West Dereham Parish Council February meeting

DRAFT MINUTES OF THE WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 pm
ON THURSDAY 1 FEBRUARY 2018

PRESENT (Five Councillors):- Pam Bullas (PB), Claire Cann (CC) – Chairman, Tom Foy (TF), Lorraine Hunt (LH),
and Claire Williams (CW).

In attendance: Peter King, Parish Clerk, and eight members of the public.

The Chairman welcomed everyone present to the Parish Council Meeting.

1. Apologies for absence

Councillor Paula Kellingray (PK) and Councillor Pam Walker (PW).

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

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.

4. Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 7 December 2017

CC confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 7 December 2017.
The councillors agreed that they were content and that the minutes should be signed as a true record. CC signed the minutes.

5. Matters Arising from the Minutes

5.1 (Highways) PB commented that the village footpath sign was still leaning against a gate column at the entrance to her house. The Parish Clerk replied that he had reported once again the matter to Norfolk County Council Highways Department (NCC-HD) to remind them that the sign needs to be re-installed along Station Road and noted that shortly afterwards he had received an email noting that the Department recognised the matter, but had closed the item on their reporting system. The Parish Clerk noted that he had contacted NCC-HD to clarify the process for closed items reported and was waiting for a response. CC commented that the matter had been reported on several occasions in the past few years. PB suggested that either NCC-HD need to do something or the Parish Council needs permission to dispose of the board.

6.2.5 (Norfolk Association of Local Councils (NALC) Membership Fees 2018/19) The Parish Clerk reported that he had raised the question of the increases in their membership fees and is waiting for a response.

6.6 (Broadband Report) The Parish Clerk reported that he had contacted the Parishioner living in Basil Road who had previously reported poor download speeds and had received a reply confirming that he was still experiencing low broadband speeds.

7.1.1 (Allotment Holders) The Parish Clerk reported that he had issued invoices to the allotment holders for their annual payments and noted that some had now paid.

7.2 (Pear Technology) The Parish Clerk reported that Pear Technology had sent a very detailed explanation as to the technical support the company provided in terms of the agreement cover provided to the Parish Council.

11. (Handyman – Telephone Boxes) The Parish Clerk reported that he had spoken with the Handyman in respect to the condition of the telephone box doors and noted that the feeling was that both doors were of similar condition.

11. (Brambles – Edge of Ryston Road/Recreation ground) The Parish Clerk noted that he had reported the matter to NCC-HD and had received the same response as mentioned under minute 5.1. CC commented that if NCC-HD were not prepared to remove them, that they might have to be left. The Parish Clerk noted that he would continue to pursue the matter with NCC-HD for clarification, as under minute 5.1.

6. Reports

6.1 Chairman’s Report –

CC reported that the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Planning Department (BCKLWN-PD) had contacted the Parish Council regarding the Local Plan in the early part of 2017 to note that a local consultation would be taking place towards the end of 2017. CC noted that it was ongoing process with no immediate decisions. CC commented that the process started by BCKLWN-PD calling for local landowners who might be prepared to offer up land for housing development to submit initial applications. CC reported that the Parish Council had been advised by BCKLWN-PD that four sites had been put forward for application with proposals to add at least 25 new houses to the village with a current housing stock in the region of 200 houses. CC noted that there were two sites of twelve and eight houses on the hillside beside and beneath St Andrew’s Church, a further proposing five houses on a site by Willow Lane and an unspecified number of houses off The Row, Ryston Road. CC noted that the last proposal included an additional conservation area as an amenity for the village. CC reported that the Parish Council wrote to BCKLWN-PD in November 2017 putting forward its comments, noting that West Dereham is classed as a hamlet with only 200 houses, that the Parish Council does support some housing including affordable homes in the form of infill homes and ribbon development in keeping with the village, but that concerns were with access and egress of new buildings because in essence, it is a single track village. CC continued that the Parish Council were also concerned with the scale of the new houses on village, already lacking in amenities such as schools, shops, doctors surgeries and pubs. CC reported that a response had been received from BCKLWN-PD in December from the Planning Policy Manager commenting that it was at an early stage of the review and that the proposals received from the landowners might not be what the Planning Department were actually looking for. CC added that the response recognised that as West Dereham is designated as a ‘Smaller Village and Hamlet’ and that there was no current Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Plan, however if infill plots were to come forward, then they may be deemed acceptable. CC noted that BCKLWN-PD stated that without any prejudice upon what they might decide, that the situation is unlikely to change for the reasons that West Dereham Parish Council had cited. CC concurred that the response noted that BCKLWN-PD are ‘looking to calculate potential in settlements where we would consider positive allocations, West Dereham is not currently one of these places’.

6.2 Parish Clerk’s Report –

1. Banking – The Parish Clerk reported that he had now been able to gain the necessary authorisation from Barclays Bank, to carry out on-line access to the Parish Council bank accounts.
2. British Sugar – The Parish Clerk reported that British Sugar had agreed to send one of their local managers to attend the next Parish Council meeting in March to answer any questions relating to the sugar refinery at the Wissington site.
3. Data Protection Workshop – The Parish Clerk reported that he had received notification that the Data protection workshop had been postponed on 22nd January and deferred to 12th February as the organisers, Norfolk Association of Local Councils (NALC) were awaiting updated guidance information.
4. Street Briefings – The Parish Clerk reported that he had received an email from the Downham Market police force advising that they were interested in holding ‘Street Briefings’ in the area and would welcome feedback. The Parish Clerk noted that Councillor Paula Kellingray had given him a series of possible dates when the village hall might be available to hold a public meeting. LH commented that if a date could be agreed that the village hall might then be able to host attenders from neighbouring areas and that the meeting might have been suggested as the SNAP meetings in the area had been poorly attended. CC asked the meeting for their preference and it was agreed to try and arrange a weekday evening event. CC agreed that the Parish Clerk add the item to the Parish Notice.

6.3 Handyman’s Report –

The Parish Clerk provided Roy Poole (RP), the Handyman’s Report of work carried out during December 2017 and January 2018, noting the following actions:-
1. Speeding Monitor – Moved the monitor once during December and twice during January and is currently in Church Road. Pointing southwards. The Parish Clerk noted that RP is changing the batteries on a more frequent basis and wondered whether they are starting to lose their power capacity.
2. Review meeting – The Parish Clerk and RP had a review meeting to discuss any problems.
3. Phone boxes – removed graffiti from the telephone box in Church Road
4. Remembrance Garden – Removed leaves and weeds from the border and garden edges
5. Litter – Carrying out litter picking at different points around the village.

The Parish Clerk noted that Roy had submitted an invoice for January showing reduced hours worked during December 2017. CW requested whether a grey plastic box could be removed from the area near Stocks Bridge behind a sign.

6.4 Police Report –

The Parish Clerk reported that PK had nothing to report.
Two Parishioners complained about a number of incidents involving three motorcyclists, the machines were also described as dirt bikes and they were noted as speeding, carrying out dangerous manoeuvres and acting with intimidating behaviour outside of their property at the south end of Station Road and seen at times to disappear along the nearby river bank. CC advised that each time that an incident occurs that it should be reported to the Police, recognising that it might take several reports before they will take any actions to deal with ongoing problems. One of the Parishioners noted that the motorcyclists had been seen coming out from area behind houses further along the west side of Station Road. CC advised further to build a case and contact the Police and also advise Councillor Paula Kellingray, so that she can hold a record of any incident. LH commented that any incidents could also be reported to the Safer Neighbourhood Team.

6.5 Village Hall Report –

The Parish Clerk read out a report he had been given from PK, in her absence;
The West Dereham Village Hall (WDVH) have increased the hire charges for the first time in 6 years since the new hall was opened. The new rates come into effect from 1st February 2018 and are as follows:
Main Hall £17.50 per hour
Abbey Room £12.50 per hour
Full Kitchen Use £30.00 – Less than 4 hours
Full Kitchen Use £60.00 – 4 hours and over
Kitchen (making drinks only) £15.00 – Less than 4 hours
Kitchen (making drinks only) £30.00 – 4 hours and over
Use of P.A. system £7.50
Use of Projector £12.50
Village Hall staff setting up for meetings – £7.50

Since the last Parish Council meeting, the Village Hall team have provided a Christmas lunch that was very well attended. The WDVH was hired as a venue for a works dinner & dance event, in which the team provided all the catering that consisted of a 4-course dinner with table wines. Other events occurring in the hall have been; the village carol singing after party, 2 funeral wakes, with catering provided by the team, a casserole night, a Burn’s supper night, 2 coffee mornings, a games night and a hog roast. The WDVH have also welcomed back after Christmas, the following regular users:- U3A club, yoga club, the West Dereham Heritage Group, Café Cre8, Bowls Club, and Parish Council.
The WDVH had its usual high attendances over the Christmas period, in particular on, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. The attendance on New Year’s Eve was particularly high, with a best ever attendance of over 85 people. The WDVH team want to note and offer particular thanks to Ian and Annette Farmer for providing the music for the evening. The WDVH have recently undertaken some minor repairs including treatment of some flooring for woodworm and cleaning of the general décor. In conclusion, the WDVH has received 6 further private bookings since Christmas, bringing the current total for 2018 to 14 and noted that the current total of regular groups for the year ahead stand at 120 bookings. The WDVH are looking forward to a successful and active 2018, so Parishioners are asked to please check the latest editions of the Village Parish Magazine for dates and details for all future events.

6.6 Glazewing Report –
PB commented that she had received a report concerning Glazewing vehicle drivers, that wheeled bins were loaded onto a lorry before 0600 on Tuesday 9th, Thursday 11th and Friday 12th January 2018. PB added that she reported this on 15th January 2018 to the Monitoring & Control Officer (M&CO-NCC), Planning Services, Community & Environmental Services, of Norfolk County Council. PB noted that the M&CO-NCC contacted Glazewing regarding the matter and requested that they check their CCTV for clarification. Glazewing replied that drivers had not entered the site on any of the dates before 0700 adding that one driver had loaded empty bins from outside the site gates onto the vehicles. Glazewing added that they will instruct drivers to load their vehicles on the previous day. PB noted that the M&CO-NCC responded to Glazewing that this was still a breach of the notice in force on the site.

PB reported that the M&CO-NCC received further comments from Glazewing on 17th January and forwarded them to the Parish Council, that, ‘I would like to bring to your attention the development of a pig farm, which continues to grow, at the rear of the site. Access is via Station Rd & Straight Drove. This has increased traffic movement along these roads, and would like to make you aware not all traffic movements down Station Rd are related to Glazewing.’ PB commented that she was prompted to carry out a check over a short period of time for sight of any ‘pig related’ traffic of which PB noted, none was seen. PB noted further, that in a timeframe of 8 minutes, 5 Glazewing lorries and 1 Glazewing van were observed. PB added that one of the Glazewing lorry drivers was noted driving a 40+ ton vehicle and was observed drinking from a mug. PB reported that this information with photographic evidence had been passed to M&CO-NCC who has requested a response from Glazewing and it is understood that they are investigating the matter.

PB reported that there is no further news regarding the Lawful Development Certificate application, other than that the evidence is being examined and apparently noting that it is not a quick or easy job because of the volume of material to review.

A Parishioner living at the southern end of Station Road near the entrance of the Glazewing site noted concern that that they are still experiencing speeding lorries close to their property. The Parishioner said that he had been advised that Glazewing staff can track the speeds of their vehicles, but had noted no improvement. The Parishioner added his concern that the roadway outside their home was collecting large puddles of water, after only a relatively short period of rainfall and due to the lack of drainage that their property and cars are being splashed with dirty water from passing large vehicles. PB asked whether the Parishioner had approached senior Glazewing managers for help in the matter? The parishioner added that he hoped to organize a meeting with Glazewing management and commented that he was also concerned with vehicle operations taking place as late as 11.00pm. PB responded that the Parish Council’s understanding was that the time restrictions do not effect the vehicle and the skip yards as opposed to the main yard. CC commented that she did not believe that regular noisy work during unsociable hours without specific permission was allowed where it disturbed people’s privacy and sleep and that there were general standards and rules which applied. The Parishioner mentioned that sound and lights were all an unsociable nuisance and produced some photographs of the effects of the rainwater laying in the roadway outside their property. Another parishioner expressed her concern at the lack of services and actions taken by the local council. CC advised that the Parishioners should write directly to Liz Truss MP with copies of photographs, a diary of any issues noted and a list of concerns and then she would have to take up the concerns with whichever authorities and provide a response to the issues. The first Parishioner also expressed concern at the manner that vehicles turn off Station Road and past the entrance to their property. He added that he had placed two plastic safety cones outside on the edge of their property entrance and noted that they had been pushed back at times. He commented that from a previous conversation with a Glazewing manager that he had been informed that he would be liable if any damage was to occur to Glazewing vehicles as a result of the cones. LH requested that any correspondence that the Parishioners should raise with Liz Truss MP or any authority, should be copied to the Parish Council, Councillors Brain Long and Sandra Squire and the Traffic Commissioners.

PB noted that an incident was taking place on the Glazewing premises before the Parish Council meeting involving the Police and Fire & Rescue Service.

The Parishioner recalled the experience of his sister having to take evasive action from a waste vehicle in Station Road in the previous year and observed a speeding tractor carrying a pig pen secured by a single strap. CC suggested that a further speeding point should be installed on a post near the southern end of Station Road. CC requested that the Parish Clerk and the Handyman should look into the installation and cost of a new post and contact Councillor Brian Long about the possibility of funding. CC requested that the Parish Clerk to try and identify the owner of the pig farm at the rear of the Glazewing.

Finance

7.1 Accounts for November and December Advance payments.
7.1.1 Cash Book and Cash Flow December 2017 and January 2018 – The Parish Clerk displayed the Cash Book on the overhead projector, followed by the Cash Flow noting that there had been very few transactions during the two month period of the report. The Parish Clerk reported that one of the accounts had accrued the sum of 28p (twenty eight pence) in interest, £105.00 in income from allotment rents, with a couple of rents still outstanding and a receipt of £526.55 from HMRC that required further investigation. The Parish Clerk noted that he had added £0.10 to his hourly rate for his salary, following an error made since the beginning of his employment. Parish Councillors agreed that the Parish Clerk should calculate his loss of salary over the employed period and make an adjustment for any underpayment.
7.1.2 Cheque Payments for Approval for January 2018 – The Parish Clerk displayed the itemised pending payments on the overhead projector.

Payee Cheque No Net VAT Gross Remarks
West Dereham Village Hall 101002 £172.50 £0.00 £172.50 Hall hire for Parish Council meetings
Anglian Water 101003 £16.74 £0.00 £16.74 Cemetery water stand pipe
R. Poole 101004 £61.36 £0.00 £61.36 Handyman’s Payment & Travel – Jan 18
P.King (Parish Clerk) 101005 £540.99 £0.00 £540.99 Staff Salary and expenses – Jan 18

Total £791.59 £0.00 £791.59

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.

7.2 Handyman’s Honoraria – Decision
CC noted that it had been agreed to make a payment to the Handyman to cover the cost incurred for his charging of the speed monitor batteries at his home. The Parish Councillors agreed to pay a rate of £2.00 per month to be paid in arrears, annually in a lump sum at the April Parish Council meetings. The Parish Clerk was asked to confirm with the Handyman when he commenced charging the batteries. It was noted that the Handyman’s working contract would need to be updated when it was next up for review.

8. Green Burial – Update

CC reported that the Parish Council was about to purchase 20 trees from Didlington Nursery to be planted in the area at one end of the Cemetery to be designated as the Green Burial area. CC added that 20 sticks had been placed to identify where the trees were to be planted and that a mini-digger and driver would be hired to make the holes for the new trees. CC commented that the payment would be taken from Precept monies set aside to pay for the trees. CC noted that 10 silver birch and 10 Prunus (flowering cherries) had been selected, chosen for their eventual height of 16 to 20 feet tall, with the intention to plant them during February. CC commented that further decisions were still to be made regarding seating, fees and a criteria for setting local residency of who could use the burial area, all to be agreed at the next Parish Council meeting.

9.
Ditches in the Village

CC reported that the Parish Council had been concerned about water filling in local ditches and had battled in the past to identify responsibility when problems arose. CC noted that in the past, the Parish Council had been concerned about what should be done about the overgrown ditch to the side of The Row. CC commented that the Parish Council had approached everybody who they thought might be concerned, including the assumed landowner, a second landowner who it was thought had retained an adjacent strip of land, NCC-HD, BCKLWN and noted that nobody claimed responsibility for the ditches, and therefore the clearing of them. CC noted that after many enquiries, that the Flood Risk Officer at NCC had commented that under section 26 of Law of Property Act of 1925, it provides that ‘a conveyance of land shall be deemed to include and shall by virtue of this Act, operate to convey with the land, all buildings, hedges, ditches, fences, ways, waters, water courses, liberties, easements, rights and advantages whatsoever, appertaining, or reputed to appertain to the land, or any part thereof’ which in effect means that it is a mistake to think that if your Deeds do not include responsibility for a ditch or dyke, that you are not responsible. CC added that the Deeds actually need to state that you didn’t have responsibility for a ditch or dyke. CC commented that there had been problems with the ditch opposite The Row in 2017 and after approaching the tenant farmer, the ditch was eventually cleared. CC noted that following the most recent ditch problem, the tenant suggested that the Village Handyman might clean out the ditch. CC said this ditch was not the responsibility of the PC and therefore village funds would not be used to rectify the problem; however it was the responsibility of either the landowner or the tenant farmer and so the former would be approached.

CC added that it is either the responsibility of the tenant farmer or the landowner, but the Parish Council is unaware of what is in the contract or agreement for the land, but will try to find out.

LH reported that there was a spell of bad weather after Christmas and it was noticeable that the water level in the nearby relief channel had dropped, but the ditch in the Row had not. LH noted that she emailed Anglian Water and the local Internal Drainage Board, but received no response, however spent a lot of time telephoning, trying to identify who was responsible. LH added that a family member had attempted unsuccessfully to try and clear a culvert and eventually a message was received from the assumed adjacent field tenant suggesting that the Village Handyman should clear the blockage in the culvert. LH noted that the culvert is positioned between two land tenancies. LH reported that she then contacted the second landowner who responded in a short time and after inspection then arranged for a mini digger to unblock the culvert. CC commented that the piece of land over the culvert is neither owned by the Parish Council or NCC, so it is a case of trying to identify which landowner or their tenant is responsible for keeping it clear. CC added it a matter that must be addressed otherwise the properties along The Row are at risk. CC commented that there is another ditch at the bottom of Lime Kiln Road that the Parish Council are trying to argue that it is not fit for purpose and is positioned alongside a public highway and has to be a highways and not a landowner issue. CC noted that in some cases, some members of the public are not helping by putting different forms of unwanted rubbish into the local ditches.

10. Parish Council Internal Affairs and Policies

10.1 Health and Safety Policy

CC asked the Councillors present if they were content with the policy. All Councillors noted they were content. CC noted that the plan had been reviewed.

10.2 Clerk’s Appraisal Form

CC asked the Councillors present if they were content with the Form. All Councillors noted they were content. CC noted that the Form had been reviewed.

10.3 Clerk’s Contract

CC noted that the website copy of the Contract should not show the Clerk’s personal details and salary. The Parish Councillors commented on the appropriateness of keeping the Contract on the Parish Council website and the requirements for amending the Contract and agreed to add it to the next Parish Council Agenda for further discussion and agreement.

10.4 Procurement Policy (New)

CC noted that this was a new policy and asked that all Councillors had given it due consideration. CC asked the Councillors present if they were content with the Policy. All Councillors noted they were content. CC noted that the Policy had been adopted.

11. Planning Applications

The Parish Clerk noted that he had not received any Planning Applications or Decisions for consideration.

12. Correspondence

The Parish Clerk noted that he had received a letter from the local charity Lovell’s Dole that had been handed to CC. CC noted that the Parish Council were being asked to confirm that Councillor Pam Bullas be allowed to continue for a further period of four years as a Trustee with the Charity. The Parish Councillors present unanimously agreed that PB should continue as a Trustee of Lovell’s Dole, representing the Parish Council.

13. To receive further reports/items of business for the next Agenda

PB noted that consideration should be given to adding a plaque to the Recreation Ground Goalpost stating that it had been provided by monies given by the provided by the West Dereham Village Trust and Parish Council. It was agreed that Parish Councillors would consider the appropriate wording.

A Parishioner asked about the condition of the Village Sign at the top of Lime Kiln Road. CC replied that the Council were saving and seeking to replace the sign and that in the meantime temporary steps had been taken to try and maintain the sign to as reasonable condition as possible.

A Parishioner noted that a road sign in Church Road was missing and was currently sitting in a neighbours front garden. It was agreed that the Parish Clerk should contact NCC-HD to restore the sign.

It was agreed to add the siting of the beacon to the next Parish Council agenda.

12. Date of Next Meeting – Thursday 1st March 2018 at 7.00pm

CC confirmed the date of the meeting.

13. Open Forum
A Parishioner asked if there were any amenities available at the Village Hall to provide hot food and drink in the circumstances of a power cut. Parishioners expressed concern at the lack of messages from UK Power during the recent power cut and the uncertainty, location and availability of a food van that had been sent to the Village. CC noted that it is something that the Parish Council should discuss and look into the availability of camping equipment and provision of information that can be circulated and suggested that this should take place in discussion with the Village Hall committee.

Closure : The Chairman thanked everyone for attending, and final closure of the meeting was at 9.15 pm.
There were no further items raised by members of the Public present.

Next meeting is the Parish Council Meeting on Thursday 1st March 2018 at 7.00pm with Open Surgery from 6.30pm.

Clerk: Peter King – Email: clerk@westderehamparishcouncil.uk Telephone: 01366 502110

Chairman’s signature …………………………………… Date ………………………

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