The Parish Council met on Wednesday October 6th in the Sports Pavilion with Colin Smith taking the Chair and ten parishioners attending.
PCSO Charlotte Stone was present for a short while at the beginning of the evening and gave a report on crime figures for the parish as from September 1st. These were: 2 thefts (relating to vehicles), 2 calls reporting highway disruption, 5 calls concerning antisocial behaviour, 3 calls relating to suspicious circumstances and 2 RTCs.
In public participation time, the residents of 23. Eastgate Street presented their objections to a proposed extension to number 21, the neighbouring cottage. Despite revisions to the original plans, they are still of the opinion that they would suffer light deprivation and loss of privacy and that the extension as a whole is not suitable for a small cottage.Mr. C. Hawkins, the resident of number 21 refuted these complaints and said that the revised plans had taken into considerations former objections and were now, he felt, acceptable. The Chairman said that councillors had examined the plans before the meeting and the matter would be discussed during the council meeting. Mr. Mark Tasker presented plans for a Community Farm under the title of North Elmham Community Smallholding, which would involve the principle of voluntary contributions of shared labour, skills and knowledge. The first proactive meeting is to be held on October 31st which will begin the restoration of a bramley apple orchard within the grounds of Elmham House. There has also been an offer for the use of grazing land at Old Hall Meadows, which in time might support a small selection of livestock. Question time followed after which the council meeting was convened.
COMMUNITY SPEED WATCH:
Councillors were disappointed to hear that the future of this scheme was now very uncertain due to government cuts. It was suggested that those who had volunteered for training should receive letters explaining the situation.
SAFE ROUTE TO SCHOOL:
There had been no flooding of the pathway in recent weeks, but installation of a soak away was still under consideration.
Village Green: A letter has been received from Norfolk Property Services saying that the Green is still being assessed for future development potential before any decisions can be made about purchase by the Parish Council. A meeting with NPS is to be requested.
Cathedral Ruins: English Heritage personnel had visited and were satisfied with the standard of care. They were urged to carry our repairs to the walls. The information board by the gate is to be modernised and replaced, and the unsatisfactory brown tourist signs are to be inspected.
There were several reports of malfunctioning lights which will be investigated and dealt with.
Councillor Mrs. Marsh reported that she had received several complaints about the council's decision to have the allotment steps removed. After discussion it was decided to reverse this decision. The area at the top of the steps will be cut and cleared to allow better access to the path leading onto the allotments and its use will be monitored.
Considerable discussion took place about the proposed purchase of salt bins for Eastgate Street. It was decided that the Highways Department should be asked if gritting lorries could go round the keep left signs at the top of the Street which would help keep the junction clear. Two bins are to be purchased, the suggested sites being opposite the Green entrance and near the area used for car parking further up the Street. The bin already sited on Orchard close will be retained.
Serious flooding has again been occurring at the level crossing gates during recent heavy rains. Councillor Brown said he would clear the silt accumulation. The Highways Department have been reminded about other sites in the village where gullies and drains need attention.
SIGN TO VILLAGE FACILITES:
No funding is available from the Awards for All scheme. Information about possible other small grant awards is to be sought.
PAVILION AND PLAY AREA:
The ROSPA safety inspection report for the play area had been examined. A few minor points had been raised which will be dealt with; there were no serious issues. The recycling bins will be moved slightly so that they are better situated.
The organisers of the orchard clearance day should be reminded that insurance cover is essential.
A letter had been received from Anglian Water. They are aware of problems with the pumping station. Clearing of a blockage had been carried out earlier in the year. Parishioners are asked to report problems promptly, the telephone number appears on the back of Elmham News. Alternatively parishioners can ring Customer Services on 01522 341418 between 9am and 4pm. Further investigation of the problems in Orchard Close had revealed a piece of timber partially blocking the pipe. This has now been removed and the problem solved.
Councillor Wade-Martins said that it was hoped there would be a report on evaluations from the questionnaires at the next meeting.
HIGH STREET TELEPHONE BOX:
The equipment has now been removed.
A parishioner had objected to the erection without planning permission of a signal box and 2 containers at County School Station. Forms for retrospective permission are being sent out.
a) Mr. C. Willmott 24 Cathedral Drive, North Elmham
Extend garage to bungalow for two cars and mobility vehicles. No objections.
b) Mr and Mrs. J. Hird Jannimesa Stud, Eastgate Street, North Elmham.
Temporary standing of two linked mobile homes (retrospective). No objections.
c) Mr. C. Hawkins 21. Eastgate Street, North Elmham.
Proposed extension and alteration. A site meeting will be held before any decision is made by the council.
d) Middleton Developments Ltd. Re Plots 12 and 13 Larch Grove, North Elmham.
Proposed amended design to approved plots 12 and 13 on ppML3817 No objections.