Draft minutes of the meeting of Boughton Parish Council held on Wednesday January 9th 2008 in the church.


Present:  Councillors Frank Reid (chair) ,Paul Coulten ( Clerk and Treasurer) , Pam Wakeling, Mark Pogmore, Geoff Proctor, Peter Agate.

8 members of the public attended.


1. Apology: an apology for absence was received from Councillor Steve Saunders


2. Previous Minutes of the meeting of 14th September 2007 were read and agreed. Proposed P. Coulten, seconded G. Proctor.


3. Matters arising:

a) Helen Jenkins’ bench – details now in the hands of the family, and their decision awaited.

b) No further information currently available on Post Office closures in the vicinity. 


4. Chairman’s report:

Frank Reid extended New Year greetings to all present, and outlined the events held in the village over the past months. 

Wine tasting

Christmas party in the church

Carol singing /Luminaria had raised £220 for EACH, and the church had donated £90 from the collection at the Crib Service to the same cause.

Boxing Day walk round the village paths


Events to come

Quiz night, Coastal walk, Fishy Tales

Accordion concert

Flower festival, Open Gardens, Jazz picnic


Highways Report:

Steve Saunders had reported the poor condition and running water in Stoke Road, and this had been inspected by Martin Edmonds of Highways, who reported that the work done by Barhale was in line with the specifications.  This was challenged by professionals in the village, but some clarification of the length of the guarantee would be obtained by the chairman.  He would contact Martin Edmonds re the concerns voiced at the meeting. 

The right hand ditches had finally been cleared in Stoke Road, on the 8th January, and the slub dumped on the left, and also in Crab Lane/ Church Lane.  The Parish Council needed to check that the problem of the running water had indeed been dealt with.

Repairs to other roads within the village were not regarded as a priority by the Highways Dept.


Litter Bins:

There were two in the village, and Frank Reid had had no success in having them registered with the local council. In future each village in West Norfolk would be issued with a 240 litre wheelie bin in a metal housing, which would be emptied free of charge.  There would be consultation over the location of the bin, and the Parish Council felt that it could replace the bin currently in the children’s playground.  Frank Reid had checked that the bin would be emptied if kept in this place within the fence.


Posts round the green are starting to rot and need replacing.  The chairman would organise a working party to deal with this later in the year.


Churchyard grass: The chairman proposed to obtain quotes for cutting the churchyard grass from both the current contractor and another who had show interest, and the cheapest quote would be accepted.


Pumpkin Growing Competition: Seed had bee obtained, and would be issued to those wishing to take part.  The Weigh-in would be on 13th September, followed by a ceilidh at Netherhall.


Wereham Woodland Trust: had approached the PC to ask if we would support them if they obtained land in Wretton Road.  It was agreed to give moral support to the idea, but as far as is known the land was not purchased.


Pride in Norfolk: We had agreed to enter the competition in 2008.  Kevin Fisher had agreed to do the written submission which needed to be of 400 words, and sent in by the end of March.  Individuals could also send in their own submissions.  Kevin would circulate information on how to do this.   If we reach the final, better preparation for the visit of the judges would be needed, and a representative group would be formed to do this.


Drains:  the drain in Stoke Road – dealt with elsewhere.  Church ditch had been cleared and seemed to be working properly.



Councillor Agate reported that works had generally ceased for the winter period other than the Village Sign having received a final coat of preservative.

Boughton Village Caravan has kindly donated a plaque to celebrate the village’s finalist place in the Pride of Norfolk Awards. The wording to be as follows;

“Finalists in the 2007 Eastern Daily Press "Pride in Norfolk" Awards for villages <500 population. Presented by the Boughton Village Caravan”


Boughton Fen:

Mark Pogmore gave a lengthy report on the meetings held by the Fen Sub-Committee and their outcomes.

Boughton Parish were being offered the chance to enter the Fen into Environmental Stewardship at Entry Level plus Higher Level Stewardship. Because the Fen is a SSSI we were automatically qualified for the Higher Level.  This initiative was backed by Natural England, whose assistance would save us considerable time and money.  Approval by the Parish Council for entry into HLS would mean the submission could be prepared by the end of March 2008 with entry into the scheme in August 2008.

The Parish Council approved unanimously the proposal to take Boughton Fen into Entry Level Stewardship and Higher Level Stewardship.

Financial arrangements in HLS were different to previous agreements with Natural England, and would be based on a ten year agreement giving a funding stream to carry out work approved by Natural England according to an agreed plan.  This would involve a sum of money ranging from £25k to £50k , with a one off payment of £5000 in March 2008 to employ specialist contractors to carry out large areas of scrub clearance. Volunteers from West Norfolk Conservation volunteers would also work on the fen on Sunday January 20th, and Sunday March 2nd.  People from the village were invited to join them.

The Parish Council approved unanimously the proposal that in view of the potential increase in the financial turnover relating to the fen, a separate bank account should be set up under the auspices of the Parish Council.  It was stated that cheques would still need the two signatures required by PC cheques, and that Angela Faherty would be willing to act as bookkeeper for this account.  In addition, the Parish Council agreed to cover expenses incurred by the Fen committee until funds come through.

It was noted that the management plan currently being prepared by the sub-committee would contribute to the submission for HLS.  Only two one-off grants were being made in the area this year, and Boughton Fen had been given one.


Questions from the floor:

Working party – would do controlled cutting. Norman Sills had recommended taking out scrub, in particular willow, which he considered should account for no more than 5% of the Fen. Allan Hale was also being consulted re the wild life on the fen.

Success criteria: as stated in the report, and also accessibility for the public, more wildlife/birds finding suitable habitat.


5. Treasurer’s Report

The Audit Commission had completed the financial checks for the parish accounts, and had suggested that an auditor from outside the council would be appropriate.  It was decided to ask Jane Killian if she would be agreeable to taking this on.

Current Account: £98.17 with a bill from the Audit Commission still to come.

Reserve Account: £2651.73

Requests for donations had been received from Norfolk Accident didn’t get the full name for funding for defibrillators, and from CAB in Lynn to help with expenses for moving to a new location.  It was agreed by the Council to donate £25 towards the defibrillators.


6. Land registration:

The Council was attempting to secure registration of the two parcels of land discussed in earlier meetings.  The current tenants would receive notification of this.  The Clerk would be required to swear an affidavit in regard to the claim, and £350 had been budgeted for legal costs. The proposed budget had been circulated to all councillors.  The only extraordinary item was legal costs in relation to the attempt to register parish land as detailed earlier. Money is usually  raised by events and donations as well as the precept, and Mark Solomon was thanked for his generosity re the parish mower. It was agreed by the Council that in view of the current surplus, the Precept should be raised by 5%. 


7. Planning

Mr and Mrs Bourke had submitted an application to vary the previous planning permission on the plot next to Hope House. 

Oxborough Woods have applied for a four year extension to their licence for peat extraction.  English Nature were aware of this, and had no general objection.

Tapestry House planning permission had been granted.


8. Fen Sign

This item on signs for the Fen had been withdrawn, as it was being dealt with elsewhere.


9. Surgery parking

This was felt to be a longstanding problem causing inconvenience and some danger at the Chapel Road end of the village.  There had been no contact with the surgery for some time re the use of land for extra parking.  Funding could be obtained in such situations.  It was decided that the Chairman and Clerk would arrange a meeting in person with the people in charge at the surgery, and report back later. 


10. Correspondence

CPRE re light pollution. Not felt to be a problem in Boughton.

KLWNBC re polling stations.  The polling station for Boughton would remain at Wereham.

BCCDC had been unsuccessful in their bid for funding from the Lottery for the church project, and were looking for other sources.

KLWNBC had informed the Clerk that gritting of roads would go from Cavenham Corner through to A134 via Stoke Road.  Gibbet Lane would not be gritted.

Pam Youel had agreed to be Home Watch administrator.


11. Questions from the floor

The quality of road repairs throughout the village is a subject of concern, and it was felt that only constant application to the powers in charge had any hope of resolving this.

The planting of trees and hedges along all the roads into the village was deplored, as it would remove the current wide viewpoints on approach. 


12.  Next Meeting

The next meeting would be the AGM in May, and the chairman agreed to circulate the members of the council by email to establish a date agreeable to all.