Sunday, 31 January 2010

Fill the bins

Paper and glass
The volume of paper and glass being deposited in the bins at the Village Hall has gone down recently. Bad weather has no doubt had some effect but please remember how important the income from this source is to the village hall.
If you are driving to an event at the hall why not put those saved up newspapers and bottles in your car and take them with you to deposit in the paper and glass banks? Or perhaps you regularly drop your off children there or pick them up after school? Putting paper through the slots or dropping glass through the holes is just like putting money in a machine to park your car elsewhere. It can help to keep the area in better condition to the benefit of all users.
If you do it, perhaps others will see you and realise that it is a good idea.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Get up to date with the minutes

January parish council meeting
Four members of the public of the public attended and apologies were received from councillors Liz Taylor and Gerald Norton.
After some small amendments, the minutes of the meeting in December were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from the minutes. Adrian Joel raised the matter of the May 2009 minutes and the notes of the meeting made by the then Parish Clerk. The chairman pointed out that the minutes had been signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting. Adrian Joel also asked if the matter of Trell & Co could be discussed and was told that it would be on next month’?s agenda.
Planning applications. Mr and Mrs Sexton, Little Stacksford Farm. Extension to existing dwelling and half storey to front. Change of use from agricultural land to domestic garden. No objections from parish council, agreed unanimously.
G Holland, Firfields, Fen St. Replace post war asbestos building with two-bedroom holiday let. No objections from parish council, agreed unanimously.
Mrs S Wright, Hunters House, Crown Road. Proposed side extension to existing building and new garage building. No objections from parish council, agreed unanimously.
Planning decisions received from Breckland. The Gamekeeper Public Inn. Repair work and internal alterations. Permission granted.
Cherry Tree House, Stacksford. Residential extension. Permission granted.
The Green. Tim Ing said that the probation service had done a good job, improvements have been made and the Green is looking better. Carol Marshall said that the Ox & Plough had abstained from paying rent as they say the village shop does not pay rent. Tim Ing said that he had been informed that the shop does pay rent.
Village emergency plan. Carol Marshall said it would be ready for the February meeting, the Parish Clerk would put the matter on the agenda.
BT phone box. Tim Ing raised the matter of a recent report that the cost of lighting the box would be very high. The Parish Clerk said there was a preservation order on the box and he had written to BT seeking assurance they would continue to maintain the box. It was felt that it would not be prudent for the Council to buy the box from BT and the Parish Clerk will inform BT of broken glass panels.
Health and Safety policy. Adrian Joel asked that the matter be deferred to the February meeting. The Parish Clerk will put it on the agenda.
Layby at shop. Norman Cawston said that he had inspected the layby and one big hole is obvious and, apart from that, it seemed in good condition. He said the repair could easily be done by Parish Council. It was agreed that Tim Ing would approach the Green Right Proprietors to see if the Parish Council could maintain the layby. The Parish Clerk would also contact Norfolk County Council Highways and see if they are going to repair the layby.
New headmaster. Adrian Joel suggested inviting the new headmaster to a parish council meeting. Carol Marshall suggested leaving it for a few months until he had time to settle in and address any issues that the school faced. An invitation will be sent to him later in year to come to a Parish Council meeting.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel informed the meeting that the Boundary Commission has recommended a single unitary option for Norfolk despite overwhelming opposition from the inhabitants of Norfolk. The Parish Clerk is to send an email confirming the Parish Council’s strong opposition to the change. He also said Breckland Youth Council had been given £10,000 to spend during January on projects. He reported that the homecoming parade for the Light Dragoon was very well attended in December with thousands of people turning out to welcome the troops home and the Dragoons were very appreciative of the welcome.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Kerry Talbot said that progress on the Play Area had been delayed in its ground preparation because of the bad weather. All grant providers with deadlines have been informed of the situation and they are waiting to hear from ACRE to see if they will extend their deadline until the end of March. The next meeting of the working party would be on Wednesday 13 January. Tim Ing apologised over the delay in not writing to the Church regarding the benches for the Green.
Clerk’s report. The Clerk informed the Council that he had received a request from Old Buckenham Players for the Parish Council to submit a planning application on their behalf. It was for a steel container to replace a rotting shed in the Village Hall car park. The Parish Council making the application would save them £167.50. The Clerk said that he had checked with Breckland and it was legal and proper for the Parish Council to do this. The Parish Council had no objection to the request and the Parish Clerk would arrange. The Clerk also informed the meeting that he had attended a meeting at Terry Cracknell’s house in December with the chairman and since the meeting had sent on some documents that had been requested.
Highways. The meeting was informed that there was a large pothole in Grove Road outside Scales Farm. Carol Marshall raised the matter of the sharp bend known as Puddle Dock bend on the 1077 in from Attleborough and said there had been a few minor accidents at the site. She suggested seeing if Highways would put a large chevron sign up denoting the bend. The Parish Clerk is to contact Highways on both matters.
Breckland Council’s LDF Settlement Boundaries. Adrian Joel gave out maps and notes on the existing and proposed boundary to the village. It was being proposed by Breckland that there be no alteration to the existing village boundary. This was in line with the Parish Council’s policy that no further development or alteration to the village boundary should be allowed. There is a meeting on Thursday 28 January where the Parish Council will be able to express their views on the matter. Stephen Thorley said he would attend the meeting on the Council’?s behalf.
Any other business. Kerry Talbot said that because of the bad weather the Senior Citizens Christmas party had been postponed till a later date. Carol Marshall asked for the play area to be put on February agenda.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 4 February in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Friday, 29 January 2010

A sporting bid

Aiming to become a Specialist Sports College
Old Buckenham High School is launching a bid to secure Specialist Sports Status from September 2010.
Headteacher Peter Whear said he was delighted to be making this announcement. Sport is central to the school’s ethos and GCSE results in PE are consistently good with the quality of teaching and learning being excellent. Above all, the students enjoy and excel at the subject. It is a healthy school with a focus on fitness, an active lifestyle and general well-being - a message that they hope to spread more widely.
The school’s motto is “Achieving Excellence Together” and sport will be the driving force behind this “personal best” culture. The sports teams are very successful in fixtures with other schools and there is a flourishing inter-house sports competition. The proposed specialism will also give a new focus to the existing collaboration with the local Primary School cluster.
The headteacher admits that the existing facilities need modernising - everyone associated with the school recognises this. The students deserve something special and the additional funding from the specialism will go some way towards improving the quality of the buildings.
The Chair of Governors, Martin Ungless, says that this is very exciting news for Old Buckenham and that the Governing Body is fully behind the bid. He feels that the students are capable of wonderful things because, amongst other things, the GCSE results have been improving rapidly over the past three years. A specialism in sport will now put Old Buckenham High School firmly at the heart of the local community.

What to do and where to go

Diary dates for February
Monday 1 Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Tuesday 2 Coffee and chat, Church Rooms, 10.30am to 12 noon
Wednesday 3 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Thursday 4 Parish Council, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Friday 5 Crib Drive, Village Hall, 7.30pm
Saturday 6 Church Rooms open for gifts for homeless, all day
Sunday 7 Church Rooms open for gifts for homeless, all day
Sunday 7 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm
Monday 8 Whist drive, Church Rooms, 2pm
Thursday 11 Breckland Flower and Garden Club, Village Hall, 2pm
Thursday 11 Social and Wine Circle, Church Rooms, 7.45pm
Friday 12 Mobile Police Station outside village shop, 9am to 10.30am
Friday 12 Netgamers, Village Hall, 7pm to 9pm
Monday 15 Monday Mardle, Church Rooms, 2.15pm to 4.15pm
Wednesday 17 Luncheon Club, Village Hall, 10am to 2pm
Wednesday 17 Request Songs of Praise, Methodist Chapel, 7.30pm
Sunday 20 Wargames club, Village Hall, 2.30pm to 6pm
Thursday 25 Women's Institute, Village Hall, 7.30pm

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Time to read the next issue

February newsletter available

Pick up a copy around the village now.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Players perform

Did you see the pantomime?
The Old Buckenham Players presented their infamous annual pantomime in Old Buckenham Village Hall during January. This year it was about a famous lady that lived in a shoe.
The newsletter editor went along to the Friday performance. It was great fun and everyone , both in the Players and in the audience, seemed to have a great time.
The Hall was packed that Friday night but one disappointment was that appeared to be less than ten people from Old Buckenham in the audience. When we have an enthusiastic and talented amateur dramatic group in our village, surely they should be supported by more local people.
Make a resolution now to go along to their next production in May and find out what great entertainment is available within walking distance.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

The brains of Old Buckenham

More questions than answers
The Old Buckenham Social and Wine Circle once again began their 2010 programme of meetings with their traditional quiz evening. David Sallnow had set the questions and his wife Jenny was the scorer.
There were five rounds with twenty questions in each to keep the teams thinking hard. All rounds were a collection of general knowledge questions covering a very wide range of subjects. One round involved answering questions based on short snippets of music from David’s wide-ranging personal collection. The question were not easy and the winners, who managed to get nearly 40% of their answers correct, were the team of Susan and Neil Hunter, Doris Monkhouse and Margaret Pearce.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Winter flower arranging

Breckland Flower and Garden Club
Breckland club members finished their year of charity fund raising with a Christmas festival at Saint Andrews Church, Quidenham. Carols and songs were depicted in Christmas foliage and flowers. The event was organised to raise funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance in memory of past founder member and Saint Andrews church warden and PCC secretary, Rosemary Leeder, from Old Buckenham.
Rosemary had supported many organisations in the area over many years and members and friends were invited to support the event. The sum of £1000 was raised and presented to the Air Ambulance at the Flower Club’s January meeting.
A flower arranging demonstration followed at the January meeting. The title was ‘Winter nights’ and was presented by Christine Hewson. Her designs were for a winter wedding, an evening in front of the television and a nice warm fire.
At the next meeting in February the flower arranging demonstration will be given by Dolcie Lofting to the theme of ‘In the beginning’.
Meetings are held at Old Buckenham village hall in Abbey Road and start at 2pm. For further details please contact the chairman Pat on 01953 457305 or the secretary Sally on 01953 788712.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

New date for eating and entertainment

"Christmas party" now in March
The Senior Citizens’ party that was postponed in January is now provisionally fixed for Saturday 20 March. Make a note of the new date now – more details will follow later.

Friday, 8 January 2010

It's all white here

Some more snowy pictures

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Start of a new year of newsletters

Latest cover to look out for, even got snow on it...

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Minutes to peruse before Thursday 7 January

Parish Council in December
These notes of the parish council meetings are prepared by the editor of the newsletter from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is amended later at the next month's meeting.
If you wish to read the full, unedited minutes, then they are posted on the notice board outside the village shop prior to the next parish council meeting.
There were two members of the public present and apologies were received from Trevor Crook.
Matters arising from the minutes. Stephen Thorley raised the matter of Parish Council funds and the balances which appeared high. The Parish Clerk explained that not all reserves had been extracted from the general fund balances and that at the year end it would become clearer as to the extent of what the actual general fund balance would be. Further allocations of reserves that had not yet been included were the £1,000 for future maintenance of footpath and the extraction of the Highways Surveyors Land Revenue for the past four years which had to be excluded totally from Parish Council accounts. This amount would be approximately £1,480 as this was charity monies and not Parish Council funds. If general reserve balances were still too high when the 2011/12 budget was set then some of the budget would be taken from the reserves and not added to the precept.
Norfolk Constabulary. Police Community Support Officers Gary Szabo and Laura Key attended the meeting to answer questions from the Parish Council. Norman Cawston asked what the crime figures for the village were. PCSO Gary Szabo said that since the beginning of April, 23 crimes had been committed in the village and covered a range of minor offences. These indicated that Old Buckenham has one of the lowest crime rates in the county. Norfolk Constabulary are looking for volunteers to attend a monthly meeting at Attleborough Police Station with other village representatives to discuss what problems are being experienced. Gerald Norton said he received details of crime figures through the Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Carol Marshall asked if Attleborough Police Station was now opened and the meeting was informed that it is open Wednesday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Stephen Thorley raised the matter of HGVs using the Hargham Road in breach of weight restrictions. Norfolk Constabulary said it was difficult to monitor the situation but if people took the registration numbers and/or the company details of the vehicle, then they would follow it up with the companies involved.
The Green. Tim Ing said there had been no meeting recently but that the Green had been tidied up. The probation service had organised for work to be carried out over several weekends. This had been arranged by Mike Read. The Parish Clerk is to write to him to thank him for the excellent work done. Carol Marshall asked what the situation was now between the Ox & Plough and the Green Rights Proprietors and Tim Ing informed meeting that legal proceedings had commenced. Adrian Joel asked would the Parish Council be responsible for any costs if the action failed and was told that the Parish Council would not be responsible as the Green Rights Proprietors have funds to cover any action.
Planning applications. Cherry Tree House, Stacksford, proposed extension. No objections from the Parish Council.
The Gamekeeper, The Green, Old Buckenham. Internal alterations and repair work. No objections from the Parish Council.
Planning decisions received. The Homestead, The Green, Old Buckenham. Conversion of outbuilding to a utility room. Approved by Breckland.
Old Buckenham Cricket Club. Development of double cricket net bays. Approved by Breckland.
Village Emergency Plan. Trevor Crook, who is dealing with this, was not available so the matter is to be put on the January agenda.
Telephone box. The Parish Clerk is to try to get a preservation order put on the box. He will contact Breckland Council on the matter and report back to the Parish Council at the next meeting.
Trell & Co. The matter was discussed and it was agreed that no further action be taken on the matter at this present time.
Parish Council website. Mike Craven-Romain said he knew someone who would set up and update a website for the Parish Council. Stephen Thorley suggested contacting Ron Brewer first and seeing if he would arrange to do the job. The Parish Clerk to contact Ron Brewer on the matter.
Appointment of Trustees to United Eleemosynary Charities. It was proposed by Kerry Talbot and seconded by Liz Taylor that Colin Arksey, Bridget Burton, John Frost, Jean Norton and John Smith be re- appointed as the Parish Council’s nominees to the charity. This was agreed unanimously and the Parish Clerk will write to Joan Jenkins on the matter.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel reported that progress is being made on the Local Development Framework proposed settlement boundary changes. A Breckland Task & Finish Group meeting will be held in East Harling on Thursday 28 January 2010 when the Committee will look at villages in south west Breckland including Old Buckenham. A member of the Parish Council will be able to put forward the views of the Parish Council to the meeting.
Following requests from Attleborough Town Council regarding parking charges in the town, the UEA will be reporting back at a meeting in December on their findings from the surveys that they have conducted. There will be a further meeting in January when the public will be able to speak. The Attleborough Task Force met in December to look at the LDF Inspectors’? report and it was recommended that most of the new housing be put south of Attleborough.
Parish Councillors' reports. Adrian Joel said a new headmaster had been appointed for the High School and he would start his new appointment in January. His name is Peter Whear and it was suggested that the Parish Council should invite him to a Parish Council meeting. Gerald Norton attended a meeting of the Village Hall Management Committee and work on the refurbishment of the new kitchen will commence in February and the total cost had been set at £32,500. He also raised the matter of the condition of the car park surface which needs to be attended to.
Kerry Talbot gave details of the new play area layout and then, with Mike Craven-Romain, gave a detailed overview of all the different pieces of equipment which were going to be installed. The whole project was now funded and they are ready to place an order for the equipment so that the whole thing can be completed by the end of March 2010. The total cost of the project was £73,885. The Parish Council gave approval for the equipment to be ordered and it was agreed that the Parish Council will be responsible for all future maintenance of the play area. She finished by thanking all the supporters of Bucks Just Play for their commitment and fantastic support throughout all of the process.
Tim Ing asked if the Parish Council wished the village to be entered into the Pride of Norfolk Awards again next year. The Council had been runners-up in their section this year. The Parish Council agreed that Old Buckenham should enter again and Tim Ing is to arrange for the nomination to be organised by Ron Brewer. Tim Ing also said that he would raise the matter of the siting of the benches at the Green Rights Proprietors’ AGM and report back to Parish Council. Carol Marshall said that the Recreation Area project had a meeting recently and have a quote for £606 plus vat from Carriageman to erect the fourth side of the fencing, the Parish Council approved the quote. Also they have two quotes for multisport equipment and will get another one before coming back to Parish Council on the matter for approval. They are getting quotes for the grass cutting as the Parish Council will be responsible for this in the future. Cost for the multisport equipment likely to be between £40,000 and £50,000.
Parish Clerk’s report. He reported that he had had discussions with the Government auditors concerning the Highways Allotment Fund Money that should be excluded from Parish Council funds completely and kept separately. The monies belong to the charity and not the Parish Council. The Parish Clerk said he has arranged a transfer of the monies out of Parish Council funds and that a separate set of accounts would have to be kept for the charity. Also he had discussions with auditors on the high level of Parish Council Fund balances and explained they would be greatly reduced at the end of the current financial year once monies had been allocated to specific reserves. The auditors had accepted that the Parish Council had experienced serious problems over the role of Parish Clerk during the current year and the delay in submitting the annual returns for the year ending at the end of March 2009.
Highways. Adrian Joel said the layby at the shop is in very poor condition with lots of pot holes. The Parish Clerk is to contact Highways and see if they can repair the damage. Kerry Talbot also reported the fact that there are pot holes to the east of The Green between Church Farm House and Hendra House, the Parish Clerk is to contact the County Council Highways on the matter.
Correspondence received. Liz Taylor expressed concern over the possibility of 76 waste sites and 45 mineral sites being developed in Norfolk by the County Council. Although none were due to be built in or near Old Buckenham, she expressed concerns at their impact on the environment. Adrian Joel said he would inform the Parish Council if the situation eventually impinges on Old Buckenham.
The next meeting of Old Buckenham Parish Council will be on Thursday 7 January 2010 in the Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.