North Elmham Parish Council Meeting – 3rd December 2014

Posted in Parish Council Report

There were 6 members of the public present and Martin Phillips was in the Chair.

Public Participation

Janet Woodhouse handed a cheque for £420 to the Clerk as proceeds from the sale of the North Elmham Memorial of the World Wars books and there were only 6 unsold copies left.
Peter Howell started off by complaining about Jimmy Brown (who had previously commented on Mr Howell's constant criticisms of the PC) suggesting that he, Mr Brown, should go and sit on the Legion donated bench dedicated to the memory of the 850 people who died in the War(it is actually 36 men and 1 woman and not the 850 as claimed by Mr Howell) and think about those who gave their lives for democracy and freedom of speech, and that he, Mr Howell, reserved the right to criticize. He then went on to complain about the quote he claimed was attributed to him at the previous month's meeting regarding the Bridleway and said he didn't say it. He was told that the report did not say he had said it, but that it was actually said by the Clerk, who was reporting a telephone conversation he had had with Mr Howell, and also, he was reminded that the meetings are now recorded in full so there is evidence to support the fact that the statement was made. He then went on to say that his son had agreed with NCC's position and he hoped that that would be an end to the matter. His next target was Ann Keeble, who he accused of being rude to him on the telephone. He stated that as she was now looking after Cathedral Meadows he hoped that they could be decent neighbors, but then he said that she had been flouting the rules and that he had complained to Natural England about it. The Chairman intervened, thanked him and said that they were well aware of the fact and had received a letter from Natural England and a meeting had been arranged; he also disputed the fact that any rules had been broken. A very upset Jimmy Brown then went on to reply to Mr Howell's personal attack on him although Mr Howell persisted that his point of view was right but the Chairman said that it was all getting very personal and was nothing at all to do with the Parish Council and he asked Mr Howell to be quiet and sit down, but, before he did that, he went on to say that he had reported the previous Chairman to the Standards Board. Mr Howell finally sat down, having upset or annoyed almost everyone in the room in the 7 minutes that he was speaking, and the meeting proceeded about its normal business.


Apologies were received from Peter Braybrook.

Election of Vice Chairman

Jennie Borgnis was proposed and elected unanimously.

Co-option of new member

Colin Smith was proposed and elected unanimously.

Matters Arising

Community Speedwatch

An email had been received from Richard Fletcher detailing the arrangements for obtaining a SAM2 speed warning sign. A letter applying for the grant is to be prepared ASAP – funding is available up to 50% of cost and bids have to be in by 30th January.

Land Management

Village Green

The new dog bin is now in place at the end of Oak Avenue.

Cathedral Ruins

A reply about the report is still awaited.

Broom Green

John Labouchere and Tom Cook have met again and agreed to continue spraying in the spring. There may be room to bury the weed on site but this has to be investigated with professional help and is also a matter for the spring.

Millennium Wood

There was a brief discussion regarding the possible removal of some of the lower branches from some of the trees but nothing was decided.
Bridleway on disused railway line
As was pointed out during Public participation Mr Howell's son has agreed with NCC to the electric fence to keep the cattle off the actual footpath.

Street Lights

It was agreed to proceed with the new light for Larch Grove positioned at the end of the road to light the turning area and the new development – the exact position is subject to UK Power Networks survey.


The Highway Rangers have been and done more work in the village. The cables on Brisley Road are still drooping but BT Openreach has said that they are on the list to be done as and when a crew is in the area. A post has been demolished outside the surgery and is to be claimed for from the driver's insurance. The Highways Dept is to be contacted to see if they know the details.

Pavilion and Playing Field

With reference to the football wall, Breckland have asked that the PC contact the Police Architectural Liaison Officer regarding its positioning and anti-social behavior. Jimmy Brown said that receipts would be issued for all Pavilion bookings as from next month. The Monday Market will close after 22nd December and will reopen on February 23rd. It was also reported that the bottle banks are still being used.

Sale of Parish Pits

The matter is progressing.

Community Hall Working Group

The meeting was told that any rumours regarding the withdrawal of the offer of the land for a new hall are absolutely untrue and can be disregarded. The meeting to look at the South Creake Memorial Pavilion had been very valuable and the building was very impressive. The link to the site survey of the to be donated land is to be circulated but it was thought that the valuation had not yet taken place. It was clear from the South Creake meeting that any chance of Lottery funding was zero without the land being in the possession of the Council.

Play Equipment and Car Park

The project was now ¾ of the way toward its initial funding requirement with almost £30k in the account. The Lottery application had been resubmitted but an answer will not be available until probably the end of January. It is looking as though the equipment might be ordered and installed in possibly March/April 2015.
Steps from the Institute to the Burial Ground
More quotes had been received but the one received last month was still the best and was recommended. Breckland Community Funding may contribute up to 50% of the proposed cost and it was agreed after some discussion and a counter proposal that was defeated to proceed with the grant application and replace the steps.

Review of member's responsibilities

The team looking after Millennium Wood is led by Bob Fletcher and not as published.

Budget and Precept

There were some changes to Budget Income as the precept income will increase due to an increase in the tax base. Refurbishment to the Pavilion has now been included and an amount to replenish the reserves has also been included.
The Budget for next year was accepted and will be submitted to Breckland.

North Elmham Domain Names

It was agreed not to continue with the purchase of the names.

Detailed Information Map of the Village

Debbie Warner asked for a village map showing all assets held by the Parish and their location marked on it. Colin Smith said there used to be a definitive map showing exactly that although no one seemed to know where it actually was now.

Accounts for Payment

A lengthy list was presented and all of them were agreed.

Planning Application

Mr & Mrs M Gower, Two Hoots, Great Heath Road
Proposed single storey side extension
No objections
Crime Figures October – 2 others, 1 violence against the person
Norfolk Age UK – It was agreed to donate £100
Agenda Items for Next Meeting
Community Hall Working Group

Date of next meeting

7th January 2015
The meeting finished and Mr Howell on leaving made an unrepeatable slanderous personal attack on the DFT correspondent accusing him of lying, this was in front of the Parish Council and members of the public still present. He was reminded that the meetings were recorded and what was reported was actually said and could be proved. He did not accept this and repeated the offensive comments yet again.