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.
Here is some up-to-date news on progress at the Chapel Green School project. The site team have been delighted to see some sunshine in the recent weeks and this has really benefited the project. They are now resident in their permanent office setup right in the heart of the main site, allowing them to keep a close eye on the activities taking place. Works on site are progressing at a rapid pace – foundations and holding-down bolts are nearly complete for half of the building footprint. They have commenced the installation of the concrete bridge abutment to the south of the site and have excavated out for the hydrotherapy pool. Lots of other background work has also been taking place, preparing for the follow-on trades to make a start. The main hoarding set up along Attleborough Road now gives more information to everyone, including an architect’s image of the finished building as well as key environment and sustainability information for the construction project. You can keep an eye on the site from the village hall car park and you will soon see a building rise from the ground. Local engagement has continued with visits to the existing Chapel Road School and assistance to the village hall. There is another big event lined up for next month as well. Finally, the project website has now gone live and will be updated regularly with various photos and information allowing everyone to stay in touch with the project. Go to http://www.chapelgreenproject.co.uk/
New for old after Doris's damage One of the trees that was blown down in the high winds during Storm Doris was a walnut that took pride of place on a small triangle of grass on the way to Stacksford. It was a special tree that had apparently been planted when Prince Freddie Dulip Singh was living in Old Buckenham Hall. It looked to have died off over the last couple of years and the strong winds had toppled it onto the road. But thanks to the enterprise of Steve Milner, the trunk was cut up into thin slices which were then sold as souvenirs to people around the village. In all, over £300 was raised which has allowed a decent-sized mature walnut tree to be bought and this was planted this morning. Any money left over will be donated to the new organisation that is taking on the management of the village Green. People of all ages were involved and here are some pictures of the tree planting ceremony:
And this is what the original tree looked like in 2016 - dead but still upright
Voting for the future Tonight was the Annual Parish Meeting of the parish of Old Buckenham. There was a larger number of villagers than usual in the audience to hear reports from the county councillor, district councillor and the chairman of the parish council. There were also updates on the progress of the village's neighbourhood plan and on the building of Chapel Green school. The main interest though was in the proposal to establish a Green management scheme involving the Parish Council, the Green Right holders, the Lord of the Manor and other village representatives.There was plenty of discussion and a vote to support this proposal was carried with no one dissenting (48 for and just one abstention). A huge step forward after many years of infighting between various vested interests.
All those in favour... Click on image to enlarge it
Members and their interests The February meeting of Old Buckenham WI took the form of a members’ evening. At the start of the evening John Fernihough told members of the plans for the future management of the Village Green and members were given the opportunity to ask questions and take part in a general discussion about its future. Members had been asked to bring along a favourite book and to explain the reason for their choice. Favourite authors included Charles Dickens (from the past) to the more modern authors like Ian Rankin, Robert Harris, Victoria Hislop and Antoine Laurin. The highlight of the evening was Pauline Bartlett’s choice of a children’s book which led her to tell members about the recent escapade of a “lost sheep” called “Basil” in the village which caused considerable amusement. The evening also included an exhibition of members’ craft skills including sugar craft, needlepoint, blackwork, hardanger, patchwork, painting and quilting. The April meeting will be held in Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 27 April when the speaker will be Kathy Denton and the subject of her talk will be ‘A London Fashion House’.
Over 50 members gathered in Old Buckenham Village Hall for the March meeting which was the Club’s AGM. Chairman Christine Hewson opened the meeting beginning with the business including the minutes from 2016 AGM. The Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman read their reports and a committee of twelve members was elected. Founder member Joy Tunmore was presented with the President’s badge. The Yearly Flower competition trophies were presented. The winners were: most points Novice, Maxine Mace, most points Advanced, Alison Vivian, most points overall, Maxine Mace and most points in the table competition Christine Hewson. Every year the Club raises funds for a local charity and this year it will be the Norfolk Blood Bikers. Last year the Club raised around £1000 for the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy Association. In the last ten years the club has raised over £10,000. This year marks the Coral Anniversary of the Club. Chairman Christine Hewson concluded the afternoon with a slide show and talk on the past 35 years. She shared many photographs, some evoked laughter as members recognised themselves and the changes in fashion. It was a credit to the club to hear of the arrangements and events the ladies had been involved in over the 35 years, including the Royal Norfolk Show, Kew Gardens, Chelsea and the numerous decorating of local and some not so local churches and cathedrals. To finish the afternoon, refreshments were served and the raffles drawn. The next meeting will be on Thursday 13 April in Old Buckenham Village Hall from 10am to 5pm, including lunch. This is a members only meeting to celebrate the Club’s Coral Anniversary. The competition title is “Oceans Treasure”. Contact Christine on 01953 454528 for members ticket.
Reaching her hundredth birthday Two weeks ago, on Sunday 26 February, Dorothy Williams of Ragmere Road quietly celebrated her special birthday. Congratulations from us all. The blog editor has now received these photographs of the occasion.
Looking at her cards
With her son Paul
It appears that when asked the usual question of what was the secret of her long life she answered "hard work".
Social and Wine Circle The Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle met in March to hear all about the history of sewage treatment. It was a well-attended meeting with the speaker John Spencer explaining how the problem of how to deal with increasing amounts of excrement has become more critical over the years. The Romans had large communal toilets where people would come to sit and chat with the waste material often just flowing into local streams. By the time of the industrial revolution even big fast-flowing rivers could not cope with the amount of sewage and industrial waste being dumped into them, leading to awful smells and the spread of diseases like cholera. London's sewers, built in the 1850s to channel sewage away from the big city, are still in use today but are threatened by blockages caused by modern day materials such as large amounts of cooking fat. The development and workings of sewage treatment plants, both large and small, was also described by the speaker who had certainly made the audience think of what happens after they flush things away. The next meeting, in the Church Rooms, will be held on Thursday 13 April when Dr Sarah Dorling will be talking on the subject of radiation in our modern world. The meeting starts at 7.30pm and all are welcome to attend.
The Parish Church of All Saints, Old Buckenham, has a feature shared with only a few other churches in Norfolk – it is still thatched. This is both a joy to see and a costly liability. It is over 30 years since the roof was last re-thatched and it is seriously in need of a total replacement. If this is not done it will not be too long before there is water entry into the wooden ceiling and potentially catastrophic damage to the interior of the church. The process of thatching a building such as All Saints requires the skill and artistry only available in a few hands these days. The Parochial Church Council will be looking to raise the funds to procure the services of a master thatcher, who can make the church fit for the next 30 (and hopefully a good many more) years. What is realised is that this opportunity does not come around often and, as part of securing grant funding, the whole process of doing the required work is something that the whole community of Old Buckenham can be part of – from the youngest members of the schools to the most senior of residents. Events are being planned in which the history of the church building and the artistry of thatching can be experienced by everyone. The village will be looking for a group of people who can work together to bring ideas to reality – people with an interest in the heritage of the village, lovers of traditional crafts, or just people good at planning with a few hours to spare. If you think you can help in any way then please get in touch with Alison Hannah direct on 01953 861261. The first meeting to discuss the project will be held in the Church Rooms in early April. Please watch out for news of the date in the April village newsletter or on this blog.