• Additional objections to proposed convenience store

    Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 17:23

    The major topic of discussion at the Town Council meeting on 11 April concerned the revised planning application for the demolition of the Reepham Motors garage at 31 School Road and the erection of a Co-op convenience store.

    This is a revision of the application submitted, and withdrawn, by the applicant some months ago. Essentially, the revised application involved a redesigned frontage and the provision of off-road customer parking spaces in front of the store.

    The Council received submissions from five members of the public before discussing the application. It was agreed that there should be no change to the objections made by the Council to the original application, subject to additional objections to the proposed customer car parking arrangements and the proposed loading/unloading arrangements for delivery vehicles.

    Concerns were expressed particularly about the number of parking spaces provided, potential conflict between vehicles leaving the site and pedestrians, especially at school start and finish times, and the safety of vehicles entering and leaving the site on a narrow, busy and congested stretch of road.

    Resurfacing work completed

    We don’t need to tell everybody how cold and wet the weather has been so far this year and how much it has delayed necessary repairs and improvements we have needed to make in Reepham.

    However, after several years of increasing deterioration of the surface, the car park at Stimpson’s Piece has now been resurfaced and it is expected that the new surface will provide a more durable and user-friendly alternative.

    Similarly, the roadway in the cemetery in Whitwell Road is being repaired and resurfaced where it has been subject to flooding over the past few months.

    Meanwhile, the Council received the annual crime statistics report from the police and it is comforting to note the low level of offences recorded in Reepham over the past 12 months.

    Changes to councillors

    The Town Council meeting reported the resignation of two councillors, Mike Pinchin and John Rawlinson.

    Mike has been with us for only a relatively short time, but has been a member of our personnel committee and has taken an active role in scrutinising and authorising payments to our staff, contractors and suppliers. Unfortunately, Mike is moving away and is no longer eligible to be a councillor.

    John Rawlinson has been a councillor for some time and has proved to be a very hands-on member of the Council, working on various projects over the years. John has resigned for personal reasons.

    We would like to express our appreciation for all their efforts on behalf of the Council and for the people of Reepham, and wish them well for the future.

    However, we were pleased to welcome Matthew Steel as a new councillor when he was co-opted at the April meeting and we look forward to working with him in supporting our community.

    We would like to remind everybody that we still have vacancies for councillors and welcome new volunteers.

    We now have five vacancies and if anybody would like so consider serving the community, please do not hesitate to contact any councillor or the town clerk, who will be pleased to give you any advice or assistance you might need.

    Future meetings

    May is the time of year when local councils have their round of annual meetings – and Reepham is no exception.

    The Annual Town Hall Management Committee meeting will be held on 2 May in the Town Hall at 7.30 pm.

    The Annual Town Meeting will be held on 9 May in the Town Hall at 7 pm, where residents have the opportunity to meet councillors and raise any matters in an informal setting.

    This will be followed by the Annual Town Council Meeting, when a new chair and vice-chair are elected, and the Annual Stimpson’s Piece Trustee Meeting.

    Contact: Reepham Town Council, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email: clerk@reephamtowncouncil.org.uk

     

  • Town Council publishes response to Greater Norwich Local Plan

    Monday, March 19, 2018 - 20:57

    The past few months have seen several developments that will have a significant impact on Reepham and its residents in future.

    As many residents will know, Norfolk Constabulary is to remove the position of police community support officer (PCSO) from the end of March.

    Our local PCSO, Stephen Bridges, was one of those who has been affected by this reorganisation and will no longer be serving in that role.

    Stephen has been serving our community for the past 11 years and has proved to be a popular and effective member of the police force.

    Reepham Town Council, councillors and trustees of Stimpson’s Piece have, over the years, had cause to contact the police on a variety of issues and they have been dealt with by Stephen discreetly, efficiently and speedily; he has proved to be a real asset to our community.

    To mark the end of Stephen’s role as a PCSO he was presented with a small gift as a gesture of our appreciation for his service to the community at the Town Council meeting on 14 March.

    GNLP consultation

    Following the roadshow in the Town Hall on Monday 5 March, where residents had the opportunity to gather information and question district council officers on the proposed development framework for the Greater Norwich district up 2036, the Town Council held an extraordinary meeting the following day to formulate its response to the Greater Norwich Local Plan consultation.

    As there were two parts to the consultation – the Growth Options document and the Sites Proposal – it was agreed that the Sites Proposal only would be dealt with at the meeting and that a response to the Growth Options would be dealt with by a sub-committee at a later date.

    Proposals for each of the 10 sites in Reepham were discussed and our response to each has been made as part of the consultation process.

    The sub-committee dealing with our response to the Growth Options document was faced with the task of reviewing a document some 157-pages long seeking responses to 66 separate questions.

    It was agreed that our responses would be limited to those topics that directly affect Reepham and the recommendations were placed before the full council and approved on 14 March.

    It was agreed that our responses to both consultation documents would be made available to the public. (See the Town Council’s response HERE.)

    Vattenfall wind farms

    The Council received an update on progress of the project to bring electricity onshore from the North Sea wind farms, with particular reference to its effect on Reepham.

    While there was general discussion on the route and possible side-effects from electromagnetic radiation from the cables, serious concerns were raised about a proposed change to the cable route near Pettywell to the west of Reepham.

    This proposal, which had not been previously publicised or consulted on, would bring the cable route much closer to the group of dwellings there.

    It was felt that local residents should have been consulted on this change and the impact it would have on them and District Councillor Graham Everett offered to take the matter up at Broadland District Council level.

    New councillor co-opted

    We had pleasure in welcoming Paul Mitchell to the Town Council when he was co-opted at the meeting on 14 March. That means we now have eight councillors, out of the 12 that we should have.

    If anybody wishes to become a town councillor and would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact either the Town Clerk or any of the councillors who will be more than happy to help.

    Future meetings

    Reepham Town Council meeting: 11 April
    Stimpson’s Piece Charity trustee meeting: 11 April
    Town Hall Management Committee annual general meeting: 2 May
    Reepham town meeting: 9 May
    Reepham Town Council annual general meeting: 9 May
    Stimpson’s Piece Charity trustee annual general meeting: 9 May

    All meetings will be held in the Town Hall, starting at 7.30 pm unless otherwise stated. Members of the public are welcome.

    • Contact: Reepham Town Council Office, Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4JW. Tel: 01603 873355. Email

     

  • County Councillor urges people to get involved in local affairs

    Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 19:56

    By Cllr Greg Peck

    There is always a lot of criticism of elected representatives. The motives of MPs and councillors have often been questioned, but in modern times there seems an even greater cynicism and suspicion of anyone who seeks public office.

    The oft-heard refrain is “they are all in it for themselves”. Any decision that doesn’t go the way some people would wish is often met with comments implying wrongdoing or an assumption that it must be because the politicians are in the other side’s pocket.

    I am a relatively new councillor, having spent my entire career in private industry. However, I can honestly say that in my short period of involvement in local politics, most of the councillors with whom I deal, from all parties, are hardworking and public-spirited and trying to do the best for their community.

    We may disagree on how to achieve that goal, but in general we are all trying to make things better for our constituents. I would encourage anyone who is disappointed in the performance of their elected representatives to get involved. All political parties need volunteers and candidates, so why not put yourself forward?

    I would be more than happy to talk to anyone who has aspirations to become a candidate, whatever your political persuasion, to explain the role and what is involved.

    If you prefer, just contact the political party of your choice or talk to Broadland District Council Democratic Services department, who will give you advice on becoming a candidate.

    However, do not be misled by the recent local press reports about councillors’ allowances; if you do the job properly it doesn’t even come to half the minimum wage.

    It is not a salary, but is there to support people with their expenses and, for those in work, lost income when taking time off to attend daytime meetings. Allowances for local councillors were introduced by the Attlee government after the Second World War to ensure that people from all walks of life could afford to become councillors.

    On the subject of allowances, it was reported in the local media that I am not taking the increase to the allowance that was agreed in December. A number of my colleagues have made the same commitment.

    If you want to check what your councillor is receiving in allowances or expenses, this is in the public domain and available on the district and county council websites.

    If you are community-minded, but don’t necessarily want to get involved in party politics, you do not have to be a member of a political party to get involved in parish and town councils. They are non-political and you stand as an individual.

    Currently, Reepham Town Council has vacancies for several councillors, so why not support your town? It is a great way to get involved in the community and you can influence the decisions that affect you and your neighbours.

     

  • Town Council desperately needs new councillors

    Friday, February 9, 2018 - 17:40

    Is it the prospect of further housing development in Reepham? The lack of parking? The need to make the roads safer? Improving services for older people? Or providing facilities for young people?

    Whatever issue you feel needs tackling in Reepham, you could be just the person to change it by becoming a town councillor.

    Reepham Town Council should have 12 elected members; there are currently five vacancies. Could you make a difference?

    While being a councillor is interesting and sometimes challenging work, it is also satisfying to make a constructive contribution to the local community.

    Meetings are usually held on the second Wednesday of every month (except August).

    There is no specific experience required and full support & training is available.

    Becoming a town councillor is a fulfilling and challenging opportunity to enhance the well-being of local residents.

    • For further information, contact the Town Clerk on 01603 873355 or via email

     

  • Planning application at 31 School Road

    Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 19:57

    Re the recent letter concerning the planning application for building a convenience store at 31 School Road, Reepham (“Local business community should not dictate to silent majority”, Your Letters, 20 December 2017).

    Planning matters are the responsibility of Broadland District Council and the final decision on this, and all other planning applications, will be made by the District Council.

    As part of the planning process, comments on every application are invited from members of the public and from bodies such as town and parish councils.

    At the recent Town Council meeting various members of the public made their views known and these views were taken into account when councillors considered the application.

    After consideration, councillors unanimously agreed to object to the application because of concerns regarding parking and access for large vehicles at this particular location and because of the potentially deleterious effect the development would have on existing retailers in the town centre.

    No doubt Broadland District Council would take these views, and those of others who have made comments on this application, into account when making its decision, but in this particular instance the applicant has since withdrawn the planning application.

    I would like to remind all residents that Town Council meetings are open to all members of the public where everybody is entitled, and cordially invited, to make representations to the Council on any topic that is of concern to them individually or to the community as a whole.

    I would also like to remind everybody that we still have vacancies for councillors, so if anybody wishes to take a more active role in shaping the future of our town by becoming a councillor, please do not hesitate to contact any councillor or the town clerk who will be happy to help you.

    Les Paterson, Chairman, Reepham Town Council

  • Representations on offshore wind farm projects

    Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 12:12

    Vattenfall held a public information day in the Bircham Centre on Wednesday 8 November, where residents had the opportunity to meet company representatives and discuss concerns regarding the offshore wind farm project and, more particularly, the impact the underground cables might have on Reepham.

    The planned route passes to the north of the town, at the rear of the houses on Cawston Road, alongside Worlds End Lane and then crosses Dereham Road west of Pettywell.

    Town councillors have followed the progress of this project, and the similar Dong scheme that passes to the east of Reepham, and have made or will be making representations on both projects as they affect the parish of Reepham.

    Residents and landowners are reminded that all representations must be made to Vattenfall before midnight on 11 December.

    Support for local events

    The Town Council is pleased to be supporting the annual Festival of Light, which will take place in the Market Place on Thursday 7 December.

    In addition to obtaining the order to close the Market Place to traffic, the Town Council is now also able to supply the temporary road signs and barriers enabling the road to be closed.

    The Town Council is now in the position to offer a one-stop service enabling organisers of events in the Market Place to obtain road closure orders and arrange signposted traffic diversions.

    Stimpson’s Piece play equipment

    New play equipment is being installed in the toddlers play area of Stimpson’s Piece. It was necessary to re-turf part of this area before the new equipment could be installed and we had to prevent access while the new turf established itself. We apologise for any inconvenience, but hope the wait has been worthwhile.

    Councillor resignation

    Cllr Marion Korman tendered her resignation from the Town Council in mid-November. We would like to express our appreciation to Marion for all her efforts on behalf of the people of Reepham and for her service to the Council, and we offer her our best wishes for the future.

    As a consequence we are now looking for more replacement councillors, so if anybody is interested in serving the community and is considering becoming a councillor, please contacting the Town Clerk, Jo Boxall, or any of your councillors, who will be pleased to give you any information or advice.

    We would also remind everybody that we still have a quantity of redundant plastic garden furniture that we wish to dispose of. If anybody is interested, please contact the Town Clerk.

    Next meetings

    The next Reepham Town Council and Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meetings will start at 7.30 pm in the Town Hall, Church Street, on Wednesday 13 December. Members of the public are cordially invited.

  • Market regulations revised to include provision of services

    Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 22:17

    October is traditionally a quiet month for Council business and the Town Council and Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meetings held on Wednesday 11 October were completed relatively quickly.

    Following a request by a political party to have a stall in the Market Place on market days, it was agreed at the Town Council meeting in September to review the market regulations with regard to non-trading organisations.

    Having studied regulations from several local councils, in particular North Norfolk District Council, it was agreed at the October meeting that Reepham’s market regulations should be amended to include the provision of services in addition to the sale of goods.

    It was also confirmed that applications to trade on market days will continue to be subject to approval by the Town Council.

    Damp discovered in Town Hall floor

    Following the discovery of problems of damp in the floor near the toilets in the Town Hall, town clerk Jo Boxall reported that an insurance assessor had visited the building and authorised investigative work to be carried out to establish the cause of the problem. As soon as this is complete, the necessary remedial work will be carried out.

    Town Council chairman Les Paterson also confirmed that the proposal to erect a new glazed entrance porch and the provision of a storeroom for the hall will be discussed at the next Town Hall Management Committee meeting on 1 November.

    Temporary road signs and barriers

    Over the past few years various community groups have stages events in the Market Place.

    The classic car show took place recently and the next Festival of Light will be held on 7 December, while there are plans for a repeat of the Reepham Food Festival next year.

    Reepham Town Council has supported such events by, amongst other things, arranging for road closure orders to enable these to take place.

    The Council has now taken its support a step further by agreeing to purchase temporary road signs and barriers enabling the Market Place to be closed to traffic and diversions to be signposted.

    Meanwhile, the Town Council has agreed in principle to renew the contract to manage the Station Road car park and public toilets in Pudding Pie Alley on behalf of Broadland District Council from April 2018.

    Circus experience

    The trustees of Stimpson’s Piece had the pleasure of welcoming Circus Tyanna in September and we trust all those who attended had an enjoyable experience.

    Considering the appallingly wet weather during September, the circus must be congratulated on the very tidy condition they left the field in after a full week on site. The trustees would welcome the Circus again should they wish to return.

    At the September meeting of the trustees, it was agreed that the toddlers’ play area of Stimpson’s Piece should be improved. The work is now scheduled to be done during the first week of November.

    Support your community

    The Town Council and trustees of Stimpson’s Piece rely heavily on volunteers who are prepared to give their time to serve the community.

    If you are a resident of Reepham, or if you have a business based in Reepham, and you would like to support your community by taking an active role in shaping the future of Reepham, please do not hesitate in coming forward to become a councillor.

    No previous experience of committee work is necessary, simply your experience and willingness to work together with other people for the well-being of our community.

    If you are interested in joining us but afraid of the responsibilities it might involve, please do not hesitate to contact any of the councillors, or the town clerk or finance officer, who can help you in coming to a decision.

    Next meetings

    The next Town Hall Management Committee meeting will start at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 1 November and the next Town Council and Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meetings will start at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 8 November, all in the Town Hall. Members of the public are cordially invited.

  • Allotment vacancies for enthusiastic tenants

    Monday, July 31, 2017 - 14:41

    There are currently vacancies on two of the allotment sites in Reepham. A half-plot is available for handover on Stony Lane and there are three (soon to be four) vacant plots on Fiddler’s Field in desperate need of new tenants.

    The plots at Fiddlers Field do require some hard graft (or a good rotavator) before they can be cultivated, but the Town Council is willing to negotiate the rent on these plots in exchange for an enthusiastic tenant!

    Six years ago Reepham Town Council created several new allotments. The Council took a 20-year lease of a field off Stony Lane near Marriott’s Way and Fiddler’s Field off World’s End Lane in Reepham.

    The Council was successful in its bid for external funding to plough the plots, improve access and fence in the sites. There is the equivalent of 27 full-size plots on the Stony Lane site and 29 on Fiddler’s Field. There are currently 75 plot-holders.

    All sites comprise of a mixture of full size (11 metre x 22 metre plot) and half size (11m x 11m plots), with a few odd sizes thrown in for good measure.

    As of 1 April 2017, a full-size plot costs £50 per year; a half-plot costs £25. An additional £15 charge is added for non-residents.

    When allocating allotments, although priority is given to Reepham residents, the Town Council welcomes non-residents too.

    • If you are considering renting a plot and would like to have a look, please contact: Jo Boxall, Town Clerk 01603 873355 or email

     

  • Alternative sites sought for bus parking

    Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - 21:29

    The latest Town Council meeting was held in the Town Hall on 12 April when discussion of several local topics was overshadowed by a longstanding issue that may well have wider consequences for the town and for many of its residents.

    As readers of Reepham Life, you will be aware of complaints about buses parking near the junction of Norwich Road and Bircham Road.

    Apparently, the situation has worsened to the extent that bus drivers are claiming that they are subjected to personal abuse and harassment.

    Although complainants had been invited to the meeting to discuss their problems, regrettably without response, councillors considered the matter in some depth.

    Unfortunately, there appear to be very few locations with access suitable for buses where they can be parked and it was generally agreed that the area near the junction of Bircham Road and Norwich Road offered the only reasonable location, not being in front of, or obstructing access to, residential properties.

    However, it was agreed that the Council would seek alternative sites with adequate access and would also look into the possibility of introducing some form of traffic control measure with dedicated bus parking areas.

    It was also recognised that, unless the parking problem for buses could be resolved, there is a possibility that the existing services could be either curtailed or withdrawn because of the lack of suitable parking.

    This would have a dramatic impact on residents who rely on public transport, particularly those without access to any other form of transport.

    It was therefore agreed that the Council would support the bus service by seeking alternative parking arrangements but that, in the meantime, there does not appear to be a suitable alternative other than in Bircham Road.

    The Council would therefore respectfully ask local residents to support the service by accepting that buses may be parked in Bircham Road until such time as an alternative location can be found.

  • No action on Townsend Corner crossing petition

    Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 07:36

    The latest meeting of Reepham Town Council took place in the Town Hall on Wednesday 8 March, when councillors dealt with routine, but nevertheless important, public and financial protection policies, as well as dealing with other matters of more immediate interest to local residents.

    The most high profile topic discussed concerned a petition raised by a group of residents requesting the provision of pedestrian crossings at the Townsend Corner crossroads.

    Unfortunately, councillors were unaware of the existence of this petition until the town clerk was approached by officers of Norfolk County Council seeking our views on the proposals.

    In the past, when residents have rai - s ed issues concerning road safety, councillors have investigated the options available and, in co-operation with the County Council, have agreed and funded improvements where possible.

    In the case of this petition, councillors felt that, in the absence of any dialogue with the organisers, they were unable to take a view on their proposals and it was therefore agreed not to take any action on the matter.

    However, should anybody or group wish to discuss this or any other matter of public concern, please do not hesitate to raise the matter publicly at our regular Town Council meetings or personally with the town clerk or any of your councillors.