What’s Happening

We post here an extract of the Council’s editorial from the Parishioner Magazine. A good way to keep informed with ‘What’s Happening’!

Ditchingham News – January 2017

Pedestrian Safety in Pirnough Street

The informal grassed path through the Public Amenity Area to the west of The Maltings development is now open for everyone to use. See black line on the map. It is possible to walk from Ditchingham Dam almost to Alma Bridge without being on the road.

Pirnough Street Footpath Map


Ditchingham News – November 2016

Road and Pavement Repairs 
These repairs are the responsibility of Norfolk County Council. At the time of writing a good number of stretches of path are being patched. The Parish Council intervened and was successful in getting the broken pavement along Station Road, towards the hospital, included in the works.

Dog Fouling
We regret the need to return to this subject again but it remains a problem to which we cannot find a solution. The large posters which appeared around the village recently were not put there by the Parish Council. However, the Council supports the message they convey. Unfortunately there are still some local dog owners who behave irresponsibly in this regard.

Public Pay Phones
B.T. is consulting over the removal of under-used ‘phone boxes. The box in Hollow Hill Road is likely to go unless an alternative use is found for it. South Norfolk Council is considering turning some into Wi-Fi hot spots. Other uses elsewhere have included housing mini libraries, information points, toy exchanges and defibrillators. If any individual or organisation would like to adopt the box they should, please, share their ideas with the Parish Clerk: Ms Sally Chapman, [email protected] Tel: 07774 734411 Please note, the box would remain in situ and the adopters would assume responsibility for its maintenance.

Access to “The Dip”
The steps opposite the shop have been removed as they were not very safe. A new sloping access is being built in the corner a little further along Loddon Road. It should be a gentle enough slope for mobility scooters, buggies Etc. to use. The Parish Council expresses its gratitude to Darren Broughton of Broughton (E.A.) Developments Ltd. as he is installing the access as a gift to the village and at no cost to the public purse.

BMX Track at the Thwaite Road Play Area  
In recent months the Council has paid to have the track uncovered from the vegetation that had grown over it. It has now used further resources to improve the drainage and the surface. Councillors are pleased that young people are already using the newly restored BMX track and hope the facility will be popular.

Keith Weston
Chair, Ditchingham Parish Council

Ditchingham News – October 2016

On Bank Holiday Monday some fifty people were given a brief lesson in the life-saving techniques of CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and to using a defibrillator. This was a “drop in” session and we are grateful to Alan Rudd, one of our local Community First Responder, and to two of his colleagues from the Ambulance Service, for providing the training. We also thank the residents who gave up a few minutes of their time to practise the techniques.

Important information The defibrillator outside the village shop is for ANYONE, trained or untrained, to use in an emergency. The code needed to open the cabinet can be obtained from shop staff or by dialling 999. The defibrillator can then be taken to where it is needed. Time is of the essence. The machine tells and shows users exactly what to do.

New Bench at Ditchingham
DPC has provided a bench on the footpath, which leaves the A143 just east of the Old New Bench Yarmouth Road. A pleasant walk takes you along this path, left up either of two tracks, across the Old Yarmouth Road and back across the Heath.

Keith Weston Chair
Ditchingham Parish Council


Ditchingham News – June 2016

Ditchingham’s Automatic Electric Defibrillator (AED)
We are pleased to tell you that an automatic electric defibrillator (AED) is now available 24/7 outside The Stores, Loddon Road. Whilst we hope it is never needed, AEDs can be vital in saving lives in incidents of cardiac arrest. If the need arises don’t be afraid to use the defibrillator because there is no time to lose and these clever machines tell users exactly what to do. No-one can be harmed by the machine since it won’t work unless the patient needs it.

The cabinet can be opened using a code. If the shop is open the code can be obtained from staff; if not it can be obtained by dialling 999 and giving the location code (shown on the outside of the cabinet.)

We shall be offering some training, to be given by local volunteers, but details will not be ready in time for this issue of “The Parishioner.” Please look out for posters about training in the coming weeks.

Open Gardens and Scarecrow Festival
The Parish Council would like to thank the organisers, scarecrow makers and hard-working gardeners involved in the event. Lots of people enjoyed a walk around the village with the opportunity to visit to a variety of interesting and attractive gardens.

Hedges & Shrubs
Last month I commented on consideration. Continuing the ‘garden’ theme as above, we should note this is the time of year that hedges and shrubs grow profusely. This year, with the climate being wet and warm the amount of growth is considerable. If you do have a hedge that is encroaching on the footpath or otherwise hiding street signage, please give it a quick tidy. The birds that may have been nesting will have flown! Similarly a quick trim of grass verges outside your property helps keeps the village tidy.

Fly Tipping
Unfortunately there has been a reoccurrence of fly tipping in the lanes around the village. These lanes are key attractions for walkers that visit the area either using the Waveney Valley leisure facilities, or indeed the Belsey Bridge Conference Centre. Litter is a problem too, often whole bags of fast food left overs are discarded en-mass, these then split and become a big eye-sore!

If you are out walking for your own leisure, please consider taking an old carrier bag to collect the odd bit of litter left by others, we shouldn’t have to, but it helps. Fly tipping can be reported online at http://forms.south-norfolk.gov.uk/pub/FlyTipping.ofml or simply google ‘fly tipping south norfolk council’. It is a shame that a few can spoil the amenity for so many.

The next Parish Council article will be in the September issue of “The Parishioner.” In the meantime we hope there is a Summer and that you all enjoy it safely.

Keith Weston
Chair, Ditchingham Parish Council

FAQs about the Council

Letter to the editor

Sir. The Parishioner editorial team forwarded the Clerk to the [Ditchingham] Council a letter from a local resident ‘commenting’ on the lack of Council content in your magazine. As Parish Councillor tasked with local community engagement the Chair has asked that I respond to the Editor on a number of issues raised both with the Council directly, and also forwarded to the Council from the Editor of this magazine. With your permission I have responded also on some general ‘Parishioner’ matters. Much of what follows has already been discussed in the Parishioner, has been posted on the Council’s noticeboard, or is available from the Council’s web site. To address these matters I have set them out in the commonly adopted Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ] format.

Who runs the Parishioner magazine and who provides content? The Parishioner is run on a voluntary basis representing local interest issues of the parishes of Ditchingham, Broome and Hedenham. The Parish Councils provide limited grants (from precept monies) to supplement advertising revenues. It is free for all Parishioners. Copy for publication (eg articles, letters, advertising) can be submitted to the editor, Simon Wilkin, and are greatly welcomed. The Council has consistently contributed content in almost all editions published over recent years but note that neither Ditchingham (nor the other) Parish Councils have editorial control. Contact details are in the magazine.

What is the Parish Council and what does it do? The Council is an elected body to represent the village and meets [at least] six times a year. Councillors are unpaid. Given increasing austerity & localism the role of the Parish Council is becoming more important in local matters dealing with local community engagement, maintenance and the environment, and planning and highways issues. This Council is constantly looking at ways to improve facilities, recently the Play Area was refurbished, and the skate park and youth shelter constructed for young people. Green space and the streets are kept tidied and litter picked, helping to make Ditchingham a village to be proud of. The Council is run on a democratic basis so votes are taken on every item discussed and all processes are transparent so that villagers can see how the Council arrives at a decision. The Council warmly invites members of the public to attend meetings and become involved in local matters. The Council welcomes your ideas and opinions to help Ditchingham village become a better place.

How can I become a Parish Councillor? Elections for Parish Councillors are normally held every four years (the next one is 7th May 2015 in the village hall). Anybody living locally and on the electoral role may vote. If the number of nominees exceeds the number of Councillors needed (11) there is an election, otherwise there is no election and those nominated form the Council. This time there was, despite extensive advertising, a disappointing number of nominees and the following seven people will form the new Council having been elected without a contest: Brendon Bernard; Julian Green; Reg Kirkpatrick; Colin Mison; Richard Mulley; Stephen Read and Keith Weston

If there is a vacancy (less than 11 Councillors) mid-term then the Council can co-opt members. This will be the situation immediately and the new Council may try to co-opt by advertising in this magazine, on the parish notice board, and on the web site. For more information look at web site http://www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/democracy/

How can I find out about Parish Council meetings? Scheduled meeting dates are published at least a year in advance and displayed on the notice board opposite Ditchingham village shop, and on the web site https://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/files/2014/06/Ditchingham-Parish-Council-Meeting-Dates-2015.pdf

The Council has a web site; what’s that for and how do I find it? Over 90% of all households in the UK have internet access. The Council has moved with the times. It is now the most cost effective and environmentally sensitive way to communicate locally, nationally and internationally! The web site contains the full contact details of the Clerk and of Councillors, the Minutes of all meetings (since 2011) and the Agenda of the next meeting (published at least 3 days before the meeting). It also includes policies and similar documents that govern the way decisions are made, how the budget is collected and spent, and of planning recommendations. Visit the web site at https://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk

I don’t have internet access; but I still want to know what’s happening? Please look at the notice board opposite the shop. This displays contact details of the Clerk and of Councillors, the Minutes of the most recent meetings (for one month following publication, normally within 10 days of the meeting date), and the Agenda of the next meeting (published at least 3 days before the meeting). You can call or write to the Clerk who will send you full minutes, or better still, as Council meetings are open to the public, you can attend…

I want to know more. Who do I ask? The Clerk, Chair, or any Councillor will be happy to help. Contact details are on the web site or on the notice board. Please come to the meetings as the public are invited to ask questions before the main meeting. Please contact the Clerk or Chairman beforehand if there is a topic you want to bring to the Council’s attention so that time can be allocated accordingly. Or you can just listen to what’s going on.

Jane Chadd
Ditchingham Parish Councillor

News (May 2015)

Advance notice! On 18th 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.
  • New Councillors. Subsequent to the elections (these will be held at national, district, and parish level) it is likely that the Parish Council will comprise a number of new Councillors. Details have been published because the number of nominees was less than the number of Councillors needed (11). The names of the new Councillors can be found in Jane Chadd’s letter to the Editor elsewhere in the “Parishioner.”

January 2015 Meeting Update. The Public Session included an update on a possible Village website, and a discussion on some of the difficulties experienced within the village caused by the December cycling event on Broome Heath. In the main meeting, apart from normal business the evidence supporting an application for a revised footpath on the B1332 at Hollow Hill was considered and was rejected due to lack of evidenced base business case to justify funding. The Council also determined to regularise some matters concerning allotment holder’s leases in the interest of inclusion.

March 2015 Meeting Update. The Public Session included an update on the May 2015 Elections, an update on the Good Neighbour Scheme, and received a petition supporting the B1332 footpath (discussed at January meeting). In the main meeting the Council determined to regularise some matters concerning fly-posting in the village and adopted a revised policy that clarifies advertiser’s obligations, and the course(s) of action the Council may exercise under the regulations.

Minutes. Copies of minutes are available on the Councils web site https://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/category/meetings/minutes/ are posted on the Council’s notice board (opposite the shop) for the month following the meeting, and are available by email & royal mail from the Clerk (details below).

Dates of next meetings. Full Council – 18 May 2015 7.30pm; Planning & Highways – 15 June 2015 6pm if required. Please come along. Agendas are available on the Councils web site 3 days before meetings https://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/category/meetings/agendas/ or are available by email & royal mail from the Clerk (details below).

If you have any questions or concerns about ‘local issues’ please feel free to contact the Clerk, Sally Chapman on Tel: 07774 734411 or Email: [email protected] Please use the voice message service clearly stating your name; phone number; and the purpose of your enquiry. We will return your call. We are here to help. And even if we are unable to help you directly, we can try and point you in the right direction!

Julian Green Chair,
Ditchingham Parish Council

News (April 2015)

At the March 2015 meeting, the Council reviewed its policy on Posters advertising local events (fly-posting)

Not all ad-hoc posting is fly-posting, although much is. There is no formal definition of ‘fly-posting’. However, it is generally taken to be the display of advertising material on buildings and street furniture without the consent of the owner, contrary to the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations 2007.

The laws to protect us from indiscriminate fly-posting is regulated by section 224 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (s224), The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 and the Highways Act 1990 (s225).

While this is complex, it can be summarised as:

1. Advertising of any kind requires express consent from the planning authority unless the advertising falls into a list of exceptions or deemed consents specified in the 2007 regulations. Display of advertising contrary to these regulations is an offence

2. Advertising on highways property is an offence without the permission of the highways authority

3. All advertising requires the permission of the owner of the land on which the advert is displayed.

At the meeting of Ditchingham Parish Council 16th March 2015 the Council determined to amend its policy on fly-posting to read:

DPC discourages all advertising or other artefacts on the highway, specifically the B1332 and within in the village, but note that this is not illegal provided that other regulations including safety, fly posting and planning issues are not breached.

• DPC encourages all advertisers to include a full contact name and number (so that we can reasonably request the advertiser to remove posters if inappropriate; or that are displayed in excessive numbers)

• DPC reminds advertisers that the decision to ‘fly-post’ is at the sole discretion of the advertiser and that there are penalties for breaking the law

• DPC may remove any advertising that, in the opinion (and absolute discretion) of the Chair of the Highways & Planning Committee:
• includes inappropriate content (eg commercial content)
• is displayed in excessive numbers
• does not include relevant contact details
• is displayed sooner than 14 days before, or 7 days after the event
• is affixed to such street furniture as to be a distraction or a danger
• is not of a ‘local’ nature

Julian Green
Chair, Ditchingham Parish Council

News (March 2015)

Ditchingham’s BMX Track

The BMX track at Thwaite Road Play Area is being turned back into its former glory!  It’s being rescued from the brambles and weeds and being reinstated as requested by the local children and residents.

2015-03-22 13.37.56

The work is being carried out by the Community Payback Scheme for the Waveney area, using offenders who receive community hours from the Court and then work on various types of projects within the local area.

The BMX track will take two weeks to complete and then the Thwaite Road Play Area, with its wide range of play equipment, football area, picnic benches, woodland walk and BMX track will be a lovely place to visit.



Ditchingham’s Litter Pick 2015

A good turn out of Ditchingham’s Councillors, District Councillor Pauline Allen and a few Parishioners for this year’s litter pick.


They collected: 46 large bags, 11 tyres (including 2 complete wheels), several derelict signs, HGV mudguard, some asbestos, large pieces of glass and several assorted plastic things!



Well done and thank you for taking part!

News (December 2014)

New from the Council (December 2014). Published in the Parishioner Magazine

The Council has not included a report in the magazine since June. More frequent updates however are posted on our web site https://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk The July meeting addressed issues concerning safety checks on the play area, safety on the B1332 and a new policy on Cemetery matters was adopted together with a review of Cemetery fees. The September meeting included further business concerning the B1332 and a new policy on the Allotments was adopted with a review of Allotment rents and conditions.

November Meeting. This was a business meeting and with only one parishioner present there were no questions from the public! Items discussed included an update on policies in general, a new Reserves policy was adopted, and the budget and Precept for 2015-16 was set. In addition, full reports on Council activities were presented in respect of the Play Areas, Community engagement and Planning & Highways. Draft minutes are available on the web site at https://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/files/2014/11/Draft_DPC_Minutes_November_2014.pdf.

Councillor Vacancies. The Council still has 2 Casual vacancies. The Council may at its sole discretion co-opt members. If you are interested in filling one of the vacancies (or just want to find out more) please contact the Clerk (see above) or the Chair, Julian Green. Contact details of all Councillors are displayed on the Council notice board and on the web site.

Work Opportunity. As at date of writing this copy the vacancy for someone to clean the Bus and Youth Shelters and the Lych Gate together with other light duties is available. In brief we are offering 2 ½ hours per week at £6.50 (minimum wage) subject to HMRC deductions. To express an interest in this work please contact the Clerk, initially.

Allotments. Following a period when there have been no plots available, the Council is pleased to announce that there are now a few plots available to local residents (priority to Ditchingham residents). To express an interest in renting a plot, please contact the Clerk.

Notice Board. Following the relocation of the Post Office, the Council notice board is being moved to a new position overlooking the Dip (opposite the Village Stores). This notice board is used to post statutory notices and Contact details etc. Paper copies of Minutes are no longer displayed for public inspection, but are posted on the web site https://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/category/meetings/minutes/ or can be obtained by request from the Clerk.

Better Internet. Have you heard of WiSpire? This uses parish churches as a platform to deliver high speed reliable wireless broadband internet access to local communities (especially to areas where current speeds are very poor… like Ditchingham!) supporting both business and residential customers. The Council is exploring supporting this concept. For more information, please check out the link https://wispire.co.uk/ … Or contact the Clerk.

Dates of next meetings. Full Council – 20 January 2015 7.30pm; Planning & Highways – 16 February 2015 6pm if required. Please come along. Agendas can be found https://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/category/meetings/agendas/

Julian Green Chair,
Ditchingham Parish Council

News (July 2014)

New from the Council (July 2014). Published in the Parishioner Magazine

The Annual Parish Meeting was held at the Village Hall on 19th May and attended by Councillors, the new Rector Chris Hutton, and six members of the public. The business conducted included the Chair and the separate Chairs of the advisory working parties reporting on activities that occurred throughout the year. Public participation saw a number of enquiries responded to by Councillors through the Chair.

In summary the meeting recorded the sad passing of the late John Smith, former Clerk of DPC for some 56 years, and welcomed the new Clerk Sally Chapman. The Chair thanked the 3 Councillors who retired in the last year; Mr F. James, Mr M Ankrett and Mrs M Ankrett, welcomed the new Councillor Stephen Read and reported that the precept had been set by the Council at £25,000. Working party reports included updates on:

  • Planning and Highways: Conversion of the former convent buildings in Belsey Bridge Road by Emmaus; planned new dwellings in Lamberts Way debate; and the Waterside Maltings development. The Council has appointed a new litter picker (Marcus Sladden);
  • Maintenance & Environment: Use of the play areas; use of the allotments; and cemetery maintenance; while
  • Local Development: included reports on the Skate Park and the Youth Shelter in the dip with Councillor Ogden acknowledging the Grant funding gratefully received; ‘pop-up’ events on the play area, including archery for local children and youths; the village fete was well supported last year and is planned again on 27 July 2014. The Mancroft Advice Project had ran a residential course with the local youths.

This was followed by the Annual Parish Council Meeting with 4 members of the public in attendance. Statutory business included the appointment of Chair and authorisation of the financial returns. With no other Councillors nominated, Councillors Green and Weston agreed to continue in their capacities as Chair and vice Chair for a further year. Councillor Green informed the meeting that this would be the final year that he would Chair the Council.

Draft minutes of both meetings are posted on the Council’s web site https://ditchinghampc.norfolkparishes.gov.uk/ or alternatively available from the Clerk, Sally Chapman on Tel: 07774 734411 Email: [email protected]

Our next meeting is scheduled meeting is Monday 15th September. Please come!

Big Litter pick: The litter pick held in April had again been successful following last year’s event. The Council would like to thank all those that had volunteered.

Committees: The Council gets things done through using working parties. There are working parties for Planning & Highways; Maintenance and Environment; and Local Development & Community Planning. This ‘ways of working’ ensures that Councillors now have specific and focussed responsibilities. Again more details are available from the web site, by contacting the Clerk, or from the Council Notice Board outside the Post Office.

Julian Green Chair,
Ditchingham Parish Council