This is an independent report written by the Dereham Times Correspondent, Mike Wyatt. The official minutes are issued by the Clerk, Kevin Webb after they have been approved at the following meeting. They can be seen in the Post Office and will soon be back on the website at www.northelmhamvillage.org.uk.
The meeting took place in the Pavilion and there were 8 members of the public present in addition to Bill Borrett (Breckland and NCC Councillor) and Gordon Bambridge (Breckland Councillor). Martin Phillips chaired the meeting.
Co-option of new member
Paul Grainger was co-opted to fill the vacant position.
Marion Brown thanked the Parish Council for arranging to get the highway drains unblocked but said that it had left a problem as the contents were left against Chelsea Cottage. With regard to Millennium Wood she also asked
if Frank Wetherill could be consulted before progressing the work. She then went on to point out that the ash dieback in Prince William Wood was not mentioned at the previous meeting and suggested that work to remove dead trees was phased over 3-4 years. Mention was then made about Neighbourhood Watch and that a meeting had been organised with the police to investigate further.
Next to speak was Peter Howell who started by wishing everyone a Happy New Year then went on to say that, as he had predicted , a change of Chairman was bad for Democracy and he considered that there was no one on the PC capable of managing land complaining about the state of Broom Green pond, the Ruins and fences, he also said that he would start work on Marlpit Drift as it now transpired that it was his responsibility and not the Parish Council’s as he had been insisting on for so long. Jennie Borgnis pointed out that the residents of Broom Green have arranged to get the work done and the weed buried as required, the work to start when the weather improved.
Jimmy Brown gave an update as to the progress of Jim Heffernan.
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted.
The missing pump has been found if anyone would like to do the work needed on it. John Labouchere announced that timbers had been sourced for the work on the Kings Head pump. The hedge in Eastgate Street is to be cut back further.
Land Management Matters
At a meeting with English Heritage it was agreed to check the section of wall, it was also agreed to look at whether a company closer to Elmham could be awarded the work to help keep the costs down. It was also suggested at the meeting that the decrepit fence (mentioned by Mr Howell in Public Participation) be replaced by a hedge.
Peter Wade-Martins suggested putting up a plan showing the children’s planting, he also said he had a price for a replacement signboard for the Wood. The further felling of trees may have to be put off until later in the year in order to avoid problems with cross compliance.
Bridleway on disused railway line
This was OK at the moment and NCC asked that it be kept monitored.
The two lamps have not yet been replaced. There are an increasing number of lamps that appear to be on in the daytime.
The pothole survey has both been done and apparently acted upon. A spraying schedule has been asked for but not yet received. A number of the blocked gulleys have been cleared but others remain. NCC has been asked to look at the muddy areas on the Safe Route to School. A possible scheme for a path to the allotments (with 50% funding) is being investigated.
Pavilion and Playing Field
The ROSPA inspection has been arranged and will take place shortly. There is a small problem with the kickwall with screws coming loose with the regular usage.
The Warden has been spoken to and he said he had emailed the person although they claimed he had not.
Removal of the climbing frame has now been completed and the volunteers have done an excellent job but weather has been a problem of late.
There has been no help with a grant for maintenance of the pump and Bill Borrett suggested asking Breckland.
The planner turned up at the wrong place and a new meeting is to be organised for 13th Jan.
County and District Councillors Report
Gordon Bambridge apologized on behalf of Breckland for lack of progress with dog matters, planners turning up at the wrong place and general lack of information on some matters. He announced that more information would shortly be available on planning matters with one of the proposals being to actually get rid of settlement boundaries and put more weight on local opinion. He also announced that there would be a number of meetings organised in the near future to enable people to question the planners on the proposals. In addition to the main public meeting on 21st January there would also be a drop in meeting organised by Breckland on 4th February at the Institute, 2pm – 7pm. The main document would also be available online and at the Post Office.
It provisionally looks as though there will be a break even budget with no increase in rates for Parish Council. The budget was accepted by the meeting.
Planning Applications and Determinations
Mr. & Mrs. J Labouchere – erection of dwelling and associated garage
Mill House Farm, Billingford Road, North Elmham.
Although the council had no objections in principle to the scheme as such, they had to object officially as it was outside the current settlement boundary.
Mr & Mrs Snow – 2 storey side extension
1 Mill Cottages, Billingford Road, North Elmham
Mr & Mrs D Reynolds – conversion of function room to 4 bedrooms
Kings Head Hotel, North Elmham
A donation was again made to AgeUK.
A letter was received from Bryan Tidnam asking to put a planter by the British Legion seat, however it was pointed out that it was highways land and the decision would be that of NCC.
A grant may be available to help the volunteer work.
Bob Fletcher asked what had happened about the telephone box and Janet Woodhouse mentioned that a grant may be available for the work – she was tasked with finding out the details.
Agenda Items for next meeting
Dogs on leads
Date of next meeting – 3rd February 2016