Monday, 24 November 2008

Latest parish council meeting

Old Buckenham Parish Council
These notes of the parish council meetings are prepared by the editor of the newsletter from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is corrected later at the next month's meeting.
There were three members of the public at the November meeting of the parish council as well as the county councillor John Baskerville. Apologies for absence were received from Gerald Norton, Liz Taylor and Trevor Crook.
Matters arising from the minutes. The Clerk has received a satisfactory reply from Breckland Council enforcement concerning two local unoccupied houses, this reply was circulated to all parish councillors. He subsequently has been in contact with the owners of the Hill House Farm explaining that it was the responsibility of the parish council to report on seemingly unoccupied properties.
The latest estimate for the work required at the village hall is £27,500 plus VAT. The clerk is still awaiting written confirmation from HM Revenue and Customs on the VAT reclaim situation.
County Councillor’s report. John Baskerville explained possible effects of the County Council having money tied up in Icelandic banks. The Council is expecting to get this money back but there will be a loss of interest. There are no real cash flow problems.
The Clerk was instructed to write, on behalf of the parish council, to the County Council to protest at any reduction of the budgets for both public transport and road maintenance.
The ‘safe route to school’ pathway was proceeding well.
Children’s Play Area. Kerry Talbot reported the current financial status and other information on the project. The working party will take a break and then resume in the New Year.
The sum of £206 was raised from a local raffle thanks to Lesley Coates and Julie Taylor. More money has been raised. A Christmas shopping fundraiser in conjunction with Old Buckenham Pre-school was being held in November.
Grant applications to Breckland Council and the Norfolk Community Foundation are being sent off in November.
The working party has personally paid for and organised “T” shirts for all working party members displaying their logo. These will be used at all fund-raising and other publicity events.
Settlement Boundary Review. The Clerk has been notified by Andrea Long, Environmental Planning Manager, that there will be further consultation concerning site specific policies and proposals in the development plan document early in 2009. This plan goes forward to 2026.
Recreation area behind the Village Hall. No agreement to lease has yet been received by the parish council although it is understood that the village hall management has received theirs. Youth involvement should be pursued in ongoing plans.
Planning applications. Mr and Mrs Mason, Willow House, Mill Road. Erection of domestic swimming pool building over existing pool. No objections from parish council.
Mr & Mrs A Medley, Ottomer Cottage, The Green. Proposed single storey dwelling (resubmission). No objections from parish council.
Stephen Thorley, College Barn, Cake Street. Proposed rear extension. No objections from parish council.
Stephen Brown, Shardalows Farm, Fen Street. Conversion of agricultural barn, etc, to provide residential accommodation. No objections from parish council but a 106 restriction needs to be applied so that it cannot be sold off as a separate entity.
Planning decisions by Breckland. Dr J Crawford, Sunnyside Cottage. Replacement windows. Passed.
The Gamekeeper Public House. Repainting exterior wall (retrospective). Passed.
B M Developers, Stone Cottage, Fen Street. Construction of a two- bedroom cottage. Permission refused.
J A Askew and Partners, Scales Farm. Change of usage to dwelling. Passed.
Financial. The Clerk circulated details of how the setting of the precept for 2009/10 impacts on local householders as far as their contribution to Breckland Council is concerned.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said that nominations for the Pride in Breckland awards are being invited. He also said that the Cotman Housing planning application is about to be submitted.
Councillors’ reports. Trevor Crook said one tree has been allocated to the parish council by Ross Guyton. Its position is to be allocated.
Tim Ing mentioned several matters. Large lorries over 7.5 tonne are abusing the weight restriction on Hargham Road. He also feels that a village map is needed and that County Council Highways should be asked to resurface the shop lay-by. The Clerk will include this when he sees the Highways inspector.
A suggestion was made for traffic lights to operate at school times on the B1077. The views of the “lollipop lady” will be sought and the matter put to Norfolk Highways and the police, depending on her response.
Clerk’s report. The editor of the village newsletter had asked for an up-to-date list of parish councillors, their contact details and specific areas of responsibilities on the council.
The parish council members decided that any announcement should make it clear that, in everyone’s interest, initial enquiries from parishioners should be addressed to the parish clerk who is obliged to make known all his contact details. In this way he will be able to direct issues, where appropriate, to the relevant councillor.
Indemnity insurance for individual councillors will probably need to be investigated when the recreation area starts to be equipped. In the meantime the Clerk has established with Zurich insurance that the existing public liability insurance is adequate provided normal safety checks are properly carried out. This applies specifically to the children’s playground at the moment.
An inspection is now waiting scheduling with the County Council Highways. There is a new Highways inspector at the County Council and the Clerk will meet him and Adrian Sewell in the next couple of weeks. The recent flooding in Cake Street is currently being investigated by the appropriate authorities. The Clerk passed round the plans for the Church Lane drainage scheme. Work is due to start in the first week of December.
Resignation of councillor. Becca Frank has tendered her resignation. Gerry Norton has informed the Clerk that he will take over the responsibility for representing the parish council at village hall management meetings.
The appointment of a new councillor is to be investigated by the Clerk with the Breckland returning officer’s department.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham parish council will be at 7.30pm on Thursday 4 December.

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