DRAFT MINUTES OF A VIRTUAL WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD at 7.00pm
On THURSDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER 2020
Attending by Zoom (Six Councillors) :- Nick Drew (ND), Stuart Glover (SB), Tim Glover (TG), Keith Gore (KG), Lorraine Hunt (LH) Chair and Susan Pepper (SP)
In attendance: Peter King, Parish Clerk, and 9 members of the public, on-line.
MINUTES OF THE MEETING
1. To receive Apologies for Absence: Councillor Tom Foy.
2. To receive 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 on-line. LH noted that the meeting is audio recorded to assist the Parish Clerk in the writing of the minutes.
4. Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 6th August 2020
LH confirmed that all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 6th August 2020.
The Parish Clerk stated that an amendment was required to minute 11.2 whereby a Parishioner had actually observed that the position of the village signs at the north (Lime Kiln Road) and south (Church Road) ends of the village, that they are positioned parallel to the road and not at right angles like most signs, therefore they are very difficult to read until one is very close to them.
The Councillors agreed that they were content with the amended minutes and that they should be signed as a true record . LH as Chair will sign the minutes when possible.
5. Matters Arising
5.1 Ditches, Church Road – The Parish Clerk reported that the Parishioner who had previously reported problems with the ditch outside of her property in Church Road had advised that there had been no further issues.
5.2. Local Footpath (West Dereham to Crimplesham) – The Parish Clerk reported he had received a response from the Norfolk County Council’s local Countryside Access Officer who had requested sight of requested of the documents received in December 2019 described as ‘deposits’. These were forwarded.
The Parish Clerk read out the main part of the message received “I have a good working relationship with Albanwise regarding rights of way and they continue to work with me to manage the paths on their land. I can safely say that they would not attempt to close any registered footpaths.
I am aware that they have recently lodged a deposit with Norfolk County Council [NCC] (as many landowners do) which is aimed at preventing the establishment of new rights of way across land through 20+ years use. I suspect the letter may relate to this, does it mention the Highways Act s31(6)? The process does not however affect existing rights of way. It does allow them to close informal routes or allow the use of others without formal ‘rights’ being established on such routes.
The procedure only protects Albanwise from the date it was lodged (2020) , use of any routes believed to be rights of way before that date may still be claimable if use was for 20 years before the deposit was made……it would be local users or the Parish Council that would need to make the claim to have this tested though, there are more details about the process on the NCC website Public Right of Way (PROW) pages should you wish to investigate certain routes. I am aware that there is a historic issue in that the registered route of the footpath that runs towards Crimplesham is actually a dead end (map was attached) because the “road” it leads to near Crimplesham Church past Manor Farm is not registered as a public road. This may be another section of route that has been in use despite not being formally registered and would benefit from being added to the legal document should sufficient evidence of use be demonstrated. I understand that the historic farm tracks have been used as an alternative to the footpath but again these are not registered as rights of way at this time so we have no jurisdiction over them.”
5.3 Additional Signage – A134 at Lime Kiln Road and Bath Road Junctions – The Parish Clerk reported that he had received confirmation from the Department of Environment, Transport and Development NCC that the Parish Council could apply for funding to provide extra signs on the A134 subject to approval and if the application is successful, 50% of the costs would be made available and the Parish Council would have to fund the remaining 50% of costs. The Parish Clerk noted he had been advised to seek advice from a NCC Highways Department Manager on the signs design and potential costs.
5.4 Potholes – The Parish Clerk reported that Parishioners had reported their concern regarding a large pothole developing in the wooded area of Lime Kiln Road. The Parish Clerk noted that a senior manager of NCC Highways had been in contact stating that the department was aware of the pothole would deal with it as soon as possible, adding that the road might have to be closed for a period of time whilst remedial work is taking place. The Parish Clerk noted that he was aware that a pothole in Hilgay Road was due to be repaired.
5.5 Website Accessibility Requirements – The Parish Clerk reported that in line with other statutory organisations, the Parish Council has to carry out reasonable adjustments and improvements to its website to enable people with disabilities to find it easier to use by various means e.g. voice over data and increasing the sizes of fonts. The Parish Clerk noted it involved a considerable amount of document and screen review of current files held on the website.
5.6 Speed Monitor – The Parish Clerk noted that he and the handyman proposed to resume its use during the week commencing 14th September.
6.1 Chair’s Report
6.1.1 The Chair reported that a Job Advert had been drawn up to advertise for a new Parish Clerk. All Councillors noted they were content with the advert. LH added that the advert would be sent to Norfolk Association of Local Councils, Norfolk Parish Training and Support and the website, Indeed.
6.2 Parish Clerk’s Report
6.2.1 Parish Grounds Maintenance – The Parish Clerk noted that the present grounds maintenance agreement was coming to the end of its term i.e. 31st October 2020. The Parish Clerk added that Councillors will start to review a schedule of works around the Parish and will also the list of items currently covered by the Parish Handyman. The Parish Clerk commented that currently, the grass cutting does not commence until 1st March 2021, therefore Councillors have some time to complete a working document to enable a process of tender and advertise for a new agreement. In this timescale Councillors will also review the Handyman’s work and maintenance priorities around the village.
6.2.2 Natural Burial Area, Electronic Markers – The Parish Clerk noted that he was reviewing the purchase of electronic markers and associated software for the burial plots in the Natural Burial area of the cemetery.
6.3 Handyman’s Report – The Parish Clerk noted that the report covered August.
6.3.1 Attended the Remembrance Garden, in the cemetery to carry out further edging and weeding.
6.3.2 On two occasions strimmed the grass verges around the bridges, the phone boxes, post boxes and the safety signs,
6.3.3 Obtained timber from a local yard to carry out necessary repairs to one of the Church Road planters in preparation for wood staining.
6.4 Police Report
LH reported that the Police town and parish consultation meetings are now being conducted by zoom on-line meetings noting that the West Norfolk meeting will be held on 22nd September. The Parish Clerk reported that the local constabulary were looking for volunteers from the community to take part with a Recruitment Support Panel conducting interviews for potential new police constables. The Parish Clerk noted he would add the details to the Parish Council website.
6.5 Glazewing Report
The Parish Clerk recalled reporting at the last Parish Council meeting several concerns raised by a Parishioner living at Station House, Station Road including the possibility of people sleeping in vehicles within the lorry park area behind their property.
The Parish Clerk noted that he included Councillor Brian Long (BL) into his questions raised with BCKLWN and NCC as he had previously chaired a liaison meeting held with Glazewing and local authority representatives.
The Parish Clerk commented that a Glazewing manager had confirmed that there were a couple of contractors using their van as temporary accommodation and noted that they had consulted with the BCKLWN Planning Enforcement Department and NCC to make them aware of this arrangement. The Parish Clerk noted that BL seemed satisfied that those authorities had been consulted.
The Parish Clerk also raised the concerns of the possible storage of gas in connection with showers or welfare facilities. The Glazewing manager confirmed that welfare facilities are currently provided for their staff and contractors and have no plans to add any additional facilities in the immediate future and believes a misunderstanding may have taken place regarding the storage of gas and assumes it might be that British Gas provide and service their electricity that is in place in the lorry park area. The Parish Clerk added that he had written to the Parishioner explaining this information and was not aware of any new concerns.
6.6 Village Hall Report
SP read out the Village Hall Treasurer’s report to the meeting; The accounts stand at
Reserve Account: £1,720.09
Bar Current Account: £6843.09, less expenditure of £1015.70 = £5827.39.
“I am delighted to report that over the last month and recent weeks, we have had quite a productive time ensuring that the maintenance and upkeep of the Village Hall has been kept up to standard and working towards being Covid-19 secure. The new glass washer has now been fully installed into the Bar.
The Insurance claim to our Insurers has now been authorised for payment to us for the replacement of the Foyer main doors which are currently in a damaged condition. We have received bookings for next year, which is encouraging. Yesterday 2nd September, the Village Hall underwent a thorough deep clean by a local, reputable cleaning company, which has given the hall a whole fresh feel to it.
Financially, we are quite stable and have just renewed the West Dereham Village Hall website for another year. This will be updated in due course. (www.westderehamvillagehall.co.uk) We also have two new co-opted members, who have joined the West Dereham Village Hall Management Committee, which is another positive towards the future of our Village Hall.”
SP concluded that the VHMC are working towards opening the bar on a Sunday and looking to promote BCKLWN Alive Leisure in West Norfolk by supporting on the National Fitness Day on 23rd September by producing information to encourage local parishioners to take part in cycle or walk around the village and then provide some refreshments afterwards in the hall for participators.
Andy Challen (WDVHMC) added that he wanted to reassure the Parish that there were ongoing measures being put in place to refresh the governance that he is working on, for the committee to then consider, likewise a communication strategy is being planned to make sure that the local community understands how the village hall is moving forward and how changes will be implemented and that this information will be made available for Parishioners to see.
7. Finance Report
7.1 Accounts for August 2020 – Payments
7.1.1 Cash Flow Book August 2020 – The Parish Clerk noted that he had distributed copies of the Cash Flow to those on-line before the meeting. The Parish Clerk reported income of £250.00 received for two memorial stones to be placed in the Cemetery. The Parish Clerk reported that the July expenditure aggregated to a total of £3,290.49.
7.1.2 Cheque Payments for Approval from August 2020 – The Parish Clerk itemised the payments that were now due.
Payee Cheque No Net VAT Gross Remarks
Pear Technology 101175 £225.00 £45.00 £270.00 Annual Support & software updates
R Poole 101176 £214.86 £0.00 £214.86 Handyman August Pay, purchase, mileage & allowance
Norfolk Parish Training & Support 101180 £40.00 £0.00 £40.00 Councillor’s training course
West Dereham Village Hall 101177 £1,500.00 £0.00 £1,500.00 Annual Support
P. King 101178 £680.63 £0.00 £680.63 Parish Clerk’s August 20 salary and expenses
Holly Landscapes 101179 £487.50 £97.50 £585.00 Ground Maintenance – July 2020
Total £3,147.99 £142.50 £3,290.49
7.1.3 In response to a question from a Parishioner regarding the training course expenditure, LH noted that the Parish Council is trying to organize some bespoke roles and responsibilities on committees training which would be available to other village organisations and interested Parishioners.
7.1.4 LH asked Councillors present and on-line if they were content with the August payments. All Councillors noted that they were content. LH stated that the cheques and control processes would be signed off as soon as possible.
7.2 Setting of the Precept for the Financial Year 2021/22
LH commented that this was the time of the year to start discussions for the process of formalising the annual Precept for the financial year 2021/22, in preparation for setting the Parish Council’s budget. LH noted that the Precept figure is usually set at the December Parish Council meeting as the Parish Council does not usually meet during January when the submission needs to be made to the BCKLWN finance department.
A Parishioner questioned whether the Parish Council had considered a plan for rewilding, in terms of looking after grass verges and other village grassed areas. The Parishioner noted that in some other villages in the region of 25% of the land mass is turned over to rewilding, including some villagers who take part by using some of their own land in providing benefits to animal-life in the local area. The Parishioner noted that rewilding also potentially provides a financial saving. LH commented that this would be an item that Councillors could consider in their budget setting discussions.
8. Approval of application for the erection of a new memorial in the Cemetery
The Parish Clerk noted that the dimensions and typeface presented by the stonemason for the memorial stone was in compliance with the West Dereham Parish Council Cemetery Regulations.
Councillors gave approval for the memorial stone to be accepted, subject to clarification to regarding a colour included in the design in the application.
9. To comment on planning applications currently received
The Parish Clerk confirmed that no planning applications had been received.
10. To consider Parish Council Internal Affairs and Policies
10.1 Grant Awarding Policy and Application Form
LH proposed an amendment and asked Councillors present if they were content with the Grant Awarding Policy and Application Form. All Councillors were content. LH noted that the Grant Awarding Policy and Application Form had been amended and reviewed.
10.2 Community Engagement Strategy
LH noted that the Community Engagement Strategy refers to issuing a monthly newsletter and commented that the Parish Council needs to consider its publishing, printing and circulation. A Parishioner questioned whether the newsletter was to be resurrected. Another Parishioner questioned whether there was a means of surveying who would be happier to receive a hard copy and others who would prefer an electronic version. LH commented that there would need to be further discussion regarding the publication and distribution of a future newsletter to ensure which proposed method reaches as many people as possible. The Parish Clerk noted conflicting information concerning the organisation of two advertised local Safer Neighbourhood Teams in the area.
LH asked Councillors present if they were content with the amendments proposed to the Community Engagement. All Councillors were content. LH noted that the Community Engagement Strategy had been amended and reviewed.
10.3 Reporting Policy
LH proposed that the Policy should include a note that the Parish Clerk records the meeting for the purpose of creating the minutes. LH asked Councillors present if they were content with the amendments proposed to the Reporting Policy. All Councillors were content. LH noted that the Reporting Policy had been amended and reviewed.
10.4 Sickness Absence Policy
LH asked Councillors present if they were content with the Sickness Absence Policy without making any amendments. All Councillors were content. LH noted that the Sickness Absence Policy had been reviewed.
10.5 Training Policy
LH proposed two amendments and asked Councillors present if they were content with the amendments to the Training Policy. All Councillors were content. LH noted that the Training Policy had been amended and reviewed.
11.1 The Parish Clerk reported that he had received an email from a Parishioner expressing concern regarding overhanging trees on Bath Road. The Parish Clerk noted that he would be writing to the landowners.
11.2 The Parish Clerk reported that he had received a letter from a Parishioner regarding the present arrangement for burials in the natural burial area of the cemetery and concern relating to the current condition of the planted trees and their need for regular watering.
Councillors agreed that a plan needs to be put in place to address planting and to discuss further.
LH asked the Parish Clerk to contact the Parishioner and accept her further thoughts on the matter.
12. To receive further reports/items of business for the next Parish Council agenda
Councillors had nothing to report or add to the next meeting agenda.
13. Date of Next Meeting – LH noted that the next Parish Council meeting is due to be held virtually on-line on Thursday 1st October 2020 at 7.00pm.
LH commented that if Parishioners are aware of anybody are unable to join the Parish Council meetings held on-line, or have any comments or queries, to contact the Parish Clerk or any of the Parish Councillors.
14. Open Forum
14.1 A Parishioner requested that those attending this evening’s Parish Council meeting be automatically sent the meeting link for the following meeting. Another Parishioner requested that attempts are made to circulate more widely the meeting details and suggested using a local Facebook site. A Parishioner stated that as well as the information being made available on the website, it should be added to the noticeboards and posted through letterboxes.
Close of Meeting. The Chair thanked everyone joining the meeting. The meeting closed at 7.56pm
Parish Clerk: Peter King – Email: email@example.com Telephone: 01366 502110