Saturday, 27 February 2010

What the council said

Parish Council in February

These notes of the parish council meetings are prepared by the editor of the village newsletter from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended later at the next month's meeting.
The full, unedited minutes are posted on the notice board outside the village shop prior to the next parish council meeting.

This meeting on Thursday 4 February was attended by William Nunn, the Norfolk County Councillor and five members of the public. Apologies for being unable to attend were given by Stephen Thorley and Trevor Crook.
After a minor amendment, the minutes of the January meeting were signed as being a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Carol Marshall asked that if anything was being put on the notice board at the village shop then could a copy be made available for all councillors. Adrian Joel said that the telephone box glass had not been repaired and that the lay by at the shop was not yet repaired. The Parish Clerk is to follow up on these items. Adrian Joel also said he had met with the new headmaster as district councillor and the head master will be writing to the Parish Council and would like to attend a parish council meeting at some time in the near future.
Planning applications. 12 Hargham Road. Demolishing of shed and erection of two-storey dwelling and double garage. It was proposed by Tim Ing and seconded by Mike Craven-Romain that the parish council should object to this on grounds of over-development of the site. There were also access issues with Hargham Close and drainage concerns. This proposal was agreed with seven votes for and Adrian Joel abstaining.
Holly Cottage, Ragmere Road. Erection of sectional garage. There were no objections to this application.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Little Stacksford Farm, approved.
Parish Council website. Parish Clerk informed the meeting that Ron Brewer is trying to arrange something with an existing Old Buckenham website. The Parish Clerk is to contact him and see what developments have taken place on the matter.
Emergency Plan. The Parish Clerk read out a statement from Trevor Crook who was unable to attend. The plan is available in draft form and will be circulated to all councillors during February. He needs to enter a name for Deputy Emergency Co-ordinator and Adrian Joel agreed for his name and details to be used.
Health and Safety policy. The Parish Clerk said that he had circulated the policy document to all councillors and asked if anyone had any amendments or suggested alterations. It was proposed by Tim Ing and seconded by Kerry Talbot that the document be adopted and this was agreed unanimously.
Recreation and Play Areas. Liz Taylor said that the fourth side of the fencing has been completed on the Recreation Area and an invoice received (as per quote). This side of the fence was financed by a grant from the Old Buckenham 2000 Trust. They had received two quotes for the multi-sports equipment and are awaiting a third to help them with their grant applications. Kerry Talbot on the Just Play Area said the bad weather had meant they had to secure extensions to all their grants. The revised timetable had been put in the February edition of the village newsletter. Also because of the bad weather they have had to act quickly to organise turfing and it was hoped to start work early in February.
Kerry Talbot was seeking another quote for the fencing work as she thought Playdale’s quote of £3,525 was too high, she would also approach Carriageman for a quote. They have a contingency fund of £3,000 and just over £20,000 in the bank and will be seeking approval of payment to Playdale of £13,395. The chairman thanked both Kerry Talbot and Mike Craven-Romain for all their hard work in getting the project to this stage.
Trell & Co. The Parish Clerk gave details of a conversation he had with Trell & Co earlier who had informed him that Terry Cracknell had not filed his claim papers by the required date and no court hearing took place. Carol Marshall said she had heard from Terry Cracknell that the court had not appointed a hearing date. Norman Cawston then gave his recollection of events from the start of the project and the different cost proposals put forward at that time. The meeting was informed that the Parish Clerk had obtained three quotes and that Trell & Co was accepted as the contractor. Norman Cawston said that drainage along Crown Road was not the responsibility of Parish Council. Tim Ing said that a limit of £800 had been put on the drainage and Gerald Norton and Liz Taylor also put forward views on the whole matter. Adrian Joel said that the Parish Council had done a great job over the past three years but was now upsetting some villagers over the footpath situation. He said the footpath was used by many residents and he proposed that £2019.41 be paid to Trell & Co who could then refund Terry Cracknell his money subject to the Parish Clerk ensuring the Parish Council were acting in a lawful manner and that Terry Cracknell withdraw all claims relating to the matter. Adrian Joel then asked for a recorder vote. Carol Marshall expressed the view that the contract was between Trell & Co and Old Buckenham Parish Council and that at one time a higher figure invoice had been issued. Norman Cawston said that he had issued three cheques against an invoice which Trell & Co said was the amount owing to them by Old Buckenham Parish Council. Gerald Norton asked that the meeting be suspended to allow the past Parish Clerk to speak. When the meeting resumed after the suspension, Gerald Norton seconded Adrian Joel’s proposal. Liz Taylor, Adrian Joel, Gerald Norton and Carol Marshall voted for, Kerry Talbot and Mike Craven-Romain voted against with Norman Cawston and Tim Ing abstaining. The proposal was therefore carried.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said that Breckland had set its budget and proposed to freeze the Breckland Council Tax for year 2010/11 which was expected to be confirmed by full Council on Thursday 25 February. The Local Development Framework meeting in East Harling in January was attended by Stephen Thorley who spoke on behalf of the Parish Council. The next public consultation meeting on the matter will take place in April/May.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Gerald Norton attended the Village Hall Meeting and the car park was once again discussed and the need for major repairs to be done. Mike Craven-Romain said he had been approached by residents concerning a vehicle which was kicking out stones onto the pavement when it left and entered the property in Hargham Road. Norman Cawston is to visit the property and speak to the resident concerned. Tim Ing asked the Parish Clerk to see if the Hargham Road from the Green to the A11 junction could be included on next year's gritting rota by Norfolk County Council. The Parish Clerk is to write to Norfolk County Council on the matter.
Parish Clerk’s Report. The Parish Clerk said a review of the Governance and Accountability in regard to the finance aspect of the Parish Council needs to be carried out by a Parish Councillor within the next two months. The Parish Council will have to sign off the 2010 accounts and they have to sign to say they have carried out a review. Stephen Thorley was suggested and Norman Cawston said he would approach him on the matter (Kerry Talbot said she would do the review if Stephen Thorley could not). The Clerk said that he had received an email from Ron Brewer asking about the possibility of the Parish Council having a Community Speedwatch. The Parish Clerk informed the meeting that Norfolk Constabulary had no more funds to finance any new schemes and he would inform Ron Brewer of this.
Highways. A pot hole in Leys Lane outside Hill Farm had been reported. Also Carol Marshall said the ditch 300 yards past Puddledock Corner on the right was blocked and is causing flooding. The Parish Clerk is to deal with both issues.
The Green. Tim Ing said that the Green Rights Proprietors AGM, to be followed by a normal meeting, was being held on Tuesday 23 February and no agenda was yet available. There were also no official minutes, only some handwritten notes in a notebook. Adrian Joel said the Green Rights Proprietors should be thanked for the good work of the probation service and asked if Tim Ing could ask them how they hoped to maintain the standard through the coming year.
Any other business. Carol Marshall asked if the Parish Council had replied to the Revd Hill’s letter. Norman Cawston informed the meeting that he had spoken to Revd Hill on the matter. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the Annual Parish Meeting and the Parish Clerk said he was dealing with it.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 4 March at the Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Grass roots?

Laying at last

The weather has slightly relented and it has been possible to start turfing the children's play area. The original plan to sow seed in the late autumn was foiled by the weather (and that very large lump of concrete that had to be removed) and the snow, cold and rain has delayed the grass laying this 'Spring'.

Hopefully this grass will settle in time for the equipment to be installed before the grand re-opening planned for early May.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Things are changing

Kitchen progress

Work continues on the refurbishment of the Village Hall kitchen. One wall has mostly disappeared, a ceiling has been replaced, new flooring has been laid (and covered over to avoid damage), walls have been plastered, some units installed and new white goods have been delivered.

Just look at the pictures posted on 7 February and you can see how things have changed.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Positive help for the homeless

Still helping others
In what is becoming a regular Old Buckenham event, there was a gathering in the Church Rooms on Saturday 20 February to hand over the proceeds of the community’s collections for the homeless of Norfolk. Representatives from the St Martins Housing Trust were there to receive several cheques, in total well over £15,000, which would be used by St Martins to fund their work addressing the needs of homeless people in Norwich and Norfolk.It seems amazing that a village as small as Old Buckenham can mastermind the raising of so much money over the Christmas period. As well as the money, villagers also donated non-perishable foodstuff, warm winter clothing and toiletry materials that will all help improve life for those in the Trust’s hostels and houses.
This is one area where Old Buckenham residents deserve to be pleased with themselves. As Derek Player, General Manager of the St Martins Housing Trust, said in his opening remarks to those at the presentations “Good morning Old Buckenham, we love you”. Long may this special relationship continue. It has been a challenging period since mid-December for St Martins as they have struggled to bring everyone in from the cold. Derek Player added that they never have quite enough beds for everyone that might be sleeping rough in Norwich and they have had up to nine people sleeping on the floor of the dining room at their hostel in Norwich - and the winter is not over yet.

The details of the individual cheques passed over were:
Collection at Sainsburys, Thetford £2,988
Collection at Sainsburys, Attleborough £2,845
Collections by Old Buckenham 2000 Trust £1,052
Church collection - Christmas Eve £551.75
Collectors, presented by Old Buckenham WI £7,931
Donation £100
Total £15,467.75

Monday, 22 February 2010

Don't miss this chance

Annual parish meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting is being held on Friday 26 March in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.
This is when you have a chance to hear what the parish council and various other village organisations have bee up to during the last twelve months.
So come along, listen and question. You will not get another chance to do this until March 2011.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

More local history

Looking back
The East Anglian Film Archive evening is on Saturday 13 March in the Village Hall. An exhibition of old photographs and documents will be on show from 7pm and films will begin at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £5 and are available from Old Buckenham Stores or by ringing 01953 860692. There will be refreshments and a raffle with any monies raised going towards the upkeep of the village hall.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

In days gone by

Local heritage
It was a well attended meeting in February for the Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle. Their speaker in the Church Rooms was Cliff Amos who came to tell his audience all about the Attleborough Heritage Group – how it started and how it now has premises that are open for visitors each Thursday from 9.30am to 3.30pm. These premises are what used to be the bar of the old Station Hotel in Attleborough (or in more recent times Cliff’s own front room). The Heritage Group organises public meetings on various local history subjects and is often consulted by people investigating their family history.
As part of his talk he also showed photographs of Old Buckenham and Attleborough in earlier days. There was plenty of feedback from the audience who recognised images from their own childhoods and told stories of the mischief that they had got up to then.
The Social and Wine Circle will be meeting again on Thursday 11 March when John Lee will be giving an illustrated talk on the architecture of the seaside. This talk will start at 7.45pm in the Church Rooms at Old Buckenham and is open to anyone who wants to come along.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Past your playtime?

More on the toy bank
The toys need to be in good condition or to be fairly easily repaired. They will be sold to third world countries as a basis for new sustainable businesses, to build local economies. The Old Buckenham village hall will receive £25 per tonne for the toys and also a recycling credit, currently £44.90 per tonne, from the County Council. Items too large to be put into the toy bank can be collected separately. This is an experiment and it will probably take the village a long time to collect a tonne, given the quantity of plastic now used for toys.
However the local textile collections started at around £50 per tonne and have got much more valuable as the trade has built up.
So have a clearout this half term and then visit the Village Hall car park to deposit the goods. The children will probably enjoy it and do others a good turn at the same time.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Seeing red

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
Members enjoyed Dulcie Lofting's demonstration at February's meeting in Old Buckenham Village Hall. Her title - In the Beginning - embraced both traditional and modern designs and demonstrated her love of foliage as well as flowers which included roses, anemones, lilies and green chrysanthemums.
Red dominated the competition table for a Valentines arrangement entitled Hearts and Flowers. The New Hands class was won by Margaret Smith and the Old Hands class by Patricia Barton who was also awarded the Christine Hewson trophy for best exhibit.
The next meeting will be the AGM and will be held on Thursday 11 March starting at 2pm at Old Buckenham Village Hall. There will also be a mini-demonstration and quiz. The competition title is ‘Tulips from Amsterdam’ and a trophy will be awarded to the best exhibit including spring flowers.
There will also be a bring-and-buy stalls for yellow and Spring items.
Visitors will be very welcome. Further details from Pat on 01953 457305 or Sally 01953 788712.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

More village hall news

Village Hall AGM
The Committee gives notice that the Old Buckenham Village Hall Annual General Meeting will take place in the Memorial Room on Wednesday 7 April at 7.30pm when three village representatives will be elected to the Committee. All residents of the Parish who are 18 years of age or older may attend, speak and vote.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Kitchen progress

Behind the screens

Work is going on behind the scenes to update the main kitchen area at the village hall. More or less all the kitchen equipment has now been cleared out and structural changes are taking place.

It is hoped to take more pictures as work progresses.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Toy story

Drop them in here

The toy bank is now in the village hall car park so you can feed it with your unwanted toys. This will reduce material going to landfill and provide some income for the village hall upkeep as well.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Emotional wellbeing

Old Buckenham WI
Emotional wellbeing was probably near the top of some Women’s Institute members’ agendas during the post Christmas season so the first meeting of Old Buckenham WI in 2010 fitted the bill admirably. The speaker for January was Brenda Bingham, a local practising Cognitive Behaviour Therapist. Brenda had a colleague, Veronique, staying with her, so they had two therapists to lead them through the mental wellbeing talk.
Brenda described a relatively new approach to this branch of psychology call “Human Given” and explained that this has become well regarded recently and is currently used by the Armed Services dealing with personnel returning from combat zones suffering stress and trauma. It is also the subject of a presentation that will be made to a House of Lords committee shortly.
Members were asked to imagine their emotional wellbeing as a cup of water being supported by two pillars. These pillars must be the same strength and height to maintain the level of water in the cup. The pillars were named ‘emotional needs’ and were balanced by ‘emotional resources’ to deal with stress and trauma in a confident and competent manner.
The importance of early training and good parenting was emphasised at this point. Probably something the local WI members have long held to be true.
The talk finished with a questionnaires being handed out which could be taken away to assess personal emotional wellbeing in the privacy of home.
The speakers later judged the monthly competition. The subject could not have been more appropriate, a photograph of Old Buckenham in the snow. An apt prediction when the title was thought up last year.
As this was January the results of the previous years’ competitions were announced. Each month members are invited to submit a flower from their garden. Members vote for the one they admire the most by placing a coin beside the most favoured flower and the proceeds are sent to a WI charity supporting women in the developing world. Barbara Frost was overall winner for 2009.
The monthly competition was another close run thing with the award being presented to the President, Susan Hunter.
Old Buckenham WI next meet on Thursday 25 February and the talk by Sheree Leeds will be about Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich. The meeting will be in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Windmill is waiting

Help and decisions needed

Readers of this blog will possibly be aware that it was not possible to open the Old Buckenham windmill to visitors last year as there was maintenance work to be done and new procedures for health and safety to be put in place. The sails still have to be taken down for repair and the future of the local committee remains uncertain. Both of these have to be resolved before the mill can re-open.
The committee has attempted to find someone local with the background and willingness to take on the role of Chairman and to take over the local organisation and for liaison with Norfolk County Council in setting up their procedures (yet to be finalised and agreed). Regrettably there have been no offers come forward to take over this key local role and, at the moment, the arrangements are on hold. As soon as there is progress a further note will be included on this blog.