Martin Phillips chaired the meeting.
Mr Blake of Broom Green asked why only certain people received the charity winter allowance and not everyone who was over 65. It was explained to him that it was advertised each year for people to apply and rules were followed to ascertain if the applicants were eligible because the charity was set up for the poor and needy and this was what was registered with the Charity Commissioners.
A gentleman from Pump Street asked about the proposed development adjoining his property and the fact that there seemed to be a degree of license in the plans as 1.8m fences would be much closer to property than indicated. He was advised to put his objections in writing to Rockland planners. Mr Cain of Broom Green mentioned that he supported the development and he was also advised to write to either the Parish Council or to Breckland and put his point of view during the period of consultation. Questions were asked about the site entrance and it impact on the road.
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted.
The grant has been obtained for 50% of the cost of the new electronic speed sign and delivery is due in about 4 weeks. More volunteers will be need now that the weather is improving to run the conventional checks.
The amount of dog mess around the edge of the Green seems less that it
The meeting was told that contractors are supposed to do their own risk assessments according to English Heritage.
The clearing work has now been done and a source of ferrets has been found in order to try and control the rabbits. A branch has fallen from the old chestnut tree and this will be cleared shortly.
The clearing work has now finished and the wood is looking excellent, the electricity company has also been trimming trees on the one side, which has let a lot more light in – the only downside is the molehills.
E Howells & Sons have done the repair work but have not extended the pipe that was crushed as far as it should be and if there are problems the residents will have to take up the matter with Mr Howell directly.
Bridleway of disused railway
The County legal team is currently being consulted with regarding this matter.
A quote has been received from UK Power Networks for £3220 for installation of cabling to one light, which is almost 3 times the original estimate. Blackspots will be evaluated again and reported at the next meeting.
A meeting with Richard Fletcher is scheduled for next week at which a number of items will be discussed including the damage to Eastgate Street caused by the fire and also work need at Wensum Drive. Complaints have also been received about hedges encroaching onto pavements and the meeting was reminded that the only way to deal with it was to ask the property owner to do the work and if they didn't do it then the PC could authorize the work and send the bill to the property owner.
Pavilion and Playing Field
The roof of the shed and bus shelter are in urgent need of repair and there is money in the new budget to cover it. 3 quotes will be obtained from local builders for the work. The cost of electricity supply to the Pavilion is going up almost 30% and it was suggested that consideration be given to switching (although as the amount of supply is small the savings may not be that great).
The sales have now gone through and the monies have all been received.
There is now a waiting list for allotments.
Bob Fletcher said that people are putting dog bags into the open bins by the Ruins entrance rather than using the proper lidded bin provided for the purpose.
Community Hall Working Group
Relocation of the cricket pitch is crucial to this project and a meeting is being arranged between the Cricket Club and the Wade-Martins.
Another £1000 has been received from Breckland for the scheme and work is due to commence on 13th April for about 5 days. Before the equipment can be used there must be an independent safety inspection. The official opening date will depend on the availability of a high profile local dignitary (in order to get good publicity). The equipment should be ready for the Family Fun Day planned for Sunday 3rd May; this will be before the official opening. Money is still needed for fencing as quotes so far received indicate a cost of £10,500 - £15,000 for the work. The car park is on hold at the moment and is scheduled for a future phase.
An agreement for a secure container to be located at the Smallholding has been reached. Monies from the insurance company for the theft claim have been received, the public has also generously donated equipment and many thanks were due for that. The Police have been very helpful in the matter and plenty of advice has been given along with smart water and the offer or trackers for the future.
Steps from Burial Ground
An instruction to proceed with the work has been given.
Maps of Village
It was said that licenses for digital mapping from the Ordnance Survey are available for local authorities and this was a good starting point.
There have been 3 sessions so far and another is planned to finish Prince William Wood. A suggestion to expand the group to help the elderly and infirm with gardening is to be looked at. A small budget would help to cover some of the small costs. There are now 9 members in the group with an almost equal mix of long time residents and newcomers.
Members were reminded to put together a 150 word profile for publication in Elmham News.
Questions were asked as to whether Mr Howell's application was inside or outside the current village envelope and the answer was outside. It was wondered if this could be the thin end of the wedge and if it went through would he then hope to further extend the development outside of the current boundary. It was pointed out to the meeting that Mr Howell had on many occasions offered to purchase part of Cathedral Meadow adjoining this proposed development. It was pointed out that the planning authorities have recently been asked to consider applications adjacent to the envelope. There was much discussion on various aspects of the scheme and it was decided that a decision could not be reached without a site visit.
A letter had been received from Openreach explaining about the proposed work on Hold road in preparation for installation of fibre broadband cabinets that was due to start shortly.
Bob Fletcher and Peter Braybrook are not standing for re-election.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be the Annual Parish Council Meeting (as well as the first meeting for the new council after the election) and will be held on 13th May at 7:30pm in the Pavilion. The Annual Parish Meeting will be a fortnight later on 27th May also at 7:30pm in the Pavilion.