This is an independent report written by the Dereham Times Correspondent, Mike Wyatt. The official minutes are issued by the Clerk, Kevin Webb after they have been approved at the following meeting. They can be seen in the Post Office and will soon be back on the website at www.northelmhamvillage.org.uk.
There were 5 members of the public present and Martin Phillips was in the chair.
An announcement was made before Public Participation that Peter Wade-Martins had stood down both from the post of Chairman and as a member of the Parish Council as he had found it impossible to combine the position of donor of the land for the new Community Hall, with his position as a member of the Council. He said that he would be available if anyone required any help at any time and Martin Phillips said that he would be greatly missed. The Clerk was to write expressing the Council’s thanks for past work.
Janet Woodhouse said that the booklets were now available for sale and 39 had been sold so far. It was intended to take them to Remembrance Day Service on Sunday, as more would certainly be wanted then. A wreath was also to be purchased on behalf of the Parish Council for the Sunday Service.
Co-option of new member
Tom Fitzalan Howard was proposed and seconded to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Norman Clark and the vote was unanimous.
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted with a couple of minor amendments.
A question was raised regarding the effectiveness of SAM2 warning boards and the meeting was reassured that they work extremely well. The cost of one after grant would be about £1500 and it was proposed in principle to proceed with obtaining one.
A new dog bin has been purchased but the fitting is different to the old one and a new post is being made,
Ann Keeble said that the meeting with English Heritage had been held, but not with the Structural Engineer who had attended the site earlier. The report has not been received at the moment but EH has agreed that there is a potential problem with the high areas of walling and they will try and budget for it.
The letter regarding the hedge has been sent.
New Zealand pygmy weed is being burnt off with Roundup as it is not allowed to be moved. It is illegal to move it from the site and the method is apparently to dig up and bury on site with plastic covering the weed to smother it. The trees have not been touched as Harvey Goldstein said that he had planted one in memory of someone.
The gate has been repaired. The last scheduled grass cut of the year has been done but the grass is still growing and it may be necessary to ask for another cut as well.
Bridleway on disused railway line
Peter Howell’s son had agreed to the idea of electric fencing to keep the cattle off the footpath but Peter Howell himself had apparently said in a telephone conversation with the Clerk “Over my dead body!” – it remains to be seen what will be done.
The final position for the light in Larch Grove is still to be decided.
The meeting with Richard Fletcher has taken place but additional spraying to that which has already done is difficult to ask for, as contractors do the work. The cables on Brisley Road have not progressed further.
Pavilion and Playing Field
The grant application for the football wall is progressing and other info for Tennis Club is awaited. The Bowls Club application was rejected by Breckland. Breckland have said that the bottle banks will remain and they will make up the shortfall in payment for glass collection this year. Parishioners are urged to still use the bottle bank rather than their black bin as this will ensure the payments from Breckland continue. The Pavilion letting price for the election is £160 and lettings for last month were £100.
Sale of Parish Pits
Two bids were received for both Pits. The successful bidder for the Heath Road pit was Mr & Mrs Smith with a bid of £9250. The Mill Road pit was bought by Mr Seaman with a bid of £4200. The successful bidders have been informed and the legal work will now start.
All rents have now been received.
Play Equipment and Car parking proposals
The fund stands at around £22,000 at the moment and a decision is still awaited from the Lottery application and Garfield Weston. A suggestion was made regarding sponsorship of individual articles of furniture etc. – this will be investigated.
Costs are all well in line with the existing budget for the current year and the new budget will be considered fully for approval at the next meeting. Steps to the burial ground will cost £2030 including steel handrails and there is a possibility of a grant toward this from Breckland and this would have to be included in the new budget. More quotes are needed.
Review of responsibilities of Councilors
With the changes in personnel on the Council there was discussion as to individual responsibility and a new list of areas and people was drawn up.
Parish Council Vacancy
There was a short discussion regarding the vacancy created by the resignation of Peter Wade-Martins and how attempting to fill it would have to be started immediately because of the 6-month rule (proximity of the next election) – it was agreed to commence work straight away.
Accounts for Payment
The accounts were accepted.
Planning Applications and Determinations
Brookside Farm – the owners have been told by Breckland that a lot more surveys are required and Mr & Mrs Mark wished to know (because of the potential cost) if the Parish Council were still in support of the scheme. The car park problem has been looked at and there appears to be a satisfactory way forward even though the site would be sold to a developer. It was agreed to continue support for the scheme subject to the car park proposals being satisfactory to all parties.
Mr A Conisbee, The Beeches, County School – replacement of existing single storey dwelling with new single storey dwelling – No objection
Mr & Mrs P Watson, 56A Eastgate Street – proposed side extension – permission granted.
Mr N Garrod, 78 Eastgate Street – single storey rear garden room and extension to porch – permission granted.
Crime Statistics for September
There were 8 crimes in total:
2 x other, 2x criminal damage, 1x sexual offence, 1x theft other, 2x violence against the person.
Richard Fletcher (Highway Rangers) would be here next week.
Agenda Items for next meeting
Village Assets map
Steps to cemetery
Date of next meeting - The provisional dates for next year were agreed and the next meeting would be on 3rd December 2014.