Hoe and Worthing Parish Meeting
Minutes of the AGM held on Wednesday, 13th May 2015.
Trevor Wood, Chris Danson, Danny Danson, J M Thorneley, Krystyna Stroulger, Roger Thorneley, Alan Hughes, David Knight, Simon Brock, Margaret Barrett, Bill Borrett, J Keith, S Brock, S Thompson, S Malt, Dick Malt, R Duffield, Robert Richmond, Albert Stagles, Eileen Sansom and Edward Sansom.
Apologies where received from Lynne and Adrian Hodge, Josie and Ernie Lloyd, Phillip Stroulger, Phill Barrett, Lynda Eaglesham and Jenny and John Tuckwell.
The chairman, Trevor Wood, opened the meeting by welcoming Robert Richmond and Richard Duffield then congratulating them on their recent election victory to become district councillors of the now larger (Lincoln) ward.
The minutes of the previous AGM of 14th May 2014 were proposed by James Keith as a true record, seconded by Krystyna Stroulger and unanimously agreed by the meeting.
3. Matters Arising
It was decided that these would be covered in the Chairman’s report.
4. The Treasurer’s Report
The treasurer, Margaret Barrett, presented the accounts.
She explained that at the time of the accounts being drawn up, the cheque for the expenditure on the village sign (£799) had not cleared. Since then it had cleared so the closing bank balance of £1731.74 was now correct.
£697.19 proceeds from the village hall open day had been matched by an expenditure of £612.34 on set up costs for the village hall (crockery, curtains and poles, cleaning equipment etc). Electricity is being purchased through the buying group Affinity and so rates will come down. Anglia Water seemed to have omitted to install a meter when installing the water supply and so there is no idea what the water charge will be, if anything.
There is an extra £22 to go on insurance (total £350) which will now appear in next year’s accounts.
The Auditors charge is unusually large as it is based on a percentage of turnover and the previous year’s improvement grant made this very large.
Margaret also presented a breakdown of the Village Hall’s income and expenditure (printed on the rear of the main accounts).
The accounts were proposed for approval by Bill Borrett and seconded by Jenni Thorneley and agreed unanimously by the meeting.
5. The Chairman’s Report
Trevor explained how his time had been limited recently and so some things had been delayed such as writing and thanking the parish’s litter picking volunteers. He would catch up as soon as possible but all other important matters had been dealt with as they arose.
5.1 Litter Pick. This had been a great success with over 50 volunteers collecting 90 full bags in addition to several large heaps too big to bag. The event was reported on Twitter and Radio Norfolk and Breckland District Council (BDC) passed on its thanks. James Keith wished to thank Trevor in particularly for all his efforts in organising and for transporting collected bags.
5.2 Post Codes. The problem with miss-directed mail seems to have finally been solved by updating road names but keeping post codes the same. BDC wanted to erect 6 new road name plates but as this is in a conservation area it was reduced to 2; one at the T junction by the church and the other at the T junction by Angel Farm House. The signs will be in BDC’s usual style as it is too expensive to upgrade to something less obtrusive.
5.3 The Telephone Box has been offered to the parish for £1. The problem with buying it is that it has an unmetered electricity supply and therefore the bill for electricity could be enormous. There would also be maintenance costs. Trevor has had an assurance from the utilities company that it will not be removed without the village’s consent. The general feeling of the parish was that they would like it to stay as a visual asset but do not want to take on ownership. Trevor will see if he can get the current owners to redecorate it.
5.4 Bottle Bank. Now that bottles can be put in the black recycling bins, the bottle bank is less likely to be used and so the parishes income from it likely to reduce. BDC has made a one off payment to compensate for this. Trevor said that he will write to the parishes to encourage them to use the bottle bank rather than the black bins.
5.5 The Worthing Sign. Roger Throneley gave an update on the progress of the village sign;
It has now been successfully replaced with one made of fibreglass. The repainting work was done by Jenni and Roger Thorneley. In addition, a framed text has been attached to the sign acknowledging funding.
£447 was raised by the residents of Worthing and this was matched by £400 from the Parish Meeting. The fixing brackets cost £60 rather than £30, as expected and more specialist paining materials were also required than planned. As a result, Roger had paid £63.17 out of his own funds and asked if he could be re-paid by the meeting. Danny Danson proposed the repayment which was seconded by Susan Brock and passed with 12 in favour and 2 abstentions.
Chris Danson thanked both Roger and Jenni Thorneley for all their hard work and the fabulous result.
5.6 Highways. The work at Mill Lane is now complete.
The Highways Agency is normally very quick to respond to any requests so if the residents have any concerns please contact Trevor.
5.7 Planning Issues. An application to build a bungalow in a garden at Home Farm House was opposed by the Parish Meeting and refused by BDC. Such applications can still be made as BDC haven’t identified their land bank for housing yet. Until then, there is still likely to be the odd application due to this loop hole.
Basil Todd has applied for another appeal against his refusal for his last planning application. The Parish Meeting has strongly opposed the appeal by writing. The appeal inspector will carry out a site visit on 27th May. Parishioners may attend, but only ask questions if invited.
Yet another appeal has been received for Spring Studio. A date for a site visit is yet to be set.
The local plan for the Breckland area continues to be developed and a public consultation has taken place. Following an open meeting, a response to BDC was made in January. Roger Thorneley was concerned about development taking place on the green area between Worthing and Elmham. Bill Borrett explained that the North Elmham Parish will decide which areas it wishes to put forward for local development. Trevor explained that the next phase of establishing a local plan would be a consultation on all pieces of land proposed during a call for sites some months ago; at that point all parishioners and our parishes would be able to submit comments.
6. Village Hall Management Group Report
Sue Malt gave an interesting insight into the history of the parish reading room and its development over the years up to the recent addition of the extension and thanked Trevor for his huge efforts in making the whole project happen. The opening ceremony was very successful and provided funds for kitting out the village hall. Since then, the hall has been hired out for numerous activities and has been a great success.
Sue also made clear just what an achievement Simon had brought about by transforming a veritable building site to a beautifully grassed area with a planted tree at its centre.
Danny Danson, the Chairman of the management group, gave a summary of the group’s activities.
The group currently consists of 6 members but is still looking for two more. The Terms of Reference have been drawn up, as have the Hiring Conditions and all this information is available on the web site. An inventory of the contents has been completed and a replacement schedule will also be drawn up. Portable Appliance Testing of the electrical items is to be carried out and a building and equipment maintenance programme and emergency supplier list is being produced. Danny explained the sponsor concept; each hiring will have a dedicated sponsor who will be responsible for ensuring the hall is clean and tidy and lights and heating are switched off etc.
A budget has been drawn up and it is based on around 80 hires over the year and the plan is for the accounts to break even after putting aside just about £150 each year to fund equipment replacement.
A grant has been obtained and the group would like to purchase 8 tables, 48 chairs and a stacking trolley. The total cost would come to £195 more than the available grant. The additional expenditure was proposed by Danny and seconded by Dick Malt and carried unanimously.
7. Any other business.
Trevor offered an opportunity to provide questions to our recently-elected district councillors or raise any other issues. There being no other business proposed the meeting was closed at 9.20pm. The date of the next meeting was established as 13th October 2015.
7. Hoe Common
Dick Malt reported on activities at Hoe Common.
The Higher Level Stewardship Agreement has successfully allowed funding of some of the activities.
Two areas of bracken have been mechanically scraped off and followed up by cutting which has worked well.
Old heather has been cut back after a period of about twenty years to help re-growth.
The fencing line has been marked out ready for fencing by Easton College students. The Norfolk Wildlife Trust will supply a small number of ponies later for light grazing.
Two interpretation boards are about to go up. These were funded by the Lottery Grant. A BDC grant has also been used to pay for an outdoor leaflet dispenser and leaflets.
Turnout on volunteer days has been disappointing and more help would be most appreciated.
8. Election of Officers
Worthing Planning Committee;
Roger Thornley, David Knight, Danny Danson, Susan Brock.
and Hoe Planning Committee;
Dick Malt, Trevor Wood, James Sayer, Simon Brock.
These were voted in on block; proposed by Margaret Barrett and seconded by Albert Stagles and passed unanimously.
Margaret Barrett. Proposed Sue Malt, seconded Albert Stagles. Unanimous.
Roger Thorneley. Proposed David Knight, seconded Danny Danson. Carried, with two abstentions.
Trevor Wood. Proposed Margaret Barrett, seconded Chris Danson. Unanimous.
9. Any Other Business
Dick Malt offered a big thank you to Trevor for all his hard work as Chairman which was applauded by all present.
10. Date of the next meeting; Wednesday 14th October, 2015