Minutes of the parish meeting held on Wednesday, 14th October 2015.
Trevor Wood, Chris Danson, Dick Malt, Danny Danson, Michael Fillenham, Sally Theakston, Albert Stagles, Phil Barrett, Robert Richmond, James Sayer, Roger Thorneley, Jenni Thorneley, Sue Malt, Philip Stroulger, David Knight, Senga Thompson, Margaret Barrett, Simon Brock, John Tuckwell, Jenny Tuckwell, Bill Borrett
Apologies where received from Celia Daniel, Sue and Mike Chapman, Josie and Ernie Lloyd, James Keith, Lynda Eaglesham, Ronnie Devine, Susan Brock and Krystyna Stroulger.
The chairman, Trevor Wood, opened the meeting by welcoming Robert Richmond our District Councillor along with Canon Sally Theakston and Michael Filenham from the team benefice which covers the parish of Hoe.
Trevor explained that it would be useful to approve and adopt the minutes of the last two Parish Meetings and then we would not be in the position in future of approving and adopting minutes that could be up to a year old. The parish meeting was happy with this and so with no comments received regarding either set of minutes: the minutes of 15th October 2014 were proposed by David Knight and seconded by Dick Malt and those of 13th May 2015 were proposed by Sue malt and seconded by Roger Thorneley as a true record. Both recorded minutes were unanimously adopted.
3. Matters Arising
It was decided that these would be covered in the Chairman’s report or AOB.
4. The Treasurer’s Report
The treasurer, Margaret Barrett, presented the accounts.
She explained that £2643 had been received as a grant towards the village hall’s chairs and tables. The final expenditure had been £3032.15 plus an additional £68.67 for fire extinguishers. This left a shortfall of around £500 that has been made up by revenue from the hall’s hire and the sale of the billiard table and surplus old chairs.
Projected costs that still need to be allowed for were £325 towards maintenance of each of our two churches and £50 to each of The Air Ambulance, Dereham Citizens’ Advice Bureau and North Elmham First responders ( a total of £800) if the meeting was minded to continue these grants as in previous years. There was also an estimated £120 for water charges, £130 for electricity and £80 for septic tank emptying. Taking all these into account this would leave a balance of approximately £1300.
Roger Thornely queried why the £799 expenditure was in this year’s accounts for Worthing sign. Margaret explained that it was a timing issue as the cheque for the sign had not actually cleared by the time last year’s accounts closed and so it was brought forward to this year.
Trevor wanted clarification regarding the chairman, being authorised to spend a maximum of £250. He took the view it is ambiguous and queried whether it meant per year, per meeting or per expenditure? The meeting discussed how this had arisen historically and agreed the authorisation should be updated to be specific that the chairman can authorise expenditure up to £250 between meetings.
Danny Danson indicated that the intention of the hall management committee was to cover all of the additional costs associated with letting and using the premises whilst setting aside a rising/sinking fund for maintenance at the rate of £150 per year. Trevor indicated that the amount set aside would be the first for maintenance in a building which had suffered historical neglect as a result of almost no maintenance whatsoever. There was a question regarding whether the management committee should seek to cover the cost of insurance but it was agreed this is an already established cost incurred by the parish meeting over many years. There was a question regarding whether the maintenance group should hold their own funds and account for their income/expenditure but it was agreed the regularly audited accounts provided by Margaret provided everything required.
Trevor explained that it has been proposed that we might have a community car sharing scheme to provide transport to hospital and medical appointments. The scheme is a joint scheme between the parish and district council. At present the cost is 45p/mile. The passenger pays half the journey cost to a volunteer driver, the parish pays the other half which it in turn claims half back from the council. This is considerably cheaper than the current taxi option.
A coordinator from the parish would be needed, the driver’s vehicle must be legal and roadworthy and the driver must have a DBS check and doctor’s letter confirming fitness to drive.
A lot of discussion followed including concerns that it would be difficult to budget as uptake would be unknown. It was also thought that we would not be allowed to run jointly with other parishes to reduce the coordinator’s workload.
Trevor proposed that the parish should go ahead with the scheme, which was seconded by Simon Brock and passed by all present. Trevor proposed that the parish set-aside a £200 limit for the scheme which was seconded by Sue Malt. The proposal was agreed unanimously by the meeting and Trevor would investigate getting the scheme up and running.
John Tuckwell proposed that £350 was donated to each of the churches which was seconded by Bill Borrett. It was stated that the churches were an important part of the community and the money is to be used for fabric and repairs only. Following a question Trevor indicated that he had already taken some time to establish that all grants made by our parish meeting were legal and that those made to the churches were only used to maintain the churches’ fabric. He stated that the amounts spent by the churches each year far exceeded the grant made by the parish meeting. The expenditure was agreed by the meeting with one abstention.
A £50 donation was proposed by Roger Thornely and seconded by John Tuckwell for North Elmham First Responders and agreed by the meeting with 2 against.
A £50 donation towards the Air Ambulances was proposed by Chris Danson and seconded by Jenny Thorneley and agreed by the meeting with 2 against.
Dick malt proposed and David Knight seconded a donation of £50 to Dereham CAB. The meeting agreed with 1 against.
The current Precept is £1800. Bill Borrett proposed and Margaret Barrett seconded that this should remain the same for the coming year. The proposal was agreed unanimously by the meeting.
Dick Malt proposed and Bill Borrett seconded that the accounts were an accurate record, the meeting unanimously agreed and a vote of thanks was passed to Margaret for all her work as treasurer.
5. The Chairman’s Report
Trevor reported that there is no longer a recycling facility at Corners Nursery and so the parish will not receive any income from that source. Corners asked for the bins to be removed to allow space for their business to expand. Trevor arranged for the bins to be removed.
The previous issues with mail delivery now seem to have at last been resolved. The concern regarding the installation of incongruous road sign proved unfounded with no complaints received.
Trevor has received a lot of complaints about haulage though both parishes for materials for the new building site at Swanton Morley. He subsequently discovered a traffic management plan was a planning condition imposed on the developers. Apparently it cannot be enforced against a third party but the enforcement officer contacted Hopkin Homes and the problem now seems to be resolved.
An application to build on land adjacent to Home Farm House was refused. A further application has been made however and the Parish Meeting has objected. The decision will be made by 30th November 2015.
An application was made to remove a tourism condition on a holiday home in Mill Lane, Hoe. The Parish Meeting objected and the application was refused.
The latest appeal at Spring Studio was refused and the property has since been sold.
There is generally a presumption against development in both Hoe and Worthing as the parishes are seen as being incapable of sustainable development. Trevor reported that this principal has been consistently upheld in all recent planning applications.
The appeal in respect of the land in Billingford on the Worthing boundary was refused and the enforcement notice to remove the building confirmed. Before proceeding, the enforcement officer’s report was presented to the district planning committee ‘below the line’ (i.e. in closed session). It was considered important that the Parish meeting made representation to the committee and the cost of writing to each member was justified. In the event the committee authorised the enforcement by direct action; i.e. if the owner refuses to remove the buildings and its foundations then this would be carried out by the district council and costs charged to the owner. To date the building has been removed but not the foundations.
A further enforcement investigation will take place regarding the smaller buildings on the land. Some features such as the entrance are now out of time for enforcement. Bill Borret explained however that he took the view the question of the entrance being out of time might not be that clear cut. He also indicated that the submission of a further planning application had been indicated following the death of the previous owner.
6. Any Other Business
Bill Borrett stated how the housing needs for the district is now 500/year (down on previous years) and so less planning applications are likely for large developments in the district.
Sally Theakston reminded everyone that this year’s harvest festival would be on Friday 23rd October.
Roger Thorneley proposed a huge thank you to Trevor for all his hard work as Chairman. Bill Borrett thanked Margaret Barrett for all her work with the accounts. Trevor thanked Simon Brock for taking the minutes and for all of the work he has done to establish and maintain a green space outside of our parish room.
10. Date of the next meeting; Wednesday 11th May, 2016