Thursday, 16 October 2008

What went on at the parish council

October Parish Council
These notes of the parish council meetings are prepared by the editor of the village newsletter from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is corrected later at the next month's meeting.

Norman Cawston (Chairman) opened the October meeting of the parish council and welcomed 15 members of the public. Apologies for absence were received from two councillors, Becca Frank and Kerry Talbot.
Matters arising from minutes. Haymaking on the Green was well on the way to being completed although the weather has not helped.
The Clerk is having problems getting a quote for making the car parking signs to use outside the village shop and there are doubts on how effective they will be without being able to be backed up in law.
A temporary gulley for drainage in Church Lane has been dug. A proper drain is scheduled with the safe route to school work. Other drainage issues are being addressed when the County Council Highways inspection takes place.
Although flooding at The Cottage, Attleborough Road, is not a parish council issue, the Clerk has arranged to have the landowners clear their ditches and Breckland Environment Department (Angela Masterson) is looking into possible drain irregularities behind the Gamekeeper public house. The Clerk has also received answers and details of remedial work from relevant landowners, Dennis Burton and John Alston.
Village Hall kitchen. The Clerk referred to messages from Joan Jenkins and from Harold Yates (from the original Village Action Plan Committee) concerning the request for grant funding. He also referred to an endorsement from architect Martin Hall that improvements were called for.
Adrian Joel asked to have a budget plan made out. Tim Ing, Denise Ziman and Gerry Norton supported the Village Hall’s request and want to encourage the Parish Council to support the hall. Carol Marshall had reservations, wondering if the improvements were necessary to keep the activities legal and whether there were not other priorities.
The Chairman recommended that a financial commitment of a minimum of £1000 be made and this was unanimously agreed.
Children’s Play Area. Mike Craven-Romain said a generous donation has been received from the Ox & Plough. Grant funding application is in progress and swing repairs are in hand.
Settlement Boundary Review. Adrian Joel reported that there had been a mixed reception to the proposals at the recent public consultation. The figures in support or against various proposals varied. However it was agreed that the expansion of the industrial resources of the Attleborough area should be exploited. The area to the south of Attleborough is a particularly contentious issue and must be considered carefully in due course. Infrastructure, such as roads, must be implemented first before anything else.
The Chairman said that it was a disappointment that decisions hadn’t yet been firmly decided. This made it difficult to form an opinion and make any suggestions. Further shop developments might work against our local shop.
Current views from the parish council members will be sent by the councillors to the Clerk.
Recreation Area behind the Village Hall. The area is under cultivation. The existing broken down fence should now be removed. Help to do this is invited once the lease is signed.
The Green. Clarification of the situation regarding the footpaths and any proposal for the management of the Green for next year will be required in good time before the Green Rights Proprietors’ AGM in February 2009.
Planning applications. B M Developers, Stone Cottage, Fen Street. Construction of two-bedroom cottage. Not supported on the grounds that a new cottage has been started and the entrance is on a narrow lane.
M Foulger, Lodge Farm, Sandy Lane. Extension to rear of property. No objection.
Mr and Mrs Hughes, East View, Fen Street. Application to modify or discharge application already granted. Majority decision to let this proceed.
J A Becker, Old Dairy Barns, Fen Street. Conversion of former workshop to dwelling with new garage. Resubmission. No objection but checking with neighbours.
Planning decisions by Breckland. Chris Noller, Dairy Farm, Cake Street. Installation of flue, wood burning stove and replacement windows. Both approved by Council.
Tom Crawford, Hill Farm, Leys Lane. Steel-framed building for grain storage. No prior approval is required. Passed.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported that fly tipping and similar “grot spots” remain a problem. Photographic evidence does make the authorities move into action and he reported that he had been provided with a suitable camera to help provide the necessary evidence.
Councillors’ reports. A challenge has been made to the amount of mileage allowance for community cars. The payment over 40p per mile should not be considered “profit” for taxation purposes.
The Clerk is currently awaiting a reply concerning the extent of insurance cover in place for items such as the new village sign
Trevor Crook and Tim Ing will form the working party for the village hall project.
Signs concerning parking outside the shop have been investigated and the Clerk is awaiting a price.
The speed camera scheme is thought to be a good idea and Becca Frank will be consulted.
It was suggested that the parish council updates its training for councillors.
The parish council was asked to make a further contribution to the Scouts in respect of litter picking activities. This will be discussed at the November meeting.
Clerk’s report. The audit for 2007/8 has been successfully completed. The situation of the parish council as custodian trustee of the Village Hall has been clarified.
A final decision on the precept requirement must be made at the November meeting.
The parish council needs to prepare an asset register with valuations for this year’s accounts for audit.
The money received from the Eleemosynary Charity should be ring-fenced in a separate account and an account opened with the sum of £740 (the last 2 years’ receipts).
The Clerk asked the secretary of Green Rights Proprietors (Rosemary West) to look up the latest Tree Preservation Order (TPO) following on from a letter received from Breckland Council and amend in the records accordingly. Provisionally, the secretary has advised the Clerk that the documentation about the TPO is not correct and she has undertaken to look into this on everyone’s behalf.
The Clerk said he has copies of letters from Mike Bartlett (Village Action Plan) to Dorian Avellino of Mott MacDonald regarding the selection of Route 1 for the safe route to school. They ask for clarification of the criteria that makes this, rather than Route 4, the preferred route.
The Clerk has received some promotional leaflets and timetable concerning ‘Sustainable Communities Team Surgeries’. These were distributed.
The Clerk was asked to write concerning an old house on Hargham Road and the old Eagling’s property in Fen Street. These properties are unoccupied and steadily deteriorating.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 6 November 2008 in the village hall.

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