The monthly Parish Council meeting took place in the Sports Pavilion with 19 parishioners and County/District Councillor Bill Borrett attending. Caroline Payne was in the Chair.
In public participation time, a spokesman for the Elmham Community Farm asked for clarification of some matters concerning the Annie Mary Smith Charity with particular regard to the possible provision of allotments on land adjoining the present site. Mrs. Payne said that the tenant will be vacating the land in question at Michaelmas this year and assured the questioner that the Trustees will be discussing the matter and act in accordance with the terms of the will of Annie Mary Smith.
Mrs. Susan Graves asked if the Clerk had received approval from the Highways Department
for part closure of Eastgate Street for the Royal Wedding Street Party. The Clerk said he had received a letter agreeing to the application and he was asked to follow up the question of who would erect the appropriate road signs. Mrs. Graves asked if the Parish Council would consider providing some funding towards the £645 needed for the event, which included the fees for a magician and a band. (It was later agreed in the Council Meeting that half this sum would be offered immediately, and that the Council could be approached again if further funding was still needed at a later date).
Mr. Peter Howell thanked the council for agreeing to hedge cutting on Cathedral Meadows and also said that now that Mrs. Payne was resigning from the Council he wished to thank her for the way she had carried our her duties as Chairman. The Council Meeting was then opened.
COMMUNITY SPEED WATCH:
The Clerk had received information that the scheme was still operating, but the training of volunteers had been severely cut back. If one co-ordinator for a group of volunteers could be appointed, that person could receive training on a one to one basis which he/she would then pass on to others. The Clerk will contact those on the original Elmham list to see if such a co-ordinator can be appointed.
SAFE ROUTE TO SCHOOL:
Mr. Borrett reported that proper progress is being made.
LAND MANAGEMENT MATTERS:
Village Green: A valuation has been carried out by Norfolk Property Services and this will be discussed by the Council as a confidential matter.
Cathedral Meadows: Hedge cutting - the new Parish Council will appoint contractors for the work to be carried out in early Autumn.
Prince William Wood: The Council agreed that the appearance of the Wood had been greatly improved and that maintenance work should hereafter be carried out twice a year.
Work had now been done on drains and gullies in Holt Road, with great improvement, but there was still a problem in the Memorial Hall area. Work also needed to be done at the bottom end of Eastgate Street which was flooding badly after rain.
Wheelchair access to the Village Green from Spencers Close has been reinstated by Peddars Way. An overgrown hedge at the end of Cathedral Drive was causing problems to pedestrians on the pavement and steps will be taken to deal with this.
Plans to lower the ceiling to help retain heat are progressing.
NORFOLK MINERAL AND WASTE LDF:
A new paper has been produced by Norfolk County Council concerning mineral extraction. The area MIN 1 and the Bintree Woods areas remain as "unacceptable". There is to be a further consultative stage and Mr. Borrett said that it would be wise just to keep a check on any information that comes to light.
PAVILION AND PLAYING FIELD MATTERS:
There had again been vandalism to the wall at the far end of the playing field which had cost £240 to repair. The matter had been reported to the police, but no information regarding the perpetrators had been received. It was suggested that if in future culprits can be named for any acts of vandalism, the parents should be brought to account and asked to contribute towards the repair costs. Pavilion letting charges were discussed and it was agreed that general use charges should be increase to £10 for three hours, with a further £3 for any extra time in excess of this. Organisations using the room will be informed. Regarding the Can Bank on the car park, Breckland Council was unaware that collection was ceasing and there are no plans to again employ an independent contractor. Cans can be recycled in the normal black wheelie bin.
PARISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS:
The Chairman said she was delighted to say that 13 nominations for the Parish Council have been received and therefore an election will take place on May 5th. The contradictory advice about whether publicity can be given to candidates in the pre election period seems to have been resolved. As long as everyone is given the same opportunity there seems to be no problem as long as the information is not presented in any publication run by the Parish Council.
STATION YARD DEVELOPMENT:
Councillors were extremely concerned that their request, made through Mr. Borrett, that discussion on these plans at the Breckland Council planning meeting should be deferred had been ignored and that the planning application had been granted without further contact or a site meeting as requested. Mr. Borrett has been told that there is no case to answer. The Council is to consider taking the matter to the Ombudsman, as the way in which matters have be dealt with seems very unsatisfactory
a. J. Pennels. Annexe at The Willows, 57 Eastgate Street North Elmham
To allow annexe to be used as holiday accommodation. No objections.
b. Mrs. C. Newey, Primrose Cottage, Great Heath Road North Elmham.
First floor extension to rear and small ground floor extension to create WC.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Councillor Colin Groom said that he wished to pay tribute to those councillors who were standing down and not seeking re-election. They had all done a tremendous amount of work during their years of service and will be much missed.