Friday, 16 April 2021

Old Buckenham parish council minutes

 April’s Parish Council meeting

The following notes were written by the newsletter editor from the draft minutes so may contain information that is amended at a later date.

Old Buckenham Parish Council met via Zoom on Thursday 1 April at 7.30pm. Those present were councillors Steve Milner (Vice Chairman), Adrian Joel, Terry Cook, Andy Nicholls and Naomi Bailey. Also attending were Rachel Noyes (Clerk), County and District councillor Steve Askew as well as two members of the public.

Mike Farrington and Jonn Hicks had sent apologies for their absence, Ben Devlin was absent.

The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 4 March were approved (5 in favour) with the amendment to say that Stuart Baker had offered to help cut the recreation ground grass.

Financial matters. The Community account balance was now £31,199.21 and a VAT claim had been made for £1,095.99.

Payments totalling £3,436.19 were approved. These included £234 for the inspection of the Play Area, £927.31 for repairs to the swings in the Play Area and £1,593.60 for installation of an improved security camera system at the Village Hall

Planning. All planning applications are available for viewing on the Breckland District Council planning portal Parish Councillors have been asked by the chairman to view the new applications in advance of the meeting

New planning application.  The New Agricultural Barn. Land adjacent to The Roughlands Farm, Grove Road. Variation of Condition Nos 2 and 3 on 3PL/2020/1334/F ( Erection of a single agricultural building and new vehicular access) (3PL/2021/0429/VAR). Councillors could see no issues with the proposed variations. Proposal to support was approved (5 in favour).

Planning decisions by Breckland Council. The following applications have been considered and the applications have been approved.

Land off Banham Road. Erection of a single agricultural building and new vehicular access (3PL/2020/1334/F).

64 Fen Street. Construction of Swimming Pool and erection of Pool Building including gym, changing room and lounge area (3PL/2021/0102/HOU).

Downmore Farm House, Banham Road. Creation of first floor addition to existing single-storey annexe which is part of main dwelling (3PL/2021/0327/HOU).

The following application has now been withdrawn. Double Banks Farm, Old Buckenham Road Carleton Rode. Change of use of existing waste processing/composting facility to a HCL waste processing and recycling facility to produce RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) and SRF (Solid Recovered Fuel) grade material (FUL/2019/0010).

Village Hall security. Terry Cook passed on the thanks of everyone on the Village Hall committee for the installation of a new security camera system. Thanks also to Stewart Ramsey for his professional, quick and efficient service. The new cameras cover a large and enhanced area. Installation was quite a big job as it involved re-wiring and setting up the new system. It should provide excellent support and prevention against anti-social behaviour which has been a problem in the car park in recent weeks. There has not been any such behaviour occurring since the installation.

Parish Partnership Scheme (PPS). The application for the PPS to improve road safety near the schools has been approved. The final cost is broken down as follows:

Total cost: £14,500

NCC contribution: £7,250

Members’ Fund Contribution: £3,500

Parish Contribution: £3,750.

A big thank you to County Councillor Steve Askew for his generous donation of £3,500 towards the project from his councillors’ personal budget. This has significantly reduced the amount the Parish Council have to pay and Steve Askew has been vital in driving the project forward at a great pace. There will be two “wig wag” (flashing 20mph) signs placed on Abbey road (one before the bend as you approach the schools and one from the opposite direction) and also a rough footpath cut into the edge of the turning island outside the High School to help encourage pedestrians to cross at one spot and away from the blind corner. Councillor Askew was happy to help support the project and was able to give that amount due to the increase in his councillors’ personal budget. Proposal to approve payment for the project was approved (5 in favour).

Green cutting. The Village Green Working Party (VGWP) requires approval for a quote of £1000 to cut the grass on the Green this year. The cut will happen twice a year (exact timings are dependent on the weather). This is a discounted price and the VGWP have struggled to get another quote as no one wants the job. The grass is of poor quality due to weeds, etc, and so has no value. Councillors considered that if the VGWP felt that this was a good deal, then they should listen to their advice and accept the cost. Propose to approve payment was approved (5 in favour).

Clerk’s report. The need for Public Liability Certificates for workers on the Green were raised in previous meetings. Most have been collected, remaining will be chased.

Location has been chosen for the memorial bench for Bill Wardman. It will be in front of the middle of the Almshouses. Once the family agree with the location, work will start on a plinth. There will need to be some gradation of the soil so that it is easily accessible.

The Brownies Leader has sent her thanks for sending the Precept Grant early. It helped significantly and stopped the unit having to close.

Various Highways issues were raised last meeting. Reflector posts in front of ditch by the Stud have been fixed. Posts by Manor Pond have been inspected and will be fixed soon. The damaged Cake Street sign was deemed by Highways to still be acceptable and so will not be replaced.

The Parish Council will return to face-to-face meetings from the June meeting onwards. The Clerk and Jonn Hicks will work with the Village Hall to ensure it is covid-safe. TheChair and Vice-Chair will be elected at the next meeting.

Road Safety. The SAM Sign has been moved to the Attleborough Road site. Will look in to setting up Speedwatch groups as restrictions are eased.

Play Area. Swings and inspection ordered. The tractor is also very run down and requiring attention. Jonn Hicks has looked at replacing the tractor with one from Playdale. Still waiting for a final quote but to buy, deliver and install it could be over £4000. Councillors felt this was very high and wanted to look at other options and also look at raising funds for the playground. Naomi Bailey will investigate fundraising ideas.

Recreation Area. Grass had been cut but not sure who did it. Lines for football pitch will now need to be painted.

Councillors’ reports. County Councillor Steve Askew said that most of the potholes that he has been made aware of have been filled in. There are just a few more to go. Grove Road has potholes that need attention.

The road approaching the Primary School is getting in a bad state. This road has an agreement between Highways and Parish Council from the 1970s that states maintenance is paid for 50/50. Steve Askew will enquire with Highways.

Terry Cook had attended a Webinar about Green Ways which was very useful and informative. There will be significant amounts of money assigned to improving Green Ways across the country and there may be up to £1.6million for Norfolk. This will include Public Rights of Way, cycle paths, bridleways, etc. Old Buckenham need to start thinking if and how we could bid into the best use of this money Also, how can we encourage younger generations to get actively involved in these improvements and looking after the countryside in general?

Items for next agenda. Village Handyman?

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 6 May via Zoom and starting at 7.30pm.

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