Pam co-ordinates the monthly Boughton news
Main points of the meeting of the Parish Council on Friday 25th July in All Saints' Church. (Full minutes available from the Clerk).
Present: Frank Reid (chairman), P. Coulten (clerk) P. Wakeling, M. Proctor, S. Saunders,
P. Agate. A speaker from QEH to talk about the hospital's bid for Foundation Status.
Also present: Colin Sampson ( Borough Councillor)
An apology had been received from Councillor G. Proctor.
The meeting started with a talk by a speaker from 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.
Chairman's report: 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.
Borough Council Litter Bin
Tony Wren, King's Lynn Borough Council Environment and waste Management visited Boughton on 22nd May to assess our eligibility for a free supply litter bin. The approximate cost of £500 for the required housing is far too expensive for us to consider.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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 appeared on the G4 website, with a closing date of 14th July, 08We have received only one reply
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 (Mark Pogmore) 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.
Village Signs: 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. Jamie 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.
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.
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.
Unitary meeting 4 August 08
Pam and Moira attended the meeting about the unitary authority on Monday evening. The message from the meeting is that it is important that people look at the information and give their opinion either individually or through their parish council.
The background is that Norwich City Council applied to be a unitary authority. This would separate them from the rest of Norfolk and they would organise independently of everyone else. The Secretary of State (SS) decided that they did not meet the 5 criteria for their application to succeed. However because of the application the boundary committee were asked to investigate the situation for the whole of Norfolk. You have probably seen different writings in the press.
The boundary committee looked at different proposals and suggested two ways to make Norfolk into unitary authorities. Please be clear that these are recommendations and that the status quo, leaving Norfolk alone, under the committee's brief conditions can not be considered by the Boundary Committee. However read on...
The first proposal is the 'wedge', putting together Norwich, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth as one authority and the rest of Norfolk as the other authority. The second proposal is the 'doughnut', with Norwich as one authority and then the rest. The other proposal involves Suffolk because of the idea of moving Lowestoft to join Great Yarmouth. The East - West split has been dismissed at the current time. The committee did not say why but it could not have met the criteria.
Whichever pattern you like/ dislike is not important, it is the way we will be governed. Basically there will be the parish and ten councillors as now or similar. The layers of Borough Council and County Council will be removed. One tier will go in here at present being called community partnership boards. The boundary committee want to know how you want these to be comprised. Should all members be elected or some elected and other members nominated from different bodies? The bigger concern is that any member is probably going to represent a lot more of the population. What is now represented by several borough councillors and one or two county councillors could be represented by one person.
It is important that people do not put their heads in the sand. Submissions can be made on the website up to 26 September. This website -look at electoral commission, structural reviews- shows the proposals, the questions that the SS wants answered, the 5 criteria, information as it is submitted. If you, or the Parish Council on your behalf, think that the status quo should be maintained, ie no change to the present system, then you must write in either as an individual or a group. All submissions received so far can be seen on the website www.electoralcommission.org.uk
After the 26 Sept the boundary committee will make its proposal for the best option. This is the important bit. At present we cannot say that we want the status quo. If nothing is said we could end up with very poor recommendations. People need to put their views on how the new proposals may work and could be improved. The SS announces the decision in January 09, then we can badger the SS for the status quo. Everyone can write and say that they don't want change, but it cannot be done until the four weeks in January.
A question and answer session will be held at Knights Hill on 19 August by Norfolk County Council.
Boughton Pumpkin August Update.
Geoff and I have been concerned recently by the relatively slow growth rate. The weather has not been at its June/July norm. Most of the plants we have seen in the ground have some flower buds on them but by now we would have expected flowers to be open and the sign of a small pumpkin or two. We can only hope that we get a warm spell and there is a spurt of growth. This update is being written in early July so by the time this edition is being read things may have progressed better.
A number of growers have been asking us questions with regard to expected plant progress and best horticultural practice to promote Pumpkin size. Questions that we have been unable to answer. In view of this and your obvious concern we have set up a Pumpkin help line. The number is: - 01480 443390. Please give them a call if you require expert opinion and advice.
Good luck and keep growing.
Frank & Geoff
Pumpkin Policeman Geoff is surprised at the size of Debbie's Pumpkin but the offer of a bottle of beer soon allays his concerns over the use of artificial growth hormones.
Boughton Fen through the Seasons
A talk and slide presentation by Allan Hale featuring the birds, butterflies, plants, amphibians and dragonflies of the Fen through the year. On Saturday 18th October 2008, 7:30pm at All Saints' Church, Boughton. Tickets available from Angela Faherty on 01366 501335. Adults £5.00 and children £3.00, includes light refreshments.
All proceeds towards the restoration of Boughton Fen.
Boughton Fen Committee