Nprth Elmham Parish Council Meeting - 4th April 2012

Posted in Parish Council Report

There were 8 members of the public present for the April meeting with John Labouchere in the Chair.

Public Participation

The session started with Mrs. Woods of Willow Cottage, Broom Green addressing the meeting and giving an outline of why the plans had been resubmitted. The next speaker was Peter Howell, again, who said he wished to raise the matter of purchasing land that adjoined his own land from the council and helping to offset the purchase price of the village green but was politely told to put his request in writing before it could be considered, he also said that he had been visited by Norfolk County Council who said that he was within the law with what he was doing with the footpath and also that the bridleway across his land was not actually a bridleway, as the Railway Company had had it removed a few years ago. He also said that there was a possibility that the footpath would be grassed over when the cattle were removed. Having explained these matters he then proceeded to go on the attack against Peter Wade-Martins over matters that were nothing to do with the Parish Council, he followed this with the statement that “It was a bad day for Democracy when John Labouchere was elected as Chairman|” and once again threatened legal action if the Parish Council continued attempting to keep the footpath clear. He was politely told that if he had nothing relevant to say then he should sit down and let the meeting progress.

After the meeting settled down Simon Thompson raised the matter of the potential land swap with Mr. Goff and made a strongly worded point that these matters must be talked about all round and not just be discussed in secret. The proposal under discussion was raised at a public meeting some 20 years ago and rejected (mainly on the say of the allotment holders who would have been affected). John Labouchere explained that the matter was still being investigated and the material facts were still being collected. Caroline Payne agreed that all parishioners have a need to know what is happening, in order that untrue rumors are not spread.

Peter Wade-Martins brought forward his report, which was to have been later in the meeting – he said that so far there had been 2 meetings with Mr. Goff and at the last it became obvious that there was not a meeting of minds on proposals or values. There also appeared to be a lot of hostility from parishioners and therefor it looks likely that nothing will happen in the near future although channels will be kept open. Ann Ketteringham then reinforced the opinion that there must be open discussion regarding these matters, and the parish allowed to give its views.

Merryn Walters raised the point that what is the difference between a verbal offer from Mr. Howell and a verbal offer from Mr. Goff as the Chairman had asked Mr. Goff to put his proposals in writing before the Council would discuss then and a s far as she knew Mr. Goff’s proposal had not been put in writing yet had had a considerable amount of time spent on it. There followed a heated discussion about the matter.

The outcome of all of this was that the Allotments and the Community Smallholding would stay exactly where they are for the foreseeable future.

Mike Wyatt then asked a question as to how the Cricket Club would be affected by the imminent hosepipe ban and pointed out that cricket (along with football and rugby) was exempt from the ban on safety grounds (according to Anglia Water) although sensible use was requested.

The meeting proper started with an apology from Peter Braybrook and a letter from Mark Tasker giving his resignation from the Parish Council. In the rather lengthy letter there was one very good point raised as to how the Chairman can remain impartial (and give his casting vote) if he is on sub committees that are dealing with sensitive issues. This point was not discussed at this time and will probably have to wait until the 2 Parish Council vacancies have been advertised by Breckland and filled.

Minutes of the last Meeting

Norman Lowe raised issue with the wording regarding the signs as mentioned by Derek Shoesmith, after amendment the previous minutes were agreed unanimously.

Peter Wade-Martins raised the matter of release of minutes to the public before they had been agreed as a true record and the suggestion was made that they be marked as “Draft – subject to ratification”.

Community Speedwatch

There are now 7 people in the group and suitable dates are being arranged.

Safe Route to School

There had been a short meeting with Nick Woodrough at which it was agreed that a build out near the School was needed to help slow traffic. PWM said that the public was now to be consulted on the matter and John Labouchere suggested another date for a new meeting with more members present should be arranged to discuss the matter.

Land Management

Village Green

Martin Phillips reported that there had been a meeting with a fundraiser who had offered to help – one suggestion was Gift Aid bit it needs a registered charity to use this. A suggestion that the Annie Mary Smith Charity be utilized was discussed but decided against as far too many problems could arise from it. Merryn Walters said that it would be simpler to create a new charity solely to administer the needs of the Green and that the Charity Commission be contacted as a matter of urgency. Peter Wade-Martins has had a response from Breckland asking for more information before the Grant Application can proceed (they need evidence as to how the purchase price was calculated).

Cathedral Meadows

The cherry tree has been cleared.

Millennium Wood

It was reported that the tree guards had not arrived in time to be installed when the trees were planted and that in the few days before they were installed some 40 trees had been lost to rabbits and possibly deer. There was a request for modification to the entrance to Millennium Wood and a meeting was being organised with the letter writer.

Bridleway on disused railway line

Norfolk County Council has replied to say that they have visited Mr. Howell and the gate was unlocked at the time.

Prince William Wood

It needs checking as to the whereabouts of the registration document.

Street Lights

All lights are presently working.

Highway Matters

The only matters that have arisen in the month have been passed on to the Highways Department. There has been a good Police presence in the village lately with many speed checks being performed. The phone box door has now been replaced by BT. The Bus Company seem to think that everything is perfectly OK with the timetable, however in practice it isn’t and they will be contacted again to try and sort out the issue.

Eastgate Centre

The last meeting was cancelled but it was reported that the Spring Fayre was well attended and mad some £300.

Pavilion and Playing Field

The number of cans being deposited in the collection point has increased. There is a problem with cracked tiles on the roof and it was suggested that the Cricket Club make a donation toward the repair over and above replacing any tiles broken during a game. Jimmy Brown also reported that rubbish had been thrown into the pound and on the Heath which he had removed and taken to the tip in Dereham – he also strongly pointed that it was just as easy for the people who tipped it to take it to Dereham instead of leaving it for him.

Village Sign

The sign has now been raised.

Community Planning Action Group

The next public meeting has been arranged for 1st October. An issue was then raised that although the Sustainable Energy Group had received and deposited with the Parish Council most of their Grant funding, Merryn Walters was still personally out of pocket to the tune of some £2000 and the matter needed sorting as a matter of urgency. It was agreed that she should be reimbursed immediately.

Station Yard Development

Mr. Woodrough was worried about the problems of the narrow gates and buggies and would see what could be done to ease the matter. The request has been forwarded to the Highways Engineer.

Breckland Strategic Land Availability Assessment Review

The introduction has now been rewritten and it makes clear that the new document does not supersede the LDF

Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Various grants have been applied for and although some have come in at a lower value than originally promised, £1675 is now covered (a shortfall at present of £425) and fundraising is still proceeding.

Child Protection Policy and Equal Opportunities

The Parish Council reported the draft proposal documents that were obtained were not really suitable for use, and an effort was to be made to find something that much better fitted the PC’s circumstances.

Representatives on Committees

Normal Lowe had been added to Highways.

Accounts for Payment

These were all passed without and problems.

Planning and Determinations

  1. a)Applications
    1. (i)3PL/2012/0284/F

Mr. T. Mills, Foxburrow Farm, Dereham Road

Construction of an agricultural building of 1,093 sqm

(No objections)

  1. (ii)3PL/2012/0285/F

W. and A. Woods, Willow Cottage, Broom Green

Proposed annexe and alterations/extension works

(No objections)

  1. b)Determinations
    1. (i)3PL/2012/0077/F

Mr. D. Nobbs, Home Pastures, Heath Road

Convert barn to ancillary residential, rear extension/link to farm house and erect detached garage/store.

Planning permission granted


(ii)     3PL/2012/0027/F

Mr. J. Pennells, the Willow, 57 Eastgate Street

Hallway and porch extension and first floor extension above kitchen/part dining room

Planning permission granted


There was a request from Mrs Newey of the Tennis Club for 24 hour tennis on the longest day (24th June). The suggestion was made to contact the people living by the courts to see if they have any objection, as it is known that the floodlights can be a problem. There was also a reminder that there is a lease review overdue for the Tennis Club and the matter should be looked at.

There were no announcements and the next meeting was arranged for TUESDAY 1st May at 7:00pm – This is the Annual Parish Meeting and will be followed by the Annual Parish Council Meeting.