Hoe and Worthing Parish Meeting
Minutes of the AGM held on Wednesday, 10th May 2017.
Trevor Wood (Chairman), Carl and Glenys Watling, Margaret Barrett, Chris Danson, Jenni Thorneley, Celia Daniel, David Knight, Ivan Mayes, Tracey Green, James Sayer, Jenny Tuckwell, Roger Thorneley, Robert Richmond, Revd. Dominique Turnham, Michael Fillenham (rep Canon Sally Theakston), Dick and Susan Malt, John Tuckwell, Alan Hughes and Simon Brock
Apologies where received from James Keith, Danny Danson, Bill Borrett, Christy Williams, Gordon Chapman and Sally Theakston.
- Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting, held on 5th October, 2016, available on the Hoe and Worthing web site and also, for the evening, displayed on the walls of the village hall. Dick Malt proposed that they were a true record of the meeting, seconded by Alan Hughes and agreed by all present.
- The Treasurer’s Report
Margaret reported that there was currently no village hall insurance payment in the accounts due to the late receipt of the invoice from the church which means there will probably be two years’ worth in next year’s accounts.
The income has been helped by the hire of the hall for two elections. Without these, it would have been quite difficult for the meeting to run at a surplus. Swanton Morley’s Patients Participation Group regularly as does the singing and craft groups. One of the biggest costs for the village hall is the electricity.
Roger Thorneley questioned where the £220 from the Craft Group hire went as an example. Margaret explained that all the income from all the hiring goes into the Meeting’s account and is used towards the Meeting’s expenses. There is not a separate village hall account.
- Reports from Local Groups
4.1 Village Hall Management Group
Sue Malt gave a report on behalf of the Management Group’s chairman Danny who had given his apologies.
The current hire rate of £5/hr seems to be covering the electric costs, septic tank emptying and insurance. This has been helped considerably by the two election hires. The group will keep an eye on the income and expenditure and may increase rates if necessary.
Please could parishioners always bare the hall in mind for hiring if they hear of any suitable functions?
Danny, with the help of the committee and Trevor Wood, has put in an application for a grant from Biffa to re-roof the hall and to insert French windows for better access to the outside area. The quotes for the work are around £15,000. If we are successful in applying for the grant, then Biffa would expect us to fund 10% which is £1,500. Bizarrely this has to come from someone else and so if anyone could come up with suggestions/ideas of how to raise the money, that would be very helpful.
4.2 Hoe Common
Dick Malt gave an update on Hoe Common.
Not much had happened recently at the Common but students from Easton College have carried out some more fencing work but it was still not finished yet.
There has been a plague of silver birch samplings which forestry students have been kindly been helping to weed at no extra cost. Hopefully this will be helped by Norfolk Wild Life Trust supplying some ponies for grazing once the fencing is completed.
Geoff and Allan (man and horse) are due to help flatten the bracken again with their roller. Bracken is particularly a problem in the trenches where the soil cannot be disturbed and so hopefully a contractor is going to help by spraying off the bracken. This will be funded with money from the Higher Level Stewardship fund.
4.3 Hoe and Worthing Churches
Trevor took the opportunity of welcoming guests to the meeting; Dominique Turnham (Curate), Michael Fillenham (representing the Rector) and Robert Richmond the District Councillor.
Celia Daniel gave a report on St Mary’s Church at Worthing.
She titled her report as dealing with stocks, investments, shares and assets.
The stock was the 42 properties and 1 church in Worthing. These require a lot of time and money to maintain. As well as donations, the church received £300 per annum from the parish which is our investment. The church shares and integrates the community and is an asset and is part of Worthing’s heritage and should be preserved for future generations.
The church requires considerable investment; £1500 for an automatic door lock, £300 for an internal door, £500 for a sign at the bottom of the lane, £825 budgeted for repairs and £697 for insurance. In 2014 there were 12 volunteers that helped maintained the grounds but this has now dwindled to four.
It would be good to have more volunteers and ideas for what the building means to the community and what needs to be done for improvement.
- Community Events
Trevor explained how there was a nationally supported intention to mark the anniversary of the politician Jo Cox’s death with community get-together events. Trevor had previously emailed residents to gauge the interest before applying for a grant from the district council that had been made available to support events. 28 people responded by saying that they would like to attend with a further 10 supporting the idea but unable to attend due to holiday commitments. Trevor has therefore been successful in applying for the £200 grant and asked those present for suggestions for an event which had to include food. A lunchtime BBQ was agreed with possible entertainment from the village choir.
Sue Malt, Carl Watling, Roger Thorneley and Trevor Wood all volunteered to set up a committee to organise the event.
6.0 Chairman’s Report
Trevor suggested that as the meeting was running out of time and it was essential to both include the remaining items and allow plenty of time for discussion, he would provide a written Chairman’s report subsequently.
7.0 Parish Meeting Representative Roles
Trevor thought it was important to discuss the roles of the various parish representatives to ensure that everybody still agreed what they were. He outlined that them as…..
7.1 The Chairman arranges and conducts all meetings and is the sole person authorised to deal with correspondence, enquiries and represent Hoe and Worthing parish in the time between meetings.
7.2 If for some reason the Chairman is unable to fulfil his/her duties then the Vice Chairman will step in and fill the chairman’s role for as long as necessary.
The Vice Chairman and chairman are usually elected from different villages.
7.3 The Treasurer deals with financial matters, records transactions and presents accounts for approval by the parish meeting and the auditors.
7.4 The Planning Sub-Committee is made up of four Parishioners from Hoe and four from Worthing who advise the parish chairman on how the parish meeting should respond to planning applications. The members also approve the final response document prepared by the chairman before it is submitted to the local planning authority.
The parish meeting agreed individually to each of these role descriptions and no amendments were suggested.
8.0 Trevor outlined two developments which had caused him considerable concern and in his view placed the parish meeting in some jeopardy. Having been unable to resolve matters by any other means Trevor concluded he had no other option than to place things before the parish meeting to resolve.
He reported that the following had taken place.
- The process for considering planning matters in Worthing had unilaterally abandoned the safeguards included in the procedure Trevor brought in for the parish meeting to follow when he became chairman. This complied with advice from the local planning authority, legal requirements and proper standards of conduct in local government. It was introduced following a complaint made about the practices that had been previously adopted and things had clearly reverted to that without Trevor’s knowledge. He only became aware that the proper procedure was not being followed when another complaint was made.
- The title of ‘Chairman of Worthing Planning Sub –Committee of Hoe and Worthing Parish Meeting’ had been used extensively by one member of the planning sub-committee in Worthing whilst purporting to represent the parish meeting both in a large and widely distributed body of correspondence and at meetings over a considerable period. Trevor pointed out that neither he or the parish meeting had been consulted about this happening or authorised it, nobody had ever been elected as chairman of any aspect of planning in Hoe and Worthing and only the parish meeting chairman had ever had a mandate to act on the parish meeting’s behalf either in person or in writing.
There was a very heated series of exchanges during this address and at the conclusion the parish meeting requested that Trevor prepare a written document outlining the full protocol which should be followed by the planning sub-committee when dealing with planning matters so that all parishioners had access to it for reference: Trevor agreed to do that.
John Tuckwell proposed the parish meeting should confirm that only the elected chairman is authorised to sign correspondence on its behalf and to act as its representative between meetings. James Sayer seconded the proposal and it was passed with 15 parishioners voting in favour and three abstaining.
9.0 Parish Meeting Future
Trevor explained that there were three possible options for future operation of parish representation for Hoe and Worthing…..
9.1 Stay as a Parish Meeting. This relies on appointing a Chairman and Treasurer and continuing as we do now.
9.2 Become a Parish Council. This requires a least 6 people meeting 5 times a year. It requires a Parish Clerk (minimum cost £2,000 per year) more expenditure with associated increase in the parish precept and compliance with many more rules.
9.3 Each of the two villages joins a bigger neighbouring Parish Council.
It was decided to discuss this more fully at a future meeting.
- Election of Officers
Trevor Wood proposed by Margaret Barrett, 2nd By Alan Hughes
Roger Thorneley proposed by John Tuckwell, 2nd by David Knight
Margaret Barrett proposed by Simon Brock, 2nd by David Knight
Planning Sub Committee (Worthing representatives)
Roger Thornely, Alan Hughes, Celia Daniel and Danny Danson
Proposed by John Tuckwell, 2nd David Knight
Planning Sub Committee (Hoe representatives)
Simon Brock, Dick Malt, Margaret Barrett and James Sayer
Proposed Carl Watling, 2nd Glenys Watling
- Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting will be Wednesday 11th October, 2017
There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.00pm
There was insufficient time at the meeting for the Trevor to give his report, but a written summary is included with these minutes as below;
i Local Plan
The next public consultation of the Local Plan has been postponed until at least late summer. The PD05B Policy can directly affect our two parishes. Based on the work to date, the unconfirmed direction of thinking includes a modification of that previously discussed by the parish meeting during the last consultation. The unconfirmed elements of this include……
- The development is within a closely-knit cluster adjacent to or fronting a highway.
- The scale represents infilling or rounding off on a small undeveloped plot and is in keeping with the existing dwellings.
- The proposed level of development outside of the settlement boundary amounts to no more than 5% of the projected housing need during the plan period.
- The proposal does not harm or undermine a visually important gap that contributes to the character and distinctness of the rural scene or development would adversely impact on the environment or highway safety.
- Local support must be demonstrated through a process agreed by the LPA.
Farmsteads will only be considered where;
- It is in an affordable housing scheme for local needs
- It involves appropriate re-use of a rural building
- It is a replacement of an existing building
- It is required in association with existing rural enterprises consistent with national guidance
ii Offshore Cable
Trevor has been in touch with the project contractors (Vattenfall) with regard to the cables connecting Bacton to Necton. They offered to come to our meeting if possible. They provided details of the route and offered to send us a copy of the pack that has been set to affected land owners. They also agreed to update us as things develop and the route is fine tuned.
In Hoe, the affected area is mainly arable land from Hoe Road South near the Swanton Morley border traveling directly west crossing Holt Road between Corner’s Nursery and Rabbits Foot Barn.
Iii Planning Applications
- The appeal regarding the proposal to convert a storage building to a dwelling at the railway crossing was dismissed with the inspector agreeing with the parish meeting’s objections.
- A further application to develop a dwelling on land near Hoe Common (next to the B1110) was refused. The parishes’ planning committee was divided on the matter. The applicant has now claimed established use and submitted a sworn statement from someone who claims to have lived in the railway carriage on the site. Our parish was asked to provide evidence of previous use and although the sworn testimony could not be confirmed, the carriage apparently was occasionally slept in.
- An appeal regarding lifting the holiday restriction on a cottage in Mill Lane was allowed. The appeal inspector concluded that it was close enough to services in Beetley, Gressenhall and Dereham to be sustainable.
- An appeal against a refusal regarding two houses in Swanton Morley Road , Worthing was dismissed. The inspector agreed with the Parish Meeting’s objections.
- An application to establish two houses and two bungalows at the junction of Fakenham Road and Gorgate Drive was refused on the grounds raised by the Parish Meeting. N.B. The chairman had declared an interest on this occasion and withdrew from any involvement.
- Detailed plans have been submitted in respect of Home Farm House, Worthing and some conditions discharged.
- Consent has been given to the visitor’s centre at Billingford Lakes. Breckland indicated at the meeting that the matter would have to be referred to the Secretary of State under the conditions of statutory notice and so it will now be up to the Secretary of State to decide if the decision should be reviewed.
iv Litter Pick
This year’s litter pick was another success with 44 volunteers collecting 72 sacks of litter and a large pile of things too big to fit in bags.
As well as participating in the litter pick, Carl and Glenys Watling very kindly collected all the very wet full sacks in their van. Thank you to them both.