Minutes of March meeting
These minutes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 2 March at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. There were six members of the public present including John Fernihough and Sarah Dye in relation to the Green. The Vice Chairman Jonathan Kemp took the chair as Adrian Joel was unable to attend. Apologies had also been received from Graham Hart and Carol Marshall.
Minutes of the Council meeting held in February. These were approved as a true and accurate record of the meeting. There were no matters arising.
Public participation in relation to agenda items only. Points were raised about the Green including what investments and funds the Green Right Proprietors (GRPs) have. Sarah Dye said that whilst the GRPs have some funds, a lot of these would be used to remove the tree that had been damaged in the recent storm.
The Parish Council has a lot of projects in progress but few of them are reaching fruition, the Neighbourhood Plan being one of them. Sarah Hornbrook reported that no one had come forward to drive the initiative and she has too many commitments to lead the project herself. It was suggested that the Parish Council took a decision in April as to whether or not continue with the Neighbourhood Plan production. It was also suggested that those attending the Annual Parish Meeting should be apprised of the need for more help with the Neighbourhood Plan production and that an item put in the village newsletter to the same affect.
(Councillor Ben Devlin arrived at7.45pm).
Terry Cracknell suggested that the Parish Council paid someone to do the Neighbourhood Plan work. It was also suggested that Old Buckenham residents were contacted to see if anyone was interested in helping.
The issue of the Local Plan was raised. It was felt that two sites were now not needed if only 35 properties were required. The next opportunity for consultation will be when the next version of the Plan is published in May/June before the final document goes to the Planning Inspectorate. It was believed that Breckland Council would not want potential development sites removed from the Local Plan.
Update on the Green. Sarah Dye reported that the AGM and a normal meeting of the Green Right Proprietors had taken place in February. The GRPs had voted in favour of entering into an agreement with the Parish Council and had authorised Sarah Dye to sign the document on their behalf. Sarah Dye had been asked to bring up one issue with the Parish Council regarding ownership of the Green. This was not an issue for particular discussion, more a request to put on record that by signing the lease with the Parish Council, to which the Lord of the Manor was a party, was not an affirmation by the GRPs that the Lord of the Manor was owner of the Green. Sarah Dye handed the Clerk a letter confirming this viewpoint.
John Fernihough reported that a local farmer was willing to cut the Green free of charge in return for keeping the grass crop but the substantial amount of moles in the Green would make this task too difficult so the moles had to be eradicated first. The Council resolved to proceed with mole eradication on the Green by Able Pest Management Services at a cost of £750 to £900 plus VAT provided that the poll at the Annual Parish Meeting favours the Parish Council taking over management of the Green.
Planning application consultations. Downmoor, Banham Road, Old Buckenham. Erection of double garage. The Parish Council agreed to support this application.
Castle Hill Garage, New Buckenham. Detailed application following earlier outline permission. The Parish Council did not wish to make any comments on this application.
Planning permission received from Breckland Council. Oak Lodge, 2 Fen Street. Permission for single storey extension.
District Councillor’s and Chairman’s reports. The Chair read out a report from Adrian Joel in his absence and then reported that most of work on the new BT box has been completed but an easement to provide energy to the box still has to be resolved.
Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group. Tom Johnson reported that the draft Neighbourhood Plan has now been submitted and he had obtained a hard copy which he had given to the Clerk.
Attleborough Development Plan meeting. Rona Boggia reported that there has been some discussion about the constructors getting a loan to fund the building of the relief road before development was started instead of building the road piecemeal.
Road Safety Working Party. Rona Boggia had written a draft letter in response to Paul Donnachie’s (NCC) recent communication which she distributed to councillors and then read out aloud. Essentially it countered his reasons for not allowing the safety crossing. The Council is to send this letter to Paul Donnachie and to send copies to County Councillor Steve Askew and MP George Freeman.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Andy Nicholls reported that the ditch in front of the Asparagus Field is over full and should be reported to Highways.
Terry Cracknell reported on the Village Hall Management Committee. The Scouts would like to put a container on the area leased by the Parish Council for the recreation area to house their trailer; the Parish Council will consider this request at its next meeting. He also reported that the Village Committee would like a donation of £5,000 towards further work on the car park. Steve Milner reported that the memorial walnut tree at Stacksford had come down in the recent storm. The trunk has been cut into discs which are being sold to raise funds to replace the fallen tree and it has been agreed to give any surplus monies to the Green funds. Steve Milner also reported that the application for the mobile telephone mast in New Buckenham is likely to be refused. He has emailed the company involved to let them know that Old Buckenham might be able to help with a site.
Ben Devlin apologised for arriving late at this evening’s meeting. He reported that he had spoken to the Play Area’s chosen fencing company but it was not willing to reduce the quotation. An ash tree opposite the Ox and Plough requires attention as the trunk is splitting. The Clerk agreed to contact the Green Right Proprietors about this.
Sarah Hornbrook reported that the Neighbourhood Plan document is a legal document and a specific procedure must be followed. The Parish Council might need to appoint a private consultant to complete the rest of the work if no one in the village is willing to spearhead the initiative but she is willing to brief such a person.
Village Hall car park. There was a discussion about the drainage issue in the car park and a feeling that this needs to be well and truly resolved this time. Professional help might be needed to solve this issue before the remaining work is done. Finally, the Council resolved to lend the Village Hall Committee £5,000, interest free over five years, on condition that the Village Hall Committee finally resolves the drainage issue.
Almshouses Charity. There was a need for the nomination of a Parish Council Trustee for next four years. The Clerk reported that a current member of the trustees is willing to switch to being the Parish Council nominated trustee and that she will contact the person involved.
Highways matters. The Council was still awaiting further details about verge cutting from the Highways Department. Steve Milner had done some speed checks on Doe Lane. Five cars had been recorded doing 60mph and one vehicle had been doing 70mph. He will carry out a few more checks and report back again.
Appointing an odd job man. Terry Cracknell presented his case for appointing an odd job man for the village on a self-employed basis. He would be prepared to compile the ‘to do’ list with the Clerk which would be approved by the Parish Council. He was also prepared to contribute £500 to the project if the Parish Council would put in £1,500. The odd job man would be paid £120 for a day’s work which would be monitored by Terry Cracknell. The Parish Council has included £2,000 in its 2017/18 budget for village jobs. Any contractor would need to show they had public liability insurance.The Council agreed to appoint a self-employed person as an odd job man at £120 per day up to a maximum cost of £2,000 (including the £500 offered by Terry Cracknell) in 2017/18.
Update on Chapel Green School. A further newsletter has been issued and the 30mph sign has finally been moved closer to Attleborough.
Correspondence. This included a letter from Mr Darby to confirm a recent conversation with Terry Cracknell and a representative of NCC Highways as well as a thank you letter from the Pre School for their 2017/18 Precept grant.
Items for the next meeting. These should include Doe Lane speeding, an Awards evening, update on the reuse of the telephone box, local mobile telephone mast, Chapel Green School, The Green and the Neighbourhood Plan.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 6 April in the Village Hall, Old Buckenham to start at 7.30pm.