New from the Council (May 2013). Published in the Parishioner Magazine
March Council Meeting: We covered some significant business. As usual we commenced with informal ‘Parishioner Question Time’. This session opened with a report from Richard Jenkin, founder of the Facebook conversation ‘Bungay UK Support Chicken Roundabout’ updating us on the group’s aspirations with regard to commemorating chicken roundabout… for more update on their ideas visit https://www.facebook.com/BungayUKSupportChickenRoundabout . Georgina Simmonds also presented ideas for a charitable event (fete) in the Dip in July where local groups could be invited to participate… again for more information please contact Georgina on 01986 895228
Formal business included reports from our advisory working parties with the Council agreeing that our Finance & Resources working party would meet in the near future to formalise recommendations to Full Council for our 2013-14 programme of activity, there being a number of bids for limited funding. Items on that agenda include: road signs, social action and engagement projects, and amenities (see also last month’s magazine, but more on this in our June update after our May meeting).
An important step was taken when we formally adopted Terms of Reference and Policies supporting our new Council working practices… details of which can be found on the Council’s web site (see also below) http://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/category/how_we_work/governance/ .
County Cllr. Tony Tomkinson reported that, despite austere times, Norfolk County Council had been able to ‘freeze’ Council tax for yet another year. Having represented the Clavering Division for 10 of the last 12 years he would not be standing at the forthcoming elections and thanked the Council for the courtesy always shown him. We returned that sentiment!
District Cllr. Pauline Allen tabled her report, in the form of a new ‘Pauline’s Posting’ providing information on her activities on behalf of the Ward.
Web Site: we are at long last pleased to announce that the Council has a ‘comprehensive’ web presence… http://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/ primarily intended to keep parishioners informed of the Council’s activities. We will endeavour to keep the content current, but maintenance is generally limited to posting of minutes and agendas. You will also find contact details of Councillors with a brief autobiography, information on our committees and our policies, our finances, and other ‘news.’ In the event that any reader should notice any error or omission, please contact the Clerk John Smith on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 01986 892235. In passing, we are looking for a ‘web master;’ while this position is unpaid the Council would welcome some voluntary support to fill this gap. So, if you are familiar with WordPress, and would like to help, please contact the Clerk.
Other things happening: You will be aware that over recent months the Council has been exploring road safety issues. The Council is proud to have acted as the pilot site for South Norfolk’s first Speed Awareness Monitor (SAM) initiative. Additionally we are exploring Community Speed Watch – a joint initiative with the police and the Safety Camera Partnership. If this is something that you feel is important, and would like to know more, please see separate details included elsewhere in this magazine.
Advance notice! On 20th May two annual meetings will be held at the Village Hall. Please come if you can. At 7.30pm the Annual Parish Meeting will be held (immediately prior to our next full Council meeting). This is a different meeting to the Council meeting. Here are some answers to questions you might have:
- What is the purpose of the Annual Parish Meeting? To allow registered electors to discuss parish affairs and to pass resolutions thereon. This meeting is also an opportunity for the Parish Council and community group leaders to explain their activities over the last year… so this note is perhaps a reminder for those leaders to contribute; please call the Clerk!
- Who can attend the meeting? And can I speak? Anyone may attend but only registered electors in the parish may speak and vote.
- Who will chair the meeting? The Chairman of the Parish Council is obliged to chair the meeting if present. In his absence the vice chairman must preside if present. If neither is able to attend, then the meeting will elect a chairman from those electors present.
- Will Parish Councillors be there? Although there is no compulsion, Councillors normally attend; they will speak if required, but the purpose of the meeting is to enable the ordinary electors to have their say.
- Will notes be taken of the meeting? A written record of the meeting will be taken by the Parish Clerk to keep in a special book. The rules on the signature and admissibility of minutes are the same as those for Parish Council meetings.
- How long will the meeting last? As long as need be within reason; previously meetings in Ditchingham have lasted about 30 minutes… it really depends on those present and the number of questions and the discussions that are raised.
- Will the Press be there? If they choose! The rules for press admission are the same as any Council meeting.
The Annual Parish Council Meeting: will follow immediately after the close of the Annual Parish meeting. This also is a special meeting, when contrasted with the other five Council meetings in the year. At the annual meeting the Council: elects the chairman and the vice chairman; makes other annual appointments [to committees and advisory working parties] and makes resolutions on other business matters such as insurances, risk management policies, etc.
Chair, Ditchingham Parish Council