The meeting took place in the Sports Pavilion with Councillor Wade-Martins in the chair and 5 members of the public in attendance.
Apologies were received from Councillor Borgnis.
Mrs Linda Smith, the present tenant of the Parish Pit on the Brisley/Ryburgh Road explained that she and her husband had been good custodians for the past 20 years, cleared rubbish including tyres, on a very regular basis and planted trees at their own expense, to encourage wildlife. She asked if the Council would give them first refusal to buy the pit. The Chairman confirmed that the Council intended to offer the pit for sale once the ownership by the Council had been properly documented.
Mr Warner came to object to the design of a carport for 3 cars, by a neighbour. He felt that it was too high and the size would leave a large footprint and it would have an impact on the bottom of his garden where his children have a playhouse. The Chairman recommended that he wrote to Breckland and to our District Councillor, Bill Borrett so that he would be aware of Mr Warner's concerns.
Mr Barry Chapman was going to address the Parish Council with regard to the last report in the Elmham News. The Chairman explained this was not a matter for the Parish Council but the Editors. Mr Chapman was happy to talk to them.
The point made by Mrs Janet Woodhouse about general untidiness had been noted and the Highway Rangers instructed to deal with the weeds all around the village.
Of the 2 pumps that were in the village only the King's Head pump was
the responsibility of the Parish Council. Money would be put into the budget for next year and Councillor Lowe would obtain 3 quotes for its repair. Councillor Brown and Councillor Fletcher would arrange to talk to the owner of the second pump, Mr Robin Don, when he returned from holiday.
Mrs Woodhouse will be investigating the scanning of the Village Archive with the assistance of Dr Andrew Macnair, who had done this for Foulsham.
Community Construction Fund
Councillor Braybrook asked if the Council were in favour of putting in a request for funds to build a car park and a path on the Village Green to facilitate its better use when the play area is constructed.
After discussion, it was agreed to apply for planning permission to build a car park after Councillors Braybrook, Brockhurst and Lowe had met to discuss the siting of both the car park and the play area. They would ask the Breckland Planning Advisor for Playing Fields for guidance and then draw up a proposal for outline planning for the car park, footpath and play area before the next meeting.
Training for Councillors was going ahead and they hoped this would include some instruction in financial matters.
This was working but with only 6 volunteers, more were needed
A good report had been received from English Heritage and £5000 had been allocated for repairs to the walls. Hiring a long reach digger with flail was discussed but the cost would be prohibitive. It was decided to see if a tractor could be used in the moat to keep it clear.
Because of the re growth of Ash trees on the north side which would hinder hedge cutting, Councillor Fletcher and Councillor Labouchere would investigate ways of removing them.
Bridleway on disused railway line
The NCC Footpaths Manager was ill but the 28 days notice had been served on Mr Howell which expires on 4th October. Mr Howell's chain and padlock are still in situ but it would be impossible to open the gate if you were on horseback. (It is a bridleway!)
The footpath to the North of this gate will be strimmed by the Council in a 2m strip to make the pathway usable.
Mrs Diana Dann is arranging to have her hedge and tree cut back to improve the effectiveness of the street light near her property; Mr Simon Thompson had partially cleared one in Eastgate Street but Councillor Fletcher will ask him to complete the task. Councillor Brockhurst will speak to Mr Bill Borrett about the light near Worthing Turn.
The light on Holt Road, damaged in an accident, will be re connected on 11 October.
Nine lights have been earmarked for refurbishment in the first year of a five year rolling programme starting April 2013.
The Council should hold a Certificate of Inspection for the lights, which cannot be found. The previous Chairman of the Council, Mr Colin Groom will be asked if he any knowledge of this.
Councillor Lowe pointed out that the policy of the Council was to have clear lights not amber!
Pavilion and Playing Fields
The repair to the wall at the west end will go ahead and it was agreed to wait and see the results of the mole catcher before changing arrangements.
Councillor Brown was painting the Pavilion windows in his own time and he was duly thanked.
The Bowls Club have accepted that they have to pay rent and will do so in future.
The Council needs written consent from the Mid Norfolk Railway Company to change the width of the pedestrian gate at the level crossing on Station Road so that double child buggies can go through, as part of the Safe Route to School. It might be possible to obtain a grant on the grounds of Health and Safety. At the moment mothers with double buggies and wheelchair users have to go into the road which is extremely dangerous. Councillor Fletcher will obtain estimates.
Sale of the Parish Pits
The Chairman has made a serious search of the old parish Council minutes relating to these and he will ask Breckland to check back approximately 20 years to see if there is a record of transfer to the Parish Council so that the pits can be sold.
Loss of possible legal footpath on the railway line.
Mr Parfitt, the solicitor for Breckland Council has offered to apply to the Land Registry for the documents on our behalf and will do so. This will identify the requirements for maintaining the old railway line as a bridleway and footpath.
Councillor Brown is compiling this list and would be grateful if every councillor would let him know if they are holding any assets. The register should include street furniture, salt bins, telephone boxes, bus shelters and play equipment.
Councillor Fletcher will check with the railway company re the site of a new dog bin and then the Council will provide one.
There was little point in discussing this as it was due to be sold at auction on 4 October.
The rents were to be collected on 11 October 6-7.30pm at the Sports Pavilion. There would be an increase of £1 in the rent next year.
The hedge and holly tree near to the entrance will be removed to give better sighting and safety. The path from the crossroads to the allotments has been cleared.
Councillor Braybrook explained the need for an increase in the precept. If enough money was not raised through donations and grants, a loan of approximately £38,000 would be taken out to complete the purchase of the village green which was Phase 1 of the development of the green. Phase 2 was to move the play equipment and create a play area with seats and fencing. A car park was considered a necessity and a path from the car park to the play area would need to be constructed. A very rough cost for this is around £100,000. Grant givers need to see that the Council is willing to put money into any scheme, so it is sensible to try to accumulate some funds for this purpose.
Because these were to be facilities for young people and for future generations, the Council was unanimous in endorsing a rise in the precept of approximately £10 per household in Band D.
It was proposed by Councillor Braybrook that the payments from the can and paper banks be dedicated to the Village Green and Play Equipment. Aluminium cans are bringing in the best cash and all villagers would be encouraged to take part in this important recycling.
(So please take your cans and newspapers to the recycling bins at the Pavilion rather than put them into your black bins!)
Parish Council Financial Regulations
A copy of these, which answers many queries, was given to every Councillor and would be discussed at their training session.
It was agreed to set aside £200 to pay for the proposed application to Breckland re the car park and play equipment.
The original application by Mr Peter Rivett, Heath Farm, North Elmham for installation of two micro scale wind turbines had been refused by the MOD. He had now resubmitted his application and there were no objections but one abstention.
3 Lake View, Holt Road, North Elmham
Erection of a 3 bay carport in rear garden
Councillor Brown declared an interest and abstained from the discussion of the proposed Car port at 3 Lake View.
Mr Warner had spoken eloquently against the height and size of the proposed building in the Public Participation part of the meeting.
Mr & Mrs Chapman, 64 Station Road, North Elmham
Loft conversion with velux windows and a single story side extension with new triple port garage.
Planning Permission granted
Date of the next meeting -7 November 2012 7.30pm in the Pavilion.