sugar do not want to create problems for
local residents, she added. “I certainly want to see changes, where needed, implemented as quickly as
possible. An environmental specialist and odour consultant have been engaged to investigate the issues raised
and if necessary, investment will be made in appropriate odour control equipment. I think everyone recognises
the importance of the work done at the factory but it should not adversely impact on the surrounding towns
and villages, subsequently I have asked British Sugar to keep me updated on developments.”
In response to a question raised, a parishioner asked whether the odour control equipment had
been implemented and a timescale set. CC responded that had the Parish Council been present at the
meeting, more information would be available. CC went onto to comment that the Parish Council would be in
contact with Jean Markwell, the Downham Market Town Council Clerk and would request further details from
the meeting. A parishioner commented on the scale of the smell reported over a very broad area, reaching,
for example, Ely and Peterborough and also expressed concern regarding the noise emanating from the
Wissington site at midnight on Sunday and 6.00am the following morning. PB noted also complaints of
migraines suffered by local parishioners had been brought to her attention. CC responded that the Parish
Council will try to obtain further information from the meeting involving Liz Truss and will put any British
Sugar contact numbers on the West Dereham Parish Council website. CC expressed concern at the lack of
consultation concerning the changing of the crop and any possible known effects on the local communities,
also noting that the nursery is situated within the West Dereham Parish Council’s boundary. CC stated that a
letter should to be sent to Liz Truss commenting on the lack of local consultation and not being invited to the
local meeting, not being consulted about the possible effects of having medicinal cannabis growing locally
and to stress it is making local people unwell. PB commented that she had initially contacted the Environment
Agency to register her concern, only to learn that it was the responsibility of the Home Office. PB noted that
the Home Office representative advised contacting the local Police and Environmental Health department. CC
confirmed that the Parish Council would pursue the matter and at the same time try to set up better liaison
between local Parish Councils.
94/17 Clerk’s Report
a) Sam 2 (Speeding Monitor) The Row – The Parish Clerk reported that he had met with Roy Poole, the Village Handyman and removed the speeding monitor from the pole in The Row and had been able to download data of recorded speeding patterns to a laptop computer for analysis. The Parish Clerk noted that the system had collected 2048 pages of data and that he would consult with the Councillors as to how they would like to use the data.
b) Administration – The Parish Clerk reported that he had been in contact with a range of authorities and organisations in an effort to update contact details and follow up action points from last month’s Parish Council meeting and matters that had arisen in the ensuing period.
c) Goal Post (Recreation Ground) – The Parish Clerk reported that he had obtained a design drawing of the Goal post and this was shown to the meeting using the overhead projector.
d) Housing Conference – The Parish Clerk reported that he and Councillor Lorraine Hunt had attended a conference entitled “How should Norfolk grow?” The Parish Clerk noted that this related to trying to engage local communities in the planning, designing and building of housing and moving away from large developer designed estates in rural areas.
e) Allotments Inspection (1st July 2017) – The Parish Clerk noted that this item would be covered on the Agenda.
95/17 Handyman’s Report
The Parish Clerk presented Roy Poole, the Village Handyman’s report for the month of June 2017.
a) General – It was noted that the Handyman had removed lower branches from a tree by Stocks Bridge, strimmed the grass verges, twice from around each of the 10 village bridges, twice around both phone boxes, washed down the two stone seats in the Remembrance Garden and started to weed the Cemetery borders and sides, weeded the raised planters in Church Road, cut back the bramble surrounding the Brookes Lane road sign
b) Cemetery Gates – It was noted that the Handyman had found a solution to fixing the gate latch handle.
c) SAM 2 (Traffic Monitor) – It was noted that within the month of June, the Handyman had moved the SAM 2 traffic speed monitor system from Hilgay Road to The Row and changed the batteries and then from The Row to Church Road. He had also helped the Parish Clerk in downloading the recorded monitoring data.
96/17 Police Report – PK reported that whilst there were no reported incidents in West Dereham, the following information had been received from the Police:
a) On Monday 26th June at 3.00am, the Stoke Ferry corner shop had been broken into with the result of cigarettes and alcohol taken.
b) On Tuesday 27th June, in the early hours, the front and rear number plates were stolen from a car parked on a driveway in Oxborough Road, Stoke Ferry.
c) On Wednesday 28th June, in the early hours, Boughton Surgery was broken into and a number of prescription drugs were taken.
d) PK noted that the Police forensics team were at the site of the Stoke Ferry Post Office on the morning of Thursday 6th July.
e) PK reported concern at the sight of a white Peugeot boxer van seen to be driving slowly around the village on a number of occasions. PK has reported this vehicle to the local Police and that the registration had been noted.
97/17 Village Hall Report – PK stated that the Village Hall had just experienced an extremely busy month. PK reported that Café CRe8 was now fully established and was meeting every Wednesday morning between the hours of 9.15 and 11.00am. A yoga group had started on Monday evenings, meeting between the hours of 7.00 and 8.30pm. The U3A group continued to hire the hall twice a month for their patchwork and quilting sessions. PK noted that during June, the Village Hall had been used for the following events: Parish Council Meeting, the General Election as a Polling Station, an 80th birthday party for which the hall volunteers provided bar and catering services, a Royal British Legion Meeting, a £5 Summer Salad Supper night, a West Dereham Heritage Group meeting, a coffee morning, a new venture – a Games Night (Adult Youth Club), an Armed Forces Day and Classic Vehicle Display with optional Bar-B-Q lunch, involving 7 military displays, 20 vehicles and attended by approximately 80 people, throughout the day. A raffle was held raising £117.00 for the Royal British Legion West Dereham Branch’s Poppy Appeal. The Village Hall held a ‘take-away’ Hog Roast for a house warming party of 50 people supported by the Village Hall committee and as a result of its success, a further booking was placed for the following Sunday. The Village Hall sadly ran its last regular bingo session, this being due to the lack of support, but intend to hold seasonal sessions at Christmas and Easter. On the 1st/2nd July, the Village Hall ran a working party weekend when 19 volunteers joined in starting to clear and paint the compounds, weeded the car park, pressure washed the patio area and started to deep clean the kitchen. The work was finished off with burgers and hot dogs. PK noted that the next working party will take place in October and in advance, will be appealing for help from anybody who has a trailer. PK closed her report by noting that in the last month, the Village Hall has been so busy and used, that it has only been closed for 4 days.
98/17 Broadband Report – No Councillor report received from PW. Two parishioners complained about the level of broadband service being received in Basil Road and commented on a series of different recorded faults that they have logged with their provider dating back prior to September 2015. They noted that that they had been advised that they were considered as a special case and advised at one stage of discussions to consider finding an alternative provider. In reply to a question from PK, the parishioners confirmed that as a result of the poor service, they had received a reduced subscription. LH suggested that it might be worth contacting the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/broadband-delivery-uk) for advice. CC suggested that if the parishioners would like to send their contact details and in addition a copy of their fault log to the Parish Clerk, he could forward them onto Karen O’Kane, Programme Director of Better Broadband for Norfolk to see if she could assist in the matter.
99/17 Glazewing Report – PB noted that the Parish Clerk had previously circulated an email from Jonathan Miles, Director of Glazewing, providing a company update. PB commented that she had visited the area at the entrance to the Glazewing site and noted that it appeared to be tidier. PB added that she was aware of a couple of people contacting the Environment Agency regarding the fly situation. LH added that she had noticed a lot of comments on the new West Dereham Community Facebook site about the fly situation. CC referred to Jonathan Miles’ email noting the need to increasing the fly spraying if required. CC noted that she had received an irate message from a parishioner living in Station Road regarding flies, reporting that they had telephoned Glazewing a couple of times in the past week and they are now reporting the matter to Environmental Health. Councillors reported their own experiences of flies entering their respective homes. A parishioner reported that she had had to purchase netting and Velcro to put around their windows and doors to alleviate the fly problem in the their house. CC stated that the Parish Council needs to contact Glazewing and report that a fly problem has returned, in spite of Jonathan Miles assurance that it would not. PB commented that she had emailed Steven Halls regarding the situation, although he was not available and checked the Norfolk County Council website at the Planning applications but noted no further developments. In response to Parishioners questions regarding the Planning application, PB commented that due to some issues raised by Norfolk County Council, the Environment Agency and the Parish Council that the application was in abeyance. CC noted that the Parish Council if asked for its view on Planning Applications can only say if it supports, objects or has no comments, however, it is important to receive local comments and if an application is passed and the Parish Council has strong objections to, then it would write again to the Borough and County Councils.
100/17 Allotments Report – The Parish Clerk reported that PB, CW, 6 plot holders and his attendance, met at the Hilgay Road Allotment site on Saturday 1st July to hold an inspection. The Parish Clerk reported one or two complaints were received regarding unused plots being covered in weeds, that were encroaching upon neighbouring plots. The Parish Clerk noted that it came to light that one or two plot holders ended their tenancies and as a result, some movement of plot ownership had taken place. The Parish Clerk confirmed that he needs to clarify with the grounds maintenance contractors as to when they will cut back the hedge that borders the allotments with the side of Hilgay Road. The Councillors agreed to continue to retain the padlock on the pedestrian gated entrance, as it was not being used by the plot holders. LH expressed concern about access in the case of an emergency occurring. A Parishioner suggested obtaining a Fire Brigade padlock whereby the combination or key could be shared by local services in the case of an emergency and agreed to forward further details to the Parish Council. The Parish Clerk noted disappointment that none of the plot holders had agreed to become the Allotment Liaison Officer. The Parish Clerk commented that the long plot (plot 8) on the car entrance side of the allotments is being proposed as a future car parking area had the remains of a dead deer and this had been subsequently removed with the offer of help from a Parishioner. PB noted that she would be able to arrange for plot 8 to be mowed later in the year, however the remaining wooden fencing posts, framework, extensive chicken meshing and remains of an old carpet would first need to be removed and somebody would need to be responsible for ensuring this took place and for its disposal. PB added that if access were possible, an attempt would also be made to mow plot 3. CC commented that the allotments have to be provided as a service, however they are already subsidised by the village and the expenditure by the Parish Council has to be proportionate. CC noted that the position of the financial deposits of those plot holders who have vacated the overgrown plots should be ascertained.
a) Accounts for May and June – The Parish Clerk recalled that at the previous meeting he had received the financial statements for the Parish Council on the day before the meeting and was unable produce information relating to transaction in the month of May. The Parish Clerk noted that this was now available to the meeting.
b) Cheque Payments for Approval for June 2017 – The Parish Clerk displayed the pending payments on the overhead projector.
Payee Cheque No Net VAT Gross Remarks
Helen Richardson 100961 31.88 0.00 31.88 Support to Parish Clerk
Post Office Ltd (HMRC) 100962 8.20 0.00 8.20 Clerk’s Tax payment to HMRC
Peter King – Clerk Salary 100963 531.50 0.00 531.50 Staff Salary
Roy Poole 100964 217.94 0.00 217.94 Handyman pay and expenses
Holly Landscapes 100965 487.50 97.50 585.00 Grass Cutting Contract
Norfolk Assoc. of Local Councils 100959 95.00 0.00 95.00 Spring Conference Attendance Fees 24/05/17
Helen Richardson 100960 2.25 0.00 2.25 Travel Expenses
Total 1374.27 97.50 1471.77
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.
c) The Parish Clerk displayed the Cash Book on the overhead projector.
PK questioned when the payment of the annual grant to the West Dereham Village Hall would be made? CC noted that the payment was not identifiable in the Cash Book, but that it should be paid. The Parish Clerk noted that the Cash Book balanced following the payments due for the month of June.
d) The Parish Clerk displayed Cash Flow on the overhead projector.
The Parish Clerk noted that there had not been any additional income received for the months of May and June, therefore any change would be seen as items of expenditure for those two months.
102/17 Parish Assets
a) Telephone Boxes (Flower Troughs) – CC recommended that as it was not now possible to display some nurtured geranium plants in the telephone boxes, that the Handyman should be asked to collect the plants and add them to the two planters in Church Road.
b) Footpaths – The Parish Clerk reported that he was chasing Norfolk Highways to arrange to collect the old footpaths noticeboard and would a co-ordinate a meeting with them to agree a suitable position for its installation. CC added that the Parish Council is trying to co-ordinate the production of an A4-sized map showing the positions of all the of the West Dereham Parish footpaths that can be distributed to everybody. LH commented that the footpath between The Row, Ryston Road to the Village Hall was being kept to a very neat standard by the ground maintenance company. It was agreed that the Parish Clerk should try and identify from the Pears technology software, whether there is a footpaths map available for the Parish.
103/17 Parish Council Internal Affairs and Policies
a) Standing Orders – CC noted that the Parish Council is guided by any statutory updates or amendments by the National Association of Local Councils reporting and was not aware of any new changes. CC therefore recommended that Standing Orders are fine as they stand. Councillors recorded that they were content that Standing Orders had been reviewed.
b) Action Plan for 2016/17 – CC noted that the Action Plan did not need to be reviewed as it had been revised at the May 2017 Parish Council meeting, however a couple of the dates did require amendment.
104/17 Correspondence – None received
105/17 To receive further reports/items of business for items at the next Parish Council meeting.
CC requested the following item be added to the next Parish Council meeting Agenda –
– Proposal to site the Centenary Beacon in the Parish Council Cemetery and to add the item to the Parish Notice asking for Parishioners’ comments.
PB requested an item with regard to the ongoing position of the cannabis farm to the next Agenda and in the Parish Notice.
105/17 – Date of Next Meeting – Thursday 3rd August 7.00pm for 7.30pm
CC confirmed the date of the meeting and presented her apologies for being unable to attend.
106/17 – Open Forum
a) A Parishioner requested that with regard to different issues taking place in the village whether useful contact telephone numbers or email addresses for broadband agencies, the Environment Agency (O800 807060) Glazewing and Borough Council Community Neighbourhood Nuisance Team could be added to the Village Magazine via the Parish Notice.
b) A Parishioner raised the question of the condition and need for repair of the Village sign in Lime Kiln Road near St Andrew’s Church. CC replied that the Parish Council is saving for replacement Village signs.
Closure. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending, and final closure of the meeting was at 8.44 pm.
Next meeting is the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 3rd August 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 ……………………………