Parish Council Report - December 2011

Posted in Parish Council Report

The monthly Parish Council Meeting took place on 7th December in the Sports Pavilion with 3 parishioners and County and District Councillor Bill Borrett attending and John Labouchere in the Chair.

For the first time in many months there was nothing raised by the public in the public participation part of the meeting and so the meeting proper started with apologies from Mark Tasker.

It was agreed that Bill Borrett, as he may have to leave early, would give his report first. He started by announcing that he was opening the new Dereham Waste facility on Friday helped by George Freeman and thus ending a long tussle to get local facilities again. Regarding the Village Green a letter was due to be sent out agreeing to passing the land to the parish and it was just waiting for the actual transfer of the land, it was also agreed that even if there were any other covenants they would not be charged to the Parish.

The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted unanimously.

Community Speedwatch

The latest news is that the Parish is 4th in the queue for the provision of equipment and second in the queue for training – it is hoped that training will commence sometime in January.

Land Management

Norman Lowe reported that he had been woken 3 weeks ago with a report of broken glass on the path across the green and on investigation it appeared that milk bottles had been broken over the path for a distance of some 20 feet. If any one knows who may have been involved, the Parish Council would like to hear from you.

Cathedral Ruins

No reply has been received from English Heritage yet and they are to be chased on the matter. Bob Fletcher raised the issue of cyclists riding from the ruins and into Church Lane without stopping, with the rise in traffic in Church Lane he thought that the potential accident risk was increased and suggested that the gates be kept closed to ensure that cyclists went slowly. Peter Wade-Martins however took the opposite view and wanted the gates kept open (which is what English Heritage had specified). A suggestion was made that a warning sign be placed inside the gates reminding people of the potential traffic hazard ahead. This proposal was accepted and an alternative of an Open/Closed sign was not voted on.

Cathedral Meadows

There is still a need to check the certificates and insurance cover of Mr Shoesmith before going ahead with the work.

Millennium Wood

The parish now has an agreement from the County Council to extend the wood up to the lane, this will be on a lease basis with any trees planted remaining the property of the landowner. The lease will run for 21 years extensible. There is a need to appoint someone else to look after Millennium Wood as Norman Lowe has given up that responsibility. Peter Wade-Martins agreed to do this.

Bridleway along disused railway line

Peter Wade-Martins reported that on a recent visit there were about 30 cattle congregating around the gate to the bridleway, which made it very intimidating (he produced photographs showing clearly the problem). The ground at the moment is fine although with rain it could soon get nearly impassable with the cattle churning it up. The bridleway and footpath were originally set up by Breckland and it would seem that it would be difficult for both riders and dog walkers to negotiate a way past the cattle. Bill Borrett said that strictly speaking Mr Howell would appear to be within the law (although it would seem that it was being stretched as far as possible), all that could be done is keep a close watch on it to ensure that it is kept in a passable state and also to ensure that the gates are not locked. The matter will be reported to the footpaths officer again.

Prince William Wood

This has been tidied up.

Street Lights

No 41 is still on in the morning and either needs the sensor looking at or retiming. It was noticed that there were possibly instances of double charging for work done – this will be investigated before payment is released.

Highway Matters

All salt boxes have now been filled. There has been an interest expressed by Heather Caley in the BT phone box in Station Road – it was proposed that the decision of the previous meeting rejecting BT's offer be reversed and the parish take on the box from BT provided that the maintenance is taken on by Heather Caley. There is a need for a new bus timetable and cover for the bus shelter; the bus company was to be made aware of the need.

Sign to Village Facilities

This is on hold at the moment and will proceed when Millennium Wood is progressed.

PCSO Report

Charlie Stone left details of the previous month's figures, as unfortunately she had to answer another call out. For the period 27.10.11-07.12.11 there were a total of 14 calls to the Police –

4 x Road Traffic Collisions, 3 x Highway disruption, all were deer in the road, 1 x Animal/Wildlife, this was apparently a Rottweiler reported running loose, 4 x Anti Social Behavior, three of these are linked and are not directed at the community as a whole, 3 x Suspicious circumstances, two of these were found out to be in order with a misunderstanding, the other was a report of a suspicious vehicle driving around the area with several occupants onboard, unfortunately it could not be traced in an area search and an intelligence report was submitted by the officers that dealt with it.

There were no crimes committed in the area during this period.

Eastgate Centre

The Open Meeting at the end of last month went very well and all who attended were impressed with the difference that lowering the ceiling has made to the building. Congratulations were due to Marion Morgan for all her efforts to get this done.

Pavilion and Playing Field

Another letter had been received from the Tennis Club complaining about the behaviour of youths around the skateboard park and suggesting that it be moved, also about general behaviour problems (and the problems they had earlier in the year with the club being broken into), which they had hoped, were under control. It has to be emphasized that if anyone sees anything happening or suffers abuse from these individuals, please let the Council know so that the matter can be investigated properly (your identity will be kept anonymous but the Parish Council must know who you are in order to investigate the matter).

Moles are still a problem; apparently the Football Club has used their own contractor and is expecting the Parish Council to pay for it. It was pointed out that the Council's contractor was treating the area weekly on an ongoing basis and was using gas as the method of control unlike the Football Club's contractor who had used mechanical traps which is potentially unsafe in a public area. The Football Club were to be told to desist with their contractor and also that there was no way that the Parish Council were going to pay a bill that they had not agreed before work started. There was still ongoing problems with training which was still to be resolved.

Village Sign

An offer has been made to refurbish the bishop from the old sign and for it to possibly be placed somewhere in the church.

Station Yard Development

Peter Wade-Martins will be writing shortly to the Ombudsman.

Severe Weather Arrangements

Elmham News were asked to appeal again to find out who is potentially at risk in severe weather condition so that measures can be put in place to avoid problems – Peter Braybrook volunteered to co-ordinate.

Draft Budget

The draft budget was discussed, it was pointed out that there was an overspend this year of £2000 and a decision was made to increase the precept by £1000. Accounts will now be produced quarterly to enable the council to gain a more accurate picture of finances during the year. The Budget was accepted as presented.


Mr P Thurgill, 25 Eastgate Street, North ElmhamErection of 2-storey extension and single storey garden roomPlanning permission refused.


Breckland want more information on planning to be sent by email rather than hard copy. After discussion a decision was made against this, as it was not apparent how plans were to be dealt with in addition to the problem that not all councilors are on email.

A donation to Norfolk Accident and Rescue Centre was agreed

The next meeting will be on January 4th 2012, 7:30pm in the Pavilion.