Report of the Thornham Magna Meeting held on June 3rd 2008

Apologies:  Apologies were received from Nigel Merriam

Obituary:  Irene Tibbenham took the Chair and began the Meeting with a tribute to Terry Lummis who died suddenly in May.  Terry came from one of the oldest families in Thornham and was a rooted part of the countryside.  He was the centre of Thornham life.  The Meeting expressed deep sympathy to his family and observed a minutes silence in his memory.

Mellis at Thornham:  David Williams and Ben Box described the history of the Cricket Club and how it was decided to move to the old ground in Thornham Park which had not been used since the end of the 2nd World War.   The ground was due to open on 28th June and everyone was welcome to come and watch, and, indeed,  to become members.  There were about 25 members at present.

David Williams and Ben Box left the meeting after answering questions.

Minutes:  The Minutes of the last Meeting were agreed and signed by the Chairwoman.

Matters Arising:   Irene
Tibbenham said that there was one main question to answer, and that was
‘What does the village community want the village to look like as a
whole?’ both for themselves and also bearing in mind that the Thornhams
and the Estate attract a lot of visitors from around the country.  She
further emphasized that whilst voluntary time and effort by a number of
villagers was much appreciated, there was a need for a sustainable
solution, so that the village open spaces were kept to an agreed level.  Furthermore this needed to be affordable as part of the annual village precept budget.

The two main areas that needed looking at were:

(a)  Village Verge Maintenance – These are the responsibility of The Church, the Trustees of the Village Hall, and the Village Meeting.  She
tabled a proposal that an audit should be undertaken and three
quotations should be sought for sensitive management of the verges from
the Church to the 4 Horseshoes.  The Meeting agreed that
the verges should be managed with regard to conservation and in order
to manage the nettles and docks, whilst encouraging the finer grasses
and wild flowers.  It was suggested that the costs should
be apportioned between the three parties and one contractor should be
responsible for the work.  Contact would be made with the other parties concerned with a view to soliciting their agreement to this proposal.

(b)  The Carnser  This
raised path which is of historical significance also requires
maintenance, ie cutting, coppicing, and a programme of tree planting.  It
had had received no organised attention for several years and the
result was a significant drop in terms of appearance and conservation
outlook.  The Chairwoman suggested that the Meeting should
commission an audit of this area with a view to producing a management
plan for the Street which should be budgeted for and worked at on a
regular cycle, working on small sections at a time so that privacy
would not be affected and that re-growth would always be controlled.  Additionally,
the management plan would be posted to the web-site, and Thornham
residents would be encouraged to give their input on this.  This was agreed.  It was also suggested that both Gull and Laundry Lanes should be surveyed. These suggestions were agreed unanimously.

Report on the Village welcome committee:  Dame
Anne passed round the leaflet that was to be given to newcomers, and
asked that people should keep their ears open for new arrivals.  Contact
had been made with all known new villagers; one family mentioned that
they had really appreciated the welcome received, and had attended the
Village Hall cheese and wine evening as a result.  Besides new comers, the welcome committee was also available to assist villagers if they had an emergency.

Finance:  The Treasurer, Samantha Cribbens, gave the report and said that the figures would be posted on the Thornhams web-site.

Planning:  Ref The Cricket Field Thornham Park.  The Meeting was asked by the MSDC planners to comment on the application.   The
Meeting expressed concern that the application had only arrived in the
village in the last week, and that the work had already been done, and
that above all, there seemed to be no thought given to the extra
traffic and parking when and if there was a match.  The Clerk agreed to write and express the anxieties of the  Meeting,  suggesting that there should be a one-way system for the traffic and that there should be no parking in the lanes.  The Meeting supported the Club wholeheartedly but with these provisos.

Thornhams Website:  Mark Hatton reported on the progress of http://www.thornhams.org/ and was encouraged by the gradual improvement in usage.   He circulated a sheet with the user statistics, and a breakdown of which sections were most popular.  He encouraged villagers to not only read, but to not be shy about contributing their views and thoughts.

It was agreed to continue paying the subscription of £99 for hosting the domain.  The Parish Meeting and villagers thanked him for his hard work and efforts to date. 

Neighbourhood Watch Officer:  Mark Hatton agreed to take this on from George Keeley.  George was thanked for the efforts had had put into this over a number of years.

Village Events:  

July 24th   7.30 in the Village Hall ‘RUBY AND HER HORSES’ in aid of the Church, Tickets from James Fawcett – 788130

Yoga Class – Clare Hall thanked the meeting for their support in running this class, which was well up and running successfully.

Gislingham PO closure:  Dame Anne had posted on the Website a letter of objection on behalf of the village  before the deadline of 2nd June.

Any other Business:

Playground:  Jennifer Vaudrey spoke about the Playground which had been mothballed for some years as it had not passed its last inspection.  She
had an estimate of the costs of bringing the equipment up to legislated
minimum health and safety standards, which would be at least £4,000.  The
Meeting agreed that soundings should be taken to decide if a playground
was really wanted by the Village, taking into account that the Thornham
Walks were just about to invest in a large programme of equipment
through the woods.
Jennifer has written a report on the history / background to the playground and on potential future costs .

Date of next meeting:  January 13th 2009

Full Minutes will be circulated before the next meeting.

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