• Election in May for 12 town councillors

    Friday, December 14, 2018 - 17:15

    2019 is an important year in which electors have the opportunity to choose their representatives in local town and parish council elections. Elections will be held in May when the existing town councillors will either stand down or stand for re-election.

    Anybody who meets the criteria for standing for election – living in or within four miles of the parish or having a business in the parish – is entitled to put their name forward to be placed on the ballot paper.

    Beyond the basic requirement to attend council meetings on a regular basis, there is no commitment to remain a councillor any longer than the incumbent feels able to.

    Reepham Town Council has had vacancies for councillors for some considerable time and welcomes expressions of interest from local residents who may wish to join, especially between now and May.

    Before May, a list of candidates will be published and an election held if there are more candidates than vacancies.

    In the event that there are fewer than 12 candidates (the number of councillors required) then all the candidates will be appointed without a ballot.

    If anybody wishes to serve the community, either by joining now or standing for election in May, please do not hesitate to come along to the meetings to see how business is conducted, or speak to the Town Clerk, Jo Boxall, or any councillor.

    Festival of Light

    The annual Festival of Light was held in the Market Place on 6 December and, as usual, was enjoyed by all who attended. Thanks to all the volunteers who worked hard, both in organising the event and in supporting the festival on the day.

    The Town Council was pleased to arrange the closure of the Market Place and provide other, less obvious support.

    Tommy statue offered

    Following on from the recent commemoration of the centenary of the end of the First World War, Reepham Town Council has been offered a “There But Not There” statue, also better known as the “Tommy statue”, as a memorial to the fallen from the Reepham district.

    The offer will be discussed at the next Town Council meeting in January and we would like comments and suggestions from residents as to where they might like to see the statue displayed if a suitable location can be found.

    Parking strategy

    As an integral part of a strategy to alleviate parking problems in Reepham, the town council and trustees of Stimpson’s Piece have offered the use of the car park at Stimpson’s Piece as a possible long-stay car park, with the existing Station Road car park being designated as short stay.

    However, the issue of the lack of lighting at Stimpson’s Piece has been raised as a potential problem, especially for those working in the town and who would have to leave or collect their vehicles during the hours of darkness.

    Councillors and trustees have provisionally agreed to allow additional lighting to be installed, subject to agreement on funding of the installation and long-term maintenance being made available.

    At this stage, no firm proposals have been made, but councillors would appreciate comments from residents on suggestions to make more use of the Stimpson’s Piece car park.

    Future events

    Wednesday 9 January: Town Council meeting and Stimpson’s Piece trustee meeting

    Wednesday 13 February: Town Council meeting and Stimpson’s Piece trustee meeting

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, commencing at 7.30 pm, unless otherwise advertised.

    Members of the public are welcome to attend and to make their views known to councillors at the beginning of every meeting.

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

  • Planning issues dominate November Council meeting

    Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 21:04

    The Town Council meeting held on 14 November was well attended by members of the public, many of whom expressed their views on the proposed nursing and retirement home complex on the former station site on Cawston Road.

    Having heard comments from the public, councillors discussed the amended proposals put forward by the developer. While it was accepted that the reduction in height of the nursing home had gone some way to meeting objections raised earlier, it was still felt the siting of such a large building immediately opposite existing properties on Stony Lane would not be in keeping with the immediate area

    Additional information on the Broadland District Council local plan requiring vehicle access to the site from Cawston Road only, and not from Stony Lane, was also presented to councillors.

    After a lengthy discussion it was agreed that the Town Council still supported development of the site, subject to issues concerning the siting of the large nursing home, vehicle access to the site and arrangements for disposing of foul and surface water being addressed, in addition to those issues raised in our comments made on the initial planning application.

    This planning application has now been referred back to Broadland District Council for its decision.

    GNLP additional sites

    Councillors also discussed proposals for additional land to be considered for development under the Greater Norwich Local Plan. The two parcels include land between Cawston Road and Wood Dalling Road, to the rear of the existing properties to the north of Cawston Road, and off Orchard Lane, between Orchard Lane and Marriott’s Way. Councillors agreed to oppose both proposals.

    In the case of the land off Cawston Road it had been agreed at a previous consultation that the site is not suitable because of its distance from local services and amenities, and that it is unlikely to encourage walking and cycling to the town centre and the schools.

    It was also pointed out that, because the site is likely to be crossed by the Vattenfall offshore wind farm cable corridor, it is unlikely any work could be undertaken within a reasonable period, if at all.

    With regard to the Orchard Lane proposal it was agreed that the road is unsuitable for additional traffic in connection with housing development and that there is no suitable safe pedestrian or cycle route between the site and the town centre.

    Stimpson’s Piece donation

    Local business FunForce organised Halloween festivities and a trail around the town for our younger children this year and from the proceeds raised has offered to fund the provision of a new picnic table for Stimpson’s Piece.

    Councillors gratefully accepted this offer and agreed to purchase two matching picnic tables to replace the life-expired tables presently there.

    We would like to express our appreciation to Graham Andrew of FunForce for his kind gesture and for all the effort he puts in on behalf of the people, and particularly the children, of Reepham.

    New councillor co-opted

    Councillors had the pleasure of co-opting another councillor, Hayden Key, at our November meeting. He had been a councillor a few years ago and was, at that time, one of the youngest councillors in Norfolk and possibly in the UK.

    We still have vacancies for three councillors and if you are interested in serving the community, please do not hesitate to contact the Town Clerk, Jo Boxall.

    Town Hall film shows suspended

    The monthly Friday evening film shows will be suspended after the next showing at the beginning of December. We are looking for somebody with an interest in film to take over running these events. All the equipment is provided and support will be given.

    We would like to express our appreciation to Caitriona Boal for all the work she has done in providing these entertainments.

    It only remains to wish everybody a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year and we look forward to working on your behalf in 2019.

    Future events

    Town Council meeting: Wednesday 12 December 2018 and Wednesday 9 January 2019

    Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting: Wednesday 12 December 2018 and Wednesday 9 January 2019.

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, commencing at 7.30 pm.

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

  • Two new town councillors co-opted

    Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 19:33

    At the September meeting, Reepham Town Council was inquorate, which meant it was on the verge of being unable to conduct any business. Fortunately, it was able to co-opt one new councillor, Robert Taylor, so the meeting could continue.

    At Town Council meeting held on 10 October, two more new councillors – Sarah Fisher and Mark Lester – were co-opted, which means there are now eight councillors out of a full complement of 12.

    The Town Council is still actively looking for more volunteers to join. If you live in the parish of Reepham or the immediate surrounding area, or have a business in Reepham, and you would like support the community by becoming a town councillor, please do not hesitate to contact the Town Clerk or any councillors for help or advice.

    Vattenfall windfarms

    At the October meeting, councillors and members of the public heard a presentation from Vattenfall on the current state of the proposed Norfolk Vanguard windfarm and the associated cable route that passes through Reepham.

    The proposal is now under consideration by the Planning Inspectorate, whose decision is expected late next year. Representations to the Inspectorate can still be made in person.

    Following representations made previously by Reepham Town Council, large goods and earthmoving vehicles will not be permitted to pass through the town – all movements will take place along the cable corridor.

    The Town Council was also briefed on the start of the statutory consultation period for the Norfolk Boreas offshore windfarm. It is intended that this project will use the same cable route and cable ducting installed for the Vanguard project.

    In that case the Boreas project will probably have little additional impact on Reepham, although it may have significant impacts elsewhere.

    Vattenfall will be holding a public consultation event in St Michael’s, Reepham, on 24 November from from 10 am – 3 pm. If you are unable to attend this event there are other events as advertised.

    Grants for local projects

    The Town Council has awarded a grant to local charity Mini-Scrapbox for the purchase of replacement die-cutting machinery.

    The Council does have funds available to support projects undertaken by local charities and community groups; further information can be obtained from the Town Clerk.

    Future events

    Wednesday 7 November: Town Hall Management Committee meeting
    Wednesday 14 November: Town Council and Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meetings
    All meetings to be held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, commencing at 7.30 pm. Members of the public are invited to attend.

    Saturday 24 November: Norfolk Boreas public consultation event, St Michael’s, Reepham, 10 am – 3 pm

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

     

  • Station yard proposal to go to Broadland Planning Committee

    Friday, October 5, 2018 - 12:21

    Because a high-profile planning application for the former station site on Station Road had been received, it was decided to hold an extraordinary meeting of Reepham Town Council on 1 August to give residents an opportunity to make their comments to local councillors.

    The application is for the building of a residential and nursing care complex, a small office block and a convenience store on the largely brownfield site previously occupied by the station goods yard and the station approach.

    A large number of local residents attended the meeting and expressed views ranging from support to opposition to the scheme.

    While it was recognised that the station area, being a brownfield site, is suitable for development, strong reservations were expressed about the size of buildings forming the nursing and care home parts of the development, which would be considerably taller and larger than the existing houses on Stony Lane immediately opposite.

    Concerns about the loss of trees and hedgerows on the site were registered, particularly as the hedgerow bordering Stony Lane would be removed along virtually the entire length of the site to enable the road to be widened.

    Reservations were also expressed about the impact the development would have on local services, in particular the doctors’ surgery, and on possible noise and light pollution from the care complex and convenience store.

    Having heard residents comments, councillors agreed that, while they supported the application in principle, they would like to see many of the areas of concern addressed by the developer, including: either a reduction in height of the care and nursing homes or their relocation to a more suitable part of the site; the impact on local services to be assessed; access to Marriott’s Way to be protected; the question of noise and light pollution from the development to be addressed; and protection for the existing businesses within the site.

    Subject to a sensitive reduction in the number of trees, councillors did not object to the removal of poor-quality trees and hedging.

    The Town Council’s comments were made to Broadland District Council and we understand that the application will be dealt with by the Planning Committee later this autumn, when local residents will be able to make their representations in person.

    New town councillor co-opted

    Owing to the small number of councillors available and the unavoidable absence of two councillors, we were in the position of being inquorate for the September meeting.

    While we had already received an application for co-option to the council, we would have been unable to proceed because of the small number of councillors present.

    However, following consultation with Broadland District Council, it was agreed that we could commence the meeting with only three members and, when the new member had been co-opted, could continue business as normal, provided this process was announced at the beginning of the meeting; Robert Taylor was co-opted as a new town councillor.

    While we now have six councillors we are still short of our full complement of 12 and we continue to seek more volunteers who would like to serve the community.

    The duties of a town councillor are not onerous, the main requirement being to attend 11 meetings a year, held on the second Wednesday of every month (except August), and to respond to emails forwarded through the town clerk.

    Meetings usually take no longer than 90 minutes, often considerably less. Over and above this basic requirement, councillors may involve themselves in other aspects of the Council’s work that may be of particular interest to them or for which they may be suitably qualified.

    Future events

    Town Council and Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting: 10 October

    Town Hall Management Committee meeting: 7 November

    Town Council and Stimpson’s Piece Trustee meeting: 14 November

    All meetings to be held in the Town Hall, Church Street, Reepham, commencing at 7.30 pm.

  • Options to improve inadequate parking facilities

    Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 18:22

    Following concerns raised over a number years about car parking in Reepham, the problems were discussed in depth at a meeting on 3 July of the Town Team, an informal group consisting of representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Town Council, the churches and local community groups, backed by Broadland District Council.

    As a consequence of changing employment and shopping patterns it was recognised that the existing parking facilities are becoming inadequate.

    The free Station Road car park has spaces for 58 vehicles, but is often full during the day, especially on weekdays.

    The Market Place, between Ollands Road and Townsend Corner, has space for 50-60 vehicles, many being limited to 90 minutes between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday. Although there is normally a steady turnover of vehicles, congestion can arise, especially during the Wednesday market period.

    Stimpson’s Piece recreation ground, located off Station Road, has around 50 spaces and offers free parking. Although the car park here has recently been resurfaced, concerns have been raised about the lack of lighting in the area.

    Currently, there is an absence of designated disabled parking in Reepham and minimal provision for bicycle parking. There is also no provision for parking/recharging electric vehicles in the town.

    Various options to improve the situation were discussed at the Town Team meeting, including “Park and Stride” – encouraging drivers to park outside the town centre and walk the last few metres, encouraging cycling to eliminate unnecessary car journeys, improving public transport, introducing car-share schemes particularly among people working in Reepham, improving signage to the existing car parks to encourage drivers to use an alternative site during peak periods, “walking buses” of junior age school children walking to school in groups under the supervision of parents, changes to current car parking restrictions and the introduction of car parking charges.

    During the discussion it became apparent that some of the options would be inappropriate for a small market town in a largely rural area. For example, it is unlikely that significant improvements could be made to public transport in the foreseeable future.

    Similarly, although there are signs that some people are commuting to Reepham by bicycle, it is unlikely that the numbers of cycling commuters will increase significantly.

    It was suggested that, in the short term, better information on car parking facilities in the town might be provided, including improved signage directing drivers, especially visitors, to the available car parks.

    It was also suggested that the Station Road car park might be designated a short-stay car park and that Stimpson’s Piece might be designated a long-stay car park.

    Inevitably, this will have to be a multi-agency project involving Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council, Reepham Town Council acting in its capacity as trustee of Stimpson’s Piece, and other local business and community groups.

    As a first step, a joint meeting to discuss the location of suitable signage will be held before any final decision is made.

    If anybody has any comments or suggestions regarding improving parking in Reepham, please contact any town councillor, the district or county councillor, or the town clerk.

    Town Council changes

    It is with regret that we recently received Janet and Michael Pender-Cudlip’s resignations from the Town Council. They have both been councillors since May 2015 and have been a considerable asset to the community and to the Council.

    In particular they have played a significant role in recording and protecting local rights of way, footpaths and Marriott’s Way. We would like to thank them for their service to the community and to the Council over the years.

    This means we now have two more vacancies on the Council and we welcome volunteers who would be prepared to donate a few hours every month to support our community.

    If you have concerns about car parking, proposals for large-scale developments or large-scale infrastructure changes that will take place in the near future, please contact any of town councillor or the town clerk.

    Future meetings

    The next scheduled meetings are:

    • Town Hall Management Committee – Wednesday 5 September;
    • Town Council – Wednesday 12 September, followed by Stimpson’s Piece trustee meeting.

    All meetings are held in the Town Hall, Church Street, commencing at 7.30 pm.

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

  • Partnership to deliver local highway improvements

    Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 13:01

    Norfolk County Council has provisionally allocated £325,000 funding on a 50/50 basis (with a £25,000 upper limit per bid) to fund schemes put forward by town and parish councils to deliver projects that are priorities for local communities.

    The closing date for applications is 7 December and Reepham Town Council is consulting with the local community to ascertain if there are any such projects that could benefit from this funding.

    The type of schemes that would be acceptable include:

    • small lengths of formal footway or “Trods” (a simplified and low-cost footway)
    • improved crossing facilities
    • improvements to public rights of way
    • flashing signs to tackle speeding (speed awareness mobile signs)
    • part-time 20 mph signs with flashing warning lights outside schools
    • “Keep Clear” carriageway markings outside schools.
    • new bus shelters.

    Schemes can be within or off the highway provided they are linked to the highway. They should be self-contained and not require any other schemes or works to make them effective.

    The County Council will not consider applications for minor traffic management changes, such as speed limits, waiting restrictions, any traffic regulation order or mirrors in the highway.

    If you have any suggestions for schemes that would benefit the community, please contact the town clerk who will forward these to the Town Council for consideration.

    New beat manager

    Reepham’s new beat manager is PC Colin Bailey, who is tasked with engaging with the local community and working to solve local issues and priorities. The beat manager’s aim is to keep the neighbourhood as a safe place to live, work and visit.

    If you have any general enquiries that you would like PC Bailey to be aware of, please email baileyc2@norfolk.pnn.police.uk (do not use this contact to report a crime).

    You can call 101 to report a crime that has already happened, seek crime prevention advice or raise awareness of any policing issues in your local area. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

    Finance

    The end-of-year accounts for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 have been finalised, internally audited and approved by the Town Council.

    The Council has also approved the annual governance statement, a copy of which can be viewed on the Town Council noticeboard and on the website.

    The accounts are available for inspection by members of the public until Monday 30 July. Please contact the responsible financial officer, Sally Gill, if you require further information.

    Grants

    The Town Council continues to consider grant requests from organisations that would benefit the town and its residents. Grant awards are paid from the community facilities fund or similar funds received by the Town Council for community benefit, subject to the availability of such funds.

    Recent awards include £180 to the Reepham Archive towards the purchase of protective sleeves for large maps and documents and £590 to the Bircham Centre for the purchase of two picnic benches for the garden.

    If you/your group wish to be considered for a grant, please contact the Clerk who will send the necessary form and information.

    New councillors needed

    Reepham Town Council currently has seven councillors; it should have 12.

    Reductions in local government funding may see services reduced in the future. The Town Council could step in and fill this gap, but will need more councillors to be able to do this. Can you help?

    Do you have concerns about your local area? Do you want to represent the views of the local people? Do you want a say in how income is spent?

    More information about the role of a councillor is available on the website or contact Jo Boxall on 01603 873355 for further information.

    The next meeting of Reepham Town Council (followed by a meeting of Stimpson’s Piece Trustee) will be held on Wednesday 11 July starting at 7.30 pm in the Town Hall, Church Street. Members of the public are invited to attend.

    Please note that there is no Town Council meeting in August and the Council will meet again on Wednesday 12 September.

     

  • 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

     

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