Minutes of the Parish meeting held on Wednesday 21st March 2007 at 7.00pm in The Loft of the Village Hall.

 

ACTION

Present.

Chairman Mr Geoffrey Moulton, Mr John Ellis, Mr David Hook, Mr Hamish Rose,  Miss M J Emery,  Mrs P Brookes, Mrs Hilary Battye, District Councillor Michael Windridge, Mrs Julie Parker, Mr Roger Parker, Mr Trevor Shurmor, Mr Robert Johnson, Mr David Tooms, Mr Bruce Austin, Mr Mike Brown, Mr S Lincoln, Mrs Debbie Ashford, Mrs Melanie Hook, Mr Barrie Masterson, Mr Paul Edden, Mrs Sue Beare, Mrs Mary Brown, Mrs Liz Austin, Mrs Bridget Santander, Mr Steve Oldfield, Mrs Cindy Mayes, Ms Diane Freeman, Mr David Burrows, Mrs B Peakall, Clerk Mr Ian Nelson

From the Chairman’s Report - Mrs Yvonne Davy

From the Tree Warden’s Report - Mr David Pointer, Mr Peter Workman, Mr Richard Delf

 

         

Apologies

Apologies were received from Mrs Liz Allen, and County Councillor Stella Rice.

 

 

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 15th March 2006 were unanimously approved before being signed by the chairman.

 

 

Matters arising from the previous minutes

Other than were indicated below there were no issues raised from points discussed last year, however a report on each point is included for completeness.

 

 

Footpaths

Extra signage required for the three paths running off Lower Lane had been ordered by Mr Rose.

 

Mr Rose had established that it was legal to erect barbed wire fences next to public footpaths.

 

 

Roland Drive Streetlights

Mr Hook had liaised with the contractors to ensure that the timers had been adjusted to ensure the lights turned off at the appropriate time.

 

 

Middle School

The Clerk had written to the head of the Middle School.

 

 

Community Bus

The Clerk had written a letter of gratitude to Mr Davy and the team of volunteers.

 

 

 

Condition of road surfaces

The Clerk had request NCC look at the extra areas of concern, namely:

  • Field Lane - travelling away from the village towards Hugmore corner the road is subsiding on the right-hand side.
  • Coronation Crescent
  • Roland Drive
  • The junction of the Street and the B1527
  • Outside the school
  • Fairstead Lane at the war Memorial

 

NCC had reported that a haunching scheme has been identified at Field Lane, but unfortunately this is unlikely to be included in the Structural Maintenance Construction Programme until 2008/9.

 

Both Coronation Crescent and Roland Drive should be included in a forthcoming surface dressing programme, but in the interim they will arrange for some localised patching work to be carried out. Patching work will also be carried out at The Street, outside the school, and also in Fairstead Lane in the vicinity of the Memorial.

 

NCC have identified the need for a structural maintenance surfacing scheme to address the condition of the carriageway surfacing at the junction of The Street and Bungay Road. As this work may take several years to come to fruition, NCC will ensure that the routine maintenance repairs are carried out to maintain the integrity of the existing surface.

 

Following comments from Miss Emery it was agreed to inform NCC of the deterioration of the roads over the year in order to try and accelerate the repair schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN

20mph Speed limit

The Clerk had written to NCC to request that they consider a 20mph speed limit but without humps.  They had responded that:

 

 “20mph speed limits can be used at locations where there have been significant numbers of injury accidents relating to vulnerable highway user groups, but upon checking our records there have not been any recorded injury accidents in the past five years.

Whilst I would be interested to receive more detailed information regarding your concerns for further investigation, I would not be able to promote a 20mph limit at this particular location.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Annual Reports

The following annual reports were read out to the meeting :

 

 

Report

Written By

Read By

 

00Chairman

Mr G Moulton

Mr G Moulton

The Church & Town Estates Property Charity

Mrs M Kaye

Mr I Nelson

Town Estate Education Foundation

Mrs P Brookes

Mrs P Brookes

The Church Estate Charity

No report received

 

Town Estate Poor Charity

Mrs M Kaye

Mr I Nelson

Playing Field Users Association

No report received

 

Hempnall Village Hall Committee

Mr J Ellis

Mr J Ellis

Footpaths

Mr H Rose

Mr H Rose

Tree Warden

Mr D Hook

Mr D Hook

Hempnall School

Mrs M Elston

Mrs S Beare

St. Mary’s VC Middle School

Mrs L Zima

Mr I Nelson

Long Stratton High School

Mr P Adams

Mr G Moulton

 

Copies of all reports are attached to these minutes (Master copy minutes only).

 

 

 

 

Any Other Business

 

 

Increase in precept for 2007/8

Mr Oldfield asked why the parish precept had increased by 48% to £11,600. Mr Moulton responded by reading from the Parish Council Winter Newsletter, which stated:

 

“The precept is the amount of money that the Parish Council requests from South Norfolk Council to undertake its duties and pay for various village amenities. The precept is added to our Council Tax bills. Although the amount of the precept is very small compared to the other elements of the Council Tax, we still try to ensure it is kept to a minimum and would like to explain why the precept for 2007/8 is higher than 2006/7.

You will be aware that the mini-recycling facility in Alburgh Rd is no more. Historically, the Parish Council received approximately £1,000 per annum from this source and has to make up for its loss through the precept. In addition, £600 has been set aside to cover the cost of an election in May; previously this cost was borne by South Norfolk Council. There are also various repair works to village amenities that need to undertaken in 2007/8 to avoid even higher repair costs later. We hope that you will agree that the precept still represents very good value for money to keep Hempnall a village to be proud of.”

 

 

Parish Council Election

It was noted that there had not been the need for a Parish Council election since 1995. Mrs Beare expressed hope that there would be enough candidates for an election this year. She urged those present to put themselves forward for this interesting and valuable work.

 

 

War Memorial

Mr Windridge expressed his appreciation to the Parish Council for arranging cleaning of the War Memorial.  Mr Moulton said that the initiative had arisen from a parishioner, Mr Roger Steward and the parish were grateful for the effort he put into assisting with arranging cleaning and the funding thereof.

 

Mr Edden expressed concern that vehicles were running over the edges of the War Memorial grass and moving the surrounding stones. The parish council is to consider how best to deal with this at it’s next meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN

Proposed Wind farm

 

Mrs Beare Survey

Mr Hook asked Mrs Beare for clarification of the findings of the survey taken in Sept/Oct 2006 by the Liberal Democrat Party as the results seemed to be at odds with current feeling in the village.  In particular, Mr Hook said that expressing results as a percentage may have been misleading and requested to learn the actual number of respondents in each category.  Mrs Beare emphasised that the survey was taken shortly after the first announcement of the wind farm and reflected the views at that time. The questionnaires had been distributed on a one per household basis to some properties in Hempnall. A straw poll of those present at the meeting indicated that only about 25% had actually received the survey. The survey results were as follows:

 

 

Number

Total surveys issued

350

Total surveys returned

154

Very Supportive

30

Cautiously Supportive

45

Not Sure

17

Not heard of Wind Turbines

16

Concerned

12

Totally Opposed

34

 

Miss Emery expressed concern over the forceful way in which the survey had been presented to her, Mrs Beare apologised on behalf of the distributor if that had been the case.

 

Concern was expressed by various people that the survey had been perceived as a political exercise and that the issue of the wind farm should not be a political matter as this could skew the results of any survey, split the community and divert focus from the real issue. Mrs Beare responded that she had not meant the survey to have a political bias and that although she was pro wind turbines; she had not made up her mind as to whether Hempnall was the right place to site them.

 

Mr Windridge Survey

Mr Windridge stated that his survey was more comprehensive, fully auditable and likely to give a true reflection of the views within the village at the present time. It had been delivered to every household in the parish with forms for each individual to respond. He said that the survey was truly an exercise in local democracy, not local politics and he was pleased with the response to date. The results should be available by the end of next week and would be independently verified by a planning officer at SNC.

 

SHOWT statistics

Mrs Battye explained that SHOWT had a supporter base of 634 individuals, of whom 484, lived in Hempnall all of whom were against the proposed wind turbines. She also explained that they were in the process of visiting every household in Hempnall to seek the views of each individual and that their findings would be fully auditable. Mrs Parker indicated that to date, 72% of individuals were against the proposed development.  Mrs Hook indicated that

 

 

Number

Total households surveyed

319

For

48

Not Sure

53

Opposed

218

 

Facts/Information points

It was generally recognised that fact is needed to be impartially presented and that the Parish Council website and or newsletter might be suitable.  Mr Hook indicated that it was important that councillors were made aware of parishioner's views so as to accurately represent them when it came to voting on the application. It was also recognised that these views may change over time as more information became available to parishioners on which to form those views. Mr Moulton explained that the parish councillors were prevented under the predetermination rules from expressing their views on the proposed wind farm if they still wished to vote on any future planning application relating thereto.  It was generally felt however, that any information that could be presented as bare facts could be disseminated by the parish council on its web site or newsletter.

 

Mrs Santander enquired as to the status of the display area within Hempnall Stores. Mrs Parker responded that it was a facility provided by the store owners for anybody to use to place any factual information either for or against the wind turbines.

 

Mrs Battye informed the meeting that there would be more SHOWT events of an educational nature over the next three months.

 

Mr Oldfield suggested that the scale model of the wind turbines, and church be placed on conspicuous display in Hempnall Stores.

 

Miss Emery, commented that she understood that as Enertrag had failed to adequately publicise their previous public meeting in the village and that it was their intention to hold another meeting in March but she had not heard anything further about this.  It was noted that to date Enertrag had not even booked the village hall.

 

Voluntary withdrawal

Mr Windridge reminded the meeting that the proposal was not even a planning application at the moment, and his hope was that with the strength of local opposition Enertrag may be persuaded to withdraw voluntarily.  He further commented that public opposition was only one criteria that would be taken into consideration by the planning committee when looking at any future planning application.  In particular, there were other national government criteria to take into account.  It was noted that even if the planning application were rejected by SNC Enertrag could appeal against the decision.

 

 

Other concerns

Other concerns raised by people at the meeting included the effect on people's health, noise pollution, visual impact, financial gain, inefficiency of the turbines, government pressure to meet CO2 targets irrespective of other social impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Ellis

Mr Windridge expressed his gratitude on behalf, the village to John Ellis for sitting as a parish councillor on Hempnall parish council for nearly 30 years.  He said that this was an important job and encouraged as many people as possible to stand for election, particularly women. Miss Emery said that in her experience she thought it unlikely that woman would be elected.

 

 

The Chairman thanked everybody for their active participation in the meeting.  There being no other business, the meeting was closed at 8:35 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

Signed ______________________________________________        Date   19th March 2008