Friday, 19 October 2018

Old Buckenham at dusk

A different view of Ottomer pond

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Clerk needed for Old Buckenham

Vacancy to be filled
A vacancy has arisen for a Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer to the Old Buckenham Parish Council. 
The position is home-based working nine hours per week.
Salary to be agreed, depending on qualifications and experience, within national guidelines.
The main duties include:
To arrange and attend all Parish Council meetings and the Annual Parish Meeting. The Parish Council meetings are held normally on the first Thursday in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, September, October, November and December. The Precept meeting is held in November and the Annual Parish Meeting is held March or April.
Preparation of agendas and minutes.
Dealing with all financial matters including the production of financial statements for audit.
Submitting an annual VAT return.
Preparing records for PAYE.
Dealing with Parish Council insurance policies.
Ensuring planning applications are dealt with and comments submitted to the Local Planning Authority by return deadlines.
Attendance at training events.
Receive/deal with correspondence and bring to the attention of the Council. Carry out instructions of the Council.
Applicants will be expected to have good IT skills, have access to broadband and be able to maintain a web site.
Relevant qualifications would be an advantage and/or experience.

Please contact Jon Hicks by email or telephone 01953 861414 as soon as possible.

Monday, 15 October 2018

More work around Old Buckenham pond

Tree stumps coming out
For the next couple of days there will be some big machinery working around Ottomer pond. Now that many of the overhanging trees have been removed, work can start on removing the tree stumps as well as clearing out the pond as well.
The blog writer hopes to take more photos of the progress and to post them here.

This and next picture taken 24 hours later

Latest Old Buckenham parish council minutes

October 2018 minutes
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is changed at a later date. The full version of the draft minutes can be seen on the noticeboard outside the village shop.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 4 October in the Village Hall. Those present were Jon Hicks (Vice-chairman who was in the chair), Debbie Callaghan, Gemma Frost, Adrian Joel, Steve Milner and Andy Nichols along with Andy Emms (Parish Clerk) and six members of the public. Apologies for absence were received from Phil Little (Chairman), Paul Philips and Ben Devlin.
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 6 September were approved subject to being amended to refer to offering Precept Grants in 2019/20, that the planning decision by Breckland District Council concerning the extension to The Manor House was to refuse and the reference to 15 hectares of land in the parish being amended to read 15 acres.
Matters arising from these minutes of the meeting. Adrian Joel said that a parishioner had queried whether land off Hargham Road that Norfolk County Council intended to sell was in the parish. He said it was not. He added that since the last meeting he had been informed that the earlier advice he had received from Cotman Housing that three of the properties in the March Field Way development would be available for shared ownership was incorrect. All twelve new properties would be for rent.
Public participation relating to agenda items. A parishioner said that the minutes of the last parish council meeting referred to a meeting to be arranged regarding school parking and suggested that local residents be invited as well as the parish council, schools and the village hall committee. Councillors acknowledged that this would be sensible and would liaise with the parishioner for two local residents to attend.
A parishioner said that the Memorial Room in which the meeting was being held had been refurbished. An official opening would be held on Saturday 3 November at 2pm and it was hoped representatives of the USAF and family representatives would attend.
A parishioner expressed concern at large lorries, including Banham Poultry vehicles, using Hargham Road.
A parishioner said that councillors had been contacted regarding a project for Remembrance Day involving poppies being made by the scouts to be placed in the grounds of the war memorial and she hoped this would be an impressive display which councillors would support.
A parishioner referred to email exchanges regarding work on the Green in which the chairman had queried why the parishioner had been included on the distribution list. He said that he represented the Lord of the Manor who was a member of the Village Green Management Committee. He queried whether, as per his suggestion at the last meeting, the head of the new school had been invited onto the road safety committee. He was informed that no discussions on amending the membership had been held and no changes made. He also highlighted that the Highways Officer’s report on the pelican crossing had not yet been published. The parish clerk said he would obtain a copy and pass it to Steve Milner to publish on the website. In reply to a question from the parishioner, Steve Milner said that if a new SAM2 car speed display was obtained this would be portable and could be used in many locations, including Hargham Road. This equipment could also record data which could be passed onto the police.
Record of declarations of interests. Jon Hicks said he had changed his employment and would complete a new Declarations of Interest form.
Financial matters. The external auditor had approved the Annual Governance Accountability Review forms for 2017/18.
The bank balances at the end of September 2018 were £48435.18 in the current account and £2876.06 in the premium account. Income received included the second precept instalment of £10080.28 from Breckland District Council and £123 second grant instalment, also from Breckland.
The parish clerk reported that following the last meeting Ray Bayfield had returned the cheque for £120 for clearance of Green pond and kindly donated this, together with the additional £120 approved for work he had arranged to be carried out on Manor and Rod Alley ponds. Ray Bayfield was thanks for this generous donation of £240.
Planning applications. 6 Oaklands. Convert garage into play room and add utility room (3/PL/2018/010/HOU). Gemma Frost declared a pecuniary interest in this item and took no part in the discussion or vote. It was resolved, with 4 voting in favour and 2 abstentions, to support the application.
Shrublands Farmhouse, Attleborough Road. Two-storey rear extension and erection of three-bay cart lodge with room over (3/PL/2018/1072/HOU). It was resolved, with 5 voting in favour and 1 abstention, to support the application.
Asparagus Field, Cake Street. Variation of conditions on 3PL/2018/0387/F (3/PL/2018/1014/VAR). It was resolved, with 5 voting in favour and 1 abstention, to support the application.
Planning decisions by Breckland District Council. Asparagus Field, Cake Street. Discharge of conditions 3 and 6 on 3PL/2018/0387/F (3/PL/2018//0184/DOC). Discharge complete.
14 Fen Street. Extension to side and back and erection of garage: revised plan/design 3/PL/2018/0851/HOU). Approved
Erection of two dwellings, Attleborough Road. Discharge of conditions 3, 4, 7, 9 and 10 on 3PL/2016/0889/F (3/PL/2018/0119/DOC). Discharge complete.
Chairman’s report. Jon Hicks said the parish clerk vacancy had been advertised on the Norfolk Association of Local Council’s (NALC) website and he would arrange for it to be in the parish newsletter.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said that he had written an article for the October parish newsletter to advise residents to put their names on the Breckland Council housing register if they wanted to be eligible for one of the new March Field Way properties. He said that the village shop was an important village asset and asked the council to consider if it wanted to be added to the “right to bid” list if the shop became up for sale in the future. The government scheme offering subsidy for those that cannot access broadband speeds of at least 2 megabits per second may end in December so Breckland Council had decided to write to 1800 properties who may be eligible to apply.
Play Area. Jon Hicks said he had painted the tractor. Playdale had sent the incorrect rope to replace the damaged rope reported at the last meeting and he was waiting for the correct one to arrive. Playdale had indicated that the equipment was still safe to use.
Councillors’ reports. Andy Nichols reported that, together with Gemma Frost, he had attended the second planning course run by the Local Council’s public Advisory Service (LCPAS). As well as useful planning advice, important information was given on availability of funding which meant that lack of funding need not be a barrier to the council considering bold schemes in the future. In reply to a question regarding the availability of the Chapel Green School’s multi use games area for public use, Jon Hicks said that he would speak to the head of the school. It was suggested that he invite her to the next meeting.
In reply to a question from Debbie Callaghan regarding speeding traffic, Steve Milner said that a proposal would be prepared to bid for funds to provide a new portable SAM2 car speed display which would enable data logging that could provide valuable information to the police. This needed to be on the agenda for the next meeting to consider making a Parish Partnership Bid and to include half of the cost in the 2019/20 budget. Adrian Joel said that Banham Parish Council had obtained similar equipment and might be able to help with information for the bid.
Gemma Frost said that she had made progress on preparing a welcome pack for new residents with the help of a very able and enthusiastic high school student volunteer. She also had some ideas on how the Green could be utilised more for the benefit of the village and would bring these to the council for consideration in due course.
Adrian Joel said that the new councillors’ names and contact details needed to be included in the next parish newsletter.
Village Green Management Committee. Sarah Dye referred to the September report of the Village Green Management Committee (VGMC) which had been published with the agenda for this meeting and said that an additional quote of £560 had been received for the work on the “high risk” trees. The Norfolk Wildlife Trust had inspected the Ottomer Pond for newts and none were present. Its formal report would be received soon but this meant that no licence was required to carry out further work. However, timing was important and the brash needed to be removed as soon as possible. Andy Nichols said he had obtained a quote to remove the brash at the same time as re-grading was carried out on the bunds opposite the shop and opposite Diary Farm. The opportunity cost of doing both tasks together whilst equipment was available would be £750.
The VGMC had circulated emails asking the parish council to accept an offer to remove the remaining stumps from around Ottomer pond, grade the edges and dig out the pond for a cost of £900. It was suggested that this was a very generous quote for using heavy equipment at a considerably discounted rate. The VCMC had been asked to obtain other quotes for comparison and one more had been obtained for £1598. The VGMC chairman had also highlighted that quotes for similar work on the much smaller Green pond undertaken earlier had been £1830, £1935 and £1955 which showed how generous the £900 quote was. Steve Milner commented on how difficult if was to ensure value for money if requests for funding did not have sufficient information. Others commented on the need to take advantage of offers of help when timescales were short. Sarah Dye said that a generous offer of £1000 had been received from a parishioner to sponsor the development of a long-term strategy for the Green. Landscape Partnership was a consultancy with a proven track record and the total cost of engaging it to create a vision for the green with a workable strategy with reasonable costed projects, would be £1800. She hoped the parish council would recognise this as worthwhile and consider funding the remaining £800.
It was agreed, unanimously, to accept the quote of £480 for the work required on the “high risk” trees, to accept the quote of £750 to remove the brash from Ottomer Pond and to regrade the bunds opposite the shop and Diary Farm, to accept the quote of £900 for the removal of stumps around Ottomer pond as well as grading of edges and digging out the pond. The Council would write to Mervyn Lambert thanking him for the generous quote. It was also agreed to invite Landscape Partnership to attend the next meeting and then to consider whether to support the commissioning of a report on a future strategy for the Green.
Attleborough Strategic Urban Development (ASUE). Adrian Joel said that he and the chairman had met with Simon Wood, the Regional Planning and Building Control Officer of Urban Vision Partnership Ltd to express the parish’s concern that 15 acres of parish land was being used for the ASUE. He said that the land would not be used for residential in the future as it was required for the recreation element and an attenuation pond for the ASUE. Adrian Joel said that although the land would be developed to support the ASUE it would still be within the boundary of Old Buckenham as the ASUE could not change that. No satisfactory answer was given to the question of who would be responsible for maintaining the area. It was pointed out to Mr Wood that the parish land was being used for the benefit of Attleborough residents but he said that it would also be available for use by village residents.
Adrian Joel said that he intended to ‘stand down’ as member of the Breckland Council Planning Committee when the ASUE application was considered so that he could speak and vote against this element of it. Andy Nichols reiterated his view expressed at the last meeting that the designation of this land in the Local Plan was crucial as if it was identified for development then opposing ASUE would be a waste of time but if not then there was a strong case against including it in the ASUE. Jon Hicks said that he would visit Breckland DC offices to clarify this. It was agreed to wait for the outcome of the chairman’s discussions with the CEO of LCPAS and clarification of the Local Plan designation before deciding what representations to make when the ASUE planning application is considered by Breckland Council.
Consideration of a Neighbourhood Plan. When considering the ASUE at the last meeting it was highlighted that if the council had produced a Neighbourhood Plan this would give it a big advantage in opposing the ASUE use of parish land. Adrian Joel said that the council had undertaken some work on the development of a neighbourhood plan in the past, including undertaking a survey. This work stopped when the councillor with planning expertise had been unable to carry on taking a lead. He said that a considerable amount of work was involved and a lead councillor and a team of other councillors and residents would be required. New Buckenham started the process 18 months ago and still had not completed it. However, if the council wanted to move forward, Breckland Council had an officer who could offer support and match funding was available. Debbie Callaghan offered to lead on this and Adrian Joel, Steve Milner and Andy Nichols offered their support and it was resolved, in principle, to support the development of a Neighbourhood Plan.
Allotment rents. It was agreed to keep allotment rents for 2018/19 at the current levels of £40 a year for a full plot for parishioners and £50 a year for a full plot for others. Half plots would be charged at £20 and £25 respectively.
Communications/social media. Paul Philips had circulated a discussion paper to councillors via email which had been well received. As Paul Philips had been unable to attend the meeting it was decided to defer consideration of this matter to the next meeting.
Defibrillator. The chairman had taken a lead on this and as he had been unable to attend the meeting it was also decided to defer consideration of this matter to the next meeting.
Agenda items for the next meeting. Items identified included the Village Shop and the “Right to bid” list, an invitation to the Head of Chapel Green School to attend, an invitation to Landscape Partnership consultancy to attend, a Parish Partnership Bid for SAM2 car speed display, ASUE, communications/use of social media and the defibrillator.
The next meeting of the parish council will be held on Thursday 1 November and the Precept 2019/20 meeting would be held on Thursday 8 November, both commencing at 7.30pm at the Village Hall.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Old Buckenham on Norfolk stage

Behind the scenes at the Theatre Royal
In a recent trip organised by Old Buckenham Women's Institute, there was the opportunity to stand on the stage of the Theatre Royal in Norwich and to explore backstage. The guide also explained how the theatre was financed, how the productions were chosen and what an expensive place it was to run.
The tour was followed by an attractive buffet lunch in the theatre's Kemp's Restaurant.
A most informative and enjoyable visit.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Village Quiz in Old Buckenham

Is fish good for the brain?
On Saturday 6 October there were fourteen teams  in the Village Hall, all trying their hardest to answer a very wide range of questions in the annual Village Quiz.

The highlight for many was the fish and chip supper, cooked in the Paul's Plaice van right outside the hall entrance door.

The quizmaster and scorer could occasionally relax while the contestants were thinking.

The eventual winners were delighted to hold the cup up high and the runners-up  looked pleased with themselves too.

The top six teams were:
Linda's lot 65.5 points
Women's Institute 66
International Rescue 66.5
PCC 67.5
The Cricketers 70 and
Adrian's Lot 73

Old Buckenham pond clearing

Opening up even further
On Wednesday 10 October, UK Power Networks paid what is probably their last visit to clear the trees that are near the power cables that pass over Ottomer pond. The area is now much  more open and the Green Management Committee have plans to make the area more attractive for villagers to walk around the pond.

The spare timber has been available for villagers to remove as long as they could carry it away without having to cut or saw it into smaller pieces.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Popping up in Old Buckenham

Coming along during half term

Monday, 1 October 2018

What's on in Old Buckenham in October

Diary dates for October
Monday 1          Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Tuesday 2          Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards
Wednesday 3     Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Thursday 4        Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Saturday 6         Village Quiz with fish and chips, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Thursday 11      Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm
Thursday 11      Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.30pm 
Saturday 13       Bingo, Church Rooms, 2pm
Monday 15        Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Wednesday 17   Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Wednesday 17   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm 
Saturday 20       Bingo and auction, Methodist Chapel, 2pm
Saturday 20       Village Cinema, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Wednesday 24   Pop-Up Library, Village Hall, 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Wednesday 24   Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm
Thursday 25      Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 26           Visits from Mobile Library during morning
Wednesday 31  Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 31 Pop-Up Library, Village Hall, 1.30pm to 4.30pm

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Yet another Old Buckenham newsletter

Time to read the October issue
You can find out about the pop up library that is coming to the village hall, read notes on the last Parish Council meeting and keep up with latest on re-thatching the roof of All Saints church.
All this and more in the newsletter that looks like this:

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Resurfacing in Old Buckenham

New road surface laid today
The junction between Cake Street, New Buckenham Road and Ragmere Road has been closed for much of the day, The contractors were at work by 7am and lots of big machinery had been moved in. The weather was perfect so the road was scraped, new tarmac laid and then rolled by about 4pm in the afternoon.

It was amazing how many people didn't read (or didn't believe) the signs saying that the road was closed. They ended up having to turn back the way they had come. And further motorists, seeing traffic apparently using the road, ignored the signs and got stuck themselves.
If you are using this junction in the next few days, remember there are no cats' eyes or white lines so drive with care.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Old Buckenham Parish Council minutes

Parish Council minutes for September
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is changed at a later date. The full version of the draft minutes can be seen on the noticeboard outside the village shop.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 6 September at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. Those present were Phil Little (Chairman), Ben Devlin, Gemma Frost, Adrian Joel, Andy Nichols and Steve Milner. Also the following on co-option - Debbie Callaghan and Paul Phillips. Also present were Andy Emms (Parish Clerk), County Councillor Stephen Askew and eight members of the public. An apology for absence had been received from Jon Hicks.
The chairman said that applications to be co-opted onto the council had been received from Debbie Callaghan and Paul Philips. It was resolved, unanimously, to co-opt Debbie Callaghan and Paul Philips after which they made the declarations of acceptance of office.
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 5 July were approved. Matters arising from the minutes of the meeting were that Steve Milner had been unable to forward details re the problems with the Grove Road/Mill Road junction and so the Parish Clerk would write to Highways once this information was received.
Public participation. A parishioner said he was the applicant for the planning application for 9 The Old Yard which had been amended to turn the proposal through 90 degrees and to change the first floor to residential. The appearance had not changed.
A parishioner said he was the applicant for 14 Fen Street. This would be a large extension but the property was on a very large plot and the aim was to turn a small 1½ bed property into a family home. Revised plans had been submitted to take into account the comments received from neighbours and the proposed height and width had been reduced and the front door changed. Another parishioner said she was the neighbour and had some concerns about the extension and the position of the garage. Her view would be affected as would her health and her property would be devalued. She suggested that the garage should be moved further forward towards the road. The chairman said councillors would take comments into account when considering the application later in the meeting but would only be able to consider planning “material considerations”. These were explained in the article the parish clerk had provided for the September village newsletter and, for example, the affect on view was not such a “material consideration”.
A parishioner said that time was running out for the council to respond to the Attleborough Strategic Urban Extension plans (ASUE). The public survey on the ASUE had only been available for Attleborough residents to respond to and although the proposals involved using 15 hectares of land in the parish of Old Buckenham, residents of the village had not had a say. Other villages had successfully fought against similar urban expansion into their boundaries and Old Buckenham should do the same.
Another parishioner queried whether the parish council considered the ASUE to be a fait accompli? The chairman said the ASUE would be considered later in the meeting.
The parishioner said he understood Norfolk County Council was considering selling many acres of farm land off Hargham Road and queried whether this was in the parish. The chairman said this would be investigated.
The parishioner suggested that the head of the new school be asked to join the road safety committee and reiterated his concerns regarding the pedestrian crossing planned for the B1077. He asked if the officers’ report on the options considered could be publicised. Stephen Askew confirmed that this was possible and the chairman said that it would go on the parish council website.
The parishioner said he believed the Green was common land and re-iterated his views expressed at earlier meetings that there should be signs requiring dogs to be on leads. The chairman reminded him that the council had discussed this before and agreed to retain existing signs and also agreed not to discuss it further.
Stephen Askew said that the water leak at the Grove Road/Crown Road junction had returned and he was trying to get it dealt with. After much chasing he hoped that the soakaway issue in Church Lane would be dealt with in September. Revised regulations meant that landowners could start cutting hedges from Saturday 1 September and people should be aware of the potential hazards on the roads. He would be cutting his hedges, including the blind junction of Mill Road/Grove Road. He said he would be willing to cut the hedges on Fen Street if landowners there wished him to do this.
Financial matters. The Parish Clerk said that the auditors had queried variances between some of the 16/17 and 17/18 headings in the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR). He had explained the variances and the auditors had indicated they were able to continue their review.
The bank balances at Friday 31 August 2018 were £39,438.42 in the current account and £ 2,876.06 in the premium account. Total expenditure was £3,153.93 and the income received included a donation from Mrs Zair of £100 towards the circular bench repair.
Precept Grants. The Parish Clerk said he had circulated a draft grants policy and a revised grant application form if councillors considered they wished to offer precept grants in 2018/19. Groups will be invited to make applications for Precept Grants and the deadline for applications is Wednesday 31 October. The newsletter editor will be asked to advertise the availability of precept grants in the parish newsletter.
Planning. Andy Nichols said that although parish councillors were expected to view details of planning applications on the Breckland District Council planning portal before each meeting it would be useful if some details could be projected at the meeting, such as Google maps, to facilitate discussion and for the benefit of parishioners present.
Planning applications. 14 Fen Street. Extension to side and back, erection of garage: revised plan/design (3/PL/2018/0851/HOU). During discussion, including hearing more details from the applicant and the neighbour, two councillors said that the revised plans had alleviated concerns they had regarding the scale of the development. (Ben Devlin arrived at the meeting during this item but took no part in the discussion or the vote). It was resolved, with 4 voting in favour and 4 abstentions, to support the application.
9 The Old Yard. Erection of office building with first floor two-bed accommodation (3/PL/2018/0887/F). Resolved, with 5 voting in favour and 3 abstentions, to support the application.
Planning decisions by Breckland District Council. Hunters House (off Banham Road). Re-design of conservatory to form garden room. (3/PL/2018/0414/HOU). Approved.
Alice Cottage, Ragmere Road. Proposed cart lodge and alterations to dwelling (3/PL/2018/0624/HOU). Approved.
Land at March Field Way, erection of 12 dwellings (3/PL/2018/0719F). Adrian Joel reported that revised plans had been submitted to Breckland Council just prior to consideration at the Planning Committee. As the revisions were minor highways and boundary changes the application was approved subject to public consultation on the revisions. After the consultation, if no objections were received, officers had delegated powers to deal with the application so the development should not be held up. Resolved with 4 voting in favour and 4 abstentions to support the revised plans.
The Cottage, The Green. Proposed garage (3/PL/2018/0735/HOU). Not considered earlier by the parish council as no time extension granted by Breckland). Approved.
The Manor, Manor Corner. Two-storey extension (3/PL/2018/0831/HOU). Not considered earlier by the parish council as no time extension granted by Breckland). Approved.
3 The Granary, Mill Road. Replace windows (3/PL/2018/0867/LB) Not considered earlier by the parish council as no time extension granted by Breckland). Approved.
Chairman’s report. The chairman said that together with three other councillors he had attended a very useful planning course run by the Local Councils Public Advisory Service (LCPAS). This had given useful information regarding how to deal with the ASUE issue. The CEO of the LCPAS had offered further advice which he would follow up. In reply to an earlier question from a parishioner, he did not consider the ASUE to be a “fait accompli”.
He had submitted an application for the defibrillator to be provided in the telephone kiosk. In reply to questions he said that the possibility of a defibrillator at the village hall needed to be considered separately.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said that Cotman Housing had confirmed that nine of the new houses at March Field Way would be available for rent and the remaining three would be available for shared ownership. As the development had been identified as an 'exception site', the houses would be available for people that live, work or have family in the village. He would arrange for publicity to advise people to get onto Breckland’s housing list.
The previous month the government had launched its sleeping rough strategy. Breckland believed that the current number of rough sleepers in the area was less than ten. If anyone was aware of any rough sleepers they could contact him via
Village Green Management Committee. The latest report had been published with the agenda for the meeting. Although no great crested newts had been found at Ottomer Pond when surveyed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) in June 2018, one had been found during work on a nearby property. Further work had been stopped around Ottomer Pond pending further investigation. Since circulating the report, a further quote had been received from NWT to check again for great crested newts. This was significantly cheaper than the one detailed in the report. NWT had also advised that brash clearance work could continue pending this investigation. It was agreed with 6 voting in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention, to accept the NWT quote to undertake a further check for great crested newts at Ottomer Pond. Also to clear the brash piles around Ottomer Pond as per the advice of NWT but not to dispose of by a bonfire and instead ask the VGMC to obtain quotes for its removal.
Recent payments included £120 for clearance work already carried out around Manor Pond and Rod Alley Pond and £1000 to the contractor for cutting the Green in 2018. With 7 voting in favour and 1 against, it was agreed to make a donation of £100 to the firefighters charity following Attleborough Retained Firefighters having given up their time and using their equipment to aerate Rod Alley Pond to save distressed fish during the recent heatwave.
Play Area. Gemma Frost said that there was a problem with an upright rope on the climbing frame which she had reported to Jon Hicks.
Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner said he had attended the recent SNAP meeting. At speed checks in Cake Street, six offences had been committed in a total of 290 minutes of monitoring and 34 warning letters had been sent. This was relatively low compared to checks carried out in other areas. He said the police had received some complaints from neighbouring villages regarding motorbikes speeding linked to Two Wheel Tuesday. Police regularly spoke to the organisers and were happy with how the event was run and the encouragement given to the biking community re consideration of nearby residents. Ben Devlin confirmed that the police regularly attended the event and was happy with how it was managed and marshalled. The police road safety teams had also been invited to attend.
Andy Nichols said that Chapel Green School’s multi-use games area (MUGA) appeared to be finished and suggested enquiries be made as to how/when this could be available for community use. The parish clerk to clarify availability and cost of using the MUGA at Chapel Green School.
School parking. The chairman said that following the last meeting, before a wider meeting on school parking could be arranged, the Village Hall Management Committee (VHMC) had arranged a meeting with parents of the primary school regarding use of the village hall car park. The VHMC agreed that the school heads could also be included to widen discussion but due to the proximity of the end of the school term, they could not attend.
He said the meeting had been very positive and several parents had volunteered to take on the running of the car park permit scheme. He had also met the landlord of The Gamekeeper who kindly agreed to his car park being used but only if it was “marshalled” for health and safety reasons.
Parish councillors welcomed the progress and the offer from parents to help with the permit scheme. However, the wider issue of school parking generally, particularly congestion on Abbey Road, still needed discussion and all three schools played a part in that. It was agree to invite all three schools, the VHMC and parent representatives to a meeting, after the start of the new school term had settled down, to discuss how all could work together to alleviate the parking/congestion problems near the schools.
Attleborough Strategic Urban Extension (ASUE). The chairman said that the parish council needed to consider its response to the ASUE planning application which proposed to use 15 hectares of land in the parish for recreation/open space to support the development. He did not believe that the ASUE should use any land in the parish and had been encouraged by advice received from the CEO of LCPAS who had suggested that current government policy did not appear to be being followed in the ASUE. This included a requirement that the link road to the A11 should be completed before the development commenced. Steve Milner queried why there should be concern regarding a relatively small area of land when the landowner was entitled to sell. Andy Nichols said that the Local Planning register should be checked as there might be nothing that could be done to stop it if it was on the register as development land. If that was the case, then the council might be better to concentrate on securing as much Section 106 funding as possible. Ben Devlin said that, in hindsight, the parish council should have prepared a Neighbourhood Plan and the chairman agreed as advice received suggested that this would have taken precedent over the ASUE proposals. Adrian Joel said that although he would prefer the 15 hectares not to be included in the ASUE, he emphasised that it would still remain within the parish boundary. The recreation area was Phase 3 of the proposals and if approved would not commence for quite some time. Concern was expressed that although the land was planned for recreation, developers always wanted to maximise income and this could change in the future. Adrian Joel said that ASUE was legally required to have a certain percentage of open space. Andy Nichols commented on the lack of water attenuation provision for the ASUE development which might affect adjoining land in the parish. The chairman said that, together with Adrian Joel, he would meet Simon Wood, the Regional Planning and Building Control Officer of Urban Vision Partnership Ltd to discuss concerns regarding ASUE. If any councillors had any questions they wished to be asked they should email him. He would also have further discussions with the CEO of LCPAS and would share the outcome with councillors.
Meanwhile the parish council would check the designation of the 15 hectares of land in the Local Plan Register, consider the parish council’s formal response to ASUE at the next meeting and consider the preparation of a neighbourhood plan at the next meeting.
Parish Partnership bids. The parish clerk said that there was a deadline for bids for grants towards highways schemes and reminded councillors that any grant awarded would be a maximum of 50% of the scheme with the remaining funds needing to be included in the 2018/19 parish council budget. Steve Milner suggested that a bid be made for a SAM sign to address concerns re speeding traffic. Banham had recently obtained one and he would get details of cost, circulate the details and, subject to cost, make a parish partnership bid for funding.
Anniversary of the end of the Great War. The possibility of an event was raised by a parishioner at the previous meeting. No one had come forward with any proposal and planning for any meaningful event would have needed to be at an advanced stage by now. The parish council would as usual take part in the remembrance parade and lay a wreath. Canon Steve Wright had confirmed the plan this year was to hold the church service at 10am then to parade from the church to the war memorial timed for the silence at 11am.
Communications/social media. It was decided due to the late hour that this matter be deferred to the next meeting. Paul Phillips suggested that, in the meantime, any social media posts be made as an announcement with the ability to leave comments disabled.
Village newcomers welcome pack. The editor of the village newsletter had queried whether a welcome pack, which used to be provided for newcomers, could be considered again. Councillors said that this had been agreed at earlier meetings but various councillors had since left and it had not been followed through. Gemma Frost volunteered to lead on this.
Agenda items for the next meeting. Items identified included ASUE, a Neighbourhood Plan, communications/use of social media, allotment rents and the defibrillator.

The next meeting of the parish council will be held on Thursday 4 October commencing at 7.30pm at the village hall.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Road closure in Old Buckenham

Carriageway resurfacing next Saturday 
Work will begin on Saturday 30 September to carry out carriageway resurfacing works on B1077 New Buckenham Road.  To minimise disruption on this busy road the work is being carried out on a Saturday and will take one day to complete subject to suitable weather conditions.
The site is located on the B1077  at the junction of New Buckenham Road, Ragmere Road and Cake Street. 
During the resurfacing operations it will be necessary to close the roads. A fully signed official diversion route for the through traffic will be along roads of the same or higher classification. The official diversion route is via B1077 Diss, A1066 Thetford, A11 Attleborough and B1077 Old Buckenham. A local diversion will be in place for Ragmere Road.
Those living in Old Buckenham can hopefully work out a route to get to New Buckenham without going via Attleborough, Thetford and Diss!

Vehicle access to businesses and properties within the limits of the closure will be maintained from one end at all times. Pedestrian access will be maintained while work is underway.

Friday, 21 September 2018

Harvest flowers in Old Buckenham

Look inside All Saints Church

The church was decorated for the Harvest service last Sunday 16 September. Why not pop inside this weekend and look at some of the arrangements. There are large displays either side of the main doors and further displays are on all the window sills around the church.

Unfortunately you have missed out on the 'bring and share' lunch that took place in the Church Rooms last Sunday.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Watching your speed in Old Buckenham

Sunday activity
The local Speed Watch team have been doing several sessions in Cake Street recently and recorded many cars being driven at speeds well over the 30mph limit.

Late this morning some official measurements of the speeds were being made on the same stretch of road and the traffic policeman seemed to be kept pretty busy.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Old Buckenham Produce Show

Colourful entries and surprise visitors
On Sunday 9 September the annual village Produce and Handicraft Show took place in the village hall. As a result of the unusually hot weather during the summer there were not quite so many entries but there were people of all ages arriving during the morning bringing flowers, vegetables, cakes, preserves, eggs, handicraft, photographs and paintings.

Has Dad got the biggest marrow?

Soon after 11am the judging started and the hall fell quiet while items were examined and sometimes tasted.

Just before noon there were some unexpected visitors when the radio car from BBC Radio Norfolk arrived. They were looking for the treasure in Sunday's Treasure Quest programme.
They found it among the monsters made from fruit/vegetables in the children's section and then stopped to talk to some of the judges. You can listen to this programme for the next few weeks by going to
(about 2.25 in to hear start of journey towards Old Buckenham and 2.46 for arrival at the hall).

All afternoon exhibitors came to see how well they had done and other visitors came to look around. Prize giving took place around 4 o'clock with lots of trophies to be presented by Kate Lloyd, the current Old Buckenham WI president. This was followed by an auction of produce which provided the opportunity to get some great produce for just a few pounds.

Then it was time to clear up and think about what to enter next year.

See you all next time...