There were 6 members of the public present plus Gordon Bambridge and the DFT correspondent. Martin Phillips chaired the meeting.
Apologies were received from Debbie Warner, Tom Fitzalan Howard and Colin MacEwan
Caroline Payne asked about future planning and the letter sent to Breckland – specifically, did the figures include existing commitments? After much discussion it was agreed to leave this until the agenda item later in the meeting. Questions and comments regarding this were also made by Marion Browne and Cameron Starling. Marion also reported that ash dieback in Prince William Wood had risen from 4 to 14. Also discussed was the children’s planting map of
the Millennium Wood.
Peter Howell started personal attacks on 2 people present but was asked to retract his comments and was also repeatedly asked to sit down by the Chairman as his statements were firstly, totally inaccurate, and secondly were also nothing to do with the Parish Council. Mr. Howell then went on to complain about land transfers but was firmly told that this was also not a Parish Council matter as it was organised by the Trustees of the Church Town Lands Charity and that if he either write to the Trustees or came to the Annual Parish Meeting in May, he could ask his questions in the proper place.
Jimmy Brown reported that the condition of Jim Heffernan was not good.
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted.
Land Management Matters
Ann Keeble confirmed that English Heritage would be starting the work shortly.
The hedge will not now be cut until later in the year as the deadline has been missed and will now have to wait until later in the year.
It was proposed that a letter be sent to Mr Frank Weatherill thanking him for all of the work and effort that he has put into the wood.
Bridleway on disused railway line
The cows appear not to have been allowed onto the bridleway and thanks are due to Mr Howell for that.
Prince William Wood
The matter of the fallen tree has not been resolved and the Housing Association is to be contacted.
Peter Wade-Martins reported on the matter of the proposed footpath to the allotments and how the funding is not quite as straightforward as originally thought and the matter is now with the Parish Clerk to sort out the details. The timescale for the work now seems likely for 2017/8. The broken finger post sign is to be replaced. The flooding at the level crossing gates has been reported to the Mid Norfolk Railway Company who have done some work although there was still a quantity of lying water. It was reported that the road and kerb by the Shettles was breaking up and would be reported to NCC.
Pavilion and Playing Field
Jimmy Brown reported that the moles appeared to have gone on holiday for the moment and that Norse had spiked the playing field. Increasing quantities of rubbish are being left on the car park and the matter is being referred to Breckland for further investigation and to possibly identify the perpetrator. Debbie Warner reported in a written note that the Kickwall appeared not to be wearing as well as was hoped, although there was a manufacturer’s guarantee to fall back on if necessary.
An answer is awaited from the Surgery to confirm that they are happy for the Defibrillator to be mounted on the wall of the Surgery.
The fallen fir tree has been dealt with and the fence has been repaired. It was mentioned that there is no safety gear supplied with the strimmer other than 2 pairs of safety glasses and it was suggested that the PC purchase suitable helmet/visors and ear defenders in order to satisfy HSE and the insurers.
Church Lane ownership
There has been one meeting with NCC but another one is needed on site with the Parish Council.
New signs are now in place reminding dog owners of their legal responsibility to keep dogs under control. A parishioner had also made a suggestion that the lower end of the Green be possibly fenced off and used for free running dogs.
Report from District Councilor
Gordon Bambridge reported that the main discussion so far had been with regard to Devolved Government and how it could be achieved in the proposed area, however nothing had been decided so far and it will mainly depend on what the Chancellor decides is the way forward.
North Elmham Football Club
It was reported that they do have money problems at the moment and will not be running a Sunday team next year. It was recommended that they be given time to sort it out and that the maximum exposure of the PC would only be 2 months at £37.50 per month.
Grounds Maintenance Contract for 2016
The renewal contract had been received from NORSE and as it was similar to last years at £4798 it was proposed to accept it.
It was proposed to keep the auditors currently in place and not appoint our own, as it would probably work out more expensive.
Management Financial Report
The figures are currently looking good with possibly a small surplus to carry forward to next year’s account.
Parish Council response to Breckland regarding Local Plan Consultation
Although this has been mainly covered in Public Participation it was formally proposed that an email be sent as a matter of urgency confirming that the proposed figures did include all of the current consents just so that there was no ambiguity in the matter.
There were no planning applications for the month
Mr. and Mrs J Slade, 17 Cathedral Drive, North Elmham – single storey side extension – permission granted.
Next Meeting: 6th April 2016