So many words have been written about the current situation and its effect on every person and every aspect of life, so I am only going to add a few of my own.
During this pandemic Christians are grieving for locked churches, cancelled worship, Holy Week and Easter spent apart but we have all in our own way journeyed through Holy Week and experienced the joy and hope of Easter more deeply than ever before.
Whatever our circumstances I have noticed how people strive to remain cheerful during these challenging days and we are finding a new appreciation for all that we have. Many are saying that the world could be a better place if as a result of what we have been through we have learned how to live better.
Social media is often criticised for the harm it can do but it has been a vital means of people keeping in touch and it gave us this wonderful poem by Kathleen O’Mara.
And people stayed at home
And read books
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.
And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways
Danger, meaningless and heartless,
The earth also began to heal
And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.
We were sad to learn that John Jones passed away on 9th May 2020, aged 80, having been unwell for some time. John actively contributed to Litcham’s village life in so many ways over the years, not least as a parish councillor and through his involvement with the Royal British Legion, and was a kind and caring man. John was a long-standing member of Litcham Common’s Management Committee and was also Honorary Warden of the Common, which he cared deeply about. We are grateful for John’s commitment and service over many years and will miss him as a friend.
Do you, or someone you know in the village, need some help with getting shopping, posting a letter, collecting medication, walking your dog, etc?
This group has been set up to help you at such a difficult time for us all!
We are about 30 volunteers, the majority of whom are able to go and get shopping.
There are three or four volunteers to each area of the village. Some of the volunteers are self isolating and so can give support and a listening ear down the phone and some are able to go out and about. Between those volunteers, someone will help you.
If you don’t need any help now, please bear us in mind, if you need some help in a few week’s time.
Please ring 01328 700 145 or any of the numbers on the flier that was delivered to you at the end of March and we will do our best to organise some help for you, either as a one-off or as continuing help – until all this is over and we can go back to normal!
Litcham Relief in Need Charity.
The Trust now have allotment 2 plots available for rent, which are now ready for the forthcoming planting season, now is the time for those lovely fresh veg. for the family. Phone Elizabeth Christie 701 765
Following their absence last year we are hoping that cattle will once again join the ponies on the common for the next few months, possibly arriving in April or May. Cattle will compliment the conservation grazing carried out by our ponies, with the aim of maintaining a diverse sward of heathland vegetation and preventing the more vigorous plant species from dominating.
As always, please observe the following rules:
– Do not attempt to touch or feed the animals
– Dogs should be kept under close control at all times
Thank you for your cooperation.
The next conservation task will take place on Saturday 11th April, meeting at 10am in Litcham Common car park. As always, new volunteers will be welcome.Please telephone Tim Angell on 01328 700045 for more information.
Plans for the refurbishment of the hall are progressing and we have engaged a builder. We are now applying for funding.
At the January Parish Council meeting which was attended by six Councillors, County and District Councillor M Kiddle Morris and one member of the public the following was considered:
Planning: Applications. No objection was raised to the application for a single storey side extension to form utility room at 8B Church Street or to the application for a ground floor side extension at 7 Weasenham Road.
Decisions: There were no decisions to report.
Highways: The sign for Litcham Close had been replaced. The flooding at the bottom of Pound Lane, Mileham Road and at the Bull crossroads had all been reported and Norfolk County Council had confirmed that these had been inspected and would be resolved. The potholes on Mileham Road outside the entrance to the Bull car park had been reported and these will be repaired. The raised kerbstone outside the Primary School had been reported. The flooding on Druids Lane had been reported and this had been inspected but no action is to be taken at present. The County Councillor will discuss this with the Highways Engineer.
A parishioner had cleared the brambles from the ditch alongside the footway on Church Street and he is to be written to thanking him for his public spirit. The County Councillor is looking at the verge on Tittleshall Road to see if marker posts can be placed to stop vehicles driving on the verge so that pedestrians have a safe are to walk on. The reinstatement on Tittleshall Road after the burst water main and the trench across Church Street are to be checked by the County Councillor and reported to the Highways Engineer.
County and District Councillor Reports. The County Councillor reported that the Boundary Review could not be consulted on whilst there was an election. Some proposals had been leaked. The Vattenfall Offshore Wind Farm has been delayed by the Secretary of State for further information from Norfolk County Council and the applicant.
The District Councillor reported that the Local Plan had passed through the full council and been adopted. There is a 5-year housing supply in place until October 2020. The Planning Inspector had advised that a review of the Local Plan is needed and a full review will take place which will take 3-4 years and this will incorporate revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework. Grants are available for VE Day, VJ day and the Battle of Britain commemoration. Community Match Funding is available up to £5000 and the Breckland Lottery and Community Fund will also grant a further £1000.
Precept: This was set at £10500 an increase on £500 on the previous year an increase of £2.30 per annum for a Band D property which equates to 4 pence per week.
The next meeting of Litcham Parish Council is due to be held on 2 March 2020 at 7.30 p.m.at the Jubilee Hall. All parishioners are cordially invited to attend and the first part of the meeting is set aside for parishioners to raise issues with the Parish Council. The full minutes are available for viewing by any parishioner by contacting the Clerk on 01362 861112 or on the Litcham website, www.litcham.org.
At the September Parish Council meeting which was attended by five Councillors, County and District Councillor M Kiddle Morris and one member of the public the following was considered:
Planning: Applications. There were no applications to consider.
Decisions: There were no decisions to report.
Highways: The finger post near to the Jubilee Hall has been repaired and painted. The bollard on Pound Lane that had been knocked over and reported since the last meeting had been repaired. The footway on Lexham Road had been cleared. The hedges on Butt Lane, Pound Lane and Tittleshall Road had all been cut. Back Lane had been sided out. The sign for Litcham Close had been reported and Breckland Council had confirmed that it would be replaced. The following will be reported: -There has been flooding at the bottom of Pound Lane, Druids Lane and Mileham Road, the pipe under the road at the Bull crossroads which is blocked, the potholes on Mileham Road outside the entrance to the Bull car park and the school sign is not
visible in the hedge on Pound lane. The landowner is to be written to regarding the hedge on Mileham Road opposite the Limes and also the landowner on Druids Lane as the school sign is not visible. The County Councillor confirmed that a section 81 notice had been served on BT to repair the ironwork on Dereham Road but this had not been repaired as yet.
Access onto Church Street from the new properties to the rear of the Post Office: All residents in then properties to the rear of the Post Office had been written to. Further consideration is being given to signage at this point but it is unlikely that Norfolk County Council will grant permission for any further signage.
County and District Councillor Reports. The County Councillor reported that The County Council is consulting on proposals for the 2020-21 budget and this is available on the NCC website. Norfolk Fire and Rescue service are consulting on the draft Integrated Risk Management Plan 2020-2023. By law every fire service must produce an IRMP which sets out how to achieve goals of improving public safety, reducing the number of emergency incidents and saving lives. The draft IRMP is available to view on the NCC website and responses can be made via an online form.
District Councillor Report. The District Councillor reported that the Planning Inspectorate have returned the Inspectors Report on the examination of the on new Local Plan. The Inspector concludes that the plan provides an appropriate for the planning of the District providing that several Main Modifications (MM) are made to it. The report and details of the MMs are available to view on the Breckland website.
Breckland is consulting on a scheme which will change the way Council Tax is calculated for people claiming Universal Credit. The proposed scheme will not recalculate Council Tax for people who claim Universal Credit unless their income varies by more than £15 weekly or £65 monthly. £100k per annum has been set aside from Council reserves to fund a Community Match Funding grant scheme. Grants of up to £5k will be available to help fund locally identified projects. Breckland have set up a fund of £30k to support community celebrations of the 75thanniversary of the end of the second world war. Grants of up to £500 will be available to communities to celebrate the events which will be held nationally on Friday 8th May (VE) and Saturday 15th August. Grant funding will also be available to help celebrate the 80th anniversaries of the Dunkirk evacuation (26th May – 4th June) and the Battle of Britain in September. The rapid car charging points in Dereham and Swaffham are operational. The Dereham points are at the Cowper Road car park and in Swaffham are located at the Pedlars Lane car park.
The next meeting of Litcham Parish Council is due to be held on 6 January 20209 at 7.30 p.m.at the Jubilee Hall. All parishioners are cordially invited to attend and the first part of the meeting is set aside for parishioners to raise issues with the Parish Council. The full minutes are available for viewing by any parishioner by contacting the Clerk on 01362 861112 or on the Litcham website, www.litcham.org.
Once again we have to make a plea for people not to feed the ponies anything at all, not even carrots or apples. Dartmoor ponies thrive on a low nutrient diet of rough grazing, such as is found on the common. At the moment they are too fat and we need them to lose a bit of weight over the winter months. Too rich a diet can cause laminitis in ponies, which is an extremely painful and potentially crippling disease that can prove fatal. Three of our animals are at an age when they are more susceptible to laminitis and we know that people have been feeding them.
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE PONIES ANYTHING!
Feeding the ponies could result in immense suffering.
Litcham Common Conservation Group
We are very grateful to Litcham Parish Council for a grant of £300, which will go towards the cost of the renewals of tools, insurance and other expenses.
The next conservation task will take place on Saturday 14th December starting at 10am and meeting in Litcham Common car park. Newcomers will be welcome and tools and protective gloves provided. Contact Tim Angell on 01328 700045 for more information.
Following recent reports in the media about the re-organisation of Children’s Centres in Norfolk we would like to clarify the situation here in Litcham.
We are delighted to announce that, although the premises in the Weasenham Road has ceased to be a Children’s Centre as such, the building has now come under the auspices of Litcham School.
Litcham School, along with Norfolk County Council, has actively encouraged and supported this transition which has enabled Litcham Childcare to continue to provide excellent uninterrupted services to local families from the existing premises, both currently and into the future.
Litcham Childcare continues to be registered by Norfolk County Council as an “Early Years” provider for 2, 3 and 4 year olds; and remains registered with OFSTED. Its aim remains to provide children with a safe, secure and stimulating environment delivered by quality, trained staff; in addition Breakfast, After School and Holiday Clubs are available for children from 2 yrs to 14 yrs.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01328 701155