Word is spreading that DEFRA have been delving down the back of their sofa again and – as their sofa is so much larger than anyone else’s – there is an expectation they will find enough small change to actually repair the Blakeney-Cley bank properly. As is the way with this cretinous government there is all sorts of talk of “partnerships” and “bidding for finance” and “match funding” which points to the likelihood we’re going to have to stump up a sizable chunk of the money ourselves, which in turn means either a further raid on the dwindling reserves, or yet more cuts to front-line services. All this despite a legal ruling that seems to point to DEFRA not having any option but to repair the bank and thereby protect the associated habitat.
Some might quibble at the thought that animal habitat seems to be taking precedence over human habitat (they’d be wrong, by the way) but we should all rejoice at the prospect of being able to grasp DEFRA firmly by the goolies. And to squeeeeze them! We do know that contractors have been consulted and the search for a suitable source of material has begun, but I won’t be holding my breath just yet.
PC Pegden emailed a Crime Report, just before the meeting, which was as terse as usual: there had been five calls to the Police in the last month, and that two thefts and one burglary had been committed. No further details were forthcoming but a quick check with the Police website elicits the information that one of the thefts was of two bee hives, presumably from the allotments. Now, whether this was an opportunistic theft by a common tea-leaf, or the work of a specialist, is not known. If the former then the miscreant is in for a surprise as one of the hives was occupied by a few thousand by now thoroughly pissed off bees. On balance it seems more likely the thief did indeed know what he was doing which points to hitherto unsuspected fractures in the apiarist community. Sad.
Constable Pegden also issued the usual warnings about marine thefts, it being the season for such things. If you see anything suspicious down by the water please phone 101 to report it. If a crime is in progress dial 999.
The June meeting was rather sparsely attended – I assume you were all at the George for the Art Quiz evening. You were, weren’t you? By the time you read this the Cley14 exhibition will be almost ready to roll with several outdoor exhibits, including one on the village green, appearing around the community. This is always an interesting show and I hope as many as possible will support it. The Cley14 project also run a series of workshops at the village hall which provide much needed income at a quiet time of the year. The Parish Council are custodian trustees of the charitable trust that owns the hall and are thus ultimately responsible for its survival. The Management Committee is responsible to the trustees for the day to day running of the hall – I hope to have some good news on that front soon. Meanwhile the Social Club has decided to throw in the towel; at a time when many rural pubs – those not able to double up as classy eateries for the tourist market – are finding the going impossibly tough, the Club committee did a great job hanging on as long as they did. The thing about banging your head against a brick wall is that it’s really quite nice when you stop. The Saturday night bingo will continue under the auspices of the village hall and run by Libby West and Gerald Yarham. So, eyes down.
One thing that is, fortunately, no longer the responsibility of the Parish Council is the beach shelter. This is again looking very much the worse for wear with several tiles missing, the north side half buried under shingle and the rest of it taped off. The NWT own it but may well not want to see it constantly draining their finances so its days may be numbered. The next surge tide could well bury it completely. Does anybody actually care? That is not a rhetorical question: if any of you out there really feel that efforts should be made to preserve the shelter then please say so. But don’t tell us, tell the NWT!
While down on the beach I noticed that some tidy minded, if empty headed, visitors have been putting their rubbish in the bin. Snag is, the only bin down there is intended purely for dog excrement. Perhaps there should be a large sign saying “Dear Visitor, by all means leave your money here but take your litter home”. Mmm, Perhaps not. Maybe there should just be a litter bin. The thing is they cost money, both to buy and to have emptied, and that raises the question “who pays?” On previous occasions when this question was asked the NWT indicated an unwillingness to cough up, but should the council tax payers of Cley pay to keep a private car park tidy? One of the burning issues of our time. Not.
Other non-burning issues of our time may well surface at the next meeting of the Cley Parish Council which will be held on Tuesday 1 July 2014 in the small-room-at-the-back-of-the-village-hall-formerly-known-as-the-Social-Club.