As always the Parish Council has attempted to keep the Village clean and tidy and the road and pavements, light, hedges and signage up to date. Although this does sometimes mean waiting for the relevant agencies to get round to it. We also pay for the churchyard maintenance carries out by Norfolk County Services.
During the year ten planning applications have been submitted. Only one was refused after objections were made. Another passed with conditions. The rest were passed with no objection. Of these only the ten metre mast at the primary school called for more information.
Many of you wondered what the posts that appeared in November were for. As you may have noticed they were for dog fouling signs which Breckland took four months to screw on.
During the year we have had visits to Council meeting by David Spencer and Phil Daines of Breckland Planning and Development Services who explained the new Local Development Framework and answered question afterwards. Polly Jackson of West Norfolk Council for Voluntary Services came along and was looking for volunteers for a whole host of schemes. Tracy Baxter the Breckland Council Anti-social Behaviour Officer explained all about A.S.B.Os, their relevance, how to keep diaries and how she attempted to use mediation to resolve problems, sometime in association with Police Officers. This matter is still ongoing.
W.P.C. Beard and Community Support Officer Sarah Loveday told us that they had been assigned Litcham as one of their villages. They make occasional visits to the village when available. So together with the mobile Police Station that visits the village on Thursdays at Front Street, wee do have a reasonable Police presence in the village.
Throughout the year members of the Council and the Clerk attended Presentations, Standards Seminars and Councillor Training Sessions. During the year Carol Hilton and Tim Angell stepped down and we thank them their time. Chris Mitchell and Trevor Carter have been co-opted to replace them.
The creation of a Jubilee Hall Trust is moving to a conclusion and should be completed this year. Pedestrian access to the new churchyard extension is being negotiated with the P.C.C. Road safety is still a major issue, particularly in Church Street where cars are now regularly parked on the pavement making it impossible for wheelchair users, especially at school-time.
On a lighter note, another outstanding issue is the disposal of a set of Carpet Bowls Equipment. Enquiries have been made but it would be better if someone in the Village could come forward and perhaps try and get a Carpet Bowls Club of the ground again.
Finally during the year we have made donations clubs and organisations with in the village and outside as follows:
Air Ambulance - £100.00
Bellringing sign - £75.00
British Legion - £18.00
LEGS - £200.00
Citizen Advice Bureau £50.00
Common Conservation Grp. - £200.00
Homewatch Extra Sign - £25.00
Primary School (Art project) - £100.00
Youth Club - cricket kit - £535.00
Tittleshall Bowls Club - £250.00
Primary School (Internal Audit Fee) - £100.00
Groovy Movers Mar - £135.00
This year we decided to make no change to the Precept but you may have seen from the Council Tax Bill that Litcham had an increase of 1.9%. This was due it seems (according to Norfolk County Council) to an increase in the number of rate-payers claiming discount.
Mike Oldfield, Chairman LITCHAM PARISH COUNCIL 24th April 2006