LITCHAM ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

Held in Jubilee Hall on the 16th April 2007 at 7.30pm

 

Reports From Village Organisations

 

click on name of organisation to go to report

Organisation

Submitted By

ALL SAINTS CHURCH (Parochial Church Council)

Richard VOGT - Churchwarden

Litcham  ALLOTMENTS and LEISURE GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

Henry DENNETt

Litcham BELLRINGERS

Tim ANGELL

Royal BRITISH LEGION

John JONES

Litcham COMMON Conservation Group

Tim ANGELL

Litcham COMMON Management Committee

Tim ANGELL

LITCHAM  HIGH  SCHOOL

Jeremy Nicolls

LITCHAM  HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Ron SHAW, presented by Joyce GREEN

LITCHAM JUBILEE HALL COMMITTEE

Mark Kiddle-Morris

LITCHAM  & DISTRICT LADIES  GROUP

Joyce GREEN

PLAY 2000

Judith BENTLEY

RED CROSS

Hermionie BIRKBECK

Litcham YOUTH PROJECT

Judith Bentley

 

 

 

A L L   S A I N T S   C H U R C H

Annual Report from the Parochial Church Council for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 16 April 2007

 

SummaryThe Church has had a steady year, both financially and in it's activities. The Parochial Church Council met every two months. The most significant issue at present is the Interregnum and Amalgamation of the Benefices, more details are given below

 

Financial
Income for the year, including that from voluntary giving and the recovery of tax from Gift Aid has remained consistent with the previous year. The modest reserves within the general fund also remian similar. In Common with other Charitable organisation, tax changes in the recent Budget will potentially reduce income from 2008.

 

Activities
Sunday and mid-week services have been maintained during the year and major and minor festivals have all been marked. A number of fund raising events have been held, including the annual provision of refreshments at one of the Lexham Garden open days, which makes a very worthwhile contribution to our funds. The boy's choir remians buoyant and provides a useful introduction to music, teamwork, discipline and spiritual devotion to boys of a range of ages and backgrounds. Membership of the choir also qualifies them for the further lively expierence of Junior Leaders Camps.

 

The Church Building
Several Thousand pounds have been spent on the routine maintenance during the year, although no s[pecific major restoration project is in hand at the present. Maintenance work has consisted of roofing, drainage and over £1000 on glazing repairs as a result of a combination of natural decay and sporadic vandalism. The Building remains in a reasonable condition, although the Quinquennial Architects report list numerous necessary repairs of varying degrees of urgency. 

 

Insurance
A change in Insurers this year resulted in improved cover in the event of major loss. The premium remians the biggest single outgoing after the Parish Share towards diocesan and clergy costs. Risk Assessment conditions now imposed by insurers add to the financial pressures. Improved fire fighting appliances have been installed, an electrical condition survey has been carried out as well as a tree condtion survey. Both the latter have resulkted in essential and expensive work being required.

 

Benefice Measures and Vacancy
The Benefice of Litcham was suspended by the Bishop of Norwich several years ago. This technical measure allows the Bishop to appoint a Priest in Charge rather than an incumbent with a freehold of the incumbency. The Revd. Boston's appointment was a Priest in Charge.
This permitted the Bishop to take the opportunity of the simultaneous vacancy of he Upper Nar Group of Parishes and that of the Dunhams and Franshams to amalgamate the two groups. This resulted in a new grouping of eleven Parishes and Churches. This has subsequently bee reduced to ten as the Churchwardens of Miles have opted to loin the North Elmham Benefice.

 

The Churchwardens of the new group of ten parishes have worked harmoniously together to produce a Parish Profile which is the basis of the advertisment for a new Parish Priest. This profile is flexible as to the selection of a priest of either gender and also to a variety of forms of worship.
Nonetheless, the challenge of ten rural parishes is a substantial one and it may be some time before an incumbent can be found. Meanwhile, thanks lay worship leaders and the continuing assistance of the Revd, Boston, service patterns at Litcham remain unaltered.

 

One positive benefit from the enlarged group is that the Church and Village magazine is already eveloping a wider content and circulation, building on its success over the years.

 

Richard Vogt, Church Warden, Litcham PCC 10.4.07

 

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LITCHAM  ALLOTMENTS and LEISURE GARDENERS ASSOCIATION

 

Report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 16th April 2007

 

LALGA was formed in November 2007, our aim is to preserve the heritage and promote the future of Litcham Garden Allotments for the benefit of the whole community.

 

Formed as an association of gardeners who either do or do not have an allotment in Litcham but have a common interest in gardening and the village. Members donıt have to have an allotment to join and membership is now in excess of 70

 

The benefits are talks on gardening, outings such as Kew Gardens, discounts at local garden centres, social events, etc.

 

We can help each other improve the allotments and have access to grants through the ARI to improve the allotments

We can help our Landlords – The Litcham Relief In Need Charity (LRINC) to increase their income by tenants taking on more of the allotment maintenance and also assisting with items such as insurance costs and other issues.

 

We want to make the allotments a vibrant success

 

In doing this we can help LRINC generate more income.  We are not in competition with or against LRINC but there to help and assist the Charity meet its aims and objectives

 

Henry Dennett – LALGA Chairman 16th April 2007

 

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LITCHAM  BELLRINGERS

 

Report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 16th April 2007

 

The past year has seen Litchamıs bells rung only infrequently, due to their generally poor condition – During ringing for a wedding in October one of the bell ropes started fraying badly and since then no ringing has taken place, although the rope has now been repaired.

 

Two surveys of the bells have been carried out with a view to comprehensive repairs and tuning work being undertaken. The total cost will probably be in excess of £30,000, so there is a lot of fundraising to be done, but the end result should be a properly tuned set of bells that will not need any further major work for perhaps a hundred years.

 

One positive outcome of the surveys is that they report the bells are at present safe to ring, which means they will still be available for weddings and major services such as Christmas. For this to happen, Litcham is reliant on ringers from other villages coming to help out, so it would be nice if more people from the village decided to learn. At the moment there are a number of beginners learning at Raynham church on a Monday night, and anyone interested in having a go at bellringing would be welcome there.

 

Litchamıs bells and tower are of historical interest and Tim Angell would be happy to show anyone interested round. Tim can be contacted on 01328 700045. All you need is a head for heights, depending on how far up the tower you want to go. A small donation to the bell fund would be appreciated.

 

Tim Angell

 

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ROYAL  BRITISH LEGION

Litcham, Tittleshall & District Branch

Annual Statement presented to Litcham Parish Meeting

 

During 2006 the Litcham & District branch and the Tittleshall & District branch of the Royal British Legion, merged, to form a single branch under the banner of Litcham, Tittleshall & District Branch. The reason being loss of members and the increasing age of our membership. We continue to look for new members to join the branch and any one interested please contact the secretary or any member of the branch. Our current membership stands at 28.

 

The first Annual General Meeting of the merged branch was held on 26th October 2006, at the Tittleshall village hall. Dr. David Baldwin was confirmed as president, Mr. Dennis Wick as chairman, Mr. Robin Roberson as treasurer and John Jones as secretary & membership. Prior to the merger we held several joint meetings, alternating between the Litcham Bull & Tittleshall village hall, which we intend to continue along these lines in the future. In August we held a joint Bar-B-Que. but owing to incessant rain, it was transferred at the eleventh hour from Fourways to Tittleshall Village Hall, our thanks must still go to Ron & Brenda Shaw for the use of their garden facilities prior to the last minute move. The event was very successful, with the proceeds going to the 2006 poppy appeal. The poppy appeal for 2006 was again very successful and thanks must go to Arthur Clarke acting as the Poppy Appeal Organiser, and the numerous collectors in the surrounding villages and of course the generosity of the local populous. The final total for the poppy appeal, along with Tittleshallıs contribution amounted to £1844 approximately.

 

We attended the Armistice Services in Litcham, Tittleshall & Mileham also the memorial service held at the American War Memorial in Beeston followed by a buffet lunch in Beeston village hall.

 

We would like to record our thanks to former officers and members of the branch for past support.

 

John E Jones (Branch Secretary)

 

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LITCHAM  COMMON  CONSERVATION  GROUP

Report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 16th April 2007

 

Litcham Common Conservation Group was set up in January 2004 to assist with conservation work on the common. The group is relatively informal, with no written constitution or formal membership list, and uses the Litcham Common Management Committee bank account to hold funds. However, the group is a member of, and insured through, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV). The groupıs only income this year was a grant of £250 from Litcham Parish Council, for which it is very grateful. Expenses amounted to £221, the bulk of which was the cost of insurance.

 

Volunteers meet on the second Saturday of each month and carry out tasks agreed with Norfolk County Councilıs Countryside Department. Over the past year the work done has included cutting and burning scrub, digging out a pond, clearing trees to let light into a (different) pond, clearing rubbish and litter, and burning gorse cut by contractors. This year the group also carried out an extra task away from the common. This involved raking up vegetation that had been cut on a village road verge where flowers such as cowslips and early purple orchids grow.

 

The number of people attending tasks has varied, tending to be lower over the summer months, but from then on being in the region of nine to thirteen people each month. Volunteers come from other villages as well as Litcham, and range in age from eleven upwards. Those that come enjoy the physical exercise, company, pleasant surroundings and sense of achievement.

 

Tim Angell

 

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LITCHAM COMMON MANAGEMENT  COMMITTEE

 

Report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 16th April 2007

 

Litcham Common is a Local Nature Reserve and the Committeeıs primary responsibility is to manage it as such, particularly taking account of the siteıs importance as an area of lowland heathland. At the same time, consideration needs to be given to maintaining a diversity of wildlife habitats, as well as taking account of the commonıs importance to the people of Litcham and surrounding villages for recreational purposes.

The members of the committee include representatives of Norfolk County Council (Sarah Cureton), Lexham Hall Estate (Neil Foster), Litcham Parish Council (Mike Oldfield), Litcham Common Conservation Group (Tim Angell), and also three residents of Litcham (John Jones, John Mitchell and Joyce Green).

Work carried out over the past year includes:

€    Selective scrub and tree clearance to stop heathland plants (particularly heather) from being shaded out, and to provide sheltered but sunny wildlife habitats amongst the gorse.

€    Digging out two ponds which were becoming clogged up with vegetation, and removing some nearby trees in order to provide dappled shade.

€    Mowing areas of bracken, and also the main paths.

 

Funding for the work is provided by Norfolk County Council; grants are also received under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. Some of the work is carried out by volunteers.

A number of conservation bodies have recommended appropriate grazing as the best way to manage the common, and over the past year the Management Committee has been pursuing proposals to reintroduce grazing. The plans have been widely publicised, and feedback sought from both the general public and bodies such as Litcham Parish Council. The Management Committee has been at pains to point out that there is absolutely no intention to restrict public access to the common, despite the need to erect stock proof fencing. Feedback received has been largely positive, although a number of people expressed the view that, while being in favour of grazing, they would if possible rather not see fencing erected alongside the road. (On the other hand, a few people have said they would actually prefer the road to be fenced.)


Following a formal application made to the Secretary of State in December 2006, permission has been granted to erect fencing around the perimeter of the common, and either side of the Dunham Road. This permission is time limited for a period of ten years, after which a fresh application will need to be made. However, in the meantime the Highway Authority has agreed to reconsider the possibility of installing cattle grids on the Dunham road, in conjunction with speed restrictions and other safety measures. This would retain the open look of the common and allow livestock to roam freely over the entire site.

The Management Committee is keen to press ahead with the grazing proposals, but in the circumstances has decided not to erect any fencing alongside the Dunham road until the Highway Authority gives its decision on the cattle grids – if the cattle grids are allowed then there will be no need for the fencing. Frustratingly, little further progress can be made until the Highway Authority makes up its mind.

Finally, the Management Committee is keen to include the local community in the grazing project and, for example, would be delighted if the two village schools could somehow become involved. In addition, any further feedback from the public, for example on the type of gates to be installed to provide access, will be welcomed.  

Tim Angell 

 

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LITCHAM  HIGH  SCHOOL

Report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 16 April 2007

 

1.    Site   The new block, incorporating a low-energy heating and air-conditioning system, is now fully in use and is a vast improvement on the mobile classrooms it replaced. External lighting has been rationalised to reduce the total number of lights and consumption of energy, whilst maintaining security and health and safety requirements. External decorating continues. Building work during the summer break will include a new floor to the gym, a new layout at the front of the school, to improve the bus picking up arrangements and parking and a toilet replacement project. Air-conditioning is needed in School House (computer block), but its listed status precludes the use of conventional, externally-mounted equipment.

 

2.    School Roll   The current roll stands at 575. The standard admission number is 112 per annum, and as such the school remains over-subscribed. Fortunately, all children in the catchment area still get a place.

 

3.    Specialist Status  Phase 1 (2002 – 2006) of the science specialism finishes in August. We are looking forward to redesignation for a further 4 years. An invitation event will be held on 7 July to mark the first phase. As a high-performing secondary school, we have been invited to bid for a second specialism. Details to follow.

 

4.    Exam Results  GCSE and key stage 3 SAT results continue to place the school in the highest category of secondary performance.

 

Jeremy Nicholls, HEADTEACHER24th April 2007

 

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LITCHAM  HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 

Report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 16th April 2007

 

The Society had a reasonable year, with the Museum having a steady flow of visitors, mainly from outside the Village, it is a pity more local people don't show an interest. We are pleased to welcome members of the HOWARD family (Basket makers of Litcham).
We called a public meeting regarding the upset over the Allotments as it seemed to get out of hand, and we are now concerned over the more controversy regarding the the Trustees, this must be sorted out amicably by the Parish Council in conjunction with the Allotment holders and Parish Council and Trustees.

We are concerned regarding the old Central Cafe on TWO counts.
1) Was there planning permission granted to demolish the Cottage?
2). The name White House could cuase a problem as there is a Listed Building which is called the White Hose in Licham already.

The Society is pleased to see the Coffee Morning in the Chapel is going very well thanks to the Ladies who run it.
As this Society is affiliated to the C.P.R.E. it could be to the advantage of the Parish if the new Parish Council and this Society worked closer together.

Ron Shaw, Chairman 14 April 2007
Presented to the meeting by Joyce Green

 

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LITCHAM JUBILEE HALL COMMITTEE

Report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 16th April 2007

 

The Trusteeship of the Jubilee Hall was finalised and a charitable trust has been set up. There are six trustees, two appointed by the Parochial Church Council, two appointed by the Parish Council and two by the Diocese of Norwich.
The Management Committee are actively progressing a plan to convert the existing male toilet into a combined disables/male toilet incorporating baby changing facilities.We are currently seeking quotations for the work and investigating the availability of grants to fund the project.
Income from the hire of the Hall has been steady over the last twelve months. Out main customer, the Playgroup will move to the Primary School site by September 2008 with the consequent loss of th major portion of out income. We are urgently considering way of replacing at least some of the income to the Hall that will be lost. Recent increases in electricity and insurance costs will also have an impact on our balance of payments.
Diana Collen, who has worked tirelessly as Chair of the Management Committee for many years, has resigned from that post. However, she retains responsibility for the day to day running of the Hall as bookings manager.

Mark Kiddle Morris

 

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LITCHAM  & DISTRICT LADIES  GROUP

Report for Litcham Parish Meeting

 

The group continues to meet in one another's home, even going as far as Beeston Regis and though people move they continue to be members, they obviously want to keep in touch and hear each other news.
Last year we had no outings but members supported village activities either by helping or attending. We had the, by now traditional barbecue in the summer. Once again the weather was fine.
In  December we hears a very interesting lecture, with video, about the work of the R.N.L.I. Members brought Christmas cards from the Lifeboat Institute which raised £116. This, together with the £110 from subscriptions meant we were able to donate £225 to the R.N.L.I. as our nominated Charity for 2007.After the lecture we had wine and supper provided by the ladies, a very pleasant pre-Christmas get together.
The annual group lunch at the Crown at Colkirk started the new year well for us and we are now planning a visit to  Sandringham House and gardens in the summer.
Our group of friends, though scattered continues to meet with enthusiasm.The Ladies Group

 

Joyce Green

 

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P L A Y   2 0 0 0

Chairman's Report for Litcham Annual Parish Meeting held on 16th April 2007

 

This has been a very quiet year for Litcham Play 2000, although fundraising is still continuing.  We would welcome new members to the committee which meets approximately once every 4-5 weeks.  
At present we are organising a village fete to be held on Archerıs Meadow on Saturday 7th July. 

Again we would welcome any help or suggestions from any organisations in the village.  All will be invited to have some kind of stall.  Our next meeting will be at Di Collenıs on Wednesday evening at 7:00pm.  Please come along if you would like to contribute.
Things are moving very slowly with Breckland Council and as yet we are no further along with finding a suitable piece of land on which to put the recreation area.  This, unfortunately, limits us with the funding we are allowed to apply for.
We will also be holding a Quiz Night in the Jubilee Hall in the not too distant future.  The money raised from this will be split between Play 2000 and Litcham Youth Project.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us in the last year.

Judith Bentley, Chairman Play 2000

 

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RED CROSS MEDICAL LOAN DEPOT

Report for Litcham Annual Parish Meeting held on 16th April 2007

 

I have nothing new to report this year about the Red Cross Medical Loan unit.

 

We continue to lend out items of medical equipment during the year which provide invaluable emergency help foe people in the short term, either recovering from an operation or accident, allowing them to be cared for at home.

As you know this is a charitable organisation funded entirley by donation. We are very grateful for people's generous support.

Hermione Birkbeck, 23.3.07

 

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LITCHAM  YOUTH  PROJECT

Report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 24th April 2006

Despite losing the support of the Youth Workers from Breckland Council(who went off to open up new projects, we are apparently too good and donıt need their help!) the Youth Project has kept going.  The only problem we had was to find the funding for the rental of the Jubilee Hall.  Many thanks to the Parish Council for providing a cheque that will keep us going for a few months.  We have also managed to obtain more funding from another source that will provide us with the rent for the rest of the year!  
We have bought lots of new equipment including a new table tennis table, karaoke machine, Play Station Games, CDs basketball hoop and rounders set.  We were also able to buy some new table top games to keep the youngsters amused.  Funding has also just been obtained to buy a bigger and better pool table.

The youngster have also been involved in raising funds, at Christmas we had a table at a Christmas Fair at Swaffham and a few of the youngsters manned the stall.  They had a team at our Quiz Night! They are also helping with the arrangements for the Litcham Village Fete.
There have still been a few problems with the youngsters hanging around in the bus shelter and upsetting the neighbours, but hopefully these instances are becoming less frequent.  We had a visit from the Community Police Officer who chatted with the Project and has offered to come along again.
Again we would welcome extra volunteers to help run the Project, at present there are two volunteers on every Thursday evening running the club, extra help means we wonıt have to be there so often!  We would also welcome any people with specific skills who could come along and perhaps give a little talk or a demonstration, I feel sure that the youngsters are fed up with what four female volunteers have to offer!

Judith Bently. Volunteer Litcham Youth Project.

 

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END OF REPORTS