Hoe and Worthing Villages: Norfolk
Draft minutes of meeting held on 23 June 2021
Hoe and Worthing Parish Meeting
James Keith (Chairman), Carl and Glenys Watling, John and Jenny Tuckwell, Dick Malt, Sally Mullins, Celia Daniel, Harry and Jane Whitcher (Treasurer), James Sayer, Roger Atterwill, (BDC)Trevor Wood, Bill Borrett (NCC), Malcolm Barnes, Roger Patchet, Graham Lewis, Kevin Green, Adam Flack, Brenda Snelling, David Williams, Margaret and Philip Barrett, James Sayer and the Reverend Paul Cubbitt.
Apologies were received from Mike Mullins, Alan Hughes, Simon Brock, Philip and Krystina Strougler and David Knights.
The Chairman extended a particularly warm welcome to the Reverend Paul Cubbitt who joined the parish at the beginning of the difficult lockdown period, and he requested that since the meeting was being held in Saint Andrews church, that we begin with a short prayer.
- Minutes of the Previous Meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting held on 25 August 2020, displayed on the village website, were proposed for adoption.
- Dick Malt noted that his name had been omitted from the Hoe Planning Sub-Committee. Apologies were given for this oversight.
- Celia raised the question once again of the proposed charitable donation of £325 to Worthing church which had been voted down at the last meeting, and correctly minuted. However she believes that there may have been some confusion and that the meeting did not fully understand that the money could be used for the upkeep of burial grounds. To this end, the Chairman agreed to discuss this subject at the forthcoming Finance meeting in the autumn.
With the agreement to add Dick Malt’s name to the Hoe Planning Sub-Committee, James Sayer proposed that the minutes were a true record of the meeting, seconded by Dick Malt. The minutes were adopted.
Trevor Wood requested to discuss an omission he believed had been made from the minutes of the meeting dated 31 October 2019, previously ratified at the meeting on 25 August 2020. The Chairman asked if this matter could wait until later in the evening.
- Chairman’s Report
The Chairman drew the meetings’ attention to the Breckland Council Planning website where all information could be viewed regarding current planning applications. He did not feel it appropriate to detail each application as they are all very clearly in the public domain. He did, however, take the opportunity to reiterate the role of the Planning Sub Committees for Hoe and Worthing. He explained that each time there was a new planning application, he would be alerted and would subsequently forward the information to the Planning Sub Committees for either Hoe or Worthing, as relevant. The Planning Sub Committees would then canvas local opinion and report back to the Chairman who would formulate a response. This did not preclude an individual from making their own observations and adding them to the Breckland Council Planning website. It had been brought to the Chairman’s attention that some residents, not directly affected by particular planning applications, had used the opportunity to cajole and harass members of the planning sub committees. He urged residents not to do this as it would only serve to stop these volunteer village residents from undertaking the planning role.
The Chairman gave more detail of the following planning matters:-
- Hoe Trod. This is the proposed pathway from the Gorgate crossroad to the village boundary of Hoe Rough with Beetley. This project has been match funded with £1175.00 from the District Council. The Chairman thanked Trevor Wood for his support in the initial organising of the project and to Bill Borrett for his continued support at the County Council.
- Hoe Railway Bridge. The footpath over the bridge has been closed due to the fact that the railway bridge is unsafe. Mid Norfolk Railways have confirmed to the Chairman that the bridge will in fact be demolished this year; a footbridge put in its place, and the footpath will be reinstated.
- Planning application for the grain store in Worthing. The landowner, Mr Goff, has confirmed to the chairman that he has not, and has never had, any intention of converting the barn.
- Flooding in Worthing
The Chairman referred the meeting to the devastating flooding that took place in Worthing on Christmas Eve. With a view to preventing future flooding in the area, the Chairman, accompanied by Bill Borrett, have spent much time surveying the river, the meadows and the gardens of the houses on the flood plain. Lack of success with making contact with the Environment Agency in the short term has driven them to take matters up directly with the landowner, Mr Goff. Mr Goff has been extremely helpful and has agreed he is willing to raise sections of the levy that appear to be lower and allowed the water to flow out onto the meadows. He offered to undertake this work himself and the Chairman wanted to record the Parish Meeting’s gratitude to him. Endeavours will continue to be made to contact the Environment Agency in this regard and they will be encouraged to support Mr Goff.
Graham Lewis of Tannery House addressed the meeting and said that on the day of the floods, the sluice gates had been correctly opened. He asked if the flooding problem had been exacerbated by any extra drainage put in by local landowners. The Chairman replied that without a full survey of the area, he would not be able to answer that question.
Celia Daniel, who had also been directly affected by the floods, wanted to make the following points:-
- The flood did not come directly from the river at Worthing but further up and had coursed across the meadows.
- The Environment Agency early flood warning alerts did not work on the day. They were too late.
- The seals on some of the flood defences that have been supplied to those houses most at risk have perished and the flood defences are difficult to use for the frail and elderly. She feels that it may be an appropriate time to look at any grants/funding that could be obtained for flood defences.
- Celia believes that the village should have its own Emergency Plan for such incidents as flooding. The Chairman agreed that this would be a good idea and if anyone wanted to draw this plan up in Worthing, he would ensure that it was available to residents, via the website.
- Highways (including Brick Kiln Farm)
Carl Watling appraised the meeting of the updated situation regarding speeding vehicles on the B1146. This has been a long running saga which was thought to have been resolved in February 2020 when the stretch of road running from Dereham past the houses in Hoe, was redesignated 40 MPH. In recent months however the road has been resurfaced and there has been an increase in speeding vehicles, as identified in electronic surveys. A copy of Carl’s report is attached.
Roger Atterwill was asked to comment on the Market Town Initiative; a project that he is actively involved in. This will see improvements made to traffic within Dereham with the future proposal of a relief road past the Dereham hospital. This would have a positive effect on the traffic along the B1146 and the small lane through Hoe to Swanton Morley.
- Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer presented her report for the 12 months to 31 March 2021, to the meeting.
It was noted that the entire income for this period consists primarily of the precept and the match funding from the County Council for Hoe Trod. The format of the accounts is now showing income and expenditure split between ‘Parish’ and ‘Hall’.
The Chairman asked Carl Watling, as a representative of the Hall Management Committee, if he could progress the matter of obtaining charitable status for the Hall Management. It would appear that this is a far more complicated issue. John Tuckwell explained that the difficulty is that the hall has no legal entity to be granted charitable status since the hall is owned by the church. Rev Cubbitt suggested that as the Church and Diocese are registered charities, then surely the hall was a charity.
The Treasurer confirmed that she had completed the accounting Annual Governance and Accountability Return, in accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, and arranged for a formal audit to be carried out by an independent auditor. She was pleased to confirm that no discrepancies had been highlighted. The annual gross income for the Parish was £3110 and the annual gross expenditure was £2207.
- Internal Audit Report
- Annual Internal Audit Report
- Annual Governance Statement (Section 1)
This required approval from the meeting. Proposed by Bill Borrett and seconded by John Tuckwell.
- Accounting Statements (Section 2)
Proposed by Bill Borrett and seconded by John Tuckwell.
- Certificate of Exemption
To confirm that the Parish Meeting is exempt from auditor review since the income is under £25,000. Proposed by Bill Borrett and seconded by John Tuckwell.
The Chairman thanked the Treasurer for her thorough report.
The date of commencement for the exercise of public right where the approved accounts and accounting records can be inspected will be 1st July 2021 and will be for a period of 30 consecutive working days. The contact details will be put on the hall notice board and the website.
Bill Borrett passed on his personal thanks to Paula Allen, the independent auditor, who had given her time for free to undertake this task.
- Local Groups
- Hoe Common
Dick Malt gave a report on the recent activities of Hoe Common. Two new trustees have been appointed to the group; Kevin Green and Adam Flack. Activity has mainly been focussed on re-planting trees, bracken rolling, and pulling up birch saplings. With a donation made by the Wildlife Trust, the fencing on the Common has been improved and they are still awaiting a decision with regard to livestock inhabiting the Common.
- Archive Group
Dick and Sue Malt have provided information and objects from the Hoe and Worthing archives to be exhibited at the Gressenhall museum.
To date, Dick Malt has been financing the web hosting costs from his own funds. The Chairman has agreed that, going forward, the parish will meet this cost. This was proposed by Adam Flack and seconded by John Tuckwell.
- Election of Officers
In view of the lateness and disappearing attendees, it was agreed to re-elect the current officers, en bloc, to stand for the next year. This is with the exception of Mike Mullins from the Worthing Planning Sub-Committee. The Chairman thanked Mike Mullins for his help with running the planning sub committee, and he will personally canvas to try to find a resident who will act as a point of contact in Worthing.
Chairman – James Keith
Treasurer – Jane Whitcher
Planning – Worthing: James Keith
Hoe: James Keith
The appointments were proposed by Bill Borrett, seconded by Celia Daniel. 11 in favour, 0 against.
Sally Mullins agreed to continue to take minutes of meetings.
- Any Other Business
Trevor Wood addressed the Meeting. He strongly feels that he and his wife have been victimised over a planning application that they made and that was rejected. He disputed the legality of the planning sub committees and therefore the Chairman reiterated the role of these volunteer residents and stressed that it is the Chairman who makes the final response to Breckland Council. With no clear understanding of what Trevor Wood had hoped to achieve at the meeting, it was agreed to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss this further, the date of which is to be advised. (Subsequent to the meeting – Trevor spoke to the Chairman and agreed he would not now require an EGM on this matter)
- Date of next meeting
To be advised.