Sunday, 30 June 2019

What to do in Old Buckenham

Diary dates for July 

Monday 1           Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Tuesday 2           Coffee and Chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am onwards

Wednesday 3      Chapel Friendship Group, Methodist Chapel, 2.30pm

Thursday 4         Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Friday 5               Visits from Mobile Library during morning

Saturday 6          Litter pick on the Green, meet by Ottomer pond, 10am

Saturday 6          Evening Garden Party, 1 Mill Lane, 6pm

Sunday 7           High School Garden Party, 80th anniversary, 1pm to 4pm

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

Thursday 11       Breckland Flower and Garden Club, Besthorpe Hall, 2pm

Thursday 11       Social and Wine Circle, al fresco at 1 Mill Road, 7.30pm

Monday 15         Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm

Wednesday 17   Songs of praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm

Saturday 20        WI Progressive Supper from 6pm

Wednesday 24   Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

Thursday 25       Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Saturday 27        Old Buckenham Airshow

 Sunday 28         Old Buckenham Airshow

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Official opening of Old Buckenham school

Special day for Chapel Green School
About eighteen months since it took its first pupils, Chapel Green School had a formal opening by George Freeman MP. The blog editor was there on Friday 28 June to take a few photographs of the occasion. 
Just click on the individual pictures to see them at a larger size.

Guests begin to arrive

The musicians and singers from the High School and the Primary School get ready

Time to start the proceedings

Awards for the school from the RICS

The headteacher gives her speech 

George Freeman talks too

Ribbon cutting

Then the plaque is unveiled

The Primary School choir entertains with a song

The pupils dance for the audience

The permanent reminder

The Play Mound was also officially opened

The Play Mound had a special cake

The cake cutting ceremony

There was a piece for everyone

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Working parties in Old Buckenham

Who looks after what
Old Buckenham Parish Council has several working parties to deal with particular areas of life in the village. The current list of members of these working parties is:

Personnel Committee: Steve Milner, Ben Devlin, Gemma Frost.

Play Area Working Party: Donna Oakley, Adrian Joel, Steve Milner, Jonn Hicks, Kerry Talbot (resident).

Recreation Area Working Party: Jonn Hicks, Andy Nicholls.

Road Safety Working Party: Steve Milner, Gemma Frost, Andy Nicholls, Mike Bartlett (resident), Trevor Crooke (resident), Lucy Womack (resident)

SNAP: Steve Milner.

Attleborough Development Partnership: Adrian Joel.

Old Buckenham Village Hall: Jonn Hicks.

Allotments: Adrian Joel, Gemma Frost. 

Parish Council website: Steve Milner, Rachel Noyes. 

Old Buckenham Green Rights: Andy Nicholls.

Almshouses Trust: Ben Devlin.

Village Green Management Working Party: Gemma Frost, Andy Nicholls, Sarah Dye (Green Right Proprietor), Allison Frank (Green Right Proprietor), Terry Cracknell (Lord of the Manor), John Fernihough (resident), Adrian Joel (resident).

Eleemonosynary Trust: Jonn Hicks.

Contact details for the parish councillors can be found on page 16 of the village newsletter

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Old Buckenham Parish Meeting

Our village meeting
The Old Buckenham Annual Parish Meeting was held on Friday 31 May in the Village Hall.
Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Donna Oakley, Adrian Joel and Ben Devlin. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), District and County Councillor Stephen Askew, Sue Heinrich (Breckland Council Neighbourhood Planning Co-ordinator) and Sarah Dye (Green Working Party) as well as 16 members of the public.
Jonn Hicks welcomed everyone to the meeting and apologised for Andy Nicholls’ absence.
The minutes of the Annual Parish meeting in April 2018 cannot be found, they were taken by a stand-in Clerk and no one has been able to find any copies of minutes. As a result there could be no matters arising from the minutes.

Neighbourhood Plan. Sue Heinrich, Breckland Council Neighbourhood Planning Co-ordinator gave a presentation. She manages the Neighbourhood Planning in Breckland but has previously worked in both private and public sector. Sue explained that the Planning System covers development and use of land using a large Guidance Policy, with the aim of achieving sustainable development. The assumption is in favour unless there are significant reasons why not. Breckland Council has a Local Plan and Local Authorities can produce their own. A Neighbourhood Plan can be completed by the PC if they wish to have one. A summary of her talk will be published separately on this blog  at a later date.
Chairman’s report. Jonn Hicks opened up his report to the public asking “what do you want as a village?” When asked what the Council are doing to encourage new members, he explained that it is difficult to get new members due to the time commitment around work and families but that also a lot of people are put off due to the abuse and confrontation received. The councillors, their families and the clerk have all been on the receiving end to various degrees. Gemma Frost explained that she had previously resigned due to the constant and persistent abuse and harassment she received from a few individuals. An ex-councillor in the public explained he resigned due to frustration at lack of progress. Ben Devlin highlighted the positives that the Parish Council had achieved in the last year. The Green looks great, Rod Alley Pond and Ottomer Ponds have both received a lot of needed attention. A parishioner who had only recently moved to the village said that she thought the Parish Council were doing a great job and they had a very good impression of the Parish Council and its members. The chairman explained that in the past, the Parish Council had been a bit closed off to the public. Since becoming Chairman, he has opened up meetings more to the public to allow greater participation and discussion, an Action Log is used to keep track of work and allows accountability for failure to complete work. This has resulted in greater progress in the last year. Parishioners are encouraged to get involved and join the Parish Council and help spread the load, as people need to remember that the councillors are all volunteers who have jobs and families too. It is very easy to get co-opted on to the Council. Unfortunately it is only a minority that are causing issues for the councillors. Some people felt that most of the village don’t know what is happening or about the Parish Council involvement in improvements. Jonn Hicks explained that the minutes are published in the village newsletter every month by Ron Brewer, are posted on the Old Buckenham blog and the Parish Council website. Key events are also published on the village Facebook group. In the past, there has been great village spirit at big events organised by the Parish Council: the street party for the Golden Jubilee and a cycling event with Diss Cycle Club. But when organised again, they failed to get enough interest. Several parishioners explained that the village needed something to stir interest – 10k event? A parishioner explained that Old Buckenham is loved and highly thought of by people in the village and those living outside of it too but that it's only a few people who cause issues. If the Council can keep their enthusiasm for the village strong, it will spread to all the parishioners. The chairman explained he had been tempted to walk out due to the recent stresses for him and his family. Gemma Frost explained that while she is a very enthusiastic person who is always keen to get involved and help, the problems she faced recently had driven it out of her causing her to resign. It was suggested that the Parish Council should stop responding to those individuals and simply get on with the good work they are doing ie “cease and desist” and if they continue to cause issues then maybe seek legal advice.
Adrian Joel. Adrian Joel has stepped down as District Councillor after 24 years. On behalf of Old Buckenham residents and councillors, the chairman presented Adrian with a bottle of whiskey as a thank you for his many years of hard work in the post. Adrian Joel thanked everyone for their kind words. He had many good and bad times as a District Councillor but is particularly proud of his recent achievement at getting new homes for local residents/workers/families in the village.
District and County Councillor’s report. As a resident of Old Buckenham for many years, Stephen Askew was sad to hear about the problems faced by the Parish Council, including the low numbers of parishioners that regularly attend meetings. The Green, which used to be cut for hay, is now looking great. As a District and County Councillor, he has also received some abuse emails but just have to ignore them as you can’t please everyone.
Since Adrian Joel retired, he was happy to be back as District Councillor again. One focus has been to improve broadband in the area. Very pleasing to see it improving (slowly) and that its just down to BT to complete the work. Steve Milner added that only one exchange box was planned for Old Buckenham and that now it is up to eight, including Stacksford. Stephen Askew added that the website Better Broadband is a good source for advice on internet speeds.
Village Green. The Parish Council has a lease to manage the Green. Originally it was set at five years but has been proposed to extend it to 20 years in order to encourage long term investment. It also helps with funding and grant applications. The lease has already been signed by the Green Right Proprietors and the Lord of the Manor and now just requires a Parish Council signature. A parishioner added that Manor Pond is overgrown with algae and weeds. These are going to be dealt with but the treatment requires the correct temperature and water level. The slope into the pond will also be graded to allow easier access for wildlife. Sarah Dye explained that they have been advised not to include donated plants to the ponds due to the risk of contamination, etc. Another parishioner thanked everyone in the community who contributes to the management and upkeep of the Green, including the man who cuts the grass by St Andrews Close. However he objected to the extension of the lease as he felt that it was unfair for the parishioners who might struggle financially to support Green maintenance. A proposal was passed on to the Parish Council in which he suggested the Green be purchased by the Parish Council. The chairman explained that he would not sign the Lease Extension now and would add it to the next Parish Council meeting agenda.
Other items raised. Steve Milner wanted to highlight recent road safety news. There is an active group on Cake Street who monitor the speed of vehicles entering the village. Some 15% to 20% of the cars monitored were speeding. A grant of £1600 has been awarded to help purchase an electronic sign to display drivers’ speeds and which are proven to reduce speeds. Four locations have been selected so far: Abbey Road, Cake Street, Hargham Road and the B1077 approaching from Attleborough. A parishioners highlighted an issue with a car being driven excessively fast in front of the Ox and Plough on several occasions who has been reported to police. Steve Milner explained that if this occurs regularly, then collect date/time information and then the police can attend to try and catch them. They cannot act simply on the public’s word but must witness it themselves. The police attend and monitor on Cake Street due to the Speedwatch team’s initial work in monitoring speeds. Recently 23 people were caught speeding outside the Chapel on Hargham Road, some of which were village residents. When asked if there was any way to monitor the size of vehicles using a road, Jonn Hicks explained that the police won’t do anything as it is Trading Standards which have placed the weight restriction on Hargham Road but are not enforcing it. The only thing the public can do is take a photo of the lorry/company and the registration only. “No Construction Traffic” signs are to be asked for Hargham Road and Abbey Road when the Attleborough SUE work begins.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Old Buckenham Parish Council

Report on the June meeting
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.
Old Buckenham Parish Council met on Thursday 6 June in the Village Hall. Those present were councillors Jonn Hicks (Chair), Steve Milner, Donna Oakley, Adrian Joel, Andy Nicholls and Gemma Frost. Also in attendance were Rachel Noyes (Parish Clerk) and Jim Trice (Met Office) as well as seven members of the public. Apologies for absence received from Ben Devlin. The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 9 May were approved with an amendment that a property would count towards the quota despite being outside of the village boundary. Gemma Frost is still a Parish Councillor as the Notice of Vacancy has been cancelled by Breckland and therefore she does not need to be co-opted back in.
Presentation concerning proposed new weather radar. Jim Trice from the Met Office attended the meeting regarding the building of a new weather radar in the village.  A report on his presentation was posted on this blog on Sunday 16 June.
Public participation. A parishioner asked if using boards on the Green might be a way of boosting numbers of the public attending parish council meetings. While there is the noticeboard at the shop, not everyone attends the shop or reads the board. Steve Milner will look at possible equipment to use. Another parishioner explained that, after proposing an alternative to leasing the Green at the Annual Parish Meeting, there has only been six days to ask for general views and so they requested that the lease extension was not signed at this meeting to allow more time to collect parishioners’ views.
Green management and signing of lease. The chairman explained that he had requested that the village survey be completed again and could use those results to judge whether to sign a lease extension. He had also calculated that the Green had cost each household in the village 9.3p per week last year (although it was pointed out that not all households pay Council Tax). Several councillors felt that there had been so much discussion in the past about signing the original Green lease that the extension should be signed now and that discussing having a lease at all would be starting the process all over again. They also felt the Parish Council needed security for spending money on the Green in the long term. It was proposed that the Green Lease Extension be signed at the meeting and this was agreed (5 in favour, 1 abstained).
Joint meeting with village hall management committee. This was arranged for Monday 24 June at 7.30pm at the Village Hall Memorial Room. 

Declarations of interest. Andy Nicholls needs to complete a new declaration of interest form due to new business.
Financial matters. Balance in the community account was £45,262.14 and balance in premium account was £2,878.92. Letters of thanks had been received from the Village Hall management committee and the Monday Mardle for their precept grants. Payments approved totalled £1,590.95.
It was questioned why the parish council is paying £385 to lease the recreation area from the Village Hall, plus maintenance costs, when it is not used by anyone. The original lease will be consulted to see if there is a get out clause. The Village Hall could then use it how they wish, maybe extending the car park for which they could receive an income from school parking permits. Andy Nicholls highlighted that planning regulations would need to be consulted for any change of use.
Income received was £250 from the Ox and Plough and £500 from the Green Rights Proprietors.
The Asset register had been updated to include an Eco bar trailer for transporting mower to playground, etc, to cut grass and a strimmer and lawnmower added. The Asset register was approved (5 in favour, 1 abstain). Donna Oakley and Adrian Joel will take the audit form to the Internal Auditor and, once signed, it will be sent to the External Auditor. This must be received by Monday 1 July, otherwise there are financial penalties.
Jonn Hicks wished to thank Donna Oakley for the excellent work tidying up the financial records of the Parish Council over the last year.
Planning applications. Crown Lane Cottage, Crown Road. First floor extension to existing single-storey annex and storage/workshop building (3PL/2019/0508/HOU). The dwelling will be quite far back from the road and is being built for son to live in.  This was supported by the council (6 in favour).
9 The Old Yard, Hargham Road. Erection of office building with first floor two-bed residential accommodation - revised elevations from previous application (3PL/2019/0539/F). Will roughly be in place of original dwelling but with slightly lower elevation. Applying for moving some windows and a new balcony. This was supported by the council (6 in favour).
Poplar Farm, Fen Road. Demolish existing agricultural building and construct new residential dwelling (3PL/2019/0287/F). Amendment with additional contamination information and with Highways and tree information provided. This had been discussed last meeting Application was not supported (5 in favour of not supporting, 1 abstaining).
Eastview, Cake Street. Conversion of existing detached bungalow to two 3-bedroom semi detached houses, incorporating ground floor side and rear extensions with new roof to accommodate new first floors (3PL/2019/0540/F). Left, right and back extensions are within permitted development. Raising elevation requires planning application. Entrance to plot being moved further away from the difficult corner on Cake Street. Developers are flexible about keeping/closing original entrance but in dialogue with Highways about it. Expected Highways will require it closed. A turning circle will be within the land to allow cars to turn and exit properties forwards and not reverse onto road. In a 30mph zone, 43m of vision is required from the entrance. By moving entrance, they will have 45m. The properties are still a good distance from the boundaries and will be a greater distance than some are currently nearby. House is increasing in size by 85%.This application was supported by the council on the conditions it meets Highways requirements, particularly regarding the new entrance to the plot (6 in favour).
Planning decisions by Breckland Council. Land to the north of Fen Street. Erection of four detached dwellings (3PL/2019/0231/O). This has now been considered and the application has been approved.
Orchard House, Loss Wroo, Hargham Road. Demolish existing extensions and conservatory, erection of two-storey extension on south elevation, erection of boundary fences and entrance gates (3PL/2019/0445/HOU). This application has been considered and has been approved.
Items for Highway Rangers. Old Hall Farm Cottage corner on junction of Cake St/Harlingwood Lane: Hedge requires cutting back to the telegraph posts, Crown Rd/Grove Rd: hedge requires cutting back ,ditch alongside Cake Street, Hargham Road: 30mph sign with red paint on it needs cleaning and clear pathways around the green from overgrowing grass, etc.
Chairman’s Report. Wedding near the Ox and Plough recently was for a local couple. For any future weddings/events requiring a marquee on the Green, the Parish Council needs to be consulted and a fee paid for additional use of the Green. There are to be no cars on the Green. Only bikes for Two Wheel Tuesday are allowed. Lots of edges around the Green need strimming/tidying. The Village Handyman to have a day’s work tidying up around benches, war memorial, etc. However the Ox and Plough are responsible for maintenance around the parking bays.
Members of Working Parties. These were assigned.

Personnel Committee: Steve Milner, Ben Devlin, Gemma Frost. 
Play Area Working Party: Donna Oakley, Adrian Joel, Steve Milner, Jonn Hicks, Kerry Talbot (R). 
Recreation Area Working Party: Jonn Hicks, Andy Nicholls.
Road Safety Working Party: Steve Milner, Gemma Frost, Andy Nicholls, Mike Bartlett (resident), Trevor Crooke (resident), Lucy Womack (resident)
SNAP: Steve Milner.
Attleborough Development Partnership: Adrian Joel.
Old Buckenham Village Hall: Jonn Hicks.
Allotments: Adrian Joel, Gemma Frost.
OBPC website: Steve Milner, Rachel Noyes.
Old Buckenham Green Rights: Andy Nicholls.
Almshouses Trust: Ben Devlin.
Village Green Management Working Party: Gemma Frost, Andy Nicholls, Sarah Dye (OBGRP), Allison Frank (OBGRP), Terry Cracknell (Lord of Manor), John Fernihough (resident), Adrian Joel.
Eleemosynary Trust: Jonn Hicks.
Village Green Working Party. It was agreed to spend remaining grant money on bench bases around Ottomer Pond (6 in favour). The Ox and Plough have raised money for a bench for Alec Byrne. They need to consult with the Green Working Group about this.
Road Safety. Grant received of £1650 for an electronic speed display sign. In addition to a large donation, now have approximately £4000. Going to speak to Breckland about locations for sign.
Play Area. Playdale coming out to inspect and give a quote for a new bridge as other bridge parts showing signs of wear. Jonn Hicks and others will be relaying the path in the play area, sorting bases for the bins and replacing wood around chippings. Last inspection was in October and it is completed once a year.
Councillors’ reports. Steve Milner reported that the Scouts have offered to clean the memorial. Donna Oakley said a van with the name “Culling Metal Scrap Dealers of Norwich” on it was seen emptying their rubbish into our bins. Couldn’t get vehicle registration or a photo but need to write a letter to them. Andy Nicholls felt there was a need to debate the proposed weather radar tower which could have a strong impact on the village visually. as well as nearby villagers. The chairman suggested waiting till the public have a chance to learn about it at the planned Public Consultation and then discussing it at the next Parish Council meeting when residents can attend and give their views. Steve Milner highlighted that that is what the planning system is for and when they submit their application, we could give Parish Council views then. The public event will be advertised with posters and Facebook posts in additional to the planned leaflet drop to ensure as many residents are informed as possible.
Allotments. There had been a request for two beehives at the allotments and the council approved this (5 for, 1 abstain). Allotment number 8 needs maintenance as it is not currently being worked on and weeds spreading to other allotments. Adrian Joel will speak to resident.
Items for next agenda. These would include the Action Log and the proposed weather radar.

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 4 July at 7.30pm in Old Buckenham Village Hall.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

More on Old Buckenham weather radar

Details given at June parish council meeting
Jim Trice from the Met Office attended the meeting regarding the building of a new weather radar in the village. This is a summary of his presentation.
The proposed location is part of the Anglian Water site on Abbey Road. It is a brownfield site that will need clearing before the radar could be built. The area required is approximately 20 metres by 10 metres and would consist of a tower and a cabin for housing the transmitter and communications equipment.
The site was chosen out of 15 initial possibilities. A shortlist was created by comparing cost, radar coverage and project risks. Old Buckenham was chosen due to best coverage all the way to the coast and was at a higher elevation above sea level than some of the other sites.
The radar tower would be 22 metres tall and the radome 5 metres in diameter. In the dome is a rotating dish which transmits a pulse of energy and detects the interaction with precipitation. Towers are normally located at the top of hills but due to the flat topography of the area, a taller tower is required to ensure the radar is above most landforms and trees (including future growth).
The radar is needed because of limited coverage and accuracy of the rainfall intensity in East Anglia and will help improve weather forecasting, warnings of flooding and improved forecasts of snowfall. Additionally, it will improve forecasting for a much wider area and provide Anglian Water with data for more efficient use of water resources and sewerage systems.
As announced in a previous post on this blog (Wednesday 6 June) a 'drop-in' event is planned for the local public on Friday 28 June from 2pm to 8pm at the Village Hall. Poster boards will help illustrate the scale of tower. A leaflet drop is being organised to advertise the event.
Comments from those at the parish council meeting were that New Buckenham and Carlton Rode would need to be contacted as it is close to the parish borders and will be visible to them. When asked about the Airfield’s views, Jim Trice explained that while they did not have a problem with the frequency involved with the radar, they did have an issue with the height and had also requested that a light be located at the top of the structure.
There would be no additional benefit to the village as it would require specialist contractors to build and operate. The parish council chairman said that there should not be any construction traffic through the village and down Abbey Road.
When asked about any possible noise or health risks, Jim Trice said that there are strict guidelines about what noise levels are acceptable and they are confident that they would stay within those limits as the radar rotates quite slowly. Public Health England had monitored a similar weather radar at Ingham and published a report showing that there were no health risks.
A parishioner asked how the radar would improve the use of water resources and sewerage systems. It was explained that Anglian Water would be able to use the data collected to have more accurate estimates of rainfall and therefore adjust the systems accordingly.
A planning application should be submitted in the next couple of months with the hope of starting work at the beginning of 2020. Construction should take about six months and the radar and its current technology are expected to last for around 20 to 25 years.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Regrowing in Old Buckenham

Nature takes back control
Just nine months ago Ottomer pond looked like this:

Yesterday the scene had changed considerably. Nature is a great healer.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Great day for a run in Old Buckenham

How the morning went by
The blog editor was out and about with his camera today trying to record some of the more unusual images of the 10k race that took place to raise money towards repairs to the Old Buckenham windmill.
Here is a sort of essay of captioned pictures to try to capture the successful and cheerful time that was had by all. It is expected that the event will have raised around £3000.

People queuing to get into the village hall...
...just to sign on and get their paperwork.
Then to find somewhere to fill in their details... triplicate?
Waiting for the start...
...while the mobile tv equipment is delicately adjusted.
The wheelchair entrant starts off first...
...while everyone else gets ready for the 'off''.
The race begins...
...with nearly 300 others taking it slightly slower.
Time to get the bottles of water out... the runners started to return.
All the runners were cheered home...
... including a first time runner amazed at what he had achieved.
Then a relaxing walk back to the village hall...
... to queue for homemade cakes.
Some of the many helpers enjoyed some cake too...
...while the winning runners collected their medals.
Overall a great day out that the village should be proud of. It is intended to have another run in 2020 so make sure you are part of it.
You can click on the individual images to see them at a larger size.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Running 10k in Old Buckenham

Come along and watch

Some of last years' finishers
The Old Buck 10k road run will be take place tomorrow (Sunday) and is starting at 10am from the top of Crown Road. There will be around 300 runners taking part. Many villagers are helping to make this event work and to raise raise for repairs to Old Buckenham windmill.
Good luck to all runners,especially those who are actually running. If you are not running, it would be nice to see you out around the course or at the end to give the runners a true Old Buckenham welcome and encouragement. 
Also why not come along to the Village Hall for the presentation of medals to the winners at 11.45am. There will be cakes and refreshments for sale at the Village Hall for all so please come out and be part of this great event.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Weather radar in Old Buckenham?

See the plans later this month
Come along to the Village Hall on Friday 28 June to learn more. Anglian Water's site is along Abbey Road just past the Airfield. All other details are on the poster, click on the image to make it larger.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

County Councillor's work for Old Buckenham

Sorting out local problems
Stephen Askew, the Norfolk County Councillor for the the ward covering Old Buckenham, gave a talk at the village Annual Parish Meeting on Friday 31 May. This is the part of his presentation that covers his local work.
Locally, apart from private constituent issues I have had several matters to try to resolve on behalf of the parish. These have mainly been drainage issues and I’m pleased to say that with the exception of Church Lane, these appear to have been sorted.
The parish has had the benefit for the second year running of a significant contribution of my “Member's personal budget”.  The sum of £675 was allocated to assist clearing and re-establishing the ditch on Hargham Road to prevent the flooding which had been occurring at every significant rainfall and a further £1242 was spent to clear the ditch further along by The Green alongside “The Kenyons” which should ease the troubles which have occurred between The Green and Mill Road. It is felt that there may need to be some remedial works in the future at the drain outside “The Hawthorns” but for the moment the works undertaken should suffice in the short term. A total of £1917, which is just shy of a third of my budget, has been spent in Old Buckenham this financial year so it has done quite well.
Church Lane has been more problematic. After several attempts to resolve the issue, all sources of routine maintenance have been exhausted. I chased this up only last week to get clarification of the next steps and was told that the matter will be briefed for a future drainage scheme. What form and timescale that might take, I don’t know as yet but I will keep it live and press for the matter to be resolved as soon as is practically possible.
The other major item which has been ongoing and taken up a significant amount of my resolve has been the matter of the pedestrian crossing. It has been some two years or more since I had a mandate from the Parish Council to try to establish a pedestrian crossing on the B1077 following public concern over the dangers of crossing this busy road at school time. In those two years I have had a number of meetings with the sub group set up by the Parish Council consisting of some current and previous Parish Council members, met on site with members of the committee, our MP George Freeman and Tom McCabe the director of the then Environment, Development and Transport (EDT) portfolio, spent £1500 from my member's budget to get an assessment from officers to establish what type of crossing is required and where suitable to deploy it. As a result of this we achieved a line in the budget for a crossing to be deployed should the scheme meet all necessary criteria and overcome the hurdles on the way (such as planning regulations, permissions and safety criteria). I have had further meetings with officers and numerous correspondence along the way and I’m pleased to report that at present it is hoped that everything will be in place for the programming of works to start on the construction of the pedestrian crossing from Monday 29 July 2019 in time for the new school year at the start of September. Of course it’s never over until the fat lady sings but at the moment I’m as confident as I’ve been so far in this journey that the parish should have the crossing for future generations it has sought.

Monday, 3 June 2019

Prestigious building in Old Buckenham

Best in East Anglia

It has been announced that Chapel Green School in Old Buckenham, an ‘inspiring’ £14m purpose-built school for physically disabled and complex needs children, has been named “Project of the Year” in the prestigious RICS Awards for the East of England.
It had initially been awarded the best project within the ‘design through innovation’ category and as a direct result went forward to be judged alongside all other category winners to finally be selected as the East of England’s overall ‘Project of the Year 2019’.
The Project of the Year accolade, presented to a scheme demonstrating outstanding best practice and significant benefit to their local area and wider economy, was won this year by Chapel Green which  beat off the challenge of over 30 other high profile and worthy projects which were also shortlisted
The school can accommodate up to 110 pupils ranging from three to 19-years-old. It includes passive ventilation, thermal mass and natural daylighting to provide exemplar teaching and learning spaces. Externally, a multi-level play mound provides excitement and stimulation to meet the therapeutic and development needs of the pupils.
The school also features a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool, physiotherapy room, medical room and a sensory room. There is even a Life Skills flat which replicates ‘real life’ adult living accommodation to help prepare students for life after education.
Chair of the judging panel for the RICS Awards, East of England, Jonathan Nelson, said: “It's been said that 'Buildings Learn', developing and adapting as society evolves. At Chapel Green SEN School this could not be truer. From applying first principles, good practice and actively putting the students at the forefront of design, the outcome is an inspiring and immersive development. As the students develop and learn, so does the building, by offering staged and progressive learning surroundings. The building effortlessly links inside with out and cleverly connects familiarity and the less familiar in a sympathetic way."
James Montgomery, Head of Architecture for NPS Property Consultants Ltd, added: “Chapel Green has been designed to meet the specific needs of its pupils and create a learning environment for their diverse needs, overcoming barriers to learning in the process. We have together successfully delivered a project which meets these aspirations. To be judged by our peers across the region as ‘Project of the Year’ is a fantastic achievement and the ultimate professional recognition of a job very well done.”
The successful team behind the project included NPS Property Consultants Ltd, Norfolk County Council Children's Services and constructor Morgan Sindall. NPS led the design delivery and coordination, project management and cost managed the successful scheme from conception to completion. This included a great deal of liaison with multiple stakeholders to ensure the project’s vision was fully defined and achieved.
The project now moves forward to compete in the Grand Final of the RICS Awards in London on Friday 4 October.

Old Buckenham WI in May

Time to decide on resolutions
At their May meeting Old Buckenham WI discussed and voted on the resolutions being put forward at their national Annual Meeting to be held in June. Two members, Rosemary Pratt and Kate Lloyd, had thoroughly researched their subjects and gave members information to consider before voting took place. Rosemary dealt with the resolution concerning cervical screening, which saves around 5,000 lives each year, yet attendance is currently at its lowest level for a decade. About 2,600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England each year and about 690 women die from the disease. It is estimated that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cases could be prevented. Members are urged to take action to raise awareness of the importance of screening to help eradicate cervical cancer. 
The second resolution was presented by Kate Lloyd and concerns the decline in the number of bus services, particularly those in rural and semi-rural areas. In order to alleviate loneliness, improve health and well-being, as well as promoting sustainable development, the WI is calling on the government and local authorities to increase subsidies and to work in partnership with bus companies and community transport operators to enable an adequate provision of services. Members voted in favour of both resolutions and our vote will be taken forward to the annual meeting.
The next meeting is on Thursday 27 June when Julie Porter will be talking on 'Recycling with a difference'. Then on Thursday 
25 July the speaker will be Martin Woodhouse and his subject is ‘Drive safer for longer’.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Another Old Buckenham newsletter

June issue is here for you to read
You may have had a copy delivered but otherwise pick up a copy at the village shop of All Saints Church.