Saturday, 4 January 2014

January meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council

Council's first thoughts of the year
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
All councillors were present (except for Carol Marshall and Akis Chrisovelides who had sent their apologies) as well as two members of the public and Norfolk County councillor Stephen Askew. The meeting was suspended for a short while to allow members of the public to ask questions.
Minutes of December meeting. Under ‘declaration of interest’ it should have read that John Frost declared an interest in a planning application. With this amendment the minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. The Parish Clerk explained that as there was no public recess on agendas for precept meetings then the public could not speak. He advised that it was best practice to have no public recess at precept meetings especially when grants were being decided on and future expenditure budgeted. It was suggested that for all future grant applications submitted, the organisation could if they wished put their case at any Parish Council meeting prior to the precept meeting. An item is to be put on the February agenda to discuss moving precept dates. Tom Johnson raised the matter of putting more speeding signs on the Green and asking residents in Cake Street to park on the road and not on the pavement as this would cause vehicles to slow down.
Highways. The Parish Clerk read out an email from County Council Highways detailing what work had been carried out in Old Buckenham recently and what other work would be carried out in the near future. It also contained information relating to road safety on the B1077 and gave approximately costings for road measures including. This included
  • Puffin/Toucan crossing at £100,000 to £150,000,
  • Zebra crossing £50,000,
  • Pedestrian refuge £15,000 to £100,000 depending on the position of utility services.
  • Traffic calming £25,000 to £100,000.
Highways said these measures are not normally installed on B-type roads. If a formal crossing was to be considered then street lighting would be recommended which would then have to be added to the above costs. The Parish Council could apply for 50% grants under the Parish Partnership Scheme but then would have to pay half of the above costs. An estimate for part-time 20mph flashing signs would be given soon but an indication cost was given of £7,000. Also, because of the recent substantial cuts by central government, capital funding would not be able to carry out any work on footpaths within old Buckenham. They also confirmed that they would be supporting a new access road from the B1077 to the new relocated Chapel Road Complex Special Needs School so that no access from Abbey Road would be needed. This would be paid for out of the capital costs of the project and not from the NCC Highways budget. Adrian Joel said local MP George Freeman had written to Highways supporting the villagers in getting a crossing at the school. Steve Milner said surveys of traffic volumes were being carried out and now they will also do incident audits and possible comparisons of traffic levels with Attleborough School.
1st Old Buckenham Rainbow Group loan. Jonathan Kemp asked if a loan could be given to the group against the grant which had been awarded at the recent precept meeting as they urgently needed new equipment. It was proposed by Jonathan Kemp and seconded by Sarah Dye that a loan of £250 be given and repaid when the group received their grant, this was agreed unanimously.
Bullying and Harassment policy. The Parish Clerk explained the need for the policy which would offer the Parish Council protection if at anytime in the future it was taken to an industrial tribunal for constructive dismissal claim, citing bullying or harassment. The policy laid out a formal procedure to be followed by any complaints received by either by an employee, parish councillor, volunteer contractor or resident of the village. A full discussion then took place and parish councillors expressed their views on the matter. Following the discussion it was proposed by Tim Ing and seconded by John Frost that the policy be adopted, this was agreed by five for, three against and one abstention.
Planning applications. Adrian Joel informed the meeting that he will be joining the Breckland Council Planning Committee and therefore will not vote on any planning applications submitted to Parish Council now and in the future.
Magnolia, Fen Street. Erection of single storey dwelling to rear of property. There were no objections from the parish council.
Crown Lane Cottage, Crown Road. Replace existing mobile home (certificate of lawfulness). There were no objections from the parish council.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. None.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing informed the meeting that he had been thinking about ideas on how the village could be brought together as it was during the Jubilee celebrations of last year. He suggested a New Year’s day walk around the Green and footpaths of Old Buckenham, he asked councillors to think about it and come up with their own suggestions. He would be attending a meeting later this month in connection with the proposed relocation of Chapel Road Special Needs School and he will report back next month on the outcome of the meeting. Parish councillors were asked what ideas they wanted to be taken to the meeting so he could raise them. Suggestions were a mini roundabout at junction with the B1077 and a new proposed access road. Confirmation was given that no access to the new school will be via Abbey Road. Parking for visitors to the school is being considered plus screening for nearby residents if they wanted it. The Parish Clerk is to send a letter to Buckenham PreSchool Play Group confirming the grant of £350.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel informed the meeting that Breckland had made a new bursary available to help fund the training of sports coaches in the area. The Council’s Community Team is offering aspiring Breckland-based coaches 75% (up to £300) of their total course costs in priority sports such as Nordic walking, tennis, cycling, swimming and badminton. Funding of 50% (up to £150) was available in bursaries for all other sports.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Derek Smalley raised the matter of naming the new road at the St Andrews Road development. He then reported on his meeting with Highways on the drainage at the pond and also the trees on the Green that needed work done on them. John Frost reported that the Christmas Eve service at the church was well attended. Steve Milner reported that the Village Hall recently had a race night and only twelve people attended and only four of them were from Old Buckenham. A film night was coming up soon and he hoped more people would attend this event. The village hall boiler had been repaired and the floor had been resurfaced along with a new office being built. Adrian Joel raised the matter of wire across Stacksford Road. He also said new High School headmaster Aron Whiles would be invited to the February meeting. The allotment assigned to the High School had now been passed over to the Allotment Society free of charge and they would use it for community projects.
Parish Clerk’s report. Nothing to report.
The Green. The AGM of the Old Buckenham Green Right Proprietors would be held shortly and they would be seeking clarification on whether the existing contractor would cut the grass on the Green next year.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 6 February in the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm.

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