Please note:


The information published on this site is believed to be correct but carries no guarantee of accuracy


The products and services described are not endorsed by the site editor: details and listings are for information only

North Lopham Parish Council

Minutes of Meetings in 2005

19th January 2005

16th March 2005

11th May 2005 (Annual Open Parish Meeting)

15th June 2005 (AGM)

20th July 2005

21st September 2005

16th November 2005


19th January 2005

Time and Place






Minutes of the Previous Meeting



Matters arising



Election of Officers



Planning Applications












There being no further business the meeting closed at 9 pm

It was confirmed that the next meeting would be on Wednesday 16th March 2005 at 7.30pm in the Methodist Schoolroom

minutes 2005

Minutes of North Lopham Parish Council meeting held on the 16th March 2005,

in the Methodist Schoolroom

1.      Present were Richard Vere (Chairman), Jan Tate (Vice-Chair), Valerie Garnham, Joan Muncilla, Brian Frith, Robert Carley and Mike Cox (Clerk).

         Mick McManus was the sole representative of parishioners.

Apologies William Nunn.

2.      Minutes of previous meeting held on 19th Jan 2005 were presented and approved as a true record. Signed by the Chairman.

3.      Matters arising:

·         Church Road footway. A meeting was held between representatives of Planning & Transportation and Parish Council (Richard Vere & Brian Frith) on 3rd March 2005 to discuss the possibility of an extension to the footpath. N.C.C. to make contact with Mr.Bassett, Mrs.Podmore, Mr.Vere & Rev.Mellowshipto pursue the matter.

·         Weight limit. A chance meeting with Mr.Baskerville at Church Roadfootway revealed no progress at all. Due to the lack of response from Mr.Baskervillethe meeting asked the Clerk to write to the head of Planning & Transportation to see if there was any progress in the matter.

·         Flooding in Kenninghall Road. This matter was raised by Mick McManus. Highways were contacted and have since made a number of visits to Jan Tate to monitor the situation. It appears that the piping is blocked, and the ditches collapsed. Mr Alston has been approached to attend to the ditches.

·         Damage to Church wall. This matter is in hand with the offending driver’s insurance whoare waiting for an invoice after the work is completed.

4.      Planning applications:

         Ashes Farm (3PL/2004/2000/F): A site meeting was held with representatives from this Parish Council and BrecklandPlanning Committee together with the applicant. Jan Tate was complimented by the Chairman for the manner in which she presented her views on the application, which was subsequently refused on a number of points.

         Both Charnwood (3Pl/2005/0 147/F) and 80, The Street (3PL/2005/0 156/0) have received approval. The Oaks (3PL/2005/0194/CU) has not yet been heard.

5.      Accounts:

         The clerk’s fees of £200 for the final quarter of 2004/5 were approved.

         Grass cutting;- Only one application was received for the vacant post This was within the previous years guidelines (£550 for the churchyard and £50 for Letchmere)

         This was approved unanimously.

         A request for a donation to the Victim Support (Norfolk) was received. It was agreed that we send £25.

6.      A.O.B:

·         Since the last meeting another Golden Weeping willow tree collapsed into the Letchmere. The tree conservation officer was contacted and attended. He advised that the remaining 8 Goat willow trees be coppiced back to ground level for safety reasons. Bridge Farm Tree Services completed the work for a sum of £165.00.

·         Brian Frith pointed out that the Tanns Lane sign which had been damaged and repaired has been replaced by a new one. It was intended that the new one was to be an addition to the other side of the lane. Clerk to contact Highways.

·         Clerk asked to contact Planning and Transportation regarding a possible Weight limit in the absence of a reply from Mr Baskerville.

·         Clerk asked to write a letter to the owner of the Fast-Tracks that travel through the village at what appears to be an excessive speed.

There being no other business, the meeting closed at 9.00pm.

         Date and time of next meetings

         7.30pm on Wednesday 11 May 2005. (The Open Parish Meeting)   

         The next meeting of the Council (The AGM) will be at 7.30pm on Wednesday 18th May 2005

minutes 2005

Minutes of the North Lopham Annual Open Parish Meeting held on the 11th May 2005,

in the Methodist Schoolroom

1. Present were Richard Vere (Chairman), Jan Tate, Valerie Garnham, Joan Muncilla, Robert Carley and Mike Cox (Clerk). Four members of the public were. in attendance.

Apologies: Mr Coster and Mr Webb from South Lopham, Mick McManus and Brian Frith.

2. Presentation by Andrea Long, Breckland Planning Policy Team:

A lengthy and very informative presentation was given by Mrs Long and she was asked a number of questions in relation to the proposed planning in this village. A number of myths were dispelled but she did ask that if we had pockets of land suitable for affordable housing that we could let her know. This was not in the immediate future. Consideration should also be given to changing our envelope to suit. Mrs Long was also asked about site meetings that are held and the Parish Council are not made aware. These usually relate to appeals where we could provide an input. We were encouraged to read recent correspodence and complete the questionnaire which could include this.

The Parish Council found the presentation very useful and were heartened by some of the answers they were given.

3. Minutes of the last Open Meeting held on 12th May 2004 were presented, having been approved at last AGM on 2Oth May 2004.

Matters arising:

Heavy Goods Vehicles

It was suggested that pictorial evidence of heavy goods vehicles speeding through the village to draw attention to the problems we are experiencing. We have already been told that there is no likelyhood of getting a weight limit in the near future.

4. Chairman's Report:

This is quite lengthy and attached to the minutes.

5. Finances:

The bulk of this year's precept was taken up by the Clerk's wages, grass cutting and Insurance liability. A more up to date figure would be presented on receipt of the Investment account interest which has been applied for. The situation regarding grass cutung may have to be reviewed because last year was exceptionally wet, making it difficult to maintain within the set number of cuts. A lot of goodwill was put into maintenance by Mr. Vere, who was the only applicant for the vacant post of grass cutter.

6. AOB:

It was pointed out that although the footpath between The Limes and the Kings Head has been maintained this year, its continuation towards The Green has not. Highways to be informed.

The meeting was asked about the possibility of traffic calming. This was discussed and it was felt that the current traffic calming schemes would not be suitable for our type of road.

Jenny Vere informed the meeting that St Andrews School is to take a new Headteacher in September. Penny Shepherd will divide herself between St Andrews and Bressingham Primary School where she is currently Headteacher.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.45pm

The next meeting of the Parish Council would be on Wednesday 18th Mav 2005 (this being AGM)


Mr Vere began by giving an update on village matters, some of which had been mentioned in the 2004 Report.

Footpath from Church Farm House to Church Corner: A new design has been drawn. On the North side this takes part of the wall fronting the orchard and a small amount of land from the front of the churchyard to widen the roadway; the path will be on the South side, in front of the railings to Church Farm House. All local parties are in agreement; the Electricity Board has yet to inform the Council about moving their pole slightly.

Mains Drainage: Following last year's questionnaire about drainage problems, completed by over fifty residents, the collated results were sent to Mr Hayward of the County Council. A considered response is still awaited.

Footpaths through the village: These were 'sided out' last summer, free of charge to householders. The men did an excellent job, and also trimmed back all the overhanging hedges South of the Kings Head junction. It is hoped that parishioners will keep their hedges trirnmed back; there would probably be a charge next time.

Quiet Lanes: Posts have been erected at each end of each identified Quiet Lane. To date explanatory leaflets have not been made available for householders. It is hoped that High Common Lane will be included if/when additional such lanes are identified.

Cemeterv Maintenance: The grass has been cut during the last twelve months by various Parish Council members. A new contract has been agreed for 2005. Some of the graves have been levelled. The burials and memorials fees have been reviewed and the Cemetery Regulations have been posted at each end of the cemetery as well as in the church porch.

The Village War Memorial: The surrounds are kept in excellent order, thanks to the efforts of resident John Bush.

Planning Applications have been considered. It is good to learn that the Planning Process is being reviewed, and that Parish Councils are to be consulted.

The Lophams' News: The newsletter has continued for another successful year. Mr Vere thanked Mrs Aston for all the effort she puts into it.


This has been a very sad year for North Lopham. Mr Vere paid tribute to Roy Berry, who with his brother Archie, cut the cemetery grass for many years and kept the grounds and boundaries in such good order. It was sad to have also lost brothers Maurice and Jim soon after Roy's death. Carlton Pierce had been a Parish Councilfor for over nine years, and its vice-chairman for seven. Mr Vere was grateful for all his work for the village on behalf of the Council and expressed sympathy for Sarah, Thomas and Joe.

It was difficult to put into words the debt the village owed to Alan Rednall. Parish Clerk for over thirty years. Much of his work for the village was done behind the scenes and he will be missed for his wise advice, as a valued colleague and a a real friend to everyone in the community. The thoughts of the Council are with Janet and all the family..

The casual vacancy on the Council has been filled recently by Mick McManus, a long time village resident. Unfortunately, he is in hospital recoverning from a slight heart attack, so was unable to be present at the meeting.

Finally, the Chairman expressed grateful thanks to the new Parish Clerk, Mike Cox, not only for all his hard work in getting to grips with the Council business, but also for his tremendous support for Alan and Janet Rednall during Alan's final months.

The last twelve months have been difficult for many on the Council and in the village. Mr Vere expressed the thanks of all those who have been bereaved for the support they have received from their colleagues and from the residents of our village.

Thank You!

minutes 2005

Minutes of the AGM of North Lopham Parish Council held on Wednesday 15th June 2005 in the Methodist Schoolroom

Present: Jan Tate (Vice Chair), Brian Frith, Joan Muncila, Valerie Garnham, Robert Carley, Mick McManus and Mike Cox (Parish Clerk).

Apologies: Richard Vere (Chairman).

Jan Tate took the Chair and a letter of resignation from Richard Vere was read to the meeting. It was pointed out by the Clerk that Richard would not be persuaded to remain on the Parish Council at this stage but would consider this in years to come when elections were due.

The resignation was met with disappointment but understood by all for the reasons that Richard gave. Twenty four years as a Parish Councillor and twenty three as Chairman is quite an achievement.

Matters arising from Parish Council meeting held on 16th March 2005:

Tanns Lane sign: This had been repaired and was subsequently replaced with a recyclable one. The latter should have been placed on the opposite side of the road and the former retained. Breckland promised to salvage the old sign or replace.

Election of officers:

A discussion took place regarding the election of a new Chairman. Mick McManus proposed Brian Frith and Valerie Garnham seconded.

Brian Frith proposed Jan Tate as Vice Chair and seconded by Robert Carley.

Jan Tate retained the Chair for the remainder of the evening.

Planning Applications:




Financial Report:

The Clerk produced an itemised report on the financial state of the Council. This showed a surplus of £556.38 in the current account and £3733.07 in the National Savings account.

Following the election of Brian Frith as Chairman it was decided that he became a signatory on both the National Savings account and the current account held with Barclays Bank. Two out of three signatures required. The other two signatories being Mike Cox and Janet Tate.



There being no other business the meeting closed at 21.15 h

Date and Time of next meeting: Wednesday 20th July 2005 at 7.30pm in the Methodist Schoolroom.

minutes 2005

Minutes of the Meeting of North Lopham Parish Council held on Wednesday 20th July 2005 in the Methodist Schoolroom

1.      Present were Brian Frith, Jan Tate, Robert Carley, Joan Muncila, Val Garnham, Michael McManus and Mike Cox (Parish Clerk) together with 8 members of the public.

2.      Declaration of Interests:

      Brian Frith declared an interest in Meadow House to be discussed later during the meeting.

3.      Minutes of last meeting held on June 15th were read, approved and signed.

4.      Matters arising:

a.      a. Confirmation of decisions made at last meeting: That Brian Frith was elected as Chairman and Michael McManus was co-opted on to the Council. Both parties signed declaration of Acceptance of Office. It was confirmed that Brian Frith be added to the list of signatories for both Barclays Bank and Post Office account. Any two from three signatures are required on both accounts, the remaining being Jan Tate and Mike Cox. At this point Brian Frith took the chair.

b.      Resignation of Richard Vere and Co-option/Election of new councillor: A discussion took place over the consequences of Richard Vere’s resignation. The necessary publication was sited in the village identifying the vacancy for parish councillor and there had been no demand for an election. Graham West had expressed an interest in the vacancy, having lived in the village all his life. It was agreed that Graham West be co-opted to the Council. Brian Frith would visit Graham to congratulate him and deliver a ‘Declaration of Interests’ form together with a copy of the Councillor’s Guide.

c.      A progress report was requested on the new sign at Tanns Lane: The Clerk identified that Breckland had left this with SERCO, who have the matter in hand.

d.      NCAPTC: Brian Frith explained the role of the Norfolk County Association of Parish and Town Councils having had contact with Stuart Chaplin on more than one occasion. He proposed that the Council should join. The Parish Council would receive bi-monthly newsletters and would become a member of the National Association. A reduced fee would be applicable as we are already part way through the year. This proposal was seconded by Michael McManus. Agreed.

e.      Sign at Kenninghall: A question was raised regarding the signing for North Lopham from Kenninghall. The Clerk had made contact with Highways Dept, who identified that North Lopham was not named so as to avoid a glut of heavy goods vehicles using the village as a cut through.

f.        Sewage at East Side of ‘The Green’: There have been no further developments regarding sewage on the east side of The Green.

5.      Chairman’s statement – to receive a statement from Brian Frith regarding Council Procedures.

      Brian Frith explained that the new style agenda, although looking very long and daunting, was intended to list all items for discussion at the meeting so that the councillors and members of the public could be prepared and be sure they were not missing anything of particular interest. Non-council members (and that includes District and County Councillors) do not have a right to speak, but the Chairman hoped to be able to give them the opportunity for comment (strictly speaking while the meeting is adjourned). The Chairman asked all members to be particularly vigilant when it came to ‘declaration of interests’- opportunity at the start of the meeting, but at any time if a member saw that a discussion item might involve a personal interest.

6.      Finance Report and Accounts for Payment

a.      Clerk’s salary for first quarter is £200.00. Payment agreed.

b.      Grass cutting at the cemetery is now at its eighth cut and payments are up to date.

c.      Membership Payment to NCAPTC agreed.

d.      Progress on authorising new cheque signatories: Forms submitted to Bank and Post Office.

7.      Planning Applications

a.      Pond at No 1 Ashes Farm Lane: Breckland has recommended this as a refusal. The occupiers (Tom and Gemma Holtgreve) were present at the meeting and explained the situation during an adjournment. Members agreed that they should offer every possible support to get their plans accepted. Brian Frith agreed to contact the relevant officer by e-mail to put forward the Council’s feelings.  The hearing is on 25th July 2005.

b.      Garden extensions at various properties on The Green: Nothing heard to date but amendments have been made since first application.

c.      Richmond Electronics: Nothing heard to date.

d.      Meadow House: No decision on this to date. Mrs Tate took the chair on this matter, in view of Mr. Frith’s declaration of interests.

8.      Correspondence

a.      A copy of the application for the new licence for The Kings Head PH has been received.

b.      A detailed copy of the Breckland Development framework has also been received.

c.      Document received regarding new powers in respect of dog fouling, litter etc.

9.   Items for discussion/further investigation

a.      Parish Council Notice Board: Could the one at The Kings Head be better sited/ more useful? Brian Frith felt that the one at The Kings Head was not well used. It was also pointed out that this needed new ‘glass’ and would be better nearer to the footway. Robert Carley agreed to allow room for 4 A4 spaces for Council papers (agenda, minutes etc) in the board at The Post Office and Brian Frith agreed to ‘tidy up’ both boards. It was agreed that Parish Council notices would be displayed on each board, for the time being.

b.      Letchmere: What is the situation with regard to ownership/responsibility? What attempts have been made to improve its appearance in the past? Can we do anything now? Brian Frith had spoken with Mr Vere about the history and status of the pond and felt that advice (and possible grants) must be available from somewhere. He offered to make contact with Mulbarton and Redgrave to see if they have advice/guidance to keep their ponds okay. Any other ideas?  Several members of the public suggested reasons for the poor condition of the Letchmere, and this led on to a discussion of the poor performance of septic tanks in some parts of the village.  One resident told of his experiences in Tanns Lane which seemed to be related to poor drainage in the area.

c.      Hedge trimming beside footways: A draft letter to occupiers had been circulated to members prior to the meeting. Many have heeded message in ‘The Lophams News’. Letters to be sent to a small handful of residents. Brian Frith, Mick McManus and Jan Tate agreed to assess the need.

10. AOB

a.      Should we push for a footpath/cycle track to the village hall? South Lopham were apparently doing the same. Brian Frith was willing to write to the Village Hall Committee. Agreed

b.      Brian Frith suggested that we schedule meetings as this year (3rd Wednesday of alternate months). Agreed. Brian Frith would prepare a list of dates for the next meeting.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 2130hrs.

Date and time of next meeting: Wednesday 21st September 2005 at 7.30pm in the Methodist Schoolrooms.

minutes 2005

 Minutes of meeting held on Wednesday 21st September 2005

in the Methodist Schoolrooms.

1)      Attendance and Apologies: Present were Brian Frith (Chairman), Jan Tate (Vice-Chair), Mick McManus, Graham West, Val Garnham, Robert Carley and Mike Cox (Clerk). Apologies from Joan Muncilla. Seven members of the public also in attendance.

2)      Declaration of Interests:


3)      Minutes of last meeting:

Approved and signed.

4)      Matters arising:

a)      Graham West was introduced to the meeting and signed his declaration of acceptance of office:

b)      Richard Vere’s resignation. Mrs Tate reported on the presentation of framed map at Richard and Jennie Vere’s Ruby Wedding party. Photo taken by Mike Cox handed round:

c)      Additional sign in Tanns Lane: SERCO have now re-actioned the request. They maintained they did not receive the request from Breckland Council.

d)      Notice Boards: Brian Frith reported that he had placed new acrylic sheet in the notice board at The Kings Head and that this had been re-stained and moved to a point next to the fence. The board at the Post Office had also been reorganised and a new piece of pin-board had been acquired.

5)      Finance Report and Accounts for Payment:

a)      Financial regulations: These (modified from the model produced by National Association of Local Councils) were approved. Proposed Mick McManus and seconded Val Garnham.

b)      Clerk’s salary and expenses: Payment of £208.20 authorised to include expenses for stamps, printer ink and paper.

c)      Grass cutting: Further payments to Richard Vere now total 10 cuts. Payment for recent cuts authorised.

d)      Refurbishment of Notice Boards: £21.15 paid to Disssigns by Brian Frith for acrylic sheet. Refund to be paid to B. Frith - proposed Mick McManus and seconded Graham West.

e)      Any other accounts for payment: None.

f)        Progress on authorising new cheque signatories: This is now complete – Brian Frith, Jan Tate and Mike Cox approved signatories for Barclays and Post Office.

6)   Planning Applications:

Mr. & Mrs. Moralee – 13 The Street. Planning application approved by Breckland, with stipulations. Parish Council had previously objected.

Richmond Electronics – Workshop extension approved by Breckland.

Mr & Mrs Holtgreve – filling of pond. This will be heard on 26th September 2005. Recommendation for approval from Breckland following long negotiations with Breckland.

Extension to barn at Lyndhurst – second (full) application for administrative purposes only as previous application could not be ‘agricultural’.

No more applications received since production of agenda.

7)   Footways, roads and footpaths:

a)      Letters (as discussed at last meeting) were distributed to 6 houses soon after the last meeting. On August 18th, Brian Frith, Jan Tate and Mike Cox had met with Brian Lee from Norfolk County Council and ‘walked the footways’. Mr Lee was able to comment on what he thought were the worst areas for ‘overgrowing hedges’ and debris. He suggested visits to a few properties where a problem still existed to explain the situation. Brian and Jan made these visits in August. It was pleasing to see the extensive work that had been carried out by some residents to help solve the problems. Mr Lee promised to send ‘the team’ to ‘side out’ the paths, to repair parts of the path outside The White House and to look into the possibility of extending the path at the north end of the village.

b)      Fingerpost at Cherry Corner had been damaged but was now repaired.

c)      Footway past Church Farmhouse – this has gone one stage further and negotiations between Mr & Mrs. Podmore and Norfolk Property Services should see a conclusion in the near future.

d)      Brian Frith had attended meeting of South Lopham PC on 1st Sept. and the matter of a footpath linking both villages to the Village Hall was raised, together with the proposal for outdoor play equipment at the Village Hall. Agreed that Mr Frith write formally to the Chair of South Lopham and Village Hall Committee proposing that joint investigation be set in motion.  Proposed Graham West seconded Mick McManus.

8)      Correspondence:

Mr. Vernon had written seeking nominations of two people to serve as trustees for the next 4 years on the North Lopham Charities. ‘Retiring’ trustees Rosemary Cook and Jennie Vere would be happy to serve again. Proposed Robert Carley, seconded Mick McManus.

Mr. Frith had been approached by a resident for information about the new laws concerning high hedges. Information leaflets had been printed from the web and passed to the resident. It is understood this matter has been resolved amicably.

Letter received from Macmillan Cancer relief requesting donations. Declined because the village holds a coffee morning to raise funds for the same group.

9)   Items for discussion/further investigation:

a)      Letchmere. This item prompted a lot of discussion and is subject to a separate report attached - See ** below. Mr Ed Stocker, Norfolk County Council ecologist, visited the pond following last meeting and has provided some useful information.

b)      Drainage problems. Summary of correspondence since 2002 (as provided by William Nunn from Breckland files) prepared by Mr.Frith and sent to Breckland (Mr.Grimley) and Anglian Water (Mr. Flatman) with a letter seeking information about the way our case should be made and factual information regarding costs. In addition Brian Frith read correspondence between Mr. Grimley and himself indicating that Breckland feel they have nothing further to offer in this matter. They believed that they have no jurisdiction over Anglian Water. Anglian Water (Mr. Morris at Peterborough) had said on the phone that 2008 was the target date for implementation of the scheme at the moment … this could be altered either side!  Confirmation in writing of the state of our case and of likely extent of the scheme and costs to householders is still awaited.

c)      Provision of more dog bins in the village – Jane Tate. Mrs. Tate proposed that we purchase two more bins for installation in the village. The cost is £109.00 each, but we must consult with the Highways Engineer regarding their siting.  Councillors were asked to consider possible sites (at the north and south ends of the village and report back at the next meeting.

10) AOB:

Mick McManus asked if we had plans to carry out a Village Appraisal.

Brian Frith reported that the last was in 1996 (joint with South Lopham).  Much planning was needed if one were to be carried out – South Lopham has just completed theirs.

Date and time of next meeting Wednesday 16th November 2005 at 7.30pm in the Methodist schoolrooms.

** Discussion re Letchmere (at the meeting on 21st September 2005)

All present agreed that something had to be done to improve its appearance although it was appreciated that the water quality would not improve greatly until there were improvements to the drainage in the village. The following conclusions were supported by all present:

·       Efforts should be made to secure a competent contractor who could dredge the pond and remove the build up of silt, tree debris etc.

·       Attempts should be made to plant suitable plants to improve appearance of the body of the pond and margins.

·       The “overflow” should be investigated and possibly redesigned to try to prevent it blocking so frequently.

·       The number of ducks has increased dramatically in the last few years, destroying the ecological balance of the pond, and increasing the number of casualties on the busy road through the village. It was agreed by all present that investigations should be made into ways of reducing their number, and that, in the meantime, a notice should be placed at the pond asking people to be sparing of the feeding of the ducks and certainly not to leave large quantities of bread around the pond, which encourages rats and other vermin.

·       It was agreed that the biggest problem for the project would be somewhere to redistribute the waste from the dredging operation (this was the reason for the failure of a previous attempt to clean up the pond several years ago). Anyone who may be able to offer a site (for all or part of the waste) is asked to contact the Parish Clerk, Mike Cox, on 01379 688355.

minutes 2005

Minutes of meeting held on Wednesday 16th November 2005 in the Methodist Schoolrooms.

1)      Attendance and Apologies: Present were Brian Frith (Chairman), Jan Tate (Vice-Chair), Val Garnham, Joan Muncila, Mick McManus, Graham West, Robert Carley and Mike Cox (Clerk). One member of the public and Mr. Greg Britton (Breckland Council Planning Officer) also attended – see item 6.

2)      Declaration of Interests: None.

3)      Minutes of last meeting: Approved and signed.

4)      Matters arising:

·        New sign in Tanns Lane - has now been erected.

·        Installation of new ‘dog bins’- matter discussed. It was suggested that we have one located at the southern end of the village, perhaps near to the School, and another at the northern end at a location to be decided. Jan Tate agreed to contact Norfolk County Council about suitability of locations.

·        Footpath /cycle track to Village Hall – The Chairman has written to the Village Hall Committee and South Lopham Parish Council suggesting a meeting to begin the quest for a footpath/cycle track linking the two villages to the village hall. Nominations had been received and Brian Frith and Mick McManus agreed to represent North Lopham.

5)      Finance Report and Accounts for Payment:

·        Precept for 2006/07 Analysis of recent years, forecast expenditure for this year and discussion of plans for next year.

The Chairman, Vice-Chair and Clerk had met to consider the financial situation and had reviewed spending and income in various categories over the last five years. All Councillors had received a copy of the spreadsheet. It was noticeable that this year’s income from the Burial grounds has been much less than recent years, leading to a net overspend for this year. We have also received a large invoice for the maintenance of Primrose Lane covering two year’s work. Mr Nunn will be asked to present this annually in future in order that we gauge the annual precept more accurately. A suggestion was also made that this particular task be put out to tender. It was proposed that we increase the precept to £2200, which would present us with another net loss if the burial ground fees were low again. However, if that returns to the 5 year ‘norm’ we should at least ‘break even’. Proposed Val Garnham and seconded Joan Muncila – all agreed.

·        Clerk’s salary and expenses – to be discussed at next meeting.

·        Grass cutting (Burial ground) – The final cut for this season has been made, making a total of twelve cuts in a fast growing season, making the total £705.

·        Any other accounts for payment – Accounts for payment included £10 for the hire of Methodist Schoolrooms, £134.92 NLPC contribution to the Lophams News (same as last year), £38.00 Bank charges as a cheque had to be re-presented due to a temporary lack of funds (2 days). Clerk will monitor more closely. It was suggested that we look at the audit of our accounts. Chris Stringfield refuses to accept any form of remuneration for this service but did indicate that if we would like to make a donation to the Church we could do so. Proposed by Robert Carley and seconded Val Garnham that we donate £20.00 – all agreed.

6)      Planning Applications Whilst this appears well down the agenda it was dealt with at the beginning of the meeting due to the presence of Mr Greg Britton, Principal Planning Officer with Breckland Council. His brief was to explain why we appear not to receive any feedback on planning applications that are granted but have not received the backing of this Parish Council. Mr Britton presented a very informative description of the processes that these go through and did in fact discuss the last three that this Council had recommended for refusal. He did promise that in the future we would receive a letter from his office in similar cases, where permission has been granted. He also discussed the ‘building envelope’ for the village, which proved very useful. Mr. Britton was thanked for his attendance.

Progress with Applications

·        ‘Lyndhurst’ – barn extension - approved.

·        Covering of Pond at 1 Ashes Farm – approved.

·        Two building plots at Ashes Farm – approved.

·        Application for building at The Beeches had been withdrawn.

7)      Footways, Roads and Footpaths

·        Duncan Cole from Highways reports things are going smoothly with the proposed footway in Church Road and this is in the hands of Norfolk Property Services who are now dealing with land acquisition. At this stage progress will be very slow because of the formalities.

·        E-mail from Brian Lee, dated 27th September 2005 – “It was unfortunate that we had a backlog of work, much of which has now been cleared, thus enabling new work to be issued. Accordingly, this footway siding and gully cleansing work has now been issued to one of our gangs, and should be done in the next 2/3 weeks. Patching will be carried out within a similar timescale”. Since then the footway siding and gully cleansing has been completed, but we await patching.

8)      Correspondence

·        Brian Frith had received e-mail from Geoff Ward of the 96th Bomb Group regarding a planned visit by Americans in May 2006. More details would be available nearer the time, but Councillors agreed to support the suggestion that we should host a buffet lunch.

·        Phil Daines, Development Services Manager for Breckland Council, has drafted a comprehensive document on the Local Development Framework. Comments are requested by 12th December 2005. File to be circulated.

9)      Items for discussion/further investigation

·        Letchmere - Following the September meeting Brian Frith gave an update on the progress of its clearance including a report by Chris Durdin (RSPB). Copies of the proposals were circulated to Parish Council members prior to the meeting. Proposed by Mick McManus and seconded Graham West that this report be accepted. Mick McManus and Graham West agreed to form sub-committee with Brian Frith. Ed Stocker, the NCC Ecologist had promised to be in contact had suggested that the waste from the pond be used to in-fill part of the pond (thus making it slightly smaller) but avoiding the problems and expense in transporting the waste to an alternative location.  Brian Frith was investigating legal ownership of the pond and surroundings with the Land Registry.

·        Drainage scheme – Letter received from Rob Morris of Anglian Water, Peterborough confirming that a mains drainage scheme for approximately 212 properties was in the plan to commence in the financial year from 2008. He hoped to have ‘Duty Acceptance’ letters within the next month and would pass a copy on to the Parish Council. The exact ‘envelope’ of the scheme is not yet decided, but to give an idea, the Chairman has calculated that there were nearly 212 properties in the area from Church Corner to The Drift, including Cherry Tree Close, Tanns Lane and Kings Head Lane. E-mail from Rob Morris of 15th November reports nothing further with a meeting due for 17th November that should bring further news.

10)  A.O.B.

·        Mike Cox reported that Richard Vere had encountered problems with the canopy of certain trees in the Churchyard and asks that this be given some attention. Graham West suggested that he give these a look before reporting back to the Parish Council.

·        Mick McManus reported that the two drain covers outside The Walnuts had not been attended to and were very noisy when heavy lorries passed*.

·        Jan Tate reported that some parishioners were concerned at the lack of signing in Tanns Lane indicating that this was a ‘No Through Road’*.

*Highways contacted 17th November 2005. 

There being no further business the meeting closed at 2135hrs. 

Date and time of next meeting Wednesday 18th January 2006 at 7.30pm.

minutes 2005