LITCHAM

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

Held in Jubilee Hall on 2nd April, 2012 at 7.00pm

REPORTS from VILLAGE ORGANISATIONS

 

 

Organisation

Submitted By

LITCHAM  BELLRINGERS

 Tim ANGELL

Litcham  COMMON  CONSERVATION  Group

 Tim ANGELL

Litcham COMMON MANAGEMENT  Committee

 Tim ANGELL

COUNTY COUNCILLORS Report

 Mark KIDDLE-MORRIS

LITCHAM  HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 David SHEPPARD

HIGH SCHOOL

 Jeremy Nicolls

Friends of Litcham HIGH SCHOOL

 Alison Briston

Litcham HOMEWATCH

John RELPH

JUBILEE HALL

 Mark KIDDLE-MORRIS

LEGs Litcham Entertainment Group

 Judith Semmons

Friends of LITCHAM  PRIMARY SCHOOL

 Christine WATTS

ALL SAINTS PAROCHIAL CHUCRH COUNCIL

 Richard Vogt

Litcham LADIES GROUP

 Judy Rourke

LALGA

Litcham Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Association

 John Jones

ROYAL BRITISH LEGION

 John Jones

 

 

 

LITCHAM  BELLRINGERS

Report for Litcham Annual Parish Meeting on 2 April 2012

 

Litcham Bellringers

Report for Litcham Annual Parish Meeting on 2 April 2012

 

The past year has seen Litcham’s bells rung only infrequently, due to their generally poor condition and a lack of ringers within the village. However, a ‘quarter peal’ was rung to celebrate the ‘Tour of Britain’ cycle race coming through Litcham in September 2011.

 

Ringers are being drafted in from other villages so that Litcham’s bells should ring out twice this June, in celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the Church’s 600th anniversary.

 

The bell restoration project is making slow but steady progress and the Bell Fund now stands at over £3,482. The total estimated cost of the work to be carried out is approximately £40,000 which seems a daunting target. However, we are fortunate that the Friends of All Saints charity has also earmarked some of its funds for the bell project.

 

Litcham’s bells and tower are part of the heritage of the village and I would be happy to show them to anyone who is interested.

 

Tim Angell

 

 

Litcham  Common  Conservation  Group

Report for Litcham Annual Parish Meeting on 2 April 2012

 

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 group’s only income this year was a grant of £230 from Litcham Parish Council, for which it is very grateful. This covered the cost of insurance and expenses such as minor equipment renewals. 

 

Volunteers meet on the second Saturday of each month and carry out a variety of tasks. Over the past year the work done has included cutting and burning scrub, clearing rubbish and litter, and putting up bird nesting boxes.

 

Individual members of the group carry out regular welfare checks on the ponies that graze the common, on a rota basis. They also help round up the ponies from time to time for inspection by a vet or farrier.

 

The volunteers have ranged in age from about eight upwards. Those who come enjoy the physical exercise, company and pleasant surroundings. Several of us also attended the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership’s awards ceremony at County Hall last year, which was an enjoyable and interesting event.

 

Tim Angell

 

 

Litcham Common Management  Committee

Report for Litcham Annual Parish Meeting on 2 April 2012

 

Litcham Common is a Local Nature Reserve and the Committee’s primary responsibility is to manage it as such, particularly taking account of the site’s importance as an area of lowland heathland.

 

The Committee is made up of Neil Foster (who owns the freehold of the common), Mike Oldfield (representing Litcham Parish Council), John Jones, John Mitchell, Dave Wheal, Sarah Cureton and Tim Angell.

 

The past year has been an eventful one for us.

 

In July 2011 we won the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership Site Award for the work carried out at Litcham Common so far.

 

Shortly afterwards, we discovered that our application for grant funding from SITA Trust had been successful. This guaranteed funding of up to £100,000 for the project to install cattle grids on the common and extend grazing across the whole site, provided we could raise ‘third party’ funding of £11,000. This further funding was achieved thanks to grants from the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership and Norfolk County Council, together with gifts and loans from individuals and organisations within the village. We are very grateful for all of this generous financial support.

 

At the same time we once again consulted within the village before making the final decision to proceed with the project, due to the fact that some people had expressed misgivings at parish council meetings. Notices were put up around the village and in Church & Village magazine and we had a stall at the village fete. Of those people who responded to our request for feedback, the ratio in favour of the cattle grid project was nearly five to one, and so the decision was made to go ahead.

 

Legal notices were placed on the common and in the local press in September and October 2011, which gave members of the public an opportunity to make a formal objection to the cattle grids. One representation was received from someone concerned about road safety. The objection was subsequently withdrawn after the individual concerned had discussed the matter with Norfolk County Council’s Area Programme Engineer. Therefore no public enquiry was required.

 

Once legal approval had been gained, we were able to give the go ahead for the detailed design work. Norfolk County Council’s highway department is using a firm called Mott MacDonald to design and oversee the installation of the cattle grids, although the highway authority is ultimately responsible for the work, including consideration of matters such as signage and road safety. After some delays, construction of the grids is now scheduled to begin in early May, although no firm start date has been given yet.

 

A significant amount of tree and scrub clearance work has already been completed alongside the road. Other work due to be carried out in the next few weeks is the erection of perimeter fencing around the unfenced part of the common, together with the installation of a cattle grid on the track that leads to Kempstone.

 

In December the Management Committee applied for grant funding from Natural England under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme. This application was successful, which is great news as it guarantees a regular source of income for the next ten years, to enable environmental management work to be carried out. Having lost our funding from Norfolk County Council last year as part of the cutbacks, it is reassuring to have a degree of financial security. We are very grateful to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust for its help in applying for the funding.

 

Finally, the four Dartmoor ponies that graze the common have continued to do a good job keeping down the vegetation and opening up the area to the north-west of the Dunham road. The ponies are regularly checked by volunteers on a rota system and rounded up roughly twice a year for a thorough check, and to have their hooves trimmed. So far, no major health or welfare issues have arisen.

 

Tim Angell

 

 

COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT

Report for Litcham Annual Parish Meeting on 2 April 2012

 

T.B.A.

 

 

MARK KIDDLE-MORRIS

 

 

 

LITCHAM  HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Report for Litcham Annual Parish Meeting on 2 April 2012

 

Litcham Historical Society Annual Report To Litcham Parish Council (April 2nd 2012.).

I must apologise for not delivering this report in person as in other years but urgent family matters have taken me south.

Over 220 visitors toured around our museum this year 2011-2012. This is a very small decrease on 2010-2011 but to make up for this we are receiving increasing interest from outside the county in the form of internet enquiries from the families of: Collisons, Knock, Smithson, Patterson, Pratt  and Smith. The latter leaving me a headache as there are many it seems Smiths and Smithsons could quite easily be those travelling master blacksmiths many of whom came from Yorkshire, then returned to the north after training.

We now have to consider opening for out of hours visitors to bring their own family photos to add and deduct from our copies of their long lost relatives. Nevertheless it has been a positive experience and we await the arrival of a Robert smith who has many interesting photos to add to our archives, especially of the Patterson family. Anyone with knowledge of the names mentioned-the museum would like details please? Enquiries were made by two men who were former Barnardo boys billeted at Lexham hall. One was writing a book and when published, could add a valuable addition to our history in wartime.

Ron Shaw had his retirement do towards the end of March 2011 when some nice photos were taken of him and his wife Brenda, who sadly passed away in February. She is to be remembered in an article in the EDP. When one of those photos of her will be featured. Brenda and her support for Ron and the museum will be long remembered.

In august we put on an exhibition of history at “Titeshala” and this helped boost the heating fund coffers for st Mary’s church.

Like some other organisations in Litcham we have suffered further annoyance from scammers, the usual Liverpool and a new one from Spain tried but we have repelled them both.

One of our members, John Mitchell made a good case for the conservation of Litcham common group’s new ideas and members have contributed £100 so far. We were rewarded later in the year when we received £100 from the round Britain cycle race, this was a reward for regularly selling raffle tickets at the fayre. one of our members had proposed the fayre be opened by ex-wing co ken Wallis taking off and landing his gyrocopter? Not sure about health and safety on that one?

Although held in late November our Christmas party at Litcham hall was very well received with members past and present and other old friends enjoying a wonderful evening. john and Hermione Birkbeck deserve our great thanks as good hosts.

In January 2012 Ron and i were on radio Norfolk and as he was talking i found myself confronted by a lone bat it made very good radio as our voices echoed as were showing the presenter around our excavated lime kiln! The museum has had a small but significant membership boost in recent times and a third lady (Alice) is due to start with us in April. Thanks to Don Moulton a senior member, who introduced her to the museum.

We look forward to a busy June with all the events and we hope to provide a small exhibition with artefacts relating to each decade of “the queens diamond years”. We look forward to a bigger and well attended fayre this year, which is our thirtieth year of opening.

 

Looking forward to bringing a report personally to the council next time. Sincerely David Sheppard (chairman).

 

David Sheppard, Chair Litcham Historical Society.

 

 

LITCHAM HIGH SCHOOL

Annual report to Litcham Parish Council - 2 April 2012

 

T.B.A.

.

 

Jeremy Nicholls, Headteacher, April 2012

 

 

Litcham HIGH SCHOOL PTFA

                                                                                                Annual report for Parish Council

 

 

T.B.A.

.

 

Alison Briston, Litcham High School PTFA Secretary, 2.4.2012

 

 

LITCHAM HOMEWATCH

Annual report to Parish Council

Presented to the Annual Parish Meeting on the 2nd April 2012

 

Crime in Litcham remains at a relatively low level.  My team of co-ordinators and I have only received a couple of reports of suspicious or suspected criminal activity in Litcham. Although reported to the police neither have led to anything serious.

 

I continue to regularly post the latest information that the police send me about local crime trends on the Homewatch pages of the Litcham website where you will also find plenty of security advice and link to Norfolk Police help pages.  Recently there has been a spate of Heating Oil thefts in the local area although no one in Litcham has been a victim of this crime yet. If you haven’t done so yet it would be advisable to fit a padlock to you filler cap.

Shed break in also continue to be a regular feature of crime reports, again a simple padlock will often deter the criminal who is generally looking for easy pickings.

 

There has been no meetings of the Litcham co-ordinators this year. But I continue to have regular contact with the Dereham Police via email and I have attended a meeting of the Local Area Homewatch Associations at Dereham Police station at which I met the ‘point-of-contact’ police officer for the Dereham Homewatch Area and also other local Homewatch co-ordinators.

 

We are now part of and receiving regular news from the Dereham Homewatch Association and are officially classed as an ‘Active’ association. (Which apparently can help you get a reduction in your home contents insurance with some companies?)

 

The Police’s National Street Level Crime map gives a total of 28 reported crimes in Litcham since last April. Twenty-one of which were either Anti-social behaviour or other, relatively minor, criminal damages.  This is roughly the same in previous years.

More seriously there were two reports of violent crime and one arson attack, the first I can remember in Litcham. There were also three burglaries, which as usual happened mainly during the summer months and one report of theft from a Vehicle.

Compared to national crime levels our ‘neighbourhood’, which includes the Dereham Area, is classed as ‘average’.  From the weekly crime reports I receive it seems to me that 90% of this crime happens in Dereham.

 

A full list of the thirteen local street co-ordinators is appended to this report, it is available from the Homewatch pages on the Litcham website or directly from me if you can not access to the internet.

 

John Relph, Litcham Homewatch Co-ordinator, 2nd April 2012

 

 

LITCHAM HOME WATCH coordinators

 

1. Rectory Meadow & Archers Farm - Mr. J. Relph (Litcham Area Co-ordinator) 700 813

2. Pound Lane, Back Street, Front St. & Lexham Rd. - Mr. R. J. Mitchell - 701 342

3. Butt Lane - Mrs. D. Collen - 701 401

4. Tittleshal Rd. & Back Lane - Mrs Claire Lawrence - 700 145

5. Mileham Rd. - Carol Hilton - 700 745

6. Manor Drive & Upper Church Street - Mr. S. Lynn - 701 377

7. Priory Area - Mr. & Mrs. A. Clarke - 701 720

8. Lower Church Street - Mr. M. Kiddle-Morris - 701 370

9. Dereham Road - Mr. J. Jones - 700 184

10. Oaklands Farm Area - Mr. D. C. Holland - 701 304

11. Wellingham Road - Mr. L. Raven - 701 958

12. Weasenham Road & Keppel Close - Mr. T. Walker - 701 592

13.  Lexham Road West, Hall Farm House & Coronation Cottages - Mr. G. Blower - 701 748

 

 

Report of the Litcham JUBILEE HALL Management Committee

Litcham Annual Parish Meeting – 4th April,2012.

 

T.B.A.

.

 

Mark Kiddle-Morris.

Chairman Litcham Jubilee Hall Management Committee.

 

 

LITCHAM ENTERTAINMENT GROUP: LEGS

Report for Litcham Annual Parish Meeting – 2nd April, 2012

 

T.B.A.

 

Judith Semmons, Chairman LEGS/ Co-producer

 

 

FRIENDS OF LITCHAM  PRIMARY SCHOOL

Chair’s report for Litcham Parish Annual Meeting held on 2nd April, 2012

 

T.B.A.

 

Sharon Chandler

 

 

ALL SAINTS PAROCHIAL CHUCRH COUNCIL

Summary of Activities 2011-2012

 

 

The major event during the year has been the advent of our new Priest-in-Charge, Martin Joyce and his wife Joan to Litcham Rectory, after a blessedly short interregnum. Martin and Joan have rapidly “embedded” themselves into the life of the ten parishes within his care and have been equally at home in church affairs as well as in the Litcham LEGS pantomime.

 

2011 has been another solid year in church life, with consistent congregations and income which has kept our budget just balanced and permitted us to pay our Parish Share (the charge for Head Office as it were) in full. This is not as common in rural areas as it should be and was sufficient to earn a special certificate of thanks.

 

2011 was mainly a year for preparation for and looking forward to the 600th anniversary of the dedication of the rebuilt church in 1412. We will be celebrating this on Sunday  17th June 2012, 600 years to the day, allowing for any adjustments to calendars in all that time. Appropriately, it will also be celebrated with the first major building renovations for some time, with the replacement of coverings to the chancel roof and other associated work. Bids for grant were submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund via English Heritage towards the end of the year and we have recently had the glad tidings that we have been awarded a substantial contribution towards the considerable costs. As always with public grants, it still leaves us with a lot of funds to raise. The Friends of All Saints have pledged a generous sum, but there is still a significant balance to be found. Recent revisions to the grant eligibility of VAT has left a very arcane system whereby we risk only receiving grant on an unknown proportion of the tax bill.

 

An unexpected boost to interest in the church has been the discovery during the year of the fact that is is an exceptionally rich source of mediaeval graffiti, often left by pilgrims. A comprehensive illustrated report can be found on the internet. Several training days for graffitologists have been held in the building and there will be an event during National Archaeology Week on 21st July 2012.

 

The church remains open during each day for prayer, private devotions and interested visitors, frequently those researching their ancestors and often from far away places. Often we overlook places of interest near to home, but when we have guests to stay they often find fascinating details which we ourselves have overlooked and we are always pleased to welcome them.

 

Richard Vogt, Churchwarden - April 2012

 

 

 

Litcham Ladies Group

Report to the Litcham Parish Council April 2011

 

Once again it is time for the annual reports on the Village clubs and activities and once again we have to report a drop in the membership of our group.

However, we stall had an excellent lunch at ‘The George’ in Swaffam in January to start the New Year and some members who cannot usually attend the meetings came to to be with us. After one member moved to Baldock last year we made it an excuse for an outing and organised a visit to see her and her husband in their new home.   We all enjoyed the meet up and the lunch booked at the pub just across the road, they are lucky to have such a convenient place to do their entertaining!  We had coffee at the National Stud at Ne Market on the way to Baldock and decided to go there again in the spring.  We will be going for a guided tour later in April to see the horses and the new foals in the paddocks.

 

We have net yet decided which charity we wish to support this year but it is usually some cause that has a particular importance to someone I our group.

 

Our monthly meetings are still held in out homes and we are pleased to welcome new comers, just contact Judy Rork on 01328 7101 594 and come along for a very informal tea and biscuits.

 

Judy Rourke

 

 

 

ROYAL BRITISH LEGION

Litcham, Tittleshall & District Branch

Annual Statement dated 2nd April 2012

Presented to Litcham Parish Council AGM, 2nd April, 2012

 

During 2011 and to the present date the branch has sadly lost a further three members, two through death and one member resigned owing to ill health. Our membership now stands at 18 and attendance at branch meetings which are held four times a year in the Tittleshall Village Hall on the first Wednesday of February, May, August and the Annual general Meeting in November. The average attendance at the meetings is only about six owing to the infirmity and the age of many of our members. We will in the future have to look at a possible merger with a larger branch, but in the meantime will endeavour to keep the branch going.

 

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.

 

The current officers being President, Doug Rork, Chairman, Dennis Wick, Treasurer, Robin Roberson, Poppy Appeal Organiser, Sheila Lynn, Standard Bearer, Stephen Lynn and Secretary, John Jones.

 

The main event was the poppy appeal starting last October with the proceeds going to the 2011poppy appeal. The poppy appeal was again very successful and thanks must go to Sheila & Stephen Lynn as the Poppy Appeal Organisers, and the numerous collectors in Litcham and the surrounding villages, shops for having collecting boxes on the counter and of course the generosity of the local populous. The final total for the poppy appeal, along with the branch contribution of £1000 amounted to approximately £2594. There was a slight reduction of £77 on the total for 2010.

 

We attended along with the Branch Standard, the Remembrance Day Services in Litcham & Mileham and at the Tittleshall War Memorial. And following the Litcham service, at the American War Memorial in Beeston

 

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

 

John E Jones (Branch Secretary), 4 April 2012