Trevor Wood, Albert Stagles, Carl Watling, Glenys Watlin, Robert Richmod, Dick Malt, David Knight, Roger Thorneley, Jenni Thorneley, James Keith, Stuart Barnes, Dominique Turnham, James Sayer, John Tuckwell, Jenny Tuckwell, Senga Thompson, Ronnie Devine, Simon Brock.
Apologies where received from Danny and Chris Danson, Josie and Ernie Lloyd, Margaret and Phil Barret, Sally Theakston and Michael Fillenham.
The chairman, Trevor Wood, opened the meeting by welcoming Dominique Turnham the curate for the Dereham ministry. He also welcomed new members of the parish; Carl and Glenys Watling, Stuart Barnes and Ronnie Devine and also the district councillor Robert Richmond.
- Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting, held on 14th October, 2016, were proposed as a true record by Roger Thorneley, seconded by James Keith and agreed and adopted by all present. Trevor proposed that all matters arising would be covered in his Chairman’s report.
- The Treasurer’s Report
Margaret Barrett, the treasurer, had prepared the accounts for adoption together with a written summary of activity over the year which Trevor presented in her absence and invited any questions/ comments.
Kames Keith queried the miscellaneous expenditure which Trevor explained was for chairs and fire extinguishers.
The amount of septic tank emptying was also questioned but this was explained as it is a dirty water storage tank only and not a septic tank and therefore does not have a soakaway so needs emptying more often.
Roger Thorneley asked it there would be a separate breakdown of cost associated purely with the village hall. Trevor explained that these costs are recorded and will be presented at the October finance meeting.
John Tuckwell proposed that accounts were adopted so that they could be passed to the auditors. This was seconded by Senga Thomson and agreed by all present.
- The Chairman’s Report
4.1 Community Car Scheme
This was proposed at the last meeting and £200 was allocated towards the project from parish funds.
The scheme provides 50% of the motoring cost (25% from the Breckland Council and 25% from the parish). However, Breckland will only pay its share if the driver undertakes a criminal record check, has medical report that shows they are fit to drive and confirmation that the driver’s insurance accepts payments for journeys. Breckland also insists that the Parish provides insurance for £5 million public liability. Trevor looked into the likely cost of such insurance and it would be in the region of £300. This has unfortunately meant that with a budget of £200 just for supplementing journey expenses and the additional £300 has made the scheme impossible to arrange.
Trevor has made further enquiries to Lynda Turner (the portfolio holder for place at Breckland) who has helped in the past when there was a similar liability insurance problem with the litter pick.
4.2 The Litter Pick
Another very successful litter pick was carried out. The weather conditions this year were awful and around 60 volunteers collected 94 sacks of rubbish. The young children who also helped were particularly impressive and never complained and kept smiling despite the weather. As a reward they were presented with certificates by the ‘queen’ at her 90th birthday village celebrations.
As part of the Clean for Queen initiative ahead of the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations, around 20 Dereham Air Cadets cleaned all the ivy and debris off the second world was pill box. Trevor thanked Adam Flack for his help in arranging this. Another working party cleaned the exterior and surrounds of the reading room and were rewarded with bacon sandwiches, tea and cakes.
4.3 The Queen’s 90th Birthday
As a result of the Clean for Queen activities a grant was obtained from Breckland towards a village party to celebrate the birthday. This was a great success and Trevor thanked the village hall committee (Danny and Chris Danson, Chris Price, Simon Brock, Sue Malt and Suzzane Stephan) for organising and in particularly Brenda Snelling for her phenomenal catering skills and all others involved.
Trevor explained that a meeting with the highways engineer will take place soon, so please let him know if there are any issues.
There followed a debate about the amount of traffic using the roads in the village as short cut through to and from Norwich direction. Trevor pointed out that any vehicle may use the route and that it is only possible to use a weight restriction if there is a vulnerable bridge or culvert.
A sign stating that the route is unsuitable for heavy vehicles has already been erected in the past.
Bad pot holes appearing at the sides of the roads has been highlighted to the highways department by Trevor.
With regard to planning issues Trevor provided an extensive update regarding recent applications;
- There are two ongoing issues relating to land abutting the River Wensum which are outside of our parishes: both relate to extensive areas of land with proposals to develop tourist facilities, both have previously been opposed by our parish meeting and both will now be subject of new proposals.
- Several applications have been made for extensions in both parishes which were not opposed by our parish meeting and were approved by the planning authority.
- There was one application for an extension in Fakenham Road, Hoe however which claimed a right to ‘permitted development’ under recently introduced legislation. Whilst not opposing the application the parish meeting took the view a full planning application should be submitted, the local authority agreed and one has now been submitted.
- The importance of establishing a principle with regard to ‘permitted development’ was demonstrated with an application to convert a recently erected metal building near to the railway crossing in Hoe to a dwelling under the same legislation. This was opposed by the parish meeting and then refused consent. Since then the applicant has made legal challenges regarding the refusal which the parish meeting have opposed.
- An application was made to erect two homes with garages on agricultural land abutting Swanton Morley Road, Worthing as part of the building line. The parish meeting objected, the application was refused and is now subject of an appeal.
- An application was made to erect a new dwelling in the grounds of Home farmhouse, Swanton Morley Road, Worthing. This was opposed by the parish meeting and refused. A subsequent application however was approved by Breckland District Council’s Planning Committee and Trevor indicated this was the first time that anything opposed by the parish meeting had been approved.
In conclusion, Trevor pointed out that he was having a clean out of old planning papers at his home. He pointed out that all planning paperwork is now held extensively on Breckland’s website and on micro fiche and also on our own website.
The large amount of paperwork he also holds relating to the Local Development Framework will also soon be obsolete.
- Parish Group Updates
5.1 Hoe Common
Dick Malt updated the parish on Hoe Common
The common is in a Higher Level Stewardship scheme which has proved very useful in funding the maintenance of Hoe Common.
Livestock fencing has been erected by students from Easton Agricultural College. There is still a small bit to finish which should be completed later this year. Horses then will graze the common to help maintain the site and keep down scrub particularly silver birch.
Bracken is a still a major problem and is proving difficult getting volunteers to help with clearance and so contractor’s machinery has been used in addition.
Interpretation panels have been supplied with help from the Owl and Hawk Trust and leaflet dispensers from Breckland Council.
David Knight’s bird watching group has supplied styles to enable access over the fences.
5.2 Village Hall
Hiring has gone very well with regular groups as well as parties and whole weekend hiring.
Some of the events have included singing workshops, caring friends harvest supper, Swanton Morley patient’s participation group (one including George Freeman MP) and the under 5’s group. Brenda Townsend held her 80th birthday celebrations in the village hall. There was also folk singing, a children’s party, the Queen’s 90th celebrations and an election.
There will hopefully be three village talks coming up in the future as well as possibly a quiz night.
In summary Sue said that the village hall was working really well.
- Election of Officers
Trevor suggested that the planning committees were voted for on block and they consist of:
Worthing; Roger Thorneley, Danny Danson and Phil Cane
Hoe; Dick Malt, Simon Brock, James Sayer and Margaret Barrett.
This was proposed by James Keith, seconded by Senga Thomson and carried unanimously.
As there were only three members on the Worthing Planning Committee, Roger Thorneley asked if they co-opt a fourth member in the future. James Keith suggested this could prove controversial. A vote was held to resolve with four against co-opting and one for.
Margaret Barrett was proposed by Jenni Thorneley and seconded by Senga Thomson and voted for unanimously.
James Keith proposed Trevor Wood which was seconded by Dick Malt and carried unanimously.
6.4 Vice Chairman
John Tuckwell proposed Roger Thorneley, seconded by David Knight and carried unanimously.
John Tuckwell enquired as to if the stolen post-box was going to be replaced. Trevor explained that he had got nowhere with the Post Office who just kept passing him to different departments. It has been allocated a crime number but otherwise the police do not seem particularly interested.
- Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on 12th October, 2016.