Stoke Ferry Parish Council Meeting September

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Draft (until approved at the next meeting)
Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on
Wednesday 9 September 2020 at 7.00 pm, Virtually online via Zoom
Cllr Sue Lintern (Chair)
Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey (Vice-Chair) (From 133/20 to end)
Cllr Stuart Collins
Cllr Andrew Hayward
Cllr Trudy Mann
Cllr Janet Taylor
Helen Richardson (Parish Clerk and Financial Responsible Person)
Also, in Attendance
Public – 1
Cllr Colin Sampson, Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk
Cllr Martin Storey, Norfolk County Council
Stephen Ward and Alan Lury Representatives from the Bluebell Pub Campaign
150/20 Openness and Transparency Notice
The Chair read the notice.
151/20 Aggressive and Abusive Behaviour
The Chair read the notice.
152/20 To Receive and Consider Acceptance for Apologies of Absence
Apologies were received and accepted from Cllr Donna Stocking, Cllr Gail Reeve and Cllr Mandy Leamon (All personal reasons).
153/20 To Receive Declarations of Interest from Members
Cllr Sue Lintern declared an interest regarding Planning Application for tree maintenance detailed within the Clerks report at item 155/20.
Cllr Trudy Mann and Cllr Janet Taylor declared an interest regarding the Bluebell public house at item 156/20.
154/20 To Approve the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 12 August 2020
There were two minor amendments to the draft minutes to clarify that the flowers for the tubs at the War Memorial needed to be red, white, or blue aside to other donations of plants. The second amendment is to clarify that the funding for the Neighbourhood Planning consultants would cost £1600 made up of £1000 from the additional grant funding and £600 from allocated Parish Council budget.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Ordinary meeting held on 12 August 2020 with minor amendments detailed in the minutes of this meeting be approved as a correct record. (Cllr Andrew Hayward proposed, Cllr Trudy Mann seconded, all were in favour).
155/20 To Note Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting.
Matters arising and the Clerk’s report was noted as follows:
Buckenham Drive Land Transfer –An update was received from the BCKLWN end of August to confirm that they were reviewing options and would response asap. It is hoped that this can be added to the October agenda.
Indigo Road Streetlights –The Clerk emailed the Borough Council Planning team mid-August who agreed to investigate it.
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Website Hosting – The Cost of the hosting was lower at £120 not £144 as presented at the last meeting.
NP Grant Grounds Works UK – Confirmed as being paid into the Parish Council’s bank account on 14 August 2020 totalling £5980.
Plant Tubs and Cement Works to the Memorial – The Clerk fed back on email to the volunteer the resolution from the August meeting regarding these requests in the horticultural update. There had been some donations of plants since the last meeting and the Parish Council wished thanks to those who had come forward.
Grant Funding – The Parish Council was eligible for grant funding from the BCKLWN to the total of £10k in that it received small business rate relief regarding the cemetery as of 11 March 2020. The BCKLWN approached Parish Councils as they had been included in an amended form of the funding which closed at the 28 August 2020. The BCKLWN assessed the application and it was successful and has been deposited into the PC account since.
Planning Application Decisions Received
20/00828/F Stoke Ferry the Apiary Furlong Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9SU – Demolition of front porch and erection of replacement. Demolition of single storey rear building and erection of two storey rear extension. Application Permitted 31 July 2020 Delegated Decision.
20/00135/TREECA Stoke Ferry Trafalgar House Bridge Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn
Norfolk PE33 9TB – T1 Cherry tree – Fell T2 Prunus – Prune lift canopy thin crown and remove top leaders Tree Application – No objection 20 August 2020
20/01057/PACU3 Stoke Ferry Land and Buildings Immediately N to NE of The Old Farm
House Oxborough Road Stoke Ferry Norfolk – Notification for Prior Approval for change of use of agricultural buildings to 5 dwellinghouses (Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q) Application Withdrawn 24 August 2020 Withdrawn Application
20/01218/F Removal of garage, extension to dwelling and construction of new garage at Cockshill Oxborough Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9SY – Application withdrawn. 01.09.20 Notified.
Planning Applications Submitted No Consultation Required
20/00155/TREECA Stoke Ferry Trees in a Conservation Area: T 1,2,3. Mixed Cypress. Dismantle, process, and remove. These trees are oppressive, permission is sought to remove and replace them with something ornamental and more in keeping with the ambience of the
immediate locale. The Old Bull Bridge Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9TB
156/20 To Discuss and Approve Any Actions or Costs in Relation to the Bluebell Campaign Project and a Public Works Loan, to include decisions about public consultation methods
The Chair wished to congratulate the Bluebell Campaign Group on the Bank Holiday event. The appeal for the planning application by the current owners of the Bluebell had been refused.
Stephen Ward Chairman of the Bluebell campaign, provided the following update:
• Thank you to everyone who had helped to promote the Bank Holiday event.
• £1200 had been fundraised from the Bank Holiday Event which was positive response by the Community.
• The Group was pressing on, the refusal of the planning appeal was good news for the campaign.
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• The group had applied for seed funding totalling £2.5k from the Plunkett Foundation which would be used to procure a survey on the Bluebell. The survey would allow the group to understand what the costs would be for renovation. It was hoped that results from the funding application would be available very soon.
• The group were also preparing an application to the Plunket Foundation for a 50% grant and 50% loan for £100k. The fund is incredibly competitive with lots of funding currently being allocated to Covid-19 related activity.
• The group’s Business Plan had been in draft for some time, which included a community benefit statement and an outline share offer.
• The prospect of raising the funds to buy and renovate the property was a committed task to raise £180k to purchase the property and potentially a further £100k to renovate it. The group were pleased that the Parish Council were considering a Public Works Loan which would result in the ownership of the Bluebell Pub by the Parish Council and a future facility for the Village.
• Similar projects elsewhere had used a model whereby the Parish Council purchased the property and a Community Benefit Society was set up to raise the funds to renovate and run the building.
• An offer from the owner to loan the group £100k had been received by the group. The Chair confirmed that the Parish Council had received the same response and would be discussing a reply in due course. The deadline for response had been one month.
Following a query Stephen confirmed there had been no communications on the details around the terms of sale with the owner at this point. They had sent a holding email to them, however. There were also conditions within the terms of the sale of the property that would need some focus.
Following a query about the group considering part of the building providing holiday lets, Stephen advised that the group had discussed whether B&B accommodation might be possible, but it wasn’t in the Business Plan and the project had not been dependent on it financially, but all options would be considered as the project moved forward.
The Chair advised that information had been circulated to the Council on the Public Works Loan and various payment scenarios involved with taking out a Public Works Loan. The Chair shared that the Parish Council would need to gauge public opinion via a public survey and consultation, and currently Parish Councils did not have to hold a referendum to do so.
Stephen shared that the group hoped that the running of the pub and profit would go towards any loan the Parish Council took out to make it cost neutral. He added that the group’s idea was a building and a pub for drinking and eating but together with the core proposal of serving the community in other ways. If there were alternative premises, they would be open to explore.
Cllr Sue Lintern proposed that the Parish Council hold an Extraordinary Parish Council meeting to gauge how we can proceed with the project and if the Public Works Loan is something the village would like to proceed, all Councillors present were in favour.
It was agreed to wait to hold the Extraordinary Parish Council meeting until the group had more specific costs available, possibly in October.
Stephen thanked the Parish Council for looking to explore the issue at an Extraordinary meeting and shared that he would be happy to discuss any queries with Councillors if needed.
157/20 To Receive a Neighbourhood Planning Working Group Update
Cllr Andy Hayward shared the report from the Neighbourhood Planning Working group as follows:
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Stoke Ferry Neighbourhood Plan Working Group
Monthly report to Stoke Ferry Parish Council
Date: 02.09.2020
1. Work since our last report of 10th August 2020
• Due to the lockdown across the village which resulted from the Corona Virus pandemic, we were unable to progress the planned second public consultation day and face-to-face stakeholder meetings. This activity has been replaced by a comprehensive household survey, which the NPWG hand delivered to every private residence and business within the parish, some 500+ properties.
• Surveys are due to be returned by the 14th September and four banners have been erected at strategic places within the village to encourage residents to either complete their paper survey or online via the NPWG website. Publicity has also been sought through the local papers (EDP and Lynn News) and through Stoke Ferry’s face-book page.
• Two Working Group sub-meetings were held via Zoom on August 4th and 25th.
• The sub-Group dealing with the ‘Village Character Appraisal’ has continued apace with a target comple-tion date of mid-September. This work is required input to the Housing Needs Analysis and the Urban Design Codes – two consultancy assignments to be conducted by AECOM.
2. Work planned through September/October 2020
• Analysis of the returned surveys will take place after the deadline of the 14th September. Feedback from the returned surveys will be used to draft a set of policies and as input to the Housing Needs Analysis.
• AECOM are scheduled to begin The Housing Needs Analysis work in September. This is a three-month process.
• The recent Govt white paper on planning changes emphasises the need for good design in Neighbour-hood Plans and therefore, we intend to advance our application for a grant for Urban Design codes. This is a fully supported financial grant application.
• The NPWG are planning to hold a workshop on 17th October to begin drafting the Neighbourhood plan document, review the draft policies and plan the second public consultation day tentatively due to take place sometime in November (dependant on the latest pandemic govt. advice).
3. Consultancy, Funding and Financial costs to-date
• Funding:
o We have received the balance, £5,972 grant funding.
o The Housing needs grant was approved, and the work is being started.
o We are also applying for a Technical Grant (Design Codes) from Locality which will cover the cost of a professional urban designer to work alongside the Working Group, harnessing our ideas and local knowledge, and produce bespoke urban design guides or codes for potential development sites.
3. Agreement Needed by SFPC
• Agreement that NPWG can proceed with the following funding applications for:
o A technical grant to fully fund the cost of providing Urban Design codes
RESOLVED: That funding to cover the Technical Grant (Design Codes) from Locality be applied for at no cost to the Council be approved. (Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey approved, Cllr Janet Taylor seconded, all were in favour)
158/20 To Discuss and Approve Any Action in Relation to the 2Agriculture Mill
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Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey advised that the Environment Agency had responded to his recent enquiry and they had generally signposted him to the BCKLWN and other Government agencies and in his view were not taking responsibility for the issues that had been raised. He added that he had hoped that the Environment Agency would provide an indication through communications on whether the Mill was relocating from the village.
The Chair shared that the latest planning information received earlier that day showed that they had applied for a site in Snettisham which clearly stated that the purpose was for relocation from Stoke Ferry. The application was on the Breckland District Council Planning website. There had been a virtual public consultation and it was unclear what the results to date had been.
159/20 To Discuss and Approve Any Action in Relation to the Old Railway Site, Bridge Road
The Developer had advised the Council in August via email to the Clerk that no development would take place on the site for around the next 12 months’ due to soil conditions being ‘soft’. The Clerk had queried with them the material that had been placed on the site that appeared to be ‘rubbish’, but they were advised that it was to build the road infrastructure, however pictures of the material had been further queried and a response was awaited. The Council understood that the site was within the Conservation Area and the Clerk agreed to remind them of this when next in communication.
160/20 To Approve Design in relation to the Village Gates Sign
There were four draft designs shared for approval of final design.
RESOLVED: That the Gate design 1 shown with letter style type on Gate design 4 show with removal of Welcomes Safe Drivers be approved. (Five were in favour and one were against)
Cllr Andy Hayward agreed to send over artwork to the Clerk to receive costs which would be discussed at the October meeting.
161/20 To Approve Any Works for the Norfolk County Council Highways Rangers
The Clerk agreed to report the following to the Highways rangers:
• Verges needed weeding on Wretton Road and Bridge Road.
• Furlong Drove at the junction onto the A134 had hedges that required cutting for a vision splay.
• On School Lane by the houses there, there was Wild Dog Rose growing out into the road within the verge that needed cutting.
162/20 To Discuss Remembrance Sunday Arrangements and Purchase of Any Related Items or Costs
The Clerk had purchased 19 crosses for Remembrance Sunday as a deadline was provided for end of August by the Royal British Legion due to Covid-19. The purchase of these crosses was approved. (Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey proposed, Cllr Stuart Collins seconded, all were in favour).
Cllr Janet Taylor and Cllr Trudy Mann agreed to work together on arrangements for the Remembrance Sunday and it was agreed to discuss at the October meeting particularly to review Covid-19 requirements on what was possible for the event this year.
163/20 To Approve Meeting Dates 2021 – All first Wednesday of each month from January to December 2021 including the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council and Annual Parish Meeting in May.
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RESOLVED: That Dates for the Stoke Ferry Parish Council Ordinary meetings continue to be held all on the first Wednesday of each month from January to December 2021 including the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council and Annual Parish Meeting in May. (Cllr Janet Taylor proposed, Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey seconded, all were in favour).
164/20 To Approve Annual Membership to the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) for Parish Clerk & RFO
RESOLVED: That the Annual Membership to the SLCC for the Parish Clerk be approved at £53.66. (Cllr Sue Lintern proposed, Cllr Janet Taylor seconded, all were in favour).
165/20 To Approve New Parish Council Report Template
RESOLVED: That the template be approved for use. (Cllr Sue Lintern proposed, Cllr Andy Hayward seconded, all were in favour).
166/20 To Approve the Payments
The payments were presented for approval as follows:
Payment for
Clerks Wages and Expenses -August 20 (including refund of Microsoft 365 Licence due to expiry £41.99 including VAT with 30% discount)
August 2020 – Bins
Grounds Maintenance
August 2020 – Grass only cut once due to being brown plus weed spraying
Community Action Norfolk
Return of Covid19 Community Response Fund Entirely Unspent Due to Volunteers Not wishing to Claim Expenses
The Parish Council applied to the Covid-19 Community Response Fund early on at the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak in order to cover any volunteer expenses, but all volunteers during that time had done so without requesting any expenses for the duration. Norfolk Community Foundation who managed the fund had asked awardees for an update on whether the funds had been spent and if it was unlikely there might be any spend. The Chair had checked with the volunteers and all of them were happy to proceed without making a claim for expenses and therefore it was proposed to return the grant back via approval within the payments to be made this month.
The Parish Council agreed that it needed to duly thank the volunteers for the time since lockdown in March and as they continue to do so by assisting residents with errands.
RESOLVED: That the payments for August 2020 as presented be approved. (Cllr Sue Lintern proposed, Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey seconded, all were in favour).
167/20 Urgent Matters – Chairman
The Chair shared that on the October agenda would be the Santa Challenge 2020 but there was a need to start to advertise now. The Chair wished to confirm with the Council that they were happy to go ahead this year with the event and agree a date. All Councillors unanimously
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agreed to hold the event and on Sunday 6th December. The Chair added that the Pump had agreed to sponsor it again and they were providing a £50 prize for the winner.
168/20 To Receive Urgent items of concern & matters to be included on the next agenda from the Parish Council and note forward items
• A design for the Village Map would be circulated to Councillors very soon.
• It was agreed to monitor litter in the village regarding additional signage.
• FP17 was overgrown at the bottom part near Buckenham Drive and needed attention, the Clerk agreed to ask the Handyman to look at it.
169/20 Cllr Colin Sampson (BCKLWN) and Cllr Martin Storey (NCC), if in attendance
They had to depart earlier in the meeting, so the Clerk provided some information on their behalf:
• Unitary Council for Norfolk was back on the agenda and to watch this space.
• There was a Paint Amnesty at the local recycling centres and to check the website for details.
• Both websites for the BCKLWN and NCC had information contained regarding Covid-19 and other matters.
• If there were any issues, they were happy to assist and to contact them.
170/20 To Adjourn the meeting to allow for public comments
The Chair adjoined the meeting to allow public comments. The only Member of public was asked to unmute or turn their video on should they have any comments and there was noted there was none as it remained muted and with video turned off.
The Chair reconvened the meeting.
171/20 To Confirm the Date of the Next Ordinary Meeting – Wednesday 7 October 2020 at 7 pm.
The date of the next meeting was noted.
172/20 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC The Council to pass a resolution excluding the press and public from the meeting in accordance with Section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted. To Discuss and Approve a HR Related Matter.
RESOLVED: That the HR Related Matter be resolved regarding salary and the Local Government Pay Agreement 2020/21. (Cllr Sue Lintern proposed, Cllr Andy Hayward seconded, all were in favour).
Meeting Closed at 9.00 pm.

The Blue Bell Campaign

Thank you!
Thank you to everyone who joined in with the Village takeover on Bank Holiday Monday. Stoke Ferry truly was the Blue Bell for the day!
It was a huge turnout that shows how much we all want to see a real village pub in Stoke Ferry again. One-third of all households responded to our survey back in the spring and there was strong feeling then. Judging from Monday’s event, there’s even more enthusiasm now.
So many of you turned up that we sold out of Bobbin’s Bakes’ delicious cakes, the great Norfolk beers and delicious international wines very quickly.
We are sorry if you missed out, but we are sure you enjoyed the live music from 200 Not Out and the chance to win some of the great raffle prizes.
The great news is that the sale of cakes, wines, beers, teas, coffees and raffle tickets raised £1, 200 on the day. The next day we also received a very generous donation of £100 from FutureDev, a local IT company who support the cause! All this money will be used to help fund the next stages of the campaign to establish the Blue Bell as a community pub and hub.
Winners of the many raffle prizes have all now been contacted as well as the winners of the treasure hunt raffle. The skilful winner of the wine competition, Steve McKenny – who scored the maximum five marks – has taken delivery of his case of six bottles of wine.

Continue reading

19th Century Game Laws; complicated and socially challenging. Jim McNeill, Stoke Ferry

The Game Laws of England in the 1800s derived from the Forest Laws set down at the time of the Norman Invasion (1066). Over the intervening 800 years such laws became fiendishly complex, and politcally and socially challenging. These challenges were felt no more strongly than in West Norfolk where the hunting of game was, on the whole, organised by the two Henry Villebois’, father and son, from their country seat of Marham House(1).
Between 1671-1831, a system of rank and property qualifications resulted in the landed classes having the exclusive right to pursue game. During this period no one could kill even a hare unless they possessed land worth £100 a year, or were the leasee of ninty-nine years of land worth £150 a year, or were the eldest son of an esquire or of higher social status, or were the owner of privilaged places such as a chase(2) or a warren, for example the large warrens of Shouldham and Methwold..
Naturally this meant the creation of a system where country gentlemen were preeminant in field sports. The law also provided them with game laws, which they wrote, and codes which allowed them as local magestraits to lay down the harshest of penalties for anyone illeagally taking game.
The Game Law Act of 1831 abolished the property qualifications element of social privalage and modified the severity of poaching laws. While this Game Law reform satisfied some elements in society there was still extreme bitterness held by tenant farmers and the rural poor who had seen the loss of their common lands and suffered under the effects of land enclosures and toll roads. This was felt nowhere more strongly than in West Norfolk.
But first, when we speak of English Game Laws, exactly what game did they cover? One might think that they covered all animals and birds that could be hunted for sport, i.e. deer, rabbits, hares, partridges, pheasants, moor fowl, wild ducks, foxes, otters and badgers, but this was not strictly the case. The game laws only covered hares, partridges, pheasants and moor fowl; these were the only animals that were offered protection by legislation for the “preservation of game”. There were no property qualifications for the hunting of any other kind of animal. That said there were statutes which came into force that, under certain circumstances, made the taking of deer and rabbits illeagal.
So, why were only some animals covered by the Game Laws? Well, bagers, foxes and otters, although pursued for sport, were considered ‘vermin’ which preyed upon domestic fowl. As such, under common law, anyone had a right to protect their chickns, geese, ducks, etc by killing ‘vermin’. Though naturally, gentlemen hunters, especially as fox hunting increased in popularity during the 18th and 19th Centuries, took a very different view! Thus, as the hunting fraterity ensured that ‘vermin’ were preserved, there was no reason to pass any other law. Wild duck, on the other hand, which was only hunted at specific times of the year, was a rather different story. Wild duck hunting mainly took place on duck decoy farms. Found all along the coast of England, including the long coast of our county, decoy farms were areas created in order to attract wild ducks to land. As such, they were private property and the duck (now classed as semi-wild) became the direct property of the landowner who could hunt them as he/she wished. Thus, again, there was little need to bring in Game Laws for wild duck. Finally, why weren’t deer and rabbits covered by Game Laws? The answer lies in one word; ‘enclosure’. During the 18th and 19th Centuries land across England was ‘enclosed’ and its ownership came into the posession of a shrinking number of rich landowners who enclosed and ringfenced their lands with hedges. Hence, within enclosures, just as we see today as we walk along our local lanes, wild animals were resticted to specific areas where they could be bred and fed until the landowner permitted them to be hunted and killed. As such the animals, though not truly domesticated, could not considered to be wild or in need of legal protection and hence they became to be outside the scope of ‘game laws’. In law, wild animals were not considered to be anyone’s pesonal property, so, if a ‘poacher’ came onto the landowner’s property and killed a wild animal the landowner did not suffer a financial loss and the ‘poacher’ could only be charged with tresspass. The enclosure acts passed for each parish, changed this dramatically as the poached animal could be considered to be semi-wild and the landowner could prosecute under common law on the grounds of theft. They could also be assured that the local majistraite would also be most sympatheic, and the most draconian sentences were frequently laid down
As stated earlier, The Game Law Act of 1831 abolished the land-ownership qualification for hunting, yet tenant farmers were still agrieved. They did not feel the Act truly addressed their issues. One reason was that the landed gentry so loved their hunting that the larger estate owners just transferred hunting rights to the same county squires who had organised the local hunts previous to the Act being passed.
At this time The West Norfolk Hunt was organised by Henry Villebois senior (1777-1847). He could afford the expense of running two packs of hounds, for foxes and deer, by using the fabulous wealth he obtained by being a senior share holder in the London-based Truman’s brewery. Villebois ran the hunt from his purposely built, 30 bedroomed mansion in Marham. In total he had an estate of some 1,200 acres and vast local hunting rights over a further 12,000 acres; particularly on the estate lands of the Hare and Berney families of Stow Bardolph and Barton Bendish, respectively (3). In 1831, his son, Henry Villebois junior (1807-86) married Maria Bagge at Stradsett. The Bagge family were the owners of the then recently remodelled Stradsett Hall with its newly enclosed and ringfenced estate. Thus the stage was set for a confrontation between the tenant farmers on these estates and the hunting fraternity.
But tenant farmers were in a difficult economic position. Firstly, they were not allowed to control the population of say pheasants and hares on the land they rented. Prior to 1831, under common law the game on his rented land belonged to him but the game laws excluded him from even touching such creatures! And, while the new Act gave him the rights to take game, his landlord could take away that right by selling those very gaming permissions to a third party, such as Henry Villebois. Thus the tenant had to endure: the effects of the ‘preservation of game’ which ate his crops; hunting across his lands; and the damage done not only by poachers but the gamekeepers and the ‘night-watchers’ who patrolled across his fields twenty-four hours a day. At the same time, should a tenant speak up or try to get payment for damage done to their crops, hedgerows, etc. they risked the ire of their gentleman landlord and the non-renewal of their tenancy. Their situation was made even more difficult if they had borrowed money from their landlord to bring about improvements on their land. Therefore, on the whole, although continually voicing their grievances between themselves the tenants did not feel that they could challenge their masters outright, rather they bit their tongues and touched their forelocks.
This situation changed when opposition to the Corn Laws of 1815-46 (4) became allied with a wider, popular campaign against the Game Laws. A concerted appeal was made to tenant farmers to speak out and air their deep-felt grievances. The argument was that the Corn Laws were only there to protect the interests of large landowners whilst tenant farmers were frustrated in their efforts to be more efficient and produce more grain by the very fact that the large landowners, through their Game Laws, promoted game which destroyed the very grains they grew. As the opponents to the Corn Laws stated, “Why is the people’s food devoured by game?”
By constant campaigning, the Anti-Corn Law League compiled data on the loss of grain due to the Game Laws. Through a series of public meetings they prepared and encouraged tenant farmers to speak their minds at a proposed parliamentary inquiry. At this, the sporting gentry of the country were up in arms. They feared the very idea of reform and refused to entertain any change which interfered with their traditional control of the parish by the county magistracy. And no one was more agitated and more furious than the High Sherriff of Norfolk and local magistrate, Mr Henry Villebois senior of Marham.
By sheer popular pressure, a select commission of inquiry was established in 1846 and Mr Villebois senior was called to give evidence. Villebois was asked about a Mr. Lock who had furnished information to the enquiry. Lock was a tenant farmer on the estates of the Berney family of Barton Bendish. Some years previously, Mr. Lock’s son had been taken to court at Downham Market by one of Villebois’ numerous gamekeepers on a charge he denied, that of shooting a pheasant on his father’s rented land. At the trial Villebois was one of the magistrates and, although he said he stood down while the case was heard, he stayed sitting on the bench. He no doubt felt safe that the remaining magistrates of William Bagge MP, with reserved game lands; Sir Thomas Hare, with reserved lands; Mr Bradfield, of Stoke Ferry, also with reserved lands; Rev. Gale Townley; Rev. Loftus; and Rev. Howman would reach a decision which he would find satisfactory. The son, who was defended by his father, was consequently found guilty of theft. When asked if he remembered Mr. Lock defending his son, Villebois answered, “To be sure he did, and I thought defended him rather too much, and was what we should call bumptious.” It was this last remark , applied to a generation of tenants starting to speak out and not ‘knowing their place’, that was then circulated in newspapers around the country. It was used as an example of the pomposity and arragance of the English sqirearchy. Mr. Lock also complained to the committee that three years earlier he had £4.11s.3d. of damage “done on six acres of mangle wurzel and 11½ acres of wheat” by the West Norfolk Hunt for which he had no compensation.
In the end, any enthusiasm the commission may have had for changing the Game Laws petered out as the Corn Laws themselves were abolished that same year. Hence the Game Laws of 1831 are still, to a large extent relevant today.
The other party which fiercely opposed 19th Century Game Laws was the disposed rural poor. Space permitting, I will write of them, poaching, and a little more on the Villebois family in the November edition of our excellent Village Pump.
(1) In 1846 Villebois senior stated to the Game Laws Commission that he first came to Norfolk in 1803 and he “had been purchasing [land] there ever since…the game took me to that country, and I have stuck there ever since”.
(2) A Chase: a type of common land used for hunting to which there are no specifically designated officers and laws but instead it has reserved hunting rights for one or more persons. It comes from the French word ‘chasse’ which means ‘hunt’.
(3) In fact Henry Villebois senior spent the summer months in his London mansion on Grosvenor Place, near Buckingham Palace. He only spent the winters in Norfolk where he his entire time consisted of hunting with his fox and deer hounds. As well as meeting at the kennels at Marham House, his hounds and gentlemen, both local and from across the county, met frequently at the windmill and ‘the field’ at Stoke Ferry; the Cock and the Swan inns at Methwold; Barton Bendish; Fincham; ‘The Hill’ at Whittington; Castle Acre, Pickenham; Friar’s Thorne and Town Barn, Swaffham; Feltwell, Gooderstone, Narford Hall, Houghton, etc.
(4) The Corn Laws were tariffs on imported food and grain (“corn”) enforced across the UK. The Corn Laws blocked the import of cheap grain, initially by stopping importation below a set price, and then by imposing high import duties, making it too expensive to import grain from abroad, even when food supplies were short. These laws were opposed by the Anti-Corn Law League which was formed in 1839.

Stoke Ferry Parish Council Meeting Minutes – August

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Draft (until approved at the next meeting)
Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on
Wednesday 12 August 2020 at 7.00 pm, Virtually online via Zoom
Cllr Sue Lintern (Chair)
Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey (Vice-Chair) (From Items 128/20-145/20)
Cllr Stuart Collins
Cllr Andrew Hayward
Cllr Mandy Leamon
Cllr Trudy Mann
Cllr Gail Reeve (From Items 128/20-145/20)
Cllr Donna Stocking
Cllr Janet Taylor (From Items 132/20 – 126/20)
Helen Richardson (Parish Clerk and Financial Responsible Person)
Also, in Attendance
Public – 4
Cllr Colin Sampson, Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk
Cllr Martin Storey, Norfolk County Council
Two Representatives from the Bluebell Pub Campaign
128/20 Openness and Transparency Notice
The Chair read the notice.
129/20 To Record Those Councillors Present who do not have a Video Link
There were none.
130/20 To Receive and Consider Acceptance for Apologies of Absence
There were no apologies.
131/20 To Receive Declarations of Interest from Members
Cllr Trudy Mann and Cllr Janet Taylor declared an interest regarding the Bluebell public house at item 134/20.
132/20 To Approve the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 1 July 2020
There were no amendments.
• That the minutes of the Ordinary meeting held on 1 July 2020 be approved as a correct record. (Cllr Gail Reeve proposed, Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey seconded, eight were in favour and one abstained as they had not been present at the meeting).
133/20 To Note Matters Arising from the Minutes of the Last Meeting.
Matters arising and the Clerk’s report was noted as follows:
Greatmans Way – A new bracket needed to be fitted to a streetlight on a new pole installed by UK Power Networks in the case of Health and Safety. The Clerk confirmed £65 plus VAT for a new bracket to be ordered with the contractor early July. This work is now complete.
Buckenham Drive Land Transfer – No update from the Borough Council, the Clerk emailed them on 19th July and have received no response and will continue to chase in August.
Indigo Road Overgrown Bushes – Work to the area was undertaken by the developer.
Old Railway Development – The Clerk had contacted the developer for an update on the site and awaited a response.
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Cemetery – The Handyman filled holes in the cemetery around the edge in July, but they had appeared again, and he will continue to fill and check when grass cutting is taking place.
Sifting Panel (Planning) – The Clerk forwarded information to Cllr Colin Sampson to share at the Borough Council regarding the Stoke Ferry Parish Council’s views on the Sifting Panel.
A response had been received during the week from Cllr Moriarty who advised that the Chair of the Planning Committee would be contacting Parish Council’s in response, and training regarding material planning objections was due to be offered.
Cllr Martin Storey shared that all major applications come to the full Planning Committee, and a few years ago officers were given more powers to make decisions on planning to be more efficient with smaller applications and it was still possible to call in applications where needed. He shared that Cllr Chris Crofts was the Chair of the Planning Committee.
Cllr Colin Sampson shared that he still had issue with the process whereby he is expected to call in any planning applications from the Parish Council’s he represents, and suggested that the Parish Council may wish to still pursue this aspect for a response. He understood that a response was being prepared from the Borough Council to Parish Councils, but it was unclear whether the call-in procedure was to be addressed, he added that the timescale of 21 days made it possible that call-ins were not received in time in the case of annual leave.
The Parish Council noted that a response would be received from the Borough Council in due course.
Planning Application (Received Between Meetings – No Objection)
Demolition of front porch and erection of replacement. Demolition of single storey rear building and erection of two storey rear extension at The Apiary Furlong Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9SU – No objection returned 010720.
Planning Application Decisions Received for Information
20/00118/TREECA Stoke Ferry T1 Silver Birch – Remove within Conservation Area Highfields Boughton Road Stoke Ferry PE33 9ST.
20/00103/TREECA Stoke Ferry The Moorings Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9UE – Works to trees in a conservation area. Tree Application – No objection 15 July 2020 Delegated Decision
20/00118/TREECA Stoke Ferry Highfields Boughton Road Stoke Ferry King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9ST – T1 Silver Birch – Remove within Conservation Area Tree Application – No objection 15 July 2020 Delegated Decision
20/00135/TREECA Stoke Ferry T1 Cherry tree – Fell T2 Prunus – Prune lift canopy thin crown and remove top leaders Trafalgar House Bridge Road Stoke Ferry PE33 9TB
Bridge Road – The Chair confirmed that the pathway had been repaired by Highways.
134/20 To Receive an Update Regarding the Bluebell Pub Campaign
Two representatives of the Bluebell Campaign Group shared that a committee had been formed in the village for the project with members having skills in such areas as catering, legal and company secretarial. The lockdown had knocked the Committee back somewhat, but they had endeavoured to kept activities going with work on draft share offers and business plans. They were looking to get tax relief incentives for the scheme, but this information was pending. There had been a couple of events held online, and for the Bank Holiday on Monday 31st August there would be an event both online and in a real world formality which will include a
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tea garden, beer tasting, lockdown hero celebrations, a treasure hunt and a raffle. It was planned to be advertised on the Bluebell Campaign Website, Facebook and also in the EDP and Radio Norfolk. The Committee were looking to deliver on the brief from the village consultation which highlighted the need for an inclusive pub to drink and eat in, but also a dynamic space where such provision could be made for a Dementia café or weekly low cost meals. It may be possible to offer meeting rooms for business over time. The Plunkett Foundation had sent an email earlier in the day to the Committee, which advised they were now re-opening their fund again, and a grant of £50k for capital investment potentially could be available to the project. They now needed to make their position as strong as possible and submit to this fund by the end of August. The representative discussed purchase prices with the Parish Council and possible costs to refurbish the building inside and out, it was hoped that local tradesmen and volunteers could offer their services also. The Committee needed to further understand if the community were willing to help to fund the project and the extent of available anchor investments that could help move it along further and provide confidence to other investors.
He wished to draw the Parish Council’s attention to an alternative approach whereby a Public Works Loan could be applied for by the Parish Council to purchase the property for use by the community. Money’s raised in addition to this would cover refurbishment. He explained that the Public Works Loan would be paid back through the Stoke Ferry Precept, but it was likely that the pub when up and running would be able to meet the ongoing cost that this presented through its operation.
The representative from the Bluebell Campaign Group shared that the project aimed to be transparent and consultative with the community from the start, as a lot of the community funding would come from within as owners. He shared that the Asset of Community Value application which had been unsuccessful was now in the past as nothing further could be achieved, and the Committee were now moving forward and pursuing other avenues. Following a query, the representative shared that anyone outside the community may purchase a share, and even those abroad may wish to do so as well as crowd funding opportunities.
In answer to queries from the Chair the representative explained that the pub would ultimately be in the Parish Council’s ownership and keeper of the title deeds and a referendum would be held as soon as the Parish Council agreed to undertake it in terms of asking the community whether they wished to proceed with an application for a Public Works Loan.
The Chair thanked the representatives for the update, and shared that the Parish Council would be keen to see how the August bank holiday weekend event went. The Chair shared that the Bluebell Pub and Public Works Loan would be added to the September agenda to discuss any other way that it may be able to provide assistance to the project. The representative advised that by that time they would hopefully have a further update in relation to the Plunkett Foundation funding as well as a progress update on the owner’s planning appeal. The two Bluebell Pub Campaign representatives left the meeting at this point.
135/20 To Receive a Neighbourhood Planning Working Group Update and Approval of Any Project Costs
The Chair shared that two monthly updates had been circulated and placed on the website. Cllr Andrew Hayward highlighted the following areas:
• Projects that had to stop due to the early onset of the Covid-19 outbreak were now re-starting again from July onwards.
• The Neighbourhood Plan Working Group were planning to send a survey around all the village, and there maybe a possible link with the Bluebell project.
• A character assessment was being undertaken by members of the working group across the village and people may notice them out and about. It is around two thirds of the way complete and then the draft document will start to be written.
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• A grant regarding housing needs analysis through Locality was confirmed and conducted through their advisors at AECOM. As part of the housing needs analysis work on housing codes may be relevant to Stoke Ferry but a decision would be made to whether this was a requirement nearer the time.
The Chair shared that costs of survey leaflets and posters for approval was required at £116. This was in place of a consultation day that was not possible due to Covid-19.
RESOLVED: That Payment of £116.00 (no VAT) for survey leaflets and posters for the Neighbourhood Plan project be approved. (Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey proposed, Cllr Andrew Hayward seconded, all were in favour).
136/20 To Receive and Approve Any Costs Arising from a Horticultural Update
A member of public who takes care of the gardens area near The Hill reported they had been weeding and maintaining the area with Cllr Janet Taylor. There had been a request from the volunteers to purchase plants for the two tub planters at the memorial and purchase sand and cement to repoint the paving slabs, totalling £50. The Chair wished to thank the member of public and Cllr Janet Taylor for carrying out the work.
The sand and cement were now to be donated and it was agreed to advertise a request for any plant donations which were white, red or blue. Cllr Donna Stocking agreed to add a request to the Stoke Ferry Market place Facebook page and the Clerk agreed to add to the website. It was agreed that any coming forward for donation the member of public would be asked to call on offers and decide whether they were suitable.
RESOLVED: That purchase of bedding plants up to £20 be approved but only for spend should there be no appropriate donations of plants in red, white, or blue. (Cllr Sue Lintern proposed, Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey seconded, all were in favour).
137/20 To Discuss 2Agriculture Mill Development
Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey shared various queries on his concerns in relation to the mill which included environmental noise, HGV highway damage and dust and air quality monitoring. He raised that the various authority agencies involved needed to work and communicate better together on the issues and integrity of the 2Agriculture business itself.
The Chair shared that most of the queries raised needed to be answered by the Mill and the Borough Council. Cllr Martin Storey shared that any queries needed to be directed to the relevant department at Norfolk County Council and he was happy to be copied into Highways issues. Cllr Colin Sampson shared that issues regarding air quality monitoring and environmental noise needed to be directed to the Borough Council. He shared that most of the Borough Council employees had been redeployed into other roles since the Covid-19 outbreak and issues could be resolved but it may take longer at this time. Cllr Colin Sampson shared that questions from Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey could be sent through to him for an update and suggested that any questions the Parish Council had should be posed at the next Liaison meeting.
The Chair clarified that the Committee had met two months ago and prior to that 18 months before. They added that the liaison meeting, which was the Mill’s Committee, also had requested attendances from the Borough Council Environment Department, the Environment Agency and the Parish Council. The Borough Council gave an air quality update and Environment Agency update was to do with the permit. The Chair shared that due to a change in Management at the Mill there had not been regular Committee meetings which in the past had been held quarterly.
The Chair shared that the questions that Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey had raised should be forwarded to the Clerk to email to the Borough Council and copied to the various agency bodies and Cllr Colin Sampson.
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138/20 To Provide an Update Bradfield Place Custom Build Site and Consultation by the BCKLWN
The Chair shared that she had spoken with a Borough Council representative who advised that they were keen to put forward a site for custom build at Bradfield Place. At the Borough Council there was a register for those who wished to note interest in custom build sites. From the response they receive they will decide whether to do a public and full consultation with Stoke Ferry. There had been some advertising on Facebook in regard to understanding if there were anyone from Stoke Ferry interested themselves in Custom Builds.
139/20 To Discuss and Approve any Action in Relation to the Romer Farms Outbuildings Current Planning Application (Romer Farm, Oxborough Road 20/01057/PACU3)
The application had come to light under Permitted Development as an agricultural barn it could go through the system with only a few consultees of which the Parish Council was not part of. The application was to convert the barn to five houses in the block forming the shape of the barn and would have grey cladding on the outside. It was within the conservation area and therefore it should be refused, however once 56 days lapses the developer can go ahead should there be no response from the Borough Council.
Cllr Colin Sampson shared that he was surprised to see that this kind of development could be dealt with outside of the usual planning application process and he was unable to call it in. He shared that anyone could put an application forward for consideration and it was up to the Borough Council to check the details and if it were within the conservation area they would notice and refuse.
Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey shared at this point that he would declare an interest as a neighbouring property.
Cllr Colin Sampson agreed to go back to the Planning Officer and Conservation Officer and share the views of the Parish Council and confirmed that Cllr Richard Blunt and Stuart Ashworth Deputy Head of Planning were already aware.
140/20 To Approve Costs in relation to the Village Gates and Signs Project
It was agreed for Councillors to create their own designs to bring back to the meeting in September, and this needed to be circulated within the next two weeks.
141/20 To Discuss Anti-Social Behaviour in Open Spaces
It had been noted that there had been several different people camping on the slip way and a large amount of rubbish left behind. There had been camping and campfires on the Common. The Clerk agreed to contact the Environment Agency and Anglian Water to make them aware. The Chair advised that this needed to be monitored.
142/20 To Approve a 12 Month Website Hosting Contract
The Chair advised that the contract was circulated prior to the meeting at the same price as last year £144.00.
RESOLVED: That a 12 Month Website Hosting Contract be approved at cost of £144.00 including VAT with Bequality Ltd. (Cllr Andrew Hayward proposed, Cllr Sue Lintern seconded, all were in favour).
143/20 To Approve the ‘Register of Decisions Made Online by the Parish Council for Ratification at the Next Full Council Meeting’.
a) Additional Neighbourhood Planning Grant of £1k for Extra Consultant Days
RESOLVED: That the Register of Decisions Made Online by the Parish Council for ratification in relation to ‘Additional Neighbourhood Planning Grant of £1k for Extra Consultant Days’ be approved. (Cllr Andrew Hayward proposed, second Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey seconded, all were in favour).
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144/20 To Approve the Payments and Accounts Reconciliation
The payments were presented for approval as follows:
RESOLVED: That the payments for July as presented be approved. (Cllr Donna proposed, Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey seconded, all were in favour).
145/20 Urgent Matters – Chairman
The Chairman shared that the Norfolk County Council Parish Partnership scheme included finger post badges, a village map, and perch seating in the bus stop near the Hill. The finger post badges were round with numbers on to match details on the Definitive Map and the walking booklet and the Chair agreed to get a mock-up for approval at the September next meeting. The Chair shared that the arrows were separate.
The Clerk would liaise with Bonnetts on the Perch seating that had been already costed for the purpose of the application and present to the September meeting for approval.
Cllr Trudy Mann agreed to circulate a design for the map to agree before it was officially started by the artist, and it was to be a design that could be reprinted over time. It was agreed to also add to the September agenda for further discussion and approval.
Cllr Gail Reeve and Cllr Kit Hesketh-Harvey left the meeting at this point.
146/20 To Receive Urgent items of concern & matters to be included on the next agenda from the Parish Council and note forward items
There were none.
147/20 Cllr Colin Sampson (BCKLWN) and Cllr Martin Storey (NCC), if in attendance
Cllr Colin Sampson shared that there was still business grant fund available via the Borough Council. He shared that Unitary Council was back on the radar which was about forming one Council from the Borough, District and County Councils.
Cllr Martin Storey shared that various updates to the public had been sent through to Parishes since the outbreak for sharing with the public and the Highways authority were slowly getting back to normal operation. The Clerk had been adding information received to the website.
148/20 To Adjourn the meeting to allow for public comments
The Chair adjoined the meeting to allow public comments and was reconvened after.
149/20 To Confirm the Date of the Next Ordinary Meeting – Wednesday 2 September 2020 at 7 pm.
It was approved.
Meeting Closed at 9.30 pm.
12-Aug-20Payments for ApprovalPayeeCheque No.Payment forNetVATTotalcheque cancelled101901written in errorClerk101902Clerks Wages and Expenses -July 20347.280.00347.28HMRC101903Jul-2083.200.0083.20Grounds Maintenance 101904Jul-20240.000.00240.00Handyman101904Bins30.000.0030.00EONDDElectricity for Streetlights – July 202078.003.9081.90EONDDElectricity for Streetlights – August 202080.604.0384.63Playing Field Committee101905S137 payment – annual insurance fee769.930.00769.93SLCC Webinar101906Clerk Training30.006.0036.00Hussey Knights101907Neighbourhood Plan Printing116.000.00116.00Westcotec Ltd101908Streetlight maintenance May – July 202046.329.2755.59Stoke Ferry Parish Council – Unity Trust Bank101909To open account50.000.0050.00Bequality Ltd.101910To open account120.0024.00144.00Total1991.3347.202038.53