Draft Minutes of the meeting of Boughton Parish Council on Friday 14th January 2011 in Boughton Church


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


Members of the public: Tim Madgwick, Ann Proctor, Kevin Fisher, Jackie Ovel, Andrew Faherty, Angela Faherty 


1.             There were no apologies from Councillors

2.             Minutes of the meeting of 17th November 2010 were read. It was noted that the Fen report had not been circulated with the original minutes, Mark Pogmore produced a printed copy  enabling the minutes to be signed as a correct record post meeting in the presence of all councillors.

3.             Matters arising: it was agreed to replace the signs re dog fouling in Wretton Road with some that were clearer in intent. Simple ‘no fouling’ signs agreed – Peter Agate to deal with this.


 4.      Chairman’s report:


County Highways.

‘Jon Barnard visited Boughton on 24th November.  I took him on a tour of the village and pointed out the road repairs needed. He noted them all and informed me that he was setting up a small team in 20011 that would visit villages every 13 weeks and would repair potholes and edge erosions. We will be given contact numbers. As yet there has been no further information. However, there have been some pothole repairs made earlier this week.


He did arrange for some sand & grit to be dropped off for spreading down Church Lane. I requested a further quantity but he would rather we purchased a grit bin and he would arrange to keep it topped up.

Mr Barnard informs me that current cost is App. £130.0 Obtainable from Anglian Health & Safety supplies. A licence for placing it would be required from Mr Barnard. Geoff Proctor is looking at sourcing suitable bins. This was agreed by Council.)  The council will not nominate anyone to spread the sand and grit, but it will be available for use by residents as needed.


Public Footpath

Steve Donoclift (Countryside Officer) met with Mr Osler and Councillor P.Coulten and I to discuss the state of the footpath adjacent to Mr Osler’s property. It is likely that the Farmer does have a right of passage. However Steve Donoclift has written to Mr D.Lankfer requesting him to consider an alternative route for access to the fields, and to make right the damage to the surface when conditions are suitable for him to do so.


Church yard Grass.

John Adcock has quoted £36 per cut for 2011. a £2 increase. This is entirely due to the current price of petrol. John has not increased his labour charge. This in my opinion still gives us very good value. I seek council agreement to continue to offer John the work. ( The Council voted unanimously to do this.)


Village Mower.

Alan Brittain has retired and moved to Spain. It is expected that the service and repair of the mower will now be undertaken by Tom Howlett. In return for advertising his business on the notice Board and cricket ground, he is offering a parts only service. 


Ash Tree. Playground.

This has now been cut back and made safer. The large lower canopy overhanging branches have been removed. There was a far greater degree of dead wood throughout the tree than we had initially realised. A large proportion of which has now also been removed.


We were very impressed with A.C.A. tree care specialists and the expertise of Chris who did all the high level work. We are also very grateful for the generosity of Mark Butters, and the very welcome assistance of Gill, Paul, Peter and Kevin.


Christmas Trees.

I wish to record our gratitude to Peter Morten for the supply of the Village and Church Christmas Trees this year. The Church Tree was courtesy of Norfolk Lavender and fixings provided by Bonnets, the Village Tree was from Sandringham Estate.


5.             Reports from Councillors:


 (a) Highways: David Cooper reported that some work had been completed  filling in potholes and the grups in Stoke Road had also been renovated.

(b) Ditches: Geoff Proctor reported that there was a problem in  Crab Lane,  Barton Bendish Farms were attending to the matter.

(c) Signs: Peter Agate reported that the ‘SLOW’ signs painted in Mill Hill Road and elsewhere were wearing out and becoming illegible. Jon Barnard had been informed. Speedwatch: some suggestions from the residents re curtailing the speed of traffic through the village needed to be further investigated. 


Fen: Our winter work is now well underway, with our scrub clearance contractor having completed some of this year’s tasks already.  Unfortunately, the severe December weather has delayed the clearance of the cut reed, and some other work that will be done by the Community Payback team.  However, I have been in contact with their leader this week, and they hope to be on site in the not too distant future.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust have agreed to carry out £500 worth of scrub clearance for us on Lower Fen, using our contractor.


A successful working party took place on Sunday 9th January, enabling us to get on top of a large area of sallow regrowth, and remove an expanding area of blackthorn on Highland Fen.  Thank you to the folk from the Wereham Woodland Group as well as the ‘Fen Regulars’ who gave up their morning to do this.


We are still awaiting the outcome of our lottery bid to develop  a walk around the fen.  An answer, one way or the other, should be with us around the end of January.


During the Spring and Summer of 2010, various people came to survey some of the smaller creatures of the fen.  The Norfolk Moth Group, led by Jim Wheeler and Dick Jones, discovered in excess of two hundred species of moth (some not particularly common).  All of this work was  carried out on a voluntary basis.


The other survey was a study of water beetles, wasps and creepy crawlies in the water. Again, many different species were found, some of which were quite rare.  This survey was carried out by a professional entomologist, Geoff Nobes.   Andrina Walmsley of Norfolk Wildlife Trust  suggested the survey, which was financed via Martin Horlock of the Norfolk Biodiversity  Information Service. We are most grateful for their input.


Over the next few years, the peat excavation area on the other side of Stringside will be fully reinstated, whilst the area to the South of Lower Fen is to be excavated and landscaped, which, along with Oxborough Wood and our 42 acres of fen, will create a habitat for diverse wildlife in excess of 100 acres  right on Boughton’s doorstep.


As we continue with our work to return Boughton Fen to a favourable condition, I would like to thank all those people who have helped us get this far.  Anyone wishing to get involved in this will be welcome at the next working parties which are to be held on Sunday 20th February, and Saturday 12th March.  They start around 10.00am and last between two or three hours, so you can finish in time for your Sunday lunch, or a trip to the pub. Mark Pogmore14.01.2011


6. Treasurer:

Paul Coulten reported that the balance in hand was £6436. Unpaid liabilities included £822 for the restoration of the War Memorial, which would be covered by the generosity of  Mr Bill Miller, and a potential liability if the church and community project was successful in its application for an award. There would possibly be election costs to pay in May, but these would potentially be shared with Wereham. Council agreed unanimously that the village precept should be unchanged from 2010, and that a possible deficit for maintenance around the village would be met either from reserves or by fundraising. Statement of Accounts. Precept account.  Appended.


7. Correspondence: (a) There is an open meeting on January 20th ref. Police budget (b) Journal of Local Planning: points to a move for greater parish influence and responsibility (c) CAB request for donation £10 was agreed by a majority of the Council. (d) from BCKLWN confirming parish responsibility for election costs. Will come under accounts for 2012 as amount not  currently known.


8. Planning: Steve Owen has withdrawn his application ref The Bungalow in Mill Hill Road.


9. Date of next meeting was fixed for Friday 8th April.


The chairman pointed out that the Parish Council Fen committee will stand down during this years elections. The formation of the Fen committee post election will be a decision for the new Council. 


The meeting ended at 7.35 pm. There were no questions from the floor.