DRAFT MINUTES OF THE WEST DEREHAM ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL AT 7.30 pm
ON THURSDAY 10th OCTOBER 2019
PRESENT (Six Councillors):- Annie Barber (AB), Tom Foy (TF), Stuart Glover (SB), Keith Gore (KG), Lorraine Hunt (LH) Chair and Susan Pepper (SP)
In attendance: Peter King, Parish Clerk, and 11 members of the public.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present to the Parish Council Meeting.
1. Apologies for absence: None received.
2. Declarations of interest on agenda items
The Parish Councillors confirmed that they had no personal interests for items coming up on the agenda.
3. Notice regarding use of social media, audio recording of Parish Council 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. Election of Vice-Chair and Declaration of Acceptance of Office
TF was proposed as Vice-Chair by LH and seconded by AB.
It was agreed that TF sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office after the meeting.
5. Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting held on 15th May 2019
LH confirmed that all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Annual Parish Council meeting held on 15th May 2019. The Councillors agreed that they were content that the minutes should be signed as a true record. LH as Chair signed the minutes.
6. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 5th September 2019
LH confirmed that all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 5th September 2019. The Councillors agreed that they were content that the minutes should be signed as a true record. LH as Chair signed the minutes.
7. Matters Arising
7.1 War Memorial, St Andrew’s Churchyard – The Parish Clerk reported that he needed to forward some photographs of the raised lettering on the War Memorial to a stonemason to ascertain the cost of any work.
7.2 Natural Burial Area, West Dereham Cemetery – The Parish Clerk reported that seven of the trees had been replaced and others will be monitored to see if they also need replacement.
7.3 Ditches, Church Road – The Parish Clerk reported that there had been yet a further flow of effluent discharged through the Church Road (west side) drainage ditches early on 27th August 2019 and that both the NCC Flood Department (NCC-FD) and BCKLWN Environmental Health Department (BCKLWN-EHD) had been advised. The Parish Clerk commented that NCC-FD had advised that they intended to carry out a more comprehensive ditch survey at the beginning of September. The Parish Clerk also understood that BCKLWN-EHD had intended to carry out some further dye testing of local septic tanks and cesspits.
7.4 Potholes – The Parish Clerk reported that several potholes along Church Road had been recently filled by NCC Highways Department (NCC-HD). The Parish Clerk reported that he had been contacted by NCC-HD ‘Rangers’ in the summer and again recently requesting details of new potholes and other areas requiring their work around the village, such as covered road signs.
7.5 Mick George Ltd. – The Parish Clerk noted that Mick George, company owner and a senior colleague had been due to attend and speak at the May Annual Parish Council, but that it had been felt that due to the Parish Council elections and that the meeting was an AGM, that Councillors at the time agreed to request the deferment of his attendance. The Parish Clerk added that he had maintained contact with the company and Parish Councillors now wanted to extend the invitation to the December Parish Council meeting allowing for appropriate time to advertise the company’s attendance.
7.6 Items positioned on edges of property verges – The Parish Clerk recalled that a Parishioner attending the May Parish Council meeting raised a question regarding a number stones of various sizes seen placed on the grass verges outside of properties along a section of Station Road adding that he believed that they were placed to prevent large vehicles from driving onto the verges, but was concerned that they might be dangerous to smaller vehicles. The Parish Clerk reported that he had approached NCC-HD for advice on the matter, should an accident occur and they had commented that the authority treats them as obstructions and deals with them if they receive a complaint. NCC-HD also advised that the property owner would be responsible for any damage that would be caused to any vehicles unless shown that NCC-HD had failed to respond to a reported problem, whereby the authority would then be responsible.
7.7 Cracks to bridge posts, Church Road – The Parish Clerk reported that he was waiting for NCC-HD Rangers to report back on their findings.
7.8 Noise complaints, Church Road – The Parish Clerk reported that the complaints that he had received in the past few had been passed onto BCKLWN Community Safety and Neighbourhood Nuisance Team (CSSN) and added that they had responded by noting that if Freebridge Housing had been included in any complaint, they would be the authority to take up the concerns. The Parish Clerk added that CSSN had requested that the following link be noted for Parishioners to reports any noise concerns- https://www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/info/20129/nuisances/179/noise .
8.1 Chair’s Report
LH reported that the Parish Councillors had met twice since the last Parish Council meeting to familiarise themselves with procedures and ongoing Council matters. LH noted that the Parish Clerk was trying to arrange some external training for all the Councillors to attend.
8.2 Parish Clerk’s Report
8.2.1 Complaint – Overhanging trees and bushes, lime pit area, Lime Kiln Road – The Parish Clerk noted that he had received a couple of complaints that the area was becoming hazardous to drive through and that he had reported the matter to NCC-HD.
8.2.2 Police, Monthly Engagement Drop-in Sessions – The Parish Clerk noted that he had now added all details of the future reported meetings to the Parish Council website.
8.2.3 Silver Birch tree, Recreation Ground area – The Parish Clerk reported that he had been made aware of a concern raised by a Parishioner regarding the potential dangers of children climbing on a silver birch tree in the recreation ground. The Parish Clerk added that he would try and identify the concerned Parishioner and check the tree.
8.3 Handyman’s Report
8.3.1 The Parish Clerk noted that the Handyman was now re-considering whether to resign from his position with the Parish Council.
8.3.3 Strimmed the grass verges around the bridges the phone boxes and the safety signs.
8.3.2 Moved the speed monitor from Church Road to Station Road, changing the battery before the move to the next site.
8.3.3 Clearing out the borders, weeding, edging and trimming back the Yews and Lavenders in the Remembrance Garden and Cemetery.
A Parishioner requested that the hedges on the bend of Basil Road near to the Curples Cottages be trimmed back as brambles were now growing out into the roadway.
8.4 Police Report
The Parish Clerk noted he had no additional information to report.
A Parishioner reported receipt of the following information from the Police:
“Police in Norfolk and Suffolk are urging road users to pay attention to their tyres in support of national Tyre Safety Month. As part of the NPCC campaign, roads policing officers from both counties will be conducting roadside tyre safety checks as well as offering tyre safety advice to drivers throughout the month of October. With the recent heavy rainfall officers are particularly keen to educate drivers on the dangers of worn or under inflated tyres when in contact with large amounts of standing water. Officers are urging vehicle owners to pay specific attention to the ways in which extreme weather conditions, road surfaces and manner of driving can affect your tyres. Sergeant Peter Howlett from the Roads and Armed Policing Team said: “We are taking a proactive stance with this month of awareness and enforcement, tyres are a vital part of vehicle safety and as such they must be checked regularly, the heavy rainfall experienced over the last few days has highlighted this as some roads have been flooded” Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, said: “Do yourself a favour – check your tyres and make sure your car is roadworthy. The life you save might just be your own.” Further safety advice includes: • Make sure tyres are correctly fitted to the rim, and the tyre size is correct for the rim width. • Tyres pressures uphold the manufacturer guidance and vehicle loading. • Tread depth and overall condition of the wheel is checked regularly (no uneven wear or cuts and bulges) • Visit this website for more information: https://www.tyresafe.org/campaigns/tyre-safety-month-2019/”.
SP reported that she was aware of a suggestion for the Police to set up a speed check zone in Church Road subject to the necessary facilities being available. SP agreed to look further into the matter.
8.5 Village Hall Report
The Parish Clerk read out the following report received from the Secretary of the Village Hall Management Committee:
Since the 12th of June the newly elected committee have been working hard to ensure that the village hall runs as a welcoming venue that can support itself and, at the same time, fully comply with its legal obligations to such bodies as the Charity Commission whilst complying with Health and Safety legislation to ensure it offers a safe environment for all of its users.
So many things have been done in the last 4 months with so much more still to be done. There was a long list but, slowly, things are being ticked off. A full description of each thing would be rather large. Some things took many hours of work spread over several days and many miles were travelled to sort out the bank accounts, but here are, in no particular order, the headlines.
● Successfully applied for community premises licence.
● PPL and PRS licence obtained, these allow us to play, or perform, most music.
● Worked to unfreeze our bank accounts.
● Kitchen and all of its contents cleaned to meet current food safety standards, many thanks to all of the volunteers who arrived to help during the 4 days of cleaning.
● Kitchen food preparers successfully completed Food Safety Level 2 course.
● New cooker installed, the old one having been condemned as unsafe. The kitchen is now correctly ventilated and the extraction system reset to ensure a safe environment.
● New saucepans and oven trays donated. Old utensils, not meeting Food Safety standards, recycled.
● PAT testing of all electrical equipment completed
● Hosted an 80 birthday party, a Christening and two Weddings.
● Catered two Weddings, Birthday Party, a Wake and also provided refreshments at a table top sale.
●Events run by the hall include an Afternoon Tea, Pizza Hour, open afternoon, Race Night and an Open Decks Night. The hall was also used to host a McMillan Coffee Morning.
● Reduced bar prices to give customers better value for their money, serving tea and coffee whilst also providing free squash for children to make it a more family friendly meeting place. This has resulted in increased turnover through the bar and increased banked profits.
●Reduced hall hire prices to bring them in line with other local venues whilst also offering a discount to those who have a West Dereham address, which has also meant increased bookings.
● Opening the bar on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons with the help of many volunteers. More volunteers always needed!
● Website revitalised www.westderehamvillagehall.co.uk
● Abbey Room cleaned and painted by volunteers using paint provided by generous donations.
● Weeding of car park by volunteers. Yes, it needs doing again, they just keep growing
● All insurance policies and lapsed policies reinstated; all paid.
● Donated taps for the toilets have been fitted.
● Coolers, dishwasher and glasswasher overhauled by a qualified person who gave freely of their time and knowledge. These units really are at the end of their life and soon there will be no more life to coax from them
● New gas contract negotiated producing a saving in the order of £1000 per year, this being about half of our gas bill.
● Bar open sign created to let passers’ by know when we are open.
● Review previous events and introduce new ones to encourage a wider spectrum of the local community.
● Promote West Dereham Village Hall as an attractive venue for local residents, the wider community, organisations and businesses.
The Village Hall Management Committee wish to express their many thanks to the huge number of volunteers who have given their time, energy and knowledge to help make the hall clean, safe, friendly and welcoming. Also thanks to those who have made generous donations to provide paint, decorations, lighting and equipment.”
8.6 Glazewing Report
The Parish Clerk reported that Stephen Daw, the Mineral Surveying Consultant employed by Glazewing Ltd., had contacted the Parish Council and Councillor Brian Long, together with a representative from the NCC to arrange a liaison meeting set for 24th October. The meeting was set up as a condition from the Transport Commissioners Inquiry held earlier in the year.
9. Finance Report
9.1 Accounts for September 2019 – Payments
9.1.1 Cash Flow September 2019 – The Parish Clerk distributed copies of the Cash Flow to the meeting. The Parish Clerk noted income from the HMRC of £469.25, from a burial fee of £1,000.00 and bank interest of £0.95 had been received providing a total of £1,470.20. The Parish Clerk noted that the September expenditure aggregated to a total of £2,681.35.
9.1.2 Cheque Payments for Approval for September 2019 – The Parish Clerk displayed the itemised pending payments on the overhead projector. The Parish Clerk noted the following payments that were due.
Payee Cheque No Net VAT Gross Remarks
Holly Landscapes 101112 £487.50 £97.50 £585.00 Ground Maintenance – September 2019
Information Commissioner 101113 £40.00 £0.00 £40.00 Data Protection Subscription 2019/20
Anglian Water 101114 £13.48 £0.00 £13.48 Water Bill for Cemetery
HMRC 101115 £84.48 £0.00 £84.48 PAYE/NIC Clerk’s salary Sept & back pay
Peter King (Parish Clerk) 101116 £833.49 £0.00 £833.49 Staff Salary & expenses Sept19 & back pay
West Dereham Village Hall 101117 £54.00 £0.00 £54.00 Meeting Hire – Sept 2019
R. Poole 101118 £195.90 £0.00 £195.90 Handyman’s Payment & Travel Sept19
& back pay
PKF Littlejohn LLP 101119 £200.00 £40.00 £240.00 External Audit – 2018/19
Holly Landscapes 101120 £487.50 £97.50 £585.00 Ground Maintenance – August 2019
Allotment Holder 100004 £50.00 £0.00 £50.00 Return of deposit
Total £2,446.35 £235.00 £2,681.35
The Parish Clerk noted the total payments were £2,681.35.
LH asked the Councillors present if they were content with the payments. All Councillors noted that they were content. LH noted that the cheques and control processes would be signed off as soon as possible.
9.2 Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2018/19 – External Auditor’s Report
The Parish Clerk commented that the Parish Council had been delayed in submitting the Parish Council’s annual report as a result of not being able to hold a quorate meeting between June and August and that this meant that the report was approved in September and then forwarded to the external auditors. The Parish Clerk noted that the legal timeframe for the external auditors to review and approve the Parish Council’s report was 30th September, however the Parish Clerk had to advertise a 6 week public time period whereby members of the public can request to inspect the financial books, files and transactions. The Parish Clerk added that the 6 week time period ends on 18th October. The Parish Clerk noted that the external auditors had questioned the extension of time beyond the 30th September to 18th October and submitted an interim report to this effect. The Parish Clerk commented that he had written to the external auditors noting that he had complied with their date of submission in September and noting the delay that had taken place in the previous year as a result of their work programme.
The Parish Clerk added that although the Parish Council does not need to request an External Audit as a result of having a financial turnover of below £25,000 per year, for the purposes of transparency, it requires that one be carried out.
Parish Councillors agreed to wait see the external auditor’s response.
9.3 Setting of the Precept 2020/21
LH reminded the meeting that the Parish Council sets the annual precept at the December meeting and invited any comments to be submitted.
10. Defibrillators in the village
AB introduced the subject of defibrillator equipment being available for helping with cardiac arrests in the village noting their presence in many public places and the opportunity of access to them. AB commented that she felt it would be of benefit if one or preferably two defibrillators, given the geography of the village, could be made available. AB noted that she had provided examples of defibrillators shown on a board at the meeting. AB provided an explanation of how a defibrillator could be operated, noting that the 999 emergency service would be able to provide a caller with the location of the nearest equipment. AB added that the sooner a defibrillator can be applied to a person suffering from a cardiac arrest, the better. AB noted that the cost of a defibrillator varies, but that they are in the region of £1,000, although they are available to rent, whereby companies agree to install, service and maintain them at approximate cost of £1.00 per day. AB commented that she felt they were the best thing to keep a patient alive until and ambulance could arrive.
In response to a question from a Parishioner, TF confirmed that the defibrillators do require a source of power. AB noted that she had seen them housed in telephone boxes. LH noted that the Parish Council had discussed their presence in the village in the past, but that it now seemed that the costs involved had reduced. AB added that there seemed to be a recognition of the benefits of have defibrillators and of the wellness of patients after a cardiac rest following the use of the equipment. AB commented that there was information available regarding ambulance response times and that they were of concern when applied to West Dereham. TF commented on the different options available for training and costs.
LH asked the Parish Clerk to include an item on defibrillators in the next Parish newsletter. In response to a Parishioner’s question of the best funding options, TF noted that if defibrillators were purchased by the Parish Council, then the maintenance and regular checks would need to be carried out and parts would need to be periodically replaced and spares stored . LH questioned whether the village hall management committee might consider as a joint project with the Parish Council, especially if there is the need to organise training in the use of the equipment?
11. NCC Consultation – Norfolk Minerals and Waste Local Plan: Preferred Options Consultation (for decision by 30 October 2019)
The Parish Clerk displayed a field map of the area where the west side of Lime Kiln Road meets the A134 road, on the overhead projector.
The Parish Clerk confirmed that the Consultation period was from 18th September until 30th October and noted that the Parish Council had not been in a position to publicise the subject in the recent newsletter. The Parish Clerk commented that the consultation is part of a process that started a few years ago and its timetable extends into the future and the Parish Council have been asked to comment by 30th October. The Parish Clerk noted that the area in question is one of the potential preferred options to create a mineral quarry. The Parish Clerk added that he had seen a number of documents available on the NCC planning website on the subject of consultation of potential mineral extraction across Norfolk. The Parish Clerk noted that he had identified two separate documents that implied slightly conflicting information as to the NCC Planners thinking about the potential of the Lime Kiln Road site and the dates of the documents. As a result the Parish Clerk contacted the NCC planners for clarification who advised that:
“M32.19 Conclusion: The site is considered to be unsuitable for allocation because:
• Any mineral working on this site would have unacceptable impacts on the landscape. It is considered that screening/bunding proposed to mitigate such impacts would be intrusive in its own right.”
KG noted that documentation that he had received 5 years previously showed that the mineral extraction could be extended along the edge of the A134 as far as the junction of Bath Road. KG commented that at another site the visual impact of the extraction had been overcome by adding a conveyor belt positioned under a road.
In response to a Parishioner’s question, The Parish Clerk read out a further extract:
M32.3 Historic environment: The historic landscape character of the site is Twentieth Century agriculture with boundary loss. The site is within a wider historic landscape character of Twentieth century agriculture with boundary loss and enclosure, agriculture with 18th to 19th century piecemeal enclosure, mineral extraction and 18th to 20th century woodland plantation.
M32.4 The nearest Listed Building is the Grade I Church of St Andrew which is 720m away. There are 26 Listed Buildings within 2km of the site (11 of these are headstones at the Church of St Andrew). A further 8 Listed Buildings are in Wereham Conservation Area which is 1.36km from the site. There is one Scheduled Monument within 2km of the site, the ‘remains of monastic grange with moated site at Grange Farm’, which is 180m away. Stradsett Hall, a Registered Historic Park and Garden is 1.99km from the site. A planning application for mineral extraction at this site would need to include a Heritage Statement to identify heritage assets and their settings, assess the potential for impacts and identify appropriate mitigation measures if required.
M32.5 Archaeology: The site is located within an area of interest, and there are Historic
Environment records that features exist within the site boundary, and that finds have been found within the site boundary. However, there has not been any programme of investigations. A number of Anglo-Saxon buildings and remains of burial mounds were found during excavations on adjacent land, and the site is in a wider landscape with a significant number of finds and features from multiple periods. Therefore, there is the potential that unknown archaeology exists on the site and an assessment of the significance of archaeological remains will be required at the planning application stage, in order to protect and mitigate the impact of mineral extraction in this site. The archaeology assessment may initially be desk-based but may need to be followed up with field surveys and trial-trenching.”
LH commented that all the historic planning documents are available on the NCC website.
LH noted that she felt a lot of the historic documents showing comments, observations and objections have been reflected.
A Parishioner commented that this is a continuation of where the consultation was eleven years ago and the archaeological digs and investigations did take place but were not thought to be of any significance. The Parishioner continued that the quarries at Crimplesham were meant to have closed some years ago, but are still operational and have now had 3 retrospective extensions over a period of time, noting that they were originally advertised as being owned by a small company that then extended its commercial interests and this produced an increased number of large lorries in the area and now the business has been sold onto a much larger company. The Parishioner warned that both areas of land mentioned, either side of Lime Kiln Road, are both owned by NCC and noted that the last time the matter came before the village there were a large number of handwritten objections submitted that had a large impact, however, it was now important that villagers were informed again of the position with the consultation and expressed concern that if the proposal did go ahead that there would be a long period of quarrying ahead thereby changing the village, noting that it already provides a current public service for recycling at one of the village and could potentially have a public service of quarrying at the other end, thereby surrounding the area by industry.
The Parishioner concluded that the people of the village need to know about the situation in far more detail, as it is important to still have the opportunity to object to the development, even at the proposal stage of the planning and that the Parish Council needs to produce something comprehensive and explain that the deadline is quite close. A Parishioner questioned whether any contact had been made with the Crimplesham and Wereham Parish Councils who would also be affected by the proposal. The Parish Clerk agreed to contact both Parish Councils for their views.
12. To consider Parish Council Internal Affairs and Policies
12.1 West Dereham Cemetery Regulations
LH requested that a section be included to ensure that there is no future parking in the cemetery. LH requested that the Parish Clerk clarifies the position and charges for children’s burials.
AB raised the question of how the future management of the Natural Burial area trees should operate? The Parish Clerk noted that he had discussed the watering of the trees with the Holly Landscapes, the grounds maintenance company, who recommended that in the first 18 months of the trees lives that they should be watered fortnightly and even throughout the winter months. The Parish Clerk added that the company would consider carrying out any additional watering. KG confirmed that there are currently 7 dead trees. KG commented it might be better not to replace them as in future years the network of the tree’s roots may make burials difficult, unless they were grown on the perimeter. LH commented that the dead trees need to be removed. SG questioned whether bushes or shrubs might be used as alternatives to the trees.
A Parishioner noted that the original trees were planted for their variety and understood the spread of the root systems were deemed as appropriate for the Natural Burial area. The Parishioner added that the first group of trees were planted during very bad weather conditions and then experienced a period of drought. SG expressed concern at the practical issues of maintaining and keeping the trees watered.
A Parishioner suggested adding a small amount into the budget when discussing the next Precept.
It was agreed that the Parish Clerk contact Holly Landscapes regarding future watering and to review the Regulations at the next Parish Council meeting.
12.2 Tenancy Agreement for Allotment Gardens
TF commented that at a recent Parish Councillor’s Allotment Inspection a question was raised about the size of permitted greenhouses. An Allotment Holder questioned what was defined as industrial glass (Term 3f) as she had been unable to obtain an explanation. KG commented that horticultural glass, that is thinner, should be used. The Allotment Holder also commented that a 6 feet by 4 feet greenhouse is too small to be of practical value in terms of growing fruit and vegetables.
TF noted that the provision of water had also been discussed at the Allotment Inspection and he recommended that adding two water containers with a purpose built roof to collect rainwater and review their effectiveness over the next year. TF added that he felt the Council had failed to keep two of the plots cleared and that weeds had been a problem to the Allotment Holders and as a result suggested that ground sheets should be purchased for each of the plots (according to their size) for overwintering to keep the weeds down. KG agreed to cut the weeds back on the two unused plots and would then return to plough them, before covering them. It was agreed that Councillors should continue to consider changes to the Allotments.
LH asked the Councillors present if they were content with the revised Tenancy Agreement. All Councillors noted they were content. LH noted that the Tenancy Agreement had been revised.
The Allotment Holder asked the Parish Councillors for their thoughts on having poly tunnels. KG expressed concern regarding their longevity. It was agreed not to allow the introduction of poly tunnels at this time.
13. Approval of application for the erection of a Memorial in the Cemetery
The Parish Clerk circulated the application to Parish Councillors. Parish Councillors agreed that the application complied with the Cemetery Regulations and it was approved.
14. Planning Applications :
14.1 19/01006/F – Construction of New Garage Building at Baretha Basil Road West Dereham Norfolk PE33 9RP – Decision
The Parish Clerk advised that the planning application was considered at the Parish Council’s meeting held in June. He noted that although the meeting was held inquorate, no persons present raised any issues with the application. The Parish Clerk reported that he had received a recent notification stating that the application had been approved.
The Parish Clerk reported that no correspondence had been received.
16. To receive further reports/items of business for the next agenda
16.1 LH reported that she had arranged for a speaker to attend at the start of the next Parish Council meeting from “Friends against Scams”, an initiative from National Trading Standards to speak about the different types of ongoing scams for the public to be aware of.
17. Date of Next Meeting: Thursday 7th November 2019 at 7.30pm.
18. Open Forum
18.1 A Parishioner noted a large pothole in St Andrew’s Walk.
18.2 The Village Hall Treasurer noted that she required Parish Councillor’s details to enable the completion of the Village Hall Trust Deed documentation.
18.3 AB questioned whether the Highway Rangers could look at the ditches at a bridge on Ryston Road where recent flooding had occurred.
19. Close of Meeting. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and final closure of the meeting was at 9.20pm.
Parish Clerk: Peter King – Email: email@example.com Telephone: 01366 502110