Wretton Parish Council March Meeting

2ND MARCH 2020
Present: Cllr David Llewellyn – Chairman,
Cllr Mick Peake, Cllr Mandy Peake, Cllr Martyn Cann, Cllr Ian Mack, Cllr Paul Williams.
Also present: Borough Councillor Colin Sampson and Norfolk County Councillor Martin Store
0 members of the public present.
1. Apologies for Absence received from:
Cllr Peter Garnett
2. No Declarations of Interest made:
3. Approval of Minutes:
The minutes of the meetings held on 06.01.2020 and 11.02.2020 were confirmed as a true
4. Update on matters arising from previous meetings:
Covered in reports or as agenda items.
5. Reports
5.1 Chairman’s Report
• The reinstatement of the hedge which was removed in Chequers Lane has taken
place and replanting has taken place approximately 1 meter back from the line of
the original hedge. It is possible this could now allow the road to be made wider and
the situation will be monitored.
• HGVs continue to drive through the village and verges are being destroyed by them.
It is believed vehicles avoid Low Road as it has a weight restriction but follow Sat
Navs down roads that are totally unsuitable. A suggestion was made to investigate
whether signage stating “Do not follow Sat Navs!” could be installed adjacent to
other road signs.
• The Parish Council has offered to provide a page for All Saints Church on the Council
5.2 Clerk’s Report
Correspondence passed to Councillors:
• Police Drop in Surgeries 08.01.20
• Norfolk ALC Updates 28.01.20, 30.01.20, 10.02.20, 12.02.20
• Love West Norfolk Day 03.02.20
• Keep Britain Tidy 12.02.20
• Norfolk ALC Training Bulletin 24.02.20
• Police Newsletter 24.02.20
• E-mail received regarding field drainage has been passed to Highways
• Carer’s Conference West Norfolk 27.02.20
5.3 Risk Assessment Update
The Clerk has received a report of a vehicle regularly parking on Wretton Green. A letter
will be written to the owner of the vehicle once they have been identified.
6. Accounts were presented and accepted for payment.
Cheques for approval of payment
Payments for February 2020
Clerks Salary £118.44
Street Light Maintenance (Feb. March) £38.64
Maxey Grounds & Co (rent of play area) £107.00
BCKLWN (Dog bin emptying) £350.43
Watton Town Council (photocopying) £6.00
Bank Balances at 31.01.2020
Current Account £5889.67
Savings Account £3465.93
Note that £95.37 has been received for recycling credits from the paper bank.
6.1 It was agreed to engage the same Internal Auditor, Mrs Ann Morgan, as in recent past
7. Project Updates
7.1 Wretton Green “pond” area – Cllr Paul Williams is still looking into how the “pond” can
be filled in. He is in touch with the Environment Agency and is hopeful of finding a solution.
8. Storage and retention of documents
The Parish Council will look to store recent documents electronically with historic hard copy documents to be sorted and re-filed more efficiently with unnecessary paperwork to be disposed of.
9. Additional grass cutting for 2020
It was agreed to engage the current grounds maintenance contractor to add mowing of the triangle and verge at the junction of West Dereham Road and Church Road to the grass cutting contract for 2020/21 as quoted.
10. No Planning Applications received for consultation
11. Other Reports – for information only:
• Highways are to install bollards to prevent large vehicles damaging the verge by
Church Path.
Chairman’s Signature……………………………………… Date……………

Ron’s Rambles

Covid 19
There is no doubt that, as a nation, the way in which we have confronted this pandemic has not been to our credit. Given where we were in early March it is possibly fair to say that the government has acted in a fairly sensible way, although it is clear that should have put more emphasis on ‘testing and contact tracing’ than they did. Without doubt, the large majority of the public have given the government their full support. The question that will need to be answered is why we were where we were in early March. Even then it seemed the government had not quite realised how serious this invasion was, they were still talking about the possibility of leaving it to infect sufficient numbers to create ‘herd immunity’. Dominic Cummings seemed to favour that idea. When Imperial College statisticians pointed out that there would be over half a million deaths before you could hope to achieve anywhere near that condition, they came to their senses, although even then, I think, they permitted a football match and Cheltenham to go ahead. Sadly, even after seven weeks of lockdown, at the time of writing, we still have over five hundred people dying every day, at that rate, if we are unable to bring it down further, it will add over 100,000 deaths to the total for the year. That total would be greater than the number of UK civilians killed in the six years of WW2. Attempts to restart businesses will make it difficult to simultaneously bring down the infection rate and subsequent death rate.
Some time ago It was internationally agreed that a new pandemic was likely at some time and that nations should be prepared for that. It seems we did set out to prepare, we had a warehouse, so we were told, ready stocked with the necessary to combat any pandemic whenever it might appear. In the event we did not have one protective gown in that warehouse and practically no facility for testing with swabs.
Boris tried to reassure the nation in his blustering and bumbling way. It was tragic for him that he should be struck down, we are all very pleased to see him back to health. Indeed, we are very pleased to see anyone recover after being attacked by the virus. At the moment anyone going into intensive care with Covid 19 has only a one in three chance of coming out alive. In Boris’s absence Dominic Raab stood in for him in many of the No 10 briefings and I was greatly impressed by the manner in which he handled that unenviable task.
Those who criticise the government’s slow reaction may receive the sarcastic comment that ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing’. There is nothing very wonderful about hindsight, of course, but foresight can be wonderful. Foresight as shown by South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Germany saved thousands of lives.
Future Impact of the Virus
It is quite impossible to predict what the new normal will be. Many businesses will not recover, many jobs will disappear for a long time, the nation will struggle to produce the wealth that it had done before, there will be huge debts to repay. Nobody wants to see another period of austerity but it is difficult to see how we will be able to afford the public services and the welfare that we did. We are not going to be alone in this, the United States is likely to be in a similar situation as will many other nations. We hear about the enormity of the debt we are incurring but to whom will we owe this money? Are there people who will benefit financially. Didn’t Jacob Reese Mogg’s favourite investment company say that this was a golden opportunity? Can’t be right.
The one nation that is beginning to look like the outstanding exception when the virus has been defeated and gone away is China. China has suffered a big drop in it’s GDP but it still has a GDP that we would have been overjoyed with even before the Corona virus, so, while every other nation is going to be poorer China looks as though it will be richer and will have even greater influence in the world and could replace the US as the world superpower.
I remain afraid that the enormity of this disaster is not yet realised by the people at large.
Sense of Smell
I have seen or heard somewhere that dogs may be able to detect the presence of the virus by smell. Seems rather improbable and yet I believe that trials have shown that dogs can detect the presence of cancer, especially lung cancer and breast cancer.
It is true that dogs have demonstrated how acute their sense of smell is in detecting so many things, drugs, bombs, cadavers, people, to name a few. I read recently that dogs are being used to detect smart phones inside packages, it seems the plastic casing has a unique smell.
Scientists will tell us that dogs have up to 300million chemoreceptors in their noses compared to our measly six million. One must assume that dogs are able to detect things because those ‘things’ emit particles, how else? Yet those particles must be very small and few in number, but unique to the material, and must, therefore, be molecules. The technical term for these particles detected by the chemoreceptors is odorants. I believe that some seemingly solid materials may have a smell, at one time I believed some metals had a unique smell, certainly some leathers have a fairly strong smell, leather upholstery in cars goes on smelling for the whole of the car’s life. (I have an old car, twenty years old, each time you open the door the smell of leather is quite strong). It is surprising that these materials must be continuously shedding molecules.
If this is so, it is surprising that, with all the advances in particle physics and such techniques as gas chromatography, we do not seem to be able to produce an instrument that could ‘smell’ substances as well as dogs can. If it is possible to detect and distinguish diseases by their smell one would think that there could be an instrument capable of performing the task? Such an instrument would be invaluable if indeed Covid 19 is detectable by smell.
Someone will write in and tell me I am talking rubbish, just like Donald Trump.
He doesn’t talk rubbish, disinfectants kill most germs. Just logical ennit.
When I was young, if my grandmother heard some news that surprised her, especially if it was news about neighbours or friends, she would often say “Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs”. Under similar circumstances, my mother would probably say “Well I’ll go to the pictures”. Both expressions struck me as very odd things to say and I just put them down to another of the eccentricities in a slightly nutty family.
Quite recently, to my immense surprise, in a TV play I heard the expression ‘go to the foot of our stairs’ used to express surprise in exactly the same way. So, it wasn’t unique to my family after all, and it set me wondering where on earth the expression came from.
It was sometime after seeing that programme that it occurred to me that the script writer might have been related.
There are many sayings that seem odd today yet there is an explanation for them in history. Things that we say, often without thinking. Can’t think of any at this moment but I will watch out for them from now on.

Wretton Parish Council May Virtual Meeting

Present: Cllr David Llewellyn – Chairman,
Cllr Martyn Cann, Cllr Ian Mack.
Also present: County Councillor Martin Storey
1. Apologies for Absence accepted from:
Apologies received from Cllr Mick Peake, Cllr Mandy Peake, Cllr Paul Williams and Cllr
Peter Garnett.
Apologies also received from Borough Councillor Colin Sampson.
2. No declarations of Interest made
3. Chairman and Vice Chairman
It was agreed that David Llewellyn will remain as Chairman of Wretton Parish Council until the parish council meeting in May 2021, with Mick Peake also remaining as Vice-Chairman.
4. Approval of Minutes:
The minutes of the meeting held on 02.03.2020 were accepted as a true record of the
meeting and will be signed at the next physical meeting of Wretton Parish Council.
5. Reports
5.1 Chairman’s Report
• Noted that bollards have been installed along Church Path to protect the verge.
• With the current lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic no further work has
been undertaken to the Wretton Green ‘pond’ area.
• The village defibrillator has been called on but not actually used. Concern was raised
by those who returned the defibrillator that there is not enough light in the phone
box and Cllr Mack will check the defibrillator to ensure it has been replaced correctly.
Once the current coronavirus lockdown has ended Cllr Cann will check the lighting in
the box.
5.2 Clerk’s Report
• Written report submitted with agenda.
• Correspondence received continues to be shared with Councillors.
• End of year accounts will be passed to the Internal Auditor with the intention that
the accounts can be accepted and approved by the Council at the Parish Council
meeting on July 6th. The Council will also need to complete its Certificate of
Exemption from External Audit.
• It was noted that a car which had been parked on Wretton Green for some time has
been removed.
5.3 Risk Assessment Update
The play area the in village has been locked, as is the current government guideline, to
discourage use at this time.
6. Accounts were presented and accepted for payment.
Cheques for approval of payment
Clerk’s salary £118.44
Clerk’s Expenses (postage and storage boxes) £28.00
K & M Lighting Services x2 (streetlight maintenance) £38.64
Software annual 356 licence £59.99
CGM grass cutting (March) £234.00
Zurich annual insurance £406.48
E.ON (street lighting electric) £400.42
Finance – @ 31st March 2020:
Current Account £5289.89
Business Premium Account £3467.15
Councillors had been previously presented with a copy of the end of year accounts and
bank reconciliation for 31.03.2020.
7. Planning Applications:
7.1 20/00572/F Construction of a detached garage at The Bungalow Cromer Lane
Wretton King’s Lynn Norfolk PE33 9QX
Councillors felt this application was difficult to interpret and that the proposed building
looked to possibly be more than a garage. The planning case officer will be asked for more information.
8. Other Reports – for information only:
• Dog fouling remains an issue particularly at Lime House Drove and along the
footpath by the Cut. The Borough Councillor will be asked for advice.
• County Councillor Martin Storey was present at the meeting to give a verbal report.
He stressed that he prefers to attend meetings so he can give an up to date report
rather than submit a written report which can be out of date. This is especially so at
the present time and it was noted that the Parish Council does receive regular
updates from the Borough Council and Norfolk County Council. Information is also
available on the Councils websites.
• Potholes reported along Low Road. Noted that NCC Highways are working at the
present time but smaller highway issues may be on hold due to the current
Public Participation – No members of the public present
Chairman’s Signature……………………………………… Date……………