At the November Parish Council meeting which was attended by seven Councillors, County Councillor M Kiddle Morris and three members of the public the following was considered:
Planning: Applications. The Parish Council raised no objection to the application for a proposed loft extension at 6 Manor Drive. Decisions: Approval had been granted by Breckland Council for the proposed two storey extension to the side of the property at 20 Wellingham Road.
Highways: Some of the problems reported previously have been repaired or in the case of the footway along Lexham Road cleared. The pothole outside the entrance to the school on Church Street will be reported as will the poor state of the footway outside the Post Office.
County and District Councillor Reports: The County Councillor reported that Norfolk County Council is consulting on its budget. Any parishioner can comment on this and find out the details of the proposals at www.norfolk.gov.uk/budget. The County Council is likely to raise Council Tax by 2.99% but not implement an allowed 3% increase for Adult Social Care.
Children’s Centres:This was discussed as the consultation would finish on 12 November. A representative from Litcham Child Care addressed the meeting and stated that it was in favour of the proposals and that the proposals with the High School would give enhanced services. The Parish Council decided to support the proposals for the Litcham Children’s Centre but would wish there to be a centre in each of the market towns.
The Green: The Parish Council is disappointed that the conditions that have been agreed with the Bull Inn have not been complied with. A further letter is to be sent stating that the Parish Council will seriously consider the withdrawal on the permission for 2019.
The next meeting of Litcham Parish Council is due to be held on 7 January 2019at the Jubilee Hall at 7.30 p.m. 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.
In common with churches throughout the country, Litcham’s bells were rung on Remembrance Sunday to mark the Armistice centenary. Over the past few months two complete beginners have been learning especially for the event and two people have returned to ringing, in one case after a gap of over 50 years! Starting at 5pm on 11thNovember we rang a mixture of rounds and a method known as plain hunting.
Those who “rang for peace” were Tim Angell, Alan Buxton, David Couldwell, Diana Don, Karen Moore, Sue Langham-Fitt, Richard Potts, Chris Richmond and Françoise Walker. Special mention should go to Sue and Diana who over the past few months have persevered and learnt to ring from scratch. Remembrance Sunday was the first time they had rung in rounds with other ringers. Diana was inspired by stories of her great aunt who rang the church bells at Cawston on the day of the actual Armistice in 1918 and it is wonderful that she was able to carry on the family tradition 100 years later.
We always welcome new ringers, young or old.
Please contact Tim Angell on 01328 700045 if you want to give bell ringing a try.
There will be another breakfast after the holiday, date to be arranged.
Do support Canon Heather’s Coffee Mornings which will be held in the Jubilee Hall every Tuesday morning beginning in September.
There is nothing to report on the work we hope to do except to say we are on the case all the time! We will win.
June Bevan (01328) 700 274
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.
Those who have lived in Litcham for a long time will remember Michael Long, appointed Incumbent of the Litcham parishes in 1973. Although he was only in post for under three years before being succeeded by the Revd Donald Munt, his sociable and jovial personality endeared him to many of his parishioners, who remained in contact with him after he moved to another living and then returned to a North Norfolk coastal parish. He was active to the last, championing traditional forms of worship and continuing to administrate at services until only a few weeks ago. We pray for him and for those who mourn his passing.
Richard Vogt, Churchwarden
I am exploring the possibility of starting a social singing group for children aged 7 to 16, probably meeting on a Saturday morning. This would not be a choir as such, rather with singing for fun being the main focus, although there would obviously be a hope that, as time goes by, the standard would develop.
Although the group would meet at the chapel, there would be no aspirations to turn it into a church choir, although it might be hoped that eventually performance standard might be reached.
The reason for the younger age limit is that this is an age at which most children have reached a reasonable level of reading ability, making it easier to teach songs to them.
Obviously, I need to know whether there is any interest before pursuing the idea any further, so would be pleased to hear from any parents whose children might be interested. Contact preferably by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone (01328 700978).
If the project goes ahead I will also be looking for adults willing to act as chaperones to conform with safeguarding regulations. This will entail undergoing a CRB check.
The group has grown from three initial members to fourteen members with a mixture of ages and weights, each of us with our own reasons for joining and with our own targets. The group is doing fantastically well and we are losing over a stone a week on average between us. With fourteen weeks to summer we are looking to challenge others to join us in order to feel more ready for summer.
Meetings are held in the Jubilee Hall every Monday at 9:30am.