Minutes of West Dereham Annual parish Meeting
A new chairman elected, a new councillor co-opted and a lively meeting involving the public.
Minutes of West Dereham Annual Parish Council Meeting following the Parish Council on Thursday 29th May 2008
Present: Miss Richardson, Mrs. Berry, B. Glover, Mrs. Cann, R. Drew together with R. Rockcliffe - County Councillor, T. Manley - Boro' Councillor plus 16 members of the public.
Apologies: M. Grief
Co-option to fill Casual Vacancy: A paper ballot took place of the candidates and P. Murfitt was duly elected and took his place with the Councillors.
Election of Chairman: The clerk asked for nominations and B. Glover proposed Miss Richardson - she stated that she was not prepared to stand. Other nominations were asked for and Mrs. Cairn was proposed by R. Drew and seconded by B. Glover there being no other nominations - Mrs Cairn was elected. By agreement of Mrs Cann, Miss Richardson conducted the remainder of the meeting.
Election of Vice Chairman: Nominations were called for and Miss Richardson was proposed by Mrs. Cann and seconded by B. Glover - no other nominations were put forward and Miss Richardson was duly elected.
Meeting - 13th March 2008 - proposed by C. Cann and seconded by B. Glover these minutes be signed as a correct record.
19th April 2008 - subject to the number 62 being amended to 'a considerable number' in the third line and the final sentence in the penultimate paragraph being amended to read' 3 members present were against the areas identified in the N.C.C. Report and one was in favour', the minutes were then agreed.
9th May 2008 - The minutes were agreed and Miss Richardson proposed and Mrs. Berry seconded that all tasks requested for action at the meeting are to be included on the June 2008 Agenda.
2. Matters Arising: T. Manley - Borough Councillor volunteered to speak to Justin Wingfield at the Borough Council reference the proposed rent increase for the Play area.
3. Planning Application: Frimstone Ltd: Land at Grange Farm, Crimplesham - Replacement quarry with processing of aggregates, re-cycling and land filling of inert waste materials back to near original ground levels - Miss Richardson proposed and B. Glover seconded that the application be recommended for approval - agreed.
4. Payments: Allianz Insurance £426. 46: N.C.A.P.T. Councils £110. 02: Norfolk R.C.C. £15. 00: Environment Agency £14.12 - proposed R. Drew seconded Miss Richardson - pass for payment.
5. Appointment of R.F.O. It was proposed and agreed that the Clerk of the Parish Council be appointed the Responsible Financial Officer
6. Review of Burial Fees: It was proposed by Mrs. Berry and seconded by P. Murfitt that all fees by increased by £5. 00 - agreed.
7. Correspondence: Norfolk Matters : N.C.C. British Sugar - Conditioning & Storage of topsoil - planning application is withdrawn : Norfolk Police Authority Policing Plan Web site - www.norfolk - pa. police.uk : W.N.B.C. Local Government Review - meeting to be held on 9th July in the Town Hall, King's Lynn from 6 - 8p.m. : Urban & Rural Outdoor Furniture leaflet : W.N.B.C. Standards Committee - Appointment of Member : Norfolk Planning Conference meeting at Swaffham on 12th June 2008 from 10a.m. to 3.30p.m. : N.C.A.P.& T Council - notification of A.G.M. to be held on 25th July 2008 all noted. Jonathan Pearson sent questionnaire - Miss Richardson to complete after consultation with other Councillors.
There is a letter from Mrs. Cairn to Miss Richardson which reads "This letter registers my deep concern at the manner in which a vote was taken by the Parish Council on 9 May with regard to Frimstone's planning application for 12.5 hectares of quarry and landfill within our Parish boundary.
The Council's vote in favour of the quarry is not the issue in this letter. I will record, however, that I believe it is to the eternal shame of this Council that it has approved something which, while it may be good for elements of the business community, can be of no tangible benefit whatsoever to this essentially residential village, not least because Frimstone's planned consequential quarry extensions right up to Lime Kiln Road, will continue to impact on West Dereham for up to 50 years.
Be that as it may, directly after the 9 May Glazewing public meeting, in the few minutes I was speaking to others in the Village Hall a Parish Council meeting was convened and a vote was taken on the Frimstone quarry planning application without any attempt to include me. When I returned to speak to you, no mention was made by the Clerk or any Councillor that this vote had just been taken. I have only just been made aware of it because one Parish Councillor has felt so uncomfortable with this way of doing business. This exclusion was unacceptable on several counts. First, my record of attendance at Parish Council meetings is second to none, so my interest in and commitment to all things to do with the Council is not in doubt. Second, I have frequently made clear my concern that industrial planning applications are not questioned in sufficient depth. Third. There can be no doubt of my strong opposition to Norfolk County Council's quarry and landfill proposals and Frimstone's current application for the first of its quarry extensions, which prejudges the autumn outcome of the County's proposals.
I would like this letter raised under the Planning or Correspondence agenda items. Along the same lines of concern, I would also like to know when the Parish Council considered planning application number 08/01046/F (Frimstone's new administrative building) and planning application number 08/00889/F (proposed bungalow in the grounds of Aspen, Ryston Road).
Miss Richardson replied as follows:- "I am now in receipt of two letters from a fellow Councillor to which I am obliged to respond on behalf of the remaining members. On the subject of Parish Clerk. The circumstances giving rise to the departure of our Clerk were extremely regrettable and did not give rise to a formal letter of resignation being tended to the Parish Council. Indeed, it was sincerely hoped for some time that our loyal Clerk might be prepared to re-consider. In the end this was unfortunately not the case and we all respect her decision unwelcome though it is. The position has been advertised on the village notice boards and in the garage at no expense. We have received one expression of interest, which I have discussed with all Councillors and a copy is attached. We would still welcome other parties to come forward and the position remains open. The candidate or candidates, as the case may be, will be asked to attend interview before all Councillors prior to any decision being made on the appointment.
The Parish Council does not have a pre agreed job description but I have compiled a list of current duties to act as a guide which is attached. If any Councillors wish to suggest any additional points/amendments they are welcome to do so.
Co-option of new Councillors - I can confirm that I have spoken to and obtained Personal Statements from all applicants and have telephoned each Councillor to discuss this. Copies are attached. This matter is accordingly in hand.
I am surprised and disappointed that an experienced Council member so well versed in the procedure and protocol of the Parish Council should end up excluding themselves from the democratic process and then seek to apportion blame on the rest of the Council for their own omission in this regard.
For point of record, ALL Councillors were individually notified, in writing, that Frimstone's application was to be discussed at the 9th May meeting and indeed all members were present at the commencement of the proceedings.
Whilst not everyone was able to attend Frimstone' s comprehensive presentation of their proposals, the Council nonetheless carried out a democratic vote, which was open to ALL members, on the Frimstone planning application. This received unanimous support from all four members who remained present at the meeting. It was therefore, in no way a marginal decision and there is no shame, (eternal or otherwise) on behalf of the members in this regard, although they would, of course, have all had full regard to the views now so strongly expressed, had the member in question chosen to stay on and to address that evening's meeting. All those members in attendance placed considerable importance on maintaining a healthy rural economy however unpalatable this may be in certain quarters.
No one is questioning anyone's attendance record or dedication. All views which have been expressed by and received from members on this issue are sincerely held have been made, in what they believe, to be the best interests of the village. The Frimstone application only covers 12.5 ha of land at Ashcroft Farm and since the County Council are under no illusion whatsoever as to our thoughts on future development of any further land I think to anticipate the outcome of any future applications at this stage would be pointless. The further two planning application mentioned were also decided on the evening of 9th May. The matters were discussed in full, a vote taken and all those present were in agreement that the Councillors had no objection to either application. I trust this is sufficient for the present purposes."
As neither side seemed able to accept the point of view of the other, Miss Richardson suggested that the matter be closed and the meeting move on.
8. Any Other Business: The Allotment inspection is to take place on 28th June 2008 commencing at 10a.m. R. Drew thanked Miss Richardson for all she has done during her time as Chairperson. R. Rockcliffe confirmed that County Council are 'pushing hard' for Broadband in this area. The footpath signs still need to be erected. R. Drew confirmed that the pipe for the Cemetery water supply will be installed during the next month and the clerk confirmed that N. Drew had agreed to liaise with Anglia Water. Notice Board near the old School is to be locked with a combination lock a note inside will state who holds the number.
The meeting closed at 8.50 p.m.