STOKE FERRY PARISH COUNCIL
Draft Minutes Subject to the Approval at the next Meeting
Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council
Wednesday 7 February 2018 at 7.00 pm
Stoke Ferry Village Hall
Cllr Sue Lintern Chair
Cllr Daphne Clements
Cllr Mandy Leamon
Cllr Trudy Mann
Cllr Jim McNeill
Cllr Grant Tomkins
Cllr Shirley Cordner
Helen Richardson Parish Clerk and Financial Responsible Person
Also, in attendance:
Cllr Martin Storey Norfolk County Council
Cllr Colin Sampson Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk
Mr Chris Philpott Footpath Warden
Members of the Public: 9
22/18 Apologies and Welcome
There were no apologies received for absence.
23/18 Consider Declarations of Interest on Agenda Items and Dispensation Requests
There were no declarations of interest.
24/18 Appointment of Vice Chair
The Chair reported that sadly Janet Taylor had resigned from the Parish Council and there was also a vacancy for co-option. The Parish Council were sorry to lose Janet’s membership and thanked her for the hard work she had involved herself in including assistance from Bonnetts. The Chair nominated Cllr Jim McNeill for the position of Vice-Chair, this was seconded by Cllr Grant Tomkins. Cllr Jim McNeill advised that he would be prepared to take the position of Vice Chair for a few months.
Proposed. Cllr Sue Lintern, Seconded Cllr Grant Tomkins, all agreed.
The Chair advised that a supplementary item was needed to approve co-option to the Parish Council. She added that there was one vacancy on the Parish Council for co-option and the Parish Council had previously met with an applicant, the Parish Council all agreed to co-opt Gail Boughen to the Parish Council under the supplementary item inclusive. As Cllr Gail Boughen had previously received the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct, they were signed together with the declaration and she joined the meeting.
Proposed. Cllr Trudy Mann, Seconded Cllr Mandy Leamon, all agreed.
26/18 Minutes of the Meeting dated 3 January 2018
The minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 3 January 2018 were approved. Proposed. Cllr Grant Tomkins, Seconded Cllr Jim McNeill, seven were in favour and one abstained due to not attending the meeting.
27/18 Matters Arising from the Minutes
The following items were raised as matters arising:
a) The Clerk had received a second quote in relation to streetlighting electricity supply which was twice the cost of the current supplier due to additional service charges, and she was liaising with a third supplier and would share when it was received.
b) Cllr Grant Tomkins shared that if anyone wanted personal advice on home security he could provide it free of charge
c) The Clerk advised that the land owner at Indigo Road had advised that he was interested in possibility placing an amenity on the land, and medical centre was one of the ideas. The Clerk shared that the developer had advised that environmental contamination surveys results were needed and when they were all clear development would begin. The Village Hall was meeting with the developer’s site manager the following week regarding the car park. The Clerk agreed to invite the developer to the March meeting.
d) The Handyman had attended to clear shrubbery from the signage on the common and to do litter picking.
e) The Clerk advised that she had been in contact with Pam Lynn, Conservation Officer at the Borough Council and at the end of January she had advised that the Internal Derelict Land and Buildings Group at the Borough Council had met to discuss photographs that had been taken at the old pubs sites, and the site was due to go to auction on 22 February and therefore due to potential ownership change the Borough Council would continue to review after this time. The Clerk advised that she had put the issue on her action list and would continue to update with Pam.
f) The contract for Grounds Maintenance had signed for 201819 and 201920.
g) The Clerk advised that she continued to work on the cemetery hedge enquiries and bring back to the meeting as soon as possible.
h) The updated Cemetery Regulations had been added to the website and notice board.
i) The Borough Council had confirmed receipt of the precept request for 201819.
j) The Clerk advised that she had been promised the grit bins at Bradfield Place would be filled by County Council, but this still hadn’t happened, she advised they had been behind due to the recent storms, but she would continue to chase. A Councillor advised that a member of the public had threatened to go the press.
28/18 2Agriculture Update
The Chair advised that there had been an update on the mill since the last meeting. After the meeting with the Borough Council, Environmental Agency and the Mill the Parish Council agreed that there were still certain Health and Safety issues that were of concern specifically in relation to risk of dust explosions, and so the Parish Council had contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The Chair shared that the HSE were asked for information regarding risk of dust explosions at the Mill and this was treated by them as Freedom of Information Request resulting in the return of a copy of the DSEAR Assessment (defined as the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) require employers to control the risks to safety from fire and explosions), from 2016 which highlighted areas that were failing for fire and explosion risk with recommendations to action. She added that the HSE assessment covered working practices and people. The Chair advised that the information showed that the HSE had visited the mill in March 2017 where following this they had commented that actions identified in the 2016 DSEAR had not been resolved, and so the Mill had until June 2017 to do so. The Chair continued to share that the from the information supplied by the HSE the mill had acted by this date, and had cleaned removing dust, and a daily cleaning regime had been put in place with a dedicated member of staff employed to oversee it. The Chair shared that the information further showed that the HSE had therefore after this time passed the fitness of the mill following a meeting in June 2017.
The Chair advised that there had been a mill liaison meeting earlier in the afternoon and this information had been queried why it hadn’t been mentioned at the Parish Council meeting in November, who explained that the Borough Council and Environment Agency act independently and therefore had no input into HSE assessments, and the mill believed that because the issues raised had been resolved previously it was no longer an issue to share. The Chair advised that the HSE email was going to be sent to the Mill’s head office for a response to the Parish Council.
The Chair shared that from the Mill Liaison Meeting it had been advised that the Environment Agency’s areas of responsibility were being redefined so Steve Lively, Regulatory Compliance Officer who had previously attended the Parish Council meeting in November 2017 won’t be responsible for the Mill and replaced by someone from Norwich who would cover the area instead, which meant there would be a full audit at the point of hand over. She added that the full permit audit would be completed the next few weeks.
The Chair added that the Borough Council’s inspection unit which the Parish Council had waited for installation for the past two years was due to be connected by UK Power Networks on 23 and 24 February which would triangulate the survey information. She added that the acceptable mean level limit for particulates was 40, and in 2012 this was 73, in 2017 it was 14; 2016 it was 21 and in 2015 it was 12, below the mean level. She shared that when the new equipment was in place, the Borough Council were expecting further data reviews. The Chair advised in response to lorries coming into the Buckenham Drive entrance, a bar had been installed so that only cars could get in and lorries couldn’t, but there would be a transition period whilst the new arrangements were embedded in.
The Chair advised that four Councillors attended a tour of the mill on 31 January. Cllr Grant Tomkins shared his experience of the tour of the mill and he felt that following the information that had been sent by the HSE, he now had serious concerns as at no point during the open meeting did they mention the breach, and the Parish Council had a duty to inform parishioners of potential dangers they should be aware of. He added that from 2016 for over a year, residents, the public and employee’s lives at the mill were at risk, and it is very worrying. The Chair agreed that there had been the opportunity to disclose the information at the open Parish Council meeting in November and it was disappointing that the Mill didn’t take the opportunity at that time. Cllr Shirley Cordner shared an extract from the report that advised that excess dust and huge risk of explosion and she was also concerned of the lack of attention to take immediate steps to resolve by the Mill for over a year, and if the HSE hadn’t gone back in 2017 this may have been the case for a longer period.
The Parish Council agreed that it had previously been believed that the local authority bodies had been in control of the safety of the mill, but it felt the community had been let down that they had allowed this to happen.
Cllr Colin Sampson was invited to share his views and he advised that he was astounded by what had happened with the DSEAR Assessment and it appeared they had not been operating appropriately in terms of health and safety, and it was the process which produced dust and that needed to be managed at the upmost. The Chair highlighted that the Borough Council and Environment Agency had previously advised the Parish Council that they were not milling to a fine dust. He shared that the Borough Councillor and Cllr Martin Storey would back up any action that the Parish Council wished to take.
The Chair shared currently on the Mill Village Liaison committee there was a vacancy for a village representative and Parish Councillor, it met four times a year on a Wednesday at 4 pm. The Clerk agreed to include in the village pump. The Clerk agreed to include in communications to the HSE about their representation at the Committee. Cllr Jim McNeill agreed to be the second Parish Council representative, substituted by Cllr Grant Tomkins in absence.
Jim advised that the Mill were doing up the houses on the main road, and emptying them, venting them due to damp and they are going to restore them by painting and re-guttering and are awaiting quotes.
Cllr Trudy Mann shared that there were phone numbers that the Mill had made available for any member of the public to call directly if they had any concerns. It was agreed that the Clerk would include on the website, notice board and village pump article.
It was summarised that the issue was about having safety for the village.
DECISION: It was agreed that the following needed to be actioned as a result of discussions:
1) That the DSEAR would be included as an appendix to these minutes also for inclusion in the village pump and on the website.
2) The HSE be asked: (copied to Elizabeth Truss MP and Cllr Colin Sampson and Cllr Martin Storey)
a. If they were aware if employees had been made aware of the risks
b. Ask them to become a member representative on the Mill Liaison Committee.
c. When the next DSEAR Assessment review was due to take place and how often.
d. They be invited to the Parish Council meeting in March to supply more information about the risk of dust explosions and the dust itself.
e. How they propose to keep the Parish Council informed going forward.
3) The issue be raised with Elizabeth Truss MP when she was due to visit in March by the Parish Council. She would be asked specifically about the change to the Environment Agency’s permit to include a higher safety level. And it was agreed that the Parish Council needed a definitive list of concerns to send to Elizabeth Truss MP and others as appropriate, and that initially these minutes and the DSEAR as an appendix would be sent to her and the HSE.
4) All communications and invitations be shared with Cllr Colin Sampson and Cllr Martin Storey.
5) That the Clerk would contact Neil Parish MP who campaigned for improving air quality in parliament and was a member of the Environmental Select Committee.
6) That a letter be sent to the Mill Manager, Gavin Berry to advise that despite the open public meeting held in November there had been a loss in confidence including a copy of the DSEAR and email from HSE asking for a response. Also, to be included in the letter question to ask if they have adequate insurance and when and if the factory has scheduled shutdown periods for maintenance.
7) That Cllr Jim McNeill join the Mill Liaison Committee meeting, and Cllr Grant Tomkins would be his substitute.
29/18 Community Emergency Plan
The Clerk had circulated the latest draft of the Plan. It was agreed that the risk matrix regarding the mill should be reviewed in full and Cllr Jim McNeill and Cllr Sue Lintern agreed to work with the mill liaison committee to update the draft. The Clerk agreed to ask the Borough Council regarding responsibility for emergency burials and how the plan is used in an emergency and by who. The Clerk agreed to invite a representative from the Emergency Planning Team at the Borough Council to come to the April meeting. It was agreed to update the plan further and revisit at the next meeting.
DECISION: 1) Cllr Jim McNeill and Cllr Sue Lintern to review the risk matrix regarding the mill with the Liaison Committee.
2) The Clerk to clarify emergency burials, use of the plan and by who with the Borough Council.
3) The Clerk to invite Emergency Planning to the April meeting.
4) All Councillors to update the draft and bring to the March meeting.
30/18 Planning Application Processes
Following a letter from the Chair of Castle Acre being forwarded to all Parishes via the Norfolk Association of Local Councils, which including statements regarding changing to the review of planning applications at the Borough Council, Cllr Martin Storey advised that he would be able to clarify. He advised that officers at the Borough Council were spending a lot of time writing up reports on small planning applications, and for a trial period of 12 months to try and alleviate workload to free up time to spend on larger more complex schemes, the Chair, Vice Chair of the Planning Committee and Planning Officers would review all applications that could be for delegated decision to Planning Officer and not include them in the Planning Committee’s agenda. He added that this had been agreed by the Borough Council on 25 January. Cllr Martin Storey assured the Parish Council that their role as a consultee would remain the same. Cllr Colin Sampson advised that if there were any concerns about any applications he would be available to take comments forward.
In answer to a query about whether the scheme would work, Cllr Colin Sampson advised that the Parish Council will be informed of the outcome. He advised that there would be an option for a member of the Parish Council to attend a Planning Committee meeting to share any opposing views that there could be with Planning Officers on any specific planning applications. He shared that it was hoped that it would avoid too many non-planning reasons being put forward, but the process would be the same as what it always had been, but smoother and quicker. Cllr Colin Sampson advised that the Neighbourhood Plan would be part of the deliberations. Following a query from the Councillors Cllr Colin Sampson advised that it would be obvious what would be regarded as a small or large application such as extensions. Cllr Martin Storey said that training was always available to anyone by the Borough Council.
The Chair advised that it may have been managed better if Parish Council’s had been notified of the change at an earlier stage so that opinions could be given. It was agreed that a member of the Parish Council should attend any future planning training dates.
31/18 Planning Application
The Chair shared that a planning application regarding a proposed detached garage for use with recently approved detached dwelling (ref:17/01967/F), plus relocation of approved access at Building Plot South-East Hawthorn Lodge Bridge Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk had been received by the Parish Council as a consultee. It was agreed that there were no objections, and this was proposed by Cllr Trudy Mann and seconded by Cllr Grant Tomkins, all agreed.
32/18 Planning Application: Tree in conservation area: T1 18/00019/TREECA – to note
This was noted and there were no comments.
33/18 Gardens Refurbishment
The Councillors agreed to consider how much the spend should be to improve the gardens area for discussion in March.
34/18 Pedestrian/Cycle Way
Cllr Jim McNeill presented the item about the development a network of cycle and pathways in and around Stoke Ferry and in neighbouring villages. He shared that this had occurred to him as he was using a path recently that had abruptly ended. He had considered the benefits which were improved living environment, health exercise, school children safety and would encourage tourism. He added that safety with lorries that use the local roads for the cyclists were also important. Cllr Jim McNeill had circulated the idea amongst local social media and no one expressed negativity. He added that the Borough Council had a full policy and walking and cycling policy and funding was available. He advised that some places roadways could be widened or change for existing paths and Stoke Ferry was on the local cycling route. The Parish Council thought it was a good idea and it was agreed to support Cllr Jim McNeill. Cllr Jim McNeill advised that he follow up with other parish council’s and local Council representatives.
At this point the members of the public left the meeting.
35/18 Double Yellow Lines – Furlong Road Junction
The Clerk advised that she had spoken to the developer of the housing development near to the area being considered that already had double yellow lines as part of the existing scheme. She added that the developer had advised he would consider an extension of double yellow lines on the current scheme. She advised that a new double yellow line application would cost thousands due to the legalities involved. Cllr Trudy Mann and Cllr Mandy Leamon agreed to research positioning of the proposed double yellow lines. The Clerk agreed to contact the homeowners nearby once confirmed and approved.
36/18 School Lane – Land Owner Responsibility
The Clerk had received the land owner’s details following another incident of mud on School Lane and agreed to contact them for a short term and long-term solution.
37/18 Appointment of Internal Auditor
It was proposed to approve the Internal Auditor shared by the Clerk at £50 prior to the External Audit in later in the year, this was proposed by Cllr Grant Tomkins and seconded by Cllr Mandy Leamon, all agreed.
38/18 Update on Website
The Clerk advised that she was able to update the website and agreed to add a water mark to drafts.
39/18 Elizabeth Truss MP Visit – Friday 16 March 2018 (4-5.30 pm)
The Parish Council noted the visit, the Clerk advised the time slots available were 10 minutes but there had only been one request to date. It was agreed to add the 15 minutes for the Parish Council to discuss the Mill.
40/18 Neighbourhood Plan Meeting – Weds 21 March (7 pm)
This was noted, the Clerk advised that this was an open meeting for all stakeholders and members of the public to attend as a community project, which the Parish Council facilitates. The Clerk agreed to email Cllr Shirley Cordner and Cllr Daphne Clements the advert for them to share wider. This had already been included for the Pump, website and notice board.
41/18 Village Handyman/ Norfolk County Council Rangers Items for Notification
The Clerk agreed to contact the Handyman to ask him to remove some branches that have come down from trees at the cemetery entrance. The Norfolk County Council Rangers were next due to attend in March, and they had updated their contact details for the Clerk. The Clerk would contact the Councillors when communication is received.
42/18 Public Rights of Way (Footpaths/Bridleways)
A meeting was due to be held at the end of February with David Mills, Public Rights of Way Officer, but it was agreed to reschedule in April. The Chair, Footpath Warden and the Clerk would be attending, and other Councillors could attend if they wished to.
43/18 Approval of Payments
That the following payments presented were approved:
Supplier Payment for Net VAT Total
Clerk Clerks Wages and Expenses – Jan 265.40 0.00 265.40
HMRC January 62.40 0.00 62.40
Mr Sparkle Village Maintenance – Jan 50.00 0.00 50.00
Mr A Stannard Handyman- Jan 40.00 0.00 40.00
Mr A Stannard VAT on Digger Hire 14.00 0.00 14.00
Water Bill (DD) Cemetery – Sept-Dec 2017 12.10 0.00 12.10
Westcotec Street Lighting Maintenance Jan 18 15.44 3.09 18.53
SLCC Clerk Membership 40.33 0.00 40.33
Stoke Ferry Village Hall Hire of Village Hall – Feb 2018 (add on half hour from Jan) 40.00 0.00 40.00
Glazewing (DD) Annual EPA Charge Duty of Care Charge 60.00 12.00 72.00
EON (DD) Streetlights Electricity – Dec 2017 57.44 2.81 60.31
657.11 17.90 675.07
Proposed. Cllr Mandy Leamon, Seconded Cllr Daphne Clements, all agreed.
44/18 Urgent Items as agreed by the Chairman
There was none.
45/18 Forward Agenda List
This was noted.
46/18 Public Participation and Councillors Items
a) It was agreed to add item regarding Training for Councillors to the next agenda. The Clerk advised that Norfolk Association of Local Councils and Norfolk Parish Training and Support provided courses.
b) It was agreed that the Clerk find out if DIY waste was being restricted further at the local waste recycling site at Crimplesham by contacting Nick Johnson, Norfolk County Council.
c) It was confirmed that it was possible to still collect parcels at the Post Office.
d) It was agreed that arrangement of the Mid-Summer Fayre could be offered wider in the community and it was agreed to put a notice in the village pump. It was agreed that a meeting with the playing field committee should be held to discuss the fayre. The Clerk advised that payments should come through the Parish Council meeting and a standard item would be included to allow for this to happen, but the meetings can be open without the Clerk.
e) Cllr Martin Storey advised that the budget meeting at Norfolk County Council was being held 12th February. He added that employment of extra Police officers was expected as a result in rises in tax. He felt that everyone was in it together and we all needed to help each other.
f) Cllr Colin Sampson advised that the Borough were aware of the risks and increases of fly tipping from changes to what can be recycled at local waste centres. He shared that the whole issue of waste collection was taking a lot of time to resolve for those who dealt with it, and the whole scheme was under review. He shared that the changes in acceptance of plastic from China was going to have a knock-on effect. He shared that bulky items still could be collected by the Borough Council.
g) Following a query from the Footpath Warden regarding the proposed Cycle/Pedestrian paths Cllr Jim McNeill advised that pavements would be considered and not rights of way paths or off-road paths.
47/18 Date and Time of Next Meeting – Wednesday 7 March 2018 at 7.00 pm.
Meeting closed at 9.50 pm
Thank you for your recent request for information regarding dust and the risk of explosion at Stoke Ferry Mill.
I apologise for the delay in responding to your request which was received on 17 January 2018. I am dealing with it in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004.
Anthony Brookes, HM Inspector of Health and Safety, found significant non-compliance with regards to the management of fire and explosion risks when he inspected the premises on 15 March 2017. However these issues had been rectified and remedial action taken when Anthony Brookes, accompanied by Principal Inspector Paul Carter, revisited the site on 29 June 2017.
Please find attached to this email the following documents:
No Description of Document Released Y/N Exceptions Applied (if any)
1. Cases Report – 4483700
Yes – Partial R. 13
2. Letter to 2 Agriculture Limited dated 22 March 2017 (Notification of Contravention) Yes – Partial R. 13
Personal information which could be used to identify individuals (other than HSE staff) has been redacted. We believe disclosure of this information could be harmful to the individuals themselves and therefore it is fully exempt under Regulation 13 of the EIR exceptions.
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Editors Note: Pages 2 & 3 of these minutes cannot be displayed but copies can be made available on request