Sunday, 29 April 2012

May be coming

Diary dates for May

Tuesday 1    Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon

Wednesday 2    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 2    Women's Fellowship, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 3    Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 4    Crib drive, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 5    Diamond Jubilee planning meeting, Village Hall, 10am

Sunday 6    Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm

Tuesday 8    Village Fete planning meeting, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Thursday 10    Breckland Flower Club, Village Hall, 2pm

Thursday 10    Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm

Saturday 12    Debating Society, Church Rooms, 10am

Sunday 13    Askew Agricultural Museum, Scales Farm, 2pm to 5pm

Sunday 13    Windmill open, 2pm to 5pm

Monday 14    Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm

Monday 14    Buckenham Pre-school Open Event, 3.30pm to 4.30pm

Wednesday 16    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday 16   Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Thursday 17    'Comic Potential', OB Players, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 18    'Comic Potential', OB Players, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 19    'Comic Potential', OB Players, Village Hall, 7.30pm 

 Sunday 20    American Taildraggers Fly In, Old Buckenham Airfield

 Monday 21    Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

 Thursday 24    Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

 Wednesday 30    Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

A further issue now available

Just collect it and read it

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Another Ayckbourn from Old Buckenham Players

Actoids come to the village hall

(to read the small print just click on the image)

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Village problems and progress in Old Buckenham

Annual parish meeting minutes 
The minutes for this meeting held on Wedesday 21 March were over 2,500 words long so this is a slightly edited version produced by the blog editor.
The Norfolk County Councillor William Nunn, Breckland District Councillor Adrian Joel and 28 members of the public were present along with the Chairman of Old Buckenham Parish Council, Tim Ing, and the Parish Clerk James Watling.
Tim Ing, Chairman of the Parish Council, welcomed everyone to the meeting and the minutes of 2011 Annual Parish Meeting were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing said that in May last year a new Parish Council was voted in, following on from possibly what had been the most successful Parish Council for many years. They had created a new children’s play area, a footpath beside the B1077, started the recreational project, put benches around the Green and several smaller projects. Many new younger councillors were elected in May and were bringing a fresh enthusiasm and appetite to serve the village and to move existing projects forwards. The coming year holds many challenges for the Parish Council particularly in planning issues with the Localism Act and where the need for new properties for our parishioners will come under scrutiny. It’s not always possible to satisfy everyone’s requirements but the Parish Council does try to resolve issues in a democratic way.
Parish Clerk’s report. The Precept for 2012/13 was set at £14,525. This is an increase of £1,869 on the previous year because of the purchase of extra grit bins and an increase in Council’s insurance because of extra cover for the play area and the recreation area. Also the Parish Council awarded grants to local organisations of £670. It is hoped that budget proposals for financial years 2013/14 will be at the current level of expenditure (or even a reduction). The Parish Council are fully aware of the harsh economic times for a large part of the villagers who are on fixed incomes. The Parish Council will therefore ensure strict financial and monetary controls are in place at all times and that all expenditure is within budgetary limits. During the year ending 31st March 2012 the Parish Council received grants totalling £4,397 for the play area and the recreation area. In addition Breckland contributed approx £1,350 towards the Community Car Scheme and gave a grant of £1,000 for the allotments. Expenditure for the year totalled approximately £18,462 net of VAT from a total income of £20,530. The Parish Council were obliged to comply with HRMC regulations and make the Parish Clerk a PAYE employee. This has resulted in the Parish Council having to draw up a Disciplinary and Grievance policy document along with a contract of Employment which apply to the employment of a Parish Clerk. The Council has also drawn up and adopted an Equal Opportunity Policy document which was required by legislation. The Clerk said he would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Parish Councillors for their hard work and commitment to their responsibilities as Parish Councillors and for the support they have given him over the past year.
Village group reports. The Old Buckenham Allotment Society (OBAS) are now into the second year of allotments in the Parish with all plots filled by tenants. OBAS was recognised by the Parish council earlier last year in which the latter agreed that representations can be made by allotment holders relating to the wording of the tenancy agreement and the management of the allotments. The Parish Council established a liaison committee to assist in the management of the allotments consisting of three councillors and three members of OBAS. Any final decision rests with the full Parish Council.
The Green Right Proprietors (GRP) had a relatively quiet year but have had a variety of issues to contend with including regular maintenance, dog fouling, the proliferation of parked cars and the number of new footpaths being created across the grass. The Green is currently managed as a registered traditional hay meadow which brings with it certain restrictions including when the grass may be cut. This is also a designated Conservation Area and the GRP always have to be mindful of this and the impact of everything it does on the abundance of flora and fauna and the biodiversity of the Green. Having said that, the Green is a resource for all parishioners to be proud of and hold as a unique feature of our village and a place for recreation. The on-going cost of maintenance of the Green and provision of insurance does concern the GRP and they have to look for ways to provide a sustainable income to fund this in the future. They held a public meeting in July 2011 which was not particularly well attended but they will continue to listen to the concerns and suggestions of all those with an interest in the Green. At the recent AGM they said farewell to Mike Read who has given an enormous amount of time and commitment in his role as Chair of the Green Right Proprietors and for which they are extremely grateful. Sarah Dye is proud to be taking over the Chair from Mike Read.
Old Buckenham Airfield. The airfield has been under new management since August 2011. They are determined that the airfield should play more of a role in the community and be a part of village life. They are hosting a day at the airfield as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, including a fly in, a 6-gun salute and a barn dance. Further they have donated a flight in a 1940s Biplane as a prize in the Jubilee raffle. Since the new management took over, the airfield has become immensely popular and is doing well. They have events at least once a month and details of them are on their website. The Old Buckenham Airshow will make a return on the 24th June and advice to villagers is that the best way to come to the show is by walking (pedestrian tickets are on sale now at the airfield). The Airfield are also pleased to announce that they are now the home of the East England Military Museum.
Village Hall. Mike Bartlett asked why the Village Hall was not on the Parish Council’s asset register. The Parish Clerk said the Village Hall was not an asset owned by the Parish Council and therefore could not appear on its register as such.
All Saints Church. The Christmas service was attended by 500 people. The Church has had its five year survey and the thatch needs to be done along with cracks in the walls and work on stained glass windows to preserve them. The tower also needs re-pointing as flints are loose and dangerous. The church porch pillars have been repaired. The total cost of future work is around £80,000 and church is hoping to get some grants. The main expenses are the Parish share to the Diocese which is £16,072 and insurance at £1,550. The church is hoping to be involved in Wispire which uses parish church towers as the platform to deliver high speed reliable wireless broadband internet access to local communities.
Old Buckenham Newsletter. The newsletter has continued to appear throughout the year, normally with 28 pages of news and advertising between the covers. On the financial side, income from advertising has covered the cost of producing the 400 printed copies (the cost of the paper is met by the parish council). The Old Buckenham “blog” publishes many items destined for the newsletter which are ‘posted’ every couple of days on the worldwide web. Over 700 items about the village have been posted since the blog was set up just over three years ago. For the last three years the editor has also taken the initiative for entering Old Buckenham into the ‘Pride in Norfolk’ village competition. The village was runner-up the first year and has won its category for the next two years, bringing a £1000 in prize money into the village.
District Councillor’s report. Breckland Council needed to save nearly £3 million pounds over next five years and there is a possible merger of shared management with Breckland, South Holland and Great Yarmouth Borough Council which could save Breckland an additional £100,000. Breckland have continued with match funding grants and have given £2,950 to the Village Hall lighting project and £100 towards the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. The new houses proposed by Cotman housing are now progressing and, when completed, should provide affordable housing for residents of the village.
County Councillor’s report. William Nunn reported that £16 million pounds had been taken off budget this year and despite this there was no increase in council tax this year and it was hoped no increase next year. There are 111 change programmes going on at present time to try to reduce administrative costs. Norfolk County Council are hoping to have 90% of Norfolk on high speed broadband. There has been a £10 million investment in the Fire Service and no reductions in front line services. No libraries in Norfolk will close following public consultations. Public transport links still appears to be a problem as they are underfunded by central government. It was at first decided that £250,000 would be reduced from footpath budgets but £150,000 is going back in to maintain as many footpaths as possible in the county. William Nunn then took questions from members of the public.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Play Area - Sarah Dye said the play area continues to be a well-used and popular resource for Old Buckenham. They are extremely grateful to John Hicks for the immense amount of time and effort he puts in on a voluntary basis to regularly maintain the play area and make it an attractive and safe place for children to play. She was disappointed to report that the site had experienced vandalism and damage to the gates and fences and some of the equipment. Car parking in the areas used by the Ox & Plough, the Church and the play area has caused some issues for local residents and, in response, the Parish Council are working with the Green Right Proprietors to improve parking. The provision of toilet facilities has also been discussed but unfortunately there is no feasible way to make specific and regular provision for play area users. Planning - Derek Smalley pointed out that the Localism Act may bring unwanted pressures on development in the village. The Parish Council will engage with residents to seek their views. With regard to the Attleborough Development Plan, the concerns of residents regarding increased use of B1077 and the infrastructure of the village including schools and doctors capacity are being raised. Concerns of the villagers are raised with Norfolk Police at regular meetings including speeding on Hargham Road and parking in Abbey Road outside the school. Derek Smalley also gave details of usage and prices with the oil buying scheme and the intention is to continue with scheme for another year. Allotments - Adrian Joel reported that these were now in their second year with 17 allotments holders. An additional stand pipe had been added along with parking matting. Village Hall - Tom Johnson gave details of the people running the village hall and asked that residents support them as funds are greatly needed. Diamond Jubilee celebrations - Steve Milner gave details of funding received and an overview of what they hoped to achieve at the celebrations. Recreation Area -  Jonathan Kemp said the first phase was completed and effort was now concentrating on planning and funding of the second phase for the supply and installation of sports equipment on the site. Youth Council -  Tim Ing said that it had been difficult to arrange meetings with interested young people because of circumstances including exams but the parish council were still going to work on the matter.
Public recess. A resident raised the matter of planning applications in the village and especially single dwelling applications which the Parish Council seemed to oppose. He suggested they look at this policy. Tim Ing responded saying the Parish Council is looking at future development in the village. Another resident raised the matter of broadband within Norfolk and the Say Yes campaign to bring high speed broadband to the County. County councillor William Nunn responded to the question. A resident raised the matter of speeding in Hargham Road and planning applications along with non-compliance of HGV restrictions within the village. Derek Smalley said the matter would be raised at the next SNAP meeting in April. A resident raised concerns about two planning applications that were going through at the present time and expressed concerns that not enough consideration was being given in the plan to improve infrastructures in the village before development took place. Another resident raised the matter of horses on the Green and asked if there were any regulations in place to cover the matter. Sarah Dye said the Green Right Proprietors would look into the matter. A further resident raised concerns saying that Breckland Council’s expenses were amongst the highest in the country and also raised the matter of affordable housing not only being funded by housing associations. One resident raised matter of accounts not being on the agenda. He also said he would like to see a budget on a year-by-year basis. A resident said he had concerns that Parish Clerk did not live in village and was not in tune with the residents and seem to concentrate on the legal position of the Parish Council too much. Both the Parish Clerk and Tim Ing responded on the matter. Another resident raised the suggestion of a five-year budget forecast and the Parish Council would discuss the matter at their April meeting. A resident raised the matter of a footpath on the Green which he thought was in a terrible condition. He had spoken to both the County Council and the Parish Council who said they could not do anything about it. Another resident raised the matter of the war memorial which he thought should be taken over by Parish Council. Tim Ing responded on both matters. One resident raised the matter of car parking at the Village Hall and asked if the County Council could not help to fill in the potholes. County Councillor William Nunn responded saying it was private property and they could not assist. A resident then thanked the Parish Council for their hard work while another resident asked if a list of the allotment holders could be made available.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Breckland Flower and Garden Club

From small beginnings...
Thirty years ago ten ladies formed the Breckland Flower and Garden Club. Over the ensuing years the club has flourished and now boasts over sixty members, most of whom gathered to celebrate the club's pearl anniversary held in Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 12 April.
The vestibule and tables were beautifully decorated with 'pearl arrangements' (thanks to Christine Hewson and Ann Norris). After a welcome coffee, Tracy Hemstock from Bullens Jewellers, Norwich told how pearls were formed and also brought along samples of the different types of the pearls available including a string of sea pearls - desirable but unfortunately rather expensive.
Following a buffet lunch prepared by the committee, Nick Grounds (national demonstrator) interpreted his title 'Inflorescence' with larger-than-life arrangements full of colour and movement.
The birthday cake was cut by the president and chairman and everyone enjoyed a slice of Jean Wade's creation with their cup of tea.
The competition was 'Celebration Cocktail'. The New Hands class was won by Alison Walker and the Old Hands class by Shirley Penfold who also won the trophy.
Many thanks are due to everyone who made this such a special day.
The May meeting will be held at Old Buckenham Village Hall on Thursday 10 May starting at 2 pm when Pat Barton will be demonstrating 'In my element'. The competition title will be 'Down the Garden Path' and the table show will be for one stem of blossom from your garden.
Visitors will be welcomed. Further details from Sally on 788712.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Treasure found in Old Buckenham

Treasure Quest visits yet again
Today being the Titanic anniversary, it provided the Quest Master at BBC Radio Norfolk the opportunity to write a clue based on the Titanic survivor who once lived in Stacksford on the outskirts of Old Buckenham.
Ellen Bird was born in April, 1881, the daughter of Samuel Bird (shepherd) and his wife Maryann and was one of 11 children. She was living in London when she was employed as a maid by Mrs Isidor Straus just prior to their return to New York and boarded the Titanic at Southampton. After the collision Mrs Straus dithered over whether or not to enter a lifeboat but decided to stay with her husband. Encouraged by her steadfast employers Ellen Bird boarded Lifeboat 8 and was saved.

The Treasure Quest clue eventually brought Becky Betts and Graham Barnard to the Askew Agricultural Museum in Stacksford which had opened up especially for the visit. A quick look around and the 'treasure' was found on a notice board full of awards that the the Askew Farm had won over the years.
That's four Treasure Quest visits in under two years, this village must have something...

ps If you have never seen the real treasure, it looked like this today...

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Old Buckenham Village Hall

Report on Village Hall during 2011
The year ending December 2011 was a success in relation to bookings which provided an income of £10,169. The hall is almost fully booked for midweek evenings, reasonably utilised at weekends and improving with day time usage. This is despite several alternative venues being available for hire within the village.
Against the income, essential maintenance amounted to £5,295, water £1043, heating and lighting £4,275, and insurance £1,310, resulting in a trading loss of approximately £1,800. This is overcome with fundraising, including the village fete, which, together with various grants, finances capital expenditure.
With the support of Old Buckenham Players, new digital stage lighting has been installed. The Trustees are appreciative of the Players’ efforts, both in time and materials, which have made considerable improvements to the stage itself. Financial support for this project was also given by Breckland Council and Norfolk Community Foundation.
The year 2011 was the third consecutive that hiring charges have not increased despite considerable increases in maintaining the building (which is now in its thirty-fourth year). It is planned later this year (2012) to hold an open meeting in the hope that residents will come along and discuss the way forward for their community centre. This is in addition to the AGM which took place on Wednesday 4 April. In maintaining the existing hiring charges the Trustees do take very seriously the importance of the building to the many senior citizens within Old Buckenham, some without transport.
The Trustees are most grateful to Jean Norton and Joan Jenkins who kindly give their time to take minutes at the monthly management meetings. They also thank caretaker Peter Rhodes for the wonderful work he does in taking care of the building. Further thanks have to go to local tradesmen Graham Turner, Paul Boggia and John Smith who have all provided some labour during the year without charge.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Easter lilies

Arrangements of lilies at Easter
All Saints Church at Old Buckenham was again decorated over Easter with lilies provided by people in memory of departed loved ones and friends. Money was donated towards the purchase of a total of 165 lilies and these were used to produce some eight floral decorations throughout the church.
A booklet was produced listing all the names of those being remembered and a few copies are still available to be picked up in the church.
Here are some photos of the various arrangements for those who cannot pop in and see them.

(Remember that you can enlarge the individual images just by clicking on them)

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Old Buckenham deliberates

April Parish Council minutes
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended later.
All the parish councillors were in attendance at the April meeting except for Carol Marshall who had sent her apologies. There were also 22 Members of the public who had come along.
After the public recess to allow members of the public to ask questions the meeting resumed and the minutes of the March Parish Council meeting were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matter arising from the March minutes. John Frost said he had looked at the paths on the Green and especially along the B1077. The surfaces are loose and needed attention. Tim Ing said the Green Right Proprietors would look at the matter. Derek Smalley informed the meeting that he had obtained the parking signs to be used at the play area part of the Green and they would soon be erected.
Planning applications. Derek Smalley said that there were six applications to deal with at the meeting and the Parish Council would concentrate on the Fen Street, Hargham Road and Shrublands applications. He said it was difficult judging these applications against the new National Planning Framework which has just come out during the week. Some decisions made by the Parish Council will be unpopular with one group of residents and welcomed by another. Old Buckenham is a designated service centre by Breckland Council because there are shops, schools, village hall, pre school facilities, etc but there was no requirement for housing under the 2008 LDF plan produced by Breckland. If development is to take place in Old Buckenham then there is a need to agree new development boundaries and agree where future development is likely to take place. House prices in Old Buckenham exceed the reach of young people or couples who wish to remain in the village so the issue of affordable social housing needs to be addressed now.
The Granary, Mill Rd. Install wood-burning stove to first floor. Proposed by Cllr Smalley and seconded by Cllr Chrisovelides and. No objections, agreed unanimously.
Old Buckenham Airfield. Continued use of land for stationing of clubhouse for use in connection with airfield. No objections, agreed unanimously.
4 Chattergate. Bay windows and porch, two additional windows, replacing existing conservatory with ground floor extension. No objections, agreed unanimously.
Land at Hargham Road. Erection of five dwellings. Tim Ing informed the meeting that Parish Council had discussed the application in detail at a working party meeting held the previous week. Councillors then expressed their various views on the application. It was proposed to object to the application as it was outside the development boundary, the road was too narrow, there was no footpath and the local school is over subscribed. This objection was agreed with 7 for, 1 against and 2 abstentions.
Land at Fen Street, erection of five dwellings. Councillors had also discussed this application at a previous working party meeting in detail and after councillors had expressed their views it was proposed to object to the application as it was outside the development area, also there was no footpath and there are no sustainable transport links in the area. This objection was agreed with 6 for, 3 against and 1 abstention.
Land at Shrublands, Puddledock. Removal of steel grain store, demolish four bungalows, convert agricultural barns to eight residential units and erect ten new dwellings. It was proposed to object to this application on the grounds that it was still outside the settlement boundary, had no access to key local services, there was over reliance on private cars and also no adequate access to public transport. This was agreed with 8 for and 2 abstentions.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. Snetterton Farm. Single storey lean-to extensions to front elevation. Permission granted.
Park Farm, Abbey Road. Installation of two small wind turbines. Permission refused.
Loan to Village Hall. Tom Johnson asked if the Parish Council would make a loan of £1500 to the village hall against a grant application that they would be making. Tuim Ing pointed out that the Parish Council had already voted on the matter and that, under standing orders, no new vote could take place.
Budgetary control and forward planning. Adrian Joel said the matter was raised at the last Annual Parish Meeting and he thought the idea of a monthly expense analysis against budget was a good idea. Tim Ing asked for the views of the Parish Clerk who stated that a monthly analysis was too much for the amount of expenditure incurred each month by the Parish Council, the amount being approximately £700 after the fixed costs of insurance, grants and salary were taken into account. Sarah Dye said the forward planning was more important and she was concerned that the Parish Council could get bogged down with small variances in the budget forecast. It was agreed that a quarterly budget analysis would be provided by the Parish Clerk for the Parish Council.
Recreation Area. Jonathan Kemp said a working party meeting held at the end of March had agreed to work closely with Monster Play who had put forward excellent suggestions for the play area. It was also agreed that investigating the possible funding streams available was the next step forward and each member of the working party is working on specific funding sources. These would include Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury, Sports England, Big Lottery, Co-op, Norfolk Community Foundation, Section 106, Breckland match funding, Awards for all, Wooden Spoon, Landfill,etc The next meeting of the working party will be in mid April.
Localism Act and village planning. Sarah Dye said she had attended a meeting on future planning within villages and it was said that villages should look to develop their own village development plan. She stated that the process would be time consuming and could prove expensive to produce. Akis Chrisovelides said he had a person who is qualified in this area of expertise and is willing to produce a plan for the village. Adrian Joel explained the way the Neighbourhood Plan would work in conjunction with Breckland Council. He also said that it may be good if local villages could group together to produce plans for each village and reduce costs. Tim Ing said that the item would be put on the May agenda for more discussion. The Parish Clerk to contact NALC and Norfolk Rural Community Council for more information on the subject.
Chairman’s report. Tim Ing said that the Annual Parish Meeting was not well attended but two issues raised at the meeting are being dealt with. These were the question of budgetary control and that future Annual Parish Meetings should be different and engage more of the residents in the village rather than just receive written reports from groups in the village. The Parish Council would look at this well before the next Annual Parish Meeting and he asked councillors to think about it and come up with suggestions. He then addressed the point raised by a villager who expressed concern that the Parish Clerk did not live in the village and therefore could not understand the general feelings of the residents. Tim Ing said that previous clerks residing in the village had people knocking on their doors at all hours. He said the present clerk is well qualified to do the job without the need to live in the village. His job was not to know the feelings of the village, that was a matter for the Parish Councillors. The clerk was there to advise them on how they can carry out their duties as councillors. The meeting was informed that a previous parish clerk, Cecilia Wardman, who had served in the position for ten years had passed away. The Parish Clerk to send a letter of condolence and it was suggested that councillors might make a donation to the church in her memory. The damaged dog bin had now been replaced with a new one and moved to a better site to make emptying more accessible.
Parish councillors’ reports. Paul Boggia raised the matter of street lighting in the new development at St Andrews Close. The Parish Clerk responded that the Parish Council had asked for street lighting to be provided as the new development could house elderly people and lighting could help combat any vandalism. Norfolk County Council had refused the request. John Frost said that the Easter service was coming up at All Saints church and this year was asking people to sponsor lilies. Over the years this scheme has raised over £12,000 for the church funds. Steve Milner said the Diamond Jubilee celebrations now have barn dance tickets available and that everything was in place for the airfield celebrations. Paul Boggia said that a section of road would be closed in the village on the day of the celebrations. A further working party meeting was planned for Saturday 14 April. Adrian Joel said there had been a meeting of Old Buckenham Allotment Society (OBAS) and the matter of shed colours was raised. A colour called Willow Green was suggested as a suitable colour and approval for this was given. The Parish Clerk is to send letter to Mrs Cawley and Tim Bornett on matter. OBAS are still looking for funding for eco-toilets and it was agreed that OBAS would do the research and Parish Council would sign off the grant applications. John Frost suggested a best allotment competition which was thought by councillors to be a good idea. Akis Chrisovelides said he had finally made contact with the young people in the village who were interested in setting up a Youth Council. It was agreed that further contact would be made after exams were finished. Tom Johnson said that he had attended the AGM of the Village Hall where the issue of the car park surface was discussed including the possible resurfacing of the area including the grass around the Recreation Area. Sarah Dye said the play area was due for its annual safety inspection and she would arrange it. Derek Smalley said he attended the SNAT meeting with police where he raised the question of speeding in Hargham Road and HGVs not observing the weight restrictions. The police have made them a priority issue over the next two months. Also the police will make efforts for extra patrols to the village in relation to vandalism. He has delivered another welcome pack and would be seeking feedback on the contents of the packs to see how people receiving them feel about them.
Clerk’s report. The Clerk asked for permission to enter into discussions with the insurance provider to see if they will offer the Parish Council a three or five year fixed premium deal when insurance comes up for renewal in June. The Parish Council agreed to this. The Clerk then said he hoped to get draft accounts to councillors during the next week and they would have to adopt them formally at the next Parish Council meeting.
Highways. Tom Johnson raised matter of road signs at the junction of Hargham Road and the B1077 as the signs for weight restrictions do not seem to apply to Hargham Road. The Parish Clerk is to talk to Highways on the matter. Derek Smalley said that reflector posts in Cake Street are missing and that the grass verge in Grove Road at the junction of Mill Road and Crown Road has been severely damaged. Tim Ing said the landowner of the land at the junction of Hargham Road and Grove Road has put in a wire fence and removed some hedges to improve visibility. In Barkers Lane some of the potholes have been repaired but not all. The Parish Clerk is to raise these matters with Highways.
The Green. Adrian Joel raised the matter of Parish Council funding for maintenance of the green as Tim Bornett had said he was told by NALC that the Parish Council could fund the Green. The Parish Clerk said that he had written legal advice from NALC saying that at present the Parish Council could not do this as the Green Right Proprietors was not a formally registered non-profitable organization or a registered charitable trust. Adrian Joel said he had seen two 13 year old children clearing rubbish from Prince Harry’s Wood which he thought was excellent on their part.

The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council, which will also be their AGM, will be held on Thursday 3 May in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Litter pick by parish councillors

Give your councillors a hand
The Old Buckenham parish councillors have arranged to do a litter pick on the Green on Sunday 15 April. They will be meeting by the almshouses at 10am and would be grateful if parishioners would come along too to give a hand.
'Pickers' will be provided, just bring along a couple of bin bags to fill up and help make the village a nicer looking place.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Museum opening

Agricultural history in Old Buckenham
Don't forget that the Askew Agricultural Museum has its first opening of the year on Sunday 8 April. You can find more details on their new website

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Busy time for WI

March madness for Old Buckenham WI
It isn’t only hares that have a frenzy of activity in March, Old Buckenham WI have too. Activities ranged from providing refreshments for two Village Hall fund-raising events, scrabble evenings, darts competitions, a Craft Day, Village Hall quiz, a monthly meeting and a Spring Fair.
The WI pulled out all their creativity by organising a second Craft Day in the Village Hall for sixty WI members from around the county [see post on Wednesday 14 March]. The tutored crafts included embroidery, patchwork, box-making, beading and pewter work. The students were provided with refreshments and a lunch by a team of cooks in the kitchen. The event was much enjoyed by all those who attended.
The same week, Old Buckenham WI entered three teams into the Village Hall quiz and the A team were declared champions [see post on Tuesday 20 March].  The team were awarded a silver cup and an Easter egg each.
The speaker at this month’s meeting was Sister Pamela with her talk on being a nun in the 21st century. The All Hallows convent was started over one hundred and fifty years ago in Norwich and continues today with premises in Ditchingham. Initially the sisters took care of the poor and destitute. They founded a hospital near Bungay, which now provides respite care. They opened and ran an orphanage and school, now closed. Today the order runs retreats, helps the homeless back into work and is involved with the Julian shrine in Norwich. Sister Pamela spoke of their website and keeping up with the times whilst still providing spiritual guidance for those seeking it.
The WI finished the month on Saturday 31 March with a Spring Fair held in the local Church Rooms [see post on Sunday 1 April]. A homemade, traditional afternoon tea was included in the entrance fee. Visitors then had a chance to enter the raffle, try their luck at the tombola stall or quiz or just have a mardle over their tea.
Hectic? Yes. Rewarding? Of course. Tiring? Naturally. March has been a challenging month but well worth it.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Egg-cellent afternoon

Spring Fair
It's just before Easter so it is time for Old Buckenham Women's Institute to hold their Spring Fair in the Church Rooms. There were plenty of activities to help you part with your money but the admission fee also included an high-class Afternoon Tea (best china plates, cups and saucers, sandwiches with the crusts cut off, a scone and a choice of homemade cake washed down with some freshly brewed tea).
There was also a prize for the person wearing the best fashion accessory incorporating an Easter egg or eggs. One of the male visitors had the affrontery to win this but wishes to remain anonymous (although there is a clue to his identity in the background of the photograph above).
This was a most enjoyable afternoon and hopefully it was a good fund-raising activity too.