Ten Parish Councillors were present with apologies from Martin Phillips. Vice-Chairman, Jenny Borgnis, chaired the meeting. Gordon Bambridge, Chairman of Breckland District Council was also in attendance and four members of the public.
Janet Woodhouse raised the issue of new councillors and also members of the public not always being aware of important historical issues, citing the purchase of Cathedral Meadows as an example. Janet thought it would be a good idea to have all the important purchases and decisions logged and kept in the public domain. Discussion ensued as how best to achieve this, suggestions of maps in the village with specific areas highlighted with descriptions, dates etc. The Council have already been pursuing the provision of maps and it was agreed to look at this in more detail.
Janet Woodhouse then raised the issue of the Parish Council having confidential items on their agendas and felt that all items discussed should be made public and mentioned the issue of a recent planning application. Jimmy Brown felt that as soon as a confidential matter had been discussed and an outcome achieved then it should be published.
Bob Fletcher raised an issue of a planning application which he had been notified of as a neighbour to the proposed site. Jennie Borgnis informed those present that the plans were not available for the meeting and would be presented at the meeting in August. Breckland District Council had agreed to extend the deadline to facilitate this.
The minutes of the meeting held on 3rd June were agreed as a correct record.
Community Speed watch
The SAM2 speed sign had been paid for and was in situ. Although there is no data, Councillors felt it was having the desired affect and slowing motorists down.
The dog warden had been contacted for assistance but had not responded to date. Mr. Bambridge agreed to investigate.
The claim for the £787 from English Heritage to cover the cost of fencing and associated work had been submitted.
The weed in the pond had been treated with spray and the weed will be removed and buried as advised.
A question had been raised as to the provision of a further dog bin adjacent to the wood. It was pointed out that bins need to be accessible to contractors for emptying and there is a dog bin on the car park which could be used by dog walkers.
The Ash Dieback in the wood had been dealt with by the Councils contractor.
Bridleway on disused railway line
A meeting had taken place but unfortunately the land owner was not in attendance. The County Council representative has confirmed that the bridleway needs to be passable at all times and a proposal for a post and wire fence to be erected to facilitate a safe route, the cost being shared between NCC, Parish Council and the land owner.
Prince William Wood
Volunteers have continued to work in the wood.
It was reported that a number of street lights are remaining on day and night and are requiring a lot of attention. It was agreed to investigate the original contract and also look at maintenance contracts. Tom Fitzalan Howard will report back at the next meeting.
It was reported that the pavement along Holt Road opposite the playing field was in a bad state of repair. It was agreed to report to Highways.
Decorating of the Centre was underway.
Pavilion and Playing Field
ROSPA had undertaken the inspection of the equipment and it was agreed to wait for the report before any decision to move it to the village green could be made.
The roof on the machinery shed/bus shelter had been repaired.
The kick wall would soon be under construction and it was agreed to pay an additional sum to have the steel galvanised to ensure longevity.
Dog fouling, specifically on the village green continues to be a problem. It was felt that there are a few persistent offenders allowing their dogs to defecate and not clearing up. As reported above, the dog warden will be asked to help identify the offenders.
Community Hall Working Group
A meeting had taken place and all stakeholders identified. One concept discussed was to set up a Charity with the main stakeholders as Trustees. The Parish Council as a stakeholder would need to discuss their involvement and this would be tabled as an agenda item for the next meeting.
Play equipment and car park proposals
The fencing was completed and a new information sign would soon be in place.
The Parish Council had received a letter from a resident neighbouring the village green outlining her concerns about the noise of the zip wire. A meeting with the resident had taken place. Discussions ensued as to whether the equipment could be modified to lessen the noise. It was agreed that this was not possible and a letter would be sent to the resident advising of the decision.
The provision of a car park on the village green to serve users of the play equipment and general users was discussed. It was agreed to monitor the situation and no decision to provide a car park would be made until the outcome of Brookside Farm (where a car park could be provided) was made.
Steps to burial ground
Unfortunately there had been a delay of the provision of the steel work for the hand rail and therefore the steps had not been built to date.
Detailed information map for village/Notice Boards
As previously reported, a comprehensive map of the village and its amenities is to be drawn. Councillors agreed to liaise to facilitate these for notice boards and as electronic documents.
The volunteers continued to work on projects around the village. The seat at the bottom of Orchard Close had collapsed due to rot and was in the process of being repaired. The two telephone boxes would be painted soon.
A letter from Mr Peter Howell's Solicitor had not been received in time to discuss at the previous meeting. However, in the meantime investigations as to the responsibility of Marlpit Drift had clarified that this did not fall within the remit of the Parish Council. However, the responsibility of the maintenance of the hedge on the boundary of the Drift was that of the Parish Councils.
A letter from North Elmham Cricket Club had informed the Parish Council that they had investigated moving to other sites, but with the reduction of grant availability have decided to stay on the playing field.
Play area Operating Policy
Jim Heffernan had produced and circulated to members a comprehensive operating policy document. The document outlined the responsibilities of the Parish Council including weekly checks and risk assessments.
The Parish Council adopted the Policy.
• The Parish Council has been invited to write to Mrs Coe, who is retiring from North Elmham School after 35 years. The Council agreed to send a letter of good wishes.
• Textile Bank – A letter advising that £341.23 per tonne was paid to the Parish Council. All agreed that parishioners should be encouraged to use the re-cycling textile bank.
The question was then raised about income from the bottle banks. Currently there is no income but there may be an opportunity to change contractors to receive some income for the Parish. This would be investigated.
The Chairman invited Mr Bambridge to speak. Mr Bambridge said he was very happy to be serving North Elmham and outlined areas where he could give support. Mr Bambridge said he has a Facebook page, twitter account and a blog.
John Labouchere announced a forthcoming dog show on 19th July at Mill Farm.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 5th August.