The monthly meeting took place in the Sports Pavilion with Caroline Payne in the Chair and seven parishioners attending..
County and District Councillor Bill Borrett was available prior to the meeting but was obliged to leave before business commenced. Mrs. Payne said she was very pleased to be able to introduce our new PCSO Ms. Charlotte Stone.
In public participation time, Mrs. Linda Richmond gave a brief update on the Village Plan. The third questionnaire draft will hopefully be circulated before the next Council meeting.
Ms. Stone produced a booklet which gave full details of the Community Speed Watch scheme and answered questions from Councillors. The Scheme will be discussed further once the booklet has been fully examined and precise details established. Councillor Neve brought to Ms. Stone's attention the vandalisation of seats outside the pavilion and the theft of heating oil from his personal tank.
Mr. Mark Tasker produced a written submission regarding an idea for a Community Farm and asked about the procedures for leasing land from the parish. Explanations were given and it was suggested that as there were a large number of complex issues to be considered, it should be discussed in full at the next meeting.
LAND MANAGEMENT MATTERS:
Village Green - The County Council is aware that the Parish council wishes to purchase the Village Green in its entirety. Councillors objected strongly to two clauses in the new draft lease and Mr. Borrett will be informed in anticipation that these clauses can be removed.
Cathedral Ruins - It had been noted that the annual grant from English Heritage had been £3,415, but the annual inspection report refers to a budget of £5,000. An attempt would be made to claim the balance.
Footpath - Councillor Wade-Martins reported that the footpath on the disused railway line had become impassable due to cattle trampling. "The gate in the middle section of the footpath had been locked but should remain capable of being opened. Pictures were produced to demonstrate the appalling state of this area of land. Norfolk County Council was aware of the situation and had promised action. Pictures will be sent to NCC.
The present situation within the County regarding proposals to switch off street lights between midnight and 5am was mentioned. Councillor Smith felt we should leave our lights as they are for now with replacements being introduced as and when required, if a decision was made at a later date to fit with time clocks
No gritting had taken place in Eastgate Street. It was felt that the local Konectbus service had carried on heroically during the bad weather conditions and a letter of thanks for their efforts will be sent. It was decided not to lock the salt bin on Orchard Close, but a sign "not for public use" will be attached to it.
Councillor Miss Ketteringham reported that day to day management was fine, but unfortunately funds in hand had dipped below the planned level. The Parish Council had budgeted for a donation of £250 to the Centre and this will be forwarded.
NORFOLK MINERALS AND WASTE:
An analysis of the recent consultation has not yet been done and it will probably be towards the end of June before the new consultation period starts. There is no change in the status of MIN21 and MIN97.
PAVILION AND PLAYING FIELD MATTERS:
Councillor Brown suggested that the existing fold down post at the entrance to the field be replaced with a new lockable one. Moles are again causing problems and this will be addressed. The Cricket Club is hoping to field two teams this year playing on Saturdays and Sundays.
35 entries had been received for the competition and before the meeting Councillors took time to consider these. The task was a very difficult one with the standard of entries extremely high. As a result, four entries have been short listed and the School and other entrants will be informed accordingly. Contact will be made with Worthing village to obtain details of their recently commissioned new sign which was felt to be of an impressive standard.
Councillor Fletcher had been informed by Norfolk County Council that it is not possible to extend the 30 mph limit further from the entrances. Councillor Groom suggested that signs saying "Concealed Entrance" be suitably positioned, and permission will be sought for this course of action.