Draft minutes of the meeting of Boughton Parish Council held on Wednesday November 4th
Present: Councillors Reid, Agate, Wakeling, Proctor, Cooper, Coulten, Pogmore
Members of the public: Sue Pogmore, Andrew Faherty, Angela Faherty, Steve Saunders, Debbie Fisher, Kevin Fisher
There were no apologies.
1. Minutes of the meeting of 5th August were agreed. Prop: P. Agate Sec: G. Proctor. Minutes signed by F. Reid ( Chairman)
2. There were no matters arising
3. Chairman’s report.
The grass-cutting season is drawing to a close thankfully. The ride on mower has suffered some extra wear and tear this year. Valve replacement has been necessary and the blade mechanism bearings and housings have had to be replaced. This has resulted in relatively expensive repairs. However considering the age of the mower and the use it gets it is not unusual that such work should become necessary. In the view of Alan Britton this does represent normal wear and tear over a five year period. Councillor Cooper and I have discussed these repairs and consider that better greasing over the winter should better protect the bearings.
My thanks to David Cooper and Barry Ovel for their help with grass cutting in public areas. I record also Council’s gratitude for the generosity of Mark Solomon in paying for the Mower repairs. Mr Solomon undertakes to pay for mower service each year.
I will again be seeking competitive quotations for Church yard grass cutting for next year.
The lock up facility where we store the village mower and fuel was broken into in October, the padlock was cut off. Our petrol was taken in addition to Geoff Proctors small generator.
The Police attended and recorded the details. The lock was replaced and Geoff now parks his trailer across the door each evening as an added precaution.
We continue to be blighted by the actions of irresponsible people dumping rubbish in our Parish. The Clean-up team have attended to incidents down at the Fen and on Stoke road. Recently people tipping builders rubble were witnessed and reported. The County Council are in the process of investigation with a view to proceed with a prosecution. The most recent event is a large gathering of waste deposited on Gibbet lane.
The litter did contain a wages advice slip. From which I was able to contact the place of employment of the person named on the slip. Premier foods have dealt with this quite sternly, and we have received a letter of apology from the offender.
Mayor & Deputy Mayoral visit.
During our first autumn fest and Scarecrow challenge we were privileged to be visited by The Lord Mayor and Deputy mayor of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk accompanied by their Ladies. The party judged the Scarecrow competition and were given the now customary hayride to visit each exhibit. Following which they remained to enjoy the stalls and refreshments.
The scarecrow challenge had really caught the imagination of a large number of people and we were treated to some very imaginative displays and some very amusing efforts. The whole event was a great success despite some very inclement weather during the early parts of the day, however the sun did come out during the latter stages to lift the spirits.
Pride in Norfolk.
A number of us attended County Hall on 10th September to receive our awards. Ellen Morton, Mathew Morton and Eloise George very ably represented our young people. We were presented with two plaques and cheques to a total value of £500.
A group of our young people were asked how they would like Council to spend our £100 award for the WI Forward to the Future section of PIN, and they have provided us with a list of their ideas. This list has been circulated to all councillors for their consideration. In reading out this list I am seeking Council agreement on which idea to fund. List attached.
Two of the ideas have since been implemented, those being History Tour of the Village and Geoff’s farm workings.
BOUGHTON VILLAGE CARAVAN CHILDRENS’ SUB-COMMITTEE
13 September 2009
Brynmor, Johnny, Eloise, Benedict, Molly
Supervising adults: Emad, Susan, Hugh
Ideas for how to spend £100
1. Speed Cameras (Brynmor)
2. Feeding platform for ducks and swans (Ben)
3. Food dispenser for ducks and swans (Ben)
4. Duck House (Ben)
5. History walks around Boughton (Eloise)already done
6. Boughton childrens’ website
7. Help develop the Fen
8. Childrens playhouse
9. Playground equipment
10. Rowing boat for the Fen!!
11. Webcam in a birdbox ( council agreed to follow this up)
12. Orchard in the Churchyard
13. Nature talk about the Pond & Fen
14. How Geoff’s Farm works. Already done
Council chose to pursue the idea of a Web Cam in a nest box.
Angela Faherty reported that Norfolk Homewatch has now been taken over by Community and Public Affairs. There would be a PCSO in the church on Tuesday 17th November at 1pm for a public surgery.
Peter Agate reported that the recently refurbished village sign at Cavenham Road had suffered some surface crazing and was currently being redone by Bonnets and the Madgwicks.
There had been four complaints sent to BT regarding the light in the phone box. P.Agate continuing to investigate.
Community Speedwatch :
application forms were now available for distribution.
There were no matters to report on dykes, but David Cooper reported that the road near the pond on Gibbet Lane was beginning to break up. It was agreed to contact Martin Edmonds.
We have entered a period of high activity on the fen after the departure of our summer visitors.
The August payment has been received from the Rural Payments Agency. We are now awaiting a payment for Capital Works from Natural England as part of our HLS agreement.
The signatures required when dealing with the RPA have now been reduced to four as agreed. ie: Parish Chair, Vice Chair, Fen Committee Chair and Parish Treasurer.
The fencing application continues with most things now in place for the submission to be made. The Fen Committee are meeting on Sunday 8th November to establish the final fence alignment. We will then be down to the last few items, such as requesting from the churchwardens permission to use the Church for a public enquiry, if required. Having trawled through almost one hundred pages of guidance notes etc, I am almost in a position to complete the application form.
Now, to the more visual aspects of what is happening: We have received quotations for this year’s scrub clearance and reed cutting, with contractors appointed and in action. The reed cutter has completed his work, and the scrub contractor has got into full swing this week. As his work progresses, I think you will all see a change to Middle Fen.
A group of volunteers from the BTCV spent Thursday 29th Oct 09 with us, clearing some of the cut reed to the roadside. This reed will then be moved to a nearby location for burning.
A number of the Committee spent some time there, learning their techniques and looking at the tools required.
All this was reported in the EDP on Friday 30th Oct 09, giving us a good bit of publicity. The only downside was that the team photo with us all standing straight, holding stomachs in etc. etc, did not make the paper, but you can’t have everything.
However people in high places see what we are up to. Allan Hale sends data to Dr Pam Taylor, who runs the Norfolk Biological Records Centre, and is president of the British Dragonfly Society. She saw the article in the EDP and sent us a very complimentary email.
Geoff and Frank cut the path along Stringside Drain last week, Geoff on the tractor and Frank walking ahead with a red flag, perhaps? Thanks, chaps. Please take advantage of this pleasant walk along the river, which also gives views across to our neighbour’s lakes. We also hope to create some further paths which will take in other areas of the fen. More on this in the near future.
Allan Hale has continued bird ringing on the fen, and will probably have ringed 1000 birds this year, probably the most notable being a Hawfinch – only the 9th ever ringed in Norfolk.
The Committee keep beavering away with all sorts of things, which keeps the restoration of the fen going. I would like to thank them for all their work, and all the other people from far and wide who have done their bit for us as well.
Finally, I would like to ask for some help. It is important that we clear the remaining cut reed before the fen becomes wet, so I would like to call on as many people as possible to assist for a few hours in the near future. We are proposing to hold a working party on Saturday 14th November, and possibly another day soon after that. Details will be publicised within the next few days, but volunteers should arm themselves with a garden fork and gloves. Anyone who has access to a muck fork should bring that along, and if anyone owns a traditional wide toothed hay rake that would be really useful.
6. Treasurer’s Report/Parish Clerk’s Report ( Paul Coulten)
Balances: CA £1491 RA £3363
A donation of £25 to the Norfolk Lowland Rescue Association was agreed
Parish Land: both tenants have paid the agreed rent. The dispute over ownership was still continuing and will be tabled at a tribunal. The cost of such action was queried from the floor, but tribunal costs are still unknown. It should be at no cost unless the Parish Council had behaved unreasonably. It was suggested that should the tribunal find in favour of the Parish Council’s claim, the land might be used as allotments.
A vote of thanks to Bill Miller was agreed for funding the restoration of the war memorial. He was trying to ascertain the wording of the inscription and Peter Agate would follow this up.
There were no planning applications for the Parish Council to consider.
The question of how to use the £400 from the Pride in Norfolk awards is under consideration.
7. Pond Risk Assessment: the Parish Council considered the risk assessment recommendations from the report by Kevin Fisher. The pond had been assessed as low risk in most areas but medium risk near the copper beech tree. The pond edge in this area is shallow and gently sloping, with mud being the biggest hazard. It would require intention to reach the deeper water. Action to reduce risk was discussed: notices and signs were considered to be merely cosmetic. It was decided after due consideration that increasing the flora on the bank by the copper beech, by planting more of the native flora such as yellow flag iris, and removing the dead reeds, which could be used as a walking surface, would be the most effective way of reducing the risk. ROSPA advice ( Playground Safety Report) in such a situation is to consider, monitor and reduce the risk. Kevin Fisher was satisfied with the Council’s response to his report. Council realise that there is a higher level of risk when the pond is frozen. Council agreed to continue to monitor risk around the pond. 8. Phone box: Paul Coulten said adoption of the phone box would be £1 without the working mechanism and £300 if it remained in working order. There were 171 calls made from the box last year. Peter Agate and Frank Reid reported that BT stated that they were not planning action over boxes in conservation areas and the Parish Clerk was charged with replying to BT stating that the Council wishes to maintain the status quo.
9. Cricket pitch: Alan Wilkinson is proposing to lend a parcel of his land to provide a cricket pitch for the Village. A meeting would be arranged to discuss the detail of this proposal.
10. Church furniture: Moira Saunders had put costings before the Council for lightweight trestles to replace the old wooden ones used by church and village. It was agreed (Prop. Peter Agate Sec. Frank Reid) to pay half the costs subject to a maximum of £500. The BVC were asked if they would also consider contributing. Paul Coulten to contact Moira Saunders regarding the placing of an order.
11. Correspondence: a) there is a need to put into Standing Orders the procedures for complaints against councillors b) ref a recycling clothes bank c) Parish Training Information day Thursday 21st January ref planning procedures.
There being no other business. The meeting concluded at 8.36pm and the date of the next meeting was arranged for Wednesday January 20th 2010 at 7pm