Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Old Buckenham Parish Council minutes for April

April deliberations of Parish Council
These notes have been written by the newsletter editor from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Apologies had been received from councillors Akis Chrisovelides and Jonathan Kemp as well as the Parish Clerk James Watling. There were three members of the public present and Kerry Talbot attended for the purpose of taking the minutes in the absence of the clerk. There was a public recess and the meeting suspended to allow members of the public to speak. The issues raised and discussed included the Chapel Road School and infrastructure, the Annual Parish Meeting and the harrassment policy.
Minutes of the March Parish Council meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Councillors requested that more detailed information should be submitted to Breckland Council when objections were raised to planning applications.
Village Hall broadband. It was reported that a supplier has been appointed and the village hall management is awaiting their contract to sign.
War Memorial. Tim Ing updated the council on this matter. Previous discussions have tried to establish who owns the memorial but as ownership cannot be established all councillors agreed that the parish council had a moral responsibility for the maintenance. A quote had been received for £970 for cleaning and Tim Ing suggested the parish council should fund this. Any funds raised by parishioners for the war memorial could be donated to a fund to assist with the maintenance. This was agreed unanimously.
Planning applications. Downmore Farm extension. There were no objections from the parish council and this was agreed unanimously.

Roughlands, Grove Road. Single-storey extension. Plans were viewed and discussions centred around whether the application was two-storey or one. This application was agreed with four for and three against with Sarah Dye abstaining.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing stated that the benefits for the village in having Chapel Road School located in Old Buckenham were clear. Infrastructure issues need to be resolved for the benefit of all parties. For instance, the parish council had been asked to raise funds for a multi use games area (MUGA) but if Chapel Road School is built their premises will include a MUGA and early indications are that Chapel Road School would give the village access to these facilities. Parish Council funding could then be used elsewhere. The water is now switched on at the allotments. The Parish Council have been asked to plant a tree on the Green to replace one removed when the play area was completed. Steve Milner agreed to liaise with Sarah Dye as to what type of tree should be planted and also suggested involving Old Buckenham Community Primary School by organising a competition for the pupils to plant their own tree and the tallest after a year would be planted on the Green. Tim Ing stated he had been disappointed to receive correspondence from a parishioner raising various observations, many of which were historical. All councillors had been sent a copy. Various issues were raised relating to the parish council as an employer and Tim Ing is to establish a way forward with the help of Steve Milner.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland Council have appointed a permanent shared Chief Executive – Anna Graves. Her duties will be shared with South Holland District Council and she will commence her duties in mid- April. Anna has come from Harborough District Council and has previously worked for Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council. Breckland has been able to freeze its council tax for 2014/15. This is in spite of a 25% reduction in Government Rate Support Grant but a change in the formula for calculation of business rate retention netted down gave Breckland an overall reduction of 11%. A new recycling joint venture will start with new material from October this year. Potential annual savings are said to be between £288k and £387k. The building of the fourteen new social houses in St Andrews Close is due to be completed and handed over in August. The name of the new road will be March Field Way. The new local plan process has started and is expected to be in place from September 2016.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Tom Johnson updated the council on Village Hall matters. The AGM had been held and recognised the new committee efforts to introduce new events for the village and were set to go forward for another year. Paul Boggia asked whether the pothole in the drive leading the village hall and school had been flagged to Highways. Steve Milner reported that the work had been reported and had been allocated a job number, the Clerk is to follow up. Sarah Dye informed the council that the play area would be closed on Sunday 15 May for fencing and gate repairs. The scouts will help with painting to get play area ready for the summer. It was hoped that this activity will be advertised so other parishioners could lend a hand. Derek Smalley updated the council on his Attleborough Neighbourhood Steering Group meeting. Discussions centred around health and social care, education and housing. Future developments for the B1077 rail crossing could mean that this is removed as British Rail are seeking to reduce the number of crossings. Traffic would then be diverted as part of a new relief road. Derek Smalley stated that his role at the meetings was for observation purposes only. Carol Marshall updated the council regarding the BMX track. They had received a quote for the work needed to establish bumps for £170 a day for two days. All agreed that the work should go ahead. Grass cutting would continue without any increase in cost. Councillors reported that fencing in the recreation area had been pulled off and stacked into a bonfire structure at top left hand side of the recreation area. Carol lMarshall to take a look. John Frost reported that there had been a increase in the parish precept towards the church. Work on the church windows had started with the tower repairs due to start in June. John Frost had also cleared the drains in Ottomer Pond and Sarah Dye thanked him for his work. John Frost worked with Emerald Trees to undertake work to trees on the Green. Tim Ing asked if the hole in Forge Close had been attended to as a parishioner had asked and John Frost said that this was in hand. Steve Milner updated the council on Speedwatch which is currently organising four sessions a month but with people still speeding. More volunteers are needed to help – anyone interested should contact Steve Milner. The second village hall film screening of ‘Saving Mr Banks’ was a success with 63 people attending. The next screening will be on Saturday 3 May with ‘The Railwaymen’. Whilst currently still hiring the equipment, it is hoped to purchase a projector and screen ready for the July screening which will be of ‘12 Years a Slave’. Steve Milner also reported that the Village Hall proposes to close the village hall car park from Friday 25 April so that volunteers can repair pot holes. The car park could remain closed to the general public, other than for the use of recycling and patrons of the village hall events. The Village Hall Management Committee felt it needed to demonstrate to Norfolk County Council that they need to provide car parking for the school. Steve Milner will make contact with all local dignatories including the police. The schools have been informed and will be given every opportunity to communicate with parents/carers regarding the situation. Tim Ing raised concerns that the whole village will then be affected as people will need to find alternative parking around the village. Sarah Dye commented that the Village Hall Management Committee needed to have a clear strategy to ensure that parents/carers and the schools lobby the council as well. This would be a protest to Norfolk County Council and she suggested a postcard type poll of those wishing to put their points of view. Steve Milner assured the parish council members that all communication would be staged ensuring all parties were fully informed of the closure.  Adrian Joel raised a concern that emails and letters in the correspondence folder were not being followed through in the agenda of council meetings. He also raised the issue of the Neighbourhood Plan and the parish council reiterated its view that it would not provide value for money and that this had already been raised a number of times. The council’s view remains the same. A parishioner has asked that the council maintain the track along Post Office Terrace. It was pointed out that this is managed by the Green Right Proprietors and is therefore not the responsibility of the council.
Highways. Pot holes were reported along the track from the Gamekeeper to the primary school. Cake Street, before the Old Rectory towards Manor Corner, is in need of repair as the road disappears into a hedge and the drop is now quite substantial. Tom Johnson asked if a map had been produced, as it had been previously agreed, so that pot holes could be plotted – not yet actioned.
The Green. Sarah Dye had nothing to report. Carol Marshall asked if anything could be done about the car park near to Ottomer Pond as it is not weathering well. Various options were discussed but no solution found.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 1 May 2014 in the Church Rooms at 7.30pm.

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