Margaret Barrett, Sue Malt, Dick Malt, Sue Chapman, James Sayer, Lynda Eaglesham, Albert Stagles, Robert Richmond, Stuart Barnes, Chris Danson, William Danson, Roger Thornely, James Keith, Alan Hughes, Glenys Watling, Carl Watling, Trevor Wood and Simon Brock
Apologies; Michael Fillenham, Sally Theakston, Mike Chapman, Ernie and Josie Lloyd ,David and Val Knight, Ronnie Devine, Senga Thompson, John and Jenny Tuckwell, Philip and Krystyna Stroulger and Celia Daniel.
- Minutes of Last Meeting
Trevor Wood, the Worthing and Hoe Chairman, explained how the minutes of the previous meeting – the AGM held on 11th May, were available on the Hoe and Worthing website and had also been displayed for the current meeting on the walls of the village hall for all to inspect.
Dick Malt proposed and Roger Thorneley seconded that they were a correct record of the meeting and this was agreed unanimously.
Matters arising would be discussed, as usual, during the meeting.
- Treasurer’s Report
Margaret Barrett, the Treasurer, reported that as she had had such a hectic time recently she had been unable to totally update the accounts but they were correct up to 19th September 2016.
The Financial Reports had been circulated to all present and demonstrated the bank balance, as of 19th September, 2016 was £2629.49. Since that date, the precept of £920 had been received so the current balance as of the date of the meeting was £3549.49.
Margaret had also circulated projected costs up to 31st March which showed that the balance by then would be around £1700. However, this did not allow for any income from village hall hirings.
Roger Thornely questioned if there would be any further costs for the village hall. Trevor pointed out that all the major repairs/improvements (e.g. Re-roofing, refurbishing floors, new doors, installing French windows) were beyond the scope of parish funds and if they went ahead would be funded by any available grants. He indicated that the parish maintenance group were actively seeking sources of external funding.
Danny Danson proposed that the Parish Meeting continued to donate at the same previous rates to the Hoe and Worthing churches, Citizens Advice, First Responders and the Air Ambulance. This was seconded by Carl Watling and passed unanimously.
During a discussion about any claims which might be made on the parish meeting accounts,Dick Malt explained that the Worthing Archive (see end of minutes for web address) had cost around £150 to set up and a further £50 per year for the domain name. He has previously paid these costs out of his own pocket but proposed in future that the £50 annual cost was paid for by the Parish Meeting. This was seconded by Glenys Watling and passed unanimously.
Roger Thorneley explained he wished to establish a ‘village green’ in Worthing with a bench adjacent to the village sign. He indicated his intention to consult with Worthing residents regarding this and apologised for not doing that before the meeting, which he had in mind would be in November. As Roger was unable to make a firm proposal Trevor indicated that the matter could not be progressed during the evening of the current meeting; Roger however requested that the principle of purchasing a bench should be recorded in the minutes.
Danny Danson (chair of the Hall Management Gropup) pointed out that some of the surplus in the Parishes’ accounts was as a result of the hall hiring and should be put aside for replacing items as they wore out. He made it clear, following a question from the chair, that he was not proposing a change of our accounting method , indeed the management group were very happy with that, but merely signposting that the intention of the management group, in setting charges for the hall, was to ensure sufficient was available for future replacement of various fixed items. The chairman invited any questions regarding this and there were no queries raised.
As mentioned before, the major hall repairs are hoped to be paid for by grants. The Village Hall Management Group have been looking into this but there were quite few problems mainly due to the hall not being owned by the parishes but by The Church. The committee continues to investigate.
The precept is currently £1800 per year which is equivalent to around and £18/house and is amongst the cheapest in the county. James Keith proposed the precept stays the same. Seconded by Sue Malt and voted for unanimously.
- Chairman’s Report
An open meeting had been held to discuss the Billingford Lake development where it was decided to oppose the plan and so the parish meeting has written another extensive letter of objection.
The decision by the planning authority was expected by the end of August but this has now been extended as the authority awaits additional information from the applicant. It is now not likely until December at the earliest and is more likely to be discussed at Breckland’s January (2017) planning meeting.
Of the four parishes affected, Swanton Morley and ours objected, N Elmham decided not to take a stance and Billingford supported the proposal. A group of Billingford objectors however have funded a solicitor to act for them.
An application for a dwelling on land opposite Hoe Common was refused on grounds that it was against policy and also had very poor highway access.
An application was received to convert an agricultural steel storage building to a dwelling on the basis it complied with permitted development rights introduced last year. However, the parish meeting objected as they didn’t consider two poly-tunnels and topping grass and hedges constituted a viable agricultural activity. The application was refused and the applicant has subsequently appealed. The parish meeting has submitted further objection in response.
An appeal against a refused application for two houses on infill land in Worthing is still outstanding.
4.2 Local Plan
The Local Plan will establish planning policy to 2036 and a further round of public consultation is in progress and should be completed by 31st October. The plan is for 50% of housing needs to be taken up by key settlements, 30% by market towns, 15% by local service centres and 5% by rural areas. This is the first time that rural areas (areas without a settlement boundary) have been included. The Dereham area has been identified as needing 1540 homes, 790 already have consent leaving a requirement for another 750 which equates to Hoe and Worthing needing around 5.
Trevor displayed the lengthy consultation document ‘Breckland Local Plan Preferred Site Options and Settlement Boundaries 2016’. He explained that anyone could express their view on the consultation via Breckland’s website or by contacting the district council directly.
Copies of page 183 of the document were made available to the meeting which specifically related to development in rural areas outside settlement boundaries (PD05B). This included consultation question 27 about the proposal. In addition to individual replies to the consultation, Trevor asked if the Parish Meeting should make a reply on behalf of the parishes.
There followed fairly lengthy discussion on the proposal followed by the proposed answer to the question 27 (two parts);
27.1 Do you agree with the approach to development in the rural areas?
Danny Danson proposed we agreed, seconded by Alan Hughes. 11 voted for and 6 abstained.
27.2 Do you consider that policy PD05B should be defined around clusters of 10 dwellings? Or is there an alternative cluster size that the council should consider e.g.5?
Carl Watling proposed that there shouldn’t be a pre-determined number to define a ‘cluster’, James Sayer seconded. 12 voted for, 5 abstained.
Trevor had mentioned in the past how Brenda Snelling had done a fantastic job of catering for the Queen’s birthday celebration including producing an amazing cake. He has since asked Brenda for a receipt to repay her cost but she and her partner Dave have very kindly stated that they wished the cake to be a gift to the two parishes. The meeting expressed gratitude which Trevor said he would pass on to Brenda and Dave.
Trevor was pleased to report that the stolen post box is finally to be replaced. It has been a very complex task trying to ascertain progress, so as yet, he did not know when it would be replaced or where the new box would be situated. Trevor also thanked Adam Flack for his endless efforts in trying to track down the whereabouts of the stolen one.
The Parish Meeting decided they would be very pleased to have another litter pick in Spring 2017. Trevor said that unfortunately his truck has been scrapped and therefore will be unavailable to collect the sacks of litter. Carl Watling offered the use of his trailer which was gratefully accepted and Trevor undertook to make the necessary arrangements to ensure the litter pick could go ahead. It was indicated that our MP, George Freeman had sent a note of thanks to the parish meeting offering congratulations on the huge amount collected at the last litter pick.
- Parish Groups
5.1 Village Hall
Danny Danson updated the meeting on the village hall. Hiiring income from events had been down on the previous six months due to the loss of Musical Keys. Income was up however as a result of two room hiring for elections. Costs are up due to electricity – mainly as a result of quite a high usage on the celebration for The Queen’s birthday.
Additionally, four talks have been booked for the near future and a possible quiz as well as the local Patient Participation group’s meetings.
Grant applications for major repairs had been covered earlier in the meeting.
5.2 Hoe Common
Dick Malt explained how students from Easton College did an excellent job last winter fencing in parts of the common. Hopefully they will return this winter so that it can be completed and allow ponies to graze the area.
Jeff Shea brought a Suffolk Punch cart-horse towing a bracken roller to help reduce the bracken build up and successfully rolled a large area.
Asulox herbicide is used on the more difficult areas around the trenches.
Heather is growing really well on the top area and starting to establish in the bottom area.
Roger Thorneley stated that Jane Wales had complained she had twisted her ankle in a pot hole whilst walking her dog in Worthing. Trevor ensured that the ‘Highway Rangers’ will pick the issue up on their imminent inspection.
- Date of Next Meeting.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 10th May, 2017.
There being no other business the meeting concluded at 9.00pm.