Draft minutes of the Boughton Parish Council meeting held on
Wednesday 28th January 2009 in the
Present: Frank Reid ( Chairman) Paul Coulten ( Parish Clerk and Treasurer) Mark Pogmore, Peter Agate and Pam Wakeling
Five members of the public were also present.
1. Apologies: Geoff Proctor, Steve Saunders, Tony Sampson ( District Councillor)
2. Minutes of the meetings of July 25th 2008, October 27th 2008, and November 21st 2008 were all agreed as correct records by the Council and signed by the Chairman.
3. There were no matters arising.
4. Chairman’s report:
Christmas tree. For the first time a Village Christmas tree was provided for all to enjoy. It made quite a spectacular sight across the pond and complimented the Christmas Eve illuminations. My thanks to Geoff for the idea and sourcing the tree. Also all those that donated decorations and lights. A work party got together to put the decorations in place and all had an enjoyable time. A special thank you goes to Giles and Carroll for allowing us to plug into their power supply and for declining the offer of recompense for the cost of electricity.
Village Litter Bin.
We have been informed that KL&
The mobile speed indication
unit (SAM) visited in October and November. The measurement site was on
A top speed of 48mph(mid-day) was recorded. This confirms our perception that this part of the village is vulnerable with regard to a road traffic accident. From previous visits it appears that drivers slow down as they pass the pond.
The weed in the pond has got to the point where we believe we need to do something to reduce and control it. Gerald Allison of the Internal Drainage Board visited on 20th. Jan to advise on how we could deal with it.
His advise is that the weed is beneficial to water quality by increasing dissolved Oxygen levels, also Swans and Ducks are benefited since it provides them with a food source.We should therefore take care not remove it all. We should reduce current volume by 60% approx.
One low cost method is to treat it with pellets applied from a boat. The die off of the vegetable matter has a minimal effect on water quality, and if we do it in stages would be hardly noticed. This is best applied in early spring. Mechanical removal is very expensive, stirs up the bottom and releases anaerobic sediment, which can have a very detrimental effect on water quality for a period of time. We could if needed rake some of the weed out when water levels are lower in the summer. I propose we try the
application of pellets, in stages, asses the effect and then arrange a work party in late summer to rake out any excess left. This should provide us with a low cost solution.
At a recent meeting of the Boughton Village Caravan all present agreed that we should enter again this year. On behalf of the Parish Council I offer our full support. Kevin has already started to collect evidence of our community activities, with extra emphasis on our younger members.
Churchyard Grass Cutting.
John Adcock having presented the lowest quote has been offered the work again this year.
Pam Wakeling asked that the thanks of the PCC for the care of the churchyard be recorded.
Signs: The village signs are currently being shot blasted and will be repainted in due course. The telephone box will be spring-cleaned.
Dykes; Crab Lane
continuously in need of unblocking. Ditches in
through the village are still in an appalling condition after years of neglect.
FR is struggling to get some action from Highways Dept. The repair executed on
a large pothole in
BOUGHTON FEN REPORT TO THE PARISH COUNCIL 28/01/09
We have now formally entered Higher Level Stewardship with an agreed entry date of 1st August 2008. Initially, the annual payment offered was in the region of £1700 per year. After further discussions with NE, this has now risen to £4411.80 per year, giving us more money to carry out the work required within the agreement.
We have received a one off payment of £715.00 towards preparation of our Farm Environment plan. The plan was prepared by ourselves and Natural England, with no cost to the fen funds, thus giving is a further £715 to carry out work on the fen.
With regard to the leaking drain, this matter is now in the hands of Natural England and Norfolk County Council. We await further progress.
The Fen Committee has completed the Management Plan and submitted it to NE for final approval.
The wet autumn and cold winter so far have not helped us progress with our volunteer working parties, although a hardy band of seven did manage to make some inroads into the prominent tree stumps and other clearance on the ride in to the fen on Sunday 25th Jan 09, despite the cold and damp. Not quite what we had hoped to do, but progress none-the-less. I will take this opportunity to remind everyone that we have our next working party on Sunday 22nd February 09.
We have experienced great difficulty in engaging scrub clearance contractors as most of the reputable ones are booked months in advance. (We were lucky last year). We may still be able to get some work done next month.
Within the HLS agreement we will receive funding for reed cutting. As with the scrub clearance contractors, reed cutters are also very busy – meaning that we will have to plan ahead. Although we have not made as much progress on scrub clearance and reed cutting as we would have liked, we will increase our expenditure over the autumn/winter 2009/2010 by looking for relevant contractors as soon as possible.
The EA will be installing dipwells and a piezometer on the fen in the future, and will give us a one off payment for this. This payment is currently being discussed with their consultants.
Work is continuing on obtaining the relevant permissions to fence part of the Highland Fen for grazing. Mike Bushby from Beachamwell came to the ‘Boughton Fen through the Seasons’ evening and was very impressed with what we are doing. He has kindly given us about 700m of fencing wire, to help us with this work. If we bought this new, it would cost us about £500.00. Our thanks go to him for this kind donation, and also to Geoff Procter for storing it until we need it.
On a different note, if anyone sees dogs relieving themselves along Stringside drain, or anywhere else on the fen, please let us know so that we have a word in their owner’s ear, and offer them a plastic bag!
I would like to thank everyone who has contributed help to fen related projects over the past few months, and particularly to Angela and Kevin for producing and distributing the excellent Newsletter, which was given to every household in Boughton, and has also gone far and wide via the internet.
Mark Pogmore 28.01.09
FR complemented the Fen Committee for their work and expressed concern that there was a time constraint regarding when work could be carried out due to the onset of the breeding season . Leaving little opportunity for us to obtain competitive quotations for the work we need to complete. A number of contractors have not responded to our invitation to tender and there has been difficulty in obtaining competitive quotations. It was agreed to leave it to the Fen Committee to appoint a suitable contractor if and when one can be found, and to proceed on the basis of single quotation provided the committee judged such quotation to give value for money.
M Pogmore to provide list of contractors that had declined to quote.
5. Treasurer’s Report: Attached
Donations: Mark Solomon; £148 for mower service and £125 from British Sugar for Pumpkin Challenge money match
Budget: attached. After some discussion it was agreed that the precept should remain unchanged. Fundraising is needed to counter the possible shortfall of up to £500.
It was agreed that Audit commission fees would be appropriately proportioned between Parish and Fen accounts.
7. Questions from the floor:
Angela Faherty raised the question of the playground account. This is still under the care of Karen Short and Steve Saunders and was reserved to cover playground insurance premiums. It was decided that the money should be transferred to the general Parish accounts as Playground Repair Fund.
8. In the absence of Steve Saunders, discussion of the Standards document was deferred to the next meeting, which would be arranged by email as usual. The meeting closed at 7.45pm