It is some time since we reported to you. This is because it has been a relatively quiet period in the Parish. Litter picking, general cleaning and maintenance continues to be done and I am grateful to all our employees, contractors and Councillors for their hard work and diligence.
Our long serving Councillor, Rev Kirkpatrick, has resigned due to other commitments within the Parish that he has taken on. His knowledge and experience will be greatly missed. We thank him for all his work and wish him well for the future.
Speed Awareness Machines
Our SAM2 machine has been seen in various locations throughout the village. Details of any speeding hotspots will continue to be analysed and reported to the Police where necessary.
Hastoe Housing have offered to build a Social Housing site behind Station Road, with access from Loddon Road. At our request, a Housing Needs survey was undertaken which indicates sufficient demand from local residents for this type of development. A Planning Application has not yet been submitted.
The application to build behind Rider Haggard Way, with access from Hamilton Way, is still with the South Norfolk District Council planning authority. No final decision has yet been made.
Maltings Amenity Area
We have met with the present Contractors who are maintaining the meadow to the east of the Maltings complex. As yet, no proper footpath is in place and the beck is overgrown and untidy. We are waiting for a further meeting with the Broads Authority to try and resolve the situation for the benefit of all our residents,
We have agreed in principal to take over the maintenance of 88 Street lamps, previously undertaken by South Norfolk District Council. They wanted to cut down on this service and identified only 10 lamps which they considered to be needed. We have identified a further 10. A decision will be made regarding the remaining 68 lamps as and when they need repair or renewal. New LED bulbs will be installed, when required, which will be more efficient and may make some lamps surplus to requirements.
We will be given a lump sum to be kept in Reserve to cover future replacement or dismantling costs. The precept payment will be increased slightly to cover annual maintenance and electricity. However, this will be more than offset by a reduction in the tax, currently charged by SNDC.
Finally, on behalf of the Council and all our Staff, I would like to wish all residents a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.
Alan Larkin (Vice Chair, Ditchingham Parish Council)
Introducing SAM 2
With 50% funding from Norfolk County Council and 50% from our Parish Council we have bought one of these machines. It will be moved from location to location in the parish. SAM stands for Speed Awareness Monitor. Its purpose is to inform drivers of their speed in the hope that they will slow down if the machine tells them to. Like all communities we have inconsiderate and even dangerous drivers using the village roads. These machines probably won’t influence those who pay little regard to safety but they do remind people of speed limits and give them a chance to respond. We can download data from the machine and with this evidence the police will visit persistent trouble spots.
We hope you approve of the Parish Council’s latest attempt to keep our village safe
Keith Weston ~ Chair Ditchingham Parish Council
Review of Streetlights
As I explained in the March magazine, the District Council (SNC) is reviewing the provision and maintenance of street lights. Up to now, Ditchingham residents have been paying for lighting through a special charge within their community charge. Historically SNC has not collected enough revenue, from residents, to cover the true cost of lights – hence the review.
The Parish Council had three options:
1. Keep just the lamps the District Council defined as “needed”
2. Keep the “needed” lamps and ten more that Councillors think should be retained
3. Keep ALL the lamps we currently have
(Some lamps in the village are the responsibility of Norfolk CC and some Saffron Housing; these are not affected by the review. )
At the March Parish Council meeting Councillors decided, unanimously, to go for option 3. A reserve budget will be opened with the amount SNC will pay the parish for each light they hand over. This reserve will be available for future replacement of lights which cannot be repaired and are thought, by the then Cllrs., to be needed. The full revenue costs of electricity, safety monitoring and maintenance will be raised through the precept. Cllrs will decide, in November, when setting the next budget, whether this means any increase in the precept.
Big Litter Pick
We are again taking part in the District-wide litter pick. We will gather at the Village Hall for 10.00 on Saturday 19th May. Please come and help, for an hour or two, if you can. All equipment will be provided. Thank you.
The Parish Council has decided to hold another sale this year. It will be on Sunday 3rd June. We already have 15 sellers plus one table in the Village Hall and a plant stall outside. Please contact me [email protected] if you have questions , would like to open your yard, or have a table in the Hall. Both will cost £6.00 which will be collected on the day. Customers will collect, from the VH, a map (£1.00) to show where open yards are. ALL proceeds will be donated to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
We currently have two allotments (a double) available. If you want to know more, or want to hire it/them, please contact the Parish Clerk, Sally Chapman [email protected]
On Monday May 21st from 7.30pm we will be holding the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Parish Council Meeting (I’ll explain the difference at the time!). All parishioners are welcome to these meetings
Thank you very much to Alf Skippen and to Fred Hartwell. Having offered their services, they were both co-opted onto the Council at the March meeting. We now have 8 of the 11 Councillors we are supposed to have.
I can also tell you that, following our submission to the Local Governance Review, the District Council has agreed that, in future, D.P.C. should be made up of 9 Cllrs.
Keith Weston (Chair Ditchingham Parish Council)