West Dereham Sign Gary Trouton

West Dereham Parish Council - July Meeting

September 2014




PRESENT (5 Councillors): - Pam Bullas (PB), Claire Cann (CC) – Chairman, Paula Kellingray (PK), Claire Page (CP), Pam Walker (PW)

Clerk: - Sarah Thorpe

Cllr Trevor Manley (TM) – Borough Council

6 members of the public were in attendance.

Papers presented to Councillors: (i) Financial Management Report (spread sheet); (ii) expenditure (for approval);

(iii) Glazewing Report.

The Chairman welcomed everyone present and opened the meeting.

  1. Apologies for Absence. Apologies have already been accepted for Cllr Tom Foy during his deployment in Afghanistan. Apologies were also received from Cllr Lorraine Hunt, due to her being away from home and from Cllr Brian Long (BL) (County Council) who was attending a conference.

  1. Declarations of Interest. No declarations were made.

  1. Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 5 June 2014. The Chairman confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the last Parish Council (PC) meeting held 5 June 2014. These were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

  1. Reports.

4.1          Chairman’s Report.

4.1.1.     NALC/SLCC Summer Conference. Attended by the chairman, PB and the clerk. Highlights from the event were:

A representative from the Pensions Regulator gave a very interesting and informative talk on the Automatic Enrolment system. Further information is available at www.tpr.gov.uk/planner.

The War Memorials Trust provided information on their role and gave details of grants available to restore or make additions to war memorials. This includes adding names for the World War II, quotations will be needed and the next quarter for applications ends on 31st August 2014. Grants are for 50% of the cost up to £2500. There is a website for recording details of all war memorials. It was also mentioned that grants are available from Wissington Beet Factory. Further details to be obtained on all grants available by the Clerk.

Local Works gave a talk on using the Sustainable Communities Act and the assistance they are currently giving communities to make changes using the Act. One such scheme was to give funding for local councils to pay for specialist advice to handle complex planning applications. Also full funding is available for communities to install charging points for electric cars. Village Hall to consider if they wish to apply for help under this scheme.

Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership spoke about the work they do in local communities. Further information is available at www.norfolkbiodiversity.org.

4.1.2.     CGM Ltd. A meeting took place on Thursday 3rd July between Ian Burton from CGM, CC and PB to discuss some concerns that the PC had regarding the work done by CGM.

The poppy planting in the Cemetery has not been very successful as most of the poppy seeds have blown into the adjacent field. Further seeds will be given and these will be planted when the weather is suitable. A path in the shape of a figure of 8 has now been cut in the long grass. It was agreed that this would look better if it was cut two lawnmower widths. They have supplied a quote to cut all of the long grass but it was agreed that this was too expensive and CC said that her husband would cut the grass if assistance could be given from other councillors to rake it up.

The footpath from the Village Hall to The Row was also examined. It has been cut at one lawnmower width but due to excessive long grass in the surrounding area this is overhanging the path and reducing the width. It was agreed that it should be cut to two lawnmower widths. Quote to be obtained by Clerk for this additional work. Landowner for adjoining land to be contacted and asked to maintain their area by cutting the grass and keeping the hedge trimmed.

4.1.3      Church Road Planters. Dick and Maureen Elmer has cleared out the planters and restocked them with new plants over the last weekend. They have given their time for free and have supplied receipts for materials only. Unfortunately over the course of Sunday evening or early Monday morning the planters have been vandalised and all of the plants removed and thrown in the ditch. This matter to be reported to the police by PK. They have now been replanted and it was agreed to continue to do this if it happens again. Thanks was expressed to Dick and Maureen for their hard work.

4.2          Clerk’s Report.

4.2.1      Grange Farm. The planned meeting between the PC and BL to be rearranged due to him being unable to attend. Possible dates to be agreed at the end of the PC meeting.

4.2.2      CGM Landscapes Ltd. The billing issue regarding payments made over the winter months has still not been resolved despite the Clerk contacting CGM about this matter and advising them that a response was needed prior to the meeting.

4.2.3      Willow Lane footpath. A letter was sent to NCC with a map giving the preferred route of the footpath. A reply and telephone call has been received from Karl Rands (KR) of Norfolk County Council (NCC) immediately before the meeting. The reply was read out to the meeting. In summary NCC believe there are two issues involved in this case; enclosure of the highway, and obstruction to the footpath. They would like the PC to agree to a stopping up order to resolve the first issue (which the PC actually agreed to last year). With regard to the second issue they feel that it will not be possible to divert the footpath as the Open Spaces Society (OSS) will object, and any application would therefore fail. They are suggesting that this is a sensitive and unusual case and that any action to reopen the footpath is deferred until a future sale of the property. NCC will be discussing this with the owners of Willow Farm and will advise OSS of this decision. It is possible that OSS will object and then NCC will be forced to take action to reopen the footpath. KR volunteered to come out and discuss the matter with the PC. The PC felt that NCC have clearly spent some time looking into this issue and appreciated this effort but were disappointed that no reference was made to the possible change in the law proposed by the Deregulation Bill. It was agreed to arrange a meeting between KR and the PC to discuss the matter further.

4.2.4.     Cemetery Pillars. Quotations have now been requested from three builders based on the sketches agreed at the previous meeting.

4.2.5.     Pear Technology. The digital mapping software is currently being installed on all Councillors’ computers. Training to be organised. The first draft of the Cemetery map has been received and amendments have been suggested.

4.3          Handyman’s Report. No report as there is currently no Village Handyman.

4.4          Police report. PK reported that matters of concern raised at the last SNAP meeting included speeding vehicles in West Dereham. The next SNAP meeting is on Wednesday 16th July at Watlington Primary School. Our PCSO Jane Edwards is still on light duties and unable to attend PC meetings. PK will report the vandalism of the planters to the police.

4.5          Village Hall Report. PK advised that June had been a fantastic month with both the Hog Roast and Armed Forces Day being well attended. Lots of events are planned for July; details of these can be found in the Parish Magazine.

4.6          Broadband Report. PW advised that a comprehensive update had been received following queries from parishioners. Currently West Dereham is served from what is known as a secondary cabinet, this is connected back to a primary cabinet elsewhere via copper.  This would mean if BT just upgraded the primary cabinet West Dereham would be no better off in terms of speed.   There is a complicated technical solution whereby BT needs to implement a brand new primary copper cabinet as well as a new fibre cabinet in the village and then run a fibre optic into that new cabinet; the work will take longer than a standard implementation and therefore will be towards the end of the phase. If issues arise while running the fibre in that require road closures it could add time. Unfortunately there is no way of predicting that until the work begins, so BT cannot yet confirm a date when service will be available. Regarding speeds to individual properties, this is dependent on distance from the new pair of cabinets. As a rough guide the following applies: Close to the cabinet 70-80 Mbps; 500m from the cabinet 34 Mbps; 1km from the cabinet 24 Mbps. At significant distance speeds will be slower which means for isolated properties speeds may still remain low. If speeds are still below 2 Mbps for a property BT will implement an alternative technology to ensure at least Basic broadband.

4.7          Glazewing Report. Glazewing had issued their July report by email on 30 June, it covers the period from 28 May 30 June. One incident has been reported in West Dereham:

  • 30 May, A villager reported that a shower door had fallen from a skip vehicle and that the vehicle had mounted the kerb whilst driving around the corner.

Glazewing removed the door immediately and have taken action against the driver. They advised that netting and security of the load is the driver’s responsibility and this occurrence is unacceptable. Warning notices have been issued to all drivers regarding securing loads. They apologized for this occurrence and will do everything in their power to prevent a re-occurrence.

Glazewing responded to the query regarding details of workings on Sundays and Bank Holidays, along with numbers of vehicles, by saying that they are not in a position to provide details of vehicle movements. With regard to the query over the report containing all of the incidents reported to them, they have asked that all future reports are made directly to Paul Norris, (Health, Safety & Environment Manager) on paul.norris@glazewing.co.uk to ensure that all items are included in his monthly report.

  1. Finance.

5.1          Accounts. Accounts for approval and the monthly financial management report were submitted by the Clerk. She advised that the income and expenditure for May 2014 has now been confirmed and that estimated figures for June have been inserted based upon invoices received.

PayeeCheque NoNetVAT Gross
Anglian Water – Cemetery supply (Mar-June)10074313.44  13.44
Clerk’s Salary & expenses for June 2014100744487.148.21 495.35
BT – Adoption of phone boxes1007452.00  2.00
West Dereham Village Hall – hire of hall Apr-June100746142.50  142.50
Pear Technology Services Ltd – Digital mapping100747765.00153.00 918.00
Refund of cost of materials for wooden planters10074849.339.87 59.20
Total 1459.41171.08 1630.49

All the above payments were considered and approved except the payment for Pear Technology (see 5.2 below for approval of this payment). Cheques to be signed at the end of the meeting.

5.2          Payment to Pear Technology. The invoice was discussed. It was agreed that a part payment should be made at this time and that payment for training, technical support and the cemetery map should not be authorised at this stage as the training has not yet taken place and it was felt that the technical support should not start until after the training has been completed. Also much more work is still needed on the cemetery map.

5.3          Payment to CGM Ltd. Invoices have been received for work completed in April, May and June totalling £619.44 including VAT. However the query regarding payments made over the winter, when no work was done, has yet to be resolved and as payments made during this period total more than the current amount owing it was felt that no payment could be authorised until the outstanding issue is resolved. It was agreed that the Clerk should advise CGM of the situation and request a meeting between herself and them in order to facilitate a resolution. The PC does not want to withhold payment for work that has been done but cannot authorise payment while this issue is outstanding.

5.4          Internal Auditor for 2014/15. It was agreed to ask the Internal Auditor for 2013/14 (Jean Markwell, clerk to Downham Market Town Council) if she was willing to undertake the role.

  1. Dates for Pear Technology Training

Possible dates to be agreed at the end of the meeting.

  1. Contract for adoption of BT telephone boxes.

A copy of the contract has been provided to all Councillors prior to the meeting. It was discussed and a query was raised regarding the use of lead paint on the telephone boxes. Clerk to ask BT how we will know if they have used lead paint. It was agreed that the contract should be signed but that the telephone boxes would need to be added to the PC insurance policy before the contract was signed and dated to ensure cover had commenced.

  1. Information for NALC and West Dereham website.

It was agreed to approve the document provided by PB. Clerk to add numbers and dates and then put on website. Thanks was expressed to PB for her work on this matter.

  1. Replacement Village Handyman.

It was agreed that the position would need to be advertised as despite enquires within the village no replacement had been found. Advertisement to be placed in the Pump. CC to provide the Clerk with details of the previous advertisement.

  1. Planning Applications.

10.1        14/00967/F – Extension to dwelling at Avalon, Hilgay Road – The application was discussed and it was agreed to SUPPORT this application.

10.2        14/00237/F – Construction of occupational dwelling, together with a reception/utility/storage building and access improvements at Camping Site, Woodstock, Gibbet Lane – This application has been approved by the BC.

  1. Correspondence.

11.1.      Letter from landowner regarding removal of permissive footpaths – A letter has been received from the owner of Manor Farm, which was read out to the meeting. It advises that due to misuse by a few residents he feels he has no option but to close the permissive footpaths through his land. The public right of way (PROW) will of course remain open. PW explained the route of the PROW. A discussion took place on removal of the permissive footpath. The PC expressed regret at this action but appreciated the fact that the owner had allowed use of these footpaths in the past. It was agreed to send a reply to the owner expressing these views.

11.2        Application from J K Memorials for a headstone – An application has been received for a permit to erect a headstone on the grave of George Henry Bristow. The application complies with the PC regulations for headstones so permission was granted.

12.          Parish Council assets

12.1       Report from Allotment Inspection – Letter to be sent to one tenant asking for items to be removed that are

not needed for the growing of crops. Allotment Liaison Officer (ALO) to speak with another tenant regarding weeds.

One of the vacant plots to be offered to a name on the waiting list at the end of August. All tenants will be required to

give a deposit in accordance with the new contracts when signed in October. It was agreed that this would not apply to

the current ALO due to his continued voluntary assistance at the site.

  1. Other Business – Any Additional Reports and Items for Inclusion on the next Agenda.

13.1.      CP advised that she had registered the PC for the 20’s plenty campaign but had now asked the Clerk if she would take over action on this matter. This was agreed.

13.2.      A suggestion was made that there could be a requirement for the Clerk to complete a driving course as she receives a mileage allowance from the PC. Clerk agreed to contact NALC for advice on this issue.

13.3.      PB advised that she has added the war memorial to the PC assets. A parishioner confirmed that the church does not maintain the war memorial and he agreed to confirm the ownership. This item to be added to the agenda for the next meeting.

The official meeting concluded at 9.45pm and was opened to the floor for general comment.

Open Forum.

No matters were raised.

  1. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and final closure of the meeting was at 9.45pm.

Next ordinary meeting of the Parish Council is on Thursday 7 August at 7.30pm with Open Surgery from 7.00pm.

Clerk: Sarah Thorpe

Email: clerk@westderehamparishcouncil.com

Telephone: 01945 430930

Chairman’s signature ……………………………………             Date ……………………………

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