Monday, 12 December 2011

Councillors' thoughts in December

December Parish Council meeting
These notes were prepared by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may change later.
There were five members of the public at the December parish council meeting and apologies for non attendance were received from Akis Chrisovelides and Jonathan Kemp.
The minutes of the November Parish Council meeting were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Adrian Joel said a resident had phoned him thanking the Parish Council for providing a new grit bin.
Co-opting of new councillor. There were two candidates to wishing to fill the vacancy on the parish council. Councillors were given the opportunity to ask questions of both candidates and then they completed voting slips. The majority of the votes went to Steve Milner who was then co opted as the new councillor and who, after signeding the Acceptance of Office form, joined the meeting.
Recreation Area. Carol Marshall said they were waiting for news on their grant applications and hoped to have some news in January.
New developments in Old Buckenham. Tim Ing asked the councillors how they wanted to take the matter forward. Adrian Joel circulated copies of the village settlement boundary and then referred to the Localism Act which could allow developments outside the settlement boundary. Under the bill Parish Councils would have more say in planning matters. The Parish Clerk then explained how the Localism Act would affect the Parish Council and planning matters. Derek Smalley suggested that Parish Clerk collate the councillors’ returns on future development in the village and circulate them to all other councillors. Sandra Dye suggested that the Parish Clerk try obtain more detailed demographics of the village through Breckland Council and Norfolk County Council.
Bribery Act 2010. Discussion on this topic was deferred to the January meeting.
Planning applications. Barkers Cottage, Ragmere Road. Detached garage and storage. It was proposed that this be objected to on the grounds the proposed development was too large for the site. This was agreed with 8 for and 1 abstention.
Queen’s Jubilee. Tim Ing said that the village would be holding a celebration next year to mark this event and could parish councillors please contact all organisations in the village to seek their views and suggestions. This was agreed by all councillors and a meeting would be arranged for Saturday 7 January at 10am in the village hall where residents could also put forward suggestions.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing referred to the fallen trees in Hargham Road and he said, having spoken to the landowners, the trees were removed within two days. He then said the school governors had expressed concern over parking outside the primary school. The Parish Clerk to contact the police, Norfolk County Council Highways and both schools on the matter. Additional car parking signs had been erected by the Recreation Area. He also informed the meeting that a load of pig muck would be delivered to the allotments very soon. The village had again won the Pride of Breckland Award for 2011 and the £500 prize would be given to the village hall. The plaque for the award would be mounted with the previous awards on the plinth of the village sign. White lines at Dam Brigg Crossroads had been done.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland Council are due to go through a public consultation period before setting the Breckland share of the council tax at a meeting of the full council on Thursday 23 February. All Saints Church had received £100 from the ‘Breckland 12 Days of Christmas’ grant towards the Christmas Eve service. Breckland Council will also be collecting Christmas trees with the brown bins in January. Breckland are trying to reduce their housing list which stands at about 4,000. Private Sector Housing have launched a new financial scheme to get empty dwellings back into use - called “Restore” a maximum grant of up to £5000 can be given to bring the property up to a let able standard. The grant covers everything from repairs, to replacing kitchens, bathrooms and central heating systems through to decorating and supplying new carpets. The dwelling must have been empty for at least six months and cannot be used for owner occupation. Once up to standard the property must be let at an affordable rent for a minimum of twelve months to an applicant on the housing list.
Parish Clerk’s report. He informed meeting that due to new legislation the Council needed to order a first aid kit compliant with BS 8599-1 and could he go ahead with this, permission was granted.
Highways. Derek Smalley said there was a manhole cover in the centre of Ragmere Road opposite the allotments that was loose. He also reported that the water leak at Shrublands had now been repaired. It was also reported that the junction of Grove Road and Mill Road on the approach from Old Buckenham was dangerous and Parish Clerk was asked to contact Highways to see if mirrors could be fitted. Tim Ing said he was waiting to hear from Highways as to when the grit bins were going to be filled. He confirmed that residents could only use them for pathways and they could not be used for private property.
The Green. The meeting was informed that no meeting date had been set by the Green Right Proprietors and the next meeting would likely be their AGM. There was also no money available to deal with parking problems on the Green.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council would be on Thursday 5 January at the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

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