At the October Parish Council meeting which was attended by six Councillors, County Councillor M Kiddle Morris and one member of the public the following was considered:
Planning: Applications. The Parish Council raised no objection to the application for a proposed two-storey extension to the side of the property at 20 Wellingham Road. Decisions:Approval had been granted by Breckland Council for proposed replacement of selected windows at Litcham Methodist Church, Front Street.
Highways: All the matters raised in the previous month have been reported and the failure to carry out repairs around the ironwork on Dereham Road near to Devlin Cottage was raised with County Councillor Kiddle again. The Clerk met with the Highways Engineer and stressed that the road markings need refreshing, the Mileham Road still needs flailing and the gulley on Druids Lane has not been repaired. These have still not been attended to and the Highways Engineer will be contacted again. The pothole on Back Lane will be reported. The landowner responsible for the hedge at The Mount which is overhanging Butt Lane will be contacted to cut this back. County Councillor Kiddle will contact the owner of the Old Fire Station to request a tidy up of the area bordering the road.
County and District Councillor Reports: County Councillor Kiddle reported that it is not yet known if the Business Plan put forward by the Police and Crime Commissioner to take over the Fire Service will be submitted to the Secretary of State. Norfolk County Council is against this move and does not believe that there would be the saving proposed by the Police and Crime Commissioner as this would entail reducing the capability of the Fire and Rescue Service. Hertfordshire, which also runs the Fire and Rescue Service, has also undergone a consultation on this matter and when the proposal was forwarded to the Secretary of State he asked for more information at which point the proposal was withdrawn. The budget setting period has begun which will run until February for the financial year beginning in April. Since 2011 £189million of income has been lost and there is still a further loss of income from Central Government of £95million.There is to be a10% reduction in staff by natural wastage and all departments are looking at savings. There is a consultation on Children’s Centres of which there are 53 at present under 12 different contracts. These are proposed not to be re-negotiated but outreach centres would be provided working from 7 hubs and therefore providing support where it is needed. It is probable that the Litcham Centre will remain open as the school would take on part of the building and Norfolk County Council would provide additional service e.g. Healthy Children support. There was concern from the members that this would be a retrograde step but County Councillor Kiddle stated that the officers feel that this is possible, will reach more children and provide a better service.
Bi-monthly meetings. The Parish Council decided to trial meeting only every other month in 2019.