Archive for July, 2016

Foxearth and Liston Parish Council Meeting – 2nd July 2016

The Chairman gave an update of current matters:

Braintree District Council Local Plan: This has been issued for consultation with a closing date of 19th August 2016. The plan is available on the BDC web site or a hard copy may be requested.

  Fly-tipping: This continues to be a problem and all residents are asked to be vigilant and report any instances>

Proposed nature reserve: An assurance has been given by the Warden that the gates will be locked to prevent access at night.

    Footpaths – grass cutting: There were comments about the overgrown appearance of some of these. Cutting is an ECC responsibility but only one cut a year is provided. Would local volunteers like to help? Cllr. Keith Robson agreed to ascertain the County’s timetable for this work. Local residents may report particular problems to County or Cllr. Robson.

Compliments and Complaints procedure: A reviewed procedure was circulated by Cllr. Mark Posen and adopted.

Review of Email and IT policy: Cllr. Posen reported that this was in progress.

Telecommunications and Broadband provision: Cllr. Posen reported 26 responses to the on-line questionnaire to residents. This showed a wide range of Broadband speeds being obtained with 19 respondents mentioning connection delays; 8 people said that the inadequate service prevented them from working at home. In almost every case people were not getting the speed they were paying for. The findings will be discussed with County Broadband in due course. Enquiries would be made about the access points agreed locally on the church towers in Foxearth and Liston.

Public participation session; This generated one question from the floor about the voice amplification system understood to be installed in the Village Hall but not apparently available.

It was stated that technical difficulties had arisen on the occasion of this meeting but this was expected to be rectified in future.

County and District Council reports: Apologies for absence were received from Cllr, David Finch and Cllr. Iona Parker.

Finance: It was agreed that in future the Clerk’s remuneration would be paid by monthly standing order in the view of the way in which meetings were spaced.

Foxearth Village Oak; In his absence Tree Warden Alan Fitch submitted a report that this tree did not appear to be in good shape; he recommended review in a year’s time and in the meantime undertook to remove dead twigs.

Next meeting: 17th September 2016 10.30am Foxearth Village Hall

Ken Nice

Foxearth Fete – 2016

The annual Foxearth fete was held on 25th June in the delightful gardens of Louise and Nick Wells. Not for the first time, rain brought a premature end to play but – as Bing so memorably sang “Don’t you know that every cloud brings pennies from heaven”. A wonderful £700 was raised for parish church funds – a staggering result in view of the unfriendly weather and a tribute to those who braved the elements and came to hear Melford Silver Band, enjoy Pimms and delicious teas,  gamble on the tom-bola, buy cakes and participate in other activities. A bouncy castle was well used by the young folk. The raffle was very attractive and if Sandra Bedding should read this perhaps she would contact the writer (01787 375688) when she may collect a very useful prize that awaits her.

As always, in the preparation and provision, this was a team effort and thanks go to all involved.

Ken Nice

Foxearth & District Local History Society – Meeting 14th June 2016

We always knew that there was bird life in Pentlow but the full extent of it was only revealed to members of the District Society when they visited the home of Ghalib and Janice Al-Nasser in the village on 14th June. Ghalib and Janice are world renowned experts on the breeding and exhibition of  budgerigars; a lifelong passion for them both which has earned them over 700 certificates and numerous awards and international recognition. A visit to their web site shows the extensive commitment and involvement they both have to their hobby and they hold many official positions in budgerigar clubs  in the Home Counties and Midlands. Ghalib has lectured and judged in over 30 countries and is considered to be the world leading authority on colour mutation in the birds.

Ghalib gave a full account of the history of the bird from the time that John Gould (1804 to 1881) a British ornithologist brought a collection back from Australia where they were – and still are – prolific in the wild. There is thought to be about 5 million at present in the world of many colour variations. Their natural life span is between 5 and 8 years but in captivity they will usually survive a little longer. Being very social birds they exist in large flocks living – in the wild – on grass seed. When it comes to nesting they tunnel into trees, the hen laying usually about six eggs at two-day intervals making hatching and subsequent feeding a progressive business. In the 1950s budgerigars were the most popular pets in England – fascinating for their splendid mimicry (if one has the patience) but nowadays in third place after dogs and cats. At Woburn Abbey the Duke of Bedford kept a large aviary and deliberately released a number of budgerigars into the English countryside where some developed a homing instinct and returned to their cages.

At the end of this most interesting talk – and before some delicious refreshment – the 14 members present were shown around the enormous and  impressive bird room. This houses about 400 budgerigars (very noisy!)  at various levels of life from fairly newly-born chicks to birds being prepared for a Cambridge show at the coming weekend. All birds are tagged when just a few weeks old and recorded. Some are champions and others are being groomed for stardom. The hard work and devotion that the carers put in to this enterprise was evident and Ghalib and Janice were warmly thanked by Alan Fitch for a very special evening.


Next meeting: A visit to the mediaeval excavations at Goldingham Hall, Bulmer on Tuesday 12th July. Secretary Clare Mathieson will circulate details to members.

Ken Nice