Parish Council May meeting
These notes have been written by the blog editor from the draft minutes and so may contain information that is changed at a later date.
The meeting took place on Thursday 7 May and two members of the public also attended. Apologies for absence were received from Akis Chrisoviledes and Tim Ing. Steve Milner declared an interest in the item on the agenda concerning the Play Area maintenance.
The meeting was suspended for a short while to allow members of the public to ask questions. A note on the items discussed will be given later in this blog.
Minutes of April Parish Council meeting. These were signed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Matters arising from these minutes. Tom Johnson congratulated the clerk on getting the 30mph repeater signs so quickly. The Clerk responded that the speed of them being done was due to the Norfolk County Council (NCC) Highways Engineer. Adrian Joel asked if there was any update on Chapel Road School and the transfer of land following John Alston’s recent sad death. He also raised the matter of the removal of the Traffic Management System that had been agreed for use during the construction period of the school. Steve Milner responded that a new traffic plan would ensure all traffic would come in on Attleborough Road and not through the village. Also there is a delay in transferring the land. Adrian Joel said the Parish Council should monitor the situation closely and Steve Milner said he would contact NCC. Adrian Joel also raised the question of parking being allowed on school property and Steve Milner replied that NCC policy would not allow parking of vehicles on school property.
Adoption of Accounts. It was agreed that the accounts for the year ending March 2015 be adopted, this was agreed with 8 for and 1 abstention.
Annual Governance Statement. It was agreed that the Annual Governance Statement be signed, this was agreed by 8 for and 1 abstention.
Road Safety. Steve Milner reported that a quote had been received from Westcotec for a SAM 2 system which included Portable Speed Indicator Device (SID) with SLOW DOWN legend beneath, battery powered (complete with spare battery), ‘intelligent’ charger, sign cover and clamps for a cost of £2,800 each excluding vat (data collection unit £250 plus vat and any additional bracket sets £80 plus vat). The sign and equipment come with a 12 month guarantee. The second was for an automated system which was £3,850 plus vat and the third was for a Message Maker Sign which was for £2,975 plus vat. He said in his opinion the Westcotec sign was the best. Adrian Joel suggested asking other parish councils for their views on their installed SAM 2 system. Tom Johnson said the matter should be deferred to June meeting when more was known and Paul Boggia also said details of the guarantees of the system should be obtained.
Play Area maintenance. Steve Milner said a letter had been received from a resident complaining of the condition of the Play Area. The current person maintaining the play area would no longer be able to continue due to his work commitments. Steve Milner had submitted a quote of £54 per month to carry out regular maintenance which would cover all grass cutting, strimming, minor repairs and keeping an area of one metre surrounding the play area free from weeds and overgrown shrubbery. Other councillors expressed views on the matter and Sarah Dye said it was important to have accountability of the work being done and using a volunteer would not necessarily ensure the work was done to the required standard. Sarah Dye had striven to obtain two other quotes but one was very expensive and other people did not wish to take on the work. It was proposed by Jonathan Kemp and seconded by Tom Johnson that the contract be given to Steve Milner.
Planning applications and decisions. None had been received.
Approval of accounts payable. Paul Boggia asked why the ink cartridge figure was so high. The Clerk explained that the existing printer was four years old, was starting to play up and that the supplier had provided a large A3 colour printer/copier/scanner/fax free with the 24 cartridges. It was agreed that the invoices on the cheque list be paid with 8 for and 1 abstention.
Chairman’s report. Steve Milner said there had been reports of vandalism at the play area and it was hoped that identification of the culprits could be made and that all information should be passed to the police. Derek Smalley said that he would report it to the police now. The tour of Britain cycle race was coming to Old Buckenham on Saturday 12 September between 1pm and 2 pm. Steve Milner suggested setting up a working party in the village to arrange events for the day and this working party should involve other groups within the village. A meeting will be held with Breckland Council on Tuesday 26 May to discuss the day’s events. Two accidents had been reported in the village recently, one in Grove Road and one in Abbey Road. There had also been a number of near misses involving pedestrians. There was a letter in the Newsletter from a resident complaining of the increase in the precept. Steve Milner had replied on the matter also via the newsletter. It was reported that Ray Bayfield had provided a new duck house for the pond for which the Parish Council were very grateful. Peter Twissell took out the old duck house from the pond and the Parish Clerk is to write to both parties thanking them.
District Councillor’s report. Adrian Joel said that the parish council had done well over the past four years and had achieved a lot in spite of some unfair criticism.
Parish Councillors’ reports. Carol Marshall reported that the last week of renovation of the Almshouses has taken place and they have three new tenants but still have one house available for a suitable tenant. It has cost £100,000 to refurbish the house so far and more money will need to be spent. She has one quote for the maintenance of the recreation area and will try to obtain two others. Adrian Joel said that one of the taps on the allotments was not working and he had arranged for a plumber to replace it at no cost to the Parish Council. Also an allotment holder, who had recently taken over an unattended allotment, had said it had cost them £50 to enable it to be properly prepared to use as allotment and asked if the Parish Council would refund this cost. After a discussion it was agreed that Parish Council could not refund the cost and would write to the resident on the matter. Derek Smalley said a resident had contacted him regarding the abandoned car on B1077. Breckland Council had contacted the owner who said he would have it removed soon. The police were unable to speed up its removal as it was not actually on the highway and was not causing an obstruction. Derek Smalley said he would not be continuing liaison with the Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan and said it was important that the new Parish Council have a representative on the group. It was also asked if the Parish Council could send a letter to Matt Wilkins at the airfield regarding the recent crash there. Steve Milner said he had already contacted Matt Wilkins and expressed the condolences of the Parish Council. Tom Johnson said he attended the recent management meeting of the Village Hall and the question of insurance for the recreation area was raised. The Parish Clerk advised him that they had insurance cover under their general policy. The Village Hall committee asked if they could use the Recreation Area and its benches for the Village Fete, this was agreed. He also suggested a new dog bin at St Andrews Close, this was to be put on June agenda. There will be a film show on Friday 22 May. The Village Fete would be held on Saturday 4 July.
Parish Clerk’s report. Breckland Council had written to the development just off Hargham Road and the developer had suggested naming it The Old Yard, this was approved by the Parish Council. The Parish Clerk also read out an email from NCC Highways regarding past highways issues and what action had been taken.
Highways. The sign at Puddledock was facing the wrong way. The Parish Clerk will report this to Highways.
The Green. Sarah Dye said she had organised a meeting that was well attended at which they discussed a new way of managing the Green and involving the residents. They are hoping to obtain charitable status which will enable them to access grant funding. They are also going to hold a Green tidying up day after the Green has been mowed. They are hopeful they can take the managing of the Green forward in a very positive way.
The next meetings of Old Buckenham Parish Council would be the AGM on Wednesday 13 May and the regular monthly meeting on Thursday 4 June at the Village Hall commencing at 7.30pm.