North Elmham Parish Council Meeting – 7th March 2012
The meeting took place in the Sports Pavilion with 3 members of the public present and John Labouchere in the Chair.
The meeting commenced with the sad announcement by John Labouchere of the death of Councillor Eva Marsh, who unfortunately never really recovered from her recent heart bypass operation. She was by far the longest serving of the Council having served continuously since 1987. A brief history of her time on the council and her contribution to the village was given by the Chairman who finished with a quote from a previous chairman, Caroline Payne – “ Eva played a huge part in Village life and was one of life’s great characters, she will be sadly missed”. A few moments of silence followed in her memory.
Derek Shoesmith firstly raised the matter of signs at the Chapel Ruins and the potential need for more to warn of the possible danger from traffic, as the existing signs do not cover all of the approaches to the Car Park area – the matter is to be put to the Council’s insurers for comment. Mr. Shoesmith’s second point concerned the parking in Cathedral Drive and Holt Road especially at school times, and how some drivers were driving on the pavements to get past vehicles coming the other way, this it was pointed out could only lead eventually to an accident. It was decided to pass the matter on to the Traffic sub committee of the Community Plan Action Group for them to investigate. The third point made by Mr. Shoesmith concerned the quotation he recently submitted for work and how it did not appear to have been understood properly. John Labouchere admitted that there had been a misunderstanding in this matter and the fault lay with him.
Apologies were received from Mark Tasker and there were no declarations of interest.
The Minutes of the previous meeting wee unanimously accepted.
It was reported that there were only 4 people still in the Speedwatch team, 5 of the original volunteers have dropped out. It was emphasized that more volunteers are needed as the scheme needs a minimum of 6 people and preferably more to allow for holidays etc. An advert is to be placed in Elmham News pointing out that the scheme would not happen at all if more volunteers did not come forward.
Safe Route to School
There was a notice in the EDP stating that there was to be a Compulsory Purchase of the ransom strip that was holding up the scheme.
It was reported that an old cherry tree had died and was falling into the Ruins land, the tree was actually owned by Mr Howell.
The recent planting session at the Wood extension had gone very well and was enjoyed by all those villagers who attended. The tree guards and stakes have now arrived and are at the site and will probably be put in place at the weekend.
Bridleway on disused railway line
The Clerk had received a phone call from Norfolk County Council saying that they were due to initiate proceedings against Mr Howell within a few days. Peter Wade-Martins said that an extra link had now been inserted into the chain on the gate. The padlock was still in place on the gate but the new link was acting as a snap link although it required a close inspection to ascertain this, John Labouchere said that a horse rider would almost certainly think the gate was locked and was unlikely to dismount to investigate.
General Land Matters
Merryn Walters raised the issue that parishioners, seeing Parish land being measured, had approached her wanting to know what was happening, but with the way that land matters were dealt with in private session she was unable to discuss it with them to allay their fears. It was suggested that generally land matters be dealt with in Open Session when discussing the principles and only going into private session when finance is discussed. John Labouchere said that the measuring was something that was done on all Parish Land periodically (although it had not been done for a while) in order to ensure that a true record of the Parish’s holdings was maintained. It was also mentioned that there was also a suggestion of a land swop that was being investigated to see if it could benefit the Parish and that hopefully more details would be available at the next meeting.
There is only one out at the moment although there is one that is constantly blinking in Station Road.
The new bus timetable has still not been replaced, Konnect to be reminded. The phone box in Station Road will not be transferred until BT has repaired the door; the box in Pump Street has now been fixed.
There was a query about the “No Right of Way” sign at the rear of the Centre and would it still apply when the Green was finally transferred. It was decided to leave this decision up to the management of the Centre.
PCSO Stone sent a written report stating
There had been 5 calls to the Police in the previous month –
X3 - Anti-social behavior calls – only one of these relates to a youth causing an issue, the others are not directed at the community in any way.
X1 - Suspicious circumstances – this was a vehicle, believed to be a car, that kept stopping along the street then moving on again, but unfortunately not enough details were given to trace the vehicle.
X1 – Theft – items removed from a farm.
There was only one addition to the Crime figures which was the
same theft as above, a person of interest has been negated, and there are no other suspects or further lines of enquiry.
Pavilion and Playing Field
An appeal was made for cans (intact - not crushed!) to be placed in the Playing Field Recycle Point rather that the NCC black bin – this would enable the village to get the money that was paid. There had been no further problem with moles as far as was known. This month there will be a high water bill as there was a leak caused by a frozen washer in the water supply line in the hedge leading to the allotments.
Parish Plan (Community Planning Action Group)
A very good and informative meeting was held recently which brought forward some more good ideas and volunteers. There were apparently a couple of complaints about the quantity of refreshments that were available!
Station Yard Development
John Labouchere reported that he had recently seen a mother with a large buggy having to go on the road rather than through the narrow gates at the level crossing and that this was an accident waiting to happen. The gates are actually the responsibility of the Railway Company although since it did raise concerns regarding the width of the Safe Route to School the matter would be raised with the NCC Highways Department.
Breckland Housing Report
Breckland have agreed to rationalize the figures as they were extremely misleading when give in the form that they were.
Breckland Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment Review
Breckland agreed that very few people had been consulted and that they were going to rewrite the introduction to explain why it had been written as the existing form was thoroughly misleading.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
The response to the forms has been very encouraging with 75 received back in the first 4 days. Arrangements are in hand to purchase the mugs and both the Street Party and the Time Capsule are all organized. A beacon to light has also been purchased, and the Community Smallholding has been approached to provide sausages for the BBQ. It was recommended that the organizers keep the insurance separate from the normal insurance for this event as the quote given is extremely good. Permission should be sought from NCC to bury the time capsule on the Green, as the necessary transfer of ownership may not be completed by then.
Fundraising for the Village Green
There will be a public appeal to all Societies and Businesses as well as all Parishioners asking them to buy a square of the Village Green, which they will then donate, back to the Village. It was emphasized that it needs a high profile campaign to raise as much as possible. Norfolk Community Fund and the Lottery Fund also need approaching as potential sources of funding.
There was one planning application.
Mrs. C. Bidewll, Yarrow Bridge, North Elmham
Replacement of existing private river bridge (revised design)
There were no objections.
Information had been received from CPRE Head of Planning (Michael Brooks), which was a valuable source guide to how it was intended to devolve power down to a local level.
The Environmental Agency had sent a letter saying that one of the SSI’s (Site of Scientific Interest) had diffuse pollution (but they did not say which one or where). They asked to remind all householders (those that it applied to) to check septic tanks to ensure there was no overflow that could reach rivers and ditches.
The Big Red Bus should hopefully visit on 2 evenings in May (either a Monday or a Thursday) and if successful would be followed up later by the rest of the course.
South Norfolk are trying to push decisions down the tree to a local level and it was suggested that Breckland be asked what they are doing with the issue – the matter is apparently in hand.
Sustainable Energy Group
There had been a good response to the questionnaire although it still needed more people to complete the full energy survey.
A proper Notice Board is to be placed at the School and the meeting was reminded that the existing boards do need some maintenance in order to preserve them.
The May meeting will be held on Tuesday 1st May with a 7:00pm start for the Annual Parish Meeting followed by the Annual Parish Council Meeting.
The next Parish Council meeting will be 4th April at 7:30pm in the Sports Pavilion.