News (October, 2013)

New from the Council (October 2013). Published in the Parishioner Magazine

Unusually I have the opportunity to write this article in the same month as the Parishioner magazine is published, so hopefully it will be easier to connect with the events that are reported.

The Council meeting in September saw a significant amount of business conducted; not least that the Council formally accepted the resignation of John Smith as Clerk and recorded a vote of thanks for his 54 years service and wished him well in his retirement! It is hoped that the Council will host a farewell event recognising his tenure; the event may include other seasonal festivities. Please look out for more details in November’s magazine! The Council is advertising for a new Clerk, please follow these links for details of the advert (as published in the Parishioner Magazine) and the full Job Description.

The Council also recorded a vote of thanks to Frank James, who has left the Council.  Frank was a Councillor for many years, and is a former Chair. With not more than 10 persons informing the returning officer that they wished for an election, and with no other responses to notice of the Casual Vacancy, the Council will seek to co-opt a new member for the remaining term.

Other business included adopting new policies in respect of Financial Regulations, Risk Management Implementation, and Health and Safety working practices and other employee matters. While it may seem onerous for a small council such as ours to be burdened by the likes of these policies, they are statutory requirements and we must operate in accordance with the law. The Council was also updated with regard to revised Insurance arrangements and the steps that the Council are taking to ensure that the new equipment and the surrounds in the Dip and the Play Area are kept safe.

Reports from the Council’s three committee chairs included: Confirmation that work on the Play Area is complete, with thanks to those responsible for the project’s success. News that the Official Opening, with barbecue, cakes, face painting Etc. will be on Saturday September 28th 4-6pm. The Council is looking for volunteers to join a rota of people who will carry out regular play area safety checks, using an easy-to-use checklist; please let us know if this is something you could do for the community. The success of the Summer fete was acknowledged, with thanks to the organisers and we learned that there will be another next year. The Council liaised well with young people over The Dip project and we are considering ways to continue this relationship.

The Clerk also reported to the meeting communications that had been received in respect of plans and informal consultation from Bungay & District Sports Association to transform the pavilion on the Maltings site to a fully functional ‘Community Centre’. While the Council has not been involved in any of these plans, and noting that these are early days, the Council will be joining in the consultation process. We would welcome any views and opinions that readers may wish to share so that these can be included in the planning process.

With planning for the future very much in mind, the Chair outlined the need to consider its funding requirements over the next few years. Keeping in mind the Section 106 funds from The Maltings developer, Councillors were asked to develop this thinking further. The Chair asked Councillors to be mindful of the budget requirement for 2014-15, noting that at the next meeting (November) they will be asked to approve outline budgets for the next precept.

Full minutes of our meeting are posted on our web site and are available in the Post Office. Our next scheduled meeting is Monday 18th November. Please come! You can contact the Clerk, John Smith on Tel: 01986 892235, Email: [email protected]; details of other Councillors are available from the Council Notice Board outside the Post Office or the web site.

Julian Green
Chair, Ditchingham Parish Council

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