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 & AGM.             

                        Wednsday16th May AGM starting at 7.00
                        followed by Ordanary meeting 7.30pm
                        Agenda tba         



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

 Oxborough Parish Council Financial Regulations.   Click  

  Oxborough Parish Council Standing Orders.            Click  

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 14 March 2018 starting at 7.30pm 


Mr. D. Hotchkin

Ms. H. Gay

Mr. G. Allison

Mr. I. Monson

Mr. S. Willies

Mr. M. Nairn

Mr. F. Eagle






Breckland County Councillor

Norfolk County Councillor


9 Members of the Public

The Chairman welcomed everyone and asked if anyone wished to speak before the meeting.

Open Forum     

Mr. Mike Cooper asked how the Parish Councillors could hold a private meeting prior to the council meeting, to discuss the standing orders and financial regulations, which could then be added onto the agenda and then simply proposed, seconded and in his opinion approved, all without any proper discussion in pubic. Cllr Nairn responded that nominated councillors can do exactly that, adding that these matters are not for public debate, but that the subject of debate is not adopted until approved in council meeting; this is acceptable behavior. Mr. Cooper continued to voice his objections and Cllr Nairn invited him to stand for election next May. Cllr Monson commented that Mr. Cooper was referring to a working group meeting at which the detail and wording of the matter would be dealt with finely so that when the council meeting is held the matter can be reviewed and discussed.

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 10 January 2018 had been circulated to all councillors and displayed on the Notice Board (and website). Cllr Willies proposed that these should be accepted, this 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

a) Cllr Gay asked for an update on the telephone box repairs. A written report from Cllr Allison was presented and he added that a member of the public had helped to complete the groundworks redesign in an attempt to prevent rotting of the box in the future. He will be away on holiday the week after the meeting so will continue with the repairs on his return, weather permitting.

b) Cllr Monson asked if as per agenda item 11, once the minutes had been signed that the draft minutes and recordings had been destroyed: the Chairman confirmed this was the case.


          a) Cllr Eagle, on behalf of NCC, expressed his thanks to all the community for their collective help in clearing away the recent heavy snows. He reported that Highways had gritted on 22 occasions in the week in question, compared to 57 occasions during the whole season the previous year; this has incurred a significant cost of course. b) 5.9% increase in council tax, £388m is budgeted for social care, and the other budgets rely on other income and government funding to support a billion-pound expenditure.

          c) Highways have agreed to trial in one village from this area Cllr Eagle’s idea of volunteers filling small potholes. Equipment and training will be provided and the basic idea is that small potholes are filled by volunteers so hopefully preventing these potholes becoming large dangerous potholes. This trial should last for approximately 12 months and the number of potholes filled and those that subsequently had to be repaired by the Highways team will need to be recorded. Feedback is necessary during and after the trial. Deadline for applying is end of April.

          d) Regarding the mobile library service, this has seen a steady decline since 1969, 2 less buses over the last 5 years and maybe it will eventually cease. But internet access is popular and for some there may be no need to leave their homes, although there is a risk of an increase in loneliness and social exclusion. Cllr Eagle talked about how 100 years ago there used to be a reading room in most villages, but that now maybe the local village hall could be used, manned by volunteers and an official librarian bringing requested books, plus the option to select more via the use of a laptop. So in place of a mobile library, imagine a mobile librarian.

          e) After the way all communities pulled together in clearing the snow, Cllr Eagle has bought a pedestrian salt spreader which he will donate to one of the villages in his division to hopefully make volunteers lives a little bit easier. Please let him know why our village should receive this and then he will select a village after reading all the emails received.

          Cllr Eagle invited questions from the floor.

          Q: Cllr Allison asked what criteria would be used to decide which village would be selected for the potholes project. Cllr Eagle said it would need to be a village with a mix of roads (cul-de-sacs/country lanes) and where volunteers could safely work (ie unlikely for villages on busy main roads) plus evidence that there is a good support for the project with plenty of volunteers.

          Q: Once the telephone box repairs is completed, could this be used for a library location. Cllr Eagle thought it would be too small and that the village hall was already set up with a small corner of books for sale. Maybe the pub could be interested in the idea. Cllr Monson thought that it is a very good idea as the mobile library service will eventually be removed, so ideal having a location in the village which could be supported by a mobile librarian, maybe a visit ever 4-6 weeks.

          Q. Mr. Paul Gilluley lauded the pothole proposal but questioned how the repair material would be sourced. Cllr Eagle said that tubs of tarmac would probably be supplied. Mr. Gilluley asked how much the pedestrian gritter would cost the village as it would be a real asset – Cllr Eagle said that he could supply this information.

          Q. Mrs Bar Pritchard asked how often the mobile librarian would visit, and also for how long, as currently the mobile library visits last just 20 minutes. Cllr Eagle suggested this would be a monthly visit but that additional volunteers could enable additional intervals which would suit the village.

          Q. Mr. Cooper questioned the possible health & safety issues concerning working on the highway whilst repairing potholes. Cllr Eagle acknowledged that this issue would need to be addressed but that he urged practical common sense (e.g. not working in darkness).

          Q. Cllr Monson asked where the pothole material would be stored and Cllr Eagle agreed that practicalities would be worked out but that the main thing is that there is public support for potholes to be fixed quickly and that NCC need to listen and do something about it; Cllr Allison cautioned that rules and regulations (including risk assessment and the question of insurance) may put of people from volunteering.

          Q. Cllr Monson observed whether this would save NCC money, but Cllr Eagle pointed out that although the insurance claims against the council could drop, there is still the cost of materials required for all the pothole repairs. He urged everyone to report any potholes very promptly on the NCC Highways website.

          The Chairman thanked Cllr Eagle for his contribution, after which he left the meeting at 8.15pm.


a) Cllr Nairn reported that the council tax bills were due to be delivered this week and that although the rate had increased, it was still the lowest council tax in the country.

b) In March the Breckland Lottery will be launched to raise funds for good causes. £1 a ticket, for a top reward of £25K (www.brecklandlottery.com)

c) Regarding broadband provision the target is that all households will be able to receive 20 mgb/second by 2020 – this would include outlying villages. The aluminium cable used for delivering broadband has been breaking up and this will be replaced by fibre, in addition increasing the height of towers to 25 feet will improve reception.

d) Community Heartbeat is a company which provides a service to refurbish old telephone boxes so they can be used to store a defibrillator; the power would need to be restored of course but the cost of the refurbishment includes the case (with a code) and a new decal which indicates the telephone box contains this device.

Cllr Nairn invited questions:

Q. Cllr Allison asked what the cost of the refurbishment would be; Cllr Nairn it would be in the region of £2k.

Q. Mrs Pritchard asked if it would be possible to cherry pick from components of the service; Cllr Nairn said it is possible to select but advised checking out the website for more information.

Q. Cllr Gay observed that the British Heart Foundation is not in favour of having a locked kiosk because the delay in opening is critical, adding that figures regarding vandalism and theft indicate no difference between whether the kiosk is locked or not. Mike Wood pointed out that the code is on the actual box, so effectively it is unlocked.

The Chairman thanked Cllr Nairn for his report, after which he left the meeting at 8.30pm.


a) 3PL/2018/0038/HOU -Amended- Construction of garage/store (amended proposal) @ 3-4 Oxborough Road Oxborough (Mr & Mrs S Sorrell); submit comment by 8 February. The proposal was amended and the application has been referred to the Planning Committee. The meeting will be held on 12 March 2018 at Breckland Council, Elizabeth House, commencing at 10.30am.  This has been approved.


            a) NCC

1. Reminder to Parish Councillors of the importance of keeping their ‘Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Registrable Interests’ form up to date as required by Sections 29 - 34 of the Localism Act 2011. Within 28 days of becoming aware of any new disclosable pecuniary interest or other registrable interest or change to circumstances, resubmit a revised notification form to the Council’s Monitoring Officer.  Changes include:1. Employment, Office, Trade, Profession or Vocation; 2. Sponsorship 3. Contracts 4. Land (This includes the land relating to any property you own or rent, including garages, allotments etc, that is within the parish). 5. Licences 6. Corporate Tenancies 7. Securities. Members can view their disclosure by inspecting their form on the Breckland Council website at:  http://www.breckland.gov.uk

2. 2018 Norfolk Community Biodiversity Awards 2018 scheme, which is now open for nominations (closing date April 30). The Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership is a well-established partnership working to co-ordinate and share initiatives to conserve biodiversity across Norfolk and organises the Awards annually, to recognise people’s voluntary efforts to give nature a helping hand and to help people connect with nature. Download a nomination form and flyer from www.norfolkbiodiversity.org.

            b) Breckland Council

1. Examination of the Breckland District Local Plan (2011 - 2036) (the Plan). The Inspector will conduct a series of Hearings to which those who made representations seeking changes to the Local Plan and who wish to discuss their concerns with the Inspector and Breckland District Council are invited.  The Hearing sessions (which are part of the examination) will start on Tuesday 10 April 2018 and are anticipated to last for 12 days.  They will be held at the Council's Offices. Any member of the public is welcome to observe the hearing sessions to listen to the discussion which takes place. Details of the dates and times, matters for discussion and hearing venues are available on the Breckland District Council website (https://www.breckland.gov.uk/article/7344/Examination-Documents) or can be made available in hard copy form, upon request.

c) Email from Jackie Lambert regarding the bridge on the Eastmoor to Oxborough road ‘… concerned about the weight of certain vehicles using this bridge over the last few month's such as articulated lorries and harvesters.

Also due to the width of these vehicles there is considerable damage being done to the verges’. Jackie also emailed Robin Blackall (Pightle House) and he endorsed her concerns adding ‘the white markings have been extinguished, the surface is deformed and the width considerably increased by the width of very HGVs and farm machinery’.

d) Email from Paul Gilluley concerning his frustration with the manner in which the Parish Council meetings are run, citing bickering amongst the councillors (full email circulated to the councillors).

e) MK Illuminations – touting work for festive decorations

f) Application for displaying signs on OPC land/property: received from Debbie Wells regarding the dog show event on 19 August for the Desert Rats Association. The wooden sign will be displayed from 19 July onwards

g) Email from Mike Wood, advising that one of the trees on the green has split in two and fallen down; it is located close by the ‘phone box. The chairman instructed the clerk to get quotes for cutting down and removing the tree: CGM quoted (9 days later) £300 plus VAT – and Ben Lambert quoted (next day) -£50. This work was completed and the council thank Ben Lambert and Jamie Tuckwell.

h) Email update from Bar Pritchard: ‘...Post Office Customer Care Team (customercare@postoffice.co.uk) …took details and undertook to pursue possibility (e.g. Of negotiating with Gooderstone and the lady who runs this route, for one of their 4 visits to maybe move to Oxborough and be fitted in en-route to their next stop which on Monday, at least, is Wereham)

i) Primary Care Supplies regarding a community defibrillator: 0845 862 9500


j) Elizabeth Truss MP is hosting a meeting with the Secretary of State for Culture, Matt Hancock MP, on Friday 23 February 2018 5-6 pm at Weeting Village Hall, Saxon Court, Hereward Way, Weeting, Brandon IP27 0QN to discuss broadband and mobile phone connectivity in South West Norfolk. This will be an informal gathering, with the Culture Secretary taking part in a question and answer session. Elizabeth would be delighted if representatives from your parish council could attend – maximum two per parish.

k) Email from Mike Cooper detailing his concern about councillors meeting outside of PC meeting to discuss Standing Orders: letter circulated to all.

l) Letter from Elizabeth Mason, trustee and Honorary Clerk to the Trustees of the Hewars Charities, ‘A vacancy has occurred …for a Nominative Trustee to serve for a term of four years. The Charity Rules state that two Nominative Trustees are required; one is to be appointed by the Parish Council…We would like to ask the Parish Councillors if they would agree to nominate Mr Simon Willies who is willing to stand as a Nominative Trustee, subject to the Parish Council being in agreement’.

m) Email from Bar Pritchard: ‘spoke to Alex Lassoued (Oxburgh Hall’s Property Operations Manager) about the possibility of ‘sharing’ access to their defibrillator before he wrote his letter to all Oxborough residents, (circulated with Oxborough News), hence his mention of it. Current access arrangements however, (it’s presently kept in their office), are limited to the Hall’s opening hours. I have since confirmed with Alex that he really is keen for the equipment to be fully available to the Village 24/7, which would require its mounting in a more accessible place, (probably one of their outbuildings), along with agreed procedures and instructions for its access and use. This would obviously have cost implications, which ‘the Village’ could presumably help with’. Cllr Gay has organised a meeting for 28 March, to discuss this further with Alex Lassoued.

n) Police message: Cold callers pretending to be police officers to elderly and vulnerable residents, targeted in Wymondham, Norwich, Gorleston, Winterton, Great Yarmouth and Potter Heigham and most recently in the Horsham St. Faith area.

9.       Standing Orders and revisions to financial regulations

            The Chairman asked councillors for comment. Cllr Willies said that the discussions had been satisfactory and that he proposed that the final version of the document be accepted. This was seconded by Cllr Allison. The Chairman pointed out that there will now be 6 meetings a year, which brings the council in line with other parish councils. Cllr Monson noted that the Financial Regulations would need to be reviewed at intervals, whereas the Standing Orders are typically fixed, more permanent. The Chairman asked for a show of hands – all in favour, the motion to adopt the Standing Orders and revisions to Financial Regulations was approved.

10.   ACCOUNTS – INCLUDING precept setting for 2018/19 (SEE aPPENDIX B)

            a) Precept request submitted -£2986

b) Payment: Village Hall Hire for year 2017- £65, cheque signed

c) Closed N&P account and cheque received to transfer into newly opened TSB account – £4458.95 (incl. interest received)

d) Receipt: interest on N&P account- £3.43

e) Payment: clerk’s annual net pay for y/e 31 March 2017: £832, cheque signed.

f) Payment: HMRC – Tax on clerk’s earnings - £208, cheque signed.

g) Payment: Accountant’s invoice for operation and RTI filing re. PAYE y/e 2017/2018 -£25, cheque signed.

h) Payment: clerk’s annual expenses for y/e 31 March 2018: £209.84, cheque signed.

i) Payment: Ben Lambert – removal of storm-damaged tree - £50, cheque signed ( payable to cash).

j) Cheque book and paying-in book received from TSB

11.     HIGHWAYS

Cllr Monson expressed his delight that the significant pothole adjacent to the gates at Oxburgh Hall had finally been fixed the previous week.

12.     Whether to acquire a defibrillator for the village

Previously discussed during the District Council Report (point 6) plus Correspondence Received (point 8m). Mrs Frankie Watkins pointed out that as there is already a defibrillator at Oxburgh Hall, it would make sense to advertise this widely, although Bar Pritchard reminded everyone that the details were included in the recent Village Newsletter. A short discussion followed with various contributions such as: Paul Gilluley suggested not ruling out a more centrally- located devise, but Bar Pritchard said that there is just a single one in Swaffham. Jackie Palmer-Hibbert thought maybe the lean-to at the pub would be a good location as it is well lit. Cllr Gay said she would have the meeting with Oxburgh Hall, see what the options were, and come back to the Parish Council to consider the best way forward for the village.

13.     To discuss a request for a weight restriction for Eastmoor Road

Cllr Monson has prepared the petition and is waiting for good weather so he can circulate it; he will speak to villagers to see if they would support the request for a weight restriction for HGV and agricultural vehicles, as the verges are breaking down and the road is in disrepair. There is a good chance that NCC Highways would take notice of it and this could lead to a consultation; however, this could take a year to complete and the cost could be in the region of £100k, so these are reasons why it may not be achieved. He suggested that Cllr Eagle should represent the village, with perhaps the Chairman and a delegation of villagers to present the petition to the environment department. The Chairman noted that the Parish Council has agreed to endorse the petition. Cllr Allison pointed out that a large farm vehicle had slipped off the road at the bridge on Eastmoor Road and had probably caused even further damage to the road and the verge. Cllr Monson agreed that such vehicles are too big for this road, especially as the banks are below the level of the road, but also as there is much more recreational use of the road these days and that these users do not enjoy coming up against these oversized vehicles.  Mike Wood noted that although the village is a farming village, these vehicles are too large for this particular road and that maybe a polite letter to the farmer could be sent; Paul Gilluley agreed adding that the Parish Council should ask the farmer to repair the verges. Mrs Jackie Lambert mentioned that farmers are responsible for clearing mud off the road and cannot understand why the mud has not been cleared away when this is known; mud on the road is dangerous for all road users. The Chairman pointed out that any such instances should be reported to the Highways department and Cllr Monson agreed that the more people who complained the better. Bar Pritchard observed that the weight of lorries had increased recently, which would obviously have an impact on the roads; Cllr Monson said there is a big demand from the agricultural sector for the size of trailers and tractors to be increased. Paul Gilluley asked how often the weight/width restrictions are checked by NCC and Cllr Monson advised that this should happen every 3 years. Cllr Gay asked if the council should consider writing a neighbourly letter to appeal for the mud to be cleared away and to express concern about the size of the vehicles. Cllr Monson agreed this is good idea, a first stage to give notice that something needs to be done. Cllr Gay volunteered to draft the letter; Cllr Monson proposed the suggestion and Cllr Willies seconded it – the Chairman asked for a show of hands which was unanimous; motion passed.

14.     To consider the mowing regime for The Green

Cllr Gay’s proposal had been distributed around the council, plus the Chairman had spoken with CGM regarding a revised mowing regime (quote received for the grass to be cut every 2 weeks, £34 per cut, 15 cuts per year). A discussion followed, notably that as Oxborough village green was not included in a fixed cycle of cuts, this had caused some issues the previous year. Cllr Allison suggested that CGM should hold a key to the gate, and the Chairman says that Mr. Glover has already agreed to hold one. Cllr Gay suggested that any requirements for additional cuts should only be requested by the clerk. The Chairman proposed the council adopt the new mowing regime, this was seconded by Cllr Monson; the Chairman asked for a show of hands which was unanimous – motion passed.

15.     Nomination of a Parish Councillor to be a Village Hall Trustee for 2018/9

The Chairman proposed that Cllr Allison remain in position as trustee, this was seconded by Cllr Monson, a show

of hands was unanimous, so this was agreed.

16.     Replacement of a tree in the hedge round the green, where the fallen tree was recently removed

            Councillors agreed that it was too late to plant a replacement tree, but that the location might not be ideal due to the roots of the existing hedge, although it had been thought that there were enough trees already on the green. Cllr Gay had been approached by some villagers who thought that it might be nice to have a tree which blossoms and suggested it might be good to have a debate about it. More discussion followed with contributions from Cllr Willies and Jackie Palmer-Hibbert offering to donate a couple of apple trees (saplings in pots) which were going free after a recent garden project undertaken by her husband. Cllr Gay proposed replacing the tree in the hedge, this was seconded by Cllr Monson; the Chairman asked for a show of hands, 2 in favour and 3 against, so the motion was not carried. The Chairman proposed that the Parish Council do not plant another tree on the green, this was seconded by Cllr Gay and the Chairman asked for a show of hands which was unanimous, motion carried.

17.     Questions from the Public

            Paul Gilluley wanted to propose that the Parish Council pursue the pothole project and mobile librarian project, but the Chairman advised that these were not agenda items. Paul added that the pedestrian gritter would be a great asset to the village and the Chairman agreed: he suggested that a letter should be written to Cllr Eagle, regarding the gritter and the mobile librarian. Cllr Gay volunteered to liaise with Bar Pritchard (as the Village Hall Committee Chairman) in regard to the idea of a library for the villagers.

18.     A.O.B.None

19.     Date of next meeting 

The next Parish Council meeting, including the AGM, will be 16 May, starting at 7pm. The Chairman thanked everyone for their contributions.

The meeting closed at 9.45pm








Meeting 14 March 2018

Report: Accounts reported against the budget quarterly

IAW Statement of Internal Control and Annual Review of Effectiveness of Internal Control (section Financial Reporting)

BUDGET 2017/2018










Estimated Gross Payments

























CGM (the green maintenance)





Hedge maintenance





Village Hall Hire





St. John the Evangelist










Royal British Legion










Estimated Receipts





Village Green Hire





National Trust Lease





VAT Refund


























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 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