Friday, 22 June 2018

Parish Council June minutes

Lengthy discussions
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended at a later date.
The Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 7 June in the Village Hall. Those present were Phil Little (Chairman), Gemma Frost, Jon Hicks, Adrian Joel, Andy Nichols and Steve Milner along with Andy Emms (Parish Clerk), County Councillor Stephen Askew and four members of the public.
The chairman welcomed Andy Emms to his first meeting since his appointment as Parish Clerk. An apology for absence was received from Ben Devlin.
Minutes of May meeting. The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 3 May were approved subject to amending the first sentence of the final paragraph of minute 18/006 to “The Chairman stated that he was keen for the public to understand that this part of the meeting was not a discussion group and the public were invited to comment on agenda items only”.
Matters arising from these minutes. The Chairman said that, as reported at the last meeting, there was as lot of work required to complete the applications to provide a defibrillator and this would take some time. Adrian Joel said that he had forwarded the completed GDPR forms to the Parish Clerk. The Parish Clerk said that he would review the policies and procedures over the coming months and would bring to the council any of those that needed updating.
Public participation. A parishioner referred to the potential crossing over the B1077 and observed that if one was approved, then consideration would need to be given to providing footpaths that were accessible for people with wheelchairs. He added that the Head of Chapel Green School was an influential person who could be helpful if invited onto the working party. A parishioner said that liaison between the parish council and the village hall management committee had been helpful and she welcomed that another meeting was planned. She added that the Village Fete would be held on Saturday 14 July. Four councillors were helping the preparations and if any others wanted to be involved that would be appreciated.
Highways. The chairman invited County Councillor Stephen Askew to update the council on progress with the investigation into a possible crossing over the B1077. Stephen Askew said that he had been working with the parish council working party looking into options for improvements to help people crossing the B1077 which had been a longstanding issue with increased concern following the decision to build the Chapel Green School. Although progress had been initially slow, a change in governance at Norfolk County Council resulted in an increased highways budget for projects such as this. Together with the working party, he had met on site with George Freeman MP and Tom McCabe, Executive Head of Community and Environment at Norfolk County Council. This had been a positive meeting and he had therefore decided to use some of the personal budget, allocated to him as a county councillor, for use on local projects, to fund a feasibility report into options for a crossing. The report, carried out by county council officers, identified four options. They were doing nothing, a crossing refuge, a zebra crossing or a signalled crossing. The officers recommendation was that a crossing refuge was the best option. However, both he and the working party disagreed with that and Tom McCabe attended another meeting on site at which he agreed to ask officers to look again and report on what was achievable without making a recommendation. The report had been completed and all options were shown to be achievable. Tom McCabe had indicated he would ask officers to work up the parish council’s preferred option which he hoped would then be allocated funding in the county council’s capital programme. Stephen Askew said that both he and the working party members believed the signalled crossing to be the best option. Whatever option the parish council preferred, there would need to be assurances that any approvals required, relating to use of parts of the Green, were in place before final approval for the scheme was given by County Highways. He would also ask George Freeman MP to back the council’s preferred option.
The Chairman said that the report would be circulated to all councillors and made available to the Green Rights holders. He said that this should be a substantive item on the next agenda to enable parishioners to make any comments they wished and Andy Nichols said he would raise it with Green Right representatives at the next meeting of the Green management committee. It was agreed, with 5 voting in favour, none against and one abstention, to identify a signalled crossing as the parish council’s preferred option for the B1077. Also to thank Stephen Askew and the working party for all the work they have undertaken on trying to get improvements for pedestrians crossing the B1077.
Review of committees, working parties and councillor leads. It was decided to appoint the following committee, working parties and lead councillors (the chairman is entitled to attend any working party).
Personnel Committee – Jon Hicks (chair of the committee, Ben Devlin and Gemma Frost.
Play Area Working Party – Ben Devlin, Adrian Joel, Steve Milner, Jon Hicks and Kerry Talbot (resident).
Recreation Area Working Party– Jon Hicks and Andy Nicholls.
Road Safety Working Party – Steve Milner, Gemma Frost, Andy Nichols, Mike Bartlett (resident), Trevor Crooke (resident) and Lucy Womack (resident).
SNAP – Steve Milner
Attleborough Development Partnership – Adrian Joel and substitute to be announced.
Old Buckenham Village Hall – Jon Hicks.
Allotments – Adrian Joel, Phil Little and Gemma Frost.
Chapel Road School stakeholders – Steve Milner.
OBPC Website – Steve Milner and clerk.
Old Buckenham Green Rights – Andy Nichols.
Almshouses Trust – Jon Hicks.
Village Green Management Working Party – Adrian Joel, Andy Nicholls, Sarah Dye (Green Rights), Alison Frank (Green Rights), Terry Cracknell (Lord of Manor), John Fernihough (resident), Parish Clerk (optional) and one vacancy.
Village Green Conservation Working Party – Jon Hicks, Howard Marshall (resident), John Frost (resident) and Delia O’Leary (resident).
Eleemonosynary Trust – Jon Hicks.
Council insurance. It was noted that the council’s insurance covered any event arranged by the parish council and included cover for helpers. Others arranging events on the Green would be expected to arrange their own insurance. A copy of the Ox and Plough’s insurance, which included cover for Two Wheel Tuesday, was available to view at the Ox and Plough.
Annual governance and accountability. The chairman said that in the absence of a parish clerk during the end of the financial year, Adrian Joel, the previous chairman, had undertaken a considerable amount of work, ably supported by his wife Marilyn, to pull together the financial details and make arrangements for finalising the accounts and the auditing. Adrian Joel thanked Chris De Boos for carrying out the internal audit and Donna Oakley for completing the year end accounts and the bank reconciliation.
It was resolved, unanimously, to receive and note the Annual Audit report 2017/18, to approve the annual accounts 2017/18, to approve the Annual Governance Statement 2017/18 and to approve the Annual Accounting Statements 2017/18.
It was also agreed to thank Adrian and Marilyn Joel for their work on the annual governance and accountability procedures and to ask the Parish Clerk to send a bouquet of flowers to Mrs Joel.
Financial matters. The current bank balances were £39134.89 in the current account and £2873.20 in the Premium account. The agreed total payments of £1515 included Ageas Insurance £558.90, preparation of year end accounts £150, undertaking internal audit £35,
Parish Clerk's training £132, Community Action Norfolk membership £50, cutting grass at recreation area £90 and installing bunding on the Green £500.
The sum of £250 had been received from the Ox and Plough for the use of the benches and the designated area for the first six months.
Adrian Joel said that following the resignation of the previous clerk, he had updated the bank account with his own contact details pending the appointment of the new clerk.
The bank signatories are being changed to require any two signatures from the chairman, the vice chairman, Adrian Joel and the Parish Clerk.
New planning applications. Asparagus Field, Cake Street. Dwelling with garage – revised plans (3/PL/2018/0387/F). The council resolved to support the revised application. The chairman said a local resident had queried if any parish councillor was aware of any past discussions with statutory undertakers relating to drainage problems in Cake Street. If so could they let him know so that he could pass details on.
Old Hall Farm Cottage, Cake Street. Extension to existing porch (3/PL/2018/0452/HOU). Resolved, with four voting in favour and two abstentions, to support the application.
River Grove, Banham Road. Single storey extension to existing detached garage (3/PL/2018/0491/HOU). Resolved, with five voting in favour and one abstention, to support the application.
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. Dairy Barn, Cake Street. Internal alterations (3/PL/2018/0151/HOU and 3/PL/2018/0152/LB). Both approved.
Whitehands Farm, Stacksford. Variation of condition 2 of earlier planning approval to allow parking of additional vehicle. Approved.
Barn at Roughland Farm, Stacksford. Permitted Development, change of use of agricultural building to dwelling (3/PL/2018/0017/UC). Prior approval refused.
Chairman’s report. The Chairman said that the 10km run organised by the OB 2000 Trust in April had been a huge success providing enjoyment to over 200 runners and many spectators and raising over £2000 for the Church “Raise the Roof” fund. He thanked the organisers and the helpers, including the scouts, who had done such a fantastic job and he welcomed the intention to make this an annual event.
Referring to the highways item earlier he said that since becoming chairman he had met with County Councillor Stephen Askew and working party members and had been amazed at the amount of work that had been undertaken to get us to this stage. He understood that it had not been possible to share information earlier as it had been important not to raise expectations too early.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said that, together with Steve Milner, he had attended the hearing on the Breckland Local Plan. They had emphasised that it was not appropriate for there to be a blanket 10% increase in housing allocation for all areas as each had specific circumstances that needed to be taken into account including road infrastructure; historic characteristics, etc. The Inspector had agreed and asked officers to look into identifying specific figures for each community.
Breckland Council’s Cabinet would be holding a meeting in Attleborough on Tuesday 12 June in the Town Hall. This provided an opportunity for the public to ask questions of cabinet members from 9.30am to 10am. Breckland Council would be providing a new interim service in three market towns to provide support to residents when a new national benefits system is rolled out in the district. The interim service will also support people to develop their digital skills to help them make use of online options when contacting the district council in the future. It will be available two half-days a week within Attleborough Library Monday (2pm to 5pm) and Thursday (10am to 2pm). Those making use of the new service will be able to seek advice from Breckland Council's customer services staff as well as making use of the free access to computers which will be needed to submit Universal Credit applications. Universal Credit replaces a number of other existing benefits, such as Child Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, and Working Tax Credit. Household Enquiry Forms relating to the electoral register would be sent out in July
Village Green Management Committee. Andy Nichols said an update report had been circulated to councillors and the next meeting of the working party would be held the following week. The Green had been cut with conservation areas left uncut.
Play Area. Jon Hicks reported that the grass had been cut, regular checks had been undertaken and there were no maintenance issues. He would provide copies of the reporting sheets to the new clerk.
Recreation Area. Adrian Joel said he would arrange for Mr Barker to carry out grass cutting during the growing season. Part of the fence had been broken and Jon Hicks said he would repair it. Jon Hicks added that the new gate had been provided in the wrong place and could not be used safely. He would liaise with the village hall to arrange for the contractors to move it.
Councillors’ reports. John Hicks said that the village hall management committee had indicated that it did not wish to continue with the parking permit scheme and was seeking discussions with the primary school. Gemma Frost said that the recent litter pick had been very successful and the next one was planned for Saturday 7 July at 10am.. The chairman thanked all the organisers and the volunteers who had helped on the day.
Steve Milner said that he had been contacted through the website by a parent of a pupil who had moved to Old Buckenham school following the closure of Eccles Primary School, regarding the parking situation and related road safety issues. The chairman said that Norfolk County Council had made it clear that schools only accepted responsibility for pupils ‘at the school gate’ and accepted no responsibility for providing parking, etc. However, there were particular and unique issues in our village with four schools in close proximity. Andy Nichols commented that this was a longstanding and difficult issue which couldn’t be dealt with at this meeting. Steve Milner said he would collect relevant data and report to the next meeting.
Parish Councillor vacancies. The chairman said that he hoped discussions he was instigating with potential candidates to fill councillor vacancies would result in applications coming forward to the next meeting.
Fireworks and bonfire on the Green in 2018. The chairman said that as Ben Devlin had been unable to attend this meeting, no update was available and he suggested this should not be an agenda item again until there was something substantive to report. The Parish Clerk reminded councillors that notwithstanding the potential for an event on the Green, the parish council had given approval in principle to the OB2000 Trust holding a firework display on the recreation area, subject to more details being received. Some councillors queried this and the Parish Clerk was asked to circulate the relevant minute.
Proposal for Farmers Market on the Green. Some councillors commented that the potential for this event first circulated on social media and no decision should be made until more details had been sent direct to the parish council, particularly relating to arrangements for vehicle parking and public safety. This highlighted the need to have guidelines in place relating to the use of the Green and how applications for events should be made and processed. Andy Nichols expressed the view that the council’s business should not be undertaken through social media. It was agreed to discuss guidelines for the approval of events on the Green at the next meeting.
Draft Norfolk Access Improvement Plan 2018-2028. The parish clerk said that he had circulated details of this Norfolk County Council consultation on a draft plan for public footpaths and other countryside access issues, to parish councillors. The weblink was detailed on the agenda for this meeting. There was no time to consider a formal council response as the deadline was before the next meeting. Councillors were asked to consider if they wanted to make individual comments themselves.
Agenda items for the next meeting. Subjects identified were the proposal for a signalled crossing on the B1077 (council preferred option), guidelines on use of the Green for events, school parking and Parish Partnership bids.

The next meeting of the parish council will be held on Thursday 5 July, commencing at 7.30pm at the village hall.

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