The monthly Parish Council Meeting took place on 12th May, in the Sports Pavilion with 6 Parishioners attending, Caroline Payne was in the Chair.
Before the meeting started Colin Groom introduced a presentation of flowers to the outgoing Chairman Caroline Payne to thank her for all her work over the years. The presentation was made by Eva Marsh on behalf of all the Parish Council.
In public participation Anne Ketteringham updated the new council on the latest events regarding Minerals Extraction and the Joint Parish's Group.
Election of a new Chairman - The Council Meeting was then opened with the Election of a new Chairman. After much discussion it was unanimously agreed that Colin Groom should stand for a short time until John Labouchere had become familiar with the workings of the council and could take over the post. The new chairman then thanked the retiring Chairman and all the retiring councillors for all the work they had done in the past
Election of Vice Chairman - unanimously agreed that John Labouchere should be appointed to this post.
Acceptance of Office was then signed by all councillors. Apologies had been received from Mr Borrett and Mr Braybrook.
Previous Minutes were accepted and signed and appointments were made to different areas of responsibility - a full list can be found on www.northelmhamvillage.org.uk or inside the back cover.
Community Speedwatch -
The clerk announced that we have a volunteer coordinator for the scheme, Mr Derek Tudor, who will be trained in the use of the equipment as soon as possible. It will then be his responsibility to train other volunteers and organise the scheme.
Safe Route to School -
An email has been received from Peter Weavers (NPS) giving a time frame for the compulsory purchase of the required land. This would appear to be in the order of 8-12 months (depending on objections). Construction could start immediately following the Compulsory Purchase.
Land Management Matters
Village Green - Norman Lowe reported that a dog had rushed up to a child and, although it did not do anything, it did cause a degree of panic. There is no Bylaw requiring the restraint of dogs on the area and all that can be done is ask owners via Elmham News and the website to try and keep control of their animals when on the Green to try and avoid this happening again.
Cathedral Ruins - the next English Heritage inspection is due on 7th September. It was reported that children have been climbing all over the walls which is dislodging the flints and slowly destroying the walls - this is an act of criminal damage and any instances seen will be immediately reported to the PCSO for action. Mark Tasker suggested going to the school each year to talk to the children and try and instil a sense of ownership in their heritage as a way of reducing the problem of child vandalism. The meeting agreed and the School to be contacted to see how this can be progressed.
Millennium Wood - A muntjac deer has apparently been seen inside the Wood although how it got in past the fencing is unclear.
Street Lights -
A walk will be organised with the councillors responsible for the lights.
The Highways and Community Rangers will be arriving shortly to look at surface water drainage problems (blocked gullies) and things like overhanging hedges. The areas they will be working on are the lower end of Eastgate St, Cathedral Drive entrance, the Pound area and the bends by the Church. The work should take in the order of 1-1.5 days. The new salt bin in Eastgate Street is in place but will not be filled until the Autumn.
There has been a lot of problem with children damaging property at the lower end of Eastgate St (in addition to the problem at the Ruins), the Bus Shelter had a fire lit within it, there had been an attempt to pry open the notice board and For Sale signs had been destroyed. These have been reported to the PCSO and a more visible presence would help. It was suggested that the matter was raised at the WI public meeting on 25th May at the Institute. The PCSO will be asked to attend the next meeting and at least send a report even if they cannot attend in person.
Sign to Village Facilities -
It was proposed that up to £500 be allocated to a professional fundraiser to prepare the submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund for this project.
Minerals Extraction & Waste Disposal
The clerk read out the proposed letter to NCC from the Joint Committee and it was unanimously agreed that Anne Ketteringham sign on their behalf. A number of the councillors present had seen the Red Kite mentioned in the letter and it was hoped that they would establish themselves in this area.
Pavilion & Playing Field -
The bottle bank is having rubbish dumped into it as well as bottles, this has to stop as the bank is a valuable source of funds for the Parish. The position with the can bank and if it is to continue has to be clarified. The goal areas of the football pitch need attention but nothing can be done until we have a period of rain. Jimmy Brown was thanked for the way the gardens are looking at the moment. The Football Club are to be invoiced for the second half of the seasons rent.
Village Sign. -
Mark Tasker declared an interest but said that the matter would have to wait until after the Open Studios Event (ends 5th June) before things could progress. New rails have been put in place around the rose beds and the last bits will be completed shortly.
Street Party -
A £50 donation to Mrs Graves was all that was needed to be underwritten by the Parish Council as addition funding had received from a number of sources. Thanks were given to the organisers of the event.
Station Yard Development -
The analysis is not quite complete and it will be left to the next meeting. An official complaint is being laid with the Ombudsman over the way that the matter was handled by the Breckland Planning Officer.
Annie Mary Smith Charity -
It was agreed that a full review of this will be undertaken by the full council when copies of the documentation are available to all councillors
A cheque had been received for the recycling bins collections, reinforcing the value of using these facilities if possible rather than those of Breckland.
A document was read regarding the Core Strategy DC11, regarding new build developments. The way that it is structured, the developer must lodge a sum with the District Council for all new builds and it looks as though the Parish Council will receive about 90% of that sum as a donation to local services. John Labouchere to find out further details.
With that the Accounts were approved.
Planning Applications -
There were no planning applications this month.
The March crime figures showed 2 instance of criminal damage and 2 others (no explanation). This led to a comment from John Labouchere that on the same day as a digger was stolen and ended up partially blocking Holt Road, there was a foreign registered lorry with ramps down waiting for a vehicle - this completely blocked the Worthing to Hoe Road for several minutes and the police were called. There is local vehicle theft going on especially of agricultural, farm and 4 wheel drive vehicles - all parishioners are asked to be careful and wary. Training Courses for new councillors are available at £35 per head and they were encouraged to attend.
It was agreed to have a group photograph of the new council. The Chairman would organise it.
There being no other matters the meeting closed.
Next Meeting Wednesday 1st June 2011, 7:30 in the Pavilion.