Oxborough Parish Council



    As of 20th May 2015 our parish councillors are
                                                                                                                  Contact Information   
David Hotchkin                 Tel:  328442     d.s.hotchkin@btinternet.com
                Vice Chair                Hilary Gay
                Councillor                Graham Allison
Ian Monson                                                                                               
Councillor                Simon Willies
                Parish Clerk           Susan Hernandez             Tel: 07900 587825  

Next meeting.  Wednesday 11 October 2017 starting at 7.30pm.

 Oxborough Village Green is available for hire.
For more information contact the parish clerk above for details.

Oxborough Parish Council Risk Assessments
Risk assessment of financial risks. Click for full details.
Risk Assessment for the village green. Click for full details

Oxborough Parish Council Transparency Code 
1. All items of expenditure above £100. Click for details
2. End of year accounts. Click here details
3. Annual governance statement. Click here for details
4 Internal audit report. Click for details
5. List of councillor or member responsibilities. Click for details
6. Details of public land and building assets. Click for details

7. Minutes, agendas and meeting papers of formal meetings. See below

 Notice of Appointment of Data for the Exercise of Public Rights.  Click for notice





Held at Oxborough Village Hall Wednesday 5 July 2017 starting at 7.30pm


Mr. D. Hotchkin

Ms. H. Gay

Mr. G. Allison

Mr. I. Monson

Mr. S. Willies

Mr. M. Nairn






Breckland Councillor

                                                                   12 Members of the Public

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, beginning with a request that no-one should start packing up the room before the end of the meeting, as this had occurred at the last one. In addition, there is a planning application up for discussion, which may be controversial, and he asked all present to refrain from making any comments concerning ethnic minorities, as these will not be included in the minutes. 

Open Forum     

Eileen Lambert observed that her email, sent to the clerk the day before, was not on the correspondence list. The Chairman said that, despite it having arrived too late to be included, it had been circulated and would be considered at the appropriate point in the meeting.  Mike Wood observed that grass is growing over the pathway on the village green and commented on how former Parish Chairman, John Voaden, had previously organized work parties to clear away the grass; secondly, he reported that one of the trees had come away from its restraints, so this would need fixing. Paul Gilluley advised that the area surrounding the village green needed urgent attention, as the hedgerows and other vegetation had grown over the gullies – the Chairman observed that the imminent Rangers visit should rectify this. Mike Cooper asked if the SAM2 sign data had been supplied to Speedwatch (Frankie Watson) yet and the Chairman said that she would be receiving 2-months’ worth very soon. He also observed that the sign has been positioned to record vehicles leaving the village – the Chairman responded that this was to keep reminding drivers to stay with 30mph. Paul Gilluley commented on the proposal regarding the wildflower strip on the village green, saying that it went beyond the scope of the decision made at the last meeting.


The Chairman asked Breckland Councillor Mike Nairn to present his report on Breckland Council, so that he could finish early and leave the meeting due to personal reasons. Cllr Nairn reported the good news that the proposal by Dignity to have a crematorium built in Weeting has failed, as the Crown Court found in favour of NCC and also awarded them costs. The Local Development Plan, after 18 months of planning, goes before the overview scrutiny panel, to be approved by end of July. For Oxborough this means that development is limited to 10% over 10 years and in addition for larger villages and towns their neighbourhood plan must also be taken into account. Cllr Monson asked if he is relieved that Weeting will not see a crematorium built within its boundary. Cllr Nairn said that he was delighted as the proposal had indicated that the site would be within 300m of the centre of the village and that it had been located on a flood plain. Bar Pritchard observed how it made a change to not hear the phrase ‘more cuts’ – Cllr Nairn responded that Breckland Council is in a healthy financial position due to £2.8m revenue from commercial properties plus the full recovery of funds from the Icelandic banks. The Chairman thanked Cllr Nairn for his report and he withdrew from the meeting.

1.    Apologies for absence


2.     Declaration of Interest and any requests for Dispensation


3.     Minutes of the last meeting

The Minutes of the last meeting held on 23 May 2017 had been circulated to all councillors and displayed on the Notice Board (and website). The Chairman proposed that these should be accepted, which was seconded by Cllr Gay – a show of hands was unanimous so they were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4.     Matters arising

The Chairman asked if the Terms and Conditions (to use polycarbonate in place of glass and no time restraint) stated in the telephone box quote received from Cllr Allison should be accepted. Cllr Monson commented that the box was in dire need of repairs and that if Cllr Allison has the materials and is prepared to carry out the repairs, then it makes good sense that he should proceed. Cllr Gay asked the Chairman to confirm the Ts & Cs of the Parish Council: that the repairs should be completed by the end of October and that the material used should be glass. Cllr Willies agreed that the time constraint had been put into place as the matter had been ongoing for some time, but that sooner the better, the job should be done. Cllr Allison confirmed that, save for the paint which the PC would need to fund, he is prepared to carry out the repairs at his own expense as he has the other materials and had enlisted the help of the clerk’s husband for assistance in removing the door and then re-fixing it.  The Chairman asked Cllr Allison to leave the meeting for a few moments. Cllr Gay remarked that the quote from Cllr Allison had only been shared just prior to the meeting so the full conditions were not clarified – the Chairman said that the quote indicated that it was non-negotiable (that there would be no conditions imposed by the PC). Cllr Willies observed that the quote was comprised of free of charge items, so no penalties could be imposed. Cllr Monson proposed that the quote should be accepted as is, that is, without any conditions and this was seconded by Cllr Willies. The Chairman asked for a show of hands – unanimous- and the quote was accepted. Cllr Allison re-joined the meeting and the Chairman informed him of the outcome.

5.     Planning matters

a) 3PL/2017/0420/F: Replacement roof covering & erect fencing in churchyard @ St Johns Church (Hutton+Rostron). Returned no comment. Application approved 26 May.

b) 3PL/2017/0484/A: New signage showing map and information board @ Oxburgh Hall (National Trust). Returned no comment. Application approved 26 May.

c) 3PL/2017/0499/F: Extension of existing Kennels with new roof over existing kennels and demolition of auxiliary shed to make way for extension @ Woodland Meadows Oxborough Road (Mr & Mrs Winborn). Returned no comment. Application approved 25 May.

d) 3PL/2017/0683/F: Removal of corrugated iron & timber cladding & erection of new kitchen @ Bedingfield Arms. Returned with comment from Cllr Willies ‘…planning application that there is room for 28 cars: I struggle to see where they would all park and with a larger kitchen does that mean more cars parked in the village’.

e) 3PL/2017/0537/F: Development of a glamping site @ Site adjacent 41 Eastmoor Road

The Chairman began by saying that the PC would consider making a formal representative to Breckland Council and asked for the councillors’ comments.

i. Cllr Willies: it does not fit in with the local development plan, there is no reference to any access or travel data, pointing out that the road has a speed of 60mph and that the point of access has poor visibility.

ii.  Cllr Allison had written a letter to the clerk and the Chairman read this out: in principle, I do not object but this is the wrong site as it is too close to existing properties…in one of the driest counties…I don’t believe rainwater will go anywhere near to supplying the site and will therefore use the valuable mains water. One toilet and one shower to be used by a possible 12 families seems ridiculous…A load of cars parked in a field will look dreadful and totally out of place…it will look like a graveyard for unserviceable army vehicles. The road is not suitable – there will be noise and litter blowing about. The campers will have to suffer chemical sprays, bird-scarers, crop irrigation noise and spray, and shooting parties at certain times of the year.

iii. Cllr Gay had previously emailed the Chairman, writing: the site notice states that the application is not in accordance with the local development plan.  Given the strength of feeling on previous planning issues and the desire to retain the intrinsic nature of the village, with the help of the development plan and planning regulations, I believe that we should object to this application. Cllr Gay commented further, observing that the location of the site was possibly dangerous, seeing as the road bends at the point and that the proposal for rainwater harvesting would not satisfy the needs of the site, bearing in mind the recent low levels in rainfall, concluding that it would not be environmentally sustainable in the future.

iv. Cllr Monson commented that in principle he agreed with the application and the additional reasons supplied by Mr. McGreish (see Point 6.n) such as the pub would benefit from the additional visitors, although he added that the car parking area would need to be adequately shielded. However, this is the wrong site as it is too close to the houses on Eastmoor road, it is not an especially attractive location – ideally glamping sites are found in secluded and prettier locations (in North Norfolk for example).

v. The Chairman agreed that in principle he did not object but that the location was not right, there was too much invasion of privacy and for this reason he was not in favour.

Cllr Gay proposed that the PC formally objects for the reasons aired, this was seconded by Cllr Willies and the Chairman asked for a show of hands which was unanimous. The Chairman had, prior to the meeting, spoken with the Case Officer at BC as there was some concern that the deadline for comments had passed (3 July) but he had received assurance that comments could be submitted by 14 July latest. He reminded the members of the public of their individual rights to submit their own comments and Cllr Gay advised that the case officer could be emailed directly. William Chapman (Lilac Farms) asked if he could speak and he said that as the owners of numbers 37-39 Eastmoor Road, he strongly objected to the proposal on the grounds of invasion of privacy. Cllr Allison mused as to why this site had been chosen as a glamping area, which seemed puzzling as it was obviously unsuitable. Cllr Gay responded that this was not council business to consider the reasons, which Cllr Monson added would only be known to the applicant, and she asked the Chairman for a point of order – to continue with the meeting in hand.

f) 3PL/2016/1129/F: Conversion and enlargement of the existing barn to form a new residential dwelling with new access, erection of bird-hide for public use, formation of rubble spits and extension of the Oxborough Lakes Management Plan to 2036 @ Oxborough Lakes House Oxborough Lakes, Oxborough Rd. Approved 16 June.

g) 3PL/2017/0755/HOU: Single storey side & rear extension following demolition of existing conservatory @ Whitebridge Farm Bungalow Oxborough Road (Mr & Mrs A Udall).

h) 3PL/2017/0796/LB: Installation of security box on boundary wall @ Oxburgh Hall.

6.     Correspondence received

            a) NCC

            1. Parish Partnerships scheme for local highway improvements, which the County Council will be repeating in 2018/19.  All bids to be submitted by 11 December 2017.

            b) Breckland Council

            1. The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Order) 2015 sets out the information required to make a valid planning application. In addition to these national requirements, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), paragraph 193 states that Local planning authorities should publish a list of their information requirements for applications, which should be proportionate to the nature and scale of development proposals and reviewed every two years. The Council’s current Local List was adopted in July 2015.  Therefore, a review of the Local List and a three-week consultation with local agents has taken place and a final version of the Local List is now available to view. See link to website:- https://www.breckland.gov.uk/article/2938/Validation-Local-List-OS-Map-Service or a copy of the document is attached for your convenience. The Council are seeking comments on this latest version of the Local List by 12th June 2017.  If you have any comments regarding the document or questions please email Mike Brennan Michael.Brennan@capita.co.uk or Rebecca Collins Rebecca.Collins@capita.co.uk or telephone 01362 656870.

c) Simon Swann Associates repeated request for payment of invoice received in the first week of April. The clerk has again asked the WMT for an update: ‘your Completion Report has been reviewed by Andrew and you should receive a formal response within the next couple of weeks’. To avoid further delay the anonymous donor has paid the nett amount by cheque and once the funds are cleared the clerk will pay the invoice.

            d) Primary Care Supplies -information on purchasing defibrillator.

e) Email from Julie Wood: ‘Just thought the PC ought to be made aware of a very dead limb on the tree on the pound. It is quite a substantial branch, on the side facing the road and Badgers End’. The Chairman remarked that he had met recently with Trevor Howes so he offered to ask him to take a look at the tree. But Cllr Monson reminded the council that there is a TPO on the lime tree and it would be prudent to contact BC Tree Officer to request his opinion first: the clerk will make enquiries.

            f) NALC newsletter – circulated to councillors.

            g) Norfolk Police – Newsletter including crime updates.

            h) DWP & Ipsos MORI- requesting views and experience of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions.

i)Email from Cathy Warnock: ‘I really like the way the grass has been cut recently. The Village Green cutting seems eminently sensible and my dog really enjoys lying in the long grass. On the Pound, I like the way not all the grass is cut and the long swathe which remains, protects bulbs and the smaller wildlife. It is also a very good way of keeping cars off the grass’.

j) Norfolk Vanguard – consultation opening in the Autumn regarding the proposals for two offshore wind farms, Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas

k) Email from Debbie Wells requesting to hire the Village Green for a charity dog show on 27 August, in support of the Desert Rats Memorial:The Tank memorial at Mundford is one and the other is the memorial currently at Sandhurst which is an evolving project which is getting a sculptor to create a memorial to get placed at the National Memorial Arboretum. It is very early days and we have a lot to raise and hoping to achieve within 2 yrs to get a memorial for the arboretum, we have only just commissioned the sculptor this week. I know the dog show would be a small fund-raiser but I feel i need to start somewhere, after meeting a D-Day veteran Len Burrett age 99 on Tuesday at Sandhurst at the memorial that was from Berlin. The Desert Rats is a registered charity, charity number; 1063575”.  Booking form and Ts & Cs supplied. Kelvin Smith (VHC Treasurer) had shared information that they would be charging £50 for the hire of the hall (7.30am - 5pm). Cllr Allison related that he had attempted on several occasions to communicate with Debbie regarding the dog show, in regard to his idea of holding another Fun Day on the August bank holiday weekend – and possibly sharing this with the dog show event. Cllr Monson commented that the grass would need to be cut prior to the event, so he proposed a nominal charge of £30 to cover the costs of the PC. Cllr Willies commented that the dog show would likely be a large event and in that case there would not be room for additional activities and Cllr Hotchkin agreed, adding that he has seen similar events attended by professionals with large vans and even with commercial pitches, which would generate additional income for the charity. Cllr Gay seconded Cllr Monson’s proposal, the Chairman asked for a show of hands, which was unanimous.

l) Email from Martin Ive (Ryston Runners AC) requesting to hire the Village Green for the annual ½ marathon run 3 September. Booking form and Ts & Cs supplied.

m) Website comment received from Jackie Palmer-Hibbert: “We have noticed over the past few weekends, that there are still many people parking on the triangle, where the Lime tree is. As its now the season where the village will get busy, maybe a new notice needs to be placed on there on either side of it”. Cllr Monson observed that the season had been particularly dry so far but that he had also noticed that there is increaded parking on the Pound.

n) Email from Andrew McGreish: “I am applying for planning permission for a glamping site at Eastmoor road, Oxborough… I will not be able to attend the parish council meeting … I'm sure there will be questions for me, which I would happily answer. The main aims of my business are:

            -To encourage the use of walking and cycling around the area

-Ecologically friendly as possible with solar panels and reusing rain water on site with all FSC stamped timber used

            -Replanting hedgerows and trees around the site with native species

            -The site will be limited to a certain number of guests at a time

            -No caravans are allowed

            -Encourage the customers to use local pubs, restaurants and attractions

            -No driving on the site, a car park will be next to the main gate”.

            o) Proposal from Cllr Gay, Bar Pritchard and James Parry regarding the wildflower strip on the Village Green.

7.       ACCOUNTS- including annual review of   internal control

a)  CGM: New contract agreed to mow the middle area leaving the border to the Northwest side (left of path), on a *3 weekly basis March – October @£32 per cut and to mow the boarder to the left of the path in July and October @ £40 per cut (*if the grass is growing particularly fast, then the interval could be 2 weeks - the Parish Council would be prepared to pay for an extra cut if necessary). This is effective immediately.

b) Payment: Net amount of £84 for CGM (3 cuts less credit for overcharge in 2016).

c) Receipt: £3507 from anonymous donor – nett amount to be paid to Simon Swann Associates

d) Payment: £4208.40 to Simon Swann associates (gross amount)

e) Receipt: £2490 from War Memorials Trust Grant Scheme

f) Payment: £2490 refund to anonymous donor. Cllr Monson offered thanks to this anonymous donor, for stimulating the whole project to bring the war memorial into such a good restored condition. He added his thanks to the clerk for her work in managing the project and Cllr Gay supported this.

g) Annual Return completed and returned 2 June.


This has been revised to Rev C, to include under assets the war memorial- Ongoing maintenance -review condition on annual basis and report to WMT Trust Grants Scheme. Cllr Monson asked if the war memorial is insured and the clerk said it has never been included on the schedule, although the lead had been treated with ‘Smartwater’ – a forensic coding system. He asked if the war memorial is listed and the clerk advised that this is one of the next steps in accordance with the WMT. Cllr Monson commented that there had been occasional vandalism in the village and proposed that the war memorial is added to the insurance schedule. Cllr Gay suggested asking the WMT how to value the war memorial and then she seconded the proposal. The Chairman asked for a show of hands which was unanimous.


a) Rangers visit scheduled soon -submit requests for work by 3 July to ketteringhamdepot@norfolk.gov.uk. Works requested including cutting all verges around the Green and cleaning reflector posts. Response received: “All the (Highway) verges are due to be cut in the next few weeks by our contractor (TARMAC) please let me know if anything is missed after this takes place. As for the reflector posts, unfortunately we no longer replace these when they are used incorrectly as they are in this case (They are not guarding a hazard) so I am unable to ask the rangers to do this”.

b) Clerk reported a small pothole located to one-side of the village hall car park (not the main road, rather the narrow road which follows down one side of the village green). And secondly, the poor state of Ferry road beyond the tarmac.

c) The Chairman emailed David Jacklin concerning the grass cutting carried out on the Pound, specifically 

10.     A.O.B.

Cllr Gay had three different issues to discuss:

a) The management of the wildflower strip on the green: she had drawn up a proposal along with Bar Pritchard and James Parry, after reviewing the current condition of the strip to see what species are naturally occurringand the possible steps forwards, including sowing native wildflower seeds after the final cut of the year. The Chairman asked Cllr Gay if she was making a new proposal to manage the wildflower strip, as 1-year agreement was already in place following the last meeting, which must be allowed to run for 6 months without change; he added that the wildflower area had been tried out on the Pound and that this had not worked out. Cllr Gay asked if the discussion he had previously had with James Parry was now irrelevant. Cllr Monson asked the Chairman for his opinion on the matter: instead the Chairman read out the email received from Eileen Lambert (wherein she shares her disapproval of the wildflower strip) and this provoked an outburst of loud applause from members of the public. The Chairman stated that he agreed with Eileen’s view. But Cllr Gay observed that at the previous meeting there had been an agreement to support the wildflower strip, however it appears that there has been a misunderstanding regarding conversations between James Parry, herself and the Chairman, so she formally withdrew her proposal. Cllr Monson commented that the proposal went beyond what had been agreed at the previous meeting, which proposal had been set for a trial period of 1 year. Cllr Allison agreed, adding that after the year is lapsed the discussion could be revisited.

b) Standing Orders: Cllr Gay noted that in January the Chairman had emailed the council regarding the lack of standing orders and that he would prepare a draft for fellow councilors to review and adopt. At that point Cllr Gay had supplied a draft template which might be useful to him, but that no further communication had ensued and she asked the Chairman when the draft standing orders would be ready for review. The Chairman commented that he was nearly there, although he observed that the draft template supplied by Cllr Gay had a number of missing clauses, as he had been working on a model supplied by Denver PC, whose clerk was particularly experienced in this matter. Cllr Allison pointed out that issues come up which seem to need re-iterating and therefore takes up too much time in discussion. Cllr Willies added that standing orders should be put into place. Cllr Gay asked when this would be accomplished and the Chairman said probably before the next meeting in October.

c) Communication: Cllr Gay asked the Chairman which method of communication was best for him as she had received no response from recent telephone calls or emails – and even knocking on the front door had proved unfruitful. The Chairman said he preferred email communication but that he had recently experienced issues with telephone and internet coverage – and had planned on contacting his network provider for assistance. He also mentioned that he had some health issues which had been pre-occupying but he offered his apologies to Cllr Gay and that going forward he would endeavor to stay in communication.

Cllr Monson shared his concerns over the recent spate of burglaries in and around Oxborough, observing that it seems the parish is not getting much of a response from the police and that not enough effort is put into policing these crimes. He added that there has been no police present at PC meetings for a long time. Cllr Allison responded that the police had reacted very well to the burglary at the barns but Cllr Monson said it seems there is no communication between the Swaffham police (who service Oxborough) and the Thetford police (who service Stoke Ferry). Cllr Gay reminded the council that there had been no resolution following the theft of the lead from the church roof. Cllr Monson proposed that the clerk write to the chief of police expressing these concerns, which was seconded by Cllr Willies; the Chairman asked for a show of hands – all in favour.  Following this Cllr Monson concluded that he was delighted to witness the recent speed trap carried out by the transport police.


a) Eileen Lambert commented that when she was the victim of a burglary in February, the police attended her within 1 hour and forensics was carried out – but by officers from Thetford.

b) Bar Pritchard pointed out that regarding the Oct 2016 house burglary, there had been 2 witnesses, which had obviously helped solve the crime.

c) Mike Cooper asked if any enquiries had been made concerning the possible mobile visits of the post office van: the clerk apologized for not following this up from the previous meeting but Bar Pritchard informed the council that the mobile post office van at Gooderstone is advertised on the bus stop – specifically the days and times at which it is available at Gooderstone.

d) Jim Hitches observed that when the verges surrounding the village green are finally cut, there is an area close to the village green pedestrian gate which remains unkempt as the machinery cannot negotiate this area. He suggested that it would be best if this was strimmed.

e) Mike Cooper asked if the PC would consider charging any commercial outlets which might be present at the dog show, but Cllr Allison responded that the charity would benefit from the income.

f) The Pound/Village Green: Bar Pritchard observed that when the daffodil strip on the Pound had remained uncut by NCC, this had the effect of deterring car parking, much in the same way the long grass had the same effect, as it offered a barrier. Paul Gilluley agreed that the daffodils in bloom looked acceptable, but once they had gone over they were unsightly and made the Pound look scruffy. Christine Matthews commented that she sees no issues with any car parking on the Pound. William Chapman commented that the long grass had looked a mess, and especially in comparison to Boughton or Barton Bendish, adding that Oxborough is a high-class village and for that reason he likes to see the Pound tidy, as the Church is always beautifully maintained and he is sure the National Trust visitors would expect the same for the Pound (and the village green). Cllr Monson added that if cars are parked on the Pound it looks an eyesore and that this had been the reason behind the wildflower area. Chris Heatley agreed with William’s comments and supported the email written by Eileen Lambert, recalling how he, as treasure of the Oxborough Doorstep Green Action Group, had agreed to all sorts of conditions (litter-picking, mole monitoring etc) in order to acquire the grant funding for the Doorstep Green, but that he did not welcome the thought of wildflower seeds blowing into his own garden. Bar Pritchard disagreed with his recollection, rather that the area should retain a semblance of its original condition. The Chairman noted that these disagreements had been circling for some time – and probably years to come-but that he considered there had not been a problem with people parking vehicles on the Pound, rather that newcomers desired to make changes. Lynn Hitches spoke up, how her and her husband had moved from London 10 years ago to live in Oxborough and wished for no changes.  Grant Kennedy recalled Henry Lambert asking villagers what they wanted to see done with the village green and remembers the majority asking for an area which could be enjoyed by all the residents. Bar Pritchard added that the wildflower strip on the village green had been agreed on at the last meeting for a period of 1 year, but Paul Gilluley reiterated that it is not working as after 2 months no wildflowers have come through. Cllr Allison commented that most people did not like the wildflower strip at which point the Chairman asked for order to quell a number of out-spoken comments from the members of public. Cllr Allison questioned the lack of management of the verges surrounding the village green, at which Cllr Willies suggested that NCC should be responsible but Cllr Allison informed him that Highways would only be responsible for the 1m strip adjacent to the road. Cllr Monson commented that the drainage gullies all needed clearing and Cllr Allison agreed with this.

g) Jim Hitches brought up the matter of the bus-stop shelter verge and how the area would really benefit from the addition of hard-standing to avoid the annual deterioration of the area over the winter months. He asked what the PC planned to do about it as he had asked about this more than once in the past. Cllr Allison observed that car parking had increased along this verge due to the restriction on parking on the Pound. The Chairman confirmed that he had previously discussed this with Highways Engineer David Jacklin who had advised that there is no budget for such remedial works. So, Cllr Allison suggested that the PC could install some hard standing – Cllr Monson commented that only planings could be added and the clerk advised that any works carried out on the highway would probably need approval from NCC first.


The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Wednesday 11 October 2017 starting at 7.30pm.


The meeting closed at 9.38pm






Held at Oxborough Village Hall Wednesday 23 May 2017 commencing at 8pm 


Mr. D. Hotchkin

Ms. H. Gay

Mr. G. Allison

Mr. S. Willies

Mr. I. Monson




Councillor Co-opted





                                                                        11 Members of the Public

Open Forum     

Mike Cooper asked the PC to consider using the services of the Royal Mail van which can visit Oxborough 4 times a week, for ½ hourly sessions, to enable residents to access their services. The PC would need to offer parking facilities – this is already being used in Gooderstone. The councilors agreed this was a real benefit to the community as they are aware of elderly residents who find it difficult to access the post office in Stoke Ferry and the Chairman asked the clerk to make the necessary enquiries. Paul Gilluley brought up the recent issue of the long grass on the village green, which had hidden dog mess left by irresponsible dog owners and then been stepped on by young children. The Chairman noted these comments and advised that this would be discussed further in the Agenda Item.

1.    Apologies for absence

Cllr Nairn had emailed his apologies as he would not be able to attend due to circumstances outside of his control.

2.     Declaration of Interest and any requests for Dispensation


3.     Minutes of the last meeting

The Minutes of the last meeting held on 25 March 2017 had been circulated to all councillors and displayed on the Notice Board (and website). Cllr Gay proposed that these should be accepted, which was seconded by Cllr Willies – a show of hands was unanimous so they were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

4.     Matters arising


5.     Planning matters

          a) 3PL/2017/0316/HOU: Construction of domestic garage @ 2 Swaffham Road (Julie Stammers). Returned no comment: Planning Permission granted 21/04/2017.

          b) 3PL/2017/0254/HOU: Courtyard infill and side extension @ Woodland Lodge Oxborough Road (Mr & Mrs Winborn). Returned no comment: Planning Permission granted 28/04/2017.

          c) 3PL/2017/0356/HOU: Demolish existing Utility Room and adjoined Glass lean-to. Construct new single storey structure to form a day Room and utility Room @ Red House (Robert Plant). Returned no comment: Miles Griffin emailed: I note from the roadside that there is a planning application notice for work at the Red House, which has come as a surprise, as Breckland Planning has not notified me, as the application is for work against the side of my barn. I see from the planning website that the Parish Council has no objections, however I am unable to see any reference to this planning application in the draft minutes from the last Parish Council meeting - has this been agreed out of committee, and if so, should there not have been some discussion with interested parties. The clerk responded: Since the deadline for responses to BC was before the next meeting in May, the plans were circulated to the councillors on 28 March. There were no comments or objections and this will be recorded in the correspondence received for the upcoming meeting. Regarding your last point, I do remember occasions when some councillors have made a site visit, but this has never been an obligation. Planning Permission granted 03/05/2017.

          d) 3PL/2017/0369/HOU: Erection of detached garage @ 10 Eastmoor Road (Mr & Mrs Kaser). Returned no comment: Planning Permission granted 26/04/2017.

          e) 3PL/2017/0484/A: New signage showing map and information board @ Oxburgh Hall (National Trust). Returned no comment.

          f) 3PL/2017/0499/F: Extension of existing Kennels with new roof over existing kennels and demolition of auxiliary shed to make way for extension @ Woodland Meadows Oxborough Road (Mr & Mrs Winborn). Returned no comment.

          g) 3PL/2017/0420/F: Replacement roof covering & erect fencing in churchyard @ St Johns Church (Hutton+Rostron). Returned no comment. The Chairman added that he had voiced his concerns with Charles Ashley as to whether there would be sufficient room to allow for a funeral cortege to pass through.

6.     Correspondence received

       a) NCC

       1. Emergency road closure in Oxborough (6-10 April)

       2. Local Election Campaign regarding the election on 4 May to vote for NCC Councillors. Poster displayed.

       3. Temporary road closure in Gooderstone (15-19 May)

b) Breckland Council

       1. Agenda for Town & Parish Council Meeting being held 27 April in Attleborough

       2. Invitation to the new restaurant opening at Thetford Riverside 24 April: Grand Central Bar & Grill.

       3. Notification by a Parish Member of BC of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests & Other Registrable Interests – completed by Cllr Willies 27/03/2017.

c) Application for displaying sign (vinyl banner 30cm x 170cm) on the railings by the bus stop: received from Patsy Hood on behalf of the All Saints Painters, for the annual Art@Stoke Ferry Church Annual Art Exhibition, 10-25 June. Cllr Allison proposed that permission is granted, which was seconded by Cllr Monson; a show of hands was unanimous.

d) Norfolk Constabulary:

       1.a recruiting event for more Special Constables is being held 4 May at Providence Street Community Centre in King’s Lynn, starting at 7pm

       2. The South Norfolk Community defibrillator has gone missing from The Assembly Rooms in Swaffham.

e) Brown & Co: unsolicited letter on land and estate management services

f) RAF Marham information updated event 25 April at the Sandringham Centre 2-6pm. Poster displayed.

g) SLCC Norfolk Branch: Summer Conference at Carrow Road 7 July - £49.50 pp.

h) Akers Tree Services: NPTC qualified business concerning tree surgery and all aspects of tree care (Peter Ackers, 01953-798224, www.akerstreeservices.co.uk ).

i) Norris & Fisher Insurance Brokers Ltd: touting for work.

k) Emailed copy of Norfolk Constabulary letter received by Nicola Wray regarding the burglary by Richard Lawn D’Ambrosia Glasgow: he has been found guilty and sentenced to 50 months and 2-weeks imprisonment to be served concurrent…and order made for forfeiture and destruction of the drugs.

l) Norfolk Family Mediation: request for donation.

m) Aon UK Limited: the clerk supplied the insurance schedule and received a quote: £399.66 incl. Insurance premium tax at 12%. If we agree to a 3-year Long Term Agreement, the premium reduces to £379.68 incl. Insurance premium tax at 12%. However, ‘further to the information below, if you have a cheaper quote we are able to match that and discount it further’ -the promise is to match our existing quote plus additional discount. The clerk requested a re-quote: £189.32.

n) Regarding the remedial work on the ‘phone box, the clerk formally approached Mike Wood (who declined as although he felt he could repair the glass, he did not think he was capable of fixing the wood). Cllr Graham Allison verbally confirmed that he was very willing to carry out the repairs (adding that he had already acquired materials for the job) and that once the Parish Council agreed, he would proceed. The clerk’s husband, Sam Hernandez, had discussed the job with Graham and agreed to help out when asked, specifically in lifting off and carrying the door to Graham’s workshop.

o) The Chairman received an email from Miles Griffin: ‘…be interested in identifying the pros and cons of installing a public access defibrillator’. Cllr Hotchkin confirmed that as the National Trust had acquired one, that the Parish Council had decided not to go ahead with trying to get one for the village. Mr Miles suggested ‘if the village were to receive a defibrillator without the need to purchase, fully supported by Ambulance Service, with the guidance for unlocking and use including CPR provided by the 999-operator, what practical objections would be raised, and would it provide a use for the phone box that might discourage mindless vandalism’ and he asked for a councillor to make a proposal for the Parish Council to acquire a community access defibrillator.

p) The Doorstep Green:

       1. Emails from James Parry, Julie and Mike Wood and Bar Pritchard regarding the village green which is ‘full of cow parsley, speedwell, buttercups and other flora’ and in their opinion, looks very beautiful. They requested if the grass cutting be changed or at least modified before the next cut is due, suggesting if it would be possible to leave the area to the left (road side) of the path uncut, plus maybe an area around the periphery of the green. Cllr Gay added that the proposal would need to be specific, such as leaving the grass to the north of the footpath and a 5-meter verge round the rest of the green. The clerk confirmed that the original design of the Doorstep Green allowed for areas of uncut grass to develop into a meadow searched through the records to clarify this; emailed partial scans to all cllrs and interested villagers (more copies to be available at the meeting).

Cllr Gay proposed that a decision would need to be made how to manage the Green between the following 3 options:

i. Follow the original plan for 3 levels of mowing.

ii. Follow a simplified plan, cutting the centre as at present and leaving a border of (say) 5 meters around the edge, which will be mown only twice a year, to support wildflowers and wildlife (using the path as the border on the north-west side.

iii. Continue as at present with 13 cuts everywhere.

       2. The Chairman received a complaint (via email) from Glen Keeley of St. John's Close plus a further resident also expressed concern about the matter. Paul Gilluley has informed him that a child was playing on the Green the other day and ended up with dog faeces on their shoe.  The Chairman emailed the clerk that the grass must be cut as soon as possible although still discuss the long-term mowing scheme at the next Ordinary Meeting.

       3. Vice Chairman Hilary Gay emailed ‘as someone who regularly uses the green, I know that the grass is frequently too long to see anything in it. It would have to be cut weekly in summer to keep it short. I often come across goose faeces - only twice in the last year dog (or fox) faeces’. She reiterated the option to mow the centre and leave a margin for grass etc. to grow higher would provide a substantial area of short grass.

       4.  Email from James Parry following the cutting of the village green: he expressed his disappointment and asked that his email should be taken as a formal complaint about the way this is being handled.

       Clerk note: subsequent to the meeting, James emailed ‘Following the parish council's discussion/decision earlier this week about the mowing of the village green, please treat the formal complaint expressed in my email of 16 May as withdrawn’.

       5.  Email from Julie and Mike Wood expressing their disappointment following the recent cut of the green: “…unlikely that we shall see the flowers return in such profusion this year, and feel that you should have at least have considered these requests, before taking this action”.

6.  Email from Bar Pritchard: Extract -“just a week before the PC meeting that was to discuss the issue all was close-mown and strimmed. I feel this action by the PC was not measured, reasonable, fair or courteous, and actually undermines trust in its decision-making… I please ask your support for Options 1 or 2 when deciding on The Green’s future management ...Wilder areas of unmown grass at the perimeter, to reflect its rural location and setting, were a strong feature of the original plans for The Green, though never implemented.”

7.       ACCOUNTS- including annual review of   internal control

a) Payment: Simon Swann Associates (war memorial renovation) - £3507 plus VAT. The Parish Council will only pay the VAT component. The clerk has prepared the Completion Report and submitted this to the War Memorials Trust, which includes photos and feedback, along with the invoice for up to 75% match funding.          

b) Payment: Community First (Insurance Renewal due 1 June 2017) - £213.44- discounted to £191.52.

The policy wording includes a recent change in insurance regulation, specifically regarding the duty of fair presentation of the risk to the insurers at inception, renewal and variation of policy. OPC must tell the insurers about all facts and circumstances which may be material to the risks covered by the policy and that OPC must not make a misrepresentation to the insurers about any material facts (which is one which would influence the acceptance or assessment of the risk). OPC must check that all sums insured adequately reflect the values required by OPC:


Sum insured



Core Cover

Office contents £2500

Business interruptions £500

Public Liability £10M

Employers Liability £10M

Personal Accident (see summary)

Employee dishonesty £25K

Libel & Slander £250K

Money (see limits)

Legal Expenses £100K

Hirers Liability £2M


Accidental damage/theft/all-risks £100


Malicious damage/storm or flood/ escape of water/ falling trees or branches £250


Benches (4)




Bus Shelter




Speed Indicator Sign




Premium Sub-Total




I.P.T (6%)








Total amount due








10% discount on premium




Final Total amount due





The clerk referred the councillors to the insurance quote received from Aon UK Limited (see Correspondence point m.) She had discussed this with Cllr Gay prior to the meeting, requesting her assistance to review and comment on the reams of paperwork received. OPC have been very well served by Community First over the years and the clerk has always been impressed with their reactivity. Cllr Gay advised the clerk to request a discount from Community First – which was offered at 10%. This compared more favourably with the Aon quote of £189.32. Cllr Monson proposed that the Parish Council should remain with their current insurers Community First, this was seconded by Cllr Gay. The Chairman asked for a show of hands which was unanimous.

     c) Payment: CGM (grass cutting x2): £79.50 plus VAT. The invoice included an amount for the cutting of the village hall grass, so the clerk disputed it and also re-iterated the matter of the over-charge on 26/09/2016. The clerk also questioned why the number of grass cuts had increased from one year to the next (11 cuts in y/e 2016, 15 cuts in y/e 2017). The agreement was for 13 cuts per year. After several exchanges of emails (plus visits from CGM contractors who wanted to cut the grass for a 4th time) CGM has confirmed that only 13 cuts will be made this year although they expressed concern that the grass might look untidy at times. Expect corrected invoice for grass cutting already carried out this year. Credit received for £35 plus VAT.

     d) Notice of audit of accounts for y/e 31 March 2017 received from Mazars LLP. Deadline by which local councils must approve the Annual Return is 30 June 2017. Date by which this must be submitted to the auditors is 5 July 2017. Complete the Exercise of electors’ rights form. The Annual Return (plus supporting documents) must be available for inspection by any person, with reasonable notice, during a period of 30 working days (this year it will be 5 June- 14 July): this notice will be displayed on the Notice Board. The internal audit has been completed by Kelvin Smith for a second year in a row for which the clerk thanked him gratefully. The councillors considered Financial Regulations, the Statement of Internal Control and Annual Review of Effectiveness of Internal Control and the Risk Assessment. After some discussion, the following changes (underlined) were proposed to the Risk Assessment (updated to Rev B).

     Proposer Cllr Willies and seconder Cllr Gay

     i. Business Continuity – all files and recent records are kept at the clerk’s home. The clerk makes a back-up of files after each meeting (this would be 5 times a year).

     ii. Council Records electronic – The Parish Council’s electronic records are stored on the clerk’s computer. Back-ups of the files are taken after each meeting on an external hard drive…

     iii. Precept – sound budgeting to underlie annual precept, including quarterly monitoring. The Parish Council receives annual budget update information. The precept is an agenda item at the January meeting and the council aims to maintain a modest surplus.

     Proposer Cllr Gay and seconder Cllr Monson

     iv. Election costs – Risk is higher in election year. There are no measures which can be adopted to minimise risk of having a contested election. The operating surplus should be sufficient to meet the costs in the relevant financial year.

     The Statement of Internal Control and Annual Review of Effectiveness of Internal Control and the Risk Assessment was amended at point Financial Reporting with the addition of: The accounts are reported against the budget quarterly.

     The Chairman asked for a show of hands which was unanimous.  The clerk read out the Annual Governance Statement to which all councillors agreed and approved and the Chairman and clerk signed and dated in the appropriate places.

     e) Receipt: Precept £1418 and Grant £44.50


8.       Village (Doorstep) Green: grass cutting

The Chairman asked Cllr Gay to comment on the issue of grass cutting, after which he invited the public to contribute to the discussion. Cllr Gay started by saying that the onus was on some irresponsible dog owners who needed to keep a proper watch on their dogs, even when the grass was short. The original Doorstep Green was created almost 17 years ago, so it would be a good idea to look at it again and see what would suit the village in the present day. There are features which cannot be changed but one particular element in design is more transient – that is the grass management. In particular is it in keeping, is it functional and good for users and is it aesthetically pleasing. Living closest to the Green, she sees various uses, namely people running around, others exercising dogs, villagers playing with children, others just relaxing and then some occasional events. She proposes that including some element of bio-diversity (such as a 3m band around the edges) to encourage wild-flower growth might be appropriate and may not incur extra costs.

Paul Gilluley argued that this area of bio-diversity is not required as the village is in the countryside and so there is a lot of bio-diversity already. He stressed that the Green is adjacent to a busy road and that the village needs an area which is clean, safe and enclosed, and maintained to allow for children to play without having to worry about stepping on dog faeces. André Hernandez added that as dog owners need to be responsible, so should those looking after children to ensure they do not run into areas of long grass. Julie Wood agreed with Cllr Gay that there is room for both short and long grass (a small peripheral area to the left of the path), saying that as a dog owner herself she is careful to clean up, but agreeing that not all dog owners are as assiduous, pointing out that since the grass has been cut, she has already come across dog mess left in the short grass. Mike Cooper suggested that long grass would impede vehicular access at events. He added that he thought the whole village should be made aware of this issue and given the opportunity to offer their own opinion. Geoff Pritchard pointed out that the surrounding countryside is mostly agricultural and not really rolling meadows as implied. Mike Cooper asked Cllr Monson if he would agree that farmers create areas of bio-diversity. Cllr Monson agreed that there are schemes in place to leave uncultivated areas for this purpose but added that in general all farmers respect the environment.  Bar Pritchard commented that this had all happened by chance – when the grass had been left uncut for a number of weeks which allowed the wildflowers to grow up -and this promoted a modest request for a solution to meet the wider range of people, to avoid division, as everyone loves to see dogs on the Green and children on the Green.  And of course, parents warn children to be cautious in long grass and to learning wherever you go. Nowadays parks have designated wild flower areas so users can learn from nature so Bar believes there is no incompatibility at stake, rather it is important to retain the unity in the village. Mike Cooper re-iterated his point about making an effort to involve the community, particularly as he has noticed that the income from the Village Green has dropped and that this new cutting regime may deter future bookings. Mike Wood observed that the areas beneath the trees on the perimeter are mostly inaccessible to cars so why not keep these areas uncut, whilst the children will benefit from the majority of the Green at the centre, comprising of short grass, although he added that children can explore and play differently in long grass. Geoff Pritchard pointed out that living close to the Green means it was not actually possible to view the grass when it was left to grow long. Elaine Willies recalled that the wildflower area had first been tried out on The Pound, but thought that the wildflowers did not grow because the soil was not good enough.  She suggested striking a happy medium, agreeing that the wildflowers should be allowed to flourish on one side of the path, so children could clearly see the boundary. Dave Watkins thought that the striking display of wildflowers might have come about because of the strange weather patterns seen this year – which might not be repeated in future years, so this could just be a one-off occurrence, although in his opinion it had looked unkempt. Cllr Gay had spoken with Andy Leclerq and his opinion is that there is enough room to allow for a wildflower strip to grow alongside each edge of the path. But Elaine Willies questioned how it would be possible to reach the area of short grass – perhaps this should be reviewed yearly. Cllr Gay observed that the wildflowers are perennial but flowering can change from year to year. Mike Cooper pointed out that long grass would need careful management and suggested that there would be additional costs for removing it. Bar Pritchard mentioned that James Parry is well informed on the matter of bio-diversity and he is a good resource in terms of management of such areas.

The Chairman thanked the public for their contribution and requested comments from the council.

Cllr Willies could see both sides of the debate and liked the idea of a survey to find out all points of view, including asking James Parry for his contribution. But he questioned what the cost implication might be and concluded that he would support the idea of leaving the area to the left of the path as long grass, to allow children to play on close-cut grass, adding that maybe some play equipment should be considered.

Cllr Allison observed that the grass is often wet when the car boot sales are held and any long grass around the Green (and across the vehicular access) would need to be cut down. He observed that the entire Green is surrounded by a wide strip of bio-diversity, so why is there any need for an area on the Green itself. He believes that it the responsibility of the Parish Council to refrain from personal opinions, rather to represent the villagers’ views and, in this case, he has been spoken to regarding concerns about the long grass; in particular, the problem dog owners experienced in picking up dog faeces plus, the issue of wildflower seeds being blown all over the village and causing wildflower growth in gardens. The Parish Council has a duty of care to villagers and users of the green; there is already an abundance of un-spoilt, unattended land and hedgerows which are used by wildlife, citing the lakes especially as an area of natural environment. The children and adults only have a small plot in the centre of the village so it is not necessary to add to the surrounding landscape. The wildflower area might even put off potential hirers of the Green. He pointed out that the blackthorn hedge in the area of the telephone box had been removed and that the walnut trees were cut down last month which reduced the existing bio-diversity available. He suggested that when the Doorstep Green was first created, there were features included to meet the grant requirements – but that had never been implemented afterwards. And he concluded that if CGM had cut the grass on time, then all of this could have been avoided.

Cllr Monson recalled how the field had been owned by his farming company for many years and used for occasional grazing by cattle and lastly by horses. At that point he wrote to the Parish Council to suggest that the field be purchased for the use of the village, and with the Countryside Agency grant, the Doorstep Green was created. The original grass cutting regime was less severe but this changed to allow for occasional events to be held on the Green. He has no objection to an area of wildflowers to the Northwest side (left of the path) and proposed this should be trialed for a year. After this the villagers could be asked if more or less wildflower areas should be implemented so then the trial could be expanded. There would likely be a small cost implication. Wildflowers actually like poor soil, so reduced cutting should improve the display. He concluded that the majority of the Green should be cut short.

The Chairman explained the timeline for the sequence of events that lead to the long grass being cut (following on from the complaint received regarding dog faeces): see Correspondence point P.2. He added that he is not averse to an experimental area for the increased growth of wildflowers, but that the Parish Council needed to find out from CGM the likely costs. The clerk circulated copies of the quote she had requested from CGM:

Option 1:          Mow the entire green on a 3-weekly basis (Mar-Oct) £36.75 per cut = 13 cuts per year

Option 2:          Mow the conservation area on 2 occasions (July/Oct) £55 per cut

                        Mow footpaths as per site plan 5 meters wide on 3-weekly basis (Mar-Oct) £22 per cut

                        Mow the meadow on a monthly basis (Apr-Oct) £19 per cut

Option 3:          Mow the middle are leaving a 5m perimeter around the entire boundary on a 3-weekly basis (Mar-Oct) £32 per cut =13 cuts per year

                        Mow the perimeter area on 2 occasions (July/Oct) £40 per cut

The councilors discussed the options for a while, observing that the frequency of cuts could be closer during the growing months (say every other week and then once a month towards the end). The clerk considered that CGM would be flexible as they always request the key to the gate for each cut, so it would be possible to change the date. The preference is to keep to 13 cuts but if necessary increase to 15. Cllr Monson pointed out that the issue had been discussed in some depth over the last 30 minutes so urged the council to reach a decision. Cllr Willies asked if it might be a good idea to include something in the next village newsletter, but Cllr Gay pointed out that the matter had already been published on the Agenda and the website so, she proposed accepting the amendment suggested by Cllr Monson to the option ii. Follow a simplified plan, cutting the centre as at present and, for a trial period of 1 year, leaving a border of (say) 5 meters around the edge, to the Northwest side (left of the path) which will be mown only twice a year, to support wildflowers and wildlife (using the path as the border on the north-west side. The Chairman made this proposal to amend option ii, which was seconded by Cllr Gay – and a show of hands was unanimous.

Regarding the other option, Cllr Gay proposed that option i. is deleted, which was seconded by Cllr Willies; a show of hands was unanimous.  

Finally, the amended option for grass cutting was proposed by Cllr Gay and seconded by Cllr Willies – a show of hands was unanimous. The clerk will contact CGM and inform them of the outcome.

9.     Telephone box

          Cllr Allison excused himself from the meeting, declaring an interest in this matter, as he had supplied a quote for the repair works.

          The clerk explained that she had put out to tender the repair works on the telephone box to Mike Wood, Graham Allison and her husband, Sam Hernandez. See Correspondence point n. The clerk had received a hand-written quote from Cllr Allison a few days before the meeting, which detailed work to be carried out at no charge, completion of work to be carried out at his earliest convenience.  Cllr Gay had looked into the use of acrylic material in place of glass, and expressed her concern that in time this material would become dull-looking. Instead she considered the use of toughened glass would be preferable, citing a cost of £8 per large piece and £4 per small piece. She voiced her concern that Cllr Allison had talked first about making these repairs in 2015. Cllr Monson mulled over whether it was even worth retaining the box or whether alternative use should be considered (as per email from Miles Griffin in Correspondence point o.). Cllr Gay pointed out that this had been discussed at the last meeting (and previous meetings of the Parish Council) and that villagers could take it upon themselves to put a project together for an alternative use of the village telephone box. Cllr Monson suggested that the location might need changing as the centre of the village is closer to The Pound, but Cllr Willies reminded the council that it had been debated at the last meeting and agreed that the box should remain where it has always been. Cllrs discussed the material and agreed that the use of toughened glass would be preferable. The Cllrs also agreed to add a time constraint for the work to be carried out by the time of the October meeting. Cllr Monson proposed that Cllr Allison be asked to carry out the repairs, with the help of a sub-contractor (clerk’s husband) when necessary, using toughened glass and completing the works by the October meeting. This was seconded by Cllr Willies and a vote was taken which was unanimous. Cllr Allison re-joined the meeting and was made aware of the outcome.

10.     HIGHWAYS

Notification of new highway areas: now South 3 based at Ketteringham so David Jacklin’s contact number has changed and his Direct Dial number is now 01603 819872.

11.     A.O.B.

a) Cllr Monson congratulated the Chairman on the acquisition of the SAM2 sign as drivers were already slowing down for it – most impressive.

b) Cllr Gay proposed that Cllr Graham Allison should be the Parish Council representative on the Village Hall Committee. This was seconded by Cllr Willies and a show of hands was unanimous.

c) Cllr Gay confirmed that all the footpaths of Oxborough had been walked and she proposed a vote of thanks to all the local farmers who had cut footpaths clear of vegetation which enabled walkers clear passage and a very enjoyable walk each time.


Church Warden Julie Wood requested permission from the Parish Council to display a banner on the railings of the green, to advertise a church fund-raising event: a flower festival and cafe in the North Aisle on 24-25 June. Cllr Gay proposed granting permission which was seconded by Cllr Monson – a show of hands was unanimous.


The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Wednesday 5 July 2017 starting at 7.30pm.

The meeting closed at 10.35pm



Held at Oxborough Village Hall Wednesday 23 May 2017 commencing at 7.00pm



Mr. David Hotchkin



Ms. Hilary Gay



Mr. Graham Allison



Mr. Simon Willies






11 Members of the Public


Cllr Hotchkin welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked the clerk to proceed with elections

The clerk requested nominations for Chairman; Cllr Allison proposed Cllr Hotchkin which was seconded by Cllr Willies. The clerk asked for any other nominations – there were none. A show of hands was asked for, which was unanimous, and the vote was carried.

The Chairman requested nominations for Vice-Chairman; Cllr Willies proposed Cllr Gay which was seconded by Cllr Allison; no other nominations were forthcoming and the Chairman asked for a show of hands -all in favour.

The clerk requested of each Councillor to sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office before conducting council business; the completed forms were returned to the clerk for safe-keeping.

There were no declarations of interest.

The Minutes of the last AGM held on 25 May 2016 had been circulated to all Councillors, displayed on the Notice Board (and website) and were unanimously approved as a true record –and signed by the Chairman.

a. Chairman’s Report, Cllr David Hotchkin:
The Chairman said he was sorry about the resignation of the former Councillor and Chairman, John Voaden, which had caused consternation at the time but then Simon Willies had been co-opted as a replacement Councillor; he feels he will do a good job. He was happy to see the final installation of the SAM2 sign, having played a personal part in the issue, and commented that it seems to be slowing down drivers; data will be collected once he gets to grips on how to access it! The War Memorial is looking very fine and he expressed his grateful thanks to the anonymous donor, without whom it would not have been possible.
The Chairman invited questions:
Q. Cllr Allison asked often the data from the SAM2 sign will be supplied to the Speedwatch team.
A. The Chairman thought that the data would be equally available to Frankie Watkins (Speedwatch Coordinator).
Q. Mike Cooper asked at what point does data begin to record the speed.
A. The Chairman said this is recorded from start to finish – and then the average speed is recorded.
Q. Mike Cooper said that if the SAM2 sign is positioned close to the 30mph sign then this figure would be skewed.
A. The Chairman agreed and that the sign would be moved back some distance (adj. to the property of Miles Griffin) to allow more accurate data collection.
Q. Mike Cooper asked if the Council is happy with the war memorial, going on to complain about the surface finish – which seems unsatisfactory to him (he had brought photos to show the councilors).
A. Cllr Gay asked the clerk if the donor had been asked their opinion of the final state of the war memorial – the clerk confirmed that the benefactor was content, saying that the contractors have done a great job.

b. District Councillor’s Report, Cllr Mike Nairn:
Cllr Nairn was unable to attend the meeting, but had emailed his report: this will be displayed on the Notice Board.

c. County Councillor’s Report, Cllr Fabian Royston Eagle:
Clerk note: no contact from this newly elected Councillor (fabian.eagle.cllr@norfolk.gov.uk)

d. Village Hall Report, Bar Pritchard
Weekly: karate, aerobics (temp on ice), table tennis: Thurs social group and 2 yoga sessions on Fridays. Monthly quizzes continue very successfully (attracting 20-40) -next one is here tomorrow, starting 8pm £3 pp. Last summer‘s monthly Footpaths Walks ending with tea in VH have re-started; next one this Sunday - meet here 3pm. History Group Open Days, generally first Monday in the month are thriving, as older and previous residents meet up and revisit shared pasts, very usefully also identifying people in old donated photos of school classes, cricket teams etc. Next Open Monday is June 5th 11-4. Changing displays of old photos in the entrance add much to the experience for all visitors, both locals & holiday makers passing through.
Other regular but less frequent users include the National Trust, Parish Council, and as Polling Station plus one-off’s in 2016 included pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk” another great success, packing the hall for 2 performances – another in February 2018. April’s Antiques Quiz – also packed – was a very successful event mounted by the SAM speed sign fund-raising group, recently installed.
April’s disappointing Car Boot made us drop this twice-yearly event, although September’s was picked up within a new Aug BH ‘Fun Day’, alongside other attractions and activities on the Green and in the VH – another likely this summer. The Summer BBQ was again greatly enjoyed and well-supported and will be repeated. In Dec the 40th Anniversary of the official opening of the VH was marked by a special 2-day History Group event with pictures of the original wooden building. And private bookings of course continue for family gatherings, parties, wakes etc. Failed efforts to ‘host’ a 24/7 fresh fruit and veg stall in the car park, disappointing (trading license issues). Parking constraints at the pub led to a sign in bus shelter for the VH to take overflow parking – but with no noticeable impact
After 40 years, with individual blocks loosening and warping, the floor needed significant work last August. By Jan, a section near the stored tables bulged and broke up – the blocks not then fitting back into the space. Other areas also started to bulge but seem to have receded. We are currently pursuing quotes for necessary work to inform a way forward, that restores a functional floor asap while providing best value for money. Our complaints about design of the Recycling clothing bank (the difficulty reaching to raise a bag from the ground up to that height given the strength required - at the same time - to pull and hold down the hopper), with full support of Cllr Mike Nairn (who has same problem in Weeting) – are to no avail. Most recent payment, 2016/2017 was around £100 down on previous 12 months. (Down from £672 to £567). Breakdown shows glass actually up £100, (from £206 to £317) –restoring the rate prior to doorstep collection of glass in black bins so many thanks and please keep it up. Textile income has dropped by £200+ (down from £466 to £250) possibly related to the awkward bin design.
Cathy Warnock was voted on at the AGM and Nicola Wray was co-opted to the committee at our first committee meeting following the AGM, the outcome of which is that myself (as GC rep) will continue as Chairman, Julie (as PCC rep) continues as Secretary, Kelvin (as HG rep) remains Treasurer, along with Mike Wood re-elected at the AGM, and Graham likely to be re-appointed as PC Rep, bringing our total to 7 – full complement for once. Thanks are due to this team for their commitment and continuing hard work, as we look forward to working with new members Cathy and Nicky, to keep the VH in good order and available for all to use.
The Chairman thanked Bar for her report.

e. St John’s Church PCC Report, Mike Wood:
Regular monthly church services have been held at St John’s throughout the year. To bring you up to date, the next service of Holy Communion will be held on Sunday 18th June. In November thieves stole the lead from the Bedingfeld Chapel roof. Although a temporary roof covering was put in place straight away, it has proved impossible to keep the weather out. Water has percolated through the roof structure and into the Chapel below. One of the terra cotta tombs has been covered to prevent further water damage. The work to replace the roof has been tendered and the PCC are in the process of going through the tender documents. The need for fundraising is urgent and the PCC is applying for grant assistance. Fund raising events are planned. The first event will be a flower festival and cafe in the North Aisle on 24-25 June which we hope will be well supported. Anyone wishing to take part or help please contact Julie.
Q. Cllr Gay asked if it was known how much would need to be raised by the village in match-funding.
A. The proposed costs are probably in excess of £40k and it is much harder to gain funding as there is a lot of competition for grants, but that work is in hand to achieve this.
The Chairman thanked Mike and Julie for the report.

f. Hewars and Hammonds Trust Report:
The Chairman is a trustee and he confirmed that the accounts had been finished and were available on the Charity Commission website, although for further information please contact Elizabeth Mason.
Q. Cllr Gay asked if any donations had been made to people living in Oxborough.
A. Cllr Hotchkin confirmed that the usual donation was £200 but that no personal information could be revealed as this was confidential.

g. Gooderstone School Report:
There has not been anyone from the village as a representative for some time (since Sue Whittley left as a Governor) and the Chairman said that the Parish Council will follow up with Gooderstone School to see whether OPC should receive some sort of report. Cllr Gay asked if there were any Oxborough children attending the school – this could not be ascertained.
Q. Mike Wood asked if Hewars charity had donated to the school in the last year.
A. The Chairman said that donations could only be supplied for specific needs (no general reasons accepted)
Q. Bar Pritchard asked if there was an obligation for Hewars charity to donate to Gooderstone School.
A. The Chairman said no, but that Hewars would always consider any specific requests for funds.

h. Speedwatch Report, Frankie Watkins
The Oxborough Speedwatch group was formed in March 2016 under the leadership of Cathy Warnock and I subsequently took over as village coordinator in February of this year. We now have a group of eight trained volunteers who, working in teams of three, usually carry out two one hour sessions per week. Earlier this year Oxborough was selected to be one of the first Norfolk Speedwatch groups to receive a new, more modern radar device. Our selection was a result our commitment to the scheme measured by the number of sessions carried out. In March, we took delivery of the new device and can now be seen around the village with our ‘hairdryer’. An additional sixth site at Church Farm Drive was approved by the constabulary and we continue to concentrate our efforts on the sites along Swaffham and Stoke Ferry roads where we see the heaviest traffic. Over the last quarter we have recorded an average of 72 (50 – 100) vehicles per hour of which an average of 3 (0 – 10) were recorded speeding at over 35mph and reported to the Norfolk constabulary. This compares with an average of 85 vehicles and 1 – 12 vehicles speeding over a similar period last year. Our perception as a group is that there are fewer cars speeding through the village when we are out although we do sometimes still see vehicles travelling at speeds approaching 50mph.
The SAM2 sign is now operational in the village and, earlier this month, I had a very useful discussion with David Hotchkin regarding the data from the first month of its use. For June, I have incorporated the information regarding number and times of speeding vehicles to fine-tune the timing of our sessions around the village. I hope to continue to receive regular monthly updates as the SAM2 sign moves around the village so that I can better target the Speedwatch sessions in terms of both time and location.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers for their support, hard work and good humour over the last 14 months. We are always keen to attract more volunteers to the group. If anyone is interested please get in touch with me or come and speak to us if you see us operating around the village.
Q. Cllr Allison asked if the SAM2 sign recorded the speeds of lorries and other larger vehicles.
A. Frankie confirmed that, save for motorbikes, all vehicles speed would be captured by the SAM2 sign.
Q. Elaine Willies asked what happens with the information recorded.
A. Frankie said that a report is compiled and submitted to their designated police contact (Janet); for a first offence, a gently-worded letter is sent; for a second offence, a strongly-worded letter is sent plus the vehicle owner is put onto a ‘police watch’ list. She and Brian Bennett had attended a meeting for Speedwatch teams and had been told that the Speedwatch teams are the front line for reporting to the police on this issue. She added that depending on the number of speeding vehicles reported to the police, a speed trap manned by a traffic policeman would be carried out at certain locations – and that the threshold for speeding would be 31mph.
Q. Elaine asked if the Speedwatch team was having an effect on reducing speeding vehicles.
A. Frankie said that, although it can be deceptive, the perception is that the vehicles are slowing down. As to the question of using the same location as the SAM2 sign, yes this had occurred once and seemed effective, although it was still noticed that once vehicles had passed the group, some would speed away. The ideal Speedwatch session would see zero speeding vehicles. 2 out of 3 team members must agree on the registration number, make and model and colour of each vehicle, which is then reported back to the police. Sometimes the registration number does not match the vehicle details recorded –possibly some drivers are using fake plates, although the police will assume that an error in recording has been made.
The Chairman thanked Frankie for her report.

i. History Group Report, supplied by Kelvin Smith
The group has been active over the last year with two formal meetings and a start made on researching the publication A New History of Oxborough. This meant several visits to the local record offices (Norfolk Archive Centre, Norwich) and the expansion of the archive. Contact was also made with a firm of typesetters and with printers. The deadline is January 2018. There have also been 10 open day events at the village hall, including a new innovation of days (Sunday and Monday) from Dec 2016. Three newsletters were issued during the year, covering subjects such as manorial records, then and now, Oxborough families, archaeology, population of Oxborough, hearth tax, rectors of Oxborough and the religious census of 1851. See the website www.oxboroughhistorygroup.org for more information. The group launched a Facebook page and has several friends including former residents of Oxborough. New display cases and a storage cupboard were acquired which means there is somewhere safe to store electronic equipment. An archaeological dig was undertaken in the Oxburgh Hall carp park (site of four cottages). Although no major finds were made many interesting artefacts have been unearthed. A major disappointment has been the lack of involvement of local schools. We aim to continue to respond to villagers’ and others’ interests and enquiries into the history of Oxborough, to further add to the ‘Oxborough Archive’ and to give presentations and exhibitions when requested. The Group would like to thank the Village Hall Trustees for permission to use the village hall and are grateful to the many villagers and former residents who have supported its activities.
Clerk note: Kelvin had supplied his report prior to the meeting as he would be unable to attend.

6. ACCOUNTS FOR Y/E 31-03-2017
The Councillors considered the prepared accounts. Regarding income, Cllr Willies questioned why there was a figure of £100 in 2017 compared to £200 in 2016 received from the National Trust. The clerk explained that she had been late in requesting the payment in 2015, which why the figure had been doubled in 2016. Cllr Gay asked if thanks had been passed on to Ben Lambert following the annual hedge-cutting; the clerk confirmed this. There were no other questions and Cllr Gay proposed that the accounts should be accepted – this was seconded by Cllr Allison and a show of hands was unanimous. The accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017 being approved, the Chairman and clerk signed the reconciliation and the ledger book.

Cllr Gay proposed that the Parish Council continue with Mazars LLP for the final year, which was seconded by Cllr Willies. The Chairman asked for a show of hands, which was unanimous. Clerk note: Sector Led Body (SLB)for audit procurement: following on from the abolition of the Audit Commission and a new regulatory framework being introduced, the Parish Council has subscribed to the SLB being set up to administer external audit arrangements. This affects the financial year 2017/18 onwards and although smaller authorities with a turnover of less than £25K will be exempt from having to submit an annual financial return, they will have to have an auditor appointed in case there are questions from electors to be resolved.

a) Mike Cooper reminded the council that there is a standing order for an Open Forum at each Ordinary Meeting, but that this had been missed off the Agenda. The clerk apologized and confirmed this would be included as usual.

The Chairman closed the AGM at 8pm.




Held at Oxborough Village Hall

Wednesday 15 March 2017 commencing at 7.30pm


Mr. D. Hotchkin

Ms. H. Gay

Mr. G. Allison

Mr. S. Willies

Mr. I. Monson

Mr. M. Nairn




Councillor Co-opted

Councillor /Norfolk County Councillor

Breckland County Councillor




                                                                        7 Members of the Public

Open Forum     

The clerk welcomed everyone and asked if anyone had something to say before the meeting began. Mrs. Bar Pritchard asked the council to consider the annual request for a representative of the Parish Council to serve on the Village Hall Committee.


The clerk requested nominations for Chairman. Cllr Allison proposed David Hotchkin which was seconded by Cllr Monson. The clerk asked for a show of hands -unanimous -and Cllr Hotchkin accepted and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office. The Chairman asked for nominations for Vice-Chairman. Cllr Monson proposed Hilary Gay which was seconded by Cllr Hotchkin. The Chairman asked for a show of hands – again unanimous – and Cllr Gay accepted and signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.


2.     Casual Vacancy: co-option of new member of the Council

The clerk had prepared ballot voting papers, with the 2 candidates – Bernie Chapman and Simon Willies. Cllr Allison advised that Mr. Chapman had recently spoken with him and that he would be unlikely to attend the meeting. The chairman asked Mr. Willies to present himself: Simon explained that he was very willing to stand as a councillor, as although he and his wife Elaine moved into Oxborough just 15 months previously, his mother’s family had been residents since the 1880s, so he has real traditional ties to the village. He has recently retired but his experience in business has given him good knowledge on how committees operate. He concluded that he wants to maintain the tradition of village life in Oxborough. The Chairman thanked Simon and then, bearing in mind that Mr. Chapman’s name was on the ballot paper, proposed that the ballot should still proceed, which was seconded by the Vice-Chairman. He asked for a show of hands – unanimous- so the clerk handed papers to each elected councillor. Once completed, the clerk asked each councillor to fold and drop the paper into the bag. Then the clerk removed and counted the votes – it was a unanimous election for Mr. Simon Willies and there was a round of applause and welcome from the Chairman. Cllr Willies joined his fellow members on the committee table and then he signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office. The clerk advised that he would need to complete a Members Interest document and would supply that to him in due course.


3.     Apologies for absence


4.     Declaration of Interest and any requests for Dispensation


5.     Minutes of the last meeting

The Minutes of the last meeting held on 18 January 2017 had been circulated to all councillors and displayed on the Notice Board (and website); they were approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

6.     Matters arising


7.     Planning matters

          Planning Permission 3PL/2016/1501/VAR for Church Farm (variation – retrospective).

8.     Correspondence received

       a) Letter of resignation from Cllr John Voaden: Cllr Monson proposed a vote of thanks for Mr. Voaden’s contribution as councillor for 7 years – this was seconded by the Chairman, who asked for a vote which was unanimous. The clerk will write a letter of thanks.

b)  Breckland Council

1. E: Norman Wright, Electoral Services Officer, acknowledging the fact that Cllr John Voaden has resigned as Parish Councillor (and Chairman) – and requesting that a written confirmation of the resignation letter is sent to them. The clerk completed the necessary steps.

2. Casual Vacancy – the period during which electors might request an election to fill the casual vacancy on Oxborough PC has now elapsed and no requests were received. The Council may now proceed to fill the vacancy by co-option to take place ASAP. The new member must make a declaration of acceptance of office incorporating an undertaking to abide by the Code of Conduct and complete a disclosure of their interests which will be held by the Monitoring Officer and available for public inspection. The clerk is to advise the name and address of the person co-opted.

c)  Norfolk County Council

1. Community Biodiversity Awards 2017: open for nominations (for someone/community group who deserves recognition for their voluntary efforts to improve their local patch for wildlife): closing date 30 April.

              d)  CPRE Norfolk: request for all Parish/Town Councils to join in an alliance to oppose the inclusion of additional housing targets in the 2036 local plans by signing a Pledge of Support. The Chairman asked for comments: Cllr Allison referred to recent news concerning Breckland Council plans regarding permitted building for self-builders (and extension to existing homes). Cllr Nairn explained that BC had finalised the 5-year land supply and the draft Local Plan is imminent, which in effect limits house building to up to 10% over 10 years of the existing number of houses in Oxborough; this means a total of 10 houses during that period. But more specifically limits development to a maximum of 3 houses and in effect permits self-build schemes only. Cllr Gay observed that the language used in the pledge was very emotive and she felt unwilling to sign. Cllr Monson added that CPRE is very single-minded in protecting the countryside and he echoed Cllr Gay’s thoughts. The Chairman concluded that he shared the same sentiment.

               e) West Norfolk Ringcraft – email from Sonia Webb enquiring into the possibility of hiring the village green and hall in   regard to holding a Fun Dog Show over the August Bank Holiday weekend.  Regarding the village green, the clerk supplied booking form plus Ts & Cs. Cllr Allison proposed that this event should be held on the same day as Oxborough Fun Day – in which case what hire fee should be charged. Cllr Gay asked what is the fee for entering the dog show and Cllr Allison advised that last year he had charged 50p into any class (normally there are x10 classes). So Cllr Gay proposed that since the current hire fee is £90, perhaps the West Norfolk Ringcraft should be offered a 50% discount for holding the event on the same day; this was seconded by Cllr Monson and the Chairman asked for a show of hands which was unanimous. Cllr Allison will relay this proposition to Sonia Webb.

     f)  Norfolk & Norwich Association for the Blind: request for donation

            g)  Iceni Partnership: Friday Lunch Club (main meal/desert plus hot drink - £6 at Swaffham Community Centre). Now they can offer free transport (having recently been awarded a grant to fund this) and anyone interested in joining the lunch club should call Don or Jonathan on 01760 722800. Cllr Monson recalled how he had been a director of this organisation some 15 years earlier and noted that they had done a lot of good for Swaffham, but that this attempt to include outlying villages was encouraging and that Oxborough residents should take advantage of the free transport offer. The clerk confirmed that this had already been included in the village newsletter and website, although there was a poster which needed to be displayed, but due to her personal circumstances (recovering from a hip op) she had been unable to get around the village over the last 4 weeks, although thanking Cllr Allison for assisting her with other items requiring to be displayed on the Notice Board.

    h) E: Mike Wood received request from June, a gardener at Oxburgh Hall, if it would be possible to cut down the whips (tall thin single stems) around the village green, prior to the hedge being cut. She needs them for a project she is doing at the hall. The clerk advised that the hedge would be cut within the following fortnight, so advised that she should make the cuttings soon. Cllr Monson had observed a group of volunteers from the National Trust cutting small saplings and he spoke with them – they explained that the cuttings would be used in a basket-weaving workshop -he thought this was a constructive use for the whips which otherwise would have been simply cut down and disposed of during the imminent hedge-cutting agreed at the end of the last meeting in January. Cllr Allison expressed his concern that this had been carried out without prior permission of the Parish Council; the clerk responded that since the hedge was due for cutting that it would make no difference if the whips were removed – and that she felt a sufficiently polite request had been made for such permission.

   i) E: Bar Pritchard informed the clerk that there are now x4 broken panes of glass in the ‘phone box.

   k)  NALC: SAAA has been set up to formally appoint external auditors for a 5-year period from financial year of 2017/18. There are no changes to the current year 2016/17.

   l) NALC: Draws attention to the FAQs and scales of audit fees applicable for Audit Years 2017-18 to  2021-22  at http://www.localaudits.co.uk/faq.html : Whilst it does state that “an authority with neither income nor expenditure exceeding £25000 will have the right to certify that it is an exempt authority and in normal circumstances no fee will be payable”, NALC recommend that all Councils within this category budget for at least the fee of a limited assurance review as a precautionary measure.


9.     District Cllr Report

          Cllr Nairn confirmed that the 5-year land supply had been completed and the final draft would be adopted by BC in due course. The annual precept increase for a band ‘D’ property is £4.95 which is in line with government guidelines and as another round of cuts is expected, it was felt important to make this small increase.

10.     County Cllr Report

Cllr Monson confirmed that the annual precept increase for a band ‘D’ property is £47.34, an increase of 4.8%, of which 3% is earmarked for Care of the Elderly, which has a massive shortage of funding and is a cause for concern. This was the maximum increase permitted but it was deemed necessary. There is £5m funding for upkeep of roads which will allow for the Summer campaign to be improved and even extended, with roads receiving tar & chip treatment, although at the moment it is unclear how much this will impact on local roads around Oxborough. Cllr Monson revealed that he will not be standing for re-election this May, rather after 16 years as County Councillor, he will leave it to someone else to take on the work. The Chairman thanked Cllr Monson for his report; it was observed that this would be his last as County Councillor and some offered thanks to him – but he said that this was not necessary.

11.     ACCOUNTS

          The balance on account is £6616.52.

            a) Payment: Westcotec for the SAM2 sign - £3150 plus VAT: approved for payment – withdrawal slip signed.

            b) Receipt: NCC Parish Partnership Scheme - £1575 (funding for SAM2 sign)- received by BACS

c) Payment: Unknown total to be paid to NCC Highways for the provision and installation of new posts to be used for the operation of the SAM2 sign.

     c) Notification from Norwich & Peterborough Building Society – to be eventually rebranded as the Yorkshire Building Society- changes to happen during 2018. The Clerk will confirm with N&P that Mr. John Voaden is no longer a councillor, so his name is to be removed as a signatory for the Parish Council, that Mr. Simon Willies has been co-opted as a councillor at the meeting, so can be added as a new signatory and that all councillors are in agreement with this.

     d) Receipt: HMRC VAT Return - £203.02- received by BACS

     e) Receipt: cheque for £64.70 from Councillor Hilary Gay, by way of reimbursement of the costs incurred by OPC for the no- parking signs on the Pound.

     f) Precept 2017/18 notification Form B completed and returned to Breckland Council - £2836

     g) Payment: clerk’s annual pay for y/e 31 March 2017: £900; approved for payment – withdrawal slip signed.

     h) Payment: clerk’s annual expenses for y/e 31 March 2017: £159.89; approved for payment – withdrawal slip signed.

     i) Payment: Simon Swann Associates -£3507 plus VAT. The War Memorial Trusts Grant Scheme award is £2490 (represents 75% of the original tender). The difference will be met by the secret benefactor. No invoice received yet.

     j) Payment: Ben Lambert – hedge cutting: £250 plus VAT; approved for payment – withdrawal slip signed. Cllr Gay proposed thanks be passed on, this was seconded by Cllr Allison and the Chairman asked for show of hands – unanimous.

     The Chairman thanked the clerk for preparing the accounts.

12.     Purchase of SAM2

The Chairman confirmed that he has the SAM2 sign and is only waiting for the Memorandum (which details information on the specific locations to be used for the flashing sign) to be signed by the clerk and returned to NCC Highways for signing – plus the Risk Assessment Form. Although there is also still the question of x2 poles which need to be replaced by Highways – it is unclear whether OPC will be charged for this. The Chairman allowed questions from the public: Mike Cooper asked if the delay of these x2 posts would mean further delay in the deployment of the SAM2 sign. The Chairman re-iterated the detail regarding the Memorandum which must be completed before the flashing sign can be used. Cllr Monson asked if any of the locations would include Foulden or Eastmoor Roads- the Chairman said not at this stage. The clerk mentioned that although the invoice would be paid in the current financial year, there would not be time to submit the VAT reclaim.

13.     War Memorial renovation

The clerk confirmed that there had been real progress on the project since the last meeting, that the plinth had been re-built and that the memorial had received remedial treatment, although the lead work was just about to start and it was promised that completion would probably be managed by the end of March. The anonymous donor remains informed although the clerk now thinks that the project would not be completed within the current financial year, which is acceptable as the War Memorials Trust funding was granted less than 8 months ago (so within the validity period of one year).

14.     Standing Orders/Financial Regulations

Cllr Gay proposed that the Council re-adopt the Financial Regulations (first adopted 23 March 2016) and Cllr Monson seconded this; the Chairman asked for show of hands which was unanimous. Regarding Standing Orders, Cllr Gay had previously supplied a draft template (via email). The Chairman agreed to take responsibility for this and will work on producing a document for consideration at the next Ordinary Meeting in May. He will circulate the version before the meeting so that councillors may have time to review and comment. Put on Agenda.

15.     The removal of the walnut trees from the hedge on the south east of the green, with the exception of the one full grown tree

Cllr Gay advised that there are about 8 walnut trees growing within the hedge, and that although they are cut down in line with the hedge, the trunks are widening and adversely affecting the hedge growth; this includes some sycamores. To enable the hedge to develop it is necessary to remove them. Cllr Monson added that when the village green had been developed as the Doorstep Green, these walnut trees had not been included in the plan, rather they had been planted by past-resident Reg Clarke and really they were out of place and it would be best to finally cut them down at the base – this is the best time of year to carry out the work and he volunteered to carry out the job. Cllr Allison disagreed with the opinion that the hedge had been adversely affected, especially as the trees had been in place over the last 10 years. The Chairman asked for a show of hands: 4 in favour and 1 abstention.

16.     Renovation of the ‘phone box

Cllr Allison observed that the ‘phone box has suffered even more damage, but frustratingly he has not noticed when the culprit(s) carry out the vandalism – because it certainly looks as if the damage is deliberate. Cllr Gay added that this issue has been discussed in the past, and as Oxborough Parish Council is responsible for the upkeep, she recalled that Cllr Allison had agreed to make repairs last year. Unless Cllr Allison can repair the ‘phone box within a deadline, she proposed putting the work out to tender. Cllr Monson commented that it is the responsibility of the Parish Council, in spite of who causes the damage, to make repairs to the box. Cllr Allison expressed his disappointment in the treatment of the ‘phone box, and how he had swept up broken glass on more than one occasion and taken action to try and prevent further vandalism- even repainting last year - but to no avail. Cllr Willies asked if the ‘phone box would ever resume proper usage but Cllr Monson said that the box had been retained by the Parish Council for sentimental reasons and as a landmark; so Cllr Willies agreed that it should be repaired. The Chairman asked the councilors to consider Cllr Gay’s proposal to put the work out to tender, this was seconded by Cllr Monson and then put to vote – all in favour.

17.     highways

Cllr Monson commented that both Ferry Road and the road leading to The Folly’s should receive remedial work in this month or the next.

18.     Any other business, including time for public participation

a) The Chairman brought up the question raised by Bar Pritchard in the Open Forum: the existing Parish Council representative on the Village Hall Committee is currently Cllr Graham Allison. OVH Committee has requested a nomination to be brought to their AGM which is held in April. Cllr Nairn advised that he will remain in this position until the Parish Council discuss it at the next Ordinary Meeting in May: Put on Agenda.

b) Mike Cooper asked Mr. Willies to send him his bio for inclusion on the website. He asked Cllr Monson if the upcoming Norfolk County Councillor would supply reports to the Parish Council and Cllr Monson advised that his replacement would likely attend each meeting – as he has himself over the years. Finally he observed that the ‘phone box seemed to be a liability rather than an asset to the village and questioned whether the Parish Council should spend any money on upkeeping it. The Chairman responded that the issue had been discussed and the decision had already been made on the necessary steps to maintain it. Cllr Nairn added that there were villages now regretting the decision to dispose of their red ‘ phone box, whereas other villages had found alternative uses, such as a local tourism office or lending library. Cllr Allison re-iterated that he had every intention of making repairs at his own expense. Mrs. Elaine Willies suggested that although it would be interesting to see what is yielded from the tenders, she offered some further uses for the ‘phone box: to display business cards for locals, advertisements, promoting local walks. Cllr Monson thought these were all good ideas adding that maybe the box should be moved to a more prominent position -such as alongside the bus shelter. Cllr Allison objected at this idea as he considered that the ‘phone box should remain in close proximity to the ex- Post Office location, at which Cllr Gay reminded the council that her house used to be the Post Office – followed quickly by Elaine Willies reminder that the Post Office used to be located at number 28 Oxborough. Cllr Gay added the suggestion of using it as a greenhouse – concluding that all these ideas should be considered: Put on Agenda.

c) Cllr Gay suggested that the Parish Council formally offer a vote of thanks to Cllr Monson for his years of service as Norfolk County Councillor; the Chairman noted that Cllr Monson had previously said this was not necessary, but then there was a spontaneous round of applause anyway, which was graciously accepted by Cllr Monson. 

19.     Date of next meeting, including AGM

The next Parish Council meeting, including the AGM, will be held on Tuesday 23 May 2017 starting at 7.00pm.

The meeting closed at 9.10pm




Held at Oxborough Village Hall Wednesday 25 May 2016 commencing at 7.00pm


Mr. John Voaden



Mr. Graham Allison



Ms. Hilary Gay



Mr. David Hotchkin



Mr. Mike Nairn

Breckland District Councillor  Bedingfeld Ward





7 Members of the Public


Cllr Hotchkin emailed prior to the meeting to request a consultation of the Standing Orders: the clerk confirmed that there are none relating to the Election of Chair at AGM. Rory Ringer, Democratic Service Manager at Breckland Council emailed: The chairman, or in their absence the vice-chairman must preside. Only if these are both absent may the council appoint some other councillor to preside. The first business of the meeting must be the election of the chairman, who must be an elected member of the Council. The person presiding may vote and must, if necessary, give a casting vote in such an election and may vote for himself.


1.                             ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

The clerk requested nominations for Chairman; Cllr Gay proposed Cllr Voaden which was seconded by himself; Cllr Allison nominated Cllr Hotchkin, which was seconded by himself.  The clerk asked for a vote and there were 2 for each nomination. The Vice-Chairman cast a second vote for himself.


The Chairman requested nominations for Vice-Chairman; Cllr Allison proposed Cllr Hotchkin which was seconded by Cllr Voaden; no other nominations were forthcoming and all in favour. Cllr Hotchkin accepted.


The clerk requested of each Councillor to sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office before conducting council business; the completed forms were returned to the clerk for safe-keeping.


There were no declarations of interest.


4.            MINUTES OF AGM 2015

The Minutes of the last AGM held on 20 May 2015 had been circulated to all Councillors, displayed on the Notice Board (and website) and were unanimously approved as a true record –and signed by the Chairman.

5.            REPORTS

a.       Chairman’s Report, Cllr Ian Monson:

Clerk note: Ian had notified that he would be on holiday.

b.       District Councillor’s Report, Cllr Mike Nairn:

During 2015/16 the four priorities were supporting Breckland to develop and thrive, providing the right services at the right time in the right way, developing local economy to be vibrant with continued growth and enabling stronger and more independent communities. Recycling habits have improved – a reduction of contamination from 17% down to 12%. New online book and pay (via website) for green waste has been very popular. Community grants total of £133K paid in match-funding. A new collection of public agencies aimed at all residents was launched in Thetford and a second in Dereham is planned for Autumn 2016. Breckland is a dementia friendly council as accredited by Norfolk Age UK. Participation in leisure centres reached an all-time high, increasing health and wellbeing for all, in particular discounts for carers and the cared. Breckland Fit Families project in primary schools encourages activity and healthy eating for children and their parents, particularly targeting healthy behavior change in families from 5 Breckland areas highlighted by the National Child Measurement Program as having a high prevalence of Reception age children at risk of development. Better Broadband for Norfolk – the council has provided £950K towards the infrastructure costs. Local businesses have been introduced to the council’s procurement process during Meet the Buyer event, which increases competition, helps the council make savings and promotes local business. Finally, the council has created a discretionary business rate relief scheme aimed at reducing the number of empty shops and encouraging a wider variety of retail offering – pilot will take place in Dereham in April 2016. Small independent business can apply for 80% business rate relief (total budget of £10K for Dereham). If successful, the scheme will be introduced into other market towns.

                 The Chairman thanked Mike for his report.

c.       County Councillor’s Report, Cllr Ian Monson:

Clerk note: Ian had notified that he would be on holiday.


d.       Village Hall Report, Bar Pritchard

The AGM was held in April. The hall has been well used again, with many activities, such as two charity events, numerous quiz nights, a couple of Car Boots and a summer BBQ. The gravel in the carpark has been redone and CGM were recently engaged at a good price, to maintain the grassy area around the hall. The next project will be to restore the flooring, as after 40 years it is in need. So it will be sanded, re-seated, sealed and waxed, which should see it out for many years to come. The grant application has been submitted and the outcome is expected in June.

The Chairman thanked Bar for her report.


e.       St John’s Church PCC Report, Alan Reid:

Clerk note: Janet informed that Alan was in hospital.


f.         Hewars and Hammonds Trust Report, supplied by Valerie O’Dwyer:

These charities were formed from money left under the Will of Thomas Hewar in 1619 and is for the benefit of the church and of the poor in perpetuity.  The monies from the sale of the original School House is available for educational purposes for children living in the village.

Income for the Hewars Trust comes from the letting of approx. 10 acres in Ferry Road and the shooting rights of the Poor Fen in Eastmoor Road.  A small amount (£165) comes from the Yorkers Trust which is based in Cockley Cley.

The monies are invested (after taking professional advice) in Schroders Equity Income Trust for Charities and The Growth Trust for Charities.  At a time when it is extremely difficult to invest for income the monies are still generating a small amount of income.

The monies are distributed to anyone in need in the village who either apply to one of the Trustees or whose need is brought to our attention by friends, neighbours etc.  We always wish to hear of any such need so please be aware. We have given two grants from the Educational Fund this year including one to Gooderstone School, and two to help residents in need. The accounts are still with the auditor but will be available shortly on the Oxborough Website.

Valerie O’Dwyer Chair

Clerk note: Valerie had supplied this report prior to the meeting as she would be away.

g.       Gooderstone School Report:

h.       Speedwatch Report, Cathy Warnock

Trained by Norfolk Constabulary Officers (Cathy Warnock, Frankie and David Watkins, Brian Bennett, Mike Wood, Mick Cockram and Sylvia Voaden), the aim is to hold 2 Watches a week, lasting 1 hour, at one of the 6 locations approved by the police. We are still testing the sites and already know that some are not as effective as others (Swaffham and Stoke Ferry roads recording the most vehicles). Average 85 cars, number of offenders ranging from 1 to 12. From mid-April it became clear that traffic has slowed down…a result of our presence. Quite a few cars are reported as they have driven past and leaving the village and would probably not have respected the speed limit had we not been present. We hope to work with the Traffic Calming group as necessary to ensure that our village tries various means, in the best locations, to reduce vehicle speed and make the village as safe as possible. We are keen to attract more volunteers – please refer interested people to any of the volunteers indicated above – for the required forms to complete. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers for their support, positivity and hard work to date:

Speedwatches taken place/planned: April (5), May (8), June (10), July (9). 77 vehicles reported speeding as at 28 May. Police wrote to 5 people in April. Also recently, the police have spent time in the village doing Speed Checks (2) due to the high numbers of vehicles reported by Oxborough Speedwatch.

The Chairman thanked Cathy for her report.

i.         History Group Report, supplied by Kelvin Smith

There have been 3 formal meetings during the period 2015/16, 9 open days (Archaeology and Flint in the Brecks) a new publication (The Oxborough Roll of Honour, which focuses on the lives of 23 Oxborough men who went to the First World War and returned), 2 archaeological digs and a large increase in archive accessions. The website www.oxboroughhistorygroup.org continues to grow, additions include many more photographs, research reports on the public house, road layout from 1500 5o 1845 Tithe map and news of events and activities. Although the dig on the village green ( a training/familiarization event under the auspices of the  Norfolk Historic Environment Services) and at the site of the old Oxborough Ferry have not produced any major finds, many interesting artefacts have been unearthed. The group will continue to hold an Open Day on the first Monday of each month plus at least three formal meetings with guest speakers. The main focus will be on collecting and assimilating material for publication in January 2018 (the specific project for which the Group received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2014. However, we aim to continue to respond to and encourage villagers’ and others’ interests and enquiries into the history of Oxborough, to further add to the growing ‘Oxborough Archive’ and to give exhibitions and presentations when requested. The Group would like to thank the Village Hall Trustees for permission to use the village hall and are grateful to the many villagers and former residents who have supported its activities.

Clerk note: Kelvin had supplied his report prior to the meeting as he would be unable to attend.

6.            ACCOUNTS FOR Y/E 31-03-2016

The Councillors considered the prepared accounts and it was noted that the total payments exceeded the total receipts this year, which was as a result of the Breckland Council election re-charge of almost £700, plus the payment of £250 for cutting the perimeter hedge of the village green. Also, the balance c/f figure of £2551.79 includes £820.50 banked on behalf of the Oxborough Road Safety Group, which is going to be part of the match-funding required for the procurement of the SAM2 sign. Regarding the annual audit of the accounts (which had been recently internally audited by Kelvin Smith) the clerk read out the Annual Governance Statement 2015/16 to which all Councillors agreed and approved; the Chairman and clerk signed/dated the document and the Receipts and Payments ledger. The accounts for the year ending 31 March 2016 were approved.



Cllr Gay proposed that the Parish Council continue with Mazars LLP for the final year- there were no objections.


Cllr Nairn confirmed that questions from the public at the Parish Council AGM could only be taken at the Agenda Item point. 

a) Cllr Nairn asked if Bar Pritchard had considered seeking a grant via Breckland Council, which offers match-funding for projects such as restoring the village hall flooring. Bar responded that the Village Hall Committee had applied to the Norfolk Community Fund. Cllr Voaden asked Bar if the Summer BBQ had been planned and she confirmed that this event would be held again, date to be confirmed.

b) Mike Cooper asked whether the Parish Council had attempted any argument against paying the election re-charges; the Chairman confirmed this had been well argued but that unfortunately there had been no alteration to the amount due.

c) Bar Pritchard asked Cllr Nairn what could be done about the recycling bank for clothing as it is too heavy, too high and dangerous to access, especially for older people. Cllr Nairn agreed but said that the operators had designed it this way to make it thief-proof. Bar added that it was 6 months earlier that she had first complained about them, it seems no one is listening but Mike added that he was still asking for something to be done about changing them. Bar took the opportunity to thank the villagers who had continued to support the glass recycling, which she says is going well for the Village Hall Committee.

The Chairman closed the AGM at 7.50pm.


Appendix A

Precept request to be submitted to Breckland Council by 27/01/2017


Draft calculations for payments and receipts expected before 31/03/2017:

         01 Jan 2017     Bank Balance                                        5280.80  

Less: income from fund-raising for SAM2 sign (also see *)        (1452.25)  


Add: Estimated receipts due in current Financial Year (ending 31/03/2017):

          VAT Refund                               203.02                            203.02



   Less: Estimated Gross payments due in current Financial Year (ending 31/03/2017):

          Hall Hire                                        90.00

          Clerk’s wages & expenses              1040.00

          HMRC                                           220.00

          Hedge Maintenance                       250.00

          Ladywell Accountancy                       25.00

          CGM (Village Green costs)               192.00                     1817.00

          Estimated Balance at 31.03.2017                                 2214.57          Balance C/F (A)

BUDGET 2017/18



Balance B/F (A)               2214.57

Add Receipts (B)             440.00

Precept (2016/17 figure)  2544.00

Grant (2016/17)               179.00

Less Payments (C)            3188.00

Bal C/F 31/03/2018       2189.57

Based on a zero % increase in the Precept.


Estimated GROSS payments:                                £     

Auditors                                                               0.00

Clerk                                                                 1040.00

HMRC                                                                220.00

Accountants                                                         25.00

CGM (The Green maintenance costs):

13 cuts @ £35 plus VAT

2 herbicide treatments @ £55 plus VAT                678.00

Hedge maintenance                                            250.00

Hall Hire                                                              75.00

St. John the Evangelist  (donation)                     175.00

Insurance                                                           195.00

Royal British Legion (donation)                              30.00

Match-funding for purchase of SAM2 sign             500.00

ESTIMATED PAYMENT TOTAL                             3188.00  Total Payments (C)


Village Green Hire

Ryston Runners              90.00

National Trust Lease      150.00 

VAT Refund                   200.00 


Parish Partnership Fund **                                  440.00   Total Receipts (B)

* Grant for maximum match-funding of £1640.50 - offer received March 2016



 Informtion for the community on Norfolk County Council grass cutting policy affecting the village

From: Susan Hernandez [mailto:hernandezsusan@hotmail.com]

Sent: 08 June 2016 08:52
To: Highways - CSC
Subject: The Pound- Oxborough
Dear David
Following the recent Parish Council meeting in May, Councillors have asked me to find out why the Pound's recent grass cutting has seen 2 sections of tall grass uncut - which makes the area look untidy. I think it was because at the earlier cut there were still daffodils blooming at these locations, and for this reason the contractor left these sections untouched - and maybe the same contractor considered that the vegetation needed to die down before cutting again?!
Anyway, if you could find a moment, please could you ask the contractor to resume cutting the entire area again?
Thank you for attention and sending you kind regards

From: highways@norfolk.gov.uk
To: hernandezsusan@hotmail.com
Subject: ENQ0057982 Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2016 11:05:16 +0000
Dear Susan
Thank you for your email.
Our rural grass cutting policy has recently changed and we no longer always cut the full length of rural verges; this means that only bends and visibility splays will be cut during first cut countywide which this year started on the 16 May and the programme usually takes 4 weeks to complete. A second, and final, cut will take place in July or August.
Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of any further assistance.
Yours sincerely
Victoria Giles
Customer Service Assistant Norfolk County Council
Tel: 0344 800 8020 Email: highways@norfolk.gov.uk
Mrs Susan Hernandez Clerk Oxborough Parish Council
hernandezsusan@hotmail.com 07900 587825