Monday, 16 January 2017

Old Buckenham parish council in January

January Parish Council minutes
These notes have been written by the newsletter editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
At the meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council held on Thursday 5 January the councillors present were Adrian Joel (chairman)), Terry Cracknell, Sarah Hornbrook, Jonathan Kemp, Tom Johnson, Carol Marshall, Steve Milner and Andy Nicholls as well as the parish clerk Hilary Clutten and county councillor Stephen Askew.
There were six members of the public who attended including John Fernihough and Sarah Dye in relation to the discussions on the Green.
Apologies for absence had been received from councillors Rona Boggia, Ben Devlin and Graham Hart.
The minutes of the meeting held in December 2016 were approved as a true and accurate record of the meeting
Public participation in relation to agenda items. Two members of the public had come to speak about their current planning application to convert a barn into a house at Stacksford House Farm. The access to the site has been moved to a new position where there are better visibility splays. Tree, structural and bat surveys have also been carried out.
There was a complaint about extensive dog mess on the Green. It was agreed to put an item in the village newsletter about this. It is hoped that the situation will improve when the Green is better looked after.
The village sign and the Parish Council’s noticeboard are deteriorating and it was agreed to put these items on the next agenda.
The village shop/post office owners are having a problem with people parking outside the shop at school opening and closing times. As the land involved is public land there is nothing that can be done to deter this.
It was noted that an increasing number of people are bringing dogs in cars to the village for exercise.
It was confirmed that the Parish Council owns the village sign.
It is important for the Parish Council and the Green Right Proprietors to decide on an option to support the upkeep of the Green and to present this to the village. It was also thought that a working party should be set up to look for funding and ideas for fund raising. These things need to happen quickly so that matters can be agreed by the February Parish Council meeting and then presented to the village at the Annual Parish Meeting in March. It was suggested that a working party be set up to look into the future management of the Green with the following make up:
Two Green Right Proprietors, two parish councillors, two independent village residents and the Lord of the Manor. This working party would need to meet soon and make a recommendation to the Parish Council at its next meeting. It was also suggested that a separate group be set up to deal with the conservation issues of the Green and which could then advise the management working party.
The public and parish councillors were invited to make comments.The members of the public present were keen to see the Parish Council take over the management of the Green which would be an asset to the village if properly maintained as well as making it more user-friendly. Most councillors were in favour of taking on the management of the Green regardless of who owned it. It was said that it was not useful to discuss the past wrongs of the situation but to work to sort something out particularly as it appears to be something that the village residents want.
There is a concern about the trees on the Green as some have specific owners who have the right to estovers (necessaries allowed by law to a tenant especially fuel or wood for repairs) and some trees have no owners. The Green Right Proprietors have a map of the trees which they can provide. It was suggested that the estover tree owners should give up their rights. Some of the Green could be managed as an amenity area similar to the area in front of the Ox and Plough and some areas left for conservation. Speaking as Lord of the Manor, Terry Cracknell said that the project has his full support as it had been purchased with a view to providing a village amenity.
The Council then resolved, with one abstention, to set up a Green Management Working Party with the following make-up:
Adrian Joel and Andy Nicholls on behalf of the Parish Council,
Terry Cracknell as Lord of the Manor,
Sarah Dye and one other on behalf of the Green Right Proprietors,
And John Fernihough and Ray Bayfield as independent village residents
It was agreed that the Working Party should meet in about ten days’ time.
The Clerk was asked to arrange to give her comments on the proposed contract.
It was agreed that Ron Brewer should be asked to put something in the February issue of the village newsletter about the management of the Green being discussed at the Annual Parish Meeting in March and that a poster should also be put on the Parish Council’s noticeboard.

General Power of Competence. The Clerk had circulated information on the General Power of Competence (Localism Act 2011) to all the councillors. The Council confirmed, with one abstention, that it now met the criteria to adopt and use the General Power of Competence and resolved to adopt it with one abstention.
County Councillor. Stephen Askew arrived and was invited to speak to the meeting. Referring to the road crossing issue he said it was a case of waiting for the County Council to reply to the letter from George Freeman MP. It was reported that there had been some near misses recently involving vehicles on the road through the village. It is important to get a new site for the 30mph sign as soon as possible. Stephen Askew asked if he could be emailed about this matter. Stephen Askew was also asked by Steve Milner if there was any news about the changes to the recycling sites but there was none.
Planning applications. Barn at Stacksford House Farm, part demolition of existing agricultural building and conversion of remaining barn to dwelling house with new detached garage and access. The Council agreed to support this application with one abstention.
Stacksford village, Stacksford. Removal of condition to not use the existing septic tank and to provide a new treatment for the disposal of water. Council agreed to support this application with one abstention.
Planning permission by Breckland. The Joules, Crown Road. Permission has been granted for change of use of a workshop to an annex.
Local Plan. Two additional sites within Old Buckenham have been submitted to Breckland Council for consideration. One site is on Attleborough Road but, if this site were to be allocated for development, the village would want a safe road crossing point, roundabout and a school dropping off area. 
The other site is behind the area known as the Pound but has no access so is not really an option. In addition the site is huge and development in that location would spoil the view of the Green. It was agreed that Sarah Hornbrook would word a suitable response on the two sites.
Financial matters. The Clerk had circulated a financial report to the councillors and said that since the report was written she had submitted the VAT repayment claim for 2016 and the Charity Return for the same period. The income of the charity was confirmed as £371 and a Charity meeting will be held after the next Parish Council Meeting.
Update on highways matters. It had been determined that a broken pipe was responsible for all the water in Cake Street and the County Council spent about a week rectifying matters. Some potholes and road edging have also been repaired and currently the finger posts are being cleaned. It was reported that there was a problem with water in a ditch on the right of leaving the village from Cake Street towards Dam Brigg.
Steve Milner proposed that the Parish Council purchase a mirror for the Grove Road/Mill Road junction and ask a nearby landowner if it can be mounted on his property. Council agreed to set a budget of £100 to purchase and erect a mirror subject to the Clerk checking on potential liability for accidents and Steve Milner speaking to a nearby landowner.
Sarah Hornbrook and Jonathan Kemp asked for it to be recorded that they had voted against this resolution on safety liability grounds.
The Council discussed the continuing issue with the hedge in Harlingwood Lane and agreed that a councillor should visit the landowner together with a representative from Highways.
Chapel Green School. It was reported that the contractors were making a good job of the road and that work should start on the building in February. There is still a problem with access to Footpath 4 during weekdays and the Clerk is to make further enquiries about resolving this issue. The Village Hall Committee had hoped to use a nearby ditch to help with its car park drainage problem but the ditch has been used by the school contractors for services. Morgan Sindall has agreed to mend a ceiling in the Village Hall in return for using services at the Village Hall and will possibly remove the BMX humps but is unlikely to help with the drainage problem in the car park too. The Clerk was asked to contact the Village Hall Committee to remind them that there was still Parish Partnership money available from NCC for the car park until the end of March 2017.
Broadband update. Work is in progress and some results are likely to be seen by March 2017.
Purchase of the village telephone kiosk. The Clerk had circulated information from BT about purchasing old telephone kiosks. The Council agreed to purchase the BT telephone kiosk near the Green for the sum of £1. The Council also agreed that it preferred BT to continue paying for the electricity supply to the kiosk and would let BT know that it intended to install a defibrillator in due course.
Precept Grant. The Council agreed, with two abstentions, to make an advance payment of £640 to New Buckenham Football Club being its Precept Grant awarded for 2017/18.
Chairman’s report. The Chairman requested that the correspondence folder be circulated more quickly.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland Council is switching to one main customer contact number, 01362 656870, which is expected to make it quicker and more convenient for residents to contact the District Council. Residents and businesses in Breckland are being invited to have their say on the Council’s draft budget for 2017/18. The consultation started on Friday 23 December and will last for one month. To have a say people can visit the Breckland Council website to view the budget and for further details of how to respond. Printing of the Breckland Voice magazine was suspended but money has been found to enable it to be published again twice per annum. To balance its budget Breckland Council is not selling off land but aiming to make better use of it as a partner in a Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV). A member of the public drew attention to the fact that a growing number of homeless people from Thetford were ending up in Norwich. Adrian Joel reported that there was a lack of social housing in Thetford.
Neighbourhood Plan. Sarah Hornbrook said that there was nothing to report at present but that a meeting would be held soon.
Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan. Nothing to report at present as the Plan has been handed in and developments are awaited.
Road Safety. Some members of the group had met with George Freeman MP and they were very pleased with the letter he had written to Norfolk County Council in support of a safe road crossing. The Clerk was asked to write a letter of thanks to George Freeman.
Play Area. The Chair reported that the group was awaiting further news from Graham Hart and that grants were being sought towards the cost of the new railings.
Parish Councillors’ reports. The Chair reported that the allotments were much better now and he would advertise for tenants in the village newsletter. It was requested that the Parish Council still pursue the possibility of finding a new site for the allotments. A new litter bin was requested and the Clerk would action using her spending power. There was a report of a dog bin not being emptied. There was a query about an invoice for a ‘traffic survey’ and the Clerk will resolve this at the next meeting.
Sarah Hornbrook had noticed that the Santander Account was still open. Carol Marshall said that a problem had arisen with one of the alleged signatories to the account and the Clerk will investigate.
Correspondence. A letter had been received from Age UK Norfolk seeking financial support. A thank you letter had come from the Village Hall Fete Committee for the Precept grant it is to receive in April
Items for the next meeting. These should include dog bins, the allotment site, Chapel Green School, the Green, Highways, village sign, noticeboard, and road safety invoice.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council Meeting will be on Thursday 2 February in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

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