May Parish Council meeting
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that may be amended at a later date.
At this meeting, held on Thursday 5 May following the Annual Parish Council meeting, those present were councillors Adrian Joel, Carol Marshall. Ben Devlin, Graham Hart, Tom Johnson, Rona Boggia, Terry Cracknell along with James Watling, the Parish Clerk.
Seven members of public were present and three other councillors (Steve Milner, Jonathan Kemp and Sarah Hornbrook) had given their apologies for not being able to attend.
Public recess. A resident raised the matter of the email he wanted circulated to all councillors regarding his five points he had previously raised with the parish council. Rona Boggia read out the email including the new crossing for road safety. Rona Boggia thanked Mr Bayfield for clearing out a ditch in the village. Tom Johnson raised the matter of having a 20mph speed limit through the village at all times. A resident raised the matter of the Junior School becoming an academy which he thought was a bad idea and he then raised various other points of concern on the matter. A resident raised the matter of the new crossing which he thought was not well situated. A resident raised the matter of a letter he had received from Norfolk County Council (NCC) about the verge outside his house which instructed him to remove the posts which he had replaced when previous ones were knocked down. He asked why NCC should want them removed when they had installed the original ones ten years ago.
Minutes of the April Parish Council meeting. With a small amendment these were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Adrian Joel said he was surprised at the statement read out by the clerk at the April meeting naming a councillor in his statement. Adrian Joel also raised the question of commemorating the Battle of the Somme. The church could hold a service on Friday 1 July at 11am which must be supported by the Parish Council. He suggested that a flag be flown at half mast and candles be lit over three days.
Planning applications. Cherry Tree Cottage, Loss Wroo. Proposed motor home garage, store and workshop. No objections from parish council, agreed with 6 for and 1 abstention.
Puddled Cottage, Puddledock. Demolish existing porch and erect new porch. No objections from parish council, agreed with 6 for and 1 abstention.
9 The Old Yard, Hargham Road. Static caravan as temporary accommodation whilst new house is constructed (retrospective). No objections from parish council, agreed with 6 for and 1 abstention.
Planning decision received from Breckland. 5 Fen Street. Oak-framed cart lodge, garage and store room. Permission granted.
Play Area fencing. Adrian Joel informed the meeting that consultation with users had to take place to agree what type of replacement fence was best suited for the play area. A meeting will be held in the Church Rooms on Saturday 14 May from 9.30am to 11.30am for people to give their views.
Adoption of accounts. It was agreed unanimously that the Annual Return be approved.
Annual Governance Statement. It was agreed unanimously that the Governance Statement on the Annual Return be approved.
Refund of hall hire. It was agreed unanimously that the hall hire charges incurred by Terry Cracknell for a recent meeting at the village hall be refunded to him by the Parish Council.
Queen’s 90th Birthday celebration. Adrian Joel asked if the Parish Council were organising anything to celebrate this event. It was agreed to let local organisations arrange their own celebrations.
Appointment of new Parish Clerk. Adrian Joel explained how the job had be advertised. Two applicants had already been interviewed and he asked for permission from the Parish Council for the Human Resources Personnel Committee to make a decision following three more interviews with other applicants. This was agreed unanimously. Terry Cracknell and Graham Hart would now join the committee following the resignation of Mike Farrington and Steve Milner standing down as chairman.
Parish maintenance tasks. Adrian Joel said a lot of small tasks around the village need doing. Graham Hart offered to allocate up to eight hours a month unpaid labour to do some of the tasks.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported that residents will now have received a new publication which informs them of changes that Breckland Council is making to its services, how they are delivered and how they can be accessed. The publication is called Transforming Breckland. Breckland is currently in process of updating its services and making them more accessible to residents including making it easier to submit applications, raise issues or ask questions via their website. The Local Plan is moving forward and the next step will be it going out to public consultation in July. A pre-submission document will be out for consultation in Autumn 2016. This will then be submitted to the Inspector and confirmation is hoped for by early 2017.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Carol Marshall reported that the village garage sale will have some thirty pitches and is due to take place on Sunday 15 May between 10am and 1pm. Ben Devlin reported that next Green Right Proprietors’ meeting will take place on Tuesday 14 June. Tom Johnson reported that the Village Hall Management Committee met in April and is still unable to appoint a Chairman. He also gave a thank you from the Pre-school group for the recent grant given by Parish Council. There will be a free film show on Saturday 21 May at 7.30pm at the village hall. Rona Boggia distributed a recently undertaken traffic census to all councillors. She recently attended the Attleborough Development Partnership meeting and had passed on Sarah Hornbrook’s comments regarding the suggestion of building the link road before other development takes place but this suggestion was not taken up. The next meeting is due to take place on Wednesday 15 June between 2pm and 4pm at Attleborough town hall. Terry Cracknell supported Rona Boggia’s view on the Partnership. Terry Cracknell then raised the matter of the lake and weir which he believes is causing some flooding issues in the village. Adrian Joel said the lake level has risen by five inches and that three residents are assisting with the matter supported by the Parish Council. Adrian Joel then reported on the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party who will be sending out a survey form to every household soon to obtain views of residents.
Parish Clerk’s report. The Clerk reported that Mike Farrington had resigned with immediate effect. The Clerk was asked if Mike Farrington had given a reason. The Clerk responded that he had stated his reason but he did not have permission to reveal details. The Clerk is to inform Breckland Council of the resignation. The Clerk reported that NCC Highway Engineer Mr Overland would be taking on new duties with immediate effect and would no longer be available for the reporting of problems. He thanked Mr Overland for all his assistance and excellent work over the last six years within the village. Adrian Joel also wished to record the thanks of the Parish Council for Mr Overland’s work over the years.
Highways. Adrian Joel raised the matter of posts in Crown Road originally supplied by NCC over ten years ago. He also said there are similar instances of other verges in village having items put on them to try to protect the verges. A letter to be sent to NCC on the matter. The Clerk is to report to NCC on the matter of potholes along Harlingwood Lane on the bend between Old Hall Farm and Cuffers Lane.
Public Recess. A resident raised the matter of clerk leaving and the appointing of a new clerk. A resident informed the meeting that a flag could be flown from the church tower to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. The church has decided not to do an event of their own to commemorate this event. A resident raised the matter of the £4,000 paid by the Parish Council under 50/50 Partnership Scheme for a road crossing and also the resurfacing of the Village Hall car park. The Clerk informed the meeting that any VAT due on the resurfacing would have to be paid by the Village Hall and could not be reclaimed by Parish Council (the Clerk will circulate VAT Notice 49 which is a HMRC notice which clearly states why the Parish Council cannot reclaim the VAT). A resident referred to the April minutes which referred to someone as a resident under the public recess when in fact they no longer lived in the village but did own a property in village. A resident raised the matter of verges and suggested using the County Councillor to take up the matter. Adrian Joel said that Highways claim the first 1.7 metres of verges to provide for essential services.
Closed session. Adrian Joel then said that members of the public and any press would have to leave as the Council was going to go into a closed session to discuss a confidential matter. Following the departure of public a discussion took place regarding events around a recent confidential personnel matter.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 2 June at 7.30pm at Old Buckenham Village Hall.