The monthly Parish Council meeting took place in the Sports Pavilion with Caroline Payne in the Chair and 8 members of the public attending.
In public participation time Mr. Peter Howell said he wished to protest at the adverse comments that had appeared in Parish Council reports concerning the state of the footpath on the disused railway line. He maintained that the path was not impassable and that the relevant gate was not locked. Various matters concerning the problem were brought forward both by Mr. Howell and some councillors, but Mrs. Payne said that as the matter was now in the hands of solicitors, further discussion ought not to be continued at present.
Mrs. Linda Richmond, reporting on the Parish Plan, said there had been an excellent response to the request for volunteers to distribute the questionnaires and a training evening for them would take place in the near future. The Gardening Club was arranging a working party to dig over and replant the Jubilee Gardens by the ruins entrance. Mrs. Payne thanked the Club for undertaking this work.
Mr. Martin Halliday representing the Splitz United football club from Beetley, explained their plans to form a reserve team and requested use of the Elmham pitch and Pavilion facilities. There were no objections from the Council.
Councillor Wade-Martins reported on what was obviously an interrupted attempt the previous night to steal lead from the church roof, and passed round photographic evidence of the resulting damage, which thankfully was not too extensive.
COMMUNITY SPEED WATCH:
Having now had the opportunity to study details, councillors agreed that there should be an appeal for volunteers to run a scheme in Elmham. About six people and a suitable leader would be needed and relevant training would be organised.
A reply from Graham Bygrave to the Clerk's letter indicated that £5,000 has been budgeted for negotiation issues. Part of the safe route path across the Green had been under water and impassable during the bad weather, and Councillor Lowe wondered if a gulley and drain should be constructed to alleviate the problem.
LAND MANAGEMENT MATTERS:
Village Green:- There had been no further word from Mr. Bill Borrett or Norfolk Property Services regarding the lease and possible purchase of the Green. Councillor Wade -martins felt that the Council should be more aggressive about the whole matter, and a meeting with NPS should be requested for the near future.
Cathedral Ruins:- It was felt that loose stones were becoming a danger, particularly when children climbed on the walls. English Heritage would be kept informed. M/F
Millennium Wood:- The overhanging branches from the boundary hedges will be dealt with.
Footpath to Broom Green:- The Clerk had spoken to the solicitors dealing with this matter, and was informed that Mr. Howell was being written to with specific instructions regarding the path and the gate. As this does not seem to have taken place, the Clerk was asked to write again to the solicitors and enclose photographic evidence.
Wensum Drive:- Residents were enquiring about the ownership of the track at the far end of the road. The Council has no firm information about this and it will be necessary to find out if it is registered and/or officially designated as a footpath.
Councillor Fletcher had met with Jason Glasspool from the Highways Department when problem areas in the village were noted including the unexplained water leak in Holt Road, opposite the Post Office. Regarding the parking area at the top of Eastgate Street, it was suggested that there should be a meeting of interested parties on site to consider the matter further. Residents of Eastgate House had cooperated in clearing gravel from the footpath. It was reported that the bus timetable at the bottom of Eastgate Street had been vandalised.
Councillors agreed that it was very regrettable that once again our designated PCSO was not in attendance at the Council Meeting and did not seem to be providing a badly needed presence in the village as a whole. The Clerk was asked to write to the Chief Constable expressing concern at this situation.
Following roof repairs, interior decorating was now in progress.
PAVILION AND PLAYING FIELD MATTERS:
It was felt that the provision of a concrete splay onto the car park should be considered in the next budget allocations. Grass cutting has been commenced and is satisfactory. Trees have been lopped and cleared as planned.
Book tokens have been delivered to pupils submitting the four winning entries. The sub-committee has had a preliminary meeting to discuss the way forward.
Erection of "Concealed entrance" signs is allowed. Councillor Brown will look into the effectiveness of some hedge removal which might improve visibility.
FINANCIAL STANDING ORDERS:
Various points of the County standard format were discussed and will be adapted to this Parish Council.
ORCHARD CLOSE SEWER:
Anglian Water do not accept there is a back up problem in the main sewer and blame fat build up as the cause of the problem. The dangerous man-hole cover on the Green was reported and will be dealt with appropriately.
FESTIVAL COMMITTEE REQUEST:
The Council agreed that the minute books brought along by the Clerk can be loaned to the Festival Committee. Other information held at the Records Office should only be accessed through the Clerk. After the Festival event, any records prior to 2004 should be deposited in the Records Office.
COUNTY SCHOOL TREE FELLING:
The Council has noted that, as reported in Elmham News, 22 diseased horse chestnut trees out of a total of 59 in the avenue are being replaced by limes after felling, and wondered if the option of clearing the area and replacing with one species had been considered. The Clerk will write appropriately.
(i) Mr. R Matthews, 9. Wellington Road, Briston, Melton Constable. (Garden plot 15A adj. No. 17 Station Road, North Elmham).
Proposed dwelling and garage (amendments to approval 3PL/2006/1228/F)
(ii) Mr. P. Gyseman, Cedar House, Elmham Mill, Billingford Road, North Elmham.
Variation of condition 2 on pp 3PL/2003/0998/F (revised position and design)