Minutes of the meeting of Boughton Parish Council held on Monday 27th October 2008 in the church
Councillor Frank Reid (chair) and Councillors Coulten, Pogmore, Proctor, Saunders and Wakeling.
1. Apologies had been received from Councillor Agate.
There were nine members of the public present at the start of the meeting.
Preceding the meeting there was a presentation from Elizabeth Jex of the Watlington based Safer Neighbourhood Team, which also covers Boughton.
Crime in West Norfolk: Boughton is a safe area in which to live, but there is an issue with speeding through the village. No record of other anti-social behaviour. The SNT deals with 26 villages, on a partnership basis, and the instances of violent crime ( mostly domestic), anti-social behaviour, etc are mainly in the bigger villages and KL. EJ had brought copies of a booklet ‘Be safe, be secure’ and numerous other useful publications for distribution. One was dealing with bogus callers, and property marking was also mentioned. EJ also touched on the theft of catalytic converters from cars, and the theft of bicycles in the Marham area. The use of smart water was also described. Neighbourhood Watch was a useful point of contact, and the Chairman agreed to send the local co-ordinator’s details to the SNT. Speeding was a major issue in the village, and reference was made to Community Speedwatch, the SAM project and the collection of statistics. Questions were asked from the floor re speed signs; leaflet supply, proximity lights and EJ told the meeting that crime reduction surveys were available for residents.
The chairman thanked EJ for her attendance and useful information.
2. Minutes of the previous meeting had been circulated, but could not be signed until a complete amended copy was available.
3, There were no matters arising.
4. Chairman’s report: 27.10.08.
Pride in Norfolk.
Kevin Fisher and I were privileged to attend the presentation ceremony at County Hall on 18th, September and collect two plaques on behalf of Boughton, along with £80 of garden centre vouchers.
Runner-up: Community Award under 500 populations.
Runner-up: Green space of the year.
Worthy winner of the community award was the village of Denton, where they run their own post office in the Chapel, recycle garden waste into compost, brew their own Cider, and even have a village band. Boughton did extremely well to be runners-up!
We were very well represented by ten of our citizens, who went on to enjoy a splendid buffet after the presentation ceremony.
This event came to a close on Sat. 11th October with the presentation of prizes in the Churchyard, followed by a buffet in the Church.
Junior Challenge Winner. - Matthew Morton, whose pumpkin weighed 4.6 Kg.
Challenge Winner - David Cooper, with a weight of 30.9 Kg.
Congratulations to two very good winners. Each junior entrant received a prize of a trowel, pack of bulbs and a rosette. We thank all those that took part in the Challenge, donated prizes, buffet and liquid refreshment, also the RHS representatives who attended and presented the awards.
2009 Challenge - Tallest Sun Flower.
The Pumpkins are now on display around the village and will be carved by a group of children on Friday 31st October and lit in the evening on the green for Halloween.
BT is closing a number of public phone boxes due to lack of use. This is a National project and a number will be closed in Norfolk. I am pleased to report that I have written confirmation from BT that Boughton’s public phone box is not on the BT list for closure.
However BT is not able to give any guarantees for its future.
The agreed 14 cuts of the churchyard have now been completed. Cutting will continue on a need basis until growth stops. John Adcock has done a good job at a very reasonable price. I will, on Councils behalf, agree a price for 2009.
Boughton Fen Through The Seasons.
On behalf of the Parish Council I would like to record our thanks to the Fen Committee for their work in arranging a very enjoyable and enlightening evening. Alan Hale’s presentation gave a wonderful insight to the wild life and plants on our Fen throughout the year. The description and information was underpinned with excellent photography. The funds raised by this event will go towards the objective of ensuring the Fen is brought to it’s best condition.
I attended a meeting of the Road Safety committee at Downham Market Council Offices on September 4th.
It was interesting to note that the villages represented at the meeting sited speeding and parking as their main concerns, very much in line with Boughton. It was commented that the actions we have so far taken are in line with recommendations. It was confirmed that the cost of the hand held speed indicators for use by trained volunteers is recoverable from the County Council.
The cost of permanent electronic indicators at £ 4000 each is far too prohibitive for us to consider.
There have been a number of Fly-tipping incidents within our Parish. One involved the dumping of parts of Kitchen units. These were dumped down Oxborough lane. We are able now to get rapid response from Nathan Johnson of KLBC for whose help we are grateful.
If anyone finds fly-tipped waste please let me know its location and I will contact Nathan. The Chairman had been notified of a recent incident involving paint tins, toaster, and a cooking pot!
The Chairman was given authority to arrange the contract for the grass cutting in the churchyard, as it would need to be settled before the next Parish Council meeting when the precept would be set.
Signs Report (Councillor Agate)
The Boughton village sign on the Stoke Road has been removed for shot blasting prior to re-painting. The Frank Savage circular table on the green and the phone box have been cleaned; the table has also had a coat of preservative. The ‘Stoke Road’ sign has been re-fixed after being found lying on the verge recently.
No other matters to report.
BOUGHTON FEN – REPORT TO THE PARISH COUNCIL 27/10/08
We are now one year on from the first meeting of the Boughton Fen Committee.
During this year, we have made progress with many things, highlighted in reports, and further progress since the last Parish Council meeting, as follows previous.
We provisionally entered Higher Level Stewardship on 1st August 2008. When the final few items are in place, the agreement will be signed and this will be our main source of funding for the next ten years.
The most difficult task to date has been opening the Fen bank accounts. I would like to thank Angela Faherty for working so hard to get the bank to look after our money, and give us access to it when we want it.
There have been a number of ‘mini’ working parties, which have cleared the scrub around the Kingfisher Bridge on the main Oxborough Road, cleared the fallen tree along stringside drain and also constructed the seat on Highland Fen.
Stringside drain has been cleared and the bank cut by the EA. We hope to put a couple of seats along there for people to take in the view. It is hoped that the EA will maintain this bank on a regular basis, giving a pleasant walk from bridge to bridge all year round.
Unfortunately, the latest attempt by NCC Highways to block the old drain from the fen appears to have failed. Natural England will be pursuing NCC about this.
Our most recent highlight was Allan Hale’s “A Year on Boughton Fen” presentation, which attracted nearly 70 people, and raised £358.05 for fen funds. This included donations on the night totalling £55 which will be used to provide the two benches along Stringside drain.
Generally, we leave the Fen to our summer visitors over the summer months, but we are now approaching the time of year when we can start work again. The main thrust of our work will again be scrub clearance, with money still available to pay specialist contractors to clear the difficult areas. We will again be organising our own large working parties.
We also hope to organise further mini working parties similar to the Kingfisher Bridge morning, to do small one-off jobs. Every effort will be made to keep people informed so that they can still get involved if they cannot make it to the larger working parties.
Thanks again to everyone who has helped and supported us through our first year. We look forward to your continued support with our second year and beyond.
Mark Pogmore 27.10.08
Dykes and Ditches – nothing to report G. Proctor
5. Stoke Road – Boughton Fen
This matter was raised by two residents living in the road from Oxborough to Eastmoor. The road has been designated as Stoke Ferry Road, and given a postcode leading to Stoke Ferry although it is within our parish. This has caused confusion with deliveries and a more serious problem when emergency services were delayed. The postcode cannot be changed unless everyone concerned agrees, but one resident is unwilling to do so. It was agreed that the Chairman of the Parish Council would visit this resident to discuss this issue. It was also suggested that the residents concerned should contact the MP Christopher Fraser stressing the problems affecting the ambulance service when called to these addresses. FR would also contact the non-emergency police number.
6. Treasurer’s Report: £96.44 in current account, and £2917.62 in reserve account after paying £3273 to the Fen Committee as agreed at previous meeting. The Jazz Picnic had raised £860 for village funds.
Donations agreed Church Project £100, Air Ambulance £100.
No action as yet on the Helen Jenkins memorial bench.
Eileen Bailey had retired from the Post Office, and FR would arrange a suitable card. Something also needed to go in G4N.
7. Parish Land – the chairman moved to put this at the end of the meeting and in camera.
Wind turbine for The Laurels, Oxborough Road had received planning permission.
Changes to Arcadian, Mill Hill Road had also been approved.
New planning application from Mr/Mrs Coyne of Hall Farm House. To demolish part of existing outbuildings and build three bungalows along existing drove.
The chairman initially asked each member of the PC for their views on the application:
Mark Pogmore: not in favour
Steve Saunders: not in favour
Geoff Proctor: not in favour
Pam Wakeling: not in favour
Frank Reid: not in favour
Councillor Agate had been unable to attend the meeting in person, but had informed the Chairman of his objections to the scheme.
The Clerk, Paul Coulten, read the supporting documentation from the planning application, describing the plans and their intentions so that the applicants would have their points put to the meeting.
The discussion was opened to the meeting, and plans were displayed for further observation. They had already been accessible to interested parties. In the opinion of Mr Madgwick, a professional building designer, the proposed plans were an overdevelopment of the site. There was no option for amenity space or gardens, access was limited and the single track access road was not adequate for requirements. Mr Wilkinson pointed out that the outbuildings scheduled for demolition were an integral part of the site in the conservation area, and that in a similar case in King’s Lynn the NT had been adamant that the whole area should be preserved. Mrs Wilkinson was concerned about the siting of the proposed sewage disposal area, as that part of the field was very badly drained on heavy clay soil. Mrs Saunders was concerned that the application, if granted, would set a precedent.
The Parish Council voted to reject the application by a majority of 5 with one abstention. ( PA absent).
It was decided that a statement of the council’s views should be prepared and agreed by the whole council before the response was sent to BCKLWN before the closing date of 7th November.
It was decided that there was not sufficient reason to exclude the public from this item and the meeting continued in public. The Clerk reiterated that the Council’s attempt to register two parcels of land continued, and that there had been a change of lawyer within the solicitors acting on the council’s behalf. This new lawyer had successfully dealt with a similar case. Archives showed that the Parish Surveyors were still registered as owners of the land at the time of the 1910 Finance Act. Such parcels of land were subsequently transferred to Parishes by the 1933 Local Government Act, as successors to the Parish Surveyors in title. The PC was still pursuing this with the Land Registry. The meeting was informed, in response to a question, that Solicitors assisting the council had quoted a charge of £300 for their services, and that £96 has so far been paid. The Adjudication process, which follows the objection by the PC to Mr Ralph Proctor’s application to register one parcel by virtue of adverse possession, is free. The Clerk’s understanding is that costs are only awarded if the respondent has been unreasonable.
9. Mr Gregory from the Stoke Road/ Oxborough Road cottages near the Fen stated that he has not seen any fish in the Stringside Drain for some time. It was stated that the Environment Agency is responsible for this waterway, and do carry out frequent water quality testing.
Next meeting would be in January 2009, and would deal with the precept. The Chairman would arrange a suitable date date by email.