Minutes of the meeting of Boughton Parish Council on Friday 25th July in All Saints’ Church.
Present: Frank Reid ( chairman), P. Coulten ( clerk) P. Wakeling, M. Pogmore,
S. Saunders, P. Agate.
Mrs Jill Rejzl as a representative of QEH to talk about the hospital’s bid for Foundation Status.
Also present: Colin Sampson ( Borough Councillor)
1. An apology had been received from Councillor G. Proctor.
The meeting started with a talk from Mrs Jill Rejzl of the QEH outlining the hospital’s current position, having achieved financial stability, and its desire to have Foundation Status to allow more local autonomy. The procedure was described, and the way in which members of the public could take a more active role. The speaker took questions from the floor:
What would happen if there was a financial shortfall? The five-year business plan includes payment by results, which is predictable income. Salaries are settled nationally on a 3-year cycle. Payment increases should be reflected in the tariff paid by PCTs. There are quarterly checks on the targets in the business plan, which has been checked by KPMG,
What about funding? The base funding remains payment by results, and borrowing will be under strict limits.
Governors? 17 will be elected, representing as wide a range as possible across the community. 1% of the population locally are already members, but 5% are needed for the bid to go ahead.
Doctors? Have all been consulted, and the clinicians support the application.
Frank Reid thanked the speaker, who then left the meeting.
2. Frank Reid proposed some small changes to the minutes of the last meeting, and these were informally accepted. As the last meeting had been the AGM, no formal vote of acceptance of the minutes could be taken.
3.Matters arising: Tim Madgwick had audited the parish accounts, which had been forwarded to the Audit Commission.
The three Pride in Norfolk judges visited us on 11th.June. We had a good gathering on the Green and our community efforts were presented by; Parish Council; PCC; Fen Committee; BVC and Boughton Cricket team. We finished with refreshments in the church and then took them to see the Fen on their way out.
We have subsequently received a very nice letter from the lead judge Gillian Pope complementing us upon a very enjoyable morning.
Tony Wren, Kings Lynn Borough Council Environment and waste Management. visited Boughton on 22nd May to assess our eligibility for a free supply and weekly empty litterbin. Mark Pogmore, Geoff Proctor and myself attended.We were informed that although the bin is free issue, the housing that it must be placed in is not . The approximate cost of £500 is far too expensive for us to consider.
The bin in the playground cannot be emptied by the Borough Council in its current position; this bin is in an ideal spot for Mums and toddlers and I believe should remain where it is. I suggest the current arrangement should therefore stand for the time being.
We have had two visits by the Mobile electronic Speed indication unit. It does appear to slow motorists down, but this is not a lasting effect. There will be another visit in October following which we will be given the data gathered.
A team of ten willing volunteers turned out on 13th. July and we cleared the road verges along Stoke Rd. Gibbett Lane and Cavenham Rd. We were joined on this occasion by two people from Wereham.
Many thanks to all those that gave their time.
The cool weather has slowed the growth rate somewhat. Hopefully temperatures will increase through August and Pumpkins will start to gain weight quicker.
A total of £125 has been raised for Parish Funds.
P. Wakeling requested that the Mobile Electronic Speed unit be asked to monitor Mill Hill Road as well in view of the dangerous bend in the road. The chairman agreed to this.
5. Reports from Councillors:
:BOUGHTON FEN - REPORT TO THE PARISH COUNCIL 25/07/08
We are now at the point when our entry into the HLS scheme is fast approaching. Our application will be entered on 1st August 2008.
In order to complete this process it is necessary for the Parish to sign the Common Land supplementary application, and if this meeting is in agreement, I, as Chairman of the Fen Committee will sign this on behalf of the Parish.
With regard to section 4 of the application, it is a requirement for us to consult all rights holders. Under the Commons Registration Act 1965, there have been a number of changes in respect of ownership of the land and tenements with rights. To this end, a notice of our intent to enter Higher Level Stewardship, and graze areas of the fen in our own right was posted on the village notice board, published in Group 4 News, and appears on the G4 website, with a closing date of 14th July, 08
We have received only one reply from Michael Payne who has acknowledged our intentions by email. I have a copy of this, and my response.
At this point, I will emphasise again that the Parish Council will not impinge upon, or invalidate any existing grazing rights that people may have.
To continue with more formal matters, it may not be practical in the short/medium term to permanently fence areas of the fen for grazing, as the legal process around this is very lengthy. In view of this, we may have to use temporary fencing, which will give a more flexible method of grazing.
Within the next few days, we hope to have the Fen Bank Accounts in place. This has been quite a protracted task and I would like to thank Angela Faherty for her work on this. Angela will look after the day to day running of the finances, but the ultimate responsibility will still rest with the Parish Treasurer and the rest of Council.
Finally, on the paperwork side of things, signed and approved minutes of the Fen Commitee are being handed to Paul for inclusion into the Parish records.
Generally during the spring and summer, we tend to leave the fen to the breeding birds and wildlife; however, a number of things have happened.
Our thanks go to Tim Madgwick for his kind donation of a heavy-duty strimmer, and also to Jamie Dewart who has been good enough to service it for us. This will help tremendously with keeping some areas of the fen under control and has already been put to use.
Allan Hale is ringing birds during the summer. It may be possible for those interested in seeing this to go along by prior arrangement. Please give me a call and I may be able to arrange this.
We have been visited by a number a people looking at various aspects of the fen.
1. Norfolk Flora Group representative – general plant identification
2. Environment Agency – detailed survey of plants and their location on the fen
3. Norfolk Moth Survey – trying to locate the Marsh Carpet Moth (one of the reasons for SSI status), and list all other types found
4. Butterfly and Dragonfly Group – recording species found on the fen on a weekly basis
A new bench has been installed on the Highland Fen. Thanks to Dave Cooper for providing the base, and Frank Reid for obtaining the top, donated by Stoke Ferry Timber. Also to all members of the team who built it last week.
It is hoped that the E A will cut back the bank of the Stringside Drain in the near future which will open up a nice evening walk.
We will again be organising working parties during the Autumn, in a similar format to those earlier this year, as well as some smaller groups to do one off jobs. Watch your emails and the notice board if you would like to help.
To end on a high note, the fen has been host to a breeding pair of Marsh Harriers who have produced four youngsters that can be seen flying around the fen. In a few weeks time they will start their journey south for the winter. Let us hope that they return next year.
Allan Hale will present “Boughton Fen through the seasons”, which is sure to be a good evening on Saturday 18th October. This will be a talk and slide show, and tickets will be available soon.
1. It was agreed at the meeting that Mark Pogmore would sign the necessary forms for the Common Land Supplementary Application and the HLS Agreement on behalf of the Parish Council.
2. Further to our last report we hope to be able to propose budgets for the rest of this financial year before the next meeting in October. The value of our funding allowances from HLS should be known by then.
Actions: Item 6 – Village (entrance) signs. PA to investigate why no ‘official’ signs at village entrances. No action taken, as this item was later superseded by item 11 – ‘the existing signs were to be refurbished by general agreement’
Report. All village and highway signs have been given a clean up and overgrowth cut back throughout the village. The grassed areas around the entrance signs have been regularly trimmed. Both village entrance signs have been straightened. Thanks to Dave Cooper for looking after the one at Cavenham Corner.
Mr Dewart has kindly inspected the signs and has confirmed they are basically sound. He has also offered to sand blast them back to the metal in preparation for painting. PA has approached Bonnetts for base painting but the letters and duck motif will need doing. Arty volunteer needed!
Highways: Frank Reid reported that he was disappointed in the quality of work on road repairs, and that Martin Edmonds had agreed with him after inspecting the work. Councillor Sampson agreed to follow this up.
The drain at Boughton Fen is leaking, but action had been promised for August. FR expressed a lack of confidence in this promise. Paul Coulten had received a complaint that raising the water level was interfering with the cess pits of nearby properties. This was received with some scepticism. Councillor Sampson agreed to follow up the question of repairs, rather than take legal action against the Highways Department. No action to be taken before August.
5. Treasurer’s Report
£43.59 in Current Account £6, 065 in the Savings Account. Some of the money in the Savings Account was earmarked for the Fen.
No planning applications had been received up to the time of the meeting. 6. Correspondence:
7. Fundraising: Jazz picnic on 30th August. Request from PC for help. PLE will design and put up posters – sites requested. PA will do signs and raffle.
8. Playground insurance: there is enough money for the ongoing insurance of playground equipment, which is more than £200pa with £100 excess. Public liability insurance in place separately. It was agreed unanimously to keep the money back, but ring fence it for the purpose of maintaining the playground equipment. Council minutes were available for readers.
9. Pride in Norfolk: had been dealt with in the Chairman’s report, but the details should not be published outside the meeting until the official date.
10. Standing Orders: Councillor Saunders was thanked for producing the draft document, and it was agreed to hold a dedicated meeting to discuss it at a later date.
11. Doctors’ Surgery parking: it was generally agreed by people living nearby that the situation had improved, and the chairman undertook to communicate this to the doctors and the practice manager. Vigilance would be maintained to see that it did not worsen again.
12. Questions from the floor:
a) the phone box was out of action again – PA to follow up.
b) b.Councillor Sampson reported that cost cutting at the Borough Council had reduced the number of executive cabinet members.
c) Unitary authority plan: there would be a meeting at the Town Hall in KL on August 4th to hear the latest plans. The Boundary commission had not considered the West Norfolk submissions.
d) Speed limits: the Southern Area Road Safety Group meet in Downham Market and may be of use to Boughton.
e) P. Agate asked if we should investigate the community speedwatch scheme. There were volunteers for training, but M. Saunders suggested waiting until the data from the speed camera was available and also talking to other villages.
f) Community Action Group: can target areas of concern in the area, drafting in PCSOs. Contact Carol Hardy, SF Parish Clerk.
g) Phone box: Should we apply for a preservation order?
The meeting ended at approximately 19.50pm, and it was agreed that the date of the next meeting would be arranged by the chairman via email.