West Dereham Parish Council - August Minutes
DRAFT MINUTES OF WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL at 7.30 pm
THURSDAY 1st AUGUST 2013
PRESENT:- Mrs Pam Bullas, Mrs Claire Cann – Chairman, Mr Tom Foy, Ms Paula Kellingray, Mrs Claire Page, Mrs Pam Walker
PCSO Jane Edwards and Beat Manager – Watlington Team
5 members of the public
Papers presented to Councillors: Budget, Expenditure spread sheet, Glazewing report, Clerk’s timesheet.
The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting.
1. Apologies for Absence None
2. Councillor Vacancy
3. The Councillor vacancy has been advertised in the Village leaflet drop. The Borough Council had been notified of the vacancy and will inform The Parish Council after the 2nd of August whether an election will need to be called or the Parish Council can co-opt a Councillor. There have been two verbal expressions of interest; they have been asked to submit written applications.
4. Declarations of Interest None
5. Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the Parish Council meeting on 4th July 2013 were agreed as a true record.
The police report was brought forward to item 5 so the PCSO and Beat Manager could return to work.
The PCSO reported that there have been six calls to the police from West Dereham in the last month; one suspicious call, one anti social behaviour, one road related offence, one about wildlife, one road traffic collision and one burglary of theft of tools from a barn. Low levels of crime have been recorded for the last two months showing that the police have been doing a good job. The current police priority is open spaces and areas of known nuisance tackling anti-social behavior of all types.
The Beat Manager informed the Parish Council that Downham Market is being prioritised because of the level of crime. She encouraged parishioners to report all incidents using the 101 number; if they are not reported West Dereham will lose two PCSO’s to Downham Market, which could leave only one PCSO for the whole area. The police are not stopping engagement at events; they will stop visible patrols.
The Chairman reported that in last month’s Village notice people were encouraged to call the 101 number. It was noted that it had taken a long time to acquire a visible PCSO presence in the Village and the Parish Council appreciated it; she thanked the PCSO and Beat Manager.
Paula Kellingray asked whether a letter from the Parish Council detailing the effect a lack of PCSO has had on anti social behaviour in the Village would be useful. The Beat Manager said that Stephen Betts is the person to contact.
Paula Kellingray reported that a house For Sale sign had been removed from the ground and thrown on a roof. There are bags of rubbish starting to appear on Station Road which was reported at the SNAP meeting. West Dereham Parish Council will need to complete nominations for the Norfolk Safer Community Awards 2013 by the 7th August.
The Chairman had taken some information from the Borough Council at the SNAP meeting and asked Paula Kellingray to chase up copies of the summer tips card and blind eye fly tipping so that they could be included in the Village drop.
6.1. Chairman’s Report
At the last meeting the Chairman reported that The Parish Council had written to Norfolk County Council regarding the stopping-up of vehicular access on Willow Lane and the re-instatement of an ancient footpath, The Parish Council have now received a reply which acknowledges receipt of the Parish Council’s letter and states that they are preparing a reply.
The Chairman, Pam Walker and Tom Foy attended an event at Norfolk Records Office and spoke to David Mills who deals with Public Rights of Way for Norfolk County Council. David Mills is familiar with the issues in West Dereham and advised the Chairman to take a two pronged approach; they need to close the vehicular access first and then seek permission to re route the footpath. He suggested that a slight re routing could find favour if it could be demonstrated that it was being used more than the original route, but that it could take time. The Parish Council should designate the alternative route, mow it and report back that the route is being used. It is not the case that once a footpath, always a footpath. He also talked about legal tests.
The Chairman advised that the Parish Council intends to send information on footpaths to all parishioners.
The Chairman reported that there was some confusion as to the correctness of the Parish Council meeting in the Village Hall since it was a licensed premises. She quoted from the Local Government Act 1972, schedule 12, paragraphs 7 and 23: “meetings may not take place in licensed premises unless no other suitable room is available free of charge or at a reasonable cost”. The Chairman confirmed that it is completely legal to hold meetings in the Village Hall and emphasised that during these meetings no alcohol is served anywhere on the premises.
5.2 Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported on the various responses she had received from Highways:
Some of the signs which had been left in the Village for the past eight months have now been collected but some still remain; there are some behind the phone box in Church Road and a diversion sign at the bottom of Lime Kiln Road. The signs have been programmed in to be picked up by Highways.
Bath Road Drainage
After County Councillor Brian Long contacted Andy Wallace (Highways) the Parish Council was notified that Bath Road is to be resurfaced. Pam Walker confirmed that Andy Wallace had said Highways would investigate where the water which is causing the damage is coming from. Martin Edmunds from Highways has checked the area but there was no water present at that time; he will talk to Andy Wallace.
‘White Gate’ Speed Signs
Councillors were interested in the ‘white gate’ style support on the speed limit signs in Fincham. Highways had confirmed that the signs would need to be funded by the Parish Council; the Clerk was asked to contact Fincham Parish Clerk for a price per gate.
Glazewing Lorry A lorry using Sat Nav to find Glazewing had taken down several large tree branches in Lime Kiln Road. Highways was asked whether a Glazewing sign could be put up on the A134 attached below the household and waste recycling sign so that lorries can follow that sign rather than relying on the Sat Nav. Highways had misunderstood and said there are signs on the A134 directing lorries to the Waste Management Centre; the Clerk was asked to contact them again.
The Clerk had telephoned Bonnetts to ask for a date to hang the allotment gates; a discussion took place on how long The Parish Council had been waiting for the allotment gates to be hung; no one in the Village had been able to help because the job required a portable generator and a mig welding kit.
Farm Business Tenancy
The Parish Council previously agreed to have the Farm Business Tenancy contract professionally amended to avoid crop overspraying. The Clerk was asked to find out when the work would be completed. Councillors agreed that an interim Parish Council meeting will need to take place to progress this matter so that it can be completed within the timescale.
5.3 Police Report
Recorded under item 5
5.4 Village Hall Report
After some successful summer barbecues the bookings for the Village Hall have slowed over the summer period. The repairs to the compound at the front of the Village Hall should be completed this month. The Village Hall bar continues to be very successful.
5.5 Broadband Update
Pam Walker reported a Radio Norfolk broadcast that 20% of Norfolk will not receive Broadband. She wrote to Norfolk County Council concerning West Dereham provision but only received a general reply. The Clerk was asked to invite Karen O’Kane (NCC/BT) to attend The Parish Council meeting; although she was unable to attend, she sent an update via email which stated::
"Planning and design work is complete for the implementation of Superfast broadband infrastructure covering West Dereham. Properties are covered by two different cabinets and therefore the infrastructure will be implemented in two stages. Implementation will commence in early 2014 and the completion of both cabinets is due by the end June 2014.”
However, this is subject to survey and anything requiring more work than expected could cause a delay.
The Clerk was asked to put the Broadband update on The Parish Council website.
5.6 Glazewing report
Pam Bullas had reported to Environmental Health (EH) a waste odour coming from the Glazewing site. The Environment Agencies email noted:
- Site visit on 12th July 2013 when no detectable odour present
- Aware that Glazewing have accepted food waste for a number of years which is within their operating permit
- In last two years they have changed the way they handle their food which may be causing the odour or it may be lorries that carry waste to and from the site that are causing the odour
- EH explained to Glazewing what was expected from them, that any further reports will be investigated and action taken as appropriate
- If Glazewing are generating unacceptable odours it is important that they are reported so that investigations can be carried out.
The Parish Council had noted in a previous meeting that Glazewing could access the parish minutes in draft form via the Pump and in agreed form at the Village Hall and on The Parish Council website; however the website had not been updated due to the changeover in Clerk and a change in website provider. The Clerk had already emailed the June minutes to Glazewing; she was asked to email a copy of the April and May minutes and to apologise for them not having been available on the website.
Accounts for Approval August 2013
The Clerk detailed the cheques to be authorised and Councillors checked the invoices.
|Payee||Net||VAT||Inland Revenue (Post Office)||National Insurance||Gross|
|BCKLWN (land rent playing field)|
|CGM Landscapes (grounds Maintenance June 13)|
|CGM Landscapes (grounds Maintenance July 13)|
|CGM Landscapes ( litter pick, mow, strim, spray etc 12th & 26th June)|
|Village Hall hire (April, May, June 2013)|
On points of detail, the Chairman asked Councillors for their comments on the various work undertaken by CGM; comments raised include:
- · The grass is tall and falls over the second half of the footpath between the Village Hall and the Row.
- · The regularity of cutting is fine.
- · Since the weed spraying at the Village Hall the Diamond Jubilee oak sapling has died and also the spray has drifted on to the hedge.
The Clerk was asked to inform CGM of the issues identified.
The Chairman asked Councillors for their comments on the invoice received from the former Parish Clerk from NALC for 328 photocopies; all Councillors expressed surprise at the amount of photocopying and agreed that the invoice cannot be paid until a breakdown of costs is received. The Clerk was asked to contact the former Clerk at NALC and ask for clarification.
The Clerk gave Councillors a copy of the budget with August payments added. It was noted that the householder’s cheque for half the cost of cutting down the leylandii bordering the allotments needs to be added to the income. All Councillors approved the payments except the photocopying.
The Parish Council insurer Came and Company had contacted the Council to ask them if they would like to renew their long term agreement for 3 years. The Parish Council had paid the renewal premium £371.65 in May 2013 but was advised that it was at the 2012 rate. If The Parish Council signs the long term agreement the price will be £362.75 and it will receive a refund for the difference. If it does not, a further payment of £10.90 will be required. The Clerk advised Councillors that it was good to shop around for insurance. It was noted that Came and Company had provided a good service and were considered to be the best company for Parish Council insurance. While a saving of approximately £30 which would be made if the agreement was signed was not a great deal, there was also an expectation that premiums would rise annually over the next three years. All Councillors read through the agreement and agreed to sign for three years.
8. Review of the Access to Information Publication Scheme
The Chairman went through the Publication Scheme noting minimal changes including that the cost of photocopying should include the Clerk’s administration. All Councillors agreed the revised document.
8. Adoption of Phone Boxes in the Village
The Clerk was asked to contact BT again about the phone boxes in the Village, which are being vandalised, in a very poor state of repair and an eyesore. The Clerk has received a reply from BT saying that the two phone boxes in the Village could be adopted but a consultation would need to take place with the Borough Council. It was noted that previously the Council had applied to adopt both phone boxes but there had been an objection by the Borough Council to the Church Road box. The AugustVillage leaflet had been distributed and asks Villagers for their comments on adopting the phone boxes. The Parish Council is prepared to look after the decommissioned phone boxes given that BT is not prepared to refurbish them.
9. Review of Allotment rent and Contract
The allotment rent was discussed as follows:
Current Prices Proposed Prices
Full plot £15.00 £20.00
Half plot £10.00 £15.00
Quarter plot £7.50 £10.00
All Councillors agreed the proposed prices would be implemented from October 1st 2013 in line with the new contract.
Last month changes to the allotment contract were agreed as follows:
- A refundable deposit based on the cost of rotivation would ensure that an allotment could be restored to the same condition at the end of a contract as when first taken over without incurring public cost
- Parish Council inspection of the Allotments would take place quarterly so tenants can be approached if there is a problem
- If, after inspection, any overgrown plot had not been cleared within 28 days the refundable deposit would be used to rotivate the plot and return it to its original state as required in the contract
- At the Allotment Liaison Officer (ALO) suggestion, if there is no activity on a plot for 3 months the tenant should be deemed to have abandoned it and should be sent a letter terminating the contract
All Councillors agreed to add to Standing Orders, “Parish Council to undertake quarterly allotment inspections.”
The Clerk was advised to make the changes to the contract and send copies to Richard French to distribute to the tenants in advance of renewal.
10. Timetable for Reviewing Policies and Procedures
Councillors had asked the Clerk to provide a timetable showing annual review dates for all policies and procedures. Councillors agreed the working document which would need to be kept updated.
11. Planning Decisions
11.1 Planning Applications
Update on the wood store at Hill House Farm, Bath Road, West Dereham (13/00809/F);
At the July meeting The Parish Council had expressed concerns about lack of detail in an application at Hill House Farm. A letter to the Planning Department from the Parish Council raised concerns of unclear drawings with insufficient specified measurements; misleading scales; apparent inconsistencies concerning green waste storage; no details of LGV and HGV movements; insufficient details of possible combined machinery noise and excessive weekend work hours proposed.
The email received from the Planning Department had commissioned a response from EH but did not answer all the Parish Councils concerns. Councillors unanimously agreed to write a further letter to the Planning Department.
- Letter from people considering moving to the Station Road in West Dereham asking about Glazewing and traffic levels-The Clerk was asked to direct them to The Parish Council website and minutes so they could get an overall view of the Village.
- Village Hall Committee attaching for the Parish Council as Custodial Trustees the Village Hall Risk Assessment
- Elizabeth Truss MP - Surgeries being held on 4th October at Downham Market and 15th November at Swaffham
- Norfolk Association of Local Councils - news update including 1% pay increase on Clerk’s pay scale backdated to April 2013 and Environment Agency consultation on improving the water environment.
- Core Strategy for Kings Lynn and West Norfolk - Letter regarding Development and Planning Policy: The Parish Council are being asked to comment on the Detailed Policies and Sites Plan; public ‘Drop-In Sessions’ are available, including Downham Market Town Hall 20th August-- Pam Bullas, Tom Foy and Paula Kellingray to attend. The Chairman to read through the document and comment at September Parish Council meeting.
13. Further reports/items for next agenda
Pam Bullas gave details of:
- A seminar on Green Burial on October 17th at Colney Woodland Burial Site. Pam Walker and Tom Foy to attend
- A University of East Anglia project on researching Footpaths and Green Lanes are looking for volunteers to walk local footpaths and study maps at The Norfolk Records Office-The Parish Council and the Heritage group are interested in being involved in the project.
Business Continuity Plan
Farm Business Tenancy
Data Protection policy
14. Meeting adjourned – open to floor for Open Forum:
A member of the public expressed concern at mopeds and scooters driving down a grassed alleyway between 10 Church Road and the Green in St Andrews Close. The Chairman advised people to report it to the police using the 101 number. The Village leaflet drop would remind people not to use vehicles on footpaths.
The meeting was closed at 9.55 pm.
Chairman’s signature …………………………………… Date ……………………………