Draft minutes of the meeting of Boughton Parish Council on Wednesday August 5th 2009.
in All Saints’ Church
Present: F. Reid ( chair) G. Proctor, M. Pogmore, D. Cooper, P. Agate, P. Coulten, P. Wakeling
8 members of the public attended: Pam and Fred Watkinson, Ann Proctor, Debbie and Kevin Fisher, Sue Pogmore, Andrew and Angela Faherty, Barry and Jackie Ovel
6. Chairman’s Report
Pride in Norfolk.
We were judged on Tuesday 23rd. June. A group of us assembled on the Village green and imparted to the Judges why we think Boughton and our community deserve to be awarded Pride in Norfolk for our category.
This was followed by a hayride round the village, courtesy Geoff Proctor. We visited the Church where Alan Wilkinson informed the judges about the Development Project, its objectives and progress. The Children’s garden was very nicely presented thanks to Angela. We then rode round the village and demonstrated what a very pleasant environment we all care for and keep in a well-maintained condition. Finally we convoyed them down to the Fen and indicated how the Fen Committee and the community are working together to restore this special area back to its former glory. Mother and Baby Lapwings appeared to order just as we were leaving.
In addition Boughton was nominated for the Forward to the Future section of Pride in Norfolk. This is overseen by the WI and looks at how we as a community contribute to the development of our young people. Judging took place on Wednesday 22nd July. We are very proud to say that we have won Pride in Norfolk in the < 500 population category, and we are joint winners with Taverham in the Forward to the future section. Well done Boughton. The presentation will be on 10th September at 6pm and those wishing for tickets should speak to the Chairman. The EDP would be coming for a photo shoot on 6th August.
Posts bordering the green.
Over the past few months we have been replacing the rotted posts around the village green. Almost 15 posts have been replaced. The new posts have been obtained and installed at no cost. Thanks are due to Geoff Proctor and David Cooper for their resourcefulness and generosity.
It is very heart warming to see how many people have really entered into the spirit of this. The Son Flour police have been greeted with great enthusiasm and courtesy during each visit.
Mathew and Ellen Morten have been helping us to measure growth progress, and they have been setting some very challenging questions and tasks. They have been keeping all of us on our toes. Final measurements will be conducted on Sun. 16th. August and the presentation is set for 22nd. August. 4.30pm in the Church Yard. Buffet & refreshments will be provided.
Prizes for: - Tallest Sunflowers.
Flower display (Judges from Boughton)
Junior Drawing competition. (Judged by Ellen)
There will of course be the usual rogues gallery.
The application to remove the Horse Chestnut tree and develop the Coach House was refused at the Development Control Board meeting on Monday 15th June. We had opposed this proposal very robustly and were gratified at the decision. Although at several points in the debate by Councillors we thought that they were very likely to vote in support of the application.
I have spoken at two DCB meetings now and have learnt much from the experience. Parish Council speakers are permitted three minutes to impart the views of Parishioners. This is very strictly timed and a buzzer is sounded after three minutes, the speaker is then instructed to leave the table. No further input from the speakers is permitted.
The potholes down Church Lane have been repaired. I believe these repairs to be of a better standard than previous work. They were using hot pitch on this occasion so it seams the safety concerns with regard to operation of the boiler have been resolved. However this comment does not apply to the work on Mill Hill Road on the edge at the field entrance. This has simply been filled with rubble.
There is at present every indication that the Highways division has a severe restriction of funding.
Local Development Framework.
An open meeting was held on 20th. June to discuss the LDF public consultation document. The consultation period was closed on 26th. June. We will be made aware of the outcome early next year.
Now installed under the Horse Chestnut tree on the East side of the Village Green. Thanks go to Paul Coulten for sourcing a very high quality seat and to the small work party that installed it.
7. BOUGHTON FEN - REPORT TO PARISH COUNCIL MEETING 05.08.09
We are now in our quiet period down on the fen, whilst we leave it to our wildlife including our summer visitors.
As well as spending his time bird ringing, Allan Hale led the Dawn Chorus walk on 10th May, followed again by bacon rolls from the great barbecue team. (Action photos of the team may be available shortly).
Moving to more serious things, we are awaiting our next payment from the Rural Payments Agency under our HLS agreement, and also the second and final transfer of £350 from the Parish to the Fen (this being funds received from English Nature between 1999 and 2007 for reinstatement of the fen).
The increased turnover of Parish Funds due to the fen income means that the Parish will now incur a larger audit fee (rising from about £75 per year to £150). The fen funding will pay for this increase.
There are other things happening quietly in the background.
After my discussions with Natural England concerning the leaking drain, it is hoped that pressure can now be applied to NCC Highways to remove the drain from the road as the previous four attempts to block the end have all failed.
Contractors are now ready to tender for the autumn scrub clearance and reed cutting. Final details will be put in place in the near future.
A meeting was held with the Open Spaces Society concerning our intention to fence part of the Highland Fen. They have said that they may not fully oppose our Section 38 application.
Although this does not sound that good, this is actually quite a positive result from this organisation. (Out Natural England rep was very impressed that we had actually managed to get the Open Spaces Society here).
It is hoped that the fencing detail and documentation can be completed in the next couple of months so that we can make our Section 38 Application to the Planning Inspectorate for the fencing.
We will again have a number of working parties over the Autumn and Winter to continue with our work on the Fen – dates will be published fairly soon.
At the last PC meeting, it was agreed that we would cut down the number of signatures required when dealing with the Rural Payments Agency, which will significantly reduce paperwork. At this stage, we are able to reduce from 7 to 4 signatures.
I propose that as well as Parish Chair, Vice Chair and Fen Committee Chair, as suggested at the last meeting and also the Treasurer. (Seconded Frank Reid: This was agreed unanimously.)
While we are on financial matters, we are now aware that the village receives a wayleave payment of approximately £20 per year for the power lines crossing the fen. Council was asked to make a decision this evening as to whether this money should remain in Parish funds, or go to the Fen account. ( Prop. F. Reid from the chair: Agreed unanimously that the money would stay with the Parish Council.)
Finally, thanks go to everyone who has contributed in any way with the fen in the last few months.
In response to Councillor Agates question, Councillor Pogmore confirmed that the
funding received from various external agencies can be carried forward to next
year. Also that the committee was working towards the provision of better public
access. However no money had yet been allocated to the provision of local
information boards or access gate to highland fen. All funding was currently being
spent on shrub removal, this being the most urgent requirement.
Paul Coulten agreed to contact David Mills at County Council to request
assistance with acquisition of signs.
8. Treasurer’s Report/ Parish Clerk’s Report: The Jazz picnic had raised £1000 for village funds. Thanks to all involved. The CA balance is £1578 after paying the last of the Fen money. RA balance £3362.71. Suggested donations of £100 each to the Air Ambulance and Tapping House were both agreed.
P. Wakeling suggested buying some lightweight trestle tables for the village and agreed to ascertain cost.
Request from P. Youel to place a memorial seat on Bell Corner. The Chairman reported that Highways had been contacted and their permission was awaited. The Frank Savage memorial seat needs refurbishment. It was recognised that Council should formulate a policy with regard to future memorials in the village.
£200 had been raised from the sale of DVDs of the pantomime. Half had gone to Barton Bendish and the rest had been donated towards the cost of cutting the churchyard grass. Kevin and Debbie Fisher were thanked for their efforts.
Rospa report on the children’s playground has been received. There are no major problems. The seat has been treated and the hedge cut back as recommended in the report. The recommendation to install a toe board on the ramp section of the slide was questioned. The Chairman agreed to investigate further.
The accounts were ready for presentation to the Audit Commission.
The request from the DM History group re participation in the Fair on 12th September was declined.
Planning: Stoke Ferry Timber had received planning permission. Parish Land deliberations were ongoing. Nothing to report at this point.
9. Pond Risk Assessment: ( Instruction from Borough Council) This has been completed by Kevin Fisher and presented to Council. The recommendations within the assessment were discussed Thanks was given to KF for his work. and the assessment placed on file for further consideration. Council discussed the recommendations, and would make a decision at the next meeting. The Clerk would investigate the possibility of installing a lifebelt on The Green, near the copper beech tree, as this is adjacent to the deepest area of the pond.
10. Community Speedwatch (PA): Information leaflets have been distributed to all households in the village, and there has been sufficient positive responses to merit proceeding to the next stage. The Clerk was asked to check that our insurance would cover the equipment required. The vote to continue was 5 for, one against and one abstention. Some concern among councillors and parishioners present was expressed regarding the possibility of adverse reaction to those carrying out the speedwatch. It was decided to ask other villages already taking part what reaction they had experienced.
11. Date of next meeting: Wednesday 4th November at 7pm in the church.