West Dereham Parish Council - February Meeting
DRAFT MINUTES OF WEST DEREHAM PARISH COUNCIL MEETING
HELD AT WEST DEREHAM VILLAGE HALL at 7.30 pm
THURSDAY 5 FEBRUARY 2015
PRESENT (7 Councillors): - Pam Bullas (PB), Claire Cann (CC) – Chairman, Tom Foy (TF), Lorraine Hunt (LH), Paula Kellingray (PK), Claire Page (CP), Pam Walker (PW)
Clerk: - Sarah Thorpe Cllr Brian Long (BL) – County Councillor
5 members of the public were in attendance.
Papers presented to Councillors: (i) Financial Management Report (spreadsheet); (ii) expenditure (for approval);
(iii) Glazewing Report.
The Chairman welcomed everyone present and opened the meeting.
- Apologies for Absence. All Parish Councillors were present. Apologies had been received from Borough. Councillor Trevor Manley, due to a prior commitment.
2. Declarations of Interest. No declarations of pecuniary interest were made.
3. Use of social media and audio recording of meeting. CC asked “Will anyone present be filming, recording, blogging or tweeting during this meeting?” No member of the public present at this stage advised that they would.
- Minutes of the Parish Council Meetings held on 4 December 2014. The Chairman confirmed all Councillors had seen the minutes of the Parish Council (PC) meetings held on 4 December 2014. These were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
5.1 Chairman’s Report.
5.1.1 Chairmanship Training Course. CC advised that she had recently attended this course. There were a few points of note but generally she felt that it was not very useful but this could be at least partially because she had been the Chairman for seven years. Many of the other PCs attending the course did not appear to have all of the policies and documentation that we have and many did not seem to have as open a relationship with parishioners.
5.1.2 “The Big Tree Plant” Scheme. More to follow in Clerk’s Report.
5.1.3 PC Elections. More information in Clerk’s Report.
5.2 Clerk’s Report.
5.2.1 Local Council Award Scheme. The PC has registered for the foundation level of this scheme which replaces the Quality Council Award Scheme; membership expires on 31 January 2016. During the coming months the PC will be compiling evidence to apply for the Quality Award and considering eligibility for the Quality Gold Award, which is the highest level.
5.2.2 PC elections. These will take place on 7 May, along with parliamentary and borough elections. Anyone interested in becoming a Parish Councillor can obtain further information and nomination packs from the Clerk or BC Electoral Services staff by calling 01553 616200 or visiting the BC website.
5.2.3 BC Consultation on Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Pre-Submission Document. This is open until 23 February. As previously advised WD has been classified as a “smaller village and hamlet” and as such has no specific site allocations or a development boundary.
5.2.4 June PC meeting. This has been changed to Thursday 11 June, which means that the May, June and July meetings will all be on the second Thursday of the month.
5.2.5 Police response to PCSO attendance at PC meetings. The Police & Crime Commissioners Office advised that this was an operational issue and not a matter for them. They referred the query to Downham Market Police Station. A response was received by telephone from Downham Market Police Station. There is no recommended level of attendance at PC meetings but he believes that current staffing levels should allow for attendance at two meetings per year. He felt that in the absence of the PCSO a report should be produced and sent to the Clerk for each PC meeting. If there was a particular issue that would benefit the attendance of a PCSO at a PC meeting they would try to oblige.
Information had also been received regarding a PC match funding scheme to provide additional PCSOs with PCs providing 50% of the cost for a PCSO that was dedicated to their area. This could be shared with other PCs. BL advised that the cost to the PC of this scheme was £16,000 per annum. The PC believes that the community already pays a large part of the Council Tax charge for Police and that this extra cost would be neither possible or acceptable.
5.2.6 Visit to West Bilney pig farm. Members of the PC and the Clerk will be visiting a neighbour of the pig farm to obtain their views and experiences on Saturday 7 February; and this will be followed up by a visit to Grange Farm which is currently being arranged for a date after 16 February.
5.2.7 “The Big Tree Plant” Scheme funded by DEFRA. The further 700 free hedging saplings from a scheme arranged by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) arrived in December and were planted in the cemetery by volunteers organised by TCV during the last week of January.
5.3 Handyman’s Report. No report this month as no work has been carried out since the last meeting due to the weather.
5.4 Police Report. PK advised that a PCSO was not present and no report had been received. She gave a report from the SNAP meeting on 21 January and advised that she had been informed of shed and garage thefts in nearby parishes.
5.5 Village Hall Report. PK advised that it had been a successful Christmas and New Year period. There had been several private bookings over the last couple of months and more bookings taken recently for future events. The Village Hall was in a promising position at the moment.
5.6 Broadband Report. Another letter was issued to Elizabeth Truss MP (ET) stating that the PC believes that because the work is difficult for WD we have been put to the bottom of the list and voicing residents’ displeasure at the current situation. She had responded by contacting Karen O’Kane (KOK) from the Better Broadband for Norfolk (BBfN) team. The reply from KOK was read out to the meeting. It stated:
“I should start by saying I fully recognise how frustrating delays are for local communities, but sometimes they are unavoidable.
I have been in regular email communication with the Parish Council and have already visited West Dereham on several occasions, if they would find it helpful I’ll happily visit again, but it won’t speed up the implementation, we are implementing as quickly as possible.
My last email to the Parish Council in November, confirmed that the funding is absolutely in place to implement the solution in West Dereham, via the current Better Broadband for Norfolk contract. They understandably were worried that it might not happen.
I also explained that the rollout order is governed by the Council's objective to achieve the maximum coverage possible for the money, and a series of technical steps that have to take place to provide access:
- The first involves building a 'Head-end' fibre exchange'
- The next is to implement a fibre from the exchange to the local exchange area
- The new fibre cabinets are installed close to existing copper cabinets
In some cases, the only way to provide fast speeds (as has proved to be the case in West Dereham), is to extend the fibre and upgrade the current secondary cabinet, in effect turning it into a primary copper cabinet and then install a new fibre cabinet. To explain further, West Dereham has a cabinet in the village, but it is a secondary box which is connected via copper back to a main street cabinet. Fibre to the Cabinet solutions work by taking a fibre to the main (primary) street cabinet, the speed properties then receive is based on each properties distance from the cabinet. BT’s design for Norfolk included the primary cabinet that serves West Dereham, but during implementation it became clear that due to the distance over copper between the primary cabinet and the secondary one which is in West Dereham, speed increases would be minimal. On that basis BT have created a supplementary design to extend the fibre into West Dereham and implement a new primary cabinet.
The work is happening as quickly as possible, but I'm afraid, sometimes unforeseen additional work of this scale is encountered, in such cases delays do occur.
As we discussed in the Westminster meeting, to ensure we maintain momentum, if major problems are encountered we do push on with work elsewhere. When a new solution design is required, as happened in West Dereham, it has to be designed, planned and resource scheduled into the programme, this is why implementation is delayed. We do all we can to implement as quickly as possible.”
The PC agreed that it did not contain any new information and was simply restating information that had been previously supplied. There was no timescale for when WD work would be completed. As KOK had offered to attend a PC meeting to talk to the PC and parishioners she had been invited to attend the meeting on 5 March and asked to provide a timescale for when WD would be receiving superfast broadband. She had confirmed that she would attend but with regard to a timescale she could say no more at the moment than during 2015. ET had been asked if she could put pressure on BBfN to provide a timescale for completion of the work.
5.7 Glazewing Report. Glazewing had issued their February report by email, it covers the period from 26 November to 1 February. It advised that there had been no reported incidents in the period. They advised that amendments had been submitted to their planning application. The PC had been informed of these amendments but as they did not address any of the objections raised by the PC and residents the PC had advised NCC that their original objections remained. BL advised that he had asked for the application to be determined by the planning committee and he would attend the planning committee meeting and put forward the reasons for the objections made by the PC and residents.
An email had been received by a parishioner advising that she had made a complaint to the Environment Agency (EA) regarding the large increase in litter around the village as a result of the Glazewing site. She stated that there are large mountains of polythene stored on the site and litter is blowing from these. The email stated that EA advised her they currently have several issues that they are dealing with regarding Glazewing and that they would welcome comments from other residents on litter and pollution. If litter is found to be an issue outside of the site then Glazewing get the cost of their licence increased as a consequence. The telephone number to call to report issues to EA is 0800 807060. EA had advised that odour is also an incident to report and people are asked to rate the incident severity from 1 to 6. It is much more useful to have a record of fluctuating severity that simply saying all incidents are level 6.
CC advised that she had recently asked an enormous lorry about to travel down Lime Kiln Road heading to Glazewing to turn around as they had ignored the correct signage advising them to continue on the A134 to the next roundabout and follow the official route to the site. The driver had advised that he was following his satnav and that it had taken him on that route. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Andy Wallace, Highways Engineer, again to chase up the issue of
additional signage on the A134 to discourage HGV vehicles turning into Lime Kiln Road. It was felt that additional signs advising against following a satnav route were available as Councillors advised they had seen them elsewhere.
6.1 Accounts. Accounts for approval and the monthly financial management report were submitted by the Clerk. She advised that the income and expenditure for November and December 2014 has now been confirmed and that estimated figures for January have been inserted based upon invoices received. Cash flow remained good with income and expenditure as expected.
|Clerk’s salary & expenses for Jan 2015 – 44 hrs||100778||492.89||492.89|
|West Dereham Village Hall – PC meetings Oct-Dec||100779||135.00||135.00|
|Pear Technology Services Ltd – Cemetery map||100780||100.00||20.00||120.00|
|Anglian Water – Cemetery supply||100781||15.99||15.99|
|CGM Ltd – Nov grounds maintenance||100782||80.75||16.15||96.90|
|NPTP – Chairmanship course||100783||70.00||70.00|
CC would refund the PC for the Chairmanship Course. The above payments were considered and approved. Cheques to be signed at the end of the meeting.
- Location of two additional dog waste bins. A request had been received for a dog waste bin to be located on Station Road near the telephone box. It was agreed that at this stage one bin should be located on Station Road, as requested and the other one should be put on the Playing Field. Consideration should be given to purchase another bin from the budget for the next financial year and this could be added to the agenda for the next PC meeting as if it was agreed it could be ordered in March 2015 for delivery and payment in April 2015. Exact location for bins is to be agreed at the Annual Assets Inspection on 7 March 2015.
It had been brought to the attention of the PC that the litter bin on the playing field had not been emptied for several weeks. It was confirmed that this is the only litter bin in the parish which should be emptied weekly, free of charge, by the BC. Clerk to contact BC to report this matter and arrange for weekly collections to recommence. The bin on the bus shelter beside the village hall is emptied weekly at village hall expense but it was pointed out by a member of the public that it is in very poor condition. It was agreed therefore to obtain quotes to consider purchase of a replacement litter bin.
- New PC website. All of the information shown on the old PC website has been added to the new website. The
new website was approved by the PC and all information on the old website will be removed, other than a link to the new website on the homepage. The new website can be found at west-dereham-parish-council.norfolkparishes.gov.uk
The reason for the change is that the new website is free (funded by the County Council) and more user friendly.
9.1 Applications. No new applications had been received.
9.2.1 14/01582/F – First floor extension at Lime House, Lime Kiln Road. The BC have permitted this application.
9.2.2 C/2/2014/2018; C/2/2014/2020; C/2/2014/2021; C/2/2014/2022; & C/2/2014/2023 – Frimstone Ltd: Crimplesham Quarry. Five applications had been made to extend operations to 31 December 2015 and regularise existing plant site layout and alterations to phase boundary. These applications have been permitted by Norfolk County Council (NCC).
9.3 C/2/2014/2026 – Temporary (10 years) change of use of land for top soil recycling at Cornerways Farm, College Road, Stoke Ferry. A reply had been received from the Planning Officer at NCC to the concerns raised by the PC
over the increased traffic that this proposal would involve on the A134 and the junctions with Lime Kiln Road, Bath Road and the A1122. The email was read out to the meeting. It stated:
“You kindly sent us the Parish Council’s comments in respect of an application for Top Soil Recycling at British Sugar, Stoke Ferry. In the comments there was a request that the Parish Council receive a reply in respect of suggested highway improvements.
I have now received some comments from the County Council’s Highway Officer in respect of the parish council’s comments. The response I have received is as follows:
It should be noted that, in highway terms, the site is well positioned within the network given that it is located directly off the B1160, which is a main distributor route, and benefits from good access to the principal A road network. Whilst I accept that the proposals will result in further traffic generation within the area, given the current levels of traffic within the area and the standard of the road network this would not be a material increase or result in conditions to the detriment of highway safety.
Whilst I acknowledged that there is a desire locally to promote further improvements (as outlined) it would not be reasonable for me to insist on any works as a result of this application alone. I have however discussed these suggestions with the local highway Engineer, Andy Wallace, and I understand the parish has previously discussed similar requests with the local maintenance section who have outlined why they would not be appropriate at this time.
I trust that you find these comments useful, although if you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to contact me.”
The PC were very disappointed with this response because they had not objected to the planning application but raised specific concerns about the enormous increase in traffic (eg from 50 vehicles per week to 105 in January; 110 in March; 200 in April; and 115 in May ) and the reply did not address any of these. It also incorrectly stated that this had been discussed with Highways before when no discussion has taken place on this issue. It was agreed that the Clerk would find out how many RTAs there have been on our stretch of the A134 each year for the past 10 years. When this information is obtained the PC will find out from NCC Planning how many accidents must have occurred before they consider an increase in the volume of traffic to be dangerous.
- Light pollution questionnaire from Campaign to Protect Rural England. It was agreed that the Clerk should
complete and return the questionnaire as the PC does have a Light Pollution Policy in respect of planning applications.
11.1 A reply had been received from Norfolk Accident Rescue Service thanking the PC for the information on fund raising events held at the WD Village Hall.
11.2 A letter had been received from West Norfolk Mind requesting a donation from the PC. It was agreed that the usual reply would be issued to such requests stating that the PC made no provision for charitable donations in its budget but giving information on the fish and chip charity evenings held at the village hall.
11.3 Community Infrastructure Levy – BC Consultation on a Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule. A letter had been received from the BC giving information on their proposals for charging on this levy that replaces the Section 106 payments. It was felt that as the parish had no site allocation or development boundary then this was unlikely to have
much effect on the parish. It was therefore agreed that if anyone wished the PC to send comments on this consultation they should contact the Clerk within two weeks or no comments would be sent.
- Parish Council policies and documentation.
12.1 Clerk’s Contract. The current document, which had been circulated to all prior to the meeting, was reviewed. It was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
12.2 Clerk’s Appraisal. The current document, which had been circulated to all prior to the meeting, was reviewed. It was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
12.3 Equal Opportunities Policy. The current document, which had been circulated to all prior to the meeting, was reviewed. It was agreed that the Clerk would enquire with NALC on the reason for the inclusion of the term “Irish
Traveller” in the model document that the policy was based upon. Decision on review of policy to be carried over to the next PC meeting.
12.4 Travel & Expenses Policy. The current document, which had been circulated to all prior to the meeting, was reviewed. It was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
12.5 Health & Safety Policy. The current document, which had been circulated to all prior to the meeting, was reviewed. It was agreed that no amendments were necessary.
- Other Business – Any additional reports and items for inclusion on the next Agenda.
13.1 PK advised that she had been passed a request for advertising in the Parish Magazine.
13.2 CC agreed that she would be clearing the black bin bags from the cemetery that had been left from planting of the hedging.
The official meeting concluded at 9.08pm, and was opened to the floor for general comment.
- A sunken manhole inspection cover on the verge near to Hudson’s Garage has been repaired by Highways.
- A query was raised regarding rocks on the verge of a property on Church Road. It was agreed that as these rocks had been in place for many years and were positioned by the previous owners of the property then no action would be taken by the PC, as this was an issue for Highways to action if they felt it was necessary.
- BL asked for confirmation that KOK will still be attending the next PC meeting closer to the date.
Closure. The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and final closure of the meeting was at 9.16pm.
Next ordinary meeting of the Parish Council is on Thursday 5 March at 7.30pm with Open Surgery from 7.00pm.
Clerk: Sarah Thorpe
Telephone: 01945 430930
Chairman’s signature …………………………………… Date ……………………………